Staying Motivated In Quarantine

By Weight Loss Tips

Over the past two months, we’ve all experienced plenty of hardships and difficulties as our routines and daily lives have been turned upside down. When it comes to weight loss, one of the most difficult challenges during this time is staying on track due to lack of motivation, or losing our ‘why’. It could be due to the fact that we no longer have social interactions to think about. No vacations to look forward to. For many of us, no colleagues to encounter at work. We also often turn to food as a source of comfort during stressful times. We’re all human, and it’s natural – but that doesn’t mean we can’t find ways to get back on track! Here are a few tips to help you rediscover your WHY:

 

Change up your routine

This applies not only to daily tasks, but what we eat as well! Things can get pretty monotonous when stuck at home AND following a meal plan. Why not try choosing eggs for your evening protein, a way to have “breakfast for dinner”? (This is something I remember fondly that my family would do as a special treat when we were kids.)  Try a few new healthy recipes (there are plenty on our blog and your EWYN Health Coaches are a great source for more!) When it comes to exercise, change up your cardio routine – instead of walking the same route every day, try an at-home Zumba class or drive to a nature trail to keep things interesting. Read our blog about changing up your outdoor exercise routine for more fun and tips!

 

List your goals

Being confined in one place can make one day seem to stretch into the next. In turn, that can make it hard to keep your eyes on the prize, and easy to fall down rabbit holes.

To stay on track, make a clear list of what you need to accomplish each day (30 minutes of cardio, meal prep for the next day) and consider adding some longer-term goals you haven’t addressed yet (get your cardio up to 40 minutes in length, squat a certain weight by the end of summer, etc.) Reminding yourself of your goals and adding a couple new ones can boost your momentum and amplify your motivation.

 

Count your achievements

Whenever you start feeling demoralized, it’s time to stop and give yourself pat yourself on the back. Start with the fact that your stay-at-home regimen is helping to keep COVID-19 from spreading – a real contribution to the greater good that deserves to be applauded!

Next, take time to consider your personal achievements. Think about everything you’ve managed to accomplish despite current restrictions: It’s likely much more than you think. Make a list of everything you’ve achieved in the past year, every pound lost, every minute of exercise put in, and take a moment to appreciate what it took to accomplish each. This applies not only to weight loss, but to things like relationships, finances, education, and skill building.

Not only will this remind you what you’re capable of, it should also make you feel good enough to re-spark your motivation. Make this practice a habit, and you’ll be ready to build on your successes, get closer to your goal, and show off the New You once the world returns to business-as-somewhat-usual.

 

Stay in touch with your support network

Some of the best results are achieved when you have a team in your corner – it’s just a little more difficult when that has to happen via texts or phone calls. In fact, losing regular contact with close friends or family outside your home can be one of the most difficult aspects of isolation, since you can’t just stop by for a chat or get together for a healthy meal.

That makes right now the perfect time to put extra effort into reaching out to your loved ones. Stay in touch socially, both to boost morale and encourage mental health. Hearing their encouragement and even stopping by for a ‘front yard’ visit from a safe distance where they can see your results for themselves will go a long way in keeping you motivated and feeling great about your achievements.

 

Jamaican Curry Chicken

By Recipes

The key to a flavourful curry dish is allowing the seasoning to set. I always season my chicken the night before and allow it to rest until I’m ready to cook the next day.

Tip: Chicken thighs are always best for curry!

Ingredients

  • Homemade Curry Spice
  • Fresh Thyme
  • 2 Green onions
  • Peppers
  • Tomato
  • Scotch Bonnet pepper when cooking (if you like spicy)
  • Salt to taste

Completely cover chicken with curry powder (coat well). Add sliced peppers, chopped tomato and onions along with 4 sprigs of thyme. Cover and place in the fridge to rest. If using scotch bonnet pepper, place the pepper in whole. Do not slice or dice the pepper (it will make it very hot). Once the chicken is cooked, discard the pepper.

