Healthy Fats and Weight Loss


Healthy Fats and Weight Loss

Once upon a time, if you wanted to lose weight, you would cut out fatty foods. For decades, we indulged in low-fat yogurt, low-fat cookies, low-fat everything, thinking we’d solved our weight problems. The only trouble? We didn’t lose weight.

The Skinny on Healthy Fats

On the surface, avoiding fat makes sense – what else would make you fat, besides fat? But now that we’ve dug a little deeper into nutrition science, we see the error of our ways. It’s not fat itself that causes us to gain weight; it’s an excess of the wrong kinds of fat (and sugar – but that’s another article). Healthy fats, including monounsaturated fats (or MUFAs), and omega fatty acids, are a vital part of maintaining optimal health and weight. You should aim to get 25-30% of your daily calories from fats – but be sure to opt for the good-for-you fats as much as possible!

6 Healthy Fat-Filled Foods to Support Weight Loss

The following 6 foods contain wholesome fats that can promote a healthy metabolism and, as part of a weight loss program, help you reach your desired weight:

1. Avocados

Ladies who lunch once avoided this rich, creamy fruit in salads, thinking the extra calories would mean extra pounds on the scale. However, the MUFAs found in avocado are a key component in the Mediterranean diet, known for its positive impact on cardiovascular health. Plus, avocados are full of protein, fiber, and an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants! Also, they go great with pretty much any meal!

2. Olive Oil

Another source of MUFAs, olive oil is heart healthy and delicious. Most of the fats you eat should be unsaturated, and MUFAs are widely available. Research suggests that MUFAs can even help fight belly fat.

Rather than buying packaged salad dressings, create your own creamy dressings with olive oil, avocado, lemon juice, and a touch of salt.

3. Salmon

This cold water fish is widely cited as the best dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids, likely because it’s more appetizing to the average eater than herring, mackerel, and sardines, also sources of omega-3s. Omega-3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that promote cardiovascular health and cognitive function. They’re vital to optimal health, and unfortunately, the typical western diet is sadly lacking in them – so make salmon a main course a few times a week!

4. Nuts

Another group of foods vilified by the fat-free movement, nuts are nutritional powerhouses that yes, contain fat, but healthy fat – MUFAs and PUFAs alike. Try walnuts for your fix of omega-6 fatty acids, another type of PUFA that helps promote the body’s natural healthy inflammatory processes. If you’re worried about consuming too many omega-6 fatty acids, make sure you’re complementing with omega-3s from salmon or a supplement. Omega-6s are indeed healthy – when they come from whole food rather than processed sources.

5. Butter

Surprised to see a saturated fat on this list? Saturated fat isn’t all bad – the key is moderation. You’ll be much better off with grass-fed organic butter than hydrogenated margarine, which offers plenty of trans fats, the worst fats out there when it comes to your health. As well, butter is much more stable than vegetable oils when heated, so it’s ideal for anything sautéed or roasted.

6. Seeds

Flax, chia, and hemp seeds provide Vegetarians with a source of omega-3s, which is rare. Just be sure to prep them properly – flaxseeds need to be ground to access the omegas, and chia seeds need to be soaked for a few minutes.

Now that you’ve got the skinny on fat, how will you be switching up your diet to make sure you get more of the fats you need – MUFAs and PUFAs – and less of the ones you don’t?

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A Healthy Vacation: Tips for Staying on Track


A Healthy Vacation: Tips for Staying on Track

It’s tempting to just disappear while you’re on vacation, and leave your healthy lifestyle back at home with your worries. The great thing is, it’s possible – and relatively easy! – to have an amazing vacation while keeping your overall health on track. Here’s how:

Plan an Active Vacation

Walk, run, or cycle around your destination! You’ll burn calories, be more likely to meet people, and get up close and personal with local sights, smells, and sounds.

If you’re going to be spending time at the beach, schedule activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, and surfing to keep your fitness in check while having oodles of fun.

