The Journey is Always Filled With Failure

I had a great talk with my client the other day where she was feeling super positive. She had a great day, got her workout done early, was eating healthy and had the positive mindset looking towards the weekend. Everything was rainbows and butterfly’s.

But as the incredibly talented Adam Levine says: It’s not always rainbows and butterflies.

A little way through our chat I asked her if she could write down a review of her first month. The ups and downs, what she learned and what she didn’t expect. Things like that. I was surprised when I realized this got her upset. Even though things were going great at this moment, she was upset just thinking about it.

She realized that she felt she would only see the negative. That even if there was good, she tends to focus on the bad and the failure. She was upset that her outlook was that way.

This conversation got me thinking. Why do we focus so much on failure and why do we consider it such a bad thing? Continue reading “The Journey is Always Filled With Failure”

Why You Should Food Journal

Ever had the feeling that you’re eating healthy but you just can’t seem to get any results?

A client of mine was recently feeling the same way.

He started a photo food journal to track what he ate. He takes pictures of everything he eats each day and shares it with me.

Within a week my client noticed that he was eating better.

A week!

Here’s why:

I’ve long been a fan of a journal when starting to change eating habits. At minimum because I need to see what my clients are eating to be able to help them. But also, because it’s often very eye opening for the client.

I’ve seen it so often, the new client says “but I eat healthy, how come I’m not seeing results “.

I ask them to journal and very often I get the same experience as the client mentioned above. The journal actually opens their eyes to EVERYTHING that they eat in the day.

Sure, the main meals, especially when you at at home are pretty healthy. However, many people don’t realize the frequent snacks, amount of sugary beverages they consume, gaps in their eating, or late night habits.

It’s not just what they eat that they end up seeing, it’s how they eat.

They see their habits.

Food journaling is a great idea if you’re unsure of why you aren’t seeing results or want to know how you can modify your diet.

I encourage you to try a photo journal like my client. You might be surprised by what you find!

~ Chad

You Know What To Do, You’re Just Not Doing It

“You know what to do, you’re just not doing it”

I’ve said this exact quote in many client consultations over the years and it’s a fundamental belief of my coaching model.

I have the assumption that everyone knows WHAT to do, it’s just that they AREN’T DOING IT.

I believe this and bring it up because it’s the most common question we get as coaches:

  • What do I do to work my: obliques, butt, inner thigh, love handles, jiggly bits
  • What do I eat to help me lose weight, gain weight, build muscle, not lose muscle, get toned
  • What’s the best exercise for…
  • What’s the best food for…
  • What’s he best protein, BCAA’s, creatine, Vitamin D, B, A, C, E, F, G, H, I, J, K (you get the point) to take
  • What, what, what…

On some level it may be true that you don’t actually know the answers to these questions. But unfortunately it’s not the lack knowledge itself that’s the problem.

The problem is that it’s that it’s at such a micro level of focus.

And honestly, most people don’t know the perfect, specific answer to these questions fully because it’s always going to take some level of trial and error. (I’ll expand in next week’s article)

However, the micro focus questions are not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about the general sense, the higher level view, the bigger picture focus on knowing what to do.

In the big picture we all know what to do:

Exercise more an eat less junk!

Until you are DOING that foundation, the microscopic view of individual vitamins or exercises, as expressed in the example questions above, mean nothing.

First you need the habit and discipline to do what you need to be doing.

I was inspired to write this because I recently watched a Keynote speech from an internet mentor of mine: Gary Vaynerchuk

In that keynote he says:

“Information has never been less valuable than it is today”

If you want to see it yourself, watch about 45 seconds and then come back here. Please. (you can watch the rest later)

His point is that the internet has everything we ever need to know and is literally at our finger tips on our phones. In seconds Google or Siri can tell you anything you want to know.

I digress back to my point.

Not knowing what to do is not your problem, it’s that you’re not doing it.

Getting answers about what to do will take you less than 30 seconds with a google search on your phone.

Heck, I’ll make it even quicker for you with some links:

But the truth remains, whatever knowledge you gain, you’re still going to have to get out there and do it. You’re still going to have to take a step forward and move.

My suggestion: put down the phone and step away from the search. Just go do something.



Do any damn thing you want that moves you one step closer to your goal.

Once you do, Tweet or Snap me and let me know what you did.

However, the next part is the actually the hardest.

Now you need to keep doing it. Over and over again. You now have to continue the journey.

Key point:

You may not know everything, but you know something you can do to get started. Just start doing it!

And no you’re not going to be perfect at it. No one is.

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!

Nutrition Tip – How Much Water?

This is a question I get asked a lot, and an important one at that. Hydration is a vital component for proper body function, never mind energy levels, metabolism, and recovery. Most people are chronically dehydrated and don’t even know it!

