Why Your Goals Overwhelm You

Take a second to think about everything you have to do today.

Seriously. Take a second. I’ll wait…

Got it all?

Did you add the basic things like showering, eating, commuting, cooking? I want everything!

If you really put down everything it’s probably created a little bit of stress. You know you need to do a lot, but putting it all on paper makes it seem like even more!

Now the last thing to check is if your goals made it on that list. Continue reading “Why Your Goals Overwhelm You”

200 calorie Mug Cake for one

Mug Cake

Mug Cake

There is something special about making a cake for one, when you’re in the mood for something sweet and comforting but don’t want it to come at a big caloric expense, try making an individual sized treat!

Most mug cakes are full of sugar, oil and flour or even made with just protein powder making the mug cake taste rubbery; but not this one. Don’t get me wrong if your prefer to up your protein content you could swap out the cocoa powder for chocolate protein powder and should get similar taste.

This mini cake cooks in less than two minutes and is made with simple ingredients you likely have in your own cupboard. The recipe is dairy free and can easily be gluten free if you use gluten free oats.

Mug Cake 1


50 g egg whites
50 g banana (or half a banana)
5 g coconut flour
5 g cocoa powder (1 tbsp)
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/4 cups of quick cooking oats- Gluten free if necessary.

1. Place all ingredients into a bowl or food processor if you have one. I often use a hand blender since it is small batch.
2. Blend all ingredients until the oats looks like they are ground up.
3. Spray bowl or mug with some cooking oil and pour batter into mug/bowl.
4. Microwave for 1:30, depending on your microwave settings.
5. Remove mug from microwave; be careful the mug will be hot!
6. Enjoy with preferred toppings.

Calories per cake: 200
Carbs: 36 g
Protein : 11 g
Fat: 4 g

Mug Cake 2


Check out some of my other concoctions by following me on Instagram.

~ Stefanie

Alleviate the Winter Blues or SAD

Winter Blues

It’s early in the year and you don’t feel like yourself. January is for new beginnings and resolutions, right? One look at your newsfeed and it’s peppered with #NewYearNewMe hashtags that make you question whether your own energy levels are up to snuff. To someone suffering from the Winter Blues the New Year is a reminder of a long road ahead.

For those suffering from the Winter Blues, the cold months, and than lack of light discourage many people from making and keeping plans. When your couch seems more inviting than the gym, fatty, and sugary foods are more comforting than mom’s homemade soup. When even Netflix and Chill seems too ambitious, you need to ask yourself if you’re just feeling the post-holiday hangover or the Winter Blues. Continue reading “Alleviate the Winter Blues or SAD”

A Simple Trick for a More Satisfying Oatmeal

a more satisfying oatmeal

Do you ever get to the bottom of your bowl of oatmeal only wishing you had more?

Me too!

Do you ever think about ways to add more vegetables into your day?

Me too!

Well, this trick satisfies both!

I always like to tweak recipes to make them more satisfying but still healthy. After experimenting with adding zucchini to my oats with little satisfaction I wondered what other vegetable would yield a grain-like consistency like oatmeal.

Cauliflower, that’s what!

Since cauliflower is a go-to item in place of rice and other grains in the paleo community I figured it should do the trick since it is a rather hard, fibrous vegetable that has a mild taste when used with other ingredients. Cauliflower rice also packs only 35 calories per cup in comparison to 360 calories per cup of raw oats. That makes this addition a great way to add some bulk and nutrients to your oatmeal without adding too many calories.

When adding riced cauliflower to your oatmeal, start with a small amount then slowly increase the veggie content depending on your own preferences.


My Cauliflower Oats Recipe:

  • 1/3 Cup Gluten Free oats
  • 2/3 Cup riced cauliflower
  • 1/2 Banana
  • 1/2-1 Cup milk of choice
  • 1 tbsp or so of cocoa powder or protein powder.
  • Pinch of Salt


  • Mash banana with a fork and set aside.
  • Cut and wash cauliflower florets and finely chop into rice sized bits with food processor.
  • Add rolled oats and cauliflower rice to banana.
  • Add milk of choice, salt and cocoa or protein powder.
  • Mix and microwave for 1 minutes, mix then microwave for another 30-60 seconds.
  • Enjoy with your favourite toppings!


a more satisfying oatmeal


Like this recipe? Comment below and let me know what else I can help you with.

