Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or the Winter Solstice I hope that you take the time to relax, be merry and spend time with family and friends.

Here is to health and happiness in 2009!

Stay Healthy,

Sunday, December 14, 2008

With Age Comes Wisdom

I have just had a birthday (I am 25...again) and it was great!

But when I was little, I never used to think so.

I hated having a birthday in December for 2 reasons: As soon as December hit, all people could think about was Christmas and being born at the end of the year meant that my friends got to do everything before me.

Now I think it is wonderful, everyone is in a festive mood this time and year and I love being younger than everyone else :)

Isn't it funny how aging changes our perspective?

Like when we are younger we never think about what we eat or how often we exercise. We take our health for granted.

We get a little older and realize that we are not invincible and staying healthy may require some work on our part.

So are you younger or older?

Do something to better yourself today!

Stay Healthy,

Monday, November 17, 2008

12 Days of Christmas

I just thought I'd let you know about the site at http://www.12daysoffitness.com where over 200 of the world's leading fitness experts are GIVING AWAY diet plans, workouts, videos, audios and reports about practically every aspect of getting and staying in great shape.

As it's all free I thought you might like to check it out at http://www.12daysoffitness.com and get your name on the list!

Check it out and tell me what you think!

Stay healthy,

Sunday, November 02, 2008

6 Ways To Have More Energy Now!

There are so many energy zappers out there: stress, a hectic lifestyle and a poor diet to name a few. However, there are ways to put some spring back in your step. Follow these 6 tips and you will have more pep in no time!

  1. Get Some Sleep - Everyone is different but anywhere between 7-9 hours usually does the trick. Try to go to bed the same time every night and wake up at the same time everyday (even on the weekends). Good quality sleep is important. Sleep in complete darkness and don't drink right before bed so you can avoid nightly bathroom trips.
  2. Get your B's - Poor levels of vitamin B can cause fatigue and sleep disturbances. Ask your doctor or nautropath if you could benefit from taking this supplement
  3. Move it! - We all know that exercise is good for us but did you also know that being active just 30 minutes a day can help increase energy levels and improve your mood? Go for a walk after dinner or practice yoga in the morning.
  4. Relax - Taking a break is just as important as exercising. Make sure you take at least 1 hour a day to yourself to recharge your batteries. Read a book, watch TV or spend some time with family.
  5. Eat Fresh - Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean meats and whole grains everyday. Avoid processed foods which are often loaded with additives and sugar - too much sugar can make you lethargic and down.
  6. See the Light - Spend some time in the sunshine. The light is a natural mood booster and energy enhancer. Extra bonus: the Vitamin D is good for your bones :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

What a gorgeous Thanksgiving Day in Toronto - 24 degrees! I hope all of you had the opportunity to spend time with family and enjoy the beautiful weather.

We all know that Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that revolve around food so I am not going to give you the usual "eat in moderation and here some active tips" speech.

Instead, I am going to leave you with this quote:

"Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse." - Henry Van Dyke

Be thankful and stay well :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tired of Being Tired

I know I am not the only one who battles with fatigue. So I wanted to write a post to give you some tips to help you renew your energy - but I found this great article that says it all so I thought I would share it with you :)

Your Guide to Never Feeling Tired Again

Keep your chin up and get some rest.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Back To Business

Now that vacation is over and the kids are back it school, it is time to get back on track! This starts with eating right. I am going to keep it short and sweet today. I know it is tough to have quick and healthy meals when you have so much on the go so here a great dinner that you can make for yourself any night of the week courtesy of Truestar Health. Bon appetit!


Protein (g) 40.21
Carbohydrates (g) 28.29
Fat (g) 14.08
Saturated Fat (g) 4
Monounsaturated Fat (g) 4
Polyunsaturated Fat (g) 2.08
OMEGA 3 FA (g) 0
OMEGA 6 FA (g) 2
Cholesterol (mg) 122
Sodium (mg) 447.03
Total Dietary Fiber (g) 0.59

