It All Begins with Food {Cookbook Review}

Food is a universal language we all speak, something that unifies us. It’s something to be enjoyed, and also the fuel we provide our bodies. If you’d followed the blog for a while, you’ll know that our family loves food, albeit with a few bumps in the road- we’re still gluten free, but other restrictions have since been removed from Ari’s diet- and I’ve sought out options as healthy staples in our diets. We enjoy as many home- cooked and healthy, whole- food based meals as we can, but still indulge in comfort food, etc when we get a craving or are short on time (everything in moderation, no?).

Before kids and since, I love a good recipe. There’s something I find soothing and therapeutic about preparing a meal (note: when the kids are cooperating); it’s a simple pleasure I find a lot of joy in. And while I turn to online sources for much of my inspiration when trying out a new meal idea, I still love turning the pages of a cookbook. There’s something about the tactile nature of running my fingers down the pages and marking recipes to try with sticky notes that I love. So when I had the chance to review the new cookbook by Love Child Organics founder Leah Garrad- Cole, I looked forward to the opportunity.


“Welcome to It All Begins With Food, a book dedicated to clean, whole- food recipes for your entire family”.


Leah and I share the same outlook towards food, with a focus on the quality and integrity of ingredients, especially when it comes to feeding our kids. There is a lot to be said about the source of our food today (how was it grown, where did it come from, etc) and while this isn’t always black and white, Leah offers up a valuable resource in her new cookbook for everyone from new parents to passionate home cooks alike. I discovered her line of quality baby food, Love Child Organics, soon after Ari was born and have had the pleasure of being a brand ambassador with the company and watching it grow over the past few years. The introduction of It All Begins With Food was something I was looking forward to, and now am happy to be sharing my thoughts on the book here with readers. This cookbook will grow with your family, and even if your kids are past the baby and toddler years, it is full of information and recipes you will appreciate and enjoy.

This is a beautiful cookbook, filled with photos and tables of information that compliment Leah’s recipes. But it isn’t all eye candy, and second only to the recipes themselves, the information Leah has gathered in this cookbook make it a great reference to have on hand. What does it really mean to be organic? What’s a GMO? What foods should I avoid introducing to my baby? Are just a few of the questions Leah addresses in It All Begins With Food, along with a section I love, make it yourself, make it better, which features suggestions on how to make pantry staples at home to avoid unnecessary ingredients such as sugar, salt and preservatives. 


“There is an overabundance of of information out there, and it can make the task of feeding your family really confusing and overwhelming. We all want our children to eat well, but it’s hard to know where to start, and with our busy lives, it’s really difficult to find the time to make it happen.”


Alongside the recipes, Leah has included information to help guide readers through food topics that we face today, including:

  • organic foods (one of Leah’s favourite topics)
  • The Dirty Dozen & The Clean Fifteen- foods grown with the most pesticide residue and least, respectively
  • GMOs- what are they and how to avoid them
  • alternative names for sugar used in ingredients lists
  • clean kitchen/ pantry shopping list + tools and equipment 
  • meal planning tips + planner
  • getting your kids involved in cooking + food prep
  • information, tips, and serving suggestions for introducing first foods to baby

 

While this cookbook is a wealth of information for starting out your little one on solids (see For Baby, below), Leah has covered healthy suggestions for the whole family from start to finish: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, smoothies, creating your own pantry staples (I’m looking forward to diving into this chapter more in the coming months), and recipes for entertaining. I tend to avoid recipes that contain ingredients that are hard to find or seem too complicated; most of the time I have the kids with me when shopping and cooking, so I’ve subscribed to the adage simpler is better on several levels when it comes to the food we eat.

And that also applies to the nature of the ingredients themselves: Leah uses common, clean/ healthy, simple- to- find- ingredients in her recipes, with prep and cooking time around an hour total for many of the recipes (many less than that). This is a cookbook with crowd- pleasing recipes, but doesn’t forget about the person creating the meal. You don’t have to have kids to appreciate her method, but it’s definitely a cookbook created by a parent with parents in mind: healthy food that doesn’t take hours to prep and cook. Thank you Leah!


