FINDING YOUR WHY

By Uncategorized, Weight Loss Tips
       Written By: Nicola Desrochers

 

Experts agree that one of the best ways to achieve any goal is to have a clear understanding as to why that goal is important to you! Weight loss goals can seem daunting and overwhelming and a constant battle with ourselves on making good choices versus succumbing to the constant bombardment of fast food, unhealthy snacks and those around us that push us into “oh just one wont hurt” If you have any chance of surviving all the obstacles you will face, you must understand why you started in the first place!

Finding your why can be an emotional process as you must dig deep and be completely honest with yourself. Maybe it is playing with your kids without getting winded after 5 minutes, maybe it is feeling good about yourself when you meet someone special, maybe it is feeling sexy and rekindling a relationship or my absolute favourite client memory “I want to fit into an airplane seat and not be “that guy” walking down the aisle that no one wants to sit beside” This client went on to lose 145 lbs. with Ewyn Studios and took that trip that he had waited 20 years to take!

Finding your why is looking at your current situation and deciding that you are not where you want to be. Sure a vacation, outfit or even a wedding dress can motivate you to work towards that goal but in my experience these are short term motivators and once we take that trip, or wear that outfit we lose drive and head back in the wrong direction. Long term success is about not wanting to spend one more day, sad when you look in the mirror, defeated when you go shopping or too tired to play with your kids.

If you are ready to commit to a lifestyle change, do not want to spend the rest of your life on the dieting rollercoaster then it is time to work on your why.

We have created a why worksheet that will help you start to map out your journey, do not rush this process, be honest with yourself as it is always easier to find an excuse than to find one thing that you can do and do it. If you need help with some areas reach out to your Ewyn Health Coach to help you with some action plans to overcome those obstacles, and this why worksheet is for you, you do not have to share it but if you do you will give your Ewyn coaches, your partner and even your family some insight into why this journey is so important to you and the support you will receive will help guide you through those days you feel like you are failing. But remember one, two even three bad days is not failure its just a couple bad days! You do not think top athletes have bad days? Sure, they do! They just had a crystal-clear vision as to why they wanted what they wanted and they pushed through, oh right with the help of a coach!

“The most effective way to do it, is to do it”-Amelia Earhert

CALORIES, FRIEND OR FOE?

By Weight Loss Tips
Written By: Craig Warrian

Let’s talk calories. It’s everyone’s favourite subject… isn’t it? Do we need calories? What the heck even is a calorie? A calorie is just a calorie, right? Or is it? In this article, we’ll explore these questions about our friend (or foe) the calorie.

Let us start by taking a step back and answer the question “What is a Calorie?”. A calorie isn’t a “thing”. You can’t actually see a calorie or taste it… it is a unit of measure. A calorie is typically defined as the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree Celsius. Therefore, a calorie is a unit of energy. Now, you’re armed with information that many of your friends don’t have, go out and tell someone!

Funny enough, when people are standing around talking about calories or you’re in the grocery store reading a food label and looking at the number of calories in food, those are actually kilocalories (kcal). A kilocalorie is sometimes referred to as a “large calorie”. The definition for kcal is a bit different. A kilocalorie is typically defined as the amount of heat required to heat 1 kilogram of water by 1 degree celsius. Therefore, a kilocalorie is equal to 1,000 calories (or small calories). For the purposes of this article, we will refer to a kilocalorie as a “calorie”.

If a calorie is the amount of energy or potential energy that an object contains, what does that mean to me? And do I need them?

Yes, you absolutely need a certain number of calories to survive. If you consumed zero calories for an extended period of time, your body, your organs etc. would begin to shut down and stop functioning. Energy is required for our bodies to function. The way we acquire calories/energy is in the form of food and drink that we consume.

If all we need is energy to fuel our systems, then a calorie must be just a calorie. Are all calories created equal? Now, this is a much more difficult and highly debated question to answer. The quick answer I will provide is NO, not all calories are created equal.

When looking at weight management, the question is how do calories factor in? It is generally believed that to “lose weight”, all you have to do is burn more calories than you consume. Is it the simple belief that by dropping daily caloric intake one drops unwanted pounds? This is where the debate starts … “is a calorie just a calorie”? In theory, yes, if you burn more than you consume, you’ll eventually lose weight. What this doesn’t take into consideration is the make up or quality of those calories. Certain sources of calories have a very different impact on our bodies.

