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Post Summer Blues? 5 Ways to Boost Your Mood This Fall

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By Dr. Sanam Hafeez, Neuropsychologist

For many people, the end of summertime means back to school and back to the grind. Companies launch into their 4th quarter which means the summer slack off season is done and it’s time to get serious as we close out the end of the year. Between the dip in temperatures, shorter days, work and family demands, it’s no wonder people feel sad to part with summer. We connected with Dr. Sanam Hafeez, Neuropsychologist and Teaching Faculty at Columbia University in New York City to explain why people get the post summer blues. We also offer some things to do to boost the mood as we say goodbye to summer and hello to fall.

  1. Ease into the routine.

A lot of people expect to hit the ground running immediately after Labour Day. Allow yourself a solid two weeks to a full month to get back into the swing of your fall routine. You can’t expect to go from a more relaxed summer mindset into a rushed pace. “A lot of people make the mistake of going from summer ease to fall hustle, and they end up running themselves down, leading to a cold. You want to get a realistic handle on the fall routine and make decisions about how much to take on. Planning ahead helps,” explains Dr. Hafeez.

  1. Go outside and play anyway!

The fall means a break in humidity and beautiful crisp air. It’s common to go from 80 degree temperatures to mid 60’s within a month. You can still enjoy your deck, barbecuing, reading in a lounge chair, having a catch in the yard, or going for a walk in nature. “Get outdoors and avoid spending weekends in hibernation which only makes people feel lethargic and depressed,” advises Dr. Hafeez, who has been featured on national TV talking about Seasonal Affective Disorder.

  1. Get things done that you put off during summer.

Before the weather takes a turn for the cold and holiday hustle ensues, take advantage of the cooler fall temperatures by tending to things like auto repairs, home projects, pet care, medical visits, and financial assessments. “When we make a decision to accomplish things we’ve put off and then follow through, we feel more in control and this reduces stress,” explains Dr. Hafeez. Something as simple as taking a few hours to tidy up the yard, clean out the garage or get rid of clothes can elevate the mood.

  1. Recap the summer with a look back at photos and gratitude.

At the end of each season, it’s such a great ritual to do a recap. Look back into your social media feeds for the photos posted and memories made. Consider creating a summer photo album with highlights from vacations, pool days, family barbecues, weddings and any other fun that was had.

  1. Start brainstorming next summer’s vacation and must-do activities.

“You really want to move into a forward-thinking mindset instead of longing for the past. This summer is over and another one will come. Brainstorming with the family on where to go next, is a fun way to get excited about what’s ahead. When we think about possibilities it elevates our mood, so grab an issue of a travel magazine and get inspired,” suggests Dr. Hafeez.

  1. When in doubt, get a makeover!

Nothing elevates the mood more than a day of primping and prepping. When we are putting the summer clothes away and pulling out the fall clothes we get to edit our wardrobes and make a list of the new things we want to add. Shopping for new clothes isn’t just limited to the kids heading back to school. A new hair color or style can also mark the start of a new season in a fun new way. “Self-care isn’t limited to meditation, juicing and massages. Finding that perfect fall jacket, shoes, new shades of cosmetics can do a lot to lift spirits,” Dr. Hafeez shares.

 

About the Doctor:

Dr. Sanam Hafeez, PsyD, is a NYC based licensed clinical psychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C. a neuropsychological, developmental and educational center in Manhattan and Queens. Dr. Hafeez masterfully applies her years of experience connecting psychological implications to address some of today’s common issues such as body image, social media addiction, relationships, workplace stress, parenting and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc…). In addition, Dr. Hafeez works with individuals who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, attention and memory problems, and abuse. Dr. Hafeez often shares her credible expertise to various news outlets in New York City and frequently appears on CNN and Dr.Oz. Connect with her via Instagram @drsanamhafeez or www.comprehendthemind.com

Krista Mayer

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Why did you choose canfitpro?

I chose canfitpro because I knew it was a recognized program for fitness leaders in the industry and I was able to take the courses I needed that was close to my home.