“With an unwavering focus on replacing ingredients that have little nutritional value with ones that are nutritionally dense, It All Begins With Food ensures that every bite counts while making the end result is pleasurable and the ingredients are easy to find.”


Chapters in the book:

purees & mashes

finger foods

smoothies: the vitamin vehicle

superhero breakfasts to keep them going (and going!)

easy lunches

family- friendly dinners

healthier snacks & treats

let’s celebrate

make it yourself make it better


 

For Baby

For parents looking for information, tips, and recipes for feeding their baby, this book is a wealth of knowledge and I wish it had been around when Ari was a baby. As a Mom, Leah speaks from her own experiences, as well as from the wealth of information and knowledge she has amassed since starting an organic food company; I love this combination of experience and knowledge and I feel this approach will appeal to many parents beginning the food journey with their children. Here are just a few of the highlights for me that I appreciated Leah including:

  • Canadian & US official infant feeding recommendations
  • suggestions on when to start introducing solids + signs to look for that your baby may be ready
  • what foods to start with
  • food allergies + reactions (also the difference between a true allergy and an intolerance/ food sensitivity)
  • how much food + how often
  • baby food recipes (purees + mashes), tips + combinations

    

Whether you’re passionate about healthy cooking, want to incorporate more whole- foods recipes into your weekly meal plan, or starting out a little one on solids, It All begins With Food  includes ideas for all members of the family, and will be a welcome addition to any cookbook library. 

To learn more about Love Child Organics, visit them online:

Website | Facebook | Instagram

It All Begins With Food available online at Amazon.ca and Indigo

Disclosure: I received this cookbook in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. This blog post contains affiliate links. 

Want to save this review for later? Pin it!

TPB Fitness Series: Why Moms Should Consider Hiring a Personal Trainer

In the past few months I have upped my fitness game, and I have Irina from Tone Every Zone to thank for helping inspire me to finally stop making excuses and actually get on it. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always fit a workout in and when I do I’m aware that there are so many other things that need doing. But this is what I’m starting to accept: so what??? I haven’t felt this good in years and it’s made me feel better mentally and physically. Taking a few minutes when I have the chance might not sound like much, but it has made a difference. And I’m excited to be back in the pool after years away, swimming laps and remembering how good it feels when you make time for your health. Plus after a week or two, it really becomes easier to make it a part of your routine.

This fitness series with Irina has been a project I’ve enjoyed and I hope you’ve found it helpful as well. For her last post in this 6- part series, Irina is sharing about how a fitness trainer can help you make time for exercise and the benefits of working with one. And before you finish the thought ‘it’s not in the budget’, it’s surprisingly more affordable than you might think and if you need that little extra help and motivation to keep you on track, isn’t it worth it? I think of it as investing in yourself and really, isn’t that what you’re doing? Thanks Irina for this amazing series, it’s been a good one; one that’s impacted more than I could have anticipated.
See below for Irina’s final post.


Out of all the clients I see on a regular basis, moms resonate with me the most. They are one of the groups who is the most motivated to succeed but often fall short of their goals. As a mom I totally get it: kids, house chores, meal prep and that never ending pile of laundry, all make it so that fitness is last on the to-do list. A personal trainer can’t take the chores away, but here are some of the ways in which we can help!

You do personalized workouts that get you results faster
Doing random exercises in the hope they give you results will take you nowhere fast, not to mention they will get you extremely frustrated. To get results you need to work at the right intensity and do the right exercises in the right order. A few sessions with a trainer will ensure that you do just that as we will select the routine and intensity that will give you the most bang for your buck while taking into account your goals. Personalized workouts are the best way to go!

You avoid injury
When you are exercising incorrectly you are just setting yourself up to get injured. And that totally sucks. Personal trainers don’t just sit around and count reps. We show you proper technique, we correct your form and we also modify an exercise if we see you struggling with it. You don’t get that from YouTube or even a class at the gym.

