10 Foods Staples to Throw Out NOW!! – Part 2

nutnHere we are with our second installment of food staples that you need to rid your pantry of ASAP!

And of course what to replace them with!

Click the link in case you happened to miss Part 1


White bread, and even deceivingly, multi-grain breads contain zero whole grains, are made with enriched white flours, and little to no fiber. Meaning these breads will spike your blood sugar levels and leave you feeling unsatisfied and hungry again soon after eating.

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – 100% Whole Grain Wheat Bread

whole grain bread
Look for breads with ‘whole grain’ as the first ingredient on the ingredient list. The first ingredient on any nutrition label means it is proportionately the most used ingredient in that particular product. Whole grains are not only great for keeping you satiated but can also help protect against many diet-related chronic diseases; such as diabetes.



While peanut butter on toast or fruit may seem like a smart snack choice, generic peanut butter is full of sugar, trans fats and little useful nutrients. Generic peanut butters (such as Kraft, Jif or Skippy) are usually highly processed using a technique called hydrogenation. Hydrogenation is the process of adding hydrogen atoms to the molecular structure of fat in a product in order to make it more spreadable, creamier, and shelf-stable. This process actually lowers levels of good cholesterol (HDL) in the body and increases levels of bad cholesterol (LDL). Hydrogenated oils should be avoided as much as possible.nutrition fat loss,

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Natural Nut Butter
Now a days there are SO many nut butters to choose from! Almond, cashew, walnut, the choices are endless. When choosing a nut butter to keep your pantry stocked, read the ingredient list, there should be 3 or fewer ingredients and the first one should always be nuts.

nut butter


Trail Mix is another tricky snack dressed up and disguised as a healthy one. Pre-made trail mixes now contain chunks of chocolate, M&M’s, and dried fruit. Making this, could be healthy, staple more like a bag of candy.

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Homemade trail mix

The best trial mix is the one you mix yourself! You can customize them to your own preferences and goals. Cut out the unwanted sugar and look to add ingredients such as 90% dark chocolate, almonds, and walnuts. Be sure to store them in air-tight containers to keep your mixture fresh!



White pasta has the same problems as white rice or white bread, it has been stripped of all its useful nutrients, is highly processed, and is a simple carbohydrate. It will spike your blood sugar levels as well as leave you feeling hungry again soon after your meal.

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Garbanzo bean, Quinoa, Black Bean or Veggies Based Pastabean pastas

The one upside to the ridiculous gluten-free craze that hit the supermarket shelves was the introduction of vegetable based pastas! These ‘pastas’ contain more fiber, protein, and vitamins and minerals. These options are going to keep your blood sugar levels steadier and keep you feeling full long after your meal. Granted they do not taste as bland or neutral as regular pasta but once you try these options you will not want to go back to tasteless pastas ever again!

Have you tried any of new food staples?!? Let us know how these new staples are fairing in your kitchen down in the comment section.

Check back next week for Part 3!

If you have any questions or comments make sure to ask in our comments section or email SST Mississauga’s Lead Strength Coach, Courtney  ( cplewes@sstcanada.com ).

10 Foods Staples to Throw Out NOW!! – Part 1

With busy schedules of work, school, kids, training, housework – the list can go on and on – pantry staples can be a great time saver in preparing your meals, avoiding the drive-thru and keeping your nutrition on track. However, there are many everyday staples in your pantry that are doing more harm than good and need to be thrown out immediately!

healthy pantryHaving healthy, nutrient dense pantry staples on hand will help keep you full longer, aid in lean muscle growth, increase your energy and help the waist line shrink!

Read on to find out what time saving staple need to be kicked to the curb and what you can replace them with!


These are the first thing that need to hit the trash bin!! This staple is quick, easy, LOADED with sugar and not much else. It is easy to be fooled by labels boasting about ‘added vitamins’, and pictures of whole almonds, oats, grains, mountain scenery… But even those cereals marketed as ‘healthy’ are usually loaded with sugar and refined carbohydrates and they lack sufficient fiber, protein, and healthy fats to help keep you energized and full for the start of your day. Because of this you are more likely to have a crash in blood sugar levels mid-morning causing more sugar cravings and having you reaching for snacks that contain more sugar and doing so earlier in the day then you should be.

