5 COLD Drinks That Are FREE of Sugar & Artificial Sweeteners

Do not get me wrong I love dessert in a cup! But I do not like the lethargic aftermath of a ice cold sugary cocktail. Here is an interesting fact. The cooler your food or drink the greater amount of sugar/sweetener you need to TASTE the sweetness. This would explain why if you eat melted ice cream it tastes “too sweet” or like syrup.  When you eat ice cream in it’s cooler state your taste buds “sense” less of the sweetness. However melt the ice cream and consume it at a warm temperature and suddenly you SENSE the sweetness more. Well it is hot out and the sugar cold drinks are tempting so here are some of our go to COLD drink alternatives.

Bottles-of-Pellegrino_thumb(1) San Pellegrino – Sparkling Mineral Water – GLASS bottle a must.  I really just LOVE the design of the bottle for one, just aesthetically pleasing and the feel of the glass in your hand is awesome (that is why I just can’t bring myself to buy the plastic bottles!) I use to think mineral water was gross. But now a days I LOVE an ice cold glass any time of day.  I most often drink it with a squeeze of lime.  But I have also used orange, lemon, or grapefruit to add a bit of flavour to the bubble. If you have not liked mineral water in the past give it another try, I am so glad I tried it again.



(2) La Croix Water - Perhaps you need a little flavour in your sparkling water to make it more appealing?  The problem is most flavor comes with sugar or artificial sweeteners.  Well check out La Croix  so many different hints of flavours.  They just start carrying this at Nature’s Fare our local health food store, so hopefully you can find a dealer near you! I have not tried all the flavours but so far I like the grapefruit and coconut. http://www.lacroixwater.com/flavors/

ice americano(3) Iced Americano – I know coffees don’t really hydrate you but drinking a SUGAR cold coffee usually means a boat load of coma inducing sugar.  The colder things are the more sugar required to produce sweetness. If you want less of a diuretic (water loss) effect you can get it decafe. Interestingly espresso has less caffeine than brewed coffee! If you do not know and Americano is a shot (or more depending on size) of espresso then topped up with water.  If you live in Kelowna the best iced espresso in town is at giobean on water street, hands down. I drink this black, you can add some cream or dairy substitute of your choice.

passion fruit tea  (4) Passion Fruit Ice Tea –  Do not confuse this with the passion fruit ice tea LEMONADE. To order this sugar free you hold the lemonade and make sure they add none of the classic syrup.  My wife Jen and I sipped a venti version of this joyfully on Canada Day kept us cool because it was HOT out! If you need to slowly take yourself off the sugars you can start asking for the lemonade versions half sweet.  If you are used to the sweetness it takes awhile to appreciate the more natural flavors.

blue monkey(5) Coconut water – The sugars in this drink are naturally occurring. To be honest I am not a huge fan of the taste but I am a huge fan of getting my electrolytes in a natural way.  I do not do sugar loaded electrolyte replacements.  When I have had an extra sweaty week and even had some muscle cramps (usually a sign of dehydration) I will start supplementing with this cool drink, it always does the trick!  I like it pulp free or with pulp.  Brand definitely makes a difference. I do like this blue monkey brand better than some others I have tried.


So there is 5 alternatives, let me know what you think and if you have any other alternatives I can add to my list.  Keep cool this summer!

My Starts Of Summer 2015 Cycle Playlist

SUMMEROK OK, I will delay no longer here are the songs that you will currently find on my Cycle class playlists!

I even have included the itunes link so you can get it quicker!

Waiting For Love – Avicii

High Life – I See MONSTAS & Valentino Kahn

Jackpot – Jocelyn Alice

Ex’s & Oh’s – Elle King

Circles – I See MONSTAS

Emergency – Icona Pop

Something I Need – One Republic

Bills – LunchMoney Lewis

Secrets (radio Edit) – Tiesto

Go – Delirious & Alex K

Thats ALL for now folks.  Let me know which is your favorite OR help me build my next list and send me some new tunes.

Cheers, Ira



Our Kids Are Inheriting Our Weighty Issues

kid scaleWould you be able to live without your scale?

