Monthly Archives

August 2018

Top Tips From an International Fitness Superstar

By | Healthy Living

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!


Top Five Tips for Eating Clean

By | Nutrition

By Tosca Reno

Eating Clean® is a lifestyle where you learn (or relearn) the basics of how to feed yourself, and in so doing, manage weight and wellness holistically. Eat clean, whole, nutrient dense, minimally processed, well-sourced, properly prepared foods and make a dramatic return to your best health.Eating Clean® means eating loads of plants, drinking plenty of water, and firing up your metabolism by eating healthy fats and protein.

But there is more. Here are five tips that will put you on the fast track to wellness.


Start with my four week Strike Sugar program.I believe no wellness progress can be made unless we detoxify the body of “non-food” toxins, and toxins like sugar.The benefits of starting here are numerous; increased energy levels, a feeling of overall well-being, less inflammation, more consistent moods, cravings disappear, less depression, greater mental clarity, and so much more.Three to five pounds of weight loss in a week isn’t unusual.People have even healed themselves of Type 2 diabetes using this program.The benefits of removing refined and processed sugars from your diet are so numerous and diverse it just makes sense to start by Striking Sugar first.

Eating Clean® involves eating macronutrients – protein, carbohydrates and fats – at every meal. Protein is a building block of health.Most women are undernourished in protein and this doesn’t serve them well, especially in the hormone department. Fat is not the evil food we have been encouraged to believe it is.Instead, think of fat as your satiation food and one that keeps the metabolism firing at its highest, most efficient rate. Carbohydrates come in many forms: “green carbs” from leafy greens and other vegetables; fruit carbs; grain carbs; dairy carbs. The ratio – how it should look on your plate – should be 30% protein, 30% fat, and 40% carbs. Within that 40%, eat about 20% leafy greens and other vegetables, 10% fruits, and 10% grains. But, I have to put this out there: if grains don’t suit you well, don’t eat them!

We have lost touch with what we know in our DNA to be true. That’s left us susceptible to being seduced into believing just about anything about wellness, weight loss, and more. Too easily we believe, “This protein bar will give me energy”instead of eating good solid, clean food.However, we have been born with correct instincts for taking care of ourselves. The body is a consummate healer if we would only support it. Be mindful about what you are eating and how you are supporting your own self care.

The Eating Clean® lifestyle involves movement.We now have scientific data to prove the value of exercise, not just for the physical body but also the mind. This changes the usual approach to physical exercise, from feeling like punishment to enjoying it as a privilege.

Where we once thought exercise was about creating a lean, beautiful physique, and to a point it is, exercise also develops and maintains a healthy, well functioning brain.

“At every level, from the microcellular to the psychological, exercise not only wards off the ill effects of chronic stress; it can also reverse them.”

“Exercise is as effective as certain medications for treating anxiety and depression.”

“One of the prominent features of exercise, which is sometimes not appreciated in studies, is an improvement in the rate of learning,”

Dr. John Ratey, author of Spark, shares that when we exercise at a maximum heart rate of 65%, or greater, for at least 30 minutes a day, 6 days a week, we protect and enhance our cognitive function while fighting depression, anxiety and stress. Movement truly is a privilege.

Translation: Eat smaller portions at regular intervals to keep the metabolic furnace burning most efficiently.When we skip meals, we interfere with the pace of the burn.Having a small meal based on combining macronutrients – protein, complex carbs, and fats – at regular intervals is the best way to not only flood the body with nutrients to keep it fit and healthy, but lean too.

BONUS TIP:Learn more about nutrition to become an expert in your own kitchen and in your coaching practice.Sign up for canfitpro’s Eat-Clean Foundations and Eat Clean for Wellness online courses, where you will find accredited information and practical knowledge to transform your life.

Wellness is built one healthy habit at a time.Choose one, some, or all of these tips to help you achieve a state of optimal wellness.


