Lil Miss Fitness Freak

"And though she be but little, she is fierce"


Vlog #4 Not Eating Enough & Stalled Weight Loss (Tanya’s Question)

Hey Friends!

Thanks for all the love and questions in response to yesterday’s post! I’m so happy that you liked the workout and I hope to hear from anyone who decides to try it out. I actually ran another HIIT session with those guys again this morning and boy was it a good and sweaty one. I had them legit dripping sweat in a mere 40 minutes. Aw yeah! I shall hopefully post it up soon as another possible one to try out. :-)

Anyways, I wanted to drop in real quick to answer a question that was posted yesterday in my comments section. Specifically Tanya’s question…

So, I’ve been a big fan of your blog and read it religiously everyday :)
Since you’re a personal trainer you can probably answer my question. So, I run like 50 miles a week. and do weights about twice a week
and throw in yoga about once and twice as well. I eat about 1,300-1,400 calories a day, mostly organic, and I have not lost a pound and
it’s been 4 months. Could it be something else you think?

First off, thanks Tanya for the blog love! It always makes me happy to hear that my readers enjoy my rambles. I have answered your question in the vlog link I posted below and I hope that you (and others!) can find some use in my response. :-)

VLOG5coverHave a great Tuesday friends!



My First Teaching Experience HIIT Style

Hey Friends!

So before I start apologizing for not being on zee blog this whole week and a half, I need to stop myself.


Because this blog is for my enjoyment and shouldn’t be a stressful thing. Life things (ie. workoholic with some social trips thrown in) gets in the way sometimes and I just don’t have the time to sit down and write no matter how much I’m missing it. I didn’t even have the time to nap once last week! #SleepDeprivationIsNotCool.

For realz.


I thought about how I could squeeze in writing when I got home. I pondered and worried a bit about the possibility that my readers would be slightly annoyed with my lack of postage.

***PLEASE NOTE no one said anything to make me feel that way! ***

The truth is though…

When I arrived home at 10pm after an 8 hour day at work (plus training myself and clients in the mornings before work), blogging was the last thing on my mind. I just wanted to eat and go to sleep.

That’s just the way it is sometimes and I always have to keep in mind that this blog is my hobby, not my job. I hope you amazing peeps are okay with that.

I will say that what I AM sorry about is that I haven’t been able to answer your lovely questions in a timely fashion, but I guess that’s just the way it is right now and soon enough posts will be posted. A relaxed blogger is a happy and more in depth and helpful blogger amirite?

Just as a lil conclusion though, I want you guys to know that I love you guys and I love blogging and getting these posts up. I also love hearing from you guys so please don’t take this lil stretch of commentary as me saying I don’t enjoy it because it’s quite the contrary. I just don’t want to get into the mindset that I HAVE TO post “#” many times per week or feel guilty if I’m too busy.

So now, for today’s post I did want to share with you a lil workout I threw together for my first teaching-like experience at the Pulse last Thursday!

You see, as of recently, some of my professional spotters (the community guys, the ‘mature men’ HA not students) do a lil TRX (suspension training) workout with a fellow trainer at the Pulse on Thursday mornings. Unfortunately last week, Cayley had to cover an open support staff shift and so I offered to step in a do a lil HIIT circuit workout with them instead to make up for no TRX.

Keep in mind that I have never taught a class before.

But I was super excited to try!

And because they are amazing, they welcomed the idea! So bright and early Thursday morning (my rest day), we got to it and I had them sweatin just a tad. ;-)

Before I continue I do want to address a few things (QUICKLY I promise) about HIIT as I have been asked a few questions about it.

1. What is HIIT?

High Intensity Interval Training. Fast bouts of back to back exercises (your working set) followed by a short rest period (or recovery period) and then you repeat the cycle. So where you’re used to resting between every single exercise or, if doing a cardiovascular based workout, doing it at all the same pace or steady state, in HIIT, you complete your entire working before breaking for a short time.

2. What are the benefits of HIIT style training?

  • Doing this type of training keeps you in the sweet spot of building lean muscle (because you are working in an anaerobic state like you would weight training) while also placing you in the fat burning state as well (because of the cardiovascular and explosive components).
  • Builds cardiovascular endurance.
  • Keeps your heart rate up throughout your entire workout, forcing you to not take too lengthy of a rest period between sets.
  • Makes your workout quick and efficient. Most HIIT sessions can be done in less than 45 minutes. If it’s sprint intervals, less than 30 minutes even.
  • Like weight training (and UNLIKE regular steady state cardio) you have the benefit of burning calories hours after you complete your workout thanks to EPOC (excess post exercise oxygen consumption). Put simply, EPOC is just the process of your body trying to regain homeostasis after working in an anaerobic (lacking oxygen) state and helps with overall recovery.
  • It’s fun! It’s probably something you haven’t don’t much of and because you can keep the sessions fresh and full of new things it not only keeps you challenged, but it also keeps you mentally engaged.

One thing that I particularly like about HIIT style training is that you are able to build lean muscle while still getting some cardiovascular training in. With something like steady state cardio, you may actually be whittling away your hard earned muscle and thus, in the long run, you are working against yourself. Check out some of the video logs posted by Layne Norton which discuss his stance AGAINST excessive steady state cardio and the negative effects on your metabolism when overly used.

