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.

Grocery Shopping 101

80% of health and weight loss comes from nutrition. But before you can start eating healthy, you have to learn how to shop healthy!

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Here are our 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). 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.