My summer focus. Take a look at my daily favourites.

Pregnancy and Excerise

Good morning healthy people!

For all of you who have been following my pregnancy adventures, I have a new video to share! I am almost half way through my pregnancy and starting to feel a lot better. I have also started to get back into my regular work out. I wanted to share with you guys my pregnancy work out routine and why its so important. Link to video below.

Love you guys x

Have you lost weight? 5 motivators to get your butt in the gym!

Have you lost weight? Who doesn’t love those 4 little letters strung together? Here are 5 tips to help motivate you to get your butt in the gym!

1). Visualization

How good does it feel to be just finishing a work out and walking towards the change rooms? How about that feeling when you get home after a gangster work out and hit the coach? Visualize those feelings and use that visualization as a motivator to get you to the gym. Picture yourself leaving the gym. Picture how you will feel driving home from the gym. Picture how good you will feel once the workout is done! keeping visualizing till you get up and get to the gym!

2). Podcasts

The gym and podcasts are a perfect match! Plus podcasts are great motivator to get you in the gym. Find a few great podcasst and make them your gym only podcasts. Sometimes I go to the gym just to have an excuse to listen to some of my favorite podcast and not feel like I am being unproductive.

Ps If you have not discovered podcasts you are seriously missing out. Get on that! Here are few of my favorites- for crying out loud, Alison Rosen, fat burning man, the CrabFeast and Jillian Michaels.

3). New Gear

Stop wearing torn up ghetto outfits to the gym and get yourself into something cute! I know its superficial but cute workout clothes just make going to the gym so much better. And there is nothing else to say about it.

4). Classes

Committing to a weekly class is great way to get you in the gym on a regular basis. First of all itโ€™s planned and organized, so all you have to do is show up. Secondly when you begin to attend a class on the regular, you will begin to see the same people and a little community forms. The friends you start to bond with helps pull you into the gym weekly. Plus the social pressure of knowing that everyone will know that you skipped out is extra motivation. Lastly the instructor usually gets to know everyone in the class. This means when you skip a class the instructor usually asks about why you missed the class. No one wants to be in the teacherโ€™s bad books!

5). Mommy Time

Let your kids screaming, running and destroying your house be your motivation to get to the gym. Hitting the gym is the perfect escape. Even if its just a 30 minute walk on the trend mill a gym. The number one requirement for all fit moms is a gym with child care. If you have found one ย yet this is a must. When contemplating should I pack up all the kids and go to the gym or just skip? Think of how the day can just drag and how much better you will feel knowing that you got your work out in and a break from sitting in the house.

How Many Times a Week Should I Workout?

It is the new year and many people have deemed 2014 the year to clean up their act in regards to health and fitness. For today’s post I wanted to share my thoughts on setting priorities when it comes to eating healthy, workout and creating an all around healthy lifestyle.

How many times a week should I exercise in order to lose weight? This is a question Anna and I hear a lot. When it comes to weight loss people place so much focus on hitting the gym. Every year around this time the gym becomes over crowded with people trying to achieve their weight loss goals by adopting new fitness routines. However people are so busy focusing on working out and they forget about eating right.

In my life I have experienced the best result in regards to feeling great and hitting my ideal weight when I have been eating right, surrounding myself with other like-minded people and working out. I had periods in my life where I was running up to an hour a day, but was 10- 15 pounds overweight. During this period I was also in the service industry and surrounded by unhealthy food, drink and people.ย ย I was running in the mornings, lunching on restaurant food in the afternoons and drinking in the evenings. Trust that the morning run did not balance out the rest of the dayโ€™s bad behavior.

Have you ever eaten a whole pizza and made the justification of I deserve it because I went to the gym today?

This is the type of think that prevents us from hitting our fitness goals!

Think of the French, the French are adored and looked up to for their ability to eat great food and stay slim. I have been to France many times and let me tell you the French are not known for hitting the gym 7 days a week. The one thing they do have down is eating small amounts of food and eating real food. This example helps prove that fitness is not the be all end all when it comes to losing and maintaining a healthly weight.

When it comes to weight loss and getting fit it requires a lifestyle change. In my life I have seen the best results when I focus first on defining my purpose, than eating clean, than surrounding myself with healthy people and lastly ensuring I am being physically active.

Clear Purpose-ย First you need to have a clear purpose for why you want to loss weight and create a healthy lifestyle.ย Is your purpose toย feel comfortable in your clothes or do you want to feel strong and fit when playing with your kids or do you have chronic illness in which you are trying to reduce the painful symptoms by creating a healthy lifestyle?

Clearly defining your purpose is important because it can act as a north star for when you feel lost or defeated.ย ย You will have weak moments where you say why I am I doing this? I want to eating fried foods! Thatโ€™s when you go back to your purpose to remind yourself why you are making the choices you are.

