Trick Your Mind, Enjoy Your Treat!


Who else raids their kids’ Halloween bags but not necessarily JUST to check for tainted goods? Ah….WE ALL DO!

I usually try to get them to share a Kit Kat, Coffee Crisp and/or Reese Pieces…then of course, the Nibs, the Starburst and…oh yeah…those crunchy cheese like chip things and so on and so on…

I know that all the women in my challenge group want to enjoy Halloween but not the calories it comes with it…soo…here are some healthy snacks that you can make that will have you feeling as though you indulged…but really didn’t.(And yes, I said MAKE instead of BUY…aren’t you worth the work??)

BUT….yes, there’s a but….You HAVE to look at the serving sizes!! Just because it is a healthier version, doesn’t mean you can eat more!!

Grab yourself a nice cup of coffee, tea, seltzer, water…whatever you like and enjoy a small bit of what you think you are missing out on by not raiding those pillow cases!!

I made these for my boot camp class last year…delicious –

Craving ice cream??

Looking for something softer and creamier??

Chocolate is not your thing? You like the saltier treats? –

Or kale chips –

Another EASY peasy delicious treat…peanut butter stuffed medjool dates…But I am talking about medjool dates and NATURAL peanut butter…eat two and you are good to go!

Tips to make these snacks even better…Eat slowly, enjoy the flavor…as opposed to ripping open the smarties box and tilting your head back and shoving all the little candies in your mouth in one shot.

Come on…we have all done it! 😉

Happy Halloween! Don’t let the scale scare you after trick or treating.


See you at the Squat Rack ~



L’Oreal is Not the Only One Worth It


On the last six week challenge that I coordinated from August to mid September, I lost 5lbs and I felt great, motivated and ready to continue with some of the habits I became so accustomed to.

Then a ton of stress hit me straight in the face. It’s interesting how it hit me when the challenge was over and I didn’t really have my group to be accountable to. I mean, I COULD have continued to stay accountable to them since I kept the group page open but I chose not to.

One night of poor snacking led to another, to another and suddenly I was not watching how many times I was grazing on food I shouldn’t have. I was eating through my stress. I was telling myself I deserved that cookie, that bowl of cereal, that piece of cake because man I was stressed and angry and deserving!

Guess what happened?

Eating through my stress, eating all that sugar and extra carbs, made me feel worse – not better. I ended up feeling guilty and bloated and gassy and miserable. So who won here? It certainly wasn’t me.

That was my a-ha moment.

Who was getting the better of me? Stress is always going to be there. It will be there through work, through parenting, through relationships, through the daily struggle of too much to do and not enough time to do it. It won’t go away.

But how you handle it is what you CAN control. It’s what I CAN control.

Luckily, I didn’t gain the 5lbs back, (2lbs instead) but because of the bloating and digestive issues, it definitely felt like I did. My clothes felt tighter and I wasn’t as confident in them. So it was time to take myself back to the motivation and inspiration of my first challenge.

Thank goodness I started my 2nd 6 week challenge this week. My mindset has changed back. I am limited with my weight training due to an injury so I am doing what I can when at the gym. So that means my food intake has to be spot on. It’s amazing how fast life can derail you but it is important to get back on that track to health. You deserve it.

For my challenge I told all the women that they needed to write themselves a note I AM WORTH IT on their scale when they did their first weigh in. Just writing is empowering. WE ARE WORTH IT. We are worth putting GOOD food in our bodies, we are WORTH fueling our body, not poisioning it, we are WORTH moving our bodies, we are WORTH talking to ourselves in a loving, positive manner, like we do with everyone else in our lives.

We are WORTH it.

If you’re interested in details about my Fall Fitness Challenge, email me at

See you at the Squat Rack ~


My (Hard) Lesson with a Barbell


You know how they say exercise is good for the mind? Well, this past week I realized how very much this is true.

As you all know by reading my blog (thank you, thank you, thank you) I am a self-defined gym rat. I love to lift weights. I like to come home from the gym sore and sweaty. And when I can’t, when my gym routine needs to be altered, I am not happy.

So this week, I have not been a happy person. Ask my husband.

I did something stupid at the gym on Sunday and pulled something in my back. Do you think I went home after pulling it? Stupid question. No, I worked through the pain for the hour. Then went home and kinda mentioned that I may have hurt my back.

