Prana Blog/Newsletter


Prana Newsletter

Energy Boosters!

We all have tired days here and there but some of us seem to be in a tired slump for an extended period of time. This state starts to interfere with our lives and goals.

No-Bake Chocolate Coconut Protein Cookies

Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t bake.  I can cook but I don’t have much use for baked goods unless it has good health benefits. Yesterday I threw together some ingredients and made some amazing chocolate coconut refrigerator cookies.  I was inspired to take it a step further and make them tastier and healthier.  I added some spices and protein powder.  THESE ARE NOT LOW CALORIE but they are great to use for a pre-workout snack.

Ingredients:

2 cups rolled oats

1 cup organic, cold-pressed coconut oil

1/2 cup raisins

3/4 cup protein powder

1/4 cup honey

1/3 cup Fry's Cocoa

1tbsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper

1/8 tsp nutmeg

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Mix the oatmeal, spices, protein powder, and raisins together.

In a saucepan, start melting the coconut oil over med/low heat. As most of it has melted, add the cocoa and honey.

When the oil, cocoa and honey have melted and mixed, add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Texture should be fairly damp.

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Use a muffin tin and place those muffin liners in each cup. Mine holds 12. Using a spoon, scoop the goods into each cup and press firmly to pack it down or the cookie will be too crumbly. With the ingredients listed, mine made 12 exactly. I have no idea how I managed that so well!

Once done, place in the fridge overnight!

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Nutrition Info: 

Don’t these if you’re following a low fat diet! They are great for ENERGY which translates to CALORIES. I wouldn’t think twice about having one before a medium-long run or hard workout. 

Calories     305

Carbs           22

Fat                20

Protein          9

Calcium        7

Iron               9


Anti-Cancer Salad Recipe

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OK, as promised, here is my recipe for a super healthy salad that will work to boost your immune system so you are ready to battle any cancer cells coming your way. By the way, we all have cancerous cells at one time or another. It’s just that sometimes they get out of control and develop a tumour. But first, a little lesson for you. I’ll do my best to explain why each ingredient is important. I extracted information from a recent book, ‘Super Immunity’ by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. . The ingredients change depending on what is available but a representative from each family of ingredients is included.

Cruciferous Veggies: (best chopped small and raw or very lightly steamed)

Arugula, bok choy, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radishes, red cabbage, turnip greens, watercress. 

When these veggies are chopped or blended (raw), the sulfur-containing compounds convert into isothiocyanates (ITC’s) which are powerful immune-boosters with anticancer activity. Not all ITC’s do the same thing. Some kill cancer cells, some decrease inflammation among other duties.  "ITC’s can inhibit angiogenesis, the process by which a tumor promotes blood vessel growth to feed its multiplying and growing cancer cells with nourishment.” , Joel Fuhrman.  

Mushrooms: (cooked)

Just your basic white mushroom is full of amazing benefits. The phytochemicals are anti-inflammatory so they are helpful for people with autoimmune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. 

In addition, they enhance the activity and function of natural killer T cells (NKT cells). They detect damaged cells (often the first stage of a possible cancer cell) and attack them. They release killing granules. 

Mushrooms also contain an angiogenesis inhibitor (inhibit growth of abnormal cells) like the cruciferous veggies. As Joel says, “Cancers, tumours and fat secrete angiogenesis-promoting compounds that fuel their own growth; but mushrooms say no.”

Anti-Angiogenic Foods/Nutrients:

allium family (onion family), berries, black rice, cinnamon, citrus fruits, cruciferous veggies, flax seeds, ginger, grapes, green tea, mushrooms, omega-3 fats, peppers, pomegranate, quince, resveratrol, soybeans, spinach, tomatoes, turmeric

There is just so, so much information to pass along. I highly encourage you to read Super Immunity.