You have the support and motivation you need to succeed
When it comes to exercising, I often found the hardest part was getting my butt off the couch. Scheduling your sessions with a trainer ensures that you show up and actually do your workouts! You also have a shoulder to lean on now – your trainer will listen and encourage you to keep going even during those moments when it’s easier to quit. Moral support is incredibly important throughout your fitness journey.

You rely on expert knowledge
Your trainer is the ultimate knowledge source when it comes to fitness so go ahead and ask them your burning questions! I looove to teach my clients about fitness, explain why we are doing certain exercises and share my insights with them because ultimately I want them to take control of their own fitness.

The workouts come to you
Getting out of the house to hit the gym or a class is completely overrated – and super time consuming. When you factor in the time needed to get there, changing and showering afterwards your 1hr workout turns into 2hrs. A busy mom ain’t got time for that!

So why not get the gym to come to you? Hiring a mobile personal trainer will help you save time, as well as money on gym memberships and gas. You are working your butt off out in the privacy of your home – how awesome is that? As a bonus, you no longer need to smell someone else’s body odour either!

The punchline

If you haven’t considered hiring a personal trainer – why not? They are fitness experts who can help you reach your fitness goals faster, share their knowledge, help you get the most out of your training and some (like myself!) even come to you, helping you save time and money!

Don’t miss the other posts by Irina in this fitness series!


About Irina
Irina discovered fitness by accident after becoming a mom and started Tone Every Zone out of an overwhelming desire to help other busy individuals such as moms juggle a hectic lifestyle while staying active. Irina loves teaching people about fitness and working with them as a team to make long lasting lifestyle changes.

To get in touch with Irina about her personal training services please email her at irina@toneeveryzone.ca, or get in touch through her website. You can also follow Irina on social media for more great fitness education tips:


About Tone Every Zone


Tone Every Zone is a mobile personal training company servicing New Westminster, as well as parts of Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Moody and Surrey. Tone Every Zone comes to you, saving you the cost of gym memberships, and eliminating the need to adhere to a schedule set by a commercial gym. To learn more, please visit: www.toneeveryzone.ca

Thank you to these partners for collaborating on this post series:



Photographer: Catherine Hilcove Photography Facebook | Instagram

Workout Apparel:
Underables Shown in this post: GROCERIES workout tee & leggings (worn by Irina)

LNBF Shown in this post: Melissa Light Active Hoodie & Suri Leggings (worn by Katherine)

TPB Fitness Series: The 5 Habits of Healthy Eaters

We’ve all heard the saying ‘an apple a day…’ but it can be tough trying to actually eat the way we should. My general attitude is everything in moderation- I try to eat healthy the majority of the time but I don’t deny myself treats as a reward (especially after the kids are in bed for the night!). I know this isn’t a perfect philosophy but for the most part it works. Irina’s post this month is loaded with some great tips to help us improve our eating habits and overall health and I love how she always includes some simple ways to incorporate her advice into your day- to- day life without it seeming too overwhelming. What little tricks do you have up your sleeve to help eat healthier?

From Irina:

Healthy eating is a priority for most people and yet such a large number of us struggle in this respect! If you fall in this category, not all is lost!


Over the years I’ve seen healthy eaters consistently demonstrate several habits which are a dramatic differentiator between them and the general population. In this article, I will go over what 5 of these are.

Healthy eaters understand macronutrients

Our bodies need protein, carbohydrates and fats and all three are extremely important! These are called macronutrients, and our bodies were designed to utilize all three, as well as water and a tiny amount of essential minerals and vitamins that our bodies can’t make themselves. Carbs should contribute ~50% of our daily food intake, proteins ~30% and fats ~20%. This is necessary for your body to function properly regardless of whether you’re a vegetarian, vegan or what have you.

Now I want to bust a myth for you: Carbs, proteins and fats are not bad for you, it’s the type you eat that is bad for you, and also the amount.

