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30 Days as a Vegetarian - Day 3

Twelve thoughts on becoming a Vegetarian for 30 days...

#1. Strawberry smoothies stick to my moustache. This is really more of a moustache beef than a 'going vegetarian' beef however. And my use of the word beef in the previous sentence was not meant to be a pun, but whatever. I started growing the moustache back in October in preparation for "Movember" and then I decided to keep it until March when the snow melts. It keeps my face nice and warm all winter long.

#2. Strawberry smoothies are really good. I should make these more often even when the "30 Days as a Vegetarian" experiment is over. The recipe I am using for making the smoothie is:

+ Approx. 1 and a half cups of strawberries, stems and leaves removed.
+ A splash of milk (about 1/4 cup).
+ Stick in the noisy blender for about 90 seconds. Pour the top of the smoothie into a glass, reblend any chunks at the bottom for 60 seconds, add to the glass. (I don't like any chunks in my smoothie.)

#3. Seeing my friends post images of "bacon wrapped potatoes" on Facebook is not helping so I have decided to limit my use of Facebook for the next month. Probably a good thing anyway, people spend way too much time on Facebook anyway when they could be outside exercising.

#4. I don't feel hungry as I am eating lots, but I do suddenly have a craving for bacon. I blame the friend on Facebook for posting those bacon wrapped potatoes.

#5. After I drink a strawberry smoothie, hours later I may belch and suddenly my breath smells like strawberries. [Note - I am not eating just strawberry smoothies, I have only had 1 so far, but the experience has resulted in many thoughts on the topic.]

#6. I am eating leftovers a lot more often I find. eg. This morning I had leftover corn and veggie pasta. This suggests that food will be less likely to go bad in the fridge because I will just go to the fridge and say "Ooooo! Leftovers!" and it will disappear quickly.

#7. Last night I joked with friends about breaking down on the 29th day and gorging myself on bacon. I don't think this will happen, I just thought it was an amusing idea. More likely I will have a burger with 2 strips of bacon on it, on the 31st day after the 30 day experiment is over.

#8. Before meeting friends last night I went to the Johnny Rockets near Yonge and Dundas and had the special, which was loaded with lettuce, onion, tomato, etc. The beauty of Johnny Rockets is that particular restaurant you can substitute their beef patty with a veggie patty instead on any of the burgers (with no extra cost). On the side I had a caesar salad (which had a surprising amount of dressing on it) and to drink I had water with a squeeze of lemon (the lemon came with the salad, but I used it to add some flavour to the water). [See 8 Benefits of Lemon Water in Your Diet.]

#9. My girlfriend was a vegetarian (pescetarian technically because she still ate fish) for approx. 11 years, from 2001 to 2012. She didn't do it because of her love of animals, but she does love them too - she did it because back in 2001 she found she suddenly didn't like the taste of meat. When she resumed eating meat it was when she visiting Haiti, but it was during a cholera outbreak so she ate meat because she couldn't trust the seafood there during the cholera outbreak. What happened was she ate some bad fish, got a really bad case of diarrhea and decided to temporarily go back to eating normal meat, and ultimately decided her previous disgust of the taste from 11 years previous had changed. This isn't so much a personal thought from myself, but some background on a conversation I had earlier today.

#10. I will be outside in the cold (2 degrees) this afternoon for a little more than 3 hours so I am packing a thermos of boiling hot green tea. I will be having hot mushroom soup before I leave so I should be plenty warm and well-fed.

#11. Last year a friend of mine got cancer and it struck me that he is way too young to be having cancer. It was just plain wrong that someone my age or younger should have cancer. However it did get me thinking about all the vegans and vegetarians who talk about how they cured cancer simply by eating healthy food. Given the choice between dying of cancer and becoming a vegan, I think I would rather choose the veggies. I don't think I would even have to become a full blown vegan either, but simply increase my intake of vegetables to the point that I am 95% vegetarian and 5% meat eater (or some similar set of numbers). So if you are reading this and you have cancer, you could consider that to be an option. You would still be able to enjoy meat once in awhile, but get all benefits of a very healthy diet.

#12. Eating hot soup on a cold day is always awesome. Mushroom soup goes well with a sprinkle of parsley on top.

Notes

I weighed myself this morning at 9:40 AM. My current weight is 196.4 lbs.

