Sunday, October 22, 2006

Body For You Nutrition Programs

Here are the following programs being offered with the accompanying costs:
Diet Analysis and Meal Plan ($100 or $150 for two people): This program covers a thorough analysis of your typical eating pattern and this will help me to prepare a proper 7 day meal plan that fits into your lifestyle. It will include what to eat before/during and after any athletic competitions (10K races, 1/2 marathons, marathons and ultramarathons, long distance walking etc),easy to follow recipes, proper serving sizes, substitution lists and a recommendation of what vitamins will help you . This program also includes regular correspondence via email where I will answer any questions you have regarding your meal plan or any other nutrition questions.
NEWIn house visit ($75): I will come to your house and go through your kitchen with you so you can see what foods you need to eat more of. This will provide you with a good educational base and makes a great combination if you have purchased the Diet and Meal Plan program.
Grocery Tour ($50): We will go on a tour of the grocery store where you regularly shop and I will give a guided tour of what foods to eat more of and which foods to use less often. The grocery stores strategically place food items in certain locations and once you figure out what areas to avoid it will take some of the stress away from grocery shopping.

240/42 My story!

240/42!These two numbers represented my largest body weight and pant size when I was 15 years old.
When I finally decided to lose weight I had no idea of what a calorie was or even what healthy eating was. My father was diagnosed with Diabetes and was told that in order to control his disease he needed to lose weight. I remember watching him weigh his food daily to make sure he was getting the proper amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. The food he was eating was lots of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins with moderate fat and he was able to lose weight while doing very little exercise.
At 15 I was heavily involved in sports such as hockey and football, however, because of my weight I was unable to compete at the level I wanted to. I was constantly teased in grade school and used food to help distract me from my pain. I hated my body and realized that I needed to do something about it, and soon. I decided to follow what my father was doing. This helped me lose some weight.
However, the weight did not come off fast enough for me with diet alone and so I exercised daily for at least 3 hours. As the weight started to come off I still wasn't satisfied. This, as I later learned, was the beginning of my eating disorder. I was able to lose about 60 pounds over the course of one summer vacation and returned to school weighing 180 pounds. While my classmates and teachers continued to congratulate me on what I had accomplished, each time I looked into the mirror I still wasn't happy with what I saw. For those of you who have an eating disorder, I'm sure you can relate to this. I used exercise, purging, fad diets, sweat suits and laxatives to try to shed more weight. This led to some weight loss but eventually the weight went back up. I realized that exercise was what I needed to do in order to keep the weight off permanently and I continued to do so daily, playing any sport I could such as football, basketball, tennis and hockey. During this time, my eating disorder was kept hidden from everyone. I would eat “junk food” from time to time but always did this alone so nobody would see me. I managed to get through High School without too much difficulty and my eating disorder was unconsciously put on the back burner for the time being.
After finishing High School, I went to College to study Recreation Management, and then on to University where I received my BSc. in Nutritional Science. Along the way I studied Sports Nutrition from the Canadian Health Food Association and uncovered the many flaws in the Canada Food Guide approach to healthy eating. I did not want to become a Dietician—after all, Dieticians believed in the flawed Canada Food Guide. Instead, I developed my own nutritional program based on trial and error, research, as well as some elements garnered from some evidence-based programs I've tried in the past.
I recently started running in August of 2005 and realized what an amazing physical activity this was. It's an effective way to lose weight, but unfortunately for someone who has an eating disorder like myself, it needs to be balanced to be considered healthy. In all honestly, my commitment and passion for running has brought back some memories of my unbalanced teens. I've worked closely with many runners, including many women at the gym where I work, and have found that there are a high percentage of runners with eating disorders. I have decided to share my personal experience with an eating disorder with those whom I feel it could help, and I am compelled to write this Blog to let others know that they are not alone. For those of us who struggle with poor body image, it is all about balance.
Through my experiences with counseling alcoholics and drug addicts, I believe that eating disorders are the hardest addictions to manage and cope with. The reason for this is I cannot escape from the fact that I need to eat in order to stay alive. Addicts and alcoholics can stay away from their addictive substances and still live, but those of us who have eating disorders have to deal with food and our bodies on a daily basis. I’ve learned that my eating disorder will always be there but I can control how much time I spend thinking about it and how I am going to manage it.
Those of us who have eating disorders, recognize that we will have good and bad body image days. Our family and friends may never understand this, but it helps to talk to about it, so those of you who do suffer from this disorder, I hope you have the strength to put together a great support system.
Eating disorders are very much an isolating illness and by speaking frankly about my own issues, I hope that more of you will feel comfortable talking about this with your own family/friends.My hope is that my story is able to help some of you realize that you can accomplish anything you put your mind to and that you need to set goals and map out a healthy plan to achieve these goals.
If you or someone you know, is suffering from an eating disorder, there are places that can help. One such organization is called Sheena's Place ( and they have group and individual counseling available.
My company will help you to not only achieve your evolving goals in a healthy and balanced approach, but will ensure you maintain your successes. For more information about how to begin, contact me

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Are Protein Powders safe?

