Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tempo Training- heavier is not harder

Today while training a client something strange happened when we were doing a Tabata Circuit of (20 sec/10sec max work to rest ratio) and she had 4 sets of deadlifts to do in this circuit. I cut her 5 rep max weight in half for the circuit as the goal is to try and beat your previous number of lifts from 20 seconds ago. She indicated this was not heavy enough, although she did not understand the point of the exercise. She was not achieving her goal and was lifting slow and labouring through. This is fine and not wrong, but changing the tempo of your lifts is extremely effective and should be practiced regularly. Don't stick to the same 1 up 1 down tempo. Try something new, try a 1 up 3 down tempo or even a small 2 second hold during your lift. More weight is not what is needed, more variety in the "time under muscle tension" is needed to keep your body guessing. You will naturally do what is easiest for your body including the tempo that you usually lift at, so shake it up, try a set lifting faster, then slower and tell me what you think. Simple little tricks like this will keep your body guessing, burning more fat and building muscle. Again if your body defaults to what is easiest for you, it is probably not the most efficient form a fat burning exercise.BabyBump Mom Fitness 064

This tip works for all mothers regardless of what stage of your recovery or fitness program you are at. Lets take a glut bridge for example, you typically use this in your warm up and probably lift at a 1/1 tempo. Try 3 seconds up and 3 seconds down and I can assure you your gluts will be on fire- now repeat this doing the 1 legged version and you have a great strength building exercise that will bring you more benefit than lifting any amount of weight. Again if ou are a new mother and your goal is to get your gluteus medius working again after the change in your pelvis, take a small resistance band and place it around both legs at knee level and perform your glut bridge at a slow pace to strengthen your glut medius and maximus. I challenge all of you on the Baby Bump Busy Mom Fitness program to try and change the tempo of your lifts for one workout-just one and let me know the after effects. I'm listening.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Best Busy New Mom and Baby Bump Exercise

BabyBump Mom Fitness 062The bilateral back extension exercise is one of the BEST Busy Mom exercises for pregnancy and a new mom. Yes it's origin is rehabilitative in nature, but why is it so important for you. From a 4 point kneel you are cued to lift up one of your back legs straight out by contracting your glut muscle- you are not to let your pelvis drop or shift during this leg lift and your abdominals need to be tight for your pelvis to be held steady. This is step one and testing if you are able to hold your 3 point stance working on your pillar and anti-rotation muscles in your core to hold your pelvis steady. Next (or is you are advance you can lift arm and glut simultaneously) lift your opposite arm straight out in front of you, trying to get your arm in line with your ear, but again not letting your pelvis drop or rotate. You are now in a 2 point stance. This is beneficial because your anti-rotator muscles are firing (increasing lumbar stability), your glut medius of the pillar leg is working, your glut max muscle of the suspended leg is firing, your shoulder stability muscles are firing of your support arm and your core and back muscles are firing of the extended arm. This is a lot of bang for your buck- highly efficient exercise, perfect for busy moms. Many athletes use this 1-2 x per week in their dynamic warmup program so everything is firing for performance. For a new mom and for a a pregnancy exercise this should be part of your regular routine as you are overcoming changes in your body. During pregnancy your hips are widening making your glut medius less effective, you lumbar spine is mobilizing in the joints due to relaxin and your belly is expanding putting your pelvis into anterior tilt. The pregnancy waddle or gait associated with late pregnancy is inevitable. Performing the bilateral back extension will help prevent discomfort from joint instability and pregnancy posture. You can learn how to manage your new changing body by firing your muscles to help prevent loss of balance and aid in recovery.

During Pregnancy Fitness Routine the Key Reasons For performing the Bilateral Back Extension are;

1. Manage lumbar instability that can lead to discomfort

2. Fire your abdominals at their new changing lengths for aid in daily activities and recovery after baby is born

3. Shoulder stability

For a NEW MOM regaining lumbar stability is mandatory. You are now carrying around a baby, your body is constantly changing shape and you are under physical stress from sleep deprivation and delivery recovery. The main goals of performing the bilateral back extension for a new mom is to

1. Retrain deep abdominal muscle firing and anti rotational muscles ( the true function of the abdominals)

2. Strengthening your glut muscles for pelvic stability to avoid lifting with your back instead of legs

3. Stabilizing the shoulders by horizontal pressing and vertical lifting

Like mentioned earlier once you go through your pregnancy fitness and recovery new mom fitness this exercise is a great warm up for any routine. It is commonly performed incorrectly as people allow there belly to sag, pelvis to rotate and lift their back leg with their back not by firing their glut. Be aware of these when you perform this exercise.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lose Fat, Get Stronger

So how do you lose excess body fat from pregnancy? Get Stronger. That's right you need resistance to lose fat . Why is this- well because of EPOC or Oxygen debt. Whatever fancy word you use it works. When you perform resistance training you will build muscle tissue which has a higher metabolic rate at rest than any other tissue in the body. When you perform anaerobic resistance training (push yourself to your heart rate limit) you are using so much oxygen that you heart rate and respiration will stay slightly elevated after you workout which again is the same as a higher resting metabolic rate. You will burn more calories in the long run from performing resistance training for these 2 reason. If you perform cardio and the machine says you have burned 200 calories in 30 minutes- great but that's it, nothing else. If you perform 20 minutes of resistance training and burn 150 calories- you will likely burn another 200 calories or more throughout the day due the effects of that resisitance workout. That just makes sense- workout less and burn more calories. Simple workout plans yielding real results- get over your cardio plateau. Baby Bump Busy Mom Fitness.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Take It Inside With Body Weight Circuits

As the weather is getting colder in Canada I have noticed a strange trend at the gym where work. Members are not coming for their early morning workouts, probably due to the fact that it is dark until 7:30am now. This baffles me, this is the time of year when you want to think about bringing things indoors, focus on some of your much needed muscle balancing rehab exercises, flexibility and power up with resistance for the Christmas Fat Blast. Many people reading this blog probably run/jog/walk or hike as one of their activities for the week. Enjoying the outdoors is wonderful and allows you to appreciate physical activity and your surroundings while de stressing. What happens when this goes by the wayside because it is too dark in the morning for your jog, to windy, cold, rainy, or icy out. Your stress level may have just tripled because you are thrown out of your routine by something you cannot control- the weather and season. Be prepared for these seasonal mishaps that will soon be here to stay for 4-5 months. Take it inside anywhere, anytime with some body weight circuits. You do not need anything, you can even do them in bare feet. A few key exercises such as glut bridges allow you to strengthen your gluts and hamstrings while working on hip flexor flexibility. Bulgarian split squats again work the same muscles and you get great hip extension in your back leg. Love them or hate them pushups and pullups of any version are challenging enough to get your heart rate flying for some anaerobic fat loss work. Add a few burpies and there your have a great recipe for an indoor, anywhere, anytime no equipment needed full body workout.

As women we need to be weary of our surrounding and doing these simple circuits in your back garden in the early morning and dusk is another great way to safely enjoy the outdoors weather permitting.


Perform 8-12 reps of each exercise, work continuous and swiftly.

1. Glut Bridge

2. Front Plank

3. rotational plank

4. Bulgarian Split Squat

5. pushups

6. modified pullups (you can use 2 chairs with a sturdy bar across them or under your dining table- be creative)

7. Burpies

repeat 2-3x with 1-2 minutes rest between circuits, this should take no more than 15 minutes to complete.

To get more great workouts sent to your inbox with the photos and descriptions sign up for my complimentary newsletter, or better yet get the full Baby Bump Fitness Mom Package with 16 weeks of circuit programming for you.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Swine Flu Prevention

7 Simple Techniques to Minimize Your

Swine Flu Risk

It is that time of the year when the weather changes in most parts of the world and the common cold starts rearing its ugly head. Flu season also begins. This season is causing more anxiety amongst the general population because of the H1N1 swine flu.

There is almost a panic because the experts feel that this flu virus is more severe than the others.

Let me give you some statistics.

