If you are in the Kitchener-Waterloo Cambridge area and are looking for some motivation and inspiration to completing the half marathon distance, its not too late to come join us for our Winter Half Marathon clinic.  We are currently training for the Goodlife Fitness Toronto Half Marathon.  If you are looking to be empowered and want to start on your running journey, contact me today for more information!
Strength and Endurance Clinic - Monday, Nov. 11th to Saturday, Jan. 11th
Stay focused and on track as we head into the cooler months with this 8 week Strength and Endurance clinic.  This clinic will allow you to build on the training you have completed thus far and allow you to reach for the next level (whether it be increasing your speed or distance).
Clinic members meet Monday evenings at 6:30 (STRENGTH) and Saturday mornings at 7:30 a.m. (ENDURANCE).
Cost: $82.50
All clinic members will be following the same basic schedule; however workouts will be tailored to the individual runner’s needs/levels.
It is recommended that participants be comfortable running roughly 3km before starting this clinic.
Fees must be paid in cash or by electronic email transfer prior to the start of the clinic.
Are you ready to start feeling as healthy as you were meant to feel?  As our children are getting back to regular routines this fall season, why not take this time to start getting back into a healthy routine yourself?

Fall into Feeling Fabulous is a 21-day online program designed to help you get back on track.  You will learn how the body thrives when it is properly nourished through wholesome eating and good quality supplementation.

Along with an online education and support community, recipes and tracking tools you will receive a full months supply of the highest rated quality supplements on the market today (AM & PM multivitamins and minerals of pharmaceutical grade), probiotics (dairy-free pharmaceutical grade, to support digestive health), Optomega oil (essential fatty acids ) and gluten/dairy/soy/fructose free meal replacement shakes that you can fit into your program up to twice daily for those rushed on-the-go meals.

This program focuses on healthy eating habits and you will receive healthy meal and snack options that you may incorporate into your daily routine.  As always, please contact your health care professional before commencing any nutrition or fitness program.  This program is not intended for the use of treatment or diagnosis of health problems or disease.  Please consult your doctor or other health care provider for professional care, treatment and diagnosis.

I love to incorporate the herbs from my garden into as many recipes as I can.  Mint is so nice and refreshing and is so simple to grow.  It will take over if you plant it right in your garden, so try to keep it in a contained area or in a pot.  This herb contains an abundance of vitamins and minerals and alleviates numerous health ailments.

Here I  included mint in a dressing to add to my morning quinoa bowl.  You can use whatever fruit you have on hand to make this dish – mangoes, strawberries, blueberries, etc.  I've used mangoes and apples in the recipe below, combining nicely with the lemon mint dressing to create a delicious healthy breakfast that I have post-workout.

¼ cup freshly squeezed organic lemon juice
¼ c fresh mint
zest of 1/2 organic lemon
1 tbsp raw organic honey
1 cup organic quinoa
2 cups water
1 ripe organic mango chopped
1 organic apple chopped
¼ cup  raw organic sunflower seeds
¼ cup raw organic walnuts chopped
1/3 cup organic raisins

Cook quinoa by rinsing it under warm water for 3 minutes, agitating gently.  Place quinoa and water in a pot and bring to a boil stirring occasionally.  Cover and simmer 7-10 minutes.  Let cool.
Wisk together lemon juice, mint, honey and lemon zest.  Pour over chopped apple and mix.  When quinoa has cooled, mix in apple mixture, mango, sunflower seeds, walnuts and raisins.

Store any leftovers in the fridge to have on hand for a quick snack or post-run/workout meal.


Post-Run Smoothie


I started making this smoothie after I first read Eat and Run by Ultramarathoner Scott Jurek.  As I love kale and other greens so much I started including them, along with my spirulina, in this anti-inflammatory drink.  Its light, sweet taste makes it a treat after a run and because it makes so much I usually have 2-3 servings that I can drink throughout the day as well.  I am always looking for new smoothie ideas to help recover from my run faster and this is definitely one of my favourites.

Post-Run Smoothie Recipe
2 cups water
1 cup kale
1 banana
½ cup strawberries
½ cup mango
½ cup pinapple
½ cup frozen shelled edamame
¼ cup dried coconut flakes
2 tbsp EFA’s (omega 3’s)
1 tbsp protein powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground tuneric
1 1-inch piece peeled ginger

If you have any healthy smoothie ideas you’d like to share, please send me a message, I’d love to hear from you!

