By Nicole Robson


So it’s been my first official week as the representative for the Tri-Cities Green Fighter, and it’s been good, really good.  It all started with the orientation, in which I got to meet all the other awesome challengers, and learn a little bit about them.  I also finally figured out how eating 30% protein, 20% carbohydrates and 50% fat ratio daily, worked in relation to calories and exercise…and ultimately a more lithe figure.


I was told this ratio when I went and had my whole body scan (a few days before the orientation)…yowza…that was an eye opener. Funny, I thought I was less fat then I really am…go figure.  Peter from Bodycomp Imaging, gave me the nitty gritty on my child bearing hips…along with the rest of my body.  This is when the ratio of 30/20/50 came about, and I was told that with my lean muscle mass (which I found I have quite a bit of…toot toot), and with an hour of HARD exercise then I should aim at approx 1900 calories a day.  1900!! Of course these are guidelines…so I would just need to see how that worked for me. This is where the confusion set in pre-orientation.  I have had my head filled and drilled full of info in regards to calorie intake and weight loss over the years.  The following info screamed in my mind:

 - a pound of fat is 3500 calories

-in order to lose said pound of fat in a week, you must burn at least this during the week

-to do this you must create a deficit of 500 calories daily…then voilà you will lose that blasted pound of fat. Easy.

-and finally…I have NEVER heard of someone losing weight on a 1900 calorie plan, ever.


So what was set straight for me on the day of the orientation is this.  Sure you will lose weight on a low calorie plan.  Of course you will, but you will also lose muscle…precious, beautiful muscle. You do NOT want to do this.  Once you do this that muscle is gone, and once you go back to eating normal, and you will go back to eating more, because low calorie is not sustainable, you are hooped.  You now have lost muscle, therefore your metabolism is pooched too…so the weight comes back and funny enough so do a few more 3500 calorie pounds.  Son of a…!!!


The 1900 calorie plan (for my body) is about creating a small deficit….so depending on the workout I have on that day I vary my calories accordingly.  If I exercise more I eat more, if I exercise less I eat less. Instead of a 500 calorie deficit, I have a 200-300 difference.  This way I am feeding and gaining glorious muscle, not losing it. Seems so simple, and it actually kind of is.  


It has been a while since things have been clear for me in my head when it came to dieting and weight loss. 


This makes sense.


Sure I won’t see the huge number drop on the scale each week.  That drop is something I have become addicted and accustomed to when starting a ‘plan’.  But I won’t see that with this, and that’s okay, it’s better than okay. 



By Teresa Millar


Well, the first week went by so fast. It was fun to meet everyone in the challenge, to get to know the competition so to speak. The weekend flew by without much work on the challenge. I did manage to do a couple of hours hiking at the Capilano River on Sunday and stopped at Kin’s to stock up on lots of healthy fruits and vegetables.The strawberries were so tasty and they have this wonderful salad mix that is delicious.  Starting on Monday, I was able to start being better at planning my diet and making sure most of the carbohydrates were coming from vegetables as per Peter’s recommendation. I have been able to eat well with no rice, pasta, bread or potatoes. My favourite challenge of this week was on Thursday. I found myself leaving work late. I was cranky and stressed and now I needed to rush to get to a class in the evening. I didn’t have time to prepare and eat a proper dinner and I was contemplating stopping at Starbucks and having one of their Oat Fudge Brownies and maybe a cup of hot chocolate. You know how good they are, and there is a drive-thru. I make most of my bad choices when I am rushed and hungry. I decided instead to grab a banana and a small cup of almonds and cashews. I made it to my class (only 15 minutes late), and I did not get hungry all evening. I did not give in to my cravings. A definite win. I rode my bike to work every day this week (even in the rain) and had a 1 hour walk every day. Fluffy is very happy I am doing this challenge! I took a 5 hour hike on Good Friday and yes I am still a bit stiff in the hips. I did not do much in the way of weights or stretching and I know how important both those aspects are. I did eat lots of vegetables though.


So my goals for the next week include being more prepared for emergencies by having easy-to-grab food for if I find myself in a rush. I want to try to write a food journal. I have read many times about how important that is when you are trying to get control of your diet. Nicole mentioned that she journaled to her trainer which helped her with her challenge. I have started that habit in the past but I have been unable to keep it up.  I also want to be more consistent with weight training and making sure I get in some daily flexibility work next week. I will continue riding my bike to work. It is only a 3 km journey but I do it 4 times a day so it does add up. I also want to try to bike for more of my daily errands next week. Boy, I hope it is not raining all the time. I also will continue a minimum of one hour walking each day. Week 2, here we come!



By Ashley Manky


ashleySo this challenge started out great on the first day, and then I realized real life gets in the way. I also realized that we can’t let that get us down. Camping and Easter all in the same week made it tough especially with my family who’s idea of a meal includes a minimum of two helpings or people wonder if your sick.  (Yes there was fruits and veggies that I tried to make the most of but homemade cream puffs yum!) Realizing quickly I know now I have to exercise more or else I’m going to join the weight gain train real quick.  I also realized the tomorrow diet will never work and I have to get my butt in gear and quickly.  So tomorrow is a new day and I will try my best and that’s it, a day in moderation. 