• Seasonal flu annually sickens 5-20% of the population.
• More than 200,000 people are hospitalized with flu complications
• About 36,000 people die from influenza related complications each year in the United States alone.
• 75 million work days are lost each year
• 1765 deaths are due to influenza annually

Now I didn’t give these statistics to scare you or alarm you. I provided these to show you that these statistics are from what we know as general flu, which means that the swine flu is not necessarily more harmful.

This means all flu may be potentially harmful and life threatening. That is why you need to take the proper steps to avoid all types of flu this season and not just worry about the swine flu.

The National Institute for Health and Center for Disease Control also states that 62 million cases of the common cold are reported each year.

So what are we to do?

We have all heard of the common tips that we should be doing and these are pretty powerful.

1. Consistently wash your hands
2. Avoid contacting your face with your hands unless you have recently washed them of germs.
3. If you are in contact with public areas where germs tend to thrive make sure you wash your hands afterwards and avoid touching your face prior to washing your hands.

Did you know that your nutritional habits play an important role in combating the common cold and flu?

More and more research is showing that Vitamin D can play an important role in fighting off the flu.

The problem with this is we have become so scared of the sun and skin cancer that we tend to cover our bodies in sunscreen, which limits the amount of Vitamin D we can absorb from the sun.

The result is we are actually starting to see a deficiency in Vitamin D, which the experts thought would never happen.

Which type of Vitamin D should I take?


You can take a good multi-vitamin that has Vitamin D in it, but many multivitamins contain Vitamin D2 instead of D3. Both are usable forms of Vitamin D, but D3 converts 500% faster and binds with protein more effectively than D2.

The other solution is to spend 10-15 minutes a day in the sun without sunscreen on. This is more difficult in climates where the wind is blowing and the temperature is 20 degrees during the winter months. That is why a good multi-vitamin that contains Vitamin D3 is a good alternative.

Many experts believe this is why flu is worst in the fall and winter because most people spend their time indoors because of the nasty weather.

Here are 7 simple inexpensive ways to dramatically boost your immune system and reduce the risk of the cold or flu this year.

1. Vitamin D through sun exposure or a good multi-vitamin that contains Vitamin D3
2. Avoid sugar and processed foods
3. Exercise
4. Daily Omega 3 fats from krill oil to boost your immune system
5. Get enough rest. Some believe getting less than 6 hours of sleep a night dramatically increases you chances of contracting the flu
6. Wash your hands thoroughly throughout the day
7. Consume anti-oxidants to help fight off free radicals that can weaken your immune system

If you're looking for the way to stay healthy this year then that means following all 7 seven steps above.

Can you think of any reason not to take care of your health this year?

Now there is no one miracle solution and relying on the swine flu vaccination which for many won't be available until sometime in December is not the safest route to go. Combining as many solutions as possible is going to give you the best defense against colds and flu this season.

We have put together a package for you that is called our Total Wellness package. The name says it all. It provides total wellness. After researching the cold and flu remedies we realized that it makes a very good cold/flu defense system by helping to boost your immune system.

Don't risk your health on poor nutrition.

Order your Total Wellness Package Right Now!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Toronto's Top Independant Trainer

Today, I have been featured as one of Toronto's Top Independent Personal Trainers. Please read the article at Experience T.O. The link to the front cover is Front Cover , I think you can pick me out, I'm the only female. Anyway it's a fun read take a look.

Kasia has issues with her hair, already. I mean it's thick and long, but to brush it is painful and she is wimpy. Since my husband has to do her hair in the morning before school I make it easy on everyone and thin out her hair often with thinning shears. Last time I did this she did not let me cut her bangs, I guess 35 seconds to focus is too long for a 3 year old. Tonight was my chance. I trimmed her bangs in the bath. Just as I snipped, she hiccuped and well, you get it. She now resembles Joan Jett from the Blackhearts.

See full size image joan jett 006joan jett 003

Todays Busy Mom Fitness program- I felt back on track today and did some speed work max 5 reps on cleans then went into conditioning followed by a great busy mom fat loss interval. I started with 65 lb and did 20 deadlifts followed by 2 core exercises. Rest and then did 50 barbell deadlifts. I finished with a brutal Tabata 20 sec work/ 10 sec rest interval program of for 8 sets straight. Burpee pullups with speed squats.

I had a great workout the fact I had to burn off the stress of cutting my daughter hair like Joan Jett and I know eventually someday she will read this blog. I will be accused of living out my 80's ROCK and ROLL fantasy through her.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

3 of the Biggest Misconceptions in the Fitness World Explained Head On

Lets clear up a few huge misconceptions in the fitness world. I have posted 3 common mistakes and elaborated with reason why.

1. Cardio is NOT the most efficient way to lose fat.
2. You will NOT BULK UP from heavy resistance training.
3. Longer workouts are NOT Better.

Cardio Vs. Resistance Training

Cardio training in exactly that, to help make your heart and cardiovascular system fitter. It burns calories at the time of the workout, but there is no oxygen debt created to get an elevated heart rate and metabolism post workout. High Intensity resistance training uses all of the stored nutrients in the muscles and therefore this needs to be repaid after your workout, this catabolic reaction creates the elevated metabolic effect of resistance training. Cardio training has a sparring affect and can metabolise and burn muscles tissue because of the length of time this is being performed at a low grade intensity. Resistance training stresses your muscle to help it grow. Muscle tissue burns more calories at rest than any other tissue in the body.

Cardio training can create or exacerbate muscle imbalances and overuse injuries. You are performing thousands of the same movement over and over again in a cardio workout such as jogging. Moms have numerous muscle imbalances from pregnancy posture and to avoid getting an overuse injury from this you workout should be multi directional with a variety or total body moves such as squats, lunges, push-ups and pulls.

Just a little side note that high intensity training has the same effects on your cardiovascular system as a traditional cardio workout in shorter time. Is has been studied and proven, check out this article.

Weight Training and Bulk

Come on, no one believes this anymore, do they? Women you CANNOT bulk up form lifting heavy weights. Your natural body chemistry will not allow it. You are a woman with a feminine balance of estrogen and testosterone. Even at that you actually want to elevate your testosterone for short periods of time to burn more fat. Men with a larger balance of testosterone even have a hard time bulking up. When you see the body builder image this is created partly by natural body type, but mostly chemically enhanced whether you are male or female.

Muscle is useful, healthy and considered sexy-just look at all the Hollywood stars. It also weighs more than fat- so don't get hung up on the scale.

Longer Workouts- blah

When I see people at the gym slaving away for hours on the cardio machine or lifting weights all I think is WOW they must be really bored or unemployed. Who has time for that. This issue is 2 fold.

1.Long workouts can actually push your body into stress and eat away at your muscle tissue, and like we mentioned earlier if its a long cardio workout - watch out for over use injury.

2. If you can workout for 1-3 hours, you are not trying hard enough. Your workouts are not intense enough to burn fat efficiently, gain muscle and even speed. Workout quicker and lift heavier to maximize your workout results whether they be for fat burning or performance.

So where does this leave you. Are you wondering what to do for your workout? Try this fail safe, most economical approach to MOMS WORKOUT.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Cold Season and Moms Sleep DeprivationWorkout

1st School Day drop off
Cold season has arrived as Kasia has returned to school. She has brought home a virus that Ava picked up combined with BRUTAL teething. We have been up for 2 nights with her and she is consistently throwing up mucous that sits in her chest after she lays down for a few hours. I feel helpless, she is scared, crying and cannot tell me why. Sometimes she wants to be hugged and sometimes she pushes me away with frustration. If anyone has any suggestions for helping with the mucous in her chest please let me know.

