THE BASICS OF BCAAS (BRANCHED CHAIN AMINO ACIDS)

By Weight Loss Tips
Information by: Charles Poliquin

What are Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)?  BCAAs are essentially the individual components of protein.  As we consume protein, our body will break that protein down into tiny components that can be absorbed and those are called Amino Acids.

Essential BCAAs are made up of three ‘essential’ amino acids, leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They are essential because the body is unable to make them out of other amino acids, meaning they must be ingested through food or supplements. The BCAAs make up 40 percent of the daily requirement of all nine essential amino acids, indicating their importance.

The BCAAs are found in foods containing protein, with the highest concentrations in chicken, beef, salmon, eggs, and whey protein. They can also be supplemented, which can be useful for many of us because free form BCAAs (those consumed via supplement form don’t require our body to break the proteins down into individual BCAAs) bypass the liver and gut tissue and go directly to the blood stream.

As their name suggests, BCAAs have a branched side chain that simplifies the job of converting each amino acid into energy during exertion. They make up about 35 percent of all muscle tissue. The more BCAAs that are present in the muscles, the more they will be used for energy, slowing the breakdown of muscles cells, and preventing muscle loss.

WHEN TO TAKE BCAAS?

The benefits of BCAA’s are greatest when taking during/after your cardio/exercise routine. As that is when you breakdown your amino acids in your muscles and can refuel them through supplementation. However, BCAAs can be taken several times per day with added benefits and really any time you are looking for a refreshing drink!

BCAAS ENHANCE MUSCLE PROTEIN SYNTHESIS

BCAAs are well known for triggering protein synthesis. Combining BCAAs with resistance exercise results in maximal protein synthesis because they both trigger something called the mTORC1 signaling pathway that is essential for muscle building.

Another great benefit of BCAAs is that if you have to take time off from training due to injury, a need for a break, or lack of time, increasing your BCAA intake will minimize muscle loss. In addition, because BCAAs trigger protein synthesis even in the absence of exercise, the preservation of lean muscle tissue can keep metabolism up and help prevent fat gain when inactive.

LEUCINE-ENRICHED BCAAS EQUALIZE MUSCLE BUILDING BETWEEN OLD & YOUNG

The BCAA leucine can increase protein synthesis by as much as 145 percent when you take it after strength training. It’s become popular lately to take leucine alone without valine and isoleucine, however this is not supported by the literature.

For older people, leucine intake with the other BCAAs is paramount. As you age, creating a muscle-building environment in the body is important, but hard to do. Activation of protein synthesis is impaired, dropping off after age 35. This decreased muscle-building effect along with a tendency to eat less dietary protein with aging are the primary contributors to muscle loss and sarcopenia.

Leucine-enriched BCAAs (a BCAA mixture that is 40 percent leucine) are a “cure” for this because they have been shown to elevate and prolong protein synthesis even in older people in a dose-dependent manner after resistance training.

Remember, the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn in a day!  Therefore, when body fat loss is the goal, you really want to at minimum preserve your lean muscle and at best put a bit of muscle on to help burn away your stored body fat.

BCAAS INCREASE FAT BURNING AND CAN SUPPORT FAT LOSS

Surveys show that people with a higher BCAA intake in their diets have less body fat, more muscle, and better body composition.

Isoleucine improves glucose tolerance, while leucine increases energy expenditure and fat oxidation. Greater fat mobilization allows for a more flexible metabolism, which can enable fat loss from a combination of training and diet.

In a review of the role that the essential amino acids play in body composition, scientists wrote that the BCAAs “appear to have unique obesity-reducing effects” because they decrease food intake and body weight by increasing the gene signaling of muscle building pathways.

BCAAS ENHANCE ENDURANCE PERFORMANCE AND DECREASE FATIGUE

Reducing fatigue and improving endurance performance is the clinical trial area where BCAAs perform most impressively. There are two mechanisms via which BCAAs improve performance.

First, BCAAs can be burned as energy to maintain ATP energy levels during glycogen-depleting exercise. BCAAs may also enhance the body’s ability to burn fat, increasing the accessible energy pool.

