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.
Physio vs Personal Training
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?
Shoveling Canadian Snow: Turn it Into an Exercise Routine + How to stay active in the winter
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
I'll never forget that my dad used to have this black machine that looked a lot like the Pilates machines and it worked beautifully. Even over 50+ years later.
Unfortunately, he hardly ever used it and it took up a ton of space so he sold it. How I wish I could've taken it off his hands!
The majority of the time (pretty much all the time) when a client shows me their old equipment I've either:
1. Forgotten how to use it
2. Don’t know how to use it at all
The fitness industry is rapidly changing and the trends and equipment change with it.
So when this idea popped into my head I was eager to give it a try especially because all of my clients have old equipment lying around collecting dust that they were all to eager to let me borrow for this little fun experiment (thank you!).
Energy M Crunch
Well would you look at this contraption.
This one is totally new to me.
I'm so glad this client of mine kept the box to allow me to see what I could figure out from the picture instructions because I found nothing online.
I’m sure we’ve all seen this one before.
For some reason that long metal coil would keep me away. It's like a resistance band I know, but it just seems more dangerous if potentially broken.
With a quick google search I found that people still use this. I just wonder if it's worth it?
Stretching can be slow and boring but oh does it feel good!
And you don't even have to get out of bed to do them.
Keep in mind that everyone feels stretches differently depending on how tight and/or weak the muscles, ligaments and joints are, so do whatever feels most comfortable and what's most effective for you.
Remember, when entering and exiting a stretch, take your time and breath deeply. The more you relax and try to settle into it, the deeper the stretch you'll get.
After doing these stretches you'll feel better and execute tasks more comfortably long after the stretching session is complete.
Hold each stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds. If you don't have a stop watch, count each heart beat as 1 second. It's not as accurate as a stop watch but it will force you to focus on your heart and breath and that's always a good thing.
I've also left time stamps for each exercise to make it easier :)
Full body stretch
Bring your arms above your head, interlace your fingers or clasp your write and stretch while pointing your toes and lengthening your legs.
Where you should feel it: all over
1 legged knee hug with a twist
Starts at : in video
Hug one knee into your chest while the other leg stays down and rested. While hugging the knee to your chest, bring it across the body as if you're trying to get it to touch your opposite shoulder.
Where you should feel it: along your glute and wrapping up alongside the outside of the leg, possibly lower back
Lower back twist stretch
Starts at : in video
All my clients, every single one, LOVES this stretch and I do too!
Of course it's better when it's done with the PNS stretching technique (a method of stretching certified personal trainers use to allow you to deepen a stretch with very little work) but it's still nice to do on your own.
Feel free to turn this into a bretzel stretch as shown in the video above.
Where you should feel it: lower back and upper back, hips, shoulders, neck
Starts at : in video
If you sit at a desk all day, this is for you!
Put some pillows under your knees for additional comfort and gently rock back into this stretch.
Where you should feel it: hip flexors, abductors (outer thighs), adductors (inner thighs), lower back
Starts at : in video
Similar to the frog yet different as gravity does a lot of the work for you here.
Lie on your back, bend your knees and keep your feet together. Open up the legs like a book and have the soles of your feet touching together.
I find this to be more intense when lying on your back versus sitting up.
Where you should feel it: hip flexors, abductors, adductors, lower back
Side lying quad stretch
Starts at : in video
While lying on your side with legs stacked, bend the leg on top and grab your ankle to pull it back to your lower back.
Another alternative is grabbing the ankle and position it behind your lower back in the blanket or sheets to hold it in place. Simply rotate away from it slightly to feel the stretch.
Where you should feel it: your quads (thigh)
Thread the needle
Starts at : in video
Lie on your back and bend both knees, feet flat on bed. Position your right ankle on your left thigh and grab the ankle with both hands with the right elbow pushing into the right thigh. To deepen the stretch lift up the left leg and bring it toward you while the right ankle stays in the same position.
Repeat on both sides.
Where you should feel it: glutes, hip flexors, piriformis (located in the glutes near the top of the hip joint. It's tiny but has a HUGE impact)
Child's pose or fetal position
Starts at : in video
The goal with child's pose it to get the butt all the way down to the heels. If this is hard to achieve it may be due to an injury, tight calves, tight back, tight hips or just your anatomy. You can try opening up your legs more and that may help you sink into it.
Don't worry about it if you don't, we're not aiming for perfect in this last pose but rather to rest and relax.
But...if you are looking for a deeper stretch and to stretch out those areas that are causing you to not sink into child's pose, you can do the fetal position with the legs up and straight, aiming for your forehead, like you're folding in half.
I hope this helps you to get back into daily stretching because it's one of the things we can do every day!
Have you done these stretches before? Which is your favourite?
There's a lot of paper work in this business.
Maybe not as much as a lawyer, but still enough that you have to organize it and stay on top of it.
