Blog - EnerJ

Healthy Summer Weight – 6 simple tips

1. Start your day the night before: Numerous scientific studies have shown that lack of sleep will slow down our metabolism and produce more fatty tissues in our body.

2. Have a nutritious, low glycemic breakfast to optimize your energy all morning: we have already talked about low glycemic foods and how they are very important during the first meal of the day. Opt for a good source of protein, such as a vegetable omelette.

3. Are you really hungry or thirsty? In our busy lifestyle, we tend to confuse thirst with hunger. It is important to drink Mother Nature's beautiful creation; water to help our cells smile from the inside-out.  A good start, 1,5litre / day for a woman and 2 liter / day for a man

4. Do I have to run an Ultra marathon to have a healthy weight? The most recent studies on this subject tell us that it is important to be active on a daily basis at a moderate intensity and to opt for activities that will solicit your largest muscle groups to increase your energy expenditure. These same studies reveal that in order to reap the benefits,  it is important to have fun practicing these activities.

5. Large fluctuations in energy during the day also hinder your healthy weight: If you have unhealthy food cravings during the day or if you find it difficult to stay awake in the afternoon, in addition to the tips mentioned above, avoid waiting more than 2h30 to 3 hours between your meals and snacks. Choose low-glycemic snacks that contain a protein source such as nuts, humus with raw vegetables or a hard-boiled egg and medium sized fruit.

6.One of the greatest pleasures in life is eating: so why do so many people eat fast and do not take the time to savor their food. Taking the time to chew our food 10-15x before swallowing, could reduce our plate size up to 20% according to some studies.

Hope these tips will help you reach or maintain your healthy weight.

Jessica and Bruno

*Sources : Harvard School of Public Health 2018. University of Toronto, Nutrition Science Department 2016

 

The glycemic index, your ally for a healthy weight, good cardiovascular health and much more!

The glycemic index (GI) is a way to measure the rate at which carbohydrates break down into simple sugars and pass into the bloodstream.
In general, the more refined and industrially processed foods are, the faster they breakdown and the higher their GI.

For example, a raw apple has a low GI, while apple sauce has a high GI.

High GI foods have a quick effect on blood sugar levels and provide energy quickly.
However, this energy surge is usually short-lived and hunger returns soon, which can lead to overeating and weight gain.  Low GI foods have a slower and more consistent effect on blood sugar levels. These foods provide a greater and longer lasting feeling of satiety and provide more consistent energy, so eating less (and maintaining weight) is easier.

The Glycemic Index was the subject of extensive research by a group of researchers from the Department of Nutrition at the University of Toronto led by Dr. David J. A. Jenkins, MD, Ph.D., D.Sc.

Dr. Jenkins' team has published extensive research linking weight gain, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, dementia, cognitive decline, depression and many forms of cancer with a primarily high glycemic index food diet.

A diet with a high glycemic index  can also lead to developing metabolic syndrome, which reveals its first signs in the form of a sudden drop in energy after a meal and the accumulation of fat tissues around the waist, lower abdomen and hips . What we call '' love handles''.

Good news, this health condition is reversible. It's all about changing your lifestyle habits by prioritizing low glycemic foods.

To your health,

Jessica et Bruno.

Sources :  Canada Research Chair in Nutrition and Metabolism, World Health Organization WHO, Harvard School of Public Health.

 

 

 

Heart Healthy

The human heart will beat on average 2.5 billion times during its lifetime. It will push millions of gallons of blood into every part of the body to deliver oxygen, nutrients, hormones, and other molecules, as well as house several vital cells for life and help eliminate metabolic waste*1

When you think of the heavy workload that this organ has over such a long period of time, you will surely agree with us, that the heart is really extraordinary!

Unfortunately, it is not eternal (physical heart) and more and more people in Western countries are making poor lifestyle choices (unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle, stress, smoking, etc.) that can diminish the quality and quantity of services rendered by their hearts * 2.

Here are some tips to help you optimize your heart health and cardiovascular system * 3:

Nutrition: Opt for a Mediterranean inspired diet that will provide you with essential fats, minerals and antioxidants; all essential to good cardiovascular health.