Second, BCAAs prevent central fatigue of the nervous system by inhibiting uptake of tryptophan into the brain. Tryptophan is used to make serotonin in the brain, increasing tiredness and fatigue. Scientists who study the limits of human performance believe that the real limiting factor in performance is when the brain tells you “I’m done.”

BCAAS DECREASE MUSCLE SORENESS & DOMS FOR GREATER TRAINING FREQUENCY

A series of studies on both trained and untrained individuals show that BCAAs are worth the time and money to reduce (not prevent) DOMS in response to both resistance and endurance exercise.

BCAAs are the gem of workout/exercise supplements because they preserve the integrity of muscle fibers and reduce post-workout soreness, allowing you to train or do cardio at a higher intensity more frequently.

BCAAS IMPROVE INSULIN HEALTH & MAY REDUCE DIABETES RISK

The BCAA isoleucine improves glucose tolerance on its own, and the whole trio of BCAAs can support insulin sensitivity and metabolic rate for improved body composition.

BCAAS CORRELATE WITH LONGEVITY AND ARE THERAPEUTIC

BCAAs are used in medicine to treat liver disease, prevent muscle loss with aging, and reduce mortality risk with cancer. In addition to being therapeutic, BCAAs have an anti-aging effect because they increase the formation of new mitochondria.

In a review on BCAAs and human health, scientists write that BCAAs “behave as evolutionary conserved modulators of lifespan,” meaning they will help you live longer if you get enough of them. They also have been found to improve cognition because of the effect they have on the neurotransmitters, improving synthesis of glutamate and GABA and inhibiting serotonin.

Try adding Ewyn’s BCAA’s into your routine, it might be Exactly What You Need!

CIRCULATION

By Weight Loss Tips
Written By: Craig Warrian

This week, let’s investigate a key bodily function that gets very little, to no, love in the main stream “health and wellness” space, circulation.

Circulation of blood is one of the most important functions of the body.  Without circulation, there is no life.  This vital bodily function is regulated primarily by one of the body’s most important organs: the heart.  Many of us downplay the importance of proper circulation, by making lifestyle choices that prevent its proper function. Lack of regular movement, smoking, poor diet, untreated blood clots and prolonged sitting are contributing factors to less than optimal circulation.  Those of us suffering from diabetes, smoke, or are over 50 seem to be the most at risk.  Read on to find out more about the benefits and risks of blood circulation and a few simple ways to improve it.

Benefits:

Proper circulation is required to transport many key nutrients such as oxygen and  signaling molecules (hormones) around the body.  Without a robust circulatory system, many of our body’s systems can’t function properly.  The following are just some of the key benefits when your body is circulating properly:

  • Waste removal – with good circulation, your body can collect, transport and dispose of the waste that many organs create within the body.
  • Organ performance – strong circulation “feeds” your body’s key organs with all the necessary components they need to perform optimally
  • Increased energy
  • Reduced risk of disease
  • Increased oxygenated blood flow to body (lungs, heart and other muscles to operate properly)

Risks:

We’ve covered some of the key benefits or advantages of good circulation, now let’s explore some of the challenges we all face when we don’t have proper blood flow.

  • Lack of energy
  • Poorer performing memory, due to less oxygenated blood to the brain
  • Women – hair loss (alopecia)
  • Men – erectile dysfunction
  • Slower wound healing – white blood cells not circulating as effectively
  • Poor muscle performance, development, pain and stiffness (lack of oxygen supplied to muscles)
  • Numbness or cramping in extremities

How to improve circulation:

I hope we can all agree that having proper circulation is a good thing and something we should be trying to ensure works optimally.  Now, let’s take a look at a few strategies of helping our bodies achieve good blood flow:

  • Movement – move your body. Get out and be physical.  Whether that means going for a brisk walk, a challenging hike, dancing, riding a bike or shoveling snow… get out and move often.  Ensure that some of the movement you choose, is done regularly and is physically challenging. This is not your day to day movement.  This is such things as resistance training, weightlifting, brisk/speed walk, a run, swimming… not floating… swimming etc.
  • Yoga – yoga is a wonderful way to increase circulation. The bending, stretching and holding of different poses does a wonderful job of using your muscles, stretching soft tissues and the compressing and decompressing of veins can really take your circulation up a notch
  • Massage – massages, whether performed by a certified RMT or just a relaxing way for you and your partner to connect is a great way to relieve stress, reduce waste in your muscles and increase blood flow to the treated areas.
  • Hydration – though water may not be the most exciting beverage you can consume in a day, making sure you get a lot of it in every 24hrs will help you stay hydrated, flush waste/toxins and keep your blood flowing freely. Water is where the focus needs to be… not other beverages (for more information on hydration, please see our previous article here )
  • Omega 3s – who says fat is bad for you?! Omega 3 fatty acid consumption can absolutely help your circulation and reduce inflammation in your body.  Consuming it through natural seafood options is best.  If seafood is not your thing, then a good Omega 3 supplement will do the trick  (for more information on healthy fat options, please see our article here)

Taking control of our circulation is just another step in our journey of trying to live healthier and have more energy rich, fulfilling lives.  No matter your goals, whether it be disease prevention, weight loss, optimal health or just trying to be a bit better today than you were yesterday, improving circulation is going to get you one step closer.

Please reach out to your EWYN health coach for more invigorating and creative ideas of how you can hit your goals faster than ever.  EWYN is Exactly What You Need!

EMBRACE YOUR JOURNEY

By Weight Loss Tips
Written By: Craig Warrian

 

Are you looking for change in your life? Any kind of change? New job, new relationship, new car, losing weight perhaps? If so, what is required to achieve that change.

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then the answer to achieving change is change! To achieve change in our lives, we typically need to take on a certain amount of transformation to get the desired result.  And that’s the key… change is required to achieve change… makes sense?

When it comes to weight loss, most people know what modifications they typically should take on, or they have a general idea of some of the things they should change. If they know what changes they should embark on, why aren’t more of us successful?

Let’s investigate that a bit. If most people know what to do, why are obesity numbers in North America continuing to climb? We have more health facilities and 24 hour gyms available to us than ever before, more ripped Instagram influencers (funny how that wasn’t even a thing more than 7-10 years ago) than you can shake a stick at, yet we’re not seeing the numbers come down.

We are not here to break down all the reasons why obesity continues to rise and plague modern day society. What I do want to address is the fundamental fact that change requires change. But what kind of change do we require?

Change can come in a million different shapes and sizes, but one thing is for sure; to achieve long lasting weight loss, more than just a temporary “change” is required.

We see it so often, a client joins EWYN studios and doesn’t fully adopt the idea that the change they need to take on is a journey… and it is their journey. They place much of the responsibility of success on the health coach and don’t take the necessary ownership. Yes, your EWYN health coaches are magicians but there’s only so many magic tricks that they can pull off until your sense of responsibility needs to take over. There needs to be a sense of ownership and/or full commitment. I know it sounds intimidating, but it really needs to be a lifelong/lifestyle change that you need to adopt.

If and when you make that mental shift, the results will be absolutely life changing and your weight loss goals become a lifelong priority. Decisions, discipline and commitment become a whole lot easier.

Remember, a lifestyle change isn’t static. You don’t just take on a specific couple of changes and never change the formula. You have a lifetime to figure out what makes you feel and operate optimally, but you need to commit long-term to the new formula. You may initially decide to remove processed foods from your diet and start to move/exercise 3 times a week. Over time, those changes may shift to include a lot more detail. Perhaps you improve your hydration, upgrade the quality of your whole food diet, focus on sleep quality and start new physical activities you never dreamt of.

It’s okay if the lifestyle change(s)… change.  It’s okay if your goals and target shift along with it. You may have set out to originally lose 20 or 30lbs and you find along the way that losing the additional 25lbs that you never thought was possible is just a byproduct of the lifestyle changes you’ve firmly adopted.  Change requires change, but more importantly it requires a commitment to consistency.

