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10 years ago I NEVER would have taken a photo like this of myself. Now? I love ME in this photo!

10 years ago I NEVER would have taken a photo like this of myself. Now? I love ME in this photo!

I remember in sixth grade I hated the sight of myself so much that I not only feind sick on picture day but I did it AGAIN on re-take day (I conveniently “forgot” to tell my parents.) That was a bad year of being bullied because I was overweight – even my friends were teased for being around me so I’d go through periods of having no friends at all because they couldn’t handle it. It sucked and after a solid year of being teased and me not telling anyone about it, the words wormed their way into my head and I began to actually believe what they said about me. It wasn’t really the words, to be honest, it was their feelings of disgust that made me think that I was, actually, disgusting. Remember, I was 10.

Self-love is something we’re born with. When we were little, we had no problems telling people that we looked good or hamming it up for the camera. Just this morning I told my son that his teeth looked nice and he said to me: “I know they do, Mommy!” I don’t think I’ve ever met a child who doesn’t ham it up for the camera. They just don’t CARE!

Me&Q - Movies

Kids couldn’t care less what they look like in photos, they just want to have a good time!

It’s not until we’re older and begin comparing ourselves to those around us that we often lose sight of just how wonderful and amazing we really are. In the age of Lady Gaga’s tight shorts sparking the biggest debate of 2017 when the woman is, like, 13% body fat, we learn to hate our image at a VERY early age.

The path to my self-love has been rocky for me, to say the least. It wasn’t for another 17 years that I decided I was worthy of throwing diets to the side and just figuring out how to be healthy. I didn’t realize it at the time but that simple decision to stop torturing my body and brain with more diets was one of my first acts of self-love and that decision sparked a journey I never expected to go down.

Rockstar

You see, once the scale started heading in the downward direction I figured my confidence would rise in response. When it didn’t I was trés confused! What do you MEAN I still feel the same about myself after losing 50 pounds?! That’s when I knew that my weight wasn’t the CAUSE of my low self-confidence – it was the RESULT of it. But the funny thing is, the more I moved my body and the better the food I fed my body the more my self-love grew. The simple act of deciding to NOT treat my body like a garbage can was proof that there was a part of me that CARED and I needed to acknowledge that. When I did a whole new relationship began with my body and my mind.

I know for a fact that there are others out there who are experiencing what I did and is why I’ve decided that I want to help YOU begin to love your selfie on February 20th!

Love Your Selfie Challenge

Love Your Selfie Challenge

We’re going to work on getting YOU to discover how AMAZING you are starting with your health. The more you feed yourself good, quality food and move your body the more of an appreciation you’ll have for your body and YOU. Amazing things begin to happen when you learn to say “no” to the things that make you feel bad and “yes” to those that make you feel good.

In this group, you’ll:

  • Receive a custom fitness program tailored towards your unique needs, goals, lifestyle and current fitness ability
  • A nutrition program that isn’t about deprivation but about moving towards treating your body better
  • Learn the specific mindset switches to go from speaking badly about yourself to loving yourself
  • Receive personal mentorship from myself – I won’t let you give up!

In return, YOU commit to:

  • Following the workout schedule and nutrition program you’ll be given
  • Replace 1 meal a day with Shakeology (you can totes have it as a snack) because you’ll need at LEAST one meal that you won’t have to think about while you create these healthy habits AND it’ll actually be your HEALTHIEST meal of the day. I wouldn’t be drinking the stuff daily for over 4 years if I didn’t know it to be true!
  • Log into our private challenge app and post to our group because not only is it going to ensure that I can keep you accountable but that it’s scientifically proven that group support helps people reach their health and fitness goals. And this is where I’m going to be giving you daily coaching.
  • Enjoy yourself! You’re on the journey of a healthier you, one that you’ll be PROUD to take selfies of in 30 days time!

You may not realize it but you DESERVE this. You DESERVE to feel GOOD about yourself. You are perfect just the way you are, this challenge is just going to help you DISCOVER that person. The person you’ve always been but may have never met.

xoxo

 

Ready to finally put YOU first? Just fill out the form below and I’ll be in touch within 48 hours!

