Category Archives: lifestyle tips

How to Improve Gut Health

Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.”

And while this may not be 100% true for every disease in every person, more and more research shows that our gut (digestive system) has a bigger role in many diseases than we used to think. And we’re not just talking about heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, IBD, etc. We’re talking about all kinds of issues like allergies, pain, mood disorders, and nutrient deficiencies.

There are a lot of reasons for this. Our gut is the portal to the outside world. It’s here where we take in disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and parasites. We also take in nutrients (and toxins) through our gut. The nutrients we ingest and absorb are the building blocks of every single part of our body. We’re just learning the connections between our gut and other areas of our body, like our brain (have you heard of “the gut-brain axis”). Not just our gut per se; but, its friendly resident microbes too. These guys also have newly discovered roles in our gut health and overall health.

So, let’s talk about the roles that our gut and our gut microbes play in our overall health. Then I’ll give you tips to improve your gut health naturally.

Our gut’s role in our overall health

Our gut’s main role is as a barrier. To let things in that should get in, and to keep things out that should stay out. Think of “absorption” of nutrients as things we want to let in; and “elimination” of waste as things we want to pass right through and out.

This seemingly simple role is super-complex! And it can break down in so many places.

For one thing, our guts can “leak.” Yes, like a long tube with holes in it, it can allow things to get into our bloodstream/bodies that can wreak havoc (bacteria, undigested food, and toxins). You name it, whatever you put into your mouth can be absorbed by your gut and get into your bloodstream, even if it’s not supposed to. And when your gut wall gets irritated, it can “leak.” When this happens, you get inflammation, which is a starting point for many diseases that don’t seem linked to the gut but have a sneaky connection there.

FUN FACT: About 70% of our immune system lives in and around our gut.

A healthy gut is not a leaky gut. It maintains its barrier and shuttles things through to be eliminated. Maintaining a healthy gut barrier is the first pillar of gut health.

The second main part of your gut are the billions of friendly health-promoting microbes. Gut microbes help us digest and absorb nutrients. They fight off disease-causing microbes, make some vitamins for us, and have all kinds of other health benefits, like mental health benefits, reducing inflammation, and stabilizing blood sugar.

So, keeping your gut microbes happy is the second pillar of gut health!

How to improve gut health

There are a lot of natural ways to improve gut health. Let’s start with what to stop. It’s always best to eliminate the cause, so let’s stop giving our guts junk to deal with. How about eliminating added sugars, processed foods, and alcohol? Try that for a few weeks, and you may be amazed at how much better your body (and gut) feels.

You may also want to eliminate other gut irritants. Dairy and grains contain common compounds known to irritate some people’s guts. Sometimes you only need to eliminate them for a few weeks to see if it makes a difference for your health.

By eating nutrient-dense foods, we allow ample macro- and micro-nutrients into our gut to maximize the chance for absorption. These nutrients help our bodies build and repair our gut, and every other body part as well. Some of the most nutrient-dense foods include dark leafy greens, colourful fruits and veggies, liver, and fish.

The second pillar of gut health is our microbes. By ingesting probiotic-rich foods and drinks, we can help to replenish our gut microbes. These are found in fermented foods like kombucha, kefir, miso, sauerkraut, and kimchi. Make these a part of your daily diet.

Whole foods are full of gut-friendly fiber. Not eating enough fiber increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Fiber plays lots of roles in our gut, including whisking away some of those pesky bad bacteria and toxins so they can be eliminated. Fiber also helps to feed our friendly resident microbes that help us absorb and digest our food better. What foods have a lot of fiber? Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, avocado, and even cacao.

And don’t forget the uber-important lifestyle factors like getting enough sleep, stressing less, and getting the right amount (and intensity) of exercise for you. It’s easy to forget some of the simple, but key links there are between what we do with our bodies and how well they function.


The function of your gut is key to your overall health. There are two pillars of gut health: maintaining a good barrier and maintaining healthy gut microbes.

The main ways to improve both of these naturally is by eating nutrient-dense whole foods. Foods filled with nutrition, probiotics, and fiber. And eliminating common gut irritants like added sugar, processed foods, and alcohol.

Recipe (Probiotic-rich): Fermented Carrots

Serves 12
1 L warm water
4 tsp salt
4 carrots, medium, peeled, sliced
1 clove garlic, smashed (optional)


Make a brine by dissolving the salt in water.
Place carrots into a clean canning jar, packing them in tight. Make sure to leave about 1 inch of head space at the top.
Fill the jar with brine, making sure to cover the carrots completely. Weigh the carrots down to make sure they don’t float (you can use a “fermenting weight”).
Close the jar and let it sit at room temperature for 1-4 days. The longer it sits, the more the flavor will develop. Feel free to open and taste.

