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!


Get your Groove Back

Summertime, vacations, cook-outs, what’s your excuse? For me it was a bad landing on an exercise jump that left my knee in a big mess. Forget about squats and lunges, I was struggling to bend the leg enough to get in and out of the car. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your perspective) this happened right before taking the flight to our Florida family vacation. So initial plans of beach workouts, filming new videos for my online bootcamps, runs along the beach, and water aerobics changed to sitting in the chair, elevated leg, ice, and a good dose of patience. Maybe a little R&R isn’t so bad every now and then.

Despite billions of dollars spent on gym memberships, diet programs, etc., a recent paper published by the Mayo Clinic reports that fewer than 3% of American adults are living a healthy lifestyle.

Less than 3%. Wow! Just Feel it Fitness has a lot of work to do! 😉

The study defined living a healthy lifestyle as meeting these four parameters:

  • Being sufficiently active (150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each week)
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Being a nonsmoker
  • Having a recommended body-fat percentage (5%-20% for men, and 8%-30% for women)

The results of the study showed many people accomplished multiple healthy lifestyle goals. 16% met three of the healthy characteristics, 37% had two, but fewer than 3% met all four. Women were more likely to not smoke and to eat a healthy diet, and were less likely to be active, compared with men. Older individuals were more likely to be nonsmokers and healthy eaters, and were less likely to have a normal body-fat percentage and active enough.

Granted, this is only a study of 5,000 American adults, but the bottom line this study does an excellent job at providing four concrete steps anyone can take to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

Things happen like injuries and vacations and busy periods at work. Life gets crazy. Getting back into a fitness groove can be tough. I know. But get your groove back. None of these steps are easy to take. However, even small improvements make a difference and any effort toward these 4 lifestyle goals can have a life changing impact. Become a nonsmoker, be sufficiently active, eat a healthy diet, and achieve a recommended body –fat percentage.

I’d love to help you towards meeting these healthy lifestyle criteria.  Do you need help getting your groove back?

Our next round of Summer Slim Down starts July 18th. This is a 6 week Challenge. For more details, click here.

Have a great week,

Featured Recipe

Tuna Salad Boats

Tuna Salad Boats

1 can tuna
1/2 very ripe avocado
1/2 cup chopped purple grapes
Splash of white wine or champagne vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste
Large Boston or Romaine lettuce leaves

Mash the avocado with a fork. Combine with all other ingredients. Spoon onto large lettuce leaves and eat like a taco.

The Crunch Effect

Yes, crunches are a powerful tool to strengthen the abdominal area, but there may be another type of crunch that can help your waistline. I’m talking about the crunch effect, the impact the actual sound of crunching can have in terms of the amount of food we eat. We all know our senses play an important role in the eating experience. You’ve heard it said we eat with our eyes first. Second comes our sense of smell, taste and touch. But what about our sense of hearing? The sound of masticating our food could actually be playing a role in the amount of food we eat. (That explains why I could drink smoothie after smoothie!)

Scientists performing research on the effect of food sound salience have found the more conscious a person is of the sound their food makes while they are eating; the less they are likely to eat. When you mask the sound of consumption by loud music or watching TV while eating, you may eat more than you normally would.

The main takeaway is to embrace mindfulness as part of your eating experience. We should be aware not only of the taste and physical appearance of food but also the sound it makes. For a delicious crunchy snack, be sure to check out the honey roasted almonds recipe below. (Warning: Not to be eaten while watching TV or amongst loud company!)

Have a great week,

Featured Recipe

Roasted almonds

Honey Roasted Almonds

2 cups unsalted almonds
2 tsp honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pour almonds onto a baking sheet. Roast for 15-20 minutes, the almonds will start to split when they are ready. Remove baking sheet from oven and drizzle the honey on top. Vigorously shake the pan to cover all the almonds with honey. Allow the honey to harden (about 10 minutes).

Go Bananas

“Bananas have too much sugar.”
“Bananas make you fat.”
“You should not eat bananas if you are trying to lose weight.”

Woah. Really? But I eat a banana every day. When I buy bananas at the store, I always buy 2 bunches! And just rarely they will turn brown before getting eaten, which in that case makes perfect bananas to freeze for smoothies or mash for oat ‘n egg banana pancakes!

So why the ridiculous banana bashing, claiming they make you fat? I think the bottom line comes down to sugar. Bananas do contain sugar, thus one might come up with the logic that bananas make you fat.

