MEAL OF THE MONTH FROM REVIVE WELLNESS: Mini Turkey Meatloaf

In preparation for spending more time in the kitchen(our theme for November) with the holiday season, we suggest doing some batch cooking and meal prep so that your regular meals don’t fall to the wayside. Try these mini meatloaves that you can keep in the freezer for the nights you are too busy or too tired for cooking.

Makes 9 mini loaves

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 ½ cup zucchini, grated, and some water removed
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and shredded
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 2 tsp. basil
  • 2 tsp. sage
  • 2 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • ¾ cup bradrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. ketchup

 

Preparation:

  1. Heat oven to 350 °F.
  2. Combine all ingredients except the ketchup into a bowl and mix.
  3. Form the mixture into a ball then press into a mini loaf pan or muffin tin.
  4. Distribute the ketchup on top of each loaf.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

 

Nutritional analysis per serving: 142 calories, 2 g fat, 22 g protein, 8 g carbohydrate (7 g available carbohydrate), 1 g fibre, 76 mg sodium

No Trends, No Fads, No Quick Fixes

Some might say what we do at SVPT is boring.  From a certain point of view that is true, as we aren’t sexy, we aren’t flashy, and maybe the cool kids don’t dig us.  But what we are great at is teaching you to master your movement and build fitness that will ultimately make you a bad-ass in life…….for the long term, not just for the next 2 months.

There is no screaming at you, making you puke, or trying to crush your soul.   We believe in building you up, not breaking you down.  I mean, isn’t that the reason you started exercising in the first place – to feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally? No one likes to walk away from a workout feeling worse than when they walked in.

It’s not about being flashy or sexy, cool or stylish – it’s about building fundamental movement skills through challenging fitness fun.  Mastering fundamentals reduces injuries, slows aging, and builds a body that allows you to live a fuller life. When you move better, you live better.  Isn’t that what fitness is supposed to be about? Living a better and more full life, because you are physically able to.

We frequently get asked, “Hey have you seen the latest fitness trend _______ on social media?”.  We see it.  We have cringed at it, and we don’t do it.  We don’t get caught up in the latest social media phenoms.   (And we won’t name any of the current trends/fads out there, because this is not about bashing them, it’s about explaining why we don’t buy into them.)

Training trends and fads are usually the ‘latest and greatest’ exercise, system, or concept to gain attention in the fitness industry or achieve notoriety on social media.  However, just as the latest diet and fashion trends die off, training fads and trends will fade.  And after they fade, you will see many coaches and trainers reverting back to tried and true ‘boring’ systems, because they work.

Boring works.  Simple is genius.  So yeah, we are kind of geniuses.

While we do continuously educate ourselves about the “new” fitness trends, we have found that the common themes of most good fitness systems in our industry involve simplicity.  As we continue our education, we continue adding more tools to our training toolbox.  But more importantly, we learn through experience when it is appropriate to use those tools.  This would include knowing when to use non-traditional or “fancy” implements such as kettlebells, bands, chains, TRX, stability balls, etc. We also know when and when not to use more advanced training methods such as eccentric training, tempo, volume, etc.

A lot of the trends and fads can be effective (for a time), but it comes down to understanding if these trends and fads serve the client’s purpose and goals LONG TERM, because we want to see you continue with your fitness, not blast a 30 day challenge twice a year.  Quick fixes in fitness are just that – quick.  Often not long lasting.  Building fitness is a skill and takes time, just like any other skill.  If you are jumping around from trend to trend, you are more than likely risking injury and not truly building a solid fitness foundation. A foundation is what you need to sustain fitness for the rest of your life.

Great coaching, efficient programming, and good results will never go out of style. More importantly, they will never stop being effective.  Mastering the basics and building a foundation will never be wasted time, and learning quality movement will always be important.  It’s a matter of understanding when the basics can be modified to make them more challenging and fun, but still effective and safe…not a circus act to post on Instagram that will eventually make the Gym Fails compilation.

So when a client vocalizes their disdain for a certain exercise due to boredom or simply because it is a hard exercise, we remind them of the why.  Something wonderful happens when you explain to a client why they are doing something. They become empowered.  All of a sudden they do that exercise just a little bit better.  Ultimately our job is for you to feel confident enough to leave our little gym nest……FLY BIRDIE FLY!   Our job is to have you not need us anymore, and if we are constantly bouncing from trend to trend, we aren’t giving you the foundations to understand fitness and do it on your own.

