Is Dried Fruit Healthy?

Is dried fruit healthy? I like to think about it this way.. It's easy to eat a mini box of 50 raisins however would you eat 50 grapes in a sitting? It's easy to eat 5 dried apricots however would you eat 5 actual apricots at once? Dried fruit is super concentrated (hello sugar!) since you're removing all of the water from the fruit. Saying that dried fruit isn't healthy doesn't feel right so I'd rather say that fresh fruit with all of it's water intact is a much better decision 🙂 Fresh fruit is nutrient dense and more filling than the dried version which makes it so much easier to keep portions in check. Dried fruit can also have added sugar and preservatives, just another reason to choose fresh and to be label savvy if choosing dry. Dried fruit can have it's place, it's quick digesting sugars make it a good pre-workout or pre-race energy snack. Have you ever wondered if dried fruit is a good choice?                 ...

September Plank & Healthy Habits Challenge

It's time for another challenge! Are you ready? To me the summer is such a free season... a time to travel, to socialize and to enjoy being unscheduled. I thoroughly enjoy the freedom that summer can bring; more family time and visiting, more rose :), less time in the kitchen, more active outdoor adventures and less scheduled workouts, and more rest and sleeping in (where kids & pets allow!). As much as I love the freedom of summer, I also enjoy getting back into routine, and back to some more healthy habits! I hope that you will join me for this September challenge. Your core will be really working and your body and mind will thank you for implementing the healthy habits. Don't hesitate - tag a friend and challenge each other! Click HERE to download the schedule.  Be sure to post it where you can see it and cross off the days as you get it done! Notes: You can challenge yourself even further by compounding the healthy habits so that by the end of the month you're doing all 4. If you are a coffee or tea addict, allow yourself 1 cup of either in the morning if it's a deal breaker for you. Get creative with your water by adding mint & cucumber, lemon & basil, pink grapefruit or other citrus slices, or to add in some sparkling water with a few frozen berries to keep things interesting.             ...

Can You Eat Healthy on A Budget?

I often hear 'eating healthfully is so expensive' so I went on a mission to see if this was truly the case.  We absolutely prioritize great quality whole food in our household so although I often compare the prices of organics vs non organic produce I don't typically consider the cost of processed food vs whole foods.  I really didn't know how this would turn out! I set out to compare a days worth of  macronutrient (protein, carbohydrate, and fat) balanced whole foods meals vs some typical processed food meals.  I compared the same volumes; i.e. 1 lb of deli meat vs 1 lb of ground turkey etc to the best of my ability. You can pay the farmer now or pay the doctor later   In case you don't want to scroll through the numbers, the moral of this story is that it is NOT more expensive to eat healthier, more nutrient dense whole foods.  In fact, I showed a savings of $9.32 for one days worth of meals for a family of 4.   It will take some extra time to prepare healthier meals which I feel like we truly need to take in order to get away from 'convenience' type foods which are not doing us any favors.  The energy that it takes to grocery shop, prepare, and to cook helps to keep us fit and engaged in our health.  Getting our families involved in the process allows us to instill healthy values around food to our children.   Some other ways in which we can lower our healthy food costs are: Think quality over quantity - the majority do not need MORE food and processed, quick digesting carbs and sugar will leave you hungry and eating more of the same.  Balanced nutrition will help to keep you energized, satiated, and fit! Use frozen veggies and fruits - there are some great organic brands which offer frozen vegetables and fruit (berries!) at a lower cost than fresh and the bonus is that they won't go off! Choose what is local and/or in season - local produce doesn't have to travel so is lower cost.  Know your farmer and be informed as to whether or not they use toxic pesticides.  Produce that is in season is typically a lower price because it is more abundant and therefore fresh and full of nutrients!     Here is how the calculations worked out... *Please note that we live on the beautiful island of Bermuda where a lot of our food is shipped in so it may all be more costly than what you are used to.  The price of living in paradise!  Breakfast: Processed, higher sugar, higher carb breakfast Box of cereal (average cost of a few most common) - $6.50  Milk (1/4 gallon) - $2.63 Orange juice (1/4 gallon - average of a few most common) - $3.00 Total $12.13 Pros - easy to prepare Cons - high sugar, high carb, lacking protein, and healthy fats.  Will cause a blood sugar spike and dip leaving you feeling hungry and craving more in no time.   Whole food, high protein balanced breakfast  Eggs (1 carton - 2 each leaving 4 to boil for snacks!) - $5.50 Avocado (1/2 - a few slices each to top eggs) - $1.50 Grapefruit (2 - or 4 halves) - $4.58 *apples or oranges were even less Total $11.58 Savings of $.55 Pros - slow digesting protein and healthy fat, satiating to take you through the morning without being hungry, full of nutrients, will keep blood sugars stable Cons - will take a few extra minutes to prepare.   Lunch: Processed sandwich & chips White bread (1/2 loaf) - $2.60 Cheese (1 package slices) - $5.00 1 lb deli meat (avg of turkey or ham) - $7.00 Chips (4 small bags) - $7.56 *didn't include condiments like mustard, butter, mayo etc (note that mayo and margarine/some processed butters would add saturated or even trans fats that we don't want) Total $22.16 Pros - fast to throw together Cons - high carb, no vegetables or fruit (nutrient void!), no healthy fats, factory farmed deli meats (high in sodium & preservatives, possibly growth hormone/antibiotic fed non humanely raised meats).  This lunch will leave you hungry for more and lacking in energy due to lack of nutrients.    Whole food salad with grilled chicken for lunch 1 package organic greens - $6.99 Avocado (1/2 - a few slices in each) - $1.50 Tomatoes (1 pint organic ) - $6 Cabbage (1/2 organic) - $3.35 Chicken breasts (1/2 Package Bell & Evans hormone & antibiotic free ~ 1lb) - $8 *didn't include dressing however would choose a little extra virgin olive oil with apple cider or balsamic vinegar Total $25.84 Premium of $3.68 Pros - slow digesting protein and healthy fat, satiating to take you through the afternoon without being hungry, full of nutrients, will keep blood sugars stable Cons - will take a few extra minutes to prepare   Supper: Processed, packaged lasagna, garlic bread, and caesar salad 1 frozen lasagna - $23 1 frozen garlic bread - $6.03 Packaged caesar salad - $5.99 Total $35.02 Pros - easy to just stick in the oven Cons - high carb, minimal vegetables (the caesar salad is literally romaine or iceberg lettuce and croutons - no deep greens), no healthy fats, likely factory farmed meat (high in sodium & preservatives, possibly growth hormone/antibiotic fed non humanely raised meat).  Lots of cheese and high in saturated fat (the lasagna & salad dressing). This dinner will leave you hungry for more, way over your calorie budget and lacking in energy & health due to lack of nutrients.    Spaghetti squash with ground turkey meat sauce & steamed broccoli 2 small spaghetti squash - $5.99 Ground turkey (Bell & Evans - hormone & antibiotic free) - $7.50 Broccoli (1 lb) - $4.19 Muir Glen Organic Pasta Sauce (1 jar) - $4.89 *would also add a little olive oil on the broccoli to help the fat soluble vitamins to be absorbed Total $22.57 Savings of $12.45 Pros - slow digesting protein and healthy fat, satiating (fiber!) to take you through the evening without being hungry, nutrient dense, will keep blood sugars stable Cons - will take a little more time to prepare Overall savings of $9.32!!  I love that this turned out as a cost savings. Don't you agree that even if it would have been a cost premium that your health is worth the investment?  I sure do!  The fact that we can save money while building our health and happiness while protecting the planet is a win win in my mind.  I'd love to hear your healthy eating cost savings tips in the comments below!     ...