What is your “why”. Why have you chosen this profession?

I’ve never been good at anything. I’ve never been an athlete or had a special talent, and I was known for my clumsiness and getting a ball to the face.
My ‘why’ is because I want to show people that they are unstoppable. If I can do it, so can they. Through my progress and journey with becoming a fitness professional, I finally have become good at something and I’m damn proud of that. I want to show people their true potential and their greatness.

What gets you excited to go to work each day?

My clients are my best friends. My gym is my second home. So who wouldn’t want to hang around at home with their friends all day? I get satisfaction each and every day from the progress I see in my client’s training programs, the smiles that come out of seeing physical results, and the frustrations that are worked out on the gym floor. All these things make my job the greatest job ever.

What do you enjoy most about what you do?

I love that it’s a never ending path to growth. There is no limit to what me and my business will be, and this is the scariest and best thing I love about it.

Is there another part of your story that you would like to share?

I don’t only get to make people fit, but I’m also certified to train the trainers to make other people fit. Becoming a PRO TRAINER was a great decision for me. It’s not only developed my sense of knowledge in the industry, but it forces me to always continue to get better so I can provide quality education to the future trainers in Canada.

Movement of the Month: Core 4 Lower Body Matrix with DTS

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The Stretch to Win Institute ‘Core 4 Lower Body Matrix’ has been designed to improve flexibility in the hip region. It specifically targets the hip flexor complex, gluteals, quadratus lumborum, and the latissimus dorsi.  It is important to perform this sequence in a flowing manner (very slow tempo, medium or very fast tempo) to target the four core (hip flexors, gluteals, QL and lats) areas for movement.

View the Stretch Matrix video for instructions and details on how to perform it correctly.

How To Sell Personal Training (without sounding like a sales person)

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By Claire Garrigan

“It’s not my job to sell people, it’s my job to train people.”

“I don’t want to come across as too pushy.”

” I give good workouts and that should sell itself.”

I don’t have time to sell, they either can afford it or they can’t.”

“I hate selling. I hate that feeling I get when I try selling personal training to someone. I feel like a failure every time someone doesn’t buy from me.”

If you’ve ever said any of the above statements, keep reading… you’re in the right place.

As a sales trainer, exclusive for fitness businesses and personal trainers, I hear the above statements time and time again. No matter where the place is or what the facility, no personal trainer is happy to be lumbered with the ‘salesman’ tag.

However, with the rise of more and more people becoming personal trainers, how to sell personal training can be almost as difficult as getting that perfect squat.

So, now the question remains, how do you sell personal training without being a pushy sales person?

  1. Set expectations

One of the biggest sticking points most personal trainers run into during their consultations is how to steer the conversation towards money. This is where things get really awkward.

The easiest way to overcome this is to simply tell your prospective client beforehand what to expect, including the fact that you’ll be presenting some options for them to choose from.

Most personal trainers shy away from this because they’re afraid of loosing the potential client, but this is exactly what you want to be doing – weeding out the tire kickers and seeking out the people who are genuinely interested in training with you.

When you’re setting up the consultation time, give your client a quick summary of what will happen during your meeting.

“OK Sally, I have you down to meet with me at 4:00pm tomorrow. First, I’ll ask you some questions regarding your health and exercise history and take your measurements. I’ll take you through a sample workout, and at the end I’m going to show you some personal training packages available so you know what I have to offer. Then I can answer any questions for you. Sound good? Great, see you tomorrow at 4.00pm.”

  1. Uncover more than just health and exercise history during your consultation

We’ve all heard the expression ‘prevention is better than a cure’, and this is exactly the philosophy you should be taking regarding how to overcome objections.

If you’re waiting to ‘overcome the objection’ at the end with a slick one-liner (or worse, a 12 step process), then you’re too late.

Ask the right questions early on in the process, and without even realizing it you’ll have already overcome most potential objections. Remember, you’re asking these questions way before you do your price presentation. Ask after you’ve already gotten the objection and it’s lost impact;

The Spouse Objection:

“Who’s going to be your biggest support along your fitness journey?”

