Category: Food

We all know that in order to be healthy – truly fit and able – we need keep the long game in sight, keeping your life in perspective. But when we’re working on something specific, like a goal that’s focused with an end date or a goal that’s aesthetic like growing your biceps or losing a dress size, it can be hard to keep a bigger perspective¬†in mind. Here’s an example of what I mean:

Last week I went to workout after a rest day. It was Friday and I was excited to workout before the weekend, but when I changed into my workout clothes and started warming up, I simply had no energy. I was disappointed because I had rested the day before and didn’t want to throw in the towel for my workout, so I gave myself a few minutes and, eventually, felt able enough to continue, just at a scaled pace. When I finished, I thought, “Better than nothing!” and didn’t sweat it. Later that dad I chatted with another trainer who mentioned his workout wasn’t the greatest that day and we bonded over our joint half-assed workouts. ūüėČ He said he gave himself a set or two, noticed the fire wasn’t there, and packed up and left! Geoff mentioned that it’s totally fine to listen to your body because fitness isa game of decades, not minutes – we’ve got to keep the long-term perspective of health in mind.

The game of fitness isn't a game of minutes. It's a game of decades and a marathon, not a sprint,

But the reverse is also true, we agreed: know when to call it day and allow your body to rest, but also know that when your body is ready to go, hit it hard and get after it! Both sides of the coin are true, and we certainly need to keep moving and pushing ourselves even when we don’t feel like it, choosing healthier foods when more convenient but less healthy ones are available, etc. I love that there’s a place for intensity and a place for rest, and that’s because it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Sometimes when we’re working towards our ideal body, we lose sight of that bigger picture. I totally believe that aesthetic goals are fine – they have there place, they motivate us, and who doesn’t want to look and feel better? – and that there’s nothing wrong with wanting abs (right, Paige and Kindal?), but I encourage you to keep the bigger picture in mind. You’ve heard it before but maybe you need to be reminded of it again: one day of a missed workout (or heck – even two weeks!) or day of poor eating won’t significantly alter your physique just like one week of solid workouts and salads won’t give you the perfect body.

That being said, are you really working towards what you want? Sometimes we need a bit of encouragement to push a little harder. This quote says it best!



Hmmm… Is that convicting to anyone? We can’t gripe about the body we don’t have (or, in that bigger picture, the health we don’t have, the fitness to keep up with our kids or the sleep to function at our best) if we aren’t working towards it, eating better, making sleep a priority. You get where I’m going with this. ūüėČ We all need sometime to kick our butts into gear from time to time!



Lately I’ve been thinking about the long game and grateful that I’m able to move in a way that bring me joy, challenges me, and also gives aesthetic results! I’ve been eating more (especially carbs and especially on workout days!) and feeling like my muscles are happy about it!


(sorry for the blur – both are post-workout and I was shaky from lifting!)


I occasionally eat donuts, as pictured above, and licorice, but most often eat lean meats, a ton of greens and veggies, a daily banana (one of my favorites!) and try to only eat what I really want (i.e.: no mindless snacking if it’s not serving me). I am tracking my calories and macros in My Fitness Pal¬†(you can follow me here!) for accountability and enjoying the process – it hasn’t lead to me restricting (quite the contrary, as you can see above!) but that with my studying Precision Nutrition has lead to a greater awareness of the bigger picture while simultaneously seeing changes in my physique.

I recently saw a menu of a weight loss retreat centre that only had about 1,250 calories on it, and for a place that’s meant to be one where you work hard and sweat all day, I was shocked! Your body needs more fuel! So another part of this idea of the long haul is saying no to gimmicky diets or anything that restricts so badly that you inevitably bounce back (and sadly, often gain more weight than before). Fuel your body well not just for better results right now (don’t believe me? ask my clients! eating more and feeling and looking better!) AND for the future – we want sustainability in your change, friends! Not something that is ultimately short-lived.

Challenges from friends like Kindal (I linked to her abs challenge above – and need to send her my accountability pics!) help me stay on track when it could be easy to just be so-so in my efforts. It’s an interesting balance between going hard and also pulling back for that bigger picture, especially because as a Christian my body is secondary to my heart and soul! It’s just a piece of the puzzle, but it’s fun to play with and continue to tweak.

Do you walk this line well, or are you more of an all or nothing person with fitness and nutrition? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic of pursuing aestethics while remembering the bigger picture –¬†do you think they are synonymous or not?

Just some thoughts for you as the week begins – keep the marathon in mind, have fun along the way and wash every bite of donut down with some chicken and veggies. ūüėČ Have a great week ahead, friends! Live well & be well,


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It’s a new day and another beautiful one here in Calgary – spring has definitely sprung and I’m loving the warmer air in the mornings when I walk out to my car, the evening warmth as the sun goes down (seems to be the warmest part of the day!) and the buds that are slowly showing themselves around the city!

Yesterday in my blog post I reflected on busyness and rest, and today I wanted to share a few thoughts on food.


Over the years I shared about different programs I’ve done and different plans I’ve tried like the¬†21 Day Fix, Advocare Challenge, dabbled in juice cleanses¬†(sorry that the photos were lost in the posts when my blog transferred! :(), and recently was asked to do another program. I see quick fixes like this all the time on Instagram, websites, in ads on Facebook, and you know what? I’ve finally decided to swear them off. There’s nothing wrong with participating in a program that focuses on real food, but when there’s an element of restriction (like no dairy, grains or sugar on the Whole 30), even if it’s only for a period of time, it’s really not sustainable. More and more, I’m interested in eating and living in a way that I can sustain for the rest of my life, not just until a set time period is over. Again, those challenges are fine, and most people see change on them, but they mess with my mind, make me want the banished foods more, and I always return to my same weight and body composition once it’s all said and done.

I was also practicing Intermittent Fasting (IF) for quite some time, and while it did work for me (and I love Brad Pilon, linked just above!), I’m starting to think about my body in a bigger health perspective, like looking at my hormone health and my insides, not just my outsides. I think I was using IF as a way to restrict myself so that later I could justify an entire bag of licorice or not worry so much about what I was eating because I had fasted all day. Again, it can definitely work for you, but reading this article made me realize I *could* be headed down a road I didn’t want to travel, so I decided to pull the plug a few months ago.


(Back to breakfasts and it feels so good!)

What’s funny is I never considered myself to be a dieter – I was always focusing on real foods and not doing anything crazy like just drinking lemon water and cayenne pepper – but the truth is that behind it all I was still wanting to lean out, to lose body weight and appear more cut. I finally decided to stop with the fat loss mentality and focus on my strength. While my workouts still need help to get me in a muscle-building vein of movement (I would like to do more heavy lifting but right now I’m¬†holding steady at about 3-5 total body strength workouts a week), my food is now focused on eating to fuel my body and without obsession!

Enter: Eat to Perform.


