Posts Tagged ‘health’

  1. Get Your Summer Bod with Circuit Training

    May 13, 2014 by Melanie Faris

    Back August 18, 2011

    This was me back in the summer of 2011. I was at my lowest weight of 108 lbs. My life was consumed by fitness & clean eating. I went to the gym 5-6 days a week, and at home I would do crunches, lunges and push-ups at any given opportunity. Looking back now, I see that my focus and dedication was to the extreme. It was all I thought about. When I wasn’t at the gym, I was batch cooking my meals and reading about fitness models like it was my job. I just loved it.

    As I got a bit older, my priorities changed and I began to see other things as more important to me than the number on the scale and the grams of protein on my plate. I wanted to enjoy simple things like fruit without feeling guilty. YES, I hardly ate fruit (which sounds crazy to me now). I now enjoy having more than egg whites for breakfast or chicken and fish for lunch and dinner. I no longer keep track of my meals on a diet tracker or stock my fridge with low-fat dairy. My whole perspective on health has changed since then.

    When I look back at the “fitter me”, I see an 18 year old girl with passion, focus and determination. It took this experience for me the realize that this is not something I want to do forever. It’s just not realistic or worth it to me now, not to mention, it’s not worth sacrificing my health.

    It was healthy for me at the time, but not healthy for me now.

    Let me explain…

    Our life journey brings different phases of health. You become healthier when you stop drinking pop and opt for juice instead. In another month, you may stop drinking juice and only drink water to be even healthier. That is the story of my life. I am constantly learning about health and changing my lifestyle. Each decision and step forward that you take is making you healthier, (or hopefully it is at least).

    No one has reached the finish line of the health race. We are all learning what health means every day.

    Although I don’t see my “egg white” clean eating lifestyle as healthy now, it certainly was a big step ahead from the lifestyle I was living before. I can vividly remember walking to Sobeys every week for lunch in high school. I would eat a Chicken Caesar wrap with extra Caesar dressing squeezed inside. Boy did it taste good, but boy was my body suffering. I also loved Subway sandwiches (pizza sub was my fave), driving to Wendy’s and drinking big milkshakes from the convenience store. I sometimes ordered whole grain bread – I was very health-conscious. Not. Clearly I have come a long way since then. Even though egg whites aren’t my breakfast of choice now, I can see that I was in a transition phase and doing what I thought was best at the time. I was learning, growing, and becoming healthier.

    I certainly don’t plan on eating the same way I did before, and I really have no interest in measuring everything I eat.  I would love to have my summer 2011 body again, but I will not go to the same extremes as before to get it back. I would rather go out for breakfast with my husband and enjoy whole eggs with a slice or two of rye bread without thinking of how to get rid of it at the gym while I’m eating it. I am going to take a different approach this time – unlimited fruits, more plant based proteins and no dairy. I am still not eating much meat, so I am curious to see how my body responds to weight lifting without as much animal protein. Mind you – plant-based protein is actually easier for your body to use anyway! I should have no problem toning up for the summer.

    Diet aside, a great way to make the most of your time at the gym is to add some circuit training to your routine. Weight lifting is the best thing to do if you want to tone up for your summer bikini. For those of us who really don’t want to be at the gym every day for over an hour every time, full body circuits are perfect! A full body circuit will hit every muscle group in a shorter period of time. You can add some cardio at the end of your workout if you want, but I often feel that circuit training is enough, especially if you put 100% into it.

    Check out my full-body circuit below. Print it off and bring it with you to your next workout. If you aren’t sure of an exercise, be sure the look at the helpful links below before you attempt it. It is really important to make sure you have proper form and feel confident doing each exercise!

    Click the Links below for the FREE circuit (gym & home version):

    Circuit Training Workout – Gym Version

    Circuit Training Workout – At Home Version


    Helpful Links:

    Walking Lunges:


    Bench Dips:

    Lat Pulldown:

    Dumbbell Row:

    Shoulder Press:

    Push Ups:



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  2. 10 Days Raw

    April 2, 2014 by Melanie Faris

    It has been 10 days, and I have to admit, this lifestyle is growing on me. I never imaged enjoying this as much as I am. I find that I’m not thinking about food as much anymore (besides when I am cooking for clients). If I am thinking about food, it’s fun and delicious raw food that I can experiment with! Mind you, I have had some moments where I am ready to pack it in and dive into Thomas’ dinner (that moment may have been tonight).

    The Rawlicious restaurant has really helped me for the past week, especially with adding variety to my diet lately. I have eaten salads and the same avocado wraps for days (and still enjoying them), but a change is always nice, especially without having to prepare it myself. I had their Caesar wrap today, and boy was it delicious! I think the new scent lingering with me wherever I go is garlic. Poor Thomas has to put up with my breath, but I have been sneaking garlic in his meals too so I’m not the only one with the bad breath – hehe.

    This whole experience has been amazing so far. I always thought my energy only came from carbs, but now I am beginning to see that I have MORE energy without carbs. I’m not saying, “go cut your carbs!” I’m simply realizing that I don’t need starchy or processed carbohydrates to give me energy. In fact, carbs and coffee cannot compete with the energy fresh green vegetables have given me. My focus and attention to detail has grown, and my overall feeling of well-being is amazing. I am continuing with fresh green juice every morning and still eating only greens all day. I want to make it to the 2 week mark before introducing any form of sugar (including fruits and certain vegetables) into my diet. I may continue longer than 2 weeks with greens to fully detox and give my body a break from sugar entirely. I will keep you posted!

    In my free time, I have been watching tons of documentaries and reading books on raw and/or vegan diets. It is fascinating. I love to learn and lately my brain has been getting crammed with new information non-stop. I am amazed that society has practically shunned this lifestyle, when in reality, this is possibly the most healthful way to live (in my opinion it is). There are many many opinions on this subject, and I’m not trying to start a debate. I don’t judge anyone’s way of living and I’m not against eating meat. I have just opened my eyes to see another way of living and have found great enjoyment from it so far. I don’t plan on staying raw after the 30 days, but I may venture on and try life as a vegan, or at least 80% since I love eggs for breakfast some mornings and sushi on occasion…I’m a cheater, but that’s okay.

    Life is about learning, growing and discovering the best you that you can be. For the past 2 years (at least), my focus has been eating animal protein 5 times a day. I was trying to gain muscle and look my best. I did look my best physically, but internally my body was screaming. I thought I was perfectly healthy then, but now I see that I was not as healthy as I thought. My snacks consisted of yogurt or cottage cheese instead of vegetables, and my meals always had to have a big piece of meat. I love meat, I really do. You may still catch me at The Keg on occasion digging into a juicy steak – I’ll be real with you on that. But, take it from the carnivore, I feel way better without the meat at every meal. I don’t feel hungry all the time and I certainly am not as “addicted” to eating as I was before. I feel better. Period. Your quality and quantity of life increases when you cut out processed and cooked foods. If you don’t believe me, try it for 21 days (to break your habit of eating cooked foods), and feel the difference for yourself.

    Well, that’s all I have to say on my progress so far. As for tonight, I’m off to grab an avocado and sit on the couch with my husband. Besides all the food and health talk, he really is my favourite one to focus my attention on. Chow for now and chat with you soon!