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Oatmealoatmeal

Were not talking to Quacker packets loaded with sugar. Stock your pantry with plain oats (steel cut are even better) that can be made on the stove top. They only take a couple minutes to prepare and you can customize them with all your favourites – almonds, cashew butter, fruits, seeds, flax-seed, organic honey, dark chocolate shavings – the possibilities are endless and delicious!


White rice is about as void of nutrients as a product can get. The heavy processing the rice goes through strips rice of almost all vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. Along with that white rice is a refined carbohydrate meaning it is digested and absorbed by the body quickly, causing spikes in blood sugar levels which in turn forces your body to process the sugar quickly and leads to fat conversion and storage.

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Red, Black or Wild Rice
These whole grain rice options may cost an extra buck or two but they are worth the splurge! Whole grain rices have vitamins, minerals, fiber, and are digested at a much slower rates. Allowing your body to properly prowild ricecess the carbohydrates and using them as fuel instead of converting them for fat storage. These options will also keep your blood sugar levels more stable leading to less cravings and the extra fiber will help keep you feeling full longer.




If you liked this post make sure to check back in a few days for Part 2!

If you have any questions or comments about this post make sure to ask in our comments section or email SST Mississauga’s Lead Strength Coach, Courtney  ( cplewes@sstcanada.com ).

Sports Nutrition on the Road – Part 4: Low & High GI Carbs & Energy Drinks

In case you missed the beginning of this series: PART 1, PART 2 & PART 3

OTRN part 4

In Part 2 of our sports nutrition on the road series we spoke about Low- and High-GI Carbs, but what are there? And why do they matter to you performance?

Carbohydrates are important for athletes because they provide you with your main source of energy for exercise and competition. Without an adequate supply of carbs your performance can be severely limited. The Glycemic Index (GI) is an index of foods with different kinds of carbohydrates; complex, simple, etc. Foods are generally rate as “Low GI” or “High GI” based on the speed at which carbohydrates are absorbed by the body.

Low GI Foods are rich in fiber, and have carbs that absorb slowly and take a longer time to deliver glucose to your blood and glycogen to your working muscles

  • Eat these the night before games and at your pre-game meals
  • Potatoes (preferably sweet potatoes)
  • Pasta (Whole wheat)
  • Beans and nuts (not peanuts)
  • Rice/Grains (wild rice, quinoa, barley)
  • Fruits -apples/pears/cherries/grapefruit/bananas/pineapple
  • Vegetables – carrots/broccoli/mushrooms/peppers/tomatoes

High GI Foods consist of sugars and starches, and have carbs that absorb rapidly and deliver glucose to your blood and glycogen to your muscles quickly

  • Eat these within the first 12 hours after competition to reload the tank quickly
  • Some may also be eaten within the last 30-60 minutes before competition, at halftime, or between innings/periods
  • Baked potatoes
  • Corn chips/rice cakes/pretzels
  • Brown rice/Jasmine long grain white rice
  • Cereals (corn and oat-based)
  • Sweetened fruit drinks/dried fruits/watermelon
  • Sports Bars or Drinks


Energy Drinks

Energy drink such as Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar, Amp, etc. contain incredibly high levels of caffeine, other stimulants, and huge amounts of sugar. They DO NOT provide any kind of sustained energy you need for an athletic competition and can actually have the opposite effect. Energy drinks can actually promote poor sleeping habits, caffeine/sugar crashes, and nutrient wasting by stealing your appetite from healthy foods.

Because these drinks are caffeine laden they also have a significant effect on dehydration as well as raise your heart rate and blood pressure. If you are in a sport in which randomized drug testing is common place these drinks can also exceed the legal caffeine limits set by CESP and WADA.

These are all things you definitely want to avoid on game day!


If you found this info useful be sure to share it with a friend!

For more info on this topic email Courtney (cplewes@sstcanada.com)

Body Types and Fat Loss–Part I

Body Types and Fat Loss Part 1

Wow! What a response we received as a result of our last article, Fat Loss without Kardio”. We heard from a few naysayers who insisted that it is impossible to lose significant amounts of body fat without doing lots of cardio work. But, most people were relieved to know that weight loss doesn’t have to include long, boring sessions on the treadmill or stair-climber. Many people told us that they actually hate to do that kind of cardio work, and, that the results they are striving for are, to say the least, not evident.