~ Stefanie

Volume Foods – Using Fruits and Vegetables to Feel Full

How To Fill Up On Fruits And Vegetables

I like to eat.

If I could eat plates of pasta or bowls of ice cream all day long I would be one happy lady.

Unfortunately, if I were to do this ALL the time even with an active lifestyle I would likely gain weight, feel fatigued and have digestive complaints.

So what does one do when they want to satisfy their frequent pasta, ice cream or pizza cravings without jeopardizing their health goals?

You start modifying your meals by making them more voluminous;
often times by adding fruits and vegetables to the dish. Finding ways to substitute volume foods into your diet is a good option to get more vitamins and minerals into your daily routine but is also great if weight loss is one of your goals.

For example; many people already swap out their spaghetti noodles with zucchini noodles or you will see recipes using grated cauliflower in place of rice. These are a few examples of volume foods!

Volume foods are usually low in calories but high in fiber meaning you can eat more of the item (compared to the original food) without ingesting a ton of calories, plus it can leave you feeling fuller. Most voluminous foods are vegetables and fruit as they are high in water and fiber. These foods make you feel more satiated as they take longer to digest. By adding these items into your meals you are eating more food at a lower caloric cost.

Volume Foods

I started to eat more voluminous foods when I was macro tracking my meals and had a low daily caloric allowance as I was training for a body building competition. Meaning, I had to stretchhhhh my food intake very thin in order to satisfy my macronutrient intake for the day in a filling and sustainable way – If I ate foods high in calories I would end up eating less because those items add up quickly when you are eating well below you maintenance levels (high in calories and fat in this case). I am no longer calorie counting but I do still try to fill up on nutritious foods in place of some items as I try to keep my goals in check.

Whether or not you calorie or macro-nutrient track or just like to stay healthy this is a great way to improve general health as many people could boost their vegetable intake, meaning more micro nutrients and fiber!

Here are a few of my favorite ways to add fruit or veggies to your dishes:

Spiralized Noodles: You can buy a spiralizer or use a cheese grater to make noodle-like zucchini ribbons to eat in place of your pasta or rice noodles. You can then sauté them a bit in oil and/or sauce or eat them raw. Alternatively, I like to spiralize carrots as well. Combining the two and making a peanut butter satay sauce is my favorite way to eat raw spiralized veggies. I often add these raw carrot spirals on top of salads. If you have a fancier spiralizer you could even make sweet potato noodles, spiralize and apple or cabbage if you have a flat blade.

Volume Foods - a great way to add vegetables

Black Bean or Edamame Noodles: Great substitutions for pasta if you want a high fiber and protein meal. Beans are full of fiber and have good amounts of protein.

Cauliflower Rice: If you grate or use a food processor on rinsed and dried cauliflower you will end up with bits of the florets that look like grains of rice! You can make a pizza with the riced cauliflower too! My current favourite way to use riced cauliflower is in my oatmeal. It is a great way to add veggies into a dish that can otherwise quickly add up in calories depending on your serving size. Try adding 1/3 cup of riced cauliflower to ½ cup of raw oats. Add milk or water, spices, maybe some chia or flax seeds and berries then heat up like normal. The riced cauliflower gets lost in the oatmeal texture, making it an easy and sneaky way to get more veggies in.

Nana Cream: Using almost frozen bananas with some milk, spices and other berries whizzed up in a blender or food processor makes this lovely icy, but smooth banana frozen treat.

cocoa nibs

Pumpkin/ Squash: All members of the squash family have a special place in my heart. Similar to the nana ice cream I used chunks of almost frozen cooked pumpkin (Kabocha is my favourite squash) mixed with some milk or water, salt, cocoa or spices and voila! A magical icy treat low in calories yet high in fiber and nutrients!