Eat Consciously

Eating out and trying local cuisine is all part of being on vacation. Here are some tips to keep your diet on track while enjoying your meals:

  • Snack on fresh fruits and vegetables from local markets
  • Order salads and other menu items with dressing and sauce on the side
  • Stop eating when you’re full – no matter how large the serving is
  • Share desserts and other high calorie items
  • Add PGX®* Daily Singles to your meals to reduce cravings and maintain  healthy blood sugar levels already within the normal range.

Drink Carefully

Go ahead and celebrate your vacation with a cocktail or juice.  The key is to not get carried away. Drinking too much alcohol or sugary beverages can sneak unwanted calories into your diet. Instead, keep yourself hydrated with good-for-you liquids such as lemon water, unsweetened tea, sparkling mineral water, and low-fat milk.

Treat Yourself

The whole point of vacation is to have an enjoyable experience, and part of that is not feeling like you’re missing out. So go ahead  – treat yourself! –  just remember that moderation is key to not over-indulging.

How do you stay on track while on vacation? Let us know in the comments section below.

*Drink additional water (8 fl. oz.) after ingesting PGX®. If you are taking medications, take one hour prior to or two hours after taking PGX®.

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A 5 step Routine for a Great Beach Workout


A 5 Step Routine for a Great Beach Workout

If the warm summer days mean you’re spending more time at the beach than at the gym, don’t worry, exercise and fun at the beach are not mutually exclusive! Lazing around in the sand with a cool beer is certainly tempting, but how about squeezing in a quick workout before you enjoy that R&R.

First things first, whenever you’re exercising in the sun remember these rules: use adequate sun protection, stay hydrated, stick to beach rules and stay in sight of lifeguards. The latter is especially important if you’re working out at the beach as you can quickly become tired in the water when you’ve already been pushing your body.

Without further ado, here is a 5 step routine for a great beach workout:

1. Sand Lunges

Aim to cover a 40-yard stretch of sand by doing basic lunges but with the added difficulty of balancing on and pushing against the sand.

Start by standing with your hands on your hips, feet shoulder-width apart, then take a normal stride and bend your forward leg at a 90-degree angle. This should cause your back leg to also end up at a 90-degree angle. Make sure to keep your core muscles (canister) engaged and your hips in line with your shoulders as you then step forward with your back leg. Repeat for 40-yards then turn and repeat until back to base.

2. Water Jog

After working up a sweat by doing sand lunges, wade into the water until you’re waist-deep. Jog parallel to the shore for 40 yards, the jog back out of the water and sprint back to base.

3. Shoulder Push-Ups

Now that your legs are burning from all that water jogging, give them a brief break while you work your upper body.

To do a shoulder push-up simply bend down as if you’re picking something up from the sand and spread your hands hip-width apart with your feet together so you form a tripod. Do a push-up and try to touch your nose to the sand. Do two sets of 5 reps to start and try to build to three sets of 10 reps over the summer.

4. Dune Treadmill

Sand running offers a great workout, without the expensive gym membership fee! Running on sand is also easier on the joints, but is harder work, so it burns more calories and is a great way to tone the lower body. Moist, firm sand is best –  and don’t forget to wear good running shoes! Find a decent sized sand dune and run up and down it for 5 minutes, alternating between a sprint and a jog every other ascent to help improve your anaerobic fitness.

5. Swim!

OK, so this one is pretty obvious, but you’ll be thankful for it after all that jogging and running up the sand dunes. Pick a couple of shoreline markers that are about 40 yards apart and head into the water until you’re at a good swimming depth. Swim back and forth between your markers, doing a breaststroke, butterfly or backstroke – whatever works for you!  Just 5-10 minutes of swimming is excellent cardio that works all your major muscle groups while keeping you cool.

If you find it hard to motivate yourself to work out alone, it should be pretty easy to convince a friend to head to the beach (just make sure to tell them you’ll be exercising!).

Bonus Idea: Beach Volleyball

Consider signing up for beach volleyball. This a fantastic way to stay active in summer while making new friends and getting your fill of vitamin D. Head down to your nearest beach on the weekend and see if there’s a tournament or game going on and ask someone how you can get involved. Or, check online for local groups that have a regular indoor volleyball practice and see if they’re inclined to turn the beach into their gym for the summer!