“How long have you been telling him/her you’ve wanted to (insert goal)?”

“What do you think they’ll say when you tell them you met with me today?”

The “I need to think about it objection”:

“How long have you been thinking about (having a PT/starting to workout/joining a gym) for?”

“How long have you had that goal for?”

“What are you planning on doing to help you reach that goal?”

  1. Talk benefits, not features

It’s important to remember that people don’t buy from logic (i.e. if I exercise and eat right I’ll loose weight). Instead, they buy from emotion. Your reasons for selling are useless if you don’t know the emotional reasons your customers are buying.

Let’s have a look at the differences;

Feature: Train with a PT three times a week  →  Benefit: Develop the discipline to

help make sure you don’t fall off the wagon (again)

Feature: Learn correct form and technique  →  Benefit: Reduce the risk of injury

Feature: Loose weight  →  Benefit: Keep up with the kids

“Sally, this exercise I’m showing you is going to strengthen your core so when you’re

sitting down all day at work your back will have more support. Can you see how

knowing which core exercises to do will reduce the risk of you putting out your back

again?”

  1. Price present based on what they told you

The golden rule, when it comes to price presenting your personal training options, is to make sure you’re never presenting more than three options. This creates comparison, which gives consumers value perception.

Make this feel less ‘salesy’ by recommending a package based on what they told you, and using their words (which is why it’s so important to ask questions early on), versus your opinion on what they should buy.

“Sally, based on what you told me earlier I have three packages that would suit your needs-basic, standard and premium. To get you to your goal of loosing 20lbs by your wedding in September I would recommend the standard package. However, the choice is yours. Which one of those options would work best for you?”

To avoid the awkwardness that comes with asking for money, make sure you use the open ended question at the end of your price presentation, like “Which one of those options works better for you?” instead of a close ended question I see trainers use all the time, such as “Does that work for you?” or “Do you want to train with me?” .

  1. Have a guarantee to eliminate fear

The number one reason why people don’t buy is because of fear. Fear that;

  1. a) they’ll get in trouble with someone else
  2. b) they’ll find it cheaper somewhere else
  3. c) it won’t work

You can eliminate ALL of the fears with a guarantee.

After working with hundreds of fitness businesses and personal trainers, their first reaction is “I don’t want to start telling clients about the refund policy because then every single client will get what they can from me, then claim a refund!”.

I promise, for every person that does follow through with your guarantee policy and gets a refund, you’ll have at least five others who signed up with you that otherwise wouldn’t have, simply because of the comfort of knowing there’s a guarantee.

Try this on for size;

“Sally, I completely understand that you’d like to speak with your husband before making a decision. So, I’m glad to let you know about our comfort guarantee. If you go ahead and purchase these sessions today, if for whatever reason you change your mind within the first three sessions, you’ll get 100% of your money back! So, not only do you get a chance to try it out and see if it’s for you, if your husband still isn’t on board I’d be happy to give you a full refund”.

  1. If all else fails, ask, ask, and ask again.

Nobody likes going down the rabbit hole of desperation when a client says ‘no’, but it is important not to give up after the first objection. Why? Because 44% of people give up after the first no, but yet 80% of prospects say no four times before they say yes.

Go back to what you talked about earlier and remind them of what they told you, not what you think is best for them.

“Sally, I know when we spoke earlier you said your husband would be your biggest support in all this and that you’ve already been talking to him about this for a long time. Let’s get you started!”

The number one reason personal trainers tell me they don’t follow up with clients who said no is because they don’t want to be that annoying person who’s “just checking in to see if you’ve changed your mind”.

Instead of letting them just walk out the door with your business card and pray that they call you when they come to their senses (they won’t), come up with a follow up plan together.

“When will you get a chance to talk to your husband about this?”

Then solidify a follow up time.

“You said you’ll be speaking to your husband tonight, so lets meet back up here tomorrow at noon, how does that sound?”

And most importantly, follow up when you say you’re going to follow up!

