Posts Tagged ‘health’


First off, I want to thank you for the support you have given me with Elemental Fitness Personal Training over the past 5 years. I started this blog site and part time training business to share my knowledge and passion for health and fitness with those around me, and that I did!

Since February 2016 my wife Flora and I have been furthering our education, brainstorming ways to bring our passion for health and spirituality together and develop a business that has more to offer, inspires, motivates and leads our fellow sisters to greater heights- body, mind and soul.

As of June 20, 2016 Elemental Fitness transformed into Strength and Soul Wellness: An online holistic health company to coach and inspire women to love their body and nurture their soul.

I hope you will join us in this new venture into cyber land as we share our stories, our knowledge and our guidance towards better health.

Thank you again for your ongoing support and I look forward to hearing from you soon!
Please book your FREE 30 minute Personal Training Consultation with me today.

Have a wonderful day!


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I made this amazingly easy energy bar recipe last week and my family loved them…so did my clients!
I had to share because if your household is anything like mine, having quick, nutritious and nutrient dense snacks on hand are a must.

Let me know what you think.

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Raw & Vegan – Ginger Nut Energy Bars
3 cups of raw nuts (I used cashews but you could try almonds, pecans or macadamia nuts)
2 cups of pitted medjool dates
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cardamom
pinch of sea salt

Place nuts into your food processor fitted with the “s” blade and process for about 60-90 seconds or until finely ground. Then add the dates, spices and salt. Process again for another 60-90 seconds or until dates are completely ground and the mixture is starting to form a ball. I added 2 TBSP of coconut oil to the mixture to make it stick together more but this is optional.

Press mixture into an 8X8 inch pan and refrigerate for 4-5 hours. Then cut into bar shapes and individually wrap for an easy snack on the run. Rolling the mixture into balls and then in shredded coconut also works well. Enjoy!

Recipe compliments of “Nourishing Meals” by Alissa Segersten & Tom Malterre.

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senior-weightsLike any professional, as a Fitness Trainer I am required to upgrade my skills, take new courses, renew my CPR & First Aid and remain as current as possible where health and exercise is concerned. If you think about it, would you really want to work with someone who is not certified to teach or who has not upgraded their skills in over 5 years? The rate at which the fitness industry changes; keeping current is a must.

Deciding on what skills I wanted to upgrade this year happened naturally. I was asked by my supervisor to run a seniors class in the Killarney Fitness Center here in Vancouver this past March. My group class started out with 4 participants and within a short time quickly grew to 6. By this fall my class size doubled and I now have a waitlist! I had no idea that working with the aging population could be so rewarding and enjoyable. Although each person has varying injuries, aches, pains, medical conditions and overall goals they work hard, do their homework and show up eager to learn. I knew right away that certifying to work in this field was in my future.

This August I began the “Older Adult” training course and have nearly completed the certification process. It has been a very eye opening experience. It has taught me a lot about what happens when we age and how to better prepare for the future. I also feel the course is making me a better trainer for not only my aging clients but my younger folks as well. It’s easy to take your balance, multitasking abilities, agility, strength and coordination for granted. That old saying “use it or lose it” really rings true here.

If you’re looking for a trainer who can listen, has compassion, empathy and knowledge and who will push you to better health please don’t hesitate to reach out. It’s honestly never too late to enjoy exercise, improved health and reduced stress levels. I am excited about this new career direction and future learning.

Please visit my testimonials page to see what my seniors have to say.
Have a healthy and happy day!

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Time flies when you have a toddler, work part time, your partner works full time, you are planning a huge move and planning renovations on your new space. Since exercise is what keeps me sane it couldn’t be cut out of my day completely just done in a whole new way.

I started using nap time (formally my workout and me time) to pack, make calls and send time sensitive emails. Workouts had to be even more creative than before.

