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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

So you Want to get Into Running ft. Melissa Bishop

Are you interested in running, or recently picked up the sport but don't know where to go from here? We're excited to welcome 2x Olympian Melissa Bishop to the blog to share some of the tips that she has learnt throughout her running career. 

Melissa is an 800m runner for Team Canada. She has competed at the last 2 Olympic Games, 2012 in London and 2016 in Rio. At the Rio Olympics, Melissa was just shy of a podium spot, finishing 4th in the World. She also had one of the most successful seasons last year - setting multiple records and earning a gold medal at the 2015 Pan Am Games, and a silver medal at the 2015 World Championships.  Currently, she is the women's National record holder at the 800m distance.

Melissa's three tips for a successful running career? Listen to your body, get comfortable with the uncomfortable, and set goals for yourself.  Read more below...

Team Infinit athletes Melissa (left) and Noelle Montcalm at the 2016 Rio Olympics
Listen to your body - Get to know your body and listen to it. There will be days when it will be hard to distinguish between “I’m tired” and “I’m lazy”. The lazy days you will feel tired of course, but those are the days that you need to do the work. The tired days are also ***sometimes*** good to work through, but if you haven’t had a day off in a very long time, typically thats my sign that my body needs a rest. Recovery is just as important as the actual miles you're logging. Obviously, with thanks to Infinit, our recovery is boosted with the Repair blend, but also with healthy complete meals, lots of sleep, and resting. In my experience, if your having trouble reading your body- nagging injuries, aches and pains, mood changes (for the worse), can be triggers that a rest day is needed. Be smart about your training and treating your body well. 

Get comfortable with the uncomfortable - turn off the pain sensors. We all have them and tend to stay within a bubble of “hurt” because sometimes running is far outside our comfort zone. But in order to see results, you have to step outside where your comfortable and experience the lactic acid and the tiredness associated with running. I get it, its not easy.. I do this for a living. But I guarantee Lionel Sanders, Noelle Montcalm, and every other Infinit athlete we have, get uncomfortable every single day of their training  to get better. We wouldn’t see the results we have otherwise. This could mean pushing the pace for a few miles within your run and still trying to continue the run afterwards without a break. It could mean running a few extra miles or hill repeats to gain some strength. It could be choosing to add a weight or core circuit to your program.. anything to make you better at what your doing. Being uncomfortable sucks - but I promise its worth the reward in the end.  


Set goals - Goal setting is a huge aspect in my job. Every year I get to sit down with my coach and set small and big goals for the season. I encourage everyone to set a goal - sign up for a 5km or 10km race, half marathon or marathon. Whatever your skill level or fancy is. I also suggest finding some running friends or join a running or workout group- when you have to meet people to run you are held accountable to be there because the others are depending on your participation too. You're not just letting yourself down, but also your group.. they need your support too. Once you have set your goals, set out to attain them. There are lots of running resources online for training for road races as well as other training related programs. Start small to see what you can handle and every week you can add more! Remember - be sure to take rest days! 

Now what are you waiting for? Get out there and run! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Eating for Energy

One of the main concerns I see in my practice is people struggling with low energy. Nutrient deficiencies, lack of sleep, being busy, stressed, some medications and medical conditions can contribute to low energy or fatigue. Certain foods eaten the right combinations can help you to maximize energy levels. Read on for some tips to help make sure your nutrition is helping to give you energy, not drain you.  