Diet-ย Once you have a clear purpose as to why you want to live a healthy lifestyle, itโ€™s time to start living that life! Next step stock the fridge and cupboards with good stuff! You donโ€™t have to place yourself on a strict calorie counting diet, just follow basics. The first rule of thumb with healthy eating- eat real food! Cut out all processed junk. Secondly, add as many fruits and vegetables to your diet as possible. Thirdly eliminate or greatly reduce all animal products. Read more about healthy eating here –ย

Community-ย Next you have to have people around you that support and love you for what you are doing. Not everyone in your life might agree or want the same things but support you in what your doing. You have to set yourself up in a healthy environment with healthy people. Drinking buddies who get mad that you no longer want to get wasted and eat nachos, maybe they need to be pushed to the side for a while. Environment and surroundings is so important. If your hanging out with people who eat junk all the time, itโ€™s hard to not fall back into those habits. One of the reasons Anna and I are so close is because we inspire each other to always be eating healthy, working out and striving for all around health and wellness. Plus as you can in the picture above it’s more fun to go for a hike or do anything active with a friend or sibling. Here is link to another article that speaks about the power of your friends- ย

Fitness-ย Lastly hitting the gym. By putting this last I do not want people to think itโ€™s not important- it is! However in terms of weight loss it really is the last piece of the puzzle. And to answer the original question how many times should I work out in a week. Working out 4 days a week is a great too place to be. I strive to get the gym 4 days a week and I happy with that. I am also all about maximizing my time at the gym because I am so busy. I am constantly altering and adjusting my fitness routines to get the best bang for my buck. Like I said before I used to run a lot and I ย always carried a little extra weight. I eventually realized that heavy cardio is not a good fit for my body. One because it made me feel starving afterwards and I felt like I needed to eat the worldโ€™s supply of carbs to feel satisfied. Secondly, it was really hard on my body. I would get really sore knees and feet. I have adjusted now and do mostly weights and yoga as my main work routines, with a little cardio mixed in throughout the week. I have experienced amazing results with this change, but it things stall again I will adjust as necessary.ย ย If youโ€™re not seeing results, switch it up. Donโ€™t become compliance with your fitness routine because your results will suffer.

How to lose weight, get that promotion or achieve any other goal you may have!

Action steps for setting and achieving any goal

As you guys now I have recently returned to work and I am now switching into business mode and preparing to go full force with my career.

In the spirit of new beginnings, I thought I would share with you guys the framework I use for goal setting. Itโ€™s something I picked up in grad school and I love it because itโ€™s simple and straight forward.

This framework is not exclusively for career goals it could be used for health, fitness or personal goals. I used this framework when I set my goal to lose the 55 pounds I gained while pregnant with Sadie. It helped me successfully achieve my weight loss goal. The proof is in the pictures above!

So letโ€™s get into it. The framework is called SMART which is an acronym for; specific, measurable, action, realistic and time bound. Get a piece of paper and pen and we can run through the framework together.

Specific-ย First step write down your goal and make sure it is specific and clear. Stay far away from general or ambiguous goals. A goal such as โ€œbe healthierโ€ is too vague, while a goal like ย โ€œlose twenty poundsโ€ is clear and well defined.

Measurable-ย The next step is finding a way to measure your goal. Measuring your progress works as a way to ensure that youโ€™re on track. Write down all the ways you could measure your goal. Than chose the metric that would work best and I like to refer to these as my performance metrics. ย An example of a performance metric for the example given above could be a weekly weight in.

Action-ย Next up,ย brain storming what needs to be done to achieve your goal. Write a list of the action points you will need to take to achieve your goal. An example of an action point using the weight loss example could be going to the gym 4 days a week.

Realistic-ย After you have defined your goal and made your list of performance metrics and action points review your work and ask yourself whether it is realistic or not.ย You want your goal to be somewhat of a challenge and stretch but not completely out of the realm of possibility.

Time bound-ย Lastly create a ย deadline for your goal.ย You can also create a timeline that includes a number of mini deadlines if ย if itโ€™s needed. For example if youโ€™re trying to lose weight you could have a mini deadlines for pounds loss each week and an overall total amount of pounds loss deadline.

Hope this framework helps. Its not ground breaking but its easy to use and more importantly works…so why recreate the wheel right?

Remember every big success is achieved one small step at time!

Want weight loss and fitness results that last? Do this!