I have followed ETP for a while online with their podcasts¬†and emails and really like the concept of eating to fuel your performance. It’s very different than the “less is more” concept for eating and especially for women. I decided to sign up for a few months, get my macros set for me, and see what others thought in terms of where I should be if I want to build muscle in terms of my macros (carbs, proteins and fats). Here’s a quick snapshot of my starting numbers and where I’m trying to increase to in a few weeks:

etp macros

(hopefully you can read that – had to take a small screenshot to get it all in!)

¬†You can see that I’m eating quite a bit! And you know what? No weight change! I’m eating more, am more mindful of getting enough protein and carbs (yep! you read that right) and don’t feel afraid of any foods. I wasn’t before, but now I’m eating in a way that fuels my workouts and isn’t based on making my body move while I’m fasted. I feel stronger, my muscle definition is great, and while I would still like to lean out a bit (yep, that urge is still there!), I’m excited about how I’m doing in terms of eating well. While I’m tracking I’m not always hitting my numbers exactly (it’s tough for me to stay low on fats, but I feel better when I’m not eating too much, as it’s easy for me to be in the 70+ grams of fat a day phase!), I’m slowly working my way up and feeling good about it! Now to get my training to match so that I’m really putting those calories to use!

I’m not an affiliate but I love the program, the massive (HUGE!) resource guide that is given when you pay, and the online forum – both on Facebook and on a separate app – that offers support and tons of info and access to coaches. There’s also group coaching available but right now I’m soaking up everything and very happy I’ve joined this community. It’s only $29.95 and I would highly recommend it for freedom from food and if you want to change your focus to being, as they say, a more capable human!

Last week I also took the plunge and signed up for Precision Nutrition! I can’t believe it and am excited to add this amazing program to my credentials to help better understand, listen to and coach clients. When it comes to nutrition, I’ve learned over the years that there’s NOT one-size-fits all and that every body is so different out there – both composition, genetics, habits and preferences – and it’s okay to change the way you eat and view food. I’ve changed! And will continue to change.

So that will do it on my reflections on food today! What style are you eating in right now (or is it not even a “style”)? What’s the best thing you’ve eaten in the last few days? I think my glass of wine last night + breakfast of brussel spouts, greens, eggs, goat cheese and sweet potatoes is top of my list right now. ūüôā

Live well & be well, and catch you guys later!



(me and my banana – one of my favorite post-workout eats – after yesterday’s workout!)


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Last weekend our church wrapped up a series called “40 Days in the Word” in which¬†we dug into our Bibles daily and learned different¬†methods of studying Scripture. I wasn’t quite sure how the series would wrap up, but I was so encouraged by the sermon on Sunday that I wanted to share with you guys, especially because, like everything in life, I think it applies to your fitness journey, too!


Brad Young spoke about how to remain in God’s Word. The question was after committing to reading our Bibles, how do we keep it up moving forward? Brad¬†brought us to Psalm 1; below are the first 3 verses:

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf¬†does not wither‚ÄĒ
    whatever they do prospers.

What’s interesting (and something I’ve never thought of) is that the first thing the author¬†says about how to be blessed is by saying DON’T do these things. So after saying NOT to walk in step with the wicked (make life decisions¬†like them), stand with them (live like them) or sit with them (where we stay most comfortable – our home isn’t ultimately here, it’s in Heaven!), we are given a positive way to live. I love this because¬†negative reinforcement isn’t always a great motivator, is it? We must DELIGHT in God’s law (the Bible) and meditate on it day and night.

Okay. Sounds simple enough. Find delight in the Bible. But¬†HOW do we delight in God’s Word when there are so many other flashy things and distractions and instant interests all around us? The root of finding delight¬†isn’t in being more disciplined in reading or studying but in¬†pursuing the one behind the delight; it’s about falling in love with Jesus and realizing that He¬†delights in US! Here’s an example of what I mean:

When I think about what I really delight in, aside from family, Mikey and movement,¬†I really¬†delight in going to movies. I anticipate what we’ll watch, love when the lights go down, look forward to the previews as I begin to eat my candy and enjoy settling in when the story begins. I go to movies and spend money and time on them because I delight in them – it’s as simple as that! So it makes sense that if you actually delight in God in terms of your relationship, you’ll want to be with him, and want to read His word since that’s how we get to know God! When there is a delight there is a FREEDOM; as Brad shared, delight is the opposite of duty and indicates pleasure.



Think about it – who do you want to be around most in your life? People who love you! What really struck me about staying in God’s Word from the sermon was this idea that we need to know we are loved and delighted in by God in order for us to delight in Him! 1 John 4:19 says it best: “We love because he first loved us.” Knowing that God truly delights in me fuels me to want to be with Him,¬†and it’s a reminder that as Christians,¬†we don’t live directed by duty but by relationship. This¬†originates with a changed heart and knowing we are loved by God and then bleeds into the rest of our lives in terms of how we live.

I wonder if it’s the same in our fitness journey? You might grind¬†yourself into a pulp in the gym or beat yourself up for eating some cake “off”¬†your meal plan but are’t you just working from a place of negative self-motivation?



Let’s change that paradigm. What if you worked out and nourished your body with real, nutrient-dense foods because you loved yourself? What if you enjoyed movement and the occasional piece of cake without hating yourself afterwards for how your body jiggles and for enjoying that sugar? There is so much freedom in pursuing a healthier body and lifestyle when you’re doing it from a place of self-love. [And remember, accepting yourself and moving towards health aren’t mutually exclusive; you can do both at the same time!] Saying you embrace who you are doesn’t mean you’ll throw out all your healthy habits and eat a bag of chips; it means you’re not disciplining yourself to workout (or eat well or read your Bible or meditate, etc) but rather moving, eating, growing and¬†living from a place of love.


Do you know that you are even delighted in and loved? Do you really believe it? And IF you believed it, how would that affect the way you workout, you think, you talk, you interact with others, you LIVE?

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Hey guys! Well, I’m breaking my internet silence and absence of a few days to share because I simply enjoy connecting with you in this space. Isn’t that neat? It’s a community – a small one, an online one, and one that serves me well as a place to process, share¬†and explore ideas – but a community nonetheless!¬†¬†Today I wanted to share some tips and tricks (no, not a “hack” – I’m done “hacking” my way through life!)¬†that are contributing to my health and invite you in to the conversation to share ways that you are living well. I am slowly¬†realizing that I enjoy writing about life in a broader sense because I’m so interested in pursuing balance and coaching others to live in such a way that facilitates, simply put, fuller life! I think I’m moving away from sharing my meals (which I never did much of and wasn’t very original with) and workouts (which will always be a part of this space) and stepping into how to live well. I want this to be a place of encouragement, motivation and growth for us and not just a place to share content that others are sharing in more complete ways.