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: Use this as a side dish, or even a snack.



Everything You Think You Know About Healthy Eating is Wrong and it’s Making You Fat and Tired

Everything You Think You Know About Healthy Eating is Wrong and it’s Making You Fat and Tired 

Oh my gosh – nutrition and diet info is everywhere!

And each expert and association tries to lead you in their direction because they know best and their advice is going to help you.  Right?

Well, maybe…

Everyone has heard (and maybe lived through) the intense focus on how much you eat.  This has gotten way too much attention because while this does affect your weight and energy level, it’s certainly not the “holy grail” of health.

Let’s focus a bit more on the often overlooked (and proven) benefits of what you eat and drink and how you eat and drink it.

What you eat and drink

The “calories in, calories out” philosophy (i.e. how much you eat) is being drowned out with research on other factors that may be just as important.  Don’t get me wrong limiting calories, carbs or fat can certainly help you lose weight but that’s simply not the only factor for long-term weight loss and maximum energy for everyone.

When the intense focus on how much we ate didn’t work in the long-run it wasn’t really a surprise. We kinda knew that already, didn’t we?

You can certainly still continue to count your calories, carbs, and fat but don’t forget to also pay attention to what you eat.

Ideally, you need a varied diet full of minimally-processed foods (i.e. fewer “packaged” “ready-to-eat” foods aka REAL foods).  This simple concept is paramount for weight loss, energy, and overall health and wellness.

Every day this is what you should aim for:

  • A colourful array of fruits and veggies at almost every meal and snack.  Aim for 1 serving of 5 different colours per day.  You need the fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Enough protein. Making sure you get all of those essential amino acids (bonus: eating protein can increase your metabolism).
  • Healthy fats and oils (never “hydrogenated” ones).  There is a reason some fatty acids are called “essential” – you need them as building blocks for your hormones and brain as well as to be able to absorb essential fat-soluble vitamins from your uber-healthy salads.  Use extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil, eat your organic egg yolks, and get grass-fed meats when possible.  You don’t need to overdo it here.  Just make sure you’re getting some high-quality fats.

How you eat and drink

Also pay attention to how you eat and drink.

Studies are definitely showing that this has more of an impact than we previously thought.

Are you rushed, not properly chewing your food, and possibly suffering from gastrointestinal issues? Do you drink your food?

When it comes to how you eat let’s first look at “mindful eating”.

Mindful eating means to take smaller bites, eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and savour every bite.  Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture.  Breathe. Put your fork down in between bites. Eat undistracted at least once per day. Yes that means put your phone down and focus on eating one bite at a time!

This gives your digestive system the hint to prepare for digestion and to secrete necessary enzymes.

This can also help with weight loss because eating slower often means eating less.  Did you know that it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full?

Thought so!

We also know that more thoroughly chewed food is easier to digest and it makes it easier to absorb all of those essential nutrients.

And don’t forget about drinking your food.

Yes, smoothies can be healthy and a fabulously easy and tasty way to get in some fruits and veggies (hello leafy greens!) but drinking too much food can contribute to a weight problem and feelings of sluggishness.

Don’t get me wrong a green smoothie can make an amazingly nutrient-dense meal and is way better than stopping for convenient junk food – just consider a large smoothie to be a full meal not a snack.  And don’t gulp it down too fast.

If your smoothies don’t fill you up like a full meal does try adding a tbsp of nut butter and/or a spoon of fiber like ground flax or chia seeds.


Consider not only how much you eat but also what and how you eat it.

Recipe (Smoothie meal): Chia Peach Green Smoothie

Serves 1

handful spinach

1-2 tablespoon chia seeds

1/2 banana

1-2 tbsp nut butter

1 scoop chocolate protein powder

2 cups unsweetened almond milk or water

Add ingredients to blender in order listed (you want your greens on the bottom by the blade so they blend better and have the chia on the bottom to absorb some liquid before you blend).

Wait a couple of minutes for the chia seeds to start soaking up the almond milk.

Blend, Serve and Enjoy!

Tip: Smoothies are the ultimate recipe for substitutions.  Try swapping different greens, fruit, fats or seeds to match your preference.

Bonus: Chia seeds not only have fiber and essential omega-3 fatty acids but they  contain all of the essential amino acids from protein.



Blog Title 3 Ways to Reduce the -Middle Age Bulge-

As health and fitness coaches who work primarily with people over 50, this topic comes up quite frequently in session.

Client A – “How do I get rid of this (as client points to mid-section)?”

The answer to this is never quick and easy. But there are things that are in your control that can make a difference right away.

There seems to be something that happens to us humans when we reach middle age.

It may seem as though the body takes a bit of a drop off and things change all of a sudden.

