Plant Power Protein Smoothie

Good morning everyone!

It was an early morning for me as I have a lot on the go this week in terms of work, helping out with my sister’s wedding and prepping for this competition. I love keeping busy, especially when everything I’m keeping busy with fuels my creativity and mental/physical wellbeing.

The contest prep is going good. Right now it’s experimenting with nutrition and trying not fall into my sweet tooth cravings. So far it’s been good! Except for Saturday… I went to the grocery store and bought my friend a birthday gift which is where I laid my eyes on Heidi’s 85% dark chocolate. I have never been tempted buy milk chocolate (luckily) but when it comes to dark chocolate; I love it…and I say to myself “It’s a WAY better choice than most” which is very true. However, for contest prep although one or two pieces may fit into my macros, eating the whole thing as I did isn’t ideal. I don’t believe anyone who says one piece of dark chocolate is sweet but bitter enough to be satisfying – I CALL BULLSH**. Give me all of the dark chocolate. Futhermore, on Monday my boyfriend came back from his trip and we sat on the couch, ate kettle cooked chips (no sodium, but still) and shared a bag of cinnamon sugar popcorn. It was my fault because I actually brought it for him and figured I won’t want any… but I did. Although I felt a tiny hinge of guilt afterwards but decided not to feel that bad especially since I ate a green smoothie prior so my stomach was lined to digest the food better. I didn’t plan this and this doesn’t mean you can alkalize your stomach and eat poorly after (that’s counterproductive as your body will battle between acidity and alkalinity), I’m just saying it’s a good idea for those practicing healthier eating habits that are eating out at a restaurant once in  a while.

I’ve concluded that since my body is in decent shape and I have been eating very healthy for the majority (usually do, but now I’m taking macro’s into consideration); I feel that if I have a snack attack once every couple of weeks it’s not going to hurt me in training. Once you set restrictions to heavily and beat yourself up when your heart wants to enjoy something – you are doing damage. The key is to enjoy your meals, not eat them because they’re healthy. So far I’m already see some positive results at my waistline since I’m visiting the gym almost everyday for two hours at a time with plenty of cardio. Every other day I’m training through Muay Thai and doing weights. That is enough to keep me motivated and excited for the results yet to come in another few weeks and from then on till the actually contest day in June.

Having said that, if you’re facing temptation then compromise with a healthier choice that satisfies your tastebuds. You won’t feel as guilty and there are so many amazing recipes available online as we’re now in a society that is more health-conscious (almost too conscious). If you have a slip up every now and again, move on. Do not downward spiral and please do not be upset at yourself. Thank yourself for the delicious snack, treat your body with respect and say “Since you treated me, I will treat you to the gym.”

Moving forward with the purpose of my post.

I’ve created a new smoothie recipe that is at first glance, on the questionable side of things. Since I’m not buying vegetables and greens that I typically eat anymore I’ve got to get creative on packing my smoothies in with complementary vegetables that meet my daily requirements. It’s amazing how you really need to adjust between even considerably healthy vegetables based on their sodium and sugar content. This required some sit down time and cross-referencing of foods that fit into my regime. The result wasn’t too bad; swapping spinach for kale; almond milk in my smoothies for water, etc.

For the next few weeks I am moderating between:

everyday: kale, cucumber, romaine lettuce, zucchini green pepper, 1 – 2 bananas (I can’t deal with stevia all the time as a sweetener), garlic, onion, ginger root, turmeric root

every few days: bell peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes, lentils, millet, amaranth, quinoa and brown rice.

The list doesn’t look so bad to me because I love vegetables and I love carbs even more. Last night I was so happy with my big bowl of brown rice and sweet tomatoes seasoned with Mexican spices. I picked up a pamphlet from Whole Foods last week that gave me a guideline to using spices and it’s definitely come in handy to keep my belly happy without the extra sodium. And guess what, my taste buds are already adjusting and I don’t miss it!  In about a month, I can start reintroducing more fruit into my diet (I love fruit in the spring/summer) as it will be more alkaline by then being able to digest it better and reap the positive benefits of it. Colour me excited!