For example, fruits and veggies are carbs. And so is chocolate. Which one is better for you?

Butter and olive oil are both fats. Which one is healthier?

Finally, our bodies will store anything that’s in excess: it doesn’t care if we give it excess carbs, proteins or fats. If it’s in excess, it will store it!

Healthy eaters understand that carbs, proteins and fats are all important and make sure their diet includes all three!




Healthy eaters understand their own eating habits!

An excellent way to truly understand your eating habits is to hold a food journal over the course of a couple of weeks and see if you roughly fall under the percentages I outlined above. Sometimes it becomes super apparent right away that you are heavy on one of the macronutrients and lacking in another (remember what your body does with excess stuff??). Other times you will realize that you have a habit of eating something sugary after lunch, etc.

Once you understand where you are at, you can start to tweak things. Add some protein if you’re carb heavy, brainstorm an alternative for your sugary snack, etc.

And speaking of snacks…
Healthy eaters pay attention to their snacks and drinks

When you’re thinking about your eating habits, don’t forget snacks and drinks! Those count too! In fact, sugary drinks are incredibly high in calories – and that includes things like your morning coffee.

Alcohol is another big one – here in BC we don’t even know what’s in our drinks, or how many calories they have. But make no mistake, drinks have calories too. And they contribute nothing healthy to your body (although I do agree that they can contribute to keeping your soul happy – I too indulge in the occasional Friday evening drink)

That being said, healthy eaters consistently prep healthy snacks and make water their beverage of choice!


Healthy eaters do meal prep

Meal prep can be daunting but there are some tips and tricks to make it easier. Grocery shopping over the weekend and designating one or two meal prep days can go a long way.

Healthy eaters understand that eating at home and prepping meals ahead of time to avoid eating out is crucial to maintaining a good body weight!


Healthy eaters treat themselves –  but don’t do it often!

Healthy eating doesn’t mean you never get to eat anything delicious or indulge in life’s small pleasures. After all, if you can’t let go once in awhile and enjoy the wonderful food we have available to us, what’s the point? Me? I LOVE pastries and popcorn! Throw a croissant my way and I’ll stuff my face immediately with zero regrets. I just don’t do it all the time.That’s the secret!

When people attempt to become healthier, they restrict themselves too much. Treat yourself sometimes – just admit that it’s a treat and understand that there is nothing wrong with that.

Healthy eaters allow for treats – they just limit how often it happens.

Healthy eaters start small

Too many people fail at healthy eating because they do it all at once. I like to teach my clients to just focus on one goal at a time. Maybe it’s reducing the sugar in your coffee, or adding more veggies to your meals. Whatever that one thing is that’s most important to you, start there. Once you’ve achieved your first goal, move on to the next one.

Summary
Healthy eating is about understanding macronutrients, your eating habits and minimizing eating out. It allows for treats once in awhile and encourages people to take it one step at a time. How about you? How many of these healthy eating habits do you follow?

Don’t miss the other posts by Irina in this fitness series!


About Irina
Irina discovered fitness by accident after having her daughter and started Tone Every Zone out of an overwhelming desire to help other busy individuals such as moms juggle a hectic lifestyle while staying active. Irina loves teaching people about fitness and working with them as a team to make long lasting lifestyle changes.

To get in touch with Irina about her personal training services please email her at irina@toneeveryzone.ca, or get in touch through her website. You can also follow Irina on social media for more great fitness education tips:


About Tone Every Zone

Tone Every Zone is a mobile personal training company servicing New Westminster, as well as parts of Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Moody and Surrey. Tone Every Zone comes to you, saving you the cost of gym memberships, and eliminating the need to adhere to a schedule set by a commercial gym. To learn more, please visit: www.toneeveryzone.ca

Thank you to these partners for collaborating on this post series:



Photographer: Catherine Hilcove Photography Facebook | Instagram

Workout Apparel:
Underables Shown in this post: GROCERIES workout tee & leggings (worn by Irina)

LNBF Shown in this post: Melissa Light Active Hoodie & Suri Leggings (worn by Katherine)

