5 Quiktips for Improving Digestion
by: Cassandra Piazza
Digestion is so much more than chewing and swallowing. It’s the process by which our body breaks down food and absorbs nutrients to create energy and provide nourishment for every living cell in our body
The truth is that good digestion for some, is the missing link to good health and fat loss! Unfortunately, digestive issues nowadays are so common that some consider the symptoms normal. We’re here to tell you that poor digestion is NOT NORMAL and you should be paying attention to how you digest if you want better results from your body.
Signs you may have digestive issues:
- Bad breath
- Acid reflux
- Growing list of food intolerances
- Abdominal discomfort after consuming food
While digestive issues may be complex, we have listed some simple #quiktips that are easy to do and can help with digestion right away! Please note that these tips are guidelines to healthy and mindful living and are not a substitute for medical advice. Always consult a doctor if you are having digestive issues.
1 Eat distraction free
Ever start salivating around lunchtime when you see an advertisement for something delicious? The process of digestion starts the moment our brains begin to think about food. If your brain is focused on your Instagram feed or your current Netflix addiction it won’t be as effective in facilitating the processes for effective digestion. Carve at least 15 minutes out of your day, per meal, to sit and eat mindfully, free of distraction.
2 Chew your food adequately
When you start chewing, your stomach releases digestive enzymes that your body uses to absorb nutrients and create energy – the more you chew, the more enzymes are activated and the better you digest!
3 Take a probiotic daily
The ecosystem of good and bad bacteria in your gut is called your gut microbiome. Probiotics aid in the development and maintenance of a healthy gut microbiome by facilitating growth of good bacteria. Probiotics introduce helpful strains of good bacteria that populate the gut and improve balance between good and bad bacteria. Having a balance of good bacteria in the gut is associated with better digestion, positive mood, a more active immune system and less food allergies.
4 Get in your fiber
High fiber foods such as whole grains, greens and legumes help to keep food moving through the digestive tract. Women should aim for at least 25g of fiber a day and 35g a day for men. Animal protein eaters should be especially aware of getting enough fiber. The slower bowel transit time associated with eating meat can put you at a higher risk for diseases associated with the digestive tract. Make sure you pair meat with dense vegetables or high fiber fruits to ensure timely elimination. As a bonus, the fermentation process that occurs with some fibers in the gut, feed your good bacteria further improving the gut microbiome!
5 Boost your stomach acid
In order for food to be released from the stomach into the small intestine, where most of the digestion takes place, it needs your stomach acid to turn your solid food into liquid. A shot of apple cider vinegar before a meal can help to boost stomach acid. Also, try minimizing liquids during meals to prevent diluting your stomach acid too much.
We would love to hear what you thought of our Quiktips! Please leave a comment below!
I don’t look for 7 foot bars to jump over; I look around for 1 foot bars that I can step over. -Warren Buffett-
The advice I’m about to give may surprise you. It’s not the regular motivational, rally the troops tone that you are used to hearing from fitness professionals, but it may help lead you to permanent fat loss success. Do I have your attention now?
Motivation doesn’t last, habits do
Yea I said it! Forget that motivational crap that gets you to over-commit every time you vow to make a total life transformation in the same amount of time it took you to watch the sponsored YouTube add. I have definitely attempted to earn 7-figures in my underwear at my computer for an afternoon or two, yet I still find myself back among the working world. Setting the bar low means succeeding by starting your change with only the habits that you have a high degree of confidence with, staying compliant, and adding more challenging habits as you go. You may not start off by losing a jaw dropping amount of weight but the shift in habits will fuel permanent fat loss as opposed to the fluctuations commonly seen in popular fad diet strategies.
Think like a baby and beat the odds
Back when you were an infant and had your first utterance of something that resembled language, your parents literally lost their shit with enthusiasm and happiness. They showered you with praise, kisses and love and made you perform your goo-goo ga-gas for anyone who cared to listen; not because what you said resembled a monologue from the valedictorian at Harvard, but because you were one step closer to doing something that was ridiculously difficult and they were damn proud of it.
Change of any kind is difficult for adults. We have previous memories of failure to contend with and in many cases, nobody to encourage our successes. In some cases you are breaking patterns that lie deep in your subconscious. So why not do it with baby steps? Start slowly, succeed often, and encourage yourself intensely along the way?