Are You Getting Good Zzzzzzz’s?

  Everything is oh so much better after a good night's sleep, don't you agree?  When things seem to be going all wrong or I get caught up in my own head getting a good sleep can be the ticket to gaining a clear perspective.  I am such a much nicer person when I'm getting good rest.  When my sleep suffers so does everything and everyone else around me (insert teeth gritting emoji guy here!). Nights on end of trouble falling asleep and/or broken sleep not only negatively affect our mood and focus, they also affect our hormones and therefore our health and body composition as well.  You know the good old fight or stress hormone cortisol? We need cortisol to be elevated some of the time however when it's elevated too often (chronic stress) it can make it really hard to get good sleep.  Not getting good sleep can lead to a vicious cycle of over caffeination (IV drip of coffee?!) and elevated cortisol which can keep us wired and anxious when what we truly need is a good deep sleep. Do any of these negative side effects of lack of sleep resonate with you? *Lack of memory - ever try to recall someones name when you are seriously tired?  It's oh so much harder!  Not to mention that memories are consolidated during deep sleep so pulling all nighters to study is kind of counter productive. *Feeling foggy - trying to push through the day with that post lunch brain fog?  What was I talking about again?  Ahhh yes, sleep! *Feeling depressed - it's so much harder to smile when all you can think of is crawling back into your bed..  Insomnia and depression can go hand in hand and treating insomnia can help with depression and vice versa. *Lack of focus - trying to stay focused on one task seems so much more difficult when it takes so much more effort to focus. *Aging skin - sleep truly is the fountain of youth (and good nutrition, water, and sunscreen!)  Lack of sleep doesn't just lead to sallow or puffy eyes, chronic lack of sleep causes an increase in cortisol which can break down collagen which keeps skin smooth, and supple.  Human growth hormone which is responsible for increasing muscle mass, tissue repair, and helping to keep bones strong.  When sleep is lacking HGH secretion is lower. *Weight gain - carb and sugar cravings can be all consuming when we're exhausted.  We crave that quick blood sugar hit just to keep our eyes open. Oh and we can't forget those pesky hormones ghrelin and leptin whose jobs are to tell us when we're hungry and when to stop eating.  They're basically backwards when we are sleep deprived so we are constantly hungry and aren't getting the cue to stop which can lead to an all day smorgasbord of carbs & sugar. *Impaired judgement - we've all heard the don't drive or operate machinery when tired as our judgment and reaction time are impaired. *Low libido - sleep deprived men and women just aren't in the mood!  When I'm exhausted and my husband looks at me with the look all I can think of is 'OH NO!' instead of 'OH YES!' lol Some things that trash your sleep! *Computer & tv screens It's not just the blue light emitted from the devices, watching an action packed show or adrenalin pumping competitive sports game can leave you almost as wired as actually playing the game yourself. *Exercising too close to bedtime. Again - getting all fired up before bed will make it really hard to wind down. *Sleeping in a room that's too hot, too light, or too noisy - almost all studies show that sleeping in a cool, dark room makes it so much easier to drift off to sleep.  It goes without saying that sleeping in a noisy environment is not conducive to sleep so if your husband is blasting the tv in the living room break out the ear plugs. *Over caffeinating - whether it's too much over all or too late in the day caffeine can definitely kill your sleep.  It's not just coffee, anything caffeinated, even tea and dark chocolate can keep you from those precious zzz's.  Even if you fall asleep, it can be more superficial than when your body is not wired. *Alcohol - a night cap may allow you to fall asleep more quickly however as soon as the alcohol wears off you may find yourself wide awake. *Not keeping a regular sleep schedule - going to bed and getting up at different times can really mess up your circadian rhythm.  When we keep a consistent wake & bed time sleep becomes deeper and more routine.  When I am having incredible sleep here is my sleep routine 🙂 *Get off of all technology by 8:30pm *Get upstairs in bed by 9-9:30 pm and read for 30-45 mins *Write notes (I have a notebook to get anything down that may come to mind and may keep me awake thinking about it) and write down at least 5 things that I'm grateful for (may not help with sleep but is part of my routine)  *Meditate for 5-10 minutes  (sometimes I fall asleep meditating which is fine by me!) If I don't get upstairs until 10:30 or later I always have a heck of a time falling asleep - I miss the sleep window and am always ticked at myself.   Last but not least - if I am having a tough few nights of sleep I will take 5mg of liquid melatonin about 30 minutes before bed.  Magnesium and zinc are other supplements that can help with sleep if you happen to be low in either.   That's it for now - I hope that these tips help you to have sweet dreams!!         ...

