Fall Spicy Squash Soup (Vegan & Low Fat)

Recipe
Ingredients 

  • 1 medium butternut squash (peeled, seeded and cut into cubes)
    4 cups cold water
    1 tbsp vegan butter
    1 medium white onion chopped
    1 celery stalk chopped
    1 tbsp each salt, onion, and garlic power
    1 to 2 dry whole red chilies 2 tbsp onion and garlic powder 1 tbsp white pepper

  • 1 tbsp grated ginger

  • 5 to 8 black peppercorns and fresh thyme (1 sprig)


Method
In a stainless steel pot, melt vegan butter. Once melted, add in onions, black peppercorns, pepper, and celery. Saute all ingredients for 5-minutes. Add in squash cubes and saute for 4 to 5 minutes. Add in water and all spices and ginger. Bring to a boil without the lid. Once boiling, turn the heat to low, add lid and cook for 15 to 20-minutes or until the squash is falling apart. Turn off the stove and blend ingredients together using a hand blender/blender. Add in pepper sauce for extra flavor and heat. Enjoy!

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A Mesmerizing Evening of Classical Indian Dance & Bollywood Fusion Workshops

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On Saturday, October 5, our team ran a Classical Indian (Bharatnatyam) and Bollywood Fusion workshop to inspire the participants taking our Bollywood Dance and Fitness programs physically, mentally, and artistically. After seeing lots of big smiles, hearing lots of laughter, and getting to see the beauty and gracefulness in their movements, I think we did just that.

During the 3-hour workshop, participants were taught a history of the dances they were learning, the meaning behind the songs, and beginner steps and techniques in Classical Indian Dance (Bharatnatyam), Classical Indian dance with Bollywood Fusion, and Bollywood Dance Choreography (an evolution of iconic moves and songs from the 70’s to now). All instructors provided professional, easy to follow, and exciting learning experiences for the participants.

Although we’re sad that the workshop is over, we look forward to putting on another workshop series in February for all of you who want to join us!

For more info on the next series, please join the e-news list (on the home page) or send a message below.

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Bollywood Magic At The Tibetan Women's Association Fundraiser

Bollywood Magic At The Tibetan Women's Association Fundraiser

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On August 31, Kalsang, and the dedicated Tibetan Women’s Association volunteer committee invited me to their 2019 Annual Bollywood Fundraiser to put on a Bollywood dance lesson for over 200 lovely women joining them. As I’m all about making workouts fun and good causes, I was thrilled to hop on board and help raise funds for their community needs!

If you grew up in Toronto, like me, than you know, that if anyone knows Bollywood, it’s the Tibetans! For this reason, I spent extra time getting their input on songs for the night so that I could make their Bollywood night everything they saw in the movies, and more!

During the one-hour lesson, the women learned 6 easy to follow dance moves to Saki Saki. With practice and lots of laughing, the women performed the entire routine for me, and most importantly, themselves. We also busted out a friendly competition where one lucky lady walked out with a belly dance scarf.

To see clips from the event, please visit:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2AqhTanyyj/

https://www.facebook.com/fusioncardiotoronto/videos/1399632713522424/

To find out more about the Tibetan Women’s Association of Ontario, do visit them at: https://www.facebook.com/TibetanWomensAssociationofOntario/

If you would like to add some Bollywood Magic to your event, please feel free to contact me below with more information on your event and what you’re looking for.

Happy Fall and stay active!

Sumera

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5-ingredient Peppermint Chocolate Fudge

Stole this delish healthy chocolate fudge recipe from @healthfood and added a christmas twist to it.

Peppermint chocolate fudge

Recipe 
2 cups dark unsweetened chocolate for melting (dairy-free) (if using semisweet chocolate omit the sugar)
1 cup almond or cashew butter
3/4 cup coconut sugar
2 tsp peppermint extract
Crushed mint candies for garnish

Melt all ingredients together in a glass bowl over a pot of hot water. Not boiling. Pour into a baking pan lined with parchment. Garnish with candies. Refrigerate for 1 hour and cut into squares.

Working Out High - 5 Tips on How to Workout High Safely

Working Out High 

5 Tips on How to Workout High Safely

 By: Sumera Quadri 

Now that recreational Cannabis is legal in Ontario, it is critical for gyms, fitness professionals, and those involved in sport and recreation, like me, to first educate ourselves about the new law, second, acknowledge that our class participants may be using while in our programs, and lastly, provide some tips on how to workout safely while high.