 

Directions

In a skillet, add 2 tbsps of oil and add chicken. Cook on high until both sides are browned. Turn down to medium heat and add ¼ cup of water and cover. Keep adding water to make sure there is a “gravy” in the bottom of the skillet. Simmer until chicken is fully cooked. Serve with rice and enjoy!

Homemade Curry Spice

By Recipes

Making your own curry is a great way to add loads of flavour to your food and keeps you in control, so you’re not accidentally consuming extra salt, sugar, and fillers that often come in pre-made spice mixes. Here is a fantastic recipe for curry spice that you can keep in your cupboard to use again and again! (Oh, and stay tuned for next week’s recipe where you’ll use this curry spice to make Jamaican Curry Chicken!)

 

Ingredients

·       1 oz Ground Coriander

·       1 oz Turmeric Powder

·       1 oz Ground Fenugreek

·       1 oz Ginger Powder

·       1 oz Black Pepper

·       ¼ tsp Cinnamon Powder

·       1 tsp Dried Thyme

·       5 Cardamom Pods

·       ¼ tsp Mustard Seeds

 

Directions

·       Using a scale, weigh and combine the first 5 ingredients

·       Add the Cinnamon & Thyme

·       In a small pan toast the Cardamom. You will know it done when it slightly turns a golden colour and by the smell (toasty.) Constantly shake the pan so the cardamom toasts on all sides and does not burn (just a few minutes.)

·       Turn off the heat and add the mustard seeds. Cover and keep shaking until they start to pop. (They will pop like popcorn.)

·       Remove from pan and grind (Bullets work great for grinding!)

·       Place the powder in a mesh strainer add the powder to your spice blend. This step will prevent large pieces of the cardamom shell getting into your blend.

·       Combine all ingredients, cover and enjoy!

Salt & Weight Loss

By Weight Loss Tips

 

You’ve heard it before from almost every source: nutritionists, health coaches, personal trainers, wellness blogs, Sally from next door, they all say the same thing: “Salt is bad!” “Watch your sodium intake!”

But, why? Well, there’s a few reasons. Here are two that are particularly important if you are trying to lose weight:

 

Water Retention

Eating a lot of salt can cause your body to retain more water, which can show up on the scale as extra pounds. Here is why…

Your body tries to maintain a sodium/water concentration outside the cell walls that is approximately the same as sea water. When you consume sodium, your body holds on to water to maintain the right ratio. Consuming 400 milligrams of sodium (the amount in a single gram of table salt) causes your body to retain an extra 4 cups of water, which equals roughly 2 pounds of weight! So, when you eat that processed chicken or burger that on average has over 600mg of sodium, you will often see an overnight weight gain of 2 pounds. This can be extremely disheartening for someone who is working hard to lose weight.

 

Increased Appetite

There is also some evidence that high salt diets lead to an increase in appetite, causing us to eat more and ultimately consume more calories. A study by Friedrich C. Luft, M.D at the Center for Molecular Medicine found that urea, a bodily compound thought to be a waste product, has an important role in helping your body get rid of salt.

“Its function is to keep water in when our bodies get rid of salt,” Luft said. “Nature has apparently found a way to conserve water that would otherwise be carried away into the urine by salt.” But making urea takes a lot of energy, which leads to hunger! No wonder we so often fall completely off track after making only one small mistake in our diet.

 

Daily Salt minimum requirements are 180 mg with about 1500mg being a good standard to go by. If you choose a selection of different food options from your Ewyn food list, sticking to more complex carbs and non-processed food options, you will keep yourself within the recommended daily salt intake and watch those pounds drop off!