A fitness model, motivational speaker, and Oxygen and Clean Eating columnist, Tosca is the best-selling author of “Your Best Body Now, The Eat-Clean Diet® series,” and star of her own reality TV show, and The Start Here Diet. At 40, she transformed her overweight and unfulfilled self into a strong, fit woman by eating clean. For over a decade she’s been helping people lose weight and get healthy with her no-nonsense, friendly, compassionate approach. Connect with Tosca on social media – @toscareno


Top Five Diet Myths

By | Nutrition

Myth 1

Fasting makes you lose weight

In the short term, you will experience weight loss by fasting; however, depriving yourself of nutritious food actually impedes on weight loss as it not only removes fat, but also lean muscle and tissue. When you lose muscle mass, you decrease your basal metabolic rate, which is the amount of calories your body needs every day. Once your body adjusts to this fasting, it will require fewer calories than before, and when you stop crash dieting, you will regain the weight.

Myth 2
Eating late at night is more fattening

Brown eggs vs. White eggs

Many believe that brown eggs are more nutritious than white eggs

However, according to the Egg Nutrition Council, “white shelled eggs are produced by hens with white feathers and white ear lobes and brown shelled eggs are produced by hens with red feathers and red ear lobes. There is no difference in taste or nutrition content between white and brown colored eggs.”

Many fad diets claim that eating later in the evening causes your body to store more fat, resulting in weight gain. Several studies consisting of subjects that ate a large lunch and a small evening meal, and then a small lunch and a large evening meal during the next test round did not experience different results. Simply put: it’s not when you eat that counts, but the total amount of calories you consume in a day.

Myth 3

Low-fat foods ensure you lose weight

Low-fat or even fat-free labels don’t necessarily mean low calorie or calorie-free. Get in the habit of checking calorie content. Whenever you see “low-fat”, study where the calories are coming from—most likely, sugar.

Myth 4
Vegetarians can’t build muscle mass

Vegetarians can build muscle by obtaining sufficient protein from foods such as cheese, nuts, legumes, and soy-based products.

Myth 5
All fats are bad for you

For decades, people have avoided consuming fat in their diets when trying to lose weight. The truth is, we all need fat as fats aid in nutrient absorption. Some fats promote good health such as monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, while others are detrimental to your health such as saturated fats and trans fats.



By | Healthy Living

By Tosca Reno

Since I first launched the Strike Sugar® Challenge, hundreds of thousands have found their way to feeling fabulous again by ridding themselves of their addiction for sugar.And make no mistake, the love for sugar is an addiction!

At World Fitness Expo this year, I will be presenting the full story about how to Strike Sugar and become lean and well.Check out my sessions here.

Below, I answer questions you may have about how my Strike Sugar Challenge works and what you can expect.


Strike Sugar® is a four week program designed to remove refined sugar and grain products from your diet, with the goal of ridding you of the addiction for sugar while returning you to optimal wellness.


You will find:

  • a four week menu plan
  • 28 new Eat Clean®, sugar free recipes
  • practical information about fats, carbs and protein
  • support from me and from the private FB group
  • weekly shopping lists
  • a watch list of sugars and other ingredients to avoid


All you need to do is purchase your digital copy of Strike Sugar®.

Download it here and save to your device.

I will provide the Shopping List for Week One on the Friday before the Challenge starts.That way you can get your groceries in time. There are also a few staple recipes that need to be made in advance so you can do that on the weekend before the big start.

Throughout the Challenge I answer questions and support your progress.


Strike Sugar® can be repeated at any time of the year. If you feel like repeating it one month after the next, that is fine too. Remember that the program has been vetted by Dr. Rachel Corradetti ND, and myself, so that it is nutritionally sound.


You are welcome to begin whenever you can. If you are only able to jump in at Week Two, for example, that is fine. Make the program work for you on your time.The support I offer will still be there.


  • If you prefer to eat the same meal for breakfast every day that is fine.
  • If you want to eat leftovers for any other meal, that is fine too.


Diabetics can safely participate in the Strike Sugar® Challenge as the menu and frequency of eating are supported by the Canadian and American Diabetic Associations. You may wish to let your doctor know that you are doing the Challenge.


