Monday, 28 October 2013

#Luved VS #Unloved: Battle of the Carbs

Some of this entry was originally posted here


Did you know that every time you put food into your mouth your body responds with a hormonal response? The main hormone responsible for this is called insulin.  Insulin has one goal, get rid of the sugar in your blood and store it as FAT.

Eating highly refined and refined carbs (think any kind of WHITE SUGAR/FLOUR anything super processed – If it’s WHITE, it ain’t RIGHT!) causes a MAJOR insulin response in your body compared to when you eat proteins and fats (which do not trigger an insulin response).  This is why you need to be really aware and mindful of the AMOUNT and TYPE of carbohydrates that you are consuming!

When you eat these UNLUVED carbs (High Glycemic Index (GI)) along with fatty foods, its like throwing gas onto a fire – accelerating fat storage in your body. Really, let’s be honest, who wants that?

That’s why in bootcamp and with our personal training clients, we recommend that you CUT OUT these unluved carbs from your diet! You might LUV them, but they definitely don’t show your body any LUV – so why would you want to put them in there!?

Instead we should be eating limited amounts of lower GI/LUVED carbs including:
  • Wild rice, Brown Basmati Rice, White Basmati Rice, Brown Rice
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Whole Wheat Spaghetti, Sprouted Grain Spaghetti, Spelt, Quinoa, Capellini, Kamut
  • Exekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Bread, Ezekiel 4:9 Raisin Cinnamon Bread, Stonemill Sprouted Grain Bread
  • Steel Cut Oatmeal, Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Cerealss, Dorset Museli Cereals, Nature’s Path Smart Bran, Natures Path Granola/Flax (*note: not all Nature’s Path Cereals are low GI!)
  • Stevia, Xylitol, Raw Honey, Sugar Cane Juice, Organic Sugar, Maple Syrup

This week let's try and cut out those UNLUVED carbs and show our bodies the LUV they deserve!!

PS. unfortunately, this isn't what we mean by loved/complex carbohydrates lol

Monday, 21 October 2013

#NWM in Photos

This past weekend an awesome group of our JQ Fitness Runners headed down to San Francisco to conquer the famous Nike Women's Half Marathon! They joined with over 30,000 runners to take on the streets of San Fran for 21K (What, what!!) – and we couldn’t be more proud of all of the hard work they put into training for this exciting occasion!

Of course we captured some of these moments via instagram and wanted to share some of the exciting snaps with all of our friends…

We saw this tiny sign in from of Union Square announcing that there might be a race here...

And even got some personalized messages at the #werunsf expo... "Jeff show us your..." what?! 

Johanna found her name on the wall at Nike town! #famous no big deal...

And of course got some new sparkly kicks... honestly only surprised that they aren't pink ;)

Our amazing group of runners gathered for a pre-race dinner with some Karas Cupcakes for dessert... carb loading before the race guys?

#werunsf for Breakfast! Go JQ Fitness runners! (Tutu's & all!)

Just hanging out at the starting line in a sea of tutu's, ready to rock it!

& they made it to the finish line - still rocking those tutu's I may add!

SURPRISE AMANDA! Matt proposes to our lovely trainer Amanda at the finish line!! He ran the whole race with the ring in his pocket! How's that for a finisher? Congratulations guys we are SO happy for you xx

As for the rest of us, we had to settle for these blue boxes to celebrate our 21K! For us it was totally worth it!

And of course, they were handed to us by a cute firefighter in a tux... I'll take it ;) 

We had such an awesome time running our half, celebrating the 10-Year anniversary of the Nike Women's Marathon, and picking up our finisher prizes - we may just have to do it all again next year :)


Tuesday, 15 October 2013


“Eat your veggies” is a common phrase heard around dinner tables near & far – especially spoken by parents to children who don’t hold a particular affinity for those dark green crunchy things (broccoli in particular… I mean why does broccoli get such a bad wrap? What did it ever do to us?)…

But I digress...

Eating your vegetables is one of the tried and true recommendations for a healthy diet. And for good reason. Eating plenty of vegetables can help you ward off heart disease and stroke, control blood pressure, prevent some types of cancer, avoid a painful intestinal ailment called diverticulitis, and guard against cataract and macular degeneration, two common causes of vision loss (Harvard School of Public Health). 