This change suggests I lost 0.6 lbs per day during the last 2 days. However weight fluctuates often just because of the amount of water in your system, bowel movements and when you last ate a meal, but it is a positive sign. I will be weighing myself every 2 days and posting the results.

If I continued at that rate of 0.6 lbs per day I could in theory drop 18 lbs of fat in 30 days. This would be consistent with what I did several years ago when I cut bread from my diet, ate a mostly vegetables diet, and only ate meat once per week. During that time period I lost about 20 lbs in approx. 40 days (averaging 0.5 lbs per day). I should also note that during that time period I was also weightlifting and doing between 1000 to 1500 jumping jacks per day as cardio to keep my heart rate and metabolism high.

My waist circumference at its widest point is currently 42 inches (down half an inch from two days ago) so that is likewise a positive sign. I am curious to see what the difference will be 28 days from now.

So far so good!

30 Days as a Vegetarian - Day 1

Today is the first day of a 30 day health experiment in which I will eat a vegetarian diet in an effort to rid myself of some extra pounds I put on during the xmas holidays. The last meat I will be having for 30 days is the pork chop I ate with vegetable pasta and corn last night.

Today so far I have had carrot sticks, mushroom soup, leftover vegetable pasta, grapes and later today I will be having vegetable soup, a strawberry smoothie and a caesar salad with artificial bacon flavoured bits of soy on the salad*.

* Seriously, the title of the product is "simulated bacon bits contains no meat". That is the official product name. When I read the ingredients they are soy flour, soybean oil, salt, colour, natural and artificial flavours and vitamins. They are basically bacon flavoured soy / salty vitamins. (The "natural flavours" is not a worry to me.)

Now if you are reading this and thinking "Wait, he cannot be a very good vegetarian if he is eating bacon bits on his salad!"

And you would be right.

I am not a vegetarian. Not even remotely close to being a "good vegetarian". Indeed some of vegan friends would be aghast at the amount of milk, eggs and other non-meat products I will be eating over the next 30 days, thus perhaps I should clarify what I will and will not be eating during this "30 Days as a Vegetarian" experiment.

#1. No meat. That includes no fish either, but I will be having eggs.

#2. No bread either, even though that is not a meat. I am cutting out bread in order to reduce carbs intake.

#3. I can have pasta, rice, couscous and cereal (eg. Shreddies or Vector cereal), but I will be trying to keep those at a lower amount of intake so I am not relying almost solely on them. So for example I can have croutons for my caesar salad.

#4. No sugary junk food or sugary treats, although "sea salt potato chips" ended up on the okay list.

#5. Chocolate is okay as a treat, but it has to be dark chocolate.

#6. Lots of berries.

#7. Lots of green vegetables.

#8. Lots of corn, peas, carrots.

#9. Potatoes, especially baked or mashed potatoes.

#10. Apples, tangerines and grapes as snacks.

#10. Yogurt, milk and ice cream are acceptable, and the yogurt / ice cream can be mixed with berries.

#11. I can have beer and wine as a treat or when hanging out socially. Yeah! (Although I do wish I had purchased low carb beer when I was last at the store.)

#12. Whey Protein (made from milk whey) will be added to my smoothies, as I will still be doing my weightlifting routine during this 30 day period.

In order to make sure I had enough vegetables I went to the grocery store and stocked up on lots of things. Everything from tangerines to potatoes to 2 different kinds of lettuce to broccoli to vegetable soup cans to apples to strawberries to chick peas to caesar salad croutons, etc.

The receipt on the left also includes my girlfriend's chicken and bagels, blue toilet pucks for the bathroom, dishwashing gloves, dishwashing soap and a few household items.

So minus those things, roughly $100 in vegetables, fruits, berries, cereal, pasta and so forth.

So I will have no shortage of things to eat over the next 30 days and I will not be starving.

For record keeping purposes it is now 3:40 PM on Thursday January 22nd. I finished a late lunch about an hour ago.

I have just weighed myself - 197.6 lbs.

And my waist circumference at its widest point is 42.5 inches. My hips at their widest point are 43 inches. My chest circumference (measured like a tailor would) is 44 inches. So my somewhat hourglass shape is 44-42.5-43.

With my height (6'2") my BMI (Body Mass Index) is 25.4. However BMI can be confusing as it ignores muscle mass and bone density, and as someone who exercises a lot, I don't consider myself to be overweight.