When putting your meals together, remember GOMBBS:

greens, onions, mushrooms, berries, beans, seeds


Anti-Cancer Salad (organic as much as possible)

kale (thinly chopped)

spinach

broccoli (chopped small in processor)

pomegranate seeds (1/2) 

tomatoes

radishes

orange  (chopped)

hemp seed hearts

carrot (grated)

walnuts

1 drop of iodine per person (promotes apoptosis-cell death)  (kelp extract)

Dressing: very simple (oil, vinegar, pepper)

About a table spoon of high quality olive oil  and a good amount of balsamic vinegar (both from the Pristine Olive). Add a sprinkle of pepper.  That’s it! You could add garlic and fancy up the dressing but hey, I’m usually just being quick. 

While these ingredients are immune boosters, they work even better when you combine them together. Experiment and find a few combinations you like. Ingredients will change as the seasons change but now you can add them with more knowhow!

And what the heck is apoptosis? It is cell death, which is a natural occurrence in our bodies.  Cells naturally die and get replaced by new cells. This is healthy. When cells don’t die, but instead keep on dividing, you have a tumor situation going on. This tumor can have pieces break off and move through your body (metastasis). That’s not good! So cancer cells just don’t die. Iodine promotes cell death. And if it doesn’t get caught by iodine then we have anti-angiogenic foods that won’t let your body feed it. See why we need a variety of foods? One main source of iodine is kelp. I don’t know about you but I don’t use much salt (table salt is iodized) and if I do, it’s usually sea salt (non-iodized). I don’t each much kelp or dulce, nor fish due to mercury).  It’s a tough world out there!  Hard to make good decisions!

I know, a lot of information to digest. Enjoy and be healthy! 

Jennifer : )



Wiggle Room

No, I don’t mean stand in a room and wiggle!  I’m talking about time.  Time is precious and shouldn’t be wasted so fit in as much as you can every minute of every day, right?  NO! Little bits of downtime can be more helpful than you think.

I used to fill every minute of every day.  I was rushing from here to there from 4am until 9pm.  Sure I got a lot done but I also stressed out my body so much that I ended up with a cancer scare.  I was lucky the cells were just precancerous.  My doctor urged me to decrease my workload. Even happy stress is negative stress.  I love my work! I immediately dropped from 90 hours per week to 65, which was still too many BUT comparatively it was like being on vacation.  

During that time, I also had a client that spoke of ‘wiggle room’ and the term stuck in my head and every planning decision I made from then on included wiggle room.  I can’t tell you how it changed my life! Somewhere in my busyness I was also taking Yoga Teacher Training which spoke of ‘moderation’.  As an endurance athlete and workaholic, this was a totally foreign concept! I can’t say I embraced it immediately but I did think about how I scheduled things into my life.

By incorporating wiggle room into your daily, weekly, monthly schedule you will decrease your stress hormone, cortisol.  This is a good thing.  Your body wasn’t meant to be in ‘fight or flight’ mode for so long.  Again, even a positive stress for too long is bad for your body and mind.  It’s tiring.  There can be too much of a good thing.  

Here are a FIVE tips for incorporating wiggle room into your life:

1. If you find you are rushing around first thing in the morning, go to bed 30min earlier and wake up 30min earlier.  Be sure you go to bed knowing where your car keys are!  Be sure you have everything you need to take with you in one area so you aren’t looking for things in the morning.  This extra little time will give you peace of mind to start your day.  You can use the time to sit and stare at the walls if you need to (I did for awhile) or perhaps go over your daily schedule so there aren’t any surprises. Perhaps you have a couple of emails to send out so your day is more efficient.  Just don’t lose track of time.  Limit yourself to one or two.

2. When scheduling your day, be sure to include lunch! Please try not to engage in ‘working lunches’ whenever possible.  Claim back this time!  It is yours to decompress from the morning, nourish yourself, turn off your brain for a little while.  Book work during work hours.  

3. If you must be somewhere after work, be sure you leave 15min earlier than you think you need.  This way, when traffic is slow you won’t be stressed out.  