On a lighter note Ava is 18 months and still doesn't walk. I have a walker/fire truck for her but she only wants to press the noisy buttons on it. On her own to my surprise the other day she pulled out our old floor WINE RACK. She stood and started pushing this around. Great she has made her OWN WALKER, who needs fancy toys, just one multi purpose wine rack/walker is all you need. This wonderful development in Ava has come a week after Kasia has decided to name her favourite doll "Pinot Grigio"

Due to lack of sleep yesterday my BUSY MOM workoutwas mobility and body weight exercise. I performed leg and arm swings, lunges, lunge twists, squats, bulgarian split squats, push press/pushup/rotational plank combo, 1 leg deadlift and pullup 1 set of 4 and one set of 3. This is all I could manage and I felt better, more alert and stretched.

So most of you reading this post are probably chronically sleep deprived. Can you really get results with your body and even mind under this strenuous condition. YES you can, but keep your wits about it. If you feel extra tired or your mind is scattered perform a mobility, rehabilitation type workout. You can get copies of Mobility and Joint Revcovery Workouts in the Baby Bump Busy Mom Fitness System. Another great workout is foam rolling and stretching, especially when you feel like you are tired, fighting a virus and you are under extreme stress. You can get results with your body using these workouts because when you do have energy to perform a KickAss workout your range of motion will be better and you can burn more calories working through full range. Your mind will be healthier because you will have done something for yourself used your mind in a totally different way than what you usually do. This can help clear your head and focus on your daily tasks.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

3 Super Busy Mom Snacks

girls at park 014Today I'll report on some easy nutrition tips, with some modifications so you can give them to your children or send them to a "nut free" child zone such as school, daycare or birthday parties. These are also great snacks when you are pregnant. Eating is essential for all, but to get in healthy snacks when pregnant can be the difference between feeling nauseous and not. Keep your blood sugar stabilized if you are pregnant-eat.

1. Blueberries, walnuts, cottage cheese. This is a great busy super mom snack as blueberries contain antioxidants, walnuts contain essential fatty acids or omegas and cottage cheese contains whey protein to stabilize blood sugar. For the super kids snack version you can leave out the walnuts and a touch of applesauce for added fruity sweetness for the kids.

2. Apple slices and cheese. This super mom snack contain fiber, protein and fat to reduce blood sugar fluctuations. Mom may prefer apple-wood smoked cheddar and kids mozzarella, it all works. Eat the skin on the apple as this contain a few grams of fibre on its own.

3. Dried apricots and almonds. This busy mom snack again contain fibre and omega fatty acids. For the super kids version you can add some dried apricot slices to yogurt or cottage cheese. OK so you or your child is lactose sensitive or intolerant- so add some dried apricots (sliced) into nut free granola with a few dark chocolate chips(or carob)- I guarantee they'll gobble this down.

These snacks are easy to make, relatively not messy for children and mom, and have a balance of nutrients to stabilize blood sugar. I use the almond /apricot combo as my go to snack. I always have a bag of this in my backpack because it doesn't go bad. You can always have your food on hand. None of the snacks are low fat as you will notice, actually quite the opposite. Fats are essential in your eating plan to be successful at health and weight loss.

For the mom that is ready to take her nutrition to the next level I am going to refer you to this complete comprehensive eating program with great tasting recipes I am going to refer you to an ebook call The Diet Solution. I think you will find this easy to follow and is full of great ingredients such as coconut oils and medium chain fats to boost your metabolism. A great compliment to your busy mom workouts.

Also for a complete Busy Mom Fitness program or Pregnancy Fitness program check my Baby Bump ebooks. Everything you will need from pregnancy, post delivery, and fat loss/fitness. A comprehensive system.

My Busy Mom Fitness workout today- dynamic warmup and circuts

circut #1 2x- modified pullups, squat press, prone jack knife with pushup, kettlebell snatch

Busy Mom Fat Loss circut #2- lunge kettlebell row, burpee with jumpsquat, lunge xover row, jump squat 10 of each 2x through the circut

To get more workouts like the one listed aboven in a 16 week program get a copy of your Baby Bump Busy Mom Fitness ebook.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Think Like An Athlete- changing views on fat

So my girls are counting the dogs boobies and reviewing what colour they are. Great, they are both very curious and have realized SAMMY the dog is a girl and daddy is a boy. I have just been informed the dog is licking herself as well. I indicated this is OK, this is how she cleans herself, just don't you do it. I have been through this before when Kasia peed out in the yard because Sammy did.

BUSY MOM FITNESS- Body Image and Changing Views on Fat

So we reviewed important reasons to exercise over the past two posts. Reason 1- fix pregnancy posture, 2 gain strength and speed recovery to care for your children, others relieve stress, deal with/prevent depression. When you start an exercise session set a mini goal for yourself that session, like today I am going to try and add 5 seconds to my plank. This is important in two ways a) it automatically makes your fitness program progressive and we need constant progression to yield results and b) It shifts the focus of your workout from negative to positive. You are not focused on losing weight that session (that we all know is impossible to achieve in one day although we all hope it's possible) and a positive challenge to add something to your routine.

Fitness is an achievement earned over time, not in one or two sessions. Look at the long term effects and benefits. If you have just had a baby you will not be ready to jump on the horse and run a 10km race, right?. Your body needs to heal and become progressively stronger to get a lasting result. In actual fact you probably could or may be capable of running a 10km in early post partum, but is this wise. NO WAY, you will never get a lasting result to get to your true strength potential. You will run a 10km and most likely your fitness will plateau and then deteriorate due to overtraining and imbalances. You will never get the lasting fitness result you desire. I see the result of improper programming in my industry on a daily basis.

So what is proper programming for a new mom that will take you to your ultimate fitness and fat loss quest. Start with the furious 5 and work through the 3 progressive stages. Start the free beginner fitness/fat loss program and progress to the 4 week program. All of this is at your finger tips by signing up for my newsletter at the side of the blog. This program is incremental, progressive, and focuses on functional strength which is needed for lasting fitness results and fat loss.

Athletes rehab starts very slow and is progressive, they have professionals advising them of long term results. "Yes today your can run 50 metres in 15 seconds and will be able to get to 8 seconds by continuing what you are doing, this is an ok result. If you take a step back and perform 2-4 weeks of post rehab or muscle balancing exercise your potential will be to run a 50 metre in 6 seconds. " This is the same as fat loss, you can drop 10 pounds by jogging with your stroller, but if you fix your pregnancy posture, balance your muscles and embark on a high intensity resistance training program you have potential to drop a lasting 20 lb.

I will tell you from experience as an athlete, this is how an athlete tackles learning and mastering a new skill and how they approach their fitness routine. Start slow, methodical and when the basics are mastered results are exponential. Lets do a comparison-

Athletes have bad posture from playing sports
Athletes have traumatic stress injuries from falls, hits ect.
Athletes have overuse injuries from repetitive moves

Moms have traumatic stress injuries from delivery
Moms have overuse injuries from repetitive moves
Moms have bad posture from pregnancy

Wow mom, you are an athlete and motherhood is your sport. Understanding that being able to plank for 20 seconds longer will allow you to hold your baby for 1 hour longer before your low back gets tired is incentive enough. Think of the result of each exercise in your program- will this allow me to do something better in my daily mom life. Exercise should enhance your life, not burden it.

If you tell an athlete that by performing 20 seconds more on their front plank will allow them to return to their sport quicker or jump higher without back pain they will do it- because that is their incentive, their mindset and their reason for performing exercises.

You have more incentive to perform better in your daily life than just jumping higher or running faster. Your job is important, life shaping and multi dimensional. You need endless endurance, strength and positive energy. Don't focus on negative like feeling fat, it will impact your life and your children's lives. Focus on the positives like being strong, trying a new exercise, and managing stress. There is no harder and more important job or sport in the world than being a mother. You yield life.

The end

sincerely ,

Jacqueline (mother and athlete)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Get Fat Out of Your Head-Reasons For Exercise

I just had to write as a proud mom, Kasia's first day of Junior Kindergarten went awesome. Here is her photo. So this is what I did to prepare myself for her first week of school and my husband travelling as well. I made the girls a breakfast schedule so first thing in the morning I am not scrambling for the rush. As a working parent this I find , is the most stressful part of the day. So I will head stress off at the pass and here plan for it. I am focused on success and want them to leave the house with a full belly.


