Check to see which one of these 7 mistakes you've been making.
1. Not getting your blood work done
Before you begin a new diet or exercise plan you really should get your blood levels checked.
Your iron levels could be low, you could have a thyroid issue, high cholesterol etc. Unless you know you're in the clear, you're going to be jump starting your routine by going in partially blind.
Yes needles suck, but so does not knowing you have a problem until you've suffered through it.
2. Thinking you can hold yourself accountable
Come on, don't kid yourself.
We all think we can do certain things and hold ourselves accountable, and sure, some of us can't, but the majority of us can't.
Be honest and realistic with yourself. Do you really think you'll get started tomorrow, next week or next month? How long are you going to sit there and contemplate?
Which brings me to my next point...
3. How's your mental health?
Why do we focus so much on nutrition and fitness and then abandon mental health?
COVID has effected all of us and it's not something to take lightly.
Just like you should be physically active and working on eating healthier, you should also be working on your mental health. Going to the gym? Great! Going to the phycologist? Also great!
I've had one too many clients that had deeper issues that they didn't address or kept putting off.
Storytime: One client would binge eat in the middle of the night no matter how many times he tried to stop himself.
Another would eat so very little because she was convinced it was the only way to lose weight (I mean...it did allow her to lose weight because of the caloric deficit but definitely not in a healthy or sustainable way).
Another client was so depressed and anxious with her life that she would lose weight and look great but as soon as life became too difficult, she would look to food for comfort.
We all have wounds and traumas some more deep and significant than others.
Trust me when I say they are effecting you in ways you may not even realize as you work on your fitness and health journey.
Even if you're convinced your mental health is perfect, would it really hurt to talk to a licensed professional with no judgement? We all want to unload and talk about ourselves and frustrations so if you have the funds and the coverage then it's worth it!
4. Taking too long
This involves not taking action once there's been a disruption in your routine an/or healthy habit.
This can be moving and not finding out where the closest grocery store is when you could've done it ahead of time. This is seeing the scale reach higher numbers and feeling your clothes get snug but not doing anything about it.
You put it off one day, then the next and before you know it you're so far gone it's like trying to climb back up to the top of the mountain all over again (if you were even there in the first place).
5. Definition of insanity
Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Counting calories will only take you so far, paying for yet another gym membership will again only take you so far before you fall back into old habits.
What can you truly do differently this time? Think about your likes, dislikes, and think outside the box.
Here's some things to consider when it comes to exercise:
6. Thinking that a meal plan & supplements will be the answer to your problems
6. Following the herd
Keto, carbs are bad, fast all damn day, water fasting, eat fruit only in the morning!
I get it, you want to look like them. You want to do it exactly like they did to get their amazing results.
Not only should you not be comparing yourself to others (you are your only competition, look at a picture of yourself when you were happy with how you felt and looked), but there has to come a point where you stop listening to everyone else, listen to your body and be realistic instead. Your mind, body and soul will tell you what it needs if you tune in.
From there, take your own path and maybe you'll follow everyone else once in a while but you'll always know you have your own journey to travel.
These are the things I no longer buy.
The vast majority of the time there are no samples and you have to buy a huge tub only to find out you don't like it or it's just okay.
Plus I already feel like I get enough protein from my diet.
Don't get me wrong, I love getting new equipment but I no longer buy the next best thing right away. Whenever I did that the problem I had was I would use it once and then rarely use it again unless it really was as amazing as it claimed to be.
I take my time, get used to working with what I have and really get accustomed to using equipment in multiple different ways before I buy something else.
Plus, you may even be able to borrow equipment from a friend. Try it out and see if it's worth it.
This is heart breaking for me, but it's always like a risk to buy a watermelon.
No matter how much knocking, smelling or analyzing I never get it right!
Sometimes I get lucky and it's delicious, other times they're mushy and lack any flavour. So, I've given up.
This one used to be my favourite
Do you know how many times these things have randomly started beeping alarms in the middle of the night?
No matter how many times I read the instructions, the amount of times I try to use it absolutely correctly, it never works out for me. Or as I'm timing a client I have to scramble to click the buttons to get it back to the right timer screen.
I also don't like using my phone because I think it looks unprofessional (just my opinion) so I got a stop watch display to make it easier for me and my clients.
Juice & Pop
I no longer buy it or bring it in the house.
But that doesn't stop family or friends of course. At that point, I can't help to take a sip...