4. Perhaps you see clients back to back.  Try scheduling a little wiggle room either between each one or a block of them.  For me, I can be ‘on’ for 4-4.5 hours at a time before I need a mental break.  I schedule time before and after that block to recharge.  

5. Learn to say NO.  I’m sure there are some things that you have agreed to do right away and then looked at your schedule and thought, “how the heck am I going to get this done?!” This certainly adds stress.  When someone asks something of your time, say that you will check your schedule and get back to them.  This buys you some time to truly consider if it is in your best interest.  Your time is precious! When you look at your schedule, consider how much time is needed to complete what was asked.  If it is a task, double the time you think it would take and then see if that fits into your schedule.  As we all know, things always take longer than you think.  If it is simply a meeting with a defined start and end, look at your schedule and see if it interferes with your wiggle room.  If not, you can go for it.  If it does interfere, you might be able to get away with the meeting if you haven’t given up your other wiggle room that day already. You can get away with not enough wiggle room on occasion but not regularly.

You might be able to come up with a few more ideas on your own.  Feel free to share them with me!

As of today, I work much less.  I work about a 40 hour week, give or take a few hours.  I have time to play without feeling like I’m squeezing it in.  My quality of life has improved tremendously! And those precancerous cells are long gone!

Do you have wiggle room?  

Fix the Leaks in Your Foundation to Reach Your Goals

We are getting closer to the time of year when think about our goals.  How we did/didn’t reach them in 2013 or perhaps making new goals for 2014.  There are only a few weeks left in 2013.  Why not use them for laying the foundation for 2014?

There is no better time than the present to start making little changes.  December can be a frustrating month with all the festivities to take part in.  You can either throw caution to the wind and not think about your goals at all until January OR you can take a few steps towards them so you are in the right mindset come January.  

Goal: Start Exercise Class ‘X’- Plan now!  Look at your schedule.  Look at the schedule for the class or classes you wish to attend.  Work now to make it mesh.  Arrange for any babysitting, work schedule changes, etc now so you don’t have any obstacles in your way when you start.  Sign up for the class NOW.  It’s a commitment waiting for you.  Make sure you have everything you need for the class like clothes, shoes, etc.  Foundation is set.

Goal: Lose Fat- Why not make a few changes now?  You can still enjoy all those parties but by making a few changes now, it will be in the forefront of your decisions and you won’t be so far behind come January.  

Here are a few ideas to practice:   

  • try smaller portions 
  • say ‘no thank you’ a little more often
  • eat more vegetables
  • enjoy fewer alcoholic beverages
  • have a sugar-free day here and there


Goal: Quit Smoking- Plan your foundation now by looking into various aids such as hypnosis (hey, it worked for someone I know), programs, ideas from the internet (learn from others who have had successes and failures).  You can start now by cutting down by one or two a day.  You’ll feel positive for being ahead of the plan!

Goal: Exercise between visits with your trainer- Try not to aim for perfection.  This will actually set you back since it is unrealistic.  First aim for once in a week.  If you can make it the same day every week then you will be more successful for the long term.  Don’t add a second day until this one becomes a habit such that you don’t even have to think about it.  

I hope the rest of 2013 will be full of foundation building, positive thoughts, excitement and success!

Contact me if you would like to discuss your foundation and goal-setting!

Jennifer



5 Dog Running Tips for Any Season

Depending on your running style, your dog’s running needs and the time of year, running with your dog can either be an amazing experience or a nightmare.  Use these tips to create a new habit that will benefit both you and your pooch!

1. If you are a moderately slow runner not running more than 3-5miles or so, a good running match might be a jack russell terrier, standard poodle, lab, or a golden retriever.  If you are faster and run longer, then opt for a dog known for running such distances like a German Shorthaired Pointer, Weimeraner, Brittany Spaniel, or other hunting dogs. Notice that all of these dogs have long noses.  Dogs with pushed in noses aren’t suited for running much more than very short distances. My dog, Lance, is a German Shorthaired Pointer. He has comfortably joined me for runs up to 30K with gas in the tank. He’s also joined us for mountain biking 55K!  