The human body is incredibly resilient. It is fascinating to see how adaptable we can be when we need to. Something such as taste buds can be altered with just a few weeks of “practice”. So many of us have acquired strong tastes/desires for sweet and/or salty flavours and it is not your fault. So many of the foods we consume today are filled with hidden added sugar and salt. Our taste buds get programmed to expect them and will actually search those tastes out in the way of cravings. If we are able to adjust our food intake, reduce the sweet and salty for a few weeks, our tastebuds will adjust and not be so hypersensitive to them. To do this, it takes a bit of time, consistency, achievable (and moderate) goals and the adoption and ownership of a bigger journey.

Always remember that to achieve change, it requires a corresponding change. To achieve sustained change, you must commit to your journey/lifestyle change. The journey won’t always be easy or short-lived. There will be bumps along with way, but you need to embrace those bumps and understand that you are not alone on your path. Your EWYN health coach will be with you every step of the wayand provide, Exactly What You Need.

What is a Pre-Workout Supplement?

By Weight Loss Tips
Written By: Dean Esser

Like protein powders and other types of health supplements, the term “pre-workout supplement” can refer to a variety of products.

As the name suggests, pre-workout supplements are intended to be taken immediately before your workout. Why? The general idea is for these supplements to increase your energy, focus, strength, endurance and overall performance for the coming activity. But, are there actually any benefits to using pre-workout supplement?

As mentioned, the goal of a pre-workout supplement is to enhance the quality of your workouts or cardio. But not only that, a pre-workout supplement can be taken to increase your energy throughout the day, just like a coffee or energy drink!  Precisely how this is accomplished will depend entirely on the ingredients found in the product of your choice.

Typically, pre-workouts include stimulants like caffeine to increase your energy levels, along with various other substances intended to make your body better equipped to handle the demands of your workout. Some of those specific benefits include:

1. Increase Energy Levels

Anyone who has ever tried to power through a workout or cardio after a poor night’s sleep or long day at work knows what it’s like to feel as if your athletic performance is suffering.

You deserve kudos for doing your workout/cardio while feeling so tired, but it can simply be disappointing to know that you’re not able to put in 100% of your effort because of your low energy levels.

This is the number one benefit of using a pre-workout supplement before hitting your workout/cardio.

2. Improved Performance 

Thanks to that added burst of energy from your pre-workout supplement, you’ll be prepared to walk faster, or train harder and longer than you normally would be able to.

Improving performance in your cardio or workout, means more calories burned and thus more fat loss and weight loss.

3. Increased Focused

The benefits of using a pre-workout supplement goes beyond physical performance; you will be more focused and have a clearer mind, to keep hit your workout or cardio and make the most of it for that day.

Dieting or eating clean and achieving weight loss goals is not all physical, there is a huge mental component, and it can be easy to psyche yourself out or lose motivation and quit early. A pre-workout supplement will help you with your motivation levels and help you concentrate on the task at hand.

4. Speed Up Your Recovery Time

Muscle soreness and fatigue after an intense workout or cardio session can make you feel incredibly accomplished, but they can also slow down your recovery time and delay you getting back to your next workout or cardio.

Ingredients in your pre-workout supplement can help your sore muscles recover more rapidly and promote faster healing. Faster recovery time means less down time between workouts, and more efficient cardio sessions each and every time.

So, are pre-workout supplements beneficial? Simply put, pre-workout supplements allow you to work at higher intensities than you might otherwise be capable of. As a result, your body will make more rapid changes as it adapts. Most pre-workouts are formulated to increase performance and muscle.  Ewyn’s Pre-Workout not only has these benefits, but it also has ingredients to increase fat burning and weight loss. Ewyn’s Pre-Workout has Exactly What You Need!

MAKING TIME FOR MOTIVATION

By Weight Loss Tips

By: Dean Esser 

Motivation. We could all use some from time to time. Hell!  With many of us being in ‘Lockdown’ we could use a cupboard full of it! Homeschooling, working from home, no where to go, the list seems to go on and on and sometimes those days drag on and on as well. I mean, do they make motivation in a bottle? Well, Ewyn does!

