Search This Blog

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

You Gonna Workout?

Shaun T Posted this workout today on his Facebook page!  I thought I would share it here too!  Who is up for a challenge today?  

Comment below when you have completed it and how it went!

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Get HOT for Summer Challenge!

My Get HOT for Summer Challenge is coming in May!
I'm bringing my two favourite programs together this Spring in one Awesome Challenge group!
You decide which program is best for you; 21 Day Fix or Insanity Max: 30 and we will begin the program together on Monday May 18th!
Sounds interesting? Comment below “Interested” and I’ll message you the details.

Pick your Trainer

Shaun T - Insanity MAX:30

Every day is a brand-new challenge in INSANITY MAX:30. With killer cardio, challenging Tabata-style strength workouts, plus 150 new moves designed to shatter your limits, Shaun pushes you to work harder, go longer, and MAX OUT later. It’s not about making it through all 30 minutes. It’s about pushing yourself more each day to get the body you’ve always wanted in 60 days. And even though INSANITY MAX:30 is a challenging program, the great thing is you can follow the modifier—whatever your fitness level—to MAX OUT and still get MAX results!
In fact my group that I workout with in the office all LOVE Max:30 and I've got some ladies in the group that are 50+ so if they can do it so can you!

Autumn Calabrese - 21 Day Fix or 21 Day Fix Extreme

With the 21 Day Fix container system, you’ll learn how to create healthy portions simply and intuitively. It shows you how to eat whatever you want, in the right amounts, so you can reach your goals fast. No guesswork, and no calorie counting!
The 21 Day Fix workouts are designed to burn a lot of calories in only 30 minutes. Any fitness level can do them. If you’re a beginner, follow the on-screen modifier. And if you’re an advanced exerciser looking to shed those last few pounds, dial up the intensity and challenge yourself to push harder.
It’s the only fitness and nutrition program that combines portion-control containers and world-class workouts. By placing equal emphasis on fitness and healthy portion control, 21 Day Fix can help anyone lose weight—and keep it off—in a way that’s simple and sustainable. Whether you want to lose 10 pounds or 100 pounds, you can do it with this program.  
This is my most popular program because it's simple but it works! 

This Challenge Group is going to be AWESOME and I can't wait to get started!  
Find me on Facebook and sent me a message or comment below with your email address and I will send you a message!

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Before you Begin - Purge the Pantry

Before you begin on any fitness or clean eating journey the first thing you need to do is Purge your Pantry!  

Here are a few steps to set you off in the right direction...

Start with a clean sweep

You won't be able to see what you're working with until you've completely removed everything from your pantry. Small containers and packages of spices tend to fall over and get pushed to the back. By emptying your pantry, you may uncover a few hidden items that you'd completely forgotten about. 

Read Ingredient lists and Donate

The only way to know if an item is clean/real food is to read the ingredients lists on the back of everything.  Not the Nutritional facts that tell you how many grams nope, the list of who's actually in the product!

When reading the nutrition facts label, ingredients are listed in order of predominance by weight.  This means that the product contains more of the first ingredient than any other single ingredient. So if the ingredients are “oats, honey, peanut butter, water, salt” you know that there are more oats than honey in the product, even if only by a tiny margin. However, it’s possible that if you combine the honey and peanut butter, they outweigh the oats.

What to watch out for...

  • Margarine
  • Shortening
  • Cake Mixes and Frosting
  • Pancake and waffle mixes, too, often contain hydrogenated oils.
  • Ice Cream - Yep some flavours of ice cream contain trans fats
  • Non-dairy creamers
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Store Bought cookies and Cookie Dough
  • Pillsbury's refrigerated Grands and other rolls
  • Crackers - Read the ingredients list on all crackers.  I personally stick with triscuits or Mary's Organic crackers
  • Frozen dinners - Read labels carefully when you're in the frozen-foods section. They are likely to contain trans fat not just to make the foods more stable but also to give them a fattier feel in your mouth.
  • Packaged pudding
  • Canned Chili and soups - read the ingredients list very carefully

Sugar, artificial sweeteners and High Fructose Corn Syrup

I have learned to use and love love honey and maple syrup and even use them for my baking and cooking.  But Sugar and artificial sweeteners are lurking everywhere even in crackers so read your ingredients list not just the nutrition facts before deciding what to keep and what to donate from your pantry. 