Bear with me as I explore the root of this shift… Perhaps it all stems from my favorite verse, John 10:10, “I [Jesus] came that you may have life and have it to the full!” I’ve always been about “full life” ever since I started blogging about our cancer journey 8 years ago and it continues to fascinate and inspire me as I see so many others, with so much success, wealth, opportunity and connections living such dull, meaningless or negative lives. What about full life? Isn’t there something more? I thought about this the other morning while driving to work. We live near the Alpha House, a half-way house of sorts that is a place for people to come down off their high, and we often see people passed out or stumbling along in our neighborhood. It’s hard to see and hard to know how to help; the food I’ve often offered is passed over in favor of beer or money so sometimes I feel like my hands are tied in terms of¬†helping in a tangible way.

So…back to the story. As I was driving, I saw a man sitting on the sidewalk with his legs crossed, and as I got closer I realized that in his hands was the face of another man, seated facing him. It was such a striking image to me of (likely) addiction, homelessness¬†and pain¬†and yet also of deep love, care¬†and community. These men understand the importance of community, of walking through life with one another, of loving others in a profound way because they rely on each other daily. That picture stuck with me all day and brought me back to a recent sermon I listened to by Tim Keller¬†called “Blessed Are the Poor.” The rich – or the middle class, comfortable folk like me – hear the gospel (literally, the “good news”) and aren’t always excited by it; why do we need a Savior? What am I really being saved from? But the poor…The poor hear the good news and they GET IT. They are given hope, given love, given acceptance and redemption which they so desperately need – the same things we need and are offered while simultaneously not seeing our need for them.

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Mikey and Misha – community in action at our recent Wellspring skating event!

Those guys sitting there at 6 am, one face resting in another’s hands, eyes locked and still, get this need for community. I wonder how much we get that, or sense our need for it? How often do we spend lost on the internet in communities that may¬†provide some connection but don’t necessarily fill us up, check in with us or care for us deeply?

These are some of things I’ve been pondering after taking a break from being online.


Emails and texting with clients, yes, but no social media including Facebook (my biggest time waster), tweeting, blog reading and Instagram (my favorite). I’ve found myself wanting to pop online for no real reason at all or thinking, “I should snap a photo!” and then realizing I simply didn’t need to and found other things to do. I can honestly say I’ve wasted less time and haven’t felt disconnected from people. I am breaking this technology fast early because I feel like my reset button has already been set, and it feels great. I’ll be keeping Facebook¬†(and possibly Instagram?) off my phone and eliminating that opportunity to go online just for the sake of using up time. I’ve read my Bible more, connected with people for coffee, gone on more walks and even started a new book (for a non-reader, this is a big one for me!), and it feels great. I do use Facebook to connect with people for my business (both fitness-wise and with Wellspring as the young adult team lead for cancer programs), so I’ll hop back on for those purposes mainly and because it¬†IS a good way to stay connected, but I will have more parameters¬†on how long I allow myself to browse online, and that focus feels good!

So now that I’ll be limiting my online time, here are a few other ways I’m cultivating health in my daily life:

Relaxing about food. You’ll remember from my last blog post that I’m practicing If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM)¬†right now (Kindal has an awesome blog post about this if you want more info on what IIFYM¬†is and how it works!) and I’m relaxing how good real foods make me feel! I’ve also been reminded that I truly enjoy that once-a-week licorice snack I have Fridays or a glass of wine and piece of dark chocolate throughout the week. I’m not practicing IIFYM to lose weight (although I do want to reduce some bloat and feel stronger in the gym!) and am not practicing it as much as I am understanding my protein needs, not going overboard on fat and enjoying good carbohydrates. It’s more of an awareness thing and it’s working for me – and that, coupled with intermittent fasting (refer to last post), is allowing me to relax about my intake, enjoy life and be fueled primarily by healthy, voluminous foods! I like that. ūüôā


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Supplementing my diet. While a solid foundation is the main part of eating well (with real, whole foods), I also take a few supplements that do just that – supplement my diet. This includes a greens powder (right now it’s Amazing Grass’ gogi and acai berry flavor) for the day that I’m running around or don’t have vegetables in the fridge:

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Vitamin D (I DO live north in Canada, after all – all of us northerners¬†should be taking it!) and a fish oil (because I don’t get those Omega 3’s from fish 2x/week – it’s just not my favorite thing to eat or prepare!):

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And occasionally an additional supplement like SierraSil, which supports healthy cartilage, pulls heavy metals out of the body, and helps fight inflammation. I was sent this via my partnership with Social Nature, and it’s been great to incorporate into my routine.

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SierraSil¬†promises results in 14 days or your money back, so while you can’t tell taking it once or twice, you do feel a change over time with aches, pains and stiffness! This is especially great if you have joint pain, are training hard, and even for pets with problems!

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I’ve noticed quicker recovery in between workouts and a general sense of feeling good going from the gym to the backcountry for long ski days to the running trails. If this sounds like something you’d benefit from and want to give SierraSil a go,¬†click here¬†for 20% off on this product! And thanks to Social Nature, if you’re interested in looking at more products to help you #trynatural, check out this link for many other free sampling opportunities.

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Walking more. I’ve read (and told people!) for so long about the benefits of¬†walking. It’s the not-so-secret for weight loss (low intensity, do-anywhere, burns fat not muscle, good for your mind and emotions) but I’m often found home at night without having moved too much that day besides a short workout. Simply because it’s good for me, there’s so much research about it, and it’s relaxing, I’ve been getting out and waking more. To work, to the store for a few groceries, in between clients even if it’s for 20 minutes. I’ve had some amazing moments of worship and prayer times, watched the sunrise and sunset, chosen to walk rather than even do a weight workout for that day (many days lately, actually!) and been listening to some great podcasts. A few I’m enjoying these days:

Girls Gone Wod

Harder to Kill Radio

The Paleo Women Podcast

Timothy Keller

The Model Health Show


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Seen on a recent walk; I took some time to kneel and pray and then look out over our city and enjoy the view and quiet.

Are you walking much? It offers¬†reductions in diabetes and heart disease, decreases in high blood pressure, increases in bone density, is good for cognitive function, helps alleviate symptoms of depression, improves fitness and physical function (source). ¬†It’s not a waste of time, is great to do with other people, is great alone time, and can be used for leisure or fitness. …go walk! ūüėČ

Not fighting myself. I’ve realized that I’m not a reader or book person as much as I desire to be. So, instead of fighting that and getting disappointed in myself, I listen to audio books, read on my phone (NOT Facebook any longer!), and listen to fun and educational podcasts (I like a mix of both). So now I go with it! Might as well make life easier for myself and set myself up for success!

Another way I do this is by buying pre-chopped foods like broccoli slaw or cauliflower heads. Little things like this go a long way in me being successful in the kitchen, so again, it’s about making life a little easier and setting myself up to do well. I make my coffee the night before, I do what can be done in 1 minute right then rather than procrastinate and keep the house tidy. Not necessarily clean, but tidy! ūüėČ I think better and live better in that space, and a few minutes here and there sure goes a long way.

