Lil Miss Fitness Freak

"And though she be but little, she is fierce"


Friday Fitness Questions

Hey Friends,

Update, lets all pretend it’s Friday mmmmmkay ūüėȬ†

So I wanted to do a lil Friday thing (lets see if it sticks! Hope so!) where I answer a few common fitness related questions that I used to get in my comments section back when I was a real blogger (ie. was able to post more then once a week…promise that is my goal for this summer, not because I feel I have to, but because I want to and miss you guys!).

Anywho, so hopefully these will be useful to many, and although some of them may some simple and common knowledge, I did get these questions a lot so they are new information to many. Feel free to post any questions in the comments below on each of these posts and I will make sure to answer you in a following post!

Also, if you have different opinions and research also comment away! I’m always up for learning more.

So lets get started shall we?

1. Do I need protein powder if I’m lifting weights? If so, what is the best kind to get?

Part 1: No you don’t.

Even the most “hardcore athletes” don’t need to use protein supplements. In most cases they simply choose it for convince OR because it is what they can digest easily after their training. I personally tend to fall into the second of those two. I found that when I was eating whole foods, it took my too long to feel the effects (due to having to break it down too much I suppose and release the nutrients) after my workouts and I tended to get sleepy and stay sleepy. After switching to having my current post workout meal (organic brown rice cakes + protein powder ‘icing’ + banana + coconut oil), I feel the effects right away and feel more awake, even after those tough leg day sessions where I’m slightly shakey post-workout.

Most tend to think that they need to down protein shakes post workout because that is what all of the bodybuilders do, but there is really nothing in the literature that says that is best over whole foods, from what I have found. Yes, whey is arguably one of the best sources of protein in terms of bioavailability to the body (in other words, percentage of the protein you absorb) and thus is very quick to be used as the powder¬†and and easily digestible form enables quick absorption, but in terms of growth and repair, it’s not going to get you better or faster results per say then something like eggs or meat.

I say per say because I’m not sure if you would see different results comparing a ¬†post workout recovery meal of whey vs. a whole food one¬†of less bioavailable sources like plant-based proteins that also may not cover all of the essential amino acids. You also just need to ensure you’re getting¬†enough¬†protein in general!

If greater muscle synthesis is what you’re after, research shows that the essential amino acids (the 15 AA that need to be ingested as they are not made in the body) are what you should be leaning towards. A study by Paddon-Jones et al (2006) that looked at the difference in muscle synthesis in elderly and young individuals taking either a whey or essential amino acid supplement and found that the supplement showed greater synthesis then the whey. To be brief, they concluded that it appears that the addition of the other amino acids¬†did not appear to stimulate greater synthesis.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is the fact that although you see people chugging straight protein, carbohydrates appear to be important for greater effects (I have seen some conflicting observations BUT the majority talks about a benefit). A study by Tang et al (2007) concluded that even a minimal dose of whey (10g) with the help of a carbohydrate source (21g) created a 2 fold increase in muscle protein synthesis in young men post-exercise.

Note¬†the ratio of carbs to protein….2:1 friends. Don’t forget about your carbies

¬†Further evidence of the important role of carbohydrates came from the 2006 study by Bird, Tarpenning and Marino. They reported a synergistic¬†effect of post-exercise carbohydrate and essential amino acid supplementation pairing on muscle protein synthesis. Specifically, the anabolic affect on muscle was greater when paired together rather then taken independently. So once again, it’s the essential aminos that appear to be important for muscle growth, but it also appears that carbohydrates help aid in that process.

¬†This article by Volek (2004) provides a great overview of the literature if you’re interested further OR if you want a more easy read, here’s an article by Eirik from Organic Fitness (not a journal article but includes research in the article) talking about how quantity of protein is more important then timing and how a protein shake is not necessary.

So overall, eating a whole food protein vs. whey doesn’t seem to make a difference in terms of recovery and growth post-workout. So everyone out there who are lifting and exercising because they simply enjoy it or are just trying to keep active in their daily lives, a meal of whole foods would be just fine. If you want to get specific, are an avid bodybuilder/athlete and are looking to gain the most from your post-workout nutrition, then the literature suggests to look more so at those essential amino acids (particular interest on Leucine ratio?) for a greater anabolic affect.

