This February, My Focus is Self-love!

We all know that healthy eating and exercise are key to a healthy life. Did you know that self-love is also necessary to achieve health? Self-recrimination, on the other hand, will deter your best efforts and the strongest of will power.

If health is one of your goals, start to view your action steps as daily practices of self-love and nurture. These may include:
Cooking healthy meals, pausing to take a deep breath and shoulder roll, going for walks with friends. Start to frame these activities as ways that you deeply nourish your whole self.
Create your own list of what brings you pleasure, calms you down and puts a smile on your face.
Make the mental shift to self-care because you love yourself, not because you “should or have to” in order to lose weight or be fitter.

This February, celebrate self-love. Ironically, self-love will not only bring you more love but will allow you to be more loving to others. It is one of the least selfish things we can do and will ultimately be the foundation for your ongoing health and fitness.

Relieve and Heal Muscle and Joint Pain at Evolved Health

You’ve had enough. Your muscles and joints have ached for months, years or maybe even decades. Sharp pain, dull or achy pain, shooting pain, infrequent pain or pain pretty much all the time. Back pain, neck pain, hip pain, you name it pain.

Evolved Health clients report a huge improvement in joint and muscle pain, some of them even after only a few weeks of the strengthening workout. So why is that? When your muscles are balanced stronger from the EH workout, you use them correctly and stop overusing your joints. At the same time, your posture improves, so your nervous system functions better. The joints have more tissue around them alleviating bone on bone or cartilage issues. The joints are stronger which reduces the occurrence of injury. Finally, with more muscle, even if an accident occurs, the trauma is lessened.

During weight lifting, you intensively pump your blood into your entire body. The oxygenated blood heals your body and relieves your pain. Soon you realize that you feel better, use painkillers less and have fewer chiropractor visits.

Do you have a friend, relative, co-worker, neighbor or enemy complaining of muscle and joint pain? Tell them to call 403-244-1377 to book a free consultation to find out if Evolved Health is for them.

Bloating, Inflammation or Fat.

How is the bloating, inflammation, or fat challenge of the month? Have you discovered any foods that are causing bloating? Have digestive enzymes helped?

The other nutrition piece we are exploring this month is inflammation or specifically systemic inflammation.

Some of the symptoms of systemic inflammation are:

1. craving carbohydrates

2. continuous fatigue

3. being overweight

4. high cholesterol

5. high blood pressure

6. waking up groggy

7. brittle fingernails

8. looking and feeling puffy

Some of the major contributors that lead to chronic inflammation are toxicity, insufficient Omega-3 intake, excessive Omega-6 intake, stress, lack of sleep and poor gut health.

You may notice that certain foods and alcohol cause inflammation for you.

So have a look in the mirror. Do you look puffy – are your eyes and cheeks puffy? Are your rings tighter after a night of alcohol or a stressful period in your life? Do you have a puffy muffin top that doesn’t feel like fat.

This month check into Omega-3’s at your health food store. Fish or krill oil can dramatically reduce inflammation. Tumeric and Vitamin D may be of benefit as well.

If you would like to know if inflammation is an issue for you, have your doctor check you for C Reactive Protein.

As always, support yourself to get that 8 hours of sleep per night.

The challenge of the month is:

1. Start taking Omega-3

2. Have your inflammation measured.

3. Ask your practitioner about or google supplements that help with inflammation.

4. Notice and reduce the foods and alcohol that cause inflammation.

Remember, it’s the seemingly small daily habits that add up to a healthier body and will ultimately be reflected in your healthy body weight. Excess body weight and excess fat are symptoms of something out of balance in your overall health. It may take some time for you to find it and then heal it but getting to know your body is worth it. Be patient with yourself and keep celebrating the small steps.

With love and support,


Bloating, Inflammation or Fat. Which is it?

Inflammation, bloating or fat?

Is your stomach bothering you now that bathing suit season is here? Men, are you hesitant to take off your shirt in public? Women, are you embarrassed wearing a bikini or tight summer top?

Before you despair at your “belly fat”, consider what could be the source and some possible solutions.

First this month, we will examine causes of bloating and some solutions to try. Below is an excerpt from Dr Christianson’s recent Newsletter. You may have seen his book, The Adrenal Reset diet in the studio bookcase.

Are you experiencing gas and bloating? If so, it’s no joke and you’re not alone!