Monday-breakfast sausage, cereal, mixed berries

Tuesday- blueberry waffle, sausage, apple

Wednesday-raisin toast, applesauce, sausage

Thursday- mini muffin, banana, drinking yogurt

Friday- scrambled eggs, yogurt, fruit

1st Day School 2009 012

Busy Mom Fitness- Get Fat Out of Your Head

So at the end of last days post FAT IS ONLY A FEELING, I indicated we need to address your reasons for working out. Be honest- is it to look, good, lose fat, tone your arms, see your abs? Or is it to be healthy, fix your pregnancy posture, be strong, prevent overuse injuries, feel great? Let me know your answers in the comments.

A bit of insight can go a long way. So all of you have just been through a life and body changing experience-PREGNANCY. Do you know what pregnancy does to your posture? Well it pushes your head forward, rounds your upper back (like a hunch back), sways your low back, rotates your hips outwards so you walk like a penguin, forces you to walk with your weight in the balls of your feet. So all of these changes in your posture can exacerbate and create pain in your neck, shoulders and back. Relaxin and prolactin when nursing can further create joint instability and your can be left with nagging little injuries in your joints. (Refer to wrist video for tips if this is you).
So that being said are you caring for your baby/children with optimal posture and pain free? Probably not, so make this your 1st first priority of why you are working out, to care for your new baby and prevent any further change in your posture that can lead to pain. Start with the Furious 5 exercises for brand new moms.

Reason number 2 STRESS RELEIF- yes do something for yourself, exercise can be it. This is a positive in so many ways. Exercise relieves stress, releases endorphins to help with depression, manage anxiety, promote healing and health, gain strength to care for your baby. It does not have to be strenuous until you feel ready, but there is power in doing something for yourself and it can be as simple as starting the Furious 5.

Lets hear your reasons for exercising mom. We will tackle the athlete mentality later this week.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fat is Only a Feeling

Dickie Lake 235 Have you ever thought, "I feel fat"? I am sure as a woman you have at least 100x/week. But fat is only a feeling. Are you really fat? Probably not, you may just be having guilt feeling about eating some chips or doggin' it through your last workout. It comes down to your mindset, how do you see yourself. People are harder on themselves because we are naturally self-absorbed. Believe me others are not criticizing you for skipping yesterdays workout- they don't even know and they are too busy worrying about themselves. Ok, so we have that cleared up, no one else is critiquing you. But what about you, why are you hard on yourself? Ask yourself these questions and answer them truthfully, everyone's answer is going to be different and I would love to hear them. If you are overweight, you have come to the right site for help and support too.
Myself, I will answer this question for you right now. I feel fat when I eat a poor breakfast like junky cereal, this sets me up for the day. I also feel fat according to my monthly cycle, that I feel I cannot control how my hormones affect my mind. I can honestly (and my clients will attest to this) say I don't think I feel the same degree of social pressures as other women I know regarding my body image. I am female and I do have them, but I know that part of my attraction of being a successful personal trainer is because of my positive self image. So where did this come from, we all read the same magazines and watch the same tv.

I don't have a six pack, but I am strong and happy with my body. I will post videos when I am feeling fat and bloated, like the kettle bell video, because I know all people have these days, that's life. I could diet for photo shoots if I wanted to, but I won't that's not real life. I was going to, but decided personally against it. I train for overall health.

I can attribute my positive self image to being an athlete. Yes that is right, I always trained for performance not for looking good but for actually being good at something. I played soccer, basketball and volleyball all at a highly competitive level. My sport of choice that I continued playing on the varsity team was volleyball, and I can attest it was my worst sport as well. I was good enough to play varsity, but it was my biggest athletic challenge and I took it on. If I can play at this level in my worst sport I can do anything. I had to get better and that is when I started training, just to be competitive with the other athletes. This is how I got involved in working out, I loved it. I never started to lose fat, I just wanted to jump higher and be faster. The thing is it worked for both, I became a better athlete, I had a leaner body and my self image sky rocketed.

What Every Mom Can Learn From A Man-you may not thought this possible

I had an interesting conversation with one of my male clients who is an ex professional athlete. Dealing with men, they do not hold back, he out right said I am fat, I need to lose 25 lb. He has a young family and is extremely busy. He is honest with himself about his health and how he feels. He told me point blank " I am fat, I am embarrassed of my fitness level and I want to feel like and athlete again". That was it, a light bulb went on for me "FEEL LIKE AN ATHLETE" and your body will follow. I am expecting tremendous results from this man because he is honest with himself and does not hide his feelings about his body image from me.

Be honest with yourself. Remember fat is only a feeling, self body image is what is important. Training like an athlete will get you there. But I'm a mom, not an athlete and never have been. That does not matter, you are training for performance, yes how you pick up, hold and carry you children, this is your sport. This is my sport now, and I need my training to perform as a mom at a top level and be energized and pain free managing my kids. Train for you health, without your health you have a lot to lose- increase your quality of life with your family.

Make this a priority, THINK LIKE AN ATHLETE and MOTHERHOOD is your SPORT. Positive body image will follow and you soon the body you desire and deserve will follow. I know all of this is easier said than done and keep visiting this week as we talk about reasons for exercising and changing your mindset.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Kettle Bell Challenge for Mom

Yes today was a day for kettle bell circuits in my training schedule. I love them, portable, quick, efficient. I get a great total body, fat burning workout with one piece of equipment. They originated in Russia and have been adopted by the mixed martial arts community. They are fast becoming mainstream because of the results they yield. I was first introduced to kettle bells a few months after the birth of my first daughter, and started taking lessons a few months after that. I have been using them ever since, not solely but as part of my busy mom fitness schedule. Check out this video for a demonstration. You can try these moves with a dumbbell.

I find learning a new tool takes your mindset off exercising solely to lose fat, but learning leads to performance. This is a new skill that is fun, efficient and make you feel energized. The second benefit is you will shed pounds while you are at it.

Weekend Challenge- perform this kettle bell circuit shown in the video with a kettle bell or a dumbbell. Just get used to these new moves. Post in your comments after you are done for a GREAT BABY BUMP PRIZE. Remeber the last prize was from Prograde Nutrition.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

3 Keys to a Fit and Healthy Mommy

I hope everyone received my newsletter yesterday about how to maintain a fit and healthy life after labour day. You can still get it sent to you by signing up to the right hand side of this blog. The just of the letter was;

3 KEY TO LIVE BY to have a fit and healthy life as a busy mom.

1. Organize your menu. This means have meals planned in your head, make the grocery list to support this and shop and execute, by that I mean cooking not burning food.

2. Organize your workouts. Have a rough idea of when you want to workout for the day. Have a weekly plan of the days you are going to workout and have a workout program to follow. Again you can grab a free workout program in the side bar of this blog.

3. Sleep More. This will reduce stress, reduce belly fat and reduce overuse injuries. You will be a happier mommy.

My busy mom workout today- bike ride to work 10km, foam roll, standing lat pulldowns, pullups, shoulder rotations, deadlifts, bike ride home.

Stretching and Muscular Imbalance for Mom

Dickie Lake 2009 039A few things first, I got this email for Julie Tupler

Jacqueline, It would be great if you could post to your readers that they are doing a show on diastasis recti on Sept 15th and my dvd, splint and tupler technique will be featured. Thanks so much.. Julie Best Julie Tupler, RN DiastasisRehab...Closing the Gap with the Tupler Technique www.DiastasisRehab.com.

So if anyone is available the show will be on TV, 9am NYC time on a show called The Doctors, so tune in and support Julie and find out about her methods.

