Nutrition

Well, just wanted to encourage you all with a variety of stories and updates from our challenge that was from March 1-March 31!

It was a challenge based mainly on reduction in sugar.  Why? Because sugar is evil? No! Because everyone should lose weight? No! Everyone has reasons and things that they want and need to feel better in mind and body and to be more mindful and honest about what it is we are putting into our bodies.  Results will range from physical results, better sleeping, better habits, less guilt about treats…the list goes on and on.

We had about 100 with an intention to commit on the blackboard.

74 of those people wrote their name on their class time at the warehouse and gave it a shot for either 2 or 4 weeks, with a focus on reduction or elimination of refined sugars (basically sugar not found naturally in foods like fruit etc.)

We had one training time that had 0 participants, another that had 13, and everything in between.  Even if things didn’t go well, that’s ok.  We learn and try to get better together! Our 3 coaches also made their own goals and posted them at the warehouse on the wall.


8 Short Stories

These represent the good, the not-so-good, and diversity of a few of you who engaged!


Sherri – member since September, making steady changes since, ready for new challenge! Status: Committed

Was about 80% during challenge. Planned 6 treats for the month.  Family has really been encouraged by meal planning since January (helpful in challenge).

Things are a work in progress, trying not to get complacent in choices, and having a treat is ok! I did NOT abandon my decision to do the challenge through the ups and downs.

Since starting at Fukumoto I am down 2 sizes. I have more energy and feel stronger than I have ever felt. Last week, Barbara told me I looked ready to do a push up without bands. I did it!! Not for every round but the first few! I am committed to my health and well being. I never miss a class, reschedule if other commitments arise and feel this is a contract to myself in living a satisfying healthy lifestyle.


Shawna – making changes in nutrition since joining in February and jumping in on the challenge!

I’ve seen some great results since joining Fukumoto! I’ve tried to follow a sugar reduction diet since joining in February and signed up for the nutrition challenge in March. By mid-March I was down 15 lbs and several inches. I feel stronger and look forward to improving at every workout. I know there are nutritional improvements I can still make…the last week has seen a few more glasses of wine than it should have but my goal is to keep making improvements and to make good choices on a daily basis…and if I happen to make a poor choice I love knowing that my next workout is just around the corner!

Anyways, going forward I plan to try and keep eating well, keep up with the meal prep and maybe try to implement the nutritional journal and some more defined goals. For now though I’m super happy with the results I’ve been seeing both physically and mentally.


Paul – been making changes over last 4 months and did 2 weeks of challenge

1 tangible change: gone from having 5 sodas a week (20/month) to about 2/month.

What I have learned over the past couple of months is that there is a difference between something being a treat and something being a habit, and there is a difference between being mindful of what you are putting into your body and being obsessed about everything that you put into your body.

I am glad I did the challenge but I think going forward I want to focus on the big picture and not go for nutrition challenges that I know I am only going to do for 1 week or 1 month but rather things that I can realistically do for the rest of my life.  I can eat healthier.  I can make better decisions when I need something quick or when things are really busy.  I can learn to cook better and healthier.  We can do meal prep as a part of our lifestyle… But I also want to have a slurpee every once in a while and not have it feel like I am a terrible person.


Adrienne – Didn’t go that well BUT learning took place upon reflection

I signed up for the nutrition challenge for 2 weeks (reduction) but did not really succeed.
I ended up craving more sugar than I expected and realized a few things:

  1. you have to be ready and committed to do the challenge (which I was not entirely)
  2. Next time I need to set out more of a concrete plan and anticipate the instances I will encounter sugar (eg. Birthdays) and how I’ll respond
  3. I ended up compensating with a fair bit of sugary fruits (e.g. Pineapple)
  4. Helps to have the whole family on board when you do this
  5. Meal prep is definitely key
  6. Could definitely notice I felt better on days with no or little sugar, than days with more
  7. Conclusion:  Will do this again but need to do more preparation and planning in order to succeed.

Wanda – 4th time trying and progress made!

I have done several nutrition challenges. Some I made it a week, some a day, then I decided last time not to do it and that felt worse. This time was different.

I had been doing the meal plan and prep going in to nutrition month and found that to be an integral part of the success.

I made the protein balls, I made them small so I could have two for those times when I was looking in every cupboard that I had looked in ten minutes before and there was nothing “good” to eat.

I planned sugar reduction/healthy eating  for 90% of the time. If I eat breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack per day on average, thats eating 42 times per week. So four of those times, I would allow myself something and not berate myself after (usually dessert or wine).

Seemed to work well as I am back into clothes that did not fit at the beginning of the month!


Felicity – Done this multiple times, still learning, still getting results!

Went Well: Meal Prep KEY. Tracking using FF sheets and Fitness Pal App.  Recognizing “Hunger vs Something Else”.

Challenges: Weekends (Out of routine creates space for unhealthier habits). Negative/Comments from Others (I don’t want to have to justify to everyone why I’m trying to be healthier!). Not having so much coffee (Wasn’t able to cut out but reduced was good!).

Results: approximately 7lbs, 6.5 inches, better performance at FF, better skin, less bloat/stomach aches

Advice for Others! Keep Trying (I’ve done these multiple times and some don’t go well, others do but keep trying). Baby Steps (focus on 1 change at a time).  Tracking (if you don’t track things, you won’t know the truth and can’t see what you did right). Ask for Help (if you’re stuck on something, ask your coach!).


Torrey – weekends difficult, unpreparedness made it harder, more aware of sugar in things never knew before, physical changes (including skin and weight loss)

While I found March challenging and fell off the wagon more than I would have liked to, I feel I still had some success with the challenge. I was able to shed a couple more lbs, discover patterns associated with consuming more than usual or processed sugar (irritability!) and see a noticeable difference in my skin. I also became more aware of ingredients in things such as seasonings and sauces/condiments (I was a little shocked to find sugar in balsamic vinegar, which is my usual go to for marinading.