Currently, there seems to be a lack of research online exploring the connection between Cannabis and exercise. Many articles and blogs focus on how the drug impacts male workout and sports performance, with little on female performance. I’d say this is a start to a larger discussion that needs to happen.

Based on available findings, many report that getting high before a workout can make the workout more enjoyable. A blogger, Sam Smith, found that he had the best workout experience while being high. He noted his ability to exercise for a longer period of time and complete more repetitions. Lea, the owner of, Break the Stigma Fitness, the first cannabis-friendly-fitness facility in the world, has been offering Cannabis-infused fitness classes including Yoga and Kickboxing. She mentions that she herself has been using Cannabis to treat her chronic pain brought about by a connective tissue disease. While exercising high may bring about better results for some, the drug has been noted to in fact reduce performance, mental capacity (i.e. paranoia and hallucinations) and slow down one’s reaction time and coordination which can lead to an increased risk of injury.

On a personal note, my grandmother, who had a stroke last year, and my aunt, who was recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and experiences Chronic Fatigue Syndrome symptoms, a condition that caused her to leave her job and masters program and instead become bedridden, have both reported that the use of Cannabis on occasion has helped them alleviate their pain and become more physically active.

Here are my 5 tips on how to workout high safely:

  1. Before using Cannabis for exercise, speak to your doctor or nurse about the risks and benefits of doing so. For those using medicinal marijuana to alleviate any pain symptoms preventing them for living a healthy active lifestyle, ask how much of a dose you need and what options are best for exercising with your condition. According to men’s health CBD (cannabidiol), is a non-psychoactive compound in marijuana that many athletes claim enhances recovery.

Do note, if you’re new to working out or are just getting back into it after a pregnancy, injury, or health condition, you are always encouraged to fill out PARQ forms to assess your readiness and to speak to your doctor.

2. Let your gym, facility and/or instructor know ahead of time that you’re working out high. Let them know you’ve discussed this with your doctor and are aware of the risks. It’s important to let those in charge know as they will feel liable if anything happens to you while you’re on their premises. In case of an emergency, they will also be able to share your drug usages with the right parties, similar to those taking heart medications.

 3. Stick to a workout you know and are comfortable doing. If you do weights, try doing them sitting or lying down in case you become dizzy and light headed. If you prefer low impact cardio, do a class you already know and with an instructor, you know. It’s best not to try any new exercises, high impact workouts, or enhance the exercise (making it longer or adding more weight) in case the drug causes a negative effect. According to the Government of Canada, “cannabis can slow reaction times, lower your ability to pay attention, harm coordination, and can lead to disorganized thoughts.”

 4. Workout around others. In case your high turns bad during a workout, (i.e. causing hallucinations, paranoia, and/or lower blood pressure which can make you feel light-headed) you can reach out for help instantly. If you’re at home alone, have your phone nearby in case of an emergency.

5. If you experience any pain, STOP! You cannot gain if you’re in pain.

The goal of a workout is to enhance one’s mind, body, and spirit. If you’re achieving this while high, then that’s worth noting and maybe even sticking to unless it causes long-term health concerns.

 Wishing you a healthy active lifestyle this winter season.

Sources:

  1. https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/optimal-strain-can-smoking-weed-improve-your-workout/

  2. https://www.esquire.com/lifestyle/health/a14426770/marijuana-workout-tips-benefits/

  3. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/heres-why-working-out-while-high-is-probably-a-bad-idea

  4. https://www.menshealth.com/fitness/a19520865/workout-exercise-marijuana-weed/

  5. https://www.ontario.ca/page/cannabis-legalization

  6. https://www.canada.ca/en/services/health/campaigns/cannabis/health-effects.html

  7. https://wgntv.com/2018/03/14/exercise-and-cannabis-combine-at-colorado-gym/

  8. https://www.menshealth.com/health/a19871657/effects-of-marijuana-before-workout/

  9. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476

  10. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cbd-oil-benefits#section1