For the people who have not read Fat Loss without Kardio please visit the link “Fat loss without Kardio” to get caught up. Just a quick note regarding this article: I stated that rhythmical cardio leads to an increase in the hormone cortisol, which research now links to an increase in abdominal fat. Remember, I am a strength coach who gets paid to train athletes to be faster and stronger, so rhythmical cardio would be detrimental to my athletes. For example, one of the professional football players who started at SST weighing 267 lbs and 21% body fat managed in only 8 WEEKS to weigh in at 276 lbs and had 11.3% body fat! Guess what, he did not do any KARDIO – just a proper strength training program and his my blueprint nutrition protocol. For more information visit the link “myblueprintnutrition.com”

I know what some of you are saying, “Yeah, that’s great for an athlete but what about the regular folks who want to lose 10 or 20 pounds?”

Well, ask the Fit and Lean women who participated in an 8-week class that consisted of a strength-training program with their Biosignature results in hand. Most of them lost 10 to 20lbs and some even lost 25 lbs of body fat! Now what woman wouldn’t want those results? Oh, did I neglect to state that they did NO KARDIO!

The best way to lose body fat is to increase growth hormone and testosterone. The method we like to use at SST is strength training with short rest period in between.

Just some quick notes on building muscle:

· Every additional pound of muscle burns roughly 50 calories extra per day.

· If one extra pound of muscle burns 50 calories a day X 365 days a year that adds up to 18,250 extra calories burnt per year, which would result in the loss of 5 pounds of body fat! And that’s just for one additional pound of muscle.

· Imagine if you gained 5 lbs of lean muscle in one year!! You could burn off 25 lbs of fat in one year!

· This does not take into account the huge caloric expenditure required to put on this muscle.

If burning fat is what you want then join our 21 day fat loss challenge starting July 4th


10 Keys to “Getting Lean”

Hi, Steve Bodanis here from SST Hamilton. I thought I would get this info up just in time for your summer body planning.

10 Keys to getting lean in 2016!

  1. Lift weights – don’t sit on machines, do compound movements that recruit more muscles. Toning means increasing muscle and decreasing body-fat. 20 reps of 3lb Dumbbells doesn’t get you toned.
  2. Perform intervals 2x per week – My favorite is sprinting, but you can use bikes, treadmills, rowers. Ditch the slow cardio and get more results in less time. Also it’s not catabolic so it doesn’t breakdown your lean muscle.
  3. Set your protein intake – women generally get 1/2 or less their required protein intake daily. Start planning 5 meals a day with 20-30g protein at each meal.
  4. Carb Timing – Focus on getting healthy carbs after training sessions. Aim for a little more on hard training days and a little less on your off days.
  5. Good fats are your friends – you can get too much, but don’t avoid them. Adding nuts, seeds, avocado, olive/coconut oil, grass fed butter to your diet is healthy and necessary if you’re decreasing your daily carbs.
  6. Plan your meals ahead – spend 2 days a week preparing meals and having them packaged in the fridge ready to go.
  7. Don’t drink your calories – water with lemon or lime help to alkalize your body. Adding a cinnamon stick will help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
  8. Get sleep – 7-8 uninterrupted hours a night is optimal. Go to bed at a regular time and try and wake up without an alarm (if possible). Turn off TV/electronics, make sure your room is pitch black and set the temperature properly. This will help reduce cortisol and helps with insulin sensitivity.
  9. Be mindful – when you eat try and chew 10-15 times for each bite. Also add mindful breathing techniques. This can also help reduce stress/cortisol which is the enemy of getting lean.D
  10. Don’t get neurotic – use your hands to measure foods instead of trying to calculate every calorie.

Palm of hand for protein

Fists for vegetables – 1-2 every meal

Cupped hand for carbs – depending on body type and meal 0-2 Thumb for fats – 1 if you’re having carbs at meal or 2 if you’re not.

If you cheat it’s ok, just aim to get back on track next meal. 85-90% compliance will get you good, sustainable gains.

10_keys-to getting-lean

Hopefully this helps you get the summer body you’re looking for. If you need more help contact your local SST location.