But if I don't place it in my environment, I have no desire for it at all. I like drinking kombucha instead or fizzy flavoured water. There are quite some good ones out there! I also make my own smoothies and eat fruit instead.
One dumbell that can be adjusted to any weight? Sounds awesome!
Only thing is that it works well in theory and not so much application. I've seen so many clients complain about them not working as well anymore and have used them myself and was no overly impressed.
They start off well when you first buy them and then they get stiff and harder to adjust the weight. Not to mention they are far less comfortable compared to traditional dumbells.
I'll just stick with regular dumbells thank you.
This plant grows like a weed in the summer time!
I love planting it and picking it to use as needed. When the season comes to an end I dry it and use it through the year. It's cheap to grow and easy to use. No need to buy it at the grocery story unless I'm in a pinch.
There's so much more than dumbbells. Check out these 10 pieces of equipment you need.
This is my favourite stuff to use outside of the standard and basic things such as a mat, resistance bands (my favourite!) and dumbbells.
1. Smart Body Tape Measure
Check it out here.
This is great! I won't go back to regular measuring tape again.
It has a retractable button and lock pin to lock the measurement in place when it's wrapped around the body part. It also has a digital display and you can sync the data with an app on your foot which even shows you a visual graph of your progress.
2. Blood Pressure Machine
I truly believe everyone should have one, if not for the fact it's often recommended for you to get one as you get older. Check out my blog post here about why you need one.
3. Heart Rate Monitor
Check out my post here about why you need one and how to use it.
The normal resting heart rate for those 15 or older is 60-100 if you're at the 40-60 range you must be an athlete or you need to speak to your doctor.
Take a look at the chart below to see where you stand:
4. Myfitnesspal app
I love this app and it's free! Of course you can get even more out of it upgrading (I have) but it's nice to know you can use it however and whenever you want and it's an easy learning curve.
Keep in mind counting calories and tracking your food isn't sustainable long term but it's good to do when you're starting out and great to revisit when you want to get back on track.
5. BMI & body fat machine
This is of course not 100% accurate. It also doesn't work on those who are 60+ and if you have a pacemaker you should not use it.
The most accurate BMI and body fat percentage you'll receive is if go to a lab to get accurate numbers (which is not cheap) but it at least this gives you an idea and a standardized form of measurement.
You should be checking your results bi-weekly or monthly to be able to tell if what you're doing is working or not. If the scale and inches are going down, you're on the right track! If not, you need to reevaluate and something needs to be changed.
6. Meat thawing plate
When I discovered this thing it seemed too good to be true, but boy was I wrong.
It works and incredibly well at that.
Instead of having to wait a whole day for my meat, fish or whatever is frozen to thaw, this thawing tray makes it happen in under a couple hours. Supposedly it's made of some special military technology to make it so.
Click here to check it out on Amazon.
This is the exact one I bought on Amazon back in 2017 and still use today.
This piece of equipment was originally used in the military to train soldiers with little equipment and effectively. Now it's in many people's households and for good reason.
It is an awesome piece of equipment and all you need is your own body.
7. A broom stick
Take off the broom and use the stick.
This is excellent to use as a personal trainer during rona (corona) times but also for all individuals and exercise enthusiast because it helps you stay in line.
Use it to do superman's (or superwoman's) use it to stretch out the shoulders and back and a range of other exercises.
For my clients I use it to provide tactile touch to allow them to connect their mind to the muscles I point to and gently poke at.
8. Recipe binder
Have all your staple recipes here. That way when you need to go grocery shopping, you can quickly go through the ingredients you'll need and know that you'll have to get to be prepared for the week.
As they say if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
9. Stop watch display
This allows you to stay on track with your sets and reps and doesn't allow your phone to become a distraction if you use it as a timer when exercising.
10. Fitness & health binder
Why? When you can just use your phone?
True. But how many apps will you need to download?
There's just something about having everything in writing, connecting pen to paper that makes such a difference.
Let's face it, the phone is a distraction during, having a binder or folder specific to fitness and your health and wellness goals makes you hold yourself more accountable, almost like you're in school again.
Go ahead and track it on your phone or an app as well if you like but I encourage you to try to have a folder or binder or notebook that contains your measurements, your weight increases for strength training, meal prep and more.
What type of equipment do you use?
Bonus: Anitmicobrial Facial Spray
Perfect to use between workouts when your face is sweaty and dirty and you want to prevent it from staying on your skin and causing pimples and irritation.