My Busy Mom Workout today- today I did a post rehab session for about 20 minutes then trained my next client and completed my workout with a few strength exercises. I have been trying to focus more on stretching lately and performing core exercises and postural exercises with opposing muscle group stretches between. I feel this is working, which leads me into WHYI am doing this. I have a brutal muscle imbalance in my lower body from delivering my first child. She was stuck for a while and while she was being delivered my and psoas muscles were torn on the right side of my body. I am "forever" working on my right leg to maintain fitness. So my stretching routine is all part of a bigger plan to increase my right leg strength. I am doing a lot of unilateral training that causes tightness so I have to stay on top of this to get a lasting gain. Fitness is not just a fly by night 4 week trial, it is a way of life and doing the right exercises for longevity and lasting results is very important and often overlooked. People are so worried about doing what is trendy the basics get left behind.

I am a huge fan of unilateral training and have all of my clients performing it. PLEASE NOTE as a new mom if you are still releasing relaxin hormone in the for of prolactin from nursing and your pelvis is unsteady, shearing or has some pain do not perform UNILATERAL training yet (such as 1 leg squats, reverse lunges). They can further irritate your pelvis and set you back. Not everyone will suffer from this but just be aware when you start exercising as a new mom what should feel right.

Strengthen Your Posture Workout

For 3 great workout check out the bottom of last days post. I have another one, not quite as intense, but effective for posture.

Busy Mom Workout- 3 sets of external shoulder rotations, shoulder press wall slides, arm swings and legs swings, foam rolling and my workout begins. This is a strength workout so movements should be slow, heavy and deliberate.

Superset 1for strength in posture- modified pullups 12x with bentover self stabilizing kettle bell rows- 2 x thru this superset.

Superset 2- kettle bell full front squat with kettlebell reverse lunge (load in the front leg for extra stability work) 2 x thru this superset.

Scapular protraction/retraction from plank position and some round the world kettlebell passes for my anti-rotational abdominal muscle training. Then I cut the lawn.

I would like to announce the winner of the Workout Challenge posted 2 weeks ago. Laura Wills will be receiving a container of Prograde Recovery, a great recovery solution from tough workouts. This is a brutal, yet simple workout consisting of all burpees and pullups.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Push Up Variations

It is time to teach Ava how to brush her 4 teeth, she loves it. I gave Ava her tooth brush in the tub, so of course her big sister then asks if she can brush her teeth as well. It was great Kasia was teaching her younger sister something useful. I actually relaxed for about 30 seconds until I heard Kasia wind up and spit in the bath, Ava then grabbed the spit and licked it- GROSS. A big pink gob of princess toothpaste. Then Ava started to spit in the bath as well, they were laughing there heads off and kept spitting in the tub. Lesson learned, unless you want a tub full of spit.

I am off on holiday tomorrow with the girls. I will be taking them to a cottage. I hope to do a little video with Kasia and maybe my nephews as they have requested to be in one. I will leave you with this fun video to help put some variety into your BUSY MOM FITNESS push up routine. As a busy mom this is a great intense exercise that you can do anywhere, anytime and you can get a lot done in 1 minute.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


This blog has moved to wordpress. BABYBUMPFITNESS

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


by Jacqueline Gradish- BABY BUMP FITNESS

Many moms suffer in silence with low back pain. I am not exaggerating by say ALL MOMS will suffer some kind of back pain from caring for her children. Many feel it’s just another part of motherhood, but they don’t realize with a few key exercises and stretches they can prevent and fix their low back pain with fitness. This is part 2 of a 2 part series on MOM FIX LOW BACK PAIN WITH FITNESS, refer to PART 1, for the 5 key exercises. Today I will show a video with the support stretches and foam rolling moves to fixing low back pain with fitness. The 5 key exercises are designed to strengthen muscles needed to prevent and fix low back pain. The foam rolling and stretches show which muscles need to be released to get the most out of your 5 exercises and prevent further overuse and instability injuries.

Please note my blog has moved to www.babybumpfitness.com

Sign up for your free 4 week fat loss program with low back pain prevention exercises right in your warmup.

Monday, July 13, 2009


You can read all my new posts at BABY BUMP FITNESS. Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Simple things. My oldest daughter (and now my baby too) both love clothing and shoes. I don't know where they get this from, you can tell by my videos I am no fashionista. Well 3$ jandels and 10$ pink pyjamas was enough for my daughter to break out into tears yelling "Mommy I love you" from her room when she found them. Later that night at dinner she again said "Mommy, I love you, but I cannot say it because it is not mothers day, or fathers day". So I guess she took it back. I tried to explain you can say that if you are having nice feelings, love is not linked to a particular day, I just hope she doesn't ask about valentines day.

Ava, my youngest, loves shoes as well. When I went to pick out jandels for Kasia on a 1.5 hour surprise car service time waster, Ava had to try on many pairs as well and wear them around the store, showing them off from her stroller. She cannot even walk yet and she is picking shoes. Her foot still fits into a 3 month old shoe, yes small feet in our family. Again I don't know where these girls come from, I can honestly say none of this comes from me, again have you seen my videos, I have to wear all one colour so I know it matches.

Simple things for mom as well. I did a great kettle bell workout the other day with one piece of equipment. That's it, one kettle bell in my backyard and 20 minutes. My Busy Mom Fitness workout was sided swings, low windmills, high windmills, jumping split squats while passing the kettle bell through my legs, snatches, Turkish get ups. Simple equipment, hard fat burning quick busy mom workout. Just what I needed, I know my kettle bell matches my shirt and shoes.

Monday, July 6, 2009


I just had to share this simple,yet effective workout that I performed in my backyard. My baby was asleep in her stroller so I grabbed some equipment and did a quick mom fat loss workout out on my back deck.

The key to this workout is supersets. I take no more than 1 minute rest between supersets and complete 4 in total. By the end of this I have performed around 80 lifts in 6 minutes (3-4 of that being rest). I finish with a total body explosive exercise, turned into muscular endurance set of 100 reps. So in total I have performed 180 total body lift exercises in approximately 10minutes. I would say that is pretty good odds for a time to work intensity ratio. You will definitely get an after burn fat loss effect from this busy mom fat loss workout. To get a copy of you free 4 week program with fat burning workouts like this one sing up below.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Most moms suffer low back pain, wrist pain, neck/shoulder and upper back pain. Today I have a few suggestions to help busy moms manage low back pain using fitness. Please refer to last days post for wrist and forearm exercises.

MOM, Fix Low Back Pain with Fitness
Mom Fitness-Low Back Pain can be managed with a few key moves such as:

1. Front Plank
This is a great exercise for mom to help regain some tone in stretched out abdominal muscles. The front plank is a safe abdominal exercise for mothers who suffer rectis diastases. Start with 30 seconds and gradually work up to 2 minutes.

2. Side Plank

This exercise is great for your entire body, including shoulder stability. Hold for no more than 30 seconds on each side and stabilize your shoulder before you lift. Keep you body straight and lift your hip to the ceiling. Perform 2-3, 30 second side planks per side

3. Cook Hip Bridge

Gluts and hip flexors are addressed with this exercise. Pull your knee to your chest and perform a one legged glut bridge. 10/side

4. Bilateral Back Extension

Start on all 4's, tense your abdominals lift away your arm and opposite leg using your glut form you body without letting your pelvis shift. Work up to 10/side

5. Lateral Stability- this is often overlooked and specific for mom back back. Most moms push a hip out to one side and prop their baby on it- bad idea. Also your hips and pelvis are changing or have changed so you need to regain strength here. Try to old you child against your abdomen.

Use a resistance band under your feet and walk sideways keeping your feet straight ahead. 10-20 steps in each direction.

Some other moves that you will want to be doing to prevent, manage and alleviate low back pain are stretching your hip flexor muscles, using a foam roller to roll your spine and gluts and stretching your mid back thoracic spine.

I hope everyone had a great Canada Day. We had a great day around our house, all go with our backyard makeover. You see we are a home renovating kind of family. We have taken down our main wall on our main floor, ripped out and renovated our entire basement, tore our roof off and built a second storey on our house, built a deck and our latest project making a natural stone raised garden bed. This was by far the heaviest job we have done. We had 8 tonnes of stone delivered to our driveway this week. My husband and I just starred at it yesterday morning, hoping someone would arrive to help. We started lifting and moving, by the end of the first hour I could not carry any more of the wall blocks, they weight between 75-100lbs. Thanks god 2 strong friends turned up and the wall is complete. I was exhausted yesterday, but not sore today. My training had paid off, my numerous deadlifts and squats, pulls and pushes. It's not just about looks, it's about function.