TPB Fitness Series: Be More Flexible- The 6 Secrets of Proper Stretching

Years ago- like when there were dinosaurs (ha, not really but it feels that way!)- I was a competitive swimmer. It was the best shape I’ve ever been in and I miss it. I miss how I felt. I miss being toned and feeling like I could swim a few kms without thinking much of it. There is such a good feeling that comes from exercise. Ah, those endorphins- whenever I hear that word I always think of Elle Woods in Legally Blonde “Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy…”, so true Ms Woods, so true. 
But there’s one thing I always remember about practice outside of the time in the pool: the stretching. We would spend about a third of practice stretching and warming up/ warming down. It was as important as the swimming itself. Remaining flexible- and going through stretches properly- are important not just when you’re pushing your body, but when you’re going through day- to- day life. When you’re not taking care of yourself- and this includes simple things like stretching- it’s that much easier to hurt yourself, and in the long run, you lose range of motion and flexibility. Not so great. I had my kids young so I could goof around with them, and enjoy being a little crazy as a Mom. To be the Mom that can keep up with her kids and chase them around the yard like a mad woman- I want to still be kicking ass when my kids are my age now. That’s a life goal right there and I plan to keep it. 
When I saw that Irina’s fitness post for the month focused on flexibility and stretching, I smiled. Sometimes the simplest things make so much difference and I love her tips to help us stay flexible. So come on gals, let’s get flexible. 😉
Why is it important to be flexible?



Hands up who knows the answer to this question!
While many people know it’s important to be flexible, not many people understand why that is, and even fewer still know how to work on it.



Flexibility gives our body the range of motion it needs to work well on a daily basis. And, when it comes to exercising, the range of motion needed to perform exercises well. As we get older we lose flexibility and our muscles become more rigid. If we want to maintain our quality of life into old age, we can’t ignore stretching.



The majority of people fall into these two categories:



  • those who ignore stretching and
  • those who do it wrong



I want you to be neither of these which is why in this article I will share with you 6 secrets of how to stretch properly so you get the most out of your flexibility training.



Secret #1: Do a warm-up before you stretch
Even if your workout is all stretching you still need to start with a warm up. That’s because muscles are like a tough rubber band and not very stretchy. Do a quick 5min warm-up (run on the spot, jumping jacks, etc) followed by your workout. You will find that it’s much easier to get into the moves. Your body with thank you



Secret #2: Stretch at the end of your workout not at the start
For the longest time people would start their workouts with stretching but science has shown that there is little benefit to be gained from stretching cold muscles. The optimal time to stretch is  at the end of your workout when your muscles are warm and already loose because you just worked them out!



Secret #3: Hold the stretch

Another mistake I see people making is holding a stretch for less than 5 seconds. In order for a stretch to be effective, you need to hold it for at least 20s. Anything less than that doesn’t really do anything. I like to recommend a 30 seconds hold to my clients. It might be useful to time yourself the first few times. 30 seconds is longer than you think!



As you hang out for the 30s seconds see if you can get further into the move. You’re trying to develop flexibility so see if you can push a little further. It should feel slightly uncomfortable but not painful.



Secret #4: Breathe

Breathing is extremely important when it comes to stretching. It’s very easy to forget to breathe when you stretch but your muscles still need oxygen and blood. Moreover, your muscles relax on the exhale – so you need to breathe to get that effect! I like to take nice deep breaths when I stretch. It’s meant to be relaxing. I think of stretching as my opportunity to relax and let go of my day. I focus on my breathing and let everything else drift away. For 10 min, it’s your chance to live in the moment!



Secret #5: Listen to your body
Stretching is meant to maintain and develop flexibility not to hurt you. Yes, there is an element of discomfort, but you shouldn’t be gritting your teeth when you stretch and you shouldn’t feel any sharp pains. Being slightly uncomfortable is ok but you should be able to breathe through it and feel relaxed. Stretching should feel like a release. If it feels too intense, back off a little bit and if you experience strange sharp pains you should definitely check with a doctor.