You may feel that your clothes are getting tighter.

The weight loss battle becomes more like an uphill battle and the things that worked in the past, just don’t seem to work as well as they used to.

What is the cause of this?

It is safe to say that it is rarely one thing that causes this. Instead we usually see a combination of factors that lead people to this point.

Factors like;

• Lean muscle loss. It is estimated that we lose on average 5lbs of lean mass (the kind of mass we want to keep) for every decade after 25. If you do the math that is 15lbs of lean mass by 55. If our weight were to stay exactly the same, that means we would have increased by 15lbs of fat.

• A decrease in metabolism. On average a 2-4% decrease in resting metabolic rate (RMR) each decade after 25. Although this doesn’t seem like much, it really adds up.

• Overestimating how well we eat/Underestimating our intake of indulgences or foods that generally don’t help us.

• Inactivity/sedentary lifestyles. Never before in history have humans sat down so often (i.e. TV, eating, work, driving, etc.).

• Hormonal changes (i.e. menopause, andropause).

• Inability to train intensely due to growing injury/mobility concerns.

• Medications. 

• and more.

Tackling one’s health and fitness goals takes a multi-faceted approach (nutrition, fitness, lifestyle, etc.), but the path to success in anything starts with one step. Below we outline 3 actions you can take today that will help you to reduce “the middle-age bulge”.

1. Eat lean protein and vegetables at every meal (focus on breakfast for even better results).

This is a foundational habit that we teach all of our members. To see change now and in the long run, master the basics first. By eating protein and vegetables at every meal you can see a dramatic change in your waist line.

Here are 2 reasons why you will want to implement this into your daily routine.

• Increased Thermic Effect of Feeding (TEF). BLOG IMAGE 3 Ways to Reduce the -Middle Age Bulge- Calories Out

When we ingest food, our digestive system must work to break it down, absorb and assimilate its nutrients. This work has a cost in calories. The amount of calories burned in this process is referred to as the Thermic Effect of Feeding (TEF). In other words, eating itself can increase your metabolism. Protein and vegetables are at the top of the TEF scale. Having protein and vegetables at every meal will help you burn more calories almost immediately.

• Steady blood sugar levels.

Keeping blood sugar levels steady can help to improve insulin sensitivity and help with your overall food quality and quantity throughout the day. Imagine a day of work where you aren’t hungry. You’re not thinking of food and craving the homemade cookies that your co-worker brought to the office this morning. You go into lunch and dinner calm and ready to enjoy a slow paced and relaxed meal (as opposed to scarfing down every last bit on your plate and going for seconds).

Eating lean protein and vegetables at every meal can lead you towards this kind of eating. Not having these at each meal, can potentially keep you hungry through the day, craving foods you know you probably shouldn’t eat and even cause you to overeat without realizing it.

Lean Protein All-Stars;

• Red meat

• poultry

• lean pork cuts

• wild game

• fish/seafood

• eggs

• plant-based proteins (beans, lentils, tofu, etc.)

Non-Starchy Vegetables:

• Leafy greens (spinach, swiss chard)

• carrots

• tomatoes

• zucchini

• broccoli

• bell peppers

• cauliflower

• asparagus

• etc.

BONUS TIP: Have an unconventional breakfast that includes a harder to digest protein and vegetables for even better results. This might be a challenge for most people but will certainly deliver results.

Think this idea is crazy? Try the more conventional option. If you’re ready to challenge yourself and try something new, try taking off “a big chunk”.

• Ready to take off a big chunk:

1-2 palm sized lean steak cut.

1-2 fists of stir fried vegetables or spinach salad

• Something more conventional:

2-3 egg omelette with 1-2 fists of vegetables (spinach, tomatoes, onions, garlic, asparagus, etc.)

(Please note that we have not discussed carbohydrate or healthy fat consumption. This would be a topic for another conversation altogether. At Evertrain we do not necessarily advocate low-carb diets as a long-term solution.)

Do a quick audit of one week’s intake of calorie drinks. It’s not uncommon to see an extra day(or two)’s worth of calories that come from drinks alone.

2. Drink calorie-free drinks. 

Although we are not big believers in counting calories as a means to predict weight-loss, it is important to know the basics of calories in vs. calories out.

BLOG IMAGE 3 Ways to Reduce the -Middle Age Bulge-.pngIn other words, if you’re taking in more calories than you are burning you might find it challenging to lose inches around the waist.

What you really want to do is make sure that the calories that you take in are actually helping, not hurting your efforts. If losing inches around your waist is a goal, you want to be eating mostly nutrient dense foods that are lower in calories compared to calorie dense foods that are lower in nutrients.