Home Baked Chicken Fingers & Fries

Taking fast food and making it in a healthier way is always possible and it's fun to experiment.  Today's mission was significantly improving the health score of chicken fingers and fries.  I am constantly working to put the best quality food possible into our daughters.  It's so important to my husband and I to give the girls the best nutrition we can to build their health, bring out their best moods (oh yes, so needed!), their best focus, and their best performance. I'm going off on a bit of a rant here however please bear (is it bare or bear - I never know!) with me....  Almost every single time that we eat out and they hand me the kids menu I hold my breath.  Occasionally I've been pleasantly surprised, however, most often I see the same old chicken fingers, hot dogs, burgers, grilled cheese (all with fries of course!), spaghetti, pizza, blah blah...  Most often these offerings are not prepared with our health in mind. Why should kids health be less important than adults? It shouldn't be.  Good nutrition and being active are foundational to the happy, healthy lives that we all want for our kids!  People are eating out more than ever so how can we consistently feed kids these addictive, processed foods and then expect them to want to eat the veggies and fruit after their tastebuds become accustomed to the fatty, salty, sugary foods?  This really gets under my skin (in case you didn't notice) as kids nutritional future is shaped early on.   There are so many small healthy shifts that can help to make these 'kids menus' so much healthier.   Using higher quality cuts of meat, including vegetables sides and even pureeing them into the mains, using brown rice, whole grain or some of the legume based pastas available today and using whole grain buns/breads go a long way in making these less than healthy kids options healthier.  I love it when I order salmon and my kids devour it.  More often than not we take a pass on the kids menu and order some adult meals or appetizers to share. With more and more information on the importance of whole foods nutrition we are starting to see some positive changes - there is hope!  The buy in to get the entire family eating well starts with education - explaining the 'why' when it comes to why it's so important to choose food that enhances our health.  We are always voting with our dollars.  The more of us that choose to skip the processed foods on the menu and make healthy requests, the more the good choices will come. Ok rant over!  The most important health tool that we can have is home cooked meals using whole food ingredients.  Every time we get our kids involved in the process we are giving them the tools to prepare their own health enhancing meals.  We are constantly healthifying meals over here and I wanted to share our healthy chicken tenders & fries (with side green beans of course!) with you.  I always do my best to get the kids involved in the cooking process whenever possible as it increases meal time buy in and keeps them occupied while I'm trying to get it done!  We hope that you enjoy this one as much as we did!     ...

Sugar Free Easter Basket Ideas!

    For those of you who are working last minute (like me!) to advise the bunny on how fill your kiddos Easter baskets with sugar free treats, I wanted to share some ideas for non candy (or the best candy!) inspiration.   water bottles bunny ears easter stuffies (the girls are asking for bunny beanie boos!) books/coloring books/sticker books stickers crafts coloring pencils, fun pens, easter pencils, markers sidewalk chalk (perfect for hopscotch or artistic endeavors!) hair clips/hair elastics sunglasses necklaces/bracelets nail polish/makeup/lipgloss (choose non-toxic! - our favorite nail polishes are Zoya and David's Tea have all natural tea infused chapsticks which are divine!) play doh silly putty  jump rope/exercise bands pajamas rubber boots flip flops sand toys Easter dress yo-yo bicycle helmet gardening gloves and tools bubbles tattoos  kite   As far as the candy that our girls find in their baskets; they usually find a few small dark chocolate eggs, one small dark chocolate hollow bunny, and have an Easter egg hunt to find the plastic eggs filled with Amy's bunny crackers, pretzels, and a few bunny cookies. We keep & recycle the plastic eggs for the bunny each year so that we are not tossing all that plastic - the less plastic the better over here.     Wishing you and your family a Happy, Healthy Easter filled with lots of great memories!   ...

Oatmeal Pancakes

Pancakes are such a hit around here and this recipe is such a good way to sneak a balanced meal into the kids. I've even pureed spinach into this recipe to get veggies in too - green pancakes! You can also experiment and add pureed pumpkin or sweet potato. I hope that your family enjoys these as much as we do! ...

Breakfast Burrito

This is one of my hubby's breakfast favorites.  We can definitely fall victim to getting stuck into routine eating the same things day in and day out so this breakfast burrito is a nice change.  Black beans, eggs, spinach, and the whole grain wrap are all good sources of protein and iron making this an energizing breakfast. The salsa adds some spice and the avocado adds a welcome creaminess. This is an easy recipe to make up for a group and is a great option for lunch or a casual dinner too.  You can prep the eggs and bean/spinach mixture and leave the toppings in small bowls so that people can create their own healthy Burritos.  Serve these up with a some vegetable credit and a beautiful bowl of fresh fruit to add even more nutrient density to this meal. Our daughters are always anxious to get their hands into the creation process and like putting together their own.  Getting the kids involved definitely helps to get their buy into eating the meal too!         ...

Tania’s 12 Days of Fitmas!

Day 1! Day 2! Day 3! Day 4! Day 5! Day 6! Day 7! Day 8! Day 9! Day 10! Day 11! Day 12!   Well done!  Want more?  I'll be starting my Online and in person (Bermuda) health coaching programs in January of 2017 and I would love to continue to work with you.  Check out the ONLINE program and sign up for the wait list here (just click add to cart and it will take you to a spot to sign up for the wait list).  Please email me at healthfanatic@icloud.com for information on the Bermuda based Transformation Program.  Now have the BEST holiday with your loved ones!   ...

Avocado Salsa & Guacamole – When Life Gives you (lots of!) Avocados…What to Do?!

First off, in case you didn't know...I love avocado SO much so that when my hubby brought a bunch of big, beautiful Bermuda avocados home from work (THANK YOU Damien!) I did a happy dance. Since they are almost all ripe, I don't want to waste any of their precious monounsaturated fats, potassium, or fiber! It's a good thing that we have my mother and father in-law visiting to help take some of the load 🙂 PS - I used to hate avocado so just goes to show that we need to keep trying new things as now my salads are just NEVER the same without them now! I feel like sometimes we take things too seriously in the kitchen. I definitely like to  experiment in the kitchen to create dishes with whatever I have a lot of on hand. Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy Avocado! As always, I'd love to hear your ideas too.       ...

Freekeh Salad

Even though we are meat eaters around here it doesn't mean that we don't enjoy 'meatless Monday's'. Freekeh is high in protein, fiber, and iron as are chickpeas. I hope that you enjoy this concoction, we sure did! ...

Perfect Popcorn

Who doesn't love popcorn?  The infectious smell and the salty crunch....mmmmm....I see popcorn in my future.  I feel like movie popcorn has given this healthy snack a bad name.  This recipe is my absolute favorite and is figure friendly.           ...

Chickpea and Kale Stew

When I was in England last week, a friend and I headed out to a Pub in Sussex called the Black Cat pub.  We were prepared for typical pub grub and were pleasantly surprised to find a robust menu with lots of healthy options.  We started out sharing a bowl of green olives which were ahhhmazing, in fact, I'm dying to know what type they were because I've never had any like it.  They were pretty big and crunchy.  I've eaten a lot of green olives but none have compared to these.  If anyone knows what type they might be, please let me know! Onto the main course (did I mention that the Prosecco that they had was also amazing?). Ok, focus Tania ????. The main that I chose was a chickpea stew with kale and a piece of either steamed or baked cod on top.  It was delish and I knew thought that it would be fairly easy to re-create.   This was so fast (in typical Tania style!) and I hope that you enjoy it as much as we did! ...

