5 Sugar Detox Surprises

fromtrextotigress:

Great post.

Originally posted on RUN WRIGHT:

It’s officially Day 10 and these are the 5 best (and surprising) things about the sugar detox:

  1. All the salads. All the options. All the health benefits.
  2. Cutting down on the processed sugar-laden foods gives this lighter, healthier feeling in your tummy. That’s quite an addictive feeling.
  3. Knowing your drink options are water, water, or more water sure simplifies things. No more sticking your head in the fridge for several minutes asking yourself what you feel like drinking.
  4. Going without added sugar is cheaper. It can be surprising how much money a sugar junkie can spend on candy, chocolate and sugary snacks.
  5. It might be the reduction in sugar, the fact that your water intake is up or a combination of the two but after a while, your skin starts to glow in a way it didn’t before.

It’s enough to bolster me to keep going for another couple of…

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Trex to Tigress a Tidbits. Summer in the Ci-tay Edition!

We Canadians are a funny bunch. In winter we become speed walkers, heads down, hands shoved in pockets and no eye contact. We’re off to our destination, be it home, work, store or car and we want to get there quickly and out of the cold. Now summer mind you, we morph into shiny, happy people. On my summer jog this evening I got two smiles and one “good evening.” People are walking slowly, chatting on street corners and always have time to go at a slower pace. You might even see that neighbour you haven’t seen in the past six months because you’re both mowing your lawns. Summers are so short, we like to enjoy and revel in every single moment of it. We even start dancing in the streets.

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Starting Friday, I will be off for summer vaycay. I’m ready to relax, unwind and look ahead to new fitness goals.

I want to try morning classes at my gym that I’m never able to take because of my work schedule. I really want to try beat class. Looks like such fun and is being taught by one of my favourite instructors, Maureen.

IMG_2842Of course I still plan on throwing my weight around ;)

IMG_2843I also aim to enjoy the great outdoors. Jogging, hiking and park workouts, which include walking lunges and push-ups in the freshly cut grass are my favourite ways to be active.

IMG_2846The pool area in my condo got a major revamping. Can’t wait to lounge on a deck chair with a good, beachy, summer read.

IMG_2845The farmer’s market will most certainly be on the agenda, with fresh fruits and vegetables in abundance.

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Now that I got my new Hamilton Beach blender on sale at 40% off, I plan to use those fruits and veggies to make a lot of delicious smoothies. I made this one this morning for breakfast. It contains almond milk, mango, blackberries and protein powder. So good!

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Patio season. Yes please and thank-you to enjoying a cold, crisp Pinot with friends and lady chat. (no husbands allowed! This is our time to complain about you…with love of course.)

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On the down side, my Warrior Dash dreams have been dashed. I connected on social media with a few folks who are participating in the Dash near our area. Unfortunately, the lady I emailed has not replied to send me more details. None of my friends or family are interested in dashing with me and wearing a furry horned-helmet, and this is not an endeavor I want to do on my lonesome. So, maybe next year….

On the up side, Andy and I will be attending the Pan Am games in July. Athletes in all summer sporting events will be taking over Toronto. That is a lot of speed, muscles, endurance, sweat and determination in our fair city. We are so excited to see these athletes in action. We are going to the track and field preliminaries. Andy is hoping to meet Usain Bolt. (good luck with that, Andy.)

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Those are my summer tidbits.

What are yours??

Forgiveness

Nine innocent people lost their lives. Nine people welcomed a “newcomer” to a church prayer group only to be massacred in cold blood for their kindness and hope to lead someone to Christ. Massacred because of their race. The level of hate and premeditation on this young man’s part is nothing short of chilling and disturbing.

This week, I did a lot of self-reflecting and readjusting of my attitude. If I lost my keys in a rush, broke a glass or stubbed my toe or some other miniscule setback and found myself complaining or having a sour outlook, I put myself back in check pretty quickly. Nine people just were shot down in cold blood, and I’m going on about where the heck are my keys? Why is this happening to me pity party?  No. I put I stop to that real quick. Tonight someone is grieving the loss of a mom, dad, son, daughter, wife or grandchild.

I was in the midst of writing a post about my latest fitness goals and summer plans. I will still post it but not today. Nadine Collier’s address to the gunman who killed her mother compelled me to write this post. As Nadine addressed murderer Dylann Roof, instead of spewing out the same hate that killed her loved one, she told him she forgave him in the midst of her grief. She said she forgave this deranged gunman for taking the life of someone who held such a special place in her heart. Family member after family member of the victims spoke of forgiveness. Dylann Roof wanted to segregate black and white, but instead he brought people of all races closer in Charleston, as they hugged and cried in unity in vigils across the state of South Carolina.