Apart from the clear nutritional punch that veggies offer, they also serve as an awesome food for fat loss. They are packed full of fiber, which, as you know when combined/eaten with protein keeps you feeling fuller for longer! Feeling satisfied is one of the easiest ways to ensure that you won’t grab for that sugary snack later on in the day when overcome by a case of the munchies.  Fiber is the master manipulator – tricking you into feeling full, which delays the metabolic slowdown you get with fat loss.  

If you're replacing those nasty unluved carbs in your diet with higher amounts of veggies and smaller amounts of luved carbs, your body will be forced to burn off that stubborn body fat for fuel, leaving you leaner & lighter in the process. 

One of the easiest ways to get the benefits of more veggies is to EAT MORE VEGGIES… I know it really is quite a brilliant thought ;)

Sarcasm aside however, even though we know we should eat more veggies, how many of us actually do?

This week lets focus on being intentional about eating more veggies or a greater variety of veggies.  Try filling up your plate with at least 2/3 veggies.  You’ll feel more full, and I can pretty much guarantee that you won't be ingesting nearly as many calories per meal. 

So pack on those veggies, fill up that plate, & reap the numerous benefits that MORE veggies will bring!

Monday, 14 October 2013

I Dare You: A Special Thanksgiving Post

Special Guest Post from Melissa Windsor, JQ Fitness

 “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” 
- Melodie Beattie 

 I saw this quote the other day and it really struck a chord with me. Often, we get so focused on the things we don’t have – the things we believe will make our lives more full and enjoyable, that we forget about the people & blessings that we already possess that make our lives worth living. When it comes down to it, I am just as guilty of this as the next person, and it’s something that I’m working on…

I think it’s easy to let the Thanksgiving season just slip by without recognizing the unique opportunity it gives us to be thankful in all things, to realize that here in North America, in Canada, we’re truly blessed; With access to healthcare when we need it, despite the long wait times and our long list of complaints against it. With access to some of the best educational systems in the world, we don’t have to wonder if our children will grown up without learning to read or write. With access to political freedoms such as free speech, independence, the right to vote, a constitutional government (to name a few…) – despite the complaints that we may have against it, we are better off than many other countries and places in the world.

And that is simply on a community level. How much more do we have to be grateful for in our own personal lives?  If you’re reading this you most likely have access to a computer, which means you have electricity – something we most definitely take for granted. Even better, you may be reading this on a mobile device in which case, you’re carrying your technology with you – really quite an impressive thing when you think about it. Most of us don’t need to worry about where we will be spending the night or if we will be able to find food to eat tomorrow.  What about our health, our families and loved ones, the list goes on…

Gratitude truly is one of the most important things that we can practice. I believe it creates an awareness that allows what we have (relationships, things & other blessings) to becomes more valuable and appreciated. It really is quite a revolutionary thought in a society that is constantly telling us that what we have isn’t enough, that we always need the next best thing, to never be content.

So this Thanksgiving, I dare you to be grateful, to speak aloud your blessings, to appreciate the loved ones who surround you & tell them how much they mean to you, to be content, and to let what you already have be enough . 

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Thanksgiving Grain-Free Pumpkin Bars

Honestly thought I put these on the blog last week, apparently I only shared the link - BUT - I'm not kidding you when I say that these are hands down the most delicious, healthy & clean eating treats I have ever tasted. 

I shared the recipe on my own personal facebook and a handful of my friends also made them - one thing that we all agree on is that these Grain Free Pumpkin Bars are to die for (not to mention totally pan worthy - as in, I could probably eat the whole pan by myself...).

But I digress - I'll start off by saying that this recipe is NOT my own creation, I came across this little gem while hunting for some delicious fall recipes at The Detoxinista - so please note that the recipe and ALL credit go to her! To see the recipe on her site, in its natural habitat - go here! She also has many other amazing clean eating recipes that look delish!

I'll stop rambling now so you can get to what you really came here for...

Grain Free Pumpkin Bars

(fills one 8" by 8" pan!)