Need to focus on adding more protein outside of meat/poultry/fish.


Lorraine  – did 14-day detox then got sick, still an overall success

Did the advanced 2 week detox plan from resources (I’ve done the regular challenges before so note I didn’t just try the hardest plan having no experience).  Got boyfriend on board.  Meal prep was very helpful and had great results (about 5lbs and better fitting into clothes).

Got sick so was kind of derailed a bit (had some sweets as comfort food) but that’s life and I’ll continue to do my best post-challenge.


There were many more stories so thanks for sharing and your efforts.  Some themes are shining through in most of the stories:

1.  Progress Not Perfection – should be no surprise but people are getting better at planning treats, enjoying life, but still not using that as an excuse to be unhealthy. Having a bad day, week or longer doesn’t make you a bad person but if you learn to be ok with yourself in the less than perfect times, you’re on your way to be content!

2. If At First You Don’t Succeed…Try, Try Again – many people have tried this challenge multiple times and try not to get hung up on if it doesn’t go the greatest every day of every challenge.  Whether it was your first, second, fifth attempt way to go!

3.  Meal Prep was KEY! Having some form of your meals and food ready to go to start the week and throughout is a common thread in our most successful and healthy clients. Having done this in February as a group initiative seemed to really help!

You don’t need to wait until our next challenge to do something. (There are many great options in your Success System package).  Make 1 change, track it, and do your best.  There is never a convenient time to be healthy but at FF we’re blessed to as of right now, be able to choose to train and be healthy.  Let’s try our best to keep it that way as long as possible!

 

All sugars, naturally occurring in a food or added to a food, have the same nutritional value and are handled by the body in the same way.

Did you know? — All sugars provide 4 calories per gram (that’s 16 calories per teaspoon).

5 Shocking Facts about Sugar

  • Sugar is the number one food additive used in the food industry today.
  • Canadians, on average, are consuming about 26 teaspoons of sugar a day.
  • There are 10 teaspoons of sugar in one can of pop (355 mL)!
  • Sugar is used in MANY processed foods, not only to sweeten, but also to preserve and to give color.
  • Added sugars and fat are often found together in foods and both provide extra calories you likely do not need.

What’s the difference between natural sugars and added sugars?

Added sugars are all sugars that are added to foods during processing and preparation. Common foods that have added sugars include: soft drinks, candy, chocolate, desserts, baked goods, fruit beverages, and sweetened breakfast cereals. Added sugars are used to sweeten foods, and to improve color, texture and shelf life.

Natural sugars are sugars that occur naturally in food items. For example, lactose is a natural sugar in milk, while fructose is a natural sugar in fruit. Though the body processes natural and added sugars in the same way, foods with natural sources of sugar generally provide more nutrition, including fibre, vitamins, and minerals.

How much sugar should I consume in a day?

This has been a hot topic in the past year. While there are challenges with a consensus on the topic, the American Heart Association recommends no more than the following for added sugars on a daily basis:

Women = 25 grams or less (100 calories or 6 teaspoons)

Men = 38 grams or less (150 calories or 9 teaspoons)

What should I look for in the ingredients to know if there is sugar?

You can look for the word “sugar” in the ingredients or any of the following:

Glucose, fructose, glucose/fructose, liquid sugar, invert sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, honey, molasses, cane juice, syrup, sucrose, dextrin, concentrated fruit juice (this is not an exhaustive list! Refer to the FF Grocery Tour handout for a longer one!)

If you see any of these sugars listed as one of the first three ingredients, the product is considered high in sugar.

Are honey, brown sugar and agave nectar better choices than white sugar?

Some consider honey, brown sugar or agave to be more “natural”, however they are still all sugars, which are a concentrated source of calories, with little other nutrition. The body cannot distinguish between them and white sugar, and they are processed in the body the same way.

What about artificial sweeteners?

Also known as “sugar substitutes”, artificial sweeteners are added to foods to make them sweet, but contain little to no calories. Health Canada must approve all artificial sweeteners before they are available on the market and deemed safe. There are different types of artificial sweeteners such as: aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, sugar alcohols (sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol), saccharin, stevia, and cyclamate.

It is a personal preference whether you choose to use artificial sweeteners. Something to keep in mind — artificial sweeteners are widely used in processed foods. We know that processed foods can be high in salt and fat as well. Artificial sweeteners are commonly used in diet pop, beverages, candies, desserts, chocolate, baked goods — foods that offer little nutritional value. Read the label and look for artificial sweeteners in the ingredients. Ensure that artificially sweetened foods are not replacing nutrient-rich foods that your body needs.

Will eating sugar cause diabetes?

Eating sugar itself does not cause diabetes, however a diet high in sugar, fat and salt could lead to obesity, which is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

How can I reduce the amount of sugar in my diet?

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Know where sugar hides and read the label!
  • Take a look at what you are drinking. Try to cut back on pop, fruit juices, coffee/tea with sugar, and other sweetened beverages. Drink water!
  • Replace the sugar in your coffee, tea and cereal with other flavorings such as vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg or cocoa.
  • Limit processed foods as much as possible. Go fresh!
  • Cut back on store bought baked goods like muffins, cereal, granola bars, sugar sweetened yogurts, cookies and crackers.
  • Get your sugar from natural sugars such as fresh fruit and milk products.
  • When baking, trying cutting back the amount of sugar called for by ¼ cup (this shouldn’t drastically affect the recipe).
  • Limit jams, jellies and sauces/condiments (ketchup, relish, BBQ sauce, plum sauce, etc).
  • Buy fresh fruits or fruits canned in water or natural juice. Avoid fruit canned in syrup, especially heavy syrup.

During this month’s challenge and beyond, it is very helpful to create a written out action plan you can follow.  Keep it simple and easy to track (use resources we’ve given you).  Also, know WHY you are trying to cut down on sugar.  Making the connection to a better life (feeling better, looking better, sleeping better, role model for family/kids/friends/co-workers, performance goals, reducing risk of diseases, mental health etc) is going to be instrumental in your success. It starts with your willingness to change and then taking action!

