Paprika Sweet Potato Breakfast Tacos

This week is savoury, vegetarian and very filling!

fresh lime juice from one lime
2 tsp cold pressed olive oil
1 tsp of raw honey or pure maple syrup
2 cups of shredded cabbage (I used red cabbage)
sea salt to taste
2 tbsp of coconut oil
1 small onion (I used yellow onion)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp of ground cumin
½ tsp of smoked paprika powder
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 sweet potatoes, cubed and skinned
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup of vegetable broth
2 cups of any kind of mushrooms, sliced
freshly ground black pepper

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1. In a large bowl whisk together lime juice, honey and olive oil. Add the shredded cabbage and sea salt to taste. Toss until well combined.





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2. Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan, add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 minutes, until onions have softened. Now add garlic, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper and stir well for a minute.




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3. Add the cubed sweet potato, tomato paste and broth to pan. Cook covered until sweet potatoes have softened, about ten minutes.





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4. Sauté sliced mushrooms, season with salt and pepper until lightly browned.





5. This recipe serves four. You can warm your tortilla shells if you prefer them hot, I used whole wheat taco shells, that are smaller in size. To serve put sweet potatoes on tortilla, top with some mushrooms and cabbage slaw.

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Recipe credits: My New Roots Cookbook by Sarah Britton

The Passion Behind New Edge Fitness


The passion and determination behind how New Edge Fitness trains!  What sets us apart from the rest is bringing understanding to people on how an athlete trains and what they endure on a daily basis.   We make them understand that conquering their fears and breaking past barriers is possible in humanity.  We also promise that our trainers are passionate and understanding, while, listening to you they also believe in your ability.  This is extremely important in a personal trainer. This belief enables our trainers to push you past that comfort zone and know when to pull back.  They build that confidence in you and in your training.

How would you better yourself as an athlete or human if you didn’t challenge yourself to break those barriers of pushing yourself to failure? I’ve seen the highs and lows in life. From the extreme to the ordinary. My training is very unique. You aren’t buying into another trainer. You aren’t getting someone from the street that does not have a degree or a certificate. You’re getting me, Ibby Ali. You’re getting someone that understands. You are getting a leader, a general. I feel your passion and I see the drive in every individual. If you stand in front of me with ambition and intention, failure is not an option. No matter if you’re an individual or a team, any time you have an intention to go somewhere, to do something, to be somebody I will be with you. My passion is with those that are part of my family. New Edge Fitness is a family.

Words cannot describe the passion that lies within my soul. Stand within my presence and let my passion speak to your soul. For who we are and what we get judged for is our intention in life. How can we be judged if we do not have an intention? How can we succeed if we do not have an intention? How can we be somebody if we do not have an intention? Make an intention to come and see me and let me show you the other side of life.

“Don’t judge me for my methods or my beliefs, judge me for the intentions that I CHOOSE to leave behind in life.” – Ibby Ali

By: Ibby Ali, New Edge Fitness Founder & CEO

Active Body Nutrition Feature:
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Glycemic Index & Your Gains


In training, as in life, context matters. Sometimes it seems like the answer to every fitness question is: It depends. With glycemic index in particular this is the case. With training the muscle cell responsiveness changes before and after a workout. Heavy lifting especially stimulates an anabolic response in the muscle cells.

Glycemic index is a measure of carbohydrate effect on the cells of the body. This index was established by feeding fasted volunteers different carbohydrate foods and combination of mixed food to see the effect on their physiology. It is important to note that foods eaten as part of a mixed meal have a different effect that foods eaten on their own.

Researchers found was that some foods had an intense effect on the hormones that modulate energy storage and appetite, while other foods had a gentle effect. The limitations of glycemic index are that is measures all other foods in relation to pure glucose or white bread. The quantity of food measured is fixed and in some cases may not reflect a real serving size. That said, it is still useful for reminding us of the hormonal processes going on in the body.


This graph shows how different carb sources affect blood sugar and energy storage as a function of time.

High glycemic foods can a greater insulin spike than lower glycemic foods. Some health professionals advocate that low glycemic foods be chosen over high glycemic foods. Again, with weight training context needs to be considered. If muscle gain is the goal then creating an anabolic environment in the muscle cells should be a priority.

After a heavy lifting session an insulin spike that causes more energy storage is not the same as an insulin spike when at rest. After training muscle cells become more responsive to insulin and other growth factors. When high glycemic foods are consumed, more of this fuel will be diverted to the muscle cells where it will be stored as glycogen.

Glycogen is one of the preferred fuels for high intensity training. Post training, muscle cells upregulate cell receptors for glucose related hormones. If you refuel solely with protein and mix of starchy slow digesting  carbs you miss out on creating this anabolic response and potentially sabotage those gains.


Foster-Powell, K., Holt, S.H., Brand-Miller, J. (2002). International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values. The american journal of clinical nutrition. 76, 5-56

Jones, D.A., Round, J.M., Haan, D.A. (2004). Skeletal Muscle from Molecules to Movement: A Textbook of Muscle Physiology for Sport, Exercise, Physiotherapy and Medicine.