Chickpeas are one of my favourites.  They are easy to throw in soups and salads or even to just eat plain as a quick and easy portable snack.  Try this easy hummus recipe that can either be used as a dip for raw veggies or pita, or as a spread on sandwiches.  It is a great way for vegetarians and vegans to ensure they are consuming something that is high in protein and it is loaded with dietary fibre allowing you to feel fuller longer.  Being low on the glycemic index, energy can be sustained over a longer period of time if they are consumed.  Chickpeas are also a great source of many vital minerals and vitamins, including calcium, folate, and manganese.

If soaking and cooking beans seems to be too much work for the person who is new to dried varieties, try canned, just make sure they are drained and rinsed well before blending them up.

Easy Hummus Recipe
2-540mL cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained and rinsed
1/3 cup olive oil (my favourite EFA blend is Optomega)
2 tablespoons tahini (optional)
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
3 cloves of crushed garlic
¼ cup of water
Pinch of ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

In a blender combine half the chickpeas and oil, pulsing to puree.  When slightly creamy add the remaining chickpeas, oil, lemon juice, tahini, garlic and spices.  Pulse and use a spatula from time to time to scrape off the sides of the blender.  Add water as needed to get the desired consistency.  Refrigerate until ready to use.


New Women’s Spring Running clinic in the Cambridge area begins Wednesday, March 13th at 6:30 and runs until Wednesday, June 26, 2013.

Whether you are a beginner looking for encouragement to complete your first 5k or want to build up to the 10km or half marathon distance this group is for you!  Running in a group will keep you on track to reaching your goals and you will meet some awesome new women who share the same interests as you.

5k goal race is end of May, 10k and ½ marathon end of June.

Contact me today for more information and to get started on your running journey!

Running Safety


After a very recent creepy encounter I thought it would be a good idea to post some tips on running safety.

Try to run with a partner.
Sometimes it’s nice to have some alone time while running but try to save those runs for daylight hours when you are more visible and more people are awake than are at 5:00 a.m..  If you have to run in the early morning hours or into the evening, try to find someone to run with.  If you don’t have any runner friends, maybe someone would like to cycle along side you or contact your local running club or store to find out when their clinics or free group runs are held.

Alter your route.
Don’t run the same route each day at the same time.  For instance, don’t run the same route every Monday morning at 7.  You never know who may be watching or waiting for you.

Notify someone of your route and give an approximate time that you will be back.
I always let my husband know where I will be running and how long I will be out for so that he knows where to start looking for me should I not return when expected.

Avoid deserted areas.
It may be nice to run that trail route or go through an industrial area on the weekend, but be safe and stick to the more populated areas.

Run against traffic.
If you choose to run on the roadway, it’s easier for you to see oncoming traffic than for you to try and be aware of it coming up behind you.  Motorists also don’t have to worry about any unpredictable behaviour from you if you don’t hear them approaching.  Never assume a motorist sees you.  If you think they are coming up to fast or are too close to the side of the road, get off the road.

Make sure you’re visible.
Wear bright reflective clothing, a headlamp or armband so that motorists and other runners or cyclists can see you.

No earphones
It may be hard for some to get through a run, especially on long slow ones, but if you have music blaring in your ears it makes it hard to hear traffic or someone who may come running up behind you.

Carry money/bank card, id and a mobile device.
Just in case, you never know if you will get hurt along the way or need to refuel your body if you have gone out too far.

As women we have a pretty good sense when something is off.  If you get the sense that something isn't right, it probably isn’t.  Trust me.  Change your direction and head for home.

Be safe!
Toward the end of every year I like to reflect on what I have accomplished over the past 12 months.  After reviewing everything I ask myself: Did I accomplish everything I hoped for this year?  Sometimes the answer is yes and sometimes the answer is no.  For the goals I did not accomplish was it because I lost sight of my clear vision or were there extenuating circumstances preventing me from achieving my goals.  If I have lost sight of my vision than I have to give my head a shake and refocus on what it is that I find important to me and want I really want to accomplish during the year and in the future.  If it was the latter then I have to figure out what I need to do to push forward past the obstacles.  For example, in 2012 one of my running goals included achieving a PB in a marathon that I had registered for, beating my previous PB by 10 minutes.  May seem aggressive to some, but I knew it was attainable and I was on track to achieving it.  I never actually did because I was sidelined by an injury from a minor accident which was aggravated during training and prevented me from putting in the mileage and speed needed to achieve this goal.  After months of therapy I am almost back on track and now I am re-evaluating my running goals for 2013.