Forgiveness is difficult for many, me for sure. I tend to brew at times on how someone wronged me. The bible says to forgive. I pray to God to strengthen me and lead me to forgiveness daily in this hindrance in my Christian walk. Letting hate or bitterness linger in your heart and soul is self-destructive and God does not want these things to keep us back. I have never lost a loved one at the hands of another, so I can only imagine how much strength it took Ms. Collier and the others to address Dylann Roof.  Every week, I ask God how I can be a better person. What will be my lesson to learn? This week, these victim impact statements have certainly been my lesson.

I just want everyone to know I forgive you. You hurt me, you hurt a lot of people, but I forgive you.

-Nadine Collier

Scaredy Squirrel or Warrior?

I am becoming more and more interested in trying a Warrior Dash. Three miles and ten obstacle courses?  I could handle that.  I think I have worked hard enough for the past three years to the point where I could describe myself as being in good shape. Not great by any means, but not too shabby if I do say so myself.

However, something is stopping me. I find the Warrior Dash a bit intimidating, although I feel I’m in better shape now. I mean the name alone speaks volumes. WARRIOR dash. Although the warrior 2 pose is my favourite yoga stance,  I’m a bit of a Scaredy Squirrel by nature. Have you heard of Scaredy Squirrel yet? If you work with children or have children, then you might know this little critter. He is the main character found in an adorable and hilarious children’s book series by Canadian author Melanie Watt. Scaredy is a rather anxious little rodent, who is somewhat of a risk analyst. A risk-taker he’s not! Scaredy Squirrel will obsess over every decision he makes to decide if there is any potential harm in his choices. A chance-taker he is not! Scaredy likes to play it safe.

For example, the risk of reading a book according to Scaredy:

IMG_2806The opposite of Scaredy Squirrel is found on one of my current favourite TV shows. History TV’s Vikings. Director Michael Hirst takes us on an amazing odyssey as these Northmen try to discover new lands, more riches and more power, often in a very brutal manner. Main character Lagertha is a warrior/shield maiden who does not often consider risks or danger when going after what she wants (very much unlike Scaredy Squirrel.) In the Viking era, many women fought alongside their male counterparts in raids. These courageous feminine souls were not afraid of dying in battle and were also known to be just as lethal as the men with the shield and weapon. You do not want to mess with Lagertha. Kalf, what are you thinking?? Remember what happened to her second husband. A usurped woman is a scorned woman.

So, to be less of a Scaredy Squirrel, I am doing the Shield Maiden Workout to channel my inner warrior and to try to train for the Dash. Anyhow, being black and a born-again Christian, I would most likely end up beheaded as a sacrifice to Odin or something. Still, I can try to face this fear and try the Dash as a warrior and not a worrier. (A la Scaredy)

The Shield Maiden Workout:

shieldmaiden-workoutSource: http://darebee.com/workouts/shieldmaiden-workout.html

Attempting second set of plank jumps and feeling a little like Scaredy Squirrel right now….

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How much of a risk-taker are you? One being Scaredy and ten being Lagertha.

Have you ever tried a Warrior Dash? How challenging was it?

She’s Just a Girl and She’s on Fire!

My inspirational story of this month comes from my niece Mikayla (Kayla or Kaylie as she is fondly known by relatives.) Kayla is a fun, fast and fierce girl who happens to be celebrating the big one-eight today!

I can’t believe how time flies by. Not so long ago, it seems like Kayla and I were watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas together under fleece blankets while waiting for our popcorn from the microwave (we both liked eating the charred kernels at the bottom of the bag), or I was pushing her on a swing at the park. Kayla is happy, compassionate and always has a smile on her lovely little face.

Once a track athlete, Kayla also turned her attention to dance, forming a Hip Hop and Contemporary dance troop called Ladies Choice with some of her friends from dance class. I have to say biases aside, they are very talented.

Recently, Kayla joined the local Women’s Fitness where I workout, and it is inspiring to me to see her pumping iron and getting strong. Not one for junk food or sweets, she prefers to keep food healthy and light with salads and lean meats. Her goal is to add muscle mass to her petite frame, and I can already she some changes in her lats, arms and legs.  She also enjoys attending the very intense cardio kickboxing class the gym provides. There are so many young women at Women’s Fitness, so I know that teens are taking their wellness and health very seriously.

