Fit 'N' Well Blog

Fit 'N' Well Blog 

This one is going to hit home for many. I know it certainly did for me.  

As a vegan, I take pride in being a very healthy eater. Most of my calories come from vegetables with some also coming from whole grains and lots of nuts and some from fruit. I get ample protein in my diet as well as the good fats from avocado and nuts. 


I used to drink one can of diet coke on weekdays at about 2p.m. I figured it was my one treat of the day. I started having troubles sleeping and was gaining weight. One January I quit and my sleeping immediately improved. Because I wasn't eating late at night in hopes it would help me sleep, I lost weight. When I wasn't sleeping well, I was so tired the next day that I was feeling sick so I would eat in hopes my stomach would feel better. And thus I gained extra weight. It was a viscious cycle. Thankfully I got ahead of that one! 

Now that I ditched the diet coke habit, I see there is one eating issue that I need to tacke. I consume 1-2 vegan protein shakes per day. I use a lot of mixed berries, 1/2 a banana, almond milk, cinnamon and when I have it on hand; kale. 

Looking at the ingredients, I notice there is stevia in my shake. I think it is time to part ways with my beloved shake. 


Fit 'N' Well Personal Training Inc.onGoogle+  

Do you want to keep your muscle mass as you age? Consuming a high alkaline diet will certainly help. How do you know if your diet is high enough in alkaline? Check out this video to find out how to find out at home. 


Let's Do What We Can to Avoid Colon Cancer! Here's Another great video by Dr. Michael Greger MD. 

Resistant Starch and Fibre. 


Do you need help to stay on track? 

We may all have different challenges in life, but one thing I think we all have in common is that we all have some area of our lives that we need some help with. Even as a personal trainer I can struggle to maintain a daily diet high in super foods and basically high quality consistent nutrition intake. Daily videos on nutrition has helped me over the years to maintain a healthy nutritional lifestyle. Check out Dr. Michael Greger's video. You can sign up for his free daily videos once you are on his page.  

Weight Management Results and Strategies: 

A lot of results in health and fitness come from good strategies. 

Prepare for Success- Think about your worst meals. Are they when you haven't eaten in a long time and by the time you do eat you are desperate for anything? Do you have regular sugar cravings? When do you make your worst food choices? 

I start my day with water and natural sugars. Two glasses of water hydrates me then I have a healthy skake that I consume in the car on the way to work. The berries in my shake give me sugar so I'm not craving it. From there I snack throughout the morning and afternoon on fruit and healthy vegetables. I even eat my healthy bread daily. When I maintain these good habits I don't crave sugars or over eat. And coincidentally it isn't difficult for me to maintain my weight. 

As a vegan, if I know I am going out to dinner or going to a place where the healthy food choices are limited, I often have snack before I go out. I may also bring a little something in a tuperware container and leave it in the car in case the choices in the restaurant aren't healthy enough for me. 

I know a lot of people who eat really well during the week only to completely erase any good they did by binge eating on the weekend. What is the point in that viscious cycle? 

Think about your habits. What can you do to eat proactively so you don't need will power to avoid bad food choices? 

How about your exercise program? How can you ensure you are finding the time to exercise every day? On the days that you are going to be working for 12-14 hours, can you fit in a 15 minute full body exercise program? I know you could if it was a priority to you.  

If you don't have time to work out for an hour, do you skip the gym? You don't need to go to the gym to get a good work out. What you need is consistency. Be creative. Walk as fast as you can while you mow the lawn. See if you can get two hours worth of chores done in an hour. On a daily basis do what ever it takes to elevate your heart rate. 

As a personal trainer I can think of all kinds of strategies to maintain excellent eating and exercise habits that don't require an extrodinary amount of discipline or will power and yet although I would like to learn two more languages, I come up with all kinds of reasons why I haven't learned them yet. I don't have time, I don't get practice speaking the languages, I don't this, I can't that, etc. etc. The fact is these are just excuses and learning a new language is something that I just don't value enough to make it a priority or I would do it. So maybe I should take my own advice and stop making excuses. When I stop making excuses that is when I will start learning my new languages. 

What Should You Look for in a Personal Training Company? 

In my last post I spoke about what I value and what I think the public should look for in a personal trainer. Now from my perspective, I would like to give people a heads up as to what they should look for in a personal traning company. 

