Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

TRIPLE Chocolate Avocado Muffins!

Everyone needs a little chocolate now and then, and if I happen to be all out of my Isadelight chocolates (love the choc mint and the caramel with sea salt!) from Isagenix, then these little gems do the trick!  And it’s a great way to use up an avocado that is getting too ripe!

These Triple Chocolate Avocado Muffins will be your new healthy favorite and since they are made with coconut flour, avocado, and dairy-free chocolate chips (if you are dairy free, if not use the regular ones or leave them out all together, your call), these muffins are gluten-free and paleo-friendly. With only 6 grams of healthy fat, plus 4 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber to help keep you satisfied. Perfect for any time of day!

Just click on the picture to get the full recipe!

 

Chocolate-Avocado-Muffins-6

Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Time to get LEAN!

There is nothing like DB or KB swings and deadlifts and maybe a plank move to hit every muscle from top to bottom!  Especially the backside!

Today we are doing an EMOM style workout, meaning at the top of every minute you are doing an exercise for a set amount of reps then you get the remainder of the time to rest.

Set your interval timer for 60 secs of work to 60 secs of rest ( no rest actually, just the top of another minute to do your next move!) for 5 rounds which will be 10 mins total.

MOVE 1: 3 heavy deadlifts

MOVE 2: 10 heavier swings

 

What to Expect

  • Your heart rate will be jacked by about minute 5 during this workout. Hang in there.
  • Extreme muscle soreness the following 1-3 days throughout your posterior chain (lower back, glutes, hamstrings depending on how heavy you decided to go!)
  • A powerful boost to your metabolism, delivering serious fat loss benefits for hours after this workout is completed.

Give this workout a shot. It’s a simple, yet brutally effective way to torch fat while avoiding the dreaded treadmill.

Have fun!!

Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Mindful Eating

Ever sat with a bag of chips in your hand, watching tv and suddenly realized you ate the whole thing?

How about a pint of ice cream?

You may have meant to just have a spoonful or two. But then you got distracted, and it tasted good, and you ate much more than that.

It’s called eating mindlessly, and it’s all too easy to do.

 

What is mindless eating?

 

It’s the little decisions we make about food each day without thinking about them or realizing that we’re making them.

The good news is that there are ways to stop eating mindlessly.

When you learn what the traps of mindless eating are, you can take control of them.

 

Top 4 things that lead to mindless eating.

Knowing these will help you begin to eat mindfully.

 

1. Super-sized. Big packaging means more to eat without thinking about it.

Economy packaging can lead to making 23% more when preparing food and eating up to 25% more than you need.

Bigger packages may save money up front, but you’ll pay in what you eat. If you need to buy big packages to save money, repackage into small ones.

 

2. Variety. It may be the spice of life, but it leads you to eat up to 23% more too. When you load your plate up with a lot of the same thing, you’re likely to push away from the plate sooner. Even keeping foods to the same colors helps!

 

3. Convenience. The easier it is to eat, the more you will. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

A plate of cookies sitting at arm’s reach is easier to eat than one that’s across the room. And the one sitting out across the room is easier to eat than the cookies that are wrapped up and inside the cabinet.

The harder you make it to eat the wrong thing, the less likely it is that you will – out of sight out of mind!

 

4. Clock watching. When you eat by the clock instead of by what your stomach is telling you, you’re likely to eat far more than you want or need.

Before you sit down to eat, stop and listen to what your body is telling you. If you’re not hungry, don’t eat.

 

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5 Hacks for Mindful Eating

1. Think BIG. The more space your food takes up, the more your brain thinks you’re eating. It makes you think you’re full faster, and you’ll end up eating less.

So, how do you fool your brain and add volume to your food without gaining weight? Adding spinach or kale to your smoothie will bulk it up and make it feel like you’re being decadent. You can puree vegetables and add them to your casseroles. Load up on your veggies so that they take up 1/2 your plate!

 

2. Chew your food. Delight in the taste of your meals by chewing food slowly and thinking about how much you’re enjoying the flavors and textures.

 

3. Unplug. Turn off the TV, put down the cell and make mealtime about the food and conversation. Turn on some dinner music, light a candle and savor your delicious, healthy meal.

 

Studies show you’ll eat 25% more if you’re distracted while you’re eating.

 

4. Stay Prepared. Those 200 decisions you make about food will be easier if you keep healthy foods at the ready. Convenience is key. Prep on Sunday for the week and make double portions at dinner to pack for lunches and leftovers. 

 

5. Safe Zone. Make your home a temptation free sanctuary of your good health. It’s as simple as not bringing the junk food into your house.

How likely are you to run to the store when a 10PM chip craving strikes? If you’re like most you’ll settle for the walnuts that are already in your kitchen.

All these tricks will help you be mindful about what you’re putting in your mouth.

This will ultimately help you eat healthier, feel better, lose weight. The best part is you’ll eat with more enjoyment and less regret.

Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Flourless Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies!

A client of mine mentioned to me last week that she had made these for her family while on vaca up at their cottage and everyone loved them.

