How to Improve Your Reaction Time.

Sports visions training has shown to decrease incidence of concussion in some student athletes.

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Do you want to improve your reaction time?Have you ever wanted to learn more about our Sports Vision and Visuomotor Training? See our staff explain some of the different features our Dynavision D2 light board and our programs have to offer. Sports Vision training can help you perform better in sport and improve a variety of skills. Book with one of our Sports Vision and Dyanvision trainers now and get the most out your off season training.

HIP 14-Day Water Challenge

Here is your goal for the next two weeks, HIP family: drink 4 litres of water a day!

Join us on our 14-Day water challenge! The challenge is to drink 4 litres of water a day for 14 consecutive days. We encourage you to share your progress with us; we will be sharing our progress too. Tag us and use the hashtag #HIPwaterchallenge. Stay tuned for fun and helpful information on our social media pages! Those who join the challenge and show that they completed it through some progress posts will be entered into a draw for an awesome prize! Details to come!

Why should you participate with us?

You may be wondering, “why should I participate in this challenge”, and we are here with the answers. Here are just a few of the endless benefits that we found:

1. Drinking Water Helps Maintain the Balance of Body Fluids.

2. Water Can Help Control Calories.

3. Water Helps Energize Muscles.

4. Water Helps Keep Skin Looking Good.

5. Water Helps Your Kidneys.

6. Water Helps Maintain Normal Bowel Function.

Need some tips?

-If you’re feeling hungry and you’ve eaten recently, drink a cold glass of water, and wait a minute or two. You could just be dehydrated.

-Make it a morning ritual. Start your day by drinking one or two glasses of water. Start early, feel better, set the trend for the day.

-Drink through a straw and you’ll take bigger gulps and drink much more.

-Carry a small refillable water bottle at all times and drink while you wait…standing in line, sitting in traffic or even waiting for the elevator.



HIP Kitchen: Sweet Potato and Brussels Sprout Power Bowl with Cashew Cream Sauce

Sweet Potato and Brussels Sprout Power Bowl with Cashew Cream Sauce

Sweet Potato and Brussels Sprout Power Bowl with Cashew Cream SauceThinking of what to make this weekend? Look no further! I finally found a warm power bowl inspired from one of my favourite dietitans out there. It is easy and quick to make and will leave your belly happy, warm and pleasantly full. Not to mention, the flavours compliment each other so well! Feel free to change up the veggies and source of protein, after all dietitians can live on the wild side too ;).



Main Bowl

  •  ~3 cups brussels sprouts
  •  1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 small yellow onion (~1/2 cup), diced

Cashew Dressing

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked in 3 cups of water for a least 2 hours
  • 1 small green onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup milk (I used unflavoured almond milk)
  • ~ 1 Tbsp rosemary*
  • ½ tsp salt

* The recipe called for 1½ Tbsp fresh sage but I couldn’t find any in the grocery store so I tried rosemary.

For the Main Bowl

  1. Soak cashews for at least 2 hours! I remind you now, because I may or may not have forgotten. If you do forget, just make the cashew dressing 2 hours later and make sure you are not hungry at this point in the game.
  2. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, toss brussels sprouts with 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet.
  4. Roast for 15 minutes until they are nice and crispy! Keep your eyes on the oven. I find these can bake up quite quickly!
  5. Using a vegetable peeler or spiralizer, spiralize the sweet potato.
  6. In a medium sized pan, heat 1 Tbsp canola oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent (~5-10 minutes).
  7. Add spiralized sweet potato to pan and sauté for ~10 minutes until cooked through but not too soft.

For the Cashew Dressing:

  1. Into a high speed blender, add soaked cashews, green onion, garlic, olive oil, milk, rosemary and salt.
  2. Mix until nice and creamy.
  3. Divide brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes and dressing into bowls. Add chickpeas or other legume for some extra protein!
  4.  Smile and enjoy =)

Interesting Nutrition Fact!
Did you know that brussels sprouts are high in vitamin C? And that although vitamin C cannot prevent colds, it decreases how long we are sick for and how bad our symptoms can be. Just 8 of them can meet our needs for the day! Bring on the brussels sprouts I say! 

Happy eating,
xo Lisa


Originally posted on

Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S)

Athletes are sometimes told (or may believe) that losing weight and achieving a certain body composition will help improve their performance, but this is not necessarily true. Restricting our intake below what our body needs to function can lead to a sense of guilt around food, a feeling of shame about one’s body, and a negative impact on overall health and performance.

What is RED-S?

Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S), formerly known as the Female Athlete Triad, is a syndrome in which low energy availability negatively affects several components of an individual’s health and performance. It includes both males and females of all age groups. Low energy availability is defined as a mismatch between the energy expended during exercise and energy taken in through food. When this energy deficiency occurs, the body cannot support its normal physiological processes. As a result, it tries to conserve energy by slowing down the resting metabolic rate, drawing on its own reserves for energy and eventually breaking down.