Happy Monday friends,
I am entering week two of my “detox”. The reason I put detox in quotes is because the Drag and Drop Detoxย that my sister and I designed is not a quick fix. Each different aspect of the program is designed to be manageable long term and as a personal goal I intend to keep these habits long term. Since cutting back/giving up caffeine (my biggest vice), ย I have had several times where I have ask myself “why I am doing this? I like coffee”. But the point is not to do and consume things simply because you like them. We need to look at things in regards of how they will make us feel long term. I like the taste of coffee, but to be honest it is bad for my skin and gives me heartburn during my almost daily spin class. All signs are pointing to coffee not working for me, but I so often forget make excuses and go back to it. I have been doing a lot of meditation and reflection on my need or instinct to consume things my body does not need and the answer is always deeper. AKA: Boredom, procrastination, maybe a little self sabotage? Lately, a few of my friends have mentioned doing the cabbage soup diet, no carb diet and the master cleanse detox. I understand the temptation of losing 10 pounds in 5 days, but I think we need to get really clear about what our ultimate goals are. What do we really want long term? How do we want to look and feel 1, 3, 5 years from now? Bringing my focus back to my long term goals has really helped not only stick to healthy habits, but embrace and enjoy them. Feeling optimal and full of life breathing energy is an amazing reward for a few sacrifices.

Here are 3 questions to ask yourself not only when you are setting goals, but when you are trying to stick to them:

1- Is this nurturing to my body? When doing a so called “detox” or “cleanse, ask yourself it is nurturing your body or are you just jumping into a program for external results. Your body naturally knows how to detox itself, make sure that whatever you put into your body is helping your body’s natural detoxification process. For examples animal products live in the colon for sometime 2 weeks! Fruits and vegetables usually pass through within 24 hours. Before consuming something, ask yourself if it is strengthening your body or taking away from through the body. Try not to dehydrate, stress the digestive system or drain the body of minerals.

2- Is this nurturing my soul? Emotional health is the foundation of all aspects of health. What is the point of looking great on the outside of you feel bad on the inside? This is why meditation is an important aspect of your daily practice. Also make sure your goals are aligned with your emotional well-being. Do not set a goal to run a marathon if running hurts your knees, it will be too emotionally and physically draining. This does not mean our goals have to be easy, they will be hard and challenging. But they should align with your big picture, what do you want your ideal life to look like long term. Find the balance between being challenged and being compromised.

3- I am giving back to the universe? WHOA! Hippie Alert! I know this sounds super out there to some, but it is the Most Important question. A better planet starts inside of all of us. We all need to do our part to put out positive and giving energy. The healthier and happier you are, the more you will be able to create that same feeling in others. Be the positive change you would like to see in the world, you may not feel the results right away but being consistent and committed will create momentum and eventually a landslide of joy, health and wellness. xoxo Anna.

Why I love Mondays! And you should too. 3 tips to start your week.

Once a party girl always a party girl. The old me made an appearance this summer.
Once a party girl always a party girl. The old me made an appearance this summer.

Happy Monday,
If you are in my Monday morning spin class you know I love Mondays. No, I am not one of those spandex wearing, high energy, early morning-loving freaks…oh wait, yes I am! Before you tell me to got to hell, hear me out. I was not always like this and those who have known me for many years still sometimes forget that this once party-girl is now an early morning, meditating , green shake drinker (come on guys its been like 10 years!). The truth is I am glad that I wasn’t always the healthiest person, because it makes me savour every morning that I wake up feeling great. I have always been into fitness and I have been a personal trainer since 2001, but I was also a bartender for many years, its how I paid off my student loan. I have always walked a fine line between good health and self destruction, I like to walk on the wild side. Now at the age of 32 and the mother of 2 small kids I am really starting to feel it all come together. By nature I am a thrill seeker, I get bored easily and cannot sit still. This energy has always served me well in work and fitness, but has also been a source of trouble when it comes to other aspects of my life. When I was single and living downtown, I was working in the gym and bartending. I couldn’t get it straight, I was always tired and drained. Nothing was adding up and my health was suffering from lack of sleep, too much partying and spiritual vacancy. Today I make a conscious decision to better my mind and body, it takes focus and daily dedication. Do I slip up…For Sure, but things are moving in the right direction and so far mondays are awesome. Check out my tips below.

1-Hydrate Sunday night. On the weekends we tend to overdo it with and/or wine and monday morning we wake up dehydrated and drained. Treat your body and skin to some major hydration on sunday night. I like to drink peppermint tea on sunday nights. It is hydrating and also really good for digestion. Also, make sure to detoxify and hydrate your skin. I sometimes do a mud mask and I always use a good plant based moisturizer.

2-Schedule your week. Use your agenda to take a good look at the week ahead and make sure that you are organized and ready to go. There is nothing more anxiety provoking then being unorganized, trust me. Take a look at the whats coming up and make sure you are ready, set to go!

3-Set a health and wellness goal for the week. Get excited to create the life and health you want. On sunday night write down a couple positive intentions for the week and then schedule it in. Wake up 10 minutes early and do a meditation (I do mine in bed) or commit to a healthy plant based breakfast or smoothie.

