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30 Days as a Vegetarian - Day 10

Welcome to day #10 of  "30 Days as a Vegetarian".

Honestly I am getting bored of my meal options.

When eating out I have been having veggie burgers (which is pretty hit or miss as some vegetarian options are just gawd awful), but at home I have been having:


That and eating carrot sticks, fruit, etc. I think that is why I get so excited about having a veggie burger when eating out, because it is a change from the hum-drum of salads, soups, etc.

Honestly I don't know how to make much more beyond those things without going into grains, cereals, potatoes, etc - things that are going to have a higher calorie count.

Thus I could make a rice / veggie stirfry, but I am trying to limit my rice intake because of the calories involved.

Likewise I could also make cornmeal bread or pancakes, but again same problem - cornmeal is high in calories.

And of course potatoes, which thus far I have been including in stews and mashed potatoes, but have avoided making potato pancakes, potato french fries, etc. The starch in the potatoes is almost as bad as sugar when it comes to packing on the pounds.

Basically a lot of the tastier options are off the table simply because I want to avoid anything that is too high in calories / starch.

The end result is that it is making me feel very restricted in what I can and cannot eat.

And to top it off I am now receiving nasty emails from a vegan (who I have since blocked) who insists that I should not be eating/drinking eggs, milk or other animal products either because "that is still murder" in her opinion. (By her definition, a woman donating her eggs to medical research would be murder too.)

So this morning for breakfast I had a yogurt and a bowl of carrot sticks. As much as I love carrot sticks, it was the yogurt that was the highlight of my breakfast.

In other news my weight this morning (after breakfast) was 193.8 lbs. I have lost almost 4 lbs in 10 days.

Waist at widest point was still 41 inches.

30 Days as a Vegetarian - Day 8

Note: If you are enjoying reading 30 Days as a Vegetarian check out my past posts on the topic.

So I measured my weight yesterday (Day 7) before breakfast and it was 195.0.

And today I measured my weight after lunch (Day 8) and it was 195.9.

The really positive news is my waist measured 41.0 inches both yesterday and today. So things are definitely heading in a positive direction.

So my conclusion from this is that my weight is going to continue to fluctuate on an hourly basis just due to the intake of food and the expulsion of waste, so the process of checking weight is going to be completely arbitrary depending on how recently I ate something or went to the bathroom.

I also have to wonder how much eating out (vegetarian options only) at restaurants effects the weight fluctuations.

For example lets say I have a veggie burger, caesar salad on the side, and water to drink. I have had that exact same meal twice so far in the last 8 days because of an event last Friday and again this past Tuesday. I have no idea what the calories in such a meal is because I keep forgetting to check the calories when I am at the restaurant.

Tonight (Thursday) I am going to another event and this time I will be having some kind of vegetarian dish (possibly another veggie burger since that is my go-to dish), as well as beer because this particular event will involve a little drinking. So I can tell you right now the calorie content of tonight's meal is not going to be helping me.

And due to the length of the event and preparations I have to make earlier today, I am not making as much time to exercise as I normally do today. So I will only be getting a light workout in.

My workout schedule thus far:

Thursday, Day 1 - Light Exercise, Indoors
Friday, Day 2 - Moderate Exercise, Outdoors + Light Exercise Indoors
Saturday, Day 3 - Moderate Exercise, Outdoors
Sunday, Day 4 - Relaxed
Monday, Day 5 - Moderate Exercise, Indoors
Tuesday, Day 6 - Light Exercise, Indoors
Wednesday, Day 7 - Moderate Exercise, Indoors
Thursday, Day 8 (Today) - Light Exercise, Indoors

Back to the restaurants topic however, since the beginning of this health experiment I have been meaning to visit a number of Toronto's vegan / vegetarian / raw vegan restaurants to see what they have to offer.

I should note however that I have been to several before, back when I was dating a vegan woman years ago.

For example I don't really like Fresh. I had their veggie burger years ago and it was so awful I nearly vomited. They put wheatgrass on the burger and a host of other things that don't belong on a burger. I tried taking many of the pieces of unedible garbage off the burger in order to make it more palatable, but even the patty and the bun were horrible. The bun was as hard as a rock and difficult just to bite through, and the patty tasted like they had tossed way too many weird things into a blender together. I ordered the burger at Fresh because everything else on the menu looked ridiculously weird and made of things I knew I would not eat. It was as if the chef making the menu had no clue how to make normal food and/or was deliberately trying to make food that is as weird as possible. (I would like to play dodgeball with their chef and throw his rock-hard burger buns at him. See how he likes them!)

Rawlicious (see comparison I have been to several times and their food is always good - they have a variety of things anyone can eat as well as a few oddities. Thus you don't feel forced into ordering something weird. Rawlicious also has quite a few desserts, which is not healthy really, but hey, they're in the business of making raw food taste delicious and that is pretty unusual by itself. Everything in their restaurant is not cooked whatsoever. Chopped, stirred, whipped, yes - but all raw.