But I would like to have six pack abs. As a personal trainer people expect you to look to look like an Adonis. I do not. Yes, I exercise a lot, but I am a personal trainer and not a nutritionist. I may know more about nutrition than the average person, but I am in no way a specialist at it.

The measurements are on my side too, my waist is smaller than my hips and my chest, so most people would never think I have too many pounds around the middle. But it could be better in my opinion, especially since my long term goal is to have six pack abs.

So this will be 30 days of eating healthy vegetarian food and lots of exercise. I shall be posting my progress every 2-3 days. If you want to keep track of my progress just Subscribe using one of the various subscription options on the right.

If you have comments, have experience with "going vegetarian for 30 days" or something similar I welcome your comments in the comments section below.

Can Feng Shui improve my workout?

Feng Shui is the Chinese philosophy system of harmonizing oneself with their environment.  In it, one seeks to arrange their space to ensure that energy is able to flow uninterrupted throughout.  Remember Yin and Yang, well they also play a part in feng shui in that they help to describe the flow of energy within a space. 

How does this help you with your exercise routine? It just so happens that creating a feng shui space can allow you to energize your workout, improve your desire to work out and make you feel better in the long run.

What exactly are we feng shui'ing? We want to focus on the space so we want to select, arrange and prepare a space that is conducive to the flow of energy.  We can accomplish this by doing some very specific things to our personal gym rooms at home.
 
What colour should I use?
We should start with colours that you should not choose.  Dark colours such as brown and black are not the colours you should be painting the wall of you personal gym.  They tend to bring down the mood of a room and can cause people to feel tired and ready to got to sleep (definitely not traits of a room we want to do energizing exercise in).  
 
You should pick a colour that will make you want to move and shed those pesky pounds.  Colours you may want to pick are ones that reflect nature and the outdoors such as shades of green or sky blue.  These colours will put you in a peaceful mood that will allow you to focus on your exercise.  Or you may want to pick a pale yellow that will reflect the natural light coming from your windows.  And lastly, you can pick a hot colour like red that will increase you energy and make you feel like working extra hard to burn your calories.
Selection of a room
If you are so lucky as to be able to pick the room you will be exercising in you should pick a room that gets lots of natural light and maybe a bit a breeze.  This will provide you with a space that has the proper flow to it.  Also, try to find a space that is away from too much noise, but be sure to balance it out with some sort of energizing element (perhaps some red paint) as too much tranquility will not give you a well balanced space.

 
Arranging your gym equipment
To make sure that you place your gym equipment in a manner conducive to feng shui the first step is to make sure that your space is kept clean and tidy.  The best way to ensure that the space is able to encourage the flow of energy is to keep it clean.  
 
Next, if you can put some of it away in a closet you can ensure the space is kept as open as possible and that it will not disrupt the energy flow.  Place the equipment in the eastern section of your house.  This is the area most associated with new beginnings, family, friends and health.

Feng shui is a great tool in ensuring that your exercise is done in a positive and productive space.  Using the ancient Chinese philosophy will help you to lose those pounds you want in no time.

Celebrity Health Diets: When to listen to celebrity advice

Do celebrities know what they are talking about when they recommend a health product or lifestyle? 

Celebrities from Gwyneth Paltrow to the Kardashians are trying to get you to buy into their particular brand of health product. 
This in and of itself could be a good thing, in fact some of these products could be really helpful in getting you into shape. 
But it may also be a bad thing because a recommendation from a celebrity may not be the most informed source of information about your health (better sources include your doctor or a scientist).
So let's look at some celebrity health products and lifestyles and follow some simple rules that will help us make the best decision.

If the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) says it is not good, that might be a sign.
A health supplement and sexual enhancing drug has been endorsed by the football personalities Jimmy Johnson. 
In a commercial, he says that the product works for him and with 1 billion pills sold it must work for the other men who purchased them (which is faulty logic because all we really know is that they purchased it not that it works for them; in fact for all we know a good proportion of the men that purchased the pills could be suffering from adverse health effects because of the pill [though this has not been proven]). 
Despite the praise showered on the drug by Jimmy Johnson, the FDA has denounced the drug and issued a voluntary recall for it in 2011. 
The spokesman at the FDA said that they have received reports of spiked products, poor regulation of what is put in the pill (including counterfeit and undeclared ingredients) and that it included ingredients that have been banned in the United States (including 1 that is known to cause heart disease.
If the celebrity is a little shady.

