Focus on the Feeling

“I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes
Christmas is all around me and so the feeling grows
It’s written in the wind, it’s everywhere I go
So if you really love Christmas, come on and let it snow!”

Even though it’s mid-December and there’s not a speck of snow here in Montreal, the feeling of Christmas is ever present.  Elf Chippie finds his new location to land each morning, the advent calendar is almost complete, phone calls to Santa reporting the good and the bad have been made, pretty presents are being wrapped, and the food and drinks from holiday get-togethers are flowing. Ah, yes, that last one.

How is it possible to get through the next few weeks of Christmas and New Year’s celebrations without packing on the holiday pounds? How do we start our 2016 fitness in the black, not in the red? There is one magical thing to focus on. We have to focus on the feeling. Just as Christmastime has a wonderful feeling, so does fitness. There is a sublime feeling of accomplishment, a rush of endorphins, and a total confidence boost once you have finished a workout. This is the feeling I love empowering people to feel. And this feeling is the magic focus point.

The feeling that living a healthy lifestyle can provide is like having Christmas year round. When you wake up feeling strong, when you are confident in your skin, and when you are nourishing your body with the fuel it needs to thrive, there really isn’t a better feeling.

As the rush of the holidays grows near, continue to find time in your day for your workouts. Stay focused on the feelings this brings you and make a plan now to head into 2016 focused on what is important. Give your loved ones the most important gift this year, your health.

Last call for the Just Feel it Fitness personal training holiday promotion, this is our best deal of the year. Savings of 50%. See below for more details.

Alternatively, if you are looking for a fitness routine you can do on your own, join us starting January 11th for the Master’s Challenge. We will focus on lifting heavy, gaining muscle mass, and chiseling the body for 60 days!! Contact me ASAP for more details about this brand new program.

Have a great week,


Holiday promotion 2015

Featured Recipe

Chocolate hummus

Chocolate Hummus

Otherwise knows as (healthy) Nutulla, shhhh don’t tell the kids! This is one of the afternoon snacks my kids love at their daycare. Serve it up on a rice cake, or with some fresh fruit. Make a healthy addition to your holiday brunch this year!

1 can chick peas (2 cups) drained and rinsed
1/4 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup soy butter (I used peanut butter)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup water
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

In a food processor, combine all ingredients. Process until combined. Store, covered, up to one week in the refrigerator.


Cyber Monday Deals for the Fittie

Tis the season! Black Friday, Cyber Monday, The countdown is on!
With 25 days until Christmas, Santa is busy making his list and checking it twice.

So you know what to get the foodie in your life, and the kids have circled everything they want from the Toys R Us catalog. But do you know what to get the fittie in your life? You know, the one who is always trying out the latest fitness equipment and following the latest health trends?

Here are some of my top suggestions for the fittie in your life:
1. The Master’s Hammer & Chisel 

A 60-day home workout program that will help you craft a defined, visually-dramatic physique. My favorite trainer from the Beachbody collection is definitely Autumn Calabrese. I have personally witnessed how her 21 Day Fix program has helped so many people learn proper portion control, get toned, and lose significant weight. Calabrese and Kalev, both award-winning fitness competitors, have joined forces to create this one-of-a-kind workout that will sculpt you from head-to-toe.

This brand new fitness program is being released tomorrow. And anyone who purchases the program in the month of December will be joining me starting January 6th for a 60 day Accountability Challenge Group to get us Spring Break ready!

2. Just Feel it Fitness Personal Training Package
Holiday promotion 2015
Four, One-hour Personal training sessions + clean eating nutrition consult for $150. This special offer is 50% off and one you don’t want to miss!  Contact Meryl today to take advantage of this special offer. *Montreal locals only 🙂

3. Lulu lemon Zone in tights
lulu tights
Ok let’s be realistic, the fittie in your life will love anything from lululemon. But specifically these high waisted tights. They are engineered with zoned compression to keep you feeling held-in and supported in all the right places. Like an instant tummy tuck.

4. Set of free weights
For optimal fitness, longevity, and a lean body, weight training is essential. A set of 5, 8, and 10 pound weights will be a well-received addition to the fittie’s exercise regime. You can pick these up at any sporting goods store, or wal-mart, or target. Average price is $1/pound.

5. Spiritual Gangster Workout Tanks

spiritual gangster tank
With 40% off everything on the site today, these super soft and motivational quote tanks are an excellent choice.

If you’re reading this, you probably are a fittie, and you very well might like any of these gifts. Go ahead and forward this email to Santa 🙂

Have a great week,

Make a Wish

“Mommy, look at all the money in there. I want one too Mommy. Pleeeeeeeese Mommy let me have just one money! I want to throw one in there too Mommy. Please!!!”

So like any other Mother would do, I dug in my wallet and took out 2 coins for my 3 year old to toss into the wishing fountain. And I told him, don’t forget to make a wish. Busy with Christmas returns, and other places to get to, I quickly hurried him along after he tossed his coins. In fact, I don’t think I even saw him toss the coins. I was most probably looking at my phone.