 

 

 

References:

Eat Right Ontario. The truth about sugars FAQs. http://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/Articles/Carbohydrate/The-Truth-about-Sugar—FAQs.aspx

Statistics Canada. Sugar consumption among Canadians of all ages http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-003-x/2011003/article/11540-eng.htm

 

By Christine Tuan, RD & Fukumoto Fitness Member


We are all busy. When things get hectic, healthy habits like food choices and practices can easily fall by the wayside. Sometimes even the thought of prepping a meal can seem overwhelming and that it takes too much time. I challenge you to rethink this statement. The idea behind meal prepping is not to create more work. The goal is to ultimately save time and energy, and even money, while preparing delicious and healthy foods for you and your family. Hopefully some of the tips below will inspire you to give meal prepping a try.

1. Make a weekly meal plan

“What am I going to eat tonight?” Does this sound like a familiar phrase? This last minute thinking can sometimes lead to poor meal choices, wasted time, and more money spent on extra trips to the grocery store. Force yourself to think ahead and plan what you are going to eat for the week. Write it down on a calendar and post this in a place where it can be seen.

2. Look for recipes that can be made in less than 30 minutes

A quick Google search of “30 minute meals” yields hundreds of awesome recipes! Try cookbooks that emphasize 20 or 30 minutes meals, weeknight meals or quick meals. There are plenty of healthy recipes that can be made from scratch when you are short on time.

3. Consider batch cooking

The idea behind batch cooking is to make a large quantity of a recipe all at once to generate leftovers for later use. This could mean doubling or tripling a recipe so it makes more. This is a great option if you are short on time and are looking for a healthy meal on the go. Some people choose to devote one day a week to making multiple batch meals, or batch cook as they go. Batch cooking in the long run can be a very efficient use of time and can save you money as you may be buying in bulk.

4. Slow cook it

The slow cooker is your best friend, so put it to use! Find your favorite recipe, layer in the ingredients, set the temperature and let the cooker do the work. This can save you tons of time and reduce cost as it can be very economical to run a slow cooker versus the oven or stove. The slow cooker is also a great way to batch cook your favorite soup, stew, chili or casserole.

5. Wash and chop veggies after you buy them

When you come home from the grocery store, wash and prep the vegetables you plan on using for the week.

  • Cut vegetable sticks such as carrots, celery, cucumbers, or broccoli and store in the fridge for quick access when you need a healthy snack.
  • Wash and chop lettuce so it’s ready to go when you need it.
  • Review your planned recipes and chop any vegetables that you will require so you can just add them when it comes to cooking.

6. Set out all ingredients and cooking gear the night before

This takes less than five minutes and will save you time the next day when you are in a rush. Simply take out the ingredients you will need the night before and set out any pans or cookware you will require. Will thank yourself when you can come home and begin cooking right away.

7. Cook twice the amount of protein you will need

If you are cooking chicken, beef or another other type of protein, make extra for use in salads, sandwiches, stir fry, or pasta the next day. If you enjoy eggs, boil up to a dozen a once so that they are easy to grab and go.

8. Multitask

A bit of multitasking can help you get the job done quicker. For example if you are waiting for your chicken to cook, start cutting and prepping your vegetables and seasonings. While your meal is in the oven, start doing dishes and cleaning up so that you don’t have to do it later. Take advantage of the time you have and put it to use.

9. Ask for help

Get the family involved. Engage the household in the weekly meal plan and divide up tasks to save time and share responsibility.

10. Start a meal plan and recipe folder

Don’t let all your hard work go to waste! Save all your weekly meal plans and recipes for future use. You will thank yourself when you are stumped for ideas and short on time.

 

What are your time saving meal prep tips? Share your ideas with me at cht7@hotmail.com. I will compile all your fabulous tips so they can be shared with other members in next month’s blog post. The more opportunity to share experiences, the better we will be. Let’s go!

 

 

 

 

October was a challenge month at Fukumoto Fitness.  Many people signed up with good intentions to better their health (physical, mental, emotional) through a new or renewed commitment to putting good food and drink into their systems!

Regardless of how it went, that is the past! The main thing is to learn something from it (learning shown through future action), to be honest (if you didn’t keep track then there is no evidence), and to feel less to no feelings of guilt for how things went if they went sub-par.

Here we highlight stories of all different kinds! Keeping track, being honest, and reflection is beneficial regardless of your outcome right now.


Alissa Osmond-Beach

My best one so far! Started with the Reduction plan but it turned to the Elimination (sugar).  I actually sniffed wrappers/treats but didn’t eat them as it helped me in the moment! I had a couple of unplanned bumps (unplanned wine and halloween treats) but very proud of myself and sometimes I didn’t feel like a planned treat so didn’t have it! I’m down 5lbs, less bloated, and proud of myself! The next 2 weeks I have planned out to continue!


Kendra Bergen 

Challenge went well until October 11 as I was preparing for my 10km and pretty serious about it.  After that, I did not track which then contributed to some lost accountability.  I have still done a pretty good job though.  90% for first 2 weeks and 75% for second.  I only had alcohol 3 times this month and have been meal prepping on Sundays.  I am certain my nutrition helped me shave 9 minutes off my previous 10km! I feel a lot better as cutting out alcohol has obvious physical and mental benefits, and my clothes fit looser.  I see the need to keep track better next time but overall, I did well.


Marian Braun 

Had treats that gave me a 64% rate but still feel great about it.  Have maintained very minimal sugar for 1.5 years now and find most unhealthier things happen on weekends with other people.  I do not feel like a failure (thanks for reiterating this in the writeup!) which is great and I found the tracking process very useful.