Bio

Claire teaches small to medium sized fitness businesses and personal trainers how sell more fitness memberships and personal training without spending all your money on marketing! More information and freebies at www.whyilovemondays.com

‘Empty Your Fridge’ Veggie Stock

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By Angela Wallace, MSc, RD

Do you ever buy veggies with great intentions and recipes in mind? Do these veggies ever sit in your fridge for way too long and start to go bad? Before wasting your veggies, give this recipe a taste.

Empty all your veggies into the slow cooker and let the magic begin!

Ingredients:

5-6 cups veggies (use whatever you have in your fridge, e.g., spinach, carrots, celery, green beans, etc.)

2 bay leaves

8-10 cups water

Salt and black pepper to taste

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. ginger, minced (optional)

Directions: 

  1. Mix all ingredients in your slow cooker. Be sure to wash and chop veggies evenly before doing so.
  2. Add seasoning and cook on low heat for 8 hours. Stir occasionally and press veggies to release flavour. Taste throughout and adjust seasoning if needed.
  3. Use a colander and strain liquid (you will be left with very cooked veggies) and lots of delicious veggie stock. You can use this stock to cook with, make simple soups, or even freeze it for future meals.

Enjoy!

Cheers to happy and healthy eating!

Bio

Angela is a registered dietitian, nutritionist, family food expert, and certified personal trainer (PTS). She specializes in women’s health, with a focus on weight loss and digestive conditions. She uses a ‘non dieting approach’ with her ultimate goals being to help people find a balanced lifestyle and healthy relationship with food. Angela also worked part-time at the University of Guelph coordinating a family food skills study that focuses on reducing food waste at the household level.

 

‘Over Ripe and Almost Bad’ Berry Jam

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By Angela Wallace, MSc, RD

Do you ever buy berries with great intentions of eating them, but they sit too long in your fridge and start to look unappetizing? Before you throw those berries out, I encourage you to try this delicious and simple chia seed jam.

Chia seed jam is a healthy spin on regular jam, and takes no time to make (full of fibre and antioxidants and low in added sugar). It’s the perfect treat for the entire family. If you have some overly ripe berries to use up, give this recipe a try.

Ingredients:

2 cups ripe strawberries, sliced

1 tbsp. lemon juice

2 tbsp. water

1-2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. grated ginger (optional)

1-2 tbsp. honey

2 tbsp. chia seeds

Directions: 

  1. In a pot over medium heat, cook berries and continue to mix for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add lemon juice, water, honey and vanilla.
  3. Continue to cook until fruit softens and forms a gel like substance (4-5 minutes).
  4. Remove from heat, mash using a fork or a masher to desired consistency. Taste and adjust sweetness if necessary.
  5. Add chia seeds and mix together well.

If you have a little one that wants to help, have them wash, stir, or mash the fruit!

Enjoy over Greek yogurt, frozen yogurt, on a slice of bread or with oatmeal.

Cheers to happy and healthy eating!

Bio

Angela is a registered dietitian, nutritionist, family food expert, and certified personal trainer (PTS). She specializes in women’s health, with a focus on weight loss and digestive conditions. She uses a ‘non dieting approach’ with her ultimate goals being to help people find a balanced lifestyle and healthy relationship with food. Angela also worked part-time at the University of Guelph coordinating a family food skills study that focuses on reducing food waste at the household level.

 

Gym Etiquette

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8 do’s and don’ts to make the gym a more enjoyable place for everyone

By Claudiu Popa, PTS, OAS

If going to the gym feels a lot like the awkward club scene of your late teens, you’re not alone. According to a recent Ipsos study, 40% of Canadians feel intimidated by the gym. The most commonly cited reasons are the discomfort of being watched and uncertainty about how to exercise. But we don’t need detailed stats to tell us that many people simply don’t enjoy the gym, while for others it’s simply an extension of their social circle. Why the disparity and what can you do about it? More than you think.