I started using my son’s morning park time to burn off some of my own pent up energy and reduce my stress. Squats, lunges, push-ups, curl-ups, tricep dips, back raises, chin-ups, jacks and burpees became the new regime. No equipment necessary and enough to get my heart rate up while still allowing me to monitor my babe. The best part is that my little guy (nearly 2) is now randomly doing burpees. I’m sure it has something to do with the reaction from my partner and I. ­čÖé A perfect example of how closely our wee ones pay attention to us and mimic our every move.

Getting creative with your workouts during bouts of high stress and limited time is very important – especially if you hope to remain sane.

What have you done to help keep yourself in check physically during a move?

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The holidays are here. The smell of fresh baked apple pie, turkey roasting in the oven and the warmth of the fireplace remind me of my childhood. Without a doubt, my favourite things about the holiday season are connecting with family, enjoying delicious food, and spending as much time as possible skating or skiing in the great outdoors.

We all know soon enough, whether or not we want to admit it, the new year is just around the corner. No matter how you choose to spend your holiday season, or what new year’s resolutions you decide on, here are a few tips to get through the hustle, bustle and stress that this season inevitably brings.

1- We should treat others as we would like others to treat us. I know this is a cliche, but it holds true. Christmas is a time for re-connecting with family and friends and we all know too well that this time of year can be more stressful than we would like. Take a deep breath, count to ten, and do your best to enjoy the holidays.

2- Get out and embrace the abundance of winter activities available to us here in Canada. Engaging in physical activities like cross-country or downhill skiing, skating, tobogganing and long winter walks are a great way to boost your spirits, get fresh air and burn calories.

Snowshoeing in Squamish

3- Taste everything that the holiday season has to offer, but do it wisely. Moderation is a wonderful thing. Don’t deprive yourself of the things you long for all year, just indulge in small portions.

4- Take time for yourself. There’s so much hype around the holidays that it is easy to forget to breath, relax, laugh and love. Take a bubble bath, curl up with a blanket and a good book, practice yoga, go caroling or enjoy a Christmas movie or T.V. special with family or friends.

5- Have an eco-Christmas. Encourage all family members to exchange gifts that are baked, handmade or reused. Wrap presents in newspaper and re-use gift bags. Support local, fair-trade businesses, and products that aren’t disposable or require batteries. This cuts down on unnecessary waste and saves the planet along the way.

I plan to enjoy the next few weeks to the fullest. Having almost healed completely from my slipped disc, I plan to skate, ski and walk outside as much as possible. I also look forward to connecting my fiancee’s family, laughing and cherishing the delicious food that comes along with Christmas.

I hope your holiday season is filled with light, laughter and love. I look forward to the new year and all that it has to offer.

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My son Griffyn just turned a year old last month. He has been a terrific little eater from the time we introduced him to pureed foods six months ago. He appeared to be curious about the idea of eating what my wife and I were eating right from the go. Although he gobbled down the purees he was far more intrigued by what we had on our plates and soon started enjoying just about everything: coconut curry, rice salad with finely shredded kale, salmon, tuna and even refried beans with chilies!

Getting proper nutrition and a wide variety of foods into his diet continues to be my mission. Although he loves many strong flavours I didn’t think he would go for, getting adequate vegetables into his diet remains our biggest challenge. The good news is that an infant’s nutritional requirements are not a daily value, but weekly. This explains why certain days children eat a lot and the next day they appear disinterested altogether. Their bodies can make up for a loss the very next day or two so it’s not something parents need to stress over.

A good rule of thumb for infants and toddlers is don’t push food on them but rather introduce it and allow them to decide if they like it and how much they want to eat. Always follow their cues. When children are forced to eat everything that’s on their plate they grow up with this mentality which can lead to overeating and bad food associations as adults. Below are a few ideas on how to increase your child’s veggies while still making eating a fun and enjoyable daily adventure!