The benefits of teen fitness are:

  • A proactive and empowered attitude and a positive body image
  • Increased mental clarity, with the ability to focus more efficiently in school
  • Decrease in a sedentary lifestyle, and decrease in obesity

Source: www.livestrong.com

Kayla demonstrates some of her favourite exercises:

IMG_2699IMG_2698IMG_2696IMG_2695She’s got both feet on the ground

IMG_2691and she’s burning it downIMG_2692

Mikayla, the world is your oyster as you prepare for graduation and your bright future. This aunty is very proud of you, and looks forward to seeing your smiling face at the gym. Let’s meet up for cardio kickboxing soon.

What Clean Eating Means to Me

I overheard a conversation in the sauna room today at the gym. Oh, that’s my new thing these days. After my workout, I go in the sauna once per week. I spray diluted apple cider vinegar on my face after splashing it with cool water, and then sit in the sauna and let my pores open. It makes my skin so soft and dewy afterwards. Soft skin tips aside, back to the story at hand. There were two other people in the sauna, a mom and daughter. As I spread out my towel to sit and enjoy the steam, the lady exclaimed, “like what the frig does that mean? Clean eating?”

“Mom,” the daughter giggled, “it just means to eat healthy.”

“It sounds so dumb. Clean eating. As opposed to dirty eating?”

I have no clue who was advising this lady to be a clean eater. Her trainer? Her dietician? Doctor? I wasn’t able to get the whole story because I entered the sauna mid-conversation. I could tell she was not very thrilled with the term.  Before I continue please allow me to stress that I am none of the professions above. I’m simply an average woman trying my best to maintain health. If this lady asked me what a clean eater is, along with some other gym patrons, it is possible we might all have different explanations.

The term clean eating has been circulating for years. I have seen it countless times in health and fitness magazines. I see the term often in healthy living blogs I read. Clean eaters are everywhere! But who exactly are they? One thing is clear, eating clean has never been more confusing than it is today. Paleo, Keto, plant-based vegetarian, pescatarian,  raw food vegan, gluten-free, dairy free, Whole 30, 21 day Fix. If I was searching for a new eating plan I wouldn’t know where to begin.

My sister is trying to lose a few pounds and she asked me what I eat.  I advised my sister to eat as clean as possible. For me, this means eating fresh and avoiding the frozen, package food aisles in the supermarket or the fast food drive through for a quick meal. Keeping things simple, and avoiding foods with tons of ingredients that I can’t even pronounce on the nutritional information. For example, instead of buying packaged lasagna, I try to make my own. This way, I can control the salt, sugar and whatever else. I can switch the ground beef to lean ground turkey, a lot more vegetables, use a lighter type of cheese, whole wheat lasagna noodles or whatever I choose.  Clean eating for me involves eating a variety of whole foods that will help fuel my body during my busy days and challenging workouts. It’s eating less cake, and more kale.  Less wine, and more fresh, filtered water. I try not to make it complicated. I do my best, but of course I have slip ups, especially around holidays and family gatherings. I make allowances for these times, and try not to let my eating be too rigid. I feel that life is about enjoyment too.

I forwarded my sister my grocery list essentials:

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Today’s lunch:

Green salad topped with tuna, a hard boiled egg.

Green salad topped with tuna and Hemp Harvest seeds and a hard boiled egg.

Today’s Dinner:

Chicken breast stir fry with baby bok choy and brown rice. Avocado on side.

Chicken breast stir fry with baby bok choy and brown rice. Avocado on side.

In essence, it’s a personal choice, and depends on what works for your body, and if you have any sensitivities or an intolerance as well as professional suggestions from your doctor or nutritionist.  I didn’t cut out any foods, just made a few simple changes, such as switching white bread for whole grain. I did eliminate sugar in my tea and coffee as well as juices and soft drinks completely. I found this difficult at first, but now it is second nature. I don’t have an intolerance to gluten or dairy, so I don’t feel the need to eliminate them, I just try to make wiser choices. I buy plain Greek yogurt, because flavoured yogurt is very high in sugar.  I have gone from a size 10 to a happy size 6.

If you are searching for an eating plan, I hope you find the best fit for your lifestyle and your goals. Clean eating may seem confusing but it doesn’t have to be.  Keep it simple. Keep it fresh. Keep it real.  A quote on my old gym bag sums it up best:

You are what you eat,  so don’t be cheap, easy, fast or fake.