Balanced meals at regular times
Try your best to eat at the same time each day and not to skip meals.
Meals should be balanced with protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats and this combination helps to keep blood sugar and energy levels stable. Some examples of balanced meals:

      - Oatmeal (carb) with Greek yogurt (protein) and berries (carb) and chia seeds (healthy fats)
      - Scrambled eggs (protein + fat) with veggies and whole grain toast (carbs) and avocado mashed on the toast (healthy fats)

      - Big salad with spinach, red peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, quinoa (carb) and sliced chicken 
        breast (protein) + oil and vinegar dressing (healthy fat)
      - Whole grain wrap (carbs) with tuna mixed with avocado + hummus (protein and healthy fats)
and raw veggies

      - Stirfry with lots of vegetables, lentils (carbs and protein) and brown rice or barley (carbs)
      - Grilled salmon (carbs and healthy fats) and roasted sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts and beets (carbs)

Snack smart to avoid long gaps between meals
Very long gaps between meals (more than about 5 or 6 hours) without eating can cause blood sugar to drop. When blood sugar is low, energy and concentration drop too. We may also start to get more cravings, feel “hangry” and reach for sugar. Prevent this from happening by eating every 3-4 hours. As an athlete, you likely need snacks to help you meet all of your nutrient needs and recover from exercise. Smart snacks have both carbs and protein. Carbs (the right ones) help to provide a small boost to your blood sugar and protein will help to stabilize it. Here are some balanced snack ideas:

      - Natural peanut butter and sliced apple
      - Cottage cheese and diced peaches or pineapple
      - Raw veggies dipped in hummus
      - Handful of raw nuts and seeds and an apple
      - Small can of tuna and whole grain crackers like Ryvita or Mary’s crackers
      - Hard boiled egg and fruit
      - Roasted chickpeas

Choose the right types of carbs
Slow-disgesting carbs that don’t cause large increases in blood sugar are your best bet. When you eat simple sugars, blood sugar spikes and then crashes soon after. The amount of carbs you eat is important as well. Carbohydrates provide the main source of energy during exercise and for our brains. When we go too low on the carbs, low energy and focus can be a side effect. The more active you are, the more you will need. Some examples are:

      - Starchy vegetables: Sweet potato, beets, squash,
      - Whole grains: quinoa, barley, brown rice, oatmeal
      - Fruit: All colours to get a range of nutrients 
      - Beans and legumes: Chickpeas, lentils, black beans, etc. These also provide protein.
      - Whole grain breads and pastas.

Note: Make the bulk of your carbohydrates from these foods.

Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals important for the metabolism of energy, including B vitamins. They provide fibre to help us keep blood sugars stable. Aim to include fruits and vegetables at each meal and snack.

Eat until comfortably full, not stuffed
Skipping meals, eating while distracted or eating too quickly are just some things that can contribute to eating point of feeling very full, resulting in a sluggish feeling and indigestion. To help you slow down at meals, sit at a table and remove distractions. Eat regular meals and snacks so that you are not starving by the time meal starts.

Eat iron-rich foods
Iron is a component of hemoglobin, and transports oxygen from our lungs to working muscles. Some athletes may be more prone to having low iron, in particular marathon runners (with your feet constantly pounding the pavement can damage red blood cells) and endurance athletes (you can actually lose iron from heavy sweat losses). Fatigue on exertion can be a sign you may have low iron.
Some good sources of iron: beef, eggs, pork loin, turkey, tuna, cooked spinach, lentils, edamame, tofu, apricots, prune juice, refried beans, soy nuts, cream of wheat. Aim for variety in your diet to help meet your needs, and to help your body absorb the iron from plant foods, be sure to eat a food that contains vitamin C too (ex. strawberries, citrus, broccoli, peppers).

Eat Vitamin B12 rich foods
This is another nutrient that, if we are deficient, can cause fatigue. As we get older, our body is not as efficient at absorbing B12, so it may be useful to get your levels checked if you are consistently feeling fatigued. Foods rich in B12 include: Milk, cheese, yogurt, beef, pork, fish, nutritional yeast and fortified milk alternatives.

Drink up!
We’ve all heard our body is about 70% water, but it is also a main part of our blood and needed to carry nutrients to cells and remove waste products. Fatigue is a sign of dehydration. Be sure to replace fluids lost during exercise and drink throughout the day (carry a water bottle with you if you are prone to forgetting to drink). The colour of your urine can clue you in to how well hydrated you are – it should be a pale yellow.