The Sweet Spot in the Middle

  It's January and it seems as if everyone is on a juice detox or a sugar busting plan.  I get the need to feel like we're starting fresh, cleaning house so to speak... I think that a reset is a good thing, however going to crazy extremes is almost never the way to create lasting success.  Nothing but Green juices, no dairy, no fruit, no carbs, no gluten, no caffeine, no alcohol...it all sounds to me like no fun at all, how long can one go?  Oh, and no I'm NOT by any means saying that green juices are bad or sugar is good, it's just that I honestly believe that we need to begin as we plan to go on. So let's look at WHY detoxes, cleanses and meal plans are so sexy and appealing to people: We can go all in and there is an end date - we CAN do this.  There is a light at the end of the hole in your belly just waiting to envelop plates full of pasta. Don't we all just love all or nothing?   They're easy to follow.  We just FOLLOW, we don't have to think, learn, practice or do any of those HARD things.  It's mindless and we can make one massive blender full of green juice and be good for the day with very little prep and cleanup. We believe that we're doing our bodies good.  Real food, lots of nutrients - all good and none of the BAD, right!? PS - we're uber fortunate that our colons and liver cleanse for us daily! Now let's look at the reality We Binge - at the end of the plan/cleanse/detox or whatever we often end up face down in a plate of pasta chasing it back with a bottle of red wine.   We're back where we started and then some - any weight lost - GAINED.  Any sense of confidence or accomplishment gained from the completion of said program - long since forgotten and replaced with a feeling of FAILURE. We no smarter - we don't have any more knowledge or tools in our arsenals and we haven't created any healthy habits, we're back to square one.  We're hungry - enough said We're deprived - we are feeling restricted and are dying to have what was OFF LIMITS We feel fuzzy and crappy - We may have eliminated food groups and could be missing out on valuable nutrients. We may have reduced calories so drastically that our bodies are saying WTF - I have no energy!  If we were feeling super restricted, we may end up in post-cleanse binge and we're likely stuffed and feeling guilty..  That sucks.   So where do we go from here? FACT - we can't live on processed, heavy food, guzzle bottomless cups of coffee and knock cocktails back at Happy Hour daily and feel or look healthy either!  So what is the answer?  Well it's not super slick or sexy and it takes good old fashioned education, work, and practice.   Eat well most of the time (and no, I do not mean Tupperware packaged cold boiled chicken and steamed broccoli) by choosing foods that nourish us that we ENJOY eating, that satisfy us, and that we can see ourselves eating for the long haul, we are building a healthy life, not following a plan that's going to come to an end.  If we are always on 'plans' that get too boring to follow or come to an end then we are perpetually on the diet hamster wheel.   Learn to cook - knowing the way around a kitchen and how to use whole food to create delicious meals that we love will not only keep us excited about creating and enjoying meals, it also takes the reliance off others to keep us healthy and in our happy place.   Indulge - Have something that we love to eat daily or often and practice doing it in small portions, in doing so, we take away the scarcity mentality around it.  Incorporating foods that we love into our lives shouldn't be BAD, it should feel good, no guilt attached.  Having what we love takes away the longing to have it, makes us mentally stronger, and more confident in knowing that we hold the power to have a little and STOP.  This takes work and practice but is SO worth the effort. Be mindful - Learning to really listen to the body's cues is powerful.  If we can slow down and take the time to understand our emotions, we realize that we have the power to make the choices that serve our goals.  Recognizing when we are bored, hungry, full, anxious, stressed, angry, sad, or happy is so key to knowing ourselves and what we are really looking for.  Once we realize that we truly can't stuff or starve our emotions we can set ourselves free of guilt and shame. Love yourself in the process.  We aren't always going to master our minds, or do it overnight.  Sometimes we won't get it, sometimes we'll go overboard, we all do, we're human.  Hating on ourselves just lowers our confidence and enables limiting thoughts about ourselves and our abilities.  We must move on, and take each bite one at a time.  Each successful moderate decision is a win and we continue to build the mental muscle and a healthy relationship with food.   I'd sure love to hear your moderation victories!  Please share your wins so that you can inspire others to keep working towards living a maintainable healthy and happy life.   As always, if you like this post, please share it with your friends. ...