 

Changing Up Your Outdoor Activities

By Weight Loss Tips

It’s been a long couple of months. We’ve been stuck at home and our usual ways of exercising are off the table – no gyms, no organized sports or exercise classes, no playgrounds. Sure, many of us have made a point of figuring out other ways to exercise – but how many times can you walk or bike through the same neighbourhood before you tear your hair out from boredom? If you’re like us, you reached that point long ago – so we’ve scoured the internet and found lots of great ideas to change up your outdoor activities to keep you interested and keep burning calories! Check out these super fun activities you can do in your yard or neighbourhood – with lots to keep the kids entertained, too:

 

Plan an at-home scavenger hunt

Plan a weekend scavenger hunt for all the kids in the house. Go out the night before to hide small, cheap objects in and around the participating yard and house. Make the hunt as easy or as challenging as you want, depending on kids’ ages. Then on the big day, dole out lists of every item the children need to find and set them loose. Adults can play too!

 

Take a “Photo Walk”

A photo walk encourages you to get outside and looking at things from a different angle while taking pictures based on a theme.  Head  out with your camera and a theme (maybe choose one from the list below) and start snapping. Surprising things can be discovered this way, because you’re on the hunt for something specific and you need to work that little bit harder to find it.

 

Lawn Twister

Use circular stencils and spray paint to turn your lawn into a game board.

 

Water Balloon Dodge Ball

This one is pretty self-explanatory: dodgeball… but with water balloons. (Just don’t aim for people’s faces.) The kids will love this on a nice hot day, and do not underestimate the sweat you can work up with all that ducking and dodging!

 

Red Light Green Light

A good old-fashioned favourite that kids and adults can play together! First, you must decide on who will be the “crossing guard” and who will be the “vehicles”. The crossing guard gives commands and the vehicles will follow the commands. Designate a start and finish line about 50 feet apart (or as much space as you have in your yard or park area.) The crossing guard will stand at the finish line, and the vehicles will begin at the starting line. The crossing guard will either shout “green light”, which will allow the vehicles to move toward the finish line, or “red light”, which will force the vehicles to stop.

The first vehicle to reach the finish line wins. If any vehicle takes a step forward on a “red light” command, then that person must return to the starting line and restart. Be creative – the vehicles can move by not just running or walking but also by doing broad jumps, lunges, bear crawls, frog jumps, crab walks etc. for an extra tough workout!

 

Balloney Tunes Game

You will need at least 3 people to play this game, so it’s a great one for larger households or those with older kids!

Each person is designated a number from 1 to however many participants. One person will be standing with the balloon in hand in the middle of a square boundary (you can use chalk or washable paint on your grass to draw this boundary) while the other participants will be outside of the boundary. The participants outside of the boundary can be in a plank position, holding a squat position or standing in a normal stance. The idea is to wait for the participant holding the balloon to hit the balloon into the air and yell out the number of one of the other participants outside of the boundaries. Once another participant’s number is called, they are to run into the boundary and hit the balloon into the air before the balloon contacts the floor.

When the participant hits the balloon in the air, they must yell out the number of another participant (can be the number of the participant who called your number previously, it does not matter) and run back into the position they were in outside of the boundary. If the person outside of the boundary whose number is called does not stop the balloon from hitting the floor, then that person gets a point. That person will then be the next person to call out a number and continue the game. The participant with the LEAST number of points after three minutes of playing is the winner.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

By Recipes

 

Ingredients

  • 5oz Chicken
  • 2-3 Large Lettuce Leaves (Boston Lettuce works great – it’s flexible enough to roll without breaking apart!)
  • 1/4 Avocado
  • 1/4 Cup Tomato (Diced)
  • 1/4 Cup Red Onion (Diced)
  • 2 TBSP Low Fat Sour Cream
  • Sodium-Free Fajita Seasoning (Mrs. Dash makes a great one!)

Directions

Cook chicken with fajita seasoning. Fill lettuce leaves with cooked chicken, tomato, red onion and avocado. Top with sour cream.

Optional: Add salsa for extra flavour, black beans for a fiber kick, or substitute Sour Cream for Low Fat Plain Greek Yogurt for extra protein!

