Tag Archives: health and wellness


Volunteer Opportunity! Seniors Peer Connector Program!



Sweet ’16 Challenge – Week Five Nutrition Tip!

Simply Cook and Enjoy!

Here are some quick tips to help you make great nutrition choices! A few tips below to get the food thoughts flowing…….then google, search instagram or pintrest for some great new ideas!  Use this week to discover some new websites that you’ll use moving forward!

In a Hurray

TIP 1: Simplify weekday cooking. Prepare some ingredients in advance.

TIP 2: In a hurry? Take a kitchen shortcut with healthier convenience foods.

TIP 3: Feeling short on time? Enjoy a sandwich for supper.

TIP 4: Time-crunched? Good-for-you meals can take less time than take-out!

TIP 5: Double up! Make a double batch of breakfast on the weekend to enjoy during the week.

Make it Easy

TIP 6: Cook once. Eat twice. Make weeknight cooking a breeze with planned extras.

TIP 7: Make a no-fuss meal with just six simple ingredients!

TIP 8: Tools of the trade: A few good kitchen tools can make cooking a lot easier!

TIP 9: Be prepared! Read the recipe and prepare ingredients before you start cooking

TIP 10: Get stocked! Keep your kitchen ready for action any night of the week with basic food staples

TIP 11: Cooking dinner is a snap with satisfying one-pot meals

TIP 12: Marinate inexpensive cuts of meat for deliciously tender results

TIP 13: Saving cents makes sense! Simmer up a pot of scrumptious soup

TIP 14: Make your food dollar go farther. Put more plant-based protein in your pot

TIP 15: Get saucy! Make your own spaghetti sauce with just a few ingredients

Family Affair Tips

TIP 16: Your kitchen doubles as a classroom that equips kids with life skills galore

TIP 17: Find weekdays too hectic to cook with kids? KISS: Keep it simple, sweetie!

TIP 18: Got teens? Try “create-it-yourself” meals so they can experiment in the kitchen

TIP 19: Bring a little fun to your kitchen with a family cooking challenge

TIP 20: Parents frosty about kids cooking? Smoothies are a super way to introduce kids to the kitchen

Cooking by Numbers Tips

TIP 21: Eating alone? Make breakfast for dinner!

TIP 22: Cooking for one? Switch it up with stir-fries

TIP 23: Get fresh with simple dinner salads for two!

TIP 24: Cooking for a crowd? Big-batch cooking is a super supper solution

TIP 25: Get social! Host a cooking party

Cooking 101 Tips

TIP 26: Savour the flavour! Small amounts of nutrient-rich ingredients boost taste

TIP 27: Get steamy in the kitchen! Steam veggies rather than fry.

TIP 28: Want to give healthy cooking a whirl? Think outside the salad spinner!

TIP 29: Baking bonanza! Balance your baking with simple swaps

Sweet ’16 Challenge – Week Three Recipe Idea!

Following our healthy snack information from yesterday, today’s recipe encourages you to try something new! Enjoy!


recipe pic for week 3

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Makes: 1 serving

Try something new! Quark is a fresh cheese available in the dairy aisle alongside sour cream and cream cheese. Sold in a tub, it is great to enjoy on its own or stirred up with herbs as a dip. If quark is not available, look for a thick Balkan style or Greek yogurt to use instead.


1/4 cup (60 mL) quark cheese

1 tbsp (15 mL) large flake oats

5 fresh strawberries, halved

6 fresh blackberries

1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh blueberries

1 tbsp (15 mL) pure maple syrup (optional)


  1. Spoon quark into a small bowl. Sprinkle with oats.

2. Top with strawberries, blackberries and blueberries. Drizzle with maple syrup, if using

Sweet ’16 Challenge – Week Three Nutrition Tip

5 Tips to help balance your blood sugar

The following are some tips to help you control your blood sugar and avoid the ups and downs during a workout, and all day long!

  1. Eat every 3-5 hours, regardless of how healthy your previous meal or snack was. If you go longer than 5 hours without eating, your blood sugar will crash and so will your energy.
  2. Every time you eat, the snack or meal you consume should contain a source of protein. Protein slows down digestion and prevents your blood sugar from spiking and then crashing. 5-8 grams of protein is a good minimum target. For example, spread some peanut/almond butter on your banana, have a small piece of cheese with an apple or pair some fruit with your yogurt.
  3. Fiber – it helps to control blood sugar by slowing down your digestion. High fiber foods will keep you fuller longer. Examples of high fiber foods are: high fiber cereals and breads, legumes such as edamame (soybeans), chick peas, black beans, lentils, etc. Some fruit also have higher fibre such as pears, apples and raspberries. Try adding ground flax seeds, wheat germ or oat bran to your yogurt, salads or smoothies.
  4. Choose less processed foods, the more basic, the better. Regular converted rice or brown rice will affect your blood sugar a lot less than minute rice. Large flake oats/oatmeal will affect your blood sugar a lot less than processed quick oats.
  5. For some other great snack ideas, visit http://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/Recipes/Snacks/

Sweet ’16 Challenge – Week Three Fit Tip!

Goal Setting, and re-evaluation

So, here we are week three already! And it is time for our mid challenge check in!  Book your appointment with your trainer today!

