Published Articles

  • Fiber Facts and Net Carbs July 19, 2012

    Fiber Facts:

    Dietary fibre is probably best known for its ability to prevent and relieve constipation. But did you know that fibre can also lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and may even protect against colon and rectal cancer?

    There are 2 categories of fiber: soluble and insoluble. We need to include both of these into our diets to maintain health.

    • Although soluble and insoluble fibre cannot be broken down in your intestines, that doesn't mean you can say fibre doesn't provide any calories.
      • Insoluble fibre cannot be absorbed by the body, so it technically does not provide energy (which explains why insoluble fibre calories are not added into the total calories on food labels in the USA. In Canada, however, this is mandatory, which explains why Canadian Quest Nutrition Bars and Fibre 1 Cereal have more calories than identical American versions).
      • Soluble fibre, however, is partially fermented in the body, so it can contribute some energy.
    • Soluble fibre (e.g. psyllium fibre) dissolves in water to make a gel-like substance. This substance delays the speed at which food passes through your intestines. It also contributes to healthy cholesterol levels and helps regulate blood sugar levels*.
    • Insoluble fibre (e.g. wheat bran) is like "roughage". It passes through the digestive system largely unchanged, and increases the speed at which the “bulked” undigested food moves through the large intestine*.

    Did you know that a high fibre diet facilitates weight loss?  A high fibre diet makes you feel full for a long period of time, which can help minimize overeating.

    The American Dietetic Association recommends that adults should consume 20-35g of dietary fibre per day, of which 5 to 10 g should be soluble fibre. It's important you meet your recommended daily fibre intake because this will give you more freedom with your diet. Why? Because insoluble fibre reduces the absorption of sugar and starch, which lessens the glucose-insulin spikes in the bloodstream. It's easy to meet your fibre needs if you eat lots of fruit and vegetables. 

    Do not exceed the recommended intake of fibre -- otherwise you run the risk of bloating and malabsorption of nutrients. From a bodybuilding perspective, between 40 and 60 grams of fibre a day is acceptable. Do not go beyond 60g/day.


    What are Net Carbs?

    Not all carbs behave the same way in the body. Understanding the different behaviour of various carbohydrates in your body can help you make healthier food choices. Most carbohydrates are digested by your body and converted into glucose. These are referred to as digestible carbohydrates1. They contribute 4 calories per gram.

    However, there are carbohydrates that do not have an impact on your blood-sugar levels. For example, glycerin is digested without being converted into glucose2. I already mentioned that insoluble fibre is not digested in the small intestine, and is not broken down into glucose and absorbed into the bloodstream.  Your body eventually excretes insoluble fibre.

    • Net carbs refers to the notion of subtracting insoluble fiber from the total carbohydrate count.
    • Since insoluble fibre is not converted to blood sugar, this allows you some carbohydrate leeway, meaning you can “cheat” with a few extra carbs in the form of high-fiber foods.
    • For example, let's compare 1 conventional crispbread to 1 GG Scandinavian Bran Crispbread. The conventional crispbread contains 10 g of carbs and 2 g of fiber, which means 10g-2g = 8 g of carbs that will actually enter into your bloodstream. The GG Scandinavian Bran Crispbread, however, contains 7.5 g of carbs and 4 g of fibre, which means only 7.5g-4g = 3.5g impact on your blood sugar.
    •  This means if you opt to eat fiber-rich foods you can benefit your health and get more bang for your carbohydrate buck1.

     

    References:

    1. http://www.atkins.com

    2. http://www.konjacfoods.com

    Fiber Facts: Dietary fibre is probably best known for its ability to prevent and relieve constipation. But did you know that fibre can also lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and may even protect against colon and rectal cancer? There are 2 categories of fiber: soluble and insoluble. We need to include both of these ...
  • Buddy Lee’s Jump Rope Tips July 8, 2012

    Top 10 Reasons to Jump Rope:

    1. Inexpensive. Only $27.95 compared to a $2000 treadmill.
    2. Portable: you can travel with your jump rope and jump anywhere!
    3. Compact: If you don’t have room for a fancy home cardio studio, then jump rope is your answer.
    4. Time Saver: It burns a lot of calories in a short amount of time. In just 10 minutes of jumping at 120 turns per minute, not only do you accomplish a total body workout, but you also burn 150 calories. In fact, just 10 minutes of nonstop jumping at 120 turns per minute provides the same cardiovascular benefits as 30 minutes of jogging.
    5. It tones, shapes and strengthens every muscle in your core, as well as your upper and lower body.
    6. It enhances your dynamic balance, speed, endurance, agility, coordination and concentration.
    7. It burns fat, improves your cardio-respiratory efficiency an minimizes your risk of developing osteoporosis.
    8. It is scientifically proven to cause positive mental, physical and physiological changes in the body in as little as 500 jumps or 5 minutes a day.
    9. Buddy Lee has developed a 4-step system to overcome learning curves and make it easy.
    10. It’s FUN!

    Buddy Lee’s Correct Jump Rope Form:

    1. Maintain your balance by looking straight ahead

    2. Maintain an upright posture

    3. Maintain your weight on the balls of your feet

    4. Jump only high enough to clear the rope (1” off the ground)

    5. Land lightly on the balls of your feet

    6. Keep your elbows near your sides.

    7. Maintain your elbow joints at a 45 degree angle

    8. When turning the rope, make 2” circles with your wrists.

    9. Do not sacrifice good form for speed


    How to determine correct rope length:

    To determine your correct rope length, place one foot on the center of the rope and pull the handles up the sides of your body. If the handles extend beyond your shoulders, the rope is too long. As you become more proficient at jumping, shortening the rope will increase the rope’s rotational speed and improve your reflexes.

     

    How to determine correct rope length

    NEW!!! Dr. Sara Solomon Cross Speed

    Only $27.95: Click here to get yours in pink or black!

    Patented swivel bearing system – turns the rope easily very fast or very slow with a smooth turning motion! This system provides free rotation of the rope cord, with no rope tangle and no rope drag! It will motivate you to learn to jump rope fast, feeling like a pro!

    Innovative adjustment – allows the cord to easily be customized to your height in a matter of seconds!

    Swivel Bearing Wrench – designed to secure swivel bearings and easily replace them when worn in order to maintain years of high performance!

    Replaceable Parts – both cords and swivel bearings are designed for hyperformance rope jumping and are easy to replace!

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Do Sara's LIVE Jump Rope Workouts:

    Learn Buddy Lee's Progressions:

    Continue reading →Top 10 Reasons to Jump Rope: Inexpensive. Only $27.95 compared to a $2000 treadmill. Portable: you can travel with your jump rope and jump anywhere! Compact: If you don’t have room for a fancy home cardio studio, then jump rope is your answer. Time Saver: It burns a lot of calories in a short amount of time. In just ...

  • Dr. Sara Solomon’s Cross Speed Jump Ropes July 6, 2012

    Click here to purchase the jump rope  (in pink or black) that Sara uses in her exercise workout videos for only $27.95.

    Dr. Sara Solomon Cross Speed by Buddy Lee
    As featured in Inside Fitness Magazine and Natural Muscle Magazine
    $27.95 $27.95
    Buddy Lee Cross Speed Dr. Sara Solomon Cross Speed


    Click here to purchase Click here to purchase
     

     

    In hot pink and black design!

    Patented swivel bearing system – turns the rope easily very fast or very slow with a smooth turning motion! This system provides free rotation of the rope cord, with no rope tangle and no rope drag! It will motivate you to learn to jump rope fast, feeling like a pro!

    Innovative adjustment – allows the cord to easily be customized to your height in a matter of seconds!

    Swivel Bearing Wrench – designed to secure swivel bearings and easily replace them when worn in order to maintain years of high performance!

    Replaceable Parts – both cords and swivel bearings are designed for hyperformance rope jumping and are easy to replace!

    Click here to purchase the jump rope  (in pink or black) that Sara uses in her exercise workout videos for only $27.95. Dr. Sara Solomon Cross Speed by Buddy Lee As featured in Inside Fitness Magazine and Natural Muscle Magazine $27.95 $27.95 Buddy Lee Cross Speed Dr. Sara Solomon Cross Speed Click here to purchase Click here to purchase     In hot pink and black design! Patented swivel bearing ...
  • Food & Beverages You Thought Were Healthy… but really AREN’T! June 20, 2012

    Don't Be Fooled! Learn the Facts!

    For years we have been tricked into thinking these foods and beverages are loaded with nutrients. Let’s uncover the culprits and devise some nutrient-dense alternatives!

    The Truth about Fat Loss ...

    Please understand that no food is going to "facilitate fat loss". If you want to burn fat, then you have to stop eating! Don't freak out! Let me explain.

    Food is a mixture of protein, carbs and fat (and as we all know, protein and carbs will spike insulin levels). Therefore, whenever you eat food, your insulin levels go up. Insulin suppresses fat oxidation (i.e. fat burning). So as long as you are eating, then you are storing energy (as glycogen and fat). If you are not eating (i.e. you are fasting), then your insulin levels will go down and you will finally start burning your stored glycogen and fat for energy.

    Key Points: You burn fat when you are fasting. You burn your food when you are eating. In order to burn body fat, your insulin levels must be very low. This can be achieved through short-term fasting. Click here to subscribe to my Free Intermittent Fasting Tutorials!

    The Truth about "Bad Food" ...

    What is a bad food? Well, we've all been told a bad food is unhealthy for us, meaning it's probably high in calories, low in fibre and loaded with sugar, salt, saturated fat, etc.

    If you eat a "bad food"  one time, you will not instantly pack on 5 pounds. However, if you chronically over-consume bad food (i.e. you follow a "bad diet") and you habitually eat in caloric surplus, then it can lead to nutrient deficiencies, obesity and obesity-related illnesses.

    Key Points

    • The term “bad food” is a misnomer. No food consumed one time will cause you harm. There are, however, “bad diets”. Make sure you understand the difference between the two.
    • You do not have to avoid "bad food" if you eat a variety of nutrient-dense foods while respecting your caloric limits. Learn exactly how to approach this style of eating, referred to as Flexible Dieting (or IIFYM) by clicking here.

    On that note, let’s get down to business! And just so you know, I don't demonize the foods on this list. I consume them in moderation because I understand how to factor discretionary calories into my diet without sabotaging my lean physique or my body's micronutrient needs.

    pink apr 10


    Offender #1: GRANOLA 
    Although high in fibre, granola is also loaded with excess sugar and high fructose corn syrup, both of which are linked to diabetes. If you must indulge in this fattening, high calorie snack, then purchase granola cereal and bars that are low in sugar. This means reading the label is a must! Avoid brands that list sugar as the first ingredient: ideally a whole grain should be listed as the first ingredient.  Look for at least 3g of fibre per serving. Do not be seduced by granola bars with sugary fruit filling and chocolate or powdered yogurt coating. A better option is to make your own granola.

    Sara’s recommendation:

    • A bowl of a 1/2 cup of rolled oats with real fruit (1 cup of berries or 1 chopped apple) and cinnamon.

    Offender # 2: RICE CAKES:
    Although low in calories, rice cakes are devoid of nutrients. They also lack fibre, which makes them a less filling snack. This explains why we tend to binge on them. And to make matters worse, they are a high glycemic index carbohydrate (GI = 82). This means they will spike your insulin, which as we know, promotes fat storage. And if you opt for the flavored versions, then you will also be ingesting sugar and sodium, which, if chronically consumed in excess, is linked to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. If you absolutely love them and insist on consuming them, then lessen their impact on your blood sugar levels by slathering 2 of them with 1 to 2 TBSP of all-natural zero-sodium nut butter sprinkled with cinnamon.

    Sara’s recommendation:

    • I prefer to use GG Scandinavian Crispbread or wholegrain rye crispbread in place of rice cakes because they are high in fibre. High-fiber foods take longer to digest and therefore produce a slower rise in blood glucose levels. Rye crispbread has a moderate glycemic index (GI) of 63 and GG Scandinavian Crispbread has a low GI. Please note that these are not gluten-free. I slather my “chocolate peanut butter”  (see recipe in #3) onto 2 pieces of crispbread to further slow the release of glucose into my bloodstream. You can also elect to use other nut butter options such as cashew butter, all-natural peanut butter, almond butter or pumpkin seed butter.

    Offender #3:  REGULAR and FLAVOURED PEANUT BUTTER 
    Regular peanut butter contains hydrogenated oils (to prevent oil separation), sugar and salt. And do not be fooled by flavoured peanut butter such as chocolate flavoured peanut butter.  The label may read “no hydrogenated oils,” “no trans fats,” “no cholesterol,” and “all natural” but upon examination of the ingredients, you will see it contains a variety of offenders such as evaporated cane juice (which is nothing more than a less refined table sugar) and salt. It's also very hard to exercise restraint with flavoured peanut butter (it's like eating icing, so you may end up eating the entire jar, which is unbelievably high in calories!).

