The plan…is the key

•March 11, 2013 • Leave a Comment

If you read my blogs I am big on the plan….when you take a look at your weeks workouts make sure you are getting cardio, resistance & strength (weights, aqua, power yoga), Core and stretching (Core strength and stretch, Yoga,Pilates),

It is not uncommon to have people start a New exercise regime and then get injured or get overwhelmed or frustrated

  • loving class doing as many as possible probably not getting enough YIN
  • then get frustrated cause all their free time seems to be going to exercise and then you can get some regrets.
  1. plan your days
  2. don’t over commit (do your classes and if something comes up, plan to get a w/o in at home or rebook to on another day)
  3. get workout balance… enough stretch or quiet exercise cause really the 5 min stretch at the end of the class is not enough to balance several days of big workout.   You don’t want to get so tight that you are always sore or  you bend over and pull something (often in your back) resulting in set backs.
  4. Plan to exercise with friends…it is always nice to have a little social mixed in  and it will keep you real about attending if you aren’t committing enough.

Food planned not to the day cause that is too much but know I want to have chicken/veggies, turkey/brown rice, ham/cabbage/cauliflower mash, shrimp /quinoa and fish or porc stirfry.

  1. I know I have the items in the house so I am not stuck the day I start to make it.
  2. I am getting a variety of proteins, grains, and veggies
  3. And it is not OMG I got nothing thawed  and make a poor choice

Note I always cook extra protein so that I have quick options for lunch and have cubed turkey , porc or chicken in portion in the freezer for those days you run out of time  and store extra casserole portions in the freezer

Be prepared and see the results you want and if you’re not getting them….lets talk

Giselle Bergeron-Raganold



Allowing yourself a treat or to cheat.

•March 4, 2013 • 1 Comment

We have often hear people refer to cheat day or meal when talking about dieting… my personal believe is it can be very beneficial.  It is always great when we are looking  forward to an outing, vacations, trip …well when you are focussing on your nutrition with the efforts to lose weight having something to look forward to is really helpful.  Now when I say cheat I don’t mean you can go hog-wild all w/e long.  In the past my husband, Bruce would be very weight conscious all week-long and then cut lose on the w/e.  Well he started to notice he would be making some great changes and then he had to start over on Monday.  And really that sort of defeated the purpose cause the weight loss becomes very slow or  just not making any progress…which cause him to be unmotivated.  I believe that you should reward yourself by having a meal out at your favorite restaurant or something that would generally not have on your nutrition plan like pizza, a burger and fries or desert.  Allowing this pre-planned treat can really make a difference  with your commitment to your nutritional plan.  Why?

Keep you motivated  Rewarding yourself for consistency, progress, and keeps you on track.  It makes it easier to continue to make healthy choice that support your weight loss plan knowing that you will allow yourself either more calories, a special items, an evening out.   Many people who are dieting can get bored as they lack creativity in meal prep and eat the same type meals day in day out while dieting.  So by allowing yourself something special because you have done so well all week is really good psychologically.

Help prevent bingeing  If you are constantly watching what you eat,  some people get to the point where they start to feel they are always deprived…and we have all been there when all of a sudden we snap.   Eat stuff that we don’t generally allow and then just keep going cake, deserts, poutine, chips, pizza…  by pre-planning and allowing yourself to cheat once a week give you feeling of control while satisfying your desire for that indulgence but still keeping it in perspective.

Help prevent plateaus and can boost your metabolism  The body get use to the same exercise, the same food, the same # of calories in a day.  The cheat meal can really shake things up helping you prevent a plateau.  (when everything just stops).  So just like we switch up our workout, or types of exercise we should also shake up our nutritional intake.  It can also replenish the glycogen stores giving you more energy to push harder into your next week.

Remember this is a treat to supplement your daily nutrition not a pass to gorge yourself at an all you can buffet.  If you really want weight loss (I guessing you are starting to see a trend with my recommendations)…you need to plan your meals, your workouts and even your treats.

Giselle Bergeron-Raganold


Loosing weight is not easy and you have to want it enough to make…

•February 20, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Weight loss does involve sacrifices…a cookie/latte every day when you want to lose weight is still a treat and treats everyday is definitely going to slow or halt your weight loss.  As we talked about last month you need to set realistic goals, have a plan to work toward meeting them and for many tracking their nutrition, water  and exercise is one of those tool to help facilitate success.

Some of you have taken advantage of the program and this has made evaluating  your daily/weekly intake easier….for you and me(if you give me access to view  Note this is a service that you would pay a personal trainer to evaluate).   At the end of the day you will notice imbalances, where you struggle ie sugar, fat, sodium, fiber…and if you are recording throughout the day you will notice as you approach your limitations.

Common complaint….I eat healthy but I’m still not loosing weight!  consider these

  • portion sizes – too much of something healthy or not is still too much

  • nutrition balances eating lots of fruit is great but they are still sugars and most eat too much sugar!!!