The reality is bananas contain natural sugar. Along with the natural sugars, the nutrient profile in bananas helps support a healthy and energized lifestyle. Bananas are packed full of potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, biotin, copper, and manganese. The fiber in a banana is naturally occurring fiber, which means you’ll most likely feel more full and satisfied versus consuming a cereal or piece of bread containing isolated fiber. Isolated fibers are those added to increase its fiber content but not naturally found in the foods.

The healthy dose of potassium found in bananas can help diminish water retention, thus helping belly bloat. Additionally, potassium has been shown to lower blood pressure, sustain muscle mass, and preserve bone-mineral density. The vitamin B6 in a banana fulfills around 30-35 percent of the daily-recommended intake for adults. The benefits of vitamin B include treating anemia, promoting healthy nervous system functioning, producing energy from food, and maintaining healthy skin, eyes, hair, and liver. Vitamin B6 is found in most animal-based products, so for vegetarians and vegans, consuming a banana a day is a great way to attain almost half of the recommended intake.

I’m not saying to go bananas and consume them like a chimpanzee, but eating them in moderation (like any food!) is part of a healthy diet. I’m going to go enjoy a chocolate dipped frozen banana pop with the kids now. (Recipe below!)

Have a great week-end, would love to see you at my Lululemon Bootcamp in the Park this weekend!

lululemon Bootcamp.JPG

Featured Recipe

Go Bananas

Chocolate Dipped Frozen Banana Pops

Dark chocolate
Coconut oil
Toppings: pistachios, sprinkles, chia seeds, coconut flakes, etc!

For the kid-approved version, melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips with 1 tsp coconut oil in the microwave for 30-45 seconds. For the healthier (can’t guarantee kid-approved) melt 3 tsp coconut oil with 3 tsp raw cacao powder. Poke popsickle sticks or straws through half a banana, dip in the chocolate, and roll in topping of choice.

Spring Cleaning Your Fitness

It’s amazing when the days start to get longer and the sun shines brighter, Spring cleaning floods the brain. Lifelong dreams of organized closets and sparkly clean windows and baseboards come racing back (or maybe that’s just me). After hibernating through the shorter days of winter, Spring brings an opportunity for a fresh start and a sense of renewal.

It’s not uncommon that these feelings should carry over into our body awareness as well. Let’s shed the layers and allow Spring to give us a fresh start for our Fitness.

What steps can you do to start Spring Cleaning your Fitness? Here are my top 5 Spring Cleaning your Fitness ideas to bring on the new season:

  1. Add some new herbs and spices to your kitchen as you spring clean your pantry. Alternatively, start a small planter of fresh herbs like basil, oregano and mint. Pack a punch of flavor to your foods without adding any extra calories.
  2. Get outside and get some Vitamin D. We need sunrays, we need sunshine. Even 10 minutes a day helps the body to better facilitate normal immune system function.
  3. Squeeze a lemon. Lemon helps rid your body of toxins and restore alkalinity. Lemon and bitter greens like arugula and endive help with digestion. Enjoy a daily detox by starting each morning with ½ lemon squeezed into a cup of water.
  4. Book some exercise into your schedule. If your New Year’s Resolution was lost somewhere back in January, here is a new opportunity to get your body moving again. Spring is in the air, energy is abundant, and by starting a new fitness program now, you might be much more encouraged. Check out our next fitness challengehere.
  5. Reach for color. Fruits, veggies, the more variety of color the better. By choosing to eat from the rainbow of colors, you will increase the amount and variety of vitamins and minerals consumed.

You don’t have to go on a strict detox to Spring Clean your Fitness. By simply bringing in more of the good, you can flush out the bad and give your body a fresh start this Spring.

Have a great week,

Featured Recipe

sweet potato chips

Roasted Sweet Potato Chips with Guacamole

I have no description for this, except JUST TRY IT! These are so delicious. Use the sweet potato chips as a base in place of crackers for various appetizers. Add some shrimp on top, or feta and black beans, or fresh cut peppers. The possibilities are endless!

2 large sweet potatoes, very thinly sliced
Olive oil
1 avocado
1 lime, juiced

Preheat oven to 400. Lay the sliced sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and using a pastry brush (or your fingers) rub the oil on both sides of the sweet potatoes. Bake for 20 minutes, flip each chip over and bake another 10 minutes.

Mash avocado with lime juice and salt and peper.


Who doesn’t love a good Challenge?

push yourself

I love a good challenge. The feeling of working toward a lofty goal and accomplishing it at the end is an awesome feeling, right? Many of you heard me talking about my 60 day Master’s Hammer & Chisel Challenge I started back in January. This was an intense weight training program, a little different than the standard functional training I typically incorporate with clients. I would almost call the program something more like body building.

