Monday, December 13, 2010

Better Than Oreos

In a large mixing bowl combine  3/4 cup vegan shortening, 1 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1/2 cup almond milk.
In a separate bowl combine 11/2 cups of flour, 3/4 cocoa (dark is best like the very alkalized black cocoa but Dutch will do they just won't be as dark),  2 teaspoons of cornstarch, 1/4 baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Sift the dry mixture into the wet mixture and mix until you have a nice dough.
Chill in the fridge for an hour or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350. On parchment paper (not a floured surface or your oreos will no longer be dark but dusted with white flour) roll out the dough and using a round cookie cutter cut out your circles for the cookies.
Drop the circles on parchment papered cookie sheets make sure you have enough to pair up in the end.. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes.
No I haven't forgotten the white filling.
While your cookies are baking combine the following to make the cookie filling:
I start by melting a handful of vegan marshmallows in a double broiler and then adding 2 teaspoons of vanilla. While this is cooling mix together:
1/4 vegan margarine
1/4 vegan shortening
21/2 cups of icing sugar
Combine all the filling ingredients together until pretty thick. (You may need to refrigerate it or add more powdered sugar.)
Now you are ready to drop the filling on top of a cookie and then lid it with another. Do this until you've created all your little sandwiches.
Better Than Oreos!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sonia's Snickerdoodles - Winnipeg Free Press

Sonia's Snickerdoodles - Winnipeg Free Press

Macaroon Cookies

If you like macaroons you'll like these macaroon cookies.

Start by toasting in a pan 2 cups of shredded coconut on a low heat so you don't burn them. This will take about five minutes before they brown nicely. Set it off to the side to cool and then preheat your oven to 350.
Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl combine 1/4 cup of coconut oil, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup coconut milk, 1 tablespoon ground flax, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Once you've blended this together get a second bowl for your dry ingredients. In this bowl you will combine the following, 1 cup unbleached flour, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the cooled toasted coconut.
Then combine the dry ingredients with the wet.
Form the dough into balls and place on cookie sheets.
Bake these for about 10 minutes.
They will fall flat while baking.
While they cool start on the chocolate drizzle to decorate the cookies with (what I've been doing lately though with this recipe is dipping the bottoms of the cookies in the chocolate coating instead of designing with a drizzle).
For the chocolate drizzle or coating you will need to melt a cup of chocolate chips in a double broiler with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Once it has melted set it off to the side to start to cool. This will allow the chocolate dip to start to solidify somewhat and makes it easier (and safer) to dip the cookies in.
Another suggestion if I may is to put the cookies in the fridge right after you do this so that the chocolate really adheres to the cookies if you are dipping the. If you are simply drizzling the chocolate on top then this is not necessary.
I'd love to see your pictures of these cookies, and it will enter you in the draw for the goodies from The Garden of Vegan!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sonia's Chocolate Snickerdoodles

So true ladies!
I did promise on the Facebook site to give you BOTH Snickerdoodle recipes!
Thanks for your gentle email reminders and here is the recipe!
This recipe will also qualify for the contest going on at The Garden of Vegan Facebook page!

In a large mixing bowl cream 1/2 cup canola oil with 1 cup of sugar or other sweetener until creamy. Then add in 1/4 cup maple syrup, 2 Tablespoons of almond milk,2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl sift 1 2/3 cups unbleached flour, 1/2 cup of cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix your dry mixture into the large bowl.

When you've created a soft dough chill it for an hour or overnight in the fridge.

Preheat oven to 350

Line your baking sheets with parchment paper and then start rolling the dough into little balls.

Then sprinkle each cookie with the cinnamon coating (recipe to follow) and bake for 10 minutes.

Cinnamon Coating:

1/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Easy, Vegan and Delicious!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Chai Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sipping I warm cup of chai and eating chai cookies. Yum!

Want the recipe?
Sure you do!

Preheat the oven to 350 and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper (you know I love this stuff for great cookies!)

In a large bowl mixe1/2 cup of vegan shortening and 1/2 cup of vegan margarine along with 3/4 cups of powder sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
In a second bowl mix together 1 cup of unbleached flour, 1 cup pastry flour, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 2 teaspoons of cardamom, 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves, 1/4 teaspoon of ground coriander, 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger, a pinch of all spice and a pinch of ground peppercorns.

Now before you continue here is something I used to do when making this recipe for an extra kick. I used to soak a chai teabag in 1/4 cup of almond milk and mix it in. The extra flavour was great. Then one day the bag burst in the milk and it gave me an idea. What if I just tore open a bag of chai tea and threw it in the mix with all the spices. I did and it was divine! So at this point if you'd like empty the contents of a chai tea leaf bag into the dry mix bowl now. If that idea turns you off don't, but trust me. I always make the recipe with the contents of the tea bag now and it's so much better!  If you find the recipe is getting crumbly and needs more moisture please add the almond milk  just remember to remove the tea bag! Now back to the recipe.

Mix the dry and wet ingredients together to create your dough. Once you have this dough start to mix in 2/3 cups of chocolate chips.
I then roll the dough out into a log and start slicing off my cookies and transferring them to a cookie sheet.

I then bake them for a little longer than my other cookies because of the tea bag contents so bake for about 15 minutes or until golden.

This is another yummy recipe that you can send in a picture for the draw to win an assortment of vegan bars from the Garden of Vegan.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cafe Cocoas

Like Chocolate?
Like Coffee?
You'll LOVE the Cafe Cocoas!

