Don’t Forget Your Prescription

Your exercise prescription is more vital than you might think.

We’ve all heard exercise helps you live longer. But a new study goes one step further, finding that a sedentary lifestyle is worse for your health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease. Shocking? It shouldn’t be. We need to move. Our bodies need it, our minds need it, our mood needs it, and our longevity depends on it.

Researchers studied 122,007 patients who underwent exercise treadmill testing at Cleveland Clinic between January 1, 1991 and December 31, 2014 to measure all-cause mortality relating to the benefits of exercise and fitness. Those with the lowest exercise rate accounted for 12% of the participants.

The study showed that being unfit on a treadmill or in an exercise stress test has a worse prognosis, as far as death, than being hypertensive, being diabetic or being a current smoker. It (not exercising) should be treated almost as a disease that has a prescription, and the prescription is exercise.

Bottom line- get moving. Fit exercise into your schedule. It’s (probably) more important than those other things on your “to do” list. And if you are missing ideas on what to do to get moving, let me know. We can work together to figure out the best plan for you.

Click here to read the full article from CNN.com.

Have a great week!
Meryl

 

Featured Recipe

Toffee Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookie Bars

Toffee cinnamon oat bars

At our recent Montreal Entrepreneur Mom’s group meeting, our host prepared these for us and boy were they a HIT. She must have double or tripled the recipe and we finished them all. Hot tea, masterminding, and these bars… beautiful! These would be a great sweet tooth addition to your meal prep this week. Enjoy!

1 TBSP ground flax
3 TBSP water
1/4 cup plus 1 TBSP coconut oil, softened
2 TBSP almond butter
3/4 cup coconut sugar (I used 1/2 and was still delicious)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup oat flour
3/4 cup oats
3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Find the full recipe and directions from Oh She Glows, click here. 

Your Halloween Survival Guide

Boo!

Happy Halloween!

I’m back! (After a slight hiatus in newsletters)

You know what’s awaiting you today. Candy left, right, and center. It’s ok. You’re gonna be prepared and you’re gonna stay in control. Right?

With a few simple tips, you’re guaranteed to rock this Halloween without sabotaging your fitness goals.

1. Drink loads of water all day. (This is true for any day not just Halloween!)

2. Get in a workout, an intense one! If you need ideas, let me know, and I’ll send you something you can do from home. Think squats, lunges, pushups, burpees, etc.

3. Pick a number. And stick to it. This is the number of Halloween treats you’re planning to indulge in. (<5 please!!) Having a simple plan like this will help you stay in control. Email me your number and I’ll help hold you accountable. I’ll tell you my number if you tell me yours!

4. Get back on track right away with your clean eating on Thursday.

Have a safe and happy Halloween,

Meryl

Featured Recipe

Pumpkin Oat Breakfast Cups

Pumpkin Oat Breakfast Cups

These have been on repeat at our house.  They’re great to grab on the go, or heat up with a nice cup of coffee.

2 1/2 cups oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 1/2 TBSP maple syrup
1 cup water
2 TBSP coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large medjool dates, pitted and chopped

Preheat oven to 375. Prepare your muffin tin. Stir together dry ingredients. Add in remaining ingredients. Pour into liners and bake 17-20 minutes.

1 muffin: 80 calories, 14g carb, 3g fat, 1g protein

*Recipe taken from the Chocolate Covered Katie blog

Start With a Clean Slate

Happy New Year! The start of 2017 marks a new opportunity to wipe the slate clean. It’s time to hit the reset button and gain a more pleasurable approach to fitness. Turn the page, and get off to a good start.  Replenish your body and re-energize your life.

“Change your food to change your mood.”

You already know the way you eat is central to your well being. But you may not know exactly what meals yield the most satisfying and healthful results. The back to basics, old fashioned approach to nourishing our bodies is truly the way to go. Making meals from scratch with whole foods, eliminating processed foods, and enjoying all the colours of the rainbow is your answer. A simple clean eating and exercise plan incorporated into your way of life will be the catalyst to making 2017 healthier and happier.

If a desire to wipe your fitness slate clean is on your 2017 resolutions and you are looking for some direction, don’t miss our New Year New You Challenge launching next Monday, January 9th.

Wishing you a healthy and happy New Year!
Meryl

green-drink

Featured Recipe

Anti Inflammatory Green Drink

Combine everything in a blender:
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1 stemmed and chopped large kale leaf
1 chopped apple
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3-5 cubes of ice
Enjoy!

My Christmas Wish

It’s really the only thing I want. And it’s what I want most for you too.