The Master’s Hammer and Chisel is an innovative resistance training system created by Autumn Calabrese and Sagi Kalev of Beachbody, professional trainers and fitness competitors. The program focuses on SSP Training: Stabilization, Strength, and Power. I set a goal to complete this 60 day body sculpting program, 6 days a week of resistance training for a total of 8 weeks. And it’s done, woohoo! And the honest truth is that it kicked my butt! But I stuck with the workouts, and am proud to have accomplished the full program. Some days I felt like it was more difficult than marathon training even though these workouts only take 30-45 minutes each day and marathon training is more along the lines of 45 minutes to 2 hours some days! My physical results from this program include more defined muscles and definite strength gains such as: improved push-ups, pull ups, chin ups, pistol squats, etc. The program calls for light, medium, and heavy weights and I used 10, 15, and 20 pounds accordingly. Do I look like a body builder? No! Do I feel stronger, leaner, and proud of completing a challenging program? Yes!
With nicer weather upon us and summer just around the corner, I’d like to encourage you to find a challenge that will motivate you and push you out of your comfort zone. Commit to something that will push you and that you will feel proud and accomplished when done. Need some ideas? Sign up for a 5 or 10k run in your community. Join a triathlon training group.  Or why not join the Just Feel it Fitness 6 Week Summer Slim Down Challenge starting Monday, April 11th!  This 6 week Challenge will focus on clean eating, cardio and strength training workouts that you can complete from home with minimal equipment. I’m running an amazing promotion on this program, guaranteed to help you achieve phenomenal results! Just ask me for more info today.

After the Summer Slim Down Challenge, I’ll be working on getting ready for the Montreal Half Marathon in September. I would love to help you find a Challenge that will motivate and push you out of your comfort zone and into confidence. Let’s do it!

Have a great week,

Featured Recipe

Nori wraps

Nori Wraps

Try this crunchy wrap instead of a sandwich for a light and delicious lunch.

4 sheets Nori 

1 avocado, thinly sliced
1 mango, thinly sliced
Handful of alfalfa or pea sprouts
1/4 cucumber, thinly sliced


Lay out 1 sheet of nori and moisten it by sprinkling water on it. Place the vegetables along one end and roll it up into a wrap! Enjoy!

Recipe from “The All-Day Fat-Burning Diet” by Yuri Elkaim.

The Troublesome “Tech Neck”

Take a look at your posture as you are reading this. Chances are you are hunched over looking down at your tech device. In today’s society, this “Tech Neck” posture is all too common. We spend so much time looking at our devices, our shoulders round and heads jut forward into a troublesome position that now feels natural.

In actuality, the natural position should be shoulders back and down, with the chest open. Try it. Pull your shoulders back and pull your head in line with your spine. If you’re like most, this “natural” position probably feels very unnatural at this point.  Try to become aware the next time you are hunched over in the “Tech Neck” position. The “Tech Neck” might have found its way into your posture, but the good news is there are ways to fight it.

With some simple exercises focusing on strengthening and stretching the upper torso, we can retrain our bodies to good postural habits.  Here are 3 exercises to add to your fitness routine. You won’t need any weights or equipment, so no excuses!

  1. Bent-Over Reverse Fly

Begin by standing up straight with feet shoulder-width apart, knees soft. Hinge forward from your hips, maintaining a neutral spine, and arms dropped down naturally. Lift your arms up laterally and feel your shoulder blades retract. Lower your arms and repeat 12-15 times. Perform 2-3 sets.
Progress this move by adding weights in each hand.

  1. Superman Breast Stroke

Begin by laying flat on your stomach. Extend spine and lift chest and legs off the floor while reaching forward like superman. Begin circling your arms to hips like the breast stroke. Repeat 8-10 times. Perform 2-3 sets.
Progress by alternating straight-leg kicks as your arms circle.

  1. Chest Expansion

Begin by standing with feet wide, toes facing forward. Clasp your hands behind lower back. Slowly hinge forward from the hips, while your arms reach toward the ceiling. Hold the position for 4 deep breaths and return to start position.  Perform 2-3 times.

  1. Wall Snow Angel

Stand up straight against a wall. Try to have three points touching the wall: tailbone, shoulder blades, and back of head. Reach arms out to the side and raise and lower like you are making snow angels.  Repeat 8-10 times.  Perform 2-3 sets.

By strengthening and stretching the upper torso, these simple exercises will help you fight the troublesome “tech neck.” Focus on your posture when you stand, when you sit, when you eat, and when you read. Pull those shoulders back, bring your head in line with your spine, and breathe in the air of confidence.