Make time for people. From quick text messages to friends to let them know I’m praying for them to in-person coffee dates; from sitting and talking with Mikey at night BEFORE we watch a show to staying at the end of the day to talk with clients about what’s going on their lives, making time for people is something that contributes to my health and a better way of life for me. I know Tina just sent some “stay well” packages (such a neat idea!) to family and you can invite someone over for dinner. Being involved in a weekly group, like our small group (you know us as “Fat Tuesday!”) from church, is something that keeps us connected and, while often a struggle to get there weekly after full, busy days, is ALWAYS such a positive commitment in our lives because of the community. What’s one thing you can do to stay intentionally engaged with others in life?

Prioritize sleep. Man, is this ever important. There are resources aplenty about the value of sleep (Shawn Stevenson’s new book Sleep Smarter is one of them!) and all I can say is, don’t keep running on all cylinders. Your relationships will suffer, your brain won’t function as well, your energy will eventually run out, you might lose your sex drive, and your fat loss AND strength gaining goals will stall out.

At this moment, these are the things that come to mind in terms of living a healthier lifestyle. It starts with community, branches out to managing technology well, hits my food and movement (not even necessarily “working out”) and lands on sleep. There’s more to the list, sure (value of living a more-than-one-dimensional life, stepping out of your comfort zone, staying accountable to friends or a professional of some sort for your goals or life direction, not ignoring your spiritual life, etc), but this is a start!

What’s one thing you’ve done in the last while that’s made a difference in your health in some way? I’d love to hear what you would add to the list and please feel free to leave any links and discuss more in the comments below! And remember, if you’re looking to try some new products, join the Social Nature community and #trynatural for FREE! ūüėÄ

Live well & be well friends!


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Hey guys! Well, it’s a Monday AND a new month – that’s a nice feeling. Although I’m not a huge proponent of “starting over Mondays,” it’s always great to have that feeling of clean, fresh slate on a new week and month to boot!¬†If you follow my blog, you know that I Instagram a lot more frequently than I blog these days; I want to write but I’ve not really had anything that felt of much consequence¬†to say! I don’t want to blog for the sake of blogging and just add more noise to your life, yet I miss the act of writing. So I thought I’d share a few of the things I’m processing these days to kick off my writing this week – hope you find it interesting and helpful in some way (and if there’s anything you’d LIKE me to blog about, perhaps it’s time I ask you, the readers!). Today I’m talking about living in a way that’s “good enough.” Maybe you can relate.

Life is such a journey, and while that may sound cliche, it’s so true. We learn as we go and hopefully adjust our course thanks to experience, the wisdom of others, and direction from God in terms of open doors or closed ones. And I really don’t think our fitness and nutrition journey is any different from our life journey – it evolves and changes as we learn and grow. I sure HOPE I don’t believe all the same things about God when I first became a Christian as a young girl as I do today after life experience, time in His Word, and people encouraging me along. Similarly, I don’t hold to the same thoughts as a trainer when I first started 8 years ago as I do today, and that’s because growth and change (and research! ha) have contributed to me evolving as (hopefully) a better trainer.


(Hi! It’s me – in my new Qalo hat!)

In short, I really feel like these days I am living in a state that is “good enough” as I move forward in my own journey. Brad Pilon’s recent post explains it perfectly (you can read his article¬†that resonates with me so much right here!), but in short, I’m eating and working out and being social and being alone in what seems to me to be just the right amount that is, simply put, good enough. It’s nothing extreme, but it works for me! And that’s why it’s sustainable.

Before I share how I’m practicing being good enough, take a look at what Brad Pilon has to say in terms of extremes and his advice for being good enough from his article:

Could I do more for my health? Green smoothies every day, no alcohol, only raw organic local produce? sure. But I’m OK with where I am.

Bottom line ‚Äď there are lots of experts who can help you with the extremes. So if extreme is what you want, there are lots of options.¬† I‚Äôm a master of ‚Äėgood enough‚Äô. If looking good and being healthy is important to you, but not at the expense of consuming your life, than I have some pretty simple, time tested advice.

  1. Fast once or twice a week ‚Äď it doesn‚Äôt have to be 24 hours, it could be 16, or 20, must make sure you‚Äôre taking a break from eating occasionally.
  2. Stress less. Do your best to only stress about the things that are actually worth stressing about.
  3. Lift. As little as twice a week can do wonders. Three to four times per week is great, just be careful as you’ll start to see diminishing returns after a while.
  4. Move. Do something that makes you breath a little harder each and every day. I like climbing, but do something that you find fun.
  5. Eat. PLEASE EAT. But eat responsibly. You don’t have to be a saint with your food, but you can’t eat like every day is thanksgiving either.
  6. Sleep ‚Äď Get a good nights sleep. If you‚Äôre doing the first five things properly, this should be a little bit easier.

Solid, solid advice. I am grateful to have found what works for me (key words here!) and am happily practicing being good enough:

  • Intermittent fasting (IF)
  • Moderation 365
  • Move for strength and¬†happiness
  • Prioritize sleep
  • Enjoy a mix of play and rest physically and socially

Intermittent Fasting:¬†I basically practice a flexible, intermittent fasting daily routine, and it works for me! My mornings are full with clients and I simply am not hungry in the mornings, so while I used to coach people to always eat breakfast, even those who never naturally wanted it, my tune has changed! While some people need to eat something first thing, and women often do better with food in their system as compared to men, not everyone needs it to function well! There is research on both sides of the coin, but I used to not talk about IF because I didn’t want people to try something too unconventional¬†or think I was trying to simply skip meals (not the same).¬†If it works for me, it might for you, too! Do your research but¬†don’t be afraid to use your body as an experiment within reason; stick to something for at least a month to give it a good shot before making up your mind. Please remember that I am not a doctor! But try something different if what you’ve been doing hasn’t worked for you in the past with your goals. Browse¬†Brad Pilon’s site for lots of information on IF – perhaps some of the myths (yes, myths) about keeping your metabolism revved and eating every 3 hours don’t apply to you, but you don’t know until you try a new method. The awesome thing is you can always go back to small meals – there’s no right or wrong, and I’m learning to coach people on what works for their bodies and not just on what we hear preached from the fitness industry.


