White Chocolate Lemon Zest Cranberry Cookies

These cookies are perfect for the Christmas season. The lemon zest brings out the cranberry taste for a refreshing punch of flavour.  You will need:    1 egg  1/2 cup brown sugar (packed) 1/2 cup canola oil  1 cup white flour  1/2 tsp baking soda  3/4 cup quick oats  1/4 cup white chocolate chips  1/4 cup dried cranberries  Zest of 1/2 a lemon   Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees Celsius Prepare the cookie dough… In a large mixing bowl combine the egg, brown sugar and canola oil. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, quick oats, chocolate chips and cranberries. Add the flour mixture to the first bowl.           Zest 1/2 a lemon into the bowl of ingredients.            Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Use a spoon to portion out the cookie dough into balls on the sheet. Press each one down with a fork. Place in the oven to bake for 12-15 minutes.           Makes 18-24...

The Holiday Survival Guide!

The holiday season is upon us! This time of year has always created a unique barrier for my clients. Whether it is a work party, a best friend’s holiday get together, a family dinner, or a New Year’s party; holiday parties tend to get in the way the routine you have built for healthy eating and active living. This barrier is also not short lived as some holiday parties start as early as mid November and carry on into the New Year, which is at the very least, 6 weeks of holiday merriment! Now there’s nothing wrong with a good holiday party, but often people can feel derailed when presented with treats and “once in a while” foods at every corner. It can feel impossible to stick to your nutrition plan and also challenging to find time to keep up with fitness goals. In this guide you will find helpful tips that you can use to help maintain (key word moving forward!) the progress you have made so far. 1. Nix the idea of a weight loss goal during the holidays! Say what? Yes, you read correct. Instead set a goal to maintain your current weight during the holidays. This first guideline sets the tone for a happy holiday season. Here’s the hard truth. Losing weight during the holidays is really hard! Weight loss can continue once the hustle and bustle of the holidays is done, and when daily structure to your life has returned. Use this time to relax, and enjoy family and friends, and reflect on all the hard work you have already done. 2. Maintain physical activity up to Christmas Day...

Tropical Burst Smoothie

Smoothies are a great option for breakfast, a snack or as a way to get in those oh so important veggies and fruits. This one has a bright and delicious flavour, sure to please any palette. Ingredients  1 chopped banana  1 cup mixed berries (fresh or frozen)  1/2 fresh orange 2 basil leaves  1/2 cup Greek or Coconut yogurt  3/4  cup coconut milk (or liquid of choice)  ** A few ice cubes if fruit is all fresh and you prefer your smoothie a little colder** Directions Mix all ingredients in a blender until completely smooth. Pour, sip and...

Black Bean, Chickpea and Avocado Salad with Balsamic Dressing

Alright, now here is a salad that eats like a meal. This high fibre, high protein salad is great to whip up for a gathering of many or a batch cook for the week. Beans are a cost effective, nutrient dense option in a time when the cost of food is on the rise. No time to soak and prepare beans from scratch? No worries! Canned beans have the same nutrition and are a huge time saver when in a pinch.  Salad Ingredients  1 can (540 mL) Black Beans  1 can (540 mL) Chickpeas  1 medium Red Bell Pepper – diced  2 Large Roma Tomatoes – diced  2 Medium Avocados – chopped or sliced  1/2 Medium Zucchini – chopped  Dressing Ingredients Juice of 1 lime  1/2 cup olive oil 1 Green Onions – finely chopped  2 cloves garlic – minced  1/4 cup balsamic vinegar  Salt and Pepper – pinch  Directions  In a large bowl combine the beans, peppers, zucchini and tomatoes.  In a medium sized mason jar, add in all dressing ingredients and cover tightly with lid. Give the jar a good shake to combine the dressing.  Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine flavours. Add in chopped avocado and gently mix to combine. ...