Like many nutrition tips, there is a lot of conflicting information about how much water we should drink. Use this simple equation to find the minimum ideal amount of water for you.

(weight in pounds) / 2 = (water in ozs)

Ex. 160 lbs/2 = 80 oz of water

In this example 80 oz of water is the minimum ideal amount. This is ten 8 oz glasses of water! (1 cup = 8 oz)

If exercise is involved, you want to increase the amount from that. Find your ideal amount of water to drink per day – and plan to get at least that much. Bringing a reusable water bottle with you is a great place to start.

Start hydrating today!

how much water

Nutrition Tip – Steaming vegetables

We all know the importance of eating lots of green vegetables on a day to day basis, but the question is often how to incorporate them into meals? One of the easiest ways to cook vegetables, that actually increases the nutrition you receive from them is by steaming them.

steaming vegetables

By gently steaming vegetables before eating them you soften the fibres, which make them easier to digest, and bring out their natural flavour and vibrance.

Green vegetables: kale, spinach, swiss chard, broccoli, zucchini, green beans, asparagus.

Try steaming any of these green vegetables, over boiling water for 3-5 minutes. You want the greens to be a nice bright colour, and still have a little crunch – this is their optimal nutritional state! 

Ideas for topping your greens:
-Fresh lemon juice
-Cracked pepper and Himalayan salt
-Extra virgin olive oil
-Crushed garlic
-Hot sauce
-Coconut oil

The perfect addition to any meal 🙂 Bon appetite!

Weekly Health Challenge – Go Ahead, Try Something New

Happy Monday!
If you didn’t already know, we’ve added two new services lately. Nutrition coaching and Yoga coaching. With that, we’re adapting the Weekly Activity Challenge to become a Weekly Health Challenge. We’ll switch it up each week between, activity, nutrition and even yoga challenges.
This week, Jennifer is giving us a nutrition challenge! Take it away Jennifer:
Continuing with Chad’s theme this week of getting out there and trying a new sport, I thought I’d bring that into today’s post.
Photo 2013-07-19 9 54 13 AM
When life gets hectic we tend to reach for those quick and easy (usually processed) options. Too often I hear “Cooking just isn’t exciting to me anymore” or “I’m lacking inspiration or motivation in the kitchen”.
I’m not going to lie, I’ve definitely been at that point myself. You’re staring at the pantry in the kitchen or the produce section of the grocery store and wondering what the heck to make. What I find really helps, is simply telling myself to try something new each week. This doesn’t need to be drastic, just think about how you can substitute something in to a meal that you’ve never tried before. Or, pick one recipe from your favourite food blog or cookbook and just try it out. With a whiteboard pen, I’ve been writing a “Recipe of the Week” on the mirror in my kitchen!
Some examples – do you have oats in the morning? Why not try millet, quinoa, or simply adding in soaked chia seeds or some hemp seeds? Do you have a salad for most of your lunches? Why not think up a new dressing that you can prepare and keep refrigerated for the rest of the week. How about for dinner? Head to the local market, have a conversation with the fisherman, and try a new type of fish that you’ve never tried before. You may be surprised, and even inspired to keep it going next week.
This week, I tried out a new juice recipe and it’s now becoming one of my all-time favourites.
So go ahead, try something new.  What new grain, juice, dressing, veggie, or healthy dessert will you try this week? Post it in the comments!

5 New Ways to Fall in Love with Smoothies


Happy Wednesday!  Lets talk smoothies!

The second the weather gets nice, my body starts to crave those perfectly blended drinks in the AM. Smoothies may not be for everyone, and that’s ok, but I found that the second I learned how to create that creamy texture, I was hooked. Here are a few of my favourite smoothie tips and tricks.


  • A quarter of an avocado or extra banana can create a really nice creamy consistency. Try 1/2 of a frozen banana and a quarter of an avocado.
  • If you’re currently putting yoghurt in your smoothies, you can try an organic plain kefir which is similar to yoghurt but a thinner consistency and higher in those healthy bacteria.
  • Fruit overpowers the veggies. So add in that spinach or kale and trick those picky eaters into getting their greens.
  • Easing into those green smoothies? Try sweetening with low glycemic fruits such as green apple, pear, green grapes, or kiwi.
  • Don’t forget the fresh herbs! Mint has always been a favourite for berry smoothies, until I recently saw a recipe using fresh basil. It was a life-changer!

I hope that you find these tips helpful. Feel free to share your favourite smoothie in the comments below. I’d love to know!

12 Healthy Snack Ideas for Nutrition On The Go!

Healthy Snack

We’ve all done it – used our busy lifestyles to justify a coffee for breakfast, skipping meals, or grabbing for that processed snack in hopes for some kind of afternoon energy burst. You may be raising children, with little time to devote to yourself. Or your job may be keeping you busy throughout the entire day, with little time for lunch or snacks. Whatever the case, always remember that even the littlest of change can make a big difference, especially when it comes to snacking.

