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Showing posts from 2013

Whey Protein Smoothie Snack Recipe

Shake recipe, makes approx 9 cups:

1 cup milk (or substitute- almond milk, coconut milk (1/2 cup), soy milk (not my favorite) rice milk)
1 cup juice (sometimes I use a scoop pf frozen concentrate + 1 cup water)
1 cup yogurt
1-2 bananas ( I freeze brown ones for smoothies and microwave them for 30 secs to peel)
1/2 avocado (this cuts the sweetness of the protein powder and makes it creamy)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 scoops whey protein powder
1/2 cup frozen berries

Blend well. Keep in fridge in blender. I give it a quick blend before serving each time. My kids also love it.

You can mix it up from here. Today my smoothie has 4 kiwis, 1 banana, no milk, and raspberries. Use this as a basic guideline and get creative!

*Use the protein powder as just a fortified ingredient, not a base.

Selecting the best exercises for Pregnancy

There are plenty of exercises that are safe, effective, targeted to strengthening imbalances, and supportive of the pregnant condition. Prenatal exercise is a tremendous investment in the health and well being of both mom and baby. Knowing the best exercises for pregnancy is the challenge, so use this as a guide.

It is imperative to follow general prenatal fitness guidelines, and to have a Parmed-X for pregnancy signed by your primary prenatal caregiver. Prenatal (General Trimester Guidelines) If you were previously active you can work at moderate intensity 30 minutes/day or more. Stay well hydrated and don't become fatigued or overheated. The baby is susceptible to heat and you're more likely to be fatigued. Consume an additional 300 calories per 30 minutes of exercise. Cardio 3-5x/week 30:00 Strength 2-4x week 30:00 Stretch Daily

Cardio:
Low impact cardio is best suited for pregnancy. It reduces the pressure on the pelvic floor which is already working overtime to support the weight o…

Happy Halloween Pumpkin Soup recipe

Pumpkin Soup Recipe:
My workout buddy LOVED this so apparently it IS as delicious as I thought and easy easy easy. I made it up :)
Clean Pumpkin meat and steam, sprinkled with 1:2 nutmeg:curry powder, a little salt + a little onion salt. Pan fry 1 celery stalk + onion in coconut oil until browned. Add pumpkin + celery/onion mix to the steam water and simmer on low.  Add 1 tomato, 1/2 can coconut milk, 3 dates and simmer 1 hour. Cool and puree in blenderReheat and garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds

Fitness Pursuits for 2013

I have been sorely absent from this blog due to my very busy schedule. I aspire to write full length articles on all of the activities I am preoccupied with this year, but for now I'll short hand it in point form:

Bodybuilding:
I have gained 5 lbs of muscle in 7 months.We started in April once/week and quickly bumped up to 2x. After a couple of months we started adding a 3rd weekly workout whenever we could.We started out on the universal machine and transitioned to free weights almost exclusively in August.I train with a friend of mine and defer to him regarding our set and workout formats. We always push to max. Strength training has become the big physical push and mental checkout time that is keeping me sane. It has been very demanding on my sleep and nutrition routine, which has forced me to improve my discipline in these areas, or risk suffering major recovery setbacks post workout.Hypopresives:
Another intra-abdominal exercise program involving apnea breaths in specific post…

Core Breath - Advanced Strength Training 201 & The Upshot

Strength 201- Performance benefits of core breath
Core breath control improves pelvic stability control. Once it becomes mastered through movement dynamics it can be applied to advanced strength exercise training for improved results! When performing a set of 15 L/R pistol squats (1 legged squats with full ROM) on a BOSU ball assisted by side bars, I was tiring by 8 reps. Cueing core breath and PFM made the reps less difficult and I had a noticeable increase in strength. That is incredible!
Not so unpredictably, as with the 101 of seated core breath it is the release that is the most difficult with advanced movements. We engage the core during exercise and when intensity and difficulty increase it can become hypertonic, resulting in a weaker PFM contraction, often cued from the transverse. A weaker PFM contraction results in less strength and increased difficulty. When we release the PFM the contraction has more ROM and is stronger, resulting in improved performance. Excellent! Do not f…

