A Lil About Me!

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ACE Certified Personal Trainer; NSCA Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist; CSEP Certified Personal Fitness & Lifestyle Advisor; MaddDogg Spinning Instructor; NCCP SwimCoach; NLSC Aquafit Instructor; Wellness & Weight-Loss Consultant.

Thursday, 6 October 2011


Now that I have everyone's attention...

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and so I thought I would blog about TWO of my favorite things... BREASTS & HEALTH!

The #1 factor in Surviving Breast Cancer, beyond prevention, is EARLY DETECTION.
Get your ladies checked LADIES! Monthly self exams, yearly physicals for EVERYONE OVER 20 and yearly or bi-yearly mamograms after 30! It used to be 40, but as the hormones in GMO foods increase, so do the prevalence of cancers. SUCKS!  

Here's a link on HOW TO DO A BREAST-SELF-EXAM (BSE)  >>

Guys, sorry it's not as *stimulating* as you thought it would be. That being said - take off your shirt, don't be shy, no one can see you, it's not about muscles... - NOW, see those little dime-to-quarter-sized flesheronis? Now see the fleshy area about 4"x4", from the anterior axillary fold (front edge of your armpit) to the sternum (central breast bone)? THATS A BREAST! - ok, ok, for my Physiqued Geeks, PECTORAL Region - potayto potahto, the POINT is > you can ALSO GET CANCER, so make sure when you go see your doc, and homey has you bent over and coughing, you ask (albeit, meekly) for a little up-top play, as well. Capische? Buono!

Now that I've spread some awareness... time for some FITNESS-related Breast Tips.


For everyone ::
You know when you get a great routine going... you're up, you go for an invigorating run & your body is feeling the LOVE, and THEN... about 10days into your Committed, Focused, RUNNING routine... OUCH! Your look in the mirror & your aereolae are chaffed & ruddy & painful! Hmmm... you're looking at RUNNER'S NIPPLE - chapping (rawness) caused by the repetitive rubbing of clothing against the nipples.
Men, it usually happens more frequently with you, because you don't wear bras, and you tend to sweat down the chest causing your shirts to stick to your chest.
Women, if you're wearing a WELL-FITTING sports bra, it will prevent movement of the breasts independent of the bra's material AS WELL AS channelling sweat between the breasts, away from the nipples.
To soothe and relieve the chaffing - Apply a balm. They have fancy-schmancy ones at TheRunningRoom, but I've used Burt's Bees Lip Balm in the little circular tins. They tingle a bit, they're Paraben, Phthalate, Sulfate & additive-free & they're the perfect shape...
To prevent the chaffing - "Elasticised, adhesive bandages" *cough*Band-Aids*cough*

For JUST the WOMEN ::
PREVENTING BREAST & CLAVICULAR (collar-bone) PAIN <During exercise>
This is simple AND complicated... Simple first >The cause of the pain is BAD BRA FIT.
To my Bounty-cupped Beauties (*e.g. anything over a FULL C): As fun & exciting as it is to see your Tatas going BOUNCY, it's HORRIBLE FOR THEM! So CUT IT OUT or you will end up with your nipples tucked into your waist-band! Your Collar bone hurts because the skin, fascia & muscle tissues are PULLING AWAY FROM the bone *Aaarghh* GRAPHIC! (but TRUE).
Here's where the fancy, complicated part comes in > When YOU Move, THEY MOVE. (*Duh! Mia, why is that complex & profound, huh?) Here's WHY > an A-cup breast will move 1-2" in each direction - up & down - for.each.and.every.STEP.you.take!! Wait...WHAAAAAAT?!?! YES!
B-cups move 2-3" in each direction. C-cups 3-4". D-cups 4-5" and so on, and so on...
Sooo... if you're rocking some SMOKING FFs - you can imagine, when YOU run 5km your FunSacks are doing about 7km... YOWZAA!
*FYI : real or fake - the stress on the SKIN & clavicular anchor fascia are pretty much the SAME.
A well-fitting Sports Bra. Look for a Bra with the key words HIGH IMPACT, for running & Jumping (*Plyo, HI-cardio, Step Class) and if you have over a FULL C (*36C+ and Ds etc...) find the styles with tags marked COMPRESSION, or MOVEMENT PREVENTION. If you have larger than a DD look for brands with support cups (*unwired styles are more comfortable).
If the XLsizes feel too *tight* try to get one specially made OR you can wear a lower-impact style with a "regular" bra underneath.

PSA :: NEVER - EVER -EVER RUN IN ONLY A "day wear" bra... PLEASE, for me! FOR THEM!
No bueno!

My Little-bitty-titty-committee... you can get away with slightly LESS concern, BUT if you're doing prolonged activity at high impact, or running, you should also wear SOMETHING with support.