Including vegetables, fresh fruits, proteins from vegetable and sea sources, as well as good fats that will provide you with nutrients that will make your heart smile, Stress Management: Every day, simplify your life by learning to say NO to superficial things that just cause stress. Practice an activity that will allow you to slow down, refocus and be mindful; such as meditation, deep breating, tai chi or yoga, Physical activity: Be active daily and choose activities that will stimulate your heart and your large muscle groups, Environmental Health: Eliminate toxins from your environment (cigarettes, smog, etc.) and spend quality time in nature,

Emotional Health: Practice gratitude and take the time to tell yourself and tell the important people in your life, I LOVE YOU.

Jessica et Bruno

Sources : Harvard School of Public Health *1 & *3, World Health Organization WHO *2

 

New Years Resolutions, to make or not to make…

The new year is upon us and we would like to wish you and your family a 2018 full of love, health, happiness and abundance in all that you desire.

Now let's talk about making new years resolutions...or not making them!  The new year is synonimous with making lists of all the things that you are unsatisfied with in your life and usually filled with unrealistic goals to make yourself feel better in the moment.  Now when you think about it...that dosen't sound very inspiring.  Let's do things different this year...

 Making resolutions work involves changing behaviors—and in order to change a behavior, you have to change your thinking (or "rewire" your brain).  Brain scientists such as Antonio Damasio and Joseph LeDoux have discovered, through the use of MRIs, that habitual behavior is created by thinking patterns that create neuralpathways and memories, which become the default basis for your behavior when you're faced with a choice or decision. Trying to change that default thinking by "not trying to do it," in effect just strengthens it. Change requires creating new neural pathways from new thinking.

If you are unsatisfied with any aspect of your life, we suggest that you do this simple, yet powerful exercise.

Write out all the aspects of your life where you are unsatisfied. Then draw a line through each statement and write the positive version.

ex. Negative: I want to lose weight

New positive affirmation: I am so happy and grateful now that I am taking consistent and daily actions toward achieveing my healthy weight where I feel amazing about myself.

Here are some ideas:

-Healthy weight, optimal body image, how you want to feel inside and out.

-Perfect job, optimal job conditions, business outcomes.

-Ideal relationships with spouse, friends and family.

-All the fun activities that you would love to do.

Now write all your new, positive statements on a cue card or in your journal and read them to yourself or outloud every morning and evening or as often as you like.

This will help you focus your thinking on new behaviors and thought patterns to create new neural pathways in your brain to change habits.

"You will see it when you belive it"

Take small, consistent steps everyday towards your new empowered vision. Celebrate your success. Find an accountability buddy to help keep you on track.  Live more in the present moment and finally, don't take yourself so seriously. Have fun and laugh at yourself when you slip, but don't let the slip hold you back from working on the new empowered you.

You've got this!

Jessica & Bruno

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Enjoy Healthy and Happy Holidays!!

With December comes more opportunities to party and celebrate. Many of our clients ask us, '' How can I fully enjoy these occasions without putting aside my health? ''

Here are some ideas that we hope will help you celebrate in a healthier way.

1- Eat a healthy snack BEFORE arriving to the party. You will arrive to the party without having an empty stomach and you can be more focused on fully enjoying your time with friends, family and colleagues.

2- You don't have to eat everything that's offered to you! If you ate a little bit before you got to the party, this will be an easier task and as a bonus, you will make better choices (raw vegetables and humus vs. potato chips)

3- Often, the starters are the best part of the meal.Opt for REAL food, you know, like raw vegetables or grilled shrimp, before you jump into the bowl of nachos soaked in orange liquid cheese.

4- Socialize more and nibble less.Again, if you eat a little before, it will be easy to be more present and thus enjoy the party and the wonderful encounters that you will make.

5- Keep track of your alcoholic beverages.Start with a non-alcoholic beverage, such as mineral water or "virgin ceasar", and avoid consuming alcohol on an empty stomach as this will trigger the cravings  for the foods that you are trying to avoid.

6- Stay active throughout the holidays.Invite your family, friends, etc. to take a walk around the block after dinner and keep some energy for an evening dancing to the rhythm of your favorite songs.
Wishing you and your family a very happy holiday season and a 2018 year full of health and abundance in all that you desire!