I have relied on Advil and Platinum Strength Robaxacet for 5 days now. On Monday, I modified my boot camp class workout but really should not have done anything because after class, I was so sore. Tuesday I walked on the treadmill for an hour…of course at a speed that probably was too much for my back. I was almost in tears as I stretched after that. Wednesday, during class, I stayed on the bike and yelled at my classmates the exercises they were to do. I hate doing that. And today, back on the treadmill, slower pace, for 45 minutes. I watched all the people in front of me with their squats and presses and pulls and it makes me sad.

I know…I know…it’s best for me to do what I am doing and let myself heal. I’m seeing my osteopath tomorrow and looking for him to fix me like he did with my ribs.

But delving deeper into this is not just my silly woe is me attitude. I am really seeing how my training routine brings me into a happy place. I am not alone.

“The physical benefits of exercise—improving physical condition and fighting disease—have long been established, and physicians always encourage staying physically active. Exercise is also considered vital for maintaining mental fitness, and it can reduce stress. Studies show that it is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and at enhancing overall cognitive function. This can be especially helpful when stress has depleted your energy or ability to concentrate.

When stress affects the brain, with its many nerve connections, the rest of the body feels the impact as well. So it stands to reason that if your body feels better, so does your mind. Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins—chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers—and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress. Meditation, acupuncture, massage therapy, even breathing deeply can cause your body to produce endorphins. And conventional wisdom holds that a workout of low to moderate intensity makes you feel energized and healthy.

Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects.”

Courtesy of

I have often said exercise is not just good for the body. It REALLY is good for the soul!! It makes me feel good; it makes me feel more confident and strong. It’s a powerful thing!

I can’t wait to get back at it! I can’t wait to feel that sense of energy and motivation!

I promise, next time, to know my place with my barbells – after all they are heavier than I am.


See you at the Squat Rack (eventually) ~


Join my Fall Health and Wellness Challenge – email me at for details! Challenge closes Oct 11th.

Lesson Learned


My 6-week health and wellness challenge ended September 18th. There were times during that challenge that I thought it would last forever and yet, when it was done, I asked myself, “where did that time go?”

The 38 women (we started with 40) lost a combined 200.7 lbs!

I was so proud of each and every one of them. Each of us struggled – some more than others – but no matter what, we could relate to each other. No one felt misunderstood or alone in any part of the challenge. 

Little did we know that many of us would feel the struggle so soon after the challenge ended – myself included.

I think for a lot of us, we felt the challenge was over so we could indulge a bit. But the problem was that we didn’t stop indulging! For me, I faced quite a bit of stress, which caused me to take up sugar again. Immediately I felt terrible. Headache, foggy brain, gut rot, bloat…you name it. But unfortunately it didn’t stop me after that first cheat meal. Luckily, before it got out of hand, I curtailed it and went back on track. But not before seeing the scale move up instead of down.

Why is it so easy for the scale to move that way but impossible for it to move the other???

Surprisingly, when I reached out to my group, they confessed the same thing. A “challenge is over” treat turned a bit much for some of them as well. I think so many of us were on this high and felt we could handle the extra treats…until we stepped on the scale!!

I think what this showed and proved is that this was never a DIET.

So, there is no END to eating healthy, exercising, staying with good healthy habits. Sometimes you don’t have to be as strict with yourself but there’s no end to living a healthy life and eating well the majority of the time. We all know what is good to eat and how good food makes us feel. Some of us learned just that through these six weeks.

It was a great lesson to learn for a lot of the women in this group and a great reminder for me. A lot of us are anticipating our Fall challenge where the accountability is back but so are the fun food and nutrition opportunities that I include each week. I love that so many of these women – and now some added friends- want to continue on to the next six weeks!

But until that starts, I must remember to continue to make good choices the majority of the time. Not just for the scale, but for my wellbeing.

Eating badly doesn’t take the stress away…in fact it adds to it!

Thinking about it that way has actually helped me.

If you are interested in knowing more about the Fall Challenge – email me at

I guarantee you will make 30 more friends. 🙂

See you at the Squat Rack ~


Bad Habits are Hard to Break – Stay Away From the Pantry!