How and what are you using your muscles for? As a mom you are definitely using them. You may be at the stage early after delivery and rebuilding your abdominals, you may be carrying the infant car seat or lifting a toddler. Really think about how you use your body everyday as a mom. Let me know what you find most physically challenging about dealing with your children, I would love to hear and will address some exercises to help you get through your day with a strong and healthy body.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Wrist pain plagues most new mothers. It can start during your pregnancy due to general pregnancy swelling and continue into motherhood. Wrist or forearm pain can also start during motherhood. Caring for a baby can put a lot of strain on your wrist joint and get you using small muscle in your hands that you are not used to using (doing up sleepers). For many mothers the problem can eventually translate into elbow pain as well, especially as your baby gains weight. I have made a short video with suggestions and exercises to prevent and/or manage wrist and elbow pain from forearm muscle strain.

Don't let wrist pain get in the way of your personal fitness goals. Try these suggestions, especially the night splint, and you will be on your way to push ups again.

Monday, June 22, 2009


That's right, boost your metabolism. But How? One way is to perform your total body exercise through a full range of motion. Working in a gym I see the majority of people exercising (about 80-90%) performing this functional exercise in a limited range. Can you guess what it is? The squat. I see many people go to half of their range and return to standing. Let this video help you with your best metabolic booster yet.

WHY, why would you do this. If you perform a full squat in it's entire range you will be performing one of the greatest metabolic boosting exercises EVER!! All major muscles are firing, blood is pumping and it is an extremely functional (used in daily life) exercise. Stopping half way through your range leaves your knee joint at it's weakest point (that's right with knees to 90 degrees) muscles are not in there optimal length to strength ratio and ligaments are left subject to lifting the full load. BAD IDEA.

Ok, so now you know to perform a full squat, but what if you cannot due to ankle mobility issues, or lumbo-pelvic weakness and mid back tightness. I have made a little video to help with the most common issue that prevents people from perform a full squat exercise, mid back tightness. By releasing your mid back you will be able to strengthen your core more efficiently and help with the FULL SQUAT. As for issues with ankle mobility- roll and stretch your calves. It may take some time but it will come. Another tip is to use a counter weight held out in front of your belly button during your squat to help you get into full range.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Happy fathers day to all the dads out there. Moms hopefully you and your children are making this a special day for dad. I am sure there is a lot of bad cooking going on right now and spilled breakfast in bed. My baby is napping right now and Kasia has taken Mike to his favourite store "Canadian Tire" to get some dad things like a pressure washer.

It has been a long week, taking a weeks holiday to visit relatives puts a wrench in the family schedule. The girls are just adjusting back to the time change. Kasia graduated pre school on Friday and her school had a party in the park afterwards. For moms with toddlers it is about to get a whole lot busier.

The children are out for summer holiday, the days are longer and schedules are changing. For you MOM, this means your schedule will be disrupted as well. Try and plan when you will perform your own workouts. I know nothing is guaranteed with children and your routine is always the one that waits for all others, but just try. Don't let others throw you off your personal goals, with a bit of planning you can maintain your exercise routine. If you are taking your children to the park, exercise there. Ya people stare, so what. One if the simplest workouts that you can perform is doing 5-10x a 50 metre sprint. That's it. Your toddler can do this with you and your baby can watch you from the stroller. This is one easy busy mom fat loss workout that can fit into any ones schedule.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Eating With Children

I have shot a little video of me eating lunch with my daughter. After some research I realized many mothers are eating what their children eat for lunch, and given a choice children will eat chicken nuggets, hot dogs, kraft dinner and generally imbalanced meals. Moms get so caught up in "serving" their family that they often forget about themselves. Well I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news but nibbles of toddler food doesn't cut it for a normal active adult woman, especially ione trying to burn baby fat. You need meals that will keep your hormones in balance, sugars in balance, foods that feed your brain and body, and stimulate meal enjoyment. A few easy tips this videos high lights to help take care of mom and family. Mom's need to eat healthy, you set the standard for the house.

1. Sit at the table to eat, no TV and schedule a time.
2. Prepare large amounts of food in advance for the week eg- cut fruits and veggies, cook meat, shred cheese
3. Variety of calories, some carbs, proteins and fats are essential
4. Eat whole foods and organic if possible
5. Use some flavour so you do not get bored of your food (I put a spice rub on the chicken and the baby eats it too- from Webbers book of grilling)
6. Eveyone eats the same meal of your choice.

Eating With Children Video

Most of all try to enjoy your meals, do not just rush through them. For any busy mother this is the key to living healthy and getting your body back. You are the life blood of the household and set the mood. Eat well and you will be happy.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Today I did one of my express busy mom fat burning work outs at a commercial gym that I train at. One of the trainers indicated this is the longest he had ever seen me workout for- I was just past 20 minutes including warmup. I was just finishing with some scapular stabilization after holding the baby all last week and on a flight. As you may know holding a squirmy baby for 5 hours straight is brutal and takes a toll once again on Moms body.

My Busy Fat Burning workout today was - warmup performing 2 sets of 20x terminal knee extensions, ball hamstring curls, ball adductor bridge, foam rolling, assisted one legged squats, walking 1 legged waiters bow, pushups with scapular retraction and full squats. My circuit fat burning today I used the Tabata protocol and for my first circuit alternated between jump squats and explosive clap pushups, for my second circuit I performed jump lunges (or jump split squats) with heavy full squat exploding into an overhead dumb bell press. Grad your free Busy Mom Fat Burning Workout with Tabata protocols.

The terminal knee extension is a great exercise to keep your quads in balance, it focuses on the lower inner portion of your quad (front of leg above knee). If you suffer from IT band issues or minor knee pain this is an exercise to try. Click on the link for photos.

The whole joke of the matter is my short workouts, NOT. They are effective, I feel great afterwards, I am not completely drained and I have more time to focus on the rest of my life. My body has changed more than anyone else at that commercial gym in the past 2 years. The intensity of my workout is high and I mean business, but the jokes on them. Why would you spend 45 minutes to 1.5 hours on a workout each day if you don't have to. Even if you love working out, you will burnout from this type of volume. Would you buy the same apple for twice the cost if given a choice? Why spend twice the amount of time on your workout if you don't need to.Try one of my free workouts, if you are early post partum or a beginner grab your workout from the side of the blog. If you are past this phase and are ready for a fat burning start grab your free 4 week

Monday, June 15, 2009

HEALTHY MOMS NETWORK- recipes from an expert

Today I am very excited to host a guest blogger Cascia Talbert. Cascia runs the HEALTHY MOMS blog, please check it out. As a HEALTHY MOM, Cascia knows a few things about preparing quick healthy meals for her family. She is here to share a few of her recipes with us.

Simple Healthy Recipes Your Whole Family Will Enjoy
By Cascia Talbert

Between cleaning, taking care of our kids, running the household errands, and during these hard economic times fitting a part time job into our schedule's, moms are very busy people. No matter how busy you are it is still very important to take the time out to eat right.

Fixing healthy meals for our family often takes a lot more time to prepare than those "not-so-good-for-you" meals. To make it a lot easier I've put together a few healthy recipes that are simple and don't take a lot of time to prepare.

For breakfast try fixing your family whole wheat pancakes. Whole wheat pancake mix can be found in most grocery stores and it isn't that expensive either. Try this recipe out.

