Squat Workout! 

New YouTube Squat Workout!
Watch as I show you how I do my dynamic warm up, slowly increase my weights, focus on good form, and then finish with some of my favourite stretches! 

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Short Video of my favourite and effective Stretches

I created a short stretching video demonstrating how to perform each stretch and what muscles each stretches as well as how long to hold each stretch for, check it out and let me know if you try it! and Be sure to like and subscribe for my future videos on youtube!

Watch video on youtube here!

New Supps and Pullups

 

Just a short video showing you my recent vegan supplement purchases. Raw Fusion Proteins in Banana Nut and Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge! Both are delicious! Then I also got some Creatine HCl and plant-based fermented BCAA’s from Kaged Muscle. FYI the BCAA’s smell and taste like crap but I guess thats what happens when you order vegan, unflavoured BCAAs 😦

Secondly, Pullups are something Ive been working on for the last year and a half. I initially found it very hard to make progress and then I injured myself, turns out you need to stretch your back and shoulders when your constantly doing pushups, burpees and pullups! DUH! Anyways so with the help of my amazing chiropractor and foam rolling and stretching my back and shoulders are slowly but surely getting better and are now more mobile. I was pretty happy with my assisted pullups today, this was the first set with the thinnest band which really just helps me on the initial pull which I find to be the hardest part of pullups. I was able to do 6 and lets count that last one as a 3/4 one 😛 I plan to make my next video a full upper body workout so stay tuned!

Strengthen and Tone Your Core

 

 

IMG_2677Here’s the workout:

20 Mountain Climbers with a twist

20 Plank Leg Lifts

10 Side Plank Dips each side

15 Second Low Plank hold

12 Dead Bugs (opposite arm and leg lowering)

20 Alternating Toe Reaches

Repeat circuit 3x total

Rest and Stretch in between exercises as needed. Make sure you have good form and concentrate on keeping your core engaged for the whole routine.

Let me know how you like it!

Find Video of Workout on my Youtube!

Goals!

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In November I made the goal that I want to be able to do a handstand by the summer. Well, I put in a lot of practice and patience and it wasn’t easy,  but I reached my goal! I can now hold a handstand for roughly ten seconds. That may not seem like much but to me it means a lot. Making goals are important in all aspects of life, but health and fitness goals are the most fun and rewarding 🙂 I challenge everyone to make a goal and take small steps everyday to achieve that goal, and make sure you set a reasonable, attainable time frame. I was worried I was no where close at the start of summer, but the body takes time to progress. I hope to be able to hold my handstands for 60 seconds come next summer! The work never stops, but it gets more enjoyable 🙂

You don’t need meat to get all of your essential amino acids!

If anyone tells you that you need to eat meat, they are severely mistaken. You can get all the protein you need, and then some, from things that come out of the ground, not a slaughterhouse.

The words “complete” and “incomplete” protein simply mean that a food either has equal amounts of all amino acids (complete) or has less of one or more amino acids (incomplete). It does NOT mean that any amino acid(s) is or are missing entirely from that food, just that some may be present in lower amounts. This means that to get adequate protein (all essential amino acids) from plants, you simply have to eat a variety of different plant proteins and more of them! Who doesn’t want to eat more? And NO you don’t have to make special combinations at every meal, just make sure you’re eating a variety of whole grains and the following throughout your diet:

Quinoa: Quinoa is very high in protein! It is considered one of the complete plant proteins because it contains good levels of all essential amino acids. And it also has good amounts of iron, calcium, B vitamins, and other minerals, so eat some!

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Sprouts: when a seed, grain, or legume is sprouted its protein content increases by 15-30%, that’s awesome! This is because during the sprouting process some of the carbohydrate component gets converted into protein. Sprouts are also richer in other nutrients so they are a very good choice, but best eaten raw! Also try sprouting at home! Check out this site.

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Soybeans: though they are in the legume family they deserve some special mention, they contain good levels of all amino acids and are high in protein (one of the best sources of vegan protein). It is important to make sure your soy is organic and non-GMO because unfortunately a lot of the ones grown in our world are tampered with! And yes, males can safely enjoy non-GMO soybeans as well and they will not develop breasts, that is a myth! Also my favorite way to enjoy the nourishing properties of soybeans: smoked organic tofu!

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Peanuts: they are 20% protein! And did you know that peanuts are actually a legume, not a nut! It is best to refrigerate your peanuts to prevent them from rancidity, and getting them raw is best, or in the form of natural peanut butter (no not the Kraft brand with teddy bears on it, sorry).

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Legumes: This includes all peas and beans and lentils! These are a great protein source and are inexpensive! They are great to combine with brown rice and vegetables for a yummy dinner. Or combine them with quinoa for an even bigger protein kick!

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So now you know where us vegans get our protein so you no longer have to ask! Thanks for reading 🙂

Reference: “Staying Healthy with Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine (21st century edition)”, 2006, by Elson M. Haas, MD. with Buck Levin, PhD, RD. 

My top 6 Core Exercises!

No more crunches! Do these 6 exercises to work all of your abdominal muscles and get a strong, sexy core! A strong core is the foundation to a strong and healthy, active body. So if you’ve never done strength training, do these 6 exercises to get your body ready! Don’t forget to drink water and refuel with a yummy, healthy vegan meal like one of these ( Creamy Coconut & Date Oatmeal, Brown Rice Stew)

#1: Single Legged Plank

Perform on each leg, holding for at least 10 seconds, with the lifted foot flexed and your glutes tight, increase time as you improve.

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#2: Side Plank

Make sure your wrist is below your shoulder, hold your hips up for atleast 10 seconds, increasing each time. Repeat on other side for same time.

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#3: Single Legged Side Plank

This one is my favorite because it also works the inner thighs which are a hard to target area! Make sure you keep those hips up and keep the foot planted, Hold for as long as you can (with good form) and repeat on the other side.

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#4: Single Leg Raises

Start with both legs at 90 degrees and abs engaged, pulling your belly button to the floor with your head on the ground, inhale as you lower one leg, exhale as you bring it back up to 90, repeat with the other leg.Thats one rep, do as many as you can until it burns!  Breathing is important! A strong exhale as you raise your leg engages the core more!

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#5: Cat Plank

I am not sure what this position is really called, but I think this name is suitable. Essentially like a regular plank, but your legs are bent and your knees are off the ground! Hover with your knees just an inch off the ground and hold for as long as you can, keeping a strong and straight back.

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#6: Reverse Plank

We can’t forget about our back! Our “core” is not exclusive to the front of the body. This move helps strengthen the whole backside, make sure your feet are pointed and turned out (you’ll want a soft surface for this) and your butt is clenched! Try to keep your neck straight, looking up and not at your toes. Hold for as long as you can!

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Repeat this whole sequence 3 times for an awesome total core workout, perfect for pairing with a cardio, such as my 10 minute calorie scorcher one here (click this link) for when you are short on time.

The fantastic thing about all of these exercises is that most of the muscles in the body are acting as stabilizers, so your not just working your core! You will notice that  your shoulders and triceps may feel a bit tired after all of these planks, and thats the bonus! Who doesn’t want nice, toned arms and shoulders?