I am talking about those celebrities (and I use that word very loosely) that you are not so sure should be celebrities.  These include the reality stars or the 15 minutes of fame on Youtube variety.  These people essentially hit the lottery and have done nothing to deserve your attention. 
A lot of the time these people want to extend their paydays and by extension their celebrity so they may endorse things that in the long run (or short run for that matter) are not the best choices for your health.  Snooki and The Situation from MTV's reality hit Jersey Shore are just some celebrities that have endorsed products that are meant to make you healthier but really there are  questions marks about the products efficacy. 
Snooki endorsed a cookie diet, but even she has conceded that working out everyday is the best way to lose weight. 
The Situation has endorsed a protein infused vodka drink that falls short in terms of it's weight losing abilities.
If it just sounds crazy.
Some diets are just a little too crazy for normal people.  If your job is to look good all day and you have the means to ensure you can maintain your lifestyle then have at it, but if you have a full time job, kids, friends and family or a restricted budget then this diet may not be for you. 
Posh Spice otherwise known as Victoria Beckham swore by her 5 Hands diet in which she only ate 5 handfuls of food (which was only berries, nuts and grains) a day.  That sounds great for her, but if you need a lot of energy and you want to make it through the day this may not be the best thing for you. 
Gwyneth Paltrow used to live by her organic and macrobiotic diet where she would only eat whole unprocessed foods.  This seemingly does not sound too extreme but when you think about it it has 2 major problems. 
The first is money.  How in the world could a normal person with a family possibly maintain that kind of diet financially.  Organic foods way are more expensive that regular foods and could break the bank of us non-celebrities. 
The second problem is nutrition.  You will have to ban meat and dairy products from your diet.  These foods provide important vitamins and nutrients that you will have to supplement in someway to ensure you stay healthy and without the proper guidance you could be putting your health in serious danger.  Ms. Paltrow herself has since relaxed her diet restrictions so even she has admitted that her diet may not be the best way to live your life.

Listen to yourself

The best way to tell if a celebrity diet or lifestyle is a good idea for you is to check with yourself.  Pay attention to what your body is saying to you.  If you feel pain, stop that particular exercise.  If you feel hungry or lightheaded, eat.  If you feel full, stop eating.  If you feel that a particular pill you are taking is making you ill, consult your physician.  Everyone is different and we all have different circumstances we are living in so make sure that whatever you are doing is right for you and makes you feel better.

10 More Ways to Trick Yourself into Burning Extra Calories

One of the most popular posts I have done in the past is 10 Ways to Trick Yourself into Burning Extra Calories, which has apparently gone viral. So it is past time I expanded the list by adding more!

To summarize the 10 Tricks are:

Drinking Cold Water
Swing Your Arms When Walking
Listen To Music While Exercising
Lift More When Weightlifting
Break Up Your Sets of Exercises
Head Outside
Crank Up The Incline When Jogging, Walking or Running
Log 12 Minutes of Exercise Every Day
Cut Your Workouts in Half, One in the Morning and One in the Afternoon
Warm Up by Jogging in Place

Such a simple list, but simplicity is beautiful.

I think that is why that particular post is so popular. It is full of simple and easy tricks to make yourself burn extra calories.

In keeping with that I have kept the 10 New Tricks to Burn Extra Calories simple and easy to do.

#1. Add Jumping into your Routine - Whether you are jogging, swimming or weight training, adding jumps to your exercise routine boosts your energy output - and burns more calories in brief bursts of motion. Thus jumping rope, jumping over puddles while jogging, or even just adding a little jump into your dance routine this can boost your calorie burn.

#2. Stairs - If jogging gets boring, try running up and down stairs instead. The dramatically steeper incline burns extra calories than jogging up a hill or over a flat surface. Want a bigger challenge? Carry a weighted backpack while going up and down the stairs.


#3. Add Balancing to your Exercises - Standing on one foot while doing bicep curls is harder than doing bicep curls by itself. It forces your legs to do work while your upper body is working too. Remember to alternate legs evenly.

#4. Combine Different Exercises into One Exercise - For example when doing yoga, hold small kettlebells or dumbbells in your hands while performing the exercises. The weight doesn't have to be a lot, but you are basically combining yoga and weightlifting simultaneously into "Weight Yoga".

