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By Mairead Rodgers, RD, PHEc, CF L1 Trainer

Goal setting is something we do all the time at Degree. Whether it’s a new movement you want to learn or something that’s going to improve your quality of life, we’re all about goals! But how do we go about setting better goals? Goals that we’ll be excited and motivated for, and want to actually reach?
Knowing that fall and back-to-school gets people in that goal-setting state of mind after the summer, it’s time to break down 3 ways you can set better goals.

  1. Set goals you actually want to work on. Don’t pick goals based on what your friends, coaches, or anyone else thinks you should do. Pick goals that you see value in and want to work on. Whether it’s learning to do a handstand or improving your nutrition to reduce your cholesterol, the goal has to be important to you, and you alone.
  2. Set goals that are an action, not an outcome. The goal of “losing weight” is the best example of this. Weight loss is not an action, so it can’t be a goal. Getting to the gym and eating a half plate of veggies at dinner every night are actions that will contribute to the outcome of losing weight. Actions are things you can consciously do. Outcomes are things that happen when you do the actions. Choose action goals that align with the outcomes you want.
  3. Talk about your goals and ask for help. If your goal is fitness or nutrition related, we definitely want to know about that so we can help you. If it isn’t, it’s still important to talk about your goals. Talking about your goals with people who support you keeps you accountable and can be a great sounding board to make sure your goals are reasonable. 

So I want to know: what are your goals as summer comes to an end? Let me know, and let me know how we at Degree can help you!
Want to chat goals? Book your FREE 15-Minute Bite-Sized Nutrition Chat and let’s set a plan for you!

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By Mairead Rodgers, RD, PHEc, CF L1 Trainer

One of the main reasons people either come to Degree or start nutrition coaching with me is because they want to see results of some description. Usually, the results they want are either weight loss or muscle gain, or both. These are things we can absolutely help with, and results our clients and members regularly see. 

But there’s one thing in common with the clients who see the results AND are able to keep the results for the long term. That thing is CONSISTENCY.

The best thing you can do for your nutrition and fitness goals is to find something that works for you and that you like, and then stick with it. If we’re always chasing after the next shiny object, we’ll never stick with a nutrition and fitness program long enough to see the results we want. Results take time and patience and again, consistency. 

Example #1: You’re so excited to start CrossFit after finishing On Ramp! The first week, you get in the gym 5 days straight – good for you! The next week things are a bit busy and you only get there 3 times – still awesome. You get discouraged that you didn’t make it as many times as planned but you only find yourself in the gym once the next two or three weeks. You notice the scale hasn’t moved and you’re not getting any stronger so you throw in the towel and cancel your membership. A month later you repeat the process at another gym or with another type of exercise. 
In this case, we’re definitely lacking some consistency. To fix this, aiming for 2 or 3 times a week might be a more reasonable goal to start with, especially if it’s something you think you can stick to. Whether it’s CrossFit or another type of fitness, you’ve got to do it consistently to get and keep the results you want. When you’re starting CrossFit out of On Ramp, this is a conversation our coaches would have with you to make sure you’re setting attainable goals!

Example #2: It’s day 1 of your new diet! You do amazing today, making all the choices that align with your specific diet and tracking your food meticulously. You’re able to keep this up for 5 days before life gets in the way and you blow your diet for the next 3 days. You decide to start a different diet next week and the same process happens. You get frustrated that you can’t seem to stick with a diet to see the results you want.
In this example, what we need are nutrition goals that you can meet consistently. Going on and off diets is hard of you, both mentally and physically. Your nutrition plan should fit with your life and allow for days that aren’t perfect. 

In both cases here, what’s lacking and preventing progress and results is just not being able to be consistent. When we’re starting out with nutrition and fitness, it’s best to start with goals we know we can reach CONSISTENTLY and build from there, instead of going all in with something and failing, and then repeating the process with something else a few weeks later. Sure, there are going to be times when you can’t get to the gym or that healthy eating just isn’t going to happen. But the more consistent you are with your habits when you can be, the easier it will be to get back on track at those times and the less impact you’ll see on your progress. 
If you don’t know how to be more consistent to see the results you want, or you’re looking to get started with something more, let us help! Click here to book your FREE 15-Minute Bite-Sized Nutrition Chat to talk about your goals and how we can help you get there with nutrition. Or if you’d rather start with fitness, click here to book for FREE No Sweat Intro to get started!
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By Mairead Rodgers, RD, PHEc, CF L1 Trainer

Do you waste a lot of food? Most of us are wasting more than we realize. Buying food only to waste it means that the resources to produce that food have now gone to waste, but it also means we’re throwing out something we bought, which can take a chunk out of your grocery budget. Here’s 3 strategies to reduce your food waste!

  1. Meal plan!!! Take a bit of time each week to plan your meals and make a grocery list.This way you have a game plan to use the groceries you buy, not just leave them to get mushy in the fridge. You don’t have to plan the entire week, but even knowing three or four dinner that you’ll make and having ingredients for them on hand can make a difference. Have a plan for the food you buy if you can.
  2. Throw stuff in the freezer! If we can’t eat something before it’s going to go bad, freezing it is a great way to avoid having to throw it out. Fruit looking a little questionable? Chop and freeze for smoothies. Not going to get to your vegetables in time? Dice and freeze to use in sauces and stews. Bought some meat but plans changes? In the freezer it goes to be defrosted for dinner another day. Have leftovers that just aren’t going to be eaten? Freeze to take for lunch in a couple weeks when you’re busy. Make sure anything you freeze is sealed in an air-tight bag or container to avoid freezer burn. 
  3. Shop your own fridge, freezer, and cupboards. Chances are you have lots of food odds and ends floating around that might not get eaten in time. Whether it’s produce, canned goods you’ve had for ages (they do have an expiry date), or pantry staples, all food does eventually either go bad or just completely lose it’s flavour. When you’re planning meals, shop your own kitchen to see what you can build around. See if you can use up some of those odds and ends to avoid throwing them out. Having a root through your cupboards regularly can make sure you always know what’s there and nothing gets forgotten for the next 8 years. Not sure what to do with what you’ve found? Do a quick search for easy recipes using that ingredient.