While you are on the Strike Sugar® Challenge, my preference is to teach you and your body how to do without sugar, even fruit based sugars.Whole fruits are often healthier and better for us because they deliver fibre and nutrients, but you are trying to reset the organs of blood sugar handling.Even though fruit sugars may be plant based, they will still trigger the insulin response in the body.The organs of blood sugar handling – pancreas, liver, adrenals, and spleen still have to respond.You are trying to detoxify these organs and give them a rest and reset.

You will go back to eating fruits again once you have cleared the body and you will introduce those fruits at a certain pace.


It is true that once we have cleansed ourselves of sugar, the palette will rest itself and your taste for sweets will be far less than it was. For example, you may find that green beans taste sweet.

I welcome you to the 25th annual World Fitness Expo and my Eat Clean® and Strike Sugar® sessions.Don’t miss out. This is your turning point.

Eat Clean for Health and for Life,

Tosca Reno

Seated Mindful Meditation

By | Healthy Living


  • Find a relaxed, comfortable position in your chair.Keep your back upright, but not too tight. Hands resting wherever they’re comfortable. Tongue on the roof of your mouth or wherever it’s comfortable.
  • Notice and relax your body. Let yourself relax.Notice the sensations it experiences, the touch, the connection with the floor or the chair. Relax any areas of tightness or tension. Just breathe.
  • Tune into your breath. Feel the natural flow of breath—in, out. You don’t need to do anything to your breath. Not long, not short, just natural. Notice where you feel your breath in your body. It might be in your abdomen. It may be in your chest or throat or in your nostrils. See if you can feel the sensations of breath, one breath at a time. When one breath ends, the next breath begins.
  • Be kind to your wandering mind. Now as you do this, you might notice that your mind may start to wander. You may start thinking about other things. If this happens, it is not a problem. It’s very natural. Just notice that your mind has wandered. You can say “thinking” or “wandering” in your head softly. And then gently redirect your attention right back to the breathing.
  • Stay here for a few minutes. Notice your breath, in silence. From time to time, you’ll get lost in thought, then return to your breath.
  • Once again notice your body, your whole body, seated here. Let yourself relax even more deeply and then offer yourself some appreciation for doing this practice today.
  • Whenever you’re ready gently become aware of your surroundings and open your eyes.

Help the health of yourself, your clients, and your family by learning how to be more resilient and better handle stress. canfitpro’s Stress Resiliency Courseis getting rave reviews from participants.


“This course should be taken by all fitness professionals! This course is not only beneficial for them but for their clients as well as it serves to understand possible underlying issues that clients may be facing. Being educated and experienced in the area of stress resiliency provides fitness professionals that additional expertise to guide our clients towards achieving optimal health!” K.P.

“The stress resiliency course allowed personal reflection on how I could regain control of my stress life. It allows for mindful thinking and focus on the here and now rather than past issues leading to judgement or future expectations leading to fear and uncertainty. It reinforced my positive behaviours, like walking daily, gratitude for things around me, mindful thinking especially when eating and of course the importance of a well centred mind-body-spirit concept” M.S.

“As an elementary educator and bodystep instructor this course provided many many easy to use ideas for stress relief and adding value to our everyday living. We all need to learn everyday coping techniques and this course does just that!! Loved it” L.P.


Run Your Way to Wellness

By | Healthy Living, Movement

Imagine your heart pounding, feet treading against the pavement, wind blowing through your hair, the feeling of accomplishment as you cross the finish line!

Running is an exhilarating way to exercise! Along with improving your heart health and managing your weight, running connects us with nature, calming the nervous system. Release stress, clear your head, organize your thoughts, or just relax as you enjoy your surroundings.

With warmer weather just days away, taking your workout outdoors can bring reprieve from your office walls and a soothing feeling as you breathe in the natural wonders around you. Running outdoors is the perfect way to appreciate the longer days while keeping on track with your workouts.

