Author: merylmarciante

Eat Your Veggies.

Eat Your Veggies.

The new Canadian Food Guide, released last week, recommends fruits and vegetables make up half our plate at any meal. This is the first update in more than a decade. The new Canadian Food Guide now looks much more like the American 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines. Both guides recommend half your daily intake of nutrition to come from fruits and vegetables, with even more priority towards vegetables. These updates are prioritizing health over agriculture. It’s about time.

But even though everyone says “Eat Your Veggies,” it’s easier said than done, I know. I struggle with it. Every night. Trying to get the kids to eat a bite of their vegetables is a struggle. Why do we resist from such a young age? I honestly don’t think it’s because vegetables taste bad! In contrast, I think the kids resist because food and sleep are the only 2 things they can really exhibit control over. And I think adults resist because we don’t all know how to prepare vegetables that taste good!

So in an effort to get more vegetables on our plate, here are some of my simple tips to get more veggies into your mouth and enjoy them!

  1. Buy produce of the season and what’s grown locally, whenever possible. (Unless you’re buying frozen which is totally fine and was flash frozen when it was at peak season.)
  2. Add flavor with various herbs, spices, and lemon.
  3. Make your salads colorful and delicious with your own fresh salad dressing (like my version of a Green Goddess dressing, recipe below!)
  4. Experiment with size and texture.
  5. Make homemade smoothies and add veggies into it (the kids will never know!)
  6. Make a vegetable soup.
  7. Be ahead of the game. Cut up vegetables like carrots, celery, peppers, cauliflower, etc. at the beginning of the week: think easy to add to kids lunches, easy to throw into a soup, easy to add to a roasting pan w/ your protein of choice for a quick week-night dinner.
  8. Try different methods: steaming, sautéing, broiling.
  9. Experiment with at least two new vegetables or fruits each month. As an alternative to potatoes, try turnips, parsnips, rutabaga, etc. Switch up your kale occasionally for mustard, turnip, or collard greens. Explore a variety of vegetables.
  10. Buy vegetables that are easy to prepare. Pick up pre-washed bags of salad greens and add your chopped celery and carrots or grape tomatoes for a salad in minutes.

What veggies do you love these days? I’d love to hear. Eating more fruits and vegetables is the best way to take charge of your health and start clean eating.

If you feel like you’ve been doing the “clean eating” thing for a long time and are not seeing the fitness results you would like to see, maybe it’s time to dig a little deeper into how and when and with what you are fuelling your body. I’d love to help you with this. My next round of the FASTer Way to Fat Loss® is starting February 4th. Let me know if you’d like more info!

Have a great week,

P.S. Current Personal Training clients be sure to ask me about the promo I’m offering for the FASTer Way to Fat Loss®.

Featured Recipe

Green Goddess Dressing

Juice from one lemon
1/2 large avocado or full small avocado
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup water
2 green onions
1 TBSP honey
Handful of fresh dill and fresh basil
Salt & Pepper to taste
Blend it all up! Keep in fridge for a week.

I was sceptical too.

Intermittent Fasting isn’t a new concept, but it’s a fast-growing trend in both the health and fitness industries.  The physical results are impressive, but when you look at the health benefits, it’s no wonder everyone is getting on board with this strategy.

But, like you I’m sure, I was sceptical. Fast? Why? I love food. I really love to eat and fuel my body properly. Why would I change what I’ve been taught for so long – “Start your day with a healthy breakfast, it’s the most important meal of the day.”

The act of fasting, or abstaining from food for a set time, is an ancient practice. Indeed it is still an important part of many cultures and religions today. It is used for bringing mental focus and spiritual clarity. However, fasting specifically for physical health, is a relatively new concept and it’s spreading fast because the results speak for themselves.

But again, like you I’m sure, I was sceptical.

After learning and reading a lot about the idea of Intermittent Fasting for fitness reasons, I decided to start trying it out 3 years ago. I experimented with different protocols and strategies. And I hated it. I had bad headaches and did not understand why I would ever promote this to help someone get healthier.