An athlete does not necessarily have to lose weight or be under-weight to have RED-S. Also, an eating disorder (or disordered eating) is not always present. Some people develop RED-S by simply being unaware of how many calories they need to eat, or they find it difficult to cook or eat regularly with their busy schedule. Low energy availability can also occur due to:

  • An unbalanced diet. A diet that is too high in fibre, low in fat and/or high in protein may prevent the athlete from consuming enough calories to meet his or her training demands. A diet too low in carbohydrates and fat can also impair hormone levels (such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone), which play important roles in bone health and maintaining muscle mass.
  • Reduced appetite from increased exercise intensity.
  • Intentionally restricting food to lose weight. Excessive concern about eating and body weight can also be a source of stress that can affect both heath and performance. High stress levels increase a hormone called cortisol, which can lead to menstrual dysfunction and poor bone health.
  • The belief that decreased body weight and fat will improve performance. An initial weight loss may lead to better performance, but after a while, drastic weight loss can lead to overtraining, injuries and increased susceptibility to illness.
  • Societal pressure to eat a certain way or achieve an unrealistic body shape.

Effects on Health 

Low energy availability and inadequate nutrient intake can negatively affect a number of health parameters. Over time, this can lead to osteoporosis, stress fractures, chronic injuries, atherosclerosis, nutrient deficiencies and fertility issues. In the worst-case scenario, such as with an ongoing eating disorder, low energy availability can result in death if an athlete is severely underweight and malnourished.

A serious complication of RED-S is menstrual dysfunction, in the form of amenorrhea (absence of a menstrual period for more than three months) or oligomenorrhea (irregular cycles of more than 35 days). Simply put, it is not normal to miss your period while training. Sometimes, life stressors can disrupt a menstrual cycle, but any long-term disruption is a red flag that should be discussed with a medical doctor. It is important to note that exercise alone does not affect hormone levels or menstrual function, but low energy availability does.
Other effects of RED-S include:

  • Decreased testosterone levels
  • Increased stress fractures due to poor bone health
  • Increased episodes of illness (colds, sinus infections, sore throats, body aches)
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation, bloating and cramps
  • Fatigue and poor sleep
  • Increased anxiety, depression, unstable mood, irritability, an inability to manage stress, fear of weight gain

Effects on Performance

Weight loss does not always help performance—in fact, it can be detrimental. When people drastically restrict calories, they are losing both fat and muscle mass. Poor nutrition can cause fatigue, illnesses and injuries that in turn will affect how well an athlete performs and adapts to training.
Other performance-related drawbacks of RED-S include:

  • Decreased performance
  • No improvement from training
  • Inability to run as fast or train as hard
  • Decreased coordination and concentration
  • Poor recovery
  • Decreased glycogen stores



The treatment of RED-S can include a full health care team: a doctor, dietitian and psychologist, if needed. The first line of treatment should be to optimize energy availability. Drugs will not correct the metabolic or endocrine changes associated with RED-S. Oral contraceptives are not recommended, because while they may mask the return of the menstrual cycle, bone loss and other health issues can still be ongoing.


Try to meet your daily energy needs. If appetite is decreased, a structured meal plan may help in understanding the amount of calories needed per day. Ensure you speak to a qualified Registered Sports Dietitian who can help you in this area. Many online diets underestimate calorie and nutrient needs.

Here are some basic nutrition guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Limit fibre intake to approximately 25 to 35 grams per day.
  • Ensure you are consuming enough carbohydrates and fat during the day. This will help replenish liver glycogen stores, ensure the brain receives enough glucose, and maintain normal hormone levels.
  • Eat frequently during the day.
  • Plan meals for the week and have some “ready to go” snacks and meals.
  • Do not skip meals or snacks.
  • Refuel post-exercise (carbohydrates and protein are both important). Smoothies are a great choice if your appetite is decreased after a workout.
  • Ensure you are meeting recommended intake levels of vitamin D (600 to 800 IU daily) and calcium (around 1000 mg daily for adults 19 to 50 years of age who are not in RED-S).
  • If safe to do so, incorporate strength training to optimize bone health.
  • Avoid excluding food groups unless necessary.


There is no ideal body weight or body composition to optimize performance. Instead, focus on optimizing energy and nutrient intake to support training and health. Start by building a healthy relationship with food and your body. Remember that health and happiness should be the focus if long term performance is a goal.

Be mindful about where your nutrition advice comes from and surround yourself by people (in person and on social media) who support your goals. Read athletes’ personal stories on trusted websites (a good example is Seek help from qualified professionals specializing in sports such as Registered Dietitians, doctors and psychologists if you have specific concerns.