My six week challenge that has 38 women PLUS me in it, is coming to a close on Monday. When I look back on the last 5 weeks, it has flown…but some of those days were loooong….like when I was craving a big honking piece of chocolate or watching my family devouring pizza (that was day 1 by the way) So supportive. LOL.

This challenge wasn’t impossible. Of course, if you put your mind to it, ANYTHING is possible. But one of our challenges that I instituted after week 1 was no eating after 7:45pm (unless you were on shift work or nursing a baby).

As I think back to the weeks prior, I think almost everyone…if not EVERYONE…had a hard time with this particular challenge. What is it about nighttime snacking? Sitting in front of the TV with a bowl of something on your lap. It’s just so common.

We all seemed to struggle with this at one, or two, or ten times over the last few weeks. Not every night struggle…but definitely more than once a week.

Habit. That’s really what it is. You become so customized to routine – a habit. Even if I just ate a great dinner, as the night wore on, I found myself walking towards the kitchen, checking out the pantry…the fridge…just to see what was there, of course. So many times I had to forcibly turn myself around and sit back down without a snack to munch on.

"So, what'll it be...binge watching, binge eating or both?"

Was I even hungry??

Sometimes, yes.

If I didn’t drink enough water during the day or my dinner was not filling, I would be hungry. But so many times I was just looking to crunch on something – don’t tell me to get a carrot – that’s not the crunch I wanted nor would it satisfy the crunch as some people will tell you it does. Even if I could just take some bites of somebody else’s late night snack….but fortunately (unfortunately) my kids know about my challenge and screamed if my fingers found their popcorn bowl. “Mom, NO!! You’re on your challenge!!” It’s like a virtual slap of the hand. It also shows that they DO listen to me!!

I think with a lot of the things we women talk about on this challenge is about breaking some habits. Now, it’s not HORRIBLE to eat something after 7:45pm but it is WHAT you are eating and WHY are you eating after dinner. A fabulous holistic nutritionist (Kathy Wilkes) once taught me “eat with purpose.”

I hope I have taught these amazing 38 women some valuable healthy lifestyle tips. I hope that after the challenge they continue to eat with purpose and break some bad habits but at the same time, enjoy their food and love what they eat and don’t ever look at it as a diet or sacrifice, but as a lifestyle and a choice.

I know they have taught me a lot as well. I learned that women can be great supporters of each other – heroes for each other. It’s been an honour to lead them in this challenge and watch them kick butt.

What will they do the night of the 18th when the challenge is over? Will they grab something crunchy that is not a carrot?? Will they actually take something from their pantries after 7:45pm??? I wonder how many will still walk away….

See you at the Squat Rack




The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

first day

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!

If you are reading this and you are a teacher, you may curse me I know…

As much as I LOVE summer…I love the heat , I love taking vacations, the end of making kids lunches, a little more relaxed vibe at work, there’s just something great about September and the start of a new year.

It’s weird though isn’t it? To think of September as a new year even when you are out of school.

Is it the cooler air?

Is it the darker mornings?

Is it the Fall clothing in the malls?

Is it the Halloween candy already in Walmart?

Does any or all of the above signify a new year…a fresh start??

Nope. It’s the “get your butts to bed on time, get up on time, get back into a routine, you’re driving me nuts, time to go back to school.” 

Ahh…I don’t even care that I had to make lunches today, or pack snacks, or iron their clothes. I did it all with a spring in my step.

In all seriousness, I am very fortunate. Both my kids enjoy school so I am not dealing with what I know some parents are going through tonight. And, I am looking forward to a great year for both of my boys. Grade 6 and Grade 4 – new memories, new challenges and new things to learn.

It’s a great time to reflect on the summer and all the fun we had…but also a great time to think ahead and think about some goals to make for the year ahead.

This year I want to take more in…enjoy the moments a little more, because all of a sudden the baby who never closed his eyes is pretty much as tall as I am and my baby is gelling his hair loving the manly smell of the gel his father gave him.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for many reasons. (And yes, there are other wonderful times of the year lol) Good luck, my boys. I am proud of you.

See you at the Squat Rack ~



3 Tips to Eating Better, Feeling Better

love your food

You read headlines everywhere – 5 ways to lose your belly fat this week! Eat these foods to get skinny! Lose cellulite now with this drink!