Use these quick and easy tips to ensure you get the most out of your run:

Running shoes—fit, function, fashion!
Try on a few pairs of running shoes. Not all “sneakers” are designed for running. Ask associates for top selling brands to find what fits well for your foot and choose something you like. A nice pair of shoes will encourage you to keep hitting the pavement!

Warm layers
Your body temperature will warm quickly as you run but be mindful of outdoor weather and layer your clothing. Shop around for dri-fit products and clothes that keep sweat away from your body.

Warm-up, cool-down, and stretching
As with any exercise program a proper warm-up prevents injuries and overstressing any muscles. Incorporate stretches for the leg muscles (quadriceps, hamstrings, calves) after each run.

Running with music
Your favourite tunes will keep you motivated and full of energy as you log extra miles. Keep your eyes on the road and volume at a level where you are still aware of your surroundings.

Road safety
Be alert to traffic and know when you have the right of way on paths and roads. Wear bright colours when running in the dark.

Progress gradually
Start with a simple walk/run combination for about 20 minutes at your own pace. Gradually increase to more run and less walk intervals until you can run for 20-30 minutes. Look into a structured running group in your neighbourhood and connect with others at the same level or experience as you. Keep your running consistent and strive for two to three times per week for maximum health benefits.

Protect your joints
Over-training on any one type of exercise can cause strain on your joints and muscles. Complement running with other low-impact activities like swimming or cycling, a regular weight training program, and regular stretching or yoga.

Make it fun!
Bring a friend, the dog, or the kids. While you may enjoy the solitude of running, it can be a lot of fun when you have company. Make regular exercise a family affair!

Check out these websites for more information:

Re-vamp Your Well-being

By | Healthy Living

By Tanya Otterstein-Liehs

In today’s ever-increasing digital age and demands, stress levels are on an astronomical rise, while our mindset and well-being on are a staggering decline.Although eating healthier and exercise are well-merited actions to decreasing your stress levels, improving your self-worth, self-love and self-confidence, body and mind connections, being in the moment, and making vital time for yourself are some crucial factors that need to be addressed, and implemented into your daily life.

Here are seven tips that will help decrease your stress, increase your self-love, improve your mindset, and well-being.

  • Begin your day by loving YOUR reflection.
  • Be grateful.
  • Learn to recognize stress symptoms and signals.
  • Carve out “ME” time every day.
  • Do move your body every day.
  • Be still and in the moment.
  • Stay hydrated.

Look in the mirror and give yourself a compliment.Whether it’s your smile, the sparkle in your eyes or the shape of your body, by acknowledging something positive about yourself every day you will increase your self-love, self-worth and you will gleam positive body awareness and vibes.

Upon waking up, think of five to ten things you are grateful for every morningTake it a step further and write down your gratitude in a journal.When you begin your day with positive affirmations and thoughts, you universally attract positive vibrations and retain a positive outlook on life.

When you become stressed, your heart rate increases, you sweat, your muscles tighten, and you may even experience a fluttering feeling, like butterflies in the pit of your stomach.By recognizing and acknowledge these symptoms, you can immediately begin stress decreasing techniques like deep breathing exercises, stretching, muscle relaxation, and positive self-talk.These will leave you feeling calmer and more relaxed.

Do not let excuses stop you from making taking this vital time.You give everyone else your time, yet fail to recognize how crucial making time for yourself is.Whether it’s reading a book, going for a walk, relaxing in a bath or painting a canvas, choose something that you love to do.These vital “ME” minutes are essential to improving your well-being.Honour and give yourself permission to do this every day.

Set a 20 – 30 minute non-negotiable appointment with yourself and use this time to go for a walk, bike ride, run or fit in a workout.Movement creates a stronger body to mind connection, burns off stress, and provides clarity of mind to help you be more productive.

When was the last time you just sat there, closed your eyes and totally focused on the sounds and smells around you?One of the best places to do this is in nature.The tranquility and positive energies you experience in nature increase your feel-good endorphins, wash away your stresses, slowing down your heart rate, and transforming you into to a very relaxed and calm state.