Fall Family Fitness Focus Rules

First off, thank you so much for joining me us this challenge, you are going to feel INCREDIBLE for having made yourself and your health a priority, the benefits are ALL GOOD!  You'll not only experience a tighter, leaner physique but also increased energy, clearer skin, and better sleep!  This is not a starvation, all-or-nothing, plan with hours of exercise.  If you stick to the plan you will see realistic, maintainable results that won't leave you tired, hungry, and crabby.  Don't we all want to start something that we can continue to maintain? Here are the nutrition rules that I'd like you to follow for the next 29 days! Choose unprocessed foods which are foods in as close to their natural state as possible.   2. Fill half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables at lunch and dinner 3. Aim to drink at least 8-10 glasses (64-80oz) of water per day 4. Ditch the drinks; juice, pop, booze, and choose water and herbal teas (non-caffeinated). 5. For carbs, choose whole grains (rice, quinoa, steel cut, large flake oats), veggie carbs (potato {sweet potato/yam/white, red, or yellow potato}, squash, beets) or a medium size fruit (try to choose fruit once a day and in the morning if possible). 6. Keep your sugar under 30 grams a day and get your fiber over 30 grams per day. 7. Eat early (before 7pm) and fast until breakfast. 8. Get 8 hrs of good quality sleep per night. 9.  Use spices instead of sauces!  If you are having salad, use your serving of healthy fat (1/2 tbsp of oil) along with some balsamic or apple cider vinegar.    For Women: *Eat one palm sized (the palm of your hand, and about the thickness of your palm as well) serving of lean protein (chicken or turkey breast, fish, eggs, lean cuts of beef, greek yogurt, cottage cheese {choose beef only a couple of times a week} 3 x a day.  If you are vegetarian choose 1/4 cup legumes mixed with 1/4 cup of rice or quinoa. *Fill half of your plate with non-starchy veggies at lunch and dinner *Eat a thumb sized portion of healthy fat at every meal (this equates to about 1/2 tbsp of olive or coconut oil, or nut butter, and approx 10 raw nuts) *Eat 2- 3 cupped hand sized servings of carbohydrates per day (this equates to approx 1/2 cup dry oats, 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, 1/2 cup rice, 4 oz potato) in different sittings (not all 2-3 servings at once 🙂 ).  On the days that you are not resistance training do your best to stick to 2 servings of carbohydrates per day.   *Eat 2 snacks per day, one which includes a fruit and healthy fat, and one which includes a healthy fat and protein (same serving sizes as above), try to have the fruit in the morning.  An example would be a medium apple with 10 raw almonds.  Always pair your carbohydrate with a healthy fat or protein. *Post Workout (resistance training) - If you use protein powder, have one scoop of low carb protein powder (approx 110 calories) with 1 cup of almond or skim milk, 1/2 a small banana, and one big leaf of Kale post-workout (this counts as a snack or meal).  If you don't use protein powder, have 1/2 cup of egg whites and 1/2 cup of dry oats or oat bran (again, counts as a snack and serving of carbohydrate). For Men: *Eat two palm sized (the palm of your hand, and about the thickness of your palm as well) serving of lean protein (chicken or turkey breast, fish, or lean cuts of beef {choose beef only a couple of times a week} 3 x a day. If you are vegetarian choose 1/2 cup legumes mixed with 1/2 cup of rice or quinoa. *Fill half of your plate with non-starchy veggies at lunch and dinner *Eat two thumb sized portion of healthy fat at every meal (this equates to about 1 tbsp of olive or coconut oil, or nut butter, and approx 20 raw nuts) *Eat 4-6 cupped hand sized servings of carbohydrates per day (this equates to approx 1/2 cup dry oats, 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, 1/2 cup rice, 4 oz potato) in different sittings (not all 2-3 servings at once 🙂 ). On the days that you are not resistance training do your best to stick to 4 servings of carbohydrates per day. *Eat 2 snacks per day, one which includes a fruit and healthy fat, and one which includes a healthy fat and protein (same serving sizes as above), try to have the fruit in the morning. An example would be a medium apple with 10 raw almonds. Always pair your carbohydrate with a healthy fat or protein. *Post Workout (resistance training) - If you use protein powder, have two scoops of low carb protein powder (approx 220 calories) with 1 cup of almond or skim milk, 1 small banana, and one big leaf of Kale post-workout (this counts as a snack or meal). If you don't use protein powder, have 1 cup of egg whites and 1 cup of dry oats or oat bran (again, counts as a snack and serving of carbohydrate). The Workouts! You are going to resistance train 3 times a week and do cardio work 3 times a week for a total of 6 sessions per week.  When resistance training I'd like you to keep moving between exercises with as little rest as possible so that you keep your heart rate up for your entire session. Cardio:  3 sessions of either 20 minutes of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) or 30-60 minutes of more steady state cardio but make this challenging, not a walk in the park (spin class, walking on a serious incline, or running at a pace that really challenges you).  I suggest a combination so one week two HIIT sessions and one steady state and the next week two steady state and one HIIT. Resistance Workouts: Monday - Full Body Power Session: Perform this round of exercises as a giant set meaning one exercise after another and then repeating the sequence 5 times 5 sets of 5 Barbell Squats (as heavy as you can go while maintaining good form).  If you are unsure of how to do this exercise, ask a trainer in your gym for assistance.  If doing this exercise at home with dumbbells, do 5 sets of 15-30 repetitions.  The last repetition should be DIFFICULT! 5 sets of 5 Bench Press (ladies - you may skip this one and stick to the push-ups below if you choose) of Bench Press (as heavy as you can go while maintaining good form). If you are unsure of how to do this exercise, ask a trainer in your gym for assistance. If doing this exercise at home with dumbbells, do 5 sets of 15-30 repetitions. The last repetition should be DIFFICULT! 5 sets of 5 Barbell Deadlifts (as heavy as you can go while maintaining good form). If you are unsure of how to do this exercise, ask a trainer in your gym for assistance. If doing this exercise at home with dumbbells, do 5 sets of 15-30 repetitions. The last repetition should be DIFFICULT! *you want to keep moving with as little rest as possible  2. Perform this round of exercises as a giant set meaning one exercise after another and then repeating the sequence 5 times. 5 sets of 10 push-ups (if push-ups feel easy then use handles to increase the depth or do plyometric push-ups (clap push ups!) 5 sets of 10 bent arm side lateral raises (hold your arms at 90 degrees holding dumbbells, elbows by your sides and lift your arm, keep that 90 degree shape and lift with your shoulder to shoulder height) 5 sets of 10 glute bridges or hip thrusts (lying on the ground with a barbell across your hips or using the leg extension machine with the padded bar across your hips) 5 sets of 10 tricep extensions (overhead with a dumbbell or cable - keep your elbows stable and squeeze them in towards your ears) *you want to keep moving with as little rest as possible Wednesday - Back/Arms/Abs/Calves: 3 x as many full pull-ups as you can followed by 5 negatives (a negative is where you jump or get assistance to get up to the bar and slowly lower yourself down).  If you can't do a full pull-up, then use a pull-up assisted machine or a band to help you get as many full ones as you can with good form as you can and then 5 negatives. *superset with (means work back and forth between these two exercises) 3 x 12-20 repetitions of tricep press downs (cable), skull crushers, or dumbbell tricep extensions (weight should be challenging although you should be able to get over 12 repetitions and keep pushing, this should be difficult, you should not be able to get more than 20 repetitions) 3 x 12-20 Barbell Rows (keep your shoulders back, butt out, navel pulled into your spine, don't round out the upper back)  *superset with (means work back and forth between these two exercises) 3 x 12-20 weighted calf raises (use a calf machine, or a leg press) 3 x 12-20 Dumbbell Hammer Curls (keep your elbows at your sides and forward of your body, keep the arms locked down, no swinging and don't rest the weight on your shoulder at the top.  If you keep your elbows down you shouldn't be able to get them up there 😉 ) *superset with (means work back and forth between these two exercises) 3 x 12-20 weighted crunches (on a decline bench or flat on the floor, hold a weight or a cable just above your head and lower down until just your lower lumbar vertebrae hit the bench/ground and come right back up, shoulder blades should stay up and you should focus on lifting yourself by pulling your navel into your spine. *keep moving with as little rest as possible Friday - Legs, Chest, and Shoulders: 3 x 12-20 Barbell Squats *superset with 3 x 12-20 steep incline chest press 3 x 12-20 Deadlifts *superset with  3 x 12-20 front raises using dumbbells (squeeze the dumbbells together while you are lifting up to shoulder height with arms straight but not locked out) 3 x 12-20 lying or cable hamstring curls  *superset with 3 x 12-20 bench press (ladies may skip this one and include hip abductions or a band crab walk where you put a resistance band around your ankles and keep pressure on the band while side stepping with soft knees while squeezing the glutes/outer hip - do both directions)  3 x 12-20 leg extensions  *superset with 3 x 12-20 bent arm side lateral raises (same movement as Monday) I hope that you enjoy the workouts and I can't wait to hear about your results!           ...

