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cooking, Healthy eating, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Where did summer go?

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How is it already the middle of September? Where did the time go? It’s time to pack away your bathing suits, summer dresses and flip flops. Ok, I’ll still be wearing my flip flops til December but the rest should be packed away.

Now I’ll be honest, I’m your typical girl who loves pumpkin spice everything, dressed in comfy clothes and forcing my husband to go apple picking (who secretly loves it more than I do). But what I love most about this season is everyone’s new view on life. It’s like New Years 2.0. People are motivated again after a busy summer, the heat has subsidded and people are ready to get back to their goals.

This past summer was crazy busy and I definetly didn’t stick to my meal plan as much as I should have. I’m grateful for the season change so I can finally shift my mindset and get back on track with my health. I’m kicking off this season with a fridge filled with prepped foods, a clean gym and new workout program. Let’s do this!

Keep your eyes peeled this fall for healthy, comfort recipes, fitness tips and posts on getting the best results of the year.

“Don’t wait until you’ve reached your goal to be proud of yourself. Be proud of every step you take toward reaching that goal.” 

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Spicy Taco Bowl

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 cup salsa, homemade or store-bought
  • 3 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
  • 1 lb of taco spiced ground beef
  • 1 chopped yellow or orange pepper
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheese
  • 1 (15-ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a pan, fry the ground beef with homemade or store bought taco spices; set aside. *I added an onion and clove of garlic for extra flavour.
  2. In a large saucepan of 1 1/2 cups water, cook rice according to package instructions; let cool and stir in salsa; set aside.
  3. To assemble the bowls, divide rice mixture into serving bowls; top with lettuce, peppers, black beans, tomatoes, avocado, cheese and cilantro.
  4. Serve immediately, top with salsa & sour cream.
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Summer Motivation

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How true is that? 

I still remeber when I started this journey, almost a year ago now. I waited till the fall because I there was NO WAY I could stay on track in the summer. With weekends away, barbeque parties and holidays there was no way I could stay strong. Does that sound familiar? Have you said that to yourself before?

Summer is not an impossible time to get back on track. To be honest, this summer has been the best for my fitness journey. Along with finding an awesome workout thats working for me, my nutrition and mindset has been on point.

And let’s be real, by on point, I mean MOST of the time. I still enjoy a glass of wine, a cupcake and ice cream cone every once in a while. And by once in a while, I mean atleast once or twice a week.

But that’s what this journey is all about. It’s not about being on a restricted diet or boring workout schedule. It’s about finding the perfect balance to make this your lifestyle. It’s about finding a way to maintain your health and fitness journey, while living a happy life!

So for the next month, I want to challenge you to making a few small changes to start your health journey:

  1. WATER, WATER, WATER! I cannot stress the importance of water enough, especially in the hot summer months. Your body is in need of water for everything, that’s why 60 percent of the human body is water! Start drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day but if you want to be more precises, take your body weight, divide it in half and that’s how much water you should drink in ounces. If you weigh 150 lbs, you should be drinking 75 ounces of water!
  2. Eat atleast two healthy meals a day – focus on breakfast and lunch as nutritious, healthy meals. If you get your fruits and vegetables in the morning, you’ll start your day confident, you’ll feel less restricted and more likely to continue your journey.
  3. Get out and enjoy this sunshine! It doesn’t have to be a sweaty workout, it could be a simple walk around the block, a swim in the lake or chores around the garden. Get outside!

And if you’re feeling strong, take a health and fitness challenge with me! I’ll be kicking off my next group on September 18th. We’ll be doing 3 weeks of great workouts with and a great meal plan and even greater results! This will be the ultimate way to kick off the fall!