By Crystal Toigo-Avila


Well, this week has been a very good week for me. I lost 1.5 pounds. :) I feel that I am off to a great start. I have been trying out new exercises and cooking some REALLY delicious recipes. I have decided to share one of them with you at the end of today’s blog. :) For easter breakfast on sunday morning, I made my boyfriend and my kids lemon poppyseed pancakes with a blueberry compote. It sounds high in fat, but with a few substitutions, I have found a way to make them much healthier!! I am not sure how many calories they are, but they ended up being 5 weight watchers points plus for 2 of them (which is not very many at all for pancakes!!!) 


Fitness wise, I am very impressed with my progress this week. I started off the week by taking a walk from beach grove to boundary bay to play tennis with my boyfriend Jeremy (I will refer to him by name from now on so that I don’t keep saying ‘my boyfriend’ as I know how annoying that can be). I set up my XBox Kinect, and did Nike Fit twice this week and Zumba once on it. They are so handy to have in the house especially with the rain we have been getting. I have no excuses to leave exercise out of my life now!!! I have attended 3 classes at the Ladner Leisure center including Zumba, Step, and a kick ass 6am bootcamp class on Easter monday. The last one was much needed, as I had easter dinner at my grandmas the night before, and let me tell you…. I tried…… But I definitely indulged a little bit… Not nearly as bad as I normally would, but I did have some goods. 


Overall this week I feel AMAZING!!!!! I cannot wait to see results, but I know that slow and steady wins the race. 


pancakesLemon Poppyseed pancakes / Blueberry compote

(adapted from Cooking Light May2014)



3 cups fresh/frozen blueberries (fresh is best. Especially from #Kinsfarmmarket )

6 Tablespoons of Stevia, divided

3 Teaspoons grated lemon rind, divided

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided

1 Tablespoon water

6.6 ounces (approx 1.5cups) white whole-wheat flour

2 Teaspoons baking powder

1/4 Teaspoon salt

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1/2 cup fat free greek yogurt

2 Tablespoons poppy seeds

1 Tablespoon unsweetened apple sauce

1 Teaspoon vanilla extract

equivalent of 2 eggs  of EGG WHITES only. (6 Tablespoons 4 Teaspoons)



1. Combine blueberries, 1/4 cup of stevia, 1 teaspoon rind, 1 tablespoon juice, and 1 tablespoon water in small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook 10 minutes or until blueberries beak down, stirring frequently.


2. While compote cooks, combine remaining 2 Tablespoons stevia and remaining 2 teaspoons rind in a large bowl.  Using your fingers rub rind mixture together for 15 seconds. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.  Add flour, baking powder, and salt to rind mixture, stirring with a whisk.  Combine almond milk and next 5 ingredients (through egg whites) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk add remaining 1 Tablespoon lemon juice.  Add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. 


3. Preheat riddle to medium heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Spoon 1/4 bater per pancake onto griddle.  Cooke 3 minutes or until edges begin to bubble and bottom is browned. Turn pancakes over, cook 3 minutes or until done.  Serve with blueberry compote.


Serves 6 (2 pancakes and about 1/4 cup blueberry compote)



By Peter Lindenlaub


Started off week one of the challenge strong;


1. shopping at Kins purchasing some less seldom used fruits & veggies like mango, papaya, spaghetti squash, all turned out excellent

2. exercised at my local gym and going for evening walks for 45 – 60 min.


Ran into a snag this Easter weekend as I came down with a bad cold. Exercise stopped, but my appetitie dimished too. Now I’m feeling better but still low energy. I will start up my walks again, but no gym for now.


Looking forward to week 2!



By Leanne Daw


tulip ride April 21 2014 (20)Went to Fidago Bay in Washington State for the long weekend.  Rode the Thompson trail to Anacortes and I was lucky enough to be in be in Laconner during the Tulip festival so I took advantage and rode the Tulip trail with field after field of gorgeous flowers. Kept my eating in check. Saying no to the wine was harder but managed to stick with my water. Easter dinner was a great dinner of Lobster, green beans and a mock garlic potato dish made with Kins cauliflower and lots of garlic.  A great no guilt weekend with great freinds.  



By Lisa Sperling


Well it has been a week since I started the challenge of eating healthier and excersizing more. I have found it it not as easy as it sounded at the beginning. I haven’t yet found anything that makes me feel full, I feel like all I am doing is cooking and eating, doing a proper workout is seeming impossible at this point, but I am getting out and playing with the kids.

I am hoping that with a less busy week this week I can find more time to actually plan time for workouts. I am very proud of myself though, with the kids having three different egg hunts and so many chocolates and goodies laying around the house, I have not eaten any of them… yet. Hoping that it gets easier as the time goes on.