(a very typical meal for me: greens, veggies, meat and some kid of fat like goat cheese or avocado)

So where’s the “good enough” part to my fasting practice?¬†I don’t worry about the details or follow it to a “T.” Once a week, sometimes twice, I do a 24 hour (or close to it) fast and fast most mornings, but some days I go out to breakfast with friends or I eat if my hunger strikes early at 10 am. I don’t worry about the specifics but incorporate some fasting principles but¬†it’s “good enough” for me. Either way, I fast enough to allow my body a break from digestion and mind a break from planning life around food. ūüėČ

Moderation 365:¬†This concept comes¬†from Jill Coleman, and I’ve blogged about it before, but I’m happy to be eating in a moderate way. In other words, if I really want a donut, I’ll get one, but it’s not a regular or consistent occurrence. At the same time, it’s also not a big deal if I do choose to have a donut!¬†I enjoy a glass of wine on a weeknight and¬†sometimes never on a weekend – nothing changes simply because it’s Tuesday or Saturday. In fact, some days I won’t have more than a piece of fruit in terms of sugar and then I will have liquorice for dinner – it’s moderate, it works for me, it keeps me feeling satisfied and also healthy and is “good enough!”

I actually just started tracking my macros (carbs, proteins and fats) to see where I’m at and aim to be within a certain range, and¬†some days I hit my numbers while other days I don’t (sometimes I track everything and other days it’s loose!). It doesn’t define or control me but does provide some structure – it’s good enough for my nutrition and goals right now!


(currently enjoying as I type – and yep, I tracked all 4 servings of this!)

Brad Pilon says in another post, “Deprivation kills consistency, and consistency is where your results come from.” So for me, liquorice and the occasional glass of red wine are mandatory (yep!) to help keep me from going overboard on good food like peanut or almond butter or from diving headfirst into a bag of cookies when someone opens them.

Move for strength & happiness: There are times when I’ve followed a program (either something like a push/pull program, a follow-along with my online BFF Kindal, or a kettle bell program with a specific goal. But more or less, I try to move often and enough to keep my fitness level up (always be able to do 5 pull ups any time, run a 5 km easy, hike without getting too breathless and keep up with the boys in the backcountry) and do what makes me happy. This is a mix of movement and sustains my goals while keeping me content and consistent in and outside the gym!


Prioritize sleep: The more I learn about sleep, the more I’m shocked by how valuable it is and how much it impacts my life. I think this is one area where we all “know” how important sleep is but still celebrate doing more and resting less. Our culture continues to pride itself on being busy, “only sleeping 4 hours last night because I had so much to do,” and it’s one area that can truly help with stress, relationships, food choices, will power, brain function, sex drive, workouts, recovery, fat loss… The list goes on! I try to be in bed between 10-10:30 pm most nights, make it a practice to not use my phone in bed (which is tough!), and start dimming the lights before I go to bed to get ready for that process. It’s just not worth it for me to stay up late and be groggy at work or over the weekend when I want to be up and out and enjoying life! I don’t beat myself up if I don’t get 8 hours of sleep but I also have some boundaries to help facilitate better rest – all in all, it’s good enough even if it’s not perfect!

Enjoy a mix of play and rest physically and socially. Speaking of weekends, sometimes they’re booked up, sometimes they aren’t, and I vacillate between busy and unscheduled, active and rest. The other weekend was booked from Friday night on and included meeting with friends over dinner, training clients on a Saturday morning, connecting over coffee with some cancer survivors who had non-profit questions, and taking new friends out to back country ski all day Sunday.


It was all great but I was beat by the time Monday rolled around; this last weekend, while social, was much more of a rest with no work Saturday, church Sunday, leisure time by myself at home and connected with friends throughout the weekend. A better balance, but some weekends are heavy on the activity and others on the relaxation – it’s never perfect! – and that rounds out to make it good enough for me.


(grainy but fun – Nicole and I out to dinner at the Boxwood Cafe in Calgary after a movie; we enjoyed EVERY bite and sip of wine we had!)

I’m in a good spot right now, enjoying life, work, movement; food and my community; church and rest time; the mountains and the gym. While I’m always looking ahead (What’s next? How is my balance in all these things? Am I honoring God in how I’m spending my time?), it’s a good place to be. Good enough for now, until my goals or focus, job or life circumstances, tastes or preferences change again!

How are you living “good enough” right now? Do you struggle to be perfect (or close to it) in any one area? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

Have a great rest of your start to February and I will connect with you guys soon! Live well & be well,


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Happy Friday, friends! I hope you’ve had a great week! Since it’s Friday, I thought it would be fun to do a day in the life – and this one is from yesterday. So…let’s get right to it!

5:30 am: Alarm goes off. I hop out of bed easily simply because I try to get out of the room quickly without waking Mikey. He’s used to it and a good sleeper, so I slip on my slippers (guess that’s why they’re called slippers!) ūüėČ and my robe and slide out to kitchen. First thing’s first: I always put the hot water on the stove before going to the bathroom. Our stove is old so it takes a while to get going. Wash my face, drink some water, check to make sure no clients cancelled over night via text or email (I sleep with my phone on airplane mode so that I don’t get startled by anything and also have no radiation!).

5:35 am: Assemble lemon water! I juice half a lemon, add some apple cider vinegar, some cayenne pepper (digestion!), cinnamon (good-for-your-metabolism-spice, taste) and some room temperature water and top it off with the hot water from the almost-screaming kettle. This is how I wake my body up daily, and now it’s so automatic and comes together so quickly that it’s not even something I think about! Around this time I hit the brew button on the coffee pot, because soon I’ll be ready for my favorite first sip in the world! In the meantime, I pop my vitamin D and fish oil (the only vitamins I take for whatever reason – another post for another day!), drink my lemon water and start sipping water from my water bottle as I’m getting ready.

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5:45 am:¬†Start gathering goods, most of which I’ve laid out the night before, for my day. If the weather’s nice I have running shoes and clothes suited for an outdoor winter run ready or a change of clothes for my workout (usually the same shirt and/or pants all week! Makes it brainless and I don’t sweat much) and always an extra pair of socks because I hate working out, showering and then training clients in the same pair of damp socks! ūüėČ I make sure I’ve got my Yerba mate tea, water bottle, and make-up since I throw mascara and blush on in the car most days.

In my remaining minutes I might browse a few blogs but lately I try not to turn my computer on – it only makes me late. Instead I sit and sip, sometimes read my Bible, or look at Instagram. Trying to make it more of the former than the latter!

6:00 – 6:15 am: Depending on when I have clients (either 6:15 or 6:30 am daily) I hit the road, never allowing the car to warm up as much as it should. ūüėČ

6:30 am: Training begins!


I warm up my coffee in between clients once or twice and then I’m done with it and move on to tea to keep warm!


(Sorry for the grainy self-timer photo! But this is a typical morning at CityFit after the early rush of clients.)

Depending on my schedule, I train from 6:30 – 12 pm most days with maybe a 1 or 2 hour total (split up) break between clients.


(This is Keith, who rocks every workout and is always ready to go early in the morning!)

Yesterday I used each break to do some work and then get a workout in – both pretty typical uses of my breaks!


And here’s what I did!

