live it active

On Counting Calories

Good morning!

I think this has been my longest stint not blogging. I’ve missed it. And today’s post will have to be kept short as I have an important morning meeting.

As I mentioned a blog post ago, I was recently in the United States where restaurants are now required to document the calorie count for each menu item. I’ve never been one for calorie counting as,= I believe it associates yet another anxiety with food and eating. An anxiety that we definitely do not need.

My anti-calorie counting stance was reaffirmed during my trip to the United States – I felt considerable anxiety about eating an entre comprised of close to 1000 calories (+). I ended up eating a meal that was fairly tasteless and experienced a great deal of guilt (which I rarely feel when eating) as it was close to 850 calories. All in all, a terrible dining experience.

I have yet to do the research, but an American colleague of mine mentioned she’s heard people actually end up eating more. I’m not surprised by this. If you’re already going off the proverbial bandwagon why not go off in style.

Today I looked up what a typical diet of 2000 calories would look like – here’s the link. The dietitian provides a breakdown of each food group and what consumption should aim to look like. The only thing I 100% disagree with – the low-fat dairy. Go full fat. And if you go full fat, be cognizant of the calorie increase so just eat a little less. I’m a big believer in full fat products – fat is a good thing for you, well monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats sure are. Don’t believe me? click here.

In summary, know what you’re calorie count is per day and what that looks like, but don’t waste time counting. So you may go over every once and a while, that’s okay. Try to stick within your limits, but try not to feel guilty or upset if you don’t.

Happy eating, not counting!




Coming Soon: How I kept exercise alive on vacation & eating in the USA

Last week I was in L.A. for work. What an incredible place – diverse, scenic, and best of all, hot! 

Time permitting, as I am travelling again this week, I hope to share my experience with exercise and eating in the USA.

Happy Monday!


Wednesday Workout Tip: Keep Exercise Alive on Vacation

Who doesn’t want or need a relaxing vacation? I think everyone I know could use some serious R&R. But going on vacation doesn’t have to mean that all activity stops, eating increases, and alcohol consumption starts at 10 AM. If that’s what you want, go for it. Yet, I imagine you don’t always feel super rested when you return from an all-inclusive or any vacation with limited physical activity and binge eating. Do you?

Well, I don’t. I usually feel like garbage after only a few days of doing nothing. I’m more restless, sleep more poorly, get hungrier more often (blood sugar spikes and valleys), become irritable, and feel tired and sometimes, sad. That’s a lot of things to feel in just a few short days, but there’s a solution.

If you can relate to my story, you may want to consider fitting in at least 20-30 minutes of activity per day while on vacation. It won’t take long and it will make you feel so much better.

Kathleen Trotter, a guest columnist in the Globe and Mail provides readers with a straightforward, no-nonsense 20 minute workout for vacation times (or anytime really). I encourage you to read and implement the elements that work for you. Also, along the side of the article are videos on how to ensure proper form when engaging in exercises such as squats, lunges, and planks. Please, please watch the videos. Poor form can really hurt you in the long run.

I’m heading to L.A. next week for training. I’m going to be living in a hotel, enjoying (but also not enjoying) prepared restaurant meals, and sitting in a class room for an extended period of time. The hotel will undoubtedly have a gym and I plan to take full advantage of it AND enjoy the beautiful and sunny weather that L.A. has to offer.

Happy exercising on vacation. And remember, squeezing in a workout isn’t mandatory, but I do encourage you to try it out and see how you feel. I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Oh, and one last thing, exercise does not need to be overly intense to have benefit. If you’re not up to the 20 minute interval training session that Trotter suggests, go for a long walk along the beach, enjoy a swim in the pool, take the stairs to your hotel room, do whatever works for you that gets the heart rate up and you out of your pool chair.


What is a Healthy Work Environment?

The answer will be unique to everyone – a workplace with a gym, a daycare, wellness days, cafeteria, no bullying or harassment, no time clock, etc. etc etc.

All those items above and many not listed can and will contribute to the health of an organization; Daniel Pink, author of the book Drive believes there are three key components of a healthy and prosperous work environment: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. It is my opinion that these components can only flourish in both physically and psychologically safe environments, but we can discuss those concepts another day.

So what do autonomy, mastery and purpose mean? Over the course of the next few weeks I am going to delve into each concept and provide examples of environments that do and do not foster autonomy, mastery or purpose.

I’d also like to learn what you think a healthy work environment is or should be. I encourage you to select one item, but if you must, select your top three. These results will be discussed in future posts.

I understand that my posts are somewhat diverging from what is supposed to be a physical activity blog; however, as I evolve so will my blog and writing. Physical activity is still an integral component of my life, but it is one component of many that makes me a healthy human being. Thus, it is important for me to discuss other elements of our everyday life and how they contribute to our health and wellness. I hope you understand. If you’re wanting more physical activity and nutrition information, drop me a line and let me know what it is you’d like to learn about.


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