Make it a great day,

Featured Recipe

squash chick pea pecan salad

Savory Squash Salad

1 Buternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
1 can chicpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup pecans
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
Salt & Pepper to taste

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, preheat oven to 400.
Combine squash, chickpeas, pecans, oil, and maple syrup. Spread onto baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over the cooked squash mixture. Serve on top of your favorite greens. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from “The All-Day Fat-Burning Diet” by Yuri Elkaim.

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.


Back to Basics

Like many, Labor Day will be celebrated with a pool party and a cook-out, marking the last big hoorah of summer. Now it’s time to push the reset button, and get back to basics. But what are the basics? With so much information out there: low fat, low carb, low sodium, what are the basic guidelines we should follow for health?

We all know making lifestyle changes that foster better health include becoming physically active, and eating a healthy diet. Healthy diets are full of lean proteins and fruits and vegetables, whole grains rather than refined carbohydrates, lowering salt intake, limiting alcohol consumption and lowering fat consumption. One of the basics to lowering fat consumption is to switch from deep fried foods to baked foods. It’s a basic we’ve all heard but what’s the premise behind baked, not fried?

Baking requires little or no oil. The amount of oil that is necessary to deep fry food is well-absorbed by the breading or coating that normally covers deep fried foods. Each tablespoon of oil adds 120 calories and 14 grams of fat to your food. Additionally, deep frying food has to be done with oils that can handle high temperatures, excluding the use of healthy monounsaturated fats like olive oil. A simple kitchen swap we can all make is to bake, not fry. zucchini 2

Check out our recipe below for these delicious baked zucchini chips.

Go enjoy your cook-out today and for more information on how you can get back to basics, learn how to incorporate a fitness routine into your daily life, and learn what foods to be eating, join one of our monthly Challenge groups. Results guaranteed. Our next group starts October 5th.

Have a great week,


Featured Recipe


Zucchini Chips

It’s zucchini season!

Not exactly like the fried zucchini and eggplant from Panama, but this baked version of zucchini chips is an excellent example of how good baked, not fried can taste! Try serving these with tzatziki at your next dinner party.

1 large zucchini
2 Tbsp olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 225.
2. Using a mandolin, slice your zucchini.
3. Place the zucchini slices between sheets of paper towels to draw out the water.
4. Line 2 baking sheets with foil or parchment paper. Place the zucchini slices on the prepared sheets.
5. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat all the zucchini slices with olive oil on both sides.
6. Sprinkle the zucchini very lightly with salt.
7. Bake in the oven for 2 hours, until the chips start to get crisp.


What healthy fats should I be eating?

There are certain fats that your body requires in order to build muscle, burn fat, and remain healthy. These fats are called Essential Fatty Acids or EFA’s for short. Our bodies crave fat because cells use these good fats to regenerate and build new tissue.

EFAs have so many critical benefits and functions. Just to summarize a few, EFA’s help with the following:

Decrease inflammation
Strengthen immune system
Enhance stamina
Allow more frequent training without over training symptoms
Speed recovery
Lower high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels
Speed healing of injuries
Improve sleep
Improve concentration
Treat arthritis
Improve skin conditions
Diffusion of oxygen into the bloodstream
Improve cardiovascular function
Enhance absorption of fat soluble vitamins

The best healthy fats include those that keep an EFA ratio of 3:1, Omega 6’s to Omega 3’s. Say what? Here’s a simple list of some of the best EFA’s to consume:

Hemp, Chia, Flax, Walnuts, Avocados

All of these EFA’s have the proper EFA ratio and are good to have daily.

Playing favorites a little, have you tried incorporating chia into your diet? I love chia because of its gel forming properties. The gel that is formed in the stomach creates a physical barrier between carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down, thus slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar. This means fewer surges of highs and lows when sugar is released into our bloodstream.

Chia has approximately three to ten times the oil concentrations of most grains and one and a half to two times the protein concentrations of other grains. There are limitless ways to incorporate the Chia seed into your diet.  When chia is prepared with liquids, the seed will absorb 9 times its weight and is very simple to prepare.

Try adding Chia on top of your salads, in your baked goods, or as a pudding. Check out a recipe for chocolate chia pudding below.

What is your favorite EFA? I’d love to know.

Have a great week!


chocolate chia pudding


½ cup almond milk
3 Tbsp. chia seeds
1 tsp cocoa
1 tsp sweetener of choice (I used coconut sugar)


To make the chia gel, pour the almond milk into a sealable container and slowly pour the seeds into it while briskly mixing with a wire whisk. This process will help avoid any clumping of the seeds.  Add the cocoa and sweetener and whisk again. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.  Whisk again and store in refrigerator. Pudding will be ready to eat in 30 minutes.