Why are we asking you to check in half way through? It all has to do with goal setting the relation to goal attainment.  One of the keys to success, is to set very specific goals, as well as to create a plan of attack to help you reach these goals.  Without specifically defining a goal, and laying out the steps of how you’re going to reach it, all you have done it just make a wish.  To say “I want to be more active”……and that’s it, you likely won’t know what specific steps to take next (e.g. on Wednesday I will attend a tabata class) or, have a baseline to which you can compare your “more active” (e.g. more active than what?).  Just like cooking or baking, when there is a step by step recipe, dinner is more successful as you have had a solid plan to follow.

So, in week 1, you set some goals with your trainer, and now that week three is here, it is time for you to review your plan and see how it is working out. Remember that a fitness plan isn’t set in stone.  We start on our path to achieve a goal and sometimes the steps we’ve laid out are perfect and fit in to your schedule well, and sometimes that plan didn’t work like we thought it would.  So…..we re-assess!  Hence, the mid-challenge check-in!  Compare where you are this week, in reference to where you thought you would be when you put your plan together in week one.  Likely, you are rockin’ it!! WAY TO GO!

But maybe, just maybe, things didn’t go the way you wanted. What to do?  Let that week go!  It’s not the end of the world!  BUT, it’s also not an excuse to let it all go and give up!  Re-commit to the next three weeks and make it happen!

Lifestyle change isn’t easy-if it was, everyone would do it!! It’s work for sure….but you are worth every minute!


Sweet ’16 Challenge – Week 2 Recipe Idea!

A quick, delicious option for you! Enjoy!


recipe picture

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Makes: 4 servings


1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil

1 pkg (227 g) mushrooms, sliced

1 onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 large carrot, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh parsley

¼ tsp (1 mL) hot pepper flakes

Pinch each salt and fresh ground pepper

1 tbsp (15 mL) all-purpose flour

1 cup (250 mL) sodium reduced vegetable or chicken broth

1 lb (454 g) large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (thawed)


  1. In a large nonstick skillet heat oil over medium heat. Cook mushrooms, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, parsley, hot pepper flakes, salt and pepper for about 8 minutes or until liquid evaporates and vegetables start to become golden.
  2. Stir in flour until absorbed. Add broth and bring to a simmer, stirring.

3. Stir in shrimp and cook, stirring gently for about 5 minutes or until shrimp are pink and firm

Jeepers creepers, where’d we find those peepers?

If the coming of the nicer weather makes you yearn to be northward bound, but time constraints make a proper getaway impossible, a bike ride (or walk or run) on the Lynn Valley Trail will give you that ‘up north’ feeling — even though it’s only an hour away from downtown Hamilton, and to the south at that.

Linking Simcoe and Port Dover, this 10 k rail trail runs alongside the Lynn river, through farm land, pine and cedar groves, and bogs. Now, the earliest wildflowers are up: bloodroot and coltsfoot are in bloom, and trout lily soon will be.

IMG_2456 IMG_2469

And the spring peepers are peeping!


For more information, visit http://www.lynnvalleytrail.com/


ywcaencore fall dates are up!

The ywcaencore program, an after breast cancer exercise program is now accepting registrations for the FALL 2013 session:

LOCATION: YWCA 75 MacNab St. S. In the Studio

ORIENTATION: Thursday September 26th, 2013 12:45pm

8 WEEK SESSION: Thursday October 3rd – Thursday November 21st 12:45pm – 3:00pm

Please contact Anne Marie Collingwood, ywcaencore Coordinator at 905-545-6249 ext. 24 or at acollingwood@ywcahamilton.org.

Impress Your Workout Buddies. . .

. . . with your erudite vocabulary. Next time you feel the tingle of sweat on winter-dry skin, or the burn of wind on your cheeks, use this word to describe the sensation:


The Thought for Today is a good ‘health and wellness’ one, too.

– Barb

How many calories do I burn when…?

It depends.

I know you don’t like to hear this vague response when you ask a direct question, but it’s the most accurate response: it depends.  Take this question for example:  how many calories do I burn running on a treadmill? It depends.

The number of calories you burn doing a specific type of activity depend on a number of things.  With the treadmill example, it depends on your current weight, how long you plan to workout, how fast you are planning to run/walk and what level of incline you use.  See what I mean?  Too many variables floating around for a brief and satisfying response.

I encourage people to use the Rate of Perceived Exertion(RPE) to guide their intensity – that’s the scale from 1 to 10 that helps you gauge your effort.

But, for those of you who like your numbers in calories – here’s a chart that might help.  Look at this chart as a very general guide.  These numbers are based on 30 minutes of physical activity and there is no sex attributed to these three different weight categories.

  125lbs 155lbs 185lbs
Gym Activities      
Weight Lifting: general 90 112 133
Aerobics: water 120 149 178
Stretching, Hatha Yoga 120 149 178
Aerobics: low impact 165 205 244
Aerobics: low impact 165 205 244
Stair Step Machine: general 180 223 266
Teaching aerobics 180 223 266
Weight Lifting: vigorous 180 223 266
Aerobics, Step: low impact 210 260 311
Aerobics: high impact 210 260 311
Bicycling, Stationery: moderate 210 260 311
Rowing, Stationery: moderate 210 260 311
Calisthenics: vigorous 240 298 355
Circuit Training: general 240 298 355
Rowing, Stationery: vigorous 255 316 377

For more information about this chart or more examples of activities, please visit the Harvard Health Publications website.

Remember if you are working out to increase fitness, exercise should feel a little uncomfortable.  Your workout should allow for a significant chunk of huffing and puffing time!  Generally, as prescribed by the Canadian Physical Activity Guide, you need at least 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous level of physical activity 3 times a week (at the very least!).

– Marlin