Top 5 Thanksgiving Tips

Our philosophy is a balanced approach; which means so much more than how you look, or what a number on the scale tells you. A balanced approach means a healthy perspective on your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Having to opt-out of Thanksgiving to achieve a desired weight should never be promoted (unless you're preparing for a specific event or competition). That certainly isn't enjoyable, and it's not realistic either. 

Our approach focuses on mindfulness, which means not only fully enjoying Thanksgiving meal, but fully being present Thanksgiving weekend; enjoying and taking in the cool, crisp weather, appreciating your family members for who they are, and fully expressing gratitude for all things; even on the days and in the moments you have to look a little harder. 

Practice these 5 tips for an enjoyable long weekend of fall, friends, family, food, and maybe even a little fitness with our anywhere or on-the-go Thanksgiving Workouts. 

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Can You Really Row Your Way to Results?

Can You Really Row Your Way to Results?

If you think rowing is just for crossfitters or those preparing for a dragon boat race, think again. This machine packs a powerful punch, hitting all major muscle groups, and stimulates the heart and cardiovascular system to burn calories at a higher rate. Read on to see if you should be incorporating some rowing to reach your goals. 

FEMSPORT: You're Stronger Than You Think

FEMSPORT: You're Stronger Than You Think

Encompass Fitness' Coach Kim Pastachak (featured above) shares with us an event that is near to her heart and inspires women to focus on their capabilities and forget about the scale. Join coach Kim this year at FemSport in Moose Jaw on August 19th and prove you're stronger than you think. 

In the Spot Light: Interview with Coach Thomas

In the Spot Light: Interview with Coach Thomas

Coach Thomas started his 80+ pound weight loss transformation by signing up for a Spartan Race. Now, 3 years and a half a dozen races later, we caught up with him in an interview to learn more about why everyone should sign up for a spartan race, learn more about his training, and his least favourite obstacles.

Meal Prepping 101

Before we can get into the kitchen, we have to start at the grocery store. Read below for our top grocery shopping tips. 

Before we can get into the kitchen, we have to start at the grocery store. Read below for our top grocery shopping tips. 

Last week we talked about the most important workout you can do each week, and it takes place in the kitchen! Being prepared nutritionally comes before exercise. 

But before we can master meal prep in the kitchen, we must first master the grocery store. 

Here are my top tips for Navigating the grocery store and setting your meal preparation, and your week of nutritional success. 

Tips For Being a Professional Shopper: 

1. Know Before You Go

What is it that you need? Break your list into macronutrient categories. For example, Protein, Carbohydrates, Healthy Fats, and Miscellaneous items (think herbs, spices, etc... not things down the junk aisle). For help with this, Download our Encompass Grocery Shopping Template here. Personally, I arrange my grocery list in order of the items and aisles at the grocery store (I am sure that I could shop blindfolded). 

2. Shop the Perimeter

Did you know that the whole food options surround the entire grocery store? Start here. Make one lap around the outside of the grocery store, picking up all of your essential items. Most, if not all of your items should come from this area, with the exception of any frozen vegetables and fruits. After you have shopped the perimeter, venture down any aisles that you know that you need items from. Stay away from aisles you don't need anything from. Purposeful shopping will help keep us on track nutritionally, and financially. 

3. Don't Shop Hungry

You've heard it before, and I'll tell you again. Do not shop on an empty stomach. Studies have shown that customers who shop on an empty stomach not only purchase more, but also purchase items that are not on their list, and items that are less nutritionally dense. Surprisingly, this is proven not only in the grocery store, but across the spectrum. One study concluded that even when shopping for office supplies, customers were likely to purchase more items, and spend more money when hungry. Eat your healthy snack, and then shop for best results. 

4. Read Labels

While you may feel silly picking up multiple items and comparing the food labels, it will make a significant difference in your waistline. Labels can be extremely misleading. As a general rule of thumb, choose items with the least amount of ingredients (5 or less), and with ingredients that you can pronounce. While many disclaimers can be misleading ("low fat", "sugar free", "low calorie") look at the macronutrient values, the sugar and sodium contents, and the serving size. Sobey's "blue label" items are often wise choices when compared to other brand label choices such as pasta sauces and canned items. 