Jessica and Bruno

 

Energy Management

Energy Management

Who has not dreamed of enjoying infinite energy reserves to help us face our daily  challenges and live life to its fullest?

 The quest for the miracle pill, the bionic drink, the superfood that will make us uber healthy are still too often a thing of today.

An extensive study of more than 150,000 individuals from 2010 to 2016 on the management and optimization of human energy conducted jointly by the Department of Medicine of Harvard University in the USA and Berlin University in Germany came to very interesting conclusions that we would like to share with you.

Conclusion # 1: Every individual comes into this world with its full energy potential. The characteristic that differs one person from another is inscribed in the DNA of each of our cells.

Conclusion # 2: There is no miracle recipe to help us produce more energy. For example, according to this study, having more or less energy from one day to another would have nothing to do with the consumption of a special product or beverage.

Conclusion # 3: There are energy "stealers" and "supporters". Energy "stealers" are the activities that destroy or limit our energy potential to be expressed at 100%. For example: energy "stealers" would be poor food choices, lack of hydration, stress and negative thoughts.  By contrast, energy "supporters" would be eating fresh vegetables, taking a walk in nature, having a good night's sleep, laughing with friends and thinking positive thoughts.
To reach your full energy potential, the authors of this research suggest that we take time each day to identify potential energy ''stealers'' that we habitually do and decide to replace them with more energy ''supporters''.

To your health....and energy!

Jessica and Bruno

Sources:  Managing Human Energy Potential. Harvard & Berlin Universities Med Dept 2017.

 

Healthy back to school habits

Healthy back to school habits

 With the begining of the school year, we thought we would share 3 tips to ensure a healthy and vibrant start.

 Keep eating fresh foods.  During the summer months, the abundance of locally produced vegetables and fresh fruits encourages us to consume many of these foods in their natural form keeping our cells happy and healthy.  With the colder months arriving, it is important to continue to consume these foods as much as possible in the form Mother Nature provides us, that is, not transformed in order to take full advantage of their nutritional value, which plays an important role in our energy levels and our immune system.

And good news, several local producers offer us a wide variety of vegetables during the fall months.

Reduce your schedule.

With the return to school and work, many people tend to overload their schedule and that of their families.  Music classes on Monday, yoga on Tuesdays, EnerJ Fit on Wednesdays, spinning on Thursdays, hockey and skating on Saturdays and Sundays and homework every evening ... Phew!

All of these fun activities are great, but remember that there are only 24 hours in a day and to reserve a few to '' do nothing '' is very good for your health and for those you love.

Children's lunch box ... with your children. Back to school is of course synonymous with the return of lunch boxes.

To make this a pleasant and nourishing task, be sure to take some time on the weekend with your children to plan a menu for the week.  Then, involve your children, even at a young age, in the preparation of their meals. Be sure to have wholesome foods available and then accompany them in making choices to complete their lunch box.  This small exercise will help you empower your child for years to come.Check out www.kidseatgreat.com Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy start to the school year.

Jessica and Bruno

What is Functional fitness?

What is Functional fitness?

Our bodies are made to walk, run, climb, crawl, lift, carry, bend, squat, lunge and twist.  Functional fitness exercises are designed to train and develop your muscles to help you do everyday activities more efficiently and safely; like picking up something heavy off the ground or playing a game of soccer with your kids.

Functional exercises tend to use multiple joints and numerous muscles groups working the upper and lower body at the same time. For example, a forward lunge is a functional exercise that helps you get up off the ground, or when you are vaccuming. It uses the hip, knee and ankle joints, while working our lower body muscles and abdominal core muscles.

We are built to move forwards, backwards, up and down, and side-to-side. So we shouldn’t limit our workouts to a single plane of motion.  So instead of just front lunges, try reverse lunges with an overhead reach or a reaching side lunge and for an added bonus with a rotational twist to keep the spine healthy and help develop core strength.

Benefits of functional fitness

-Challenges balance and coordination while simultaneously improving strength and range of motion all while working on core stability.