  • eating whole grain carbohydrates – healthy, but think about these as fuel ….what are you doing after dinner? do you really need to carb up if you are going to curl up to a good book or are you going out snow shooing?

  • vegetables vegetables vegetables… so many don’t take advantages or get enough of these nutrient dense, filling options.    (like veggies and hummus, incl a salad or a bowl of soup before the main meal…their filling, can be very tasty and low in calories)

  • fiber are you getting enough? many benefits to keeping you regular, helps manage appetite and  many other (will blog about fiber this winter)

  • some mistake thirsty for feeling hungry….are you drinking enough water?  try having a glass of water before you sit down to your meal

  • take a look at what you are drinking….there are alot of empty calories in liquids as well as salt, preservatives,  sugar, artificial flavouring and so many things that most of us can’t pronounce….do you really want them in your body?  I did warn you I get preachy about natural foods


  1. Eat for energy.

  2. Try 5 small meals as oppose to 3 main meals.

  3. always carry a snack in with you

  4. drink lots of water try a glass before each meal

  5. add extra vegetables throughout the day

  6. And if you make some poor choices….don’t get down on yourself start again with the next meal

Now I do feel it is important to reward yourself for all the progress and healthy choices you made so yes I believe in a cheat meal…..more on this next week

Have a good one!

Giselle Bergeron-Raganold


Protein powder, what is it for, why is it important and who needs it.

•February 4, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Protein is a nutrient needed by the human body for growth and maintenance.   Aside from water, proteins are the most abundant kind of molecules in the body. Protein can be found in all cells of the body and is the major structural component of all cells in the body, especially muscle. This also includes body organs, hair and skin.

My personal use of protein powder….I like to add protein powder and fiber to my snacks to increase the nutritional value and to balance out the carbs.  As well with the high intensity of physical training I do it really minimizes muscular soreness and help repair the muscles I’m breakdown  to rebuild them .

Choosing a protein powder….the options and variety are endless.  Start by  thinking about your nutritional needs and then start reading the labels.  Although protein powder is marketed as healthy and good for you but like all items on the shelves at the grocery store they are not all created equally and some have a number of  unpronounceable, artificial ingredients & flavours as well as refine ingredients.  Now as many of you may be a aware I go for the natural options…void of preservatives & refined item and when at all possible choose food to get my daily requirements of nutrients.  And another personal factor is it must be wheat  free.

I choose to try VEGA,  a vegan protein that is fairly clean (unrefined), wheat free and a number of colleagues use it.  Another product is Precision  all natural  vegetarian protein powder  and I intend to experiment with cooking with this one over the next few months  and I will keep you up to date on  how things are going and my feeling towards these products.

General protein requirements

Take your weight  in lbs multiply by  .5-.8 to get the #grams of protein you require(approximately)  …the range varies upon your level of activity.  Now take a look at your dietary logs and see how much protein you are consuming….are you meeting your minimum requirement ?  Are you really physically tired and sore the next two days after a weight workout? I wish I could say this is what you need and in this amount but every body is different and so fine tuning your dietary requirements based on how you body responds…I hope this has helped

Giselle Bergeron-Raganold



Masala Bhangra Workout!

•November 26, 2012 • Leave a Comment

It was my pleasure to introduce Masala Bhangra Workout to you…and thanks you for the initial feedback now I need to know what you would like to see for the New Year

Giselle Bergeron-Raganold


NEW YORK City…nothing quite like it.

•October 10, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Getting there was  an experience in itself.  Wednesday morning I taught TMC, waited for Bruce to be home and off to the airport with a little over an hour to spare for our 1:45pm direct flight to NYC.  We arrive only to discover that our flight was cancelled no notice just cancelled….and we are booked for the 7pm WHAT!!!  After lengthily discussion and technical difficulties, we did standby flight to TO and then again to NY arriving just before 7  without Bruce’s luggage…I did carry on only thanks god(our fingers crossed and better than it could have been).  As some of you know, Bruce decided to make it a family experience so we rented an apartment for 4 nights…and the boys were joining us Thursday night.  Well our trips always focus on food we had some great dinners…the first evening we did Tapas at a couple places…yep

Morning came quick got up, took the subway to downtown, went to the wrong hotel for my course (info was not clear…arghh!) Sarina Jain (creator of Masala Bhangra) did the same as did a few others…so I didn’t feel too bad.  Class got started…OMG  this program is incredible only 11 of us with Sarina for the two full days of training, sweating and after the first day dinner at a fabulous Indian restaurant, Spice Symphony.   It is a Chinese Indian fusion restaurant, you should check it out sometime if your in New York… Spicy noodles dish and loved the paneer

I started the two days, full of tons of energy and excitement (if you were in my class the day before and day I left…the energy runneth over…lol)…but I can say I have never been so physically and emotionally drained from a certification process.  Unlike any other training…the intensity, the attention to detail, and just the whole learning process…really allowed you to get a better understanding of the movements & the teaching method. Sarina only accepts up to 20 individuals in the training which allows her to focus on the individual weaknesses & needs of her ambassadors   yep I am now an MBA (Masala Bhangra Ambassador).  I look forward to introducing you to Masala Bhangra, an incredible dance fitness program that fuzes the power and energy of the folk dance, Bhangra  with the passion and excitement of Bollywood  and plan to offer classes in the New Year!

