The Most Important Catalyst For Change

August 29, 2014

When reflecting on my own body change, I am always amazed by the shift that has happened in my mindset over the past few years.

As a University student studying Kinesiology at the University of Calgary I loved my anatomy and physiology classes above anything else. The courses where we learned about training philosophy allowed me to apply my love of muscles and movement into creating training programs. I experienced hands on learning in the trenches with athletes, personal training clients and group fitness classes. Having an abundance of knowledge was a huge value of mine.

When I graduated from University and entered the work force I was ready to gain more experience! But, like many others in a service-based industry, my own habits took the back seat to hours of working and learning.

Looking back now, it is crystal clear to me that the amount of know-how I had meant little to nothing when it came to my own results. Sure, I knew what to do in the gym, and I worked out for hours on end! An average day could include 2 or 3 physically active fitness classes including strength training workouts, cycling classes and even a run on my own at the end of the day. Tack on hours of demonstrating squats and picking up dumbbells, energy output was at an all time high. I was extremely active.

My weight was healthy, my resting heart rate below average and I could run a 10km race in under 50 minutes. Push-ups from the toes, no problem. 

But, I still craved to have a leaner physique where I could actually see muscle definition in my midsection. I was fit, but puffy. I was strong but had minimal muscle definition. Clearly I could not add more minutes to my exercise routine and my eating ‘pretty healthy’ was not working!

The most important agent for change is simple:


for your choices and their consequences.

To me, this meant a few mental changes that lead to a number of daily habit shifts.

My Mental Changes:

  • Exercise is not the biggest factor in weight loss and body fat percentage, food intake IS!

  • More exercise is not better, intense workouts that do not significantly raise appetite are better choices.

  • Stop worrying so much about what others think, it only places stress on your mindset and we tend to eat more when stressed.

  • Just because a food is healthy, it does not mean you can eat unlimited amounts without an effect on your body.

  • You CAN eat whatever you want, but it means you will look like a reflection of your choices. (tough love?!)


    My Daily Habit Shifts:

  • Slow down and stop eating while standing up, in the car, running out the door or in front of the television.

  • Do one workout a day, maximum.

  • Do not avoid sugar at all costs, this only leads to going all out on the weekends. Manage sugar intake to every couple of days.

  • Find easy ways to eat healthy: order salads at a restaurant, buy pre-chopped veggies, put butter on your vegetables if it means you will eat them every day!

  • Pick protein at every meal and snack, add veggies and fruits to gain fibre and vitamins. Manage starchy carbohydrate intake to one to two meals each day.

If you want to see change, take ownership for the food you put into your mouth. Just because quinoa is healthy, it does not mean we can eat cups and cups on end without having any effect on our body. Or perhaps you are eating a vegan, organic, gluten free cookie – well it is still a cookie!

To see body change we need a caloric deficit, balanced hormones and sustainable food and exercise practices.

These days I exercise for enjoyment, to manage my stress and to feel great. I eat to fuel my body and share great food with family and friends. I am able to maintain my weight and muscle definition without much effort. I rely on healthy habits and moderation with my nutrition practices.

Remember that tomorrow, September 2nd is the last day to join our 30 Day Body & Mind Challenge. Can't wait to work with you this fall!



Why Humans Crave a Plan

August 24, 2014

A big part of my training and eating philosophy involves individuality, or doing what works for you. However, one of the biggest challenges of this formula exists in its foundation – how do you begin to find what does work for you?

Without the help of an expert, is it even possible for the average person to know how much to eat and how to exercise? 

All humans experience some self-doubt. We are afraid to take a leap and see what happens because we want a list to follow, and a defined path to be laid out in front of us – as humans, we crave a plan. Why? 

We crave certainty.

Tony Robbins identifies the human desire for certainty as one of six fundamental needs. For some reason we believe that trust can be found somewhere outside of us. We avoid trusting ourselves and our intuition because we want a plan with a roadmap and checkpoints along the way. We want to sign up for a program and be guaranteed results! 

We want fast change.

The majority of the population when given two options, a fast weight loss of 20lbs in a month or a slower weight loss of 12lbs in a year (only one pound a month!) would pick the former. Our society wants fast results, even though the research tells us, the faster weight comes off, the faster it goes back on.

We are scared to trust ourselves. 

The conundrum exists when we sign-up to follow a plan and seemingly forget all the years of expertise we have about ourselves. Our food likes and dislikes, our peak energy times of the day, our personality types and internal motivators, our strengths and weaknesses.

It becomes easy to understand why we have an obesity epidemic on our hands when we are furiously trying to outsource daily habits and actions to someone who ‘knows better than us’. 

Accepting responsibility for our actions and outcomes is likely the most powerful tool in the body change toolbox. Not every plan will work for every person, so putting in the time to find what works for you is so rewarding and worthwhile.

Back to reality:

How do you know if you like eating 3 meals a day or 5 mini meals? Which option will give you the best results? 

The answer is, you just TRY SOMETHING. You have to start somewhere, or you will find yourself stuck in inaction.


My 30 Day Body & Mind Challenge opens for registration today! This is NOT a lose 20lbs in one month scheme. It is a get-started plan, a jump start to create lasting habits in the realm of fat loss exercise and nutrition. It includes:

  • A 30 Day Journal with quotes, workouts and food logs.

  • A comprehensive nutrition document with recipes, Out & About Eating Guide, grocery list and sample meal ideas.

