Here’s Why You Can Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle and Still Enjoy the Best Brunch In Toronto!

There’s a strong association that people often get wrong about healthy eating and fitness; a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be a limited one! Proper eating habits should never be compromised and an overlooked aspect of healthy eating is balance. There’s a moulded stigma that most of us suffer from, and that’s the idea that we can’t enjoy our favourite foods if we want to be healthy. Salads are great (if you tell yourself that often enough) but sometimes we want to indulge in our favourite meals!

With such an imbalance of information regarding dieting, supplements and what to eat/not eat, we decided to consult a fitness & nutrition expert and get the truth from a professional.

We reached out to Jenna Garofalo from SoulCycle’s newly opened Toronto location on King West. Jenna is a personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist, certified by the International Sports Sciences Association. She’s also competed in body building competitions for over a year. We decided to sit down with Jenna and ask her a few questions about how people can maintain a balanced lifestyle that encourages healthy eating habits that allow you to enjoy the foods you love!

If you’re someone who wants to feel great and also enjoy your favourite foods, continue reading to see what Jenna recommends!

Q: What types of food should people be eating before a work out?

Carbs! Before a workout is when you need to squeeze in simple carbs (sugary carbs). Something like a sweet cereal with fruit in it is perfect because it quickly gives you the energy you need to do a high-intensity workout! A parfait with Bananas is also great as high-potassium foods help prevent cramping. A rule of thumb would be to eat a meal with a carb portion the size of your fist and and a protein portion the size of your palm.

Baro’s Parfait is the perfect meal to start your day with! Granola + Yogurt + Passionfruit + Banana, this dish is great for your next high-intensity workout!

Q: Sometimes eating in the morning can be a hectic rush. What are some quick, healthy meals you recommend?

Something that’s quick and simple is avocado toast. It takes 5 minutes to toast some bread, slice up an avocado (or prep guac in advanced) and throw a fried egg on top. If you find it hard to eat a lot in the morning, something like a protein bar is great or a protein shake with a natural sweetener like almond milk is also really good!

The Avocado Toast on Baro’s brunch menu comes with a side of greens. This meal is the perfect way to start your Saturday or Sunday!

Q: How about post-workout, what meals should people be eating after a class?

Definitely a meal high in protein, something simple and fast acting. Omelettes are a good choice, or any style of eggs really; if you can, egg whites. Lots of greens! A whey protein shake is also really good for immediately after the workout when you’re still at the gym.

Need a high-protien meal after a workout? Try Baro’s Tortilla De Huevo: baked 3 egg omelette + trout + cauliflower + goat cheese + arugula & tomatoes.

Q: What are some benefits to a SoulCycle class compared to a typical cardio workout such as a treadmill?

Well despite the name, SoulCycle isn’t just a cardio class on a bike. It’s actually considered High Intensity Interval Training, or a HIIT workout. A typical class is really a full body exercise. We’ve got the dance party on the bikes, and then we do some choreography on handlebars and more group fitness with weights. It’s a great workout for your heart but really gets all the muscles in your body going!

So to answer your question, SoulCycle is based on interval workouts which are better for fat burning than repetitive cardio workouts.

Q: As an instructor, what are some dietary misconceptions you often hear from your participants?

People often think they need to eat less and cut carbs, when in fact you need more carbs that create energy to burn fat. They think they can skip meals and replace them with supplements…NEVER DO THIS!

Q: What are some foods that people often think they need to sacrifice in order to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle?

You can really enjoy everything in moderation, just be conscious about your decisions. If you want to enjoy a piece of chocolate, have something thats 70% cocoa; it’ll satisfy that craving and is also rich in antioxidants. If you want to indulge at a restaurant and the dish you want has sauces in it, request the sauce on the side so you can control the portion.

Well there you have it! Tips from a fitness and nutrition specialist directly. Make sure to check out the SoulCycle team at 435 King Street West. You can also follow Jenna on instagram @jennagaro and be sure to visit her blog page, Reaching Fit! Don’t miss out on #BaroBrunch every Saturday & Sunday starting March 4th!