Unsurprisingly, the root cause of the general unease about the gym has to do with other people. If you’re one of the uncomfortable ones, the obvious solution is to bring a friend. An estimated 44% of people find it much more enjoyable to exercise with a partner. On those days when you’re left to your own devices however, you are presented with ample opportunities to consider the accepted norms and behaviours, generally lumped together, under the fancy rubric of ‘gym etiquette’. Let’s do that now, shall we?

If you’ve ever observed people who appear to be clinically devoid of common sense, it may be entertaining to briefly ponder how they manage to function in modern society. Go ahead, take a moment. Once you’re done internally rolling your eyes, try to imagine ways you can help, because there’s usually something you can do to contribute.

Gym etiquette is about being aware of yourself and your surroundings, so start by knowing what not to do. In most cases, all it takes is sufficient consideration to not be a nuisance.

DON’T:

  1. …leave the equipment and surrounding floor drenched in sweat.
  2. …abandon weights where they can be a tripping or safety hazard.
  3. …assume that someone will clean up after you. Put everything back the way it should be.
  4. …get in the way. For some odd reason, people get irritated when you restrict their access.
  5. …abuse the equipment, slam weights or make disturbingly loud noises. That includes having aggressive cell phone arguments.
  6. …be a clown. Wear normal attire. Save your cool shades and pro wrestling gear for the ring.
  7. …make people uncomfortable in the change rooms, or anywhere. Just don’t be creepy.

Most importantly, don’t assume that people are jerks on purpose. They may simply have something else on their mind, unaware that they’ve created an unsafe or unpleasant experience. Don’t escalate it. Consider it an optimal opportunity to practice being an adult and approach them in a nonthreatening manner.

Simplicity works. Politely ask a question like “would you mind helping me with this weight” or being pleasantly assertive “if you’re done, go ahead and put those weights back. I would love to try your technique but those weights are a bit much for me”. You have nothing to lose by demonstrating both empathy and social graces, and if it looks like a volatile situation, simply report it to the staff.

DO:

  1. …initiate contact with people if you’re going to be around them. Make it brief and polite; or just smile to show them that you’re not annoyed by their presence. They’re a lot more likely to be considerate in friendly company.
  2. …notice if people clearly want to be left alone, and only approach them if you need to.
  3. …behave as a member of a small community. If it helps, pretend that you own a piece of the gym and act accordingly. Be approachable, not intimidating.
  4. …ask. Connect with people and show courtesy when you need to know something or require access to equipment. They will more than likely take your lead and reciprocate.
  5. …introduce yourself to the staff. It’s great for them to know who you are and ideal for you to have someone to rely on if you need to ask questions. The best way to build a rapport is to simply ask for a quick tour of the equipment that interests you. They are not only human but are often trained to avoid being preachy, so they might just be hoping that you’ll make the first move.
  6. …offer to provide constructive feedback on ways to make the gym safer or better. It’s always appreciated. You’re in the best possible position to see opportunities for improvement, so report them and if you can, why not offer to help implement them?
  7. …assume that people are there for the same reasons as you. They want to stay healthy and improve their fitness in a friendly environment. So, if they come across like creeps and snobs, they might just not be aware of it. Keep an open mind and if you have the opportunity, reach out and say ‘hello’.

Many new members assume that gyms are driven by obscure social norms and either end up behaving like they’re in traffic or at a high school dance. Whether it comes across as aggressive or timid, that instinctive behavior is likely to be incompatible with the relaxed atmosphere that should permeate a gym culture, where every member is important.

Think of your gym as a tiny, open community, so any positive contribution you can offer is likely to make a big difference.

Bio:

Claudiu Popa, PTS, OAS, enjoys sharing knowledge accumulated over 30 years of strength training and fitness conditioning. Claudiu is the founder of Workout Smart and can be reached in confidence at Claudiu@WorkoutSmart.ca

Healthy Hydrating: Drinking Container Hygiene

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By Assata McKenzie

I once had a client that complained about drinking water. Let’s call her Elle. Elle said she really didn’t enjoy drinking water during or even after our workout sessions because she didn’t like the taste. She explained that she didn’t feel refreshed after consuming water and she hated the smell of her water. In fact, it was the smell of her water that turned her off the most she said. When I questioned her further, she admitted that she had not cleaned her bottle since she purchased it over three months ago.