To me, Nutrition on the Go means everything from proper hydration, preparing healthy snacks to get you through the day, or quick and easy breakfast ideas for those mornings you’ve slept through the alarm. But for this post, let’s talk snacks.

Why dedicate a post just to snacking? Well for one, healthy snacking can do more than curb cravings and increase energy, it can even save you a little money and reduce waste. And two, sometimes we just need to be reminded of the basics of nutrition and believe this starts with quick and easy ideas that everyone can try.

Healthy Snack

Healthy snack ideas, to name a few:

  • Pear slices and raw walnuts
  • Green Juice
  • That go-to smoothie
  • Dried Apricots (organic, unsulphured)
  • Applesauce and cinnamon
  • Homemade dips such as hummus, guacamole, or with rice crackers or veggies.
  • Multigrain rice cakes with honey and nut butters
  • Celery with nut butters (almond, pumpkin, walnut)
  • Homemade trail mix or roasted nuts
  • Organic Popcorn with melted coconut oil, sea salt and nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 mashed avocado on toasted dark rye
  • Spelt or gluten-free pancakes with almond butter

I’d love to hear about your healthy go-to’s when it comes to snacking, so be sure to comment below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Have a great week!

Wine: It’s delicious and… nutritious?

Hi! I’m Kelly!

I’ve recently come on board to write some blog posts for Chad from a woman’s perspective. I’m a 30 something avid worker-outer (is that a word?), marathon runner (which means I’m possibly a bit nuts) a sometimes/sometimes not a health conscious woman, a professional makeup artist, an enquiring mind, and quite obviously not a professional writer. I’m going to write about stuff that I want to learn more about and hopefully I’ll open up a few questions in your mind too.  So that brings us to my first topic.

Wine (what else would I write about?!)

There’s been a ton of hype in the past years about red wine being full of antioxidants and I recently over heard my mom saying “it’s healthy… it has antioxidants” so of course I had to research a bit.

Yes, it’s true, red wine (more than white) contains antioxidants and antioxidants have been proven to help prevent some health problems like heart disease, diabetes and even some cancers, but when it comes to wine consumption the health care pro’s say that moderation is key.  Moderation is not a word a woman in her 30’s usually uses in the same sentence as wine (a bottle is moderation… right?), so I did some research.  According to the Canadian health association a person should have no more than 10 drinks per week and no more than 2 drinks per day and they specifically say that the negative effects of alcohol far outweigh the positive effects if you consume more than 2 glasses.  As far as antioxidants are concerned wine is waaaaaay down the list. Actually wine didn’t even make the list when it came to foods and beverages that have a high concentration of antioxidants, the top 5 being berries, broccoli, garlic (yum!), green tea and tomatoes.

So in short if you’re concerned about getting your antioxidant protection, eat your fruits and veggies and drink your green tea.  Don’t fool yourself into thinking your sipping your red wine for the health benefits, sip (in moderation) because it’s delicious!

What’s YOUR favourite bottle?

How to Target Fat Loss

fat loss

Have you ever wanted to target fat loss from one specefic area of your body?

For women it’s often around the hips and thighs and for men it’s around the belly or love handles. If you’ve experienced a bunch of weight loss, those might be the last areas to go.

Google search “Fat Loss” and you’ll find picture of models in big pants or with a tape measure around their waist. I had to use this image because it had BOTH!!

fat loss

It’s an extremely common question I get: “How do I lose weight here?” and then they point to a certain area of their body. Or, I’ll get “What exercises can I do to help get rid of this fat” and again point to an area of their body. The unfortunate reality is that it’s not really possible to just lose fat from one area of the body. We can’t target fat loss to one location only.

Caveat: I coach with a natural, drug-free approach to health. If there is a drug or pill claiming to target fat loss, I’m not interested.

The struggle is usually because it’s the last area to lose fat. You may have had success already, but this last place just won’t go. If it’s in the abdomen, no amount of sit ups is going to make the fat go away. Yes, you’ll develop the muscle underneath, but that’s not going to results in losing fat from that area. However, once you do lose the fat, your 6 pack will be ready!

Fat loss comes from a result of many factors: diet, exercise, age, stress, sleep, gender, etc. Often what got you your initial fat loss won’t get you that last 10 pounds. If what you’ve been doing isn’t working, then it’s time to do something differently.

Targeting fat loss in one area isn’t going to happen. I’d suggest looking at what changes you can make to re-ignite your metabolic fire. Take a close look at your fitness routine and diet and see what changes you can make. If you’re not sure, or you’ve been at a plateau for a while, it’s probably time for a coach. Getting an experienced and outside perspective could be the key to finding the change you need and tipping the scale in the right direction.