    Sara’s Recommendations:

    • All natural peanut butter (no sodium and no flavouring). Unlike regular peanut butter, all natural peanut butter does not contain hydrogenated oils, trans fats, sugar or salt. They are made solely with peanuts! A freshly opened jar contains a layer of oil on top. I store the jar upside down in my pantry to keep the oil at the bottom. I also stir to blend the oil with the rest of the butter upon opening.
    • Instead of purchasing flavoured peanut butter loaded with extra carbs, sodium and sugar, make my “Chocolate Peanut Butter Recipe” which is low carb, low sugar, low sodium and packed with protein! The best part of this recipe is that it prevents you from over-indulging in peanut butter because the mixture with the whey protein not only produces a greater yield, but also promotes satiety. This is a great trick for people with nut butter portion control issues (and I speak from experience: one time I ate half a jar of white chocolate-flavoured peanut butter in under 10 minutes!)

    Sara’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Recipe:

    • 1 scoop of chocolate flavoured whey protein isolate (e.g. BSN Isoburn)
    • 1 TBSP all natural (sodium-free) peanut butter
    • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon

    Moisten the mixture with a sparing amount of water until a pudding consistency is achieved with mixing.  Eat it as a pudding, or spread it over 2 pieces of wholegrain rye crispbread, use it as a dip for your berries and apples or use it as icing for your healthy baking recipes.

    Nutrition Info: Calories: 173, Fat: 8g, Saturated fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium 5.1mg, Carbohydrates 4g, Fiber: 1.7g, Sugars: 1g, Protein: 25.1g


    Offender #4:  LOW FAT FOOD
    Fat has become the “new F word” thanks to its bad reputation for causing weight gain. The media and junk food industry try to convince us that eating “fat-free” foods will actually make us thin and healthy. I used to buy into this concept – and was left feeling confused when my daily ritual of eating an entire bag of fat-free licorice made me fat. So exactly why is the North American population getting fatter and fatter while consuming this “low-fat/fat-free” food?

    Low-fat is a synonym for HIGH SIMPLE CARBOHYDRATES (SUGARS!). Check the labels on low-fat/fat-free foods. Look how high the sugar and carbohydrate levels are! Simple carbohydrates (sugars) spike our insulin levels. This suppresses fat oxidation (i.e. fat burning), making eat easier for dietary fat to be stored whenever you eat in caloric surplus. Remember: Excessive caloric intake of any food is what makes you fat. Key point: Whenever fat is removed from a food product, the only way the company can keep the food palatable is by overcompensating with more sugar, sodium, artificial sweeteners and other questionable chemicals.

    Sara’s Recommendation:

    • It's okay to include fat in your diet. My top picks are salmon, walnuts, omega-3 eggs, avocado, ground flaxseed and fish oil.   Be sure to obey your portions! If you eat more calories than you expend on a daily basis, then all the dietary fat you are eating will be stored as fat! Know your calorie limits and stay within them! Establish your daily calories and macros by using my FREE calorie and macro calculator! p.s. I designed it myself!
    • If you are craving fat-free candy such as licorice or jujubes, then opt for low-glycemic index (GI = 29) Goji berries instead.  Not only is this superfood packed with protein and fibre, but it is also high in vitamin C, beta-carotene and iron.  Because of the low glycemic index, goji berries will not spike your blood sugar levels or lead to energy crashes and sugar cravings the way candy does.

    Offender #5: Muffins (including Bran and Low-Fat varieties!)
    I decided to research the nutritional information (or in this case, nutrashional information) on a variety of “seemingly healthy” muffins sold in popular coffee shop and bakery chains, and uncovered the following:

     Calories Fat Cholesterol Sodium Carbohydrates Sugars Fiber
    Raisin  380 9g 30mg 810mg 67g 32g 5g
    Low Fat Blueberry  290 2.5g 0 750mg 62g 32g 2g

    Muffins are notorious for containing between 300 and 600 calories each. They are nothing more than cakes in wrappers! Yes, the bran muffins may be high in fibre, but they are also alarmingly high in sodium, carbohydrates, fat, cholesterol, calories and sugar! Opting for a low-fat muffin instead of a conventional one still overloads your system with the same high levels of sodium, carbohydrates and sugars! What is the message here? As long as the fat levels are low, then the rest doesn’t matter??? I strongly disagree with this nutritionally backwards message for the following reasons:

    A) 32 grams of sugar and over 60 grams of carbohydrates!
    Did you know that 32g of sugar is equivalent to eating 8 sugar cubes?

    It’s no secret that chronic excess sugar consumption is implicated in obesity.  According to the American Heart Association’s (AHA) report published in the journal Circulation, several studies have linked high sugar intake to insulin resistance, high blood pressure, high triglycerides and type 2 diabetes. To quote Jeff O’Connell, author of Sugar Nation, “Your bloodstream is supposed to contain a teaspoon or so of glucose at any given moment. Tissues begin suffering damage when this small amount rises by even one-fourth... The linings of arteries and capillaries begin suffering damage... High blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and diabetes likely aren’t far behind”.

    B) over 750mg of sodium!
    Health Canada has set the adequate daily intake of sodium at 1500mg (with an upper tolerable limit of 2300mg). Would you have predicted that over 50% of your daily sodium intake would be in your muffin? Salt is ubiquitous, and thanks to sodium-laced processed and restaurant foods, Canadians are now consuming an average of 3100mg of sodium a day! Excessive sodium intake can cause high blood pressure, which is linked to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and kidney disease.


    Offender #6:  SPORTS/ELECTROLYTE DRINKS

    Sports drinks were created for high-level athletes who engage in INTENSE exercise in hot outdoor temperatures. A typical 12 oz bottle contains 300 calories, 200mg of sodium, a whopping 78g of carbohydrates and 42g of sugar!!! Unless you need to replenish lost electrolytes because you are competing in an Iron Man in the middle of the Sahara desert, then opt for water. Drinking a sports drink would be the equivalent of swallowing 10.5 sugar cubes, which is heinous! Since the average person’s body will not require this much sugar to fuel a typical workout, you are, in essence, ruining the desired fat-burning outcome of your workout by consuming this beverage. Instead of burning through your glycogen and fat stores during your workout, you are burning your sports drink. You just defeated the entire purpose of your workout! You would have been further ahead staying home and drinking a glass of water while  watching your favourite t.v. show! And if that is not enough reason to abstain from sports drinks, then consider this: Sports drinks often contain high fructose corn syrup. According to research presented in the Journal of Hepatology (2008: 48:993-9), high amounts of high fructose corn syrup has been linked to diabetes.

    Sara’s recommendation:


    Offender #7:  Juice, Smoothies, Flavoured Waters
    Did you know that flavoured waters, iced teas and juice are typically loaded with excessive sugars, carbohydrates and empty calories? Fruit juice labels often try to disguise their high sugar content by bombarding us with statements such as “contains real fruit juice.” And reconsider drinking 100% real fruit juice because it is high in calories and devoid of fibre.

    You may be surprised to learn that the fruit smoothies you have been purchasing are often loaded with excessive sugar, carbohydrates, calories and sodium. I decided to research some common restaurant smoothies, and uncovered the following:

    Calories Fat Sodium Carbohydrates Sugars Fiber Protein
    Restaurant Chain Fruit Smoothie  530  7g  180mg  118g  106g  1.9g  5g

    Yes, you may be getting your daily recommended fruit serving, but not without cost!  With nearly 120g of carbohydrates, you are consuming nearly a day’s worth of carbohydrates in one beverage!  And do not turn a blind eye to the whopping 106 g of sugar, which is equivalent to eating 26.5 sugar cubes!  This exceeds the AHA’s daily-recommended sugar intake of 20g for women by over 5 times!  Why are these levels so unreasonably high? Not only do these smoothies contain excessive portion sizes of dairy and fruit, but they also contain added sugars, such as high fructose corn syrup.

    Sara’s recommendations:

    • Make your own flavoured water by adding some lemon, lime, orange, cucumber or strawberries to your glass of water.
    • Trade in your flavoured iced tea for Matcha Green Tea or Oolong Tea.  The many purported health benefits of these teas include their potential to fight cancer and heart disease, lower “bad” (LDL) cholesterol, burn fat, prevent diabetes and stroke and even ward off dementia.
    • Trade in your fruit juice (which lacks fiber) for real fruit naturally packed with satiating fibre!
    • Make homemade fruit smoothies using 8 oz of unsweetened almond milk or water, crushed ice, 1 scoop of a low sugar/low calorie whey isolate protein powder (e.g. BSN Isoburn), 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, and 1 serving of low-glycemic index fruit (such as strawberries or blueberries). You can even add a tablespoon or two of ground flaxseed to provide you with fibre and heart-heathy omega-3 fatty acids. This recipe compared to the restaurant brand smoothie has 10 times less sugar, nearly 8 times less carbohydrates, 5 times more protein, 4 times less sodium, 3 times less calories and it will not spike the daylights out of your insulin levels!

    Offender #8: Fat-Free Salad Dressing:
    Similar to the foods discussed thus far, fat-free salad dressing is also chock-full of extra sodium, sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup.

    Sara’s Recommendation:


    Conclusions: 

    • You don’t have to demonize "bad food". Remember, everything in moderation. Even moderation in moderation!
    • Ensure your daily caloric input does not exceed your daily energy expenditure.
    • If you are ready to commit to better health, please click on the following to sign up for my:

    startfastingtoday

    Don’t Be Fooled! Learn the Facts! For years we have been tricked into thinking these foods and beverages are loaded with nutrients. Let’s uncover the culprits and devise some nutrient-dense alternatives! The Truth about Fat Loss … Please understand that no food is going to “facilitate fat loss”. If you want to burn fat, then you have to ...

  • Low Carb Pizza June 8, 2012

     

    Look I Cook is a Rogers-produced cooking show airing in Ontario, Canada onCityTV (Sundays at 3:30 p.m. EST) and OMNI1 (Fridays at 11:00 p.m. EST).

    Stay tuned for Dr. Sara Solomon’s Appearance on Look I Cook on Sunday June 17, 2012 @ 3:30 pm EST on CityTV.

    • Sara hilariously demonstrated her delicious and healthy recipes with Ada and Chef Anthony in the comfort of her own kitchen!

    Sara's Guilt-Free Pizza:

    (Low-Carb/Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free!)

    There is no question that pizza is a popular dish all over the world.   Many people; however,  view it as the "forbidden food", laden with so much saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium.  So this raises the question, "how do we create a heart-healthy pizza that is gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb and low sodium?

    Sara has found a solution!  The crust is made using extra lean ground white chicken breast and ground flaxseed meal!  Although this pizza is dairy-free, it still tastes cheesy because of this secret ingredient: nutritional yeast!

    Sara's Low Carb Pizza as Featured on CityTV's "Look I Cook"

    Physique-Friendly Pizza by Dr. Sara Solomon! Featured on CityTV's "Look I Cook"!

    Recipe:

    • I like to line an oven friendly round pan with aluminum foil. If you prefer, you can use non-stick cooking spray or extra virgin coconut oil.
    •  combine together and flatten into a crust shape in the pan
      • 8 oz of extra lean ground white chicken breast
      • 1 TBSP ground flaxseed meal
      • season with pepper, salt-free seasoning and/or chili pepper flakes, etc.
    •  to the crust, add:
      •             1 cup chopped spinach
      •             1/2 cup broccoli florets
      •             1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
      •             feel free to add your favourite vegetables
      •             1 TBSP nutritional yeast
      •             season with salt-free seasoning, chili pepper flakes, pepper, etc.
    • Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 25 min.  To make the crust crispy, place the pizza in the toaster oven for 10 min.
    • Refrigerate left-overs and toast the next day.
    • Serve with a cup of hot Oolong tea!

    Nutritional Info:

    1 serving = ½ of pizza

     

    flax

    tomato

    broccoli

    spinach

    chicken

    Nutritional yeast

    Total

    Calories

    15

    8

    5

    3

    182

    11

    225

    Fat

    1.2 g

    .1 g

    0

    0.1g

    11.4 g

    0

    12.7 g

    Saturated Fat

    0.15 g

    0

    0

    0

    10.3 g

    0

    10.4 g

    Cholesterol

    0

    0

    0

    0

    85.5mg

    0

    85.5mg

    Sodium

    0

    2.25 mg

    5 mg

    11.9 mg

    91.2 mg

    1.25 mg

    111.55 mg

    Carbohydrates

    1 g

    1.75 g

    .8 g

    0.5 g

    0

    1.25 g

    5.35 g

    Fiber

    1 g

    0.55 g

    .5 g

    0.3 g

    0

    1 g

    3.4 g

    Sugars

    0

    1.2 g

    .3 g

    0.1 g

    0

    0.25 g

    1.75 g

    Protein

    .75 g

    .4 g

    0.5 g

    0.4 g

    20.5

    2 g

    24.6 g

    Compared to half of a conventional personal pan cheese  & pepperoni pizza:  400 calories, 19.5 g fat,, 36 g carbohydrate, 915 mg sodium!!!