Again, if you’re looking to add more nutrients into your diet there are tons of ways to do so and I am just showing a few, but get creative and get in the kitchen and see what you can whip up yourself! If you’d like more examples from me, feel free to reach out!


How I Overcame 10 Years of Yo-Yo Dieting

Diary of a former yo-yo dieter

If you’re a fan of musical theater (like I am) you have inevitably heard these famous lyrics:

“525,600 minutes. How do you measure, measure a year?”

Well, I can actually measure the last 10 years—in diets.

Diary of a former yo-yo dieter

2004 to 2014 was my era of yo-yo dieting. Here’s how it looked: South Beach, Nutrisystem, Atkins, Rice Diet, Weight Watchers, Dukan Diet, Low-Carb diet, Fast Diet, Very-Low-Calorie-Diet. In processed food, in hunger, in no-calorie sweetness, in bathroom scales.

Can I measure those 10 years in exercise?

I sure can—it looks like a million hours on an elliptical machine. I didn’t see exercise as anything other than a weight loss tactic. Those hours on the elliptical were purely to burn calories, to get myself skinny and to work off the “mistakes” I’d made the day before.

Exercising was just another way to get to my goal weight and, more often than not, a punishment for my indulgences throughout the week.

What was the end result of those 10 years of quick fix diets, hours of listless cardio and calorie counting?

A severely damaged metabolism, little to no muscle and a horrible relationship with food. I was always either dieting or binge-ing, all while resenting the gym and hating my body.

I’d also spent way too much money on crash diet books, diet products, diet programs and exercise tapes that promised me “a new hot bod in 10 minutes.”

My body was in starvation mode, I was putting on weight like crazy and I continued to lower my calorie count.

I remember the day that everything clicked into place. I’d been exercising twice a day for the past month, all on 800 calories a day. I stepped on the scale and…I’d gained a pound!

I had trained my body to survive on way too little calories and it was beginning to store any and all extra calories as fat. And, with no other energy, my body had been eating away at my muscle for extra fuel. Essentially, I had completely wrecked my metabolism.

That’s when I decided to stop. Stop dieting, stop feeding into the industry diet craze and stop hating my body. I threw away my scale and all the “skinny” clothes that served as an extra marker of weight gain or loss.

I vowed to rebuild my body and to never diet again. I was no longer focusing on weight loss—I was focusing on strength.

I started to research weight lifting methods and exercises. I began to lift weights at my gym, starting out very small (like 2 pound dumbbells small…sometimes no weights at all! Air is resistance too!).

Muscles need fuel to grow and I began to eat more before and after my workouts.

Eventually, I realized my eating habits had completely shifted. I was no longer starving myself for weight loss—I was feeding my strength.

yo-yo diet gone wrong

Now, was I completely able to break my old eating habits? Not entirely. They definitely come back from time to time. I still have a voice in my telling me that I’m not skinny enough, not pretty enough, not worth the plate of food in front of me.

My body image still isn’t fantastic and I know that I need to work on that.

But am I strong? Hell yeah! I love walking into a gym and lifting heavy. I love the newly visible muscles on my legs and thighs – and I love the fact that now, after years of starvation and binging, I don’t see food as an obstacle to weight loss, but as a necessary supplement to my fit lifestyle.

Now, I’m not saying that weight lifting is for everyone. Weight lifting changed my behavior and moved me out of a decade of yo-yo dieting but everyone has their own journey.

A good friend of mine found salvation in Zumba. He never enjoyed exercise until he walked into a Zumba class.

Suddenly, he was having a blast and getting fit in the process. And, in order to better his Zumba technique, he began to slowly tweak his food habits. Now, he’s 80 pounds lighter and a Zumba instructor!

Basically, I’m saying that the cycle of being stuck in a yo-yo diet cycle may seem endless but it’s not.

It can be broken and you can develop a healthy relationship with food and exercise. If you move your goals away from weight loss and the industry trend of “quick-fix diets” and instead focus on health and personal fulfillment, you can develop lasting habits that will end the pattern of weight gain and diets.