Good luck beautiful people. This is going to be an awesome week! xoxo Anna.

5 ways to fit in a workout: Tips for stay at home moms.

My fitness power posse. A combined 50 pounds of pure baby. Try pushing that up hill ๐Ÿ˜‰

1- Find a gym with childcare. This has been my saving grace! I go to the gym 5- 6 days a week at 9am and the best part is I get to bring the kids. I workout and the kids play with their friends, perfect! Although I am a fitness instruction, you don’t have to be an instructor to take advantage of this feature and it is so worth it, gyms with childcare are priceless in my opinion. Mom gets to workout, shower, talk to ADULTS and the kids learn to mingle and play with others. In my case my children and I have met many great friends this way and it truly is my sanity, even if you just relax in the changing room the whole time…oh wait we are talking physical fitness here, right?

2- Fitness DVDs. Tracey Anderson’s fitness DVDs whipped my butt, hips and abs back into shape after my first pregnancy. At the time I was living outside of the city and it was January, my newborn son and I spent a lot of time at home alone. I found the DVDs so convenient and effective. Try: Jillian Michaels, Yogalosophy, Tracey Anderson. I bought all my DVDs on Amazon.

3-Find a fitness power posse. I have a group of active moms in my life and we try to hook up at the gym. They often come to my fitness classes and a couple of them actually volunteer in the childcare centre in exchange for a free membership. No gym membership? No problem. I know a lot of women who aren’t “gym people”. Stroller fit is a great way to get a workout without having to go to the gym or enlist childcare. If there ins’t a stroller fit class in your area, make up your own or just find a fellow walking ย buddy. Throw in a couple squats, lunges and pushups and you are golden. Lastly, ย Play dates can be active (with toddlers they always are!), go to the park, a walk in the forest or call it an adventure, just get out and start moving…preferably uphill ๐Ÿ˜‰

4- Schedule it in. ย I am obsessed with using a good old fashioned day planner (not the calendar on your iPhone). If I don’t write something down, it most likely doesn’t happen and studies show that people who write things down have a much higher success rate. Write down when you intend to exercise, it can be as simple as writing down that you will do crunches during all the commercial breaks while watching American Idol. It is possible to find time to exercise you just need to take a good hard look at how you spend your time. Fit it in when you can, you will be happy you took that first step towards your fitness goals.

5- Get Real. ย Sorry if this seems harsh…its the personal trainer in me. Plus, it is a personal mantra of mine. The truth is there are one million reasons why as busy moms we can’t exercise, but there is no better time then today. Life probably won’t get less busy anytime soon. The “get real” advice is similar to the Nike “Just do it” mantra. Just jump in and start getting it done. The first step is the hardest, so stop cheating yourself by waiting for the perfect time. In the spirit of being present, the only moment is right now.

I Hope this helps! The old cliche that you have to take care of yourself to take care of others is true! xoxo Anna.

Jillian Michael’s BodyShred Success!


Happy Monday!
My favourite day of the week. I am serious… That is how wild my kids are without the structure of a week day. Anyway, I was lucky enough to attend the Jillian Michael’s BodyShred certification this weekend and I cannot wait to teach this program. I am a faithful fan of celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels. I am also a huge fan of her gorgeous abs and cut-up arms. Needless to say I was super excited to have the opportunity to do the training! Thousands of people are addicted to the BodyShred DVD and for good reason, the 30 minute full body ass kicking is awesome. I heard Jillian say on her latest podcast that one of her main reasons for putting the DVD into a class format was to introduce the program into fitness clubs. This way you don’t plateau at home with the DVD. In the fitness clubs the bodyshred class has endless options and as a coach I can keep progressing the class so you always see results. Boom! Love it! So what is so awesome about this workout? I made a list:
Time: This workout is 30 minutes. It is circuit style and you are always in the “workout”. The intensity means more results in less time.
Functional: All the exercises use body weight and many use small Dumbbells as well. You are moving in 3D motion just like real life. No isolation exercises! This kind of training keeps you fit for real life.
Metabolic: The workout is hardcore! How so? Plyomtrics! Hitting the large fat burning muscles by jumping and exploding. Plyo exercises jack up the heart rate and by using the power in your legs you tap into your anaerobic system. This gives you a lot of bang for your workout buck. Resistance and cardio all at once. You can significantly reduce your workout time and get the same (if not the better) results. Metabolic training pulls all the factors together: Time, results and functionality.

There is a lot of science behind this workout and it is designed to literally change your body. The workout is always progressing so you won’t plateau. I can’t wait to teach BodyShred! In the meantime, add some interval training to your workout. For example instead of doing a long 1 hour run, take 25-30min to sprint 1 minute, walk 2 min, repeat 6 times. It’s easy…haha Not At All. xoxo Anna.