    Ingredient Information:

    • Low Sodium:  Sara's Pizza is low in sodium, with one serving containing 111.55 mg of sodium.  Compare this to the same portion of a conventional pizza which has 915 mg of sodium!  Our bodies only require about 500 mg of sodium a day, but this should be obtained from within natural foods, not added to food in the form of table salt.  But beware! Salt is ubiquitous, especially in processed food.  Did you know that Canadians consume an average of 3,100 mg of sodium every day, mostly through processed foods?  This is why it’s important to stay away from processed foods.  Excessive Salt consumption has been linked to health problems including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke and kidney disease. Health Canada has set the adequate daily intake of sodium at 1500 mg, with an upper tolerable intake of 2300 mg.
    • Hot Chili Peppers:  Did you know that chili peppers speed up your metabolism and increase fat burning?  Capsaicin, the active ingredient in chili peppers responsible for that notorious inferno effect in your mouth, can induce thermogenesis and increase body temperature. By incorporating hot peppers into your meals, you will be able to rev your metabolism and increase fat burning.
    • Spinach:  Spinach and other dark leafy greens, such as kale are an excellent source of iron (especially important for women), omega-3 fats, vitamin A, and lutein for eye health.
    • BroccoliDid you know that this cruciferous vegetable contains more calcium than a glass of milk? Not only does 1 cup of broccoli provide you with the recommended dietary allowance of immune-supportive vitamin C, but it also contains high levels of folic acid, calcium, vitamin K and B6, potassium, lutein and vitamin A (beta-carotene).  As we know, calcium and vitamin K are important for bone health and prevention of osteoporosis.  The carotenoid lutein helps prevent macular degeneration and cataracts and may also reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke.  Broccoli is also high in fiber, which prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar levels and curbs overeating.  Broccoli is rich in a flavonoid called kaempferol, which provides the body with anti-inflammatory benefits.  Broccoli contains glucoraphanin, which the body processes into an anti-cancer compound called sulforaphane.  Sulforaphane rids the body of a bacterium (H. pylori) that is known to increase the risk of stomach cancer.  Lastly, broccoli contains indole-3-carbinol, which is an antioxidant and an anti-carcinogen known to hinder the growth of breast, cervical and prostate cancer.  According to a study by researchers at the UCLA Medical Center in California, men and women aged 50 to 74 years who ate broccoli regularly were 50% less likely to develop colorectal cancer than those who did not eat any broccoli.
    • TomatoesTomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, a powerful anti-cancer agent. But did you know that lycopene needs fat to be optimally absorbed?  Be sure to add a healthy fat to your tomato dishes, such as olive oil.
    • Ground FlaxseedFlaxseeds contains soluble and insoluble fiber, as well as mucilage.  Not only does mucilage help protect against bowel cancer, but it also helps stabilize your blood sugar.  And fiber, as you know, helps relieve constipation. Ground flaxseed expands up to 5 times when ingested, which means 1 tablespoon added to your morning oats or protein shake will be enough to help you feel full all morning! Note that flaxseeds must be ground in order to be absorbed. Store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container to extend their freshness (they will stay fresh for 3 months).Flaxseeds also contain lignans, which possess anti-cancer, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties.  Flaxseeds are also an amazing source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein.  
    • Nutritional YeastNutritional yeast, not to be confused with Brewer’s yeast, is an inactive yeast popular amongst vegans because of its cheesy flavour when added to foods.  No only does it provide an excellent source of protein and B-vitamins, but it is also low in fat and sodium.  Click to purchase:
    click for more info

    click for more info

     

    • Extra Virgin Coconut Oil: A Heathy Saturated Fat:  Coconut oil, which is popular amongst vegans, is a vegetable fat that is solid at room temperature.  It has a sweet coconut flavour, which makes it a great ingredient for baked goods and sautés.  It is heat stable, which is why it is well suited for cooking food at high temperatures.  In fact, it is the only oil that is stable enough to resist heat-induced damage.   Frying oxidizes oils such as extra virgin olive oil and canola oil   Vegetable oils such as corn oil, sunflower oil and canola oil are omega-6 vegetable oils.  Not only do they contribute to the undesirable imbalance of the omega-6 to 3 ratio, but they also generate toxic chemicals when fried.   Not all saturated fats are villains.  In fact, medium chain fatty acids, which are found in coconut oil mainly as lauric acid, are linked to increased levels of HDL “good” cholesterol1 and may possibly offer other health benefits such as increased thermogenesis and weight loss.  Unlike long chain fatty acids which are predominantly stored as fat, medium chain fatty acids are thought to be health-promoting because they are sent directly to the liver to be burned for energy rather than being stored as fat.  Always consult with your physician before adding extra virgin coconut oil to your diet.  Click on the photo to purchase extra virgin coconut oil:

    Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (445ml)


    • Protein (for our recipe: Extra Lean Ground Chicken – White Breast): According to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, protein burns more calories during digestion compared to fat or carbohydrates.  This is one reason high protein diets are helpful for fat loss.  Another study by Paddon-Jones et al published in the May 2008 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that individuals whose diets contained more protein not only increased thermogenesis (ie. their metabolism), but also increased their satiety and facilitated maintenance of an overall leaner body mass.  Ensure you eat a balanced diet consisting of all 3 macronutrients (complex carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats), but always include lean protein sources such as fish, skinless chicken breast, eggs, beans, lean beef, turkey or whey at every meal to jump-start your metabolism
    • Oolong Tea:  Pizza and pop seem to go hand in hand.  But did you know that pop contains 40 g of sugar, which is equivalent to eating 10 sugar cubes? So if you do not increase your activity level, then one daily soda will add 15.65 pounds of fat to your body every year! Furthermore, the sugar in regular soda causes cavities and the citric acid and/or phosphoric acid in both diet & regular soda will erode your tooth enamel.  Today we have a nation addicted to sugar.  People eat about 150 lbs of sugar a year, which is associated with tooth decay and obesity.  Obesity is a risk factor for diabetes and heart disease.  Oolong Tea:  As previously discussed in another episode of Look I Cook, studies suggest drinking matcha green tea can enhance both resting metabolic rate and fat burning, making it a useful addition to any weight loss program.  Both green and oolong tea contain catechins.  Unlike green tea, oolong tea is partially fermented, which increases the concentration of its polyphenol antioxidants.  Polyphenols present in oolong tea help block fat-building enzymes, which prevent the formation of triglycerides.  Research has shown that drinking oolong tea throughout the day will raise your metabolism for 2 hours after every cup and increases the caloric burn in your body by 100 calories per day.  Another study showed that those who drank 2 cups of oolong tea had 2.5 times the calorie-burning rate of those who drank traditional green tea.  Is this a guaranteed weight-loss method?  It’s still in the early research stages, but the results are indeed promising for enhancing fat metabolism and controlling obesity.        

    Photos from the Set:

    Sara's Low Carb Pizza as Featured on CityTV's "Look I Cook"

    Sara & Chef Anthony

      Look I Cook is a Rogers-produced cooking show airing in Ontario, Canada onCityTV (Sundays at 3:30 p.m. EST) and OMNI1 (Fridays at 11:00 p.m. EST). Stay tuned for Dr. Sara Solomon’s Appearance on Look I Cook on Sunday June 17, 2012 @ 3:30 pm EST on CityTV. Sara hilariously demonstrated her delicious and healthy recipes with Ada and Chef Anthony in ...
  • Beware of Food Marketing Claims! May 16, 2012

    Buyer Beware!

    Before I became nutritionally savvyl, I used to be fooled by clever food marketing tactics. Do not be tricked into thinking processed and packaged foods are as "healthy" as they purport to be. Let’s examine some common sneaky labeling tricks used by food manufacturers:

    1. “Fat Free”

    The media and junk food industry try to convince us that eating “fat-free” foods will actually make us thin and healthy. I used to buy into this concept – and was left feeling confused when my daily ritual of eating fat-free licorice made me fat. So exactly why is the North American population getting fatter and fatter while consuming this “low-fat/fat-free” food?

    Low-fat is a synonym for HIGH SIMPLE CARBOHYDRATES (SUGARS!) Check the labels on low-fat/fat-free foods. Look how high the sugar and carbohydrate levels are! Simple carbohydrates (sugars) spike our insulin levels. This suppresses fat oxidation (i.e. fat burning), making eat easier for dietary fat to be stored whenever you eat in caloric surplus. Remember: Excessive caloric intake of any food is what makes you fat.

    Key point: Whenever fat is removed from a food product, the only way the company can keep the food palatable is by overcompensating with more sugar, sodium, artificial sweeteners and other questionable chemicals.

    2. “Made with Real Fruit”

    How many times have you read “Made with Real Fruit” on the packaging of juice boxes, fruit snacks, gummy candies, cereal bars and even toaster pastries? These sugary foods are made with fruit puree. Their high sugar content; however, is not coming from the fruit, but rather from loads of added sugar and high-fructose corn syrup!

    You are further ahead buying real fruit (apples, bananas) that provides fibre, vitamins and antioxidants.

    RULE: If you want to increase your fruit intake, then buy fruit. If you want candy, then buy candy. Do not confuse the two.

    3. “Made with Whole Grains”

    Products such as bread, cereal, crackers and potato chips will proclaim themselves to be “multigrain,” “12-grain,”  “made with whole grains” or “made with whole wheat.” At a first glance these seem fantastic because we all know that “whole grain” and “whole wheat” provide an excellent source of fibre and is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes and digestive problems. But do not assume these labels mean the product is made with 100% whole wheat. For all we know, the food is made with only a “sprinkle” of grains, which may be whole or refined.

    RULE: Look for “100% whole wheat." It will be the first ingredient on the package because ingredients are featured in order of quantity, from most to least. And remember that a good source of fiber has at least 3 grams per serving. Minimize consumption of products with refined white flour appearing in the list of ingredients. Note: you don't have to demonize white flour. Click here to learn how to factor discretionary calories into your diet without sabotaging your micronutrition.

    4. “Fortified With...” or “A Good Source Of...”

    Added nutrients camouflage junk food. Perhaps your toaster pastry has added fibre, but do not overlook its high sugar, salt, high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oil content.

    The latest trend among food manufacturers is adding fibre to foods such as ice cream, yogurt and even juice. But do not assume all fibre is created equal. The fibre being used in many foods are “purified powders” such as inulin, polydextrose and maltodextrin. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, these isolated unnatural fibres are unlikely going to lower your blood cholesterol or blood sugar, and some of them will not even promote regularity. Why purchase pasta made with refined flour and added inulin, when you can purchase 100% whole wheat pasta that contains traditional sources of heart and bowel-friendly fibre?

    And perhaps your granola bar is labeled as a “good source of calcium." But did you know that a food product only needs to contain 10% of a specified nutrient to be labeled “a good source of…”? It turns out that eating one granola bar provides you with a mere 8% of your daily recommended amount of calcium. You would be further ahead eating cancer-fighting broccoli, which provides you with more calcium than a glass of milk, as well as fibre, vitamin C, folic acid, calcium, vitamin K and B6, potassium, lutein and vitamin A.

    RULE: Despite added omega-3, fibre and vitamins, junk food is still junk food! Buy the real deal instead: 100% whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans!

    Remember: junk food is fine in moderation. Just make sure the overwhelming majority of your daily calories are nutrient-dense and loaded with fibre. The key is not to exceed your daily caloric limits if you don't want to gain fat!

    5. Tactics to Disguise Sugar:

    Manufacturers will use a combination of different sweeteners to fool you into thinking their products are healthy and low in sugar. They use sweeteners such “organic evaporated sugar cane juice” instead of refined white sugar. Although evaporated sugar cane juice does not undergo the same degree of processing as refined sugar does, it is still SUGAR! The same is true for cane sugar, dextrose, sucrose, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. When a product contains multiple types of sweeteners, the total sugar content will not appear on the food label. Instead, it appears as several separate ingredients. Since many consumers do not know terms such as dextrose or sucrose, food companies use this labeling loophole to fool you into thinking their products contain less sugar.

    RULE: Sweets don't have to be demonized. You can factor them into your daily discretionary calories, which represent ~10-20% of your total daily calories. Click here to learn how to start flexible dieting today.

    Check the list of ingredients before believing the product contains very little sugar. Do not assume the product is "healthy" because the sugar is minimally processed or organic.

    6. “Made with Zero Trans Fat”

    It is no secret that trans fats increase your risk of coronary heart disease. Studies have demonstrated that trans fats increase your LDL “bad” cholesterol levels and lower HDL “good” cholesterol levels.

    Food companies are required to disclose trans fat content on their packaging, which is why so many labels read “Zero Trans Fats!”.  The problem is that many companies have replaced trans fats with saturated fats, which are just as responsible for contributing to heart disease!

    RULE: Eliminate trans fats from your diet and keep saturated fat intake to a minimum. If you eat a diet high in saturated and trans fats, this will elevate your “bad” LDL cholesterol blood levels, which increases your risk of developing coronary heart disease.

    7. “Sodium-Reduced”

    In Canada, a company is legally permitted to label a product as “sodium-reduced” as long as the sodium content is reduced by 25%. But oftentimes, 25% is still not enough! Example:

    • 1 cup of chicken broth contains 983 mg of sodium.
    • 1 cup of “sodium-reduced” chicken broth contains 735 mg of sodium!!!