Typically these are all garbage…and yet we click…JUST to see what they have to say. LOL.

I do however have 3 tips that help me to stay on track and that changed my life…or at least my tummy.

This blog is short but important if you want to eat better, feel better and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

3 – Limit dairy. I am not saying to eliminate dairy but I do believe that the consumption of dairy…or at least over consumption can, and does, cause inflammation – mucous, bloating, constipation, acne and more.

2 – Try new recipes. NEVER eat food that you don’t like. Keep your food interesting AND healthy. It can happen – especially with sites like Pinterest around now…you can find new ways to make typical healthy dishes. Don’t just eat the same old chicken over and over and don’t cringe at boring salad. Eating healthy doesn’t mean boring, bland food. Add seeds, nuts, fruit to salads – use sesame oil to change the flavor, grill vegetables to add, add black beans, corn…and the list goes on and on…Love what you eat. Be excited about it or you will become resentful and think about all the things you are “missing out on” and not focusing on all the amazing food you are filling your body with.

And you don’t just have to eat salads all time. The variety of vegetables that you can eat without even making a salad is incredible!


1 – For me, this tip is crucial to how I feel overall.

No night snacking.

I don’t mean no snacking ever… for the rest of your life. But for most of the time try to go to bed without food in your belly. You will most likely sleep better (after you get used to it) and you will wake up lighter and way less bloated. And there is some sort of satisfaction of waking up and NOT feeling guilty for what you ate the night before. No more, “why did I eat that??” “Ugh, I feel so crappy/my stomach hurts.”

I don’t have all the answers, but I do believe in the above tips. Try one or try them all and see how you feel! Email me at

See you at the Squat Rack ~


We’re in This Together


It’s incredible how motivation…inspiration… comes into your life sometimes. It’s incredible that sometimes it all comes from strangers.

As most of you know, I started a 6 week health and wellness challenge on a closed Facebook page. I invited friends, family and colleagues to join. Through that, friends of friends joined too.

What started off as a small group has now reached 39 women!!

Most of these women don’t know each other and yet, they are writing each other the most supportive, “you got this”, “we can do this” messages I have ever seen…so quickly. Our challenge just started Monday!

It’s amazing how nurturing women are by nature. I know…I know…sometimes women can be mean to other women…we see it sometimes even in grade school. The drama, the gossip, the peer pressure.

But there is something about this group, and about another group I am a part of, that is so beautiful.

Maybe it is because we are all so different and yet we are finding a commonality – getting healthier, feeling better.

I was bursting with happiness Monday as everyone posted and posted and how so many answered with such support and positivity. I feel everyone that was a part of the discussions was so motivated.

It’s such a struggle for most women to put themselves first, and, so often, our wellbeing (physically and emotionally) suffers. We think we are the only one who crumbles under pressure and eats badly, eats when no one is watching, caves into temptations and always…always…feels guilty afterwards.

What so many of these women in my challenge are learning is that they are NOT alone. We all can breathe a sense of relief that, we too, have all lost weight only to regain it, all of us have eaten well all day only to eat ice cream out the carton after putting the kids to bed. AHHH…we are not alone!!

In this group, we are all different ages and sizes. And none of that matters. We struggle the same. Often, I have to remind myself that it is not really about the food, the scale, the mirror…it’s about how we feel about ourselves. Body image and self-esteem are related, intertwined.

I really hope that this group of strangers will boost each other to a place of confidence and love for themselves. I know that will take time and quite possibly, more than 6 weeks. But man, imagine how far we can go in 6 weeks??

See you at the Squat Rack ~






Who Runs the World? GIRLS!


OK, so typically I wouldn’t quote Beyoncé. Not that I don’t like her music or some of what she stands for, but lately with her pregnancy photos and baby photos…I don’t know…she has turned me off. Anyway….that’s not what this is about!

I started to promote my 6 Weeks to a Healthier You Challenge with the hopes of gathering about 10-15 women who want to make some changes to their health…their lifestyle.

To date, I am OVERWHELMED at the response. I have 35 women who are committed to these six weeks of challenges, food tips, support and motivation. It’s absolutely amazing.

Let me tell you all – all 35 of you – we are all different sizes and shapes. We are all different in how we live, how we work, how we eat, how we enjoy life. And all of that is AWESOME!