For the last few months I’ve been tracking my sleep. To be honest, I don’t know why I bother considering I have a toddler that refuses to sleep through the night in his own room but sleep is important and I guess I just love to torture myself. Especially when the feedback tells me that my quality of sleep is anywhere between 55%-70% and I yell at it, telling it that it’s obviously NOT a parent.

But over the last few days it’s been telling me that my sleep quality has been at 100%, 98% and 100% again and I feel like a new woman.

Why?

Because my son has been spending the week at his grandparents and I go to bed when I want to and haven’t set an alarm all week!

Sleep Tracker

I love my son. I love his mop of hair that reminds me of Matthew McConaughey’s character in Dazed And Confused. I love that he tells me he loves me several times a day. I love that he loves to be scared and I adore how, to him, strangers are just friends he hasn’t met yet. He’s also strong-willed. Very strong-willed. This happens when you’re the product of two strong-willed parents and this requires several strong drinks and, more importantly, time away from each other.

I’ve talked to so many moms over the last few years that reach a breaking point with their kids and when I ask them when the last time they did something on their own or spent time away from their kids was, it’s not surprising that they either NEVER have or can’t even remember. It’s no wonder they’re turning into crazed lunatics because that’s what kids do to you after a while!

For me, if I don’t spend some time away from my son at least every three months I turn into Medusa. One look at me and you’ll most definitely turn to stone. There’s only so much a person can take having to care for another living being if you don’t take the time to fill your own cup.

Q&I

I love my little monkey and he loves me, but we both need time apart every once in a while!

No, you might not be lucky enough to have family that will take your wee ones for several days but find a way! Tell your spouse you need some time away for the weekend (better if you can find a way to take him or her with you,) hire a babysitter for a full day, get a good friend to do you a favour (trust me, you’d be surprised at how willing they are to help if you’re honest with them) or see if they can spend a weekend with their friends. We often think that we’re asking too much when we do things like this but most kids are perfectly behaved when they’re not around their parents and our family and friends actually WANT to spend more time with our kids! My son LOVES all of his grandparents and he only has a few more years left with them and he gives our parents so much joy that when he goes to see them it’s a win/win for everyone. They get precious memories to create together and my husband and I get some very much needed time to recoup and recover.

Also? Your kids love you but they also need time away from YOU. You spending every waking moment over their shoulder is suffocating and teaching them to be dependent adults. Not cool. They need time to develop relationships with other people and learn how to be independent. These are also the times when they learn how to not take you for granted! Every time Quentin comes back from spending time with others he’s SO excited to see us; he missed us!

Q&Mom

The memories Q and his Ana get to share together are priceless – no Mom required for these precious moments!

We can’t pour from an empty cup and most of us do. We’re desperately trying to give more and more of ourselves to our loved ones when we’re running on an empty tank. It’s necessary to take some time to refill that cup again, to remind ourselves of who we ARE aside from being phenomenal parents (because you are one, you know that, right?) and come back with more love, more patience and less of a desire to dump our kids on the doorstep of an orphanage.

So if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go take a nap and then knit for as long as I frickin’ want to just because I CAN while my son is off developing super meaningful memories with my parents and that is something I can never take from them but I CAN give them.

thrive-1
I can’t frickin’ believe that the holidays are here already. I know, I know. Halloween just ended and you’re shaking your head because we still have, like, a month to go but the dude across the street who replaced his styrofoam gravestones with Christmas lights this week kind of makes me realize that there’s no going back now!

Last year I was newly diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and following a strict nutrition and supplement program laid out by my nutritionist. This year I’m still pretty much in the same boat (albeit feeling a LOT better) and I want to make sure I stay on track throughout the holidays because there’s gonna be an awful lot of my fav foods lying around (especially since we’re HOSTING Christmas for the first time EVER this year) and I honestly don’t want to feel like crap come January 1st. Ya dig me?

thighs before pies

So many of my clients come to me at this time of year in FEAR of the holidays. FEAR because they’ve been rocking their workouts and eating and seeing great results but they also know their fav unhealthy foods are going to be EVERYWHERE and sometimes the temptation to stick to your guns is just too great. I’ve had women come to me literally in tears because they were THAT worried about it.