    RULE:  Take the label, “sodium-reduced” with a grain of salt, or in this case, a bag of salt.  Look for products that state, “no added salt or low in sodium." Remember that we should only be consuming 1500 mg of sodium a day. Unfortunately, Canadians consume closer to 3400mg of sodium daily.

    Conclusion: 

    Before buying food labeled as “healthy,” read the ingredients and nutrition facts to get the whole story. Your best approach is to minimize consumption of processed food. If you want to learn how to factor discretionary calories into your diet without sabotaging your health or fat loss, then please click here to learn my approach to flexible dieting.

    For your better health,

    Dr. Sara Solomon

    Buyer Beware! Before I became nutritionally savvyl, I used to be fooled by clever food marketing tactics. Do not be tricked into thinking processed and packaged foods are as “healthy” as they purport to be. Let’s examine some common sneaky labeling tricks used by food manufacturers: 1. “Fat Free” The media and junk food industry try to ...

  • Chocolate Avocado Protein Pudding May 3, 2012

    Avocado in Dessert? 

    I know what you are thinking: GROSS!!  A dessert made with avocado??  Just trust me on this one.

    avocado chocolate protein pudding


    Recipe (for 1 serving):

    1.  Slice 1 ripe (ie. mushy) avocado in half, remove the pit. Return the other half of the avocado to the fridge for another day.

    2.  You can make this recipe by hand or with a blender/food processor. The later option makes it much creamier. Either mash the avocado in the bowl with a fork until it is smooth and creamy or use a blender or food processor. This represents about 1/3 cup of pureed avocado.

    3. Add BSN Syntha-6 Edge Whey (chocolate milkshake flavour): 1 scoop if you want more protein or 1/2 a scoop if you are watching your calories.

    4.  Add sweetener of your choice. Examples: stevia, Ideal (xylitol & splenda), maple sugar, honey, dates, agave. I use calorie free pancake syrup. Remember to calculate your calories and macros if you use a sweetener with calories.

    5. Optional: add cacao powder to make it even more chocolatey. (If you use this, factor it into your calories/macros)

    6. Blend. You may need to add a tad bit of water.

    7.  Enjoy or refrigerate for later. You can use the pudding for frosting or fruit dip.


    Nutritional Information:

    (for 1 scoop of whey,  1/3 cup puree avocado, calorie free sweetener)

    • calories: 273, fat: 14.7 g, saturated fat: 2.6 g, cholesterol: 50mg, sodium: 195.4mg, carbohydrates: 12.5g, fiber: 6.1 g, sugar: 2.5 g, protein: 25. g

    Chocolate Avocado Stuffed Strawberries:

    I prefer to make the pudding in bulk using a food processor or blender (that way the avocados don't have to be ripe).

    I use 5 avocados and I add 5 scoops of chocolate protein powder and a generous amount of calorie free pancake syrup.

    This makes 10 servings. I give 5 to my mom and keep 5 for myself. It will last for 5 days in the fridge.

    I like to hull 10 strawberries and place them into an ice cube tray. Then I spoon the pudding into the strawberries. Another option is to use a Ziploc bag as a piping bag ... just cut off the corner to create your frosting tip and then pipe the pudding into the hulled strawberries. If you don't have time to hull strawberries, then just dip the strawberries into the pudding.

    Here is the nutritional info for this version (i.e. 1/3 cup puree avocado and half a scoop of whey with 10 medium strawberries):

    calories: 236, 13.1g fat, 2.1g sat fat, 25mg cholesterol, 234.1mg sodium, 18.7g carbs, 7.5g fibre, 7.9g sugars, 14.3g protein.

    Watch the video recipe:



    Also Recommended:

     

    • Substituting high calorie junk food with my "cheat clean" recipes can prevent you from over-consuming high calorie junk food. This is a great strategy for preventing weight gain.Try my approach, and you will be shocked how effortless it is to lose fat and maintain your weight, without having to slash your calories, demonize food (or fruit), or eat tiny portions. So if you want to put an end to yo-yo dieting all while satisfying your daily cravings ... then check out my Fat Loss Fast System.

     

    • If you are strapped for time, and need 10-minute home workouts that use minimal equipment, then I invite you to join my 30-Day Igniter Home Workout Program. What is the 30-Day Igniter? It's my 10-minute HOME video workout program. It combines strength training, jump rope training and pilates. I teach you how to breathe during your workouts, how to activate your muscles (including your pelvic floor), how to move within your current mobility, and most importantly, mindset training! This is a mind and body transformation.  All I need from you is 10 minutes a day for the next 30 days


    Avocado in Dessert?  I know what you are thinking: GROSS!!  A dessert made with avocado??  Just trust me on this one. Recipe (for 1 serving): 1.  Slice 1 ripe (ie. mushy) avocado in half, remove the pit. Return the other half of the avocado to the fridge for another day. 2.  You can make this recipe by hand or ...
  • Tilapia Sliders Recipe May 3, 2012

    TILAPIA.... but reinvented! Perfect for anyone following my Fat Loss Fast System!

    tilapia sliders


    Recipe: 

    Place the following ingredients into a food processor:

    •     2 uncooked fresh tilapia cut into small strips (use scissors)
    •     2 cups steamed broccoli florets (I buy the florets in the bag you steam in your microwave to save time)
    •     Salt-free Mrs. Dash
    •     Pepper
    •     Squirt half a lime
    •     1 TBSP of dehydrated sliced onion  (adds flavour and is quicker than slicing an onion and less pungent)
    •     1/2 TBSP chopped cilantro  (I buy it in the squeezable tubes to save time).
    •     Blend the ingredients in the food processor.
    •     Roll into small patties
    •     Place on griddler (I use Pam non-stick cooking spray) for 10 minutes
    •     Refrigerate for up to 2 days.

    You can enjoy them cold the next day too!


    Nutritional Information

    for 1 serving of sliders: (4 oz of tilapia and 1 cup (65g) of broccoli florets):
    Depending upon the size of your sliders, 1 serving size will be approximately 4-5 sliders (I recommend you weigh your food to ensure your portions are correct)

    • Calories: 113, fat: 1 g, saturated fat: 0.5g, cholesterol: 55mg, sodium: 60 mg, carbohydrate: 3g, fibre: 2 g, sugar: 1 g, protein: 23 g

      Sara Solomon's abs

    TILAPIA…. but reinvented! Perfect for anyone following my Fat Loss Fast System! Recipe:  Place the following ingredients into a food processor:     2 uncooked fresh tilapia cut into small strips (use scissors)     2 cups steamed broccoli florets (I buy the florets in the bag you steam in your microwave to save time)     Salt-free Mrs. Dash     Pepper     Squirt half ...

  • Agave Nectar: Sweet or Dangerous? May 2, 2012

     What is Agave Nectar?

    Agave nectar is a commercially produced sweetener known to be considerably sweeter than sugar.  It is produced from the Blue Agave, which is a large spiky plant that resembles a cactus and thrives in the volcanic soils of Southern Mexico. Agave nectar is made by extracting sap from the core of the plant, which is then filtered and heated at low temperatures to break down the carbohydrates into sugars (fructose).agave-nectar

    This gluten-free sweetener first appeared on the market in the 1990s and became touted as a healthy alternative to sugar, honey, maple syrup and artificial sweeteners. It has a diabetic-friendly low glycemic index, because it’s mostly comprised of fructose. Unlike glucose, fructose is processed by the liver, which explains why it does not cause the blood sugar to rise and minimally impacts on insulin (aka “the fat-storing hormone).

    One cup of agave nectar contains roughly the same amount of calories as a cup of sugar. Agave nectar, however, is considerably sweeter than sugar, which is why you can use considerably less portions of it to achieve the desired sweetness. In fact, you can use 1/3 of a cup of agave in place of 1 cup of sugar in your dessert recipes, which will dramatically reduce your caloric intake.

    Why is Agave Nectar getting a Bad Rap?

    Many brands of agave nectar contain fructose levels ranging from 70-97%, which is why it is being declared as “worse than high-fructose corn syrup,” which contains 55% fructose. In fact, agave nectar has the highest fructose content of any commercial sweetener (including sugar, which has 50% fructose) because it is being over-processed (the sap from the plant is being over-boiled, which is how it becomes very sweet). In large quantities, concentrated fructose is very damaging. Continue reading to learn why.

    Is Fructose Bad for Me? Unlike glucose, which is distributed into the bloodstream and regulated by insulin, fructose is only processed in the liver. A small amount of fructose, such as that found in fruits and vegetables is not a bad thing because the body’s liver can process it quite well. However, consuming too much fructose at once (ie. consuming foods containing high fructose corn syrup or agave nectar) will overwhelm the liver. Because the liver cannot process the fructose fast enough, it starts making fats (triglycerides) from the fructose, which are then released into the bloodstream. This is unfavourable for the following reasons:

    • High levels of blood triglycerides are a risk factor for heart disease.
    • Fructose bypasses your appetite signaling system, leaving you hungry and unsatisfied.  This is why excess fructose consumption is associated with weight gain.
    • Excess fructose consumption may facilitate insulin resistance and eventually type 2 diabetes.

    Almost all packaged/processed foods contain added sugar, which typically includes large quantities of fructose.

    Take home points:

    • Consuming large quantities of fructose increases your risk of heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
    • Minimize intake of processed foods.
    • Eat fruits and vegetables.
    • Minimize consumption of agave nectars containing large amounts of fructose (ie. 55-75%).

    Are All Agave Nectars Bad? No, not all agave nectar should be condemned, but it is imperative you do your research because many brands have added sugars and artificial fillers. And keep in mind that even if the brand of agave nectar is high in fructose (55-97% fructose), you will still be using less of it than compared to sugar (50% fructose).

    The manner in which it is processed can affect its nutritional value. Ensure the agave nectar you purchase is processed under 118 degrees F, which allows it to be labeled a raw food. This means it will still possess nutritional value (mineral content) and enzymes.

    If you do your homework, you will find agave nectars on the market that are processed below 118 degrees F, contain no artificial fillers, contain less than 50% fructose and have a low glycemic index. An example of one such product is Volcanic Nectars Blue Agave Nectar. But remember that Volcanic Nectar Agave is still a sugar and needs to be consumed in moderation.

    What other options exist? A small amount of agave nectar once in a while isn’t going to kill you. Other options include sugar, honey, dates and maple sugar. These types of sugars will have a negative impact on your insulin levels and should be used in moderation. Please click here to learn how to incorporate these types of discretionary calories into your diet without sabotaging your health or physique.

    Stevia is a very popular option because it's a NATURAL sweetener. It contains no sugar and unlike artificial sweeteners (eg. Aspartame), it is not derived artificially from chemicals. Rather, it is extracted from the extremely sweet leaves of the stevia plant. Ensure you purchase real stevia extract and not the commercially-sold stevia packets that contain a modified version of stevia. Stevia contains zero calories, zero sugar and will not spike blood sugars! So not only is stevia a guilt-free way to satisfy your sweet tooth, but it is also not going to cause tooth decay. It’s also a great option for diabetics.

    For your better health, Dr. Sara Solomon

     What is Agave Nectar? Agave nectar is a commercially produced sweetener known to be considerably sweeter than sugar.  It is produced from the Blue Agave, which is a large spiky plant that resembles a cactus and thrives in the volcanic soils of Southern Mexico. Agave nectar is made by extracting sap from the core of the ...
  • Carbohydrates 101 February 2, 2012

    There are 3 primary macronutrients that humans consume for energy: protein, fat and carbohydrates.

    Carbohydrates can be such a confusing topic. In this blog, I will be simplifying this complex macronutrient by addressing the following 5 questions:

    1. What are carbohydrates
    2. What are the 2 types of carbohydrates?
    3. How does the body use carbohydrates?
    4. How does the body regulate blood glucose levels?
    5. What is the glycemic index?

    1. What are carbohydrates?

    Carbohydrates are a source of ENERGY for your body, yielding 4 calories per gram. Your body converts ingested carbohydrates into GLUCOSE (blood sugar), which is then used for ENERGY for your cells, tissues and organs. Did you know that the brain relies on glucose from carbohydrates for energy?  Without carbohydrates, your health would suffer. Examples of carbohydrates include cereal, bread, pasta, vegetables, fruit, rice, candy, and soft drinks.


    2.  What are the 2 types of carbohydrates?

    Carbohydrates are classified as SIMPLE or COMPLEX, depending on their chemical structure.

    Simple carbohydrates:
    =sugars
    They are classified as:
    i) monosaccharides (mono = 1)  eg. Glucose, fructose, lactose.
    ii) disaccharides (di = 2):  eg. two monosaccharides linked together.

    Note: your body can only absorb monosaccharides into the bloodstream.

    Simples Carbs:

    • include sugars found NATURALLY in fruits, vegetables and dairy products.
    • include sugars ADDED during refining and processing of foods. eg. Candy, soft drinks, table sugar, corn syrup, fruit juice, cake, white bread, pasta made with white flour, all baked goods made with white flour, most packaged cereals.
    • break down easily and tend to send your blood sugar levels quickly out of control.  This means they:
      • provide quick energy (sugar rush) because they break down easily, but are followed by a sugar crash (lethargy, mood swings and increased hunger)
      • result in sugar cravings.
    • are associated with a higher incidence of tooth decay, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even cancer.