Many personal training companies employ educated trainers with great personalities, who are passionate about health and fitness etc. Now let's assume that you did your homework. You found a personal trainer who is well educated in the personal traning field. He or she is a fitness enthusiast and they walk their talk. They have a great personality and look like they will be a great fit. What now? 

I would ask the company a few more questions. 

1. What is your cancellation policy in case I get injured or sick or if I suddenly have to cancel?  

Some companies will jump at the chance to charge you for every session. Did you wake up with the flu? Charge them! Did your boss insist you stay late at work? Charge them! Was your flight delayed? Charge them!  

At Fit 'N' Well we believe in charging a client if they take advantage of us and the cancellations are a regular occurance, but come on, life happens. If you wake up with the flu, I don't want you any where near our trainers. I don't want any of us to get sick and I certainly don't want you to exercise. You need to cancel once a month because of something out of your control? I don't think you should be charged for that either. Now if you slept in, yes, I expect you to be honest. Your trainer is waiting for you at the gym. That isn't fair. She woke up and drove to the gym so she needs to be compensated for that time. And if she sleeps in (no one is perfect) then she needs to apologize and owes you a free session the next time she sees you. Your time is not more important than ours and our time is no important than yours. Let's respect one another. 

2. Refund Policy- Many companies will not refund a dime. You are moving? Too bad. No refund. You have a health condition and can't continue exercising? Too bad! etc. At Fit 'N' Well if you need a break from your exercise program you may either put it on hold or ask for a refund for any sessions that you didn't receive. It is simple as that. We don't require an explanation. If you don't want to continue or can't continue, you get a refund. 

3. Are they conveniently located? Are you going to be working out at a location that is going to work for you? Or are you going to have to drive across town at 5a.m.? Can they accommodate your schedule? We can't always accommodate everyone's schedule, but we certainly aren't going to fake it either. If we can't help you, we will let you know up front. 

4. Contracts, Honesty and Respect- Do you get the vibe that they care about you? Or are you just a number they need to acheive to fulfull their financial quota. If they truly care about you as a person you won't have an iron clad contract that you can't get out of. 

Hopefully these tips will help you out. Don't be afraid to ask your potential personal training company the tough questions about their trainer's qualifications, the company refund and cancelation policies. 

Until next time keep... 

Fit 'N' Well. 

What Should You Look for in a Personal Trainer? 

As a personal trainer with 18 years of running a company under his belt, I would hope your first response would be "I would hire a trainer from Fit 'N' Well of course." :) 

That being said, the work out times that you want may already be full, our location may not be convenient for you or we may not specialize in the kind of training that you are looking for. There are a lot of reasons I can think of why people would choose not to hire our company. If an athelete wants to train to get into the NHL for instance, I would recommend that person work with someone who regularly works with that demographic. They are more knowledgable in that area and would do a better job for the client so I wouldn't hesitate to refer them on.  

You may need to look for a personal trainer from another company and may not have a clue what to look for. There are likely twenty? Fifty? or maybe even 100 fabulous personal trainers in and around the Edmonton area. Unfortunately, there are likely ten or twenty really terrible trainers for every good one. How do you know who to hire to take care of your health and fitness goals??? Hopefully this list of pointers will give you the tools to help you find the right trainer for you. 

1. Education- Ask what the personal trainer's education is. If the course is a weekend course or your trainer is a fantastically fit person who is a personal trainer because they are fantastically fit, that trainer may not be right for you. Just because he doesn't hurt himself doing some of the exercises that he does, it doesn't mean that he isn't going to give you a contraindicated exercise that may or will hurt you. Your trainer may have been working out for the past twenty years. You may be starting at day one. What isn't going to hurt him is not necessarily what isn't going to hurt you.  

a. What is his or her education exactly? A two-year personal fitness trainer diploma is wonderful. A four-year physical education degree that doesn't include one course in anything to do with personal training may not be appropriate. 

Okay, so you asked for a list of credentials. Your trainer has a two-year diploma in personal fitness training or a four-year degree in courses related to personal training. He or she has taken courses in anatomy, physiology, movement mechanics of muscles, nutrition, cardiovascular conditioning, muscular conditioning, safety and injury, first aid, CPR, etc. Looks good. What's next? 