Core Breath- Application to strength training 101

Strength 101- Application of core breath to strength training
Once a client has worked through Pfilates form I begin to apply core breath to simple bilateral exercises. A good example would be a standing front and lateral arm raise. The client stands with feet hip width, untucked in active posture, arms with 1-3lb weights at sides. The exercise begins with an inhalation and PFM release followed by exhalation and PFM contraction while raising arms to sides shoulder height. With inhalation and PFM release the weights are lowered back to sides. The grip rotates and the movement is repeated to the front, shoulder height. Alternating lateral and front arm raises, the client syncs core breath for perfect exercise form.
Increased Pelvic Stability Control:
Progressing into unilateral exercise, the focus is on improving pelvic stability control. We already know with the weight/load transfer test that core set will improve pelvic stability control. This becomes even more apparent as the ROM of exe…

Corresponding with Toronto CrossFit

In response to the Crossfit Video that has been in circulation recently, I contacted the Toronto Crossfit HQ to bring awareness to the issue. As far as I understand, Crossfit has released a statement in which they stand behind this horrible video: "....Mr Newburn insists. "You have actually had a dig at a video that has actually brought light to the situation and made a lot of women feel like they are not alone," " 
This is disappointing. I did receive a reply from CrossFit Toronto which happily surprised me. Here is the ongoing correspondence:



Hi Kate,
My name is John Vivian and i am one of the owners of CrossFit Toronto.
Thank you very much for your email and i apologise for not replying sooner. We really appreciate you sharing this information with us, as well as your concern for what you saw on the video.
i can assure you that at CrossFit Toronto we prioritise the health and safety of our members above all else. Urinating during and as a result of training…

Challenges and Strategies with Bodybuilding

It's been 4 months of a solid push 1-2x week in the gym weights to max with my buddy. A few weeks ago I wrote this blog post on the challenges of recovering from the workouts. I am doing my best to keep up with demands of calories and rest to support this program. I am not suffering the extreme symptoms as I was a few weeks ago, although the post workout fatigue on the following day is pretty noticeable.


I have noticed some tendon soreness post workout. My elbows feel as if they have been struck- tender to the touch. I mentioned it to a body building client of mine and she suggested wrapping to provide support as the tendons strengthen with the muscle growth. The only way to make these big improvements is to push the envelope, but I want to train smart, as always! Here is my gimpy exhibition in the gym- wrapped and pushing hard.

I've been able to max at 100lbs once. 90lbs is my new consistent max, with increasing ROM. I tend to cheat to get the reps, and form nazi that I am …

Returning to Exercise After Baby

I am very proud to be a part of this amazing team

We are a group of postnatal experts contributing to a non-profit organization whose mandate is to bring comprehensive reliable one-stop-shop info for mothers online. What a powerhouse!

Maternal Goddess

I am very proud to have my first article published this week.

Returning to Exercise After Baby

New moms are often very anxious to start exercising. Postnatal exercise is a fantastic pursuit which ideally serves to strategically strengthen key areas and also facilitate our recovery from delivery, no matter what kind of delivery it was. In the first 6 weeks postpartum it is imperative to do breathing and pelvic floor exercises as soon as possible. Depending on trauma, the ROM may be extremely gentle, but it is the best investment in restoring core function postpartum. The postnatal body is designed to heal, and these first 6-8 weeks are crucial for that reason. Ideally these exercises are started prenatally so they are familiar, form…

Core Breath Level 2- Dynamics

Core Breath Level 2- Dynamics
This is the 2nd installment of my core breath field report from earlier this year. The 3rd installment will apply to advanced strength training. I will be writing another report soon which will build on these fundamentals functionally as I have experienced in the field training, so stay tuned if you'd like to geek out with me :)

Pfilates 101- Introducing dynamics
Once PFM release and contraction are mastered we can progress effectively to Pfilates 101 which introduces dynamic movement into core control and synergy. Seated and side lying core breath refine the form with a control that we do not have during dynamic movement, and therefore we have built functional memory to support the increased dynamics.
I typically begin with the lunge as it is an easy position to connect to. In a wide scissor stance my clients sync PFM work to the lowering into lunge and pressing up- inhale, release, lower; exhale, contract, press. I begin in an isometric stance introdu…