Susan Unruh

Did challenge to work on after supper eating.  Chose 6 healthy options and made sure I had groceries for all options in the house.  25/31 success rate! Feel good now about choices in evening and also learned that even with good options around, there are foods that I still have hard time walking by if in the house.  To maintain long-term physical changes I’ve achieved, I learned I can’t feel like I’m ‘suffering’ through the process and deprive myself from all the foods I like.  Moving forward, I’m trying to be ok with my life with fewer calories and am thankful for the gym’s emphasis on physical, mental, and emotional aspects.


Sherri Poklar 

The first week was tough but as the days went by I felt confident as I reviewed our family’s meals.  This was first Thanksgiving I can remember where I didn’t feel stuff but ate to feel satisfied.  I learned to ask the question: “Do I really need more? Or am I eating fast to get the kids out the door?”.  Had a slip up of nanaimo bar, crepes, whipped cream and by body reacted BADLY.  Headache and upset stomach.  I actually didn’t need or want it but was just doing what everyone else was doing.  Good to learn.  I did take measurements on October 1st…hips 39.5′ to 38′ and then waist 37.5′ to 33′! Also down 12lbs since mid-September but I only just checked at end of challenge! (I’m not focused just on it is what I’m saying!) I am re-committing my family to reduce sugar which is a good challenge with a 5 and 8 year old.


Contessa Dela Cruz 

Really good on follow through (not quite 100%) and have less headaches and slumpiness during the day.  I am way more aware of what’s in my food.  Was reaching for carrots and grapes in evening most of the time.  I didn’t have much physical change (minus the 2lb drop early on) but I’m feeling very good and satisfied about my action.


Lorraine Sarcida 

This was good timing as I didn’t eat as healthy in the summer and felt sluggish.  Getting back on track made me feel less bloated, gave me more energy, and my clothes fit better again.  Down 4lbs. I was encouraged by how quickly changes can come when you keep accurate track.


Cheryl Staerk 

I have lost weight and inches but biggest thing is that I feel better mentally and emotionally.  I’m starting to enjoy meal planning and cooking and my workouts are better. My husband has joined me and has seen so much results he needs new clothes! The support here is amazing.


Erica Kappy 

I did not track well.  I had a few good days then fell off the wagon.  I learned I need to PLAN daily, weekly, monthly.  Some days I don’t eat enough and I know veggies and water are going to be key.  I’m going to work hard next month.  No matter how I do, I will continue to do these challenges because I learn something new each time.  I can’t be too upset with myself as I’m truly making progress in big picture.


Rachel Westman 

My goals were to drink tea over coffee, plan my treats, and take out diet coke, crystal light and other unhealthy sweeteners and drinks like those.  I managed to do the replacement and had only 1 coffee with sugar per week, gave away all crystal light (I had 6 flavours on my desk).  I am down 7lbs this month.

I learned that even though my treats were planned I tended to go overboard with them and feel sick.  So just because I planned it doesn’t mean it needs to happen.


Jenah Klassen 

Started the reduction but decided to dive into elimination instead.  Was not prepared for how sick I felt for the first week as I had eliminated diet pop and processed foods.  Halfway through I slipped up but instead of quitting I started up again on the Monday!  I am down 10.8lbs this month and no longer take a regular nap after work, have more energy, and my skin is looking better too.  I will continue this challenge for another month in the hopes of real habits forming and it becoming more of the way I eat on a regular basis.


Keira Friesen 

I reduced sugar in beverages and used alternative desserts (more with dates, nuts, and fruit) and cut out margarine and used coconut and olive oil and butter instead.  Hard to pinpoint where nutrition and training separate (can you?) but feel happier about how I’m eating, less tempted to binge, and more satisfied with less sweet foods.   I’m now down 7lbs (last few months) and in my “healthy zone” (the zone where I feel like I am able to maintain my weight with regular exercise but not going crazy with diets, happy with the way my clothes fit, good energy levels, etc).


Leanne Theriault 

Had 52% sticking to it which looks good for me but I’m disappointed with my goal setting as I made things too easy and didn’t change them to be more specific.  I have set new goals for the next Recovery Training Week starting November 12.

Things I Learned:

Need to set more challenging goals, more specific goals, and goals aimed at my struggle (salt over sugar).

I am afraid of failing which leads to not setting good goals.  This can improve.

I’m not creative in the kitchen so should use the FF recipe page more for simple ideas!

I have problem saying “no thank-you to people”, I know I want to try this again right away, I know I want to do it better, I know I can do this!


Many more of you have your own stories as well (whether they are very positive, you wish you did better, you quit etc) but its all ok! To be successful you can’t be afraid of failing and you just have to learn and move forward.

Did you notice that even those who felt it wasn’t the greatest still planned on trying again? Even those who did well had times of ‘slips’ but they didn’t quit and it was worth it!

Hopefully all who gave it their best had mental and emotionally changes that you noted.  Some of you had big physical changes, some small, and some minimal.  All are ok! There are reasons for each outcome.  There is no 1 way to eat right.  There is no 1 direct path for you.  Sometimes you get it right away but most of the time you try many times before something ‘clicks’ and then its still not perfect! Be more and more free from perfectionistic views and expectations of yourself.


One other note is that we rarely have our men clients record or keep track of things and hopefully one day this changes as they are just as important and are in just as high risk categories as women (sometimes more) for unhealthy nutritional behaviour leading to chronic issues.  Let’s go men!


There is going to be a lot of people who did not keep track well.  That’s ok.

There is going to be a lot of people who quit or didn’t even start.  That’s ok.

Everyone needs to make choices based on what they want! We will continue to provide you with tools to succeed and its up to you whether or not you want to use them now, later, or ever!

Thanks for your hard work, your honesty, and remember “better together!” and “progress not perfection”.

 

Recovery Week Nutrition Challenge

By Christine Tuan, Registered Dietitian and FF Member

Are you ready for a challenge? Try to incorporate some healthy eating changes into your daily routine this week. You can do it! This is a great opportunity to look at your eating habits, try something new and keep the changes going.