5. Go Local

When possible, look for local, natural, and organic sources when available. The local farmer's market in the summer is a great place to get local produce and establish connections. Although not all farmers markets run year round, you can often contact them to purchase farm raised eggs or look for locally grown grain products at select stores in the community. Here, you can purchase many locally grown items at Nutter's. 

6. Clip Coupons

Extreme Coupon-ing isn't only for television. Look at flyers ahead of time and make your lists according to the flyers. There are often key items on sale, and you can even begin to catch on to the rotating sales. For example, chicken breasts cycle on sale every 3-4 weeks, so I will stock up, portion some out in freezer bags and be set until the next sale.

7. Get Creative

 I try to look at the flyer each week, and choose one item that is on sale, or one new item I don't regularly purchase, and try to come up with a healthy and creative way to cook it. Sometimes I use my own cravings and creativity, and sometimes I will use pinterest for inspiration. For example, cauliflower was on sale, so I bought a head and made cauliflower buffalo bites by broiling cauliflower in the oven and then tossing it in a mixture of greek yogurt, ranch spices and franks red hot. I also bought a rutabaga and made rosemary parmesan "fries" by slicing up the rutabaga, tossing it in parmesan olive oil, fresh rosemary, and sprinking with fresh parmesan and then roasting it in the oven until the fries were crisp. Incorporating new foods is fun, and is key in keeping variety in the diet - both for sanity and nutrient wise. Eating the same foods day in and day out can actually lead to nutritional deficiencies. 

Smart shopping is essential to keeping nutritious foods stocked and readily available. Next week, we will be covering the topic of Meal Prep done quickly and easily, giving you tips on how to conveniently have all of your meals ready and be organized for the week in no time at all. When done correctly, you can spend relatively little, and only hit the store a few times a week all while eating to achieve your goals and fuel your workouts. 

 Want to receive our grocery shopping template? Enter your name and email below! This form makes macronutrient, or unit shopping a breeze. 

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The Most Important Workout You Can Do This Week

Little did you know, the most important workout you can do this week can be done at home. 

Little did you know, the most important workout you can do this week can be done at home. 

If you're serious about getting results, there is one workout that will help you more than anything else. It doesn't involve burpees, running, or even heavy lifting. The most important workout that you can ever do is not even performed in the gym, it takes place in the grocery store, and the kitchen. 

Time and time again, I hear people say, "I don't have time to eat healthy", "I don't have time to meal prep", and to those new to fitness and nutrition, "well, I'm exercising, so I don't need to eat healthy". Yet, I often see these very same individuals at the studio multiple times a week.

I understand what it is like to be busy, to be run off your feet, living off of coffee and pre-workouts just to survive the work-week and still make time to exercise. But if you've ever been there, or this is you. I want you to do something, I want you to skip your next workout. 

You heard me. I want you to skip your next workout. 

If you do not have your nutrition planned for the week, meals prepared and ready to go, or time carved out this week to prepare and eat nutritious meals, then you need to skip your next workout and prioritize your nutrition instead. 

While this may seem like a foreign concept, when you do the math, it makes complete sense. Sure, you can burn anywhere from 300 calories and up per fitness class. But there are also 3500 calories in one pound of fat. And if you're not prepared and making poor food choices during the week, you will most likely be taking in additional calories above and beyond the amount that you will burn during a single workout.

Therefore, the best way you can invest in your health, and your overall achievement of your goals is to skip one workout, and invest your time in setting yourself up for a weeks worth of nutritional success. Now, if you have the time in your schedule, your week is planned and your meals are prepared, I fully expect to see you at all of your regularly scheduled fitness classes, and achieving your fitness and nutritional goals. 

Even if it's taking an hour, running to the grocery store and picking up a deli roasted chicken, and some pre-cut vegetables and portioning them into a few meals, every little effort to setting yourself up for success counts.

Find meal prepping stressful, boring, or extremely time consuming? Join us next week for our blog on the best and easiest meal preparation plans, tips, and ideas.