Elle felt, as many of us may have, that because there’s only water being placed in our water bottle there is no real need for cleaning. However, don’t you think contaminants are lurking from our own bacteria?  And when our bottle touches the surface of our water source, don’t you think that’s another source of bacterial growth because other water bottles could have touched that same surface before us?

Look at it this way, you wouldn’t like to eat a delicious meal from an unwashed plate, would you? If your answer is no, then why are most of us drinking our water from unwashed water bottles?

If we want to be truly healthy, then our drinking container should also be healthy.

Whether your drinking container is plastic, glass or stainless steel, and no matter what the nozzle of your chosen bottle is (straw, sport cap push-pull or wide mouth), these simple steps will help you keep your drinking container healthy and bacteria free.

  1. Clean your drinking container at the end of the day/after each use. Our mouths and hands are home to thousands of bacteria. Transference of bacteria to our drinking container is normal. However, the build-up of bacteria on the lip of our drinking container could be smelly and eventually harmful.
    • Use a mild soap with water solution when cleaning your drinking container and let it air dry.
  2. Use bottle brushes to clean your drinking container. Various sizes of brushes should be used for the various sections of your bottle.
    • Remember to clean your water bottle straw or nozzle, both inside and out.
    • Clean and rinse both the inside and the outside of your drinking container.
    • Clean all the crevices of your drinking container too. In fact, the more crevices your drinking container has, the more in-depth your cleaning will have to be. Keep this in mind when purchasing your next water bottle.
  3. Consider your water source and be very aware of the point where a drinking container could physically touch your source of water. For example, consider using water fountains with more hands free options. This will decrease the chance of cross contamination with the lip/entrance of your drinking container and the drinking container of the person ahead of you.

Hydrating should be a pleasurable, refreshing experience. When drinking from your drinking container, there should never be a weird smell or weird taste to your water. Weird smell and/or taste may be a sign of bacterial growth.

Following the simple tips above worked for my client Elle. Now she drinks more water because she cleans her drinking container regularly (I actually bought her a set of water bottle brushes from the dollar store and she says they’re the best). Consider sharing these tips with your fitness friends so they too can experience healthy hydrating.

 

Bio

Assata is passionately in love with all things fitness! She is a certified fitness professional and wellness consultant and she has been working in the corporate and commercial fitness industry for more than 10 years.

Graduating with a B.A. from the University of Toronto and a postgraduate diploma in workplace wellness and health promotion, Assata has made a career of helping others meet their fitness and wellness goals.

 

5 Ways to Reduce Food Waste

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By Angela Wallace, MSc, RD

We have a food waste problem in Canada, and it’s a huge one. So huge that it’s referred to as a $31-billion-dollar problem. Across Canada, we are wasting $31 billion dollars of food, which is 40% of food purchased yearly…..almost half! In addition, research has suggested that we are wasting approximately 396 kilograms of food per capita annually and an average of $28 of food each week per household (that’s almost $1500 a year)!

We often think the food industry produces most of the waste, but did you know that 47% of food wasted in Canada occurs at the household level? The worst part is 80% of this food wasted was once perfectly edible, meaning we have let it waste or deteriorate on the counter or in our fridges before we had the chance to eat it. Food waste is an issue with major environmental impacts, and making changes to how you shop, store, and use your food can make all the difference.

So how exactly can you make a difference in your own home? I am going to share my top five tips to reduce food waste and eat healthy.

  1. Plan your meals

Planning your meals can make all the difference when it comes to food waste. We often head to the grocery store with great intentions but then life gets busy and our once beautiful produce goes to waste. I say produce, because research has suggested that approximately 2/3 of food wasted comes from fruit and veggies.

Tip # 1: Take a look at your week and plan accordingly. If you know you will eat out one night or be super busy and have grilled cheese and salad another, plan for that. Don’t buy more than you need or have time for.