It took me YEARS yes years (over 6 years to be exact). To figure out the best system that worked for me.
So I'm happy to share what I've learned, what I'm still working on and how to keep your clients organized and therefore make you look more professional.
Keep in mind that I'm an in-home and virtual personal trainer so not everything will apply to you. Here's what I learned:
How I Organize Clients
I got a large binder and on a blank piece of paper put each client's name with a sticky tab on the paper.
From there I put each client's information under their name with additional extra sheets of paper for my notes. I then added a separate section in the back for additional materials such as extra measurement sheets, tracking forms, waivers etc.
To stay even more organized I included reinforcements in the back of the binder in case any of the holes on the papers ripped. I also included a sticky bad for new clients and if I ever wanted to highlight anything I could stick it on their programs or meal plans. I also included multiple pens and white out, my business cards and a section for my clipboard.
How I Organize my Office:
Have a Good Setup
I only got a computer and started utilizing my desk very recently.
Before I'd do everything on my laptop and throw papers in folders to never be seen again until I went on a frantic search.
Have a proper desk and computer with all your office stuff nearby.
Have a Filing System
You can easily buy these from a craft store nearest you and even get one that's just a folder or a standalone with other compartments like I did.
I recommend this one from Ikea where it's all built in for you. You can see this is more detail in the above video.
This way you can sort your clients important documents in alphabetic order easily and then slide the drawer shut.
Keep Everything Together
This may seem obvious but it's funny how things can get moved around.
Have a home for everything and keep office stuff together.
Have your printer paper by your printer, hole puncher by your stapler etc.
It makes everything more smooth and seamless.
Have Extra Cartridge's on Hand
I print a lot. Programs, meal plans, articles, measurement sheets (see my free stuff to get some for yourself). It's good to have a back up.
I used to have a printer that used to deliver the ink to my house when it started to run low which made it even more convenient.
What to Take & What Stays in the Office
Should you bring your BMI & Body fate percentage reader? Measurement tape? Stop watch? Keep their finished meal plan at home since they already have a copy?
Have all the Important Forms on Hand
Keep the measurement sheet on you as well as the BMI chart, heart rate targets etc. Whatever you find yourself and clients always referring to and referencing.
Get free copies for yourself by going to the FREE Stuff section.
Create a Section for Inactive Clients
Sometimes clients disappear, get sick, have situations that occur in their lives that pauses their sessions.
Keep them in a separate section in your files as they could come back anytime and you want to appear ready to get back to where you left off.
Use a Backpack
We're all so used to the exercise gym bag but it's not the best on ergonomics.
With a backpack you can keep the weight evenly on your shoulders and protect yourself from aches and pains. Of course this isn't 100% guaranteed and you'll need a gym bag as well to store your larger equipment but see how much you can fit in your backpack.
Another great option is using a suitcase of a gym bag that has wheels. It's better to push and pull rather than lift and carry.
Have a Clipboard
This will keep everything together when you're with that specific client and will stop you from having to sort through all the rest.
Plus, you'll just look more official once you have one.
Have the Right Equipment for You
What are you most familiar with working with? What is easy to carry and move around? Start with that rather than what's the most popular and you'll go a long way.
From there you can build up your equipment and tools.
Here's some things you can purchase right away:
I hope this helps you in some way or gives you some insight. What do you do to stay organized?
With spring being right around the corner, many of us will start drinking more cold water.
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
I love my job, I love what I do and I wouldn't change it for anything.
I am here to stay in the health and wellness field.
However, let's be realistic, every job has it's pros & cons.
1. The Grind. After graduating from college and not being able to find the job I was looking for I almost gave up. After being a waitress, an in home cleaner, working at good life (don’t even get me started…), I couldn't find work. My husband pushed me not to give up and waste my diploma and give up on what I wanted to do. I'm so glad I pushed on because I have come even further than I thought I'd be.
2. The homework. There's a lot more to it than just a one hour workout session. Everyday I am doing homework, researching to stay up to date, making programs, sending emails, answering texts and phone calls and more. Speaking of homework, when a client doesn’t do their homework that is also frustrating.
3. I have to take a shower everyday sometimes twice a day. Now don't judge me, but I used to take a shower every other day (which is actually not bad according to other sources!), but man can I be lazy. I don't mind it when I'm actually in there, but it's just another thing to add to my to do list. Which leads me to my next point...
4. Always sweaty. I exercise all day so it's too be expected, but it just makes me super self conscious and a little gross but it's still worth it in the end.
5. Laundry. I'm always doing it and it drives me crazy. I mean who here actually likes folding clothes...?
6. How frustrating it can be. I want to help people, that's my job, passion and desire every time I'm with a client. However, sometimes there's nothing I can do. For instance, I had a client with a serious drinking problem, another who rarely or never got her homework done no matter how many different approaches we tried, and one client who was such an emotional eater that he needed a counselor to help him but he always had excuses.