Get it here.
Watch Veronica, registered physiotherapist and Simone, certified personal trainer, talk about the differences and similarities between personal training and physiotherapy. Is one better than the other?
We're all going to have to shovel snow at some point this winter.
And then there's the difficulty of staying active when it's cold and dreary and all you want to do is hibernate in our Canadian winters.
But we have to change that.
Especially because of the impact COVID-19 has had.
It's our duty to ourselves and our bodies to stay active for our mind, body and souls.
Let's start with what you can do when shoveling snow: turn it into a proper exercise routine! Shoveling snow is already an exercise in of itself, so why not do it the right way and get your workout in for the day at the same time?
Plus, did you know that heart attacks increase in the winter?
"As temperatures start to fall, your risk of a heart attack begins to climb" (Harvard Health, 2016).
The theory is that this has to do with the increasing of people shoveling snow after going from inactivity to suddenly lifting over 20 pounds repeatedly of wet heavy snow. Combine that with those who already have pre-existing cardiovascular problems and it's a recipe for disaster.
Additionally, in the winter you're more at risk of overheating, influenza, missed prescriptions and causes your vessels to constrict and therefore increases your blood pressure.
Don't just go straight out to shovel the snow. Warm up first!
This should take 5 minutes more or less. It's important to get the muscles and joints ready for the movement we're about to put them through so they're better prepared for the stress and load.
Do this warm up preferably inside when you're muscles are already warm and therefore more flexible.
Complete 10-20 reps for 2-3 sets
How to Best Shovel Snow
As I mentioned before, there is a link between shoveling snow and heart attacks for men specifically.
So let's shovel snow the right way (or get someone else to do it for you entirely) to lower your risks.
Check out this great article about How to Shovel Snow--7 Snow Shoveling Lessons No One Has Taught You
I was happy to learn some new techniques to make the process easier!
Cool Down & Stretch
Video for cool down & stretch starts at :
Avoid dropping the shovel and going straight to lie down on the couch.
It's difficult on the body to go from a period of high activity to a sudden standstill. The body always likes a warm up, workout and cool down & stretch.
The cool down isn't complicated.
It can consist of you walking slowly back up the driveway, taking your time putting your shovel away and taking off your gear and then move onto stretching.
If you can't resist collapsing on the bed or couch then at least do these awesome stretches you can do on your bed.
Complete each for 30 seconds
How to Stay Active in the Winter
Exercise when the sun's out
In the winter it's often dark in the morning and dark in the evening. If you exercise when the sun is out, your seizing the moment when your mood is automatically lifted.
Don't make it complicated
Sometimes the simpler the better.
Start off with some basic exercises. Try the full body workout plan in the FREE stuff section here.
Start an indoor or outdoor activity
And I don't mean driving to the gym. Let's face it, even before COVID-19, gyms make the majority of their money on people who sign up better never or hardly ever use the facility.
After some of my clients finish their sessions with me, they go back to playing a sport they loved or dive more into an activity they already enjoyed doing.
Here's some to consider:
And the list goes on. Check out your nearest recreation center or do a quick google search on what's in your area.
Exercising doesn't have to be boring! Make it fun!
Make up for lost movement
If you know you don't have time to dedicate to exercise right now (which is an excuse by the way...). Then find a way to add extra movement into your day to "make up" for it.
Here's some ideas:
You know yourself and your schedule best. See where you can fit in the most activity into your day in a way that works for you.
Exercise & eat healthy with a buddy
Things tend to be easier when you have someone to do it with.
By exercising with a family member or friend, you'll hold yourself more accountable.
The difficulty with this is that you need to find someone who's just a little bit or more above your level. If you find a partner who is just as inactive and unhealthy as you, it will be the blind leading the blind.
Join a Challenge
There's nothing like joining a challenge to get you kickstarted.
It's a way to hold yourself accountable with a group of people who are also working on the same goals.
Consider joining my too simple New Year's Challenge today!
Avoiding winter heart attacks - Harvard Health, September 2016
We all have a preference.
But is one "healthier" than the other?
I sought out the answer from peer reviewed studies and here's what I came up with.
Ever since I was young my mom would yell at me about how bad it was to drink cold water, especially in the morning.
Of course like most kids do, I ignored her.
So what's the deal with cold water? Was my mom right?