For this smoothie, I used essentially every green mentioned above except for zucchini and green peppers:


  • 1 bunch purple kale
  • romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 large cucumber
  • 1″ ginger root
  • 1- 2 large frozen banana(s)
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup of filtered water
  • ground cinnamon
  • vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp hemp protein (optional)

At the beginning it was immediately getting that gorgeous green colour that screams ‘nourishment.’

I won’t pretend I wasn’t scared though…


Please cucumber, be a good decision…


Bananas make everything okay…


After pureeing everything one by one (protein/cinnamon then bananas/ginger; last) I was quite happy with the end result (after adding the second banana). The hemp powder was strong at first but the fact that it was natural and there was zero sugar and sodium content I am happy with it.

  • 284 Cals:
  • 97 mg sodium,
  • 28g sugar from bananas.
  • 2.4g fat
  • 15g fibre
  • 19.4g protein

It was fresh and tasty with a hint of ginger which was so refreshing. This will be a repeat recipe on some mornings and I love the idea of packing a detoxifying, healthy meal in one delicious smoothie. It’s important to note that it is key this smoothie be enjoyed cold… I feel that it can only actually be enjoyed cold.


Happy body, happy mind.

If you try this out, let me know what you think! Share some of your Plant-Powered faves!




What’s in my Swim Bag?


I’ve been swimming pretty much all my life.  I grew up in swimming lessons, I lifeguarded and taught swimming for six years, I swam masters, and I swam in triathlons.  Though my love affair with swimming is a bit of a rollercoaster, I always end up back in the pool… But first, I have to pack my bag.  And that’s never an easy task.

What’s in my Swim Bag?

1. A suit (of course).  The longest lasting swim suits are made of a lot of polyester (check the tag).  Without it, chlorine will chew through your suit very quickly.  Always make sure you rinse it out in fresh water after swimming in a chlorinated pool!  I have a long torso, and long torso styles are few and far between, but this Nike style fits great (I think because the back is so open).

2. Flip flops.  So important if you want to avoid a brush with plantar’s warts. Trust me. Do not go to the pool without flip flops.

3. A swim camp.  Some pools require them, but they’re a lifesaver if you have long hair anyway.  I’m cheap so I just keep the free ones I get from triathlons, but they aren’t too pricey at Walmart.  Again, rinse with fresh water after, or they will get gunky.

4. Goggles. Baby shampoo can help stop them from fogging up.

5. Finis Swimp3– an underwater mp3 player.  I hesitate to recommend this because a) it’s a little buggy and b) you’ll never be able to go back to non-music swimming again.  Seriously, these revolutionized my swimming.  This particular brand is great because it works through bone conduction, so you don’t have to put ear buds in your ears (which I imagine would be brutal while swimming).

6. Two towels. I always need more than one.  Lucky people everywhere get free towels at their gym, but not me!

7. Pull buoy & flutter board.  I like drills because they break up an otherwise monotonous swim.  Some people also like flippers and hand paddles, but I just use whatever my pool provides.

8. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion, face lotion.  I’m not normally someone with a long beauty routine but chlorine is an absolute monster on your hair and skin.  Rinse, cleanse, and hydrate after every swim. 

9. Hair brush.  To rip out those monster tangles.

10. Lululemon “sweaty unmentionables” bag.  My Lululemon gym bag came with great little bag (pictured above) that I can throw my semi-wet suit and goggles, etc. in for the walk home.  It stops everything else from getting wet.


That’s about it for me! Am I missing anything key?

What’s in your swim bag?

