Monday, 23 February 2015

Mommy and Me Bootcamp and Prenatal Fit classes coming to Edmonton in March 2015!

Coming to Edmonton in March 2015!! 

Mommy and Me Bootcamp and Prenatal Fit!

Kellie, the owner of Fit Your Life, is a Registered Nurse with experience in Labour and Delivery, as well as a Certified Exercise Physiologist. She is a Pre- and Postnatal Fitness Specialist and loves making fitness work for your life! 

Mommy and Me Bootcamp is a class tailored for new moms learning how to integrate exercise into their new life and routine with a little one. This is class ensures a safe and effective workout for the postpartum body and teaches tips on how to get your pre-baby body back (or better)! 
Clearance from Health Care Provider required prior to engaging in postpartum exercise. Babies 6 weeks - 12 months welcome!!

Prenatal Fit offers a class to expecting women, of any gestation and fitness level! This class will focus on individual needs as the body changes throughout the pregnancy. This class will help strengthen muscles to ensure a more comfortable pregnancy experience and train muscles that will assist in labour. 
Clearance from Healthcare Provider is required prior to engaging in prenatal exercise. 

It is never too early to be a healthy role model for your children! 

Email to register. Space is limited!!

Thank you to Karmen for creating the advertising and Brianne for the logo!! 

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Prep Your Mommy Muscles!! Prenatal Upper Body Workout

Most of us have heard the term "Mommy Muscles". Now, we are going to do a workout to train these muscles prior to the birth of our baby. This workout focusses on the upper body, strengthening and stretching the muscles that will be used to hold, carry, cuddle, and feed our babies. We will also focus on engaging the core throughout the routine to ensure proper form and strengthening through the pelvic floor. 

For this workout, you will require a set of dumbbells (or resistance band), a mat, and a bottle of water.

Photography by Amy Kaye
Tone Your Mommy Muscles!

Warm Up

30 Walking Jacks
jumping jack motion, with stepping feet out (instead of jumping), but still move arms up and down

15 Squats with "Breathing Arms"
deep squats with knees staying over ankles (not pushing forward over toes). as you lower, bring arms down beside you as you exhale. inhale to raise to standing and bring arms over head into a gentle stretch. repeat.

15 reps of each and complete 1-2 sets

maintain an engaged core by bringing belly button (or thinking of bringing baby..) in towards your spine. squeeze shoulder blades behind you throughout each motion and stand as tall as possible. working your deep core, pelvic floor, and postural muscles during the entire workout will help decrease low back discomfort and assist in training muscles for labour and delivery. 

Squat with Biceps Curls
begin with feet hip distance apart and one dumbbell (or handle of resistance band and stand on band) in each hand. bend through hips and knees to lower into squat keeping knees behind toes and over ankles. as you return to standing from squat position, bend through elbows to bring dumbbells (or handles of resistance band) towards shoulders. return hands, with control, to either side of your body.  repeat. 

Triceps Dips
sit on the edge of your couch, stairs, or a bench and place hands on either side of your hips with fingers facing forwards. with bent knees, lift  and press glutes away from the seat (you should be close to the seat, but far enough away that you can't touch it). bend elbows to lower yourself towards floor. press through hands to straighten elbows and bring yourself back into starting position. keep core engaged throughout motion. repeat. 

Lunge with Shoulder Press
stand with feet hip width apart, one dumbbell in each hand near shoulders (with bent elbows), and palms facing out. if using resistance band, anchor centre of band under right foot; this will be your front foot. step left foot back and lower into lunge. right knee should stay above right ankle and lower to 90°. stay low in right lunge position as you press dumbbells or resistance band up and over your head into a shoulder press. lower, with control, back to shoulder height. repeat all reps on right side before switching to left side. 

90° Biceps "In and Out"
stand with feet hip width apart and one dumbbell (or resistance band handle) in each hand. bend elbows to 90° in front of your body. keeping the bend, rotate arms to bring dumbbells towards the side of your body. return to front of body. repeat. for added challenge, balance on one leg! switch legs halfway through.

Bent Over Rows
with feet hip distance apart and one dumbbell (or resistance band handle and stand on band) in each hand. bend slightly at waist, but maintain engaged core and flat back. row dumbbells or handles towards chest by squeezing shoulder blades together and drawing elbows in and up. slowly release. repeat.