At a very high level, the caloric load of our 3 main macro-nutrients are as follows (per 1 gram):

· Carbohydrate: 4 calories per gram

· Fat: 9 calories per gram

· Protein: 4 calories per gram

Taking a quick glance at the information above it’s easy to see why we might cut down on our daily intake of fat if we’re just trying to “manage” our daily intake of calories. Wouldn’t it make sense to eat a little more carbohydrates and protein and drop the fat? Fat has over double the caloric load of

carbohydrates and protein (9 vs 4) per gram. But (there’s always a but), is it that simple? If I reduce my dietary fat intake and eat a little higher amount of carbs and proteins, while keeping my calories at a “reasonable” level, will I lose the weight I want to lose? To answer that question, I will refer to the past 50 years as our test case. Over the past 50 years, the North American population has gotten heavier and unhealthier in the form of obesity and chronic diseases. Since about the 1960-70s, our percentage of total daily calories in the form of fat has indeed dropped, by approx. 10% (from about 40% to 30%). Now the question is what has gone up?

In short, carbohydrate consumption is what has increased over the past 50 or so years. One quick example is that the consumption of soft drinks and fruit drinks has increased tremendously over this time period. As a conservative calculation, 1 can of a soft drink consumed a day equates to approx. 15.6 lbs of weight gain per year. This is most likely higher as items that elevate your insulin (storage hormone) rapidly, will cause you to gain more weight even if the calories are the same. You might be thinking, “thank goodness I don’t drink a can of pop every day, this doesn’t apply to me”. This isn’t reserved to a can of pop or fruit drinks. That sweetened tea, sweetened latte, few cookies, Halloween treat, store bought crackers/snacks etc. (processed foods) all have a similar impact.

Here’s the thing, we’re not trying to vilify all carbohydrates. The message that we’re trying to point out is that processed foods, especially those with added sugar (almost 75% of packaged foods do) are the ones that we really need to limit/avoid.

Calories aren’t the enemy. They are nor good nor bad. Carbohydrates are nor good, nor bad and the same goes for fats and protein. (In case you missed it, check out our previous blog post regarding fats.) Not all calories are created equal. You can eat the same amount of calories in the form of snacks, juices, pop etc. versus wild salmon, broccoli and sweet potato and have a very different outcome of health and weight gain/loss. Keep the vast majority of your daily/weekly/monthly caloric load in the form of “real food” and your health and waistline will thank you for it.

Remember, a calorie is not just a calorie. In the end, embrace all the calories you consume, they make up the energy of life. Just make sure the calories you are consuming are coming from a great source. Take control of your calorie consumption. Take control of your health.

Sources:

Is a Calorie a Calorie? Processed Food, Experiment Gone Wrong
https://www.verywellfit.com/what-is-a-calorie-and-why-should-i-care-349623

TACO STUFFED SWEET POTATO SIDE

By Recipes

Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 15 min
Total Time: 20 min

Ingredients:

  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • 4 small, sweet potatoes (about 5oz each)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp Zest
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup water

Toppings (optional):

  • 1/4 avocado, diced
  • 1 tbsp low fat sour cream

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef and garlic in a large skillet over medium high heat. Drain grease and add the water and seasonings.

2. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for about 5 more minutes until mixture has thickened and is heated through.

3. While the meat is cooking, poke holes all over the sweet potatoes and cook in the microwave for 8-10 minutes on high, turning sweet potatoes over once halfway through. If potatoes are not soft enough, continue cooking 1-3 minutes more. Allow sweet potatoes to cool slightly, then slice them lengthwise and fluff the insides with a fork.

Assemble:

1. Measure out 2 oz of taco meat and spoon over the sweet potato

2. Top with ½ oz cheddar cheese and 1 Tbsp of low-fat sour cream

3. Sprinkle with chives

Sweet Potato Side Counts as: ½ protein, 1 carb, 1 fat and ½ add on

*To make a complete dinner, use 1 cup of field greens, 2 cups of veggies and 2 oz of taco meat. Top with 2 Tbsp of salsa and ½ oz of cheddar cheese to make a tasty taco salad.