Most drinks with calories (we’re not referring to smoothies that replace a meal), are low in nutrients and high calories. And more often than not, these calories are not helping your efforts to thin down your waist line.

Making the Move to Calorie Free Drinking

For most people this is a big challenge. So if you’re not ready for this drastic of a change, even small changes can go a long way. It doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing.

For example, if you are used to having 2 large coffees per day with 2 creams and 2 sugars, try a measurable and consistent decrease.

•Aim for 2 mediums per day.

•Aim for 1 cream and 1 sugar.

•Replace sugar with a natural sweetener like stevia.

•Try 1 or 2 days in the week where you drink herbal tea instead.

If you’re really ambitious and want to see big changes, move from calorie drinks to drinks like herbal tea (with nothing added), black coffee, and water.

At the end of the day, the calories we take in from these calorie drinks are not helping us move closer to our goals. If you want to see a reduction in the inches around your waist, this is usually one of the fastest ways to see change.

3. Reduce/eliminate foods that your body doesn’t agree with. 

Food allergies, intolerances and gut health problems are extremely common. Symptoms can pop-up in several forms such as; bloating, gas, discomfort, etc. To add to this, by eating foods our body doesn’t agree with we are causing damage to our intestinal tract. With time this will lead to a host of other problems.

Copy of BLOG IMAGE 3 Ways to Reduce the -Middle Age Bulge- Food Intolerances

Some of the most common food allergies in adults are;

• eggs

• dairy

• tree nuts

• peanuts

• seafood/shellfish

• wheat

• etc.

It can be hard to figure out which foods your body disagrees with. The best way to do this is to collect data, analyze and make an outcome based decision.

For example, if you suspect that dairy is causing you to feel gassy, bloated and may be preventing your fat-loss goals, collect some data.

1. Take notes of how you feel after eating anything that contains dairy for 3-7 days. Write down anything you think can be related (emotional, physical, mental). You can’t be too detailed.

2. Observe what you wrote down. 

3. Analyze the data you’ve collected (i.e. my digestion is completely off whenever I eat cheese).

4. Make an outcome based decision. In other words, based on the objective information you now have, make a conscious decision on what to do next (i.e. reduce my dairy intake to on occasions). 

Many of the clients we’ve worked with either didn’t know they had food intolerances or knew and chose to simply not address them. Once we worked on reducing or eliminating their intake of these foods, we noticed a big decrease in inches around the waist.

This was for 2 reasons;

1. With improved gut health, they were able to better digest, absorb and assimilate nutrients. This led to losing belly fat.

2. They were simply less bloated.

Consistency is the Key

It’s important to know that any change you choose to make, has to be done consistently to have the desired effect. We recommend taking one of these habits and doing it every day for 2-4 weeks. Then once you’ve gotten this down pat, layer on another (just make sure you don’t stop doing the previous one). Overtime you’ll begin to add new habits that will actually last and become the new norm.

Committed to Your Success,

The Evertrain Team

Evertrain Lifestyles Inc. is an Ottawa based fitness and nutrition coaching business that specializes in working with people over 50 looking for a long-term solution to their health and fitness goals. Their coaches are passionate about teaching their members about the importance of safe, injury-free exercise and creating habits that last.

Do You Need a New Workout Routine to Reach Your Goals?


Looking for a new workout routine?

Is a new workout routine the missing link? Is it the one thing that will finally set you up for success?

Have you thought about what you need to reach your goals in both the short and longterm? More often than not, what we think we need and what we actually need don’t entirely match up. What do most people need to not only get there but stay there?

This post will explore these questions and give you an answer that we think, might clear up a lot of confusion and hopefully in turn, provide an “aha” moment and set you on a path to success for the longterm.

We get many inquiries from people who are only looking for a routine or program to follow. It seems as though, in their mind this is all they need to finally get to the place they want to be.

As you may already know, we are coaching business. We’re coaches first and foremost.

Don’t get us wrong, we provide workout programs that are designed to get you great results, all while keeping you injury-free and allowing you to continually make progress for years to come. This is no small feat and it has taken us years of experience and loads of education and travel across North America to be able to provide the kinds of programs that we offer.

But we’re coaches, not program designers… For a reason.

When we tell these people about what we do and how we do it, we sometimes get resistance (which is completely normal and okay). They tell us that they don’t need the coaching, nutrition and even constant program updates. We often hear that they are very self-motivated (which is most likely true) and that they just need a simple routine to follow.

If we knew that a simple routine would get you to where you want, we would be giving out workout routines to everyone. If this was all you needed, we wouldn’t spend all the extra time and effort on providing the extra support and care that we do.
We pride ourselves in being a complete health, fitness and lifestyle solution that is committed to creating long-term change. You might want to call us lifestyle coaches.