If you fee like you are needing more guidance and support, you can book with me online.

I hope the information presented here will help athletes and coaches recognize RED-S and realize when additional support is needed. However, this article is not meant to act as a tool for self-diagnosis or treatment. Certain symptoms mentioned above, such as menstrual disorders or fatigue, can also occur from other medical conditions. Please speak with your family physician or a sports doctor for a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. 


Originally posted on on January 23, 2020

Canada Food Guide: A New Perspective

Physiotherapy Edmonton - Vlog - Human Integrated Performance

In this clip from the HIP Kitchen, our Dietitian Kelsey Gordulic talks about the changes to the new 2019 Canada Food Guide. If you have questions about the food guide, or would like guidance on your nutrition goals book with Kelsey today.

4 Reasons Why a Diet is the Last Thing You Need

Physiotherapy Edmonton - Diet - Human Integrated Performance

Spring and summer are times for short sleeves, sun tans, and bathing suits. In the spring, businesses in the health and wellness industry experience a spike in sales as people attempt to “get their beach body” ready.

Let’s face it, diets are a big portion of those sales, so here are 4 reasons why the last thing you need is a diet.

Reason 1: Changing your menu… often only temporarily

If you’ve ever attempted to change your eating habits you know it can be downright hard. If you’re not prepared or totally ready for the change, the upkeep of a diet can be too much and eventually you’ll fall back to old habits, which may leave you feeling defeated and like a failure.

Reason 2: Not all diets are created equal

In fact, some diets are dangerous. Trends in the media would lead you to believe that what they are promoting is healthy and good for you, but if you read the (often barely seen) fine print in these ads you’ll often find a disclaimer.

Reason 3: Diets are usually about restrictions and “can’ts”

Your mindset when it comes to food can make or break a new habit. If you’re looking at all the things you can’t eat, it carries a negative feel. Food restriction can lead to binging and feelings of guilt when we ultimately “give in” to what we crave.

Reason 4: Diets often don’t encompass total health (mind, body, emotional, etc)

Diets primarily focus on food. Food is vital for health and wellness, but you’re made up of so much more. What you should be focusing on is what makes you feel good. What foods make you feel foggy? Which ones give you energy? What activities do you enjoy the most? Self care goes beyond food. Buying clothes that fit your body, reading a good book and hanging out socially are all things you can do in addition to changing your eating habits. Have more questions, book in for a consultation at and we’ll get the ball rolling to help you improve your health and entire well-being.

It’s tempting to fall into health traps around the summer. Consider the things that benefit your whole being and make you happy – and go after that!

HIP Kitchen: Greek Sheet Pan Chicken

Physiotherapy Edmonton - Vlog - Human Integrated Performance

Sit down and get ready for this one. Get to know our staff and watch our team in a fun and tasty cooking challenge. Get ready for some laughs and insights as some of our staff try to complete this 40 minute recipe in under 30 minutes. SPOILER ALERT, we failed to do it in under 30 minutes, but it was a blast and tasted delicious. Almost a complete hour of us cooking Greek Pan Chicken.


Checkout our Youtube Channel for the shortened version as well as other clips from the kitchen session.


Please find the complete recipe below. Originally posted on:

Physiotherapy Edmonton - HIP Kitchen: Greek Sheet Pan Chicken - Human Integrated Performance
Physiotherapy Edmonton - HIP Kitchen: Greek Sheet Pan Chicken - Human Integrated Performance

The Why and How of Nutrition for Performance Recovery

Physiotherapy Edmonton - The Why and How of Nutrition for Performance Recovery - Human Integrated Performance

As an athlete, weekend warrior, or recreational fitness enthusiast, you’re investing time into improving your skills and fitness for optimal performance and a healthier life. To get the most out of that investment, it is equally important to invest time into recovering adequately with nutrition.

Physiotherapy Edmonton - The Why and How of Nutrition for Performance Recovery - Human Integrated Performance

Here’s why:

As you train, your muscles use up glycogen, their main fuel source. You lose electrolytes and water through sweat, and both protein synthesis and breakdown will be stimulated. Keep your competitive edge – refueling properly will help you to[1]:

· Replenish nutrients necessary for recovery

· Keep your immune system strong

· Reduce the risk of muscle strain or injury

· Improve athletic performance today and on future training days


Here’s how:

Immediately after exercise, your muscles will need a quick source of carbohydrate and protein. It might seem more intuitive to focus your recovery meal around protein, but in reality, carbohydrate is what fuels your muscles and allows you to perform at your best.


Skipping carbs or not getting enough or the right kind will result in lower glycogen replenishment by up to 50%, decreasing your performance ability the next time you train[1].