Oatmeal Pancakes with Mixed Berry Topping
Prep Time:15 min
Start to Finish:20 min
makes:6 servings (2 pancakes with 1/4 cup topping)

1 bag (10 oz) frozen berries, thawed and drained
3/4 cup real maple syrup (or you can substitute a low calorie sugar free syrup)
3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
Whole Wheat pancake mix (follow instructions on the package)
1. In 2-quart saucepan, cook topping ingredients over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture just begins to simmer. Remove from heat; set aside. In medium bowl, beat pancake ingredients with wire whisk until blended.
2. Spray griddle or 10-inch skillet with extra virgin olive oil cooking spray. Heat griddle to 375̊F or heat skillet over medium heat. For each pancake, pour slightly less than 1/4 cup batter from cup or pitcher onto hot griddle.
3. Cook pancakes until puffed and dry around edges. Turn; cook other sides until golden brown. Serve with topping.

Nutritional Information
1 Serving: Calories 310 (Calories from Fat 60); Total Fat 7g (Saturated Fat 1g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 35mg; Sodium 290mg; Total Carbohydrate 55g (Dietary Fiber 4g, Sugars 32g); Protein 6g

You can also make pancakes and freeze them. After freezing your children can heat them up in the microwave for a couple of minutes. Try topping pancakes with plain low fat or fat free organic yogurt and fresh fruit, or chopped nuts and raisins, or all natural organic applesauce and cinnamon.
For lunch serve a salad with fresh fruit or healthy wrap sandwiches. These recipes can be prepared in less than a half an hour.

Layered Shrimp, Corn and Pea Salad


1?4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3?4 tsp salt
1?4 tsp pepper
11?2 lb ripe tomatoes (we used red cut in wedges and yellow cherry tomatoes cut in half)
1 ripe avocado, peeled and cut in small chunks
2 cups frozen corn kernels
2 cups green peas, thawed
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
6 cups salad greens
1 lb peeled, cooked shrimp
1?2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, basil or parsley


1. Whisk oil, vinegar, juice, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add tomatoes and avocado; toss to mix and coat. Let stand about 20 minutes to deveIop flavors.2. Mix corn, peas and bell pepper in a 4-qt serving bowl; spread in a layer. Top with 1?2 the salad greens, all the shrimp, then remaining greens. Spoon tomato mixture over the top; sprinkle with cilantro. Toss to mix or spoon through the layers.This is especially attractive when brought to the table in a clear glass bowl, preferably one with plain sides so all the layers are visible.

Nutritional Information
Yield 4 servings, Calories 508, Total fat 24g, Saturated fat 4g, Cholesterol 221mg, Sodium 815 mg, Total Carbohydrates 44g, Dietary Fiber 9g, protein 34g.
(source: Women's Day)

Bean and Veggie Wraps
Prep Time:10 min
Start to Finish:15 min
makes:4 servings
4 fat-free flour tortillas (6 to 8 inch)
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms (5 oz)
1 medium onion, cut lengthwise in half, then cut crosswise into thin slices
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained, rinsed
4 cups fresh spinach leaves
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese (2 oz)
1. Heat tortillas as directed on package.
2. Meanwhile, spray 10-inch skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Cook mushrooms and onion in skillet about 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until onion is crisp-tender. Stir in beans; heat through. Stir in spinach; remove from heat.
3. Divide bean mixture among tortillas. Sprinkle with cheese. Fold one end of each tortilla up about 1 inch over filling; fold right and left sides over folded end, overlapping. Fold remaining end down.

Nutritional Information
1 Serving: Calories 270 (Calories from Fat 30); Total Fat 3 1/2g (Saturated Fat 1g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 280mg; Total Carbohydrate 43g (Dietary Fiber 8g, Sugars 5g); Protein 16g % Daily Value*: Vitamin A 60%; Vitamin C 10%; Calcium 25%; Iron 25% Exchanges: 2 Starch; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 2 Vegetable; 1 Lean Meat Carbohydrate Choices: 3 MyPyramid Servings: 1/2 c Dairy, 1 oz-equivalents Grains, 2 oz-equivalents Meat & Beans, 1 3/4 c Vegetables
*% Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
(source: EatBetterAmerica.com)

I love serving salmon for dinner and when I do we rarely have leftovers. Salmon is a healthy lean protein full of omega 3 fatty acids. Here are a couple easy and tasty salmon recipes. Always make sure you are serving wild Alaskan salmon.

Salmon with Pepita-Lime Butter

Lime juice, chili powder and pepitas give this salmon Mexican flair. Serve with wild rice and steamed vegetables.

Makes 4 servings

ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 20 minutes


2 tablespoons unsalted pepitas (see Tip)
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 pound salmon fillet, skinned (see Tip) and cut into 4 portions
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1. Toast pepitas (see Tip). Place in a small bowl with butter, lime zest, lime juice and chili powder.
2. Generously coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper, add to the pan and cook until browned and just cooked through in the center, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the salmon to a plate. Add the butter-lime mixture to the hot pan; stir until the butter is melted. Serve the salmon topped with the sauce.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 259 calories; 17 g fat (5 g sat, 5 g mono); 74 mg cholesterol; 2 g carbohydrate; 24 g protein; 0 g fiber; 360 mg sodium; 458 mg potassium.
Nutrition bonus: Excellent source of omega-3s.
0 Carbohydrate Servings
Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1 fat

TIP: Tips: Pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds) can be found in the bulk-foods section of natural-foods stores or Mexican groceries.

Place a salmon fillet on a clean cutting board, skin side down. Starting at the tail end, slip the blade of a long, sharp knife between the fish flesh and the skin, holding the skin down firmly with your other hand. Gently push the blade along at a 30̊ angle, separating the fillet from the skin without cutting through either.

Place pepitas in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.
(source: Eating Well.com)

Salmon Pinwheels

Don’t be intimidated by this fancy-looking breaded-salmon pinwheel, it’s quite easy to do. This technique works best when you use “center-cut” salmon fillet. If you don’t have a center-cut fillet or want to simplify the preparation, leave the fillet whole, spread the mayonnaise over it, top with the breadcrumb mixture and bake. To cut down on prep time, ask your fishmonger to skin the salmon for you. Serve with garlic-rosemary roasted potatoes and wilted spinach.

Makes 4 servings

ACTIVE TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes


1/2 cup coarse dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat (see Tip)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
1 tablespoon chopped shallot
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon chopped rinsed capers
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 1/4 pounds center-cut salmon fillet, skinned and cut lengthwise into 4 strips
4 teaspoons low-fat mayonnaise

1. Preheat oven to 400̊F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Mix breadcrumbs, oil, mustard, shallot, lemon juice, capers and thyme in a small bowl until combined.
3. Working with one at a time, spread 1 teaspoon mayonnaise on a salmon strip. Spread about 3 tablespoons of the breadcrumb mixture over the mayonnaise. Starting at one end, roll the salmon up tightly, tucking in any loose filling as you go. Insert a toothpick though the end to keep the pinwheel from unrolling. Place in the prepared dish. Repeat with the remaining salmon strips.
4. Bake the pinwheels until just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the toothpicks before serving.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 342 calories; 20 g fat (4 g sat, 8 g mono); 84 mg cholesterol; 9 g carbohydrate; 30 g protein; 1 g fiber; 221 mg sodium; 528 mg potassium.
Nutrition bonus: Potassium & Vitamin C (15% daily value), excellent source of omega-3s.
1/2 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 4 lean meat, 1 fat

TIP: Make your own breadcrumbs: Trim crusts from firm sandwich bread. Tear the bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Spread the breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and bake at 250̊F until dry and crispy, about 15 minutes. One slice of bread makes about 1/3 cup dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs.
(Source: EatingWell.com)

Serving healthy meals for your family does not have to be hard work or take a lot of your time. You can also include your children in the cooking process. Letting your kids help you prepare meals can teach them more about healthier eating habits and it can be a lot of fun too!

Cascia Talbert is the editor of Healthy Moms, an online publication and social network focused on health and parenting for moms.


I am back from visiting relatives this past week. I did a few small workouts just to maintain my fitness and not feel like a slug. I performed my warmup exercises 3x the past week and that was it. I did find it challenging to eat under someone elses roof for a week. The groceries products were different, I was not comfortable to make what I usually make at home and with the time difference I felt like I was hungry all the time.

