Breakfast. A lot of people say they hate it. I'm not sure why, I get up in the morning, having not had anything to eat for 12+ hours and of course I feel not quite right with low blood sugar, grumbling tummy and all. I am lucky that I have always loved breakfast.
So why don't you take the time for breakfast? Too busy in the morning with kids, getting ready for work? Why not start eating breakfast, I bet it makes a world of difference in the long run. If your excuse is that you don't have any time, well I have a nutritious solution for you that takes 5 minutes the night before and a 2nd option that takes 5 minutes in the morning and doesn't include buying expensive, processed sugar laden commercial cereal. I sometimes eat these for lunch or dinner when I'm feeling lazy.
Since being in Mexico I have been unable to buy low fat dairy of any kind or any frozen berries, so I had to adapt to what was at hand. Here are my two favourite breakfast options, one I eat in Canada with low fat Greek yogurt and one tasty option for when I'm in Mexico! Try them both and see which one you like best!
1/2 cup low fat, plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp. Splenda or other sweetener
1/2 cup frozen raspberries, black berries, sour cherries or strawberries - whatever berry you love
1 tsp. hemp seeds
Optional 1/4 cup quick oats
Mix it all together - enjoy!
1 cup dry oats (whole)
1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp Splenda or other sweetener
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup milk (preferably low fat) or almond, soy milk etc.
1/2 cup water
1/2 tbsp. cocoa nibs
Mix all dry ingredients in a jar or other container with a lid. Add water and milk, shake and put in the fridge over night. In the morning, give it a stir with the cocoa nibs - voila!!! My new fav.
As I sit in the Arizona desert staying away from other people (I hate catch phrases like ‘self isolation) and see people on social media posting they hope they have a family member who knows how to cook because all their favourite restaurants are currently closed, I use my inside voice to ask myself: “when did North Americans lose their ability to cook and why did we lose that ability?”. I don't think the majority of us are lazy, we work hard at our jobs, those with kids are busy with them, we have to clean our houses. So why does the thought of cooking make people roll their eyes? We have to eat, there's no choice. So why don't most of us do it for ourselves anymore?
Convenience? I get it, we are all tired at the end of the day, we are rushed in the morning before school and work. In this day and age (ignoring the current pandemic) it is so easy to get on whatever app du jour and have anything you desire delivered to your door. Technology has made it easy, but has technology actually made your life better in this regard? Do you remember a time when eating out was a treat and a special occasion?
Deliciousness? Does fast food, frozen pizza, restaurant food in general taste more amazing than a home cooked meal. Not always.
Cost? Is it more expensive to cook at home? Nope!
Time? Is delivery faster than cooking something at home? Yes and no.
Healthy? Is delivery/take out healthier? As an ex-chef I have to say nope. Restaurant food is all about flavour, yes even the vegan/vegetarian restaurants use processed plant products which aren't necessarily healthier than whole fruits and veggies with minimal processing.
Family time? Most families eat in front of the almighty television. Is this really family time, why not cook with your spouse and/or kids? Teach the next generation a skill or two.
Before you do the eye roll when I ask you if you like to cook, why not try 2 meals a week? Roast a chicken with all the veg and potatoes in one pan, learn to grill veggies when you grill up a steak. Make some quick oats for tomorrow's breakfast. Get a crockpot, those things are amazing.
Or, if you do cook at home but are bored, try something new! Learn how to make bread (it's quite easy, yes, it's time consuming, but can be made in the time span of a 2-hour movie), learn how to make hollandaise sauce from scratch, it's not magic! Make pancakes or waffles from scratch with blueberry sauce. You don't have to spend your entire day cooking, but you can cut the cord and I promise you will save a ton of money and your waistline may even shrink a little.
For most of us, if we are not essential workers, we have been home for a long time. Many of us can feel overwhelmed, particularly if we are spending a lot of time on social media. Either we feel anxiety about getting this disease, or we believe we are being lazy if we haven’t taken the time to declutter the house or learn a new language. The reality is, many of us are stressed out just trying to keep ourselves and our families healthy. Add in the challenge of trying to work from home while homeschooling youngsters, and you may find yourself saying “what free time!”
There is hope and opportunity that can come out of this situation. There are many things we can do now during this time to help our wellness that don’t involve a lot of extra time.
Homeschooling in traditional subjects aren’t the only things our children will learn during this pandemic. COVID-19 and germs have come to the forefront; now is a great time to teach children some habits around cleanliness. Most of them understand why they are at home and can’t socialize with their friends. This may be the only time they will listen to you when you tell them to wash their hands before dinner. Try it, it just might work.
Food and Nutrition
North American self isolation seems to revolve around a lack of toilet paper, flour and canned goods. If you are lucky enough to live somewhere with an abundance of food, and are able to shop or order groceries in, now is a good time to take advantage of the fresh meat, fish, fruits and vegetables available. If some of your favourites are not available, the opportunity exists for the adventurous eater to try something new. If you can’t find beef, try lamb. If you can’t find apples, try mangoes. I just bought a case of mangoes at the grocery store for $8! While it seems crazy, you just may end up eating healthier than you did before.
The abundance of food in North America can also lend the opportunity to explore new types of cuisine. Spices also seem to be plentiful, so try a new ethnic cuisine that you always wanted to try but were afraid to make. Now’s the time to break out either the Instapot or slow cooker, or both. Even though the Instapot and slow cooker cook food differently, using one of these appliances means that you don’t have to spend time in front of the stove. The machine does most of the work, and there is only one pot to clean afterwards.