Core Breath 101- the foundation

Here is a field report I wrote on core breath. I am posting it here for the clients who have been geeking out with me on core rehabilitation, and for anyone else who has interest in the practical application of core function. I am going to post this in installments bc it is so long.....
Core Breath as Applied to Advanced Exercise- Pfilates & Beyond Not JUST for your pre and postnatal clients!
This is a current field report of Core breath and Pfilates as applied to advanced strength training. I have been practicing both core breath and pfilates for over a year.  The application of the exercises to my client’s programs has given me a lot of feedback and insight into their functionality.
Retraining core function is a process of mastery. With cues through exercise we retrain the core to function autonomously, supporting not only advanced exercise but also everyday meaningful movement and activities.
It all begins with core breath:
I work with many pre and postnatal clients and ther…

Women's Crossfit= dysfunctional training?

I was absolutely mortified to see this video on facebook yesterday; it literally makes me sick to my stomach: Crossfit- do you pee when you workout?

I seriously cannot shake this off. I am rattled to the core.

I wrote this on the Crossfit Facebook page and also emailed it to CrossFit Toronto:

Stress incontinence is no laughing matter and what these women are doing is wrong. The pelvic floor is a muscle which supports the organs in your body and when it is not functioning it is no longer supporting exercise, and possible meaningful everyday activities. These women train HARD! Why are they not training their pelvic floors in the face of such obvious dysfunction? Would you train through an injured bicep that could no longer support the weight of your arm? This is madness.

Are you aware what will likely be next to start falling? Poo. Really funny! Then next? Your pelvic organs- think bladder, intestines, uterus. Your body is showing you it is no longer supporting you. Listen to it!…

Adventures in Body Building 101's

For the past 8 weeks I have been taking my workouts in another direction. With the help of a workout buddy I am pushing weights to maximum, trying to get stronger faster with more definition in my muscles. This is a body sculpting approach that is targeting and isolating muscles which is very different than my signature calisthenics compound-all-over-all-the-time workouts.

Going into this program I was acutely aware of my lack of experience in this area. I have been enlististing support to delegate aspects of my training program, like bringing on a dedicated nutritionist to counsel me and deferring my strength routine to someone who has had success body building in the past. I am also on the hunt for a boxing coach. I am spreading out the hats, so to speak- not easy for me the control freak, but a good exercise in recruiting help and not spreading myself too thin. Also with a spotter's help I am able to push my weight load far beyond what I can safely do on my own. We started wit…

Return to Running After Baby

I have been an avid fitness runner for 14 years. During both of my pregnancies I stopped running the first time because I was overcautious, and the second time because it caused bleeding at 14 weeks. We runners tend to be hyperactive A-type personalities who are a bit obsessive about the sport. We can’t wait to get back to running after baby!
Recovering from my first pregnancy I hit the streets again after 6 weeks. I remember my hips killing me but I trained through it. I shudder to think of the state of my postnatal body returning to the sport before it was ready, but still I trained up to my first half marathon at 3 years postpartum.

After my second pregnancy I started running again at 5 weeks. While rehabbing my diastasis I trained for a half marathon which I ran at 5 months postpartum because that’s how I roll. I strength trained all through my pregnancy. I am a strong fitness machine-not.
I suffered compounded stress incontinence. I was ok to cough or sneeze; I was ok w…

Diastasis Research- Geeking out!

Today I had the amazing opportunity to participate in a research study on Diastasis recti. The study was done by the very prolific Diane Lee, and hosted at Physio Excellence in Toronto. My colleague Samantha from Core Expectations was also a participant. I was geeking out on DR with the best! :)

I was the first participant studied. I was told that Diane wanted to take ultrasound images of the linea alba during functional movements, specifically in clients who had rehabilitated a DR with the "T" technique. I was thrilled that the core assessment and analysis was so thorough and lasted 2 hours. I learned a lot today!

We began with a general postural assessment. Diane described me as "well balanced" which surprised me because despite being fit, I tend to feel generally out-of-whack in alignment as I notice offsets when I exercise. I proceeded to pass the weight load transfer test (which I haven't passed previously) and was feeling pretty good about my functional …