Also in general, don’t forget about those carbs. They are important not only for replenishing those glycogen stores, but also appear to aid in the process of muscle synthesis.

Before I get some comments regarding glycogen replenishing, intensity or the workout is an important factor here. If you eat a pre-workout meal that is rich is carbohydrates and you’re workout is not at an intensity high enough to burn through them all, then this is not an emergency, but I still feel that it’s¬†important to get some good, complex carbs in post workout for energy levels.¬†

Part 2: Best kind to get?

This is purely coming from experience and also my opinion. If you’re out to get a whey powder, I would ensure to check for a few things:

~How many other ingredients are in it? Too many fillers, preservatives, artificial crap and sweeteners are just a recipe for an aggravated tummy and are just not necessary. Keep as natural as possible. If it’s sweetened, go for stevia.

~Do they list a proprietary protein blend? Be cautious because for some reason they are not telling you their blend and it could be that they are using ingredients of lower quality.

~Go for grass-fed, antibiotic free sources of whey if possible. I feel the same kind of way about milk products if you choose to eat those.

~Whey isolate vs. whey concentrate? The isolate will be more expensive¬†because it’s a higher percentage of protein. Basically, the concentrate may have a slightly larger proportion of carbohydrates and fat (mostly coming from lactose). Some may even go as far as saying that concentrate is more of a ‘whole foods’ supplement, but I don’t think it’s that big of a deal unless you are looking for the purest form you can get your hands on. See this article for some more info.

~Other useful ingredients? If they are going to add things, they mind as well be beneficial. I think that all proteins should have enzymes in them to aid with digestion. Lactase is obviously the most important in this case as it helps break down the milk protein, lactose. Glutamine is sometimes added and has been reported (mixed results still however) the help with muscle repair and gut health in some studies. Also, more recently, anti-inflammatory ingredients likes turmeric and other herbs are starting to be added to some proteins but they aren’t required for it to be effective from a protein aspect, but just a little bit of an added bonus.

What do you think?

Do you have a post workout shake?

Favourite flavour of whey is you use it?



Bird, S., ¬†Tarpenning, K., Marino, F. (2006).¬†Independent and combined effects of liquid carbohydrate/essential amino acid ingestion on hormonal and muscular adaptations following resistance training in untrained men.¬†Eur J Appl Physiol,¬†97,¬†225‚Äď238. doi:¬†10.1007/s00421-005-0127-z

Paddon-Jones, D., Sheffield-Moore, M.,  Katsanos, C., Zhang, X, Wolfe, R. (2006). Differential stimulation of muscle protein synthesis in elderly humans following isocaloric ingestion of amino acids or whey protein. Experimental Gerontology, 41, 215-219

 Tang, J., Manolakos, J., Kujbida, G., Lysecki, P., Moore, D., Phillips, S. (2007). Minimal whey protein with carbohydrate stimulates muscle protein synthesis following resistance exercise in trained young men. Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism, 32(6), 1132-8. doi: 10.1139/H07-076



Getting Your Fitness On Home-Style

Hey Friends

This is something I have been meaning to post about for a while as many of you have asked about what to do if you have no access to a gym. Although having access to equipment in the gym is the ideal situation, there is nothing wrong with working out at home if that is what you have available to you.

In anycase, you’re doing better then the next person who just doesn’t do anything exercise related because they can’t get to a gym right?

Good on you for getting creative and getting your sweat on at home.

In a typical Lil Miss Fitness Freak fashion, I will show some blog love to give you some examples of great blogs that have shared some at home workouts that will get you glistening.

But first…

Here are some tips.