By Stephanie Jennings (Ray)


The first week has been really good. I’ve made some healthy changes with my food choices; including protein at every meal helps me to feel full longer, and helps to keep my sweet-tooth in check –especially mid-afternoon. I’ve started to prepare for mid-day “crash” by bringing baked yams, or a couple dried apricot, or fat-free plain Greek yogurt with frozen blueberries when I need a bit of sugar…


I like the idea of not restricting anything, and instead enjoying everything in moderation – I generally only have dessert or a treat on Sunday – (I turned down a Starbucks Easter cookie while at work, and all kinds of gummy candy) On the first Sunday of the challenge for dessert instead of having an entire good-size piece and then some, I enjoyed three bites of a home-made banana cream pie – when it’s that good, all you need is three (very slowly enjoyed) bites J


So far I’ve done really well at cutting out beer… Enjoying and appreciating the smell all week… only to give in on Easter weekend…  I had a very small glass of beer on Easter… oh Whistler brewing why does your Black Tusk Ale have to be so good? with notes of chocolate and coffee…   


Now that I have food choices in check and it’s more automatic that I make good choices; the next week my main focus will be on exercise… hmm… Wish me luck!



By Samantha Gurney


March 30th, 2014

This morning mom told me she had trouble falling asleep because she’s so worried about my health.  I really hope Kin’s picks me as their New West Green Fighter – I think it would be a great kick in the [butt], which I need.  Today mom and I are going to hang out and do some food prep.  I really appreciate that she’s not just telling me to get in shape, but is doing what she can to help me.


April 13th, 2014

Today I met all the other Green Fighters in Richmond for orientation.  They’re all a really nice group of people, and I will be happy for whomever wins the challenge – each of them has important reasons for signing up to be a Green Fighter.  I’m doing it to save my own life – if I keep doing what I’ve been doing, I’m going to end up fat, sick, and likely dead at an early age.  I want to be well enough that I’m comfortable to start a family.  Not just my weight, I need all aspects to improve.  Mentally – I need to learn better ways to cope with anxiety and my depression, ideally I’d like to be off the Zoloft and Wellbutrin.  I need to step outside my comfort zone (because it’s become far too comfortable over the past few years) and be confident that I got off my [butt] to try, and that’s better than not trying at all.  Financially – I need to get that freakin’ Visa paid off.  (Dear 19 year-old me, Credit cards, while they seem fun, are not ‘Free money cards’.  Lay off the hair appointments, the acrylic nails.  Pull your head out of your butt kid, these ridiculous bar tabs are not worth paying into your 30s.  Sincerely, wiser, fatter, Future Sam).  Physically, I need to lose a good amount of fat, and PUMP ZEE IRON to gain muscle.  I learned a lot about nutrition from Sara (nutritionist) at orientation, and a lot about the science behind Peter(bodyscan guy, not Green Fighter Peter)’s recommendations for each of us.  Once I improve these 3 big aspects of my life I will be much more comfortable with where I’m at in life. 


April 18th, 2014

I just finished breakfast (a new habit I’m trying to form, since Kayla (friend/co-worker) gets on my case about not eating it) and am waiting for the pool at Ben’s (my boyfriend) house to be free, cause I’m going to go for a swim.  I bought so much healthy food on Wednesday.  I am amazed at how far $25 can go at Kin’s.  Eating well clearly doesn’t need to be expensive.  So now when I pig out, I really only have healthy options in the house.  Through the teeth and past the gums, look out hips, here comes… celery?  I joined Weight Watchers again.  Counting calories and figuring out what percentage of my daily caloric intake were from carbs, protein and fat was a little too complicated, and a little too time-consuming for my tiny girl brain, and WW has worked for me before.  

Update: Hello shoulders, where have you been?  Swimming uses muscles that I forgot I had!

By Nicole Tecson


It’s almost the end of the first week of my Green Fighters “Get Healthy” challenge and I feel like I have broken the first layer of barriers. When the whistle blew and it was time to start, my mind and body were singing a chorus on repeat from Disney’s Mulan “I’m never gonna’ catch my breath, say goodbye to those who knew me, why was I a fool in school for cutting gym!”


Last week, my days consisted of eating junk food, getting barely any exercise and heading home ready to stream a few of my favorite soap operas, including; The Vampire Diaries, starring sexy Ian Somerhalder. Although, I do miss my sweets and I’m falling a bit behind on my shows, this challenge is a decision I will never regret- It’s beginning to change how I feel already!


Each morning, I would feel exhausted and sleepy. Not realizing that it was my daily intake of at least 500 grams of sugar causing me to crash. Now, I feel like I have more energy because I am currently trying to consume healthy food: green vegetables, high protein food and ‘good for you’ fat food like nuts and uncooked oil. With struggles, I am trying to educate myself on how to eat better. (Always open to any suggestions!)


From being physically unable to do a push-up or simply reaching my toes to being able to complete a set of 100 squats while definitely breaking a few sweats is an achievement, at least in my books. With all my effort, I couldn’t have done and continued to do this challenge alone- I feel very grateful and I thank my family and friends and supporters for all the love they’re sending my way through this journey. Follow me while I aim to develop a healthier lifestyle and make this ‘New Years Resolution’ become a reality!