Modified Side Plank
make your way down to the floor and set up in a side plank from right forearm and right knee. left leg will be straight over right bent knee while you face open to the right side. left hand can be on left hip, or straight up into the air. press hips up to keep a straight line from left ankle to left shoulder. hold for count of 15 before switching over to left side. 

Kneeling Superwoman
transition from side plank to all fours (hands and knees). hands should be directly under shoulders; stacking wrists, elbows, and shoulders. knees should be directly under hips. press into right hand and left knee as you lift left arm and right leg straight and away from your body. engage your core by drawing baby in towards you and try to keep back flat. return to starting position. extend right arm and left leg. repeat.

stay on all fours. inhale as you look towards ceiling and curl tailbone up at the same time. allow baby to drop towards floor. exhale as you curl chin and pelvis inwards and hug baby while rounding your spine out towards ceiling. continue this fluid motion focussing on loosening through your spine and not worrying about how deep you go. repeat. 

hold each stretch for at least 15 seconds
Downward Dog
Pigeon Pose - left
Pigeon Pose - right
Chest Stretch - grasping hands behind back
Upper Back Stretch - grasping hands in front of  body and pushing outwards while rounding spine
any other stretch that feels good!!

~ ensure clearance from your health care provider before engaging in physical activity while pregnant 
& always listen to your body ~


Tone It Up's 7 Day Slim Down ....while breastfeeding?

Many of my readers will know that I am a huge fan and follower of the gorgeous Karena and Katrina from I have been following their workouts and blog since 2010 and purchased their Nutrition Plan in 2012. I love their lifestyle and balance approach to health, exercise, and eating real delicious food! I am have completed their "Slim Downs" a few times as a way to lean right before a trip or event.

As mentioned in a previous post, I completed Tone It Up's Love Your Body Challenge. This was a six week fitness and nutrition series to kick of 2015 strong! We ended the challenge with a 7 Day Slim Down. I wanted the challenge of strictly planning meals and snacks for one week and ensuring that everything I put into my body was Lean, Clean, and Green. I knew going into the Slim Down, that I would need to add additional calories, good fats, and protein to ensure I kept up with my milk supply, as I continue to breastfeed our then 9-month-old. I made my plan for the week of two-a-day workouts and planned my three meals with two or three snacks and posted the chart on our refrigerator. I kept track of "extras" that my body required and also my water intake. My energy was quite low mid-week and my milk supply seemed to drop a little on day six. For this reason, I did not complete day seven as planned. I was completely okay with this and was thrilled with my success throughout the week! Baby B is my priority and my milk supply bounced back in no time!

If you are interested in Tone It Up's Nutrition Plan, you can find details here. They have created an amazing community filled wit supportive and like-minded women striving for a healthier version of themselves.

Here is my breastfeeding version of the TIU 7 Day Slim Down:

For dressings and seasonings, I used combinations of balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, EVOO, Mrs Dash (extra spicy), black pepper, and garlic.

Please keep in mind that our baby is not solely dependant on breastmilk, as she eats three meals and one or two snacks of "solids" throughout each day.

Become an official member of  Tone It Up or full details on their Nutrition Plan and the details of their 5 and 7 Day Slim Downs!

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

How to Stay Fit While Pregnant?

I get many questions regarding specific exercises and workouts to do while pregnant, and what is safe exercise depending on which trimester the woman is in. The truth is, there are so many exercises and routines that are great for any stage of pregnancy! The most important thing is to know appropriate modifications and to listen to your body!
Photography by Roughly Originals
Here are some tips!!
  • Listen to your body! Keeping active through cardio and toning has major benefits for you and baby throughout your pregnancy, in preparation for labour and delivery, and for recovery postpartum. However, if your body requires more rest some days, take it. An "active rest" day could be a nice walk to get some fresh air or a restorative-style yoga class. 
  • Aim to exercise 3-5 times per week. Combining cardiovascular routines, where you increase your heart rate, with musculoskeletal exercise, or toning, is a great way to make your workouts efficient. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), with modifications, is a great way to incorporate this technique. Find HIIT workouts here, some have modifications built into the post!
  • Monitor your intensity. Heart rate changes throughout pregnancy due to vasodilation caused by an increase in progesterone. Because of this, maximal heart rate is achieved more quickly during different points of your pregnancy; therefore, the "talk test" and rate of perceived exertion (or closely monitoring how you are feeling during the workout) are more effective ways of measuring your intensity level over target heart rate zones. 
  • Do not focus on abdominal exercises. Instead, engage your core throughout the day by drawing your belly button (and baby) in towards your spine, stand tall by engaging your shoulder blades behind you, and neutralize your pelvis. Most importantly, engage your entire core through every exercise you do to help strengthen the deep core and pelvic floor to help decrease pregnancy discomforts, minimize musculoskeletal injury, strengthen the muscles that will help push baby during delivery, and for a quicker recovery postpartum.