These are made with chickpeas, peanut butter (or your favorite all-natural nut butter), pure maple syrup, and chocolate chips. These are so easy to whip up and can be in your belly in less than a half hour! Plus,  they’re fudgy, packed with chocolate chips, and so wonderfully chewy. The sea salt really takes it over the top though.

The best part: these blondies are healthy and packed with both fiber and protein. There aren’t any weird ingredients either and you don’t need to be vegetarian or vegan to love them!

Click on the pic to see the full recipe!

 

blondies

Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

3 Moves, 1 Crazy Ladder

I know I have been posting a few ladders lately, but they do make for a quick and effective workout which is what most of us want during the summer – get in, get done and go outside to enjoy life – Right!

All you need for this ladder is  ONE dumbbell for a goblet squat and  ONE dumbbell or kettlebell for a 2 handed swing.

Here we go…

1,2,3….10 burpees

2,4,6…20 goblet squats

3,6,9…30 swings

DONE!!

See that wasn’t so bad no was it, and you worked your body from top to bottom in about 20mins.

Have a great workout.

Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Top Core Exercises

Core training was a “hot” topic a few years ago in the industry with everyone and his brother pumping out the latest and greatest core workouts or selling some obscure core training device.

And even though the public’s fascination may have moved on to other things, core training is still an integral part of any training program.

As a side track, last week, I was able to get a sneak peek into the Body by Lagree program by being a test dummy for one of my friends who will be instructing there.  This is not a program for a beginner due to the level of CORE control required!  My suggestion is that you have a minimum of 6-12 months of training under you belt and/or are familiar with reformer pilates method.  Like I said, there is a lot of body control required and body awareness which is ALL CORE driven, but I will be definately going back for more!
Ok, back to the topic at hand, notice I’m using the word “core” training and not ab training. Not to under value the abs – I mean everyone loves a nice 6-pack that you can wash your clothes on – but today I want to focus on the entire core area.

The core is like an onion – It has many layers, each being extremely important.

The core is a very complicated system with many moving parts. To give you an idea here’s just some of the key muscles that make up the core:

  • Rectus abdominis
  • Transversus abdominis
  • External obliques
  • Internal obliques
  • Erector spine
  • Pelvic Floor Muscles

And don’t forget the Glutes, Hip Flexors, Traps and Lats all play a role in core strength as well!

Developing the core is important on a number of levels.

First, a strong core will help to make every other exercise you do more effective. When your core is strong you will be able to go harder and heavier on the big exercises, pushing your limits and making noticeable gains.

Second, when your core is strong you will reduce your risk of injury. People who are weak in the core will often experience a whole bunch of chronic issues including back pain, shoulder pain and neck pain.

Yes, I am telling you that if your core is weak you are at an increased risk of pain not just in your back!

And third, having a strong core is essential to athletic performance at any level!

If you want to be more explosive, more agile, stronger, faster and more dominant in sport or in life, then you need a strategic, balanced core training approach.

To help you out I want to share with you my top 5 favourite core training exercises.

My Top 5 Favourite Core Exercises:

  1. Rotating Planks (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEqyAnhaDSw&mc_cid=cae2254595&mc_eid=0b6b2be839)
  2. Side Plank Raises (side plank hip dips)
  3. Torture Twisting Abs (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTfqAYHGZt8&mc_cid=cae2254595&mc_eid=0b6b2be839)
  4. Cable Woodchoppers (can use a dumbbell as well here)
  5. Barbell Sit Ups (can use a dumbbell as well here)

 

As you can see with my top 5 favourite core exercises, I like a variety of different movements to help ensure that you develop the core in all the key movement planes – sagittal, frontal and transverse.

I suggest you start by adding one of these exercises to the end of your workouts. Make sure you switch up the exercises so that you are not doing the same exercise two days in row.

3 sets of 10-20 reps each is a good place to start, no need to get overzealous here 🙂

Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Sweet Potato and Quinoa Patties

When I can make something that will keep in the fridge for a week and still taste good then that recipe is one for the books – especially if it will curb any carb cravings and this makes a PERFECT post-workout carb too!

These tasty little delights may look like they’d be a fair amount of work in the kitchen but I’m SO happy to tell you they’re insanely easy to whip up and the time they take to make really just lies in waiting for a sweet potato to bake and the quinoa to cook.

 

Sweet Potato and Quinoa Patties!

Click on the pic to see the full recipe!

sweet_potato_quinoa_patties_a_house_in_the_hills_1

Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Summer Time Workout!

I know that during our short summer months it can be challenging to stay on track, stay focused when all you want to do is hang out, have fun, and enjoy the hot weather because before you know it’s cold outside.

I know it can be hard, and my family thinks I am nuts when I workout on my holidays, but it sets my day, I feel better, my mind is better and I am able to relax better because I know I put in the work before play.

So we are definitely sticking to the short and sweet workouts for the summer so that I can eliminate that excuse for you 🙂  Just get up and get it done and have the day to play!

Ok, here we go with a body weight workout with an EMOM finisher – YEAH!!