Do you have more nutrition questions, or need help with meal planning? Email maireadrodgers@degreecrossfitseaforth.com or click here to book a nutrition consultation to work through your meal planning woes!

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By Mairead Rodgers, RD, PHEc, CF L1 Trainer

I’m sure you already know you should be meal planning. Maybe it’s already part of your weekly routine! In case you’re not, planning our meals can make a huge difference in how we approach them. If you’ve ever gotten home from work and been scrambling trying to find something to get on the table, planning meals ahead of time will save your stress. If you find yourself reaching for take out because you just don’t know what to eat, planning meals can help you eat better. 

Here’s 4 ways you can make your meal planning just a little bit easier:

  1. You don’t have to plan the whole week. Planning 5 or 7 days worth of meals can feel super overwhelming and might not work for your household or family. If that’s the case, try just planning the next 2 or 3 days at a time. All the benefits of meal planning, just not thinking quite as far ahead to keep it simple. 
  2. Post it for the whole family. If you cook with or for other people (kids, roommates, significant others), this can be an easy way to keep everyone on the same page. This way whoever gets home first can start dinner, no one’s wondering what’s for dinner, and it gives other people a chance to have some input if they want to!
  3. Shop your freezer, fridge, and cupboards. Use food that’s already in your house when you’re planning! Have a quick peek and see what needs to be used up before it goes bad, what’s been sitting on the shelf a long time, or what’s on the edge of freezer burn. This is a great way to cut down on food waste and your grocery bill, and give you a bit of inspiration when you’re stuck.
  4. Use themes! If you’re struggling to come up with ideas, pick a theme for each night of the week. Taco Tuesday is an obvious theme, but maybe you always slot in breakfast-for-dinner on Friday, pasta on Monday, and leftovers on Thursday. You don’t have to use your themes as the template every week, but it can be an easy way to come up with an idea so you don’t eat the same 3 meals on repeat.

Need more meal planning help and ideas? Got more nutrition questions? Email maireadrodgers@degreecrossfitseaforth.com or click here to book your FREE 15-Minute Bite-Sized Nutrition Chat!

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By Mairead Rodgers, RD PHEc

I’m sure you’ve heard that breakfast is the “most important meal of the day”. While all of our meals are important, breakfast’s purpose is really to fuel you up for your day. For our early morning CrossFit-ers, it also needs to refuel you after a workout usually. But if you’re not a breakfast person, or you feel stuck in a breakfast rut, your morning meal can be a huge struggle. 

Here’s our best tips for a better breakfast!

  1. Does breakfast have to be breakfast? You are not required to eat a bowl of corn flakes or Cheerios every morning if you don’t want to. You can have any foods you like for breakfast! Try topping your dinner leftovers with an egg or even just making a sandwich if you feel in a rut. If you just don’t have a big appetite in the morning, breakfast might be more of a snack, like a granola bar or some yogurt and fruit on the go. The goal is to not have you absolutely starving by the time you eat next.
  2. Do you have protein and fat? If you’ve ever had a bowl of cereal for breakfast and found yourself starving by 10am, I’ve got some ideas for you! One of the reasons this might be happening is that you’re not getting much protein and fat to help keep you satisfied and full. Try adding a hardboiled egg, some Greek yogurt or cottage cheese, putting peanut butter on your toast instead of (or with) jam, or picking a cereal or granola with extra protein.
  3. Have you got some fruits and veggies? (If you’ve read any of my other emails ever, you knew this was coming.) We want to get fruits and vegetables in at every meal when we can. They give as a whole spectrum of vitamins and minerals, as well as fibre, and people who eat more fruits and vegetables tend to have lower rates of chronic disease. If weight loss or maintenance is your goal, fruits and vegetables give you lots of nutrition and fill you up, without many calories. Getting a serving or two of your favourite fruit or vegetables gets you a head-start on your nutrition for the day, whether it’s a handful of spinach in your smoothie, an apple grabbed on your way out the door, or a banana on your peanut butter toast.
  4. Can you make it ahead of time? One of the biggest reasons I get that people don’t eat breakfast is that they just don’t have time, and that’s a totally valid reason! So when we look at what we’re having for breakfast, is there anything we could make ahead of time or do to get organized so that it doesn’t take as long? You can put smoothie ingredients in a cup or blender the night before. You can meal prep all kinds of egg muffins or breakfast sandwiches or overnight oats. You can even just put your fruit beside your yogurt right inside the fridge so they’re easy to grab. You can put the bread and peanut butter beside the toaster and put the bread in while you get ready for the day. The goal is to make it so easy that your morning brain doesn’t put up a fight.

Still struggling with breakfast? Give our Registered Dietitian a shout and let’s see how we can tweak your breakfast to be healthier and easier (or just to start having breakfast in the first place and how that will help you!). Psssttt…. did you your Dietitian services might be covered if you have extended benefits? 

To book your FREE 15-Minute Bite-Sized Nutrition Chat, click here!