(FUN FACT: This idea is why we chose the name Evertrain Lifestyles Inc., instead of Evertrain Fitness or Evertrain Personal Training.)

This is because we’ve seen time and time again, countless people go through the unfortunate cycle of “on-again off-again fitness failure”.

If this were us, it would drive us nuts!

Trying something over and over and getting back to the same place we started or sometimes worse would be pretty discouraging.

If this isn’t you, great! We are happy that this is the case. But we’re sure you know someone who has dealt with this common issue.

Why long-term success is so elusive.

It could be said that this concept alone of on-again off-again behaviour, was the driving force for us to start our business.

We wanted to ensure that people not only reach their goals, but have learned what it takes to actually maintain them for life! (and of course, this takes time and a whole lot more than a workout routine)

This is what we work so hard to provide people with. Seeing our members reach their goals in a healthy, injury-free sustainable way, then reach the point where they know they can maintain them for the rest of their life is what brings us the most joy.

So you may be wondering, do we provide workout routines?

Yes, we do.

  • We provide what we think are some of the best workout routines for men and women over 50.
  • Routines that constantly evolve to suit your ever-changing fitness level.
  • Routines that are easier when they need to be and are harder when they need to be.
  • Routines that are designed to get you from point A (where you start) to point B (your goals).
  • Routines that prioritize quality before quantity. Not the other way around.
  • Routines that will not only heal injuries and make you stronger, but they’ll help you unlock the potential you didn’t even know you had.

If it were about just that, we would provide just that. But even the best designed workout routine is incomplete.

In our time in this industry we’ve learned that; nutrition coaching (not a simple meal plan), lifestyle change (aka habit change), injury prevention/navigation and stress management/recovery are just as important IF NOT MORE IMPORTANT than the actual workout routine itself.

This means that, even with a good workout plan to follow many people;

  • don’t change their nutrition habits in a way that helps them reach their goals
  • aren’t managing stress well enough
  • are not recovering well enough to train the way they want (intensely)
  • are not sure how to deal with current or growing injury concerns
  • haven’t seriously addressed the appropriate lifestyle changes to reach their goals now and in the long run…

Since most if not all goals include more than just exercise, as you can probably see a workout plan isn’t enough to overcome all of these other factors.

“…even the best designed workout routine is incomplete.”

So we want to ask you some questions…

Is a new workout routine going to be the big game changer you need?

Or would you prefer a more complete solution that helps you not only reach your goals, but maintain them for life?

The Big Secret to Health and Fitness Mastery

We’re going to let you in on a big secret. One that a lot of people don’t necessarily enjoy hearing. Instead most of us would much prefer to find the new fitness trend/diet/piece of equipment that is going to solve our problems. (It’s a bit of a comfort zone thing)

But reaching your health and fitness goals for life is about 10% fitness and nutrition…

The other 90% of the equation is…

…your life.

Your food and your fitness = your life. The way you live your life will dictate your approach to eating and exercise.

  • If you are busy person who rushes around everywhere you go, you will probably rush eating and over eat, eat out a lot, etc. You’ll probably rush through exercise or not do it at all.
  • If you are a person who always puts others first, you will probably put others first which leaves little time for your food choices and fitness time.
  • If you’re a person who seeks instant gratification, you will probably try fitness or diet fads that promise a lot in little time and will struggle with longterm success.

These are merely a few examples of how your life effects your food and fitness. The point is the way you live your life will mirror your food and your fitness.

People often overlook key factors like;

  • your own identity (how you see yourself, this is a big one)
  • your environment (what’s in your kitchen or at your work place)
  • your social circle (how the people you spend the most time with impact you)
  • your stress response (what do you do when life gets stressful?)
  • injury history (how can you heal your body so that you can exercise injury free?)

Addressing factors like these (and others), will allow you to see success in both the short and long-term.

So let’s look at the question in the title of this blog post

Question: Do You Need a New Workout Routine to Reach Your Goals?

Answer: You might. But for most people who are not currently where they want to be with their health and fitness, what they really need is a complete health, fitness and lifestyle solution. 

“…reaching your health and fitness goals for life is about 10% fitness and nutrition…”

Addressing some of the bigger picture things in your life might take time. It might take more effort at first. It might get you outside of your comfort zone.

But it will, in the long run, save you time and effort with less failed attempts and allow you to grow more than you probably ever thought you could.

At Evertrain this is what we preach with our members. Fitness and nutrition are only part of the overall equation.

We hope that this blog post helps you to take the leap towards making the big changes you need to make to not only reach your goals, but maintain them for life!

Don’t know where to start?

