The invitation couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. After cramming a month’s work of Halloween inspired binging into one week, I had just stepped off a scale and was then ready to jump off a ledge. Luckily hope, in the form of the email notification sound on my BlackBerry, brought me back from the edge. This email contained potential knowledge, insight, foresight and answers to my loud, selfish prayers: Dear Lord, if you can’t help me to drop 5lbs, then at least make my friends gain 10. Amen. A bonus with this invite: it would only require 2 hours of my time. Double bonus: there would be snacks. I excitedly (and hungrily) RSVP’d yes.
Frustrated with trying to lose weight or achieve your training targets? Learn how to work with your body instead of against it by using key super foods for power-packed performance and sustainable weight-loss… ignite the natural fat-burning furnaces that lie dormant within.
A lot of buzzwords in the mix so had it been anyone else, I would have had many doubts about its touted promises. However, as I had worked with the instructor back in 2009 (Registered Holistic Nutritionist & Certified Personal Trainer Judy Chambers, RNCP, CPT, of DynamicByNature fame) to kick ass in a weight loss competition, I knew this could be one fat-busting, kick ass class.
Top 3 Diet Myths that make you fat
- Starving yourself is a good way to lose weight
- Consuming non-fat dairy products or processed soy milk
- Avoiding fats or avoiding carbs
Arriving to class (on time, no less!), I thought we’d be forced to cook all the food ourselves (like 1950s housewives) and was pleasantly surprised to find that she had prepared and made all the snacks for us in advance (like we were 1950s husbands). Sample foods included an array of all natural, green foods:
- Free range boiled eggs
- Buckwheat polenta
- Yam & kale curry
- Cilantro pesto
- Lemon coconut date balls (not pictured)
Even the drinks were metabolism boosting and included:
- Maca tea
- Herbal teas
- Filtered water with sliced lemons
We’re invited to have a taste of the food and drink samples as we sit down for the workshop. The recipes for the food we sample are also included in the provided workbooks. Simple and straightforward, most recipes involve only a few items plus seasonings and all are easy to prepare. Best of all, everything tasted great.
This is the science of how food talks to our cells and Judy starts off by explaining to us that what we put into our bodies has an immense effect on everything we do. Our diet (what we eat) affects how our bodies function, how our bodies look (physical appearance) and our bodies’ health (ability to fight off illnesses/repair and regenerate itself). This leads us right into the good stuff we all came for – how to shed those unwanted pounds.
3 Dishes that will actually make you fat
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake
- Donut Ice Cream Sandwiches
- Grease Lightning(pictured) : seasoned curly fries topped with chicken nuggets, chicken fried steak, pizza rolls, sliced corndogs then smothered in melted mozzarella cheese topped with a mixture of chili, bacon, and cheddar cheese.
Judy lets us in on several factors that cause weight gain and one resonates immediately with me – the cortisol connection: An inability to wake up in the mornings, a sluggish/tired feeling in the afternoons and an unbelievable burst of energy late at night (I could easily run a marathon – if the marathon started at 9pm). Essentially, my body thinks I’m stressed, pumps out cortisol inefficiently and needs to calm itself down to regulate my adrenal glands. My cure – proper rest, yoga/breathing exercises and a reduction in artificial stimulants like caffeine, alcohol and refined sugars.
Metabolism- Kick it up a notch
While I grieve for my morning double lattes and my mid afternoon gin and tonics (say it ain’t so!), we jump into a section titled Metabolic Mastery and learn 3 ways to kick start our metabolism:
#1 .Eat Natural, Whole Foods: obtain body/mind balance by eating foods found in nature
- Natural condiments (sea salt, fresh herbs, organic spices, unrefined whole food sweeteners, etc.)
- Unrefined fats and oils (virgin coconut oil, cold pressed olive oil, organic ghee, etc.)
- Whole grains (brown rice, millet, quinoa, 100% wholegrain pastas, breads, cereals)
- Naturally raised protein (Beans, peas, lentils, fresh nuts or seeds, free range eggs, wild fish, pasture fed meats, etc.)
- Fresh Vegetables (lots of green veggies) and Whole Fruits
#2. Optimize your digestive track: increase your intake of enzymes and minerals to promote nutrient absorption and elimination of toxins
#3. Balance your hormonal systems: reduce stress, eat better, enjoy life!
Putting it all Together
The Peak Metabolism workshop stressed eating natural foods and reducing and eliminating processed foods. As you can tell, each aspect of the course can be a course on its own. There are even upcoming cooking classes on preparing gluten free grains, vegetable dishes, superfood snacks and peak protein dishes. To simply it all, Judy encourages you to start small by either breaking one bad habit or adding one healthy habit for 7 days.
All the tips learned in this workshop are straightforward and easy to follow and detailed how many foods, drinks (organic beer and wine are okay!), herbs, and spices a natural food diet can include (hint – a lot), where to find them and which local brands are best. It may be overwhelming for some but for me one thing is clear:
I need to find me some free-range, organic gin.
Trick Question – which is the better choice:
- Butter or margarine?
- Cow Dairy or Soy milk?
Surprisingly, the answer is neither. Use coconut oil or ghee instead of butter or margerine and coconut milk or goat’s milk instead of dairy or soy (but if you have to have dairy, try to use whole or full fat, organic & NON-Homogenized).
A special thanks to Judy for inviting me to attend this informative class. Want to improve your health too? For more information on how to do that and to check out class details, please feel free to contact Judy directly @:
Judy Chambers RNCP, CPT
Registered Holistic Nutritionist & Certified Personal Trainer
Tel #: 604.250.9999