Gas and bloating are signs that things are changing in your intestinal flora. These can be good or bad
changes. If you’re on a new diet, which includes plenty of high-fiber foods, these foods are feeding your
intestinal tract with many types of good bacteria. If you don’t have a lot of good bacteria already, the
new bacteria coming in can ‘change the guard’, and knock out some of the old ones. This causes gas and bloating. If you’re eating healthy foods and having uncomfortable symptoms, be assured they will

The foods that cause the most changes in your intestines are beans, legumes and cruciferous vegetables. Of the cruciferous vegetables, broccoli and cauliflower are the biggest culprits. Even though they can cause gas, they also really help your bowel flora, immune system and detoxify the body.

What can you do about the symptoms?

One trick is to add these foods to your diet gradually. Start with the beans and legumes. Consider having a tablespoon per day for the first few weeks. This is usually a small enough amount to avoid problems, but large enough to help your flora transition easily. While you’re doing this, you’ll also want other good starches in your diet. Foods like beets, carrots, rutabagas, turnips, parsnips and potatoes are excellent choices. The more your body adapts, the more you can eat.

Some Tips to Make the Transition Easier

Transitions take a process. One tip is knowing what to add to your diet that will soothe your intestines
and help stabilize the whole process. One of the best are fennel seeds. They’re available at the
supermarket (located with the spices) or health food stores. Place them in a skillet over a low flame
with some sea salt. Roll them back and forth until they just start to get brown and aromatic. Store them
in a container and add a few pinches of the seeds to your meals. They do a good job reducing gas and
bloating. (or more simply, add fennel essential oil to your drinking water)

Another is chamomile. We usually associate this wonderful, gentle herb with helping us sleep. However,
it is useful anytime throughout the day to soothe your stomach. It will prevent spasms and gas from forming in your colon.
Fermented foods are also helpful to work into your diet. We’re seeing more fermented foods on the
market than ever before. A few great examples are sauerkraut and kimchi.

With these steps, gas will pass in ways that last! You’ll have healthier digestion afterward with much
less discomfort.

Challenge of the month:

This month, start noticing which foods cause a bloated stomach. Try a few strategies listed in Dr C’s newsletter and also stop into your health food store and ask for some digestive enzymes to take with meals. These will reduce the bloating that can result from foods and our systems lacking the enzymes needed for their proper digestion.

Later this month we will look at inflammation as a cause of “big belly”.

And, as always, be very kind with yourself. Make your self care and health a top priority so that you can be there for others for the long term as well as enjoy your life to the fullest.

With love and support,

Kirei and Team15!

Training Plateaus

Have you hit your first or second training plateau? That is when you feel as if you are no longer making progress and perhaps even backsliding. It is a normal part of the training cycle. It is important to know how to handle these plateaus and handle the feelings of discouragement that comes with them.

1. Realize it’s a natural part of any long term commitment to have peaks, plateaus and even the valleys. (think marriage or oil prices)

2. Feel your body and your strength. Also, feel the parts of yourself you are still not crazy about without any judgement. Simply put attention on your body and congratulate yourself for taking care and having the commitment to being healthy. You have been doing this challenging workout for a period of time and it has greatly enhanced your overall health.
Cultivate acceptance, pride and appreciation for your body.

3. Thank yourself for the mental courage and discipline it takes to do the workout week after week. (we regularly have clients tell us that they have never stuck to an exercise program this long!)

4. Go out and use your muscles to do something fun.
Ski, bike, go to yoga flow or spin, move your furniture. Just run up a flight of stairs and remember when you couldn’t do that. Remind yourself how amazing it is to be so strong!
Last month in Mexico I went kayaking on a lagoon. We were out for about 3 hours; it was relatively easy paddling until the wind came up. As we back paddled into the headwind, I notice the other members of the party were further and further behind while the leader and myself were having a fun impromptu competition of who could get back to shore first. It was a hoot to keep up with and jockey for front with this young, fit man!!
I remembered how great it is to be strong and healthy. Often, during the course of my busy weeks, I do not “have fun with my muscles!”

5. Talk to your trainer, have a look at your chart. Reevaluate your goals and the small action steps you are taking to achieve them. Do you need to increase your walking or low intensity movement? Are there dietary tweaks that will give you more energy and tighten up your waistline? Are you really getting the sleep you need to be at your optimum?