Contact us today for a no obligation phone call. If you’d simply like get more information about our programs (including our upcoming FitAfter50 Kickstart Program) and how we can help you or you simply want to ask a few questions on how you can get started on your own, let us know. Call us at 613-295-8080 or email at

Yours in health,

The Evertrain Team


3 “Fit After 50” Nutrition Tips


By Evertrain Lifestyles Inc.

It is often said that reaching your health and fitness goals is 20% exercise and 80% nutrition. Although we like the point that this popular statement makes, we prefer the approach that both fitness and nutrition need to be taken into account 100% for the best possible results.

It is safe to say that as we age, our bodies are less forgiving. A less than ideal set of nutritional habits can begin to show through in ways that they didn’t when we were in our 20s and 30s.

Now there is a lot of information out there on nutrition. As you may have heard us say many times, master the fundamentals and go from there. Today’s 3 “FitAfter50” Nutrition Tips will focus on creating a solid foundation of nutritional habits. Once you have mastered these, start moving towards the finer details.


Did you know it takes at least 20 minutes for the signals that travel from your stomach to your brain to tell you that you’re full?

Our fast paced, need for convenience life style has sabotaged our body’s natural satiety signals. By eating too quickly we completely bypass these signals and end up overeating on a regular basis. We eat to the point of “stuffed”. Combine this with processed, chemical laden foods that throw off our hunger signals even more and we begin to lose the ability to detect true hunger/fullness.

By slowing down, taking pauses between bites and truly appreciating the food and even the people we are with, we can start the process of trusting our own hunger/fullness cues again. This may take time, but is arguably the best thing you can do to lose weight and feel great.

Other benefits of eating slowly;

  • Improved digestion and absorption. Often eating too quickly leads to poor digestion/absorption.
  • Feeling more relaxed. Eating slowly and paying attention to what you’re doing will provide you with a bit of calm from your crazy day.
  • Feeling more satisfied. You will start to appreciate your food more.

Key point: Most of us are eating too much. Our bodies are built to naturally tell us when we are hungry and when we are full. Most of us have lost this special ability over time. To get it back start eating slowly.


For some people this is a no brainer. For others they may have a strong dislike for one of the above food groups.

In order to lead a healthy, fit and lean life we need to make sure our bodies are getting enough of the proper nutrients.

In fact, one of the first steps towards reaching your health and fitness goals is addressing nutrient deficiencies. Some of the most common nutrient deficiencies are among the following;

  • protein
  • vitamins & minerals
  • water
  • essential fatty acids

Our bodies are constantly going through a process called protein turnover. We are breaking down and rebuilding muscle all the time. Resistance training is not enough to keep ourselves on the positive-muscle building end of this process. We need to keep an adequate amount of amino acids readily available in the blood stream to influence this. With out enough regular intake of lean protein, we end up on the other end. Muscle loss.

Here are some great lean protein options;

  • lean meat – beef, pork, wild game
  • poultry – chicken, turkey, duck
  • fish & seafood – shrimp, scallops
  • eggs & egg whites
  • protein powder – vegan, egg, whey, etc.
  • cooked lentil or beans
  • plain greek yogurt or cottage cheese
  • tofu

Key point: Lean muscle tissue is lost as we age. In fact, most people lose about 5lbs of lean mass per decade between the ages of 25 and 65. Eating lean protein at every meal will help in the effort to maintain lean tissue.

Vegetables (aka nature’s medicine cabinet) are your best friend when it comes to leading a lean and healthy life. They are full of vitamins, minerals, phyto-chemicals and anti-oxidants, that will help you lower inflammation and improve recovery (amongst other things).

They are nutrient dense and low on calories. This means you can get a lot of valuable nutrients without taking in to0 many calories (this is a key point in weight management). In fact, 3 heads of broccoli are about 200 calories. You know what else is about 200 calories? A handful of smarties.

So you can keep hunger down, maintain energy levels throughout your day, feel great and lean out all by eating your veggies.

Although micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) are not a direct energy source, they do play a role in the liberation of energy from food. Some nutrition experts speculate that the lack of nutrients in some North American diets may be a cause of obesity. Even in the presence of a high calorie diet, this lack of micronutrients may result in a heightened appetite. It is speculated that the body forces the individual to eat more to meet basic nutritional requirements.

Key point: Vegetables are low in calories and high in nutrients. If your goal is to be lean, healthy and fit, you should aim to get 1-2 servings of vegetables per meal. Imagine a serving size of vegetables as the size of your fist. 


Somewhere around the 1990s there was the low-fat craze. Everything became 0 fat or low fat (which also meant high sugar). The body needs fats. Healthy fats that is. If you completely remove fat intake from your diet, bad things can happen (here is an article discussing this topic).