  Photo credit: Detoxinista

1/2 cup almond butter 
1/2 cup pumpkin puree 
1/3 cup raw honey (or you can sub stevia, I used about 7 little packets in mine and they were still just as good) 
2 eggs 
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 
1 tsp vanilla extract 
1/4 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp baking soda


1.    Preheat oven to 350 and grease an 8” by 8” pan well with coconut oil or butter
2.    Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well until a smooth batter forms
3.    Transfer the batter to your greased pan and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until the edges are golden brown and the center is firm
4.    Allow to cool in the pan (or not if you are like me and can’t wait…)
5.    Cut, Serve & ENJOY!

I mean come on people - you have got to give these a shot... she even makes a maple pecan glaze to go on them - can someone say delicious! (Though I must say that I have absolutely no problem eating them without that delicious mapley goodness)

These would be the perfect, healthy thanksgiving treat for you and your family! The whole crew will love them, so long as they enjoy pumpkin and things that are delicious!

Hoping that you all have a fab week leading up to Thanksgiving!

Enjoy xx

Tuesday, 8 October 2013


Ever get the urge to simplify the things in your life?

Sometimes it’s nice to do the same thing for our bodies and what we’re putting into them. 

So our challenge to you, should you choose to accept it, is to try to only eat foods (any and all packaged & processed foods) that have 5 or less ingredients in them. 

The number of ingredients in any food item is usually quite telling of how processed that food actually is. I say "usually" because there are certain foods that might have less than 5 ingredients and still be terrible for you AND others that may have more than 5 ingredients and be perfectly okay (think of a bag of trail mix with a bunch of nuts & seeds!).

In his book “Food Rules,” Michael Pollan touches on this idea by suggesting the following:

“Avoid food products that contain more than five ingredients. The specific number you adopt is arbitrary, but the more ingredients in a packaged food, the more highly processed it probably is. Note 1: A long list of ingredients in a recipe is not the same thing; that’s fine. Note 2: Some products now boast, somewhat deceptively, about their short ingredient lists. Häagen-Dazs has a new line of ice creamed called ‘five.’ Great–but it’s still ice cream. Same goes for the three-ingredient Tostitos corn chips advertised by Frito-Lay–okay, but they’re still corn chips.”

Beyond the 5 ingredient “Rule” some other great food rules you may want to consider:

  • Not eating things you CAN’T PRONOUNCE
  • Not eating things if you DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE
  • Not eating things that you CAN’T BUY IN THE STORE (ingredient wise “Oh I was just looking for the Trisodium Phosphate, do you happen to know which Aisle it’s in?”)

Basically it’s all about simplifying what you’re putting into you body! Remember most likely if what you’re eating was made in a plant – you’ll probably need a plant to digest it!

Friday, 4 October 2013

9 Superfoods To Jazz Up Your Shakes & Smoothies

Just in case you didn't think you morning shake was already fab enough - check out these 9 great SUPERFOODS you can add in for an extra nutritional burst:

You're welcome!

OH, if you make a smoothie that turns out to be the most delicious thing you've ever sipped on, drop us a line and let us know! Find us on facebook, tweet us @jqfitness or send us an email at and tell us all about it!


Thursday, 3 October 2013

Shake It Baby, Shake It

Don’t get me wrong, I LUV eggs – but every once and a while they just don’t cut it for me, and when I hit that humpty dumpty wall I turn to nutritious, protein filled (legit the most delish tasting things I’ve ever had) shakes and smoothies!

To continue on our breakfast push this week I figured I would share two of my all time FAVE shake recipes with ya’ll - just ‘cause I like you so much ;)

So without further ado…

Blueberry Blast Shake (Dr. Chris Mohr)

This is seriously my go to. Makes the most delicious shake every single time!

1 Cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 banana (frozen or regular – make sure its peeled though! lol)
1/2 Cup blueberries (I use the MOOV frozen blueberries from Costco – LUV ‘em!)
1 Scoop unflavoured or vanilla protein powder (I use vanilla – it’s divine!)
Stick everything in a blender and mix for about 30 seconds or until smooth.

*I also add greens to this one, just because I can, and you don’t even taste it!

Double Layer Mango/Raspberry Shake

This shake is so cool looking with two colourful layers; even your kids will luv it!

1 Cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 Cup frozen mango
1/2 Cup strawberries
1 Scoop unflavoured or vanilla protein powder (once again I used vanilla – LUV me some vanilla powder!!)

Blend together the milk, mango & protein powder until smooth. Pour half into a glass.  Add the strawberries & blend again until smooth. Pour slowly on top of the first layer! Voila!