Check out my Sugar Sugar Sugar blog post for all you need to know and what to look for when reading the ingredients list!

Sort and purge

Once everything's out of your pantry, take inventory of your supplies and decide what to keep and what to toss. If you have a tendency to hang onto unused goods("I may use that... someday") they take my advice...If you don't use it, throw it out! That high-fiber breakfast cereal you bought with good intentions, and that new popcorn flavor you bought but didn't like need to go (you shouldn't be keeping that anyways!). If it's unopened and unspoiled, donate it. If it's opened, toss it. No sense in crowding your shelves with past mistakes.
  • Dented cans
  • Bags and boxes with rips or tears
  • Spices older than one year
  • Items that are expired
  • Any bulk food item with an unknown purchase date


Once you've purged your pantry, categorize your remaining items in a manner similar to a grocery store. my suggestion is grouping snacks on one shelf and breakfast items on another. Keeping your pantry organized in this fashion will make it easier to identify the items you need when heading to the store or making a meal.


Before restocking your pantry with your newly categorized supplies, make sure you thoroughly clean out the space. Start at the top shelf and wipe down all surfaces with a warm, damp towel, then dry the shelves completely. Use your vacuum's dusting attachment to dust corners and floors. If any of your food containers are sticky or dusty, wipe them down before placing them back in the pantry. This is not necessary if your just purging your pantry to start a new clean eating meal plan but it helps you feel good about your newly organized and refreshed cupboards!


It's one thing to clean out your pantry; it's another to keep it clean and organized. By putting in a little effort initially, you'll save yourself the hassle down the road. Bins, airtight containers, shelf dividers and under-shelf baskets can help you keep things fresh and in their proper places. Get out your labelmaker and label the pantry categories so your family will know where to replace supplies after using them.

I have stackable bins to keep my bulk nuts and dried fruits in and I have labeled each one so that I know what is in each for when I'm using and restocking!

"Have little ones in your home? Create an easy-to-reach shelf for them in the pantry where they can easily grab a snack. Make sure to include healthy foods like raisins, air-popped popcorn and other items on this shelf. 

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Banana Bread Bars with Healthy Honey Frosting

Banana Bread Bars with Healthy Honey Frosting

This recipe is a favourite of ours but I tend to avoid making it purely because my old recipe called for a brown butter frosting which contained icing sugar.  #1 I hardly ever use any kind of processed sugar in my baking (just honey and maple syrup) and #2 the Banana bread bar recipe is a very clean recipe so it kills me to junk it up with icing sugar!

I've searched before but I decided to search again for ideas on how to make a icing sugar free Healthy frosting and I gathered a bunch of ideas!  You can check out that recipe here!  

Healthy Honey Frosting

Once I knew I could make this whole recipe 100% clean baked I started to make the Banana Bread Bar!

Banana Bread Bars with Healthy Honey Frosting


3/4 cup honey
1 cup full fat greek yogurt
1/2 cup butter or coconut oil
2 eggs
3-4 mashed ripe bananas
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


Heat oven to 375 degrees
Grease an 8x8 baking pan with butter or coconut oil 
In a large bowl beat together wet ingredients.  
Add in dry ingredients, glen until incorporated. 

Spread batter evenly into pan and bake for 40-50 Minutes or until a knife comes out clean if stuck into the centre. 

Once cooled top with my Finally Healthy Honey Frosting!

Banana Bread Bars with Healthy Honey Frosting

Finally Healthy Honey Frosting

Banana Bread Bars with Healthy Honey Frosting

I have FOREVER been searching for a Healthy Frosting Recipe.  There are so many ways to make cakes, cupcakes, scones and muffins healthy but what is frusterating is that icing typically calls for icing SUGAR.  One thing I hate including in my baking is processed sugar.  I usually use only Honey or Maple Syrup. 

But I finally found one and modified it to what I had on hand so here you go! 