Focus on high glycemic index (GI) carbohydrates and high-quality protein immediately after training[2]. High GI carbohydrates are absorbed quickly and will provide a fast source of glycogen to your muscles. Other meals during the day should include lower GI carbohydrates to ensure your diet is balanced.


Here’s how a properly planned recovery meal or snack can help you:

  • Carbohydrate: Replenishes glycogen stores and inhibits muscle protein breakdown.

  • Protein: Increases protein synthesis and decreases protein breakdown for optimal muscle repair and adaptation.

  • Fluids: Replenishes water and electrolytes lost in sweat during exercise.

  • Sodium: Replaces sodium lost in sweat during exercise.

  • Antioxidants: Protect cell membranes and the immune system, minimizing the effects of free radicals produced during exercise.

  • Limit Fat in your Recovery Meal: Fat may slow the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates and protein.

  • Omega-3: May reduce inflammation. Choose foods high in omega-3s for non-recovery meals.

Recipe for Success

Try to have your recovery meal within the first 30 minutes after training / exercising. My “Back to Basics Recovery Smoothie” is a great way to refuel, providing a quick source of carbohydrate and plenty of protein for optimal recovery.



1. Canadian Sport Institute Pacific. (2012). Recovery Nutrition[PDF file]. Retrieved from

2. Canadian Sport Institute Pacific. (2006). Recovery Nutrition [PDF file]. Retrieved from

“Cheat Meals” Don’t Exist

Physiotherapy Edmonton - “Cheat Meals” Don’t Exist - Human Integrated Performance

Today as I was thoroughly enjoying some dill pickle chips, a thought came to mind: I often hear clients say: “I had a cheat meal,” or “I had a cheat day”. This is what I tell every single client: There’s no such thing as a “cheat meal”.


Here’s why: Generally speaking, all foods can fit into a healthy diet. Framing food as a “cheat meal” is essentially a way of apologizing for having food that you truly enjoy. But why do we do this when it wouldn’t even occur to us to apologize for watching that movie we love for the millionth time, or doing that activity that helps us unwind at the end of a long day?

Society, unfortunately, has labeled certain foods as “bad” because they contain higher amounts of salt, sugar, fat, artificial ingredients, etc. This can cause some people to restrict intake of those foods for long periods of time despite truly enjoying them. This can lead to binge eating later on when they “give in to the craving,” and feelings of guilt and/or shame mixed with feelings of enjoyment, which is So confusing and conflicting and dysfunctional.


Two things to remember: 1. You Are Not a Reflection of the Foods You Eat or the Labels Society Has Put On Them.

Period. The End. Final Answer. You are not “bad” if you eat “bad” food. You’re allowed to eat it. You’re allowed to Enjoy it. You’re allowed to Tell people you enjoyed it. Don’t let you or anyone else tell you otherwise.


2. Context matters!No single food is inherently “bad” OR “good” because of its nutrient profile.

What may be unhealthy for one person due to an allergy or medical reason may be a totally appropriate choice for someone else. Boiled spinach, for example, is a “healthy food”, right? I mean, it’s a vegetable, so it Must be… While it is an excellent choice for generally healthy individuals, it may not be great for someone with kidney disease. Boiled spinach is high in potassium. Kidney disease can make it hard for the kidneys to remove excess potassium from the body. If potassium levels stay high in the blood this can lead to an irregular heart rhythm. Boiled spinach isn’t looking like such a great option for that person anymore, is it? This is why context matters!


Now what?

So how do we undo this need to apologize for enjoying food? It starts with reframing the language we use when talking about food, and we need to show ourselves some compassion.


1. Call it what it is. You had a cookie. You had 5 cookies. You had a slice of cake. You had some chips. You had a lot of chips. Period. That’s what you did, and that’s 100% OK!

2. We need to Stop Labeling Foods as “good” or “bad” and start using meaningful and accurate descriptions, like “this food is high in sodium”, “this food is high in folate”, “this food is lower in sugar than that food”.


**Most Importantly: Be kind to yourself. Avoid labeling and judging yourself based on what you eat. You are so much more than the sum of what you’ve eaten today.**

By: Kelsey Gordulic, RD, Human Integrated Performance

Dietitian Competition

Physiotherapy Edmonton - Dietitian Competition - Human Integrated Performance
Physiotherapy Edmonton - Dietitian Competition - Human Integrated Performance

The winners are in on our social media Dietitian Competition! If you entered be sure to check out our Facebook page to see if you were a winner! Not sure what we’re talking about? Don’t worry, our Dieititan Competition was so successful that we are running it again with an even bigger prize in December. Checkout our Facebook page or any of our social media channels for more information on how to enter to win a **FREE** Achieve dietitian package along with other prizes; it could be the perfect last minute gift idea for the athlete in your home.