Healthy fats like the ones found in nuts, seeds, some cold pressed oils (olive oil, coconut oil), avocados, etc. can help you to;

  • recover faster
  • nourish fatty tissues, like your cell membranes, eyes, brain, etc.
  • maintain healthy levels of muscle building hormones
  • help absorb fat soluble vitamins (A, D, K)

The key with the healthy fats is to have them at each meal but in smaller quantities. Healthy fats are sneaky. This is because they are high in calories.

They are essential for people wanting to be lean, healthy and fit, but can contribute to a surplus in daily caloric intake if you’re not careful.

In fact, we usually recommend 1-2 thumbs of healthy fats at each meal. Just be sure that the 1-2 thumbs don’t turn into 1 or 2 handfuls.

Tips for eating healthy fats;

  •  try to aim for raw, unsalted, unsweetened, un-chocolate covered nuts
  • aim for high quality organic options
  • try buying avocados that vary in ripeness as they ripen very quickly
  • try guacamole
  • try a square of dark chocolate (if you can have just one)
  • go with an olive oil based dressing with few ingredients

Key point: Aim for 1-2 thumbs per meal. Avoid nuts for snacking. Although this is often a better alternative to chips and crackers, we find that our clients tend to over snack on these because they’re “healthy”. Before you know it your daily calorie intake is much higher than you want it to be. 


Today’s tips focused on fundamental nutritional habits. If you can honestly say you have mastered these, then it’s time to start moving towards the finer details.

We have helped many people over 50 adopt habits like these into their daily life. If you would like help with nutrition coaching, let us know and we would be happy to help. Visit our website, email us at or simply fill out our contact form here.

Yours in health,

The Evertrain Team

5 “Fit After 50” Lifestyle Tips


By Evertrain Lifestyles Inc.

The definition of lifestyle is “the way in which a person or group lives”. And when it comes to health and fitness, it is simply that. How can we make health and fitness part of the way that you live?

Getting lean and fit is one thing. But staying that way is a completely different path. Think about this for a minute and you might begin to understand why. Almost anyone can narrow their focus and dedicate themselves to reaching a goal for a short period of time. But more often than not, they neglect some of the key factors that will allow them to maintain their goals for the rest of their lives.

Making health and fitness a permanent part of your lifestyle is key to longterm success.

Below we have put together 5 of our best lifestyle tips that we use with our “FitAfter50” clients.


It could be said that the key to reaching your health and fitness goals in the long term is balance. Finding a balance of the right amount/intensity of fitness. The right balance of “good” foods vs. “bad” foods. But also the right balance of stress in your life.

You may or may not be aware of this already, but your stress levels play a major role in your ability to reach and maintain your health and fitness goals.

We can often handle a lot of stress (or at least we think we can), but if left unchecked it can wreak havoc on our health and our lives on several levels.


Most of us tend to go, go, go and go some more. When stress levels aren’t taken care of you get sick, injuries start popping up everywhere, your results stop happening (or even worse, they go in the opposite direction), and more.

It is important that we address the stress in our lives so that we can thrive and continue progressing to a healthier, stronger and fitter us.

We’re not only talking about physical stress like exercise. Mental and emotional stress play a large role.

De-stressing is something you should do on a regular basis (in other words, don’t wait until your year end vacation to relax). Try de-stressing for 10-15 minutes per day at least and 45-60 minutes once per week.

De-stressing ideas

  • Go for a hike (being in nature has a huge positive impact on our stress levels).
  • Have fun, laugh and play (these are some of the best ways to detach from the stresses of life and to let stress roll off your back).
  • Read light fiction (nothing that gets you thinking too much, you already have enough of that in your regular day).
  • Epsom salt baths, sauna sessions, go to the spa (Nordik Spa is a short drive from downtown Ottawa).
  • Get on the phone and catch up with a good friend or relative that uplifts you.
  • Perform a 10-20 minute mindful stretch/mobility routine.


I think it is safe to say that most people don’t love the act of exercising itself. They usually love the feelings/benefits that are attached to the exercise.

“Getting lean and fit is one thing. But staying that way is a completely different path.

Now if you dread going to the gym and getting on that cardio machine, chances are you won’t keep it up for long. Find ways to make fitness more fun and enjoyable.

The best ways to do this are to;

  1. Add in something you really enjoy into your weekly fitness routine. If you go to the gym and lift weights 2-3x per week and cardio 1-2x per week, try adding in a fun fitness class once per week. Some examples our clients have chosen are: badminton, soccer leagues for women over 50, surfing, belly dancing, curling, flag football, Iyengar yoga, and more.
  2. Try new things. Often enough just the idea of trying something new brings excitement into our lives. At the very least you can try a new fitness related activity and meet new like minded people. In the best case scenario you’ll surprise yourself by discovering a new passion and open up your fitness repertoire.