Finally Healthy Honey Frosting Recipe


    1/2 cup Almond milk
    1/2 cup honey
    pinch celtic sea salt
    3 teaspoons arrowroot powder or Corn Starch
    1/2 tablespoon water
    3/4 cup coconut oil


  •  In a medium saucepan, heat Almond milk, honey and salt, simmer for 10 minutes
  • In a small bowl, combine arrowroot and water to form a smooth paste
  • Pour arrowroot mixture into saucepan
  • Whisk vigorously to combine, then bring to a boil, briefly, until shiny
  • Remove pot from heat and very gradually blend in coconut oil with a hand blender

Healthy Honey Frosting

  • Allow pot to cool for 10 minutes
  • Place pot in refrigerator for 45-120 minutes, until frosting solidifies and turns white
  • Remove from refrigerator and blend again with a hand blender, until fluffy
  • Spread over cake or cupcakes
Healthy Honey Frosting

I used this recipe on my Banana Bread Bars, which have historically called for a Brown Butter Frosting.  I tend to skip past this recipe in my book because I dislike using frosting on an otherwise healthy bar.  But in this case I feel good about the whole recipe!

Banana Bread Bars with Healthy Honey Frosting

The unique connection

Wow this short clip was so special to watch!  It leaves me so wanting to try this myself with Asher.  

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you blind folded your kid and had them try to find their mom in a line up of other moms?  Well this Pandora clip shares just that with you! So heart warming!  Check it out...

Monday, 20 April 2015

Homemade Ranch Dressing Seasoning Mix

Ranch dressing spice mix, spice mix recipe, homemade ranch dressing, clean eating ranch dressing

My Oldest son Asher LOVES Ranch dressing.  But I hate buying the store bought stuff, so the last time I picked a bottle up I decided I would make my own next time! I hardly ever purchase store bought dressings anyways. Today I made my own mix so that I could have a healthier alternative for him available when he wanted Ranch Dressing so here is the recipe I used:

Homemade Ranch Dressing Seasoning Mix


  • 2 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt


  • Add each of the dried spices to a bowl and gently stir

  • Store in a small mason jar with tight fitting lid in your spice cabinet.
  • To make the ranch dressing, whisk together 1/3 cup greek yogurt or Sour Cream with 1/4 cup milk (more or less depending on the consistency you want) with 1 Tbsp of the homemade ranch dressing seasoning mix.  Use immediately and can refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • Makes about 4 Tbsp worth of mix. Or use the ratios above and mix up however much you’ll need!
After I tried it out first I had Asher try it and he loved it!  He had two helpings of cucumbers and dip before dinner!  Mommy Win right there!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

All Inclusive Resort Packing List

So I'm heading to Cancun Mexico on an all inclusive vacation paid for by Beachbody!  Yep, a free vacation!!!  

I was able to earn this trip plus travel cash just by helping people start their own fitness journey's and teaching other's to do the same!  It's been an amazing journey and I'm totally shocked that I was able to go on this Success Club Trip!  

I have learned a lot about believing in yourself enough to GO FOR IT!  Last year when registration for the Cancun Trip opened up, I didn't register because I didn't believe that I could earn a paid trip, but a few months later I realized that what I was doing was already earning me the trip, so I decided to register and get on the wait list.  Well I earned that trip, long before I got off the wait list and I was kicking myself for not believing in myself.  

I had all but given up hope of going on the trip until 3 weeks ago when I got an email saying that I was off the wait list and they were offering me a spot!!!  And you know what, the stars aligned and I was able to make it happen, even if it was last minute! And now I'm packing for my trip and excited to spend 4 nights in the Moon Palace Resort in Cancun Mexico with a group of amazing and inspiring coaches! 

So what do you pack for an all inclusive resort?  

I did a little research on Pinterest of course and this is my list so far: 

2-3 bathing suits – You might be able to get away with two if you only wear one a day, but if you’re planning on hitting the pool/beach more than once, having an extra dry back up will come in handy! For me, three is a must. 

 2-3 bathing suit cover-ups - I only have one but I'm on the look out for a second one without spending $50+

A hat – I snagged a a floppy straw hat, like this one from Roxy for $16.99!  Much better deal than the $40 ones I found at the Bay!  I'll probably bring along a baseball cap as well! 
And don’t forget some sunglasses!

A pair of pool/beach flip-flops. These are not your everyday sandals. I’m talking about your classic flippy-floppies. The only time you’ll have them on is for walking to and from the beach or pool. No need to have several pairs! I got a pair of Sunuks from our local board shop on sale!  These bad boys are made out of yoga mat! 