You will notice we do not sell anything or push anything flashy, sexy, or trendy on you except good old-fashioned hard work, consistency, and sound programming.  That is the secret, our “secret”.

 

Shara Vigeant, BA, NSCA-CPT*D, CFSC

MEAL OF THE MONTH FROM REVIVE WELLNESS: Autumn Roasted Salad

We are focusing on mindfulness this month; the word mindful meaning to be conscious or aware of something. Further, it can relate to being present in the moment, focusing on one task at a time, and as it relates to eating: being in tune with hunger and fullness cues.

A simple way to increase your nutrition (and often satisfaction with a meal) is to be mindful of what is in season. Fruits and vegetables are fresher and have more flavour when eaten in season. Roasting autumn’s veggies brings out their flavour even more- give it a try in this salad.

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup beets, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup Brussels sprouts, sliced in half
  • 1 cup acorn squash, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups kale, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 apple, seeded and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. feta cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. dried cranberries

Preparation:

  1. Heat oven to 350 °F.
  2. Combine beets, squash, and Brussels in a bowl and toss with ¾ Tbsp. of olive oil
  3. Lay on a tray with parchment paper and roast in the oven until almost soft, ~ 30 minutes.
  4. Toss the kale and garlic with the remaining olive oil and add to the pan. Continue baking for 8 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
  6. Then add in the apples, lemon juice, feta, pumpkin seeds and cranberries.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

 

Nutritional analysis per serving: 216 calories, 8 g fat, 7 g protein, 35 g carbohydrate (27 g available carbohydrate), 8 g fibre, 162 mg sodium

Strength in Many Forms

When a lot of us think of the word strength, our minds might jump immediately to a picture of someone hoisting a fully loaded barbell from the floor, squatting with an extremely heavy load, or cranking out rep after rep of pull-ups. And that isn’t necessarily wrong! Those activities obviously require a great deal of strength…but are they the only way to express strength? Are there many ways to be strong, and many activities to be strong in? We think so. Strength can be expressed in countless ways and is not pigeonholed into one activity, one lift, or one sport.

Strength is very much individual-specific and context-specific. A person may be incredibly strong for their unique work, life, or sport activities, but may not necessarily be strong in another activity – especially if it is a task they have never attempted before. For instance, a person who can squat an extremely heavy weight is certainly a strong human, but could he or she demonstrate strength in the same manner as a Cirque de Soleil performer? Absolutely not! By the same token, the Cirque de Soleil acrobat is an unbelievably strong athlete, but likely cannot squat an extremely heavy load.

This is obviously an extreme example, but hopefully it illustrates that there are many ways to be strong, and many methods to get there. Cyclists express strength by driving incredible forces into bike pedals, wrestlers express strength through tremendous grip and body leverage, gymnasts express strength through their ability to achieve and control extreme body positions…the list could go on. Every activity has different strength demands, yet all of these people can be classified as “strong”.

The key element that ties all of these different activities and types of athletes together is that they still all need to be strong! Whatever that might look like for any given person, the common thread remains – they need to be able to bring their specific strength to bear in a specific way for their activity.

It is important to note that we are not saying that strength gained by lifting weights in the gym has no carryover into sport or life activities. It most certainly does! Each athlete mentioned above could improve their general strength by performing a weight training program. However, improved ability to express strength through a squat or deadlift does not directly translate into improved ability to express strength through a bike race, wrestling match, or gymnastics event – the athletes must still utilize task-specific strength when they participate in their sports. The weight training program simply gives them more potential to do exactly this.

We can apply this overarching theme to ourselves as weekend warriors, gym enthusiasts, or people training for general health and wellness. Getting “strong” may not look the same from person to person, as everyone has their own unique life demands, jobs, or activities that they are training for. Different people may need to express strength differently in their daily lives. But regardless of what it looks like, everyone should still train for increased strength. Strength is king – it is required for almost everything in life, it is needed in many forms, and it is for everyone!

Erica Saunders, BPE, CSCS, FRCms

 

 

 

Meal of the month from Revive Wellness: Freezer Veggie Breakfast Wraps

September signals back to routine and often busier days—don’t forget to fuel up with a good breakfast! Try freezing our Veggie Breakfast Wraps to have on hand for mornings when you are short on time.