Call it a New Years Resolution, a goal, or a dream, they are necessary for our success and to achieve the vision we create for ourselves.  At all of the major jobs that I have held it was required by my employers to set objectives for the year, both for my professional development and for that of the team, which all were in line with company objectives and supported the company's vision.  So I’m going to assume that this is probably not new information for the majority of you.  But maybe it is for some.  If we are required by our employers to set personal development goals that support the goals of the company, why don’t more of us set them in our personal lives?  Being busy mothers and caregivers we sometimes feel guilty when we take time out for ourselves, time that we think we should be spending with our families.  But we would all benefit if we took the time to create a clear vision for ourselves and set goals that can help us achieve it.  This is one of the best things we can show our children, an invaluable skill that will help them throughout their lives.  It shows our children that they can achieve anything they want and it helps set them up with the tools to get there.

As January approaches I start to make a list of goals that I’d like to achieve for the next year and revisit my long term vision.  I highly recommend everyone do this as there is a great sense of accomplishment and purpose when you do achieve them.  You can set goals for personal health, your finances, career, basically in any area that is important to you.  You can do this by writing them down in a numbered list, make a poster or vision board with words or pictures, or by creating a movie that you can view everyday.  In addition to writing everything down on paper I use the vision board which is great because you can put it in a location that you pass by everyday and it gives you that visual which some of us need.  This helps us become accountable for the tasks that we set before us to reach our goals for the year and our long term dreams.

I find the simplest way to set a goal is to use the S.M.A.R.T. concept which has become popular since its introduction in the early ‘80’s.  There are variations to the original S.M.A.R.T. definition, but I just go with:
Time based

A very simple running goal might be:
Set a PB in the Chilly Half Marathon held on March 3, 2013 finishing with a time under 1:49.
Is it specific?  It’s specific enough for me.
Is it measurable?  Of course, it will be a timed race.
Is it achievable?  You bet since I’ve been putting in the mileage and times required to finish around that time.
Is it Realistic?  I believe it is.
Is it time based?  Yes since the race is held on a specific date and it is a timed race.

If your goal is simply to run a half marathon and you have never run before, then you will need to sit down and figure out a few more details on how you will do that.  Your personal goals are just that, your personal goals.  You don’t answer to anyone but yourself.  Once you have your goals set your next step is to figure out how you will achieve them.  For this example your next steps might be to select a specific training program to follow, figure out if you need to revamp your diet or sleep habits, or decide if you may benefit from a running partner or run club for motivation.

Now get to it and start setting your goals for 2013!
Good luck!

Most of you know that I sometimes tend to go a little overboard with my kids birthdays and other special occasion parties.  So coming to a party with a life-sized Candy Land board game running both through the inside and around the outside of my home probably would not seem that unusual to some.

My daughter started her big day with her favourites: vegan chocolate chip banana pancakes, watermelon and apple slices, and her Mama’s Gingerbread Smoothie.  But then it all went down hill from there.  After the licorice she got ‘stuck’ eating at Licorice Forest, the lollipop she was ‘forced’ to suck on in the Lillipop Woods, snow cone she put back in record time at Snowflake Lake or the cotton candy that King Kandy waved in front of her nose at Candy Castle, its safe to say that my baby girl probably has had her fill of sugary crap that will last until her Sweet Sixteen (which I should probably start planning for now).  I mean, this party even had a mini Chocolate Swamp (a.k.a. chocolate fountain, running vegan chocolate of course)!  But you only turn 4 once, right?  Can’t blame her for going all out, the child thinks she’s hit the jackpot when she is given a cracker!  So to be faced with all that not so-healthy yummy goodness, she was in her glory.  There was as much fruit and veggies a girl could want, she just chose to only eat the ones dipped in chocolate.  In this house we’re all about making our own choices.  I guess we have our work cut out for us with this girl.  Oh, mother’s guilt will remain for an eternity after this day I’m sure. 

My children’s new favourite breakfast drink is Mama’s Gingerbread Smoothie.  Well, that’s what I call it to make it fun for them and so they think their Mama is a genius armed with a blender.  It’s really just the cinnamon that makes my kids think it’s a special treat.  Take a look at the way I usually make mine, (I say usually because I tend to use whatever I have on hand).  Experiment with different ingredient add-ins that you enjoy.  It’s hard to mess up a smoothie, so change it up if you want to try something a little different.  Don’t forget to add a bit of water if it is too thick for your liking.

Mama’s Gingerbread’ Smoothie

1 ½ cups almond milk (or favourite milk of your choice)
1-2 bananas
1 tbsp organic oil blend (my favourite is Usana’s Optomega)
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp black ground chia seeds

Oh yeah, and of course if you can, try to sneak in a cup of kale.  They will not even notice, promise.  At least mine don’t!

Blend all ingredients on high for at least 1 minute.  Enjoy!