Fast – forward another few years and even more people were talking about the benefits they had experienced with Intermittent Fasting. So, I did more research, and found an Intermittent Fasting program to follow along with. What was different about this program, is that after 2 weeks, I felt incredible. My energy levels surged. I felt like I was fuelling my body more than ever and yet, the pesky extra pounds just fell off.

The Intermittent Fasting program I followed is called the FASTer Way to Fat Loss®. I’ve had incredible results through this program and I want to empower you to experience this lifestyle as well.

I know you’re sceptical. I was too. Intermittent Fasting isn’t complicated, but many people simply aren’t sure what it is or the right way to do it. With the rising popularity of Intermittent Fasting has also come misinformation, and a lack of specific training in how to follow a healthy Intermittent Fasting strategy. Curious to know more? Click here and take a look at my site where you can learn more and get my FREE Intermittent Fasting Starter Kit.

Have a great week!

P.S. Starting December 31st, I’ll be taking on a limited number of clients through the premier virtual intermittent fasting fitness and nutrition program. Sign up hereASAP.

P.S.S. Current Personal Training clients be sure to ask me about the promo I’m offering for the FASTer Way to Fat Loss®.

FWTFL Pyramid

Peanut Butter Cookies

Featured Recipe

Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 cup all natural creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all the ingredients together and drop by rounded spoonfuls onto baking sheet. Press down with a fork. Bake for 7-10 minutes. Enjoy!

Don’t Forget Your Prescription

Your exercise prescription is more vital than you might think.

We’ve all heard exercise helps you live longer. But a new study goes one step further, finding that a sedentary lifestyle is worse for your health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease. Shocking? It shouldn’t be. We need to move. Our bodies need it, our minds need it, our mood needs it, and our longevity depends on it.

Researchers studied 122,007 patients who underwent exercise treadmill testing at Cleveland Clinic between January 1, 1991 and December 31, 2014 to measure all-cause mortality relating to the benefits of exercise and fitness. Those with the lowest exercise rate accounted for 12% of the participants.

The study showed that being unfit on a treadmill or in an exercise stress test has a worse prognosis, as far as death, than being hypertensive, being diabetic or being a current smoker. It (not exercising) should be treated almost as a disease that has a prescription, and the prescription is exercise.

Bottom line- get moving. Fit exercise into your schedule. It’s (probably) more important than those other things on your “to do” list. And if you are missing ideas on what to do to get moving, let me know. We can work together to figure out the best plan for you.

Click here to read the full article from

Have a great week!


Featured Recipe

Toffee Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookie Bars

Toffee cinnamon oat bars

At our recent Montreal Entrepreneur Mom’s group meeting, our host prepared these for us and boy were they a HIT. She must have double or tripled the recipe and we finished them all. Hot tea, masterminding, and these bars… beautiful! These would be a great sweet tooth addition to your meal prep this week. Enjoy!

1 TBSP ground flax
3 TBSP water
1/4 cup plus 1 TBSP coconut oil, softened
2 TBSP almond butter
3/4 cup coconut sugar (I used 1/2 and was still delicious)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup oat flour
3/4 cup oats
3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Find the full recipe and directions from Oh She Glows, click here. 

Your Halloween Survival Guide


Happy Halloween!

I’m back! (After a slight hiatus in newsletters)

You know what’s awaiting you today. Candy left, right, and center. It’s ok. You’re gonna be prepared and you’re gonna stay in control. Right?

With a few simple tips, you’re guaranteed to rock this Halloween without sabotaging your fitness goals.

1. Drink loads of water all day. (This is true for any day not just Halloween!)

2. Get in a workout, an intense one! If you need ideas, let me know, and I’ll send you something you can do from home. Think squats, lunges, pushups, burpees, etc.

3. Pick a number. And stick to it. This is the number of Halloween treats you’re planning to indulge in. (<5 please!!) Having a simple plan like this will help you stay in control. Email me your number and I’ll help hold you accountable. I’ll tell you my number if you tell me yours!