Food, Uncategorized

Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

MEX

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef;
  • 4 sweet or russet potatoes;
  • 1/2 onion, diced;
  • 1 bell pepper diced;
  • ½ cup chopped green onions;
  • Fresh salsa;

Ingredients for the taco seasoning

  • 1 tbsp. chili powder;
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin;
  • ½ tsp. paprika;
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano;
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder;
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper;

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 F.
  2. Scrub and pat potatoes dry. Pierce potatoes all over with a fork and bake in the oven, directly on rack, until soft (about 40 to 45 min. depending on the size of your potatoes).
  3. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the taco seasoning.
  4. Add the ground beef and onions to the skillet and cook until browned.
  5. Sprinkle the taco seasoning onto the beef, and stir to combine. You may want to add 1 or 2 tbsp. of water if the meat is too dry.
  6. Cook the ground beef another minute or two and set aside.
  7. Slice each potato in half, press the insides down or scoop some out.
  8. Fill the potatoes with the ground beef and top with all the remaining vegetables.
  9. Serve with fresh homemade salsa and guacomole.
cooking, Food, Healthy eating, Lifestyle, motivation

Grocery Shopping

There’s nothing better than starting a new week with a fridge full of fresh food. It instantly puts my brain in a healthy mind set and is the ultimate form of #motivationmonday.

I wanted to take a minute today to share with you my grocery list. How boring, right? But many people have no idea what to fill their cart with. We often grab the easy, cheap and fast foods. We forget that eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. You can make the change to live a healthier week right now.

But why is that so hard sometimes? LIFE, duh! I get it, we have families, picky kids, busy jobs! Trust me, I know how it goes. The only way I can sustain this diet is with balance. I follow the 80/20 rule. Eat clean 80% of the time and treat myself the other 20%. Do you think you can do that with me?

When I start my shopping, I stick to the basics – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, ect. I like to keep my diet clean by eating the foods in their natural state. No matter what your diet is, you can modify this clean eating grocery list to fit your needs. For myself, I’m gluten intolerant so I eat a gluten-free diet but you can modify for lactose intolerance, vegeterian or even vegan.

Below is a quick grocery list of clean eating foods that will help you start your journey. Remember, fill your cart with foods along the perimeter of the grocery store. They put all the natural foods in the four corners of the store so you have to walk through the whole store to get what you want. What are you putting in your cart this week?

Fruits 

  • Berrries (Strawberry, blueberries, raspberries)
  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Lemons & Limes
  • Avocados
  • Tomatoes

Vegetables

  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Zuchinni
  • Asparagus
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Mushrooms
  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Peppers

Dairy

  • Greek Yogurt
  • Almond Milk
  • 1% Milk
  • Cottage Cheese

Protein

  • Eggs
  • Egg whites
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Fish (Haddock, Salmon, Cod)
  • Lean Ground Beef
  • Ground Turkey

Grains

  • Quinoa
  • Sweet Potato
  • Steel-cut or instant oatmeal
  • Brown rice
  • Brown Rice pasta
  • Granola (nuts, seeds, grains and chocolate chips)

 Others

  • Coconut Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Honey
  • Hummus
  • Black Beans
  • Garlic
  • Siracha
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Kombucha & why I love it!

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As many of you many know, I’m seriously in love with the new fad drink callled kombucha! But honestly, I don’t think this one is a fad. It may have started out that way but the health benefits that are attached to this amazing drink make it stick out above any other beverage.

Kombucha is a living health drink made by fermenting tea and sugar with the kombucha culture. Kombucha is brewed (or fermented) over a course of 7-31 days and can be flavoured by using fruit, juices and spices to help give your system a digestive boost. This tasty, sparkling drink has been popping up all over the country in the last year, claiming to have amazing probiotic benefits – but honestly it offers so much more than that!

I have many reasons to love this drink but I wanted to share with you my top 3 reasons why I drink kombucha regularly:

  1. One of the top reasons I love kombucha is for their claimed health benefits. Studies have shown that it can improve energy levels, metabolic disorders, allergies, cancer, digestive problems, and so much more! It  can even be used externally for skin problems! I’ve experienced many digestive issues over the years and this tasty drink helps keep my gut on a healthy track.
  2. Kombucha is an all natural drink and can often be locally sourced. I try to drink Kombucha that is made in Nova Scotia because I know it’s fresh. Cove Kombucha works hard to keep their product safe, clean and is made in small batches for optimal taste.

  3. Speaking of taste, oh my goodness.  The final product is naturally carbonated making this a fizzy, delicious drink. The flavour that comes from this magical drink is invigorating, although it may be an acquired taste. I often feel like I’m having a treat when I drink it. The bubbles wake me up instantly but that could be the natural source of b-vitamins, which can energize the body.