People who are healthy and fit find ways to make their routine enjoyable. This is an important trick to making health and fitness a part of your lifestyle.


Whether we would like to admit it or not, the people around us affect our decision making. This is especially true when it comes to food/drink choices.

It can be the pub night out with friends, dinner parties, holidays with the family or simply going for a coffee with someone to catch up. We can all relate to these kinds of situations.

In fact, this specific area is one we focus on a lot with our clients. Although difficult, figuring out this one area alone can have a massive impact on your ability to make “good” food choices in both the short and long term.


Knowingly or unknowingly our loved ones can be the ones who are influencing us to make the choices we know won’t help us.

Sometimes it can be as easy as informing your social circle of a renewed commitment to your health. Other times, there are more difficult discussions that need to happen.

But at the end of the day, you are in control of how you feel and the decisions you make. You can’t control how others think, act, or what they say. If committing to your health and fitness goals is important to you, you will need to acknowledge the impact your social circle has on you and find a way to not let it deter you.

And if this is the kind of conversation you’ve been avoiding, don’t sweat it. You would be surprised to find out how your friend/family member would react when you have a kind but serious conversation with them. Often enough they haven’t even realized that they were influencing you in this way. Before you know it, you’ll have a new person joining you on this journey to health and fitness success!


Most people wouldn’t think of this next tip. When we start the journey to finally getting a handle on our health and fitness, we focus on ourself. Which is the whole point after all. But one of the best ways to improve success and the sustainability of these habits is to find leadership and/or mentor others.

  1. Find Leadership – This can take many forms. One of the best ways is to hire a professional to guide you through every step of the way. If you are not ready to get professional help, you can ask someone you know. You would be surprised how your fit co-worker/relative/friend would be more than happy to help you out. By doing this you will not only accelerate your learning curve, but will have an objective feedback system for all of the things that you might have overlooked yourself.
  2. Mentor Others – This is one of the best ways to not only soak up and retain information you’ve learned, but it will surprisingly enough, hold you accountable. When you have someone else who is looking up to you to guide them through their own journey, you now have a reputation to uphold. You are more likely to make better food choices, work out more often and practice what you preach when you know others are looking at you as an example.

Just be careful when taking someone under your wing. Make sure that the person genuinely wants the help. Health and fitness is a touchy subject for most people. To take initiative and tell someone who isn’t ready to make changes that you are going to help lead them on their journey, can come off the wrong way.


One of the best commitments we can make is a commitment to ourselves. Unfortunately more often than not when we make a commitment to ourselves, life gets in the way. We put our work, family, children, etc. before us.

Taking care of the other things in life can seem more important. And these things may be more important to you. But to best be able to address the other areas of your life, you first have to take care of yourself. It helps to look at prioritizing your health and fitness like the airplane emergency scenario.

Before you can help someone else, you have to put your own oxygen mask on first. When you take care of your own health and fitness first, you will notice that you have more time, energy, passion and joy in helping out in the other areas of your life.


To do this you have to make a FIRM commitment. New year’s resolutions rarely work for a reason. We often give ourselves an out.

If you want to turn taking care of your health and fitness after 50 into a lifestyle, the commitment will have to be firm enough and long enough to make habits stick. Otherwise you might likely find yourself repeating the same cycle of frustration and disappointment.

Change doesn’t happen over night. And the further away you are from your goals, the longer it will take for you to safely and sustainably reach them.

Make a longer timeline than you normally would. Make your commitment a firm one.

Trainer’s note: The programs we offer come in 6 and 12 month options. We often recommend 12 months because we know how long it takes to truly make the changes that our clients want to not only happen, but to have stick in the long run (and in most cases, it takes even longer than this).

Tips for making better commitments

  • Join a fitness class, join a team sport that you’ve always wanted to try, try something where others are involved.
  • Look for commitments that will require you to show up regularly and for 6-12 months to start.
  • Avoid drop-ins if you know you need more accountability. Drop-ins will give you too much room to “drop-out” when life gets in the way.
  • Convincing ourselves that signing up for a gym membership or buying a treadmill will work is often a mistake that we can avoid. Be honest with yourself. Knowing what will hold you accountable is a huge step in the right direction.


Making a lifetime commitment to your health and fitness might seem like a lot to take on. But it’s not as tough as you might think. By looking at the big picture and making small changes to your lifestyle over time you can really start to make some profound change.

The tips above aren’t anything shiny or new. There is no real secret to them either. They are simply examples of what people who are successful in health and fitness do.

If you would like help getting started on your path to longterm health and fitness success, you can email us at or simply fill out our contact form here.

Yours in health,

The Evertrain Team