Below is the challenge for the week. Each day suggests trying a new action item. Watch for a printable version of the challenge in your email so you can track your progress. Good luck and eat well!           

Eat 7 servings from the fruit and vegetable food group

  • Aim for more vegetables
  • Try for 4 servings of vegetables; 3 servings of fruit
  • Remember, 1 serving is:
    • ½ cup (125 ml) fresh, frozen, canned vegetables or fruit
    • 1 cup (250 ml) raw leafy vegetables
    • 1 medium size fruit

Choose water as your beverage of choice

  • Refreshing and calorie free!
  • Cut out sugar based beverages and drink water instead
  • This includes: coffee/tea with sugar, pop, iced tea, juice, alcohol, vitamin water, etc.
  • Remember to drink more water when you are active and when it’s hot outside

Avoid eating out

  • Save money and the added calories!
  • Eat in and enjoy a homemade meal
  • Tap into your leftovers if you are too tired to cook
  • Bring your lunch to work

Clean out the pantry

  • This is a great time to get organized, throw away items that are old and stale and to think twice about keeping temptation foods
  • If it’s in a box or bag, get rid of it! Think about tossing packaged items that are high in salt, sugar and fat
  • This includes items like: ready to make entrees/side dishes, granola bars, cookies, sugary cereals, packaged sauces, crackers, chips, etc.

 

By Christine Tuan, RD & FF Member

Do you ever feel stuck trying to come up with healthy meal ideas? Do find yourself grabbing convenience food items or eating out because it’s “easier”? The truth is that a little preparation and forward thinking can help you eat healthier, stay on budget and get food on the table quicker.

1.   Grab a pen and keep a running list

It can seem impossible to plan for a week of healthy meals when you are crunched for time and sitting in front of a blank piece of paper. Change this habit. Keep a “meal idea list” handy and write down your ideas as they come to you. Gather ideas from family, friends, and co-workers. Find tasty recipes from your favourite cookbook, magazine or online. File your meal ideas and recipes in a binder to use in the future. Get inspired:

2. Take an inventory of your kitchen

A simple way to get started with meal planning is to see what you’ve got in your pantry, fridge and freezer. Take note of what needs to be used up soon so it does not go to waste. Have an ingredient on hand and not sure what to do with it? Check out My Recipes and enter in your ingredients to generate hundreds of great meal ideas!

3. Limit processed and packaged foods

While they may seem quick and easy, processed and ready to eat foods are typically high in calories, fat, sugar and salt. Instead try:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables. Frozen is a good option too and can be easier on the wallet when produce selection is limited or out of season.
  • Power protein! If you are a meat lover, try fresh or frozen poultry, pork, beef or fish. Canned fish such as tuna or salmon packed in water is high in protein and economical. Meat alternatives are cost friendly and a great way to include plant protein. Try chickpeas, lentils, beans, and tofu. Don’t forget that eggs, nuts, milk and quinoa are also loaded with protein.
  • Whole grains. Read ingredients. Look for the first ingredient to be listed as: whole grain whole wheat flour, whole rye, whole oat/oatmeal, whole corn or whole barley. Get your fibre! Aim for 4 grams of fibre or more per serving.

4. Save cooking time

When planning meals, consider:

  • Cooking larger batches to generate leftovers for lunches or for another night
  • Using time saving appliances such as the microwave, slow cooker, or toaster oven
  • Cooking once and using many ways. Roast a whole chicken on the weekend and use the leftovers to make salads, pastas or fajitas.

5. Downsize your portions

Our eyes are sometimes bigger than our stomachs! We’ve been cultured to think that a eating a large, full plate of food is the way to go. Scaling back on portions can also save money. Try:

  • Using a smaller plate
  • Filling half of your plate with vegetables
  • Eating small meals and snacks throughout the day to curb hunger and prevent overeating
  • Learning how much you are actually eating. Start measuring! This will be a bit more time consuming but can be eye opening. Keep a small scale, measuring cups and spoons on hand.
  • Plating your meal instead of going “family style”. Seeing dishes on the table can lead to overindulgence. Plate your meal at the start and pack away leftovers for another time.

 

 

 

In a 2011 survey by the Heart and Stroke Foundation, 41% of Canadian respondents said that healthy meals take too long to prepare; 44% said that had no time for regular physical activity. As Fukumoto Fitness members, we’ve all made the weekly time commitment to exercise. Why can’t eating healthy fit in too? 

Eating healthy is a commitment, however with planning and practice, eating healthy can easily become part of your daily routine. Healthy meals do not have to take long to prepare!

What is meal prepping?

Preparing and planning meals in advance to save time and stay on track with healthy eating.

What you’ll need:

  • Meal ideas/recipes
  • Groceries/shopping list – fresh produce, fruit, protein, etc.
  • Plastic containers/bags for storage
  • Cutting board and knife
  • 30 minutes!

Plan your meals for the week

Planning and grocery shopping on the weekend can prepare you for the week ahead. Here’s an example of a supper meal plan:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Baked salmon & spinach salad

 

Chicken fajitas

Vegetable frittata

Turkey & bean chili & side salad

Tuna sandwich & vegetable sticks

Homemade pizza & kale salad

Prep meal components

Remember, meal prepping doesn’t have to mean making the entire meal. Prepping elements of the meal will make it easier for you to cook the meal the day of. Look at your meal plan and pull out elements that can be done ahead of time.

Consider:

  • Washing all vegetables and fruits so they are clean and ready to cook/eat
  • Cutting meat as needed and marinating or seasoning
  • Cooking batches of food such as beans, pasta, rice
  • Cutting vegetable sticks and storing in plastic containers for easy access
  • Assembling salads in containers as a quick grab

Let’s look at the meal plan above and see what we could do ahead of time!