What you should be doing
Start by taking action on the things that you have an extremely high confidence that you can do 9 out of 10 times and praise the shit out of yourself every time you do it. It doesn’t matter how small. If you didn’t take a multivitamin every day before and you do it for a week straight, congratulate the hell out of yourself and keep on doing it.
Maybe it’s drinking lots of water and choosing not to drink caloric beverages. Do it! Pat yourself on the back until it leaves a bruise. Repeat the process until you begin to see results. You can also check out some of the Quiktrain positive action habits in the list below and start planning your attack.
As time passes, these small victories will not only make you feel good, they will increase what coaches like to call “self-efficacy” (belief in one’s self). With this new confidence, not only will you be ready to tackle more difficult challenges, but you will have mentally-trained yourself to keep them up.
Some of the Quiktrain habits for fat loss are:
- Eat protein with every meal
- Supplement with a multivitamin daily
- Drink your weight in ounces of water every day
- Drink zero calorie beverages only
- Consume starchy carbohydrates in the morning or following a workout
- Eat vegetables every time you eat
- Drink a protein-based recovery drink following your workout
- Eat at least 4 times per day
- Get to bed before 11 p.m.
- Resistance train 2-4 times per week
- Interval cardio train 2-4 times per week
Focus on important but manageable changes to generate and keep momentum
Getting back to the title, if you want to lose 20 lbs. of fat, I’m not saying to shoot for 10. You can set the bar low on your process goals without adjusting the end goal.
You may feel like you are moving slow, but you are actually moving more rapidly in the long term by avoiding complete meltdowns. Obviously the more of these rules you can implement successfully, the faster you will hit your goals.
Make sure you are constantly reviewing progress and pushing your limits. Setting expectations lower is never an excuse to not get results — it is a vehicle for achieving them.
The missing key to your fat loss success.
The number one reason that people succeed or fail in their fat loss isn’t the actual nutrition or training itself, it is social support.
The best thing you can do is surround yourself with people that will appreciate your accomplishments and encourage your goo-goo ga-gas. Get a coach, train with other like-minded people and learn to encourage others.
Can you do it? Of course you can, but whether or not you do will depend largely on the approach you take.
Check out the list of Quiktrain fat loss habits and start today with something you know you can do!
To start of the new year I have put out a challenge. This one is all about getting started early on your beach body! In this challenge you will have to complete 1 circuit of ab work each day for 30 days! Download the workout sheet by clicking on this link: January 6 pack Challenge
The best training for ball hockey will mimic the actual demands of the sport. That being said it’s not enough to just “go out for a run’ to get in shape. The best type of training for ball hockey is interval training and if done correctly, will allow you to avoid injuries, utilize your skills, avoid mental mistakes and recover faster between shifts. Continue Reading…
Healthy Holiday Recipes
Here are some healthy holiday recipes from my friend Nutritionist Tamika Shaw. These recipes were made as part of the community program that I run to help busy parents learn how to stay fit eat right and show their kids how to do the same. We have given some popular recipes a healthy makeover so try them out and let us know if you liked them. We sure as hell did!
Apple Maple Cheesecake
Makes 10 servings
1 ¼ cup Graham wafer crumbs
¼ cup Non-hydrogenated margarine
250g package light cream cheese (brick not tub), room temperature
2 cups plain fat-free yogurt cheese (see recipe below)
½ cup real maple syrup
¼ cup apple butter
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350º F (180º C).
2. In a medium bowl, combine graham wafer crumbs and melted margarine with a fork. Press mixture into the bottom of a 20 cm (8 inch) diameter spring form pan. Place in the fridge while you make the filling.
3. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, yogurt cheese and eggs. Beat until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat until combined.
4. Pour the cheese mixture over the crust and bake for 50 minutes.
How to make yogurt cheese
Place a paper or basket coffee filter over a fine sieve. Place the sieve over a bowl. Pour one, 750 mL tub of fat-free, plain yogurt into the coffee filter and let sit in the fridge for 24 hours. The water will drain out and you are left with a very thick yogurt.
