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My New Waistline Journey

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I was at a social event last week, the official opening of the Muskoka North Good Food Co-op that I can’t be more proud to be a part of and my favorite place to grocery shop. I was talking with some lovely ladies and one of them said skinny doesn’t mean healthy. I can’t agree more, but your ideal weight will make you feel your best so you can do ALL the things you want to do. This is a journey towards health, which so often leads to weight loss and connecting with your body. There’s 10 years and 30 pounds between my before and after photo. This is my journey.

When I left home for college I didn’t know very much about cooking or what to eat. Grocery shopping was a steep learning curve. My mom did a good job of feeding me, I just never took the interest or time to learn. My roommates were the same. We made a lot of instant food and even got excited about enjoying instant mash potatoes and gravy for dinner. Just instant potatoes and gravy. I gained 20 and then 30 pounds in that first year.

Nothing changed for me for a couple of years, until I got a new roommate who was used to cooking for her family through high school. We were eating proper meals on a regular basis. My weight started going down naturally, but we were still eating lots of junk too between our regular good dinners. My muffin top never went away, I started to realize the power of food.

I learned to really understand the power of food when I started back country camping. I was studying Outdoor Recreation and Leisure, we did a lot of field trips in the form of wilderness camping. We learned the importance of food and food stress in a groups. We spent a lot of time discussing what to eat on these trips and how much to bring, planning everything out for three days in the wilderness. Out there, eating this food is when I felt my best. We put thought into our protein intake and nourishing our bodies while being physically active. I had scraped the surface of wanting to learn about nutrition.

After University I worked in the outdoor education/recreation field, it was physically demanding, and now I knew how to keep fed and how to feed a hungry crowd. I didn’t know how to cook or grocery shop very well yet. I never read ingredients or labels, just the sale prices. Because of how active I was, I was in my best physical shape ever; but I was tired a lot and had lots of crazy cravings. I needed a break, I used my savings and my partner and I traveled the Caribbean for 2 months.

I didn’t want to go back to the exhaustive work I was doing. I wanted to start a business and I wanted to learn about nutrition. I studied nutrition for a year when we returned home. I learned so so much I never knew or thought to ask before. I was so worried about gaining back the 30 pounds I lost by leaving my active lifestyle, but I learned how to fuel my body. I don’t feel exhausted any more, I don’t get the cravings I used. I don’t get “hangry” (hungry + angry) like I used to. I enjoy cooking (most of the time) now after all I have learned. My waistline is as trim as it has ever been. I now wear a smaller pant size then I did when I was in high school. Eating clean and whole food without feeling deprived and still indulging in wine and ice cream has got me feeling and looking my best ever.

I’m so inspired to share everything I’ve learned about nutrition and the food industry. I want all women to feel awesome in their bodies. Life is short, you deserve to feel your best. I want to help you get there. I will be spilling secrets on My New Waistline webinar this week.

Monday Oct 29 at 10:00am
and
Thursday Nov 1 at 8:00pm

Can’t make it? Sign up anyway for the replay to watch at your leisure.

Wishing you your best health and a slim waistline! I’m rooting for you. I feel very vulnerable sharing my story with you, but I know it’s important. I want to support you in your journey. Mine spans 10 years, it is unique and yours will be too. Let me guide you on your weightloss journey, so you can feel your best to do ALL the things you want.

New Waistline Webinar

CLICK TO SIGN UP

 

 

 

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Summer Salads with Homemade Dressing

Strawberry Balsamic SaladIMG_5691

Ingredients:
As much fresh greens as you want to eat
Spinach
sliced strawberries
Sliced thin red pepper
goat cheese and/or  cubed mozzarella cheese

Dressing:
Olive oil
balsamic vinegar
squeeze from a wedge of lemon
salt & pepper to taste

The dressing should be high quality ingredients. I used to use the cheapest olive oil and vinegar and not think much about salad dressing or enjoy it as much as I do now that I’ve invested in higher quality ingredients. The mix should be 2 parts olive oil and 1 part balsamic vinegar. So pour the oil a small bowl or cup first and then half to one third that amount of vinegar. Always taste test before mixing into the salad, I usually find I need to add more salt.