Okay? Good? Ok! Good!
(*see what I did there?)
xo - Mia

ps - IT's PINK for BreastCancer

Grilled Autumn Salad

This is on request of @BIG_NEPO_23 :: a Nice "carb-ternative" to potato salad or "plain ol' taters & veggies" -- It's a carb side that doesn't FEEL like carbs! Chocked full of colour & colourful vitamins, aminos, soluable-fiber and FLAVOR! *BAZINGA*

  • 1-2 Summer Squash (*Yellow Zucchini, Courgette) - in 1/4" thick coins (*no ends)
  • 1/2 a Regular Canteloupe (*if you're in the Lysteria-prone area, you can use Honeydew)
  • 2.5c Pumpkin (*You can use any FIRM sweet squash) - in 1" x 1" x 1/4" dice (*I like the skin on, but you can remove it)
  • 2tsp fresh grated Nutmeg
  • 2tsp Fresh cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp cumin
  • 1/4tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4cup fresh chopped Cilantro (*or Italian parsley if you don't like Cilantro)
  • 1/4cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1TB EVOO
  • 1tsp Maple flakes *optional*
  • S&P
Optional for Grilling
  • 1/2cup Zucchini - Same prep as Yellow
  • 1/2cup Eggplant - 1/4" coins, cut in 1/2 if need (*want everything around the same size/thickness)
Optional Raw
  • 1/2cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1 Red Delicious + 1 Golden Apple - both cored & cut into 1/8" thick slices
Bonus Levels
  • 1/2cup Firm Feta - crumbled OR you can cube it in 1/4" and grill it! (*melty & smokey-licious!)
> These are individual options to *jazz* the salad OR you can add em ALL if you're sharing with more than 4 people.

  • 2 Large Bowls
  • 1 Large serving Bowl
  • Grill top/ Grill pan/ BBQ
  • Long Cookie sheet with a Drying rack on it (*for cooling purposes)
  1. Preheat Grill / BBQ to medium-high heat
  2. Toss the melon in nutmeg & balsmic vinegar, toss the pumpkin in cayenne & cinnamon & the yellow zucchini in cumin, cayenne & S&P
  3. Brush 1TB oil on the grill, should have a little smoke
  4. Place all the pieces on the grill with space between them - at least 1/4"
  5. WATCH THEM!!! This will literally only take 2-3mins - Flip with tongs & another 2-3mins on the other side
  6. If you're doing the optional grilled veggies add them on at the same time.
  7. If you're doing Grilled FETA - do it here - 1min per side AFTER the Veggies are removed!
  8. Remove to Cookie sheet & let cool until warm, but cool enough that you could pick them up with bare hands.
  9. DO NOT PUT THE FETA ON THE COOLING RACK!! Place it directly on the cookie sheet!! (*it WILL separate & stick to the rims)
  10. Place all Grilled pieces in Large serving bowl (including Feta)
  11. If using any of the optional "raw" ingredients add them now
  12. Toss with Cilantro, some cracked Sea Salt & if you have/want Maple Flakes
  13. Can drizzle with some EVOO+Balsamic, if you want "dressing" (*IMO - not needed)

>> I usually serve it with Salmon Fillets or Tuna Steaks. You can pair Blackened or Cajun Rubbed white fish or Pork. & It's GREAT with a nice Chicken Balsamico or a Roasted Garlic & Rosemary Rubbed Lamb

Hope you LOVE it!
xo - Mia

ps - Maple flakes, are flakes of dried/dehydrated Organic maple syrup. They're non-inulinic* sweeteners (*i.e. doesn't spike insulin production in pancreas & don't have anabolic kidney response) & it adds a nice Fallish (yes, I'm WELL aware it's not a REAL word...but be aware I make words up ALL.THE.TIME) flavor.  The way MOST people serve sweet potato or pumpkin with brown sugar, I use maple flakes - little touch of sweet, without the caloric conversion & inulinic body-reaction.

The Paleo Experiment -- COMPLETED!!

Hey all!

So, I had originally planned to write weekly updates about my Paleo Challenge, however, everytime I sat down to think about how I felt the end of week 1, I kept reminding myself of all that I was giving up, and how much I was missing my staples, (*it is LITERALLY like tweaking after a high) did not know the crazy Oatmeal addiction I had! Not to mention my cravings from the first 3 days were like a Gourmet Chef's pregnancy. Plan B - a retrospective week-by-week Paleo Recap, including my post-Paleo week (*this week) in which I re-added Oats back into my diet.

Week 1 :: Cravings GALORE
The first THREE days, felt like the Tasmanian Devil of CRAVINGS was living & causing ruckus in my belly! It was CRAY. I wanted EVERYTHING that wasn't on the "allowed" list, as well as things I don't even LIKE, and things I NEVER EAT; everything from Chocolate ice cream, which I love, to Roast Pork with Cherries & Hennesey Glaze, which is rediculous, as I was off Pork, prior to Paleo & cherries are typically crazy expensive here in Jamaica, I hadn't had them in MONTHS, and I don't drink Hennesey! Worse still, since September 1st kind of snuck up on me, I hadn't shopped BEFORE starting & I was still stocked-up on a TON of my usual go-tos which, although clean/healthy, weren't Paleo!