Now I know what you’re thinking, kombucha is a hibby-dippy drink that will come and go like the rest of those health fads. Honestly, I thought the same thing until I did my research and felt the benefit in my own gut. Kombucha is a must try and if you’re nervous – go for a safe flavour like citrus or berry! Once you’ve given it a try, let me know what you think. I’d love to hear about your experiences with Kombucha.

If you feel like making a batch yourself, check out this step-by-step tutorial!

Uncategorized

Shakeology Mug Cake

Ingredients
  • 1 scoop of Shakeology (32-34 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 T coconut flour
  • 1 T granulated sweetener of choice*
  • 1 large egg OR 1/4 cup liquid egg whites
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • Chocolate chips to top (optional)
Directions
  1. Grease a microwave safe bowl with cooking spray and add the protein powder, baking powder, coconut flour, sweetener of choice and mix well.
  2. Add the egg/whites and mix into the dry mixture. Add the milk of choice and vanilla extract- If batter is too crumbly, continue adding milk of choice until a very thick batter is formed. Top with chocolate chips and microwave for 60 seconds, or until just cooked in the centre.
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Quinoa Greek Salad

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup seedless cucumber, chopped
  • ¼ cup red onion, chopped
  • ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Rinse and drain quinoa 2-3 times to remove saporin (bitter coating); place drained quinoa in medium saucepan with water and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Turn heat off and let quinoa stand for 5 additional minutes, covered. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add vinegar, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and oregano; set aside and let cool to room temperature.
  2. Add tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, red onion, feta cheese, lemon juice, and remaining olive oil to quinoa. Toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

community, exercise, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

A letter to you…

This is a letter to the person who believes they can’t do it,

I wanted to write this letter because I thought it might be what you needed to hear right now. I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately. I’ve been thinking about the goals you have and how they’ve been put on the back burner because “life happened”. I’ve been thinking about your potential and future and maybe that means I have too much time on my hands but I like to think it’s because I truly care about you.

I wanted to write you this letter today to remind you that you can do it. Whatever it is, you can do it.

As cliche as it sounds, if I can do it, SO CAN YOU! If I can lose the weight, cross the finish line and find happiness, so can you.

Turn off the voice in your head that says you can’t and listen, you have greatness in you. I’ve seen it! You’re strong and you have a purpose. Whatever’s in your way, overcome it, because you are worth the incredible feeling when you reach your goal.

So if you’re finally ready to complete that big goal of yours, I wanted to share with you five steps to help you get there:

  1. Define your goal – be specific but don’t create limits. Remember you can achieve anything with hard work and determination.
  2. Find your WHY – you need to know why this goal is important because when you feel like giving up, you need a reminder to why you made this goal in the first place.
  3. Plan it out – put a plan in place around the goal you have. Make time each day to make this goal a reality. If you goal is to read more – wake up 15 minutes early to read a chapter, bring a book with you everywhere you go, make a list of books you want to read, stop watching TV and read instead. Mini goals over time will build into your big goals.
  4. Be prepared to fail – you will fail, it’s innevitable. We all fail atleast once but when you do, you need to dust the dirt off your knees and keep going. It’s that easy. We fail but we never give up!
  5. Stick with it – it’s not going to happen overnight. You’re not going to wake up tommorow and be 15 lbs lighter but if you stick with it, you may wake up in 30 days, 60 days, or 1 year closer to your goal than you were yesterday.

You have it in you to succeed. You have the heart, dedication and power to complete any goal. That’s not just something your Mom tells  you as a child to make you feel better. It’s true but you do have to put the work in. If you need help with your goal, don’t hesistate to contact me. I’d love to support you throughout your journey.

Love always,

Jessica

“If You Are Working On Something That You Really Care About, You Don’t Have To Be Pushed. The Vision Pulls You.”- Steve Jobs

cooking, Food, Healthy eating, Uncategorized

Grilled Pineapple

Ingredients
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
1 Pineapple – peeled, cured and cut into 6 wedges

Directions

  1. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.
  2. Whisk brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Pour sugar mixture into a large resealable plastic bag. Place pineapple wedges in bag and shake to coat each wedge.
  3. Grill pineapple wedges on the preheated grill until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes per side.