3. If you are doing a HIIT form of endurance training, how is it different from regular ol’ cardio?

As mentioned, one of the main differences is the oxygen state you are in. For steady state, due to adaptation to the same speed and effort, you are generally working in an aerobic (or with oxygen) state. On the contrary, HIIT pushes the body into an anaerobic state, just like weight training does, where you are working in a state of oxygen deprivation. In addition, as mentioned above, because of that difference in states, one of the big benefits is the “afterburn” effect that EPOC has with HIIT. Steady state cardio does not continue to burn calories following the completion of your workout, or at least, not that many.

4. How often can I do HIIT?

It is not recommended to do more than 2-3 sessions of HIIT per week because it can be quite rough on your central nervous system. When done right they are very challenging and can do great things for shaping the body BUT if done in excess, your body can become stressed and release too much cortisol (stress hormone that has been contributed to weight gain particularly in the abdominal area) as a result.

5. What is a good HIIT workout?

There are so many options! You can do exercise based and/or cardio focused types of HIIT workouts which give you great variety to work with. These are not technical terms, but what I mean is that a cardio focus could be one involving sprints or hill climbs in intervals. On the other hand, you may choose to do back to back exercises that are no focused on running or cardio per say, like the workout I will provide below.

There are many great examples of various types of HIIT workouts online to check out. Sites like, other fitness/nutrition sites and even pinterest can get you going to do some exploring.

So with that all said and done, here was the workout I threw together for the guys.

HIIT backgroundI tweaked our exact workout just a touch (broke the mountain climbers into two 30 second segments rather than one 1 minute one as suggested by one of my HIIT’ers) but the total time worked is the same. We did a total of 3 rounds of this and rested in between for about 90 seconds.

Our equipment:

  • TRX: For the rows and squats (for balance and support)
  • Dumbbells: For the dumbbell swings
  • Platform: For any modification that were required. For example, to make the side planks more challenging, put your feet up on the platform. OR to make the burpees less challenging, do the jump part then do the pushup on the platform.

That is what we used but you don’t need any of those things if you don’t have them or don’t want to use them. That is yet another great thing about these types of workouts is the customization that can be done! For example:

  1. We had the ability to use the TRX for the rows and squats but you don’t need it if you don’t have one available to you. Instead you can do jump squats (or start with body weight squats if pop or jump ones are too much for you right now) and instead of the inverted rows we did, you can simply do regular rows using a dumbbell (or if at home, use a heavier can or weight you have lying around. Just make it challenging enough).
  2. On that note, use what you have on hand if you’re doing this at home. Don’t have dumbbells? Use heavy cans or another heavy object that you can hold onto.
  3. Customize for your skill level at the time. Can’t do a full burpee? Do the part you can do and adjust the other part. Perhaps it’s the full push up you can’t do. So, do the first part then when you come down to the pushup, drop to your knees for half (or girlie as they are called) pushups. Can’t do pop squats for a minute yet? That’s okay! Do as many as possible then complete the minute without the pop or jump, just the squat.

Overall, the main thing here is to push yourself to give your maximal effort. Go as fast and hard as you can (with proper form maintained!) for each of the exercises until the timer tells you to switch or you won’t get the full benefit. You should be out of breathe at the end of each working set.

One last comment is the dumbbell swing.

Here’s an article and video of what that is. Click HERE

If you have a kettlebell available to you those are ideal, but dumbbells will work just fine. The point is that you should be NOT swinging your arms but instead driving that weight up using your glutes, hamstrings and hips. We are not working shoulders here, we are wanting to get some good hip action and glute poppin going mmmmkay? Also, ensure your shoulders are rolled back and your core is engaged (‘sucked in’) the entire time to protect your back.

Well I hope that ties up a few loose ends about HIIT training and I hope that someone will benefit from the workout I provided. Have a great Monday evening friends!

Oh and btw, I got my tat done today! Exciting! I will post up some pictures once the swelling is down a bit more as it’s a wee bit angry right now.



Put Your Hands Up Friends…WIAW

Hey Friends!

I have collected quite the collection of foooooodzzz and different fooooooooddz as of late so I wanted to hop into Jen’s What I Ate Wednesday Part-ay once again after a lil break (as I didn’t really have anything interesting to show you guys). So behold summer lovin!

Peas and Crayons

Don’t forget to check out the other foodies blogs here and what they’re nommin on during this first full week of July. This is my favourite month…I’m biased though what can I say. ;-) Other July babies out there?

Who thinks that grilled food is just better food?

20140707-214618-78378130.jpgGrilled chicken and veggie kabob with a homemade marinade (mustard, ACV, dried basil and garlic powder, lemon juice and chili flakes) over a lovely rainbow veggie filled salad that I made up. I also threw some avocado in there.

What did I ask for for my pre-birthday family dinner? Grilled food of course! Kabobs are love….

20140707-214617-78377578.jpgDemolished! Now that’s a #SaladBeast on a plate if I ever saw one. Delish!

Speaking of birthdays…You like my Mom’s attempt at making a ’23′ candle with only one of the numbers?


I laughed a lil. She makes me smile. Thanks Mom for putting some humour into my birthday cake. You all know I’m not one for cake, so this Apple Factory (only the best local market/grocer ever!) lemon meringue pie was enjoyed by my parents and Nana and Papa. No, the marshmallow ’3′ candle was not devoured. Guess there are no marshmallow addicts in my family.

My first time having grilled trout

20140707-214616-78376539.jpgGrilled rainbow trout with the usual sides.

I died a lil and went to heaven. Those charred edges. That smokey flavour. As if I couldn’t love that fish any more…I was slapped in the face with a #Foodgasm. Maybe I need to try grilled kabocha…hmmmmm. Wheels turnin now.

Grilled food is even good as leftovers

20140707-214616-78376231.jpgBrown jasmine rice. Leftover chicken and veggie kebob and extra sauteed mushrooms and asparagus.