This is a great time to take care of your bike. Many trails are still closed in some areas due to either weather conditions or self isolation measures. Now is the time to do that maintenance you have been putting off. Some things can be easily done at home, some things may require some skill or the watching of YouTube videos. If you find yourself mechanically inclined, go for it! If not, some bike shops are still open for service (always call ahead first) and would probably be thankful for the business.
With the quarantine, fitness at home programs are booming. Gyms are closed, and community recreation programs have ended. If you are missing your regular gym, fitness class or sport, why not give FitRiders a try. Our program takes only 20 minutes a day and uses no equipment. So, there is no need to rush out an buy any expensive equipment. The program is designed to get you into adventure riding shape when the riding season begins. Right now it feels like it will never come, but it will.
Even with children and spouses trying to get your attention, you can still carve out 20 minutes for yourself. You owe it to yourself. If you’re a morning person, and the family isn’t, try morning workouts. If you’re a night owl, try it after you put the kids to bed. Better yet, get the whole family to join in! They’re missing their recreation programs too! It’s free for 60 days. You have nothing to lose, except maybe a few inches around the waist.
It happens to most everyone as we get older. We have kids, we get busy with our careers. And before we know it, we start telling our friends we could lose 30 pounds, but we don’t. What health implications do those 30 extra pounds have? You may tell yourself your blood pressure is fine, you feel ok, but it starts to add up as we get older.
How we look changes too. A lot of people look older when they are overweight: Skin starts to look unhealthy, a bit grey, maybe some acne, bags under our eyes. Our clothes probably fit a bit too tight.
And then our activities take a hit. Sometimes I notice the overweight people at a staging area, sweating bullets and out of breath as they unload their bikes. I see them back at their vehicle after a single-track ride, red faces, soaked with sweat, out of breath and ready for a nap. Those 30 extra pounds take a bite out of your seat time. If you could lose that extra weight, you would have more energy to spend on the trail. You would have more muscle mass to throw that bike around and you certainly would not have to take a rest after unloading your bike.
On May 1, 2019, I weighed in at 145 pounds at 5’2” tall. While not obese, I felt it was time to lose a few pounds. I wanted to be able to go for longer rides without becoming tired. I enlisted the help of a professional and with his guidance, eating plans and workout schedule (I added 2 more workouts to my weekly schedule) I lost 22 pounds in 5 months and gained 4 pounds of muscle. It was hard, very hard! I went monthly to my nutritionist for weigh-ins and to make sure I wasn't losing any muscle mass and to discuss my progress and, yes, my slip-ups. Beer and sushi were my vices oh, and the daily Oreo cookies. March 2020, I weigh 125 pounds. I feel great, I have no aches and pains, a resting heart rate of 52, low cholesterol, I am stronger and fitter than I was a year ago, I look great and my riding has improved exponentially.
We can all do it despite our age and gender. I'm 48 years old and no way do I look or act like I'm 48, I look more like a 30-something and I act like I'm 12 most days.
Sometimes we have the willpower but not the knowledge. Sometimes we all just need someone on our side to give us a pat on the rear to get us motivated. I remember in my 30s I weighed close to 200 pounds. My doctor kept telling me to lose weight, but she never told me how. I figured it out for the most part but did end up working with a nutritionist. Best money I ever spent on myself.
We should take care of ourselves, no one else will and we only get one body, so why not look after it! Check out Fitriders’ nutritional programs. Do something amazing for yourself.
In the winter of 2015, I booked myself the trip of a lifetime: I was going to go to Mongolia on an epic dirt bike adventure ride! This isn’t something that most people get to do often, and I was stoked! Then I realized, I need to get into shape. 14 days of epic off-road riding, averaging 200 km/day, it was more riding than I had ever experienced before.
I had booked my trip for July 2016. With just over 6 months to get into shape, I hired, Karl, a personal trainer. When I met with Karl, I told him of the type of terrain I would be riding, the number of hours I would be spending on the bike. Not only did I want to get in shape to handle the ride, but I needed a strategy where after a long day of riding, or after sleeping in uncomfortable Ger camps, I would also need some sort of recovery mechanism. With that, Karl helped me come up with a strategy to get fit for the ride, and how to keep the muscle aches and pains at bay while on the ride.
For 6 months, I worked from the comfort of my own home to get in shape. No gym membership, just some basic free weights at home, body weight exercises and a yoga mat for basic stretching. My wife Maria would often join me in the fitness routine, as she found it helped not just with her riding, but all the other sports she loves to play. That was all it took to get into the kind of shape I needed to be in to ride Mongolia.
When I returned home from Mongolia, I wondered if there were many other middle aged guys like me that would love to do the same type of bucket list trip, but what was holding them back from going was the thought that they couldn’t handle the terrain at their current fitness level. In fact, there were many middle-aged guys on the same trip that directly benefited from me showing them some stretches that we all did at the end of the day in front of the campfire. If this program helped me, then maybe this program could help others who also want to do these same bucket list adventures.
And so, FitRiders was born. We have members all over the world, of varying ages, men and women, who know that the key to having better riding adventures is to get into shape. So, what are you waiting for? What’s holding you back from getting in shape for the ultimate adventure ride. Get Fit to Ride! Join the Movement! Join our Community!
Karl Tettmann, Co-Founder. Avid health and fitness coach who just loves to ride.