    Complex carbohydrates:
    =polysaccharides (poly = many) and are found in starch and fibre.  This complex molecular structure is more difficult for the body to break down, which helps stabilize blood sugar levels.

    Note: your body must break them down into monosaccharides

    Complex carbs:

    • include whole grain breads, whole grain cereals, starchy vegetables, oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, and beans.
    • provide timed-released and sustained energy.
    • make you feel satisfied or full after a meal.
    • are high in fibre and improve your digestion.
    • complex carbohydrates are, for the most part, released into the blood stream more slowly than simple carbohydrates.

    Fact: Did you know that FRUIT is actually a SIMPLE carbohydrate? Fruit, however, is an abundant source of fibre, which slows its digestion and release into the blood stream, which is why it is often classified as a complex carbohydrate. This means you shouldn't be demonizing fruit! Be cautious of dried fruit; however, as it can add unwanted body fat in a very short time! Why? The dehydrating process concentrates the calories. A cup of fresh blueberries contains 84 calories, whereas a cup of dried blueberries contains a whopping 600 calories! Fresh fruit is the best option because it satisfies hunger longer (with less calories) due to the higher water and fibre content.  Furthermore, dried fruit tends to stick to the grooves in your molars, causing tooth decay.

    Fact: Sugar is sugar!  The human body can break down different types of carbohydrates but ultimately produces the same thing in your bloodstream: glucose.  Does this mean you should avoid fruits because of their natural sugar content?  No! Fruit contains only modest amounts of sugar, but also contains fibre (which slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream), vitamin C, potassium, cancer-fighting antioxidents and other vital nutrients. Remember that weight gain is matter of “calories in” versus “calories out”, so if you consume more calories than you burn through activity, you will store fat. If you eat too much fruit, you will gain weight, just as you will gain weight if you eat too much of ANY food. Do not misconstrue: this does not mean you are doing yourself any favours by eating a junk food diet (because you won't get the vital micronutrition your body requires). Nor should you adopt the impractical attitude that you can “out-train” an unlimited diet. If you want to lose excess body fat and have a healthy body then your energy intake will have to be less than your daily calorie expenditure. Continue reading, and I will teach you precisely why certain carbohydrates will help and hinder your weight loss goals.


    3.  How does the body use carbohydrates?

    After your body ingests and digests carbohydrates, the absorbed glucose will do one of the following:
    1.  It can burn the glucose immediately (providing immediate energy to your body)
    2.  If the glucose is not needed for immediate energy, the liver or muscles will convert it into glycogen for storage. Glycogen can later be converted to glucose when the body once again needs energy.

    • muscle glycogen provides energy to muscles.
    • liver glycogen provides energy to any part of the body.

    4.  How does the body regulate blood glucose (blood sugar) levels?

    If your blood sugar level increases, then the pancreas releases the hormone INSULIN into the blood.

    • Insulin signals fat, liver and muscle cells to absorb the glucose.
    • This lowers your blood glucose back to a stable level.
    • Occurs when you eat.

    If your blood sugar level decreases, then the pancreas releases GLUCAGON.

    • Glucagon signals the liver to break down its stored glycogen, which releases glucose into the blood.
    • This raises your blood glucose back to a stable level
    • This happens between you are fasting (i.e. not eating).

    5.  What is the Glycemic Index?

    Your blood sugar and insulin levels depend on the type of carbohydrate consumed.  Simple carbohydrates are released more quickly into the bloodstream than complex carbohydrates.  The more quickly the carbohydrate is released into the bloodstream, the higher your blood sugar and insulin levels will be. Elevated insulin levels impair fat oxidation (meaning, insulin prevents your body from breaking down your stored fat).

    The Glycemic Index indicates the rates at which certain carbohydrates are formed into glucose and released into the bloodstream.  The faster the glucose is released into the bloodstream, the more the body will secrete insulin in response.

    Low Glycemic Index Carbohydrates

    • provide sustained energy levels
    • slower absorption into the bloodstream
    • lowered insulin response
    • alleviate hunger, controls appetite
    • prevent mood swings and fatigue
    • result in higher muscle glycogen levels

    High Glycemic Index Carbohydrates

    • provide quick energy (sugar rush)
    • quicker absorption into the bloodstream
    • higher insulin response
    • result in a sugar crash (hypoglycemia)
    • lead to mood swings and lethargy
    • leads to increased hunger/sugar cravingt

    Low Glycemic Index Carbohydrates

    • fructose (found in fruit)
    • Fruit: apples, berries, oranges, pears, grapefruit, peaches, green grapes, plums, kiwi, melon, papaya, bananas
    • Vegetables: sweet potato, yam, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, spinach, peppers, eggplant, squash, zucchini, green peas, snow peas, green beans, lettuce
    • skim milk, whole, low fat yogurt
    • legumes: chickpeas, soya beans, kidney beans, black beans
    • whole grains: 100% whole grain bread, brown rice, oatmeal (non-instant)
    • All Bran cereal
    • nuts
    • surprising but true: chocolate, m&m’s, potato chips, popcorn, low fat ice cream, whole milk , pound cake, apple juice, grapefruit juice, orange juice, pineapple juice  (but these are high in calories and sugar).

    High Glycemic Index Carbohydrates

    • glucose, maltose
    • honey
    • puffed  & flaked cereals , instant oatmeal
    • RICE CAKES!!!  Yes!  RICE CAKES!
    • candy, jelly beans
    • white bread, white flour, white pasta, white rice
    • pretzels, soda crackers, corn chips
    • cakes, donuts, waffles, ice cream
    • fruit: dried dates, watermelon, lychee, very ripe banana
    • vegetables: baked or mashed potatoes, fries, parsnips, pumpkin, carrots
    • legumes: lima beans
    • electrolyte sports drinks

    If you really want to slow the entry of glucose into the bloodstream, then eat your low-glycemic and high fibre carbohydrate in conjunction with a lean protein or a healthy fat. Why? Protein and fibre take time for the body to break down and absorb, and fat slows the emptying of stomach contents and food absorption. Another technique to lower the total glycemic index of a meal is to combine a high glycemic carbohydrate with a low glycemic carbohydrate.  For example, if you eat a baked potato (high glycemic index) with a cucumber (low glycemic index), the total glycemic index will be lower than if you had only eaten the potato.

    NOTE: The Glycemic Load is a more accurate way to select healthy carbohydrates because it not only considers a food’s glycemic index, but also the amount of carbohydrates per serving.  For example, carrots and watermelon have a high glycemic index, but are low in carbohydrates, which means they have a low glycemic load.  Carrots and watermelon are superbly nutritional, but have been wrongly given a bad reputation because of their high glycemic index rating.  Consider m&m’s candy and ice cream.  Although they have a low glycemic index, we all know these sugary high-fat calorific foods are not a "healthy" food choice.   We now understand that the high fat content of these foods explains why they have a low glycemic index rating.  In other words, always think critically!

    p.s. I eat carbs at night! I don't demonize carbs either. I eat between 200 and 300g of carbs a day! Correct! Click here to learn more about my diet.

    There are 3 primary macronutrients that humans consume for energy: protein, fat and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates can be such a confusing topic. In this blog, I will be simplifying this complex macronutrient by addressing the following 5 questions: What are carbohydrates What are the 2 types of carbohydrates? How does the body use carbohydrates? How does the body regulate blood glucose ...
  • Killer Home Workout! January 1, 2021

    Back by popular demand! A 10-minute intense home workout!

    I provide both beginner and advanced variations. Exercise substitutions are provided. Minimal equipment is needed.

     

    ________________________________________________

    Short on Time? No Gym? Want to get stronger, fitter and leaner this month? Need accountability? Need help with your mindset? No problem. I’ll whip you into shape in the convenience and privacy of your own home with minimal equipment (jump rope, dumbbells, kettlebells).

    The 30 Day Igniter 10-Minute Home Workout Program starts January 4, 2021. It only happens once a year for 30 days. Then it's gone for 11 months!

    All I need from you is 10 minutes a day for the next 30 days to get you into the best shape of your life! These are extremely effective workouts!

    My 10-minute video workouts combine strength training, jump rope training, and pilates! This program also has many unexpected surprises you will love! I'm so excited for you to experience it!

    Click here to sign up BEFORE January 4th to join the interactive challenge group.

    If you already own the Igniter program, then click the link inside the Igniter Dashboard to join the facebook group so you can do the challenge! This 30 day challenge only happens once a year! Don't miss out!

    ________________________________________________

    Sign up now and reserve your spot. The challenge starts January 4th.
    Get $10 OFF with code IGNITE10
    ________________________________________________
    It can all start right now. 30-Day Igniter is not like anything else. I am right there with you, doing the workouts too, helping you meet your goals.
    ________________________________________________
    Sincerely,
    Sara Solomon
    StrongFit, Pilates and Jump Rope Certified Trainer
    Happy New Year!!!! 2021 is going to be amazing!
    ________________________________________________
    Back by popular demand! A 10-minute intense home workout! I provide both beginner and advanced variations. Exercise substitutions are provided. Minimal equipment is needed.   ________________________________________________ Short on Time? No Gym? Want to get stronger, fitter and leaner this month? Need accountability? Need help with your mindset? No problem. I’ll whip you into shape in the convenience and privacy of ...
  • Pilates Roll-Up Progressions December 17, 2020

    7 PROGRESSIONS for Learning How to Do Pilates Roll-Ups! 

    “Sara, Why can’t I do the pilates roll-up?"

    You’re not alone!  it’s a lot harder than it looks.  I’ve been working on mine for a while now!
    _______________________________________________
     
    Why should you consider mastering this? 
    •To improve your TVA (transverse abs) strength, hip flexor length, spine mobility and resilience. 
    •This is important because a weak core, tight hips and a tight t-spine can lead to pain.
    _______________________________________________
     
    Tips:
    •Don’t cheat with Momentum
    •Breathing: Take a deep inhale and then exhale as you roll-up to assist with TVA engagement. Inhale on the way back down. Exhale at the bottom. Then repeat.
    _______________________________________________
     
    Progressions:
    Here are some Progressions you can play around with. Focus on finding the “scooping feeling” in your deep abs (TVA)… once you find that feeling, BOOM!
    Note: first I demonstrate the pilates roll-up in all its glory!
     
    1. Bent Knees
    2. Bend Your Knees, Thigh Grab
    3. Half Roll-Up (bent, straight)
    4. Isometric (bent, straight)
    5. Resistance Band (bent, straight)
    6. Feet Secured (bent, straight)
    7. Hold Weights (bent, straight)
    _______________________________________________
     
    If you are serious about developing savage strength in your TVA, then let’s get this party started! When you join My Strength Academy, you start at week 1 and you will be mentored by me (yep, me) in the private facebook group each week. Men are welcome to join too. ⁠You can also follow @mystrengthacademy on IG.
     
    _______________________________________________
     
     
     
    7 PROGRESSIONS for Learning How to Do Pilates Roll-Ups!  “Sara, Why can’t I do the pilates roll-up?” You’re not alone!  it’s a lot harder than it looks.  I’ve been working on mine for a while now! _______________________________________________   Why should you consider mastering this?  •To improve your TVA (transverse abs) strength, hip flexor length, spine mobility and resilience.  •This is important because a weak core, ...
  • Fitness Gift Guide December 5, 2020

    Hi! I'm Dr. Sara Solomon, athlete and physio.

    Here's my list of the hottest gifts to buy for your favourite fitness enthusiast. When you give someone a great fitness gift, you help them restock their confidence, encourage them to keep pushing, and help them enjoy the process.

    There are items that I own, use and recommend. These are affiliate links. Thank you for supporting me and helping me continue to create content for you♡

    ____________________________________________________

    Recovery Game-changers

     

    Heated Kneading Foot Massager

    Not sure what to get your friends/family for Christmas? Get them a Foot Massager! It will be their favourite gift EVER! Not joking! 

    This is my Review of the Naipo Foot Massager.

    ✅ Click to Get it Here (note: this link is for the USA amazon site. If you are shopping from Canada, then visit the Canadian amazon site for a better price in CDN dollars).

     

    Massage Gun

    Thinking about getting a massage gun? or - Do you have a massage gun and you aren't sure how to use it? Then watch this video. I'll show you how to use it for warming up, mobility training, recovery (minimizing DOMS), and for treating trigger points. I also teach you how to use the AchedAway Pro.

    ✅ ACHEDAWAY PRO $25 off: Code SARA. Click to get it here. (this link works worldwide).

    ____________________________________________________

    Fitness Clothing

    Nowadays, athleisure clothing is the norm and leggings are as ubiquitous as crabgrass.

    TYC guarantees you'll look and feel your best when you're grinding it out at the gym or just working at your desk (with a foot massager under your feet).