  • A training document based on 6 intense and effective workouts each week including printable workouts and how-to videos (hello, sweatfest!)

  • Daily mindset emails to move past personal roadblocks and limiting beliefs.

  • A private facebook group with daily individualized coaching from me!

Most importantly, the 30 Day Challenge is a collection of scientific knowledge and personal mindset lessons I have used on my own personal body transformation. 

You can sign up here, as registration is open until Tuesday September 2nd at midnight!

Here’s to trusting ourselves and putting in the work to create healthy habits that last a lifetime.

I’ll be here, cheering you on, giving you assistance and helping you do the work that will give you lasting results.


Just Beet It!

August 24, 2014

Is it true that beets are one of those vegetables you either love or hate? 

Usually when I bring up beets, I am likely to hear a few 'Oh I just love beets!' and couple 'I'll pass' comments. 

Well I love beets and today's post showcases the three ways I often enjoy them. 

#1 Roasted


Roasted beets are flavourful and easy to cook - use the BBQ or your oven for this option. When roasting beets in the oven, I often cut up onion, beets and carrots, toss them in a small amount of coconut oil, season with salt and pepper and roast for 40 minutes at 375, turning a few times during cooking. 

#2 Sauteed 


When at the Farmer's Market, beets often come with the greens attached. Rather than throwing away the greens, which are full of B vitamins, wash them off, chop up and sauté in a fry pan with olive oil and crushed garlic. 

#3 Boiled

Boiling beets takes a while, but is certainly low effort. Scrub the beets clean, remove any rough spots and bring to a boil in a pot of water for 45-50 minutes or until fork tender. Cool and serve chopped in a salad of butter lettuce, feta, walnuts and balsamic reduction. 

3 Daily Habits Keeping You Unhealthy

August 15, 2014

Our daily habits have the biggest effect on our results and outcomes. The actions we repeat over and over determine our reality whether it is the fit of our pants, our inner dialogue or the balance in our bank account. Just as spending money on coffee and dining out each day can add up over time, so can an extra cookie after dinner or a negative thought each time we do not follow through with our goals.

The importance of our inner dialogue is paramount. What we tell ourselves determines our reality each day. Perhaps you get on the scale in the morning and let the number staring back at you dictate whether or not you have been successful over the past week. If the number is higher than you hoped, you embark on a journey of negative self-talk, berating yourself and using these harsh words as motivation to ‘do better’, ‘be more strict’, or ‘just follow the plan’.

Oh mama, that sounds like a world of hurt to experience on a daily basis. The issue is that you think that you are getting better by talking negatively to yourself!

Maybe if I am harder on myself, I will finally get it! I will finally be able to avoid sugar and treats.

Here is a great question to ask yourself: How is that approach working for you?

The end game of living a healthy lifestyle is to experience peace, enjoyment and complete physical and mental health; therefore, creating negative inner dialogue is short sighted and ill-informed. To turn your health-conscious journey around to the positive side of the road, here are 3 daily habits keeping you unhealthy.

Placing Blame On Others Or Yourself

Q: If I am not to place blame on myself or others, who is to blame?

A: Practice awareness without blame or judgement. Here is a real world example. You get on the scale, and the number is up. You can blame yourself and go on a negative mental tour of all the things you did wrong. Another option is to blame others or external situations. Perhaps you attend a family gathering and there are no healthy options to eat so clearly that is not your fault.

The issue with placing blame at all is that it leaves us with no power to make better decisions. We can certainly accept responsibility about the reality of our situation and then work to make the best choice based on what we are dealing with. When we stop looking for a place to lay the blame, we find options for success to move forward instead.

Defending & Explaining Our Position

Gosh I am a work in progress on this one. Why does this habit keep us unhealthy? Because frankly it is a waste of time.

At the end of the day we must get to the point where we give up worrying about what others think. Your friends, family and co-workers will either understand where you are coming from or not. It is certainly not up to you to go on a personal crusade to get everyone on your side! Instead, consider this as a daily mantra: ‘I am a passive sign of health and fitness’ This does not mean you sit around doing nothing, it is actually the opposite. Inspiring others with your actions is far more likely than motivation via empty words and explanations.

Marching to the beat of someone else’s drum.

Trying to fit into someone else’s definition of success is an unfulfilling journey. What makes you happy? What creates energy, joy and fulfillment in your life?

One simple tool to determine what you really enjoy is to ask yourself what you would do if you had an entirely free weekend with no commitments at all. I learned this one from my coach Jill Coleman. If no one knew what you were up to, what would you spend your time doing?

My answer was writing, walking, meditating, time in nature with my man, movement that feels good, and a dinner with friends and family.

Start here. Creating a daily life full of actions you enjoy is the surest way to find consistency and positivity. No guilt required.

Have a beautiful & positive week!


Sensational Side Dishes

August 15, 2014

This week I hosted a nutrition webinar for the ladies in our Blast Fitness Lifestyle Club. We chatted for an entire hour about how to get results from our eating practices without feeling deprived. One of the habits we discussed was to include more volume foods on our plates. Volume foods are simply choices that offer a large amount of food for a relatively small caloric load. Vegetables are one of the best examples of volume foods. The issue is, they better taste good or sustainability will suffer!

Here are some of my favourite side dishes that offer a ton of volume on your plate with a lower caloric load for your waistline.

Prosciutto Asparagus Roll-ups

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Sauteed Ginger Greens

Roasted Corn & Black Bean Salad