Fall Health and Fitness: Goal Setting

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Fall Health and Fitness: Goal Setting

Short days, crisp air, and busy school yards – it’s hard to believe, but we’re firmly entrenched in Autumn. With the long days of summer behind us, and the short, cold days of winter ahead, it can be easy to let some of our health and fitness goals slip as we gravitate towards feeling warm and cozy.

Here are some ways you can set goals to help keep the lazy feelings of fall at bay:

Fitness

To overcome the fall weather and limited daylight, you need a concrete strategy for meeting your fitness goals.

  • Schedule your workouts in advance – and stick to it
  • Have a back-up plan (or two) so when the rain is too heavy to run in, just grab your indoor jump rope or turn on a cardio workout video
  • Plan one or more of your workouts with a partner to hold yourself accountable

Healthy Eating

The summer produce may be gone, but you can still meet (and exceed) your nutritional goals. Embrace the flavors of fall with fresh apples, squash, pumpkins, and brussels sprouts. Keep your pantry stocked with healthy, protein-source staples, such as lentils, quinoa, nuts, and canned salmon, and keep your cravings under control by starting each day with a *PGX® Satisfast™ Vegan Protein Drink.

Expand Your Horizons

Does fall still give you that back-to-school itch? It’s a great time of year to expand your horizons and upgrade your skills. Whether you want to take a course, read a set of books, or volunteer, define how you’re going to accomplish your goal – and be realistic with how much time you can commit to it.

What goals have you set for this fall? 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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Foods That are Great for Your Metabolism

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Foods That are Great for Your Metabolism

Your metabolism fuels everything from exercise and digestion, to building and repairing muscle tissue. It’s a chemical process that works non-stop to keep you alive and healthy. Because your metabolism is powered by food, eating a healthy diet is a key aspect of keeping it up to speed. The following foods make great additions to your diet:

High Fiber Foods

Fiber is great for your metabolism on multiple levels. Soluble fiber, such as that found in PGX®* Daily Singles, beans, and many fruits, absorbs water during digestion. This extends the feeling of fullness and slows the absorption of carbohydrates to support healthy blood sugar levels already within the normal range. † Insoluble fiber, such as that found in many vegetables and the intact bran and germ of whole grains, feeds intestinal microflora and supports digestive health.

Yogurt

As with other probiotic-rich foods, the good bacteria from yogurt helps to replenish the microflora of your digestive tract. Maintaining a healthy gut microflora supports the absorption of key nutrients, such as calcium and iron, and supplies energy.

Coconut Oil

The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil are a healthy fat that help you feel full and satisfied. They also supply a dense source of energy that your body can metabolize efficiently.

Stimulating Foods

Some foods are more stimulating than others. Hot chilies, cayenne, paprika, and pepper can add a pungent kick to your meals to stimulate digestive juices and heat you up. Green tea is also a satisfying way to load up on polyphenols, as well as a gentle dose of caffeine.

Water

Whether you’re an athlete or not, water is vital to your body’s performance and energy. Drink enough water – or other healthy fluids – to keep your thirst down, energy up, and metabolism charged.

† This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to  diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

*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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4 Exercises You Should be Doing Right Now!

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4 Exercises you Should be Doing Right Now!

You know that exercise helps you stay fit and maintain good health, but do you know which exercises are the best? If you’re looking to burn calories, get toned, or boost your overall health and fitness, these  4 exercises are top contenders:

1. Intervals

No matter how many calories your regular cardio session burns, you’ll burn more by incorporating intervals. This means working in periods of high intensity, followed by periods of low intensity for recovery. Whether you’re running, swimming, rowing, or cycling, try a pattern of three minutes working at 90 % followed by three minutes at a slow and easy pace. Repeat this pattern for approximately 20 minutes.

2. Yoga

Despite yoga’s gentle reputation, it provides serious toning benefits. When done regularly, following a series of yoga poses, such as Warrior, Plank, and Downward Facing Dog, will help you strengthen multiple muscle groups while developing balance and flexibility.

3. Walking

Walking will improve your overall health by burning calories, toning muscles, boosting cardiovascular health, increasing bone density, improving mood, and more. In one hour, a 154 pound person can burn 460 calories walking at a pace of 7.2 km per hour [1].

4. Kegels

Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles through regular sets of kegel exercises can make a big difference in avoiding incontinence as you age – for women and men. Although you won’t see benefits directly, maintaining a strong pelvic floor makes it easier to continue with your other exercises comfortably.
If you have trouble committing to an exercise regime, the best exercises for you are the ones you’ll stick with – that’s how you get results! And when you’re done, refuel with a French Vanilla PGX® Satisfast™ Whey Protein Drink.*

Which exercises give you the best results? 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®.

References:

[1] National Institutes of Health (NIH). Your Guide to Physical Activity and Your Heart. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2006. Web. 24 June 2015.

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Tips for Beginning Runners

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Tips for Beginning Runners

You’re a runner – you just don’t know it yet!

Soon you’ll be enjoying the endorphins, leaner muscles mass, stronger lungs, and the physical power that result from regular runs. Follow these tips to get started:

Start Small

Building endurance takes time. No matter what your ultimate goal is, begin by running a few kilometers per session and gradually increase your distance every second week.