24 min workout

One of my favorite workout times is in the afternoon, like 2 pm, but if I have a break earlier I squeeze a run or workout in according to my schedule. I’m blessed to be able to always find a time, even if it’s a half hour, to go move or at least do some handstands on the turf. ūüėČ

12 pm – 2 pm: Depending on the day, I may or may not have a break and may or may not go home for lunch. I typically don’t eat until later, having tea, water and listening to my body’s hunger cues. Intermittent fasting has been working for me, and I’m so busy in the mornings through most afternoons that it works with my schedule! Lunch is usually leftovers on a bed of greens with goat cheese – every, single day, and I LOVE it…Although I typically start with a little tasty delight:

4:30 pm – 7:30 pm: Evening clients in one-on-one and partner sessions. Finishing off the day strong!

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(Erin and I…this girl is making strides in her strength!)

7:30 pm – 8:30 pm: Home and cook some dinner, which includes some kind of meat, stir fried or roasted veggies, and white rice and/or potatoes – white or sweet! Tonight was a quick meal on the way out to small group:

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I had a¬†delicious Costco spinach & feta chicken sausage fried up with broccoli slaw, an egg and some hot sauce! …plus a piece of ice cream cake too. ūüėČ

9:00 pm: When I try to shut it down – screens off is my goal, but often it’s closer to 10 pm. Mikey and I might watch a show or read if we’ve got books on the go, and then hit the hay! Speaking of which, it’s time! ūüėČ

Have a great weekend, you guys! And tell me – what do you do most days at 2 pm in the afternoon?!

Live well & be well,




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Hey guys!

Checking in during the middle of the week to see how everyone’s doing! How’s life? How’s training? How’s your heart these days? I know there are many walking through trials right now and others enjoying a great start to the New Year; just wanted to note how much I appreciate your stories and lives and am grateful for being able to share my story, with all it’s ups and downs, with you on this blog.

On that note,¬†and because it is a new year, after all, I thought I’d turn my attention to talk of habit change… The longer I train and the more I see people in all phases of their health journeys, the more I’m interested in the value of looking at your habits and living in a way that’s sustainable. Thankfully, I think people are slowly moving away from crash diets and fitness fads, but I think sometimes we still have this idea in the back of our minds that we need to lose a few pounds (or at least “we should…”) and I wonder how many of are still striving for fat loss rather than strength or health. A client of mine wants to lose about 15 lbs and is tall and 150 lbs…We chatted recently about how that’s actually a healthy weight! And if we want to pursue goals like getting stronger together we sure can; aesthetic goals are certainly not wrong but as long as she’s not attached to a scale number and she knows she is in a healthy range.

So what happens when, like my client, you want to simply look better? What if you want a more lean, chiseled appearance? That’s great! But keep in mind you need to be willing to do what it takes to get there. There’s a few questions you need to ask yourself:

  1. What are you goals?
  2. How motivated are you right now?
  3. How mentally tough are you?

When it comes to deciding what foods you want to eat or pass on, when it comes to whether or not you want to sleep in or get up to go to the gym, it’s important to be honest with yourself and ask the three questions above. I stumbled on these thanks to a video by Jeff Cavalier of Athlean-X about Cheat Meals (it’s so worth watching!). I love this guy! He’s honest, says it like it is, and is inspiring because he walks the talk!

One thing he says in the video struck me:

“It isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. If it was easy, everyone would be walking around feeling like they want to feel.”

…isn’t that profound but true?! We *know* this but we so often don’t really believe it. If this is your time to really make a change, take some responsibility and do what it takes to make it happen – it WON’T be easy!

Personally, I’m¬†in a place where I’m not focusing on restriction or fat loss – just getting smaller all the time doesn’t interest me, and I’m grateful to focus on being strong and mobile and being able to keep up with the guys in the backcountry! But at the same time, it’s easy for me to think about how certain workouts will help me “burn off those extra Oreos” because it’s been a pattern of thought for too long. Breaking that habit takes time, and while my focus continues to be on my overall health in a much broader sense of the word, it’s still an effort to cultivate habits that move me in this moderate, more realistic and sustainable direction for my fitness and life.


(at the hockey game where we enjoyed chicken wings and Mikey had a beer and I even had a diet Coke – very rare for me!)

(taken yesterday post-workout)


(what part of my diet includes weekly – my favorite Red & Black bites nearly every Friday)!

My focus right now is on nourishing my body with real food and enjoying bits of the fake stuff too, because that’s what I want in my life right now! Am I able to hike strong in the backcountry on my skis? What about complete 5 pull ups at any time? Run a half marathon just because it sounds good? Fit into that one pair of jeans that easily can get a liiiittttle too tight? These are my goals, and I’m not willing to make more restricted ones at this time (thinking back to the three questions Jeff asks above), and that’s okay! But I know that I can’t complain about my body or movement or food if I’m not willing to put the time in and make some changes.

…but it all starts with our minds and how we speak to and view ourselves!

Negative internal dialogue what might be what is holding you back as you look down another year:

“I can’t stick to a diet.”

“I can’t build muscle.”

“I’ll never lose weight.”

These thoughts impact us and create inaction in our lives! So let’s start with an awareness of what’s going on in our minds and how that’s powerfully affecting our actions and acknowledge it. Then, ask yourself why you’re saying those things.



Why CAN’T you stick to healthy foods? Why CAN’T you build muscle? Why CAN’T you lose weight?

Don’t let these thoughts creep into your head and start to change the course of your one-time motivated 2016. This doesn’t mean you can do or be anything you want to be or accomplish (my short, more muscular body will simply never look long and lean like Gwyneth Paltrow no matter how much I believe it!) But what if you started saying, “Why can’t I do it?” Or, as Jen Sinkler and her husband David ask, “Can I do that?” Big, big difference between those questions and the doubts above.


Also of interest might be these articles:

An interesting one¬†discouraging diets and detoxes entitled,¬†“How to Relearn the Art of Eating” – there’s some great stuff in here!

How to create your own total body workouts; check it out here! (and thanks to my mom for sending this my way!)

I would love to hear your thoughts on your goals, your level of intensity and motivation right now (not what you want it to be, but right now!), your expectations of yourself, and how you’re feeling on a total body/mind/spirit level as 2016 is underway!

Stay connected via Instagram (where I’m sharing lots of short, effective workouts via video these days!) and Facebook and find me over at CityFit these days if you’re ever in Calgary. Live well & be well, friends,



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Alright you guys, let’s be honest. Some days it’s easier to live a healthy lifestyle. Maybe we’re prepped in the fridge, have good foods ready to go for each meal, are pumped up about a new program, and feeling inspired about our lives. But other times… Well, other times we’re overtired, stressed, pressed for time, and possibly on your period (ladies). You know what? Those are times we might not think as rationally, make the best decisions or act emotionally.

Take Monday, for example. Ohhh Monday.