  • Find your own resistance. Find something with some weight for when bodyweight becomes too easy for you. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean there is no such thing as pushing that lil bit further. Cans, bags of flour, purses, backpacks, etc, etc. You can adjust the resistance based on your progress but remember, just like at the gym, if you can do something 4 thousand times its time to rev it up.
  • Climb to new heights. This kind of goes along with the previous suggestion, but find things that give your a variety of heights to work with. Things like couches, tables, stable chairs and stools and such can either help you build up to an exercise your muscles aren’t ready for yet or make things harder. Push-ups serve as a great example for both. Place your hands on a table to make it easier as the lower incline takes some of the resistance off, while switch it up and put your feet on it to make those push-ups harder. Just make sure your form doesn’t break down.
  • Have some breathing room. Make sure you give yourself some room to work!
  • Plan it out ahead of time. Just like if you were to walk into a gym, know what workout you’re going to do, whether you’re making up your own or following a guide. This way you will be as efficient as possible and not have to stop constantly to think about what to do next or to readjust everything because you didn’t plan a good flow of exercises.
  • Take it outside. Think you’re stuck inside your house? Not a chance. When the weather cooperates, go to a park, yes a kiddy park and do some work there. Sprint up hills. Run the nearby trails if you’re lucky enough to have those close by (Hamilton peeps!), find some stairs or bleachers to climb. They are all fun and games. Think outside the home box.
  • Buddy system all the way! Have a housemate/roommate, sibling or parent? Get them to join in and you can help to push each other plus it makes it even more fun.

So with that, lets get sharing eh?

Here are some awesome gym-free workouts coming at you. Click on the pictures for the video and/or link ups.

For the outside adventurer…

I love Nikki Blackketter’s YouTube channel. She is always trying random things to keep her exercise fresh and fun. Check out her stadium workout.

Check her out here and see how she switches it up fitness wise.

Ever in a hotel?

This is a great workout in general for when you are low on equipment and wanna have fun with different surface heights. This is even great for when you are confined to a small space. Once again, Heidi has some great tips for workouts both in and out of the gym as she travels a lot for her fitness modeling.

A student for all my fellow students.

Josie is the girl…ie the man, but totally a girl…cheese show. She is actually such a great motivator for healthy lifestyles and balance. Being a busy student herself with a life, school and extra curriculars, she shows you have to live your life while also treating your body with the respect it deserves and keeping that mind healthy.

When you don’t even have a timer but you have 20 minutes.

Screen shot 2015-04-23 at 10.00.15 PM

This HIIT ladder is great for those who only have a short amount of time but want to sweat. Yes it’s cardio, but remember there is a difference between HIIT and straight cardio. HIIT has a host of benefits for cardiovascular endurance and strength building. It even has a timer going for you so you don’t need any equipment at all! Sweat, baby sweat.

Ignore the title. Are you ready to HIIT like a beast?

This title irritates me for obvious reasons, but it is a great HIIT workout that appears to be great for athletes as it offers a lot of movements that could be beneficial for functionality.

Screen shot 2015-04-23 at 10.07.56 PMPssh, “like a girl.” What does that even mean?

No Nonsense Circuit.

From one of my favourite bloggers, Julie has a ton of great at home workouts here including the one posted below.

no nonsense circuit

She is super sweet and positive and her blog is just a great read in general. She’s expecting a lil boy soon too.

Wanna Be a Mermaid?

The Tone It Up girls have got it going on. This Mermaid routine is one of their newest videos to post for the summer and they have created quite an amazing site for both fitness and nutrition. They have tons of videos for isolation fitness routines and full body. They even have holiday versions, vacation workouts and much, much more.

BIKINI_SERIES_TONEITUP_VIDEOMake sure to check out the rest of the Katrina and Karena’s site. They have blown up all over social media.

Last but not least

Another social media icon is Cassey from Blogilates.

I’m sure you have heard of her, but have you really checked out her page? She features tons of workouts, nutrition posts featuring fun recipes and health tips and lifestyle vlogs and posts that are geared towards self love and balance.

Here’s a single example, but make sure to parooze around her site to benefit from what she has to offer.

Screen shot 2015-04-24 at 9.56.46 PMAnyways that’s all I have for you all for now. This came just in time for Fitness Friday and I really hope this can be useful to you guys!

Happy weekend friends! ‚̧



Follow-Up + Tuesday Thoughts

Hey Friends!

Just a few lil thoughts I had to share for today. Bring on the typical Lil Miss Fitness Freak randomness

1. Thank You

Thank you all so much for your love, feedback and support on yesterday’s vlog. It means the world to me trust me. I promise to bring you along on this journey with me so that that hopefully it can help anyone who may be going through the same thing. Facing fears is not easy. It doesn’t just happen without internal struggles and some ugly times and I hope to be as real with you as possible.