With the foundation of strength through the workout, regular movement throughout your day and small positive health inputs added regularly, you can experience the healthiest, fittest self you have ever been.
This formula is by far the most sustainable, safe and effective way to achieve lasting health and quality aging.
We know of no other exercise protocol that can offer these results over the long term.Let us know how it is going for you. We are happy to give encouragement and help you stay positive through all the cycles of your commitment to health.

The importance of relaxation

Relax your jaw,
Soften your eyes,
Melt your throat.
Clients sometimes ask why we place so much attention on relaxation.

First, there is no point in strengthening parts of ourselves and creating more tension and hardness in our tissues as we do so. The ideal is having muscles that are strong, supple, and have a quality of firmness, aliveness, yet softness.  
I know this one personally as after years of athletic over training my tissues were dense and hard.  Any form of body work, hurt like crazy and I had very little actual strength.   Nutrients cannot get into cells that have these qualities and there is a holding on to toxins, old traumas/injuries and cellular memories when our muscles are not soft and supple.  The tight, hard body is much more susceptible to injury.

Second, you are learning to isolate and contract only the muscles working.  This helps you keep a focus on the part of you that is working as well as have the awareness of when and where you tense in other areas.  This is a great life skill to take into the rest of your day.  (Just noted how I was flexing my ankles tightly as I was writing this)  Check in with yourself throughout the day to notice if you are out of alignment, holding tension; the same things we remind you of in the workout are likely chronic tension places for you. See what happens when you soften, relax and melt in these tightly held areas throughout your day.

Third, use every available opportunity to reduce stress in your life and body.  So keeping relaxed during the most intense exercise you and most anyone on the planet has ever done, will prevent the stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisone) from elevating sooner and higher than necessary.  This exercise protocol will take you through a short sympathetic nervous system response called fight or flight. You do secrete adrenaline during the last few repetitions of each set.  (This is good as it stimulates fat burning)  However, we want to keep this part of the exercise at its minimum so we are only “stressing” ourselves enough to cause the adaptation we are seeking (more lean tissue and strength).  Many traditional exercise protocols produce prolonged stress that is damaging to the body. 

Evolved Health incorporates your “medical dose” of exercise.  We use every possible input to build muscle and shift your body composition to leaner, stronger bones and less body fat.  We remove distractions and the risks for injury that can occur in high intensity exercise programs and detract from the goals of exercise.  Exercise is meant to enhance health and make you fitter. 

Thus, you experience a safe, effective and efficient way to build a powerfully healthy physique, highly functional body and a mind that is calm and strong.  And you look confident, healthy and relaxed too!

Simple Daily Detox Habits

Spring is traditionally a time for a detox program. For some this is associated as a daunting task of 3 or 7 or 30 days of drinking horrible shakes, taking weird herbs and depriving self of life’s pleasurable foods.

There is certainly merit to an intensive spring body detox as we are inundated with chemicals that affect our well being. What if you could incorporate elements of detoxing into your daily and weekly routine and forego the BIG, intimidating program?

In some ways our theme/challenge of the month always addresses detox. So far we have covered posture, breathing, sleep and fasting. All of the small changes in these past 4 months are detoxing.
Let’s take it further with some new ideas to pull into your daily routine
Remember that the small things daily over time create lasting success.

This month implement 4 or 5 of the following simple detox daily habits:

1. Go for a lymph massage and sweat out your toxins while relaxing at Elanna and the gals will take excellent care of you.

2. Hydrate with 500 mls of filtered water with lemon or apple cider vinegar each morning for the month.

3. Walk – get a device or app to track your steps, aim for 10,000 steps per day 4+ days per week.

4. Have a cup of Detox Blend tea from our Kensington neighbor Jonathon’s tea shop

5. Epsom baths – relax into a great source of magnesium several nights a week and especially after your workout. ¼ cup is all you need in a tub of water.

6. Yoga or qigong. Its everywhere. Try a class or two this month. Stretch yourself!
For an “energy healing” workout try Spring Forest Qi Gong

7. Add fibre – Yep, healthy pooping is an easy detox, essential to health. Especially if you have reduced fruit and grain carbs, make sure you are getting enough fibre. Chia seeds in a probiotic drink like coconut keifer is amazing. Kevita is available at Community and Sunnyside markets.

8. Organic food- add a new organic food to your diet this month. Spagetti squash cooked or raw is an excellent replacement for pasta or rice with chili, sauces, curry, etc.

9. Nature – make a point of getting outside, taking some deep breaths of fresh air and hugging the trees or at least imagining hugging them if you are just not a tree hugger.