Makes 8 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 8 eggs
  • ½ cup broccoli, chopped small
  • ½ cup red peppers, diced small
  • 1 Tbsp. green onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. salsa
  • 8 whole wheat wraps

Preparation:

  1. Heat oil in a pan on medium-high heat and add broccoli and peppers.
  2. Cook for 4 minutes, then add the green onion and salsa.
  3. In a bowl, combine eggs, pepper and milk, whisk until combined.
  4. Pour into vegetable pan and cook until eggs are cooked through.
  5. Sprinkle ½ Tbsp. of cheese into each wrap and pour 1/8th of the egg mixture into each.
  6. Wrap up tightly and then wrap in plastic wrap.
  7. Freeze for up to two months.
  8. To serve, microwave from frozen for 4-6 minutes, turning half way.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 234 calories, 10 g fat, 11 g protein, 27 g carbohydrate (23 g available carbohydrate), 4 g fibre, 416 mg sodium

The ONLY Thing You Need to Get Fit EVER

Now that we have your attention, it’s about time we talk about this one thing that you need to get fitter, healthier and dare we say, happier:  SLEEP.

I am sure you have read or heard before how important sleep is.  Well, we are saying it’s the ONE AND ONLY thing you need to live a healthier and fitter life.  Big claim, right?  Well, we dare to say it because if there is one consistent factor we see in clients that affects their performance, mood, food choices, mental clarity, stress…it is LACK OF SLEEP.  Everyone wants to get more done in a day, and with our hectic lives, sleep is usually the first activity to be sacrificed.

We see a lot of people at SVPT and can honestly say that the one issue that keeps coming up with clients is their lack of sleep, or living in sleep deprivation.  They think it’s their training program or diet that is not working but actually it’s the fact that they just simply are not getting enough sleep! 

Proper sleep means normal energy levels. If you are trying to get in shape and sculpt your body you will definitely need energy. People who feel sleepy can’t find the energy to work out, prepare a healthy meal or simply take a walk.

On top of lack of energy, sleep deprivation also means that your body won’t have time to recover from training. In case you didn’t know, your body needs some time to repair muscle tissue after a workout and also restore chemical balances.

Here are a few other things that can happen with a lack of sleep (no citing sources here, but you can ask your doctor and the internet):

  • Memory Issues
  • Mood Changes
  • Weakened Immunity
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Accidents
  • Weight Gain
  • Poor Balance
  • Risk of Heart Disease
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Decreased Performance/Endurance
  • Injuries Won’t Heal 

You cannot crush fitness goals in a consistently sleep deprived state.  Normally we would say that consistency is the real key to fitness success, but without sleep you can’t apply consistency.  

Sleep is one of those things that needs to be trained, and made into a routine.  The body loves routine and homeostasis.  Make a plan to go to bed at the same time for 2 weeks.  Yes, even on the weekends.  Commit to getting a solid 8 hours for 2 weeks and see what happens to your energy, recovery and quality of life. 

We dare you.

A well-rested body (and mind) is a force to be reckoned with! 

 

Shara Vigeant, BA, NSCA-CPT*D, CFSC

Meal of the month from Revive Wellness: Pizza on a Stick

Cooking and preparing food is an everyday occurrence in most households, so why not try and let your kids help and learn along the way.

Bonus: children are more likely to eat what they help prepare!

Pizza on a Stick

Makes 12 skewers

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole wheat pita breads, chopped into squares
  • ¼ cup turkey peperoni
  • ½ cup chicken, cubed and precooked
  • ¾ cup small mozzarella balls
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup red or green peppers, chopped into large chunks
  • ½ cup mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 12 wooden skewers, soaked in water

Preparation:

  1. Heat oven to 400 °F.
  2. Allow your child to build their own personal skewer, trying to layer as much variety as possible.
  3. Lay the skewers onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Combine the olive oil, and oregano and brush over the skewers, being sure to put extra onto the pitas so they don’t dry out in the cooking process.
  5. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake for 6-8 minutes, until veggies are starting to soften and the parmesan cheese is melted.
  7. While the skewers are cooking, warm up marinara sauce either on the stove or in the microwave.
  8. Use the marinara sauce as a dip.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

 

For more kid-friendly recipes or health information, check out our blog.

-From Revive Wellness Inc.-

F*ck Burpees!

Literally. Please stop the madness. STOP.

We don’t burpee. Ever.

On the heels of some of the top trainers in the world, including Ben Bruno and Mike Boyle, we too are saying NO to burpees. #justsaynotoburpees

I know, I know – there are no bad exercises, only bad application. The fitness industry is awesome at fear mongering when it comes to certain exercises (squats are horrible for your knees, don’t you know??!!), but this demonizing of squats, deadlifts, or any number of other legitimate exercises is generally unwarranted and unnecessary.