Caesar Salad

Dressing Ingredients:
1 garlic clove
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed butter, could use any other nut or seed butter, or hummus)
Juice from half a lemon
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or any other vinegar)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Blend together in a blender or food processor, or if you don’t have one mix by hand just be sure to finely chop the garlic, because it is raw and a big chunk will be surprising.

Salad:
Romaine lettuce
Cucumber
Croutons (if you wish – saute bread chunks in olive oil in a pan over medium heat)
Cooked Chicken (optional)

It’s salad, add whatever raw veggies you desire!

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Ingredients:
1 avocado, sliced
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
Juice from half a lemon
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried dill (or more if you like dill)
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon onion powder
Pinch sea salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut yogurt (optional)

Instructions:
Add all ingredients in a blender and blend for about 2 minutes or
until desired consistency. Add a little water or lemon juice if you
prefer a less “creamy” consistency. Use immediately or store any
leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3
days.

Toss into salad of your choice, mixed leafy greens, cucumber, peppers, tomato, grated carrot, whatever your favourite salad ingredients are.

Enjoy!

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What to Bring and Wear Camping?

So you’re thinking of going camping this Summer? Maybe it’s your first time or maybe you’re an expert but wonder how others do it. I have a personal packing list I use every time, and it took me a long time to learn through trial and error what and how to pack. I’ve been camping for over 20 years and guiding for 10 years, I’ve spent over 300 nights camping in the back country since I started guiding.

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Packing used to really stress me out, not knowing what I would need I used to over pack, thinking it was a good thing to be prepared for anything. When I was a kid in girl guides we would go camping and carry all our stuff, thankfully not very far. I was always the slowest and come in last, because I packed the most stuff. I didn’t want to be that kid in last anymore when I went to college to study Ecotourism. I have it down to an art. I know what I need and bring nothing more. I get really disappointed in myself if I bring things or clothes and don’t use them. I have learned through direct experience of every trip exactly what I need when camping to be comfortable.

Like any travel camping requires planning. Personally I love getting out into the wilderness and putting life on pause while I soak up Nature. There is something so powerful about being reminded of what is really most important in life: food, shelter, and water. All of a sudden when you “rough it” your priorities become more clear and worries seem to get smaller.  Sometimes it feels like you need almost nothing at all, but it’s absolutely best to be prepared to be comfortable in all weather. If you’re packed for cold and rainy weather, it’s less likely to happen. So the theory among my friends, bring your jacket so it doesn’t rain. I do not get disappointed in myself if I bring a rain jacket and don’t use it. Although I usually do, it’s a great layering piece for wind or cool weather, or just first thing in the morning. Never leave home to go camping without a rain jacket!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD MY ULTIMATE CAMPING PACKING LIST

The secret to good packing is planning what to wear. No matter how long the trip is, it makes the most sense to wear the same clothes everyday. This may seem like a bizarre concept; but you’re camping, it’s ok to be dirty and wear dirty clothes. You want to have two sets of clothes, your day clothes and your camp clothes. Your day clothes should be light and quick dry material. I prefer long clothing to be protected from the sun and mosquitoes. If it’s August I add an extra layer and wear a tank top under my long sleeve quick dry shirt so I can have the long sleeves on and off easily. I always wear the same pants, quick dry light pants that zip off into shorts when I want. I’ve had the same ones for years now made by The North Face that have been extremely tough, reliable, and exceptionally stain resistant. Even when I wear them everyday camping they don’t seem to look dirty. Although how you look camping should never be a concern, how you feel should be your priority. Your camp clothes should be comfortable and I always make a point of bringing a t-shirt that I love and makes me feel good when I wear it. You change into these clothes when you’re done exploring for the day and have a less risk of getting wet and as dirty. These clothes can be whatever you want, cotton is fine.

Sam Portage

When I mentioned quick dry clothing, that is basically anything except cotton. Cotton takes a long time to dry, and even longer if you’re wearing it. As cotton drys, if you are wearing it, the material will actually pull heat away from your body and make you cold. Not something you want when you’re camping, especially if it’s raining you become quite uncomfortable. Even when quick dry clothing (synthetic, polyester or wool) is wet it will keep you warm. When I was in school learning all about guiding and taking people on adventures, we had a saying about clothing. Cotton is Rotten. Simple as that, you don’t want to wear cotton day clothes. Your comfy camp clothes are fine to be cotton, as long as your heavier layer to keep you warm if it gets cold is fleece or wool. Remember cotton will not keep you warm and if it gets wet you could become dangerously cold, even in August.