We could all benefit from some extra energy and motivation. Whether it be to help our children with schooling, get us motivated for the workday or heck, get us out of our pajamas in the morning!  Sure, a cup of java can help, but finding a little extra motivation never hurt anyone! Lets get out for those walks right now! Let’s do that at home workout to burn off some extra calories and maybe more importantly some extra steam!

This is our time to shine. This is our time to show everyone and ourselves what we are made of during this ‘lockdown’. I don’t know about you, but I’m coming out of this lockdown a new person, with new goals and a new body. I’m coming out proud and ready to take on the year. COVID or not, it doesn’t matter. I’m 40 this year and I am on the road to #fitfor40. What are you going to do this year?

I challenge you to make 2021 your year! Despite all the obstacles we can still come out on top. Life is always filled with roadblocks, obstacles and excuses (I’ve hit many obstacles and made my fair share of excuses). So, what’s different? Maybe this year has more challenges than normal, but it also is limiting our opportunities for indulgences (not much in the way of peer pressure going on right now). We can’t be tempted to go to our favourite bar or restaurant. So in a way, we have some advantages to losing weight and getting in shape!

Let’s kick this year up a notch and if you need some help, try Ewyn’s Motivation supplement! Motivation improves your mindset, boosts focus, optimizes endurance and increases energy, all while burning some extra unwanted body fat.

Come on, it’s Exactly What You Need!

NEW YEAR, NEW GOALS!

By Uncategorized, Weight Loss Tips

New Year, New You! Sounds corny but there is no better time to look at the past year and into the new year. Looking back on 2020 and how crazy it was, it had a lot of different stressors and unique challenges to deal with. But take a second look back and see all the good that happened amongst all the chaos.  What good thing happened for you in 2020? Most of us had to put life on hold and while doing so it gave us time to realize what was important in our lives – Friends and Family and it gave us time to reconnect those relationships.  Life forced us to see the things we were missing and appreciate them. We can now take these lessons and bring them into 2021!

January is a great time to make the decision to dive into what we want to do differently this year. What do we want to learn? What do we want to give up/gain? What did the previous year teach us? Resolutions can be challenging as we often find them hard to stick to. Dieting is on the top of a lot of people’s lists (especially with the COVID 15!).

Why not look at why we want to lose weight instead of setting a goal to diet? Maybe it is to run with our kids or hike without falling behind the pack. Make a goal of hiking 5 miles or running 5 miles. Now look at the steps needed to achieve that! If losing some weight is one of the resolutions, then decide on one thing to change to get there! We too often set big expectations, fall short and then give up because we feel we have “failed”! If losing weight is on the top of our resolutions every year maybe this year is the year to reach out for some help, hiring a coach is one way we can make sure next year “losing weight” is not on that list! Even the best of the best has a coach to keep them on track, focused and aligned to hit their goals!

If it is hard to get motivated to go into 2021 with some clear goals and things to achieve, reach out to a personal health coach, as the door to EWYN is always open!

HYDRATION

By Weight Loss Tips

Written By: Craig Warrian

If I asked what the most important nutrient is that we as humans consume, what would be the answer?  Would it be protein?  Perhaps carbohydrates?  Maybe a low-carb eating protocol, we would say that fats are most important.  How many would say water?  Needless to say, plain old water does not get enough publicity unless, of course, it is bottled, infused, coloured and “jacked up” with the latest health craze ingredients.

Plain and simple, water is the most important nutrient we can consume.  Every aspect of our body requires water to function properly.  We can survive weeks without food, but only days or hours without water.  Statistics have revealed that 75% of people are operating in a dehydrated state every single day. Is this something to be alarmed about? The answer is, it depends.  To be living a healthy life and allowing the body to operate optimally then yes, we should be alarmed and take action.