Note - Obviously for safety reasons you should not mix two exercises that sound dangerous into 1 exercise. eg. Weight lifting while rock climbing = dangerous. Use good judgment.

#5. Alternate Two Different Exercises - Jog Two Minutes, Lift Weights Two Minutes, Jog Two Minutes, Lift Weight Two Minutes. Keep alternating back and forth between an upper body exercise and a lower body exercise and it boosts your strength and endurance.

#6. Keep Moving While Watching TV - Clap for funny things (even though they cannot hear you), tap your feet during music, get up and dance when excited, stay standing or walk around while watching, clean your living room, etc. Basically if you stay active while 'relaxing' you will burn way more calories than simply sitting and watching.

#7. Jog across the Street - When out shopping or doing errands you will sometimes need to walk across the street. Instead of casually walking across, jog across. Only takes 5 to 10 seconds to do, depending on the width of the street, but if you make a habit of it you are burning extra calories.

#8. Don't Go Home until you are Tired - So for example if you are outside walking the dog, if you are not tired of walking the dog (and don't have any pressing business at home) then just keep walking the dog until either you or the dog is tired and wants to go home. This also means you can take the long way home, you can visit places along the way, you can take the hilly route, you can walk by the beach on the way.

#9. Put on Music and Dance while Cooking - It helps you build an appetite (a good appetite is good for digestion, and good digestion means you use more energy and store less of it). Plus the physical act of dancing burns calories.

#10. Make Excuses to Clean + Clean It NOW - Find reasons why you need to clean (eg. company is coming over), schedule time to clean, and if something is dirty and know it is dirty you should probably clean it NOW instead of doing later. Put on some music, watch a TV show while you clean, steam some veggies while you clean. Cleaning your home burns calories, and while it is just going to get dirty again later the good news is that a lack of clutter improves the Feng Shui of your home - and good Feng Shui creates a mental mood in the inhabitants that makes them want to exercise and be more active.

BONUS TRICK!

Get rid of your drapes and blinds. Let in more sunlight to your home and the extra Vitamin D in your body helps to burn more calories. Plus the sunlight and sight of the great outdoors will encourage you to go outside and exercise more.

Want more tricks for how to burn extra calories? Leave some comments, show your support, subscribe and I will do my best to add more in the future. :)

Six Star Creatine as a Weightlifting Supplement

For those of you who don't know Creatine is a chemical found in red meat that boosts muscle growth and regulates energy distribution to muscle tissue (and also other body parts). Creatine intake is good for your muscles, heart, brain and more - but it is primarily used by people who are into weightlifting and bodybuilding.

I recently purchased a new packaged of Creatine to aid me during my Winter weightlifting regimen. This is for my personal use, not for clients.

Normally I use Sportzone creatine monohydrate powder, but when I saw the Six Star package [shown right] last Friday at the Shoppers Drug Mart in Little Italy I decided I would give it a try.

The Six Star creatine 'fruit punch' powder comes with added colour, sugar, fruit punch flavour, etc to make it taste better. It tastes like fruit punch kool-aid, remarkably so.

The Sportzone creatine monohydrate powder is quite normal in comparison. It is just a white powder that you mix with water or tea and drink. It has no added sugar or flavouring.

The thing that bothers me about the Six Star creatine is that it is 200 calories per scoop. That shows you just how much sugar they added to the mixture. To put that in perspective a 710 mL bottle of Coca-Cola has 320 calories (don't get confused by the Coke label saying it has 160 calories for 355 mL, they have cut the measurement in half in an effort to trick people into thinking it is healthier than it really is).

200 calories is still a lot however. It is 10% of your daily needs, hence why I have decided to use half-scoops so it is only 100 calories (5% of my daily needs). The slight sugar rush will just give me more energy while I am exercising.


I would also argue that I probably don't need a full dosage of Creatine. Each full scoop contains 5010 mg of creatine and while 5 g (5000 mg) is a normal full dosage for Sportzone, I don't use the full dosage on that stuff either.

It is my opinion that these supplements are just that: Supplements. Taking a full dosage isn't a necessity when supplementing your regular diet. If you are already eating your fair amount of red meat you may not need to supplement your Creatine intake, or you may only need a small amount to supplement your intake.