2. Get a proper dog running leash. I bought mine from Ruffwear. Notice the bungee in the middle of the leash. The other end wraps around my waist and clips with a fastex buckle. Running hands-free ensures that you don’t end up with imbalances in your arms/shouders from holding onto a leash. It also comes in handy when you need two hands to pick up the doggie poop! The bungee in the middle makes for a more comfortable run for both of you since there is fewer jarring instances. Hey, squirrels and rabbits make for exciting moments!  The leash comes in two lengths. I chose the shorter one so I have more control. I don’t want my dog running around the corner before I get there. It is plenty long enough.  

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3. Winter running can be tricky for both dogs and people! If you can get your dog to run with booties, I applaud you! Lance will have nothing to do with them. I recommend lathering your dog’s paws with petroleum jelly to allow for the snow to slide off rather than build up between the toes.  You’ll know when the snow is building up because they will stop and lick their paws. The salt and ethanol pellets are a huge bother for your dog. They actually hurt them. The jelly will help with that.  During the run, try to run in areas that aren’t so heavilly salted etc. Generally, subdivisions are better than major streets. Pay attention to the temperature.  If it is extremely cold outside, avoid taking your dog.  Frost-bite is not to be taken lightly! If your nose wants to stick together, and you konw what I mean, then it’s too cold for your dog. In Canada, I would say that is about -20deg C. Sometimes, when I want to go for a long run in the winter, I will run a 5-6mile loop with Lance and then bring him home and finish the rest on my own. It really depends on the conditions out there. Today was quite icy so we only ran a couple of miles. Sometimes the roads have been nice and clear and we’ve been able to do 16-18miles together in the winter.

4.  In the above picture, you will also notice his backpack. It is also from Ruffwear.  It’s called the Singletrak. It’s great for long runs!  It comes with two Platypus water bottles. There are four pockets so you can store your gels, bloks, keys, etc. It is nicely streamlined for running in the bush, which we do regularly! Remember to pack food for your dog too!  We share Clif Bloks and energy drinks.  

5.  If your dog is just starting out with distance running, be sure to gradually build up the mileage just like you would for yourself. At about 6months of age, you can start out with running one block and walking a block for 20min. Just like a person, they need to gradually build up their running legs. Add about 10% each week, just like a person would. Some dogs are meant for distance and some aren’t. If a dog breed is known for hip dysplasia, be wary of running too far. Perhaps keep it to 2-3 miles. 

Did you know that there are races specifically for dogs and their owners? It’s called CaniCross! There are all sorts of dog sports! Here is a link to a great site listing all sorts of fun stuff!

Have fun! Let me know if you have questions!

5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Day

We all know how crazy life can get if we let it spin out of control.  How we react to that craziness can greatly affect us.  Here are five simple ways to decrease stress and improve your day.


1. Get 7-8 hours of quality sleep.  Turn off all devices, including the television, approximately 20min before lights are turned off. Take the time to brush your teeth, wash your face etc.  With good quality sleep behind us, we react to stress more rationally.

2. Use a Smart Alarm Clock. There are many options out there for progressive alarm clocks.  The Zen Alarm clock is mathematically designed to wake you up gently by timing the space between bells, eventually becoming non-stop. They are never far enough apart to let you drift into a deep sleep again, yet the bells are soft enough so as not to be jarring.  Another option is to use one that can sense your state of sleep, thereby being able to wake you up when it is best appropriate to your sleep cycle.  It will give you a 30min window so there is no risk of waking up late. This alarm is available for your smart phone.  Check out Sleep Cycle in the App Store.  