Your body will tell you if something isn’t right – don’t ignore it!



Secret #6: If it’s tight, stretch it

I like to recommend to my clients that they stretch the muscles they worked that day, but also any areas of tightness that we discover together. Any area that is particularly tight should always be a focus when you’re stretching. For example, I would still want someone with tight hamstrings to stretch them even if we’ve done upper body that day.



Typical areas of tightness that I see in my mommy clients are:
  • Neck
  • Lower/mid back
  • Hamstrings/hip flexors (from all the sitting down while nursing)
  • Chest/rounded shoulders



Conclusion:



Optimal flexibility is pretty tough to achieve because our lives work so hard against that! But I certainly feel it’s worthwhile to try to offset the damage as much as we can! Being able to move and have good range of motion is incredibly important so I challenge you to find at least 5min of stretching in your day. Your body will thank you!



And remember to check out the other posts as part of this series, for more fitness education tips for moms:





About Irina
Irina discovered fitness by accident after having her daughter and started Tone Every Zone out of an overwhelming desire to help other busy individuals such as moms juggle a hectic lifestyle while staying active. Irina loves teaching people about fitness and working with them as a team to make long lasting lifestyle changes.



To get in touch with Irina about her personal training services please email her at irina@toneeveryzone.ca, or get in touch through her website. You can also follow Irina on social media for more great fitness education tips:





About Tone Every Zone



Tone Every Zone is a mobile personal training company servicing New Westminster, as well as parts of Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Moody and Surrey. Tone Every Zone comes to you, saving you the cost of gym memberships, and eliminating the need to adhere to a schedule set by a commercial gym. To learn more, please visit: www.toneeveryzone.ca

Thank you to these partners for collaborating on this post series:



Photographer: Catherine Hilcove Photography Facebook | Instagram

Workout Apparel:
Underables Shown in this post: GROCERIES workout tee & leggings (worn by Irina)

LNBF Shown in this post: Melissa Light Active Hoodie & Suri Leggings (worn by Katherine)

TPB Fitness Series: Not Just for Guys- Why Women Need Strength Training

I was just thinking this week that we’re almost half way through the year. What?! And not that I want to be this person, but I thought I’d ask: how are your resolutions for the year coming along? Haha, mine are so- so. That being said, there’s still 6 months left in the year to work towards our goals, whatever they may be, so let’s not be too hard on ourselves just yet.
Fitness and health- related goals always seem to be popular choices at the beginning of a new year, but following through with them and actually making the changes tends to get lost in the shuffle of daily life as the year goes on. Motivation diminishes, and with it the promises we made to ourselves. Sound about right? I’m totally guilty of this and with June winding down I’ve been taking stock of where I am with my goals for the year. I’m not going to beat myself up over it- and you shouldn’t either!- but the only way to make changes and achieve those goals is to hold ourselves accountable and actually make the effort. Even if the path getting there is imperfect and inconsistent, it’s better than nothing- and really, isn’t that how life works anyways? It’s about the journey, and so on. With that in mind, I’m going to hand it over to Irina and her great tips on strength training (don’t miss her 10 minute workout- great for getting in a few minutes of exercise in the day). Ladies, we’ve got this. Cheers to making the second half of 2016 even better than the first!
In a previous post, 4 Simple Ways to Make Cardio your Friend, we explored cardio and how it can be easy to incorporate it into our lives if we do it in short bursts. In this post we will add on to that knowledge and address strength training.



Strength training is the other side of the coin. While cardio is excellent at burning calories in the moment and working our lungs and heart, strength training helps to build muscle and, as the name implies – strength!  And while it may seem like strength training is only for the guys, women can benefit tremendously from it as well.



Here are some of the benefits of it:



  • Increases muscle mass and thus strength
  • Tones and gives you a sexy, lean body
  • Increases your basal metabolic rate and makes your muscles continue to burn calories even after you’ve completed your workout
  • Teaches you proper form: how to lift, how to reach, how to engage your core – all of which in turn make you less prone to injury in the real world.