Well if you're trying to recover from a cold or are sick, drinking cold water is not advised because it can restrict certain nasal passages and make it more difficult for mucous to pass through. It can also aggravate certain issues because it becomes a vasoconstrictor (narrowing of blood vessels). This in turn, this causes high blood pressure.
To put it simply, drinking cold water can increase your blood pressure and not just with older adults but youth as well.
I guess it's safe to say that if you do suffer from high blood pressure, it certainly wouldn't hurt to refrain from drinking cold water and stick with room temperature instead to not put any more strain on your system. Is this a huge deal though? Maybe, maybe not. More studies need to be conducted.
If you're curious to know I suggest try drinking a glass of cold water and then test your blood pressure and see if the numbers change from what you're used to or talk to your doctor.
If you suffer from achalasia (condition that effects esophagus and makes it difficult to swallow food) drinking cold water will definitely exasperate problems.
When it comes to weight loss drinking cold water along with being in a cold controlled environment "demonstrated significant increases in oxygen uptake and energy expenditure, and a shift in fuel utilization towards fat as the substrate of choice" (Grove, 2020).
However, it was a number of other factors that caused this shift to fat loss in this specific study and more research is needed.
Room Temperature Water
The happy medium.
This may make you feel less thirty compared to the thirst triggering effects that cold water brings, but in my opinion, is a lot "easier" on the body to consume, similar to warm water.
Furthermore, you can consume it along side warm or cold foods and beverages without it being as much as a "shock" to your system. For instance, if you're eating a warm soup, you can drink room temperature water comfortable afterwards or during.
Did you know warm water can actually make you less thirsty?
So if this is your preferred temperature choice, ensure you're getting enough water intake for the day by checking the colour of your urine (yes this is one way to check if you're hydrated).
Warm water has the most benefits:
Grasser, E K et al. “It is likely that the drinking of cold and room temperature water decreases cardiac workload.” Acta physiologica (Oxford, England) vol. 213,1 (2015): 5-6. doi:10.1111/apha.12351
Grove, P Eric. “Use of the "Cool Fat Burner" in conjunction with drinking of cold water is associated with acute and minor increases in energy expenditure and fat metabolism in overweight men and women.” The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness vol. 59,7 (2019): 1238-1243. doi:10.23736/S0022-4707.18.09010-2
Ma, Jianyong; Hu, Weitong; Wu, Dan; Zhang, Qingsheng; Peng, Chao; Cao, Kaiwu; Su, Hai Drinking cold water increases blood pressure in healthy young students, Blood Pressure Monitoring: April 2014 - Volume 19 - Issue 2 - p 118-119
Ren, Yutang et al. “Response of esophagus to high and low temperatures in patients with achalasia.” Journal of neurogastroenterology and motility vol. 18,4 (2012): 391-8. doi:10.5056/jnm.2012.18.4.391
Wang, Qiangjun et al. “Drinking Warm Water Improves Growth Performance and Optimizes the Gut Microbiota in Early Postweaning Rabbits during Winter.” Animals : an open access journal from MDPI vol. 9,6 346. 12 Jun. 2019, doi:10.3390/ani9060346
Halloween is going to be different this year.
So why not actually do something different too?
Candy is nothing new, but have you tried these types of nature’s candy?
I don’t know about you, but I love trying different fruits!
There’s so many out there besides the boring typical banana and apples.
This year try some different fruits instead. You can even make a day out of it and take the kids with you to pick out new unique fruits at the grocery store or farmer’s market.
Of course, fruits still have a lot of sugar, natural or not, but at least you’ll actually be getting nutrients rather than just sugar, artificial flavours and food colouring.
Because let’s be honest, you’ll get far more health benefits from consuming fruit than eating candy.
Here’s some to try (along with just some of the many benefits)*:
These are my favourite!
I grew up with these in my Caribbean household.
They originate from Africa but is also grown in India and other tropical countries around the world.
I have to say it, but to me they look like poop! But they taste anything but. They are so sweet and a little tangy and have hard seeds inside it’s flesh that you can easily eat around and spit out.
Also known as a custard apple.
The flesh is soft and sweet "certain parts of cherimoya contain toxins that may damage your nervous system if consumed in high amounts" ( ,). Do NOT eat the skin peel.
Isn't this so pretty?
It's easy to cut and eat and has the texture of a watermelon and cucumber and is light tasting and not as sweet as you'd expect.
It has been studied on the glycemic control of pre diabetes and type 2 diabetes but more research is needed.