We did our errands, along with the thousands of other people at Northpark Mall on the day after Christmas.  And of course when we passed back by the fountain, the nagging started again. “Mommy, I want another money. Please Mommy, please can I have another one, just one more please?” I told him no we have to go. The frustration started to build in his tiny little frame and I knew we were quickly headed toward a tantrum. With as much might as he could he got up in my face and hollered “Mommy, please, I need to make a wish!”

So again, like any other Mother would do, I gave him another coin. This time rather amused and fascinated by his frustration, I watched him closely. He ran over to the fountain and stood there looking at all the other coins in the water. Then I saw his lips mouth the words “make a wish” and when he tossed the coin he puckered his lips together and blew air out of his mouth like he was blowing out a candle. There was a sparkle in his eyes and a beam across his face I won’t forget.

This week we all get to make goals for the New Year.  And I encourage you all to do it. It’s such a great time to evaluate our lives and think about changes we would like to see over the course of the next year. Maybe you’re making some health and fitness goals, or financial goals, or professional goals. Whatever they may be, take a moment and focus on this.  Make sure your goals align with your priorities. And very important, write them in the present tense, as if you have already achieved them.

One of my top goals for 2015 is a personal one and it stems from the little make a wish story. I will be more focused and present with my children this year. I want to make sure I’m watching the next time he “makes a wish.”

Wishing you all a great week and a very Happy New Year!


Featured Recipe

Squash Bisque

1 large onion
2 potatoes, diced
2 carrots, sliced
4 cups fresh or frozen and defrosted yellow squash, sliced
1 box of chicken stock
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup of half and half or milk

Sauté onion in olive oil. Add the other vegetables, stock, and salt and pepper to your taste. Cook covered for about 45 minutes, until vegetables are tender.  Then puree in batches in a blender or using an immersion blender. Return to pot, and add the cream or milk. When serving, sprinkle each bowl with paprika.

Healthy, Happy Holidays

You’re busier than usual, you’re more stressed, and it’s cold out … so why not just take a break from your fitness program until the New Year?  There’s not enough time for everything, so why not just slack off on your fitness program for a few weeks?

NOOOOOO!!!!  Don’t do it.

Sure, you can always come up with an excuse not to exercise. But slacking off on your fitness program during the holiday season will only leave you with more pounds and more stress come New Year’s.  I get it.  The holiday season can be enough to derail even the most dedicated exerciser, but it’s also the most critical time to stick to your exercise program.  Your exercise regime will actually help you get through the season with less stress and more clarity to focus on the joy the season brings.  And maintaining some type of a workout schedule is even more important this time of year because most of us are eating more than usual.

Here are my top 5 tips to help you stay fit during the time-crunched, temptation-packed holiday season:

  • First, acknowledge that the holidays most likely will affect your exercise program to some extent. And then don’t beat yourself up when you can’t fit in every workout.
  • Take an honest look at your schedule, and instead of trying to squeeze exercise into your schedule, take other things out and make sure you actually schedule time into your day for exercise.  Be flexible when your days get busy. Instead of simply blowing off your 5 p.m. trip to the gym in favor of an office party at the same time, wake up an hour earlier and do a home workout. Squats, lunges, push-ups, and crunches are just a few of the many exercises you can do at home without any equipment. Or fit a brisk walk into your lunch hour.
  • To save time, try combining exercising and family commitments. For example, hauling the kids up a hill a few times can make a sledding trip as beneficial as a jog. Or take the family out for a long walk to look at Christmas lights.
  • Create a holiday wish list that includes something health and fitness related (some new workout clothes, a pair of dumbbells and gliders for your home workouts, or how about a block of personal training sessions? – check out the Just feel it fitness holiday promotion!)
  • Have a snack before you head out to the holiday party. Some carrots and hummus, or a small piece of cheese and some almonds. This way you won’t be starved and tempted to eat every single hors d’oeuvres that is passed.

Give yourself a little slack during the holidays.  After all, it’s a time to have fun and be with family and friends, and if you have a rigid attitude toward your diet and exercise, you may end up just giving up because you’ve set the standard too high.  Allow yourself some “cheat” days. In reality, what matters is the overall total calories you consume and the overall total you expend through physical activity over the entire holiday period. One or two splurges aren’t going to derail your efforts. Just make sure you’re still fitting in time to exercise. Make it a Healthy and Happy Holiday Season.

Have a great week,

shrimp salad

December Holiday party recipe ideas

Shrimp Salad with Mango Vinaigrette

For the Mango Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup peeled fresh or thawed frozen mango pieces
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. minced shallots
1/2 tsp minced chilis
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Dash salt
-Combine all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth.

1 bunch of asparagus spears, blanched and chopped into 2inch pieces
1 1/2 cups peeled orange sections, pith removed (about 2 oranges)
1 bag (about 3/4 pound) of cooked shrimp

Mix together the asparagus, oranges, and shrimp in a large bowl. Pour the mango vinaigrette over the mixture and toss well.