And you know that I’m never the biggest fan of eating leftover veggies. I lik’em fresh but theses were yummy and fueled me for the 2 hour dentist appointment. Why 2 hours? I got a whitening treatment  on top of a cleaning all thanks to Dad. :-D

Grilled food is so good that I try to recreate them at home…

20140707-214423-78263364.jpgStuffed grilled pesto chicken breast with grilled veggies and brown jasmine Thai rice.

George Foreman Grill…you did a prettty good job. Craving satisfied. Oh and that stuffed chicken


Mmmmmm…Twas good and all grill-y :-D

The stuffed chicken was simply a grilled piece of chicken that I seasoned with my homemade basil pesto and chili flakes butterflied open and stuffed with sauteed spinach, mushrooms, onion and some of my new sundried tomatoes that work brought in. They are unsalted, unsulphured and organic. So amazing because now I can eat sundried tomatoes guilt free once again! :-D Orasta is the brand if anyone is interested.

Speaking of grilled food, who else thinks of burgers right off the bat when the word ‘grill’ comes up?

Ahhh..I have been burger lovin let me tell you. Unfortunately a true char grilled burger has yet to grace these lips but Foreman steps in once again to try to help me out.

20140614-215939-79179437.jpgGrilled homemade chipotle spiced (Mrs. Dash) turkey burger served in a bibb lettuce ‘bun’ and loaded up with sauteed mushrooms, onion and spinach, avocado, basil pesto, sprouts and tons of mustard. Grilled asparagus and roasted kabocha on the side.

I believe this is the burger I made for Chaunda and I the first time she came over. She’s in competition prep mode (ie diet restrictions) for an up and coming fitness competition so her plate was lil less squashy and more non-starchy vegetabley. I would die without my kabocha…just sayin. She loved the burger though. Messy but delicious for the win!

20140614-215938-79178825.jpgZee close up. Mmmmmm…

Round 2 was made for Andre and myself. I got a leftover kangaroo burger that pulled out of the freezer from Father’s day (I simply stuck the rest of the uncooked patties in the freezer for a later craving and just took one out to thaw a wee bit. Cooked up just the same as when they were fresh), while Andre got served a lamb burger, made up Greek style with his own homemade tzatziki sauce by moi, from Agram Meats. I picked up those lamb patties way back when my Dad and I first took a trip into that place and I drooled over all of their local(!!!) exotic meats.

20140707-214420-78260886.jpgSame toppings as the first burger, but I added my new lovely unsalted, unsulphured Orasta sundried tomatoes to it. Did I overdo it on the sauteed goodies? Perhaps. Did they then end up all over my face. Perhaps. So worth the mess though…

20140707-214420-78260168.jpgUmmm…I digress

I served our collard wrapped burgers (these leaves hold up better than bib lettuce I found) with a nice big salad and roasted butternut squash fries for me and me only as Andre is on a no-carb kick lately. Geesh, people and their carbs. I simply roasted the fries in some olive oil, garlic and chili powder, paprika and cracked black pepper, turned once and let then them go until I liked their doneness. Still working on getting them crispy…That is a special talent right there as apparently all I ever do is get them nice and caramelized and shrunken. #BittyFries.

Who craves more salads in the summer months?

I love salad all year round BUT I especially love a good #SaladBeast in the summer. I still have my roasted or grilled goodies in them though because that’s just how I roll, but the overall veggie lovin is real!

One other thing…

I have pretty much conquered that ‘no fruit ever unless it’s around your workout’ rule I had in my head lately with throwing various fruits into my salads. Yay me! Even if it’s a 1/4 of an apple here, or 2 ounces of a peach there, it’s still progress!

Verdict on fruit in salads…

YUM! I never thought I would like it, but I really do. So far I have had apples

20140622-200031-72031632.jpgSaladbeast with all the normal saladbeast mixins (raosted asparagus, acorn squash, mushrooms, and onions, raw peppers and cucumber, sprouts) sauteed chicken breast meat, avocado and RED DELICIOUS APPLE

I have tried both red delicious and granny smith apples. Overall, I can’t pick a favourite as I enjoyed both the tartness (granny) and sweetness (red delicious) that they brought. That crunch though! Oh and that lighting at home is perfection! #OnlyAFoodBloggerWouldUnderstand.

I have also tried peaches!

20140707-214421-78261523.jpgSaladbeast with the same fixins as before BUT no avocado as I used fattier fish (halibut and the last of my leftover grilled rainbow trout..sadface) with peaches.

Sorry for the messy bowl, but I had to snap a picture because I think this was my favourite of the fruits I have tried. It was super ripe and sweet, but still has some crunch left. Perfection! I need to try grilling those peaches I think!

This was also my breakfast…err brunch… on my legit birthday (July 3rd). I made myself sleep in hardcore that morning after closing two nights in a row at work with their new later hours with no naps in between. It twas a good decision. Oh and the extra sleep was a good choice too. ;-)

What fruit should I try next? I’m thinking a berry of some kind. Bloobs maybe?


Who still cares about my proatmeal porn?

Either way, I had to share at least one bowl of hot goodnessyes hot, I don’t do cold oats. Even when I need a fan blowing on me to eat them because it’s 30 degrees outside, ma oats NEED TO BE HOT!

20140707-214425-78265084.jpgPreworkout Proats made with chia seeds, egg whites, gluten free oats, unsweetened almond milk and Cellucor cookie dough whey. Topped with melted nanner, raw cacao nibs, 1/4 of a cookie dough Questbar (some baked, some raw pieces) and 1/2 a tbsp of raw Artisana cashew butter.