10. Emotional detox – Let it go eh? Old resentment, fear, guilt, shame is toxic!

11. Gratitude journal: Its the simplest thing you can do to start your day happy! Happy is the antithesis of toxic and gratitude sets the stage for so much goodness in your life.

12. Deep breathing. Just take a deep breath and sigh your exhale out of your mouth right now. Great, do that every time you think of it all day long and you have a excellent detox health habit.

13. Of course, eat a whole foods diet. More veggies, less processed anything. Try one of our local vegetable juice companies. Our neighbours are at

14. Inventory and replace the most toxic cleaning products that you have in the house.

15. Research further detox ideas:

Your workout is a detox event each week. Your breathing, heart, lymph are all stimulated. Many of our clients comment on how they feel cleaned out by the workout.

Keep adding healthy detox habits; you have the power to take charge of your health in simple, sustainable ways.

With love and support,
Kirei and team15

Intermittent Fasting to Curb Cravings and Promote Fat Burning

Have you tried intermittent fasting? How did it go? Did you feel hungry or were you surprised by feeling less cravings or focus on food?

Here is a quote from a recent article from Dr Mercola on intermittent fasting (IT):

Scientists are also examining the way fasting affects cellular and mitochondrial function, and longevity.
They’ve found the cells in your body react to fasting in much the same way as they do to exercise. In other words, when placed under stress — be it exercise or fasting–the reaction creates changes at the cellular level that helps extend your lifespan.1
For starters, fasting shifts your body from using glucose as its primary fuel to fat, and being an efficient fat-burner benefits your health beyond weight loss.

The link to the whole article:

(I have no idea why his links are so long!)

We humans thrive on some feast and some famine! Food over abundance and continual feasting has caused modern humans many health issues.

Enjoy the pleasures of a feast with your family this weekend, including some healthy, dark chocolate Easter bunnies. (enjoy high quality dark chocolate as it is actually nutritious and avoid from the low quality confections)

Then try time-restricted feeding. Your body loves the contrast!

Happy Easter from your fans and cheerleaders at Evolved Health.
Enjoy your celebrations and extra time off this weekend.

Spiral your health upwards with easy, small steps that add up.

Elevate your health! (one small step at a time)
Evolve your life! (in leaps and bounds)

How long does it take to get results?

The one question that personal trainers always get is, “How long will it take to get results?”  The answer is individual, of course.  However, here is a common path of results for clients of this form of exercise.

1.  Feel energy moving and increasing.  Some will feel fatigue in a good way that hopefully results in more rest and recovery if you are listening to your body and respond.  Just stimulating your muscles and body this deeply can trigger a deeper, older tired within you that is finally released.  Things will be released doing 15ME!  Science knows that trauma is held in our tissues.  Old stress that has not resolved stays in our cells.  This exercise starts to move that.  When it gets out, new aliveness comes in.  You feel more energy right away.  And, of course, there is the sense of accomplishment when you finish your set and your workout.  Lifting heavy makes you proud and happy.  
Clients feel a whoosh of energy initially and as they progress through the weeks.  People report wanting to be more active and far less sedentary.  The walking, dancing, moving and having fun will ultimately result in your health improving and the weight coming off.  Listen and respond to your body’s desire for more movement.  

2.  Posture improves.  The muscles want to be developed and hold your structure in the properly aligned place.  Having a more upright posture and lifting the front body and chest upward lengthens us, makes us look taller, healthier, more confident and begins to shift the waist.  The stomach has more vertical area to stretch over, therefore, it is sleeker.  Keep monitoring your posture as your body will be telling you now more than ever, when you are slouching, contracting the front body and holding tension.  You will feel it; so pay attention and keep that relaxed, upright alignment.

3.  Strength improves.  Look at your workout chart.  You are getting stronger every couple of weeks at least.  Every time your TUL (time under load) increases by 10-30 seconds or more, we slip in more weight, starting as low as 2 pounds.  (you may have noticed this 😉 Over the course of time this translates as significant increases.  Emergency room doctor, Dr Doug McGuff, who has run this type of studio since 1995, says he will at least double your strength in the first year of training once per week with this protocol.  

