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The 7 Habits of People Who Achieve Their Fitness Goals

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1. Set Goals, Make Them Achievable.
Rule number one of achieving your goals is actually sitting down to think about them and setting them! Fit people don’t work out – they train with a purpose. That purpose may be getting into a pair of jeans in a smaller size, it might be improving their deadlift, achieving a faster 5k time, or a goal physique. It can be any goal that gives their physical training structure and purpose.

They don’t just go through the motions or just do “whatever”. The other important part of this is that the goals they set are achievable and they give themselves a realistic timeframe to get there. They are consistent and patient!

You might even consider hiring a trainer or a coach to help you set your goals, workout what you should be doing to get there and how long it should take you. Most goals take at least 3 months of consistency to see major changes, often it takes longer. Also, making this a lifestyle and real excellence in any physical endeavour is something you never stop working on. Set goals, work hard, be patient!

2. Fit People Keep Going.
Everyone falls of the wagon at one time or another, either with their diet or with training. The big difference between fit people and people who just want to be fit is that the fit ones get back on plan and keep going.

Remind yourself that this is a marathon, not a sprint. To be really fit, you have to make it a lifestyle. It’s not a short term program you stick to for a month or two and rebound back to your old ways (and old body) when you’re “done”. You’re never “done”! 🙂

Fit people are also consistent, but realise there is no such thing as perfection. Forget eating perfectly all the time, eat well 90% of the time and you will look and feel great. There is no magic workout, no exercise that changes everything in a week. There is only consistent diet and exercise. Slip ups happen. They aren’t the end of your fitness journey, unless you let them be.

Sorry if that doesn’t sound sexy or not what you want to hear, but that is the truth. The sooner you embrace a long term approach, the sooner you will see your best and fittest self emerge.

3. Do Something Active Every Day
Fit people do something almost every day. They follow their program. They walk a lot. They ride bikes. They try different classes. They hit the gym. They get in there and do what they have to do each day to achieve the goals they set. It’s one day at a time. All the little things you do each and every day add up to a big cumulative result in the long term. Your body craves movement, move it!

4. Work Harder on Your Weak Links, Make Them Your Strengths
Lacking upper body strength? Pull, press and push until your upper body becomes your strength. Are you inflexible and unable to do certain movements effectively (or at all!) because of it? Stretch every day. Schedule a regular yoga class. Limber up, baby! You will improve. You will be better. And stick to improving things you’re bad at tenaciously enough? They inevitably become your strengths. I’ve seen it time and time again in both myself and in my clients. The human body is an incredible organism that will adapt to the stresses you impose upon it, and the results can be downright astounding.

5. Trust The Process, Commit, Don’t Program Hop.
One of the biggest mistakes and inhibitors of progress is self-doubt, not trusting the process and “program hopping”. A program hopper is someone who cannot or will not stick to something long enough to see any significant result. They typically stick to a diet regimen or workout program for 4 weeks or even less and that just isn’t long enough to see a big result. Most people need to be consistent for at least 3 months before real changes and improvements take place.

6. Make All Main Meals Protein Based, Fill Up On Veges.
Active people have higher protein requirements because their bodies need protein to build and repair, especially if you lift weights. Your body craves exercise and movement, but a rigorous training program also puts a lot of wear and tear on your joints, muscles and tendons. If you aren’t eating whole, unprocessed foods and protein based meals to help your body recover, replenish and rejuvenate itself, you’ll end up worn out and eventually injured. Make sure you’re fuelling your workouts well and fuelling for sufficient recovery.

It’s also been shown that for longevity and disease prevention, one of the key components (in addition to regular exercise and solid sleep) is eating at least 2 cups of vegetables per day. Another benefit of vegetables is the fact that no one in he history of human existence has ever gotten fat from eating too much broccoli, so if you’re having trouble feeling full enough, just fill up on fibrous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach and zucchini. You can use garlic, onion and herbs to give them flavour. just don’t douse them in ranch dressing, mayo, butter or oil, that’ll definitely screw up your diet! Steam your veges and flavour them in ways that add no (or negligible) calories.