When I begin the process of developing a meal plan for my clients, one of the things I recommend is a supplement called Whey Gourmet. Whey Gourmet is a protein powder that you can mix with either water or milk. You can also add fruit, flax oil, yogurt and many other ingredients to make a healthy shake.
The reason I recommend this particular brand is because of the taste. There are literally dozens of different protein powders in the stores but I haven't seen too many that can compare with this one when it comes to taste. It is also easier to mix in a shaker although it is better to put it in a blender with some ice.
Whey protein is a derivative of cow's milk and it contains high concentrations of essential and non-essential amino acids. They can replace up to 2 meals/snacks per day. Many of my clients have reported a decrease in cravings for sugars since they have started with these shakes. Unlike eating chicken, fish, beef or other protein sources, our bodies do not have to work as hard to break down protein shakes and therefore they can have an immediate impact on keeping cravings down as well as blood sugars stable (especially if mixed with some berries)
There are three main forms of Whey Protein:
Concentrates: These have higher amounts of fat, carbohydrates, lactose and cholesterol
Isolates: These have significantly lower amounts of fat,carbs and lactose
Hydrolysates: These are pre-digested which means they are easily absorbed but are also more expensive.
As runners our muscles are constantly being broken down and we must ensure that we are putting high quality protein back in order to repair and strengthen our muscles. Protein shakes, especially if taken with fruit immediately after running, can play a big part in helping with the recovery period. How much protein needed is based on several factors such as age, weight, body fat%, and exercise frequency.
Many of my clients have been amazed when I tell them that they were not eating enough protein to repair or even maintain their muscle tissues. Almost immediately when they began to eat the right amount of protein they noticed an increase in energy and a decrease in body fat. If we do not eat enough protein to sustain our day to day activities including exercising then our bodies have no choice but to break down our muscles to provide the body with energy.
If you are interested in getting an analysis of your current diet to determine if you are getting enough protein, carbohydrates, fats and calories, contact me and let's get started!

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Today was an amazing day for several close friends of mine. Nancy, Theresa and Jayne all ran in the Toronto Marathon. Miriam, who has already qualified for Boston, and I were cheering all of the runners on and we were able to help transfer some fuel belts to Nancy and Jayne at the 30K mark.

Theresa, who also has already qualified, was leading the pack and doing an amazing job as she finished in 3:30 which was a personal best for her.
Jayne was next as she finished in 3:47 and Nancy came in soon afterwards at 3:49. All these amazing runners needed a 3:50 or better to qualify for the Boston Marathon, and they all made it with plenty to spare!

These women have been training hard for the last few months with their goal being today and finishing the race in 3:50 or better. I was able to run with them on many occasions and I could see how dedicated they were. Running a Marathon race is hard enough but having to run it in a certain time can play havoc with you. Each training run brought them closer and closer to their goal and today was the day they had to put it all on the line.

It was great being a spectator today and seeing all the runners. It made me feel proud to call myself a runner and I felt lucky to be surrounded by such an amazing group of friends.

Watching each runner cross the finish line and seeing their huge smiles was an emotional day and I was happy to be a part of it.

Congratulations to Miriam, Theresa, Jayne, Nancy you are all BOSTON BOUND and I couldn't have been more happy!!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

A simply amazing day!

I competed in my final OUS race of the season in London called "Vulture Bait" and by the end of the day I had secured a 3rd place plaque in my age category. It was extremely cold as approximately 100 runners started out at 9AM on Saturday morning. The route was fairly flat although there were a few challenging climbs and a couple of water crossings (not fun in chilly temperatures) plus plenty of mud thrown in for good measure.
Last year I finished this race in 2:20 which I was happy with considering it was only my 2nd trail race. I entered today's race with a goal of trying to better that mark.
At times today, I felt sluggish while other times I felt like I was going at a good clip. I was surprised as I sprinted toward the finish line and realized I had finished the race in 2:16. This put me 27th overall and 19th in my age category and was just enough to allow me to secure a 3rd place finish overall. This has been a grueling season and the 7th OUS race in less than a year. I ended up losing 2 toenails today which I'm not happy about but it might force me to slow down a little bit before running again.
Thank you to Cassandra, Nancy, Miriam, Theresa and Jayne for being there for me when I needed you most. Today was a special day and one that I will not soon forget.

