Feature Interview: Christina Canfield

My wonderful friend and fellow Nutrition Counselor at EZIA Human Performance, Christina Canfield, is our feature interview this week on NOURISH.  The gal does it all!  She's a mother of two, wife, Nutrition Counselor, personal trainer, and Pilates instructor.  I love that Christina carries a realistic and result oriented approach with her clients... one that we all could learn more from!  

1. What is your philosophy and approach that you take with your nutrition clients?

Every BODY is different. A personal approach to my client's health is necessary in achieving lifelong goals that reach past losing a few pounds.

2. What would you typically advise someone to do when they feel like they've hit a plateau?

Actually, just got through writing about this one!
1) Are you drinking enough water?
2) Are your workouts still a challenge? Try to stay focused on giving whatever it is you got at each session.
3) How’s the sodium intake?
4) Could you have any allergies? There is a high percentage of people allergic to gluten and/or dairy, and have no idea.
5) Are you lying to yourself about your snacks? How many are you really having?
6) Could you stand to cut back on your serving sizes?
7) If your only progress is told by the scale, how will you know that your body fat isn’t going down? I have lots of clients who are ticked off at their scale at home only to be shocked to see their actual body fat has gone down considerably.

3. We are stepping into bikini season! Top three belly-busting nutrition tips?

Doing 100 crunches every day IS NOT the answer. There is no such thing as spot reduction. You MUST lose the fat over the muscle that you don't even realize you have. High intensity workouts are the most efficient way to burn the fat, but without the right meal plan you're going to bang your head against a wall. The first steps would be to eliminate the crappy food. Although, I'm pretty sure we all know what this means, I always like to advise clients to avoid all things white. Cutting out dairy, sugar and flour is going get you the most bang for your buck.

4. I love that you don't deprive your clients of a glass of wine here and there. What is your take on that? 

Mommy needs a drink to not pull her hair out! Just kidding... kind of... I believe that if you enjoy a glass of wine here or there you will have more will power to say no to the bigger evils. It isn’t an occasional glass of wine that is keeping you from losing the last few pounds. It's going to do way more good for us to get rid of the bread on your sandwich than the wine with your honey!

5. Having two kids, how do you make time to look after yourself and make healthy choices? I feel like it can be so tough for women with children...

It can be, if I over think it. I can't think of it as a chore or then I play into the martyrdom that comes with this crazy life I CHOOSE to lead. I love all the things we do. My job, our sports, our friends, they all have to find a place in my life.  Juggling them just takes structure and preparation. Making a weekly menu, writing out a shopping list, prepping as much as I can is what saves us from going out to eat too often. Planning my workout and putting actual pen to paper with it ensures that I won't run out of time for it. It's just as important as a doctor's appointment or a meeting to me; I have to prioritize it as such.

6. What's the real deal with calories? Should we be counting them or not? 

Only if you are willing to obsess over them (I hope that you sense the sarcasm literally dripping from that statement, by the way). The only way counting calories could truly be a benefit is if you develop a severe case of OCD and begin logging everything that you are putting in your mouth. It's no way to live, trust me, I know. Plus, a lot of us end up using it as a tool to have that cookie at the end of the day or a latte at lunch. We think we have the caloric cash to spend, and truth of the matter is we more commonly don't.

7. What are few "on-the-go" snacks that you would recommend?

Huge fan of cucumbers and turkey meat! I also like making little lettuce wraps stuffed with a slice of turkey, some bell pepper slices and a bit of hummus. These I make ahead and have them to take with me if I know I won't be home all day.

8. When you’re trying to get in shape and some friends ask you to come out to dinner, instead of saying no, how can we go and make better choices while eating out?

I like to start each of these meals with a small green salad. This means, just veggies and a little vinaigrette on the side. This will help satisfy the crunch we tend to look for in an app and fill you up a bit before your meal comes. For an entree, I hardly ever order a salad. Good clean ones are few and far between. Candied walnuts, loads of goat cheese and very little protein are all tossed in a bowl with a random dressing.... very hard to stay clean with all that stuff trying to trick you. Choose your protein based on what you are craving and something you don't cook at home often. Then be sure it has no sauce, isn't battered and fried and doesn't come stuck in a bun. Ordering this with a side of veggies or even some black beans is usually the safest way to go. Regardless, know that having a BBQ at your house is a much easier way to side step all the guessing.

To hear more from Christina visit her blog at http://fuel4life.posterous.com/

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  1. I totally agree with her!

  2. I'm surprised about the dairy comments. I thought fat-free dairy was good for weight loss. I LOVE my skim milk and 0% greek yogurt.

    1. It can be! Often I find that taking dairy out for many people helps with weight loss. They also feel much better! It just depends on the person really ; )

  3. Thanks for your reply. As someone who's trying to lose my last 5 lbs through Weight Watchers maybe I should give it a try!


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