What does eating clean mean to you?

Let’s Give the People What they Want

Whenever I check my blog stats it is certain that my sole fish cake recipe will get a hit. Even if just one lone person visited From Trex to Tigress on any given day, they will look at that post. It is also my most common search.  People like the recipe and are using it I imagine. So, let’s give the people what they want. Let them eat fish cakes!  Imagine that. My most popular post is a recipe. I guess stranger things have happened.

Here is another fish cake recipe to start off your week of healthy meal planning. My salmon fish cakes. You can also call them salmon burgers.

Let’s get in the kitchen and get to it.

Salmon Cakes/Patties:

You will need:

-sea salt

-pepper

-two garlic cloves

-2 sprigs of green onion

-a teaspoon of fresh thyme

-Juice from 1/2 lemon

-Onion powder

-Panko breadcrumbs

-one egg

-oh, and of course about one and a half pound of fresh, wild, skinless salmon.

1. First, assemble your initial ingredients and the salmon on a cutting board. Season your cut of salmon with the juice of half the lemon,  sea salt and pepper to taste, and about one generous teaspoon of onion powder.

2015-05-24 12.01.292. Once the salmon has been dressed by rubbing in ingredients well, use a fork to shred apart the cut of salmon. Shred that baby into pieces and add a few more squirts of lemon juice while you’re at it.

2015-05-24 12.06.483. Transfer your shredded salmon into a mixing bowl.

2015-05-24 12.07.544. Take a clean cutting board. Finely chop two washed sprigs of spring onion, and two cloves of garlic. A little fresh thyme is also a nice addition right now, but unfortunately I have run out. (note to grocery list.)

2015-05-24 12.12.395. Add the chopped garlic, spring onion, (and my absent thyme) to the bowl of shredded salmon.

2015-05-24 12.13.086. Mix in well with a fork.

2015-05-24 12.14.157. Now, add about 1/2 cup of Japanese Panko breadcrumbs and one egg to the bowl.

2015-05-24 12.15.468. Time to get messy. With your hands mix everything in, add more Panko crumbs if needed. The consistency of the salmon should be able to form patties.

2015-05-24 12.17.089. Form pretty little patties and put on a plate. Make them small if you want patties of the slider sort (hello Captain obvious!)

2015-05-24 12.22.2110. Cover your beauties with foil and place them in the fridge to marinate for about an hour or more.

2015-05-24 12.23.2111. Once ready to cook, take your salmon patties from the fridge. Coat a skillet with your cooking oil of choice on medium to high heat. I use coconut oil now and I love it. Once the skillet is nice and hot, go ahead and transfer your patties from the plate and into the skillet. Cook them for about one minute per side until they are nicely browned on each side. Once browned, put your patties on a foiled lined baking sheet.

2015-05-24 17.54.2412. Time to pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Once the oven is ready, bake the fish cakes for about 25 minutes.

2015-05-24 17.58.4513. Once the salmon is finished baking, place on bun (optional) with dressings of choice and enjoy.

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Some Folks Just Got it!

This month’s story of inspiration comes from my friend Trish. Trish is celebrating her birthday today so it couldn’t be a better time to inspire. I met Trish ten years ago on the job. With her mischievous smile, a twinkle in her baby blues and her ability to make me laugh until my stomach hurt, I knew we would become amigas. Like me, she loves all things beachy and tropical. We would often daydream about being in the Caribbean on a bitterly cold winter day. I also noticed that Trish looked like she was in very good shape and perhaps was a dancer, always walking with perfect posture, shoulders down and back. I was surprised when she told me that she was not in shape and never exercised. (Unless you counted dancing all night long.) That’s when I really was made aware that some folks are just born with it.

Our friend Beata from left, me centre, and Trish on the right. Laughing as usual.

Genetics are unique. Genes are what make us who we are. Some people have slimmer hips, wider hips, bigger backsides, cellulite, flatter backsides, ample bosoms, or less than ample bosoms, have inherited grandpa Joe’s hairy back, or mom’s high cheekbones or whatever the case may be. For some it is hard to put on muscle and requires a lot more work in the kitchen and the gym, while for others their bodies respond quickly to strength training. This is a fact. Say for example you start working out with your friend (let’s call this friend Arnold.) Arnold and you are eating the same things, and doing the same weight training routine. You notice that Arnold’s arms are starting to bulk up, but yours are not. Trish just happens to be one of those lucky people. She’s like the female Arnold! She recently joined the gym where I workout and is aiming to get into shape. I showed her a few moves on the TRX suspension ropes at the gym a couple of months ago. Last week I saw Trish for a little gal time at her house, and she has made amazing gains in her physique. Girlfriend looks incredible! I asked her what she has been doing in the gym, and she said just some cardio on the machines as well as body weight exercises on the TRX suspension bands that I demonstrated for her before. All this progress from TRX a few times a week.  The development in her lats took just a couple of months. Because she has a natural predisposition to add muscle to her frame, I am encouraging her to do more free weights in the gym. Her potential is already there and who knows where she will go if she embraced the lifestyle one hundred percent through diet and training. (I can be her agent of course.)