A nice article about the Ontario Ultra Series that I compete in

Friday, October 13, 2006

Another success story

I wanted to share with you a recent email I received from a client:

Boston bound... Thank you Greg!
I am 47 years old and have been running for 4 years. I just completed my fifth marathon and qualified for Boston 25 minutes under my qualifying time. I qualified for Boston 2005 with only 50 seconds to spare. The difference??Greg!!!

My friend told me about Greg 3 weeks before the marathon. She was so impressed with her success that I was very eager to contact him. I was happy to know that he was a runner and understood the demands of training. Greg seemed very knowledgeable and friendly. I felt at ease immediately.

Greg created a personalized eating plan for me to follow. Within days of following Greg's nutritional advice, I felt lighter, more energetic and ready to race.

Greg helped me understand the benefits of carbo depleting and carbo loading and gave me a nutritional plan for the week leading up to the marathon. I honestly believe this was a main factor in my success. For the first time, I ran the whole marathon without stopping or walking. At mile 20, I was amazed at how good I was feeling. I was strong to the end and did not experience that exhausted, sick to your stomach feeling. It was an amazing day. I would highly recommend Greg to anyone looking for nutritional advice.

His plan is simple and easy to follow with lots of variation to avoid boredom. Greg is very knowledgeable, friendly and supportive. What are you waiting for?
Thanks Greg, for everything!!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Preparing for a great upcoming weekend!

This weekend I will compete in my last OUS race of the season and by the end of the day I hope I will walk/limp away with a 3rd place finish in my age category (40 and under).
However, I am equally as excited about Sunday as a few of my closest friends will be running in the Toronto Marathon where they will attempt to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
At least once and more often twice per week, I have ran in the early mornings with these incredible people. They have been a source of inspiration as well as being the best friends anyone could ask for. I have been so fortunate to be surrounded by some truly remarkable people (Nancy, Theresa, Miriam and Jane) and I am so proud to call them my friends.

This weekend I will be doing something that I have never done before and that is to watch/cheer on the competitors during a race instead of running myself. Miriam, who is unable to run because of an injury, and I will be driving to Toronto to cheer on the remaining 3 runners and I can't wait to see them cross the finish line. They have worked so hard these past few months and it has been inspiring to see the improvement they have made.
I've mentioned this previously, but runners are a different breed of people and though running itself is an individual sport, the social aspect of running is a tonic that truly is addictive. I look forward to celebrating with them on Sunday as much as I will be celebrating my own accomplishments on Saturday.
Go gettem Girls!!!!!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

My last trail race of the season

In one week I will be embarking on my last trail race of the season. It's a little sad as the season comes to an end but at the same time my body will surely enjoy the rest (unless I decide to do more races that is).
The race is in London and it features some pretty flat terrain with a few nice hills, along with some rocky stretches as well.
Last year I finished the race in 2:20 minutes so I'm hoping for a similar time next week. I have been training with a few runners who are trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon. They have been trying to get me to "taper." Simply put, tapering means that you are supposed to be cutting back on your running the week or two before a race. This gives the body a chance to heal itself and should provide a better result come race day.
For a novice like myself, it is hard to cut back on the mileage even though I do realize its' importance. Next week I will TRY to run only a few kilometres on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and then take Thursday and Friday off completely. I will begin carb loading on Wednesday night and by Saturday morning I should have sufficient energy to get me through the race without too much difficulty.
I'm looking forward to seeing my trial running friends although it will be sad to say goodbye to many of them as this is the final race of the season. Starting in January, I will be training for a 50 mile race which will take place in May of 2007
Have a great Thanksgiving weekend everyone!!!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Monday, October 02, 2006


For the past 10 weeks I have been co-instructing a learn to run group at the Running Room in Pickering. It's hard to believe that I was even asked to teach this clinic as I still feel I have so much more to learn with regards to running. This weekend marked the 1 year anniversary of my running "career." I finished my first trail race, a 25K trail race, called the "Run for the Toad." It was an amazing experience which catapulted me into becoming a "race junkie!" I'll never forget how I felt when I crossed the finish line at that race and received my first trail running medal.

Teaching the learn to run group was an amazing experience and something that I will forever remember. When the clinic started, many of the men and women had never ran before but they were all determined to give it a try. Along the way we lost a few members but the majority of the group remained there throughout the 10 weeks. Each week they were challenged with more running times and less rest times and each week they responded beautifully. Yesterday they completed their first 5 K race at the Run for the Cure in Oshawa. I felt like a proud "papa" as I was able to run the groups into the finish area. I can only hope that they will forever remember that day and use it to springboard themselves into completing more races or just to keep running.

Well done!!!