Being hydrated each day is crucial to many aspects of overall health.  Being properly hydrated helps regulate body temperature, provide proper joint lubrication, supports infection prevention and nutrient delivery to cells to name a few.  If our body is well hydrated it will also improve sleep quality, mental cognition and overall mood.

If we are properly hydrated, the mechanisms within our bodies that we use to filter and remove waste will also function with improved efficiency.  Staying hydrated allows our kidneys, liver, skin and colon all process, filter as they should.  Even mild cases of dehydration can throw these systems off balance.  Constipation is something that can occur very easily if we are not taking in and absorbing the appropriate levels of hydrating fluids.  If our body is short on water, the colon will strip moisture from our stool, so that it can function as close to normal as possible.  This is biology kicking in to try and protect the key organs’ functions.  The lesson here is that we need to work with our bodies and provide it what it needs to function properly.

Dehydration occurs when more water is moving out of the body’s cells then what should be shuttled into them.  When our body is relinquishing water, it’s not just water that we are losing.  Along with that precious water, our body is also being stripped of electrolytes that are critical for proper cell function.  Sodium and potassium are some key electrolytes that are lost along with the water.

Thirst might be the most common symptom of dehydration, however, it is not the only signal that we are lacking fluids.  The following list highlights some of the signs that show we are short on the “elixir of life”:

  • Coloured urine
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Less-frequent urination
  • Extreme thirst
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Hunger

With many people, the signals of hunger and thirst can get mixed. This can lead to additional eating/snacking and a higher probability of weight gain.  When it comes to weight management, hydration can play a key role.  Stay well hydrated and the body won’t send those confusing thirst/hunger signals.  Consume a glass of water prior to a meal to help the body feel a little fuller sooner.  Lastly, stay well hydrated, so our system can clear necessary waste and ease the ability for our body to convert body fat into fuel.

One additional area of focus for hydration is how it impacts the brain.  The brain requires not only the proper nutrients to function well, but also fluids. The signals, circulation and overall function of the brain are reliant upon proper hydration.  Many of the symptoms listed above are related to the performance of our brain including dizziness, confusion and headaches.  As we lose even a small percentage of hydration in our bodies(1-3%), our brains can be negatively impacted.

Many North American adults get in the suggested “8 glasses” of hydrating fluids each day, but unfortunately they are counter balanced with many other foods/beverages loaded with caffeine, sodium and sugar, which puts the balance back into dehydration’s favour.  The good news is that caffeine doesn’t have an incredibly high diuretic impact.  However, if we are not consuming sufficient hydrating fluids, yet consuming plenty of caffeinated fluids, then we will be in danger of dehydration. It is a delicate balance.  In today’s era of “jacked up” beverages, many of us are conditioned to expect high levels of sweetness and flavour in everything we consume because our taste buds have been trained to crave them. Therefore, if the thought of drinking a glass of plain water doesn’t sound appealing … firstly, get over it … and secondly, read on…

Below are 5 recommendations on how to increase hydration and get the system replenished with proper life-giving hydration:

  1. Drink water… and plenty of it. The recommendation is 64 oz (8 cups) of water per day.  Additional research has come out however, recommending even more.  Therefore, make the 8 cups a starting point and try to get in 10-12 cups of water per day.

NOTE: Even more isn’t always better.  Don’t go crazy drinking water as we can over hydrate.  So keep it at or around the recommended levels (Men can increase their water consumption to upwards of 16 cups per day while women should stay in the 12 cups range)

2. If the “flavour” of water is a concern, drop in a slice of cucumber, a slice of lemon or lime, or perhaps a sliced strawberry or add a scoop of EWYN BCAAs.  That little bit of flavour will go a long way.

3. Consume hydrating foods.  Watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, peaches, oranges (not orange juice), cucumbers and lettuce are all great hydrating food options (all in the 88% – 96% water content range).

4. Keep away from pop/soda, fruit juice and alcoholic beverages.  Keep these types of fluids at an incredibly low (to zero) level.  If on EWYN program, you know the rules., stick to them.

5. Moderate levels of coffee and tea consumption can actually be hydrating and provide some health effects.  However, this only holds true if the consumption is moderate to low levels of both.