2. Feedback

Speaking of yesterday’s video, a lot of you had concerns about what to do next or that you will gain weight if you stop doing cardio. Check out my follow-up video below (click on the thumbnail) as I attempted to clear your concerns. I hope that helps.

Thank you thumbnail

Complete 180 comin at you random-wise as we continue these Tuesday Thoughts….

3. I’m Really Gunna Miss My Dad’s BBQ

For real though..


Sweet potatoes + grilled curry seasoned hoki fillet topped with avocado and olive oil drizzle + unpictured appie salad as usual

 I thought roasted sweet potatoes were good, but charred on the barby just takes them to a whole new level of amazingness. Anyone else in the same boat where the black, charred parts are the bestest?

4. I Faced My First Fear Challenge Today.

As part of increasing my calories, specifically carbohydrates, my nutritionist and I planned on slowly adding an intraworkout supplement into my training. It was something I was thinking of doing for a while, but dried fruit really freak me out because sugar is the biggest fear thing for me. I actually brought up the idea as I have seen many people on YouTube who use candy as a pre or intra (meaning during) workout boost of sugar to finish their workout strong as opposed to dying off and half-assing the end part of their training because their glycogen or energy stores are gone at that point. As Gabrielle and I discussed, once you reach about 1.5 hours of training, it is about time that you consider a refuel as your glycogen stores are probably starting to wane a lil bit. I have regularly felt drop off and so I really did think about poppin some dried fruit as a way to get my flame back on when I start to fizzle out BUUUUUTTT..

The sugar freaked me out and I didn’t do it.

Today, as part of my goals this week, I will say that I successfully popped dried figs during my workout today and I didn’t die. Did I feel a bit of guilt? Yes. I felt guilty as my body heated up like fire because my metabolism is not used to concentrated sources of sugar. I felt guilty feeling that sugar on my teeth after I ate them just tauntin me that I ate something I feared.

What I also noticed?

I didn’t feel half asleep on my drive home due to being uber depleted and fatigued after being drained completely during my workout. I was also able to power through the rest of my workout feeling more alive.

So like I said before, I need to focus on those later benefits that I felt and not think too much about the other things. I train hard and if it helps me perform better, why should I be afraid of it?

So the dried figs will continue on. One day at a time.

5. I Miss My Housies.

Emily texted me the other day and she made my whittle heart melt.


These two have honestly become my best friends and I truly miss them already. We have our own lil jokes. Our own traditions. Our own quirks. We even have our own go-to restaurant that we always have our date nights at.

So glad my housemates love Thai food as much as I do. Red Papaya is our jam-a-rama.

So glad my housemates love Thai food as much as I do. Red Papaya is our jam-a-rama.

I get to have Rita in my life for the next month or two before she heads back home to China, but I’m without my Emily for the whole summer as she lives in Montreal. I’m excited to live with them in our new house next year

6. I’m Going Over Board On Halibut.

Spring and summer time is the ONLY time that halibut steaks are available. Steaks are immensely better then any fillet will ever be tenderness and moistness (sorry…) wise because you are baking it with the bone in and the skin wrapped around it.

Pretty sure I have eaten this 3 times this week…#Obsessed.


Once again, grill that baby up for the biggest mouth-gasm.

7. That Meme Though..


So true. Anyone else? I actually feel like a dog no joke. I will totally make you a plate but don’t even think about touching whats on my plate if you want your fingers.

8. Nut Butter Amazingness.

So I absolutely adore the White Chocolate Raspberry Questbar flavour and well, this is an obvious love..


Why must you been so smalll whittle package. That won’t last.

Found this gem on Paleo approved, no crap and no sugar added. Bam.

9. Speaking Of Questbars…Squeeeeeaal.

I have a problem. They were released this morning… Money was removed from my bank account and a box was ready to be shipped to my parents house by this afternoon.

There are worse addictions right?

Anywho, those are my thoughts for today. I hope you had a great Tuesday friends.


Are you a fan of chocolate mint?

What’s you’re go-to restaurant?



For You Molly

So I have another Question and Answer-ish vlog coming at you all thanks to a very good friend of mine, Molly. Click on the thumbnail to take you to the video and I hope you enjoy.

PS. Ladies, please listen very closely to the very last few sentences of the video (if you make it that far, I’m sorry it’s long) even though I’m practically yelling at the screen HA. It’s very important for you to break that myth in your minds!