2. Personality and Client Service- You can't train personality. Is this person personable? Or is his or her personality irritating? If you don't have respect for your fitness trainer, for whatever reason, they likely won't be motivating. If they don't motivate you or you can't wait to get them out of your sight then all the credentials and degrees in the world don't matter. Move on to another trainer. 

a. Client Service- When you called to set up your consultation, did it take a week to book in with your trainer? Or did you get a call back within 24 hours? Was your consultation set up sometime within the next couple of days? Or did it not seem to be a priority and the first meeting was set up a week later because they were “too busy” to see you? Let me assure you, if that same trainer was in the market to buy a new car, one way or another they would figure out a way to take a test drive in that car in the next 48 hours. If they can't offer you any available openings in the next 48 hours, you may not be a priority to them. Unless they are going on holidays or sick or badly injured or they had a death in the family or something serious. Forget about what they say. Watch their actions. Their actions will speak volumes. If they can't make time for you now, they likely can't make time for you later. And if they truly are too busy to fit you in, then good on them, but you are still likely better off to move on to the next trainer who does have the time to take care of you. 

3. Do they walk their talk? I know this isn't fair, but sometimes life isn't fair and this is one of those times. They don't have to look like a chiseled human masterpiece, but do they exercise regularly? Diplomas, degrees and fitness certifications aside, in this industry, the difference between someone who is only "book smart" and understands what an exercise does is completely different than someone who is “exercise smart”. Someone who knows how the exercises feel. Someone who knows what exercise injuries feel like, what exercise soreness feels like and how much of it is a good thing and how much of it is too much. These things are not learned in books. And lastly, let's look at this logically. If your goal is to lose 20 pounds and your trainer could easily lose 40 pounds, are they going to be motivating for you? Don't you think if they could lose the weight they would? If they can't fix some obvious shortcomings in their health and fitness, what makes you think they can help you with yours? After all there is a big difference between knowing what to do and maintaining a lifestyle where you live what you recommend. Now you can still be a great personal trainer for someone who just wants to exercise and weight loss is a non-issue. In that case a personal trainer who exercises regularly but could stand to lose 40 pounds is fine.  

A great personal trainer lives what he or she recommends. And don't buy the line “I'm in the bulking up phase.” That is just a crap line for “I like junk food and either don't have the knowledge to lose the weight and keep it off, the discipline or both. 

4. How long has that person been a personal trainer? This may not matter at all. I have seen many personal trainers who are new to the industry who are fabulous! I have also seen many fabulous personal trainers who only lasted six months because they can't handle the crazy early morning and late evening hours that our occupation demands. If you find a great trainer who is new to the industry, you may be disappointed if in 3 months they quit because they hate the schedule they have to keep. Hiring a seasoned personal trainer who understands the hours and has been living the life of a personal trainer for the past decade or more could provide you with peace of mind that your trainer isn't likely going to quit two months after you sign up with them. 

Our next blog will involve what to look for in a personal training company. 

Until then, keep… 

Fit 'N' Well. 


When is the best time to exercise

As a personal trainer of the past 18 plus years I get asked a lot of questions. Two of the most common are: "When is the best time to exercise?" and "What is the best exercise for…". Some will say the best time to exercise is first thing in the morning so you can enjoy the benefits of an increased metabolism for the next 12 hours. Some just like to exercise in the morning to get it out of the way so they can enjoy the rest of their day. Still others look forward to that noon hour work out to give them a mid-day pick-me-up. And then there is the after work crowd who may like the boost after work so they enjoy that endorphin boost for their evening. A work out, a nice light supper and a relaxing evening. Sounds great doesn't it?  

So when is the best time of day to exercise? As a fitness trainer, my answer is always the same. The best time is when it is right for you. When it fits best into your schedule and your lifestyle and when you can adhere to it most consistently. 

And as for the second question "what is the best exercise for…? The best exercise, like the best time of day to exercise, the best exercise is the exercise that you do regularly. There are a lot of people who have perfect form and great routines but who don't exercise regularly and they look like they don't exercise regularly. There are also a lot of people who exercise daily and have terrible form and horrible routines, but they look quite fit. 