The majority of camping I do is in the form of canoe trips, there is something magical about paddling away under your own force from a busy life to get some down time. If you have questions about how this is done, download my ultimate camping packing list and ask me anything. I love to share and encourage others to get out into nature and live their healthiest lives. If getting away and paddling into the Wilderness is appealing to you, you would love my Women’s Wilderness Canoe and Yoga Retreat. Women 30-70 years old, gather and I take them on a 3 day backcountry canoe trip with a yoga instructor.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD MY ULTIMATE CAMPING PACKING LIST

Enjoy my gift to you! The packing list that took me almost 10 years to perfect. It was a working document for a long time while I learned what I used and needed while camping. You may need to tweak it to your needs, but it works perfectly for me and I would love for you to take a look and let me know what you think. And if you’re ready for an adventure, connection with nature, yourself, and other women let me know if you have any questions about the Women’s Wilderness Canoe and Yoga Retreat. It’s a trip I value so much that I’ve run it every year since 2016 and hope to keep on running it.

Sugar Free Challenge

How do YOU feel in your body, what do you need, what does your body want? Do you know?

I crave sugar a couple times a week, more if I’m being honest, more often than not I give into it with chocolate or ice cream. It feels so good going down, that feeling doesn’t last long until I want more or I feel cramping and gross and ultimately regret it. That could be the dairy in the ice cream, maybe not the sugar. However, maybe like you I know the sugar energy crash all to well. I will yawn all afternoon and feel sluggish, if I fight the craving and don’t give in I don’t get as tired in the afternoon. Just my personal observation. I have learned to take the sugar in small doses. I also know the more sugar you eat the more you crave it also the more your waist line grows, so I’m ready to challenge myself and others to cut it out for a week. We can do it together. It will make for a clearer picture of how sugar really makes you feel and how it is affects your body, including your waist line.

Knowing this, I still eat the ice cream a couple of times a week. My day job I’m the Assistant Manager at a local marina and we serve ice cream. I love ice cream and when I’m serving ice cream a lot I can’t help eating it. SO I do, I don’t feel guilty for it, I am aware of the trade off of the short sugar high for the sluggish afternoon. I just try to not eat it everyday until my pants get tight. Everything in moderation.

This challenge is about tuning in to your body and understanding how you feel related to what you eat. Taking notice of the effects of food on your body. We are all so busy all the time, how often do you check in with yourself? Before it’s too late and you are sick and have to slow down and take care of yourself.

Being in tune with your body and knowing how to fuel it to keep a slim waist line and feel vibrant is so wonderful. That is what I want to help you with.

The Sugar Free Challenge kit will provide you with options for meals and snacks so if you are wondering what the heck you’ll be able to eat. If you want to feel your best in your body getting aware of hidden sugar and what it does to you is the best place to start. Let’s do this free challenge together.

Join me Monday! CLICK HERE

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Beef Stroganoff

I never used to cook, mostly because I didn’t know how. I’ve done a lot of experimenting in the kitchen over the last 4 years and I’ve come to really enjoy getting creative in the kitchen. I haven’t gotten very good at planning a weeks worth of meals and getting all the right groceries, instead I get lots of veggies I love, and high quality meat then throw things together.

Do you use recipes? I look at recipes for inspiration then work with what I have. The other day I had frozen ground beef, and we didn’t have beef for a while, so I chose it for dinner. I didn’t feel like having tomato sauce, and I had egg noodles. Beef stroganoff came to mind, I’ve never made beef stroganoff, so I googled it and found a basic recipe. Turns out it’s made with striploin beef, and typically only contains mushrooms and onions. I loosely followed the recipe with the ingredients I had and what I wanted to eat. It turned out great, so great I want to share it with you, and I will make this again.