Photo on 2015-02-19 at 17.20 #4Much love.



Juice Cleanse Rant…Q&A

So here I am again! Procrastination at it’s best ūüėČ

Thank you so much for all of your awesome questions on my last post! The comment number just kept getting higher and higher as the hours went on and it got me too excited to wait to respond. So with that, I bring you the first few questions..

Once again, click on the picture and it will take you to video.


I gots me a halo halo hallllooo…

I just realized that the title of the video included the ACV question (ie apple cider vinegar) that Andrea posted and I totally missed out on talking about it because the video was already like 15 minutes long. Man, I really need to work on that.

…apparently something I fail to compute. I feel like I kinda know what I’m talking about (or I would say I’m not the best to attempt to answer, plus these are my opinions), so please don’t feel like my really long explanations are because I’m trying to pull some BS on you I just need to be a better communicator.

Short and to the point…

Just like me…

Does that even make sense?

Anywho, back to that ACV question

Andrea asked:

Hi Chelsea, I was wondering if you use apple cider vinegar at all in your diet? I have read so many different opinions about it but not sure what to think. Can you shed some light for me P.S. Love this blog; it’s my daily highlight!! Thanks!

I do use ACV in my diet but with some restraints. Yes I truly believe it’s amazing for you…


It is recommended to start off your day with a ‘shot’ of ACV (you can really use any very acidic substance I believe, but I will have to check up on that) to cleanse your body and start your day off with something alkalizing. Yes, contrary to the fact that vinegar is super acidic, it’s actually alkalizing (or de-acidifying) in the body. Alkalizing of any kind does wonders for the body because acidic bodies are inflamed bodies and the majority of our American diets support acidity. Hello carbs, sugars and proteins..not to mention stress.

So try it out! Take a tablespoon or so of the lovely vinegar and shoot that stuff back when you wake up before eating and you will feel a nice little energy boost! If you can’t tolerate the vinegar as is, then you can dilute it in a bit of water too. Personally, I can drink vinegar, but for many, it’s too strong. I guess I just have the taste buds for all dat tang. I swear I was balsamic swiggin European in a past life.

Helps with digestion.

Many people have a hard time digesting their food, resulting in indigestion and heartburn and one contributing factor could be low stomach acid. We have our gastric juices (acids) in our stomach which do a large part of breaking down the food we eat and so if you are running dry, an upset stomach may result. By adding more acid, you can help your body out if it’s runnin a bit short. So either you can take a shot, or just have a salad with an ACV vinegar (or any vinegar/lemon juice) based dressing and see if you notice a difference.

I added the …. because most people do very well with it. For me, of course being the exception to the majority of the population (story of my life for realz #TheStruggle), I have to be careful how much vinegar I have because I’m actually the opposite and overproduce acid. So much so that I actually have a prescribed medication to take daily to ensure that I don’t decay my teeth. Crazy I know and, yes, another random quirk of mine.

So, to conclude this answer, I believe it has great benefits and I urge you to try it out and see how you feel. If you feel good, then by all means, continue using it as we can all use a lil alkalizing in our lives. On the other hand, if you feel like it’s giving you heartburn, then be careful with how much you have.

As with many things, it’s all about listening to your gut body.

So I hope you enjoyed the video and feel free to keep posting questions and I will get around to answering them as I motor along. As for the links I mentioned in the video, here is the link to Robyn’s awesome blog

[Click here]

I’m so sorry that I blanked on your name in my video Robyn. I love your blog and really enjoy hearing your thoughts as a future RD to be.

As a lil extra, here are some cool green smoothies..

This one doesn’t include fats or protein as I mentioned so make sure you can eat something else soon after or add something to it.

How-to-make-the-perfect-Healthy-Smoothie-307x1024This site is a great resource for a variety of types of smoothies and it gives you ideas for fillers to make it more of a meal. Just ignore the fact that it’s for weight loss as that’s not what I’m getting at.

…and some not so green smoothies that still give ya a good boost of veggies…

Round of applause for this one! Fiber from the chia, spinach for dem greens, avocado for a dose of healthy fats and a creamy texture, protein powder for some staying power and bloobs for some sweetness.