4. Get back on track right away with your clean eating on Thursday.

Have a safe and happy Halloween,


Featured Recipe

Pumpkin Oat Breakfast Cups

Pumpkin Oat Breakfast Cups

These have been on repeat at our house.  They’re great to grab on the go, or heat up with a nice cup of coffee.

2 1/2 cups oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 1/2 TBSP maple syrup
1 cup water
2 TBSP coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large medjool dates, pitted and chopped

Preheat oven to 375. Prepare your muffin tin. Stir together dry ingredients. Add in remaining ingredients. Pour into liners and bake 17-20 minutes.

1 muffin: 80 calories, 14g carb, 3g fat, 1g protein

*Recipe taken from the Chocolate Covered Katie blog

Start With a Clean Slate

Happy New Year! The start of 2017 marks a new opportunity to wipe the slate clean. It’s time to hit the reset button and gain a more pleasurable approach to fitness. Turn the page, and get off to a good start.  Replenish your body and re-energize your life.

“Change your food to change your mood.”

You already know the way you eat is central to your well being. But you may not know exactly what meals yield the most satisfying and healthful results. The back to basics, old fashioned approach to nourishing our bodies is truly the way to go. Making meals from scratch with whole foods, eliminating processed foods, and enjoying all the colours of the rainbow is your answer. A simple clean eating and exercise plan incorporated into your way of life will be the catalyst to making 2017 healthier and happier.

If a desire to wipe your fitness slate clean is on your 2017 resolutions and you are looking for some direction, don’t miss our New Year New You Challenge launching next Monday, January 9th.

Wishing you a healthy and happy New Year!


Featured Recipe

Anti Inflammatory Green Drink

Combine everything in a blender:
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1 stemmed and chopped large kale leaf
1 chopped apple
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3-5 cubes of ice

My Christmas Wish

It’s really the only thing I want. And it’s what I want most for you too.

It’s the most important thing we can ask for. It’s the most wonderful gift we can have. And It’s the most critical thing we can focus on.

It’s not a given. It’s not to be taken for granted. And it’s definitely not something money can buy.

When we have it, cherish it. Be thankful for it. And do everything in your power to protect it.

What is my Christmas wish?

My Christmas wish for you and your loved ones, is HEALTH.

Wishing you and yours all the joy this season can bring.

Happy Healthy Holidays,


So Thankful + Black Friday Deals

I love Black Friday. With a little organization, Black Friday allows you to get your holiday shopping out of the way, leaving time to focus on the real meanings of the season. All with the added bonus of bargain shopping!

I’ve got my Black Friday lists ready, thankfully a lot of this can be done on-line nowadays!

And because I would truly love to help you or your loved ones with their fitness goals in the upcoming year, I’ve got some pretty cool Just Feel it Fitness Black Friday deals for you too.

Head on over to my Promotions Page to check them out!

Give the gift of fitness. Get your shopping done. And let’s focus on the holiday season without all the stress.

So thankful,

Featured Recipe

No Bake Pecan Pie Bars


In an effort to make it feel a little more like Thanksgiving on this snowy day in Canada…I didn’t make turkey, I opted for these yummy no bake pecan pie bars. You’re going to love this recipe.

1 cup dates, pitted
1 cup pecans
1 cup shredded coconut
1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup dates, pitted
1 cup pecans
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup water

Combine crust ingredients into a food processor and process until a thick dough forms. Press the dough into an 8X8 square pan. Put in freezer while making the filling.

Add all filling ingredients into the food processor and process, add more water if necessary. Spread the filling on top of the crust. I drizzled melted chocolate chips on top and sprinkled chopped pecans. YUM.


Should you workout with a cold?

The common cold is coming. Tis the season! We all know the rules- wash your hands frequently, eat antioxidant rich foods, consistent exercise to help boost your immune system; nonetheless, the common cold can affect us all.

Should you still workout when you have a cold?

I like to use the following rule of thumb: if the symptoms are above the neck = OK to proceed.

When symptoms include sneezing, sinus pressure, or runny nose, then breaking into a sweat with mild to moderate physical activity is generally considered safe.