Water is food and fuel for your brain, vital organs, and bodily functions.When you become dehydrated, you feel sluggish, suffer from brain fog, feel lethargic, your body systems suffer from not being able to properly function, and you may even feel hungry.However, by consistently drinking water throughout the day, you’ll keep your energy levels up, filter out toxins, give your skin a natural glow, and feel healthier overall.

By implementing these seven tips into your daily lifestyle, you will soon discover a positive shift in your mindset and experience a revamped well-being.


Tanya is an EMPOWERING Mindful Health & Wellness Coach, motivational speaker, author, and creator of the Self-Empowering Academy. She helps businesses, schools, and busy moms with preteen to teenage kids across the Globe to become Empowered; learning to give yourself permission, without letting your fears or excuses stop you from making vital life dependent “ME” time every day, to stand tall with self-confidence, love your own reflection, revamp your mindset, and make room for exercise, positive mind-shift and rich self-discovery. Connect with Tanya at

Planning a Vegan Diet to Optimize Performance

By | Nutrition

By Stephanie Hnatiuk RD, CDE, PTS

Vegan and vegetarian diets used to have a bad rap when it came to supporting the nutrition needs of athletes. When it comes to optimizing performance though, there are actually many plant foods that can do the job. While we now know that plant-based diets can fuel even the highest level of athletes, there are some key nutrients that shouldn’t be left out!

  1. Protein

Best plant-based sources: tofu (and other soy foods), lentils, beans, whole grains, quinoa, nuts and seeds.

Because athletes require more protein in their diets than the rest of the population, it may require some effort and planning to consume enough. Not eating enough protein can cause a slump in performance and difficulty building muscle, so protein should be a priority when creating a plant-based meal plan.

Tip: Make high-protein plant foods part of every meal and snack. When quick, on-the-go options are needed, plant-based protein bars or powders can help fill the nutrition gaps.

  1. Iron

Best plant-based sources: beans, lentils, nuts and seeds, tofu, cooked spinach, asparagus, beets and beet greens.

Iron is not as readily absorbed by our bodies as some other nutrients, and non-heme iron (the type found in plant sources) is bound by natural substances that make it even harder for us to access. Iron is important for helping the body carry oxygen through the blood to our cells, so if we have low iron levels we may feel tired, irritable and low in energy.

Tip: Pair up sources of iron with foods rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to increase the absorption of iron by changing it to a more readily-absorbed version.

  1. Zinc

Best plant-based sources: Wheat germ cereals, bran cereals, nuts and seeds, tempeh, tofu, beans and lentils.

Zinc is an important nutrient for the body’s growth and immune function. Without enough zinc in our bodies we may get sick more often, have trouble healing, or lose our appetite.

Tip: The zinc in plant foods is often bound by phytates, which are natural compounds that prevent us from absorbing zinc in the digestive tract. Cooking techniques like soaking beans, sprouting grains, or leavening bread dough improves zinc’s bioavailability.

  1. Vitamin B12

Best plant-based sources: There are no natural vegan sources of vitamin B12. Foods commonly fortified with vitamin B12 include nutritional yeast, plant-based milks, or soy products.

Vitamin B12 plays a key role in our cells energy metabolism. Without adequate vitamin B12 physical performance can suffer due to weakness and fatigue.

Tip: Get your vitamin B12 level checked regularly to avoid a deficiency. Some people do not absorb vitamin B12 very well, so supplementation may be necessary even if you consume fortified foods regularly.

  1. Vitamin D

Best plant-based sources: Mushrooms, fortified plant milks (and other fortified foods)

Vitamin D plays a key role in bone health, immunity, and reduction of inflammation in the body. We actually make vitamin D when we are exposed to sunlight, but during the winter this can be nearly impossible.

Tip: It is recommended to take a Vitamin D supplement to ensure adequate levels in the body year-round.