(If the brand name suggested in the recipe is not available,
please substitute the closest alternative)
-2 drumstick(s) Raw chicken drumstick
-1/4 cup 2% milk
-1/2 tsp Dried oregano
-1/4 tsp Ground sage
-1/4 tsp Dried crumbled basil
-1/4 tsp Paprika
-1/8 tsp Ground black pepper
-1/4 tsp Minced garlic
-2 tbsp All-purpose white flour
-1/2 tbsp Chopped parsley
-1/2 tsp Garlic powder
-1 serving(s) Tossed side salad with balsamic vinegar
-1 oz Nonfat cheddar cheese
In a bowl combine milk, oregano, sage, basil, paprika, and pepper. Coat chicken with this mixture, cover and place in fridge to marinate for at least 4 hours. Preheat oven to 375F. Mix flour, parsley, garlic and pepper into a plastic bag. Remove chicken from mixture, place in plastic bag with flour mixture and shake until completely coated. Place in baking pan and cook for 30 minutes or until juices run clear, turning once half way through. Serve with a side salad with balsamic vinegar dressing and non fat cheese. Adapted from: www.chickenlovers.com

Monday, August 18, 2008

Are You In The Know?

I was just at a weekend long fitness conference and I am totally suffering from information overload. From learning about the latest equipment to new ways of training it made me realize a few things:
  1. The world of fitness is growing - There were over 7000 professionals at this conference. Canadians are leading the way in fitness...yay!
  2. Things are constantly changing - With research and more awareness in the world of fitness we are constantly finding more effective ways of training the mind and body.
  3. We are always learning - I consider myself fairly knowledgeable in many areas of health and wellness yet every year at this conference I learn something I didn't know and I need to know.
This brings me to you: It is so important that you educate yourself when it comes to you health. Here are some questions to consider when you are thinking about wellness:

What are your health and fitness goals?
Do you have a specific health condition?
Have you researched it?
Are your working with a personal trainer?
If so, are they certified and educated in the areas that apply to your and your goals?
Do you need to consult with other professionals? (ie Dietitian, Massage Therapist etc.)

There are many more questions you can ask but the big take home message is this: Learn about the latest fitness trends. Ask your trainer questions. Find out why you are doing the exercises they prescribe and what muscles you are working.

Now get out there and learn something.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


I am right in the middle of my vacation (woo hoo) and I have to tell, boy, did I need to be on vacation.

The last few weeks have been so hectic and it was getting to the point where I was so worn out that I was feeling completely unproductive. I wasn't getting very much sleep and when I finally got some rest, I woke up feeling groggy and gumpy. Has this ever happened to you?

We often get so caught up in family, work and other obligations that we neglect to give our bodies the rest that they need. Here are some tips to help you get some well deserved sleep:

  • Try to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning.
  • Sleep in complete darkness. If you have an LED clock, cover it up so the light doesn't distract you.
  • Do no drink or eat at least 2 hours before bedtime. This will allow the body to completely relax and not have to worry about digestion. It may also prevent the middle of the night trips to the washroom.
  • Take a bath with an essential oil such as lavender before bedtime. Lavender has been know to help encourage relaxation.
  • Avoid stimulating activities such as the television or computer before bedtime, try listening to calming music instead.
  • If you really can't sleep, get up and do something else. Lying in bed will just make you frustrated. Read a book or journal your thoughts. Clearing you mind may help you relax.
    Are you feeling sleepy yet?

    Stay Healthy,

    Sunday, July 13, 2008

    Toughing It Out

    I have had a pretty rough few weeks.

    As many of you know, I am one of the thousands of people in Canada who suffer from Fibromyalgia. Like most sufferers, I have good weeks and bad weeks - the last few weeks have been bad.

    I have been so tired and sore that I don't want to do anything. Work, eat and sleep (or at least try to sleep). I find myself getting frustrated and depressed.

    Over the last few months I have made huge changes in my life. I have started seeing a Naturopath. I have modified diet ( I am not dairy, wheat and gluten free) and I have increased my weight training and am doing yoga. Today I feel like I am doing everything in vain - I am in more pain than ever.

    Why am I sharing this story with you?

    As rough as I feel right now, I know the positive changes I am making in my life will eventually pay off. Instead of wallowing in my pain, I am taking active steps to try and get better. I remember what it was like to be pain free and I want to be there again so I will keep tweaking and changing my regime until I find the right formula for me.

    We all have issues that interfere with our health. Maybe you struggle with your weight. Or perhaps you are dealing with major stress. The important thing to remember is that YOU have to be proactive to make change happen. You may succeed or you may fail, what is important is that you are trying.

    So, what are you doing to help yourself heal?

    Tuesday, July 01, 2008

    I am Canadian

    It is a holiday in Canada and many of us are celebrating the day off work.

