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My 10 Day Jugo Juice Challenge

There is no question that juices and smoothies are one of the most common ways for people to stay on track with their healthy lifestyle. Whether someone is at the beginning of their health journey or they are already a wellness expert, chances are they incorporate either a smoothie or juice into their daily lives.

What I love about this ongoing health trend is the simplicity and accessibility. It really is so easy to make your own smoothie and additionally there seems to be more and more juice bars popping up around town. Yet with this easy access, we still need to be careful with both what we put in our own smoothie and where we get them from. Just because it’s made with fruits and vegetables does not necessarily mean it’s healthy.

When it comes to juices and smoothies, I am much more of a smoothie girl. I love the thickness, adding lots of superfoods and proteins and making it a meal. I’m also a big supporter of making your own at home. However, let’s be real, it’s not always that easy to do. 

Up until the beginning of this year, I was working in a corporate real estate office with a very consistent routine. I would work out at 6am before heading to work and had a significant commute. Timing was not on my side so some things had to give. For me, that was having breakfast at home. Luckily for me, my office had a Jugo Juice in the building and it quickly became my every day breakfast.

As I mentioned, not all juice bars are created equal. So what do I look for? Fresh ingredients, healthy protein powders, superfood supplements and endless options. Jugo Juice met every one of those criteria. Although they have so many menu items, I rarely strayed from my #PB Protein shake which was made with banana, protein powder, peanut butter and unsweetened almond milk. I am a creature of habit after all.

So when Jugo Juice challenged me a few weeks ago to have one of their smoothies or juices a day, every day for 10 days, I jumped on the chance. I mean, smoothies were already a part of my daily routine, I’m already obsessed with Jugo Juice plus I love a good challenge.

It should come as no surprise that on Day 1 I went for my beloved #PB Protein shake. Wow, I forgot how good it was and got brain freeze from drinking it too fast. I knew, however, that I should branch out over the next 9 days and take advantage of Jugo Juice’s wide array of options.

I tried everything from their elixir “Good Shot,” to the strawberry banana “Classico,” to, of course, my namesake “Kale Nut.” When I decided to actually spend some time looking at the menu, I was surprised with not only how many different flavour combos they offered, but the amount of superfoods and niche ingredients you don’t find at other quick-service juice bars.

Jugo Juice has everything from ginger and turmeric, to maca and matcha. They also had ingredients that I always put in my homemade smoothies, like chia seeds, flax seeds and hemp hearts. I’m all about incorporating healthy fats and fibres such as these into my smoothies when I am consuming them as meal replacement or even just as a healthy snack because they keep me full longer and help with digestion.

As a personal trainer who is always on the go, I am guilty of either forgetting or not making time to eat. What I loved about participating in this challenge was it helped keep me on track with eating every few hours and allowed me to refuel my body during my long, active days.  Since the smoothies were filled with a good balance of protein, fats and carbs, my late-night sugar cravings were also kept in check and I could tell my metabolism was working at its best. Add in the lack of mess and clean up in the kitchen and I was one happy camper.

After 10 days of testing, I must say, much to my surprise, I have a new favourite flavour. I doctored up their Kale Nut a little bit by taking out the fruit juices it comes with, adding in some unsweetened almond milk, peanut butter.. Playing around with all the different ingredients was super fun and I recommend giving it a go to kickstart or continue your health journey! 

Add a Little Bounce to Your Workout

When it comes to working out, I am always looking for motivation in different people, places and things to keep my routines both challenging and exciting. If I look hard enough,I might just find that inspiration in an athlete, a pretty new sports bra or even my post-workout snack.

 Lately my equipment of choice in the gym has been a weighted medicine ball, as many of my clients can attest to. I love how versatile and deceivingly challenging it can be for both cardio and strength training. A simple throw and toss with extra weight is enough to get your heart rate up and the ever-popular ball slam is a fun way to workout our arms and shoulders. While I’ve been loving the med ball for my workouts, I’ve equally been favouring energy balls as a post workout snack. They are so easy to make on your own, or, if you are always on the go and strapped for time like me, Bounce Foods makes a seriously delicious energy ball. As a personal trainer, I pretty much live in my car so any type of snack that is easy to carry around, mess-free and can be consumed in one bite (okay that’s a little aggressive…more like 2-3 bites) gets an A+ from me. And if the ingredients are on point, you really have a winner. I love that Bounce Balls not only taste great but are filled with good fats, fibre and protein so they help repair my muscles post-workout and also leave me full for long enough. My favourite flavour by far is Cacao Mint – it’s like a delicious dessert that also falls under my rule of thumb: more protein than sugar. Now that I have you craving energy balls, try adding a little Bounce to your workout. One of the things I love about medicine ball workouts is that if you don’t have access to a med ball or gym, most exercises can be repeated outside the studio with pretty much any type of ball. So whether you’re hitting the gym or taking it outside, pack your Bounce Ball and try these 4 moves:

1. Lunges

Step forward into a lunge and twist towards the front leg. Alternate sides and repeat. 2. Squat Press

Staying deep in your squat, press the ball away from the midline until your arms are straight and bring it back in. Repeat while staying low in your squat. 3.  Russian Twists

Sitting down in a V shape with feet elevated twist the ball from one side of the body to the other. Repeat. 4. Plank Rolls

Holding your body in high plank position, roll the ball from one hand to the other, transferring your weight. Repeat.

 

All photos shot by: Arthur Mola

Fall Intentions

Despite being out of school for quite some time, September always feels like a brand new year for me. As the days begin to shorten and the leaves start to change I gain a resurgence of energy and excitement that has me craving routine. I look forward to trading in my cottage weekends for time in the city where I can meal prep, clean and set myself up for a productive week. 

It also feels like the best time to reevaluate and realign my goals and intentions both personally and professionally. What do I want to accomplish this year? What does my body need?  

For me, this is a polarizing question because I want to grow my business in fitness but I know my body is craving more rest. How do I balance the two? It is a fine line and while, as an entrepreneur, I do not believe in balance, I know there are certain steps I can take towards working hard in my job but also taking measures in self-care.

Yoga is something I have decided to rededicate myself to this fall, even if I only get to class once a week. The physical aspect of stretching and breathing is the perfect compliment to my high intensity workouts and the mindful element is exactly what I need to channel to keep myself calm both on and off the mat. 

Wearing: Hyba Mesh Medium-Impact Sports BraHyba Namaste Legging, Hyba Cold-Shoulder Top

In addition to yoga, I do also want to get stronger physically to be able to sustain my job in fitness and prevent injury. This will mean scheduling time in my crazy full days to incorporate functional exercises like squats and planks plus stretching and foam rolling. These are definitely not my favourite, high energy workouts that I like to do, but work that I know I have to put in to obtain my goals. 

Although my intentions of getting more rest while simultaneously getting stronger may seem contradictory and like a difficult feat, goals are goals no matter how lofty. I always find it helps to write my goals and intentions down. Whether you do this weekly, monthly or annually, putting your intentions on paper (or screen) helps to stay committed as it forces you to be clear with exactly what you want. It also gives you something to come back to, a point of reference, to see how far you’ve come and/or how much more you need to put in to get to where you want to be. 

I encourage you to take some time this week to think about what your intentions are for the next month, for fall or maybe for the year. Try writing them down and come back to them from time to time. Now that mine have been put out to the world, I look forward to coming back to this post to see if I’m on track.

       Wearing: Hyba Mesh Medium-Impact Sports BraHyba Space Dye Mesh Legging, Hyba Mesh Crop Top

 

Photos by: Arthur Mola Photography