I wanted to share this bowl because it was using one of my new Cellucor flavours…

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough!

I was more excited about this one than the flavour ended up tasting. It’s very subtle. Lil disappointed, but it’s still good! The other flavour though, Chocolate Raspberry Truffle, blew my mind. The flavour is so prominent that I can smell the whey through it’s bag the second I walk in the house. My new favourite!

Well that’s it friends! Hope you’re enjoying some local summer goodies!

Do you like fruit in salads? What’s your favourite?

Favourite summer fruit and veggie? Cherries/peaches and rainbow sweet taters I would say.

Favourite thing to grill? What do you  want to try grilled? I really want to try grilling one of my homemade burgers…or squash ;-)



Meet Maggie and Q&A3 Healthy BBQ + Moderation

Hey Friends!

Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian readers!

I hope you enjoyed your holiday off :-D

ALSO a huge Happy Birthday to my favourite ball of fluff!

20140701-114106-42066549.jpgMAGGIE MAE :-D

So much love for this lil one <3

I am now back at home in Hamilton but I wanted to let you guys meet Lil Miss Maggie on her day of birth before I left once again. Sooo she joined me yesterday to answer two reader questions:

  1. Healthy BBQ’s in general
  2. How to eat in moderation when at a party- Rachel

Hope you enjoy!

Click on the screen shot to take you to the link on my YouTube channel

Screen shot 2014-07-01 at 10.58.10 AM

As I mentioned in the video, I have explored some of my favourite blogs, along with various other Pinterest links, to find all sorts of BBQ recipes for you all regardless of your dietary needs. Hope they spark some inspiration for your next grill session. Simply click on the pictures for the links :-)

To my Carnivores…

Want a more creative appetizer or small bite?

red onions stuffed with grilled steak, spinach, and feta

Red Onions Stuffed w/ Grilled Steak, Spinach and Feta

Summer is just not summer without kebabs!

Image for Cilantro-and-Lime Marinated Chicken Fajita Kebabs
Cilantro-And-Lime Marinated Chicken Fajita Kebabs.

Whoever said chicken is boring has never experienced the offspring of pesto and chicken…

pesto chickenTomato Pesto Spinach Stuffed Grilled Chicken w/ Chunky Sauce and Crumbled Lemon Herb Feta

For my Veggies…

Rustic Grilled Peaches PizzaRustic Grilled Peaches Pizza

Take your salad to the next level of flavour…

Grilled Vegetable Salad3Grilled Vegetable Salad. Add some quinoa in there for some protein OR if you do dairy you can grill up some feta and throw that into the salad for a salty kick.

For My Vegans…

Stuffed Portabella Pizza in a Cashew Basil Cheese Sauce.

Just cuz you’re vegan doesn’t mean I’m gunna give you just veggies…

BBQ Lentil Veggie Burger w/ Mango Carrot Slaw. A sinful picture if I ever saw one.


Feelin burgers? Who needs buns when you can have sweet taters? So much better in my opinion. :-)

BBQ Turkey & Sweet Potato Sliders [sweet potato slices are the buns, love it!] via Fit Men Cook -- this is SERIOUSLY the most creative recipe blog for healthy eatingBBQ Turkey and Sweet Potato Sliders. NOTE that these are done in the oven for this recipe but feel free to grill them up (including the sweet potatoes!).

Tacos…on the Barby?

Fish Tacos Recipe With Broccoli Slaw and Lime Cream Sauce. Feel free to swap out the mayo and use all yogurt. Also, grilled romaine or regular lettuce wraps would also work if gluten free or corn wraps aren’t your thing.

Paleo Lovin….

 Paleo BBQ Sauce | by Sonia! The Healthy FoodiePaleo Approved BBQ Sauce.

Sweet potatoes make for great boats…

BBQ Chicken Sweet Potato Skins | Our Paleo Life
BBQ Chicken Sweet Potato Skins

Sizzling Desserts…

Everything in moderation and who says you can’t take a treat to the grill too?

Cake on the Barby!

Banana Brownie Skillet

Banana Brownie Skillet Cake. ONE NOTE HERE. Their ‘sugar substitute’ is Splenda. Please don’t use that (poison I tell you!). Use Stevia or if you’re okay with more natural, unrefined sugars, use that.

Forget the marshmallows, your S’mores just went bananas…

Grilled Banana S’mores. If you are looking for a healthier, homemade version of graham crackers check out Katie’s genius recipe. Stay away from the agave though and choose a different liquid sweetener. 

No recipe needed for this ooey-gooey, fruity treat…

Take a banana, slice’er open (not all the way through!) and stuff with whatever you please. Wrap in tin foil and pop on the grill until nice and gooey and the skin is black. If you’re feeling crazy, throw some ice cream on their or coconut whipped cream for a dairy free and paleo option.

#Foodporn done and I am out. :-)

Have a great night and enjoy some fireworks!

Favourite thing to grill up?

Ever had dessert on the BBQ?

On a scale of 1-10, just how cute is my precious Maggie? ;-)



A Late Spill It, Sundays #9…5 Facts About…

Hey Friends!

So it’s the long weekend and I totally thought that I would be postin like a fiend

Oh well, I have reasons I swear!

It’s my Birfday!!!

Okay well not yet. July 3rd is the actual day I popped into this world (sorry if that sounds crude..) but we are celebrating it today with the famjam. It will be a very small gathering, only Nana and Papa along with my parents and Miss Maggie, but family time is family time and I cherish every moment of it.

