I am really bad at updating this

Social media, blogging and regular updates are not my strong suit...

Teaching people to exercise safely and efficiently is more my jam! Helping you learn to overcome your gym anxiety, to develop the mindset of an athlete, and to understand that strength is for everyone is definitely my jam.

Hit me up via email if this sounds enticing to you:

info@kkofitness.com

New year, new you?

Well it's January, which means social media feeds everywhere are a buzz with promises of how to be better in 2017. Collectively this is the time of year our culture decides to start fresh, to get down to business, to make change...

That is until the sheen and urgency of whatever new fitness/healthy eating/dry-January/hot yoga regime you've decided to adopt for the month wears off. And old habits rear their ugly heads: why gym when I can Netflix? I'll start the diet tomorrow. I deserve this. Etcetera, etcetera...

Sound familiar? 

What if there was a better way? A saner way? A kinder way? Which could ultimately produce better and more long lasting results. An approach that feels manageable year round, not just for the first few frantic weeks of January. 

I've worked with hundreds of clients over the last six years and come to realize that sustainable behaviour and lifestyle change isn't glamorous. It's often mundane and repetitive and challenging. But here's the thing, it works.

Are you interested in finally dropping that last 10 pounds? Getting off the couch and feeling light on your feet and fit again? Would you like to learn how to stick to a healthy meal plan for once?

I'm happy to help, we're in this together.

 

Chicken pho, fo' real...

The weather is colder, the days are shorter and there is absolutely nothing better after a long day than a pipping hot bowl of chicken noodle soup. This recipe is super easy and extremely versatile. You can make the broth in around an hour and then store it in the fridge until required. Assembly is also super fast, so dinner comes together in a flash.

 Yes please.

Yes please.

You will need:

For the broth...

  • a whole chicken (or bone in, skin on chicken pieces)
  • soy sauce
  • green onions
  • shallot
  • thumb sized piece of ginger
  • small bulb of garlic
  • a large soup pot

To serve...

  • bean sprouts
  • green onion
  • mint, cilantro, watercress etc
  • fresh red chillies

What you do:

    Cut your chicken into pieces. If you don't know how to do this Gordon Ramsay is happy to teach you here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvPUV5vyKII

 

Cut your chicken into pieces. If you don't know how to do this Gordon Ramsay is happy to teach you here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvPUV5vyKII

    Prep your aromatics: peel and slice the shallot, discard the roots of the green onion, peel the ginger, smash the garlic.

 

Prep your aromatics: peel and slice the shallot, discard the roots of the green onion, peel the ginger, smash the garlic.

    Put the chicken pieces and everything else in a pot, cover with water. Turn up the heat to medium high and bring to a boil.

 

Put the chicken pieces and everything else in a pot, cover with water. Turn up the heat to medium high and bring to a boil.

    Once it's boiled, turn it down to a simmer and leave it for an hour or so. You don't want to over cook the chicken to the point it's falling apart. Cooked through, slightly pealing off the bones and tender is perfect.

 

Once it's boiled, turn it down to a simmer and leave it for an hour or so. You don't want to over cook the chicken to the point it's falling apart. Cooked through, slightly pealing off the bones and tender is perfect.

    Once the chicken is cooked (anywhere from 45 minutes to 1.5 hrs) reserve cooked chicken to a bowl. Season the broth with soy sauce and strain out the vegetables.

 

Once the chicken is cooked (anywhere from 45 minutes to 1.5 hrs) reserve cooked chicken to a bowl. Season the broth with soy sauce and strain out the vegetables.

    Place the broth in the fridge once you've strained it, the fat will harden and it will make it a lot easy to scoop it off. Get rid of the fat. Strain again into whatever receptacle you choose to store it in.

 

Place the broth in the fridge once you've strained it, the fat will harden and it will make it a lot easy to scoop it off. Get rid of the fat. Strain again into whatever receptacle you choose to store it in.

    YUM! The world is your oyster. See below for ideas on how to serve.

 

YUM! The world is your oyster. See below for ideas on how to serve.

    Reheat the broth, boil some rice noodles, pick the chicken off the bones, wash some greens and you're about to have yourself a great time. This is just one option of what can be done with a good home made soup broth.  Pictured: enoki mushrooms, spinach, mint, watercress, cilantro, green onions, lime wedges and rice noodles.

 

Reheat the broth, boil some rice noodles, pick the chicken off the bones, wash some greens and you're about to have yourself a great time. This is just one option of what can be done with a good home made soup broth.

Pictured: enoki mushrooms, spinach, mint, watercress, cilantro, green onions, lime wedges and rice noodles.