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Body Weight Training: Getting Started


Body Weight Training: Getting Started

There are plenty of barriers and obstacles we can encounter when trying to get fit, but a lack of equipment shouldn’t be one of them. All you really need to start working on improving your health and fitness, is your own body and a bit of imagination.*

Body weight training is perfect if you’re looking to exercise on a budget or maintain your strength and fitness when traveling. The basic principle of body weight training is that you put your muscles to work against gravity and your own body mass – think lifts, squats, push-ups, etc –  for a quick, challenging workout you can do anywhere.

*Always consult with your physician before beginning any fitness program, particularly when you have a medical condition.

The following are a few moves to get you started with body weight training:

Power Burpee

Let’s start with a power burpee – a great way to get your heart rate up, work your core, and activate those hamstrings.

Begin in a standing position, arms by your sides and feet shoulder width apart. As with a traditional burpee, you want to drop quickly into a push-up position, then jump into a squat position, and follow that with a vertical leap into the air before dropping back to a squat.

To make this a power burpee, after dropping back into a squat, go for an explosive tuck-jump, pulling in your knees and jumping as high as you can. Do two sets of five to start out.


Now that you’ve got your circulation moving a little faster, switch your focus to your upper body to give your legs a bit of a break.

Go for a simple push-up and do as many as you can without stopping. Take the number of push-ups you managed and cut that in half, then do three sets of that number next time. Push-ups work the pectorals, deltoids, and triceps and really help tone the chest and arms, but good form is essential.

For a proper push-up, lie face down with your shoulders bent and hands flat to the floor about shoulder width apart. Keeping your body straight, push against the floor with your hands to extend your arms and lift your body. Imagine a line running from the top of your head to your ankles and try to keep this line as straight as possible.

Break-Out Push-Ups

The next body weight training exercise works your arms, legs, and core. It’s also a great excuse to bust out your breakdancing moves! A break-out push-up stretches out your chest and activates your oblique muscles.

Begin in a traditional push-up position, raise your body as usual and then, when your arms are fully extended, rotate your body to look to your right while kicking out your left leg to the right underneath your body. Drop back into a push-up and on the next lift, kick out your right leg to the left underneath your body. Do two sets of five reps to start.

Caterpillar (Prone) Walkout

Now that your arms and legs are feeling the burn, take things down a notch by doing your best impression of a caterpillar. The prone walkout helps with pelvic stability, and total body dynamic flexibility, and it’s pretty fun to do.

Start by standing on your tip toes with your feet hip width apart, then bend at the waist to touch your hands to the floor directly in front of your feet. Keeping your core muscles engaged, walk your hands forward until you’re in a push-up position, then walk your feet in towards your hands (while still on tip toes). Repeat this until you bump into a wall, or for about five walkouts.


Next up, dips. You’ll need a chair for this, although you could also use a bench in the park or the edge of a bed, depending on its height. This exercise works some of the same muscles as a push-up, but also works the rhomboid muscles in the back.

To get into position, stand with your back to the chair, bend your legs as if you’re going to sit down, and place the palms of your hands on the front edge of the seat. Walk your feet slowly out in front of you so that your arms are supporting most of your body weight.

Now you’re in position, inhale and slowly bend your arms, keeping your elbows tucked in, and lower your body until your arms are parallel to the floor. Hold that position for a half second, exhale and push slowly back up into your starting position. Do two sets of five to begin and increase as you get stronger.

Benefits of Body Weight Training

These are just a few great resistance exercises you can do in a small amount of time, in a small amount of space, using (almost) nothing but your own body. Adding these into your exercise regimen, alongside regular cardio, is an excellent  way to build strength gradually without needing to buy expensive equipment.

Try adding a PGX protein shake* and some of these body weight training exercise to your workout schedule and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your fitness goals!