One of the most important aspects of getting fit, of losing weight and of reaching most any fitness goal is consistency. The best time of day to exercise and the best exercises are truly the times and exercises that you do regularly. 

Carbohydrate VS Fibre Ratio: 

I try not to eat a lot of foods that have a nutritional label. Most of my foods are simply nuts, fruits and vegetables, brown rice and quinoa. Sometimes though I like to buy a nice bread or a cereal. I normally just look for the product with the highest fibre and try to limit the carbohydrate and sugar content. What happens when the carboydrate content is high and so is the fibre? At what point is it still a good idea to purchase that food? I love this video. It explains the ratio. 


Make your own Almond Milk 

I love almond milk. I don't consume dairy and although I can get a lot of calcium from nuts and dark leafy veggies (which I eat a ton of), I love my unsweetened almond milk. With the same calcium content as skim milk and a third the calories, for me the unsweetened almond milk is a no-brainer. The question is in the additives in the almond milk. If that is a concern for you, this may just be a solution for you. 

Almond Milk Receipe 

Exercise as Medicine by Dr. Michael Gregor. 

Exercise and nutrition as medicine? I have been saying that for years. People think I'm crazy. Looks like I'm not the only crazy one. 


Eat Beets to Improve Athletic Performance... 

Your mother told you to eat your veggies... And so did your fitness trainer if you are one of my clients! Other than the antioxidant benefits and reducing colds, flus and cancers, looks like there's another reason to eat your veggies. 


To Blend or Not to Blend Part I... 

It is tough to keep up with all of the information that comes in through the media and friends and family regarding fitness and nutrition. We all hear about different fitness or nutrition programs and we all hear about the people who do really well and lose tons of weight. 

Personally, I like the most natural, healthy, sustainable weight loss and weight management programs. That is appeals to me and what I hope others will consider. 

Now, to blend or not to blend... I love my shakes and smoothies. They are tasty and healthy, but are they effective? We know that if you grind up grains then eat them, this will cause your insulin levels to spike, thus encouraging your body to store more fat. Most of us don't typically want that. But what about when you grind fruit and vegetables? Well don't take my word for it, here's a video for you. Watch it and let's see what the studies say... 

September 3, 2015- Happy Anniversary! 

A lot of people look forward to their birthday, Chirstmas, Easter, long weekends and Friday nights. Me, I look forward to September 3rd. It was 17 years ago today that I incorporated Fit 'N' Well Personal Training. I started the company because I was overweight and I watched my father die due to heart disease in 1995. I changed my lifestyle, went to school to become a personal trainer and the rest as they say is history. 

It hasn't been all peaches and roses. I have enjoyed seeing people lose weight, become and stay healthy or healthier and have seen some generally great mental and physical transformations. I have also seen people return to their original weight or state of poor health and have seen clients and friends alike die of heart disease or various cancers over the years as well. This has strengthened my resolve as a personal trainer and has increased my desire to help people even more. In 2014 I became a vegan as I think it is important to walk the talk and I hope I can encourage more people to continue working on the never ending process of imporving their health and wellness too. A big thank you to my staff and clients over the years and to those who have supported Fit 'N' Well in one way or another. I hope the next 17 years are even more empowering for myself and our personal trainers. And as always I hope to continue helping people lose weight and live with less to no daily physical pain. 

Thank you. I look forward to seeing more people become fit and healthy. In the meantime... keep fit 'n' well. 



July 27, 2015- The Hidden Secret Left in the Open... 

The Hidden Secret to Weight Loss and Good Health Has Been Left In the Open. In the past 18 years of my personal training career, I have seen a lot of people and have referred hundreds of people on to my trainers. 

People come to us for all different reasons… 

Aesthetics- To tone up, get a “six pack”, look better, feel better, lose weight to…  

Health- to help control blood pressure or diabetes, joint problems, back pain, general absence of disease to… 

Longevity- again to avoid disease, to live longer, to have more time with grand children. 

Strength and endurance- Whether it is to train for an event, become better, stronger, faster at a sport or to keep up with the kids or grand kids. 

As personal trainers, my staff and I love helping people reach their health and fitness goals. Unfortunately many of our clients and most of the North American population mean well but are completely going about fueling themselves in a counter productive way that is contributing to their weight gain and disease. 