Thus for myself I have chosen to use half dosages of Creatine for my personal use, supplementing my intake as I see fit. Plus since the Six Star creatine has all that added sugar, it makes a bit of sense that maybe I should not be drinking the stuff like a hog at the trough.

I will continue to use the Six Star Creatine, but it is my opinion that after I finish the above package that I will probably go back to using the Sportzone creatine and mixing it with regular water or tea. I find green tea goes quite well with it.


Am I too fat to do archery? + Cycling for Overweight People

Q

"Hello!

I live near the Toronto Archery Range and I am thinking about getting into archery. I am close enough to bicycle there so I figured if I bicycled to the archery range it would be a good way to lose weight.

However I do have two questions I need help with:

1. I weigh 380 lbs (it fluctuates, but that is my current weight). I worry that my weight will impede my ability to do archery. Full disclosure, I have what some people might call 'a generous chest area' and while I know that is normal for a man my size, I do worry it will make it difficult for me to do archery. Do you have any advice concerning this? Am I too fat to do archery?

2. I find riding a bicycle painful on my posterior (if you know what I mean). How can I alleviate this so the seat isn't so painful?

Sincerely,
Name Withheld for Privacy Reasons"

A1

Part One!

No, you're not too fat. I maintain that anyone can learn to do archery - and learn to do it well with continued practice. While it is true physical fitness certainly helps, that is not the deciding factor in the matter.

Many women (and a few men) have very generous chest areas, but this doesn't mean they cannot do archery. Many beginners (not just people who are amply proportioned) encounter problems with string contact on the chest when they are at full draw because they have a tendency to lean away from the bow as they pull back on it.

Leaning back away from the bow changes the angle of the torso so the chest area ends up making contact with the bow string. Standing up straight - or deliberately leaning into the shot - changes the angle dramatically and the chances of string contact are dramatically reduced.

For some women with ample bra sizes they find that string contact is dramatically reduced when wearing a sports bra.

However for men having a sports bra isn't normally an option... But if you Google that topic, you will discover there are male chest girdles designed to compact the chest area and flatten it out - so that does exist.

I found several chest compression vests on Amazon.com that might work for some people, but according to the descriptions they are often designed for men who weigh specific amounts. I am certain there are products out there however that are designed for men in your weight category.

Archery chest guards are designed to flatten one side of your chest, but mostly in an effort to keep excess fabric from clothing rubbing against the bow string. They aren't designed like a sports bra is in an effort to flatten everything and keep it firmly in place.


As you can see above the bow string isn't rubbing against her chest area, but it probably wouldn't be rubbing against her anyway because her posture is nice and upright (no leaning away from the bow). She is wearing a chest protector, but that is mostly because she is conscious of the fact any loose clothing might interfere with the bow string.

So before you rush out to purchase a chest compression vest or a chest guard I recommend you first learn how to shoot and stand up straight while shooting. There is no need to run out and buy a vintage men's girdle that looks like it is something out of the 1800s.

Have a friend take photos of you while shooting so you know for certain you aren't leaning back away from the bow and changing the angle of your torso.

Then if you determine that you are still having difficulties, then you can look into purchasing a compression vest to help flatten out part of your chest.

A2

Part Two!

You are not alone with the uncomfortable bicycle seat problem. Many elderly people also find modern bicycle seats to be too uncomfortable (and some religious orthodox people feel that are too scandalous).

There is a solution however: Broader seats, ergonomic seats, and even gel filled seats with shocks under them. Prices vary, but here are some examples of different bicycle seats below.




 Another thing you should do is make sure the angle of the bicycle seat (after it is installed) is level. Sometimes people find their seats are uncomfortable because the seat itself is on a forward or backward angle, and this in turn hurts both their posterior (as you put it) and your lower back muscles.

Winter Archery Lessons in Toronto

This winter has been very mild so far, which brings me to the topic of Winter Archery Lessons.

Normally the Winters in Toronto are annoyingly cold, windy and if it is not snowing or freezing cold, it is windy or freezing rain.

But so far this 2014/2015 Winter has been extremely mild. I have been, on rare occasions, teaching archery despite the colder temperatures.

Thus if you live in Toronto and you are looking for archery lessons outside, take a look at the 14 day forecast and pick a day that is warmer and not snowing/windy. Once you found a suitable day contact me at cardiotrek@gmail.com and ask if I am available for that day.

If I am available (I might not be) and the weather looks agreeable, I will likely agree to teach a lesson.