* Drink additional water (8 fl. oz.) after ingesting PGX®. If you are taking medications, take one hour prior to or two hours after taking PG

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3 Ways to Boost Your Salad


3 Ways to Boost Your Salad

Whoever said you can’t make friends with salad? Salad is the perfect  – and perfectly nutritious! – way to fill up your tummy when it’s just too hot to turn on the oven. While not all salads are created equal (iceberg lettuce with ranch dressing, we’re looking at you), with a little help your greens can quickly become gourmet!

Try these three tasty ways to boost your salad:

1. Load Your Base

Leafy Greens

Salad doesn’t have to be a few leaves of bland iceberg lettuce with a couple of cherry tomatoes! For a hearty base try using an assortment of greens such as: lettuce, spinach, arugula, baby kale, or beet greens. For a little spice, mustard greens make a fantastic addition!


Layer those greens with a variety of your favourite fresh veggies. Elevate the old standard  of tomatoes and cucumber by adding shredded carrots, fresh peas, and radish, or try cooked veggies such as steamed beets or sautéed zucchini.


For added flavour, experiment with your favourite herbs. If they’re fresh, even better! Add herbs such as basil, parsley, mint, cilantro, dill, or chives for an incredibly fragrant, flavorful salad.


For a summery take on salad, try fresh fruits: berries, chopped apple, orange slices, or avocado.

2. Dress It Up

Packaged dressings are often calorie bombs full of added salt, sugar, preservatives, and unhealthy fats. Whipping up your own takes just a few minutes and gives you the benefit of fresh ingredients and added nutrients. Try this healthy Lemon Vinaigrette to support your metabolism – and dress up a delicious salad.

For a creamier dressing without all the bad stuff, mix up some homemade guacamole or hummus and thin with water. Or, go super simple with olive oil and apple cider vinegar, topped with a dusting of nutritional yeast.

3. Top if Off

From dried fruit to toasted nuts, salad toppers are a great way to add crunch – and extra nutrients – to your salads.


Chickpeas are a protein-packed addition to any salad – try them cooked and cooled, or even roasted!  Don’t stop at chickpeas: mix and match legumes such as lentils and kidney, navy or black beans.


Because who doesn’t love cheese! While you want to avoid loading your salad with grated cheddar, cheese can be a great way to add a little protein, healthy fat, and flavour.  Toss in a few spoonfuls of crumbled feta or goat cheese to add a touch of tang to your salad.

Nuts & Seeds

Pecans, walnuts and almonds add nutrients along with a satisfying crunch to any gourmet garden greens.

Seeds, such as chia, flax, hemp and sunflower, are sources of healthy omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, amino acids, fibre, and important vitamins and minerals. A little goes a long way, so you can add plenty of nutrients with just a sprinkle.


Power up your salad with lean proteins such as salmon, tuna, or grilled chicken. Looking for a meat-free option that still packs a protein punch? Boiled eggs are an excellent way to take any salad off the sidelines to the main event.

These tips should help you get the creative juices flowing in the kitchen. We’d love to know – what are your favourite ways to boost your salad?

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4 Physical Benefits of Swimming


4 Physical Benefits of Swimming

Swimming is great for your body – no matter what age, weight, or fitness level you are. Like no other activity, it provides an excellent workout while bearing only a fraction of your body’s weight. Make swimming a part of your routine for these 4 physical benefits:

1. Supports Cardio

There’s no doubt that swimming gets your heart rate up and lungs working hard. Participating in a high intensity swimming regime for 15 weeks supports overall cardiovascular health.

2. Burns Calories

Because swimming burns serious calories, it supports healthy weight loss. In 30 minutes, a 154 lbs person burns 294 calories doing the front crawl at a slow pace and  404 calories at a fast pace. As a comparison, this expends the same amount of energy as playing tennis or cycling at approximately 21km per hour for 30 minutes [1].

3. Tones Muscles

There’s more resistance moving in water than in air, which makes swimming an excellent way for you to tone and strengthen the muscles in your arms, legs, shoulders, and core.