If you put water your car’s gas tank do you think your car will perform well? For anyone who has any experience with this kind of thing you will know that your car doesn’t work at all with out the right kind and amount of fuel. And yet, our bodies just seem to adjust to what ever we feed them…or do they? In North America more and more people are developing heart disease, cancer and diabetes than ever before. 

I call the key to better health a hidden secret because not many people know about it. I say it is in the open because it is in front of everyone every time they go into the grocery store. The answer is right out in the open, but it must be hidden because so few people see it. So what is the hidden secret? I can sum it up in two words… 


What are whole foods? For the sake of simplicity, whole foods are foods that come out of the ground or are picked from a tree or a vine. 

So what should you stay away from? If it comes in a can or a box and has more than two ingredients that you can’t pronounce, don’t eat it! If man made it, don’t eat it. If it is cured, sugared, msg’d, or “chemicalled” in any way, it is not the food for you. If it comes out of the ground or is grown on a tree and hasn’t been significantly altered, you are likely good to go. (For now let’s not get into the GMO’s, or how it is grown. We’ll leave that for another topic). 

For now, eat your fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, legumes and lentils. And if you must, enjoy small amounts of un-sugared (unsweetened) animal proteins. And if you really have to, then consume some low-fat/low sugar dairy choices. I’m not a fan of dairy or animal proteins for a thousand reasons that are better left for another day, but for now, let’s just drop the processed, “chemicalled” food shall we? Your waist line and your health will quickly thank you. 

The thousands of huge companies that profit billions of dollars won’t be happy as they are the ones who created the illusion that they were doing us a favour by processing our food. If we stopped eating processed food as a Nation we would have a lot of healthy people, our government would save billions on healthcare and we would have a lot of unhappy food processors and distributors. 

And yes, some people feel that you will lose your muscle or won’t be able to gain muscle if you stop eating huge amounts of animal proteins. People like Mr. Universe from 2014 don’t think so. He doesn’t eat any animal proteins or dairy. If a plant-based diet is good enough to support his musculature, then I think the rest of us are okay. 

For the record, I grew up on a farm. My idea of a sandwich used to be two pieces of meat with a tomato in the middle…But that was when I had a weight problem and joint issues. I can’t begin to describe how much better I feel now on a plant-based diet. I don’t expect people to follow my lead, but I hope that people will one day at least start eating whole foods and start limiting their chemical intake. If I could influence people to make that change I would be delighted!  

May 29, 2015- Psoas Stretch... 


Antonio from Fit 'N' Well demonstrates an easy way to stretch your psoas (front of your hip), commonly referred to as hip flexors. It is common for these muscles to get tight. People with tight hip flexors may experience low back pain. Antonio demonstrates a comfortable way to stretch this muscle group. 

May 27, 2015- Ten Tips for Weight Loss...  

Long before I became a personal trainer, I took a keen interest in weight loss as I watched my father die of heart disease due to obesity. I too was 40 pounds over weight so I got busy and dropped my weight from 220 to 180 pounds. That was 23 years ago. 

Since then I have continued in my quest to be healthy but find that it is all too easy to gain ten pounds again if I'm not careful. As long as I pay attention to a few important strategies, I find weight management or weight loss quite managable. 

Everyone has cravings and temptations. Many people have a basic understanding of what makes us fat. Inactivity, refined foods, fatty foods, over eating, portion sizes, midnight snacking…and the list goes on. The important thing is adhering to a strategy or strategies to avoid bad eating habits. In no particular order I have compiled a list of ten strategies to help in your quest to lose weight and keep it off. 

1.) Make healthy foods handy and unhealthy foods inconvenient. Wash and cut up or buy cut up vegetables and store them in the fridge in Tupperware containers so all veggies are easily accessible. As a vegan, I have my quinoa, rice, mixed beans and lentils, vegetables and nuts all in convenient Tupperware containers so it is very quick and easy to throw together a meal or a snack. Every meal is different as I use different combinations of these items. From soups to salads to snacks and green wraps a dozen basic ingredients offer a really wide variety of quick meals for when you need something quickly. For other meals when you aren't already hungry you may have the luxury of preparing a meal from scratch. If you are a meat eater, grill up some chicken and fish and store your meat in Tupperware containers so it is quick and convenient to throw something together. 