Take Home Message - remember to shop first & clean out the cupboards!

Week 2 :: Getting Used to It.
After the first three days had passed, and I did Paleo-friendly shopping & cleaned out my cupboards, it became WAY Easier to eat the Primal way and was actually REALLY Fun to think up recipes that were creative, quick & DELICIOUS! Loved that Sweet potatos, pumpkin/squash & Yams were allowed, as they made the recovery days less painful. I typically eat a TON of veg as is, and I had no problem eating more fruit. I miss my beans, but roasted/unsalted nuts weren't a hard sell!

Take Home Message - Don't think of what you CAN'T have, focus on how much you CAN!

Week 3 :: I Miss my Oats!
Cardio refeeding without Oats, is ROUGH. An Apple & Spinach, are full of fibre and good carbs, but its really just NOT the same as a warm & soothing bowl of Steel-Cuts! That all being said, I was DEF seeing new muscle growths & some strength improvements (*to be fair, that could be attributed to my change in program cycle as well, but I am still making mention.) I was NOT pleased with the Weight gain, from the additional Red/ Pork meats. Even though the Primal eaters guidelines said I could have ANY grassfed / prime cuts, I def should have stuck with leaner choices.

Take Home Message - Change is GOOD, different, but GOOD!

Week 4 :: Switched to Fish & Eggs, Lean chicken
Making the swap from fatty & carenot to Lean & clean meats, definitely had me leaned out a bit, and fairly quickly - saw the change within the week!
Sidenote - I also Upped my water in week 4 to 3Gallons (*up from 1.5Gallons) since I was trying out Xpel (*an herbal diuretic)

Take Home Message - Stick to what you're used to, even if you change up the habits!

Week 5 :: Post-Paleo (this week)
YAY! I get a week to Re-add oats & I'm sooo excited! Love it! I'm limiting myself to my 5am bowl, not going HAM over the freedom. I had RICE in Sushi, & 3 mini danishes (*size of dominoes) at a fam dinner & the day after I looked like I had stuffed myself with cotton balls (*clarify the SUSHI was AMAZING! But the aftermath was PUFFY No Bueno!) Added my HOT iced tea to speed up the gears, kicked up my cardio (since I had the additional carbo-load) & 2days later, was right as rain!
Next week I'm off Carbs again, and testing out Dairy (Low-Fat cheese & fat-free Greek Yogurt, specifically). And the week after I will try out Beans/Pulses again, without dairy/grains. Will post an addendum after they're done!

Take Home Message - OATS are GOOD, but Rice & Flour are NOT FRIENDLY!

Over View :: Because I did what I am going to call "Paleo-Lite" (*I allowed myself to use canned tuna & pineapple, and Almond butter & almond milk), I didn't find it THAT hard to transition.  Other than the no Oats, Beans & Yogurt... Clean Eating (my usual 90/10 lifestyle) and Paleo really aren't TOO far off since I try to avoid processed "Lite" & modified foods to begin with.
My 2 main changes were NOT relying on Beans & Oats, and not allowing myself Ice Cream as my cheat. I liked that I could have (natural) juices, frozen as snacks too! Mmmm Tamarind slushies *swoooon* - I am def goin to keep up with this Paelo-Lite lifestyle, except I will allow myself Oats in my cardio heavy parts of my cycle, and Depending on how the beans week goes, the occasional blackbeans or chickpeas in my dishes, some hummus or some blackbean chips *drools* ...hmmm maybe I'll do beans NEXT week & dairy AFTER... :D

FOUR tips if you are Curious about trying out the 30day Paleo Experiment ::
Make sure you are prepared to commit to a BIG (for most people) dietary change. If you are coming from "traditional eating habits", try going CLEAN for a month first.
2) SHOP & CLEAR before DAY 1!
Remove your No-No's & temptations, and stock the fridge, freezer & cupboards with some simple go-to's and prep your meal kits (*e.g. grill your meat, clean&chop your veg, group them together in the fridge!
Just like with Clean Eating or Competition prep, or if you have a typically HECTIC lifestyle - First, planning & prepping meals for the week, on the weekend saves you a TON of stress, because it takes the thinking and scavenging out of meals. Second, it saves you a TON of time when you get home & just want to collapse & instead of "creating" dinner its 3/4 of the way done!
If you take on Paleo, you WILL need to workout! And think about it as a 30day COLD TURKEY transition into a different LIFESTYLE. New habits, new thinking. Even if you don't STICK to a full Paleo lifestyle AFTER your system WILL have changed (if you do this properly), so it's not an"I'm going to do it for 30days lose a bunch of weight & go back to my old ways & just BE skinnier" kinda "30day challenge"


- Mia xo