And I get it, I truly do. Things are easy when you don’t have parties to go to, get baked goods as gifts or have them constantly filtering in at the office or in the cafeteria. Not to mention all of the ah-mazingly yummy seasonal goodies everywhere you look (I’m looking at YOU, Peppermint Mocha! You devil, you!!!) And let’s not forget a reality that many people face this time of year: STRESS. The holidays can cause a ton of stress from financial to emotional and depression and anxiety explode around this time.

But here’s the thing: the holidays are to be ENJOYED. Not feared! They’re a time to spend with the people you love (family or otherwise) and to celebrate LIFE. Yes, food is PART of the holidays but it’s not THE holidays.

I don’t want to dread spending time with my friends and family just because of the buffet table. I don’t want to get to January 1st feeling like I just got back from war. I want to end the year with joy in my heart, a healthy body and excitement for the year to come.

Surviving isn’t my thing, THRIVING is!

Oh man. The 2015 holidays were stressful for me and I do NOT want that to happen again!

Oh man. The 2015 holidays were stressful for me and I do NOT want that to happen again!

So if you’re on board with me and if you want to make this holiday season your healthiest (body, mind AND soul) yet, I welcome you to join me in my upcoming Thrive Through The Holidays Accountability & Support Group! We’ll be starting our pre-season (where we’ll get everything ready for the challenge) on November 28th and officially begin on December 5th. It’s going to take us RIGHT through until the end of the YEAR so you’ll get plenty of support through the holidays and set you up for an amazing new year!

Now is NOT the time to sit on your butt and think about what you’re going to do “after” the holidays are over. When your body is stressed, YOU become stressed and that’s so not what you need right now so this group is going to be tailored to help relieve your stress and create a healthy holiday experience (while still being able to indulge on your fav holiday foods).

no-holidays

In this group you’ll receive:

  • A custom fitness program that’s geared towards your fitness level, goals and lifestyle. ALL workouts are less than 40 minutes in length, the majority of them being 20-30 minutes each (PERFECT for the busy season)
  • A complete nutrition program that will take the guesswork out of your nutrition but also allow for your favourite holiday foods
  • A suggested 4-week meal plan complete with grocery list and recipes
  • Tons of healthy holiday recipes so you’re never guessing what’s going to be healthy at the gatherings you attend and, trust me, everyone’s going to be asking you for the recipe!
  • Complete support and accountability in a group (and private) setting for those situations when you really need some help to ensure you stay on track or need some emotional support
  • Tips on how to navigate parties and other situations without the stress
  • My personal coaching for the entire challenge and beyond
  • Fun surprises along the way to help keep you inspired, motivated and getting results!

Pretty awesome, right? I know I’m going to need the accountability and support just as much as you so I’d LOVE to spend the holidays with you and help you begin the new year with more CONFIDENCE, more ENERGY and overall HAPPIER.

Ready to get to started? Just fill out the form below and I’ll be in touch in the next 24 hours! Deadline to register is November 27th and is only open to people in Canada or the United States that aren’t currently working with a coach!

Thrive Through The Holidays Application
Sending
Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal Fatigue recovery requires health AND lifestyle changes

About this time last year I was diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue. Adrenal Fatigue happens when you’ve exhausted your cortisol levels to the point that your body pretty much bottoms out and wind up with crazy fatigue, brain fog, anxiety and depression and the inability to deal with stressful situations. It can happen to ANYONE and since I was diagnosed I’m shocked at the amount of people that have gone undiagnosed and feel as if chronic fatigue is just something they’re having to live with forever. NOT SO! I’ve gotten a lot of people asking me how I’ve been treating it so I figured I’d give ya’s the rundown!

Please keep in mind that:

A) I’m not a naturopath, nutritionist, doctor or any other type of professional so please don’t run off and do these things just because it’s what I do. Be smart. See a professional if you have or think you have, AF.