    I only have one tip to give for today: Do something you love with the people you love.

    Walk to the park to catch the fireworks, sit down to a beautiful dinner or relax at home with your family.

    Health is not just about nutrition and exercise, it is also about your attitude. When you take time to enjoy yourself, you feel better on the inside which motivates you to be better on the outside.

    Happy Canada Day!

    Sunday, June 22, 2008

    4 Easy Meals (for Breakfast)

    My entire childhood (and much of my adult life) was spent NOT eating breakfast. I had a glass of chocolate milk almost every morning as a child (at least I had something) and that quickly changed to coffee as an adult. The last thing I wanted to see when I got up was food. However,I used to have a very hefty lunch and would snack all the way to bedtime.

    Hmmmm, maybe if I ate breakfast, I wouldn't be so hungry later in the day.

    It wasn't easy but I had to re-train my brain and tried to eat a little earlier everyday. Now, I can't wait to eat when I get up!

    I know you are busy in the morning. I am not going to preach to you on how important breakfast is, but I am going to give you some really easy, fast and balanced meals for you to try:

    Breakfast Smoothie
    All you need here is a blender and your favourite ingredients. It is great for people who do not like to eat in the morning or are in a hurry because you can take it to go. Here is a great one: 1/2 cup milk (or soymilk), 1 scoop of protein powder, 3 ice cubes, 1 tbsp of flax seeds, 1 tbsp of peanut butter.

    Yummy Yogurt
    Another great one when you are on the run. Take 1/2 of plain yogurt, 1 scoop of protein power, 1/2 berries, and 8 almonds

    OK, sometimes cereal gets a bad rap but if you buy a whole grain, high fibre cereal it can be a great choice. Have 1/2 a cup of cereal and add milk and your favouite fruits.

    Awesome Eggs

    Eggs are a great source of protein to fire you up for a busy day. Make 2 eggs anyway you like and add some veggies left over from last night's dinner. Have with a slice of whole grain toast and a glass of milk.
      Are you hungry yet?

      Stay Healthy,

      Sunday, June 08, 2008

      The Dangers of Procrastination

      I am the first to admit that I am a procrastinator. I have every intention to post wonderful information for you every week but just like everyone else, I put off today what I can do tomorrow.

      I also get distracted by other things like work, activities and facebook (yes, I am addicted).

      Then something came to me.

      Many people put off getting fit just like I put off writing.

      Now, I love writing. I love to share what I know in the hopes that it will inspire others. But I also have times when I get stuck, I have no idea what to write about, I get frustrated and don't write at all.

      I think people feel this way about changing their lifestyle. For the most part, they know what they need to do. They know they will feel better if they get moving. But then they fall of the wagon, lose their drive and figure they can put exercise off for yet another day.

      What a waste of time.

      You know that in the time that we (myself included) considered, dreaded and put off our activity, we could have had it done with time to spare!! Very often the procrastination takes way more time than the thing that you are trying to avoid.

      Today's Lesson: Just do it!

      I am writing this blog, I stopped thinking about it and now it is almost done. I want you to stop putting off your health goals and start right now. Go for a walk, head to the gym, get creative with recipes for a healthy dinner.

      Now stop reading this and get going.

      Sunday, April 27, 2008

      You Are Not As Fat As You Think You Are

      Look at yourself in the mirror.

      What do you see?

      I bet many of you were quick to point out all the parts your don't like. Maybe you think your hips are too big or your tummy isn't tight enough.

      I can guarantee that you are NOT seeing what everyone else does.

      Our perceptions are often very distorted. This distortion can stem from the constant comparison of ourselves to images in the media or perhaps from our own low self esteem.

      No matter where it comes from, it is usually a far cry from what others think of you.

      The "flaws" that we see in ourselves are usually invisible to others. We are our worst critics.

      Your friends will always compliment you on your fabulous legs or killer arms but all you always point out your not-so-firm buttocks.

      You respond to this positive attention with a negative response.


      When all you do is criticize yourself, sometimes you really can't see the beauty in your body that others do.

      You need to take 2 things from this:

      1. Learn how to take a compliment. If someone says something positive about your body, accept it and say thank you. Take another look in the mirror and think about the possibility that your friends may be right!

      2. Stop focusing on all the things you don't like about yourself. How we feel about our bodies affects our self confidence and the energy the you put out into the world. Like attracts like. If you can learn to embrace your body, you will be happier and healthier.