If I put you on a workout and eating plan for 30 days and told you that you could not weigh yourself, would you be able to do it?

A lot of people in our 30 day flip program struggle with not being allowed to weigh themselves for 30 days.

Has this little devices that sit on your bathroom floor taken on a massive role in your day to day life? At some point in time our scales have become a digital morality compass on which we stand every morning to receive our verdict.

There you are a NEW day ahead of you holding your breath until that number reveals what type of mood you are going to be in today!

The worse is you could have been a “saint” narrowly avoiding the birthday cake in the lunch room yesterday but if that scale does not budge you are immediately stripped of your sainthood. You have done something “WRONG” and with a frustrated shrug of the shoulders and a few choice words you step off the scale carrying an even greater sense of weight, torment.

It is time to start asking some questions about your relationship with that pesky friend the scale. The one you are so oddly attracted to  and despite your years of wrestling and quarrels you have never let go of this dysfunctional relationship.

When did we start using the scale as a compass for what to eat or NOT to eat?

Well remember when you were a kid do you ever remember overhearing the adults say “oh my kids can eat whatever they want and not gain a thing”  OR “I do not know where they put all that food they must have a wooden leg”. Our society is hyper sensitive to the relationship between food and weight. It often seems like the only conversation we have when it comes to food and our health.

Our society believes a lie.

If you are not overweight your food choices are healthy or good.

If you are overweight your food choices are unhealthy or bad.

Why did my hotel room at a recent fitness conference I attended have a SCALE in it? I cannot even take a vacation from my scale anymore.

Whether my kid is struggling with their weight or not, FOOD has way greater consequences than weight.  Why has weight become our measuring stick for a healthy life?

Food can have a far greater impact on the things that really matter in this life.

Like energy levels, mental capacity, attention span, and emotional health.  All of which cannot be measured on a scale. Have we perhaps become hyper focused on the longer term consequences of poor food choices? That we are missing the impact my food choices today can have on me today!

How much longer are we going to allow the scale to act as our moral compass?

How much longer are we going to teach our kids that food choices should be solely based on whether a particular food makes you “fat” or “skinny”?

Being hyper focused on weight does not seem to be helping the obesity epidemic.  It is time to celebrate non scale victories and talk about all the HEALTH issues good quality food can HEAL.  Yes food heals.  Food restores. Food nourishes. Lets talk about what we are FOR not what we are against.

When our 5 year old  ask “hey Dad is this good for me?” I will tell him how the food will make him feel today.  Then let him decided if he wants to feel that way.

“Dad is this apple good for me?”

“Well that apple is going to make your tummy feel good, it is going to give you energy to jump on the bouncy castle and it is going to help you learn at school.

“What about this chocolate bar Dad?”

“Well that chocolate bar is going to taste really good but also soon after it will make you pretty tired it won’t really fill you up either you will probably need something to eat again soon.”

At our dinner table there is a lot of muscle flexing that goes on. As we feel how strong we are getting as we eat certain foods. Weight is never a topic. Neither is food morality. Food does not make you good or bad. We really do not make a big deal out of it.  As a result our kids do not either.

How many times has the scale thwarted your plans to get healthy? How many times has it made you give up? I am not saying to never measure this component of fitness I AM SAYING stop using it as the ONLY thing you feel like you can never measure up to. The more you feel like you NEED the scale the LESS you should be using it. It is simple the more REAL food you eat the more UNREAL you are going to feel. Whether you are standing on a scale or not your body has a way of balancing these things out so get out off the scale and get into the kitchen for some food that is going to make you feel GREAT today!

My Spring 2015 Cycle Playlist


I just received a friendly email saying I love your blog post on your current playlist, do you not think it is time to do another?  Yup it is.  Here are the songs people in my classes are currently trying to sing to me in order to find out the song they need to have on their playlist.

I even have included the itunes link so you can get it quicker!

Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix Radio Edit) – Omi - Nice upbeat way to start my class. (love the trumpet-yes trumpet!)

Uma Thurman – Fall Out Boy - High energy rock to get the party started!