PRO TIP: Try a little “water therapy” each morning.  Consume a glass of water every morning immediately upon waking.  Work up to a 1 litre of water first thing every morning to provide your body with a jump-start of hydration.  This will give the body a very beneficial “inner bath” which will help clear toxins and waste. Add a squeeze of lemon to that water for healthy cocktail.  By adding some lemon it will help get digestive juices going.  These digestive juices will improve stomach and digestive function.

In summary, make hydrating a priority.  Not everyone is a water drinker, start slow and build up an “appetite” for it.  Working up to 8 cups a day and then eventually be able to get up to the 12-cup range in no time.  Speak to a EWYN health coach for other hydrating opportunities to include in a daily routine.  Our coaches will provide you with Exactly What You Need!

FINAL HOLIDAY PREP

By Weight Loss Tips

Holiday meal planning is at the top of everyone’s list to keep us accountable through these next two weeks. Being  busy is one reason we fail to plan and start to go off the program. Over the next few days, it is important to make a meal/event plan to help you stay as close to your program as possible, while still enjoying time within your bubble and not feeling left out!

Click on the link to download EWYN’s handy weekly meal prep. I would print a couple of copies so we can see how the upcoming week looks.  Look at your week, do you do something special for Christmas Eve or Boxing Day? Christmas Dinner is easy if we prepare for it, but sometimes it is the extra baking and goodies that can cause challenges. Now that you can see which days are going to be the biggest hurdles plan your cheat meal day! Try to keep this to one meal and follow the Christmas survival guide your coaches prepared for you to help you through the day!

Your personal health coach has  handy “eat this instead” recipes that may help you through the next few weeks. For example, egg nog and gingerbread treats that are not as high in calories or fat as traditional recipes. These recipes will help you be a part of the festivities without jeopardizing your progress. Ask your coach to help you with how to get through the challenging days, they have lots of great ideas, so do not be afraid to be honest and tell them where you are going to struggle the most.

Keeping everyone busy and not just eating for the next few weeks is crucial! Plan some fun crafts, (check out Dollarama  and DIY crafts on Facebook) Include the kids in some healthy snack prep, for example, grape Santa’s, a festive fruit tray and cookie cutter pizzas.

The holidays are always a challenge and this year we have the added stress of the pandemic. You may start to feel overwhelmed knowing the next two weeks are going to be tough. There is always going to be something that will stand in your way of success, the secret is not to let these things derail you We can all come up with lots of excuses as to why we cannot eat healthy, exercise or meal prep. I think if we just take some time to plan out how we are going to tackle these situations we can all come out unscathed! Will we mess up,  sure, will we be perfect,  of course not. At the end of the day you are going to be so proud of yourself for keeping your eye on the prize, don’t be one of the statistics that gain 7-10 pounds over the holiday. Most people do not lose that weight until April, if ever!

Take some time this weekend to have a look at the next two weeks and see how you are going to come out of this. The reality is, if you plan, even if you are not able to follow that plan 100%, you will still manage to do better than you would without a plan. There is a saying: “Reach for the moon, even if you miss you will land among the stars” Each and everyone of you are stars in our eyes!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, we are proud of you for how far you have come this year, you lost weight in a pandemic! Pat yourselves on the backs and go into 2021 crushing goals and being the strong, amazing people that you have proven that you are this year!

Your EWYN Family

WINTER BLUES

By Weight Loss Tips
Written By: Jewell O’Neill

Winter… when most of us go to work  and drive home in the dark. The winter blues tend to set in quickly and we lose more and more motivation to get things done as each day passes. Trust me, I get it. I used to wake up each day with just enough energy to make it through the workday then go home to “relax”. I would not do anything to improve my mood or get anything productive done. The dishwasher would go unloaded, the rooms around the house would go untidied and looking at the work to be done would not motivate me. Though there’s nothing we can do about the weather, there IS something we can do about our  health, diet and how we view our day to day life.