Two pairs of dressier sandals. These should be nicer than flip-flops and acceptable enough to wear into the nicer resort restaurants. (Think something like this or even wedges!) I found lots of cheap and dressy Sandals at the Ardene.  

Workout wear - Because this is a Beachbody trip there will be workouts each day with the trainers (Tony Horton, Shaun T, and Autumn Calabrese).  So I have packed lots of workout wear and a pair of runners too!
Dresses. A couple sundresses or maxi dresses will take you from a beach side stroll to dinner. Or if your short like me look for Maxi Skirts and use them as a dress!   I packed four dresses.  (Here is what I found)

2-3 pairs of shorts is what was recommended but i think I packed 4 nicer shorts and 2 pairs of surfer shorts too!  But I'm an over packer because I never know what I might want!  Rather have a skirt? Swap one for a pair of shorts.

4-5 tops. The lighter the better, but again make sure you check those restaurant dress codes if you’re wearing them in the evening!

Linen Pants - Now I'm not 100% sure on this one, I bought them from Roxy while looking for Maxi Shirts and fell in love.  BUT they are light and I can totally dress them up with a strappy sandal.... So I'm bringing them along for the evenings and dressier events we have to attend.  I'll update you on if I found them good or not in the heat...

Other items I am packing:

A Tumbler, shaker cup or something similar. From what I have read, most all-inclusives serve drinks in tiny plastic cups. Wanna keep that frozen drink actually frozen? Looking to lounge as much as possible? Bring your own cup! I have packed my Shakeology Shaker cup so hopefully that will be good enough!

Bug bracelets or bug spray. Do some research on your beach, but I've heard that bugs can be killer at night time! 

Just in case, I am packing a first aid kit with band-aids, antacid, and pain-relievers. I'm not usually one for tummy trouble but it's always good to be prepared!  Trying unfamiliar foods or indulging in those extra cocktails can do a number on anyone's tummy!

No need to mention all of the underthings to pack, PJs, and toiletries, right? Good. Then, there is also sunscreen, sunscreen, and more sunscreen. And books if you’re into that sort of thing. I will be bringing one of my Personal Development books that I never seem to find the time to read at home!  

What else: 
Hair Straightener
Phone Charger

Leaving it at home: jewelry,full-face makeup kit (keepin it light!), and anything irreplaceable.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Food Prep & Storage tips

If your like me and you make the effort to buy good-for-you eats: lots of fruits and veggies, lean meats, dairy, and whole grains; then you will want to make sure that you’re keeping your food as fresh—and safe—as possible! Read on for tips on how to store, prep, and cook your healthy foods!

Keep Produce Super Fresh

When you come home from the grocery store or farmer’s market, what do you do to make your tasty loot last? 

Not everything has to be stored in the fridge, but perishable produce does!

Fridge Items:

Leafy greens 
Summer squash
Pre-cut or peeled fruits and vegetables

Room Temp OK

Not everything has to take up precious fridge real estate these items are completely safe if stored at room temp!
Stash potatoes and onions in your pantry.
I personally like a cold apple so I do keep them in the fridge along with my cherry tomatoes but they are safe to keep outside the fridge if it's getting overfull!

Fridge Temperature

Look at your fridge temp—it should be 40 degrees F or below. 
The crisper bins in your fridge can become germ-ridden from dirt and bacteria that clings to fruits and vegetables. Clean crisper drawers monthly with soap and water, and wipe dry with a clean towel.
When I do a big fridge clean out I often take my Crisper bins right out of the fridge and put them into the bath tub to give them a good wash!  Then I can also clean under them as well. 