* everything and anything mashed on toast
My son loves toast. If he won’t eat his steamed carrots, yam or zucchini, I mash them and put them on toast. A bit of coconut oil and steamed veggie really hits the spot.
* pancakes made with shredded vegetables
Another great way to sneak vegetables into their day while making it fun too.
* veggies mashed in yogurt
No matter what mashed vegetable you have if you add a bit of fruit and mix it with yogourt they just might eat it!
* finely mincing vegetables into canned salmon or tuna
I mix celery, apple, green onion, and raisins with a little Dijon mustard and fish.
* smoothies are another terrific option
A few kale or spinach leaves blended with some fruit and milk are a great snack. Pea protein powder is another great addition as it provides up to 35% of their daily iron intake and is easy to digest.
* fresh pressed juice
If you have a juicer or access to one, make fresh juice. My little guy loves carrots, apples, cucumber, ginger and a touch of spirulina (a blue-green algae loaded with nutrients found in health food stores).
* veggies dipped in hummus
Steamed carrots or cucumber slices work great for dipping.

Lastly, make meal time about socializing, enjoying food, giving thanks and never use food as a reward. If you’re able to create an environment that is relaxed and engaging your child will grow up with these ideals and hopefully meal time will not be as much of a battle.

What types of foods do you offer your toddler? What kinds of veggies do they like most?

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I now know what it’s like to be almost too busy to fit in exercise. I never thought I would say those words but I’m admitting it! With an 8 month old baby, my life (for now) is no longer about my needs and priorities. I’ve had to come up with quick and effective exercises to get my blood flowing and raise that oh-so-needed serotonin.
┬ębelle ancell 2013 ~ All Right Reserved ~ CREDIT MANDATORY

Over the past few months I have managed to perfect the 20 minute workout- having “no time” is no longer an excuse!

WORKOUT #1 (Sweat it out):
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED: Medicine Ball, Kettle Bell, Jump Rope
#1 – 2 minutes Jump rope
#2 – 1 minute Single arm Kettle Bell swings
#3 – 1 minute Medicine Ball wood chops
(repeat exercise 2 & 3)
#4 – 2 minutes Jump rope
#5 – 1 minute Kettle Bell goblet squats
#6 – 1 minute Medicine Ball crunches
(repeat exercise 5 & 6)
#7 – 2 minutes Jump rope
#8 – 1 minute Kettle Bell bent-over rows
#9 – 1 minute Medicine Ball lunge with twist
(repeat exercises 8 & 9)
#10 – 2 minutes Jump rope

WORKOUT #2 (Full Body):
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED: Your body and a little motivation!
#1 – 2 minutes Jogging (traveling or on the spot)
#2 – 40 Mountain Climbers
#3 – 30 180 degree jump squats
#4 – 20 Push-ups (on floor or bench)
#5 – 10 Bear crawl outs with hop
(30 second walking break)
#6 – 2 minutes Side Shuffles (mark a distance of approximately 25-30 feet and side step left to right)
#7 – 40 Reverse lunges (traveling or on the spot)
#8 – 30 seconds Plank
#9 – 20 Tricep dips – on bench
#10 – 10 Burpies
(30 second walking break)
#11 – 2 minutes Jump rope
#12 – 40 Regular lunges
#13 – 30 Frog Jumps
#14 – 20 seconds Shadow boxing
#15 – 10 Inch worms

WORKOUT #3 (Total Core):
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED: Mat, 5-10lb weight
#1 – 60 Second Plank Hold
#2 – 50 Bicycle Legs
#3 – 40 Mountain Climbers
#4 – 30 Body Stars
#5 – 20 Supine Leg Lifts
#5 – 10 Russian Twists using desired weight
#6 – 5 Roll-ups
(1 minute walking break and repeat)

I did a video to accompany this blog, to demonstrate some of the lesser-known exercises. check it out: http://youtu.be/19Kv2HOQXx0

There are so many variations of exercises and ways to switch up these routines. Feel free to put your own spin on a 20 minute workout. I hope I can motivate you to kick your own butt! Of course, if you need extra help contact me about personal training and my summer bootcamps. Just remember, every bit of effort counts!

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