Tip #2: Make it easy. What do you need to do to make eating fruit and veggies convenient? Maybe you need to buy frozen veggies, pre-sliced produce, or salad bags. Look at your week and make the healthy choice the easy choice to help reduce waste.

  1. Shop mindfully

There are a few things you can do at the grocery store to help reduce food waste.

Tip #1: Pick the first one. Don’t reach for the items at the back (e.g., reaching for the milk carton at the back of the fridge or the last salad baggy). 

Tip #2: Pick the imperfect produce. Imperfect produce is just as tasty and nutritious as their perfect counterpart. In fact, in Canada we waste just as much food as we eat each year, with 25 million pounds of fruit and veggies being rejected before even making it to the grocery store due to imperfections.

Give imperfect produce a chance, especially when you will be slicing, dicing, or mincing them into your meals.

Tip #3: Choose the ripe produce. What will you be using that item for and can it be ripe? For example, are you using the tomatoes to make tomato sauce or the avocados to make guacamole? If the softness isn’t an issue or can be worked into your meal, choose the ripe produce. Choosing ripe produce in the grocery store can help reduce the amount of food wasted.

What about best-before dates?

Best-before dates are chosen by companies based on a products peak quality. That doesn’t mean the product is no longer good after that date, it simply means the product is no longer at its peak quality. In fact, many foods can actually go bad before the best- before date or stay fresh way past the date. Always inspect your food by looking, touching, and smelling to determine freshness.

Tip: Take advantage of sales at the grocery store when foods are getting close to their best-before date, because its usually food that still has some excellent quality left.

  1. Make your food last longer

Use your freezer. Cook things ahead of time and freeze them for busier weeks. If you have produce or any food that is about to go bad, freeze it before the best-before date and defrost when needed. This works especially well for bread, berries, and meat/fish.

Store your food properly. Did you know that fruit can last up to two weeks longer when kept in the fridge instead of a fruit bowl on the counter? Be sure to keep most of your produce in the packing until ready to use, and in the two lower compartments of your fridge. Those drawers are specifically made to help keep your produce fresh longer.

Tip: Make sure your fridge is set between 0-5 degrees Celsius to help your food stay fresh and last longer. Research has suggested that most of us (70%) keep our fridges too warm.

  1. Get creative – use your overripe produce (see Almost bad’ berry jam and Veggie stock recipes) 

When life gets busy, our plans sometimes don’t work out. If that happens and you have over ripe produce, get creative and find ways to use it. Above are two recipes to help reduce food waste and get you using your over ripe berries and veggies.

  1. Plan your meals around veggies

Plan your meals around your produce instead of your protein or grain. We often plan our meals around protein, but why not rethink meal time and plan around the veggies you have available.  This is a great way to reduce food waste and create healthy meals for you and your family.

Bio

Angela is a registered dietitian, nutritionist, family food expert, and certified personal trainer (PTS). She specializes in women’s health, with a focus on weight loss and digestive conditions. She uses a ‘non dieting approach’ with her ultimate goals being to help people find a balanced lifestyle and healthy relationship with food. Angela also worked part-time at the University of Guelph coordinating a family food skills study that focuses on reducing food waste at the household level.

 

 

Top Tips From an International Fitness Superstar

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Mo’s Tips:

  • TEAM:Together We Achieve More! Working out in a group makes exercise more enjoyable. You can meet new friends who will cheer you on to your goals and keep you accountable to achieve them! I even met my husband through group fitness!
  • Group fitness classes often have a lot of variety, so you can find a class that suits your personality and matches your interests. Classes in most clubs include dance-based fitness, core training, strength training, and aerobic conditioning. Each of these will lead you to a healthier, more active lifestyle while keeping things upbeat and fun!
  • Stay fit throughout the years! Whether you are a young eager fitness enthusiast or someone with more life experience than fitness experience, group workouts offer a welcoming environment for everyone. As an instructor, I love welcoming new class participants to the workout and seeing them shine!