I’ve always said that food is where I most struggle with having a healthy life. I have no issues with being active and have come to really love fitness in various forms. I recently found out about an event through New Balance that I just knew I had to attend. Keep on reading to find out about the event, what I learned, and how it’s changed my thinking.
New Balance is located on Broadway Avenue, which is just a hop, skip and a jump away from me (well, about a 10 minute walk). Any event that I can walk to gets instant bonus points. They are still fairly new in Saskatoon but have really made their way into the community. They have held a Zombie Run and are involved with the Saskatoon Parkour community (I didn’t even know this was a thing here!). They also have NB Go, which is a workout club that does all sorts of different activities. It’s free and open for all fitness levels. You can check out this link to find out more about upcoming events.
The event I attended was their first ever Girls Night Out. It was a free event for ladies age 19+ and all fitness levels were welcome. New Balance Ambassador Jenn Vibert took some time to talk to us about surviving the holidays and give us some tips for healthy eating. I found out about this event through Facebook and as soon as I saw the topic, I knew I had to attend!
They released on Facebook that the first 40 ladies would receive a swag bag. Obviously I needed to make sure I got there early! I was intrigued when I saw that there were sizes specified, that’s when you know it’s going to be good! I was one of the first so I got my swag bag and went in. I didn’t look at the contents too closely until I got home, but I was thrilled to see this tank top (pictured below)! It’s so neat that they included this. The other big item was a pair of socks, I’ve got a huge obsession with workout socks right now. There was also various coupons for some local companies.
The first bit of the event just involved mingling and there was a chance to do some shopping. If you spent $100 or more you receive a $20 gift card, and $250 or more you got a $50 gift card. I didn’t purchase anything, but it was fun to look around.
So many shoes! Aside from workout socks, shoes are a huge obsession of mine. Look at all the fun colors! I think I’m going to need a new pair soon and I see a few with my name on it, particularly that colorful pair right in the middle! I also saw a machine that analyzes your foot, or something. There was people around it so I didn’t get a chance to look to close, but they are able to find the perfect shoe to fit your needs. This is a big reason I want to go here soon for a pair of shoes. Since I’m getting more and more into running I want to find out what the perfect pair for me will be! Especially for outdoor running.
Lucky Bastard is a premium micro distillery located in Saskatoon. They were featuring their Limited Edition Rhubarb Vodka. They mixed it with club soda, which is a healthier option. There was also wine being served. I’m not a wine person and didn’t try the vodka, but there seemed to be quite a number of ladies enjoying both!
They were serving fruit and decadent raw chocolate. My only complaint of the evening comes from here, and that was that there wasn’t little plates. I did have some fruit, but it was hard to balance much on a napkin, I was scared to drop any! I have a big soft spot for fruit, and I love the color coordination that occurred here!
The last treat was healthy cookie dough! I think I might have to try and make some. If you’re interested, you can find the recipe on Jenn’s company Facebook page.
There was a great turnout to this event, the place was packed!
After a short time, Jenn started her talk. It focused on nutrition, exercise and psychology. She’s got a degree in kinesiology, is a personal trainer and a strength conditioning specialist, so she is well qualified to talk to us about this!
Let’s start with what Jenn taught us about nutrition. Since the holidays can be a stressful time our immunity levels can be lower, and we may store fat easier and be lethargic. Part of this issue is that it can be easy to be deficient in Vitamin D, which influences over 3000 genes. Yikes, that’s a lot! It’s important to eat foods and supplements in order to help with that. She also stressed the importance of the “Mickey Mouse plate” as shown in the picture above. Portion sizes are so important. You need to make sure that you have the proper balance of all foods in order to be healthy. Fat is also good for you, it will help your body run better when in rest. Don’t buy low-fat items since they are usually higher in sugar.
Cinnamon and cayenne are both good items to include in your diet. Cinnamon is an appetite suppressant and can help increase insulin sensitivity, which can help you avoid diabetes! Cayenne is a thermogenic that can raise your core temperature which helps burn more calories, it’s a digestive aid and it helps reduces bloating.
Now for something extremely interesting that I learned. Did you know that when you drink alcohol, your body uses it for fuel? This means that anything you eat while drinking ends up being stored rather than burned. This also means that anything you mix your drink with, whether it be juice or pop, will also be stored.
It can be hard to fit exercise in during the holidays, but it’s so important. Even 15-30 minutes a day can help you function better. You’ll have more energy and just feel better overall. You should aim for 2.5 hours a week of physical activity.
As far as the psychology? It’s easy to play mind games but you need to create a plan and stick to it. Never put your goals on hold, revisit them daily and set your priorities.
If you’re at an event, don’t stand near the table. Work the room, network, and socialize, don’t put yourself in a place where you will be more tempted to sit (or stand) and eat. Make healthy choices with the food. Reach for the meats and cheeses, not the butter tarts. If there are different plate sizes, take the smaller one. Use smaller cutlery and take smaller bites. Don’t go for seconds or thirds, just stick to your one helping.
You also need to be careful with “food pusher”. Those who will tell you “just one..” whether it be just one bite, just one piece etc. There are also people who may not want you to succeed in reaching your goals, or maybe don’t want you to do better than them. That could be because they feel bad about themselves, or just feel intimidated by you. Whatever the reason, don’t let it stop you from reaching your goals.
Jenn also advises that you don’t use the word “diet”. Just say “no thank you” or “maybe later” or “I’m full”. Using the word diet can open more conversation and room for convincing. If you just say that you’re full, there are no questions or wiggle room.
The last important note is to start each day with a clean slate. If you mess up today, that’s okay. It happens. Move on, and start over. This is what really hit me. I often get into the mindset of next week or next month, but no more. TOMORROW. That’s what day matters. That’s when changes can happen.
After her talk, Jenn took some time to talk one on one with women to talk about their eating habits. I found this extremely helpful. I know that the basis of my food is good, it’s just all the added things that I don’t plan for that kind of mess it up. She gave me clarity on the direction that I should be going, now I just have to stick to it! I also really liked that I didn’t feel judged at any point. I kept a food journal, and I’ll admit that I had candy written down on it. She didn’t tell me to avoid eating that, she told me where to have it in my day so that my body would use it in a better way. There was zero judgement, just friendly advice.
Something I wasn’t expecting, after Jenn gave her talk a band showed up! Two Tickets and a Degree is a Saskatoon-based band, though I couldn’t find much out about them through Google. Really though, look at those instruments. Any band who uses those has to be good, am I right? I was a bit worried about how loud it would be, especially given how many women were there, but they had the perfect level for the space they had. I really enjoyed listening to them and it just topped off the night!
There was also an RMT from Summit Sports and Health who was giving mini massages. I didn’t end up getting one, though I do regret that! Did I seriously turn down a free massage? I clearly wasn’t thinking.
This was a great event and I look forward to (hopefully) more like it in the future. They did a great job and covered a topic that is so important, especially this time of year.
If you’re interested in learning more about Jenn and her company visit her Facebook page! On November 15th she will be launching an online Nutrition Bootcamp. As described on Facebook: “A 12-week course designed to teach the fundamentals of nutrition. No restrictive meal plans and no deprivation. A full twelve weeks of support and education on how to modify your current eating patterns to attain your goals and reach your top potential.” How awesome does that sound? I likely won’t be signing up this go-around, but I hope to in the future. I think there is definitely a lot I could learn from her. I like that it’s not about dieting because I refuse to diet. I’ll eat healthily, I’ll eat balanced, but I won’t diet. It’s not sustainable for me in the long run.