-Combining multiple muscle groups helps you get more work done in less time, which means you see results faster.

-Boosts cardiovascular conditioning; while performing a traditionally anaerobic strength exercise, you also get an aerobic effect because your heart has to shuttle blood between the upper and lower body.

As you add more functional exercises to your workout, you should see improvements in your ability to perform your everyday activities, have more fun in doing your favorite sports and improve your overall quality of life.

Jessica

Jessica Humphries is a certified natural trainer in functional fitness, yoga instructor 200hr Juna Yoga (Yoga Alliance Certified), healthy lifestyle coach and the designer of year-round nature fitness training programs. She graduated from McGill University with a BEd in physical education and kinesiology. The EnerJ FIT outdoor fitness approach concentrates on improving your functional movement habits all while enjoying the benefits of being in nature.

Nature for health and happiness

Most of us feel better when we are out in nature.  Whether it's to get some fresh air, go for a walk or just look at its beauty. There are actually real, scientific facts why nature is good for our body, mind and soul. Like every other living being on our planet, we evolved under the care of Mother Nature. People often forget that we are actually part of nature.

Research shows that:

Nature is great for stress-reduction. Spending time in nature has been shown to lower stress levels through the use of your various senses and can help you unplug from technology and everyday stresses and allow you to connect to the true Source. Taking slow, deep breaths—the kind encouraged by the great outdoors—stimulates the body's parasympathetic reaction, which calms you down .

Spending time in nature increases brain functions and improves your mood. Being outdoors kicks the brain into high gear through oxygenation helping to increase concentration and creativity. It has also been linked to improved attention span and boost your serotonin levels - your ''feel good'' neurotransmitters.

Getting outside and moving makes you feel more alive and improves your vitality.  This is mostly due to the increased oxygen intake and the yummy endorphins flowing through your body!

Have you heard of Earthing?

The practice referred to as grounding (or earthing) results from bare skin contact on a natural surface (dirt, sand, grass etc.);  It's as simple as walking or sitting barefoot outside.   The theory states that because the earth is negatively charged- and has a greater negative charge than your body- we absorb earth’s electrons. The evidence suggests that we need the Earth’s electrons for our well-being.  They appear to be, in fact, foundational for health, representing an indispensable kind of “nutrient” that if deficient or missing can cause health problems just like a deficient vitamin or mineral. 1* Earthing Institute

and living near nature can even help us live longer...

According to a recent American study, women who lived in the greenest surroundings—had a  mortality rate that was 12% lower than those living in homes in the least green areas. *2 Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health

Enjoy your summer and have fun in nature!

Jessica and Bruno

Photo: Jean Ladouceur

Hydration

With summer starting, we thought that it would be a great time to talk about an often neglected, yet very important aspect of our health; hydration.

Why hydrate?

Did you know that the human body is made up of more than 60% of water?*1

Which makes this precious liquid the most important food that we need to consume everyday!

Whether it is for transporting nutrients to our cells, waste elimination, energy production, tissue repair, water is involved in several billion functions of our body's metabolism.

Lack of water for the human being would have slightly the same impact as if you shut down your pool's filtration system... not very pretty!

How to hydrate?

Water is the best choice of liquid.

Quantity and quality

Here are some basic daily recommendations to ensure proper hydration*2

- Pre-school and primary child: 1 litre- Female adult and teenager: 2 to 2.5 litres

- Male adult and teenager: 2.5 to 3 litres

- For each hour of aerobic physical activity, add 500ml of water.

Here is a little trick to make sure that you drink enough water daily: in a beautiful colored bottle filled with fresh water, add a few mint leaves, keep your bottle with you to remind you to drink a few sips each hour. And do not wait to be thirsty, be proactive!

The amount of water you drink is very important, and the quality is just as important. Here is an excellent source of information on water quality:

http://www.nsf.org/newsroom/drinking-water-quality-at-the-tap

And if you are interested in exploring the links between water, your emotions and your health, take a look at this book ''The True Power of Water'' du Dr Masaru Emoto.''

Cheers, Jessica and Bruno

 

*1, *2 Sources: Mayo clinic. American college of Medecine.

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