Muscle Tone vs. Muscle Growth

I love this valuable piece of information that explains the difference between muscle tone and muscle growth from (

This may help you to define what your personal goals are, especially if you are trying to communicate to a personal trainer.  Many people get mixed up saying that their goal is to ‘tone up’ and thus, the trainer may not fully understand your goal.  I always suggest when working with a trainer, to bring a few photographs of the bodies that you aspire to.

Muscle Growth (Hypertrophy) is the term used for the growth and increase in size of muscle cells.  There are two types of muscle hypertrophy but we’ll leave that for another article.  One concern I hear a lot from women is that they don`t want to build their muscles to look bulky or like body builders.  Ladies, you don`t need to worry because testosterone is one of the major growth hormones in people and women do not create enough of it to get `built` naturally like the men do.  No matter your end goal, resistance training will get you muscle growth, however, the number of sets/reps and the load will determine how much growth and it will also change depending on what you want to achieve.  For this, a personal trainer is recommended, at least in the beginning to help you learn what you need to know to build muscle safely and effectively.

Muscle Tone, on the other hand, is a continuous and unconscious partial muscle contraction which is important in balance and stability.  Short of having an illness that affects muscle tone, everyone has it to some extent but they lack the definition because their muscles are covered with a layer of fat. So when most people say they want to ‘tone up’, they actually mean they want to lose that fat and see their muscles (definition). However, as the saying goes, this doesn’t happen in the gym as much as it does in the kitchen.  That being said, resistance training in the gym or elsewhere is important if you are unfit because you’ll need to teach your muscles to turn on or contract and do what you want them to do.

For women, creating muscle definition is a bit more difficult due to hormones but it is possible.  The key factors in creating muscle tone/definition that you can actually see, whether you are male or female, are your diet and your cardiovascular exercise.

It’s common for people to do a combination of building muscle size and slimming down to ‘tone up’.  This is a great way to go as lean muscle burns fat for energy.  But again, depending on your goals, you want to watch your reps/sets and load while resistance training so you will stay on the shortest path to achieving your specific goals.  It’s very easy to create results that you weren’t looking for with resistance training if you aren’t doing a properly designed program. So beware.


Pastaless Lasagna


1 lb 93% lean grass fed beef
3 cloves garlic
1/2 onion
1 tsp butter
salt and pepper
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
3 medium zucchini, sliced 1/8” thick
15 oz ricotta
16 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
1 large egg


In a medium sauce pan, brown meat and season with salt. When cooked drain in colander to remove any fat. Add butter to the pan and saute garlic and onions about 2 minutes. Return the meat to the pan, add tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer on low for at least 30-40minutes, covered. Do not add extra water, the sauce should be thick.

In (1 1/2-qt.) baking-roasting pan arrange half of the meat mixture. Top with half of the zucchini and all the cheese mixture. Top with remaining meat and zucchini.

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This man created his ripped body with the method of “Street Workout.” It’s calisthenics exercise consisting of a variety of simple movements performed in a playground without weights. It’s intended to increase body strength and flexibility using the weight of one’s own body for resistance. Calisthenics are a popular street workout also known as the “weight free” or “free hand workouts. Be sure to click on the ‘RED’ links to see the full programs from beginner to advanced, in the article here:

Liked · 41 minutes ago

Guess what? This cold treat contains no dairy! Frozen bananas lend themselves perfectly to an ice cream–like texture. And at under two hundred clean calories, you won’t have to save it for cheat days, either.
• Makes 2 servings

2 frozen bananas
1 tsp instant coffee or espresso
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 oz dark chocolate (approx. 3 squares), finely chopped

1. Remove bananas from freezer and let sit on the counter for 5 minutes.
2. Peel bananas and break or cut into chunks, then place into a food processor. Pulse about 20 times until bananas are in small pieces, then blend until smooth. If necessary, stop the machine and scrape from the sides.
3. Add the coffee, cinnamon and chocolate to the food processor, and blend again to fully incorporate.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Waffles
2ble or 3ple this recipe and freeze the waffles for a quick breakfast!
1/4 c coconut oil, melted
1 cup pumpkin puree 
2 eggs 

1 1/4 c milk 
1 tsp vanilla 
2 cups whole wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
1/4 c ground flax seed 
1/4 c wheat germ 
1/3 c old fashioned oats 
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon 
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Mix coconut oil, pumpkin, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients, and stir until everything is incorporated. Mix in chocolate chips-batter will be thick. Ladle into preheated and oiled waffle iron, cook until golden brown. Serve with warm maple syrup.


Liked · 12 minutes ago 


makes about 8 good sized bars

66g VegaOne French Vanilla 
1/2 tsp salt
2 tablespoons flax powder
5 tablespoons organic peanut butter at room temperature 
75g very ripe banana, mashed
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
15g (1/2 oz) sprouted almonds, broken up into chunks (curious about sprouted almonds vs raw almonds? So was I thanks to Ryan!! Google and read about the health benefits of sprouted almonds.
10g goji berries (NOTE: If you’re going to bake them, skip the goji berries. They do not bake well.)
10g raisins
2/3 of an 80g bar of Organic Dark Chocolate Sweetened with Stevia (optional)

Optional add-ins and toppings:

sliced almonds
ground Hazelnut
shaved Coconut (unsweetened)

I hope you’re ready for a workout or at least a forearm experience! Roll up dem sleeves: 


In a large bowl, whisk together your protein powder, salt, and flax powder. Add the peanut butter and start mixing and mashing. Add the coconut oil and stir. Getting sticky, yeah? We’re just getting started.