Run / Walk

Add walk breaks into your run to help save energy and minimize muscle fatigue. As your fitness improves, schedule your walk breaks less frequently. For example:

Week 1: run 1 minute / walk 1 minute (repeat 15X)
Week 5: run 5 minutes / walk 1 minute (repeat 5X)
Week 10: run 10 minutes / walk 1 minute (repeat 3X)

Shoes

An excellent pair of shoes can make all the difference in how you enjoy your run and avoid injury. Staff at your local running store can help you find the right fit and support for your feet.

Prioritize Nutrition

Running burns a lot of calories, but that’s no excuse for overindulging or loading up on refined carbs. Your diet fuels your run and recovery, so eat wholesome, nutrient dense foods to stay strong and energized. Help stave-off cravings and boost your protein intake by adding *PGX® Satisfast™ Whey Protein Drink Mix to your regular snack menu.

Set Goals

Goals provide focus and a way to measure your progress. Set long and short term goals that are realistic. If your long-term end goal is to run this year’s 5 Km Terry Fox Run, make it your short term goal to complete three to four 30 minute runs per week.

Run With a Group

When your motivation dips, a running group can help keep you going.  Not only will you be accountable for showing up, but you’ll have other runners to chat with to help distract you from your efforts and offer encouragement and support.

Believe in Yourself

Running takes physical and mental strength. Believe that you will reach your goals and you will.

*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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What to do With all That Fresh Fruit!

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What to do With all That Fresh Fruit!

Melons, plums, blueberries, peaches, strawberries, nectarines, grapes – it’s easy to get carried away in the summer when so many local fruits are fresh and perfectly ripe. While most fruits taste best when eaten at their peak, they do have a tendency to spoil quickly in the warm summer air, leaving you to wonder – what can I do with all this fresh fruit?!

Here are 4 tips for enjoying your fresh fruit for as long as possible:

1. Handle With Care

Every bruise, scratch, or bruise in your fruit will make it more susceptible to spoilage and off taste. Handle your fruit carefully, and avoid the temptation to check its ripeness by squeezing it!

2. Store in a Cool Location

Storing fruit in the low-humidity section of your refrigerator will slow the ripening process and deter the growth of yeasts and molds that accelerate spoilage. Keep your fruit covered or in its packaging to help maintain freshness and prevent damage.

3.Wash it Right Before Eating

Fruit should always be washed to remove unwanted chemicals, dirt, and insects – but wait to give it a good rinse until you’re ready to actually eat it. Washing fruit too early can increase the rate of mold growth, and decrease its shelf life.

4. Freeze Into Smoothie Packs

As hard as you try, fruit can only last so long. But don’t fret – whatever you can’t eat now can be washed, cut, and frozen into single serving smoothie packs. Speed up your prep and boost the flavor and nutritional value of your *PGX® smoothies all year round!

Blueberry Mint Smoothie

Ingredients

Procedure

Measure liquid, mint leaves, and blueberries and pour into a blender. Add 2 scoops of Double Chocolate SlimStyles® Meal Replacement Drink Mix, then secure the lid and blend until ingredients are well mixed.

What’s your favourite fruit to eat this summer? Let us know how you keep it fresh 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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Summer Sippers: 4 Healthy Beverages

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Summer Sippers: 4 Healthy Beverages

Chilled, fruity beverages are a pleasing way to cool down on a hot day. These 4 healthy and hydrating options will help you beat the heat this summer:

1. Iced Green Tea

This classic summer thirst buster will give you a gentle energy boost and a burst of antioxidants.

Directions: Brew 1L (4 cups) of strong green tea, strain, and allow to cool. Transfer to a glass jug, add about six slices of lemon, and store in the refrigerator for up to two days. For optional sweetness add 1-2 tablespoons of honey or agave syrup. Serve over ice.

2. Frozen Fruit Infused Water

Infusing your water with frozen fruit is a healthy and delicious way to stay hydrated and feel like you’re having a summer treat.

Directions: Cut your favorite fruits into large sections and freeze them. Immediately before serving, add at least ½ cup of the fruit each to 2 cups of water. Add ice and enjoy.

Four great combinations to try:

  1. watermelon, raspberry, and blueberry
  2. banana and  pineapple
  3. strawberry, peach, and kiwi
  4. orange and mango

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3. Sparkling Peach Smoothie With PGX®

To help you stay full and energized throughout your busy summer, include French Vanilla SlimStyles Meal Replacement Drink Mix in your summer beverage menu. It contains 4 g of PGX* per serving to help curb cravings and promote healthy blood sugar levels already within the normal range.†

Directions: Measure 250 mL sparkling water and 250 mL regular water into a blender. Add 1 pitted peach and 2 scoops of French Vanilla SlimStyles Meal Replacement Drink Mix. Secure lid and blend until mixed well.

4. Lime Shandy

When your summer social calls for an alcoholic cocktail, but you want to keep it light and hydrating, make a shandy.

Directions: Combine the juice from 3 freshly juiced limes with 500 mL  (2 cups) of sparkling water. Stir in 1 tablespoon of honey or agave syrup until dissolved. Combine with your favorite pale lager in a 1:1 ratio. Add ice, a slice of lime, and enjoy. For a virgin shandy use non-alcoholic beer.

What’s your favorite way to stay hydrated in the summer heat? 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®.

†This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to  diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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A Healthy Vacation: Tips for Staying on Track

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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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4 Physical Benefits of Swimming

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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.
References:

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

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Best Trail Mix Ingredients for Hiking

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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

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

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

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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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