First thing’s first, I learned that you don’t need to wait for spring to start cleaning. No one likes coming home to a mess or untidy surroundings, it’s just depressing. So why not blast your favourite music, get dancing and get cleaning! It may seem daunting before you start but once you start you will feel so much better! Once you notice how at ease and calm you feel you’ll want to keep a clean house. Many of us had to make quick adjustments to our homes this year due to working and learning at home. With no end in sight, it’s a good time to get your house in order. This can empower families to take control of their surroundings and ideally it should increase productivity and lower stress levels.

This school year has already been very stressful for kids and adults. To help motivate your kids and give them a sense of control; involve them in decluttering their rooms. Get a space set up where they’ll be able to work comfortably and productively.

Studies have shown that clutter interferes with quality of life and causes stress. One study, entitled “Procrastinators and Clutter: An Ecological View of Living with Excessive ‘Stuff’” found ”behavioral procrastination tendencies related to only clutter.” In other words, living in spaces that have too much “stuff” negatively affects people’s lives.

The less you own,  the less there is to keep track of. There is less to clean and organize, which will reduce your overall stress levels. Living in an organized home has an immediate effect on reducing stress and gives you a sense of accomplishment and control for whatever the future holds.

So now that we’ve got our house clean and smelling great, we can tackle our health. We have complete control of what we eat, how much we exercise and how we take care of our body. You’d be surprised how quickly your energy and general wellness goes up after you start eating better and exercising. Think fitness is a chore? Find an activity you love and do that! Blast that same music you cleaned too and dance around for an hour, you’ll feel great! Do something you enjoy doing to get moving. Reward yourself with a nice mindfully prepared healthy meal. Who says healthy food has to be bland and gross? Use your favorite no salt spices and get creative! Also don’t forget to take your vitamins. Vitamin D is a common deficiency people experience in the winter. Also get yourself some Vitamin C, B & multivitamins.

Lastly, find new things to do! Find yourself a new hobby like painting, dancing, reading or writing. Or expand your knowledge by taking an online course!

Don’t forget that you are not alone during the winter months. Many people experience the winter blues, so if you find you’re really struggling do not be shy about talking to someone.

MINDFUL EATING

By Weight Loss Tips
Written By: Barbara Baristow

With the holiday season upon us, we will be celebrating in our own way; whether it’s gathering with friends and family, a celebration in your home or a Zoom call with friends.

The festivities of course mean food. Is there a way to enjoy the holidays without being obsessed about the food? The answer to that is yes!  Be sure to practice mindful eating. HUH? What’s mindful eating? Let me explain.

Mindful eating is developing an awareness of your food. To develop an awareness, you first must understand the purpose of food and why you need to consume it. You may think that I am going to  get into the scientific facts and reasoning about food…. NOPE. You eat for one reason, to give the body the vitamins and minerals necessary for it to function properly, to give it energy. THAT is the only reason you eat.

You have to change the relationship you have with your food. You EAT TO EAT. You do not eat to celebrate, compensate or to soothe. During the holidays we eat to celebrate. Why do we feel that eating contributes to our celebration? Quite simply the answer is, it does not.

Let us explore what it means to mindfully eat. When we practice mindful eating, we have already established the purpose for food.  There are a few steps to take when choosing to mindfully eat:

  1. Eat slowly
  2. Avoid distractions (T.V., phones, too many people talking)
  3. Appreciate your food (look at the colors, taste the flavors, enjoy the textures)
  4. Don’t rush
  5. Stop multi-tasking your eating (answer your phone, let the dog out, make a shopping list, thinking about work) JUST EAT

When you mindfully eat, you will start noticing different cues from your body and mind. I will not tell you what they are, but rather have you explore them on your own and make your own realizations.

To relate this back to the holidays and celebrations, you can see how being mindful and celebrating are two completely different entities that do not need to exist together. Enjoy your time with friends and family for what it offers. Enjoy your mindful time with your food for what it offers.

Food for thought: Make finishing your food INTENTIONAL not AUTOMATIC.

Remember, practice makes perfect.

Happy Holidays!