7. Measure Your Progress
Fit people measure their progress in useful ways. If they have a physique goal, they take progress pictures. If they want to run faster, they time their runs and push for improvements. If they want to get stronger, they keep a log of their lifts. You get the idea. It’s a very important part of making sure you’re on the right track towards achieving your fitness goals.

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I should probably call this a “monthly” round up…

This round of great fitness reads I’m going to pop off with some opposing views about RUNNING. In fitness circles, cardio has had a bad rap. In fact, I even wrote up an article about how cardio isn’t the greatest single tool for changing your body.

Disclaimer: I do “run” 1 – 3 times per week. I love sprinting, but for any steady-state work, I am super sloowwww. Hence the quotes around the word run in the previous sentence, haha. I do the steady state work because it isn’t ever easy for me and I enjoy the challenge. I don’t believe in only doing things that validate you and that you’re good at. My stance on the whole running debate is in the middle. Use it as a tool in a reasonable manner for weight loss and physique transformation goals, and otherwise only do it if you LOVE it. If you’re an endurance athlete, eat to support your activity. Run a marathon to run a marathon – it’s a huge accomplishment. A physical and mental test of grit and stamina. Do not run a marathon because you think the training will help you lose weight and you plan to diet (i.e. eat in a caloric deficit) throughout your training. Ineffective and BIG mistake!

Wow, off my soapbox! Hehe.

John Kiefer blew up the fitness blogosphere recently with Why Women Should Not Run. It should be noted, the intended audience of this article is the female physique competitor and to a lesser extent, the average woman using running as a tool to lose weight and transform her body. In that context, the article has a lot of valid points.

In an examination and retort of this and a few other anti-running articles like it, Gokaleo has deconstructed the science behind it and defended running. I think it offers a sound perspective on the whole anti-cardio hysteria, which I believe is wrong. I believe in being physically well-rounded and at least capable, in all modalities.

(Another disclaimer: I am totally fangirl ga-ga about Amber and her GoKaleo blog! So many great reads there!)

Moving along!

On a lighter note, over at Mohrresults.com, they have a rundown of the best vegetarian protein sources. Good info!

And something that spoke to me deeply, female olympic weightlifters Sarah & Jessica lament the portrayal of women in fitness. I have to say, I share the same disdain and lament. 

In a similar vein Carrie, over at This Fit Chick talks about how you should stop following her and other fitness girls. I have totally been THAT girl she is talking about in the article. She has been THAT girl. You probably have been or ARE that girl. Let’s stop the madness with all this so called “fitspo” and BS. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, choose your role models very carefully. 

And for a laugh, over at Deadspin, one of their reporters attended the Toronto Pro Supershow and wrote up a piece called Health Is Bad For You… Great read and a good laugh. I have to admit, his write up more or less mirrors my experience of the 2009 Olympia in Las Vegas. Except I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing. Haha!

Train hard, live fit & be glamorous all!

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TRUTH: you honour yourself with a healthy diet and daily exercise.

Have you ever thought about what it means to eat a diet of junk food and live a sedentary life,  when you know that fatty processed foods are bad for you and sitting around on your arse is doing you no favours?

It means you neither value, nor respect yourself. 

honour yourself with a healthy diet and exercise

I’m a  big believer in the saying “actions speak louder than words” and when you are engaging in behaviour you know to be bad for you, possibly with immediate negative outcomes and maybe you even complain regularly that you’d like to lose weight or “get healthy”, but you never really make a serious attempt at doing so…

(my definition of a “serious attempt” is striving to eat better and workout regularly – no shortcuts, wacky diet pills, crazy protocols, GTFOH with that shit)

That means you a) don’t think you’re worth effort b) don’t love and respect yourself enough to make a change.