New York was busy…enough traffic, people and so many honking horns…this was my feel on Wed till the end of my training on Friday.  And then O!!!M!!!G!!! We weren’t aware that this was a US holiday as well and when I thought it was busy and crowded the first couple days…that was nothing.  The downtown area was quicker to walk cause traffic wasn’t moving.  One night we took a night bus tour that normally is under 2 hours and after 3 hours we got off and started to walk.  The wait time for restaurants was often 1:30-2hrs….I don’t think so…so we definitely didn’t do some of the stuff we had planned….and we’ll have to go back…Bruce is thinking for Masala Bhangra celebration in Central Park with 5000 of your closest friends … shout it out now Balle Balle! (video I sent you last week).  We did see the singing cowboy…I think that when your boobs hang  lower than your waist…it may be time to cover them up, visited the MandM store (you could smell the sugar from the street) they were doing the Cupid shuffle. Brad was embarrassed when I started doing it and sternly requested I stop.  We were on JAy-Z’s 40/40 club guest list for 2 nights but with traffic we never made it there.  We had dinner one night at a greasy huge BBQ place it was midnight and we had yet to have dinner (my boys were ready to start eating each other).  There was more Boys that looked like girls and Girls that were boys making it very entertaining people watching…watching the managers/wait staff is exactly what I imagine in true NYC style…I can’t say I was ever at a restaurant that had doormen/bouncers (these guys were huge).

Ground Zero was an emotional experience…but the wait lines and security check was out of this world…comparable to the airport yep had to even take off our shoes. The reflective pools were captivating as well we sought out the Survival tree. More than 400 trees are planted, surrounding the Memorial’s two massive reflecting pools.  They have created an incredible peaceful atmosphere that is so unlike what one would expect in New York city.

Strolled Chinatown, stopped by an Indian gathering watch some dancers, shopped and the boys ate lots of street food. Good trip but also so glad to be home

Giselle Bergeron-Raganold


Do you need to be fit to take a fitness class?

•September 17, 2012 • Leave a Comment

As many of you are aware I have been busy on the business side of Ellefitness these last few weeks…September is the time to get back to school and back to fitness.   So while out delivering flyers…I came across a man and we sparked up a conversation about Ellefitness.  He asked a lot of questions about me and the training and classes we provide which is not unusual but then he asked how open I am to training someone who is terribly out of shape and overweight.  Which sort of stopped me in my tracks…and got me to thinking

Is there a misconception with some that one needs to be fit before taking a fitness class?  Fitness is about good health and physical conditioning and classes or training is what you use to achieve these levels of fitness.  By all means there are classes that are more challenging than others and in some case levels but this is generally stated in the description (or have prerequisites like Belly dancing intermediate you would need to take beginners first).  Everybody has to start somewhere but it is important to remember that things don’t change overnight it is gradual so be realistic with your goals and expectations

Ellefitness offers Zumba GOLD for beginners and older adults but the nice thing about Zumba is you can always work at your own pace and if something isn’t working you know my  mantra just FREESTYLE.  And if you ever get a chance  go to the back of the room someday and just watch those in front of you…lots of people at different points will freestyle…please enjoy the music and just keep moving.  It is also important to know your limits but remember if you are not challenging yourself you will not see the results you are hoping to achieve.  You do want to be breathing heavy and  you do want to feel as though you have worked out (sweating, jelly legs and arms…)

In TMC, you challenge yourself by the weights you choose and options given.  My recommendation is always have two sets of weights a high and low…so that you can start off with a heavier and then if needed drop to a lower midway when needed.  You also have levels or options you choose in class.  For Example, push ups  wall push ups, push ups starting on your knees, to full military push ups…all progressions of each other.  Again keep in mind most of us are training for life…so if you carry around a purse/back pack/dog or child that weighs more that the hand weights you are choosing maybe you should be changing to heavier ones.  If you get to the end of that exercise and you could do many more that is a sign you haven’t chosen the appropriate weight.

FYI  I will offer a true Beginners Zumba GOLD this fall on Mondays and if you are interested contact me.   I also offer a workshop for those that want to start working out harder and get as much as they can from each and every class…How to the basics steps to Zumba will give you the basic steps to the various rhythms.

Ellefitness offers training and classes to help you meet your fitness goals… be consistent in your efforts, keep your goals realistic and success will be yours.

Giselle Bergeron-Raganold