Look to mend your relationship with food and exercise in a new, exciting way. Find a mode of exercise that humors you, take a cooking class and fall in love with whole, yummy, unprocessed food. Find a gym buddy, commit to a bootcamp or simply give yourself a break.

Everyone has the potential to change and grow.

Will it be easy? Hell no. Will your body and mind thank you? Absolutely. And that’s all that matters.

“No day but today!”

Sorry, I just wanted to end on a lyric from Rent. 🙂


Cooking With Fats – Reducing Oil Oxidation

Coconut oil oxidation

In the 1990s, proponents of the low-fat diet craze insisted that dietary fat – particularly saturated fats – led to; obesity, coronary heart disease, cardiac arrhythmia, and several other medical complications.

By now, most people are aware that fats are an important macronutrient. We know that omega 3 fatty acids can actually reduce the risk of heart disease, improve cholesterol, and benefit people who have hardening of the arteries or high blood pressure. Some of us may even know that there are three types of fat – saturated fat, unsaturated fat, and polyunsaturated fat – and that we should aim for a balance of all three fats in our diet.

What many of us don’t know, however, is that not all fats are suitable for cooking at high temperatures and that we should vary our fats based on the foods we’re preparing.

Since the low-fat craze died down and people became more aware of the need for dietary fats, one oil became increasingly popular – olive oil. We see it in recipes for everything from broiled salmon to sauteed spinach. Although olive oil is a great addition to a person’s diet, there is one problem with some of these recipes – the oxidation of the oil at high heat.

The sciency bit: Continue reading “Cooking With Fats – Reducing Oil Oxidation”

Introducing Allie Parris

Our team just keeps on growing!

We would like to welcome Allie Parris to our happy growing family:

Coach Allie is a NASM certified Personal Trainer, a Weight Loss Specialist and a Fitness Nutrition Specialist – meaning her approach to coaching centers around not only finding what works best for you, but also teaching you how to understand why it works.

From Allie:

“My approach to training is extremely personal and individualized. I don’t just want to help you lose weight or get in shape. I want to help you understand why the tools I’m giving you work. I think a client should not just receive a program, they should understand why that program is tailor made for them. I want my clients to understand their bodies AND understand how to achieve results rather than just blindly follow a plan!”

Allie Parris - Online Fitness and Nutrition Coach

As a self proclaimed “former crash dieter”, she has experience with just about every restrictive diet there is – giving her the experience to steer you past that frame of mind and into thinking about “how to feed your strength”.

“I came to Allie after working abroad for 6 months and my body type had changed completely. I felt self-conscious and unsure how to even begin this journey of getting my body back in shape. Allie made me feel comfortable discussing my body issues. She was the perfect balance of tough love yet tenderly motivating. Thanks Allie!!”
Rachel L

Allie’s personal journey to better health gives her a unique connection to her clients. Read her story here!

What To Expect When You First Try Kombucha

Homemade Kombucha

Kombucha, for me it was love at first sip!

I was warned that this drink was lip puckering, vinegary and murky but my first reaction to Kombucha was pure bliss. The tangy and fizziness of this effervescent drink was thirst quenching as it satisfied my cravings for a carbonated beverage on a hot day.

No kidding. It reminds me of a slightly sour beer with some added nutritional benefits! Win-win!

Once I found out I can make this fermented tea at home I quickly signed up for a workshop and have been brewing my own batches in my cool dark pantry shelves for over a year now!

Homemade Kombucha
Here is a photo of three batches of home-made kombucha covered with a breathable lid. The middle jar has chunks of fresh ginger on the bottom, adding a zesty flavor to the original recipe.

Kombucha pronounced (KOM-BOO-CHA) is a drink that is made by fermenting sweet tea with a culture or yeast. The origin of this drink is still undetermined but whomever and wherever this tea came from it has left a lasting impression as the people of Japan, China and Russia continually drink this tea regularly as it thought to help promote longevity and wellness.

If you’ve ever bought a bottle of Kombucha you were likely a bit intimidated at first.

