Health Redesigned Blog

I Gave up Late Nights and Regained My Health

I thought I could do it all. I was the kind of woman that only needed a few hours of sleep each night to function. I could stay up late and get up early. I was able to thrive on minimal sleep. Or so I thought.
 
That’s when it happened. My health collapsed. It started out simple enough. A bit of test anxiety while I was still in University. Then chronic aches and pains rotating through my joints. I got shingles every summer for a few years in a row- on my face. I had gout, fungal infections, staph infections, mono, and chronic fatigue. I developed insomnia and could only get 2-3 hours of interrupted sleep each night. I was only in my early 20’s. I felt like I was going crazy.
 

I thought I was superwoman.

Here’s what lead to my health collapse. I thought I was superwoman. I could do it all. I was a full-time student. I stayed up late studying. I worked part-time. I trained 30 hours a week for cross country and soccer. I had a vibrant...
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The Last Diet You’ll Ever Need

There’s long been a debate about what the ONE perfect diet is. Traditionally a diet was simply the way that you ate. Over time it has evolved to mean, “restricting your current intake of food to lose weight.” Regardless of which definition you prefer, there is one perfect diet that does both.
 
The perfect diet is out there, but not in the way that you think. There is no one perfect diet that works for every single person on this entire planet. That’s impossible. Each person has a different set of nutritional requirements to keep them healthy. Many diets will sustain you or keep you alive. That doesn’t mean that they are good for you long term. Your perfect diet should not just keep you alive, it should help you thrive. It should give you the best possible intake of nutrients to allow your body to be as healthy as it can be.
 
Rather than one universal diet, there is a set of principles...
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10 Tips To Manage Sleep

Managing your sleep can be easier than you think. It comes down to sorting out the factors that affect your sleep. Most people are on the go all day and want to come home to get a good night’s sleep. We assume that all we need to do is go to bed and sleep will happen. There’s more to the picture than that. Here are 10 things you should consider to improve your sleep:
 

Time of Day/Circadian Rhythm

These are the internal and external cues for sleep. Going to bed and getting up at the same time helps to train your body that sleep happens between those times. It’s also important to follow the natural rhythm of light outside. Go to sleep when it’s dark and wake up when it’s light. That isn’t always possible for people further from the equator. In those cases, stick to a set sleep/wake schedule to keep your body on track.
 

Light Exposure

Sleep is impacted by the amount of light you are exposed to...
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Real Food, Real Nutrition- an Old Concept

After spending over 10 years in the fitness industry and then working as a nurse, I’ve done more than my fair share of experimenting. I’ve tried many different diets to achieve my best health and performance. I’ve followed Canada’s Food Guide, The Zone, and Eat for your blood Type, to name a few. I have also done many “cleanses” but nothing touches eating “real”, “good”, food. This style of eating is also referred to as whole food nutrition or Holistic Nutrition. It covers the basic premise: drink pure water, eat lots of vegetables, lean cuts of meat and good quality fat. For variety, include fruits that are low in sugar, nuts, and seeds in small doses.
 
Eating produce and meat that’s “in season”, may reduce your body’s resistance to certain foods. It may also decrease food sensitivities and allergic-type reactions to food. A rotational style of eating is not only easy to follow,...
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15 Ways to Get Your Weight Back on Track

The holidays are over and the kids back in school. Those inches you lost over the summer are working hard to find their way back to your waistline. As you get preoccupied with the lives of your family members, it’s easy to forget about you. You may not be taking as good of care of yourself and the pounds have added up.
 
What if you could avoid this whole cycle? You can! I know you’ll be looking to get back to that summer bod of yours in a few short months. To get out of the weight gain rut, here are some tips on how to stay fit over the next few winter months:
 
  1. Keep moving! Get busy, especially on weekends. Choose activities that you can do with the whole family. Everyone will enjoy the activity and you’ll reap the health benefits.
  2. Reduce the calories from your intake of liquids. Cut the calorie-laden whipped cream on that Frappuccino! Stop your soda and juice habits. Instead, drink water with a wedge of lemon, lime, pineapple or...
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How Many Calories Do You Really Need?