Calories: 254 Protein: 9 g Fat: 12 g Saturated fat: 4 g Dietary cholesterol: 57 mg Carbohydrate: 29 g Dietary fibre: 0 g Sodium: 314 mg Potassium: 105 mg
Source: Eatright Ontario www.eatrightontario.ca
Cheesecake Equipment List
8 inch spring form pan
mixing bowl, 1 large, 1 medium and 1 small ramekins
hand mixer or stand mixer
measuring cups and spoons
Apple Raisin Fruit Crisp
Makes 12 servings
10 cups apples, peeled and sliced
4 tbsp raisins
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1. Preheat oven to 350°
2. Divide fruit between 2 medium baking dishes.
3. In a bowl, mix the rolled oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter or margarine until combined. Sprinkle over the fruit.
4. Bake for 40 minutes or until the fruit is tender.
Source: Toronto Public Health
Apple Crisp Equipment List
8 inch baking dish
measuring spoons and cups
Baked Whole Wheat Samosa
Makes 12 samosas
2 cups (500 ml) whole wheat flour
1/8 tsp (0.5 ml) salt
1 cup (250 ml) plain non-fat yogurt
2 cups (500 ml) mini new potatoes, skin on, cubed
1 cup (250 ml) onion, chopped
1 Tbsp (15 ml) canola oil
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp (15 ml) ginger root, peeled and grated
1 tsp (5 ml) cumin seed
2 tsp (10 ml) curry powder
¼ tsp (1 ml) salt
1 cup (250 ml) frozen green peas
cayenne pepper, optional
canola oil for brushing
Mix flour, salt in bowl. Add yogurt. Form into a ball. Knead adding more flour as needed. Wrap tightly. Place in the fridge until ready.
Boil the potatoes 15 minutes or until tender but not mushy. Drain. Set aside. In the same pot, heat oil over medium heat, add onion, oil, garlic, ginger, cumin, curry powder and salt. Cook until the onion starts to soften. Add peas and cook until heated. Remove and add the potatoes. Toss to blend.
Assemble and bake
Preheat oven to 425º F (220º C). On floured surface, roll dough into a long rope. Divide evenly into 12 pieces. One by one roll each piece into a circle. Place about 2 Tbsp (30 ml) of filling on each circle and fold over. Dampen inside edge with finger dipped in water and crimp edges with a fork. Brush sparingly with oil. Place the samosas on greased baking sheet and bake15 minutes. Remove from oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 350º F (180ºC). Turn samosas over and bake for another 5-10 minutes.
Serve with your favourite dipping sauce. Makes 12 samosas.
1 samosa; 130 calories; total fat 1.5 g; sodium 90 mg; total carbohydrate 24 g (dietary fibre 4 g; sugars 3 g); protein 5 g
Source: Heart and Stroke Foundation www.heartandstroke.ca
Samosa Equipment List
Measuring cups and spoons
I am proud to announce that this year I will be a facilitator Dr Roz’s healing place Fit-A-Thon For Life. This is for a great cause and I hope to see everyone out to help put an end to violence. The details of the event are below. I will be bringing around a sign up sheet this coming week for all QuikTrain trainees but all are welcome. So bring your family and friends and lets help put an end to this problem!
Click the link below for event details:
These circuits are meant to push your cardiovascular system, increase your metabolic response and shred the fat! You will be using just one pair of dumbbells so gauge the weight you choose on the high pull exercise as this is the hardest one. By week 8 you should be able to go 3 times through this on your own. You can watch a video of the demo of the program at the end of this post.
Do this program every other day with cardio in between. Shoot for 3-4 total sessions per week.
Circuit 1: Dumbbell Complex
Plie Squats: 30
High Pulls: 30
Hindu squats: 30
Bent over rows: 30
Front Squats: 30
Push press: 30
Circuit 2: Bodyweight Circuit
Walkout negative push ups or Regular push ups: 10/15
Reg squats or tuck jumps: 30/ 20
Shoulder butterflies: 15
Mountain climbers: 100
Plank ins and outs: 60
Alt front lunges or jump lunges: 20
Angry Cats: 10
Superman opposites: 30
Leg lifts: 30
Opposite toe touches: 50
Let’s keep it real here – there wasn’t always a McDonalds or Burger King on every corner. It was much more difficult to acquire food even 100 years ago, so sometimes we simply had to wait. That’s a major reason why we have survived as a species – our ability to be able to thrive in the absence of food. The fact is our bodies were meant to deal with a variance in the availability of food and there is plenty of evidence that suggest there can be many health benefits from calorie restriction. More and more in the fitness and weight loss community you hear about Intermittent Fasting (IF) as a method of weight/fat loss, so I’ve decided to put together 4 reasons why fasting may work for you as a fat loss tool.
