Category Archives: Uncategorized

simple ways to reduce toxins in your life

Reducing your toxic load is one of the big topics that flows into my nutrition and health coaching work. Especially with hormone health, it is such an important key topic to tackle.
And yes, it is complicated…
Making this integrative journey simple for you is my main goal – so here are the 3 things you can focus on to start reducing toxins in your (and your loved ones’) lives: Continue reading

SPRING INTO SUMMER

I am so excited to start my SPRING INTO SUMMER program at Lili Viola Pilates this week!
Are you looking to “clean up your act’? Do you feel like you might just need a bit of a ‘reset’? Or a rather big one even?
I am here for you and would love to support.

My 21 day program combines nutrition (a clean eating challenge – getting rid off ‘not so great foods’ and finding tons of way to bring in great foods!) with overall lifestyle and health habits. It is not a set program that forces my point of view onto you – but it is an exploration that puts YOU at the center of if. What do YOU need and what might work for YOU? 
Trust me, we will make it work… commit 21 days to this simple program – and change your life!

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Toronto, here I am

Hey my friends!

NEWS at optimum-you: In addition to working through Facetime and Phone (which I will always continue to do as my clients are all over the place) – I am now finally seeing clients in a proper nutrition office again- yay! I am renting space from my friend and highly respected colleague Josh Gitalis in Portland Ave (very fitting for me!) in Toronto (Portland and Adelaide, just west of Bathurst, south of Queen). Come see me in person if you are here!

To sign up for a free 15min session to discuss if we are the right fit – in person or via phone/Facetime – please email me at barbara.birke@optimum-you.com.

Looking forward to working with you!
Barbara

 

do you like bitter?

I spent last weekend at a nutrition conference, catching up with lovely friends and fellow nutritionists, learning a bunch of new stuff and reconfirming plenty of things. Always important and wonderful. Lifelong learning is fun – and in nutrition you simply cant stop. Things change constantly!
Remember when fat was bad?
We all know that is long gone – and we know about the importance of good fats in our diet.

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healthy through stressful times

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations that seem too much, not fair, extremely stressful, unbearable… I am in the middle of going through one of those streaks. I am hoping the worst part is over – and I am moving towards the end of it (fingers crossed). Things are looking up. Yay!
Reflecting on how it felt, paired with knowing what I know… here are some ideas and experiences on what feeds your resilience (I love this word) and makes you go through these times easier. Continue reading

New Year – New You?

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Lots of love for the New Year – wishing you all the very best!

I am not the biggest fan of a long list of New Years Resolutions – mainly because most Resolutions I get confronted with in my work, are not very realistic and focused on the superficial, not the meaningful.
I do however like to look at the old year, be grateful for the good parts and move on from the not so good – and set a few clear goals for the New Year.
My goals for 2016 are ambitious, exciting and super meaningful to me – while also being realistic, loving and forgiving. And I am building in clear accountability points to make sure things actually happen!

As an example: sure, I want to commit to a certain workout schedule. But – I have kids – and if one of them needs me, my workout might look different than I thought (while there will still be some kind of workout as i need to report back on my progress).

I want to invite you to look at your thoughts for the New Year. Take some quiet time and turn them into specific goals for different areas of you life – e.g. personal life, professional life, romantic life, physical life, spiritual life and financial life – run them through the filter of meaningful, exciting, loving and realistic – and specify the steps to achieve those goals for yourself and how to hold yourself accountable. Find some inspiration on goal setting here.

And be in touch if you need an accountability partner and support.

Be well,
Barbara

Stand-up for your health

It may be clichéd but your health is one thing in life to never take for granted. Is it time for you to stand up, take some responsibility and really own your own health?

I’ll start by revealing that this blog is a little personal. Two significant losses in my family in the past few years have highlighted to me that life really doesn’t discriminate sometimes and we are not all fortunate with our health. If anything good is to come from the losses of those two strong, beautiful women, it’s a kick in the butt, a reminder to stand up and own my own health. It’s because I can, and I owe it to myself aswell as to my kids and family to do just that.

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my no-frills nourish bowl

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get up and move! exercise and an active lifestyle

I love to run. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea I know. The freedom and silence I get when I’m out there at 6:30am frankly, is addictive. It is my time.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am the same as most people in that my activity levels in the past have waxed and waned at various stages through my life. I’ve trained intensely at times for athletics competitions, hockey finals and running events, through to a different level of intensity after each of my kids were born, where I would walk the streets with the buggy and do weight/resistance training just picking them up!

running blog 2And my motivation for getting out there and running on those cold mornings has changed over the years too. Quite honestly, from the vanity-driven, fear-of-getting-‘fat’ late teens, to the social (it’s a ‘thing;, for my dad and me) and stress-relief driven 20’s, to now. In my 30’s, when every moment is seemingly consumed by work or family activities or friends, it is the silence and the alone time and the mindfulness back into my body that gets me out the door. Continue reading

stressful times

Recently, we have been working with quite a few clients who were going through really stressful times. Understandably, they were all struggling to keep up the healthy eating and moving habits.

Some of them even fell completely off the wagon – being stressed out, working too much, sleeping too little etc being the perfect trigger to say ‘screw it, I am not able to keep it all up, so I might as well give in completely’.
Was that serving them or helping them feel better?
I know you know the answer as well as I do.

So – we are working on recovering and getting right back at it.
And then we have other clients who are going through a super duper stressful period – and totally keep it together. Sure, they are maybe not working out as much or cooking from scratch as much as they would in other times. But – they eat well, they try to stick to healthy snacks during long work nights and most importantly – they do not beat herself up about the things that don’t go as well as they would like.

What happened?

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