Part two of the first strategy is to make unhealthy foods inconvenient. Keep bread in the freezer. Sandwiches are too easy to default to. If you come home and you are starving hungry you will reach for what is convenient. If a peanut butter and jam sandwich takes the least amount of time to prepare, that is what you may gravitate to. Keep the healthy food accessible and the less healthy food inconvenient so your quick snack is a healthy one. You can still have the sandwich when you really crave it. It will just take some time to thaw or toast the bread first. In that period of time you will likely have eaten a fruit and some veggies to take the edge off if they are convenient. In doing so you will still eat less of the "unhealthy" choice if you start by filling up on veggies. 

2.) "Store your junk food" at the nearest 711 or Macs store. If you crave it so badly that you have to have it you can walk there or get in your car and drive there. Most of us, myself included are so lazy that most of the time after a long day at work we won’t bother. We will just settle for a healthy snack at home. If you really need those chips you can get in the car and drive to the store to get them. 

3.) Eat something every couple of hours so your sugar levels don’t make you feel light headed and weak. When you go too long without food you start instinctively craving foods that are typically higher in fat and or sugar. I have a small handful of nuts or an apple or orange every couple of hours. This keeps my sugar levels at an even keel throughout the day to avoid the sugar, thus insulin peaks and valleys. 

I promised ten tips, but three are enough for now. Work on these three things. When you master them I can guarantee you will feel better. If your choices truly are healthier you will likely lose some weight (if you have weight to lose). 

It is important to incorporate only one or two new habits and master them before you move on. If you try to change ten things all at once it may be just too overwhelming and most people won't adhere to a lifestyle change. WIth that in mind I will continue the next seven tips to weight loss and lifestyle change in future posts. 

If you think you might forget to check out our blog, facebook, google plus, or twitter page it may be easier to sign up on our newsletter to receive future health and fitness tips. 

In the meantime, keep fit 'n' well. 


May 21, 2015- Antonio from Fit 'N' Well demonstrates a cardio option exercise that can be done with little or no equipment. Try it out. For even more variety give his options a try. 


May 15, 2015. 

Lifestyle Changes that Work... 

The biggest mistake I see people make with their good intentions is they decide one day that they are going to be lose weight and become healthy. They get out of bed at 5a.m. and make themselves an egg white or two with a grapefruit on the side and wash it down with 10 oz. of water. Then they try to run 5 miles. By the next day they are hungry, grumpy and really sore. …And their new lifestyle and weight loss journey lasts about a week (if they’re lucky). 

I call this approach the “hot shower” approach. Let’s pretend for a minute that hot showers are really good for you. The hotter, the better. Let’s pretend that the hotter the shower that you have, the more energy and better sleep you will have. Also the hotter the shower, the more irresistible to the opposite sex (or same sex if that is who you want to attract) you will be. In this analogy you would think everyone would take hot showers. It would just be a given. Who needs a personal trainer? Just take a hot shower and all your problems are solved.  

So what would people do? They would turn their shower temperature to the recommended heat level (just under scalding) and step in…and then they would jump out with burns and figure that hot showers just aren’t for them. 

The strategist however might step into a luke-warm shower until he/she is accustomed to that temperature, then turn it up until the next heat level was tolerable and so on and so forth until the shower was as hot as he/she could stand it. The same is true with a healthy lifestyle. It is fine to wake up one morning and decide to change your lifestyle and decide to eat better, sleep better and exercise more regularly. My advice for those people interested in changing their lifestyles is to think of the “hot shower” analogy. If you are used to getting up at 8a.m. and you decide to go to bed at the same time, but get up at 5a.m. and run 5 miles, then eat egg whites and grapefruit you are going to be in for a shock. 

Allow yourself to start slowly... 

From a personal trainers' perspective I like to break it down to make it easier for people. Start with the exercise. Pick a time of the day that you are most likely to fit the exercise into your schedule and book that time off as “personal time”. It doesn’t have to be an hour. To start it can be 15 minutes, but make sure it is consistent on a daily basis. From there work up to 30 minutes and increase the intensity. Just these small increments will have a huge impact on your fitness. If you decide you will never have more time than 30 minutes to exercise, you will just have to slowly keep increasing the intensity or you may need to start doing some kind of interval training. Regarding your diet, if you are used to eating poorly, start slowly substituting healthier foods into your routine. 