B) This is what I’M doing and is working for me and MY degree of AF. You have to take into consideration the level of your AF because it is NOT cut and dry.

When it comes to Adrenal Fatigue you absolutely, positively MUST look at ALL areas of your life. There is not one supplement, food, exercise or quick tip that will do it for you. It takes a LIFESTYLE change, diligence (ya gotta stick with it), and patience (it can take anywhere from 3 months to a year or MORE to recovery). For me, it’s been a year and only in the last couple of months have I felt able to ease back into some of my old workouts without it compromising my adrenals BUT I’ve also made massive changes to my lifestyle.

What you’re trying to do with AF recovery is eliminate as many stressors in your life as possible, repair the damage done to your adrenal gland and learn how to deal with the inevitable stressors that will pop up throughout your life in a healthy way.

EXERCISE
As much as exercise is super awesome for you, it can also be a stressor on your body and it can make your AF worse! For me, doing my advanced workouts like INSANITY: Max 30 and 21 Day Fix Extreme and ANYTHING over 30 minutes made me CRASH later in the day because it stressed my body out so much. For four months I did nothing but PiYo (and even then I kept it to ONLY 30 minutes) and my body responded to it well (some people can’t even do PiYo and have to cut all but walking out for a little while). Now I’m building my workouts back up but have permanently nixed all forms of straight cardio, keeping HIIT to less than 20 minutes and focusing on strength training and keeping my heart rate BELOW my anaerobic threshold. The key here has been to keep my body from getting overly stressed out during exercise.

DIET
This is a big one. I’ve had to cut out anything that stressed my body out including gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol and caffeine. Truth be told this was the area I hadn’t been 100% in because I LOVE coffee but I know what it does to my body! You may not feel the effects of them right away but rest assured that these food items tax ALL of our bodies when eaten in large quantities (and for many, even in small quantities). You may be just fine to nix these items for 30 days and then reintroduce slowly but you may also have to cut some things permanently. It’s WORTH it to get your life back!

SUPPLEMENTS
I took St Francis Herb Farm’s Strest tonic 3x per day and more on days when I’m feeling particularly stressed. Strest contains several key herbs that help heal the adrenals and give you energy, namely Holy Basil, Rhodiola, Ashwaghanda and Schisandra.

Tulsi Licorice tea every day. Tulsi is just a fancy pants name for Holy Basil which helps to calm you down (and the licorice has been found to help regulate your cortisol levels although can be too stimulating for some AF sufferers)

A B Vitamin Complex daily to help give me some energy and contributes to cellular respiration and the breakdown of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. B6 acts in several of the pathways that are used to create adrenal hormones.

Vitamin C which is directly involved in the production of cortisol in your adrenals

Magnesium, which helps energy flow.

Probiotics! By improving our digestion, probiotics enable us to extract more of the nutrients present in the foods that we eat. This allows our bodies to get more of the essential vitamins and minerals that we need to maintain our energy levels and produce the hormones that we need. Additionally, they support our immune system and prevent regular illness from weakening our adrenals further.

LIFESTYLE
This is the biggest one! My Adrenal Fatigue was triggered by the fact that my body absorbs stress like a sponge and I didn’t respect that fact. When I was stressed I just reminded myself that others have it worse and pushed the stress down. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to ignore stress! If you’re stressed and don’t deal with it in a healthy way it WILL come back and bite you on the butt! Yes, there are people who definitely have it worse than I do but I’m ALLOWED to be stressed over the things I get stressed out about and DEAL with it. So now that I’ve given myself permissions to feel the way I feel, I’m working on dealing with it in a manner that has nothing to do with addictions (such as food, alcohol or shopping). Taking time out for myself daily to unwind with a bath, journaling, colouring or whatever else makes my heart happy. Talking to someone I know will understand (or at least give me a sympathetic ear). Engage in Yoga Nidra to relax my body. This was honestly, next to eliminating coffee, the most difficult for me. I’m a Type A personality so just relaxing is NOT my thang. If I sit down to just “be” my mind RACES with all the things I’m not doing so I have to remind myself that if I don’t just sit and relax I’ll never heal my adrenals. Can you imagine stressing out over not stressing? If you can relate and don’t have AF you’d better pay attention because it just could be coming after you!