PS. You could even do a third layer with greens like spinach or kale!

Hope this inspires you to go out and shake it up!

If you want to check out some more fabulous recipes, head over to our Bootcamp Recipes Resource and you’ll find some more healthy, delicious shake recipies just waiting for you!

Happy Shake Trails!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The Breakfast Club

You’ve all heard the saying before, “breakfast is the most important meal of day,” maybe you’ve bought into it – or maybe you haven’t… The truth of the matter is that breakfast plays a fundamental role in setting the stage for your day both physically & metabolically – and what you eat for breakfast can be just as important as if you eat breakfast at all.

First things first though…

Obviously before we can talk about what to eat for breakfast you’ve got to know why you should even bother eating breakfast in the first place.  Here’s a snapshot of some of the effects that skipping breakfast can have on your body…

You Lose Energy 
Calories are a measure of energy -- the more calories you take in, the more energy your body is able to produce. When you skip breakfast, your body may not have enough energy to perform its daily functions. The body may start taking energy stored as glucose from your tissues, which can cause you to feel tired and lethargic. If you skip breakfast, you are more likely to experience a mid-morning slump that can leave your thinking cloudy.
 Your Hunger Increases 
One of the reasons why those who eat breakfast are better able to maintain their weight is because they stave off hunger by eating a healthy breakfast. When you skip breakfast, your stomach sends signals to your brain that it is empty, and you begin to experience hunger pangs. The longer you wait, the more your hunger grows. If you’ve skipped breakfast, you are more likely to reach for unhealthy snack options, such as convenience foods high in fat and sugar -- like a candy bar from a vending machine, a doughnut or a large bagel. Over time, this can contribute to weight gain.
 Your Metabolism Drops 
Your body’s metabolism is the rate at which you burn calories for daily life functions. The faster your metabolism, the faster you burn off foods you eat, which helps you maintain a healthy weight. Think of your metabolism like stoking a fire. If you constantly stoke the fire, you will be consistently warm. If you let the fire run out and re-light it, you will experience temperature fluctuations. The same is true for your metabolism. If you keep it burning by eating breakfast, you will burn more calories all day instead of experiencing fluctuations in metabolism that reduce your body’s ability to burn calories.
You Gain Weight 
Weight gain is ultimately the body’s result of skipped breakfast meals. Because skipping breakfast slows your metabolism and increases your hunger, this can add up to extra calories over time. Also, because you feel fatigued, you may not be able to engage in as much physical activity, which also can contribute to weight gain.

Source: Livestrong – The Effects of Skipping Breakfast 

So now that we've hopefully convinced you that eating breakfast is indeed a good idea, it’s important to know that what you eat for breakfast can be just as important as if you eat breakfast at all… 

Ditch those refined boxed cereals, sugary pastries, and unluved carbohydrates (like bagels and croissants!). When you eat these sugary/refined cereals, pastries and unluved carbs for breakfast, you’re sending your body on a blood-sugar roller coaster ride. All of those unluved carbs are going to spike your insulin levels and leave you feeling lethargic and hungry again once they drop – making you more likely to reach for another unhealthy snack-a-roo at the office or on-the-go fix to address that mid morning slump.  This can be an unending cycle as you reach for snack after snack as your blood sugar keeps on spiking and dipping… you get the picture.

So many of the traditional breakfast foods that have been marketed to us for years as the healthy, whole grain option are nothing more than sugary garbage, packaged and presented so nicely by the food industry...these foods are no good for your energy levels and even worse for fat burning! Break the cycle and start your day off right!

Instead, focus on having a larger, more satisfying breakfast each day with a higher protein content that will help keep you full and satisfied throughout the day – and won’t send your blood sugar on that crazy roller coaster ride we talked about earlier.  A protein shake with berries & even spinach (trust me you won’t even taste it) is a staple for my mornings! Or you could try an omelette with fresh veggies and free-range eggs, or if that takes too much time, make it a scramble – you can whip it together in less than 10 minutes!

These higher protein breakfasts will help to regulate your blood sugar, while at the same time providing your body with the energy it needs to function, and as an added bonus it will kick-start your metabolism to help you burn fat more effectively throughout the day, and I mean...who doesn’t like that?

Happy Breakfast-ing!

P.S. Stay tuned this week as I share my favourite shake recipe with you all!