7. People just see me as a personal trainer. I also do rehab exercises and help with nutrition. I don't just scream at someone like Jilian Michaels and push them for 1 hour and leave. My clients and I work as team, we discuss habit changes, discuss nutrition, their stress level, the quality of their sleep, their environment at home and at work. I can go on and on. Exercise itself is not enough (seriously, there's been studies on this) so why just look at a personal trainer as someone who only helps you with exercise and nothing else?
8. I'm always eating. Due to me exercising all day, I'm constantly burning calories so I'm always having to eat something. Sometimes I eat 8 times a day. I could have the biggest meals and after 2 clients I'm hungry again. Imagine all that meal prepping!
9. Long and weird hours. This isn't so much a problem for me anymore but I used to work really annoying hours. On some days I'd start at 5:30am and end at 10:30pm. Luckily this started to change the busier I got and was able to make my own schedule, but in the beginning this was something I hated. Don't believe those personal training job descriptions that promote short hours for high pay, there's always more to it.
10. The paper work. Every time I see a client I need to gather their information and get forms signed. Times that by 10 along with organizing files, programs and important details and suddenly you have a crap ton of paper work.
11. Inconsistency. If a client gets sick or stops training for whatever reason, I don't get paid. It's as simple as that.
12. No benefits. No dental, physio, chiro, massage (the thing I need the most), etc. Basically anything. There are personal training jobs out their that cover these things but they're hard to come by. Luckily, we can often write this off as a business expense.
13. It's hard to take care of myself. I would have never thought that I myself would need a personal trainer but sometimes that's what it feels like. My time and energy is going so much into my clients that I forget about myself or don't put as much time into my own fitness and health as I should. I have to constantly remind myself to hold myself accountable and practice what I preach.
14. My family is my hardest clientele. I thought that once I became a certified personal trainer that the people I would help the most would be my family but it's the total opposite. I'm either exhausted after a day's work or I struggle to hold them accountable because well they're family! Sometimes it's better to have an outside professional rather than someone you know. Luckily, my family eats relatively healthy, but they don't exercise nearly enough.
15. I can't help everyone. Just because you hire a personal trainer, it doesn't mean you're going to lose 20+ pounds. You still have to do the homework and have the drive and determination. I give my 110% but it makes no difference if a client is giving me back 50%. Other times, things are out of my scope of practice, especially if an individual has an eating disorder. Try this eating disorder screening tool to see if this may be something you struggle with.
16. Overuse injury. Sometimes my back hurts, my knees crack, my wrist hurts etc. I have to be sure to take care of myself because it can be a lot on my body.
17. Lugging equipment around. As an in-home trainer I bring the equipment. It can be a lot.
18. Social Media. We now live in a society where if there’s no picture, video, snap chat, boomerang blah blah, then it didn’t happen.
Here’s so much you don’t see, from a client breaking down in tears in frustration on their weight loss journey, transformation pictures I can’t share, and ways I help people I can’t put into words.
I have a love/hate relationship with social media as there's so much out there and it can be hard to filter out the good from bad and the fact from fiction. It can be a lot to keep up with and if you don't keep up with it you'll fall behind. I don't like posting pictures, taking videos but I have to in today's day and age.
For me to whip out my phone in the heat of the moment is something I am still not used to. Sometimes I think it does the opposite of helping. While you’re scrolling through workout videos, you could be doing a workout yourself. Let’s not even get into how it can skew your image of what fitness, nutrition and health looks like to the point it can be unhealthy.
19. I'm "working" all the time. I'm always thinking about how I can make eating healthier and exercising easier for my clients, new exercises I can implement, informative blogs I can write, emails I can send, and easy recipes. Sometimes I have to resist the urge to think about work when I'm not working.
20. People hold me to a high regard.
I love junk food too! I'm not always healthy and sometimes I don't exercise at all. I'm not perfect and I have my own struggles. Right now as I write this I'm working on drinking more water and doing the exercises prescribed by my physio. I'm always working on myself and I'm on my own journey.
Just because you're skinny it means your fit or healthy. Just because you're on the larger end (not considered obese) it doesn't mean your fat and unhealthy.
*21. It's Unregulated
Meaning that no one can go to their doctor to get a referral or use their benefits to pay for personal training. We unfortunately do not have a governing body either.
I am really hoping this changes because there are personal trainers like me who didn't receive their PT certificate through a weekend course and actually have years of study and practice.
If you'd like to know 20 things I LOVE about being a personal trainer click here.
Are you a personal trainer? What did you think about my list? Leave a comment below.
7 Types of Nature's Candy You Can Try
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
You Need a Blood Pressure Machine
When was the last time you checked your blood pressure?
Did you know 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 & virtual personal trainer, precision nutrition coach and ACE functional training specialist. Her mission is to help people on their fitness & health journey.
She also loves hair and skincare.
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.