Add the mashed banana and stir it together some more. Stir in the oats. Stir harder. This is a workout. Earn those No-Bake Protein Bars! Man, you’re toned. Way to go.

Add the almonds. Stir! Add-in the raisins and goji berries or whatever you chose to add in. Stir! This is harder to stir than that cocktail you’ve been nursing since you were 3 drinks past your limit and you don’t know what to do with your hands other than hold the straw and try to stir your drink nonchalantly because you are not at all drunk, no way, not you. WE’VE ALL BEEN THERE.

Spray a baking dish with baking spray and lay down some parchment paper so that it covers the whole bottom and about 1/4″ up each side. Mash down your mixture evenly into the parchment papered dish.

NO-BAKE BARS continue here: Cover and put in your freezer. Take out after an hour or overnight or whatever and cut into even bars. If you’re coating with chocolate, melt your chocolate either in a double boiler or carefully in a microwave. Spread on top of your bars. Top your bars with whatever your heart desires. May I suggest shredded coconut and/or slivered almonds and/or love?

Store in the freezer. Or just eat them all following with hikes up Grouse Grind® championed by Fitness on the Go

BAKED BARS skip to here: If you’re so inclined, bake these suckers in the parchment paper lined baking dish at 350 for about 18-20 minutes. Let cool. Cut into even bars. Cover with your chocolate and toppings. Freeze overnight. This is crucial for baked bar goodness. Enjoy!


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GMO advocate Kellogg’s Eggo minis targeted their marketing packaging directly at children. Check out this “warming” label! To keep you in the dark, Kellogg’s spent $632,500 California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act (also known as Prop 37) against the simple right to know GMO labeling law in California. Learn More About Labeling Here:

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

1 + 1/2 ripe avocado, peeled and flesh removed from pit
1/3 cup quality cocoa powder (100% pure cacao)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup or honey

1/4 cup coconut milk
2 tsp vanilla essence


Makes approximately two half-cup servings or four quarter-cup servings.


Place all ingredients in a blender and press GO.

Blend until all ingredients are well combined and a creamy, consistent texture is achieved.

You can serve this pudding straight from the blender or chilled (store it in the fridge).

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Liked · about an hour ago

Peanut Butter Power Fudge

2 cups organic peanut butter, smooth or crunchy, depending on your tastes
2 scoops VegaOne vanilla protein powder
4 Tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup oat flour


Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until it forms a nice ball.
Press into an 8×8 inch pan and let rest until firmed up, 30-45 minutes.
Cut into bite-size pieces and enjoy!

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Join us for TONIGHT Live Speaker Series on learning the fundamentals of the Alkaline Diet with Vega educator Andrew Raines - Learn More—►

Raw vs. Pasteurized Milk

For those of you milk drinkers/dairy eaters out there, you have probably been made aware of the recent negative press associated with consuming dairy foods.

After almost 9 years of avoiding dairy myself (albeit, the occasional sprinkle of goat’s cheese on a salad or whey protein powder) I was actually quite hesitant to re-introduce it back into my diet.  I am not lactose intolerant but full fat dairy definitely causes sensitivity and noticeable bloating but my coach encouraged me to give it another try as a complimentary protein source as I was quite limited as a vegetarian (before I could bear to introduce fish and eggs).  

Greek Yogurt, contains 18g of protein per serving, is full of pre and probiotics and it is delicious! So once I started to enjoy it in my diet, I stopped questioning the ill effects of dairy and just shut up and ate my organic yogurt.

After my trip to Cuba, where I enjoyed a little bit of RAW dairy (unpasteurized milk and cheese) for the first time in my life, I finally understood how different not only the taste was but the obvious nutrient content.  Although there are many concerns about drinking Raw Milk (see below) I really enjoyed the energy that I got from it and I am definitely open to including more of it in my diet when possible.

Since I have been back, I have been looking for ways to source raw dairy (which is apparently illegal in Canada, despite the health benefits) and came across a few sources and links that I wanted to share:

Did you know that raw (unpasteurized) milk contains valuable enzymes and bacteria that have been shown to strengthen your immune system, develop healthy bacteria in your intestines and reduce the risks of everything from respiratory disease to obesity?  Sometime ago we shared an article discussing health risks with dairy consumption. With this in mind, there is an on going debate about milk, pasteurized or raw, its harms and benefits.  Pasteurization destroys both good and bad bacteria.

The FDA claims that there is a risk of people get sick from drinking raw milk and many states restrict or prohibit the sale of raw milk entirely. In all fairness, raw milk has taken a bad wrap when compared to other FDA approved foods. According to CDC data, from 1993 to 2006 there were only about 116 illnesses a year linked to raw milk — that amounts to less than .000002 percent of the 76 million people who contract a food-borne illness in the United States each year!

To find a raw milk distributor in your area, try the by-state and by-country locator at:


That said, there are a lot of bacterias present in Raw Milk, including a new bacteria that can apparently cause spoilage even if the milk is refrigerated.  Before you decide to include it or give it a try, please do all of your research and be sure that it is the right thing for you.

"Milk can be contaminated with many different bacteria from the teat of the cow, the udder, milking equipment and the milking environment," said Dr Halpern. "Milk is refrigerated after collection to limit the growth of microbes. During refrigeration, cold-tolerant, or psychrotolerant, bacteria that can grow at 7°C dominate the milk flora and play a leading role in milk spoilage. Although we have not yet determined the impact on milk quality of C. oranimense and two other novel species (C. haifense and C. bovis) that were also identified from raw milk samples, the discovery will contribute to our understanding the physiology of these organisms and of the complex environmental processes in which they are involved. There is still a lot to learn about the psychrotolerant bacterial flora of raw milk."