However, we believe that burpees are one of those exercises that is an exception to this rule and should be retired. While ANY exercise can be dangerous if performed incorrectly, we as trainers can teach and reinforce proper technique to reduce injury risk, as well as scale the difficulty level and choose appropriate load for the trainee. But…burpees are neither coachable nor scale-able.

Simply put, there is no good way to perform a burpee! Too many things can go wrong, as instant fatigue quickly leads to a breakdown of form and feelings. Excessive fatigue leads to sloppy movement, and the resulting floundering, flapping, and flopping that is commonly observed during a set of burpees is a little bit hard to watch, if we’re being honest.

Let’s be real for a moment. There are not too many humans on this planet who actually truly enjoy doing the movement. Why push a client to do something they don’t like, when you can find something they dislike a lot less and you will get far better work QUALITY? After all, isn’t training primarily about learning proper movement and constantly improving the quality of this movement?

Why does a trainer even consider a burpee? Most trainers (and by most, I will say those that are using them regularly) use burpees to ‘punish’ or to raise the heart rate, as a conditioning tool. And of course, it works ‘every single muscle’ in the body. More bang for your buck, right? The huge downside is that as the client gets fatigued, form becomes absolutely atrocious and their risk of injury increases – especially in the lower back. All for the sake of making them tired.

Full disclosure here. Did I program burpees in the past? Absolutely. But once you know better, you do better. As a new trainer, I thought my job was to kill the souls of my clients, and what better way to do that than burpees and all the variations of burpees known to mankind!

Once I started getting more experienced and educated I thought to myself…there has to be BETTER options for the same effect (whole body movement, conditioning, energy system development). After seeing clients butcher the burpee and literally just stop having any productive or high-quality movement, I cut the exercise from my programming for good.

In summary, we free you of burpees for the rest of time. You do not have to do burpees to get in shape, to be fit and to crush goals – there are so many other options and exercises that, when programmed properly, can crush your soul all the same.

Shara Vigeant, BA, NSCA-CPT*D, CFSC

Meal of the Month from Revive Wellness: Campfire Chicken Fajitas

Just because you’re away from home doesn’t mean you have to throw away all your good eating habits!

Here are 10 tips for a healthier trip:

1) Do as much prep work for larger meals at home = more time for fun!

2) Pack fruit that travels well: oranges, apples, bananas, or dried fruit. Since these don’t have to be kept cold it will help save space in your fridge or cooler.

3) Prep (wash and cut) raw veggies: carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower. Or just buy the pre-washed/bagged kind; throw in some snap peas and cherry tomatoes, don’t forget the bagged salads too!

4) Pack the following: cheese sticks or pre-portioned light cheese and Greek yogurt. High fiber bread, crackers, pitas or tortillas.

5) Pre-cook pasta at home and store it in a ziploc or container. Make a simple pasta salad by throwing in some of those pre-cut veggies; add some cheese and vinaigrette, Voila!

6) Crack your eggs before you go. Store them in tupperware and keep frozen or fresh. Much, much easier to travel with eggs this way!

7) Take your crock pot. Before leaving, mix ingredients and pack in a ziploc (or just prep at the campsite). On your way out to the beach pop it in your crock pot! Some ideas here: chili, sloppy joes, salsa chicken, pot roast (use the leftover for sandwiches the next day).

8) Pack homemade muffins, cookies, trail mix (cereal, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, air-popped popcorn. Or Commercial Trail Mix with no added salt).

9) Try tin-foil dinners (see below) for an easy and tasty balanced meal.

10) Bring one or two of your favourite treats! You are camping after all 🙂

 

Campfire Chicken Fajitas
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced into strips
  • 2 cups red peppers, sliced
  • 1 cup onion, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. salt

Serve with whole wheat tortilla wraps, Greek yogurt, salsa and cheese.

Preparation:

  1. Combine all in ingredients raw in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Use 4 large pieces of tin foil and split the mixture evenly between all four.
  3. Wrap the mixture up being sure there are no holes, but leaving a little room in the package for steam to grow.
  4. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
  5. When ready to eat, heat a grill over propane or fire and place the fajita package directly on the grill.
  6. Cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Nutritional analysis per serving: 171 calories, 6 g fat, 19g protein, 9 g carbohydrate (7 g available carbohydrate), 2 g fibre, 49 mg sodium

The Muddled Meaning of Mobility

“Mobility” has become a huge buzzword in the area of fitness and health. The term gets thrown around quite often in online articles, but rarely is its true meaning explained. What exactly is mobility, why is it made out to be such a big deal, and why is it so good for me?