The Benefits of a Training Partner

Finding motivation can sometimes be the biggest barrier to achieving a consistent exercise routine. Most often when we speak about motivation we are talking about motivation that is self-driven, meaning it comes from within. This is called internal motivation. Something that is important to note is internal motivation can come and go and can be stronger or less apparent in different areas of our lives. For example internal motivation to do well in university and study for exams maybe very high but internal motivation to go to the gym three times a week after you have finished your lecture might be very low and a more difficult task to accomplish. Luckily motivation does not always have to come from within to result in lifestyle change. Motivation that comes from outside sources is called external motivation and can motivate us to achieve goals. When it comes to exercise, external motivation in the form of a training partner can be extremely beneficial. Having someone who knows what your goals are, potentially shares similar goals and at the end of the day wants you to be successful and happy can be a huge source of motivation. In this blog post I explore the benefits of having a training partner, and things to consider when picking a training partner to join you for your next session at the gym. A Training Partner Keeps You Accountable Accountability is a large factor in staying on track with a goal. If no one knows you are working towards something, it can become easy to slack off. A training partner can keep you accountable to get your workouts...

Pesto Veggie Pasta Salad

Summer time calls for fresh and easy-to-prepare meals. This salad is perfect to batch cook for a week of lunches, or to wow your guests at your next BBQ. I first whipped this salad up to bring to a potluck, and when it got rave reviews, I knew I had to bring it to the blog. Give it a try and let me know what you think.  Ingredients 1 cup whole wheat penne, rotinni or macaroni pasta noodles (dry measure) chopped vegetables 2 cups of kale 1/2 cup zucchini diced 1/4 cup red onion diced  1 cup Roma tomatoes chopped  1/2 cup white mushrooms chopped  1 cup pesto sauce  Directions  Bring 4 cups of water to boil in a large pot. Once it comes to a rolling boil, add 2  Tbsp canola oil and pasta noodles. Stir occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking together.  While the pasta cooks prepare the pesto and chop the vegetables.  Once the pasta is cooked, drain and place in a large mixing bowl.  Add pesto and vegetables to warm pasta, stir well to ensure all the pasta becomes coated with the pesto.  Serve the pasta warm, or let cool and store in the fridge to serve cold.  Makes 4-6...

Three Step Pesto

I love parsley and cilantro, but typically use it in small amounts. So in an attempt to prevent the remaining bunch from going to waste, I made this pesto recipe using either pesto or cilantro instead of traditional basil. The outcome is super delish! I use Manitoba grown garlic from the St. Norbert Farmer’s Market which adds huge flavour to this sauce. I make sure to buy some at the end of the season so I can enjoy it all winter long. If you choose to do the same just make sure you store the garlic upside down in a cool dry place. This garlic provides amazing flavour to this pesto sauce. This sauce is really versatile, providing a number of ways to enjoy it. A few ways are: On your classic breakfast toast with a poached egg. As a dressing on cold or hot pasta salad.   As a marinade for chicken, beef or fish.  As a dip for chopped veggies.  As a sauce for homemade pizza – fun switch up from classic tomato sauce.  As a spread for a hot or cold sandwich.  Ingredients 1/2 cup blanched almonds  3-5 medium bulbs Manitoba garlic (3 if you like garlic, 5 if you love it).  3/4 cup canola oil  1 handful of pesto or cilantro  Juice of 2 medium lemons  1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese  Step 1 Add peeled garlic and almonds to a food processor and blend until it creates a fine powder.              Step 2.  Add in washed pesto or cilantro, canola oil and lemon juice. Be sure to catch the lemon seeds so they...

Maintain Your Fitness & Nutrition Goals All Summer Long!

Hooray! The sun is shining! If you are like me and live in a city where many months are cold and snowy you definitely want to spend every second of summer soaking up the sun. Patios, beach days, long walks, BBQs… the list goes on. This can make staying active and eating well over the summer somewhat of a tricky balance. Personally I found myself stumbling through this a couple years back. For many years I spent my summers in competition prep. This means I was living the brown rice and chicken breast life with little room for fun foods like ice cream (my all time fave!) and patio bevies. During this time, I was hyper focused on my figure competition. The thing about competing is it involves a lot of sacrifice, including food. When I decide to compete I accept this and find the best balance that I can. There may be an occasional treat meal here and there, but overall I was not spending my summers enjoying patio cocktails. Then everything changed. About two years ago I competed in May and decided to take the summer off of prep life. Beyond deciding not to compete I didn’t really think of what this would mean for me nutritionally. It took me a long time to realize why I was experiencing so much stress and anxiety over friends inviting me out for patio drinks when I hadn’t yet trained that day. I felt like I was choosing between getting my workout in and spending time out in the sun. It took a little bit of time but I finally figured out...