Tip: You can grill a chicken breast on the BBQ before cubing it and adding the fajita seasoning. You can also use ground chicken if you prefer.

Makes 1 Serving

 

VARIATION

Asian-Style Chicken Lettuce Wraps – Use sodium-free Asian seasoning instead of fajita seasoning. Substitute tomato and onion for 1/3 cup finely sliced cucumbers and 1/4 cup shredded carrots. Substitute sour cream for 1 TBSP wasabi paste.

Protein Waffles

By Recipes

Makes 1 serving (Counts as 1 Protein)

 

Ingredients

1 scoop of Evo Whey Protein (Vanilla, Chocolate, or Pina Colada Flavour)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1-2 TBSP water

 

Directions
Mix protein powder, baking powder and water until it is a thick consistency. Cook in a Waffle Iron or in a non-stick pan and make it into a pancake. You can top these with fruit, jam,(add on) nut butter (fat or add on) and a no-sugar syrup like Walden Farms Maple Syrup.

 

Enjoy!

Mother’s Day – Safe Ways to Celebrate Mom

By Uncategorized

 

As the pandemic leaves much of the world on hold, it has become clear that many upcoming holidays will have to have their celebrations altered. When it comes to Mother’s Day, however, there are still ways to make the mother in your life feel special whether she is near or far. We found some wonderful suggestions in an article by CTV writer Melissa Lopez-Martinez that we’ll share below:

 

STAY CONNECTED

For those who might not be able to physically be with the mothers in their life, it’s still important to stay connected.

Stylist and image consultant Barbara Aleks said a phone call or video chat is an easy way to accomplish this, but a handwritten letter delivered to them is a more personal touch that they won’t forget.

“A phone call, an email, setting up a Skype or Zoom call if you’re not physically with your mother or if you can’t be near them,” Aleks said to CTVNews.ca on Tuesday via phone call.

“But the one thing they would love more than anything is a letter – just a handwritten letter telling them how much they mean to you,” she said.

Aleks also recommends visiting your loved ones —from a safe distance of course— by driving by their home just to say hello.

 

GIFT IDEAS

While your mother’s favourite clothing store might be closed, there are alternatives through various online stores.

Lifestyle expert Julia Black shared her top picks for gifts any mother would enjoy on CTV’s Your Morning on Monday.

Black said an embroidered sleeping robe with a matching silk sleeping mask is a suitable gift for many mothers who might be lounging at home.

A more classic gift of jewelry can be taken up a step by ordering a custom necklace, either with the mother’s name or their initials.

To help those mothers that need to wind down and relax, Black recommends getting a teapot set or plant to aid in creating a more relaxing atmosphere around the house.

“We all know moms need to unwind, especially after a long day of work and online learning,” she said.

 

ACTIVITIES

As for activities, Aleks said it’s best to go online. While your mother might have to skip the hair salon for now, she can attend a virtual hair or fashion style appointment from home to receive beauty and style tips she can do herself at home.

“A lot of companies are doing virtual consults. Maybe she wants to get her hair done in a certain way, get her connected to a stylist in her neighbourhood. Anything she would be able to enjoy virtually is a great idea,” Aleks said.

For those who live with a special mother, Aleks said one of the best gifts to give them is the day off.

“If you’re living with someone who is a mother give her the day off, clean the house, do the laundry … make the day hers and do everything for her, so she doesn’t have to lift a finger,” she said.

Other possible activities can include cooking a family dinner, having a game night or watching her favourite film.

Ultimately, it’s all about that “extra effort” in making the mother in your life feel acknowledged and loved especially during these unprecedented times. Aleks said the pandemic has been a difficult issue that Canadians are struggling with collectively, so any opportunity to find a silver lining can help many get through the pandemic.

“We’re all struggling and stressed from these uncertain times, so if there’s any chance to celebrate and bring some joy back into our lives then I say take the opportunity,” she said.