4. Easy on Joints

Unlike high impact exercises, swimming is one of the few aerobic activities that is easy on your joints. It’s commonly recommended for people with who cannot withstand the trauma of other athletic activities, as well as injured athletes who need to keep their aerobic fitness up while healing.

Whether you swim solo, with friends, or with family, you’re sure to benefit. What’s your motivation for swimming? Let us know in the comments section below.

[1]  The Amateur Swimming Association (ASA). “Swimming: Taking the Plunge for a Fitter Lifestyle.” 2014. Web. 1 July 2015.

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Balancing Your Life: Tips for Lightening the Load


Balancing Your Life: Tips for Lightening the Load

Coco Chanel is famous (among other things) for her fashion advice – especially this gem: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” Coco, of course, was talking accessories, but her approach to getting dressed is rooted in philosophies of mindfulness and minimalism that can have far-reaching benefits in your life. In our busy culture, where overwork and overindulgence are supposed hallmarks of success, getting a few things off your plate, both literal and metaphorical, works wonders in bringing balance to your life.

Here are some signs you’ve taken on too much – and tips for lightening your load:

Occasional Fatigue

You’re tired. And not just long day at work plus the gym tired. This kind of fatigue isn’t cured by a latte or a good night’s sleep. No matter what you do, you don’t have the energy you used to. In the mornings, you’re groggy, and in the evenings, you’re too tired to socialise, exercise, or any other –cise.


You might have undiagnosed food sensitivities – wheat is often a culprit – and switching up your diet might give return that spark you’ve been missing. Eating too much can also make you feel sluggish and sleepy. Try a light elimination diet, where you avoid wheat and/or sugar for a week. Add in lots of fresh fruits & veggies and whole grains for a nutrient boost.


Do you have too many commitments and not enough time for yourself? It might be time to start saying no. Prioritize work and social activities in terms of “must do”, “nice to have”, and “not necessary”. Say yes to the “must do’s”, of course, but find ways to ease up on the “nice to have’s”, and cut out as many “not necessaries” as you can.

We often commit to too many things in advance (like those three weddings in one week this summer that didn’t seem like too much to handle when you RSVP’d). Ask yourself – if this project or event were happening this week, could you handle it?

Occasional Sleeplessness

If you find your mind racing at night, obsessing over your to-do list for the next day, it’s time to find an outlet. Sacrificing a good night’s sleep for worry will only leave you more stressed.


Caffeine could be keeping you wired, so steer clear, at least post0-lunch. A shot of espresso after noon can still affect you come bedtime. If you feel your day dragging, try water or a light snack with protein. Chocolate lovers aren’t off the hook either – your favorite dessert does have enough caffeine to impact your sleep. If you need something sweet before bed, try a small bowl of granola.


Here’s another chance to follow Coco’s advice and go minimal. Try to clear your schedule of nonessential tasks (easier said than done, we know). You might also find solace in creating a written to-do list and crossing off your achievements. The sense of accomplishment might be enough to quiet your mind.

Although this can seem overwhelming to someone who is already stretched thin, adding exercise and a calming deep breathing routine in the evenings will help you relax before bed.

Lackluster Skin and Hair

Have you noticed your hair doesn’t have the glossy shine it once did? Does your skin look dull or feel dry and irritated? Stress can put increased nutritional demands on your body; coupled with yo-yo dieting or a plate heavy on the processed foods, your skin and hair may not be getting the nutrients they need.


Swap the processed foods on your plate for fruits and veggies that are high in antioxidants. Vitamin A or beta carotene are requirements for normal growth and development of skin cells: try noshing on carrots, sweet potatoes, yams, winter squash, broccoli, spinach, peaches, and watermelon, just to name a few.

Vitamin C is another key vitamin for skin health. It increases production of collagen, which can help overall skin appearance. Add plenty of berries (especially strawberries), red peppers, dark, leafy greens, kiwi fruit, and of course oranges, to your daily routine. A vitamin C supplement can help ensure that you get optimal amounts of this skin health nutrient.

When it comes to shampoo-commercial worthy hair, choose biotin-rich foods such as salmon, eggs, avocado, peanuts, and almonds.