Have you been successful with fat loss? How did you achieve your results?

Healthy Options When Travelling by Ferry

Have you ever had a tough time finding the healthy options when travelling?

I was on the ferry the other day and watched an interesting thing unfold. I could be completely off, but ultimately I made the assumption that the person in front of me was on a “Diet”.

I tend to “people watch”, a lot, and I look at how they move, act and eat.

I was watching this person while in line for ferry food. This means you usually get the option between burgers, fries and other lovely deep fried foods. Bottom line: not a lot of “healthy” options. This is a problem I’m sure many of you have found yourself in. So, what do you do?

Here’s what unfolded for me:

Sign #1 of a diet: At the drink station, they grab a cup, fill it with ice and go for the only “diet” option available.

Sign #2: Further down the line they are confronted with a bowl of mini yogurts. They dig through the bowl and find the low fat plain yogurt. The “healthiest” of the bunch.

Sign #3: At the food order station, they get oatmeal. Just oatmeal. They seemed very unsatisfied with this choice. I imagined they really wanted the deep fried chicken burger. Thankfully, there was a small container of brown sugar that they could grab for the oatmeal. (sign #4)

By the end of the line, their total tray contents were: 1 small diet pop, 1 small plain yogurt, 1 small oatmeal with brown sugar.

By the facial expressions I saw, it did not appear like it was their favorite meal, but rather the only healthy options they had available.

On the flip side, here’s what I chose to eat:

I got the “All Aboard Breakfast”: 3 strips of bacon, 3 sausages, scrambled eggs, hash browns and toast. I asked them to hold the toast.


So my question is:

What actually are the ‘best’ or healthy options? If we were both on a diet, why would we choose what we chose and what are the effects we think we’re getting from those choices?

I’d like to hear your thoughts on this topic so please comment below.

I’ll reveal my thoughts next week!

5 Top Tips for Visiting Farmers Markets with Kristi Willis

Farmers Market

Today I’d like to welcome another fellow Evernote Ambassador – Kristi Willis.

Kristi is the Food Writing Ambassador and runs her own food blog over at Ditch The Box. Welcome to my Blog!

Kristi Willis - Food blogger

Hi! I’m Kristi. I’m a food writer and fellow Evernote Ambassador with Chad, and we decided to trade wisdom on each other’s blogs. For me, food is all about freshness – ripe summer tomatoes, strawberries straight from the vine or hand-crafted cheese from the dairy farm. I grew up in a family that ate more than a bit of processed food, but I’ve revamped my pantry and learned to cook fresh.

One of the first steps for me was to change how I shopped and there is no better way to make sure you come home with a load of vegetables than to shop at the farmers market.  Shopping at the farmers market is different than the grocery store and can take a little getting used to.  Here are 5 key tips I follow when heading to the market.

1. Bring cash, preferably smaller bills.

Although Square and other card processing apps make it easy for vendors to take credit cards on a mobile device, most still use cash. Most market transactions are in small amounts, $2-$3, so having a stash of small bills/coins makes transactions easier.

2. Bring  bags and a cooler.

Small plastic bags can be tough to juggle so bring your own re-usable shopping bag and, if it’s hot, a cooler to hold more perishable items.

3. Rethink your shopping list. 

Unlike the grocery store, you aren’t going to always find broccoli or spinach at the market.  The produce will change with the seasons and so should your shopping list.  Review a list of what’s in season before you go or sign up for the e-mail notice for your local market.

4. Give yourself of time to explore.

While it’s possible to blaze in and out of the market in 30 minutes, budget extra time for your first visit so that you can figure out the market layout.  Walk the booths once, scoping out what is available, then return to the booths where you want to buy items.

5. Connect with the Farmers/Vendors.

I love visiting with the farmers and food artisans, learning about new foods and how to prepare them. There’s something magical about connecting with the people who grow and make your food.

Most importantly – have fun!

Have you been to a local farmers market? What’s your favorite farmers market item?

Weekly Fitness Challenge – Water

Weekly Fitness Challenge - Water

For today’s weekly fitness challenge, I’m changing things up slightly and offering a nutritional challenge. The goal is to see if you can drink nothing but water for 7 full days.

This is always a fun one because of the questions I get about ‘exceptions’.

Is tea okay?

What about coconut water?

Fresh squeezed juice?

Although I agree that those things may have positive benefits, it’s not the focus this week. It also wouldn’t really be a fitness CHALLENGE if it wasn’t hard and didn’t exclude some things. So, for this week, no, those things are not okay. Go for it 100% and stick to ONLY WATER.

As Always, please post questions and progress in the comments below.