bikini show announcement WP

Do one thing a day that scares you- oh boy!

Do one thing a day that scares you, that’s what lulu lemon told me to do. Well, their bag did. I pride myself in typically being a critical thinker and not easily swayed by a company’s marketing, but the lulu bags always got me thinking. So, I decided to do something that really scares me – lift heavy weights often and stand on a stage in just a bikini in front of a large audience. Yes! I am going to enter a fitness competition. The NPAA Fitness show in May to be specific.

Hahahaha, I laugh in the face of the scary audience. I will slay the fitness show dragon. I will walk on stage with my head held high, brimming with confidence and win! Or I will cry with fear and run away. I feel like I am taking on more than the lulu bag intended.

The lulu lemon bag also states that “This is not your practice life. It is all there is”. I have always tried to live my life with the idea that I only get one and now is the time to start living the life I want. I have travelled to far off places, volunteered in my community, loved my family and friends intensely, and achieved athletic goals such as running a marathon and a half Iron Man. Stepping out of my comfort zone is not totally new to me, and grabbing the proverbial bull by its horns is something I try to do as habit. But my weakness has always been pain, I work really hard to avoid it. And for me lifting weights is painful.

Lifting heavy weights is outside of my comfort zone and is mentally and emotionally painful (I often cry when I am squatting heavy  weight). To achieve the muscle mass I require to successfully compete in a fitness show I have push myself in the gym harder than I ever pushed before. I have to push past the physical and mental pain, and somehow find a way to get satisfaction in weight lifting (I’m not sure I will ever like it).

The other, more obvious, scary part is standing in front of  large audience in just a bikini. But I will worry about that later. For now, my focus is on getting into the gym six days a week to lift heavy weights.

Right now, my biggest challenge is not motivating myself to lift the heavy weights (although I do at times dread it). No, the biggest challenge is managing my time in the gym, and crazy new diet (more on that later) while also being a mom and wife. Prior to taking on this goal I was already in the pursuit of “having it all” – I am starting a successful nutrition business, I am a stay at home mom (SAHM), I work hard to be a loving wife, etc. – and now I have added this one major new item to the list. I’m not totally sure how I am going to manage it all. But two things will definitely help, waking up earlier (hello 5 am club!) and my amazing, supportive husband.

Today is week 16. In about four months I will be on stage. This is going to be an interesting adventure…

 

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Cookie Dough Bliss Balls

I have great memories of licking the cookie dough bowl while I watched the cookies bake in the oven. The best part about baking cookies with my grandma was eating the cookie dough.

This bliss ball recipe is one of my favourite because it brings those memories back. I hope you enjoy these delicious bliss balls as much as me and my son do.

Cookie Dough Bliss Balls

1 cup quick oats
3 tbsp coconut flakes
5 tbsp of water
10 dates
1 tsp vanilla

  1. Put oats in food processor and blend until it is a course powder
  2. Add the coconut flakes, dates and vanilla. Blend until mixed thoroughly
  3. Add the water and blend
  4. Roll the mixture into several small balls
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Chocolate Coconut Bliss Balls with Quinoa

Finding healthy snacks for kids is hard! My kids are pretty normal, they love their fish crackers, fig newton bars and other crappy processed food. When I try to switch it up and give them something healthy to eat, like vegetables, I get the biggest “yuck” response. Ugh! I hate that response. It makes me feel like a bit of a failure. A failure as a mom #momguilt, as well as a failure as a nutritionist #nutritionistguilt. As a nutritionist and a mom I knew there must be a better way.

Google, and my own ingenuity came to my rescue. I found the Bliss Balls through a quick google search. Bliss balls are awesome because the ingredients are whole, real food and they are crazy easy and fast to make. The challenge is that most bliss balls have nuts as an ingredient – a big no-no for my son’s school. As well, I am highly sensitive to almonds and other nuts, so I try to avoid them as much as possible. I searched my pantry for a replacement. I wanted something crunchy, yet healthy, and it could not contain gluten. I decided to bake quinoa.

Quinoa is considered a “super food”. I hesitate to call any food a super food, but quinoa definitely ranks high on my list of healthy foods. It has lots of protein, good fats and is high in lots of micronutrients.

My first attempt at a bliss ball sans recipe – meaning I made this recipe up, was a success. My chocolate coconut bliss balls are a sweet treat for any lunch bag or at home snack. I hope you enjoy!

Chocolate Coconut Bliss Balls

About 24 (or 1.5 cup) noor dates
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1/2 quinoa crisp (recipe below)
1 tsp vanilla
Unsweetened coconut flakes as needed

  1. Place the noor dates, baking cocoa, quinoa crisp and vanilla in a food processor (I prefer the Vitamix)
  2. Blend thoroughly. Stir the contents with a spoon to ensure none of the cocoa got stuck on the bottom, then blend again.
  3. Roll the mixture into small balls, then roll the balls through the coconut flakes

Quinoa Crisp

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
2. Prepare quinoa as according to the package
3. Once quinoa is cooked through, spread across a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or  until crispy

 

 

 

Hand writes the word thank you

Testimonial

Just wanted to say a huge thank you to you and Easy Nutrition.  For a long time I have dealt with “gut” issues. I have tried many different approaches but never found the help that I needed. Until you came along that is!!  The food sensitivity panel that you did totally opened my eyes. I knew I had allergies to some foods but never understood the part about sensitivities.  You explained things so well and in easy terms that made so much sense to me. Thanks!!

I have learned so much in the way of nutrition with the meal planning workshop and the grocery shop that I do get excited now about planning my week and dinners are no longer a “chore”.  I look forward to trying new recipes that fit in with what I should be eating.  My husband is thrilled as well. Thanks for the amazing recipes. We love the meatloaf one and it has now become a staple meal in our house!

Overall I am feeling so much better and have a keener sense of when I eat something that I shouldn’t!!  I appreciate all the information and help that you have given me. Thanks again!!  You are amazing at what you do. :)

Charlene G.

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Balsamic Pork Chops with Baked Peaches

Pork chops are a very versatile food and easy to cook with. Most of us have grown up with our mom’s serving pork chops with applesauce, a delicious combination. But have you tried pork chops with peaches? Even more delicious! And as it is summer time, and peaches are in season, it is the perfect time to pair these two together. So here we go!

Pork Chops

1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 boneless pork loin chops
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 cup chicken broth – recipe for beef bone broth can be found following the link, use chicken bones instead of beef bones for a chicken broth: Easy Nutrition Bone Broth Recipe
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons oregano
4 broccolettes

  • Heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat in a large stainless steel pan
  • Add the onion and cook until the onion is soft and translucent, set the onions aside
  • Season both sides of the pork chops with the salt and pepper and thyme. Add the pork to the pan and cook each side for 2 – 3 minutes or until browned. Transfer the porks chops to a plate.
  • Add the bone broth, quinoa, basil , oregano and cooked onion to the pan, heat to boiling. Once boiling reduce the heat, place the pork on top of the quinoa. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the brocolettes and simmer until pork and brocolettes are cooked
  • Serve the pork with baked peaches

 

Baked Peaches

3 peaches, cut in half
1/4 teaspoon of coconut oil for each half
1/2 tablespoon of maple syrup for each half

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Place the peach halves on a baking sheet
  3. Place the coconut oil on top of the half peach, and drizzle the maple syrup over each half peach
  4. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, checking regularly to make sure the peaches do not burn