Aside from the birthday shenanigans, it has been quite the busy long weekend thus far and it’s not ready to relax yet. A quick recap

Thursday I hosted my weekly dinner get together with Chaunda BUT this time, another fellow trainer friend, Gen, from the Pulse also joined in on our girls nite. I kept the dinner more simple as I had worked that morning (and closed the night before…zzzzzzz) but yummy nonetheless.

20140629-074914-28154802.jpgMy Plate: Baked pesto Arctic Char. Roasted rosemary butternut squash. Sauteed greens and grilled summer veggies.

Chaunda was super excited that she could actually fit some squash (although a lot less than my plate) into her macros….I think it made her night. #CompetitionPrepProblems.

Friday was more chill. I was supposed to train a client after my own training but his flight home got cancelled due to Mr. President having to take up all of the airspace apparently. So I got my hair did :-D

Does anyone else have an issue with NOT touching your hair afterwards? I mean, how do they get your hair so soft? HOW?!?

Saturday I gym’ed it up as usual before being whisked away by my Mom and Maggie back home. After belting it out in the car all the way home, we dropped Maggie off and ran out the door to run some errands before heading to Sideshow for a quick lil consult

20140629-074914-28154082.jpgJust so you know, those are my ribs. My Dad asked me if it was my leg….

You like? It’s only a stencil but will be final in a few weeks :-) I absolutely love it! The quotation is something that has really stuck with me over the recent years and the idea of getting it tatted to me has been floating around for some time. The biggest thing holding me back, really, was the fact that I wanted it to be on my ribs which is said to be one of the most painful areas to get tattooed. Let’s not think about that shall we.

Calling all volunteers to have their hand squeezed off when I get it done…

Yesterday, as I mentioned, my Nana and Papa arrived in the afternoon for my pre-birthday celebrations and a nice family dinner. I was excited to see them and to have some nice grilled food for our dinna.

In the summer it is only proper to #GrillAllTheThings!

Of course, there was no relaxing before then…

GTL’in happened first. Okay, maybe we will call it GPC’in

Gym. Pedi’s. Cookin.

20140629-160116-57676044.jpg20140629-160116-57676771.jpgMother-daughter bonding style. Thanks for the free mani-pedi Mom and Dad. :-D

Finally, today my Dad and I hit the road nice and early (8am) to check out Brescia’s campus before I finally make my decision as to where I want to go. Wish me luck that I pick the right one. I hate making big life decisions…I think too much.  Anyone else have the same issue?

Tomorrow is homeward bound but not before I have to get my teeth attacked cleaned. I really dislike the dentist. I have never had a cavity (knock on wood) but they are just uncomfortable appointments ya know?

So how was that for a long winded Happy Sunday Monday? :-D

….this was supposed to be done yesterday. Sooowwwyyy.

So let me ask you friends, how has your Monday been treating you?

In other news, I thought Spill It, Sundays was dunzo for the next few weeks but instead Mr. Arman surprised me yesterday morning with a brand new post! Of course I had to jump in and join in on the fun as I tell you 5 facts (x5) about MOI. I know that all you want is to know even more about me right? HA! :-P

The Big Man's World

Although it’s now Monday and I couldn’t actually join in on the link up party, it’s better late than never and I liked this theme soo without further ado, let the “5 Facts About…” begin.

Five facts about….your family!

  1. We are a super close knit trio. I have never been embarrassed to tell my parents anything or to go home just to chill with them for the weekend. No shame, I’m blessed that I have such a great relationship with them.
  2. We have ALWAYS had a dog. ALWAYS. This is why its tough to not have a dog with me 24/7 because I have never had that before going off to McMaster.
  3. We are not exotic. Although I have been asked by many if I have South American or European roots (it’s that golden complexion I sport), my family really just comes from Canada. Boooorrring I know.
  4. We love out traditions. Although we don’t do this anymore, for every one of my Mom’s birthday’s we used to sit down in the basement and have our “picnics” and watch a movie or three together. You know that this was a very long time ago as our picnic platters were all of those fried pork and chicken bites, crinkle fries, chicken fingers and potstickas. And yes I used to eat and thoroughly that crap. Every Christmas my Mom and I love doing pies together and the main tree and we all always have to watch the real Grinch and National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. We go to the states every year to go shopping at least once. We just enjoy repeating things in this famjam.
  5. People have arguments as to which parent I look more like. I have the expressions of my Mom but the darker complexion of my Dad. The juries still in a deadlock on that one.


Five facts about…your childhood!

  1. I got lost on my way home on my first day of Kindergarten when I was coming home on the bus. My Dad was in full panic mode…YOU LOST MY CHILD! I was found at a different stop, not to worry but as you can imagine, my dad still has nightmares.
  2. I loved, and still do love, waterparks BUT hated roller coasters. I would go down all of the slides (except that “drop to your death” looking slide), ride the lazy river for days and splash around in the wave pool until I came out like a prune, but ask me to go on a roller coaster other than the Scooby-Doo coaster in Wonderland and I would be running for the hills.
  3. Every other year my parents and I would go on a trip. Disney happened a few times (always Florida though, I still want to make it Cali one day soon!), a cruise, Six Flags and NYC as the final family voyage.
  4. I have never broken a bone. Knock on wood.
  5. Although I haven’t broken or sprained anything, I bruised my tailbone the first time I skiied. I felt like my butt was broken after doing a full 180 flip in the air and landing on my butt. Why must skies come together and cross like that!

Five facts about…you + school!