Why MORE Exercise Sucks for Weight Loss

Today I want to talk about something that gets me all fired up.. It's hearing people (who are trying to lose weight) say, 'I'm going to add in more exercise'. It makes me cringe because I know the viscous cycle that they are getting into, I've been there and I just don't want to see anyone go down this path! Now I know you must be thinking, 'she's a personal trainer, and writes workout programs, how can she say this?' Before you go getting all excited, please know that I am by no means saying that exercise is BAD because nothing could be further from the truth. I love a great workout, and exercise has so many amazing benefits and I do think that everyone should be moving their body in some way daily. I definitely need my exercise to keep my sanity, to keep my organs healthy, and to build the muscle that helps to keep me strong and 'lifted' as I age. Resistance training has CHANGED my shape and is the only thing that can outside of cosmetic surgery. BUT when we rely solely on exercise to keep us in shape or for weight loss without knowing how to manage our weight with nutrition at some point we are going to have to learn to. Consistently making good nutritional choices can free us from the yo-yo, the over-exercising, the up and down 'diet' mentality. Gosh that word makes me cringe too...who really wants to be on a 'diet'? I want to share my experience with you. I always get nervous when sharing my 'stuff' like this as it makes me feel so vulnerable, but if anyone can see themselves in my journey and learn from what I went through then it's all worth sharing. About 20 years ago I used to run or walk as much as I could, I mean A LOT, I'd even walk to get my groceries. I also worked out once or twice a day. As you know, I was so 'routine'. Sure I was very fit but I was also REALLY hungry, perpetually tired, and a total victim of my routine. I could keep running for what seemed like forever and then run stairs at the end. I could also sit and easily eat an entire bag of pretzels, and I'm not talking the mini bags! I came to realize that everything that I was doing was making me so hungry that I had very little self control and my life became a cycle of exercise and binge eating. After over-eating I'd exercise again, to get rid of those calories and the guilt that went along with them. I knew little about nutrition, sometimes I'd have popcorn or pretzels for dinner (no lie!), nutrient density was so foreign to me. I stayed in reasonably good shape because even though I wasn't eating well I was exercising so much that it was balancing out but I wasn't happy, my lifestyle was taking it's toll on my body and my mind. I'm so lucky that I didn't suffer an injury that forced me to stop and learn to manage my mindset and nutrition in a hurry. When I started to slow down I did start to notice that when I had a day that I wasn't as active that I also wasn't as hungry...hmmm... So the journey to moderation began.. My managed my crazy schedule when I was single and childless BUT did I want to stay single to be able to stick to my routine? Nope. Did I want to have a family? Yep. I knew that I wasn't going to be able to keep up the intensity of activity I was doing. It was only when I learned what I should be eating and started to consistently eat well and exercise in moderation that I saw some great changes in my physique, my body was responding! I was starting to TRUST myself, I became able to listen to my hunger cues and know when I was truly hungry. Now when I go on holidays or miss a workout I don't get stressed out about it because I know that I am not going to balloon up overnight because I don't eat with abandon. I TRUST myself. I'm not saying that it came easy, it's been a process for me and those days where I do over-indulge I have to remind myself that I can choose to get back to making great nutritional choices but that restricting food or punishing myself with more exercise is not the answer. These days if I want pretzels, popcorn, ice cream, or a glass of wine, I have it but I don't need to finish the bag, tub, or bottle, I have freed myself from this all or nothing prison. I will however have a massive salad with my glass of wine 😉 I know that moderation may not sound all that slick but let me promise you that it is, it really is. A good question to ask is, could I manage my weight without exercise if I had to? Does my experience sound familiar to you? Do you struggle to find the balance? I'd love to hear from you! ...

Small Deposits = Big Payoffs

One of my clients and her husband decided to give up their daily coffee shop habit and invested that money into improving their health.  Her and her hubby both visited the coffee shop 1-2 times a day for coffee's and muffins so their savings really added up to make a significant contribution to their fitness training and healthy eats.  What seemed like small expenditures really added up in dollars and in benefits to their health!  Sometimes it's hard to see the little bits add up unless we track them.  These two put their $$ in a jar every time they would have hit up the coffee shop to see what they ended up with.  The same way giving up these $5 coffee's added up, 10 minutes of exercise can really add up as well if it's all the time that you've got.  If we have a limited amount of time to get something done, it's easy to procrastinate the time away thinking that we haven't enough to make an impact. Even a 10 minute workout counts, 2 great meals out of 3 count.   There was a time (pre-children!) that I walked everywhere.  I parked farther, I took the stairs at work and although I wan't working out any more than I am now I was definitely leaner.  Now that I have kids, the thought of either a) carrying them or b) encouraging tired kiddos to keep up has made parking farther or walking instead of taking the car less of a priority which is something that I need to work on.  Carrying a 40lb kiddo is a great workout in itself, it all adds up 😉 My daughters and I have been having a stretch & story session before bed where we would lie on the mat on the floor to read and we would stretch (straddle stretch, splits etc) while reading/listening.  I am amazed at how much more open my hamstrings are just from that 10 minute stretch session. I sleep better too! On the flip side, the same way that small deposits can add up, small constant withdrawals can also derail us. What I mean is this, do you ever find yourself 'grazing' all day long?  It's easy to feel like you've not eaten much when in reality you've eaten quite a bit.  Little nibbles can definitely add up.  Grazing can keep us from feeling satisfied so we may also eat a larger meal to fill us  up.  I am definitely guilty of being a grazer on the weekend.  I find that when I'm not in my regular routine that it's easy to pick at things all day.  I try to catch myself and sit down and eat a meal instead of ravaging through the cupboards.  If you are more of a 'grazer', choosing higher fiber foods (think veggies and fruits!) will fill you up more than grabbing crackers or other unfulfilling snacks.  It's also really easy to let a few nuts add up to a lot.  I love nuts as a snack but if you head back to the cupboard for endless handfuls, they really add up. It's difficult to see the small deposits and withdrawals but when we do track them we can really see how quickly they can add up.  What deposits are you putting into your health and are there more that you can add? Short on time?  Get yourself my 20 Minutes to Trim  program where the workouts and the meals are quick!         ...

Ain’t Got Time for Meditation?