St. Patty’s Day Lean Green Protein Poppers


I’m pretty excited right now because I put together a recipe that fits my meal preps; it’s tasty, nourishing, and green. Also low sodium and high protein too. I guess that’s important as well…

I have been super busy the last couple of days so my meals have been quite boring and “meh” to say least which means I have already broken my own promise to myself and that is to go through this process enjoying it – especially the food!

So without further hesitation…

St. Patty’d Lean Green Protein Poppers!


Even though St. Patrick’s Day is two and half weeks away, I thought it looked pretty festive and green for the event.

There is no added salt in this recipe. so for flavour I used chilli peppers, lemon and pepper. You can of course manipulate the spices however you’d like but I thought this was a great meal idea; and for contest prep especially! It’s packed with protein from quinoa, sprouted lentils (i love sprouted-anything), and red pepper organic tempeh (I use soy in moderation.. maybe once or twice a week as it induces bloating. When I use it it’s no more than a tablespoon.)

My recipe goes as follows but can be modified to suit your tastebuds:

  • 10 small assorted bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup dry quinoa, soaked
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 1/2 zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 or 1/2 of a red chilli pepper
  • handful watercress
  • 1/2 cup of sprouted lentils/beans
  • 1 tbsp tempeh (optional), diced
  • 1/4 cup white onion, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • pinch of pepper, onion powder, cayenne, assorted seasoning, etc
  • 1/2 tsp coconut

Bring water to a boil and allow quinoa to cook for 10 minutes until finished.

In the mean while, gently heat coconut oil and cook onion and garlic. After a few minutes, add the tempeh and cook for a couple of minutes followed by zucchini and celery cooking on medium Do not cook completely.


Remove from heat and transfer quinoa, stirred veggies, watercress, chopped chilli and lentils to a bowl. Mix and add the spices you wish. Cut the caps off of each pepper and fill to your desire.


I haven’t baked these just yet as I have prepared them for tonight’s dinner as I am just leaving to do some weights at my gym and teach a couple of classes. Right after I will be going to a friend’s birthday party so I don’t have the time to make my dinner right after (first world problem). In addition, I already got some good work done this morning as my friend Gabby had her grand opening this morning for her B.O.T.A Bootcamp Fit Classes along with a seminar on nutrition. She’s a registered holistic nutritionist and also a kick boxer and used to teach Muay Thai at the same gym as me in Toronto.

Check her out!

Anyways, meal prep is so awesome because when I get home I don’t have to worry about what to eat. All I have to do is heat and eat :D. I’m pretty excited for tonight’s dinner; something to make me excited again about my meals and not waiting for my cheat day in April (sushi, anyone?).

As for baking these scrumptious poppers, I would bake it at 350 and bake for 10 minutes and no more. I enjoy my veggies crunchy. Vegetables are so wonderful and nourishing when they’re not cooked completely. They give us so much this way.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I will in a few hours!




Training, Sauerkraut and Other Noms


Hello all, Nidhi here.

So begins the rigorous training for the fitness competition in June… Made a visit to Whole Foods ❤

photo 1

Day two has come to a wrap and I am already learning that I’m possibly doing this whole thing wrong… already…

It seems I cannot abide by my own “rules” by just eating very healthy and exercising. Although I knew this; it is much, much more than that. It IS calories and it IS counting your macros… so I can’t just rely on high carbs along with low fat and low – no sodium and sugar.

My friend who is a registered holistic nutritionist (who is also doing the competition) explained to me why she has cut her calories from 2500 to 1600 and not only is she training like a beast at the gym, she is struggling to feel full. She explains why she can’t have as many greens and vegetables as she wants.. Why she must be so strict to aid in her cutting her weight down. She has been training for two – three weeks and she’s been pretty strong throughout the process. But her explanation was a good wake up call and early enough for me to learn from it for this competition.