  1.  I have always been the smartie pants. Everyone always considered me to the one of the ‘smart ones’ because I did well in school throughout my entire career in zee education system. What they don’t know if that I had to work my ass off for what I got. I’m not one of those people who can do nothing and get straight A’s. I had to work for it. In my opinion, I have always been too stressed out about getting the best grades that I could, but at the time all I knew was that the next part of my journey would require me to be tip top in the grades department. Oh the pressure education puts on us kiddos.
  2. While everyone generally loved it, I HATED drama class. Like actually dreaded it and got nervous about it every week. I have mentioned that I have gotten better with public speaking and such, but back in middle and high school, I was absolutely terrified of being up on stage, even in groups. You know that whole saying “the more you do it, the easier it gets?” NOT TRUE! At least in my case, I just got more anxious. Glad that’s over.
  3. English was my worst subject (aside from drama :-P). I had to work really hard just to get my 80% in that class every year. I’m not a writer and apparently my englirsh is not good enough for 90′s.
  4. I regret not doing more in the my first year. I had the best roomies, apartment style residence and amazing social opportunities but I chose to opt out of a lot of them because either I was too shy to do it OR I was stressing over getting my work done. Live and you learn. I was more relaxed as I went through.
  5. I switched my major after first year. This is no surprise, as most people switch at least once. I entered McMaster in the Environmental Sciences Hnrs. BSc. program and ended up in Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour come second year when I declared my major. I loved environmental stuff and when I came into University I thought that it would be a great major (also because I was told that my 86% average wouldn’t get me into the Life Sciences program…liars.). After taking psych as one of my 1st year electives, I began to wonder if that was more my path than enviro-sci. I didn’t want to work in the field as my career, which is really what you would end up doing with enviro unless politics was your game and the idea of helping others (specifically in the clinical psych department) began to intrigue me. So I followed through, went with psych, graduated and now I’m moving on to Dietetics. Last switch I promise. ;-)

I miss my psych girls. <3

Five facts + travel!

  1. Unfortunately I haven’t traveled much. My parents are not very big on traveling BUT as I said earlier, we used to go on family trips every other year when I was younger.
  2. None of these aforementioned places were exotic though, of all the places in the world I would love to see Australia, Hawaii and Europe would be amazing too! Oh and some beautiful island in the Caribbean like Turks and Caicos or the Bahamas because I really just want to swim with the dolphins :-D
  3. I have gone on a cruise but I don’t think I was old enough to appreciate it. I was 12 and it was from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to San Juan, St, Maarten and St. Thomas. Beautiful islands and the excursions (for the most part…I wasn’t into island shopping at that age) were super fun and I wish we could have done more but there were uber $$$
  4. I really want to go on a girls vacation. I have never done that and really really want to soon!
  5. If I do go somewhere I don’t go to relax. I go to explore! Must see and do as much as possible in those days. Yes I love beaches but you will not see me lying on one. Instead, I will be learning to surf. Or, if in Hawaii, I would be setting my sights on those volcanoes. Exploring the rainforest and the waterfalls (and hopefully not get eaten by a massive snake) in the Amazon Rainforest sounds amazing to me. So much to see and do, why would someone want to lay on a beach all day?

Soon Mr. Dolphin. Soon!

Five facts about…your eating style!

  1. Of all of the things that I was allergic to (and grew out of now) during my childhood, peanut butter really is the only thing that I’m head over heels in love with. I still have the issue with dairy, so I couldn’t add ice cream to that list. But yeah, chocolate, hotdogs, cake, etc, etc I really have had no interest in.
  2. If I had to live off of only 5 foods for the rest of my life I would be just peachy. Give me crunchy peanut butter, kabocha squash, oatmeal, quest bars and some fish and I would be just fine.
  3. I’m really picky about presentation of my food and how it’s prepared. It must be a food blogger thing. If I’m gunna cook something for myself, it’s gunna be damn good and just the way I envisioned it.
  4. I hate melon. Melon of any kind is just not something I enjoy. I get random cravings for watermelon sometimes but it has to be in the peak condition. Cantaloupe, honeydew, etc, nope I just don’t like’em.
  5. I get excited about new ways of making something or make up a new dream dish…but I always end up eating my normal favourites. Creature of habit problems I tell you. Do you ever think it would be amazing to try something but are worried you wouldn’t enjoy it as much as that old, always delicious, favourite?

Mmmmmm…maybe not so much…

20140630-215558-78958042.jpgGRILLED TROUT! Much better ;-)

Now your turn my friends, 5 things about you




Skillet Cookies

Hey Friends,

So I have been on quite the recipe hiatus for a while now and I apologize for not posting as many as I should be given that I’m a foodie blogger.

It’s not that I haven’t been making new things, because I have, it’s more that I just haven’t gotten around to posting them due to tackling other blog topics that I have really wanted to talk about. In addition to that, I still need to get over the ‘this doesn’t really seem like a recipe to me” thing and just post how I do stuff. Sometimes what seems silly to post to me, may actually be quite helpful to someone else. That thing may just be very much enjoyed by that person too, so why am I holding them back based on the thought that just throwing something together doesn’t make for a ‘good enough’ recipe post?

No more I tell you, no more!

Now that I have set a goal to post a recipe every Sunday, a weekly recipe (at least!) you will get! And, since it’s still Sunday, why don’t we throw one up right nowskillet cookiesIf I’m not mistaken, I have talked about these and given a rough recipe already, but I wanted them to have a more formal post as I have better pictures now.

These guys are really nothing new. They have been baked for own nommin pleasure as well as for others. They actually date back all the way to my fourth year. Yes a whole two years ago. #FoodBloggerFail.