  • Wash all lettuce, kale and spinach for the salads
  • Chop and peel vegetable sticks for Thursday’s dinner and for lunches during the week
  • Cut chicken into strips and marinate with spices for fajitas on Tuesday
  • Slice vegetables for frittata on Wednesday and store in the fridge
  • Grate cheese for frittata on Tuesday and pizza on Saturday

Additional Tips for Meal Prepping

  1. Try to plan meals with foods that can be used in multiple meals (i.e. beans, leafy greens, protein, quinoa, etc). This will help with meal prepping and can save you time and money.
  2. Multitask! When meals are cooking, use time wisely and chop vegetables or begin making another part of the meal.
  3. Make it a family affair. Get kids, spouses, siblings, and parents involved!
  4. Cook extra when you have some down time. Fill up the fridge or freezer to make it easier for the days you are just too busy to cook.
  5. Use crock pots/slow cooker, rice cookers and the microwave to get the most out of your time.

Reference:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/canadians-have-no-time-for-healthy-living-1.1008768

Get inspired! Here are some fabulous photos of meal prepping posted on the Fukumoto Fitness Facebook page. Don’t forget to share your tips and tricks!

Continuing with Healthy Eating Post Nutrition Challenge

One of the perks of being a Fukumoto Fitness member is the opportunity to participate in nutrition challenges throughout the year. They are a fun, creative way to adopt healthy eating routines and challenge us to change our habits.

Just because the nutrition challenge is over, doesn’t mean we have to let these changes fall by the wayside. Sometimes it takes a while before changes turn into new habits. If you want to adopt healthy habits that will last, consider making small, gradual changes. Don’t get discouraged!

Celebrate the Positives!

Take a moment to reflect. Make a list of the healthy eating habits that you practiced during the challenge. Toot your own horn; you deserve it! Post this list somewhere visible so you can remind yourself of your accomplishments.

Determine your Goal

What are you trying to achieve? Why is this your goal? Write it down! Be specific and set a timeline.

Need help setting goals? Check out Stanford University’s website on Achieving your SMART Health Goal

Pick One

Review your list of healthy eating habits. Pick one new habit you feel is easy to continue doing the week after the challenge is completed. Why? New habits can take time to become the norm. Starting with an “easier” change will keep you motivated, build confidence and help you feel successful right from the start.

Team Up

Partner with family, friends and fellow Fukumoto members and support each other in with healthy eating goals. Support gives you a better chance of making the change work for you. Support comes in many forms; it can be positive encouragement and actions, or gentle reminders to stay on track.

Keep Nutritious Foods Handy

Planning and preparation are key to eating healthy. Stock your kitchen with fresh vegetables and fruits, lean protein, healthy fats and whole grains to help you stay on track. This will allow you to grab healthy snacks when you are hungry and help you build healthy meals.

Accept Setbacks and Move Forward

Slip ups happen. Don’t get down on yourself. Developing healthy habits is a lifelong journey. Remind yourself of the big picture. Did you give up after falling off your bike? Did you throw the towel in after getting a bad grade in school? No!

Try to identify what triggered the setback and plan a strategy for the next time you encounter the same situation. For a quick read on overcoming setbacks, check out this blog post “The Positive Power of Setbacks”.

Hello Everyone,

Congratulations for taking action and trying to improve you health and life by joining us for our March Nutrition Challenge!  We had many sign up, a good number who followed through, and many challenges along the way.  We’d like to highlight a 12 stories that demonstrate the breadth of people’s experiences.  Johnny is going to give you accountability as well!

Less Sugar Means Tangible Results

Paul Ansloos MWF6am (& Sherry Ansloos MWF430pm) 

Metally kicking and screaming and not wanting to take the March Nutrition challenge as an act of submission to my mental battle I put my name on the sign up board.  My wife Sherry also came home on the same day and said that she had put both our names on so now I was on there twice, so I was commited; and we both took the challenge.

I lost 11lbs as of Friday March 28.  I feel great and also feel that I have made significant lifestyle changes, especially in the area of sugar.  On average I would consume no less than 30 Tim Hortons XL Double Double coffess and sometimes more than one a day…..what a coffee junkie.

I decided to drink my coffee black which was a bit tough at first but by day three I had started to adjust to the taste and can now easily drink my coffee black, in fact,  I actually drink a bit less coffee.  Sherry and I also cut out most sugars and almost 100% of starch based foods and breads which we will probably ease back into in April but hopefully not even close to our previous levels and I am commited to not going back to the XL DD coffee.

We we are really inspired to continue on this nutrition challenge into April to hopefully adopt and develop a newer way of eating and living.  I am personally feeling much healthier, alert of mind and physically more confident.

Debbie Beattie MW730pm

For the nutrition challenge I decided to give up sugar and coffee.  It was definitely challenging. I attended three birthday parties in the month of March (no thank you I really don’t want a piece of that delicious birthday cake) and it was also “roll up the rim “ month at Tim’s!  Another bad habit of mine was to have a “little treat” after every lunch and dinner.

I am proud to say that I did it and am feeling so much better! A big plus is I am drinking more water.

Anonymous MWF6am

Things I’ve done and noticed:
down 9 pounds in March
upper body is noticeably stronger
more energy
only eat one piece of bread a day
do my best to drink coffee black (sometimes add Truvia, maybe 1x/ wk)
eliminated sweets for March and will continue to limit them.

Doing a New Version of the Challenge

Contessa Dela Cruz MWF6am

I focused mainly on avoiding wheat/flour products, processed products and dairy. I thought it would be difficult, but as I reminded myself of all the things I COULD eat, rather than those that I COULD NOT eat, it made the 2-weeks more manageable – as a result I achieved 99% success going in with that mentality.

What I noticed right off the bat was that I felt a lot less bloated and less “puffy” on a daily basis. And I felt a lot less sluggish-tired. And as a bonus, I had dropped 2 lbs during the 2 weeks.