Whoever is reading, I’m not trying to take light of what fitness competitions are. Please don’t take my “I’ll eat healthy and not count calories/macros” attitude as a way of undermining these competitions. Call it ignorance, that’s fine. I knew it would be hard but I’ve discovered I may have to do the calorie counting that I didn’t want to do. But you know what, I’m up for the challenge and I will do my best to keep a healthy attitude. If anyone has any advice/comments, feel free to send them my way. Again, we’re not professionals here… just sharing our life experiences and journey :). A small part of me hopes I don’t have to be as disciplined with my macros since I am not needing to cut weight and just build muscle (I know it’s a short time, this competition isn’t pro). If anyone has input on this… would love to hear! Need as much advise as I can get :\.

Also… I say this is hard because although I consider myself very active, I do not enjoy working out unless it involves me hitting things i.e. muay thai, slam ball, etc. My body is already aching from being on a bike and doing HIIT with kettle bells! The only way you can get me to train for an hour of cardio is for you to give me a weighted hammer and let me beat the sh** out of a tire with it… same thing with gloves and bag. THAT I can do! Furthermore, I’ve lost some confidence in my physical abilities as well because I’ve torn ligaments in my right knee a while ago so I am only teaching kickboxing these days and not training so the activity is minimal… so this may boost my confidence and keep me feeling good about myself… Even though the gym isn’t exactly my happy place, my desire to tighten and strengthen my body is way stronger than my horrible feelings towards to the stairmaster and bike. Regardless, I’m pretty happy this opportunity came along and just in time for bikini season!

P.S. Does anyone have any great exercises that work the glutes that puts minimal stress on my knee?

Moving forward… I have had a couple of great meals that I’ve enjoyed. Although they didn’t exactly fit in my macros – they fit within my original plan: low sodium, low sugar, low fat and generous in carbs.

The first picture you see way above my ramble is a taco salad I made sans any taco shells or tortilla chips. Spices can definitely go a long way with some cumin, chilli and cayenne pepper without the salt. I missed the salt a little bit in this meal but I need to adjust my tastes to not want so much of it… also need to do some experimenting.

I love these salads as they’re so versatile to put together; any veggies, corn, beans and greens combined with the those spices… instant taco salad! You can also make “meat” out of grinding walnuts with those spices and a little bit of soy sauce believe it or not! I missed that too :(.

The puple topping you see on the salad is homemade sauerkraut with red cabbage and carrots. The recipe is seen below at this gorgeous website:

Ruby Kraut (and Why It’s So Good For You)

I’ve been getting into the sauerkraut before meals because if prepared at home; it is a fantastic probiotic enzyme to aid in your digestion. And it’s yummy!

photo 1

photo 2

I think Jack is a closeted vegetarian.. He’s always whining and reaching for veggies when I’m chopping them up… He successfully reached the peppercorns as I was taking this picture… pepper… everywhere.

photo 3photo 5

Those colours just scream nourishment, I love it!

See you in the next post 🙂



Merrells are a Foot’s Best Friend

I have been through an arduous journey with shoes.  It took me years to find a pair that worked for me.  I have very flat feet and overpronate.  Years of figure skating in a high, tight boot left some of the muscles around my ankles underdeveloped, which meant that once I started running, my ankles started rolling.  I was always prescribed shoes with a big ol’ arch support, and I spent a couple years in and out of physical therapy. Then one day, after a 5 km fun run that took me 45 minutes to limp out, I gave up.

But of course, I didn’t give up for very long.  Thanks to some prodding from my mom, I decided to give barefoot shoes a try.  I didn’t ease into it. I bought the least soleful shoe could find– the ZemGear Ninja.  I started slow, and at no more than 3 km runs.  The calf DOMS were brutal, but I pushed through.

Eventually I needed something with a little more structure for longer runs, but I didn’t want to lose the minimalism of the show I had.  I learned to love the feeling of the ground under my shoe.  It kept me grounded, it stopped from rolling off the high heels of traditional shoes, and once I started lifting, I realized the great benefits of a zero-drop shoe while squatting and deadlifting.