Watch caffeine content
Caffeine can boost your energy, make you feel more alert and for some people, boost performance. But when we over consume caffeine and stimulants, it can have the opposite effect. Too much caffeine is greater than 400 mg per day (less if you are pregnant or breastfeeding), which is about 3 cups of coffee. But for some people, even this is too much.   

Whole Foods
Foods in their whole form or minimally processed will provide you with many nutrients to nourish and fuel your body. These will contain more vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients than highly processed convenience foods. Some specific nutrients for energy include zinc, magnesium and omega 3 fatty acids. So, start small and choose one area to improve at a time.

Andrea Docherty is a Registered Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist with a private practice in Windsor, Ontario where she provides nutrition coaching, meal planning and workplace wellness. For more information visit

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Guys Behind the Mic - The Full Depth Podcast

To say that Tyler Ray and Michael Patella have a passion for health and fitness is a dramatic understatement.  This is their life and is something that was determined for both of these young professionals during their years at the University of Windsor.  With a similar love of education and paying forward the gift of health, these two worked their way up the ladder in the health and fitness industry with a combined 20+ years of experience.  Although their passions are very similar, their stories along the way differ in many ways.  To get a full understanding of how they ended up behind the microphones of The Full Depth Podcast, we need to take a short trip back in time.

With over 10-years in the fitness and education industry as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach, Tyler has set himself apart from many others in a few unique ways.  Sporting a double degree from the University of Windsor in Human Kinetics and Education he spent the initial stages of his career working in the big box gym setting finding his niche and determining what direction he wanted to take.  Tyler has always been a multi-sport athlete and competed for years in track and field, including National Championship teams with the University of Windsor as a pentathlete.  As that chapter closed, another opened within the world of professional show dunking under the persona of "Jukebox".  Possessing a 49-inch vertical jump and millions of views online, he began to travel much of the world doing shows, contests and talks.  As this continued to unfold, Tyler began to solidify himself in the strength and conditioning world as one of the world's top minds in vertical jump training.  Project Vertical Jump Training (online system) was born and his career began to take shape.  Tyler began a local training business Project Pure Athlete, aimed at some of Windsor, Ontario's top athletes.  He has also worked globally with many D1, semi-professional and professional athletes. Now, no longer dunking competitively, Tyler has began to dabble in Crossfit and weightlifting as a personal means of fitness and a competitive outlet.

Michael Patella is the founder and owner of Sweat Fitness & Performance and has built a brand around empowering clients from the Windsor-Essex Community to transform their lives.  Michael's rich background in athletics prompted him to pursue a University Degree in Human Kinetics, which quickly lead him in a clear path to a career in the fitness industry.  Fast forward 10 years and Michael runs a successful training facility that caters to athletes, busy professionals and busy moms and helps them achieve their health and fitness goals. Michael is also the author of The Women's Guide to Slim, Strong & Sexy. His expertise in working with all types of populations has given him the tools necessary to educate, motivate and build strong relationships with his clients for successful results.  Recently Michael was also nominated as a Top 3 Finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year by The Windsor Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards. 

With a shared belief that everyone has the potential to achieve personal growth both physically and mentally; Tyler and Michael decided to create The Full Depth Podcast as a means to spread this message.  A lot of people talk about creating something, but very few have the courage to take that first step.  Tyler and Michael decided that talking about creating a Podcast wasn’t nearly as exciting as actually creating one.  So The Full Depth Podcast was born.  With weekly topics airing on Fridays through many social media outlets and podcast applications, the podcast is continually growing and evolving to find its voice.  The Full Depth is a combination of entertainment, education solidified by their passion, wit and friendship, both professional and personal.   The Full Depth Podcast is for everyone; Whether you enjoy watching video or simply putting on audio in the background as you fold laundry, there is something for you. 

Check out our Infinit Canada featured podcast here

To learn more about The Full Depth Podcast, please visit and subscribe, follow and like the social media channels below!

Instagram:  @thefulldepth

Available on iTunes, SoundCloud and The Apple Podcast App!