Symptoms below the neck such as chest congestion, hacking cough, fever, and muscle aches = give your body some rest for a few days until you are feeling better.

Remember, if you do choose to exercise when you’re sick, then reduce the intensity and length of your workout.  It’s not the time to be cranking out a HIIT workout. A light walk or jog and some core strengthening would be more appropriate.  Listen to your body, and scale back as necessary. You may even find that exercise will help you feel better by opening your nasal passages and temporarily relieving nasal congestion.

Don’t let cold and flu season get you down for long!

Have a great week,

Pumpkins Pumpkins Pumpkins

The first day the big pumpkin display was outside the grocery store I was excited to bring the kids. Snapped a few cute “pumpkin stack, hay bale, & kid” pics and entertained myself watching the boys pick the perfect pumpkin to bring home.


Of course I said they could each pick one. Then we ended up with 4. Then the next week another 2. And now I believe we’re up to 8. And who would have thought the kids would fight over where to place them? Yep, full blown tantrums because one wants the pumpkin family all together and the other wants each pumpkin nicely spaced out.

But we’re oh so thankful. Yes, today and everyday, we are thankful and grateful there are so many uses for all those pumpkins! We can make pumpkin soup, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin smoothies, etc. and luckily pumpkin is very healthy!

Joking aside, Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers today! I hope you are celebrating amongst the company of loved ones as we are reminded of so many blessings to be thankful for.

And in case you’re wondering what to do with your pumpkins, here is an easy recipe to make your own pumpkin puree. Try adding your own homemade version of pumpkin puree to soups, muffins, and sides this fall.


Featured Recipe

Pumpkin Puree

Smaller pumpkins work better for making the puree than larger ones.

Cut the pumpkin in half. With a spoon or a scoop, scrape out the seeds and pulp from the center. (Save the seeds to roast later too)

Place pumpkin pieces on a baking sheet face down and roast in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes, or until pumpkin is fork-tender. They should be nice and light golden brown when done.

Peel off the skin from the pumpkin pieces. Add the chunks into a blender or food processor, or simply mash it up with a potato masher.

Pulse the pumpkin until smooth. You can either use this immediately in whatever pumpkin recipe you’d like, or store it in the freezer for later use.

To store in the freezer, spoon about 1 cupful of pumpkin into ziplock bags.

An Apple A Day


“So what are you going to do with all the apples?” Said the Mom next to us on our way home from the apple picking adventure. As sure as back to school comes each year, so does the apple picking trip. Kind of like fair day in Texas, up here we have apple picking day.  And instead of turkey leg tacos, deep fried nachos, and deep fried oreos, there are warm apple donuts and apple pie. Mmmm. But that’s not what I’ll be doing with all the apples.


If you’ve got the 5 pound bag of apples (or 2 or 3 bags depending how many apple picking outings you got to go on) here are some of our favorite apple ideas:

  • Use a peeled, cored and chopped apple in your soup base along with the traditional carrot, celery, and onion. This adds a rich sweet flavor to puréed soups like butternut squash and pumpkin.
  • Peel, core and chop a large batch and toss in a pot. Simmer with a cup of water and cinnamon for a delicious home-made apple sauce. Add a spoonful of warm applesauce to your oats in the morning.
  • Julienne along with a cucumber for an amzing fresh and crispy salad.
  • Slice into 1/4 inch pieces and use as a crunchy base for appetizers instead of the traditional cracker or sliced baguette.
  • Toss slices with coconut oil and cinnamon and bake until soft.
  • Try this amazing (clean & gluten free!) apple crisp recipe:

Apple Crisp

8-10 apples; peeled, cored, and sliced
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger

Topping Ingredients:
1/3 cup coconut oil, softened
1 cup raw pecans
3/4 cup almond flour
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground allspice

Preheat oven to 375. Toss the sliced apples with the spices and place inside a baking dish. Add all the crisp topping ingredients to a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Spread the topping on top of the apples and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the apples are soft and bubbly. Enjoy!

Have a great week!