You may say otherwise, but I’m a big believer in looking at what people do, not what they say. Mind you, this post isn’t about being “skinny” or “sexy”, or “hot”. It’s about eating better and moving more to achieve at least good, if not optimal health.

Think about somebody you love the most in the world. Maybe it’s your spouse, maybe your child, a sibling, best friend… whoever that person is to you, picture them in your mind. Now imagine that they were sick and only you could help them. And the only way you could help them was to eat better and exercise, and in this hypothetical world, the benefits would magically transfer to them and heal them.

Do you think you would hesitate for a second or begrudge them ONE healthy meal or exercise session if it meant that you could help them be healthy and the best that they can be?

Not for a second!

If you love someone, it would be NOTHING to do so! You would surely be honoured to do all that you can to give them the gifts of good health and wellness.

Why isn’t it the same when it comes to yourself? Why aren’t YOU that important to YOU?

As we know, the situation described above is completely hypothetical. No one can do your exercise for you or change your diet for the better but you.

All the power lies with you.

So if you love yourself, you’ll make a change.

If you love those around you, you will take care of yourself so that you can be around to love and care for them.

If you respect yourself, you’ll take the time to do the things that will help you feel better, move better, function better in every possible way

Remember, the first step may just be taking a 20 minute walk every day. You don’t have to eat like a bird and you don’t have to train like a fiend, but you do need to DO SOMETHING.

You can’t love anyone else unless you love yourself first. It all starts with you.

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Asian-Style Omelette With Salmon

Asian-Style-Salmon-Omelette

I spied an “Asian Fritatta” recipe in this month’s Delicious Magazine and I didn’t have the required Mirin on hand, but I decided to make some substitutions and additions and I absolutely LOVED this meal! It was really exceptionally yummy, and very, very protein dense. This is a totally low-carb and gluten-free recipe. I hope you like it as much as I did – it’s definitely being added as one of my go-to staple healthy meals.

Strong Bodies Asian Style Omelette
1 organic whole eggs
1/2 cup of egg whites
1.5 tbspns sushi vinegar
1/2 tbspn low sodium soy sauce
1 small onion, finely chopped (mine was the size of a golf ball)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tbspn sesame oil
cracked black pepper to taste
2 stalks green onions
small handful of fresh coriander (that’s Cilantro fo the North Americans reading, hehe)
75g smoked salmon or trout

1. Use a large, non-stick pan and put it on a medium to high heat with the sesame oil in it. Let it get hot, put some black pepper into the oil, then the garlic and onion. Turn the heat down and let it fry off til its just translucent, but not browned.

2. In the meantime, place the eggs, egg whites, sushi vinegar, soy sauce and another dash of black pepper into a bowl and beat it til its nice and frothy. Pour the mixture into the pan and turn the heat all the way up for a minute or two. Put the lid on the pan.

3. While the omelettes cooking, slice the green onions long ways and cut them into approximately 1 inch stalks. Roughly chop the coriander. Check the omelette now. It’s probably nicely browned on the bottom and 70% cooked through. Turn the heat down, but let it keep cooking with the lid on. You might want to lift the edges a little and let the uncooked egg mixture seep down into the pan, but try not to break it up too much when you do that. It’s not the end of the world, but it just won’t be an omelette anymore if it gets too messy, it’ll be scrambled eggs, hehe.

4. You should have everything mostly chopped and ready to go. If you have some cucumbers, that might be a nice side dish, maybe some baby spinach leaves too? I didn’t do any of that, but it might be nice! Unpack your salmon, measure out your serving size – I had 75g of  salmon in the picture since that was what was left in an open packet I had in the fridge, no other reason. If you’re dieting strictly, you’ll want to measure so you can hit your target calories and macros. Now, with a spatula, gently lift one side of your omelette and fold it over. I like doing that so you can see the nicely browned bottom. Slide it onto your plate. Pile the salmon on top with the finely sliced stalks of green onions and roughly chopped coriander, and voila! A really yummy Asian inspired omelette. Buon appetito!