The general definition of mobility is “capable of moving, or being moved freely and easily.” The word mobilityas it relates to the human body refers to a joint’s ability to actively achieve a certain position – that is, to move the joint using the body’s own muscular strength and control, without any external assistance. This is the joint’s “usable” range of motion, the range of motion that you are able to access at any given moment, during any day-to-day activities.

This is in contrast to flexibility, a term that is often used interchangeably with mobility, despite not meaning the same thing. They sound similar, but they are not synonyms! Flexibility means “capable of being bent, usually without breaking.” When talking about the body, it refers to a joint’s ability to passively achieve a position – that is, to use no muscular effort or activation to get there. To get an idea of passive movement, picture a yogi grabbing her foot and pulling it up behind her head. While her joints can obviously get into those positions, it requires the external help of her hands to do so. It is very unlikely that she could lift her leg into that position completely on its own, without her hands pushing it into place. In this example, she has great flexibility but limited mobility. The crucial difference between the two is the way in which her body’s joints achieve the position. Any joint position that requires external help to get into is not a usable position, but is “un-usable” range of motion.

Despite the “un-usable” label, passive flexibility is not bad. It is actually needed in order to have mobility, but it is only one part of the equation. Mobility is a combination of flexibility, strength, and control. To have mobility, you need:

Lots of available passive range of motion (flexibility)  +  lots of strength throughout that range  +  great control over that range

From this, we can see that we have the potential to convert passive flexibility into active mobility through training. Using our yogi as an example, we could train her joints to have the strength and control to lift her leg behind her head unassisted, thus giving her the active mobility to match up with her great flexibility. All of her passive range would become “useable”, which is a very good thing!

Now that we have a better understanding of what mobility actually means, we can dive into why it is so important to have it, as opposed to just having flexibility. Mobility is the key physical ability of the body. If we know that having good mobility means having active control of joints, being able to move them into a ton of different positions, and having strength in all of these various positions, then it’s easy to make the case that having mobility in your joints is the single most important prerequisite to any activity that you do in sport or life. Without the ability to move your joints into the positions needed to do a squat, to take a shot in soccer, to reach overhead and paint the walls in your house, or to bend down and pick up your toddler, your ability to perform those activities safely and effectively is severely compromised. No matter how strong you are, no matter how fit you are…if your joints cannot physically get into the positions that you repeatedly ask them to, your performance and your body will suffer.

Mobility is the base of the training pyramid, and it undergirds absolutely every other physical quality that you can train for (aerobic capacity, strength, power, speed). Mobility is what allows you to pursue and train for all of those other qualities without getting injured, without wearing joints down, without spending undue amounts of time and money on trips to the doctor or the physiotherapist. Mobility is what keeps your joints healthy as you age and prevents you from losing the ability to do the activities you were once able to do.

 

 

Maintaining the necessary mobility to do all of your favorite activities into your later years doesn’t just happen on its own, though. Joints don’t maintain themselves – it takes time, intention, effort, and a lot of movement on our part. Consistently challenging and constantly using the active ranges of motion that you currently have in your joints is the key to keeping those ranges over months and years and decades. Think of a person you know who is older than you. Have you ever heard him or her say something like “these knees/hips/shoulders just don’t move the way they used to” or “I used to be able to [insert activity here] but my [insert joint here] just can’t do it anymore”? Most people would chalk this up to simply getting older, but in many cases the main cause is actually disuse rather than age. Losing mobility in your joints is only a consequence of natural aging if you let it be. The best way to prevent this from happening is to never stop using your joints through the biggest possible range of motion you can.

Is training for mobility fun? Not usually. Is training for mobility easy? No, it is in many cases much more difficult than strength or endurance training. Is training for mobility important and rewarding? Absolutely. It should not be overlooked, or skipped, or disregarded as less worthy than lifting weights or going for a run. Mobility training is an investment in your body, a very long-term one. If you prepare your body to its very best ability to handle the tasks that you throw at it, you put yourself in the best possible position to not only crush life’s daily physical demands, but to keep your body as pain-free and injury-free as possible while doing so.

 

Erica Saunders, BPE, CSCS, FRCms