Hope they help you out!

Much love!




Video: Macro Counting

Hey Friends!

It’s almost turkey day, who’s excited? What are you all doing?

I headed home today and will be heading to my Aunt’s house tomorrow for the dinnah with my parents, Maggie and my Nana and Papa all stowed in the car. Should be fun times. FamJam Partay Bus!

National Lampoons reference anyone?

Anywho, this short lil post will just introduce a video I posted up on my still naked YouTube channel. I have gotten quite a few questions regarding macros and macro counting and I really wanted to get a video out it up on the topic plus a lil blurb on IIFYM. Sorry it took me like a year to do so, but here she is.

Just clicky on the screencap for the linkup to my channel.

Screen shot 2014-10-11 at 9.55.27 PMI’m sorry if this video is a lil bit scattered. I’m really bad at staying on topic…as you probably are aware of with my 400000000+++ word posts…Like I mentioned in the video, if you have any further questions post them in the comments and I will get back to ya with video part 2. ūüôā

Here are a few links that might be handy to check out if you’re interested.

Layne Norton’s take on IIFYM

IIFYM Calculator and information regarding macros and counting

You guys are awesome.

One thing I’m thankful for every day is my support system in life, which includes all of you. Many thanks and much love. ‚̧




Gluten Free? Are You Sure….

Hey Friends!

So this is a post that I have wanted to do for a while after watching this video. Click on the picture for the link up to YouTube.

Yes, it’s kind of long but it was eye opening to say the least. It was interesting to me in many ways…

1. It advised me that I fell for conventional ‘wisdom’. #FutureNutritionStudentFail. I followed the public knowledge rather than doing my research when I decided to go ‘full’ gluten free. Well, now I can understand why some of those gluten free grains still gave me issues (here’s lookin at your quinoa!).

2. I was slapped in the face by how stupid I actually was now that it was simply explained. If gluten is the protein that is found in a given grain of wheat or barley, than wouldn’t it make perfect sense that oats would also have their own specific form of gluten? Same with quinoa. Ditto for buckwheat. Etc Etc.

3. There are apparently hundreds of different types of gluten and more yet to be found…geesh. Again, makes sense now that we are all aware of the fact that every grain has it’s own specific gluten protein.

4. You may only be sensitive to certain types of gluten and not others. Oats may be perfectly fine with your gut, but not wheat. Even corn may fall under your no-no list despite it not being listed under the standard list of grains to avoid. FYI many Celiacs have a huge problem with corn.

It also made me wonder who first put together this conventional list of gluten free do’s and dont’s? If said list is not completely accurate, why has it been allowed to be broadcasted to the public to the extent where it’s seen as common knowledge?

Gotta love the food industry. Also gotta love the fact that now we need to go back and tell people that what they have learned is not 100% true.

So what does that mean for all the Celiacs and gluten sensitive peeps?

Well, maybe nothing if you are feeling just fine and dandy on your current ‘gluten free diet’. Perhaps, like I mentioned earlier, you are okay with the specific types of gluten found in the approved grains and you can go on with your food as if you never read this post. On the other hand, if you are finding you are still having issues with digesting your food, you may need to consider trying to pinpoint the grains you are having issues with through keeping a food journal OR just cut out ALL GRAINS from your diet and say hey to the paleo life.

It’s really not that bad if you have to go the paleo route. I’m about 90% paleo and completely content. If I could go full paleo I probably would, with the exception that loosing my oats would make me sob uncontrollably for days. ūüėõ Unfortunately for me, my gut is at it’s wits end with my current veggie intake as it is and with my carbohydrate requirements I would be on the floor if I were to try and reach that intake with veggie starches alone. Bleh.

….but I love sweet taters and squash…

So whatcha think friends? Anyone surprised?

Post up your thoughts in the comments. I would love to hear your opinions and experiences!

Oh and to end on a comical note, click on the picture below.

Sorry, I just had to. It’s lol worthy ūüėÄ

FYI, if you’re claiming to be gluten free you may want to know what you are supposedly ‘allergic’ to. Just a thought…:-D

If you do want to learn more, here’s a video on the basics.

Have a great night friends!

Could you explain to someone what gluten is?

Any fellow gluten free readers? Do you still eat conventional gluten free grains?