Servings: 1
Approximate Calories: 455
Protein: 41g
Carbs: 10g
Fat: 25g
Fiber: 1g

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Shrimp & Egg White Shirataki Noodles

Shirataki Noodles are a dieter’s dream! Most brands contain about 40 calories per packet, and most of those calories come from fiber. Our bodies don’t use fibre for energy, instead fibre helps regulate our digestive tract, among many other benefits. I really love making shirataki noodle stir fries as described below. The recipe below comes out to about 535 calories, 58g protein, 21g carbs (6 fibre) and 23g fat. I usually eat it in 2 serves. Feel free to experiment!

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Ingredients:
1 packet Shirataki Noodles
1 tbspn of sesame or coconut oil
2 tbspns fish sauce
1 tbspn low sodium soy sauce
1 knob of fresh ginger, finely chopped (about an inch long)
2 cloves of garlic crushed or diced
Birds eye chilli’s to taste (optional, I put in 2 or 3 diced because I like everything SPICY AS F*CK)
A handful of fresh Coriander (cilantro en America!)
1 egg or ¼ cup of egg whites (you can adjust the eggs or egg whites as you see fit – if you want the noodles to be more protein dense, use more egg whites)
200g shrimp (you can also sub in any other seafood or meat if you like)
½ a red capsicum and ½ a green capsicum (capsicum = bell pepper. You can use whatever vegetables you like, this is just what I happened to have in my fridge last night)
½ a medium – large sized onion sliced (whole onion if it’s a small one).
Pinch of cracked black pepper.
½ a lime.

  1. I have a tea kettle, so I like to boil some water and pour it over some drained and rinsed shirataki noodles and put a lid on the plate and leave them for a few minutes. An alternative is to rinse them, put them in a plate covered in water and microwave them for a minute or two. Shirataki noodles come packed in water and honestly, the water smells. It’s kind of gross. So you have to rinse them and then precook them a bit depending on your preference. I don’t like to overcook them because I don’t like soggy noodles that break apart easily.
  2. Use a large fry pan or wok and put it the oil in it on the highest heat. Put the black pepper in. Once the pan is really hot, put in the onion, ginger and capsicums and turn the heat all the way down and put the lid on. Let it simmer for a few minutes. Then put in the fish oil and soy sauce. Let it simmer together for at least a minute on that low heat.
  3. Put the shrimp in the pan, turn the heat up to medium – high. Crush the two cloves of garlic into the pan now. If you aren’t a huge garlic fan like me, you can use one clove or you can just dice the garlic instead of crushing it, which will make it more subtle and less pungent. I like pungent garlicky things. So I crush mine. Anyway, you want to cook the shrimp so that they just barely turn orange, but are still slightly translucent. Then we’re going to take them out and set them aside til the end so they don’t get overcooked and gross. Follow the same protocol if you’re using other seafood. If you’re using meat, you can put the meat in now and just leave it in.
  4. Now put in the noodles you’ve prepared from Step 1. They should be drained. Make sure they’re covered by all the sauce in the pan and let them simmer for about a minute before you put your eggs and/or egg whites in. Right before you put your eggs/egg whites in, turn the heat all the way up. Put the eggs/egg whites in and don’t mix for about 20 – 30 seconds. Then start slowly mixing it into the noodles. It has a much better consistency this way, you’ll have chunks of egg in your noodles. If you mix too much and too soon, it amalgamates with the sauces and you get no chunks! Which you may prefer, but I like my chunks! Hehe.
  5. Put the shrimp back in. Cook it just enough so that the shrimp are less translucent orange and more solid orange and white, but not too much. You shouldn’t need more than 2 – 3 minutes, tops. Add the chopped coriander. Add the chillis if you’re using those. squeeze in the fresh lime juice. Mix. Voila! Enjoy!!!