Safely Store Dairy

Milk, cheese, and yogurt provide an ideal environment for make-you-sick microbes to grow, so always keep these refrigerated. In fact, many experts recommend shopping the dairy aisle last to keep the amount of time kept at room temp to a minimum. Cheese is best kept at 35 to 45 degrees F, and it is suggested that storing your cheese in one of the crisper bins for ideal humidity/temperature range. Apparently with yogurt, it's not necessary to toss it just because the “sell by” date has come and gone. Containers stay good for 7 to 10 days after this date—so eat and enjoy. (Just if it looks curdled or has an “off” sour smell, by all means use your smarts and toss. Ick.)
Milk should be stashed on the fridge shelves (as opposed to the door; continual opening and closing—you know, when you want to take a peek to know what you have—speeds up spoilage). And get this, you can drink it up to one week past the sell-by date, as long as your fridge stayed cooler than 40 degrees F. BUT I know my hubby would never go for that! He is the type to toss it the day before it's expired.  
The old way to store butter was covered on the counter—and bonus, it always stays soft that way! This is how I usually store a small amount of butter.  But you’ll decrease bacterial contamination risk if you keep it in the fridge.  Take it out before you need it to make it spreadable if your concerned, but for me I like having a small amount ready to go in the butter dish on the table.  I always put the Butter dish in the dishwasher in between new batches to reduce contamination.  

Eggs Belong in the Fridge

My sister has chickens and I noticed that the eggs come in the house and get washed but don't always go straight into the fridge... it got me thinking.  Is it OK to leave them out for a few days?  Apparently many Europeans don’t refrigerate their eggs—they sit pretty on the counter. But that’s because of the differences in practices to safeguard eggs from salmonella between Europe and the US/Canada.  In Europe,  they treat eggs to destroy salmonella by vaccinating poultry, among other hygiene measures. For that reason, in the US and Canada you’ve got to store in the fridge asap. Keep them on the shelves (not in the door) and scramble, poach, fry, or cook with ‘em within three to five weeks.

Prep Everything Well

Rinse or soak all fruits and vegetables (yep, organic, too!) thoroughly under running tap water—scrub with a brush if you need to get in all the nooks and crannies. No need for fancy fruit and veggie cleaners, either. I usually bring all my produce home and soak it in the sink.  With berries like raspberries and strawberries I have learned to wait until I am ready to eat them as they start to mold much faster if you wash them and leave them.  
You also need to wash produce where you’re going to take the skin or rind off (like cantaloupe and kiwi). That’s because when you cut through the skin, you can easily transfer bacteria from the skin into the flesh via your knife.

Cutting Board Safety

You might have one main cutting board you love. If that’s the case, it’s time to find at least one more. Reserve one cutting board for ready-to-eat bites, like produce and bread, says the USDA, and another for raw meat and seafood. I have a main big wood board that we use for daily items like cutting cheese, bread, or produce and then I have a few plastic ones that I will use for meats. 
For easy clean up, I will throw plastic boards in the dishwasher. (Best to be totally sure, so read the care instructions first.)

Cook Meat Right

Your first move is to pay attention to the date on your meat—even meat you buy at the butcher’s counter in grocery stores will list a sell-by date on it. Ground meat and poultry can only hang out for 1 to 2 days, while steaks/chops/roasts last 3 to 5 days. And you’ve got a meat bin in the fridge for a reason (it keeps things all cool), so use it. Oh, and never, ever wash poultry. It just leaves your sink teeming with possible salmonella and other nasty microbes, ummm Yuck!

The next step is to thoroughly cook it the meat. Luckily, that doesn’t mean you have to heat it to submission (until all taste is gone). Because safely cooked meat can range in color (for example, chicken that’s cooked right can still look pink, or brown hamburger meat can still be undercooked), you want to use a thermometer to take the protein’s internal temp. You can find a handy chart of the proper temp to cook meat (and more) to at, but for a sneak peak: ground meat (160 degrees F), steak/roast (145 degrees F), chicken and turkey (165 degrees F), and pork (145 degrees F). 
Oh and get a fresh new plate to put the cooked burgers or just-right juicy chicken on rather than re-using the same plate.

Bread Storage

Bread is best stored in its original packaging, tightly closed with a quick lock or twist tie. Stored this way, most bread will keep fresh for several days at room temperature. In warm humid areas, where mold growth is a problem, it may be best to freeze the bread and defrost slices as needed.
Bread may be kept in the Freezer for up to 8 months. 
To refrigerate or not to refrigerate that is the question.... 
Ok so I have seen a lot of people who store their bread in the fridge. I have always stored mine at room temperature, so I had to look it up and see what the facts are. This is what I found...
Avoid storing bread in a refrigerator. The average temperature of most domestic refrigerators is about 41°F (5°C). This is the temperature at which bread stales most quickly. One day in the refrigerator is equivalent to three days at room temperature.
Good to know right!  

Find me on Social