August 28, 2014

Pure and Simple HIIT Exercise (Paleo, Erik's Corner, Fitness)

Hi everyone. It's Erik again, back to share even more exercise related information with you. Sorry for the long delay since my last post but with the start of summer comes the end of competition season in swimming which means we had a lot of big competitions in the last few weeks. I am very proud of all my athletes that competed in these meets and am now even more excited for next season to start! I can't believe this is only a couple weeks away. Time flies doesn't it?

Today I am going to be discussing a very effective type of exercise called HIIT. Erin and I use these types of workouts on a regular basis in our own training, and we highly recommend them. Please read on to find out more.

What is HIIT? 

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. It may also be referred to as High Intensity Intermittent Exercise (HIIE), or Sprint Interval Training (SIT). As these names suggest, this type of training involves various protocols that typically include repeated brief sprinting at an all-out intensity immediately followed by low intensity exercise or rest. This type of training is less time demanding and a session can vary from 4-30 minutes.

So, what are the benefits to this type of exercise? Well let me tell you. There are many! 


Research has shown that even 15 minutes of interval training can be more effective than 30+ minutes of continuous jogging (ie. less time demand with increased results.) Regular HIIE has been shown to significantly increase both aerobic and anaerobic fitness. HIIE also significantly lowers insulin resistance and results in an increased capacity for skeletal muscles to use fatty acid oxidation for energy production. This research has included overweight adolescents, older adults, type 1 and type 2 diabetics, paraplegics, patients with intermittent claudication, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and those undergoing cardiac rehabilitation. Evidence has shown that HIIE appears to be both safe and beneficial for all of these population groups.


The body’s long term response to this type of exercise boosts metabolism for the 24 hours following a HIIT workout. This response is achieved because HIIT stimulates production of your human growth hormone (HGH) during the 24 hours after you finish your workout. This HGH is responsible for the increased caloric burn and fat oxidation, and cannot be achieved by a steady paced aerobic activity.

Healthy body composition

It is difficult for many to lose fat and retain muscle in the process. Steady pace cardio workouts seem to rely on muscle for fuel (especially if on restricted diets), while HIIT workouts allow dieters to preserve their lean mass while ensuring most of the weight lost comes from fat stores. (Again, this is a result of the release of HGH).


You can do these workouts anywhere, at any time, and with little to no equipment! It is also very easy to adapt your surroundings to your workout’s needs. Think playing at a park, or even using your furniture at home. This means it is also a very affordable way to exercise. 

How to train?

Generally a HITT workout will consist of a warm up period, followed by a protocol of 3 to 10 repetitions of high intensity exercises separated by periods of medium intensity (or rest) for recovery. 
Then the workout would end with a period of warm down exercises. There is no specific formula to HIIT. Depending on one's level of cardiovascular development, the moderate-level intensity can be as slow as walking. A common formula involves a 2:1 ratio of work to recovery periods, for example, 30–40 seconds of hard sprinting alternated with 15–20 seconds of jogging or walking.

The entire HIIT session may last between four and thirty minutes, meaning that it is an excellent way to maximize a workout when you have limited time.

In my next post I will define, and give examples of the specific protocols listed below, as well as explain why they are so effective! So stay tuned for more information! 
Peter Coe regimen
Tabata regimen
Gibala regimen
Timmons regimen

Please let me know if you have any questions about anything that I discuss in this post or my previous posts. What else would you like me to discuss? Would you like it if I posted specific workouts for you to try? I love hearing from you so please let me know.

August 25, 2014

Paleo Plantain Buns (AIP, Dairy Free, Egg Free)

Alright people, as I promised, I am finally jumping on the grain free bun bandwagon. I decided to share the Paleo Plantain Bun recipe with you before the Paleo Sweet Potato one. Don't ask me why. I just did. Maybe because I like these ones a little more than the Sweet Potato ones. These have a texture similar to a biscuit, and are slightly crunchy on the outside with a softer insider. They are pretty darn delicious if you ask me. They are also AIP friendly, dairy free, egg free and nut free so I hope that most of you will be able to enjoy these, no matter what your dietary restrictions. But no, these do not have the fluffy texture of a wheat filled bun. I am sure you can tell that by the photos, but I don't want you to be mislead. We are all about truth telling here on Pure and Simple Nourishment.

Now if you follow me on Instagram you would have seen that I had the pleasure of attending a beautiful wedding last night for my good friend Alanna, and her now husband Nathan. It was held at the Summerhill Winery in Kelowna and I have to say I don't think the day could have been more perfect. The weather was amazing, the venue was beautiful and Alanna and her family and friends did an amazing job of decorating. And the food. Oh man. It. Was. Good. Alanna is a little bit of a foodie (yes just a little) so I expected this, but the venue provided an entirely organic, locally grown, and ethically raised 5 course meal that was just incredible. I am still thinking about it. Definitely the best food I have had at a wedding (and even for me and my "special needs" diet). So I just wanted to send out a quick congratulations to Alanna and Nathan. I hope the night was as special to you as it was to all of us guests.