The Natural Cleanse
Our bodies go through millions of cellular reactions at any given time which lead to cellular wear and tear. Accumulation of cellular garbage leads to further destruction within the cell and has been linked to accelerated aging and many types of chronic disease. The process of autophagy deals with garbage cells by recycling them within the body. The only catch: you have to be in a fasted state for this process to work really well. The hormonal response from the introduction of even a tiny amount of food immediately blunts the process. That’s also the reason why adequate sleep slows the aging process; because sleep essentially is a fast! On the flip side prolonged fasting can lead to the degeneration of muscle mass, bone tissue and overall weakness in the body. A healthy balance of these two processes will lead to a body that can essentially cleanse itself while continuing to build and repair tissues efficiently, leading to increased vitality and longevity.
Improve Your Relationship With Food
Being able to say no to food is a powerful fat loss tool. Dr. John Berardi says in his e-book on intermittent fasting, “Hunger is not an emergency, it is a feeling… one that’s nothing to panic over.” When you learn to defer food gratification you start to understand the difference between psychological (mental) hunger and physiological (body) hunger and you unlock the key to the biggest reason why people gain excess body fat ; eating too much too often.
Fat Loss Simplicity
The most important factor to dietary success is compliance. Brad Pilon, author of one of the best IF resources available, says, “a bad diet that you can stay on is more effective than a good diet that you can’t”. Most of the popular diet plans like Atkins, The Zone and South Beach are just different methods of reducing caloric intake for weight loss. Most versions of Intermittent Fasting provide greater simplicity than traditional diets allowing you to stay on track longer, getting you better results over time. A particularly good book on IF is Brad Pilon’s “Eat stop Eat” and can be downloaded here.
Portable Fat Loss
I often get asked the question “what I should eat when I go on vacation to continue to lose fat?” While you should always be eating nutritious whole foods, there are times when this will be more difficult or you may just want to splurge! Planning at least one fast can minimize the damage to your fat loss goals when on vacation or in any situation where good food choices are not readily available. Intermittent Fasting does not require any special food to work so you can stay compliant anywhere on the globe.
If you would like to do any additional reading on the topic check out precisionnutrition.com for great articles on the topic. They also have a free e-book which gives a complete overview of intermittent fasting. It can be downloaded here.
Yours in good health,
There are some great benefits to doing chin-ups. If you haven’t tried to do them, I suggest you try them and incorporate them into your routine. You can use a strength band to assist you like in the video below. Some of the benefits of chin-ups and pull ups are:
Improved strength to weight ratio
If you can lift your own body weight it means that you carry an efficient bodyweight for your strength. Low body fat is a prerequisite for this challenge as well as strong back muscles and a good grip. I have yet to meet a woman who could do chin ups or pull-ups that wasn’t lean enough to show some abdominal definition. If you are not there yet they make strength bands that you can buy to assist you. Getting “toned” is a function of getting leaner and stronger. As you get leaner and stronger your chin ups and pull ups will improve.
Chin-ups will strengthen the back. Strengthening the muscles in your back will also have the effect of pulling your shoulders back and greatly improving your posture. Commonly the posture of people is compromised because of sitting too much, carrying extra weight in the chest area, carrying children or general imbalance from doing too much in the frontal plane. This slouchy posture not only looks bad but also causes shoulder problems like frozen shoulder. Increasing your strength in “pulling” movements will correct this imbalance and give you a great looking back!
Quiktrain core exercise
Since chin-ups involve so much effort doing few sets of chin-ups a week is enough to maintain a great deal of strength and tone of the upper body without a lot of time invested. It also keeps you in check about your body fat as carrying extra body fat will make it very difficult to complete this exercise. Once you get to this goal, you save a bunch of time on your workout by making it a staple and I promise, you will get better at it but it will never become easy. That is a Quiktrain exercise.
Check out the video below to see one of my clients first attempt at a chin up using band assistance.