You know that thing that happens where you have an inkling that you need to bring something into your life because the universe starts beating it into your head by having it show up everywhere? That's what happened to me with meditation. It seemed that every book I read or podcast that I listened to had some happy, successful person that I admired touting how meditation changed their lives. I knew that it was something that I had to try. I was one of those people that didn't have time to meditate. I was obviously making excuses as I was more afraid to try it than anything else. I thought that meditation was for the people that were more than knee deep into spiritually, the people that walked really slowly, the people that seemed to be so at peace, the people that wore prayer beads, you know the people that I mean...the people that never seem to be in a rush, the peaceful people. This was so not me.... BUT I decided to try it anyhow. I Googled how you should sit, what you should think, you name it, I had to research every aspect of meditating which was controlling the process so much so that it became exactly the opposite of what it should be. So I started out with a few guided meditations. Since I was listening to someone tell me what to focus on I didn't have to be completely alone with my own crazy busy mind. I am happy to report that I've graduated to the point where I actually like being alone with my own mind more than listening to guided meditations. I find that I can make each meditation exactly what I need it to be. If I'm feeling the controlling Tania creeping in, I choose a mantra about letting go, if I'm feeling anxious then I'll choose a mantra about slowing down and following my breath, you get the picture. So what have I found the benefits of meditation to be for me? Here's a list that although not exhaustive will give you an idea of why I will always keep meditation as an important part of my day. Meditation allows me to: * relax my mind (it's not as crazy a place as it used to be!) * clear my mind to allow for creative space, I come up with ideas and inspiration * be a more relaxed, positive person * stop rushing * be more present * make decisions * be more patient * see things more clearly (uncluttered) * visualize the things that I want to accomplish * focus on what is important * enjoy the journey Knowing that stress and inflammation are the root causes of many diseases and that meditation is so good at relieving stress and at teaching us to slow down, the health benefits are becoming more and more commonly known and accepted. Here are my top tips for how to start your meditation practice: 1) Let go of any preconceived notions - Let go of everything that you think that meditation should be and make it your own. Don't worry about how to sit or what to think, just be comfortable. 2) Don't judge! Acknowledge the thoughts that come into your mind, don't judge them. We all have thoughts come into our minds, both positive and negative. If a thought comes into your mind, acknowledge it and let it float away. Some ideas on how to let go of your thoughts are; imagine your thought in a cloud, see it float in and then drift away into the sky. Maybe you see your thought as a leaf and you witness it drop into a stream and float away. 3) Focus on your breath - if your mind is circling like crazy then focus on your inhales and exhales, making them slow and deep. 4) Find your mantra - I find that if I repeat a mantra that addresses something that has come up for me that I need to settle, having a mantra can help me to get past what is troubling me and allow me to focus. Some examples that I use are: let it go, slow down, just breath, I am enough, etc. 5) Don't time it - sometimes I'm just finally finding a clearing in my mind when a timer goes off which is completely annoying. If you can, find a time to meditate where you aren't in a hurry. If you are pressed for time, even a few minutes is better than nothing and there are lots of meditation apps that will play music and will allow you to choose your time and will play a chime at the end. Hang out as long as you can, until you feel that your mind has cleared and that you've become peaceful. 6) Make it routine - like anything if you schedule it in and make it part of your routine, it's more likely to actually happen. I have found that my best sleep comes post meditation, sometimes I even fall asleep during! I hope that these tips help you to bring meditation and it's benefits into your own life if you haven't already. If meditation is already a staple in your life, I'd love to hear what works for you and why you love it! ...

4 Quick’n Healthy Munchies for your Munchkins

  I don't know about you but trying to come up with new & exciting (yet healthy) snacks and meals that our girls will actually eat can be a real chore!  Here are 4 tried & tested quick and healthy tidbits to try with your little ones.   1) Frozen Pops!  When temperatures rise we all love something to cool us off and these frozen pops seem decadent but couldn't be easier.  You literally just puree the fruit in a Nutri-bullet or food processor and pour it in a good quality (look for BPA free!) plastic mold.  The girls faves are watermelon, pineapple, and peach!  If you do pineapple or peach you'll want to add about the same amount of water as fruit to the mix or it won't go far and will be really sweet!  I always serve these pops with a side of some kind of raw nut to slow the absorption of the fructose and to keep them satisfied a little longer.  The good news is that if you're pureeing the whole fruit then the kids are getting all of the good fibre from the fruit as well and not just the sugar like in a lot of fruit juices.  Adding a bit of plain Greek yogurt to the puree if your kiddos like it can add protein and up the satiety factor as well.  2) Trail Mix!  Any time that my kiddos get to make their snacks themselves they are so much more inclined to eat them.  I pour out tiny bowls of little bits and get them to put together their own trail mix.  The rules are that they need to choose at least two nuts to go along with the rest.  Some of the add-ins of choice for us are: raisins, dried mango, flaked unsweetened coconut, pistachios (sometimes I shell them but they also like to do this until they find a hard one!), raw walnuts, almonds, cashews, Mary's Gone Crackers Twigs, a few extra dark chocolate chips,  and a low sugar cereal (our rule is that the cereal must contain 5g of sugar or less).  We love a lot of the Nature's Path Cereals around here.   3) Fruit & Veggie Skewers!  Again, anything that my kids get to build always gets way more buy in so letting the girls skewer the fruit and veggies themselves makes them so much more likely to eat them.  Tomatoes, peppers, pineapple, melons, sweet onions, squash, and berries are all great choices.  If you're doing just a fruit skewer then either a plain Greek yogurt or greek yogurt pureed with some berries or other fruit makes a great dip.  For veggies, hummus always makes this a well rounded snack by adding protein and healthy fat.       4) Banilla Yogurt!   This is so yummy that it's not even funny, the girls are lucky if they get any of this mix by the time I'm finished making it!  You simply puree (love my Nutri-bullet!) 1/2 tbsp of real vanilla and a banana and stir it into some plain, greek yogurt.  If your kiddos like greek yogurt a touch sweeter then you can use honey or real maple syrup or stevia to sweeten it up a bit.  Adding unsweetened shredded coconut on top adds a great nutty flavor.  If you use frozen bananas (2-3) and thick Greek yogurt (like Fage) or less of a thinner brand you can make this more like an ice cream texture.      I hope that you have success with these snacks, they're great for kids of any age 😉   ...

Health Fanatic Online Programs Launch!!!!!!!!!