Taco Salad Counts as: 2 vegetables, ½ protein and ½ add on

EWYN BANANA BREAD

By Recipes, Uncategorized

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats
  • ½ tsp of cinnamon
  • ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • ½ cup vanilla whey protein
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 4 egg-whites
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ cups mashed banana (approximately 3)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray loaf pan with cooking spray. Mix all ingredients together in a blender beginning with dry and blend until smooth. Pour mixture into loaf pan and bake 40 – 45 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool and slice 8 slices. Enjoy!
Store leftovers in fridge up to 1 week or in freezer up to 1 month

Thank you to Heather from Ewyn Studios Goderich, ON for the recipe!

BROCCOLI SOUP

By Recipes, Uncategorized

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 3.5 cups broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • Ground pepper to taste

Directions:

Bring the vegetable broth to a boil in a large pan. Add the broccoli florets and 1.5 tbsp olive oil. Cook for at least 10 minutes or until soft. While the broccoli is cooking, sauté onions in .5 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. When cooked, transfer broccoli mixture and onion to a blender in batches and puree or use an immersion blender. Return soup to pot and heat over medium heat for a few minutes. Divide into four equal portions. Drizzle .5 tbsp olive oil on each serving when ready to eat with freshly ground pepper to taste. Enjoy!

*Substitutions:
Could use cauliflower instead of broccoli or a combination of the two!

Thank you to Carol Tieu from Ewyn Studios Carleton Place, ON for the recipe!

Makes 1 serving, 4 portions 

MAGNESIUM… THAT MINERAL YOU MAY BE MISSING!

By Uncategorized, Weight Loss Tips
Written By: Dean Esser

 

What does Magnesium do for you? What doesn’t it do?!

Magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical processes within our bodies. This means that if you’re deficient in magnesium, your body is unable to do these 300 things effectively. Slightly more troubling, upwards of 80% of us are deficient in this key mineral. Let’s take a closer look at a few important processes that magnesium plays a vital role in.

Lacking sleep? Having trouble getting to sleep? Many of us don’t sleep well. In fact, nearly 50% of older adults have insomnia, with difficulty getting to sleep, waking up early or worse yet, not feeling refreshed when you wake because you didn’t sleep well. This is partly due to our lifestyle factors and changes in your circadian rhythms, but also from a decrease in nutrients. You may have heard that magnesium helps you sleep. Well, you are right! In fact, it’s a key nutrient for sleep that must be eaten or taken in supplements and properly absorbed to get a good night’s sleep.

Magnesium prepares your body for sleep by relaxing your muscles. It also helps to “shut your mind off,” and calms your nerves by regulating two of your brain’s messengers called neurotransmitters that tend to keep you awake. Magnesium is also essential to maintain a healthy ‘biological clock’ & sleep cycle. Getting enough magnesium helps reduce & prevent sleep disorders.

Magnesium can protect your heart! If you’re an athlete, I’m sure you already know that magnesium is important for muscles. So, what about the most important muscle in your body? Lower magnesium in your diet equates with higher risks of heart disease. That’s because magnesium fuels the heart, protects your heart’s pump, prevents heart attacks, and provides elasticity for heart & blood vessels. Magnesium plays an important role in regulating your blood pressure. It relaxes “smooth muscle” cells, meaning those in your veins and arteries, so they don’t constrict the flow of blood. It also regulates other minerals vital to blood pressure.

Magnesium even helps prevent asthma! Shortness of breath? Tight Chest? Trouble sleeping because you’re coughing or wheezing — you know it when you have symptoms of asthma. Magnesium is often used as therapy in hospitals for life-threatening asthma.

Looking to improve your digestion & relieve constipation? Magnesium can do both! But don’t forget to listen to your gut. Rectify a digestion problem before it becomes chronic. Whether you suffer from acid reflux, constipation, gas, bloating or indigestion, the food you eat isn’t being properly processed. This reduces your ability to absorb nutrients from it, and can result in long-term, serious health issues.

Without magnesium, your body can’t perform the “mechanics” of digestion, make hydrochloric acid (stomach acid), make digesting enzymes for processing carbs, proteins and fats, and repair and protect your digestive organs (esophagus, stomach, intestines, pancreas, colon).

As soon as you put food into your mouth, magnesium comes into play. It helps to make enzymes in your saliva that break food down into smaller parts, helping the entire digestive process. The hormones that tell your stomach to produce digestive acid need magnesium to be made; without it, you can’t digest food.

So, if you are looking for a better sleep? Or better digestion? Or constipation relief?