Your hair and skin needs more of two things – water and sleep – and less of one thing: stress. Managing your stress levels will set the stage for radiant skin and hair. First and foremost, make sleep a priority. Getting the rest you need will help your body cope better with the day-to-day stress of  busy life.

Just a few small changes in your diet and lifestyle can take your stress levels from overwhelming to smooth sailing. Just take it one step at a time, and visit us on Facebook and Twitter for more tips on healthy living!

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Best Trail Mix Ingredients for Hiking


Best Trail Mix Ingredients for Hiking

Do you seek out the perfect vista for your mid-hike snack or do you munch away without dropping your pace? Either way, trail mix is a must-pack snack for any hike.

As great as GORP (good old fashioned raisins and peanuts) is, it can’t compete with the more sophisticated trail mix ingredients available today. When designing a healthy mix, aim to use 50% nuts, 30% dried fruit, 10% seeds, and 10% “fun stuff.” Here are some ingredients to start with:


Nuts make up the bulk of your mix, providing a source of vegan protein, fibre, healthy fats, and micronutrients. Choose from raw, unsalted varieties of almonds, peanuts, walnuts, cashews, pecans, or pistachios.

Dried Fruit

The natural sweetness of dried fruit pairs well with nuts and supplies a surge in energy. Use unsweetened varieties of dried cherries, apple rings, cranberries, raisins, blueberries, pineapple, apricots, or dates.


Seeds round out the nutritional value of trail mix with additional vitamins, minerals, fibre, healthy fats, and enzymes. Pumpkin, hemp, sunflower, and flax seeds are satisfying options.

Fun Stuff

This is where you can get creative and put your own spin on any trail mix recipe!  Adding ingredients such as dark cocoa nibs, candied ginger, or banana chips increase sweetness, while baked lentils, soy nuts, or puffed quinoa raises the crunch factor.

3 Great Trail Mix Recipes

Following the 50:30:10:10 ratio, try these three energizing combinations:

  1. Cashews, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and candied ginger
  2. Almonds, dried cherries, sunflower seeds, and dark cocoa nibs
  3. Walnuts, chopped dates, hemp seeds, dark cocoa nibs, and large coconut flakes.

When your hike is over, help your body recover with a PGX® Satisfast™ Organic Vegan 15 g Protein Bar.

What do you like to eat on the trail? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Top 3 Healthy Food Swaps


Top 3 Healthy Food Swaps

What’s more important, a healthy diet or enjoying what you eat? Thankfully, you don’t have to choose. It’s easy to boost the nutritional value of your meals without giving up the foods you love. Swapping your regular fare for something that offers greater health benefits and a similar culinary experience is a great way to kick your diet up a notch. Get started now with these top three healthy food swaps:

Swap 1: Granola for Muesli

Granola is not as healthy as it looks. The high sugar content of most store bought brands is enough to qualify them as dessert. Instead, fill your morning hunger with unsweetened muesli. The wholesome mix of raw nuts, seeds, and oats will up your fibre intake, while the dried fruit will satisfy your sweet tooth without added sweeteners. To further boost your morning fibre intake, sprinkle PGX® granules onto your muesli.*

Swap 2: Ranch Dressing for Balsamic and Olive Oil

It doesn’t make sense to top nutritious greens with a dressing that’s high in sodium and contains artificial flavors and preservatives. Instead, swap that bottle of ranch for an exquisite mix of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil – a big player in the Mediterranean diet. If you’re not a fan of olive oil, try homemade tzatziki or guacamole.

Swap 3: Barbecued Burger for Prawn Skewers

It’s hard to beat the smell of a sizzling summer barbecue. But instead of flipping burgers, add prawn skewers to your menu this season. Prawns are low in fat and calories while providing an elite source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and the antioxidant astaxanthin.

Adding variety to your diet is good for your body and soul. How else can you improve your meals? Let us know in the comments section below.

*Note: Drink additional water (8 fl. oz.) after ingesting PGX. If you are taking medications, take one hour prior to or two hours after taking PGX.

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