I am so super excited to be sharing my online programs with you that I can hardly contain myself.  I have been working my tail off on these programs and my new website offerings and to see it coming to fruition is just awesome.  I can't wait to start working with you to get you to your goals.   I have two programs currently available; Tania's 20 Minutes to Trim, and Tania's 12 Week Total Health Transformation.  The registration will be opening tonight for both programs, just click on the link above to purchase and you will receive your package and waiver to sign by digital download.  The registration for Tania's 20 Minutes to Trim will be ongoing as it is a download without a support forum so you can start right away and repeat the week as many times as you like. The registration for Tania's 12 Week Total Health Transformation will start now and on May 11th, the 12 weeks of additional information and support in the forum will start.  After May 11th you will be emailing me bi-weekly your status updates and progress pictures.  You can still join after May 11th although I will stop posting on the forum on August 11th. Tania's 20 Minutes to Trim is a kickstart to either get you back or started to incorporating exercise and good nutritional choices into your life.  It's an easy to follow, quick, week long nutrition and exercise plan with video demonstrations. Tania's 12 Week Total Health Transformation includes a nutrition guide with macronutrient swaps, sample menus, my tips, life building activities, and the online support community where you can ask questions, share recipes, and mindset and motivation tidbits.  I will be posting additional recipes, time saving tips, workouts with video demonstrations, and I will help to guide you through the life building activities that are included in your program.  I will also be receiving your bi-weeky check-ins and progress pictures so that I can provide additional assistance where needed. If you sign up in the next week I am offering a 10% discount on the 12 Week Total Health Transformation with the code, HEALTHFANATIC10. I encourage you to share this post with your friends as it would be so great to build a great community to support us in building our best lives and healthiest bodies! If you have any questions about the programs please post them in the comments below.  See you in the forum!   **Please note that I wanted to start Tania's 12 Week Total Health Transformation before the new website is up so that we get moving before summer is upon us so the support forum will be a locked Facebook page until the website is ready to go.  If you are not on Facebook you will have to sign up to be a member of the forum. ...

Living in the Grey

I know that it doesn't sound very exciting as I like to consider myself a blue sky, sunshine kind of gal but I have to say that now a days I live in the grey.  What I mean is, I don't swing up and down in life, I am definitely not an all or nothing person.  Back when I was more enamored by competing in figure competitions my coaches would have been horrified to know that I would still have a bite of dessert, a splash of wine, or a maki roll when I went out for sushi and that I never ever did more than a half hour of cardio a day.  I remember trying to go back to do evening cardio on the stair monster and feeling like the walking dead, like a complete zombie, it just wasn't for me.  It wasn't that I didn't want to commit or succeed at it, I just knew myself enough to know that if I was doing all that cardio and limiting what I could and couldn't eat was setting me up for failure.  I hear people talk about *bingeing* and I know that I would be a binger too if restricted everything in my life and worked myself into complete exhaustion. I love good quality food.  What I mean is real, whole food.  I also love chocolate, wine, cereal, pizza, and a zillion other things (except fast food burgers much to my husbands dismay).  I love to taste and am grateful that I'm ok with tasting little bites without the need to polish off the whole lot (ok, most of the time).  Some like to call how I live 'flexible dieting' however hating the word *diet* (I never ever want to feel like I'm on one!) I like to call it flexible living or living in moderation.  I know that tilapia and asparagus don't  have magic power and I definitely don't find eating cold food out of Tupperware appetizing. I have never been quite muscular enough to compete in figure and have come to complete peace with it, in fact I can't even say that I have even the smallest bit of desire to get any bigger.  I wasn't always this way, I longed for those capped shoulders, the nicely rounded yet smooth hamstrings, and the washboard abs.  I've definitely changed in this regard.  I love to feel strong and to be able to move my furniture without a man around.  I love being able to swing my kids in the air and chase them in the playground.  I'm glad that I can schlep the pile of school and grocery bags in one trip.  Am I ok with the fact that I don't have competition lean legs or that I don't have ripped abs?  Yes.  I'm even coming to peace with the fact that the skin on my stomach may just always be loose, that I'll always have stretch marks, and that my expression lines will keep getting deeper. When I go out to eat I really try not to worry about whether the vegetables or meat are organic or hormone free.  If the menu says that they are, bonus(!) and I'll definitely choose them.  I wasn't always this way and for someone who calls herself the Health Fanatic I guess that I'm not that Fanatical 😉 The older I get the more I realize that filling myself with worry about every little thing causes my body more stress than just eating the non-organic food.  That stressing about a missed workout is doing me more harm than missing it.  That having a glass of wine or meal out with a friend or my husband, or sharing dessert with my kids is pure bliss and I wouldn't trade it for the world.  Not to say that you'll find me sitting on the couch eating bon bons as I love a good workout and to challenge myself to be better in many ways, however, accepting that I like my life in shades of grey (no pun intended lol) is one of the ways.   ...

Do Something that Scares You

We've all heard it before...do something that scares you.  It's definitely not easy as our minds can so easily get the best of us.  Often times we talk ourselves out of getting out there and taking action.  The feeling of accomplishment that comes from doing something that scares you is awesome and can lead to positive momentum in all areas of life. Anyone that knows me knows that I don't run regularly.  I like a nice 5km distance but for the last 10 years anything longer than that scares me.  Yes, scares me.  Let me explain.  It's not that I don't think that I have it in me but my mind starts to make up every excuse why I shouldn't...excess pounding on my joints, losing precious muscle mass, the weather might be crap etc.  I get anxious and run to the bathroom about 100 times... Well this morning I laced up my sneakers and ran a 10km for Lindos (the grocery store that I frequent where the staff give great customer service and kindly try to accommodate my many requests to bring in healthier products) and I made it and it feels good!  Doing something that takes you outside of your comfort zone is always good.  When you feel like you shouldn't, you usually should 🙂 Thanks to my running partners Neil and John for listening to my chattiness along the way... ...

Self Forgiveness is So Powerful

Learning how to forgive myself has been life changing for me.  I am a people pleaser and can easily become completely guilt ridden when I can't do everything for everyone.  I'm slowly learning to say no more often and to spend my time doing the things that are most important to me.  I'm not saying that it's been easy, it's been a focussed effort every day to forgive myself when I can't get to everything and sometimes it feels really selfish.  I'm learning that when I am happy, everyone's happy.  If I'm run ragged and stressed then everyone in our house is stressed and negative because of my energy.   The New Year seems to be a time when we add more to-do's to our list and that list can seem insurmountable.  I wanted to do a quick VLOG for you guys on letting go of the all or nothing attitude. Instead of trying to do everything 100%, focus on scheduling little time slots to fit in the things that are important to you.  I believe that this is so key as time is so precious and we can't get more of it so we need to work smarter, not longer. I hope that you enjoy it and always love your feedback! Your friend, Tania ...