The Nights – Aviccii

Honey I Am Good – Andy 

Hanging On (I See Monstas Remix) – Ellie Goulding  - Awesome build for sprint intervals!

Get Low – Dillion Francis & DJ Snake 

I Lived – One Direction 

Juicy Wiggle – Redfoo (Seriously this is our new livingroom dance party song!)

Always Alright – Alabama Shakes (Nice road tripping cooldown song)

So there you go, save that singing voice for the shower, or to serenade your spouse.  Happy working out!

Feel free to help add to my playlist and drop your favorite song right now in the comments below! Or sing it to me if I ever see you in person, that is much more fun!

Cheers, Ira

How To Deal With People Who Suck The Life Out Of Your Goals.

Dealing With People That Suck The LifeHave you ever been PUMPed up about making things happen in your life, only to have your balloon deflated by an unsupportive loved one, friend, co-worker, or even someone you barely know?

I have been asking my clients to do three things when they start a program with me.

Be Patient,

Be Persistent,

and go about it quietly.

I do not care how excited you are, do not let your excitement spill over into a facebook update.  There is no need to make an announcement about your newest venture. Nor is everybody entitled to an explanation surrounding your new behaviours.

Rather I would ask you to guard your heart and this decision closely.


Real change is a very private affair. When you truly decide to go about making a change it needs to be set apart, it needs to hold a position of honor. It is an agreement that you have made for yourself, to better yourself and only certain people are deserving of an invitation to walk along side you. I will give you a hint, it’s the supportive ones that get to come.

For me real change has always be prompted in my conversation with God. I have asked for freedom from something that is holding me back and God has opened my eye’s to see it; Given me the confidence to face it and the discipline to stick with it; As well as the reminders to come back to it when I have walked away from it.

I must honor and prioritizes the source of my revelation.

That means I do not need to explain myself, my agreement has been made with my maker and that is good enough for me.

What does this look like in real life? It means when I am out to lunch with friends and I pass on the bread bowl I do not need to explain why or announce I am doing so. When I decided attending my regular scheduled class at the gym is more important than an impromptu invite to a social engagement  a simple “I can’t make it” will do.

People are going to notice your efforts. They Will ask questions. When they ask talk about what you ARE doing, what you ARE eating. You do not need to mention what you are NOT doing, what you are AVOIDING.

For example, tell them how you are keeping hydrated and drinking lots of water. Do not tell them about how you have given up your wine for the month.

Sometimes your new venture can be something that convicts the people around you. It is something they want to do to but they are still in the “looking for a way out” phase.  If they can poke holes in your plans it means they can remain safe in their current comfort zones.  Sadly some people will hope that you fail. WHY? It has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. If you fail it means staying where they are comfortable was a good decision on their part. However, if you succeed they are left out, left behind, as you move forward. Studies show time and time again we are most like those we surround ourselves with and if you are looking to harness some change in your life it means some people will get left behind in that “area” of your life. They no longer have access to the areas you have set apart.

As you step out to make CHANGE in your life you will quickly be able to decipher who has come with a FRESH AIR supply to help fill you with excitement and who is holding a pin ready to pop your balloon. As soon as you discern those “against” your plan consider the conversation over.  I do not mean be rude, stop talking, and give them the silent treatment.  It is simple, change the conversation. “Enough about that, did you see the weather we are in store for this weekend?”  Make a mental note. I will work patiently, I will work persistently, and as I go about it quietly my RESULTS and the CHANGE in me will SPEAK VOLUMES for me. Those that keep pressing you to announce and explain yourself will slowly lose access to you, they will eventually learn the conversation is OFF topic if they do not have anything positive to say.

The funniest things often happens when you dedicate yourself to this process.

You get results.

When someone asks you what you have been doing, although you are so acutely aware of how hard you have worked, you quietly respond, “Oh I have change the way I do some things.” Sometimes even the most unsupportive people will approach you sincerely and ask you how you did it. Right there in that moment you will receive your greatest reward, you get to INSPIRE someone else to do what you did. Work patiently, work persistently, and go about it quietly and let your transformation do the talking.

Keep at it friends, your victory is waiting.