And in other very happy news I am currently on vacation in the Okanagan. Alanna and Nathan's wedding was the perfect excuse to spend another week out here and so far (as always) it has been amazing. Sunshine everyday, amazing food, good books. And Erik even got to come out here this time which, of course, I am pretty happy about. I just started reading Grain Brain yesterday and once I am finished I will post a review here on the blog. Have any of you read it already? What did you think?

Besides using these as buns for hamburgers or sandwiches I really like eating these with my Fresh Parsley Pesto or nut butter. They also make a great breakfast by adding a little jam and a side of protein. I would love to hear what combinations you come up with. What will you top these with?

And as always I would be thrilled if you followed me on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook! Enjoy the recipe everyone. I would love to hear what you think of these.


2 green plantains
1/3 cup full fat coconut milk (I recommend this brand because it is organic and BPA free) 
1/4 cup melted coconut oil (I use this kind
1 gelatin egg*
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 TBSP coconut flour (I use this kind
pinch sea salt

*To make a gelatin egg: Take 1 TBSP grassfed gelatin and mix with 1 TBSP cold water until dissolved, then add 2 TBSP boiling water and beat until it is frothy


1. Preheat your oven to 350F
2. Peel and chop the plantains
3. Add the plantains, coconut milk, coconut oil and coconut butter to your food processor and process until smooth (a powerful blender would probably also work, but I have not tested it) 
4. Transfer plantain mix to a large bowl
5. Add remaining ingredients and mix well 
6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
7. Form the buns by transferring dough back and forth between hands until you have a large disc (approximately 8-10 cm in diameter and 0.5-1cm thick)
8. Place buns on baking sheet and bake for 15-16 minutes on one side and then flip with a large spatula and cook for another 4-6 minutes (they should be brown on both sides and hold together easily)
9. Remove from oven and let the buns cool on the baking sheet for 30-60 minutes before enjoying

Yield: 4 large buns

Print Recipe 

August 21, 2014

My Favorite Paleo Pork Burgers (Whole 30, Paleo, SCD, GAPS, Gluten Free)

So the weather has officially turned my friends. At least here in Calgary anyways. I am not ready for summer to be over so I sure hope it is a temporary shift. I know that some people love fall, but I am just not one of them. I would trade fall and winter weather for sun and a beach any day. It is actually on my bucket list to live on a beach one day. I sure hope I can make that dream come true. My blog may have to get a bit more successful to make that dream a reality though…  In the mean time I will just have to put up with the rain. We don't get much rain here in Calgary, so whenever we do I find myself stalking Hunter Rain Boots online… I have been meaning to buy a pair for years but have never been able to pick a colour. I know, I know, these are serious issues I am dealing with over here.

Why are these my favourite pork burgers do you ask? Two reasons. One, they are rather delicious. Two, they are super easy to make. These contain only 5 ingredients and take only a few minutes to prepare. I make these a lot because they take almost no time and I always have the ingredients on hand. I actually can't believe I haven't posted these here yet because I eat them that often. I guess I never really thought they were "blog worthy" since they are so simple. But I have come to realize that I am not the only one that appreciates simple, easy to prepare meals.

Now you will also noticed that these burgers are in a bun. Yes that is right my friends I created my first paleo bun recipe. I realize I am behind the times on this one… most paleo bloggers out there have a few grain free bun recipes on their blogs. To be honest I just didn't really miss them. But I finally decided it was time I joined in on the trend. These are sweet potato buns and I will share the recipe soon I promise. I also came up with a recipe for plantain buns. Do you have a preference for which one I share first? I personally like the plantain buns better because they aren't quite as sweet… but I will let you weigh in.

And as always I would love it if you followed me on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook!


2 lbs ethically raised ground pork (can be bought here
2 TBSP organic dried basil (buy here
3 TBSP organic dijon mustard (I like this brand
sea salt to taste
black pepper to taste 


1. In a large bowl combine all ingredients and mix well with a spoon 
2. Form burger patties of desired size and place on a large plate or platter
3. Place plate/platter in the fridge for 30-60 minutes (this helps the burgers stick together better)
4. Grill the burgers on the barbecue until cooked evenly on both sides OR cook these in a frying pan on medium heat with 1 TBSP of bacon fat (that's how I cooked the ones in the photos) 
5. Remove from heat, serve and enjoy!

Yield: 5-7 burgers (depending on patty size)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10-15 minutes
Total time: 45-75 minutes

Print Recipe 

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August 17, 2014

Double Berry Chocolate Ice Cream (Paleo, GAPS, Gelatin, Dessert)

Happy weekend everyone! Are you up to any big adventures? I hope so! I am doing homework pretty much all weekend so it's pretty unexciting over here… but it could be worse… I could actually be at the hospital. At least this way I get to feed my Pinterest addiction and do some cooking/ baking on the side. A weekend just wouldn't be complete without some yummy food being created in the kitchen. Agreed?

Speaking of Pinterest, do you guys use it? Are you as addicted as I am? Are you following me on there? I sure hope so! If not here is the link.