It’s the most important thing we can ask for. It’s the most wonderful gift we can have. And It’s the most critical thing we can focus on.

It’s not a given. It’s not to be taken for granted. And it’s definitely not something money can buy.

When we have it, cherish it. Be thankful for it. And do everything in your power to protect it.

What is my Christmas wish?

My Christmas wish for you and your loved ones, is HEALTH.

Wishing you and yours all the joy this season can bring.

Happy Healthy Holidays,

Meryl

So Thankful + Black Friday Deals

I love Black Friday. With a little organization, Black Friday allows you to get your holiday shopping out of the way, leaving time to focus on the real meanings of the season. All with the added bonus of bargain shopping!

I’ve got my Black Friday lists ready, thankfully a lot of this can be done on-line nowadays!

And because I would truly love to help you or your loved ones with their fitness goals in the upcoming year, I’ve got some pretty cool Just Feel it Fitness Black Friday deals for you too.

Head on over to my Promotions Page to check them out!

Give the gift of fitness. Get your shopping done. And let’s focus on the holiday season without all the stress.

So thankful,
Meryl

Featured Recipe

No Bake Pecan Pie Bars

pecan-pie-bars

In an effort to make it feel a little more like Thanksgiving on this snowy day in Canada…I didn’t make turkey, I opted for these yummy no bake pecan pie bars. You’re going to love this recipe.

Crust:
1 cup dates, pitted
1 cup pecans
1 cup shredded coconut
1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp salt

Filling:
1 cup dates, pitted
1 cup pecans
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup water

Combine crust ingredients into a food processor and process until a thick dough forms. Press the dough into an 8X8 square pan. Put in freezer while making the filling.

Add all filling ingredients into the food processor and process, add more water if necessary. Spread the filling on top of the crust. I drizzled melted chocolate chips on top and sprinkled chopped pecans. YUM.

Enjoy!

Should you workout with a cold?

The common cold is coming. Tis the season! We all know the rules- wash your hands frequently, eat antioxidant rich foods, consistent exercise to help boost your immune system; nonetheless, the common cold can affect us all.

Should you still workout when you have a cold?

I like to use the following rule of thumb: if the symptoms are above the neck = OK to proceed.

When symptoms include sneezing, sinus pressure, or runny nose, then breaking into a sweat with mild to moderate physical activity is generally considered safe.

Symptoms below the neck such as chest congestion, hacking cough, fever, and muscle aches = give your body some rest for a few days until you are feeling better.

Remember, if you do choose to exercise when you’re sick, then reduce the intensity and length of your workout.  It’s not the time to be cranking out a HIIT workout. A light walk or jog and some core strengthening would be more appropriate.  Listen to your body, and scale back as necessary. You may even find that exercise will help you feel better by opening your nasal passages and temporarily relieving nasal congestion.

Don’t let cold and flu season get you down for long!

Have a great week,
Meryl

Pumpkins Pumpkins Pumpkins

The first day the big pumpkin display was outside the grocery store I was excited to bring the kids. Snapped a few cute “pumpkin stack, hay bale, & kid” pics and entertained myself watching the boys pick the perfect pumpkin to bring home.

pumpkin-stack

Of course I said they could each pick one. Then we ended up with 4. Then the next week another 2. And now I believe we’re up to 8. And who would have thought the kids would fight over where to place them? Yep, full blown tantrums because one wants the pumpkin family all together and the other wants each pumpkin nicely spaced out.

But we’re oh so thankful. Yes, today and everyday, we are thankful and grateful there are so many uses for all those pumpkins! We can make pumpkin soup, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin smoothies, etc. and luckily pumpkin is very healthy!

Joking aside, Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers today! I hope you are celebrating amongst the company of loved ones as we are reminded of so many blessings to be thankful for.

And in case you’re wondering what to do with your pumpkins, here is an easy recipe to make your own pumpkin puree. Try adding your own homemade version of pumpkin puree to soups, muffins, and sides this fall.

Enjoy,
Meryl

Featured Recipe

Pumpkin Puree

Smaller pumpkins work better for making the puree than larger ones.

Cut the pumpkin in half. With a spoon or a scoop, scrape out the seeds and pulp from the center. (Save the seeds to roast later too)

Place pumpkin pieces on a baking sheet face down and roast in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes, or until pumpkin is fork-tender. They should be nice and light golden brown when done.

Peel off the skin from the pumpkin pieces. Add the chunks into a blender or food processor, or simply mash it up with a potato masher.

Pulse the pumpkin until smooth. You can either use this immediately in whatever pumpkin recipe you’d like, or store it in the freezer for later use.