Here’s what I posted on my Instagram and Facebook page about the above photo:

“Guys. Keeping it real here. 🙋I actually ate and drank what I quit well over the ‚Ä™‚ÄéGirls Trip¬†in Palm Springs – even though I planned to splurge! But something was just off today… I still don’t like to classify foods as “good” or “bad,” but the main issue is that I chose sugary foods and ate well beyond my satiety levels today. It’s not bad that I had Oreo, licorice or cookie dough – just that I had a lot of all 3. 😉

I could choose to beat myself up about it or let this go on, but I won’t. Tomorrow’s a new day! I will NOT weigh myself, work extra hard or worry about it; I’ll fuel well, workout as usual and enjoy my day all the same. No biggie.

Side note: this flavour, bought on a real whim and impulse (unusual for me), is REALLY good. 🙌¬†”

Okay…So, as it turns out, I got my period (insert light bulb emoticon right here)!¬†Well that makes a lot of sense. [Also, check out Kara Corey’s recent video about how to handle eating on the week of your period.] Because cravings are the real deal, they happen each month to me, and yet they always take me by surprise – go figure. At any rate, I was feeling pretty full of sugar after this eating incident, and while Tuesday and Wednesday were much better, they still had some sugar in there. I could have beat myself up or criticized my body to death, but I’ve been choosing to structure my thoughts about my body in an intentionally positive way instead.

Period or not, this happens to us all – even my early morning clients yesterday said that they ate a lot of junk over the weekend – they “fell off the wagon,” in fact. How many times have you said that you fell off the wagon? I’m willing to bet it’s a lot, and that you also said, in almost the same breath, you would be getting right back on that wagon soon.

But here’s the thing… What is there is no wagon?

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Say what now? “But Bonnie,” you say, “Clearly there are good and bad foods; clearly there are times I’m on or off track and eating/living like I’m supposed to be…” Well, what if food is just food? An Oreo weighed in the same balance as a salad. I know it’s kind of crazy, but just think about that concept for minute.

I’m not saying that an Oreo has the same impact on our body as a salad, but perhaps that we could use some doing away with our connotations around foods as being “bad” or “good” and then how they relate to keeping us “on” or “off” the “wagon.”

It’s an interesting thought, to think of food as just food, and not worry about being on or off any wagon in our health journey. But what does a wagon symbolize to your health journey?

First of all, the idea of a wagon symbolizes that you’re either in or you’re out – there’s really no wiggle room in a little ol’ wagon. It’s like walking a tight-rope – not much space for gray areas there.



I don’t think eating is that black and white, or that life is, for that matter. I’ve shared the idea of progress, not perfection¬†before (check out my blog post here), and it’s something I still strive to focus on. That doesn’t mean I’m throwing in the towel with my moderation and choosing foods that will leave me feeling unsatisfied and discouraged, but rather that I’m not aiming for the stress that perfectionism can bring, but rather seeing positive growth and change along the way. Plus, if we’re all trying to be on the same wagon, what kind of standard are we trying to hit? No Oreos, ever (yes, not even birthday cake)? Well what if someone practices IIFYM (if it fits your macros) and eats Oreos as part of their meal plan? Are they off the wagon? And where do these standards of “healthy eating” and resulting bodies come from, anyways?

This doesn’t mean you throw your hands up in the air and forget about it. No way – you’ve worked too hard to let things go at this point – at least I have! But one night of eating won’t affect the rest of my week if I can help it, because it’s just part of my life.Now, others might indeed do¬†well¬†with this type of¬†framework, but it’s just too restrictive for me and leads to more restriction, and that never ends well. Monday night wasn’t an example of me being off the wagon, but an example of giving in to cravings and eating¬†too much of a tasty thing. Big deal. Move on. Food is food, and there is no wagon in my life anymore. Being on or off the wagon sounds an awful lot like dieting to me – you’re either on a good diet or off the rails with your eating or exercise habits. This is only one line of thinking about food and habits that isn’t sustainable – otherwise we’d not be jumping on and off so much!

If you’re struggling with your eating or with your discipline in the gym (we all do!), that means that you’re conscious of how you want to change and working on it – aiming for progress, not perfection, and that is a beautiful thing.

So…do you believe in the wagon? Here’s another article I just read about balancing hill sprints and donuts that I loved! Have you ever heard yourself or others reference this wagon? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one!

Live well & be well, friends,


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Hey guys! How’s the start to your week? Is it full-swing into fall where you are, or still California-hot and dry? I’m amazed talking to my Texas friends and California family how warm it still is there…It’s been beautiful in Calgary, with changing leaves, cool mornings, and very warm sunshine during the day.


Friday was so stunning that I had to take this jumping shot post-workout, done with clients, while on a walk in the park near CityFit. I was embracing the warm fall weather as snow was forecasted for Saturday! As it happened, it ended up being cool and rainy but not really any significant snowfall in the city Saturday, but the cooler weather and start of October brought on what was inevitable…

Yep. It’s time to embrace it: pumpkin everything! I’m not huge on pumpkin, but when the weather turns and I have some spare time and cans of pumpkin laying around, I google what to do with it. ūüėČ Here are some great pumpkin, protein-packed recipes for your next potluck or dessert!



Speaking of desserts, this week I made Noelle’s grain-free, dairy-free¬†Magic Cookie Bar recipe and the end result was many happy people enjoying a healthy-fat-filled dessert at our first Survive & Thrive board meeting! That was pretty exciting, but so was this recipe – definitely one that I’ll repeat (especially because I’m not a huge coconut fan – so I’m not tempted to house the food like I am with brownies!). ūüėČ


Delish toppings ready to be placed into the pie…Check out my Instagram page for a quick video of the process, and refer to the above link for the recipe!


Fall¬†also makes me think of back-to-school, and it has indeed been a busy season for Mikey and I! Between clients, young adult programs at Wellspring, new film projects for Mikey and simply connecting with friends, life has been on “GO” mode since we got back from the summer. We sure are grateful for work, but after a busy weekend we re reminded that we also need to set good margins for ourselves. But with this season comes that sense of freshness and even learning, so I bought a few online courses through my personal training certifying body, ACSM, and have some studying to do! I needed to renew my continuing education credits and want to stay current and learning, so I’ve got “Improve Client Outcomes & Retention,” “Relationship Nutrition,” and “Motivating a Laughable Range of Personalities” lined up. I can’t wait! Now I just need to be diligent with my time.

When October hits, my mind drifts to my family.¬†I miss connecting with them a bit more as the leaves change, which is funny because California doesn’t really get that drastic of a change in leaves or seasons. But fall makes me think of Halloween, which brings very positive childhood memories flooding back to me and also means Thanksgiving’s just around the corner!¬†I’m so thankful that we are going back to California for Thanksgiving this year and can’t wait! But sometimes I wish I could just head over to Marshall’s on Friday nights with my mom and stroll around, getting her opinion on scented candles or trying on clothes together; looking at the home goods and making some impulse buys or walking out with nothing at all. So I called her from Marshall’s Friday night and sent her pictures to include her in my shopping experience. ūüėČ


(The mug I bought for Mikey…it just made me smile! We need a slow morning with bacon and this mug filled with coffee very soon!)