You probably saw the dark network of strands floating in your bottle, which are remnants of the SCOBY; similar to how you find “mothers” in apple cider vinegar which are really just a combination of beneficial bacteria, proteins and micronutrients.

These natural byproducts of Kombucha come from the SCOBY which stands for symbiotic community of bacteria and yeast.

Basically, the sweet tea you start with is converted to Kombucha from this SCOBY as it feeds off the sugar content in the tea. The sugar is converted into carbon dioxide and ethanol which explains why you have to be careful if you have an alcohol sensitivity as some brands contain more than trace amounts of alcohol. The SCOBY itself is thought to protect the jar of fluids from the outer environment, resulting in a drink rich in probiotics, as most fermented foods are.

How To Make Kombucha
Here is a photo of the strange “mother” in a bottle of store bought organic apple cider vinegar.

The SCOBY looks like an alien-pancake made of microbes that are translucent in colour until it is tinted brown from exposure to many teas over and over again. After some poking around it seems that the SCOBY itself has most of the probiotic benefits rather than the tea itself and this is why many people actually eat the SCOBY itself. When in the jar it floats on top of the liquid and is rubbery, a bit slimy and definitely alive. Watching a SCOBY slowly dance in your home-made Kombucha as it ferments is worth brewing a batch itself if not for its complex flavor profiles and probiotic benefits.

Last month I talked about sauerkraut (link to blog post) and all its glory praising it and other ferments for providing probiotics; living micro-organisms that help maintain a healthy intestinal tract by balancing out the harmful and helpful bacteria naturally found in your gut. Intestinal health is super important for overall health, impacting our energy levels, mood, digestion and weight.

Over many many years it has been used therapeutically as it is thought to help with liver and immune support, arthritis and digestive health to name a few. As much as I love all ferments some like Kombucha may not have as many superfoods capabilities as other do. There currently is no scientific backing on human data in favor of this drink in terms of having health benefits to the mentioned ailments. Due to this it is only responsible for me to advise people to take caution when experimenting with new items, like Kombucha. Also, children, pregnant women, those with yeast sensitivities and with a compromised immune system should refrain from drinking this tea and should consult a naturopath or doctor beforehand.

This drink is not for everybody but I personally think it benefits MY digestive health and most importantly it satisfies my cravings in a less caloric and more wholesome way. In comparison to pop and beer this drink has less sugar and calories adding up to 14g of carbohydrate per 8 oz serving compared to 22.5 g of carbohydrates for soda pop. I often drink my Kombucha in a beer sleeve or wine glass as I try to decrease my alcohol intake. I mix it with fresh juices or muddled fruit to give it a more exciting, non or low alcoholic party friendly drink.

Kombucha Scoby
Meet my SCOBY- his name is Bert and he is happily floating on the top of jar as the fermentation ensue’s beneath him.

I drink Kombucha because it works with my body, I love the taste, I enjoy the ancient traditions of its use and I simply love making my own ‘booch’. If you don’t fall into any of the categories mentioned above consider buying a bottle of Kombucha. Start with buying a bottle from a reputable brand and drink it slowly, maybe even an ounce or two one day to see if it jives with you. I have friends who say it makes them feel a little tipsy, or have a stomach ache so they are cautious with the amounts they drink.

If you end up loving the taste and light bubbles you will likely enjoy making your own brew. There are lots of comprehensive guides on how to make your own batch but the joy of mixing teas, adding flavors and watching my SCOBY come to life in my home makes me glad I bought my first spooky, dark and majestic bottle of Kombucha years ago.

Hit me up if you have any Kombucha questions!


The Optimal Pre-workout – Jump Start Your Routine!

Optimal Pre-Workout

Pre-workout supplements are highly popular among gym goers in order to give them that extra boost to bring their workout to the next level – but contrary to popular belief many pre-workout supplements are ineffective.

Pre-workout formulas are known to vary greatly between manufacturers and can be also be contaminated with other ingredients.

Here are the key ingredients to look for in a pre-workout: Continue reading “The Optimal Pre-workout – Jump Start Your Routine!”