Replace, don't remove... 

I used to be a complete ketchup-a-holic when I was over weight. I had ketchup on everything. When I realized that it was one of the major factors contributing to my ever-expanding wasitline (that and the foods that I chose to put ketchup on) I knew I had to cut back on that sugar and that started with dropping the ketchup. Did I cut it out all together? Yup. I tried unsuccessfully at first. Eventually I figured it out. I started by putting salsa sauce on anything I used to put Ketchup on because the sugar content is lower. Only on special occasions or on certain foods would I have ketchup and I started using it sparingly. From there I moved from Salsa sauce to a hot sauce because the sugar and sodium levels are lower. Today, I use a hot sauce or nothing at all. I used that same technique with many different foods. I would never cut one out without substituting it for something else that may have been equally as delicious, but the difference is it was a healthier choice. The move from Ketchup to hot sauce or nothing by the way was not a month or two. It was over a span of several years. Now I will only eat salsa sauce sparingly as well and I can't remember the last year that I had ketchup. If you simply cut things out of your diet, you will feel deprived. 

Over time your taste buds will change. It seems like just yesterday I ate a lot of sweets and pop. Today I don’t desire sweet foods at all. Not even at special occasions. I only sweeten foods with natural sugars from fruit. Rather than using sugar in oatmeal, I add berries...And by the way, cinnamon is the new sugar. WIth certain foods it is awesome. It doesn't sweeten foods, but it does add a different flavour to foods that I used to add sugar to. Now I am happy with my alternatives and sugar doesn't even tempt me.  

You don't need to achieve all of your goals tomorrow. Lasting change takes time. 

The great thing about making a lifestyle change is if you are unhealthy right now you have the rest of your life to start making healthier choices. This week exchange an unhealthy food for a healthier option. Next week or next month make another improvement. If you were to only make one small change a month and commit to that one change, think about how powerful your weight loss results will be over the span of a year or over 5 years. 

I am always trying to make one more small improvement in different areas of my life. I first heard of the Japanese using this technique. I believe it was Anthony Robbins who phrased it for the English-speaking world. He coined it "CANI" Constant and Never Ending Improvement. The improvements don't need to be big, they just need to keep coming. 

"CANI" is the reason I am not the same person that I was ten years ago. And if my commitment to "CANI" was stronger, my life would even be better. The person from ten years ago simply doesn’t live here anymore and I don’t miss him either...And hopefully in another ten years my transformation will continue at a strong pace... 

A couple more decades like this and I may just be able to master grade 12 algebra! :) 

May 4, 2015- How inspirational; Jim Morris, Mr Olympian from the '70's still a man of iron at 78! His personal story is amazing. He would make an amazing personal trainer! Check out this short video. 


May 1, 2015- Exercise Of The Week: 

Plate Raises- 


Fit 'N' Well personal Trainer, Greg leads as Melissa demonstrates this week's exercise. On those days where you can't possibly squeeze in a 30 or 45 minute work out, even if you only have 15 minutes, this is a great solution. Just super set plate raises with lat pull downs and or seated rows and you will have given most of the major muscle groups in your body a really great work out. As I mentioned before, consistency is very important if you are interested in great results. So when you only have 15 minutes for a work out, rather than ditching your exercise program entirely because you don't have an hour to work out, try plate raises and lat pull downs or seated rows. 3-4 sets of plate raises and super set in 3-4 sets or either lat pull downs or seated rows and your 15 minutes will be really well spent. 

April 24, 2015- Q & A: 


They tell me the best time to exercise is in the morning. Is that true? 