Here is a list of places I would like to try sometime, if I find the time and courage to try their food:

Hibiscus Cafe
Hogtown Vegan
Kupfert + Kim
Live Raw Food Bar
One Love Vegetarian
Pulp Kitchen
Urban Herbivore

I cannot speak to the quality of any of those places, I am just compiling a list of maybes.

At present what I have been doing is going to "normal restaurants" and then just picking from the vegetarian options available. Which for me usually means going straight for the veggie burger because that is my past favourite. However some places have really bad veggie burgers and some have really good veggie burgers. Johnny Rockets for example makes a great veggie burger, hence why I have gone there twice. Fresh in contrast has a burger so awful it could poison someone. With all the weird things they put on it I wouldn't be surprised if they accidentally put poisonous toadstools or nightshade on there.

Caesar Salad, Veggie Burger + Water at Johnny Rockets

Tonight I will be trying the vegetarian options at 7 West (7 Charles Street West, Toronto) + sampling some of Toronto's beer (likely Millstreet or Steamwhistle). Tomorrow I will be putting in a heavy workout to burn off some of the extra calories from tonight.

Update - The veggie burger at 7 West was horrible. The patty was mushy like meatloaf and when you bit down on the burger, bits of the veggie patty would squeeze out the sides. Tasted awful too. I didn't even finish it. Ended up having a Wellington Dark to wash it down.

30 Days as a Vegetarian - Day 5

If you are just tuning in now, I am doing a health experiment wherein I will eat vegetarian food for 30 days, and in order to make sure I don't gorge myself on bread during that time period I am also not allowing myself to have bread either. If you want to read more check out the previous posts:

30 Days as a Vegetarian - Day 1
Weight 197.6 lbs, Waist @WP 42.5 inches

30 Days as a Vegetarian - Day 3
Weight 196.4  lbs, Waist @WP 42 inches

Weighed myself just a few minutes ago, clocked in at 196.6. I should also note the time, 1:24 in the afternoon, and I just ate about an hour ago. Waist measurement at its widest point is still 42 inches, same as 2 days ago, but still down from Day 1.

So I am not seeing the progress I was seeing during the first 2 days, but that could just be a matter that I just ate. In theory if I wanted to skew the results I could do the measurements before breakfast every morning, but after my visit to the bathroom - whether that would be more accurate or less accurate is a matter of opinion. Regardless, I was hungry for breakfast this morning so I was more worried about making and eating my soup than I was in weighing myself right away.

It should be interesting to see what the results are on Day 7, to see whether I am stagnating or still on track.

My exercise schedule so far has been:

Thursday, Day 1 - Light Exercise, Indoors
Friday, Day 2 - Moderate Exercise, Outdoors + Light Exercise Indoors
Saturday, Day 3 - Moderate Exercise, Outdoors
Sunday, Day 4 - Relaxed
Monday, Day 5 (Today) - Moderate Exercise, Indoors

I decided to increase the amount of exercise I am doing indoors because I think that may be a major factor in the fat burning process and if I am having too many light exercise days or days where I relax, that in turn will result in less of a weight change.

Note - After this experiment is done I may have to conclude the biggest factor was exercise, not whether it was vegetarian or not, but we shall have to wait and see. Depends how much exercise I manage to fit into my schedule over the next 25 days.

More thoughts on being a Vegetarian for 5 days so far...

#1. Hamburgers smell good. Why does my girlfriend have to make hamburgers in front of me??? In the same room!!! And now she is laughing at me for writing this...

"Its not my fault!" she protests. "[I] was just joking... you should stop being a vegetarian."

I say: "I thought you were going to be supportive!"

She says: "I am supportive, I am just hungry!"

Eventually we got bored of this topic, but the smell of hamburgers permeated our home.

#2. Note to self, need to buy veggie burgers the next time I visit a grocery store. I need to be able to have something that is the equivalent for whenever my girlfriend decides to have a hamburger.

#3. Honestly, if I became a vegetarian permanently I think I would be the worst vegetarian ever. Why? Because I have zero interest in "saving the animals". My interest is solely on the matter of eating healthy. I really do not care if chickens are laying eggs, cows are being milked and their byproducts are being consumed by humans. I think this is partially because I was raised on a farm north of Kitchener. Mennonite region, lots of Amish in the region. My parents were beef farmers and when I was younger we purchased raw milk from a local farmer (although we later switched to store bought milk). It is true that factory farms, feed lots and similar practices do routinely treat the animals inhumanely. My personal beliefs are that animals should be raised in the wild / free range, and then hunted for their meat. I am anti-factory farm and pro-hunter - but my pro-hunter stance would not make me very popular in the vegan community. It is my opinion that we should be hunting cattle, deer, etc - and admittedly within hunting, there will sometimes be occasions when an animal is killed inhumanely, but this is rare as most hunters want to have the animal die instantly or almost instantly, as tracking a wounded animal through the bush is both arduous and stressful as the animal is crying in pain. The consensus from the hunting community is that they love animals, and they want those animals to die in a humane fashion before later being eaten. At the same time however I should note that I don't approve of "trophy hunters", the kind who just shoot animals for sport and don't actually eat them. If you shoot it, then you should eat it. Anything less is a waste.