Now some of you may have already seen my Chocolate Raspberry "Ice Cream" recipe. This one is similar with a few major changes. I took out the cacao butter since I know many of you don't keep this in your pantry. I added some coconut oil and some blueberries and I have to say I actually like this version even more! The coconut oil makes the texture just a little smoother and I pretty much love anything with blueberries so they are just an added bonus. Plus they are filled with anti-oxidants, and the farmers markets are overflowing with them right now.

In 6 days I will be off to the Okanagan again for vacation! I can't wait! And Erik gets to come with me this time which is even more exciting. I am sure we will spend many hours in the sun, soaking up all the natural vitamin D that we can get. It will be glorious.
I am already thinking about all the yummy food we will eat while we are there. The food in the Okanagan is amazing since everything is so fresh. My parents garden is overflowing with fresh vegetables and fruit that I can't wait to get my hands on!


This will be my last vacation before I have to buckle down and start studying for my internal medicine board exams that I write next year. Yes next year. That means 10 months of full time studying. I am not looking forward to it friends. I am dreading it actually. It's another one of those "rights of passage" in medicine. Kind of like the MCATS and 24 hour call shifts. Oh the things we do for this profession. But I won't get into my medicine rant right now. I will spare you this time. Instead I will leave you with this delicious ice cream recipe.

And I would love it if you followed me on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook!


3 ripe bananas (should have black spots)
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
1/4 cup coconut oil
4 TBSP organic cocoa powder
pinch sea salt
1 cup fresh blueberries


1. Place a medium-large saucepan on the stove on low heat
2. Add the bananas (break them up as you add them), raspberries, coconut butter, coconut oil and vanilla extract to the pot and allow to heat for a few minutes, stirring every so often to break up the banana chunks 
3. Continue to heat and stir until you have a smooth consistency (you may have to break apart some of the bananas with a fork, but having this perfectly smooth isn't necessary)
4. Add the cocoa powder and sea salt and stir well to combine
5. Add the grassfed gelatin and stir until the gelatin dissolves
6. Remove the pot from the heat and gently stir in the fresh blueberries
7. Transfer the entire mixture to a large freezer safe bowl, and place in the freezer for 60-90 minutes stirring every 20-30 minutes until you have the texture you desire 
8. Remove from freezer, serve and enjoy!

NOTE: This keeps really well in the fridge if you don't eat it all right away.

Yields: 4-8 servings (depending on size)

Print Recipe

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August 13, 2014

Simple Summer Zucchini and Tomato "Pasta" (Paleo, SCD, GAPS, Gluten Free)

It's zucchini season! They are everywhere right now. The Farmer's Market is overflowing with them. It's lovely. I have alway liked zucchini so this time of year makes me pretty happy! Zucchini is such a versatile vegetable. It can be eaten on its own or used in so many baked dishes. Speaking of which, have you tried my Paleo Chocolate Raspberry Zucchini bread? It is pretty delicious if I do say so myself! And an easy way to sneak some vegetables into your little ones and other family members if that's an issue in your house.

This recipe is really easy to make which of course I love. And the flavours of the zucchini and baby tomatoes complement each other so well that I kept the rest of the dish pretty simple. But of course you get some healthy fats with the grassfed butter or ghee, and hints of parsley and garlic to pull it all together. Yummy. I love adding shredded chicken or baked salmon to these noodles to make a complete meal. It's still pretty hot here in Calgary so the less cooking time the better and this one only needs 5-10 minutes of cooking. Your sweltering kitchen will thank me.

In other news, can you believe that Robin Williams died? I for one was shocked when I heard this. It makes me so sad that someone so talented was obviously suffering so greatly. He had an amazing gift and will be missed by many. Does it not seem that too many young and talented artists are dying tragic deaths these days? Amy Winehouse, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Michael Jackson… the list goes on and on. It's very sad my friends. Very sad. And maybe it's not just lately, I guess I am just at the age now where I appreciate these things more. Man that makes me sound old.

Ok enough depressing talk for one day. You know what are never depressing? Puppies! I want one so badly! I keep seeing so many out on my walks and they make me so jealous! We just had new neighbours move in next door and they have a one year old goldendoodle who I more than eagerly offered to dog sit if they ever need. My fingers are crossed! Man those dogs are cute.  Maybe I should add that to my list of activities: MD, blogger, professional dog sitter. Hmm….

Alright team enough babble for one blog post. I hope you like the recipe! And don't forget to follow me on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook!


1 green zucchini
1 yellow zucchini
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup packed fresh parsley, rinsed and dried
2 TBSP grassfed butter or ghee (substitute coconut oil for dairy free) (buy here
Sea salt and pepper to taste 
Optional: 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese (for primal, not paleo diets)

1 cup chopped baby tomatoes 


1. Make your zucchinis into noodles with a spiralizer or julienne peeler 
2. Place a large frying pan on the stove on medium heat
3. Add the butter, parsley and garlic to the pan and sautee for a few minutes
4. Add the zucchini noodles to the pan and sautee for another 5 or so minutes until the noodles have the texture you desire
5. Add salt and pepper and mix well 
6. Remove from heat and add parmesan cheese (if using) and chopped baby tomatoes. Toss to combine.
7. Serve and enjoy!

Yield: 4 servings 
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5-10 minutes
Total time: 15-20 minutes