Balsamic Brussel Sprouts

Here is a different, yet simple spin on brussel sprouts…

6 cups of brussel sprouts
½ cup of balsamic vinegar
½ cup of olive oil
1 heaping tbsp of honey
pinch of salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves, finely minced


DSC037001. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, chop brussel sprouts into smaller chunks, also peeling of some of the leaves to get crunchy pieces. Rinse and dry sprouts.







2. Making the dressing: combine balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic, salt&pepper. Now add olive oil, stir until dressing is well mixed.






3. Spread sprouts on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper. Now drizzle balsamic dressing on top. You can use your hands as well to make sure all sprouts are nicely coated.







4. Bake sprouts in the oven for 35 minutes, maybe a bit longer if you like them to be nice and crispy.


Whole Food Eating or IFFYM?

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This is one of the biggest debates in nutrition. IFFYM has become a popular way to eat given that its adherents can get decent results just by tracking their macros. Within the limits of their macros, lifters can eat whatever they please as long as they hit the predetermined ratio of carbs, fats, and protein.

IFFYM makes dietary adherence and social life a breeze. You can go out with friends and enjoy some pizza, you can eat bacon and danish for breakfast and top off the day with a few sugary drinks. Although not a given, processed foods fit well with the IFFYM scheme.

The obvious downsides of regular junk indulgences are:

  1. Less nutrition
  2. Slower recovery
  3. More inflammation

Our favorite refined eats are calorie dense and low in nutrients. These tasty foods are more likely to be chosen with an IFFYM approach than a whole food diet. Whole food eating has gotten a bad reputation for being too time consuming, boring and requiring cooking skills. In this case, whole food eating is defined as foods that are not made to come from a package with a scannable barcode.

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A whole food approach tends to be better for preventing nutrient deficiencies, optimal energy, mental clarity and body composition. Adequate fiber intake is linked with lower body fat percentage, plus it improves satiety and gut hormone regulation. Whole foods are nutrient dense and rich in phytochemicals, which help optimize lipoproteins, oxidative defense mechanisms and colon function. Macros are not everything. The foods we eat contain micronutrients that control how our brain and metabolism function.


Although, there should be room for enjoyment, but it’s a slippery slope when enjoyment foods become daily routine. In the end, it all comes down to your goal right now. Do you want enjoy yourself in the moment or feel strong and energetic each day? The choice is yours. Next week, New Edge Fitness it getting into glycemic index and how it affects your gains in training.


Bruce, B., Spiller, G.A., Klevay, L.M., Gallagher, S.K. (2000). A Diet High in Whole and Unrefined Foods Favorably Alters Lipids, Antioxidant Defenses, and Colon Function. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 19(1), 61-67.

Slavin, J.L., (2005). Dietary fiber and body weight. Nutrition. Nutrition. 21(3), 411–418.






Overnight Breakfast Oats

If you have to get up super early in the morning or decide to hit snooze a few too many times, these overnight oats can be your lifesaver. Prepare them the night before and enjoy the next morning.

⅔cup of rolled oats or any other whole grain
1 cup of nut milk of your choice
½ tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 ½ tbsp raw cacao powder
2 tsp cacao nibs
2 tsp goji berries
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
fresh fruit and yogurt to serve (optional)


1. In a jar fold together oats, chia seeds, lemon juice and milk (I used almond milk, cover and refrigerate overnight.







2. In the morning let mix warm to room temperature, add cacao powder, nibs and maple syrup. Top with your favourite yogurt and fresh fruit, strawberries, blueberries.








Why be strong? Align Your Training Priorities.


Strength is neurological. Neural recruitment of the muscle fibers controls how much force we can produce from a muscle. This is why new gym goers see such incredible gains in the first few months of training. The muscle is made up of slow twitch, intermediate and fast twitch fibers. With heavy strength training you target more of your muscle fibers. If your workouts are constantly aerobic or only moderately intense, you never get the benefit of training your fast twitch fibers. With high rep, low resistance training mainly slow twitch fibers are recruited, meaning that of the muscle is recruited by the central nervous system.


Lifting heavier weights in the 3-5 rep range yield greater anabolic benefits. Since heavier weights produce a larger muscle recruitment, more muscle cells become anabolic and receptive to nutrients and growth. In response to heavy training, muscle cells prioritize receptors for insulin and glucose on their membranes. This fuels the cell and prevents nutrients from being stored as fat or just circulating in the blood.


Diagram of muscle cell wall with receptors that change in response to training.

This is why strength training is seen to increase cross-sectional area in the muscle. Without strength training and in absence of inadequate fuel, the cell receptors change to be responsive to tissue breaking catabolic hormones. Once inside the cell, these catabolic factors poke holes in the muscles.


The nervous system adapts to strength training by allowing you to use more of you muscles as a team. Agonist and antagonist muscle groups become coordinated to work together a fire in opposition. Without coordination between opposing muscle groups, performing a lift would be like trying to gun your car through a yellow light with the park brake on.


Increased muscle firing and enhanced spinal reflexes are one of the biggest neurological advantages of heavy strength training. Muscles are cued faster and more often. Increased motor unit synchronization was found among trained weightlifters versus untrained subjects. More of the muscle fibers fire at the same time which may increase force output. The weightlifting strength trained group also had better coordination and reflex response times.