    Serve with: chilis, fresh herbs, bean sprouts etc!  Enjoy!

 

Serve with: chilis, fresh herbs, bean sprouts etc!

Enjoy!

Life Changing Protein Pancakes

I love these pancakes. I eat them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They are high protein, high fiber and low carb. There are a lot of "protein" pancakes floating around on the internet and you can even buy pre-made mix these days at health food stores. Save yourself the money. Here is my go to pancake recipe:

 

  Macros:  without toppings  400 calories  9 grams fat  13 grams carbohydrate  6 grams fiber  66 grams protein   Things you will need:   - 1 egg  - half cup egg whites  - 1-2 scoops protein powder  - 2 tablespoons coconut flour (or almond flour or regular old flour)  - 1 teaspoon baking soda  - 1 teaspoon baking powder  - 1 small pat butter  - whatever pancake toppings your heart desires: peanut butter, maple syrup, greek yogurt, fruit (be aware your topping choice will change the macros significantly)

Macros: without toppings

400 calories

9 grams fat

13 grams carbohydrate

6 grams fiber

66 grams protein

Things you will need:

- 1 egg

- half cup egg whites

- 1-2 scoops protein powder

- 2 tablespoons coconut flour (or almond flour or regular old flour)

- 1 teaspoon baking soda

- 1 teaspoon baking powder

- 1 small pat butter

- whatever pancake toppings your heart desires: peanut butter, maple syrup, greek yogurt, fruit (be aware your topping choice will change the macros significantly)

    Not pictured: coconut flour

 

Not pictured: coconut flour

    Beat egg and egg white until frothy. Add protein powder. Whisk until smooth. Add coconut flour, mix until smooth and then add leavening agents (baking powder and soda.)

 

Beat egg and egg white until frothy. Add protein powder. Whisk until smooth. Add coconut flour, mix until smooth and then add leavening agents (baking powder and soda.)

    Melt butter over medium heat until frothy.

 

Melt butter over medium heat until frothy.

    Pour in your batter.

 

Pour in your batter.

    When it looks like this, flip em. Don't touch them before they start to bubble, trust me.

 

When it looks like this, flip em. Don't touch them before they start to bubble, trust me.

 NOM! Enjoy.

NOM! Enjoy.

Make your life easier: fast, healthy meals for lazy people

I am a lazy woman. I am an especially lazy woman when it comes to convenience eating.

We've all been there, exhausted, starving and staring into an empty fridge. These times are generally when we make the worst decisions. These are the times when Poptarts with peanut butter sound like an ideal dinner.

Make your life easier. Take the decision making process out of the equation.  Keep your fridge stocked with some quick-cooking or pre-cooked protein and veggies. Make more than one serving of something at a time. Bulk cooking will make your life so much easier. Let eggs and egg whites become your new best friend.

Lazy Woman's Super Fast all-in-one Omelette/Frittata

 

I eat this probably 2-4x/week. An open omelette or frittata finished in the oven is a great way to get your protein and veggies in all in one go. They're fast, easy and actually taste good. Feel free to add a carb of your choice (if post-workout or looking to bulk.) Also tasty with a side of avocado and some hot sauce.

You will need:

  • olive oil or butter 1-2 tablespoons
  • eggs (1-2)
  • egg whites (half cup to a cup)
  • veggies of your choice: zucchini, mushrooms, bell pepper, onion, spinach, kale etc.
  • thumb size piece of cheese (of your choosing,) grated or sliced
  • oven proof frying pan (cast iron works well)

Method:

  • turn oven's broiler setting to high
  • heat olive oil on medium in the pan
  • chop your veggies in bite size pieces: add the longer cooking items to the pan now, save the leafy green things for later
  • saute until they have a light brown colour and are cooked through (3-5 minutes), add green things, let them wilt (30 seconds - 1 minute)
  • beat your egg(s) with the egg whites, season with salt and pepper
  • make a well in your veggies
  • pour eggs into pan
  • let set for 1-2 minutes
  • add cheese
  • put under broiler for 5-ish minutes (longer if you like a really set omelette)
  • ENJOY
 Egg whites are your new best friend.

Egg whites are your new best friend.

 Saute your chopped veggies in a little oil

Saute your chopped veggies in a little oil

 Beat egg(s) and egg whites together, pour into pan

Beat egg(s) and egg whites together, pour into pan

 Broil!

Broil!

Lazy Woman's Asian(ish) Steak and Greens

This is a really tasty, fairly fancy looking any-time meal.

 Asian..ish.

Asian..ish.