5  Fun and Affordable Ways To Stay Active This Fall  

5  Fun and Affordable Ways To Stay Active This Fall

By: Sumera Q, Fusion Cardio Toronto

High Park Trails

High Park Trails

Fall is one of my favourite seasons in Canada. Maybe its because of the cooler weather conditions and the beautiful colours of the leaves. Or maybe, it has to do with its nutritious and yummy produce like pumpkins, apples, and corn all of which I love using to make delicious soups, protein shakes, and low-fat desserts. Whatever it is that has me hooked, here are 5 ways to stay active this season:

1.      Workout In High Park (Cost: Free to $30)

High Park is a beautiful place to enjoy a free hike, bike ride or walk. It’s trails and Zoo are totally free. If you go in the day, you can take a tour of Colborne Lodge, one of Toronto's oldest historical homesm for around $8 per person. In October, it has a Halloween Spooky trail walk which sold out fairly quickly last year so definitely try and give this activity a go.

2.      Visit a Pumpkin/Corn Maze Farm (Cost: $10 to $15 for admission)

These attractions are typically out of the city and a fun activity for larger groups and families. The farms offer corn maze walks, playground areas, and scary barns allowing for some low impact exercise.

3.      Go Apple Picking (Cost: $20 and up)

Also located outside of the city, apple farms allow the public to come in, pick their own apples for a set price, and to connect with food in a way that they don’t normally get too. Apple picking is also a great upper body workout. While this festivity falls on the higher end of the scale, you can always pickle, puree and freeze apples for smoothies and pies for up to a few months.

4. Attend Fall Events (Cost: Free) 

Many organizations across Toronto will be hosting free Fall events to promote their programs and services. The Bloor West often hosts a festivals with free crafts for kids, pumpkin carving, and prizes. The City of Toronto (link) has a list of free events for the public too.

5.   Weekly Coffee Walks (Cost: $2 and up)

Turn coffee time it into a weekly form of exercise. Ask a friend to meet you at a cafe and get your favorite tea or coffee (healthier options here) and take it for a walk. To achieve the benefits of low impact cardio, try and make your walk at least 30-minutes long. 

Hope these suggestions help.

 Sources:

  1. https://www.active.com/fitness/articles/13-ways-to-stay-fit-this-fall/slide-2

  2. https://www.care2.com/greenliving/7-creative-ways-to-stay-active-this-fall.html

  3. https://sunwarrior.com/healthhub/11-ways-to-stay-outside-and-active-this-fall

  4. http://www.athletico.com/2016/10/07/5-fun-ways-stay-active-fall/

  5. https://www.toronto.com/things-to-do/10-things-toronto-fall/

  6. https://www.blogto.com/eat_drink/2016/08/12_orchards_for_apple_picking_near_toronto/

  7. https://www.downeysfarm.com/downeys-farm-market-admission.htm

  8. https://www.brooksfarms.com/fallfunfestival

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delicious Pumpkin Pie Square Recipe - Healthy, Low-Carb, Gluten and Dairy-free

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Bringing in my favorite season with a delicious Pumpkin Pie Square Recipe!

Healthy, low-carb and dairy and gluten-free. Desserts don't have to be bad for you when made nutritiously, are low in sugar and fat, and consumed moderately.

Here's the Recipe:

Filling:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c almond milk (homemade)
  • 1/2 c maple syrup or raw orange honey
  • 2 c pumpkin puree (no sugar added)
  • 1 tsp each cinnamon & ginger
  • 1/4 tsp each nutmeg, cloves & cardamom 
  • 2 tbsp vanilla puree (I use clear mexican vanilla)

Crust

  • 3/4 cup ground almonds or almond meal
  • 1/4 cup ground walnuts or oatmeal
  • 1/4 c coconut oil
  • 1tbsp vanilla
  •  

Method:

blend all crust ingredients in a food processor until combined. Pour and press into a non stick 8×8 pan lined with parchment. bake at 350 degrees c for 15 mins or until golden brown. set aside to cool. Mix all wet ingredients in a food processor. then add filling to cool crust. bake at 350 degrees c for 60 to 75 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean. I prefer utensils over toothpick tests.

Slice into squares, enjoy with coffee, and eat!

#dessert #pumpkinpie #autumn #healthyeating #healthydesserts #sweet #yummy #delicious #baking #nutrition #fitness #healthyrecipes #pumpkin #vegetarianrecipes #love #lowcarb #lowsugar #glutenfree #dairyfree