Enter the Merrell Vapor Glove.  This shoe is incredible.  I have been through three different pairs of the wild color schemes, and I’m never looking back.  It has a little more structure than something like a Ninja, and a little more sole too– but I can still grip the ground and feel what I’m stepping on.  I use them for running, hiking, and lifting.  While an endurance runner may need something with a little more cush for long runs, I did hike the Grand Canyon rim to rim in these babies– so they have some staying power.  They just require some foot training.



I love the zero drop, the lack of toe curl, and the super breathable mesh.  These shoes have saved my athletic life.  If you’re looking for something more minimal than the popular Nike Frees or New Balance Minimus, check out the Merrell Vapor Glove.


Triathlon Training – The First Week

Hi all, Jen here.

Well, I’m now halfway through my second week of triathlon training: redux.  Nothing too exciting to report, except that my new, more balanced menu of cardio and lifting.  I will try and take some pictures this week so that I actually have an exciting post to update with.

Now, I’m off to go grocery shopping…and probably make some of Nidhi’s vegan mac and cheese.

Stay tuned for a substantive article on breaking out of a rut!

Triathlon Training Day 1: Revenge of the Tailbone!

Hi, Jen here!

Today I started my first day of triathlon training.  I’m incorporating Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program that I’ve been doing for six months or so (with modifications, as always) into it three days a week.  As far as cardio goes, for the first month of training I’m just building up all the cardio that I lost from years of not training for triathlons. So it’s all at in a fairly easy training.  I’ll start speedwork next month.

I haven’t been on a bike pretty much since I moved to NYC and left my beloved bike in Canada. So I hopped on a spinner for 40 minutes today sans bike shorts and it. was. brutal.  My tailbone is screaming.  I’ll have to get my mom to send me my bike shorts ASAP.

I did my bench workout before I biked.  Day 1: conquered! (maybe not so glamorously).Image


Triathlon Training (and Staying Strong!)

I (Jen) have decided to go back to my roots and have signed up for a sprint triathlon with my mom! We used to do them together and we’ve been eyeing the Athleta Esprit de She series for some time now, but neither of us have lived close enough to the race sites to make it worthwhile.  Since I will be in Michigan this summer, I’m nice and close to their Illinois location, so we’ve decided to bite the bullet.

I don’t want my strength training to suffer during my prep for this triathlon, so I’m going to try and incorporate heavy lifting into my prep schedule.  I have about five months to train, so I should be able to swing it.

I’ll keep you posted with my training with the triathlon tag.  I’m excited to get started!Image

Cardio VS Weights; Digestion VS Dieting: It’s Not A War!

Good evening all,

I hope this note finds you well. I find myself in bed agonizing over my life choices… literally. Having trained a lot in Muay Thai I have unfortunately shied from sparring – I bit the bullet today and went to the busiest co-ed class and got over my getting-punched-in-the-face phobia. My shins may be in pain (the agony I am referring to) from blocking and sending kicks but I’ve learned tonight that I’m getting much better and more refined and that kind of progress is empowering: always progress over perfection. I am not here to complain about my exercise regime because that’s not what we’re here to do. As mentioned before it’s a journey and our decisions are made to make ourselves proud :).

Jen and I have decided to tie in the methods in which we target our fitness goals and bring to light how the lesser obvious may actually be most effective. Example: Jen explains that we do not need to stick to just running or climbing steps for cardio, weights can actually do the job!

Well, I’ll let her explain:

I got back from the gym today and literally looked like I had been rained on.  I was *pouring* with sweat.  So what did I do?  Row, run, bike?  Nope.  I lifted.

I remember the first time I tried to convince my mom that she needed to lift weights along with running.  She protested time and time again, “I just love cardio too much!”, “I just like a sweaty workout!”  I get this from women a lot, and I think it’s just because their time in the weight room is often confined to machines and light dumbbells.  Those things don’t make me sweat as much, either.

