Category Archives: Trainer’s pick

Workout Gear with Style: Adidas by Stella McCartney

As the year comes to an end, a review of the year seems natural. As someone that is in workout gear 6 days of the week, I would like to share my pick of 2012 for style, quality and function,  Adidas by Stella McCartney. They made some inspired designs this year. I have 2 pairs of the 3/4 tights in orange (found in Hong Kong) and bright yellow, which I purchased at the adidas store in Toronto. My Adidas by Stella McCartney yellow pants, have brought myself and those around me a burst of sunshine this past year in addition to being well designed and highly functional-an outstanding achievement for workout gear.

Find Adidas by Stella McCartney apparel at:


Book Inspiration: Everything Coconut Diet Cookbook

The Everything Coconut Diet Cookbook was brought to my attention just before Christmas 2011 by a family member who came across it at Indigo books. The diet and the recipes sounded interesting, so I got a copy and read it. I had read another book on coconut and health in 2010 called Coconut Cures by Bruce Fife, which I quite enjoyed as well.  Bruce Fife is quoted as a coconut authority in the Everything Coconut Diet Cookbook.

This book covers the details on how coconut can be used effectively in many ways to help a person improve their health and appearance. Organic, virgin coconut oil being the coconut product that delivers the most health benefits from increasing insulin sensitivity to improving the appearance of skin and hair. Many of the ideas are small changes that many people could implement. I found the book to be an easy, interesting read. The health booster beverage, warm water with lemon and coconut oil inspired by this book and Coconut Cures.

A very interesting part of the book is the fairly large list of recipes that incorporate coconut products into many different everyday foods.  I have tried a few recipes so far and have found them to be quite tasty. For example, I love strawberry shortcake and there is a coconut version in this book, and is also gluten free.

The medium chain fatty acids found in coconut are a healthy fat, so this book is a great source of information on how to use this healthy fat for many different health benefits, much like Coconut Cures. However, the Everything Coconut Diet Cookbook provides even more practical applications and interesting recipes. I do not recommend diets at all, but this book is an interesting source of health improvement ideas to try.


Workout Program: Hormone Fat Loss

I have been working on a workout and lifestyle program-Hormone Fat Loss, with a great trainer I know, Steve Elvins the past 4 weeks. I just want to share my experience, because it has made an huge impact on my body. The program started with an assessment where my body fat stores were measured at 12 sites with calipers. This was not an enjoyable moment for me, as it made me feel fat while I was getting pinched everywhere! The interesting learning experience though, was I learned from those body fat measurements that there were hormones in my body that could be better balanced so I could be closer to optimal health and function. This was very motivating for me, because I truly believe that being in optimal health brings the most enjoyment, effectiveness and happiness to my life.
I was given the most thorough, comprehensive program to achieve the goal of dropping body fat from the specific sites of my body to balance my hormones. Unfortunately, I was simply unwilling to comply with a dietary regime that many consisted of greens and lean protein. I was willing to commit to working out with Steve 2-3 times a week and to make some minor lifestyle changes.
I am pleased to report that in 4 weeks time I can see a big difference in how I feel and look. I will get more technical results through a re-assessment, but I know I have lost an inch from my waistline and there has been general fat loss throughout my body. The best part has been doing a different program has enhanced my performance in my usual activities of running and spinning. I just feel better and have been able to run and spin at a higher intensity with the same amount of effort.
We will share further developments on the Hormone Fat Loss program with you in the coming months. Optimal hormone function is something we could all strive for to feel and look our best. Watch out for it and get ready to bring your health and physical being to your best.

Coconut Dream

I have been trying to use a non-dairy milk for a couple years now. I started with soy milk, which I did not love the taste of and later found it did not agree with me. I used almond milk for a period of time, but developed an intolerance for almonds. Rice milk tastes like liquid cardboard to me. Hemp milk has a strange taste. Finally, I found So Delicious coconut milk beverage to be a great milk alternative, because of the taste. I suggested it to a client who is a real foodie and although he liked it he pointed out that it was a little too thick or viscous. That was a good point that he made. The product gets even thicker if you don’t finish the box either in the large carton or the 946ml tetrapak very quickly.

While on Oahu, I looked for So Delicious and found Coconut Dream instead. I used it on my granola while I was there and really enjoyed the taste and texture of Coconut Dream. I looked for it when I came back to Toronto and found it at Sobeys. I have yet to find the unsweetened version yet to give it a fair comparison, but so far, the Coconut Dream original is ahead of the So Delicious original in terms of taste and texture. Coconut Dream also comes in a chocolate flavour, which is nice to have after a tough workout. Another difference to note is So Delicious is an organic product, while Coconut Dream is not. Both contain medium chain fatty acids, the special type of saturated fat that is found in coconut, which is easy to digest and utilized quickly in the body. The saturated fat found in coconut is different, because it is from a plant source and its chemical structure of a medium chain fatty acid is different than the long chain fatty acid that comprises saturated fat from animal sources.
The concept of having a coconut milk beverage and working out is pictured in an ad for So Delicious featuring America’s toughest trainer Jillian Michaels. I saw the ad in Bon Appetit magazine this fall, long after I started using the product. I had no idea who Jillian Michaels was, because I do not watch much television. The ad was a good one, because it stuck out in my mind. America’s toughest trainer seems a real claim to fame. A few weeks later, I recognized Jillian Michaels on the cover of her book, Unlimited (which was on sale), so I purchased and read the book. I will happy to review the book at another time.
Why try a non dairy milk? From observation, it seems that many people become less able to digest milk and dairy products as time goes by and/or exposure increases. The symptoms of being intolerant to milk and dairy products include gas, bloating, cramps and even diarrhea. To prevent such symptoms, having an alternative to milk can lower your intake of dairy products and minimize the possibility of developing intolerance. Another reason to try is the health benefits of a vegan diet, which includes lower risk of heart disease and cancer. Having a non dairy milk with your morning cereal and fruit makes your breakfast a vegan one, which is a great healthy meal idea to try.