To store in the freezer, spoon about 1 cupful of pumpkin into ziplock bags.

An Apple A Day

apple-picking-1

“So what are you going to do with all the apples?” Said the Mom next to us on our way home from the apple picking adventure. As sure as back to school comes each year, so does the apple picking trip. Kind of like fair day in Texas, up here we have apple picking day.  And instead of turkey leg tacos, deep fried nachos, and deep fried oreos, there are warm apple donuts and apple pie. Mmmm. But that’s not what I’ll be doing with all the apples.

apple-picking

If you’ve got the 5 pound bag of apples (or 2 or 3 bags depending how many apple picking outings you got to go on) here are some of our favorite apple ideas:

  • Use a peeled, cored and chopped apple in your soup base along with the traditional carrot, celery, and onion. This adds a rich sweet flavor to puréed soups like butternut squash and pumpkin.
  • Peel, core and chop a large batch and toss in a pot. Simmer with a cup of water and cinnamon for a delicious home-made apple sauce. Add a spoonful of warm applesauce to your oats in the morning.
  • Julienne along with a cucumber for an amzing fresh and crispy salad.
  • Slice into 1/4 inch pieces and use as a crunchy base for appetizers instead of the traditional cracker or sliced baguette.
  • Toss slices with coconut oil and cinnamon and bake until soft.
  • Try this amazing (clean & gluten free!) apple crisp recipe:

Apple Crisp

Ingredients:
8-10 apples; peeled, cored, and sliced
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger

Topping Ingredients:
1/3 cup coconut oil, softened
1 cup raw pecans
3/4 cup almond flour
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground allspice

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375. Toss the sliced apples with the spices and place inside a baking dish. Add all the crisp topping ingredients to a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Spread the topping on top of the apples and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the apples are soft and bubbly. Enjoy!

Have a great week!

Meryl

Running for a Reason

Some people run for exercise. Some run for therapy. Some run for the adrenaline rush, also known as runner’s high. Some people run for an activity to do with friends.

This Sunday, September 18th, we’re running for cancer research.

I am proudly supporting The Terry Fox Foundation in its ongoing work to fund innovative and progressive cancer research programs by taking part in this event. I will be leading the Town of Mont Royal race with a dynamic warm up before the race begins! If you are local, please join us for this family fun and meaningful event. Come run with us! You can run, walk, bike, or skate! There is a 5k and a 10k route.

terry-fox-warm-up-2015

Terry Fox had a dream that if everyone donated $1, he could easily raise $1 million for  cancer research.

Any donation helps. The Just Feel it Fitness team has set our goal at $500.

To learn more about this amazing event click here.

I very much hope you will consider sponsoring the Just Feel it Fitness Team in support of our effort, confident in the knowledge that your kindness will impact the lives of so many people living with cancer.

I certainly hope to see some familiar faces out there on Sunday, we’ll be running for a reason!

Have a great week,

Meryl

Do Sore Muscles = A Good Workout?

Maybe you took a summer hiatus from your training program. Good job for taking the step to get back into it! (you have started back, right?!) When starting up again, or starting an exercise routine for the first time, you will most likely experience muscle soreness. (I most commonly hear grumbling related to trying to sit while using the bathroom, trying to walk up stairs, or when picking up the groceries/kids after a workout!)

But does this muscle soreness represent the quality of the workout you performed? The short answer is NO! Delayed onset muscle soreness (aka DOMS) is most pronounced when you have introduced a new training stimulus. This could be from returning to exercises after a break, trying a new activity, or simply by increasing the intensity or weights of your workout. The soreness is felt most strongly 24-72 hours after the exercise. The technical reason for DOMS is the micro trauma to your muscle fibers caused by the eccentric (lengthening) of the muscles during training. As your body adapts to your training program and learns to distribute the workload across your muscle fibers more effectively, you will feel less sore. Nonetheless, there is a genetic component to our individual response. Some people are more sensitive to pain and soreness. Proper nutrition also plays a role in how your muscles respond and heal.

We often believe if we’re not sore after a workout, then we’re not doing enough. Some like to think of soreness as their “good job!” sticker, but it’s not the case. There are many factors that influence how significantly DOMS presents itself. And you can perform a highly effective workout while not experiencing any muscle soreness.

So does the old saying no pain no gain really stand true when it comes to physical fitness? No! And DOMS should not be feared or revered. It is a natural muscular response to training.

Looking for that new program to get you back into a fitness routine? Don’t miss our Back to School Bootcamp starting next Tuesday, September 6th.

Have a great week,
Meryl