 

30 jumping jacks or modified jacks

21 squats

12 inverted rows using a table

30 side to side or front to back hops

14 mountain climbers/leg

12 lunges/ leg

30 high knees or butt kicks/leg

GO FOR UP TO 8 ROUNDS

EMOM FINISHER for 4 minutes is 10 burpees – so at the top of every min, do 10 burpees for a total of 4 mins.

 

Let me know how it goes!

 

table chin-ups

Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Is Your Ego in Check???

I read this great Blog post from Strong Athlete, and I wanted to share it with you because  we are ALL guilty of letting our egos get the better of us as some point or another.

Even my 15yr old son, even though I don’t believe him to be narcissistic, he can be very confident in himself and my goal is to keep teaching him to not let his confident self turn into self-centered young man that no one wants to be around.

So I am going to let coach KP from Strong Athlete take over from here….

 

Happy Friday! I just finished reading and re-reading an amazing new book by author and philosopher Ryan Holiday called Ego Is The Enemy. Filled with countless life lessons drawn from both ancient history and modern times, Ego Is The Enemy teaches us that our greatest enemy and impediment to success is ourselves.

If we want to achieve success on our terms and enjoy a fulfilling, happy life, we need to learn to control the egomaniacal child within us and focus on a purpose bigger than us.

In today’s post, I’d like to share with you 21 powerful quotes about ego from Ryan Holiday’s new masterpiece. Add this book to your collection – this one could be a game changer for you.

“One must ask: if your belief in yourself is not dependent on actual achievement, then what is it dependent on? The answer, too often when we are just setting out, is nothing. Ego.”

“Arrogance and self-absorption inhibit growth. So does fantasy and vision.”

“We will learn that though we think big, we must act and live small in order to accomplish what we seek.”

“Let the others slap each other on the back while you’re back in the lab or the gym or pounding the pavement. Plug that hole – that one, right in the middle of your face – that can drain you of your vital life force. Watch what happens. Watch how much better you get.”

“The art of taking feedback is a crucial skill in life, particularly harsh and critical feedback. We not only need to take this harsh feedback, but actively solicit it, labour to seek out the negative precisely when our friends and family and brain are telling us we’re doing great.”

“When you are just starting out, we can be sure of a few fundamental realities: 1) You are not nearly as good or as important as you think you are; 2) You have an attitude that needs to be readjusted; 3) Most of what you think you know or most of what you learned in books or in school is out of date or wrong.”

“Pride blunts the very instrument we need to own in order to succeed: our mind. Our ability to learn, to adapt, to be flexible, to build relationships, all of this is dulled by pride.”

“Success is intoxicating, yet to sustain it requires sobriety. We can’t keep learning if we think we already know everything.”

“No matter what you’ve done up until this point, you better still be a student. If you’re not still learning, you’re already dying.”

“Too often, convinced of our own intelligence, we stay in a comfort zone that ensures we never feel stupid (and are never challenged to learn or reconsider what we know).”

“It’s time to sit down and think about what’s truly important to you and then take steps to forsake the rest. Without this, success will not be pleasurable, or nearly as complete as it could be. Or worse, it won’t last.”

“Control says it all must be done my way – even little things, even inconsequential things. It can become paralyzing perfectionism, or a million pointless battles fought merely for the sake of exerting its say.”

“By removing the ego – even temporarily – we can access what’s left standing in relief. By widening our perspective, more comes into view.”

“If success is ego intoxication, then failure can be a devastating ego blow – turning slips into falls and little troubles into great unravelings.”

“In life, there will be times when we do everything right, perhaps even perfectly. Yet the results will somehow be negative: failure, disrespect, jealousy, or even a resounding yawn from the world.”

“Change begins by hearing the criticism and the words of the people around you. Even if those words are mean spirited, angry or hurtful. It means weighing them, discarding the ones that don’t matter, and reflecting on the ones you do.”

“At any given time in the circle of life, we may be aspiring, succeeding or failing – though right now we’re failing. With wisdom, we understand that these positions are transitory, not statements about your value as a human being.”

“You know what is a better response to an attack or a slight or something you don’t like? Love. That’s right, love.”

“Whatever is next for us, we can be sure of one thing we’ll want to avoid. Ego. It makes all the steps hard, but failure is the one it will make permanent.”

“In failure or adversity, it’s so easy to hate. Hate defers blame. It makes someone else responsible. It’s a distraction too; we don’t do much else when we’re busy getting revenge or investigating the wrongs that have supposedly been done to us.”

“Your potential, the absolute best you’re capable of – that’s the metric to measure yourself against. Your standards are. Winning is not enough. People can get lucky and win. People can be assholes and win. Anyone can win. But not everyone is the best possible version of themselves.”

Coach PKTeam Strong Athlete

Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Asparagus Quiche with Spaghetti Squash Crust

You couldn’t ask for a more beautiful breakfast quiche! And, swapping roasted spaghetti squash for the traditional flour crust makes it healthier, too.

Because of the unique ingredients, I was quite intrigued when I saw this recipe; it’s not often you get to eat asparagus or squash for breakfast.

Click on the pic to see the full recipe!

Asparagus-Quiche-with-Spaghetti-Squash-Crust-slice