  1. Calcium

Best plant-based sources: Cooked greens (spinach, kale, turnip greens), almonds, white/navy beans, foods fortified with calcium including tofu, breakfast cereals, orange juice, plant-based milks

Calcium is a key nutrient not only for bone health, but for normal body functions including muscle contractions. There are many sources of calcium available for plant-based eaters including both plant foods and fortified foods.

Tip: Always choose fortified plant-based milks to replace dairy. Vitamin D also increases calcium absorption in the digestive tract so getting enough vitamin D in your diet is also key for optimizing your calcium intake.

  1. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)

Best plant-based sources: spinach, soy, mushrooms, almonds, fortified grain products and cereals

Riboflavin is one of the B vitamins that is important for energy metabolism (the body’s ability to turn the food we eat into energy in our cells), among many other important body functions. Athletes have a higher need for riboflavin than sedentary people, so including plant-based sources of riboflavin each day is critical.

Tip: Some bacteria that live in the digestive tract produce riboflavin during digestion, which our bodies can absorb and use. A high-fibre diet can help increase the riboflavin these bacteria produce.

The Bottom Line

Plant-based diets can fuel even very high level athletes, but choosing the right combinations of nutrient-dense foods is the key for optimizing athletic performance.



Stephanie Hnatiuk is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, and Certified Personal Trainer with canfitpro. As both a nutrition and fitness expert, she takes a whole-foods, common sense approach to nutrition and wellness that emphasizes unprocessed foods and home-cooked meals.

Instagram: @Stephthedietitian

Twitter: @StephHfitness

Managing Stress

By | Healthy Living

In all things in life there are ups and downs, highs and lows. We all experience daily stressors from our careers, relationships, finances, health, or in some cases, a sudden chronic incident like the death of a loved one.

The key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not to strive to eliminate these stressors, but rather to find ways to manage them. The important thing is to remember that you have a choice in how you handle each situation and if you are armed with effective resources, you can get through anything.

Here are some tips for daily stress relief:

  1. Exercise.Through exercise and the release of endorphins, your mood will naturally lift and will help to reduce the release of stress hormones.
  2. Support System.Ensure you have people you can talk to or be with during your challenging times. Reach out to family, friends, a doctor or therapist who you trust as a good listener.
  3. Journal.The act of writing your thoughts and feelings helps to minimize overwhelming feelings.
  4. Joy.Do things that you enjoy and that bring you pleasure. Maybe you love to dance, indulge in dinner with a friend, treat yourself to a massage, or have a relaxing bubble bath. Be sure to balance your stress with enjoyment so nothing seems too massive to control.
  5. Rest.Ensure you get enough rest and relaxation. Try yoga or meditation to clear your mind. Ensure you get regular and adequate sleep each night to re-charge and re-focus.

Trust that things will get better and that you can get through whatever is stressing you!

Recommended read: So Stressed: The Ultimate Stress-Relief Plan for Women, McClellan M.D. and Hamilton M.D., 2010.

How to Make Running Part of Your Life

By | Healthy Living

Running is a great form of exercise for burning calories, cardio endurance, and enjoying the outdoors. Here are some tips to make running a part of your life and your training routine:

Training – decide on the best training program for you. If you want to join an organized group check out what is available in your community, talk to friends for referrals, or download a training program online. Having a pre-designed program will help you work towards any running goals you have and keep you accountable along the way. Running indoors on a treadmill is also a good option, but schedule it in so you stay committed. Set a goal for time or distance covered and track your progress to keep you motivated.

Cross train – be sure to complement your running with some strength and flexibility exercises to prevent injury, improve speed, and build endurance. Recommendations include lunges and core training for strength, yoga or dynamic stretch for flexibility, and cycling or swimming for cross training. A personal trainer can also design a great program for you.

“If you don’t mind running with others, join a running group or start one up with friends. Having the support of people who had the same goal helped motivate me to keep going when it was too cold, too hot, too windy, I was too tired, too busy, etc. My running group kept me accountable to the goal that I had set for myself and helped me see it through to the finish (line )!”
Andrea McLeod, completed her first marathon October 2010 in San Francisco!