But today?  I sweat today, and I didn’t hit one piece of cardio equipment. I like running sometimes, and I often do steady-state cardio on the elliptical, but a lot of times I don’t want to leave the weight room, but I still want my heart rate way up.  (Note- this may be because the cardio room is a floor up from the weight room and lockers… I may be lazy.)

Here are a few ways to get your heart rate up and bang out a super sweaty, super heavy lifting session:

1. Supersets

The concept of this is simple, and you’ve probably done it before.  The idea is that instead of doing one exercise, resting, and then doing it again, you do two (or three, or four…) exercises back-to-back, and then rest.  When I tried to start working out back in high school, my “free personal trainer” told me about this, and I always supersetted (and still do…) my bicep and tricep exercises.  While this is a great way to get your work done faster, a better way to get your heart rate up is to superset a weighted exercise with cardio.  I learned about this when I first started lifting for real, doing Jamie Eason’s LiveFit program.  Try something like this for a super sweaty, super killer workout (note: I recommend doing this only with accessory lifts, and not major lifts like squats and bench, where you really need recovery time):

3 x 10 bicep curls

30 seconds jump rope

10 second rest

3 x 10 bicep curls

30 seconds jump rope


Try this with jump rope, mountain climbers, high knees, jogging, jump squats, anything that gives you a good cardio blast!

2. Active Rest Periods

Chances are that when you’re lifting, you’re spending a lot of time resting.  This is good, and your muscles need time to recover between sets– especially during heavy compound lifts.  But this doesn’t mean you have to stop moving!  This is another tip I picked out while working through LiveFit– trying doing some lower impact, easy cardio to keep your heart rate up, but not spike it, allowing that oxygen to run to your muscles.  Anything goes here, even just walking around the gym.  Sometimes I like to do light ab exercises if I’m on the bench (leg lifts, twists), air squats, leg kicks, or some kind of dynamic stretching.  You can also jog in place.

3. Finisher Complexes

My all-time favourite way to work up a sweat (and the reason I look like I was rained on today), is by finishing with a barbell complex.  I’d seen this all over the internet, but Neghar Fonooni’s blog sparked my interest in finishers.  The idea is that you set up a few moves you can string together, grab a barbell or dumbbell, and complete them all back-to-back, as fast as you can.  It burns, and it’s brutal!

My go-to finisher is to grab 40# barbell or an empty bar (45#) if there aren’t preloaded barbells, and bang out this set:

4 deadlifts

4 Romanian deadlifts

4 barbell rows

4 cleans

4 push presses

4 front squats

I do them all back to back, and I do it four times (but only because I like 4s…) and I am a beet-red mess at the end.  But I love it.  It’s quick and dirty and it gets the job done.

See more ideas for finishers at Neghar Fonooni’s blog here.

Moving onto the nutritious side of things, I’ve decided to banish an awful four letter word from my vocabulary – DIET. When we turn this word into ‘dieting’ it then becomes oppressive, inconsistent, unsustainable and depriving. I’ve decided to replace the concept of dieting with taking a look at the importance of digestion to completely change your outlook on old eating habits:

Digestion, NOT dieting.

I can’t help but think of the monster of a topic that is food and how many of us have such a love/hate relationship with it when we’re battling with our weight and health. The thing that is most fascinating to me is how much we revolve ourselves around this; the obsessions, myths, trends, and reality behind nutrition and “healthy eating.” How we maintain our physical selves come hand-in-hand between fitness and food. We spend minutes to hours on the treadmill trying to burn off that cupcake and work in ways to the best of our knowledge to get that beautiful, tight, toned body that we see on health magazines. That part is half-the-battle; whether you find it fun or strugglesome. However, I think there is a growing awareness that what we eat accounts for at least 70 – 80% of how we look (and feel) physically (and emotionally). The attitude of “I work out so I can eat what I want” is starting to fade and there is now a desire to educate ourselves on where our food comes from, how it is processed and how we digest it.