    10% OFF CODE SARA: Click here for the new releases! (worldwide)

    ____________________________________________________

    Stocking Stuffers:

     

    Protein Bars:

    Everyone deserves a treat sometimes. These insanely delicious bars are packed with protein, not sugar. I recommend the salted toffee pretzel, apple pie, and peanut butter crunch!

    15% OFF Code DRSOLOMON: Click here for BSN Crisp Bars (USA only).

    ____________________________________________________

    Fitness Equipment:

     

    Jump Rope:

    This is an affordable and portable home workout! Need lessons and workouts? Sign up for my free jump rope lessons and workouts here.

    Buddy Lee made this pink jump rope exclusively for my TeamSS followers! It's pink and has my SS logo on it!

    Click here to get the rope (worldwide) and if you prefer amazon, click here (for USA).

     

    Sandbags:

    These are such a versatile training tool for your home gym. Use it for sandbag carries, sandbag squats & deadlifts, sandbag floor and overhead press, sandbag cleans, sandbag tosses and more! I teach you how to use these in both my 30-Day Igniter program and my Strength Academy. I recommend beginners start with the 60 lb sandbag. You can fill it up with 40 lbs of sand to start: I have a tutorial on my youtube for how to do this.

    10% OFF code SS10. Click here (worldwide)

    ____________________________________________________

    Fitness Programs:

    If you want to buy one of my home fitness programs for a friend or family member, please email me and I can organize this for you!

    Strength Academy Membership. Monthly membership (let me know how many months you want to purchase). If you have back pain or other aches and pains, decreased hip/shoulder/t-spine mobility, diastasis recti, urinary incontinence, and a numb vagina, then I recommend my Strength Academy.

    Splits Program: one time purchase. If you are looking to get started with core training and hip mobility training, this is for you.

    30-Day Igniter 10-minute Home Workouts: Season 2 Challenge starts Jan. 4, 2021. These are 10-minute home workouts. Minimal equipment is required.

    Fat Loss Fast e-Book: Flexible Approach to Fasting for Fat Loss. If you want to learn how to stop making your diet a blip on your radar (but still get results), then you'll love this.

    ____________________________________________________

    Hi! I’m Dr. Sara Solomon, athlete and physio. Here’s my list of the hottest gifts to buy for your favourite fitness enthusiast. When you give someone a great fitness gift, you help them restock their confidence, encourage them to keep pushing, and help them enjoy the process. There are items that I own, use and recommend. These ...
  • 5 Drills For Pistols November 25, 2020

    5 DRILLS FOR PISTOLS:

    Build strength + improve balance + uncover weaknesses

    "Sara... pistols cause knee pain!” To which I say: "Pistol squats only cause knee pain if they are performed by someone who lacks the necessary structure, stability, and mobility required to perform pistol squats".

    The key to learning pistols is following progressions.
    Even if it's not your goal to learn pistols, I still encourage you to try these because they will benefit you!
    __________________________________________________________________________________________
    Watch the video demo:
    __________________________________________________________________________________________
    The Exercises:
    *For all the exercises: keep your hips square, do them barefoot, keep your heel on the ground, and DO BOTH SIDES!

     

    1️⃣ HIP FLEXOR RAISES (beginner-friendly)
    Don’t lean back. This exercise will highlight any weaknesses you may have with your hip flexors. If your quads cramp when you try, it’s a sign your hip flexors need some work. Try to keep your knees straight, even if you only lift your leg an inch off the floor. 
    •3 sets of 10 per leg

     

    2️⃣ CHAIR PISTOLS (beginner-friendly)
    Move slowly & don’t use momentum to get back up. Use your glutes & hamstrings through the entire movement.
    • 3 sets of 8 per leg

     

    3️⃣ ASSISTED PISTOLS (beginner-friendly)
    You can hang onto something (dip bar handles, TRX) to make you partial weight bearing. Respect your current mobility … don’t force yourself into deeper ranges that aren’t available to you (yet).
    •3 sets of 5 per leg

     

    4️⃣ ROLL-UPS (advanced)
    Prerequisite: great ankle and QL (low back) mobility.
    •3 sets of 5 per leg

     

    5️⃣ ECCENTRIC PISTOLS + HIP FLEXOR RAISES (advanced)
    Descending with control & hold the bottom position. Add bonus hip flexor raises! Prerequisite: great ankle and QL mobility.
    •5 per leg
    __________________________________________________________________________________________
    The Takeaway:

    Pistols give us a lot of clues about "cracks" in our foundation. Knee pain, back pain, and poor hip and ankle mobility are all signs that there are some weaknesses in your foundation. I can help you with your foundational concerns, ranging from back pain to urinary incontinence and even diastasis recti.  Or if you just want to get hella strong and learn how to defy gravity, I can help you become a magnificent beast! 

     

    ✅ I'm having a Black Friday Sale for @mystrengthacademy membership: 10% OFF your first month of with code ACADEMYBF. Click here to join.

     

    __________________________________________________________________________________________
    5 DRILLS FOR PISTOLS: Build strength + improve balance + uncover weaknesses “Sara… pistols cause knee pain!” To which I say: “Pistol squats only cause knee pain if they are performed by someone who lacks the necessary structure, stability, and mobility required to perform pistol squats”. The key to learning pistols is following progressions. Even if it’s not ...
  • Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie November 23, 2020

    Battle of the Pies! 

    MOTHER VS. DAUGHTER! I love my mom's pumpkin ice cream pie recipe, but it's loaded with sugar. My challenge was to create a protein version that has less sugar.

    Seriously though, if you want to be an instant hero, then make this pie for your family for Thanksgiving! It has been known to convert even the most adamant pumpkin pie hater! Plus, it's a super easy recipe you can whip up super fast.

    Watch the video:


    Pie Ingredients

    • 1 cup canned (or cooked) pumpkin pure
    • Mom used 1/2 cup brown sugar, but Sara used 1/2 cup of BSN Syntha-6 Whey in Salted Caramel (use 15% OFF code DRSOLOMON, #sponsored)
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp ginger
    • Mom used 1 quart (1 L, 4 cups) of vanilla ice cream, but Sara used 1 quart of Coconut Milk Ice Cream.

    _______________________________

    Note: My mom went shopping for the pie ingredients (super nice of her!) and I asked her to buy a healthy ice cream at the store for the recipe, and she bought President's Choice Coconut Milk Ice Cream for mine, and Hagen Dazs for hers. Now, the PC Coconut Milk Ice Cream might be plant based, but it's not "healthier". It also has 22g of sugar per 1/2 serving. There are lots of "healthier" options you can use that have less sugar, less calories, and less "sketchy ingredients", such as frozen vanilla greek yogurt, Halo Top protein Ice Cream and Breyers Delights.

    To save 100 calories/slice, you can make it without the crust. My nutritional info is calculated with the crust.


    Recipe:

    1. Combine pumpkin pure, brown sugar (or the salted caramel whey), salt & spices
    2. Stir ice cream to soften, then fold into pumpkin mixture
    3. Spoon into Graham-cracker crust
    4. Freeze until firm

    Mom's Nutritional Information

    Mom's Entire Pie: 3449 calories, 184.3g fat, 112.2g saturated fat, 760mg cholesterol, 1932.8mg sodium, 445.3g carbs, fibre 17.9g, sugars 369.3g, protein 51.3g

    1/8th of Mom's pie: 431 calories, 23g fat, 14g saturated fat, 80mg cholesterol, 241.6mg sodium, 55.6g carbs, fibre 2.2g, sugars 46.2g, protein 6.4g


    Sara's Nutritional Information

    Sara's Entire Pie: 2789 calories, 138.9g fat, 106.2g saturated fat, 86.6mg cholesterol, 1915mg sodium, 341g carbs, fibre 17.9g, sugars 243.2g, protein 51.2g

    1/8th of Sara's pie: 348 calories, 17.3g fat, 13.2g saturated fat, 10.8mg cholesterol, 239.4mg sodium, 42.6g carbs, fibre 2.2g, sugars 30.4g, protein 6.4g


    Conclusion:

    My pie ironically has the same amount of protein per slice as my mom's! hahahahaha! However, my pie saves you 83 calories, 6g fat, 13g carbs and 16g sugar per slice! And it tastes amazing... I LOVE the caramel pumpkin flavour.

    So which pie are you going to make? Mine? or my mom's??? Post a photo of it in your instagram stories and tag me @DrSaraSolomon so I can see it!


    Eat Like Sara

    I started to heal my relationship with food (and with myself) when I stopped tracking every bite of food. Having a piece of pie doesn't mean you are letting yourself go. I used to think that... and then one day I realized I was trapped in a prison of non-stop body monitoring and negative self-talk. All my actions revolved around preventing weight gain (i.e. counting calories, exercising to burn calories). I was basically training and dieting in spite of myself. I was willing to sacrifice my own health and well-being for the sake of my ego... for the sake of my appearance.... which was never good enough anyway.

    One day I woke up, and realized this is NOT how I want to live my life. So I made a lot of changes to my approach to training and nutrition.

    Today, I train to move better, because it makes me feel better. I don't care how many calories I burn in a workout. I care about how my body feels.

    I've been an intermittent faster and a flexible dieter since 2012. I put together an entire system (an e-Book) that shows you how to make it work for your schedule, goals and eating personality. I call it the Fat Loss Fast System. It's a maintainable approach to eating that prioritizes how you FEEL (I help you ditch the fixation with following diet rules) and that's the secret to long-term success! I made a coupon for half off: use code HALFOFF

    xoxo Sara

     

     

    Battle of the Pies!  MOTHER VS. DAUGHTER! I love my mom’s pumpkin ice cream pie recipe, but it’s loaded with sugar. My challenge was to create a protein version that has less sugar. Seriously though, if you want to be an instant hero, then make this pie for your family for Thanksgiving! It has been known to convert ...
  • Protein Banana Bread July 27, 2020

    This is actually my mom's moist banana bread recipe, except I added protein powder. You can get the original recipe here.


    Preheat Your Oven

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F if you are using a glass pan. Otherwise 350 degrees F.


    Ingredients:

    • 1/2 cup butter
    • slightly less than 1 cup of sugar (watch the video)
    • 2 large eggs
    • 4 small bananas or 3 large ones (mashed, ripe)
    • 1 & 1/2 cup flour (all-purpose)
    • 1 scoop of SYNTHA-6 Protein Powder. I used Banana. You can use code DRSOLOMON to save 15% off all BSN supplements on my sponsor's website.
    • 1 tsp baking soda (not powder)
    • 1/4 tsp salt

    Recipe:

    1. Cream together the butter (melted in microwave 30 seconds) and sugar
    2. Add 2 lightly beaten (with spoon) eggs and mashed ripe bananas (fork) to the above creamed mixture and mix again.
    3. Add in the flour, whey, baking soda & salt and mix the entire batter with a spoon.
    4. Bake in a greased and floured glass loaf pain at 325 degrees (350 if not glass pan) for between 1 hour to 1&1/4 hour. Check after 1 hour.
    5. Immediately removed from the glass pan (watch the video).
    6. Cut into 12 slices

    Nutritional Information:

    Entire Recipe: 2798 calories, 108.5g fat, 63.8g saturated fat, 729.2mg cholesterol, 909.7mg sodium, 416.7g carbs, 21.5g fibre, 227.5g sugars, 57.4g protein

    For 1/12th of loaf (1 slice): 233 calories, 9.04g fat, 5.3g saturated fat, 60.7mg cholesterol, 75.8mg sodium, 34.7g carbs, 1.8g fibre, 19g sugar, 4.8g protein


     

    This is actually my mom’s moist banana bread recipe, except I added protein powder. You can get the original recipe here. Preheat Your Oven Preheat oven to 325 degrees F if you are using a glass pan. Otherwise 350 degrees F. Ingredients: 1/2 cup butter slightly less than 1 cup of sugar (watch the video) 2 large eggs 4 small bananas or ...
  • Protein Soda Float July 26, 2020

    This is quick, easy and fun to make!


    Ingredients: 

    • 1 medium frozen banana
    • 1 scoop of SYNTHA-6 PROTEIN POWDER: I used COLDSTONE BIRTHDAY CAKE REMIX. You can get it for 15% off on my sponsor's website (BSN Supplements) with my coupon code DRSOLOMON.
    • 1can of Diet Cola (355 mL)

    Recipe:

    To make the ice cream: Put the following ingredients in a food processor or blender.

    1 large frozen banana

    1 scoop SYNTHA-6 Protein Powder (Coldstone Birthday Cake Remix)

    Place the following into a glass:

    Half of your ice cream

    Slowly pour your can of diet cola. Add more once the fizz settles.

    Top with the rest of your ice cream. Add more soda as needed.

    Enjoy with a spoon/straw or both.


    Nutritional information:

    Calories: 321, fat: 6.4g, saturated fat: 2.1g, cholesterol: 65g, sodium: 238g, carbs: 46.1g, fiber: 3.5g, sugar: 20.6g, protein: 23.5g


    This is quick, easy and fun to make! Ingredients:  1 medium frozen banana 1 scoop of SYNTHA-6 PROTEIN POWDER: I used COLDSTONE BIRTHDAY CAKE REMIX. You can get it for 15% off on my sponsor’s website (BSN Supplements) with my coupon code DRSOLOMON. 1can of Diet Cola (355 mL) Recipe: To make the ice cream: Put the following ingredients in a ...
  • 60s Plank Hold May 9, 2020

    How is your TVA (transverse abs) engagement coming along?