With the onset of October I’m also excited to change up my fitness plan… I was doing so much pushing and pulling with Kindal¬†and my upper body has kind of suffered because of it. My body finally said “ENOUGH!”¬†last week when I went to do my pull ups and it simply wouldn’t pull any longer. Turns out I have been using my extensors to pull instead of my core (no wonder my neck had a kink in it!) and both my biceps tendons were inflamed. Grateful to go see Dorie at CityFit who helped check out my body and then give me a relaxation massage towards the end of last week.

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I still want to do my max push and pull test, but I’m not worried about it as much (I KNOW my strength has increased so much over these last 4 weeks!) and I will see how my body feels early this week with giving a max test a go. In the future? More conditioning! I haven’t been sweating and pushing a ton in the gym, but now I want to get my heart rate up, include more plyometrics and have fun getting explosive in the gym! That and take my workouts to the pavement and run a bit more – as the weather turns, it’s an odd time to get outside more, but I love how fresh and alive I feel when I’m running in the fall and winter and want to keep those cardio elements there after essentially not doing any cardio for the last few month. We’ll see where that leads me.

So… What does October make you think of?

How are the margins in your life?

Any highlights to share from your weekend?

And what do you think about a new fall fitness program? 

Hope you have a great week ahead. Live well & be well!


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Hey guys! I hope you had a great Monday to start your week off yesterday and that you’re enjoying the beginning of fall. Recently I felt motivated by the change in weather and decided to do a little life clean up in a few areas and thought I’d share the journey with you guys. Because that’s what my blog is – a place to share stories (I’d love to hear more of yours in the comments; sometimes blogging is a little one-sided but I love hearing about YOUR lives, too!).

So, what prompted it? Coming off the summer, we finally got home and settled back into our apartment in Calgary and noticed that things needed to be cleaned up. It’s amazing how dusty a place can get even when you’re not living there! So Mikey and I tackled our¬†gear room post-Survive & Thrive Expeditions’ summer of adventures. That took a while but made us feel so good, so on a day when I had only some morning clients, I decided to keep the party going. Next up? My closet.


As a personal trainer, almost all of my daily clothes are workout-related, but over the years my closet has built up like anyone else. Living in a place where the seasons require different types of clothing, I’m used to rotating my wardrobe every winter/spring, summer/fall, but the build up was still more than I needed. I’d read about capsule wardrobes online and decided just to go for it. So I dumped all my clothes from my closet and dresser on my bed and without thinking much about my emotional attachment to any piece, sorted each item into: doesn’t fit (give away!); is too old/ratty (throw away!); keep. That’s it! I also went through my workout clothes (I kept more of them because I rotate through so many for work) but went through the same procedure.

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By the end of the process my dresser only had about 3 t-shirts (and 3 nicer ones hanging up), 3 long sleeve shirts, 2 pairs of shorts, 3 pairs of pants and my workout section was nicely tided up. I gave away the above 3 bags of clothes and 1 bag of shoes and threw away one more torn or tattered bag of clothes/shoes. That.felt.amazing!

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clean top!

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bottoms/long sleeve shirts

Is it hard for you to part with clothes?

But why stop there? I’d always wanted to tackle our pantry, which is very spacious for our apartment but wasn’t organized at all. So, I went to dumping all the extra or old spices that were dried up, crusty, and that I never used.


I also decided it was a good time to do a sugar cleanse and tossed all the foods we’d held onto “just in case” we wanted them: half-eaten boxes of cookies, items with added sugar and/or fake ingredients, and extra mason jars that were taking up space and that I never used. A good rule of thumb for me for clothes and household items is that if I haven’t used them at all over the past year (and especially if I totally forgot about them), toss them and move on!

Now my pantry looks a little something like this:

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(with my reminders in little sticky notes on there!)

Lastly, I tackled the refrigerator. I wasn’t as crazy as to go too far and actually clean the thing, but I did decided to throw out the added sugar sauces and half-eaten jars. Over the summer, I was enjoying s’mores occasionally, dark chocolate nightly, and my weekly licorice treat, and it occurred to me that if I was cleaning up my home I should think about what I’m putting in my body. Sure, you can be fit and healthy and function well with a #moderation365 approach, but every now and then it’s good to not give yourself any outs or options to indulge in what doesn’t contribute to your body’s energy and recovery needs. So that’s just what I did!


Is it hard for you to keep things kept up in your kitchen?

After tossing the extras and seeing a bare fridge, I restocked with lots of fresh vegetables, no-sugar-added meats, full fat cream in place of anything low fat (where there is added sugar), and then discovered a few new products to try out.



My sister-in-law, Catherine, shared with me the benefits of “true cinnamon” versus conventional cinnamon, or the difference between ceylon and cassia. Here’s a great article that explains the differences between the cinnamons from the same family and why they aren’t that much different for your body (unless consuming huge amounts). Despite that, I’ve been out of my (beloved coffee-topper, breakfast addition, dinner sprinkler) cinnamon so when I was out at the natural foods store I picked some up:


And lastly, in an effort to clean up the rest of my life, I joined a client in making a pact and tackling our sleep together. Every night at 9 pm, we text one another to make sure our screens are off so we can begin shutting down. He told me about an app he uses, Sleep Cycle, to track how well he’s sleeping, so I immediately downloaded the Sleep Cycle App Bundle (about $3) and am finding it fascinating to track my sleep. More and more I’m learning about (or rather, finally taking to heart,) the value of sleep; Kindal just wrote a post all about it! I’m finding that I have more time on my hands when I’m not scrolling Instagram or reading blogs at night. I’m prepping earlier for my clients, feeling more prepared for each day, doing random dishes instead of letting them pile up, remembering to water the plants, and reading other books again. I’m not perfect every night but this accountability (thanks, Zach!) is welcome and I’m getting more rest with my Monday – Friday early clients.

We both also (unknowingly) picked up some of this tea:


And I have to admit, it knocks me out a bit! Not right away, but I can feel myself getting sleepy. So I’m not using it every night, but everything in it is natural so I’m not worried as long as it doesn’t become a sleep aid. I think the no-screen thing is helping prepare me for bed the best! I’m finally following my own advice and those that know that sleep is key to recovery, muscle growth and even weight loss. Sleep for better EVERYthing!

And those are the ways I’m cleaning up my life right now. You know what? It feels really good. The main thing is I just decided to go for it and stop saying, “I’ll clean up my closet next weekend” or, “I’ll take a look at my sugar consumption after that last summer s’more…” It feels good and being more minimal in my food, my life, my STUFF just feels good.

When’s the last time you had a good clean-out? Want to join me in a good fall clean-up?

Live well & be well, friends,


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