How our food is consumed, paired with others and broken down in our stomach determines the effective or ineffectiveness of our weight-loss and weight-training goals. If we are not digesting our food properly then that means we are carrying an excess of waste that our bodies need to expel but are instead being stored and turned into that word we all hate: fat. A difficult process of digestion takes a toll on our bodies and takes energy away from us. You may have noticed that you get tired after a “satisfying” meal – this is because of the work you have just made for your body. The results of this are much worse than you think; it takes away from us physically and mentally – not being able to think or perform at our maximum potential resulting in lethargy, skin blotches/acne, thinned, dull hair and weight gain.

When we begin our venture to optimal health, strength, and energy when looking at nutrition we must start with digestion. It has been evidently proven in my personal journey that I am at my best physically and mentally when I am eating when I am a. only hungry and b. eating satisfying nutritional meals that promote proper, easy digestion. I will share methods that I have learned through reading Kimberly Snyder’s books that will enable you to start eating the right way. Through her, I’ve learned we should actually be eating light-to-heavy and not the other way around. Breakfast/lunch is NOT the most important meal of the day; it actually takes the most energy away from us. Save big breakfast and lunches on natural plant foods/fruit and vegetable smoothies, large, delicious (it is possible) salads and all of those things are bodies are meant to consume. It’s a change – but a change your body will love and thank you for:

1. Digestive Enzymes:

These may be bought in-store or you can make them at home (true.) Digestive enzymes coat your stomach to ready it for a smooth digestive process. Always have one first thing in the morning and before bed.

You can also make a sauerkraut digestive enzyme salad that appeals to the taste buds to eat before your meals. Kimberly Snyder’s Probiotic Enzyme Salad. It is easy to make but it’s a 5-day fermentation process where the vegetable will sit in an air-tight, clean, glass container in filtered water. In this way, the nutritional probiotic enzymes will grow. See the link below for recipe/benefits:

2. Food Pairing:

ALWAYS start with a digestive enzyme and a salad (or greens) to coat your stomach. Next, you must learn to be mindful that pairing certain foods together can either harm or support your digestion. When you pair heavy foods together your body will work overtime to digest the food and will eventually store as toxins in your glands and organs – they literally become one with it. Does that freak you out? It freaked me out. The result of this is not only a high BMI but it will also become a detriment on your health; clogged arteries, kidney/liver problems and so on and so forth. We must pair our foods properly and as promised – you will reach your goals – whether you are athletic or not. If you are athletic you will be over the moon with the results and your new-found energy.

Proper/Improper Food Pairing examples:

  • Proteins paired with vegetables: Good

  • Starches paired with vegetables:: Good

  • Proteins and starches: Bad

  • Different starches paired together: Good

  • Different proteins paired together: Bad

  • Fats paired with protein: Bad

  • Fats paired with starches: Good

  • Fruits (except melons) paired with Raw Greens: Good.

  • Mixing two types of animal protein: Bad

Are you frustrated by the above? I was at first. But it does become easier. Here’s some examples of meals below:

Improper food pairing meals:

  • Meat/Seafood with Rice

  • Peanut Butter/Almond Butter on Toast

  • Sandwiches containing avocado and/or meat

  • Meat/Seafood with quinoa

Proper food pairing meals:

  • Guacamole on rice crackers/corn chips

  • seafood/white meat paired with vegetables

  • salad containing fruit (vegetables can be eaten with anything)

  • Vegetable sandwich with sweet potato fries

Understand that proper food pairing will eventually turn into muscle memory and it will become more and more flexible as your body grows accustomed. This really and truly leads to overall health – even down to the strength of your nails and glow of your skin. I am practicing this everyday – I’m not perfect but I’m getting the hang of it and the results have been exciting and I’ve found so many ways to eat delicious, satisfying meals that didn’t cause me to bang my head on the kitchen counter trying to put them together. It takes patience and learning but at the end of the day – it is so, so worth it. I mentioned above that I am practicing being a vegan and it can be difficult on the weekends out with family/friends when there is cheese and baked goods within arms reach. I finally succeeded my first weekend with my boyfriend’s family maintaining a vegan diet. The challenge becomes less and less and it will eventually turn into habit. It;s a matter of letting go what you want now (a poutine or ice cream) for what you’ve always wanted: optimal health, strength and energy.