This was my go to workout throughout my pregnancy; the BOSU is great, because it works balance and stability by engaging the core without straining the abdominal wall:
These Fit Your Life HIIT workouts offer modifications for pregnancy:
At Home HIIT
Springtime HIIT

All pregnancy safe Fit Your Life Workouts can be found here:
Prenatal Fitness


Please always check with your healthcare provider if you are clear to exercise during your pregnancy. If you are advised to avoid physical activity while pregnant, please respect that. 

Monday, 9 February 2015

Delicious Salmon Recipe!

Finding a delicious and healthy weekday supper recipe is something that makes me so happy! Last week I was looking for some meal prep inspiration and pulled out an old cookbook, "power foods", and found a couple great recipes!!

Here is the delicious Miso Salmon with Cilantro Sauce

1 cup white miso (we substituted for 1/2 cup soy sauce, as our grocery store didn't have miso)
1/3 cup rice vinegar (unseasoned)
1/4 cup pack dark brown sugar plus 1 teaspoon
1/3 cup water
4 skinless wild salmon fillets (about 6 oz each)
1 cup packed cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (2-3 limes)
1 shallot, coarsely chopped
1 small fresh red chile (such as jalapeño), coarsely chopped (ribs and seeds removed for less heat)
1 garlic clove
1 piece (2 in) fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated (1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons neutral-tasting oil (such as canola or safflower)

1) In a medium saucepan, combine miso (or soy sauce), vinegar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and the water. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, just until miso and sugar have dissolved (do not boil); remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature.

2) Place salmon in a shallow dish or a resealable plastic bag, and add miso mixture, turning to coat. Cover (or seal) and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour. 

3) Meanwhile, puree cilantro, lime juice, shallot, chile, garlic, ginger, oil, and remaining teaspoon of brown sugar in a blender until sauce is smooth. 

4) Heat broiler with rack 6-8 inches from heat source. Lift fillets from marinade and wipe off excess (discard marinade); broil until fillets are opaque around edges and flake slightly in centre when pressed, 4-6 minutes. Transfer salmon to each of four plates, and serve with cilantro sauce. 

We ate our salmon with sautéed spinach and mushrooms, and rice.


Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Healthy and Quick Snack Ideas

At the Postpartum Seminar on Saturday, we chatted about having healthy snacks on hand for days when our babies need extra cuddles, our toddlers need extra attention, or life is just a little too busy. By having quick and healthy (and one-handed) snacks ready and available, it helps to curb the temptation for high sugar and/or low nutrient-dense foods. 

Here are a few of my favourite snacks to make in batches and have on hand ...

Chocolate Coffee "Larabars"
Coconut & Honey No Bake Energy Bites
I have not tried this recipe, but I was asked for some examples of nut-free "ball" recipes.. This one looks delicious!!

Super Seed Chocolate Protein Bites

Another nutritious snack:

Healthy Chocolate Chia Pudding

Smoothies are also a great way to get in a few servings of fruit and veggies, and protein is easy to add in! We always have a variety of frozen fruit in our freezer so it makes smoothie prep quick! A Magic Bullet, or other one-cup blenders are also great to decrease clean up time.

My favourite morning smoothie:
1 banana
1 cup of frozen fruit (cherries, peaches, mixed berry blend, etc.)
fill blender cup with equal parts coconut water and almond milk
1 scoop of raw rice protein powder

Blend until smooth!