Ewyn Weight Loss Studios PM/BM Magnesium has Exactly What You Need.

THE NEW AGE OF COCONUT OIL

By Uncategorized, Weight Loss Tips
Written By: Craig Warrian

 

Coconut Oil is a natural antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral and anti-parasitic. Coconut oil, or copra oil, is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or “meat” of mature coconuts harvested from the coconut palm.

When we consume coconut oil, our bodies break the oil down into its individual components of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) or Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs).  These individual components are what make coconut oil unique.

Below are the 4 types of Fatty Acids that make up coconut oil:

  • 48% Lauric Acid, which is a 12-chain saturated fatty acid
  • 7% Capric Acid, which is a 10-chain saturated fatty acid
  • 8% Caprylic Acid, which is an 8-chain fatty acid
  • 5% Caproic Acid, which is a 6-chain fatty acid

So how do these fatty acids help and why do they matter?

Let’s take a quick step back. When we get sick with some bacterial infection, our Doctors have the ability to prescribe anti-biotics to help us fight that infection. Unfortunately, this is not the case with Viruses. Anti-biotics do not help us fight viruses.

Many Viruses and Bacteria are enveloped in a very flexible, lipid (fat) membrane. This allows these organisms to move, bend and flex freely and to squeeze into very tiny spaces.

Lipid-coated viruses and bacteria are easily killed by MCFAs. Compounds such as Lauric acid (C-12) (found most abundantly in nature in Coconut and Palm Kernel oils) have the ability to disrupt the viruses outer membrane and destroy them.

MCFAs are smaller than other fatty acids in the “skin” and have the ability to weaken the already very fluid membrane to a degree that it falls apart, and in turn destroying the virus. The best part is, these MCFAs will help destroy unwanted visitors without causing any harm to human tissues. WIN WIN!

Our recommendations for using Coconut oil? Keep plenty of Coconut oil on hand! When using it on your skin as a moisturizer, it makes your skin look and feel beautiful, but also provides a barrier of protection.

Coconut oil can also be ingested when feeling sick! If you’re feeling symptoms of an illness, take 2-3 tbsp of coconut oil mixed in luke warm water! (yes, I know that doesn’t sound tasty, but it will help) Your symptoms may naturally worsen over the short term (1-2 days) but will improve over the next few days as the MCFAs do their thing.

Some of you may be wondering, is MCT oil the same thing and have the same benefits? The answer is Yes and No. MCT oil is typically a combination of Capric (C-10) and Caprylic Acid (C-8). Both have anti-microbial properties, but not as impactful as Lauric Acid (C-12). Therefore, for maximum benefits use Coconut Oil when you can, but don’t avoid MCT oil, it will also have benefits (Brain, Immune etc.).

FYI consuming coconut oil is not going to prevent you from contracting COVID-19. This information is provided for informational purposes only and is not to replace any health recommendations from your Doctor or Health Canada.

If you currently do not consume Coconut oil on a regular basis, increasing its consumption may create a bit of stomach upset. As your body gets used to the Coconut oil, this feeling will go away.

In recent years the popularity of coconut and particularly coconut oil has soared because of publicized health benefits. Fueling the coconut oil trend, celebrity endorsements have claimed the ingredient to help blast away belly fat, curb appetite, strengthen the immune system, and even prevent heart disease!

As consumer demand for plant-based foods increases, coconut oil has become a popular fat choice for its rich flavor with a mild coconut aroma.

Remember to store coconut oil in a cool dark location in a sealed container or in the refrigerator. The shelf life will vary depending on the type of processing and how it is stored. Refined coconut oil generally lasts for a few months, whereas virgin coconut oil may last for 2-3 years if stored properly away from heat and light.

STACEY’S CHICKEN BUDDHA BOWL

By Recipes, Uncategorized

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz cooked ground chicken (could substitute for turkey or fish)
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, cooked (or rice)
  • 1 cup peppers and zucchini, chopped (or other veggies)
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp fat free dressing (of your choice)

Directions:

Cook the chicken on the stove top in the avocado oil. In a bowl layer the vegetables on top of your cooked quinoa or rice. Spread ground chicken over vegetables and quinoa. Spoon fat free dressing over bowl. Mix together if desired and ENJOY!

Thank you to Stacey Burchat from Ewyn Studios Carleton Place, ON for the recipe!

Makes 1 serving.