3. Eating Light-to-Heavy:

Kimberly Snyder has taught me that our bodies are wasting precious energy on digestion when we start our days heavy. We become tired, develop dark circles under our eyes and have zero energy to get ourselves to the gym and work on our strength-training. We are instead deteriorating our physical selves because we bought into this heavy-to-light myth. I recommend starting your day with fruits and greens compiled in a smoothie. Look in the Glowing Green Smoothie – it has become by addiction. Smoothies are great because it releases all of those beautiful enzymes from plants that we miss out when we don’t chew our food properly. These smoothies are LOADED with nutrition and gives us what our bodies need. Within weeks, your cravings will adapt and you’ll find yourself wanting fruits and vegetables instead of fried food and baked goods. It takes discipline but these results work quickly. Drink plenty of water in the mornings and early afternoons to make sure everything is moving through your body as it should. It’s a cleanser and is a key component to achieving optimal digestion. Lemon is a huge bonus to throw in there since it is a great cleanser for the liver; we only have one so we must take care of it!

Wait for lunch until your body is really saying “I’m hungry.” Food is best enjoyed when hungry anyway. Slow down, and enjoy your food; chew and savour. Start with a digestive enzyme and have a huge, delicious salad. There are so many beautiful, homemade salad dressing recipes available online (try to find oil-free – even olive oil can hinder you). At first, you’ll probably feel a bit hungry a couple of hours after your lunch so try waiting at least a few hours for your body to digest your lunch before you have a snack. Try sticking to fruit for your snack. 

Dinner time is the best time to eat heavier. You can have your starches, fats if your body requires and protein. It isn’t the worst thing if you mis-combine your food in the evening because you’ll be digesting your food in your sleep (the “don’t eat before bed” rule still applies – you should eat after few hours before it’s ‘lights out’). Again, start with a digestive enzyme and a salad and have your meal. If you’re hungry at night – have something light like homemade salsa with veggies. Your body can handle as many plant-based foods you desire – no more calorie counting this way: exciting! This again, is Kimberly Snyder’s regime and it is again, effective!

3. Eating and drinking: Not helpful for digestion

This can actually enable weight-gain. Your body needs to work hard to digest your beverage and food which causes a “traffic-jam” of digestion which again, uses your energy storing water/food sludge into your glands and organs – gross. It’s suggested that we wait at least 20 minutes before and after meals when we eat. This is an easy habit to adopt. If you love spicy foods; at least encourage you to eat slower!

4. Eating often is not helpful

I’m about to busy a long-running myth that eating small meals/snacks often in the day boosts your metabolism thus supporting weight-loss: I beg to differ. I’m sure as you’ve figured from all I have written – this actually works the other way around. Eating more causes more for the body to digest creating this sludge that will be stubborn to expel from our bodies. We are wasting energy by training our metabolism this way making it difficult to have the strength to train for our athletic goals. It’s a myth, people. You will cause more damage than good for your bodies. Believe me, I have been there.

That may have been a lengthy cover on digestion but believe it or not, that barely touches on this fascinating subject. If you fix your digestion you WILL see the results you desire. I’ll be blunt – the more you are visiting the washroom and having bowel movements (not constipation or diarrhea – that is bad); you are doing the right thing. This is a key component for getting energy into the body and powering out in your work-outs. Stick to it, and you will not be disappointed.

Kimberly Snyder’s article is a good read if you’d like to know more:

Peace in, and power out 😉