To satisfy my wheat/flour cravings, I baked a batch of coconut flour muffins, found some gluten-free bread and cereal. To satisfy my dairy cravings, I took a liking to yogurt made with 100% coconut and having my protein powder with unsweetened almond milk. Although I didn’t invest in grass-fed beef, organic chicken, etc., I stuck to leaner cuts of meats whenever possible. And of course, meal prep was KEY to making sure I was prepared with the RIGHT foods every day.

Because I didn’t find it THAT difficult to avoid processed, wheat/flour, and dairy products, I decided, hey, I can probably do this for the rest of March. And I have – not 100% commitment, but more like 95% at this point. I had some pizza one night – hello, dairy AND wheat galore – and believe me, I really enjoyed it.  However, I immediately felt how my body reacted to it – instant bloat that actually felt like it lasted well into the next day. Ugh. It reminded me that although it’s great to treat and indulge myself sometimes, knowing how certain foods will make me feel is a good reminder to limit my intake of those certain foods.

Also, with the very challenging Density phase in March, I feel like I’ve had more energy and felt much stronger in my workouts – probably because I was fueling my body differently and eliminating things that weighed me down. What I learned most importantly, is that most of the foods I avoided were things that before I thought I NEEDED; but now they’ve just become the occasional WANT.

Going forward, I will probably continue on with the limited wheat/flour, processed foods and dairy as best as I can.  After just 4 weeks, my body has already become accustomed to the change and it likes how it feels!

Melanie Bernadsky MW730pm

Plan: 10 day detox (as outlined in FF packet) with 2 planned treat drinks at a 40th bday party and 6 days no coffee instead of 10
Biggest challenge in planning: setting results goal (all other challenges I have been on with friends have involved weigh ins and since joining Fukumoto, I have consciously been avoiding the scale as I realized it was affecting my happiness for the day)

-instead made goal result of increased energy and confidence

During:  I’m still not sure what part of the detox affected me so much, but I didn’t feel great.  I was irritable, bloated and tired
-only did 3 day no coffee

Post evaluation:  -I have noticed that my tolerance for coffee/alcohol is lower (which is great!)
-I talked to Barbara about goal setting and she inspired me by her goal of doing what she needs to do to make her body strong to do all the things she wants it to  do

Overall, I would do it again.  I enjoyed trying new foods and recipes to fit in with detox.  I think one of my biggest realizations was a reminder that this is NOT the one time challenge to fix all my problems.   I learned a few things about myself, I can be proud that I did it and I will tweak a few things for the next time!

Things Didn’t Work Out Like I Wanted BUT…Good Things Still Happened and I’ll Keep Trying

Leanne Theriault TTh730pm

This was my first nutrition challenge.  I had such high intentions, thinking “I got this”… But I didn’t. I know i have the knowledge but auto pilot just took over and I didn’t force myself to plan ahead.

I have eliminated sugar from my coffee and switch from cream to milk.   I refrained from sweet treats on a number of occasions but fell back on salty snacks.  I incorporated vegetables in at least one meal a day from maybe 3 meals in a week. 

I need to make time to get organized, get creative,  and plan our family meals.

I won’t think of this as a fail as I still managed to lose 2 pounds over the last month,  but I know where I can improve and intend to sit down and write up what I need to do and steps I need to take to make those improvements.

Wanda Lavallee MWF7am

A+ for breakfast , snack , lunch dinners (planned)
F- for unplanned emotional eating . Stress , anxiety , who cares anyway attitude
F- for sugar addiction
F- for stressing about nutrition challenge
B for recognizing that it’s better than before FF

Kendra Bergen MWF6am

My March nutrition challenge, to be completely honest, was not very successful.  I was just returning back to the gym post-accident and I honestly struggled to just get back to working out regularly again, never mind be “strict” about my diet.  I feel that I have changed how I eat, fundamentally, since starting at Fukumoto, which means that even over 5 weeks of complete, doctor-ordered inactivity, I only gained a few pounds.  And since becoming active again, and probably eating using the 80/20 rule over the past month, I have lost that weight and gained back most of the muscle definition that I lost after being off due to my injuries.  I was surprised, however, that I still felt pretty strong even after being off for 5 weeks, so that is definitely a testament to the training at Fukumoto since September!

P.S. I am planning to do the “Nutrition Challenge” myself in April now that I am back on the workout wagon. 🙂

A Surprising Change In Mindset!

Nicole Hynes MWF6am

Walking through the grocery store where usually chips and other not so healthy snacks would be grabbed, Nicole found herself choosing veggies and other things that shocked her own socks right off!

Better Late Than Never!

Vince Pinpin MWF430pm 

I know I started late with this challenge but with strictly no junk foods and chocolates and other sweets, I lost another 2 lbs this week.  With my body getting used to workouts again, my excitement of going to the warehouse has been picking up.

These were the things I did during the Nutrition Challenge…

Coffee

Before–  Coffee with half and half (a lot), 2 tsps refined sugar or 1 full spoon of honey

During– Black Coffee

Note: enjoying it black and now can taste the coffee more than the milk!

 Snacks:

Before: Granola Bars, Donuts, Muffins, Croissant, Cupcake

During: Nuts, Greek Yogurt, Banana, Carrots

Note: new snacks keep me fuller longer and old ones triggered eating more and more.

Full meal

Before-Heavy meals

During-juicing for some meals

Note: I love juicing!

Forming New Habits

Karen Gladu MW730pm

Mon – Fri I plan and pack my breakfast and lunches to take to work, and always try and pack fruit and veggies to munch on! ( weekends are less structured) I’ve been mixing up my breakfasts to keep it interesting…omelets,  breakfast wraps etc..or cereals with fresh fruit…cottage cheese.  Lunches are usually leftovers….which makes  me want to make flavorful dinners. .so I have a great lunch.  Garlic chicken,  quinoa with lots of veggies…zucchini, onions,  mushrooms fresh garlic! Tuna wrap & soup! Plus I like to make soup from veggies that are looking kind of sad in the fridge!  Cook it all up..add some spices…puree it in the blender!