Yes, technically the best time to exercise is first thing in the morning as it boosts your metabolism for the rest of the day. And no. No, as a personal trainer I advise people that the best time of day to exercise is the time of day that is most convenient for their schedule and the time of day that they can maintain the most consistent exercise regime. If your intention is to work out at 6a.m. every day but you miss three out of five work outs because you can't get out of bed then perhaps morning work outs aren't for you. If you want to see great results in your fitness or weight loss program I would recommend that you pick a consistent time to exercise and stick to that time on a daily basis. The rest of your daily commitments can and will fit around your scheduled exercise time. Whether your goal is losing weight, toning, bodybuilding, training for a sport or if you are just interested in staying fit, the easiest way of seeing results is in consistency. And the easiest way to maintain a consistent exercise program is by picking a consistent time of day that works best for your schedule then sticking to it. Regardless of how busy you are, you can find 15 minutes to an hour. It may seem that you can’t but you can if it is important enough to you, you will find the time. And yes there will be days when from morning to night you won’t find an hour for a work out. Sometimes life truly gets too busy. I understand that as I have those days too, but can you find 15 minutes?...The answer is yes you can and we’ll show you what to do in those 15 minutes to get a great full-body work out. Up next week are a couple of exercises that you can do that will work your entire body. You will get a cardiovascular work out and get a full body strength training work out all in under 15 minutes.  

April 17, 2015- Exercise Of The Week:  


Squat Slams- 

Fit 'N' Well personal Trainer, Antonio leads as his client Melissa demonstrates this week's exercise. We like it because it works a lot of muscle groups while providing a cardiovascular component. It is a great exercise to incorporate into your routine. It's also the perfect type of exercise to try when you don't have much time to work out. If you can only find 15 minutes in your day to work out, try a few sets of squat slams. 

April 12, 2015- Nutrition: 

For years we have heard about the fad diet of the month, and read the latest books on weight loss. Almost a year ago I switched to a vegan diet and have never felt better. That being said, I am not suggesting that everyone switch to a vegan diet. As a wildlife photographer half of my reason to switch to a vegan diet was due to how we treat animals. The other half however is due to my passion of health and fitness. 

I have had clients rave about how easy it is to log calories and carbohydrates into various software programs. I am delighted to know that they are becoming more consciencious about their nutrition, but do we really need to log every calorie and every gram of carbohydrate? I would much rather people just eat whole foods. Whole foods are foods that are not refined. You remember those things. Fruits, not fruit roll ups, vegetables, not canned vegetable soup. Since I became a vegan, I do feel much better and have lost those extra few pounds of weight that I couldn't have lost as easily otherwise. In my case, I think my weight loss success can be attributed to eating whole foods. I used to cut back on the potatos and yet I would eat pasta. At some point I just wondered why I would take such an approach. I realized it was all of those books I read condemning the starch in potatos. Today I would much rather see someone eat a small portion of potatos than any portion of pasta. Let's think about this logically. Should we really be counting calories, carbohydrates, protein and sodium from something in a can or a box? Or should our focus be on eating vegetables, fruits and proteins that haven't been processed? 

I was blunt with my last client who told me about how they logged their calories and carbohydrates etc. My response was if it is easy to count calories and carbohydrates, you are eating the wrong foods. There are no nutritional labels on an apple or any other fruit or vegetable.  

Let's start taking a logical approach to our weight loss and weight management shall we? Let's start limiting the amount of foods that we eat that have labels. When we do buy something that comes in a can or a box if there are several ingredients that you don't recognize or can't pronounce, maybe think twice about eating that food on a regular basis. 

Take my breakfast cereal for example. For breakfast I eat rolled oats with some berries and half a banana and almond milk. Look at the ingredients on the bag of rolled oats in the picture to the right. How many ingredients do you see? I see one..."Rolled Oats". 

April 5, 2015 


Welcome to our first Fit 'N' Well blog. I know it is way over due, but I promise to make up for lost time. I thought I would start off on our first blog with the most important word in any fitness routine or nutrition plan. That word of course is consistency. Have you ever seen that person in the gym who has a great physique and yet has absolutely horrible form? Yes they may have great genes and that isn't something that we can change. You may also notice that person is consistently doing his or her routine on a daily basis. Now I'm not excusing poor form. What I am saying is that even though he or she has poor form and it doesn't look like they know what they are doing, because that person is working out consistently they will have a huge advantage over the person who has a great routine and perfect form, but only works out occassionally.  

My first piece of advice then is to start your exercise habit and find a way to exercise consistently and do some form of exercise every day. That is one of the greatest benefits of hiring a personal trainer. A good personal trainer will not only design a program that is custom tailored to your specific fitness needs, but he or she will help you to stay on track and stay consistent.