I recently posted an answer on Quora to the question, “Is 5000 calories a day too much for a sedentary lifestyle?” I shared it on Facebook and then had a fabulous follow-up question about counting carbohydrate calories from an amazing lady. I thought the two were too good not to share because it’s such a poorly understood topic. As a society, we are really good at overestimating our calorie output and underestimating our intake. We struggle to determine the appropriate amount of calories we truly need to meet our needs. (Hint- it’s likely much lower than you think.) Studies even show that by having a lower calorie intake, you’ll likely be setting yourself up for better longevity. So, how many calories do you really need? Here’s what I shared:

In most cases, you’ll need less than 2000 calories per day to support a sedentary lifestyle. To figure out how many calories you truly need, you can start by calculating your resting metabolic...

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Don’t HIIT Yourself Into the Ground

There is an increasing trend of doing short, high-intensity workouts. These workouts are referred to as HIIT or high-intensity interval training. It’s a form of anaerobic conditioning (without oxygen) that can deliver faster results than other styles of training. HITT workouts include doing repeated short bursts of maximal intensity or high-intensity effort. They come in all shapes and sizes, with varying exercises. The number of sets and repetitions can also vary from workout to workout. Generally, workout sessions are short and sweet, lasting less than 30 minutes.

HIIT workouts were intended to supplement training. They were never designed to be your entire fitness program. I love HITT when it’s done properly. It can deliver amazing results. HITT can yield significant changes to body composition in a relatively short period of time. The biggest problem with HIIT workouts is the way they are executed. If you do intense workouts day in, day out, by the end of a month or...

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How to Raise a Healthy Child

Kids are impressionable. They want to be like their role models. They also love to learn- if taught the right way. When kids have poor eating habits their growth and development is fueled by a lack of nutrients. That means that they aren’t getting the appropriate fuel to help them grow. Their brains need a variety of nutrients. This includes lean protein, unprocessed carbohydrates vitamins, minerals and lots of high-quality fat.
 
It’s easy to thrust our chosen diet on our children. But sometimes that’s not the best choice. Children do not thrive on low-fat diets. They need protein to build their muscles. When we deny our children these essential nutrients during their development, we can inflict permanent damage to them.
 
Compare this scenario to a seed potted in poor quality soil. It may grow but not develop to it’s fullest potential. The plant will lack strength and durability against stressors. It will...
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The Secret to Your Perfect Beach Body

To get the perfect beach body you need to starve yourself for a few months before your vacation. You have to hit the gym hard and spend hours on the treadmill. By vacation time you can fit into your skinny jeans. Then you can splurge while you’re away and gain it all back. Sound familiar???
 
This approach is so wrong, yet so common. The yo-yo cycle of weight loss and gain can be hard on your body. It sets you up for difficulties losing weight down the road. It’s also hard on your hormones because your body doesn’t know what’s going on.
 
A better approach is to maintain a healthy weight all year long. Keeping your weight within five pounds of your goal weight will make it much easier to stay on track. You can tighten up or loosen up your diet as needed. You’ll never need to lose large amounts of weight.
 
To prevent the yo-yo cycle of weight loss and gain, I work with clients to keep their mindset on the right track. Start...
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The Top 5 Kitchen Gadgets Every Foodie Needs

It’s that time of year when you start thinking about what to get for that hard to buy someone on your list. Here’s a list of must have’s for anyone who’s a foodie or anyone that wants to make an effort at eating better. Click the image to bring up the Amazon link for purchase information.

Vitamix 5200 Blender

This Blender is just what you need to do almost everything. It blends, chops, stirs, mixes, and grinds. I use mine just about every day. It can make smoothies, soups, sauces, spreads and probably some other “s” words. I like this model because it’s got enough features to adjust the blending speed without being overly complicated. The size is perfect- you can blend small or large amounts. My favorite thing about this blender is the durability. I literally choked when I saw the price of it the first time. However, when I consider that I was burning through other brands every year, I’ve actually saved money by investing in a Vitamix....

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