#4. I received a lot of positive comments on the Toronto Vegetarian Association on Facebook and other sources. I did one little post saying that I was doing it for 30 days and asked for advice, and what I got was 30 Likes and 21 comments.

However I want to note that many of the comments were about how they think I should go vegan instead, because vegetarian isn't good enough for some people. One of them even made the comment "Being vegan feels so great. It's a much different experience than being a vegetarian."

Seriously. I try something new for 30 days, and someone makes a comment like that they are just rubbing your face in it with the "holier than thou" attitude. This is why normal people get annoyed at vegans because they have this attitude / belief that they are somehow morally superior to everyone else and yet apparently have an ego problem. Condescension doesn't encourage people to try vegetarianism or vegan-ism, it is either borderline rude or just plain rude and some people don't seem to realize when they are doing it.

Even vegetarians find vegans annoying sometimes. Seriously, how annoying do you have to be with the "holier than thou" attitude that you are annoying the vegetarians?

Over the years I have made a few vegan friends that I am still friends with. I say still friends with because the average vegan is pushy, rude and annoying - trying to force their food beliefs onto others. However for the ones I am still friends with, the friendship was maintained because they didn't try to push things on me, they were not rude/condescending and they just tried gently encouraging me instead. That is a much better way of doing things and makes way more friends. This business of vegans being rude is really the biggest reason why so many vegans have a bad reputation.

On the flip side I also agree that omnivores need to keep their own opinions in check. People's choice of what to eat is a bit like religion. They eat what they believe in eating. eg. I used to avoid eating lamb simply because I didn't like the idea of baby lambs being killed for my food, but I didn't have a problem with eating mutton because the sheep was old and going to die anyway.

During the comments on Facebook a lot of them mentioned The 30 Day Vegan Challenge, which I had never heard of, but sounds like something a lot of people would try. There was also another one called The Veggie Challenge, wherein a person goes meat-free for a week. Both are novel ideas, but I want to get through my "30 Days as a Vegetarian" first to see how it goes and then make some decisions about the future (see #5).

Some of them were primarily concerned about the food being animal free, ignoring the possibility that I might be doing this solely for health reasons. They just assume that I am doing this health purposes. (I saw no reason to tell them I am anti-factory farm and pro hunter because that would just cause an argument that is counter-productive.)

Some of them talked about the social aspect of eating vegetarian food, how you should plan your meals ahead of time, what to do when you go to a party, etc.

Some suggested I need to drink almond milk, soy milk, etc - apparently ignoring the possibility I might prefer normal milk.

#5. The Future. I can see doing another "30 Days of Something" in the future. Possibly "30 Days as a Vegan" or "30 Days as a Raw Vegan" or "30 Days as a Pescetarian" or "30 Days on a Juice Fast".

However I should note, before I get anyone's hopes up, these ideas I am floating about would be just temporary experiments in different healthy diets. I am most looking forward to the Pescetarian because then I would be able to have fish and chips (obviously not every day, but maybe once per week).

#6. Lastly, I really could not care less if my vegetables are "organic" or "pesticide free". I have seen the studies that show so-called "organic food" has just as much pesticides on them as non-organic, and the reason is because the wind blows the pesticides off neighbouring farms and ultimately all the vegetables end up with lots of pesticides on them. Paying extra for 'wind blown pesticide fake organic food' is for fools who think pesticides actually have any measurable difference on the human body (which they don't, because 99.99% of pesticides are washed off before they ever reach the grocery store). The science shows organic food has just as much pesticides on them, and this myth that organic food is somehow healthier for you was perpetuated by the food industry seeking to expand a market that was originally geared towards vegans who wanted 'cruelty free vegetables' that had not killed any insects during the process of growing them, except they are not truly cruelty free. The neighbouring farms are still spraying pesticides, and the wind is doing the rest of the job.

Okay, so all of this talk about food has made me snack-ish so I am going to go make a snack.

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.


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.

If you want to subscribe to 30 Days as a Vegetarian these posts there are various subscription options on the above right.

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.


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



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?

Name Withheld for Privacy Reasons"


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 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.


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 and ask if I am available for that day.

New Winter Archery Logo
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

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

Looking to sign up for archery lessons, boxing lessons, swimming lessons, ice skating lessons or personal training sessions? Start by emailing and lets talk fitness!


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