Beef Stroganoff

Ingredients:
Ground beef 1 pound
1 Onion
Mushrooms
1 clove Garlic
Zucchini
Broccoli
Broth (beef broth, I only had Pho Vegetable broth, it was still really yummy)
Butter
Sour Cream (optional) or plain greek yoghurt
Egg Noodles

Directions:
Cook ground beef in a skillet that you can add everything to over medium heat. Boil water in a pot for the egg noodles. Chop up all you veggies. Once the ground beef is mostly cooked add the onions and garlic, once the onions are soft, add the mushrooms. Once the mushrooms are soft add a tablespoon of butter and the chopped up zucchini. Once the butter is melted add 2 cups of broth. Most recipes will call for beef broth, I used Pho Vegetable broth, because it’s what I had, any veggie broth will do. Cover and allow to come to a boil. Once the broth comes to a boil add the broccoli, leave uncovered to simmer and reduce. Add your egg noodles to the boiling water, let cook, then drain. Turn the heat off the beef and veggies, add 1/2 cup of sour cream, stir in, serve over egg noodles. Enjoy!

Want more recipes that will increase your energy and make you feel great!? I’ve created a 3 day Fight the Fatigue Meal Plan, click below to get it!

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Chicken & Veggie Curry

I had a friend make this for me, and just fell in love with it. It was easy, satisfying, and incredibly tasty. It has a rich and creamy taste, but is good for, since that richness comes from the coconut milk. I will definitely be making this recipe again and again.

Chicken & Veggie Curry over Rice

Ingredients:

Red curry paste

coconut milk

Ginger (1 square inch finely chopped)

Bamboo shoots

Broccoli

Zucchini

Lime (or lime leaves)

Red pepper (sliced thinly lengthwise)

Chicken (optional)

Directions:

If you are adding chicken, cook it first. However you’d like, we roasted a whole chicken in the oven and then cut it up to add in. In a frying pan mix together 2 tablespoons of curry paste into one can of coconut milk. Add the ginger and bamboo shoots. Let simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes. Add in the broccoli and zucchini, let simmer for 5 minutes until they turn darker green. Add in the lime or lime leaves and the red peppers, let simmer for 5 minutes until the peppers are soft. Serve over rice. Enjoy!

Want more delicious and good for you recipes? Click Below.

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What is Eating Clean?

Eating clean has become a trendy term. You may have heard me talk about how I’ve cleaned up my diet. Not quite sure what it means? Let me share.

The food industry has become a filthy place, believe it or not, we expect all food put onto the shelves in grocery stores to be good or at least safe for us. I also used to think it wouldn’t or couldn’t be there if it were dangerous. Sadly money talks in all areas of the world, including the food industry. Our food has been changing in the last 50 or so years, and most of us have been unaware of it. I know I was until I started studying nutrition.

There is little research done on the long term effects of chemicals in our bodies, which get there from the food we eat. The most harmful ones are the chemicals not on the label; sprayed on the vegetables, or given as medication to the animals we eat, or genetically modified right into the seeds.

I should warn you now…the more you learn about this, the harder it becomes to grocery shop and choose food you want to eat. But the better you will feel.

Do you know what a GMO is? A Genetically Modified Organism has been changed at the seed level to withstand the heavy spraying of pesticides, and it is not required to be labeled. It has come to the point that if produce is not organic or Non-GMO it is covered in chemicals that are now grown into the food. 

Our bodies do not digest chemicals well, more often than not the body will become inflamed, will bloat, and spend lots of energy fighting or doing its best to digest these chemicals. You feel sore, achy, and tired. 

This is why when possible, buy organic, or look for the Non-GMO label. Consider where your food is coming from and how it’s been treated, whenever possible buy local from a trusted source.

Grocery Shopping Tips:
1. The clean food is found around the perimeter (the outside aisles) of the grocery store. The isles are full of processed junk.  
2. Read the ingredients: how many are there, do you know what they are.
3. Buy organic or non-GMO, or a trusted local source
4. Play detective; where did the food come from, do you trust it, what’s in it?

Eating clean is simplifying the food you eat.

Look at the ingredients of everything you eat.

Can you pronounce them? Do you know what they are?

Eating clean is eating products with 3 or no more than 5 ingredients that are not chemicals.

 

This is one of the things I talk about in my Feel Better Webinar. Sign Up to learn more ways to feel vibrant and shed unwanted weight.
CLICK HERE.

Feel BetterWebinar

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