      So, how do you look now?

      Stay Healthy,

      Saturday, April 05, 2008

      Rev Up Your Workout with Interval Training

      Interval training involves working at varied intensities in order to challenge your cardiovascular system. Here is a sample for a 30 minute workout. If you are using cardio equipment, the levels will be marked on the machine. If you are walking or running, think of the scale like this:

      1 (slow walk) to 5 (moderate jog) to 10 (intense run)

      0-5 minutes - 3
      5-8 minutes - 7
      8-9 minutes - 4
      9-12 minutes - 7
      12-13 minutes - 4
      13-16 minutes - 8
      16-17 minutes - 3
      17-20 minutes - 8
      20-21 minutes - 4
      21-24 minutes - 9
      24-25 minutes - 4
      25-28 minutes - 9
      28-30 minutes - 4

      Now get out there and work it!

      Saturday, March 01, 2008

      Move It & Lose It!

      As many of you know, I have Fibromyalgia and while I try to stay upbeat and motivating, there are some times when I am feeling very sore, tired and frustrated. This is one of those weeks. I haven't been able to sleep and have been to sore to do my regular workout. I am not motivated to do anything.

      Then it came to me.

      If I, a fitness professional, can feel like this, I can only imagine how most of the population feels almost all of the time. You may not have a chronic condition but I bet that many of you are worn out, stressed, and too tired to make dinner let alone commit to an exercise program.

      Here is the catch: I know that when I exercise, even just a small amount of movement, it will make me feel better. If I don't move, my condition will get worse. That is reality. Although I am tempted in weeks like this to give up, sit on the couch and have a pity party, thinking about the future of my health motivates me to do what ever I can to avoid that fate.

      See what I am getting at?

      I know you think that you don't have time to exercise and are too tired to even think about it but your longevity depends on what you do right now, every bit of activity you can add to your day will make a difference. Think about that the next time you decide to watch TV instead of going for a walk with you family.

      Have a great weekend,

      Tuesday, February 19, 2008

      Pamper Yourself

      We just had a long weekend in Ontario, Family Day was yesterday and I just came off a 13 day stretch at work and let me tell you, I needed a long weekend. I spend my time relaxing with my family. We all need some down time to collect our thoughts and rejuvenate. This is also a great time to pamper ourselves, we deserve it! After a long week, I am all about taking a hot bath

      What do you do on your down time?

      Here are a few great ways to spend your free time and they are good for your mind and body too :)

      1. Massage
      Having a massage is a great way to relieve muscle stress. Regular massages can help improve circulation and your lymphatic system. There are many different kinds, so do your homework and find out which one works for you.

      2. Spa Day
      Indulge in a day at the spa! There are so many options available from facials and seaweed wrap to water treatments and reflexology sessions. Packages can be more affordable than you think so grab a girlfriend and head out for the day or a weekend.

      3. Yoga
      Yoga is a wonderful way to help stretch and relax your body and mind. Try to focus on deep abdominal breathing and be very mindful of every move and breath you take.

      What other ways can you think of to relax?

      Have a great week


      Thursday, January 10, 2008

      Exercise at the Office

      It is the New Year and you have made a vow to get fit but things are crazy at the office and you do think that you will have time to workout.

      Well, think again!

      You can workout at you desk right in your office. By doing short bursts of aerobic activity, muscle strengthening and stretching, you will reduce the back pain and headaches that can be caused by sitting at your desk for long hours. When you are sore and tired, you are less productive. Here are a few exercises you can do to help you make it through another workday with more energy!


      • Pretend to jump rope for 1 minute on both feet then alternate from left to right for 1 minute
      • On your way to the copier, take the stairs 2 at a time. Run back down and repeat 3 times.
      • Stand up and jog or walk in place for 1 minute.


      • Contract your abdominals and gluts while you are at your computer for 30 seconds. Repeat 10 times
      • Place your hands on the edge of your desk. Walk back about 3 feet and do 15 push ups.
      • Stand against the wall and slowly walk your feet away as you come down into a squat position. Hold for 30 seconds.


      • Drop your head gently into the centre of your chest and roll from left to right.
      • Sitting in your chair, reach both hands up to the ceiling and hold for 16 seconds. Then, extend both arms to the left and then to the right.Inhale as your lift your shoulders up to your ears and create some tension. Exhale and drop your shoulders to relax. Repeat 8 times.


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