They started off with me needing an easy way to transport my pre-workout proats to my early morning thesis class before I hit the gym. I also happened to find a recipe for these oatmeal skillet cookies (Ashley at Edible Perspective is a genius!**) around the same time and thought they looked very similar to the ingredients I used in my proats. Sooo I then decided to throw my normal oats in a pan and see how that went…

20140622-202619-73579889.jpgTurns out, they worked quite well. Again, Ashley you are amazing!

**Oh and when I linked those these Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Pancakes from The Minimalist Baker in my earlier mentioning of this recipe that was incorrect. Ashely’s oatmeal skillet cake-cookies were was my original inspiration, but those pancakes are definitely on my list of to-try recipes! **

Make sure you go check out Ashley’s version of these super yummy (and guilt free!) cookies, but for now, I will leave you with my creation.

One final note I want to make is that these cookies are very customizable. The pictures and recipe I’m about to give here are for the ones I ate on my rest day so they are my Zoat’s version. I have made these for others (many others recently and gotten rave reviews! See end of the post) in various flavours and ingredient quantities and they still work out perfectly. To be honest, it’s all about the consistency of the batter with these guys. All you need is a thick, cookie dough like batter in the end before ‘fryin’ them up and you are good to go. What goes in that batter is really up to you for the most part.

I hope you enjoy!

Zoaty Oatmeal Skillet Cookies

Gluten-Free and can be made Dairy-free if a vegan protein is used.

Makes about 3 cookies.

In a bowl combine the following:

  • 2 egg whites or 1/4 cup of liquid egg whites (can use a whole egg)
  • 1/3 cup of unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1/3 of a grated zucchini (or about 70-80g)
  • 1/2 tbsp-1 tbsp of nut butter ***I omitted this from this particular batch as I wanted it on top***

Mix until you get all of the nut butter well distributed.

Than add start adding your dry right into the wet. See how easy, you don’t even need to mix dry and wet separately!

  • 1/2 cup gluten free oats
  • 1/4- 1/3 scoop of protein powder, flavour or choice (more or less to get the thicker batter)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds (or flax meal)
  • Cinnamon and extracts to taste

Mix these all together until they form a THICK batter. This is not a pourable batter, it should be needing to be scooped onto the pan.

Next fold in any extra add-ins. Fruit chunks, nuts, seeds, etc. I used 4 grams of raw cacao nibs.

Let the batter sit for a minute while you preheat your sprayed or lightly oils pan. Ensure that your pan is no higher than medium low heat (about half) or your cookies will burn on the outside before fulling cooking on the inside. You also want to ensure that your pan is sprayed enough or they will stick. I used a non-stick spray and 1/2 a tsp of coconut oil (for the crispier top).

Plop your batter into the pan and form your cookies. Let those cook for about 3 minutes or so, or until the bottom is golden brown and then carefully flip them over to let there other side cook. Remember that although you are cooking them like pancakes, these are not the same consistency. They are much denser and should therefore be a bit easier to flip.

Once your skillet cookies are done you can do a number of things with them….

You can take them as is and eat them like a cookie.


You can be super cool like me and stack them up

Throw some homemade strawberry rhubarb compote (just simmered strawberries and rhubarb chunks!) on top…

Plus a blob of much need Chocolate Nuts n’More peanut butter cuz no breakfast is complete without nut butter…

And a final sh**storm dusting of cinnamon on them …

And call them pancakes.

20140622-202617-73577726.jpgAnd then proceed to destroy said stack and spread out the toppings on each pancake like a pro.

Once the picture is all said an done, this is how pancakes are supposed to be eaten right? #FoodBloggerConfessions


Can you tell what order I eat them in lol. First one has no nut butter, the last has the biggest blob. I have peanut butter issues.

Good stuff, good stuff.

Final Macros for my version (with 1/2 tbsp Nuts n’More peanut butter and 1/2 tsp coconut oil for frying):

Cals: 358 Carbs: 42g Fats: 11g Protein: 24g Sugar: 6g Fiber: 10g

Go and make them. You won’t regret it! They are a totally wholesome and healthy cookie that you can feel great about eating! You can also make a big batch of them, freeze’em and pull them out for perfect on-the-go breakfasts or snacks. :-)

Before I leave, I will give you some of the NON ZUCCHINI versions I have made for my gym peeps (aka my famous lineup of spotters ;-)). Here are their favourites:

***Please not that for each of these versions, the batter I have given above is too wet as fruit purees listed below are wetter than the zucchini. To compensate, you can add anything from more oats to coconut flour to more chia/flax to psyllium husk to get the consistency thicker. I simply bumped up the whey to 1/2 a scoop and added one of the aforementioned ingredients if needed***

For Dean: Oatmeal Raisin. 2 tbsp of unsweetened apple sauce gets added to the wet along with vanilla and butter extract (optional) and a tbsp of almond butter. The whey is either cinnamon swirl (cellucor) or vanilla. Some raisins are then folded in before cooking.

For Vince: Chocolate Peanut Butter. 1/4-1/3 of a banana, melted first before combining with the wet. 1-2 tbsp plain green yogurt was also added to the wet as he likes more protein. Finally, 1 tbsp of crunchy peanut butter was thoroughly mixed with the wet. Peanut Butter Marshmallow whey (cellucor) OR 2 tbsp peanut flour. Extra Add ins: Peanut pieces and unsweetened carob chips.