    If it's still a struggle, then let me ask you how your pelvic floor activation is coming along? Have you been doing the pelvic floor exercises (vaginal weightlifting for the ladies, dudes can stop their urine stream).

    Why is this important? Because the pelvic floor muscles start everything. When they turn on, then the TVA can turn on.

    So I'm going to get you to do this 60s PLANK HOLD with a yoga block between your thighs for context. Do it with me in real time.

    • SQUEEZE the foam block. This will recruit the pelvic floor muscles, and this will signal the TVA to turn on. Draw your TVA in and up. Breathe in and out through your nose. Note my hollow body position and my full hip extension. The more I engage the TVA, the easier it is to extend at my hips.
    • Can't do 60s yet? Do it for as long as you can. Consistently do this, and eventually you'll be doing 3 sets of 60s.

    How is your TVA (transverse abs) engagement coming along? If it’s still a struggle, then let me ask you how your pelvic floor activation is coming along? Have you been doing the pelvic floor exercises (vaginal weightlifting for the ladies, dudes can stop their urine stream). Why is this important? Because the pelvic floor muscles start everything. ...
  • Plank Hold 60s May 9, 2020

    How is your TVA (transverse abs) engagement coming along?

    If it's still a struggle, then let me ask you how your pelvic floor activation is coming along? Have you been doing the pelvic floor exercises (vaginal weightlifting for the ladies, dudes can stop their urine stream).

    Why is this important? Because the pelvic floor muscles start everything. When they turn on, then the TVA can turn on.

    So I'm going to get you to do this 60s PLANK HOLD with a yoga block between your thighs for context. Do it with me in real time.

    • SQUEEZE the foam block. This will recruit the pelvic floor muscles, and this will signal the TVA to turn on. Draw your TVA in and up. Breathe in and out through your nose. Note my hollow body position and my full hip extension. The more I engage the TVA, the easier it is to extend at my hips.
    • Can't do 60s yet? Do it for as long as you can. Consistently do this, and eventually you'll be doing 3 sets of 60s.

    How is your TVA (transverse abs) engagement coming along? If it’s still a struggle, then let me ask you how your pelvic floor activation is coming along? Have you been doing the pelvic floor exercises (vaginal weightlifting for the ladies, dudes can stop their urine stream). Why is this important? Because the pelvic floor muscles start everything. ...
  • 10 Minute Pilates Workout April 21, 2020

    Hi! I'm Dr. Sara Solomon and I'm a Pilates Instructor, StrongFit Coach and Physiotherapist.

    I've put together a 10-minute Pilates routine that targets the main arch (core). Why? Because all StrongFitters know "it all starts at the main arch!" 

    I practice what I preach. I've been my own guinea pig since 2017 and I can tell you this concept is 100% TRUE!

    Learning how to activate my core (TRANSVERSE ABS), pelvic floor and glutes has helped me overcome back pain, knee pain, upper trap dominance, visible asymmetries, mobility restrictions, jumping incontinence, a massive anterior pelvic tilt and more. I used to be "broken and crooked Sara". But not anymore, thanks to all the effort I put into improving my main arch.

    I always say, "Proximal stability for distal mobility".  If you cannot use your main arch to stabilize your spine and pelvis in space, then how the heck do you expect your limbs to cooperate with you? They will be pure chaos because they won't be attached to a stable foundation. This is a recipe for muscle compensation, pain (hello, back pain??), restricted hip and shoulder mobility (hello, upper trap dominance? oh and did you give yourself proximal hamstring tendinopathy trying to force yourself into the splits?), "dead butt syndrome", uncooperative shoulder blades and more. In other words, your nervous system will NOT give you consent to get stronger and more mobile. That sucks!

    I made a 10-minute routine of exercises I do all the time! What's special about these exercises? They follow StrongFit's 3 Rules of Exercise: The exercises:

    ·show you your problems

    ·give you feedback about your problems

    ·fix your problems!

    Thanks to exercises like these, my nervous system started to give the muscles surrounding my hips and shoulders consent to get stronger and more mobile.

    Don't worry about the number of reps you do. Worry about the QUALITY of the reps you do. The intent is to connect with your core (TRANSVERSE ABS) and breath while performing these movements. Eventually, this core activation and breathing will become an innate skill for you: you'll be able to do it even when you are sitting, walking or bending over to put on your socks.

    I used a 36" long foam roller with a 6" diameter. Mine has lasted for over 15 years, which is why I recommend it. You can get it on amazon here.


    Exercise List:

    • Foam Roller Squats: 3-5 reps
    • Foam Roller Alternating Leg Raises: 3-5 reps/leg
    • Roll-Up: 3-4 reps
    • Rolling Like a Ball: 5-10 reps
    • Plank Alternating Shoulder Taps: 10 total
    • Bird Dog: 5 reps per leg
    • Foam Roller Knee Tucks: 3-5 reps


    Also Recommended:

    My splits program is a home program: Minimal equipment is required. It's video routines that help you:
    ·find your glutes
    ·improve core stabilization
    ·increase hip mobility
    ·decrease back pain

    Hi! I’m Dr. Sara Solomon and I’m a Pilates Instructor, StrongFit Coach and Physiotherapist. I’ve put together a 10-minute Pilates routine that targets the main arch (core). Why? Because all StrongFitters know “it all starts at the main arch!”  I practice what I preach. I’ve been my own guinea pig since 2017 and I can tell you this ...
  • 10 Min Pilates Routine April 20, 2020

    Hi! I'm Dr. Sara Solomon and I'm a Pilates Instructor, StrongFit Coach and Physiotherapist.

    I've put together a 10-minute Pilates routine that targets the main arch (core). Why? Because all StrongFitters know "it all starts at the main arch!" 

    I practice what I preach. I've been my own guinea pig since 2017 and I can tell you this concept is 100% TRUE!

    Learning how to activate my core, pelvic floor and glutes has helped me overcome back pain, knee pain, upper trap dominance, visible asymmetries, mobility restrictions, jumping incontinence, a massive anterior pelvic tilt and more. I used to be "broken and crooked Sara". But not anymore, thanks to all the effort I put into improving my main arch.

    I always say, "Proximal stability for distal mobility".  If you cannot use your main arch to stabilize your spine and pelvis in space, then how the heck do you expect your limbs to cooperate with you? They will be pure chaos because they won't be attached to a stable foundation. This is a recipe for muscle compensation, pain, restricted hip and shoulder mobility, "dead butt syndrome", uncooperative shoulder blades and more. In other words, your nervous system will NOT give you consent to get stronger and more mobile. That sucks!

    I made a 10-minute routine of exercises I do all the time! What's special about these exercises? They follow StrongFit's 3 Rules of Exercise: The exercises:

    ·show you your problems

    ·give you feedback about your problems

    ·fix your problems!

    Thanks to exercises like these, my nervous system started to give the muscles surrounding my hips and shoulders consent to get stronger and more mobile.

    Don't worry about the number of reps you do. Worry about the QUALITY of the reps you do. The intent is to connect with your core and breath while performing these movements. Eventually, this core activation and breathing will become an innate skill for you: you'll be able to do it even when you are sitting, walking or bending over to put on your socks.

    I used a 36" long foam roller with a 6" diameter. Mine has lasted for over 15 years, which is why I recommend it. You can get it on amazon here.


    Exercise List:

    • Foam Roller Squats: 3-5 reps
    • Foam Roller Alternating Leg Raises: 3-5 reps/leg
    • Roll-Up: 3-4 reps
    • Rolling Like a Ball: 5-10 reps
    • Plank Alternating Shoulder Taps: 10 total
    • Bird Dog: 5 reps per leg
    • Foam Roller Knee Tucks: 3-5 reps

    Hi! I’m Dr. Sara Solomon and I’m a Pilates Instructor, StrongFit Coach and Physiotherapist. I’ve put together a 10-minute Pilates routine that targets the main arch (core). Why? Because all StrongFitters know “it all starts at the main arch!”  I practice what I preach. I’ve been my own guinea pig since 2017 and I can tell you this ...
  • 10-Minute Pilates Routine April 20, 2020

    Hi! I'm Dr. Sara Solomon and I'm a Pilates Instructor, StrongFit Coach and Physiotherapist.

    I've put together a 10-minute Pilates routine that targets the main arch (core). Why? Because all StrongFitters know "it all starts at the main arch!" 

    I practice what I preach. I've been my own guinea pig since 2017 and I can tell you this concept is 100% TRUE!

    Learning how to activate my core, pelvic floor and glutes has helped me overcome back pain, knee pain, upper trap dominance, visible asymmetries, mobility restrictions, jumping incontinence, a massive anterior pelvic tilt and more. I used to be "broken and crooked Sara". But not anymore, thanks to all the effort I put into improving my main arch.

    I always say, "Proximal stability for distal mobility".  If you cannot use your main arch to stabilize your spine and pelvis in space, then how the heck do you expect your limbs to cooperate with you? They will be pure chaos because they won't be attached to a stable foundation. This is a recipe for muscle compensation, pain, restricted hip and shoulder mobility, "dead butt syndrome", uncooperative shoulder blades and more. In other words, your nervous system will NOT give you consent to get stronger and more mobile. That sucks!

    I made a 10-minute routine of exercises I do all the time! What's special about these exercises? They follow StrongFit's 3 Rules of Exercise: The exercises:

    ·show you your problems

    ·give you feedback about your problems

    ·fix your problems!

    Thanks to exercises like these, my nervous system started to give the muscles surrounding my hips and shoulders consent to get stronger and more mobile.

    Don't worry about the number of reps you do. Worry about the QUALITY of the reps you do. The intent is to connect with your core and breath while performing these movements. Eventually, this core activation and breathing will become an innate skill for you: you'll be able to do it even when you are sitting, walking or bending over to put on your socks.

    I used a 36" long foam roller with a 6" diameter. Mine has lasted for over 15 years, which is why I recommend it. You can get it on amazon here.


    Exercise List:

    • Foam Roller Squats: 3-5 reps
    • Foam Roller Alternating Leg Raises: 3-5 reps/leg
    • Roll-Up: 3-4 reps
    • Rolling Like a Ball: 5-10 reps
    • Plank Alternating Shoulder Taps: 10 total
    • Bird Dog: 5 reps per leg
    • Foam Roller Knee Tucks: 3-5 reps

    Hi! I’m Dr. Sara Solomon and I’m a Pilates Instructor, StrongFit Coach and Physiotherapist. I’ve put together a 10-minute Pilates routine that targets the main arch (core). Why? Because all StrongFitters know “it all starts at the main arch!”  I practice what I preach. I’ve been my own guinea pig since 2017 and I can tell you this ...
  • Strawberry Banana Protein Soft Serve March 31, 2020

    You only need 5 minutes to prepare this easy recipe! It's a delicious way to add more protein, fibre, and fruit into your diet!


    Ingredients

    • 1 cup very frozen strawberries
    • 1/2 a very frozen banana
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened cashew milk (or milk of choice or water).
    • 1/2 scoop BSN Syntha-6  Protein Powder in Coldstone Birthday Cake Remix
      • I am sponsored by BSN supplements, and I love and recommend the COLDSTONE series of SYNTHA-6. The flavours are outstanding. If you want to support me, thank you!
        • You can use my coupon code DRSOLOMON on the BSN website for 15% OFF and free delivery in the USA
        • You can use my link to BODYBUILDING.COM (worldwide shipping): they regularly have 20% OFF sales and BOGOs. You can also use my code SARA15 on their site (some exclusions apply).

    Recipe

    • Combine the above ingredients in a blender (I used a Magic Bullet). If it's giving you a hard time, you may need to add a little bit more milk. Just don't add too much!
    • Enjoy!

    Nutritional Information

    Makes 1 portions. 209 calories, 3.7g fat, 31,7g carbs, 5g fibre, 18.2g sugars, 11.8g protein


    Also Recommended:

     

    • Substituting high calorie junk food with my "cheat clean" recipes can prevent you from over-consuming high calorie junk food. This is a great strategy for preventing weight gain.Try my approach, and you will be shocked how effortless it is to lose fat and maintain your weight, without having to slash your calories, demonize food (or fruit), or eat tiny portions. So if you want to put an end to yo-yo dieting all while satisfying your daily cravings ... then check out my Fat Loss Fast System.

     

    • If you are strapped for time, and need 10-minute home workouts that use minimal equipment, then I invite you to join my 30-Day Igniter Home Workout Program. What is the 30-Day Igniter? It's my 10-minute HOME video workout program. It combines strength training, jump rope training and pilates. I teach you how to breathe during your workouts, how to activate your muscles (including your pelvic floor), how to move within your current mobility, and most importantly, mindset training! This is a mind and body transformation.  All I need from you is 10 minutes a day for the next 30 days

     

    You only need 5 minutes to prepare this easy recipe! It’s a delicious way to add more protein, fibre, and fruit into your diet! Ingredients 1 cup very frozen strawberries 1/2 a very frozen banana 1/4 cup unsweetened cashew milk (or milk of choice or water). 1/2 scoop BSN Syntha-6  Protein Powder in Coldstone Birthday Cake Remix I am sponsored by BSN ...
  • Protein Shake Recipes March 30, 2020

    All of my protein shake recipes are quick and easy to make. All you have to do is combine and blend the ingredients.