4.  Body composition changes.  Yes, this one is last.  There are many factors in weight loss these days.  Food is considered most important.  Exercise may be second.  Stress/beliefs is third.
Here’s why high intensity slow motion weight training will, over time, create lasting significant changes in body composition.  
a.  You are burning calories long after your workout is complete with this protocol (called afterburn, lifting heavy weights may keep you burning calories for 24-48 hours after you stop!)
b.  You are adding lean tissue that burns more calories and has more insulin receptors (therefore, less insulin is circulating in your system – insulin triggers the body to hold fat)
c.  In the “stress response” portion of every set you trigger an enzyme that burns fat, thereby re-teaching your body to utilize fat for fuel
d. You are adapting your body to respond positively to stress (each workout is the perfect practice of fight or flight and your stress levels return to baseline after each set, thereby teaching yourself how to positively resolve stress.  This is very important in our highly stressful society.  Remember, even driving across Calgary once is about as much or more chronic stress than our ancestors would have faced in a month.)  This stress makes it very difficult to lose weight for many reasons that will be addressed in later blogs.  Slow motion weight lifting is a fantastic stress management tool and therefore important for weight loss.  
e.  You are releasing HGH human growth hormone with every workout.  This helps burn fat.  
f.  Each week you enter into a space where your trainers are the guardians and cheerleaders for your greatest potential, in that workout and in your life.  In the weeks to come we will begin to implement intention setting and visualizing into the workout if you are open.  This is a powerful way to move beyond the beliefs (I will always be fat, losing weight is hard, my family is heavy, I don’t want to be too attractive, I’m a wimp, I cant do it, and on and on)  We all have them and we do not have to keep them.

You have 15 minutes per week where it is all about you, when your focus can be laser sharp, when you have a trainer who has her/his full attention on your success.  Use this time to squeeze out every benefit you can.  It could be the most important 15 minutes of your week!  (and have fun getting healthier, stronger, leaner!) 

Intermittent Fasting

Is dropping body fat a goal of yours? Intermittent fasting is a powerful way to shift your body into an efficient fat burner. Most people are sugar burners but we can retrain our bodies to use fat or sugar as fuel. The results can include sustained energy levels, weight loss, reducing metabolic disease among many other benefits.

Here is one way to intermittent fast:

1. Finish eating by 6-7 each evening and do not put anything but water, tea or *bullet proof coffee into you body until 10-11 the next day. Adjust as needed for your schedule but do not eat within 3 hours of retiring for your night’s sleep on fasting days.
This allows your body up to 16 hours to use up the glycogen (a sugar substance) stores and seek other fuel to burn. Your body begins to burn fat as a fuel; it becomes trained to be a fat burner!
Very quickly your energy is maintained, you do not have sugar and carb cravings and over a few weeks (or possibly less), you will not feel hungry.
2. Due to a shorter eating window during your day, you will consume less calories.
Choose these calories carefully, eating real, whole foods and reducing processed “food-like substances” Minimize the carbs from cereal grains and sweets including baked goods and fruit.

Once your body has shifted into fat burning mode, your cravings for sweets or junk food will disappear.

Combine intermittent fasting with high intensity weight lifting and you will be able to change the composition of your body to leaner, more toned and defined.

The other advantages are the time saving simplification of only eating twice per day! It is liberating to worry less about food preparation.

Precautions: Do not intermittent fast if you are pregnant, hyperglycemic or have adrenal fatigue. For women, start out slowly. Our hormonal systems are very sensitive to caloric restriction and overzealous fasting can cause imbalance and weight gain. (not what we want!!)
Start with a day or two per week and build up to 4-7 days. Once you are fat-adapted (a fat burner) you can fast as you are inclined with 3-5 days per week as optimum. Pay attention to what your body is telling you! You will know

Challenge of the month: Integrate 1-3 of the following ideas into your life.

1. Have a bullet-proof coffee in the morning and do not eat until you are hungry. (the butter and coconut oil do not break your fast. Sugar or carbs do) BP coffee recipe:
2. Just try it! Finish eating at 6 pm and do not eat again until 8 am tor later the next day. Stretch it out to 10 am if you are not hungry. Even a 12-14 hour fast will make a difference in shifting your body to burning fat.
3. Read more about intermittent fasting:

The Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting
4. Look into 5:2 diet plan, a slightly different take on fasting.

As always, be very kind to yourself. Be willing to try new inputs that improve your health and weight management. And be aware of any negative self-recrimination you may have. Self-loathing will trump all of the most powerful inputs to health. A loving accepting, caring approach to yourself is the foundation for exceptional health and a fit, trim body you are proud of.

With love and support,

Team 15 – Kirei, Alanna, Val, Valerie and Mar!