Adrenal Fatigue is an epidemic in our society that not many people talk about or even know about (I didn’t until last year, I just thought I was experiencing what all new moms experienced) but if left unchecked it will knock you down FAST.

But it IS reversible! If you have AF or suspect you do, PLEASE make an appointment with a local naturopath so they can get you on a plan for recovery STAT!

You’ve GOT this!

T Snickers

Halloween is upon us. Finally! All I’ve heard this month from Quentin is: “It’s Halloween time?”, “Soon, honey. A few more days!”

We’ve been practicing our trick or treating skills like crazy and my hope is that this time we can have some smoother sailing going door-to-door than we did last year when he tried to jail break into every house we went to. His costume is ready (a skeleton – his choice!), his bucket has been well played with. Our pumpkins are carved, seeds roasted, front porch decorated. We’re ready!

But the one thing I keep hearing from my clients is this: I will NOT eat my kids candy. I will NOT eat me kids candy. How will I NOT eat my kids’ candy?!?!

This is a big problem for those just starting to make a habit out living a healthier lifestyle and although candy CAN play a part in a healthy lifestyle (I know I love it), it can be a huge trigger in the early days and having so much of it around the house can spell disaster for those who have been doing so well for so long.

halloweencandy

Here are a few ways you can survive the week without caving or going overboard:

  1. My favourite plan for Halloween DAY is this: go out and buy your absolute FAVOURITE candy. I’m talking the expensive stuff. I’m talking the finest of Belgian chocolates. The homemade candy from the candy store downtown. Ben & Jerry’s. Or whatever you daydream about when you think about your favourite sweets. Get out there and get your #1 favourite, in ONE portion. When your kids are back from all of their trick or treating and they start diving into their candy, you take out YOUR candy. YOUR treat. Your GROWNUP treat and savour that mothertrucker. Do NOT scarf it down. Take a little bit and really feel it on the tongue. Close your eyes (if you need some alone time in your bedroom to do this, go for it. I won’t judge!) and give thanks to the candy gods above for giving you such a fine piece of mouthwatering goodness. Because here’s the thing: do you want a ton crappy candy that doesn’t even taste all that great or one piece of the absolute BEST tasting stuff that’s out there? I put my money on the good sh**!
  2. Remember this: it’s not YOUR candy. It’s your kids’ candy. I see far too many parents saying that they can’t keep their hands out of their kids’ candy but you’ll be amazed at what happens when you shift your mindset slightly. It’s not your candy to eat. Your kids were the ones who went out and got that candy, it’s their’s. I don’t want to hear anything about this “Candy Tax”, it’s just a bullcrap excuse for allowing yourself to over-indulge. Hands off your KIDS’ candy, it ain’t yours! You’d never allow your kids to go out and just take someone else’s candy so why should you?
  3. Hide it! Ask your kids or your spouse to hide the candy so you won’t eat it. If you really think you can’t keep your hands off it, get it out of sight so you won’t think about it.
  4. Abstain completely. Some people absolutely can’t moderate sweets. One mini-Snickers just leads into the whole bag. If that’s you, you’re better off abstaining COMPLETELY from sweets for the entire week. Don’t even entertain the thought. If you have to, tell your BFF that you’ll give them $50 if you do.
  5. Too late? You already binged way too much and feel guilty? Own what you did and move on right away. Don’t beat yourself up over it, just make the next meal your healthiest one yet and move on. What’s done is done, just bookmark this post a year from now so you don’t repeat your mistake!

halloween

This holiday isn’t supposed to be about fearing for your waistline, it’s supposed to be about FUN. You don’t need chocolate and candy rockets to have fun. Get caught up in your kids’ excitement and help them have a fun experience. The less you make it about the candy, the less it’ll BE about the candy and you won’t even think about it so much!