You will need:

  • olive or sesame oil (1-2 tablespoons)
  • piece of steak big enough for two portions: striploin, round or flank work really well
  • soy sauce
  • lime
  • garlic, 1 clove, chopped
  • fresh ginger, 1 small thumb sized piece, chopped
  • fresh chili (if you like it hot), chopped
  • green veggie: bok choy, spinach, kale, rapinni, broccoli (whatever)
  • additional veggie: mushrooms, bell pepper, zucchini, green onions, red onions (whatever you have works)

Method:

  • heat cast iron pan on medium high, make sure it's hot
  • heat additional pan on medium
  • season steak with salt and pepper, rub with oil
  • sear steak on one side without moving it (at least 3 minutes,) you want to build a nice crust
  • while steak is searing, chop veggies
  • add more sesame oil to alternate pan, saute longer cooking veggies (mushrooms, peppers, bok choy stalks) first (3-4 minutes) until translucent
  • add aromatics (garlic, chili, ginger) you don't want to brown these
  • add tops of green things
  • throw some lime juice and soy sauce in veggies to help them wilt
  • meanwhile check on your steak - now is probably a good time to turn it
  • take veggies off heat when they're cooked through and still green
  • check done-ness of steak by poking it, the firmer it is the more well done it is
  • remove steak to a cutting board to rest
  • let rest for at least 3 minutes, cut on the diagonal and enjoy
 French people call this your  mise en place.  Compile your shit before you start.

French people call this your mise en place. Compile your shit before you start.

 Season your steak with sesame oil and salt and pepper, oil the steak. Not the pan. It will stick less.

Season your steak with sesame oil and salt and pepper, oil the steak. Not the pan. It will stick less.

 Massage your steak.

Massage your steak.

 Chop your veggies while the steak sears.

Chop your veggies while the steak sears.

 Get that pan hot.

Get that pan hot.

 Slice your aromatics.

Slice your aromatics.

 We're in business.

We're in business.

 Work clean. Use a plastic produce bag for compost, wipe as you go.

Work clean. Use a plastic produce bag for compost, wipe as you go.

 Let the steak rest, divide your veggies in two.

Let the steak rest, divide your veggies in two.

 NOM! Cook with the fat, discard the fat when serving. This is a piece of grass-fed beef, so it's a little on the fatty side (cause I am cheap and bought a cheaper yet fancier cut.) I suggest going with a striploin or flank cut instead.

NOM! Cook with the fat, discard the fat when serving. This is a piece of grass-fed beef, so it's a little on the fatty side (cause I am cheap and bought a cheaper yet fancier cut.) I suggest going with a striploin or flank cut instead.


Baked Eggs in a Turkey Basket

eggbasket

Baked Eggs in a Turkey Basket I was going to start this recipe with one of a dozen or so awful egg puns I had thought up, instead I'll skip the fowl humour and get straight to business.

Do you enjoy hard boiled eggs? Does their perfect protein packed oval shape please you? Do you also like turkey? What about green things?

These little guys are a great portable snack or on-the-go breakfast option.

Meet your new best friend:

eggbasketWhat you need:

  • several slices (200-300 grams worth) roasted turkey
  • 6 eggs
  • leftover cooked veggies of your choice
  • muffin tin

What you do:

  • heat oven to 350°
  • lightly brush muffin tin with olive oil
  • place sliced turkey in muffin tin to form a turkey basket
  • add 1 tablespoon cooked veggies
  • crack egg in each turkey basket (don't worry if it seems to break through the turkey, they will harden in the oven
  • season with salt and pepper
  • bake for 20-30 minutes depending on your egg done-ness preference
  • ENJOY!

 

What is Fascial Stretch Therapy?

FST

Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST) is a unique system of assisted stretching that leads to dramatic increases in mobility, reduced pain, and improved athletic performance. FST is performed on a massage table by a certified Fascial Stretch Therapist. Therapists apply slight traction to joints before introducing strategic stretches for your whole body. FST works to correct dysfunctional movement patterns, and increases flexibility and range of motion; imagine a cross between massage, yoga and assisted stretching. It is a great tool to alleviate mental and physical stress while improving performance, sleep and reducing chronic pain. What is fascia?

  • Fascia is a connective tissue that surrounds muscles
  • The daily activities of living cause fascia to become tight and shortened; this is worsened by poor posture, lack of exercise, injury, or over-training.
  • Restricted fascia increases the likelihood for strains and tears, scar tissue formation, and injury inducing dysfunctional movement patterns.

How can FST help me?