For Tony or the White Chocolate Raspberry Questbar-aholic: White Chocolate Cake Batter. 2 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce was added to the batter along with 1 tbsp coconut butter. Cor-Fetti whey was used (Cellucor), which can be subbed for vanilla. Extra Add-ins: 1/4 of a white chocolate raspberry questbar.

Final bonus and common favourite. Peanut Butter and Jelly. 2 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce gets added to the wet. 2 tbsp Peanut flour is added instead of whey. Extra Add-ins: Diced strawberries (or berry or berry combo of choice) and chopped peanuts.

Let me know what your favourite cookie combination is!

What are your thoughts…Better as a cookie or as a stack of ‘cakes?





Spill It, Sundays #8

Hey Friends!

For those of you who care…. :-P

I’m sorry I have been a bit silent on the blog front this week. There has been a lot of things going on. I worked a close then open shift Wed-Thursday at GoodnessMe! and than I had a nice dinner with a friend of mine, Chaunda

20140622-200032-72032774.jpgPesto tossed zoodles with veggies, shrimpies and a poached egg on top. Yeah…a poached egg. Oh you fancy huh?

Holler at fitting her bikini prep macros in style once again this week! :-D Also can I get some props for making not one BUT TWO runny poached eggs. Sayyy what? Things are getting real. I’m liking this weekly girls night we got going on. It allows for my creativity to come out.

On the creativity topic…I’m in love with my spiralizer. Once out of the box….it’s never going back!

And then I went home for the weekend.

20140622-200717-72437174.jpgSorry I’m Not Sorry…you will always get pictures of Maggie Mae cuz she’s my fav.

Quite the whirlwind of the latter part of my week but a good one for sure.

So with that all being said, lets cap off the weekend with our normal Sunday linkup party courtesy of Arman over at The Big Mans World.

The Big Man's World

Thanks again for hosting AND doing the questions this week. I will say that I’m going to miss this lil party while it goes on a break for a wee bit but I’m excited to see what new endeavors you speak of! Perhaps as an ode to you, I will see if I can get back on my recipe game by setting a goal to post a new recipe each Sunday in place of this usual shindig.

How does that sound?

 Onward we go with The Lasts

The last….person you spoke to?

My Dad as he drove me back to Hamilton after being home for the weekend.

20140622-200031-72031174.jpg She goes where eva he goes. It’s cute. #PreciousCargo

The last…sweet food you ate?

My cheat meal last night.

20140622-200031-72031981.jpgMighta over done’er a wee bit. Geeze tummy stretch once and a while would ya?

Various flavas of coconut ice cream with extra peanut butter (crunchy and toffee) and white chocolate raspberry Questbar puffs. It was good but my stomach was hating me this morning…ugh

Sorry Dean, it messed me up this time. No ice cream for a wee bit now. :-(

The last…savoury food you ate?

My dinner BUT I didn’t snap that so I will say my breakfast…eerr brunch…11:30am? this morning. I had been craving this salad allll day yesterday and all morning and although it probably didn’t help my tummy, it was good. I even tried putting a lil bit of apple in it because it was something I saw on IG and wanted to try it out.

20140622-200031-72031632.jpgWorth the veggie-bloat food baby? Yup.

Normally I wouldn’t do fruit in salads because I tend to only have fruit at breakfast or around workouts BUT it was my first meal of the day so I figured it would be okay. Yes, yell at the sugar phobe about how fruit is natural and I shouldn’t be afraid to eat it BUT I like to have my sugars when my body needs them. What I will say is that I shouldn’t feel bad about 2 ounces of apple…

Workin on that.

The last…blog you visited?

The awesome host of this link up party, Mr. Arman, to check out the questions posted for today’s post

The last…blog you commented on?

Technically my own as I answered some reader questions :-)

The last…recipe you tried out?

My skillet cookies…which I actually have yet to post. Ooopps, will get on that. People have been asking.

20140622-200033-72033425.jpgI had them one morning last week (Thursday before my 8:30am open) in a zoaty fashion. They are quite good so I will definitely have to post that up for you guys! Easy peasy cookies, made in 10 minutes. What could be better?

The last…item you pinned on Pinterest?

This Low Carb Flax Pizza Crust from Nutty About Health

Paleo Flax Crust Pizza Recipe VIA Nutty About Health

I liked it because I have been searching for a paleo crust that actually looks as if you can pick it up for a while now and this one looks fab! Will needs to add some Lil Miss Fitness Freak flare to this one and try it out!

The last…TV show you watched?

You Gotta Eat Here! on the food network as they were featuring one of my favourite spots on Locke…


Chucks Burger Bar. Check out this link for the video and see what I always drool over.

The last…trip you took?

What counts as a ‘trip’?

Perhaps the trip my Dad and I took to Whole Foods on the way back to Hamilton?

…Or perhaps the trip to Guelph University yesterday to see the campus to help in where I want to go for school (yes I got accepted there too!) would be more acceptable as an answer for my last ‘trip.’

I will say it’s a very pretty campus. Very green.

The last…time you spent money and on what?

About 2 hours ago on a lovely piece of steelhead trout at Fortinos for that dinna I didn’t take a picture of… :-D

Lies. It probably wasn’t a happy trout when I ated it…

I’m sure you will survive though as you have seen umpteen fish pictures in my posts.

Wow, for a short-ish post I actually gave you a pretty good recap of my entire weekend.

Who woulda thunk it?Short can tell a lot. :-D

Happy Sunday evening friends!

Ever had Zoodles?

What’s your favourite kind of cookie? Although I can’t say I really eat cookies, if I did…two words. Peanut. Butter. Anything with peanut butter.

Last sweet food you ate?



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