So many of you are afraid of the weigh ins…I am too and I am the one organizing lol!! I have the MOST pressure ha ha!

I want you to know that yes, I know weight loss is mostly what you are all looking for. I can relate. I want you to know that it is NOT the only thing to look for. I promise you in this group you will feel supported no matter what. We all really only care about the number on OUR scale not anyone else’s.

I will be posting my weight every Monday. It’s a new thing for me, so here I go!

If you are truly uncomfortable, you can email your weigh ins but I want you to post if you lost weight, etc…you don’t need to put your weight on the page…if you truly don’t want to. I am hoping with time, you will be ok to. But I respect everyone’s comfort zones.

I also don’t want you to get a head of yourself and think this is a miracle pill. LOL. If it was, I would have a six pack! This is going to be a great way to be accountable for your food habits and exercise habits. You will be supported and motivated EVERY DAY. I promise.

I can’t wait to read all of your goals and achievements as they happen – even the small ones…those count just as much!

When I plan a meal in advance…that’s an accomplishment! It will be for you too.

When I started this blog, I wanted it to be something relatable. I wanted to be relatable. I am just like you…regardless of our weight, body fat, muscle, hobbies, lifestyle. There are days I have nothing to wear because I don’t like how anything fits…not gonna lie, threw out a pair of underwear I was wearing in the middle of the day because I hated how they fit. How does underwear change mid day???

Don’t be afraid of this challenge. Don’t be afraid of what everyone else is doing, will do. This is FOR YOU. I want you to remember this quote as we move along…

“Look in the mirror, that’s your competition.”

See you at the Squat Rack ~



**VACATION ALERT** Call somebody else…

vacation meme

Last week my family and I took a road trip to Myrtle Beach. It’s the first time we have ever driven that far. I wasn’t sure how we would fare out in this 14-hour drive – even split over two days. But we survived!

I was looking really forward to doing absolutely nothing on this vacation. Like most families these days, I was feeling overwhelmed with the busyness of our lives. Work was stressful – just the nature of the job, my body was tired (my own fault of pushing every workout to a max and little rest in between), my mind was crowded with a tight schedule of kids activities, dinner preps, lunch preps, cleaning house, laundry…and finding laughter in between all of that. For about 7 weeks, the kids’ activities had us out from Mon-Sat…and in fact Monday nights we fit 3 activities in AFTER my workday. I don’t want to complain because the kids love their sports and we love watching them play. But we were tired.

Myrtle Beach was great for John and I. Sitting out on our balcony that faced the ocean, sitting in silence – no rush to get anywhere, no schedules to coordinate, no work deadlines blocking our minds.


We sat on the beach together and brainstormed life ideas. No kids interrupting. John spent time in the ocean – either with kids or without – and became replenished.

I read a whole book and started another! I made great notes about my blog, my boot camp classes and my upcoming 6-week challenge. I felt invigorated and inspired. I even started a grateful journal and encouraged Jacob to join in me with this. I want to continue to start my days with this activity and change my mindset first thing in the morning and start the day with a positive attitude instead of my anxious, worrywart perspective.

The kids jumped in and out of the pools, rode the lazy river, went down water slides and even conquered a fear.

On this vacation, I didn’t watch my meals as I usually do. I didn’t make every meal an unhealthy one, but I did snack on things I usually don’t eat. I didn’t drink enough water and I didn’t workout until the last couple of days of our vacation and even then, I knew it wasn’t at 100%. I won’t lie and say it didn’t bog my mind because it did, but I didn’t do anything to really fix it, either.

As usual, eating like this caused some pretty big digestive problems for me. I should not have been surprised. To be honest, we have been home for a couple of days and I am JUST starting to feel back to normal.

I do wish I would have moved more and perhaps not have eaten so many fries lol, but man, did it feel really good to put everything behind me and enjoy the sun, the sand between my toes (even though I am not usually a sand lover) and sound of the ocean first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

We are off for another week and taking it easy at home. I am back at the gym and my usual routine and today I prepped some meals. It’s going to be really hard for us all to get back to work on Monday but I am hoping that these 2 weeks off have brought some new life in our work, our hobbies, our families and with ourselves.

I’m back at the Squat Rack ~