This to me is like a slightly watered down honeydew melon. Still delicious and had what seemed like more water content.
I could definitely see myself adding this to a smoothie with some greens.
Green Large Guava
This is not the guava I’m used to. The ones I’ve had before tend to be small so I was eager to give this a try since there’s so many different ones out there.
To me this tastes like a sweet and crisp apple with an undertone of guava. An unlike an apple, you can eat the whole thing. Skin, rind and all.
When I dug into the fruit with the spoon I reached the rind which was quite bitter, but overall the taste of this fruit was interesting! I couldn't put my finger on it because the fact that it tasted like a sweet tomato of some sort. Which explains why it's called a tree tomato.
Native to Latin America it looks like how it sounds but luckily not as prickly. Go ahead and eat the skin if you'd like. I found the overall taste to be mushy and sweet with a crunch because of the seeds.
There's also passion fruit, durian (the stinky fruit!) and so much more.
The beautiful thing is that you'll sugar craving will be satisfied, you'll feel so much more full after consuming some of these fruits as a lot of them have a high water content and lots of fiber.
Have you tried any of these fruits? Which was your favourite?
*Do your own research and before trying anything new, check to see if there's any interactions with current medications you’re taking and the negative side effects of the food you plan to consume. If you're unsure, talk to your doctor.
Amaliya, Amaliya et al. “Effect of guava and vitamin C supplementation on experimental gingivitis: A randomized clinical trial.” Journal of clinical periodontology vol. 45,8 (2018): 959-967. doi:10.1111/jcpe.12922
Daswani, Poonam G et al. “Psidium guajava: A Single Plant for Multiple Health Problems of Rural Indian Population.” Pharmacognosy reviews vol. 11,22 (2017): 167-174. doi:10.4103/phrev.phrev_17_17
Jennings, K., 2020. What Is Tamarind? A Tropical Fruit With Health Benefits. [online] Healthline. Available at:
Poolsup, Nalinee et al. “Effect of dragon fruit on glycemic control in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis.” PloS one vol. 12,9 e0184577. 8 Sep. 2017, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0184577
When was the last time you checked your blood pressure?
Did you know that it's known as "the silent killer"?
When a client books a consultation part of the consultation includes me taking their blood pressure.
Because it’s one of the leading cause of death world wide and many don’t even know they have it until it’s too late.
For liability reasons I can't even train an initial new client during the consultation if their blood pressure is 140/90.
Here’s 3 Reasons Why You Need a Blood Pressure Machine:
1. Indicator of your current health
"About 1 in 3 adults in Canada has HBP. HBP itself usually has no symptoms. You can have it for years without knowing it. During this time, though, it can damage the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and other parts of your body" (Life Source Canada, 2019).
If you get a high reading, while not an immediate need for alarm, it is an indicator of your current health and whether or not you should seek treatment. The “normal“ range for blood pressure is 120/60.
If you're blood pressure stays above normal most of the time, you are at risk and should talk to your doctor. Especially if it’s in that 140/90 zone.
See below for what your blood pressure numbers represent:
2. Relatively inexpensive
The one I purchased cost me $50 but there are many that range from as low as $30 and more.
It's such a simple, cheap and useful piece of health equipment I truly believe everyone should have.
3. You're going to need to get one eventually
Out of all my senior clients I don't know a single one that doesn't have a blood pressure machine.
The older you get the more your blood pressure and overall health needs to be monitored.
I recommend checking your blood pressure once a week if you're over 30-50+ and more if suffer from high or low blood pressure.
Buying a Home Blood Pressure Monitor? 6 Things You Need To Know
Heart Team - https://health.clevelandclinic.org/buying-a-home-blood-pressure-monitor-6-things-you-need-to-know/
Get the Most Out Of Home Blood Pressure Monitoring
Simone is a certified in-home personal trainer, precision nutrition coach and ACE functional training specialist. Her mission is to help people on their fitness & health journey.
When she's not figure skating, reading or writing, Simone loves to relax and watch Netflix with her little family.
All information provided by Simone (Guishard) Maglassis and simonesfitfunlife.com is of a general nature and is furnished only for educational/entertainment purposes only. No information is to be taken as legal, medical or other health advice pertaining to any individual specific health or medical condition. You agree that use of this information is at your own risk and hold Simone Maglassis and/or simonesfitfunlife.com harmless from any and all losses, liabilities, injuries or damages resulting from any and all claims.