Learnings from the Seven Day Summer Shape Up

Yesterday marked the end of the Seven Day Summer Shape Up program.

Overall, the week went well and I really enjoyed trying some new plant-based recipes, including a delicious walnut pesto and sweet potato curry.

Basil Pesto Pasta

Basil Pesto Pasta

I found the meals really provided my body with sustainable energy. Normally I’m starving by the time I get home from work, but I didn’t experience that as much this past week, which was nice for a change!

I also walked away with some great new tips for improving digestion. I find I focus a lot on planning and preparing healthy meals, but what I don’t really think about is how efficiently those meals are being digested. Here are a few things I’ve learned that I’ll be keeping in mind from here on:

  • Ground flax seeds are digested better than whole flax seeds. I had heard this before, but what I didn’t know is that you should store ground flax seeds in the fridge, to prevent oxidation and spoilage.
  • Avoid drinks with meals. This I had also heard before, but it’s something that’s easy for forget. I typically drink water with most of my meals.
  • On that note, if you are drinking water with your meals, avoid drinking hot or cold water. Hot/cold water impedes digestion and dilutes nutrients. If you must, stick to room temperature and take small sips every so often.
  • Avoid sugar with protein/fat. The sugars will ferment in your stomach, resulting in bloating and gas. Hmm.. does this mean I can have dessert before dinner? :)
  • If you have an upset stomach, try drinking some raw apple cider vinegar mixed with some water.
  • Finally, chew, chew, chew your food! This one sounds a little silly at first, but most people probably don’t chew their food enough. Taking the time to chew helps break down foods so your body doesn’t have to expend as much energy doing so. This is such a simple tip, but it’s one I’ll be keeping in mind at every meal!
Clockwise, from top left: Mexican Omelette with Cashew Cheese, Sweet Potato Curry, and Spinach Salad with Strawberries and Almonds. Yum!

Clockwise, from top left: Mexican Omelette with Cashew Cheese, Sweet Potato Curry, and Spinach Salad with Strawberries and Almonds. Yum!

If you’re interested in learning more about this program, Stephanie is running a second round from August 10-16. As an added bonus, the program now also includes a 7-day Fitset pass to try out different fitness classes like yoga, spin, crossfit, barre and pilates (valid for those in Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa). If you’re looking to shake things up and try something new (and for a highly affordable price), I strongly recommend this program!

Happy Eating :)

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