  • Reduce pain due to trigger points, scar tissue, and tendonitis.
  • Speed up recovery time from injury. Avoid future injury.
  • Improve low back pain.
  • Improve posture.
  • Improve athletic performance.FST

Big Batch Bison Chicken Sliders

finished

Big Batch Bison and Chicken Sliders Nothing makes me happier than large batch cooking. Exhausted and stressed at the end of the day? Feel your hunger transforming into hanger; that dreaded combination of low blood sugar and high emotion? Fear not, large batch cooking will save your life. Good quality, hormone and antibiotic free ground meats from your local butcher are an inexpensive and easy way to get your protein fill. Here is my favourite bison-chicken combination of late.

Prep time: 20 minutes. Cook time: 30 minutes.

Things you need:

-          3 lb ground meats best quality you can afford (I chose 2lb bison and 1lb chicken)

-          Package of mushrooms

-          Half a large red onion

-          Half a large bell pepper

-          1 tablespoon organic butter

-          Half a lime

-          Handful of spinach

-          Chipotle peppers in adobo

-          1 egg

Step 1)

First things first compile your ingredients and preheat the oven to 375 F. Next chop your bell pepper, mushrooms and onion.

Step 2)

Sauté onion, pepper and mushrooms over medium heat in butter until translucent. Add handful of spinach and squeeze lime juice into spinach. Cook until wilted. Set aside and let cool slightly.

Step 3)

Plonk your ground meats in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper (really important other wise your sliders will be bland.) Add cooked veggies and egg. Now it’s time to get your hands dirty.

Mix everything together until well combined. Form into patties or a loaf and bake until golden brown.

And enjoy!

Fitness myths I would like to see permanently put to rest

Don't fear the barbell

So, as a "health and fitness professional" I get asked a lot of questions regarding health and fitness. A lot of these questions come from well-intentioned curiosity and a lot of these questions are a by-product of the relentless stream of "health-fat-loss-fitness-toning-trouble-spots-low-carb-bootcamp-Jillian-Michaels "nonsense that constantly bombards us on TV, in magazines, and on the interweb. "My Nike Trainer app tells me I should be doing 20-30 reps of everything?"

"If I lift heavy weights, I'll bulk up and look like Arnold in the 70s."

"Cardio and salad are the best way to get ready for summer."

"Really, it's the healthiest diet I've ever been on. I only eat things from a straw." (the-horrible-new-diet-that-totally-stinks)

Sound familiar?

Here are the top fitness myths I would like to see die, forever.

1. Women should not lift weights heavier than 12 pounds. Further, women should abstain from: deadlifts, Olympic lifts, barbell squats, bench pressing etc.

This is the biggest crock ever.

Reasons why weight training is in everyone's (but especially women's) best interest:

  • Karen at Bar

    According to Tufts University, the two leading predictors of lifespan are: How much leanbody mass you maintain over the course of your lifetime. How strong you are.

  • The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest. It is estimated that for every pound of muscle you gain you burn an extra 50 calories a day. People that means you get to EAT MORE.
  • Weight training improves insulin sensitivity. Let me break that down for you: the food (blood sugar) you ingest can be stored either in your liver and muscles as glycogen or creep into fat cells increasing their fattiness and size significantly. Fat cells have a pretty much limitless capacity to keep growing. If you weight train hard enough and frequently enough blood sugar is required in your muscle cells to recover from all the activity you have performed. Your body will become more efficient at utilising the food you consume, you will loose fat. It’s simple really. Running won't give you the same hormonal response.

2. Cardio is the best way to lose fat. In fact, running gets you fit.

  • Lies, lies, lies.
  • To paraphrase Charles Poliquin, "Humans are meant to either sprint or walk long distances."
  • In my experience, running gets you: injured, complacent, and weak. But don't take my word for it. Start any marathon training program you find online with no resistance training and see how you feel in a month.
  • Furthermore, Less Muscle = Lower Metabolism.

3. If you fall of the wagon of your (no-carb, no sugar, no solid food, all grapefruit) super restrictive diet, you are a bad person and your body is broken.

  • Health is about balance. The fat loss you're so desperately after will never come if you spend more time stressing and punishing yourself over a minor weekend nutrition slip than taking time to understand that finding your own personal feeling of balance and wellness is extremely important.
  • Being good to yourself, and this includes having compassion for yourself, is the first step towards health.

Don't fear the barbell

4.But I want to lengthen and tone my muscles, not bulk up.

All genders are guilty of this irrational fear mongering. When people tell me they want to "tone or lengthen" I sigh internally and try to explain what they're looking for is fat loss, not toning. Strong and lean = healthy, functional and less disease prone.


The best way to get lean is to get strong. And we do that by lifting weights. Properly, with respect for the generations of strength coaches and athletes that came before us.