As you may know I workout at home most days in a small room in my house or in my back yard. I don't need much. I have made a small video showing what is in my meager home gym. I hope this can help you get started on a space for yourself. you do not need much space, very little money and defiantly do not need any big bulky equipment. In fact one of the commercials gyms I train at has a bunch of bulky equipment at the front door. I asked the owner why he has all of that stuff, he said, "it sells memberships". There you go not because it is used or needed, it just looks fancy and the general impression is it will make me fit.

Check out my video MOMS HOME GYM

Pick up a copy of the Mother Day Fat Loss Program to complete in your own home gym, visit the link.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Today I was back on track with my busy mom fat loss program. I am focusing on metabolic training this week. I woke with a sore back this morning as the baby has just gained some weight, she needed 2 baths yesterday and I slept in a weird position. At the gym I had a client cancel which gave me some much needed time to use the FOAM ROLLER and roll out the knots in my gluts and back. I then stretched my hip flexors (like in your free mothers day program, my abs and then performed some plank variations to get my core firing. I had time to work on my shoulder rehab exercises as well(included pushups with protraction/retraction at the top). I spent about 20 minutes on this maintenance and I felt like a million bucks afterwards. As a mom I continually have to keep up with my stabilization exercises, foam rolling,and general body maintenance work. You can add a few of these into your day by following the furious five or even easier when cooking squeeze your shoulder blades down and back 10x today.

I trained my next client and then performed my busy mom metabolic training workout. I started with dynamics- lunges, body weight squats, leg swings, arm swings. My busy mom fat loss workout today was 3 sets of 10 jump squats, 30 full weighted barbell deadlifts, 10 jump squats. I rested 1 minute between sets and did 3 sets of this high volume circuit. Each circuit consisted of 50 lifts. My deadlifts were weighted but only about 1/3 of the weight of my 10 rep max. I struggled my way through the final 7 deadlifts on the third set, my legs were on fire. This entire intense portion probably took me about 8 minutes including the 1 minute rest periods. A full deadlift is like a full squat with the barbell held at your knees to begin with, it is slightly different from the Waiters Bow or Romanian deadlift in the free mothers day program.

Yesterday I was st home with the baby and used my HOME GYM to perform a Tabata workout. I chose 4 exercises and repeated them 2x in each interval. I did 3 sets of this program in the 20 second/ work 10 second rest ratio. Busy mom fat loss workout Burpie press up (15 lb dumb bells), abdominal wheel rollouts, modified pullups, kettle bell swings, burpie pressup, ab wheel, modified pullup, kettle bell swings. I did this 3x.

Sunday, May 31, 2009


I have not been able to talk about this yet, although I blogged on the day it happened. My sister called me with a crack in her voice on Thursday and asked if would pick her son up from school and take care of him for a while. Her dog was sick and she at the vet. I was just leaving work and on my way to the school. By the time I picked up my nephew and my own 2 daughters from school and daycare my phone rang again. I had a car full of kids in my driveway and a sobbing sister on the other end of the phone, she was just informed they will have to put her dog down, suddenly. I stepped out of the car and asked if she wanted me to tell my 8 year old nephew what was going on, should I bring him to the vet for one last visit? She said, "ask him". So I got back into the car full of kids and explained to all of them, directed at my nephew, that your dog is very sick and she is going to be put to sleep forever today. He wanted to go see her to say goodbye. We all made the trip to the vet. Kasia wanted to stay in the car at first because she was scared. I took Ava and my nephew in to see the Bree, the black and white springer spaniel. I left Johnathon with my sister and their dog as I went to check on Kasia, and told the kids I would get them some treats at the store. We went back to the vet again, I picked up 2 bottles of wine as well on the way, foreseeing a long night. I saw my sister who was numb and could not speak, she was waiting for her husband to arrive at rush hour in Toronto. I sugared the kids up in the waiting room with my treats and I went in to see Bree for one last time. It was a family gathering, I offered to take my nephew home and get dinner prepared for everyone (wine included), that was our plan. He put on a brave face and said he wanted to stay to be with his mom. I packed up my girls and we headed home thinking of what they were going through for the next hour. Kasia did go in to say goodbye to Bree and all weekend I have been explaining what death is to her. She asks a question about it then as soon as I answer she's on to the next subject. The reality is this will be us someday putting our family pet to sleep and dealing with death again. The children have lost a grandmother recently but never really understood as they were not in contact with her on a daily or weekly basis. This is really for all of them my two nephews 8 and 1, and my two daughters 3 and 1 their first experience of death.

We have been gathering all weekend to support my sister and her family. It has been an emotional time, losing a family member and trying to kept the stress of it all at a minimum for the children's sake. Answering questions about death, explaining loss, trying to teach Kasia to be conscious of Johnathon's needs and emotions and let him cry, supporting the blank stare on his face when we bring up the dogs name with a hug. As for my sister this will is another story, Bree was her "ROCK". As a sole proprietor she does not always have people to turn to, to feel supported in business and the daily grind of being a working mom, but she always had Bree.

As for the trickle down affect, I am emotionally exhausted. Bree was our inspiration for getting our brown and white springer spaniel, Sammy. I took Sammy to bootcamp this weekend with me and just appreciated having her by my side.

Mike has taken the girls to the park so I could do a workout and have some down time. He needed to do this after giving my one nights notice he was travelling.

My busy mom workout- 10 Shoulder stabilization exercises, modified pullups, bent over rows, kettlebell windmill, ab rollouts, prone jackknife, band resisted lunges in all directions. I needed to perform rehabilitative type exercise today for maintenance and help me deal with my tightened muscles from the stress of the week.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What's Your Favourite Exercise?

Busy mom fitness is tired. Today I took the day off intense exercise. I did a few shoulder stabilizers and abdominal exercises. I had 2 very intense max strength workouts the past 2 weeks and my body is tired. I will focus on metabolic training and mom fat loss more next week.

Today I have a question for all of you. What is your favourite exercise? It may be a love/hate relationship- meaning you love the results but hate the work. It may be your favourite form of exercise for stress relief. Weightlifting, dancing, yoga it's all fair game, just let me know.

My favourite type of exercise is weight lifting in a superset format. My favourite exercise right now is a combination barbell move that has a quicker learning curve than other barbell combinations. It is the full front barbell squat up to a overhead barbell pushpress (explosive shoulder press). You can perform this with dumbells as well. It is a total body combination and it is 2 exercises in one a squat and a shoulder press. This is a time efficient move. Give it a try, hold your dumbells shoulder level with your palms facing forward, perform a full range squat, explode out of the bottom of your squat and when you almost get to standing press the weights overhead. our body should be in full extension at the knees, hips and shoulders at the top of this move.

Let me know your favourite exercise, be specific if you want.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bootcamp and the Wanna Be Soccer Mom

Well my boot camp program started this weekend and the mixed group of athletes came ready to perform. Like true competitors the JFits wanted to challenge a group of women doing their boot camp, (looked like a group of moms to me) that were working out in the same park. I was thinking in my mind "good luck". The other group were definitely not doing advanced exercise like the athletes, but I know any mom would persevere until she dropped. Moms have been through the toughest workout on the market- LABOUR.

My daughter was my little helper at the boot camp, or more or less. She sat in the sled and drank Gatorade with the towels over her. I'll take it. We have signed her up for organized soccer and she freaked out with fear the first night and darted off after lashing out at the coach and players. Tonight she did not want to go. I will keep asking every week. Any advice needed, please??? I want to be a soccer mom. She didn't run away from Dora, damn that Dora the Explorer-she wins again.

One the weekend I performed a Tabata workout, yesterday I performed a circuit workout and today my busy mom fat loss workout was strength.
Today's Busy Mom Fitness program- full front barbell squat with front chop superset 2x, barbell cleans and push press superset. Then onto some traditional work- dumbbell bent over row with incline dumbbell press superset 2x, seated heavy shoulder press with lateral raise pullback superset. I ended my busy mom fitness routine with a core training circuit of ball rollout, mountain climbers off ball and elevated toe taps.
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