    These recipes come in handy when you haven't had a chance to go to the grocery store. All you need is protein powder, frozen fruit, water or milk of choice, and a blender. They're also great if you are on a liquid diet (e.g. dental extractions, jaw surgery, facial surgery, etc).

    I am sponsored by BSN supplements, and I love and recommend the COLDSTONE series of SYNTHA-6. The flavours are outstanding. If you want to support me, thank you!

    • You can use my coupon code DRSOLOMON on the BSN website for 15% OFF and free delivery in the USA


    Scroll below for these recipes:

    note: if you like your shakes thicker, add less water/milk.

    • Carrot Cake Shake
    • Banana German Chocolate Cake Shake
    • Banana Cake Shake
    • Peach Caramel Shake
    • Banana Caramel Shake
    • Caramel Mango Shake
    • Pumpkin Pie Shake

    Carrot Cake Shake

    240 calories, 7.5g fat, 21g carbs, 3.5g fibre, 18.5g protein

    • 4 TBSP carrot purée (you can roast carrots and blend them, or use baby food)
    • 1.5 cups unsweetened cashew milk (or milk of choice or water)
    • 3/4 scoop SYNTHA-6 Birthday Cake Remix
    • pinch of ground nutmeg, clover, ginger, cloves


    Banana German Chocolate Cake Shake

    280 calories, 8g fat, 32g carbs, 3.5g fibre, 18g protein

    • 1 frozen banana
    • 1.5 cups unsweetened cashew milk (or milk of choice or water)
    • 3/4 scoop SYNTHA-6 Germanchocolatekake


    Banana Cake Shake

    280 calories, 8g fat, 32g carbs, 3.5g fibre, 18.5g protein

    • 1 frozen banana
    • optional: banana extract for more banana flavour
    • 1.5 cups unsweetened cashew milk (or milk of choice or water)
    • 3/4 scoop SYNTHA-6 Birthday Cake Remix


    Peach Caramel Shake

    255 calories, 7.5g fat, 30g carbs, 3g fibre, 18g protein

    • 1 cup frozen peaches
    • 1.5 cups unsweetened cashew milk (or milk of choice or water)
    • 3/4 scoop SYNTHA-6 Salted Caramel


    Banana Caramel Shake

    278 calories, 8g fat, 32g carbs, 3.5g fibre, 18.5g protein

    • 1 frozen banana
    • 1.5 cups unsweetened cashew milk (or milk of choice or water). Use 1 cup if you want it to be a thicker shake like mine in the photo.
    • 3/4 scoop SYNTHA-6 Salted Caramel


    Caramel Mango Shake

    308 calories, 5g fibre, 18.5g protein

    • 1 cup frozen mango
    • 1.5 cups unsweetened cashew milk (or milk of choice or water)
    • 3/4 scoop SYNTHA-6 Salted Caramel


    Pumpkin Pie Shake

    225 calories, 8g fat, 16.5g carbs, 3g fibre, 18g protein

    • 6 TBSP frozen or room temperature canned pumpkin
    • 1.5 cups unsweetened cashew milk (or milk of choice or water)
    • 3/4 scoop SYNTHA-6 Pumpkin Pie
    • pinch of ground nutmeg, clover, ginger, cloves


    Also Recommended:

     

    • Substituting high calorie junk food with my "cheat clean" recipes can prevent you from over-consuming high calorie junk food. This is a great strategy for preventing weight gain.Try my approach, and you will be shocked how effortless it is to lose fat and maintain your weight, without having to slash your calories, demonize food (or fruit), or eat tiny portions. So if you want to put an end to yo-yo dieting all while satisfying your daily cravings ... then check out my Fat Loss Fast System.

     

    • If you are strapped for time, and need 10-minute home workouts that use minimal equipment, then I invite you to join my 30-Day Igniter Home Workout Program. What is the 30-Day Igniter? It's my 10-minute HOME video workout program. It combines strength training, jump rope training and pilates. I teach you how to breathe during your workouts, how to activate your muscles (including your pelvic floor), how to move within your current mobility, and most importantly, mindset training! This is a mind and body transformation.  All I need from you is 10 minutes a day for the next 30 days

     


    All of my protein shake recipes are quick and easy to make. All you have to do is combine and blend the ingredients. These recipes come in handy when you haven’t had a chance to go to the grocery store. All you need is protein powder, frozen fruit, water or milk of choice, and a blender. ...
  • Apple Pie Oatmeal March 16, 2020

    You only need 5 minutes to prepare this easy recipe for microwave Apple Pie Protein Oatmeal.


    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup rolled oats (I used Bob's Red Mill 5 Grain Rolled Hot Cereal)
    • water
    • 1 chopped apple (leave the skin for the sake of fibre!)
    • 1/2 scoop BSN Syntha-6  Protein Powder in SALTED CARAMEL.
    • cinnamon and nutmeg

    Recipe

    • Add 1/2 cup of water to 1/2 of oats. Microwave for 2 minutes.
    • While waiting, wash and chop an apple into small pieces. Leave the skin for the sake of fibre.
    • Add cinnamon and nutmeg and 1/2 scoop of whey (salted caramel) to your hot oatmeal. Also add 1/4 cup water. Mix.
    • Add your apple.
    • Makes 2 servings. Store the extra serving in the fridge for the next day.


    Nutritional Information

    Makes 2 portions. 1 portion is 195.2 calories, 3.4g fat, 31g carbs, 4.95g fibre, 11g sugars, 9.25g protein


    Also Recommended

    I've been an intermittent faster and a flexible dieter since 2012. I put together an entire system (an e-Book) that shows you how to make it work for your schedule, goals and eating personality. I call it the Fat Loss Fast System. It's a sustainable approach to eating. I really enjoy helping people who love the daily process ... people who love finding value in making choices that are right for their body. When it comes to body recomposition and fitness, I believe that fixation on the endgame is the reason why people become so disappointed and end up throwing in the towel. My passion is teaching you how to love the daily process. That's the secret to long-term success!

    If you are strapped for time, and need 10-minute home workouts that use minimal equipment, then I invite you to join my 30-Day Igniter Home Workout Program. What is the 30-Day Igniter? It's my 10-minute HOME video workout program. It combines strength training, jump rope training and pilates. I teach you how to breathe during your workouts, how to activate your muscles (including your pelvic floor), how to move within your current mobility, and most importantly, mindset training! This is a mind and body transformation.  All I need from you is 10 minutes a day for the next 30 days

    xoxo Sara

     

     

    You only need 5 minutes to prepare this easy recipe for microwave Apple Pie Protein Oatmeal. Ingredients 1/2 cup rolled oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill 5 Grain Rolled Hot Cereal) water 1 chopped apple (leave the skin for the sake of fibre!) 1/2 scoop BSN Syntha-6  Protein Powder in SALTED CARAMEL. cinnamon and nutmeg Recipe Add 1/2 cup of water to 1/2 of ...
  • Glutes 101 January 22, 2020

    Glutei Max: hip extensor. This is your butt muscle, and it's the biggest muscle in your body. It's the powerhouse of your body, and it's responsible for the posterior pelvic tilt. You use them when you squat, bend over (deadlift), walk and run.

    Glutei medius: The posterior fibres of the glute med are responsible for externally rotating your hip when your hip is flexed (i.e. you know that machine at the globo gym that you sit on it and then you spread your legs open against resistance?). This is the external torque function of the glutei med. The anterior fibres, however, internally rotate the hip (this is internal torque). The posterior and anterior fibres work together to abduct your leg and stabilize your pelvis when you walk.


    The glutes have a lot of functions:

    • hip extension
    • hip external rotation
    • hip abduction and adduction
    • posterior pelvic tilt
    • thrusting
    • your hips depend on your glutes! They help stabilize your pelvis

    If your glutes are inhibited (they don't fire, probably because you sit all the time), a lot of things can go wrong, ranging from tight psoas muscles, decreased hip mobility, low back pain, knee pain, decreased ankle mobility, plantar fasciitis, decreased shoulder mobility or pain, hamstring tendinopathy, groin tears, tennis elbow and poor performance & durability.


     

     

    Glutei Max: hip extensor. This is your butt muscle, and it’s the biggest muscle in your body. It’s the powerhouse of your body, and it’s responsible for the posterior pelvic tilt. You use them when you squat, bend over (deadlift), walk and run. Glutei medius: The posterior fibres of the glute med are responsible for externally rotating ...
  • Glutes FIRE FIRST January 22, 2020

    GLUTES FIRE FIRST!

    Is your timing off? Did you know the glutes are supposed to fire FIRST? If they don't, that's when problems can arise.

    Correct Firing Sequence: right glute max, right hamstring, then the L lumbar erectors

    If your erector spinae (low back muscles) and hamstrings fire first, that's when problems arise: i.e. low back pain, hamstring tendinopathy, anterior pelvic tilt, hyperlordosis

    This means the erector spinae and hamstrings are the dominant muscles in assisting hip extension. But the glutes are supposed to fire first and dominate hip extension.

    Your glutes are the biggest muscles in your body: so it's probably a good idea to actually use them!


    GLUTEAL AMNESIA

    What causes a misfiring sequence?

    Prolonged sitting causes gluteal amnesia, or as I like to call it, DBS (Dead Butt Syndrome). Yep, it's a real condition in which your gluteal muscles stop firing correctly. This has a lot to do with reciprocal inhibition: when one muscle contracts, a nerve signal is sent to the opposing muscle to relax. When you sit for hours on end, your hip flexors are contracting (and they get short and tight), and this trains the opposing gluteal muscles to weaken. This also explains why many people have tight hip flexors, an anterior pelvic tilt and low back/sacral pain.

    Since we can't avoid sitting, I came up with something productive you can do for your glutei whilst you are sitting! It's easy to turn this into a daily habit. Do it on planes, trains, and automobiles! Do it at your desk. Just do it.

    Watch the video and follow along with my pointers:

    Goal: organization of movement: can you activate your glute first before your leg muscles? This is a good way to assess if you are compensating for a weak glute. It's also a good way to treat this problem. Just keep practicing until you can finally get the glutes firing in the correct sequence.

    Sit down. Put your hands on your thighs.

    Squeeze your right glute muscle only (don't let the hamstring and quad go first). If you initiate with the quads, you'll see your hand and thigh rise up.

    Then repeat with the left glute.

    Repeat: right, left, right, left, etc. Which glute is less cooperative with you?

    Although I do like to teach this initially lying on the floor, I do like that the chair provides tactile feedback to your glutes, so you can actually feel if they engage.

    If you struggle with this, try it lying down (on your back or on your stomach) to knock out your postural muscles (see the 2nd video for my lying down version).

    I do this exercise EVERY DAY before I train to make sure my glutes are firing. I recommend you do this before you train, or if you are in pain.

     


     

    GLUTES FIRE FIRST! Is your timing off? Did you know the glutes are supposed to fire FIRST? If they don’t, that’s when problems can arise. Correct Firing Sequence: right glute max, right hamstring, then the L lumbar erectors If your erector spinae (low back muscles) and hamstrings fire first, that’s when problems arise: i.e. low back pain, ...
  • Core Activation Routine January 22, 2020

    Do this 5-minute routine with me: you'll need a long foam roller.

    I start all of my training sessions with this routine. CORE ACTIVATION IS THE FIRST STEP!

     

     

    Do this 5-minute routine with me: you’ll need a long foam roller. I start all of my training sessions with this routine. CORE ACTIVATION IS THE FIRST STEP!    
  • Glute Max Activation Routine January 22, 2020

    I do this 8-minute activation exercise before all my training sessions to ensure my glutes are firing. I also do it if I have pain.

    I start by tacking and releasing my short/tight hip flexors on a foam roller. Why? Because short and tight hip flexors inhibit the glute max. It's pretty hard to activate an inhibited muscle.

    Then I lie on stomach and activate 1 glute at a time. The firing sequence is paramount: the goal is to get your glutes to fire first (not your hamstrings or low back).

    I do this 8-minute activation exercise before all my training sessions to ensure my glutes are firing. I also do it if I have pain. I start by tacking and releasing my short/tight hip flexors on a foam roller. Why? Because short and tight hip flexors inhibit the glute max. It’s pretty hard to activate an ...
  • Glute Bridges Routine January 22, 2020

    Do this 4-minute routine with me.

    The goal is to feel this in the glutes. Remember: firing sequence is paramount. Make sure the low back and hamstrings aren't firing first. Don't let the low back arch.

    Do this 4-minute routine with me. The goal is to feel this in the glutes. Remember: firing sequence is paramount. Make sure the low back and hamstrings aren’t firing first. Don’t let the low back arch.