One of the best things I did was buy a good food scale…it helps to be mindful of portion control and my kids are actually interested in seeing what things weigh.   Weight loss is a battle I want to win! Having the right tools & mindset are I believe my best weapons!

Doing the Challenge While Sick and Having a Baby! (no excuses 🙂

Johnny Fukumoto – Coach

Johnny sent us his very detailed nutrition challenge plan pre-march with 4 reducations, 4 additions, and exceptions to certain things.  He was sick with an infection for 3/4 weeks of challenge (inhibiting exercise) so the challenge was something good to focus on that he could control.  He couldn’t taste so he didn’t crave as much.  Also, baby Jack came with 10 days left which created challenges with meals being delivered, family events but all-in-all did well.  Struggled much more in the reductions…as we’ll see below.

Gluten Free Score: 23/31 Days  Sugar Free Score: 25/31 Days

Dairy Free Score: 25/31 Days  Coffee Free Score: 31/31 Days

Vitamins/Fish Oil Score: 31/31 Days Beef Liver Score: 31/31 Days

Sauerkraut Score: 31/31 Days Healthy Breakfast Score: 31/31 Days

Meatless Day Per Week Score: 2/5 Days

Total Percentage: 90.9% (230/253 possible points)

Take Home:

*Have a disposition for gluten and sugar (74% abd 81%) but if not in the house, do better!

*Will continue the reductions better than pre-challenge, will continue additions as they are now habits, love making my own sauerkraut!

*90% of non-compliance came from being out and just enjoying not being perfect!

In summary, your body, mind, and future thanks you for your effort and many more of you had had successes, failures, that aren’t listed here.  That’s life! Try again and see if you can keep the ‘no quit’ spirit going.  You are all worth it whether you tried this or not! 

 

Celebrate Nutrition Month – Simply Cook and Enjoy!

By Christine Tuan, RD & FF Member

March is National Nutrition Month! The campaign for 2014 is to promote getting back into the kitchen to cook and enjoy healthy meals with family and friends.

Have you noticed?

Processed and packaged foods are on the rise. As life gets busy, Canadians are moving further away from the kitchen and are using less and less cooking skills.

Why is this important?

Cooking skills go beyond boiling water. They are complex and help us to create and plan delicious and healthy meals. There is concern that the loss of cooking skills may impact our health and eating habits, as well as the knowledge transfer to our children.

What can we do?

Cooking can be fun and rewarding, but for those who feel that the kitchen is foreign territory, it can be daunting and overwhelming. The good news is that there is no better day than today to get a head start in the kitchen. Try some of these tips this month to get more familiar with cooking and working in the kitchen.

TIP #1: Simplify weekday cooking. Prepare some ingredients in advance.

Short on time? No worries! Save some time by:

  • Washing, peeling and chopping vegetables on the weekend
  • Marinating meat and freezing in small portions for quick defrost
  • Cooking a large batch of brown rice, whole grain pasta or quinoa and reheat
  • Measuring dry ingredients and spices for dinner recipes

TIP #2: In a hurry? Take a kitchen shortcut with healthier convenience foods.

Not all convenience foods are bad news. When combined with fresh ingredients, some convenience foods can be part of a healthy diet. Try:

  • Canned tuna or salmon packed in water
  • Canned legumes such as chickpeas or lentils
  • Plain frozen fish fillets
  • Frozen vegetables and fruit
  • Shredded, low fat cheese

TIP #3: Eating alone? Make breakfast for dinner!

Cooking for one tonight? Breakfast items are easy to make and can be enjoyed any time of day. Give these a shot:

  • Omelet filled with diced tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms and low fat cheese
  • Burrito or wrap with scrambled eggs, red pepper slices, avocado and salsa
  • Whole grain pancakes topped with Greek yogurt and berries

TIP #4: Want to give healthy cooking a whirl? Think outside the salad spinner!

There are tons of creative ways to add more vegetables and fruit to meals and snacks. Try:

  • Blending spinach or kale into your favourite smoothie
  • Shredding carrots, zucchini or onions into spaghetti sauce
  • Mixing pureed pumpkin into whole grain muffin or pancake batter
  • Adding berries to hot cereal or yogurt

TIP #5: Bring fun to your kitchen with a family cooking challenge.

Cooking together is a great way to stay connected and share the responsibility! Try this easy challenge:

  • Choose a cookbook/magazine/website. Each family member picks one recipe to prepare.
  • Each person makes his or her recipe for the family. Depending on skill level, kids might need a little help.
  • Sit down and enjoy the meal and variety! Once all the dishes have been tasted, each person rates the recipes.
  • Determine which recipes are “keepers” and file them for future meal planning. Soon enough you will have an amazing collection of family recipes!

Want more?

  • Download eaTipster free from eatipster.com and be inspired by a new cooking tip each day in March – and healthy tips for the rest of the year!
  • Visit Dietitians of Canada to watch videos of Registered Dietitians sharing Simply Cook and Enjoy! cooking tips.
  • Download Cookspiration free at cookspiration.com and get recipe ideas based on what you feel like eating.

Reference: 2014 Resource Manual for Dietitians. Dietitians of Canada (2014). http://www.dietitians.ca

 

We are a caring community of genuine people who want to meet you where you are so that we can live better together!

At Fukumoto Fitness, we strive to create a place where you experience dynamic coaching, efficient training, effective accountability, and feel safe yet challenged.

We are DIVERSE yet we are one FAMILY.

We are about RESULTS but are MORE than ‘just fitness’.

We CELEBRATE your story. We are about long-term PROGRESS, not perfection.

We are excited about your STRENGTH. We EMBRACE flaws.

It’s about what you CAN do today.

We are committed to being a HIGHLIGHT of your day.

We are committed to being a part of CHANGING YOUR LIFE.

We are better together!


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