3.  Plan your food the day before. Never go to bed without having your food planned and ready! You will eat more veggies, less junk, and have better spaced meals.  Many people who leave food prep to the morning end up leaving in a rush with a lot of quick processed carbs, few veggies, and little protein.  By the time you get home you'll be starving, reaching for anything in sight.  

4.  Take a moment in the morning and another moment in the afternoon to text, call, or email a loved one to say hello and that you love them.  You'll improve someone else's day as well!

5.  Take one small area, either at home or at work, and organize it.  It should be small enough that it will only take 5-10 minutes.  Tidyness is an amazing mood booster!

Hopefully something in this list resonates with you enough to make a small change.  Remember, small changes add up over time!

Long Run Ritual

For anything you do, having a ritual about it makes it easier.  There are bedtime rituals, morning rituals, how you make your coffee ritual.  It's comforting somehow.  The same goes for the Long Run.  It may take a few tries before you nail your own ritual that works for you.  This is mine:

It starts the day before.  I try not to be too active.  Must rest the legs!  I also eat a few more carbs than I normally would.  Nothing excessive but consciously more.  No, I don't indulge in a huge plate of pasta.  That just sits like lead in my belly!  I will choose to eat more whole grains like oats and rice, perhaps and extra serving or two throughout the day.  I will also eat more fruits and veggies since they are very hydrating and nutritious.  I will make sure I drink my 2-3L of lemon water.  I know from experience that if I start my run even a bit dehydrated that I will get a bit queasy.  That's not fun and will ruin any run!  No alcohol the night before.  no matter what.  In fact, alcohol is pretty low on my list of needs.  I limit it to just a few times a month.  More on that on another blog, perhaps!

Bedtime is a little bit early.  I like to relax and read about running before hitting the hay.  Reading about running helps put me in the right frame of mind for the morning.  I good 7-9 hours of sleep is great.  If it is uninterrupted, all the better!

Morning is all about getting the right food in me and having enough time for all the necessary bathroom breaks.  They are numerous!  I find I  need a minimum of 90min before heading out the door.  Get up, eat and walk around as that helps to move things along!  Just like we walk our dogs for the same reason.  We are not much different.

My breakfast:

  • 1/2 cup dry oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • cinnamon
  • coffee
  • Vega One mixed with water


During my Long Run I will use either nuun or Vega Hydrator and add a scoop of BCAA's (Branched Chain Amino Acids) to prevent muscle breakdown.  It works!  I will also use Clif Bloks and/or Carboom gels for runs lasting longer than 75min.  It's somewhat a matter of taste but I also like to look for good quality ingredients.  Less artificial crap!

Post run, and I mean right after, I will drink my Vega Recovery with one scoop of L-glutamine mixed in.  This helps with muscle recover and also boosts my immune system.  I got onto this in my bike racing days and I swear I felt better for training the next day and rarely got sick.  So, it's part of my ritual!  I drink this within the first 10min.  Then, if it was a very, very long run…like 20miles, I will make a protein shake with whey protein, fish oil, more BCAA's, banana, blueberries and milk.  I will have that within 30min of finishing.  I'm now nicely rehydrated and nourished!  NOW it's time for that shower!  Post shower it's time for my coffee!  I start dreaming about my coffee during my last 3miles.  I love my post run coffee!  Such a feeling of satisfaction from the run….ahhhh!  Back to reading more running mags!

What do you do??

Fennel & Goat Cheese Salad

I was given a fabulous book by a client of mine recently. 'River Cottage VEG' by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. 

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It's a beautiful book with gorgeous pictures and fabulous recipes. Today I made the Fennel & Goat Cheese salad (pg 102) but added grilled chicken (with lemon zest, sea salt, pepper, olive oil).  So tasty and easy to make!  I was limited for time as I only had an hour between clients and it was no problem to make and eat in that time.  Here is a pic:

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I had this as a complete meal and felt very satisfied.  Hope you try it!


© Jennifer Wasylenko 2013