If that sounds pretty awesome that’s because strength training really is amazing!



In this post, I’ll teach you where to start, what equipment to use, and how to make sure you have proper form so you don’t injure yourself.



Remember your goal!



Too many people jump right into it and end up doing a bunch of random exercises with no purpose. Does that sound familiar? The thing is, if you’re going to get any results you need to plan and think about it a little.



What’s your goal?



A great butt? Core strength? Arm strength? Chiseled shoulders? Each of these will require different types of exercises.



To start, pick some simple exercises that you are familiar with. Most people know about squats, bicep curls, mountain climbers, lunges. Think of exercises that you know that target the “thing” you’re trying to work then focus on those.



If it sounds a bit daunting it’s ok to ask for help. That’s what a personal trainer is for! My job is to put together kick-ass workouts specifically targeted for my client’s goals.



Pick your weapon!

There are TONS of different types of equipment you can use for strength training:
  • Dumbbells
  • Resistance bands
  • Kettlebells
  • Stability balls
  • Gym machines, and the list goes on!



I don’t believe any of these are needed, but if I were to pick one, I highly recommend resistance bands. They are cheap, durable, they don’t take up a lot of room and they are light.



As for me, I’m a fan of body weight training mainly because it means I can take my workouts anywhere and I’m not limited by the equipment I have available. Here is a quick total body workout that you can do right now in your living room and won’t take you more than 10 minutes!



  • 10 push-ups (on your knees is OK)
  • 20 alternating forward lunges
  • 1min mountain climbers
  • 20 squat pulses  (squat, pulse 3 times then come up)
  • 10 step back burpees
  • 1min hold plank



Use proper form
As a personal trainer I see a lot of people doing exercises wrong so I’ve compiled a short list to help you avoid some common pitfalls and make sure you always have stellar form:



  • Check your alignment:
    • Are your knees right above the ankles?
    • Are your shoulders right above the wrists?
    • Is your core tight and engaged?
    • Are you looking out straight ahead? Never tuck your chin!



  • Remember to breathe:
    • Your muscles need oxygen and blood to work. If you hold your breath, how will you perform your exercises well?



  • Check in halfway through the exercise
    • Are you are starting to use body momentum to get you through the move?
    • Are your arms/legs shaking?
    • Are you taking a break more than you are exercising?
    • If “yes” to any of the above, you need to stop



Proper form is extremely important! You want to work out not injure yourself. Again, this is where a few sessions with a personal trainer can be incredibly valuable. I can teach you proper form, range of motion, breathing technique and proper speed. Then when you’re on your own, you know what to do.



In summary, strength training is an extremely important element of fitness! For ladies it means a more toned physique, increased stamina and increased metabolic rate. So don’t be afraid to experiment with it!



And remember to check out the other posts as part of this series, for more fitness education tips for moms:





About Irina
Irina discovered fitness by accident after having her daughter and started Tone Every Zone out of an overwhelming desire to help other busy individuals such as moms juggle a hectic lifestyle while staying active. Irina’s loves teaching people about fitness and working with them as a team to make long lasting lifestyle changes.



To get in touch with Irina about her personal training services please email her at irina@toneeveryzone.ca, or get in touch through her website. You can also follow Irina on social media for more great fitness education tips:





About Tone Every Zone


Tone Every Zone is a mobile personal training company servicing New Westminster, as well as parts of Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Moody and Surrey. Tone Every Zone comes to you, saving you the cost gym memberships, and eliminating the need to adhere to a schedule set by a commercial gym. To learn more, please visit: www.toneeveryzone.ca.

Thank you to these partners for collaborating on this post series:



Photographer: Catherine Hilcove Photography Facebook | Instagram

Workout Apparel:
Underables Shown in this post: GROCERIES workout tee & leggings (worn by Irina)

LNBF Shown in this post: Melissa Light Active Hoodie & Suri Leggings (worn by Katherine)