  Back development after a couple months on the TRX suspension ropes.

Trish on the right wearing the perfect halter to showcase the lats. Back development after a couple of months on the TRX suspension ropes.

Trish flexes on vacation.

Trish flexes on vacation with her sister on left and her daughter with hands in the air.

Abs on display.

So my friends, the genetically blessed do not make me feel bitter (fine, maybe just a little.) They inspire me to be better, to work harder and give me the drive  and ambition to keep going. Hence the reason Trish is my inspirational story this month.  We will start training together in the summer, and I am certain once she starts pumping iron with me, she will take her already blessed frame to the next level. Gotta love those Arnolds.

The Turning Tables

As a child, you made sure I was fed, clothed and safe. You sacrificed and did without so that we could have enough. You were up to catch the 4:30am bus, to go to a job with long hours and hard labour to provide for us. You told me to be careful when I ran down the street, put a band-aid on my knee and cradled me in your arms when I didn’t listen and wiped out from a bad fall. You held my hand as we crossed the street. You held my hand as a newly walking baby to ensure I didn’t fall. You gave me medicine when I was burning with fever and with gentle hands, rubbed me down with Vicks Vapor Rub when I had a retched cough. These are the things I remember to this day.

As I grew, you may have annoyed a moody teen, when you told me to clean my room, or get off the telephone, I may have even rolled my eyes in frustration. You worried on the odd occasion when I said I wouldn’t be home too late, but at times I was. You talked about passages in the Bible a lot, and it may have seemed as though I preferred listening to Cyndi Lauper, know that I was listening to your words of wisdom.

As we age, it is inevitable that our parents will grow old. The tables are turning. I now want to hold your hand when we cross the street and watch out for careless drivers. I may annoy you now, when I call everyday to ensure you ate well, and took your medicine. I want to care for you, protect you and make sure you’re safe. I phone on a Saturday night, but  it goes to voice mail. I begin to worry. Where are you? Are you okay? Should I call the others to see if you called them? I worry when you tell me you and Dad went out to the super market. Please don’t fall. Please be safe and watch the road and that busy intersection. I want to be there to catch you.  I know I can be a pain, but it is because I love you.

I should always remember you are a strong, independent woman. Although you are in your senior years, I know that you are well and can take care of yourself. I will try not to let the tables turn so much, and trust that God is watching over you. I am still listening to your wise words.

Lord, help me not to worry so much about tomorrow, but to embrace and cherish the memories.

IMG_2719Happy Mother’s Day.

What’s in my New and Improved Gym Bag

I finally caved and bought a new gym bag. My first two gym bags I bought at the flea market had huge rips on the inside pockets and inner lining. I guess it’s true as the old saying goes, good things aren’t cheap and cheap things aren’t good. For the last few months, I’ve been toting around a reusable shopping bag to the gym. I actually got this complimentary reusable shopping bag from my gym. I really love the motivational quotes printed all over it, but I couldn’t deny that its days as a gym bag were numbered when the straps started to tear. And let’s face it. Who wants to use a reusable shopping bag as a gym bag?

My old “gym tote”:

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I decided to spend a pretty penny and buy a quality bag to carry all my fitness doodads and whatsits.  I also needed a bag that would accommodate my yoga mat. Time to transfer my items from my old gym/reusable shopping bag into my chic new Elle Yoga/gym tote.

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Let’s see:

  • plenty of room for my gym clothes
  • my waist pouch for my ear-buds and phone
  • cross-trainers
  • water bottle
  • deodorant
  • extra socks
  • gym towel
  • and an extra compartment for my tablet. This is perfect because I often take my tablet to the gym if I want to use one of my fitness apps for cardio.

I think it was a wise and necessary purchase for sure.

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What’s in your gym bag?

Do you use reusable shopping bags for things other than groceries?