Next week at New Edge, we weigh-in (pun intended), on how you should eat for your training. Should it be 80% whole food and 20% treats or is it more important just to stay within your daily calorie needs? See you all in the gym!


Folland, J.P., Williams, A.G., (2007). The adaptations to strength training: Morphological and neurological contributions to increased strength. Sports Medicine. 37(2):145-68.

Gabriel, D.A., Kamen G, Frost, G. (2206). Neural adaptations to resistive exercise: mechanisms and recommendations for training practices. Sports Med. 36(2):133-49.

Gardiner, P. (2011). Advanced Neuromuscular Exercise Physiology. Human Kinetics.

Cobb Salad

This week we have Jana’s very own spin on a Cobb Salad. The great thing about Cobb Salads are that you can add so many ingredients, whatever you feel like on that day. If you prepare more, you can use left over ingredients to create new dishes for the next day or two.


Jana’s Ingredients:
Romaine lettuce, chopped
handful tomatoes
1 avocado
1 hard boiled egg
blue cheese
raw chicken (you can also use already cooked chicken)
1 bun, to make croutons




1. First I prepared the chicken, thawed, washed and pat dry – I placed it on a baking sheet lined with tinfoil. I drizzled it with olive oil, lemon juice, added salt&pepper, fresh basil and rosemary to it. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and cook chicken for about 20-25 minutes depending on the size of chicken pieces, make sure it’s cooked.





2. I made a ranch dressing from scratch, I used a little bit of organic plain yogurt, mayonnaise, salt&pepper, fresh dill and chives, I added jalapeno to make it spicier. Stir to combine, my mixture was a bit too thick so I added a good amount of almond milk to make it liquidy. With the dressing you just have to play a little bit to find your own perfect balance of ingredients.





3. To make croutons I heated a little bit of olive oil in a pan on medium to hight heat. I cut my bun (you can also use toast or any other bread) into chunks, added them to the pan and drizzled some more olive oil on top. Season with salt&pepper and watch closely will browning them for about 5 minutes. Set aside and let cool down.





4. Lastly I cut up the tomatoes, avocado and crumbled up blue cheese. In a big bowl I combined the lettuce with the dressing. Plate the lettuce first, then add all your other ingredients on top.


Welcome Robin Ball to the New Edge Family


New Edge Fitness is excited to announce the addition of Robin Ball to the New Edge Family. Robin is a Personal Trainer, Indoor Cycling Instructor and Fitness Instructor that has been in the industry for over 2 years. She is a driven and passionate individual who concentrates on functional training that support our daily movement patterns. Robin only compliments such a strong empire Ibby Ali is building and we are thrilled she’s joined the team.

“My passion is to encourage those who are already active and motivated, but also those who need to discover what drives them to make a positive, healthy change in their life. My unwavering motivation and positivity is contagious and can allow anyone to be the person they want, and the person they deserve to be.” – Robin Ball

Read more about our trainers here: New Edge Fitness Trainers
Read more about Robin Ball here: Robin Ball

Welcome to the New Edge Family Robin!

Wrap Those Wrists


Rehab and heavy lifting have more in common than you might suspect. All too often in the rehab world patients are looking for something they can put on to support their injury and make them feel better. This could be a crutch, a back brace or a neck cushion. The lifting world is not much different. Once lifters get close to their physical limits they reach for all sorts of supportive equipment to get them that extra edge and manage any twinge of pain that may occur.



Wrist wraps are meant to provide support to the wrists during near maximal lifts. Don’t be the one who doesn’t know the difference between near max and submax lifting. Wearing wrist wraps for your whole training session has a few drawbacks. First, wraps have the potential to conceal poor mobility in the wrist area. Poor mobility in one area causes other links in the body’s movement chain to compensate. An inflexible wrist may result in the shoulder being overloaded. Second, regular use of wrist wraps can reduce motor learning of the wrist muscles. With less motor learning, the muscles receive less neural drive from the brain and would therefore be prone to fatigue faster. In weight training and lift, neural drive equals strength.

Sorry bodybuilding man but you do not need wrist support for your tricep press downs.
Near max overhead press on the other hand, yes please.

The purpose of training hard is so that the body can adapt and allow us to have more controlled and strong movements. Much of the strength we have is already within us, but in order to tap into it we must demonstrate to our brain that we have good control of our movement. This is where mobility training comes in!


Use the above to warm-up your wrists and build mobility in all directions.
Start from your knees and move your legs out in a plank position as you get stronger.

Mobility exercises done between your main lifts develop body awareness and build movement capacity. Once we develop confidence in movement the brain feels comfortable to free up the motor control system and through this strength is granted by the nervous system.

As with the other equipment we have looked at, wrist wraps are not something that need to be used all the time. Remember, you are only as strong as your weakest link. So the next time you feel a new twinge of pain when experimenting with a new movement, make sure you emphasize quality over crutches. Before you think that you need to get something to support your wrist, warm-up with the basic ranges of motion and gradually increase the load.