Please be advised that I use my weekend/evening rates for ALL Winter archery lessons, regardless of what day of the week or time of day it is. Also please be advised that I only teach during daylight hours. Thus the start time of any lesson has to be approx. 90 minutes or more before sunset. See Sunrise and Sunset Times in Toronto so you have an accurate idea of when the sun sets on a particular day.

Last Winter I did teach 1 student who wanted to get into bowhunting. Below is a photo from her first day of shooting, she was hitting the yellow by the 3rd round. She had never even touched a bow before that day. She was so pleased we just had to take a photo to commemorate her first bullseye. (Judging by the damage on that target, a lot of my students get bullseyes.)

Happy New Years from Cardio Trek / New Years Resolutions

Starting a new year is a great time to make New Years Resolutions - assuming you keep them.

Common New Years Resolutions are:

1. Go on a diet to lose weight. eg. Set a goal of losing 10 lbs in 40 days, or 90 lbs in 1 year.

2. Exercise more. eg. Weekly, twice weekly, daily, twice daily.

3. Eat more healthy food. eg. Eat more veggies.

4. Try a new sport. eg. I am planning to do a lot of snowshoeing this winter.

5. Cut out junk food from your diet. eg. No more sugary treats or sugary soda pop.


6. Go to the gym more often. eg. Weekly, twice weekly, daily, twice daily.

7. Hire a nutritionist to help you lose weight. eg. I can recommend a vegan expert if you are thinking of going in that direction.

8. Hire a personal trainer to help you lose weight / gain muscle. eg. If you live in the Leaside area of Toronto, you could hire me.

9. Learn more healthy recipes. eg. Check out the recipes on beautiful-vegan.com.

10. Watch less TV and go walk the dog more often. eg. Take the dog to High Park, Toronto Island or E.T. Seton Park.

11. Donate all of your junk food to charity or to relatives and then do #3 above. eg. Your cousin who is in college could probably get rid of it pretty quickly.

12. Set aside 1 day every week to go exercise with friends or family. eg. Find a friend or family member who wants to try a new sport and then do it together.


Want more ideas for New Years Resolutions you could make? Read some of the following posts from previous years:


12 Exercise New Years Resolutions

12 New Years Resolutions for the Health Conscious!

New Years Resolutions for 2013

13 Diet and Exercise Resolutions for 2013

13 New Years Resolutions for a Beach Perfect Body

Fitness Trends for 2013

Have you given up on your New Years Resolutions yet?

12 Valentines Resolutions


Burglars need to exercise more / Merry Xmas from Cardio Trek

I heard an intruder up on the roof last night so I took a bow and arrow and shot the bastard. His body fell off the roof and was eaten by a crazy herd of man-eating reindeer. Looks like he was trying to steal all our Christmas gifts. Don't worry, we got his bag of loot. All is good.

Serves him right for sneaking around on people's rooftops on the night Jesus was born. Burglars need to exercise more these days. They're getting too fat and jolly. The burglar had the nerve to call me a ho. I am guessing his day job was pimping. He was certainly dressed like one.

If he wanted to be a cat burglar he really needs to get into shape. You can't be running around on rooftops like that and not expect some physical challenges. When I spotted him he appeared to have his foot stuck inside the old chimney that has been plugged up for decades. Not too bright. How he thought he could fit down that I will never know.

When he realized I caught him he started calling me a ho again and again and reaches for something under his jacket. I figured he was reaching for a gun so I shot him first. The impact knocked him off balance, he fell off the roof and the crazy reindeer then ate his corpse.

I grabbed the bag of loot he stole from us and went back inside to call the cops. But as I was about to dial I realized that they would never believe this farfetched story of a burglar dressed in red on rooftops. There wasn't even evidence he was ever there. So since the reindeer had already disposed of the body I shrugged and went back to bed.

The nerve of the guy. Doesn't he know last night was a Holy Night? Twas the night Jesus was born (supposedly, though some say he was actually born in March and a Roman emperor moved his birthday celebrations to December) and therefore not a night to go robbing people.

Plus it was freezing rain last night. How crazy do you have to be to be crawling on an icy / slippery roof during freezing rain? In the dark no less. I nearly slipped and fell.

Anyway, Merry Christmas to all! If you don't find any gifts under the tree from your loved ones this year it is because a bastard in a red suit stole them all.



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