Cookie Mix:

1/2 cup Canola Oil
3/4 Cup Sugar or other sweetener
1/4 Cup  Almond Milk
1 Ttablespoon flax seed powder
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 teaspoons coffee extract
1 1/2 cups unbleachedd flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cookie Icing:

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons almond milk
1/2 teaspoon coffee extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl combine the first 5 ingredients.
Then add your extracts.
Finally sift in all your dry ingredients.
Chill for an hour in the fridge (or overnight).
Preheat the oven to 350

Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Roll the dough into balls and place on your cookie sheets.
Once you have all the balls aligned on your sheets gentle press them down slightly with the palm of your had or bottom of a cup.
Bake for 10 minutes.
While they are cooling combine the ingredients for your icing.
Now you can decorate your Cafe Cocoas with happy faces, letters, or zigzag designs across the top.
The first person to make this recipe and send in your picture of your Cafe Cocoa's will have their photo posted on the website with credits of course! Better yet! Send in a picture of you AND your Cafe Cocoa's!


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sonia's Snickerdoodles

Okay ladies!
Since posting my snickerdoodles on my Facebook page back in November I have received emails everyday since that day asking for the recipe.
So I'm going to measure things out and post it for you below.
You know I cook and bake by eye, feel and intuition and rarely by measuring cup. In fact I went out and bought a set of measuring cups just for you!
So here we go!

In a large mixing bowl cream 1 cup of Earth Balance or other vegan butter with 1 cup of sugar or other sweetener until creamy. Then add in 2 Tablespoons of almond milk, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl sift 1 2/3 cups unbleached flour, 1/4 cup of cornstarch, 1 teaspoon cream of tartar, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Mix your dry mixture into the large bowl.
When you've created a soft dough chill it for an hour  or overnight in the fridge.
Preheat oven to 350
Line your baking sheets with parchment paper and then start rolling the dough into little balls.
Then sprinkle each cookie with the cinnamon coating (recipe to follow) and bake for 10 minutes.

Cinnamon Coating:
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Easy, Vegan and Delicious!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Holiday Sugar Cookies

I've had a lot of requests for the recipe to my secret vegan sugar cookies over the years. So here it is.
I guess they won't be a secret anymore, but at least this way everyone can enjoy them! I just made these today so I was able to measure out the recipe for you.

In a bowl mix together 2 cups sweetener (likely you'll be using granulated sugar), 1 cup vegan butter,  and the secret ingredient ...1 teaspoon ground cardamon. Once this is light and fluffy and in 1 tablespoon vanilla and 2 egg replacers (I recommend Ener-G because flax does change the flavour).
Then beat in  4 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt.
I then turn it out on a floured board and knead out just a bit before chilling it in the fridge for a couple hours. If you can overnight is best. However, if you are making these with kids good luck with that. They won't forget the dough is in the fridge and will be very anxious to continue with making the cookies.

Preheat the oven to 350 while you do the following:
Take the dough out of the fridge to become almost room temperature. Then line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. I don't bake without it!
roll the dough out on a flour dusted surface. I usually roll them out to 1/8" because they do rise and spread a bit.
Then the fun part. Pull out your fun shaped cookie cutters and go at her! Place the cut out dough shapes on the cookie sheets and bake for 10 minutes. The edges should be brown at this point.
Let them cool and then decorate!

When you get a chance let me know how you enjoyed them!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Preheat oven to 350.
Puree 1 pkg frozen spinach and one pack of artichoke hearts until smooth.
In a medium saucepan melt 1/4 Earth Balance or other vegan margarine. Whisk in 1/4 flour a little at a time to avoid it clumping up on you. Once this has thickened remove from heat and add puree. Add 2 cups of almond milk to the saucepan mixture. Sprinkle in 1/2 cup of nutrtional yeast, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 chopped tomato and two cloves of garlic diced. Transfer to ramekins or casserole dish. Top with vegan cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Serve hot with pita or tortilla chips!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Holiday Rice Pudding

Holiday Rice Pudding
What makes it festive and yummy is the taste and scent of cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg!

So here we go!
In a medium saucepan, combine 1.5 cups of almond milk (vanilla flavour is best), 3 cups of cooked basmati rice, 1/2 cup of sugar or 1/4 cup of agave nectar and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer uncovered until rice is creamy. You will need stir frequently so it does not burn. This will take about 15-20 minutes.
Stir in 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon cardamom, 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg and a sprinkle of shredded coconut. Continue to stir until the pudding has thickened.
Turn off the heat and stir in the following 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon pure coconut extract.
Now is a great time to spoon the pudding into your serving bowls and sprinkle with crushed pistachios (unsalted of course).
If you prefer to eat your rice pudding cold then cover and refrigerate for an hour.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Vegan Handbags

 Susan Nichole has just become my favorite vegan hand bag designer!

            In fact in the past month I have acquired 2 purses, one briefcase and a wallet from her growing collection.

That's not to say I don't love my Matt& Nat bags, of course I do! There is just something about Susan Nichole's designs that I can't get enough of. Maybe it has to do with the designer being female and really knowing what we love in a bag as women, extra compartments and pockets for all our little things. Maybe it's the fun colours like "candy apple red" "eggplant" or "pumpkin" that keep me coming back. I do know the quality and style is worth every penny for these very beautiful fashion forward bags!
That's why I'm excited to tell you that The Garden of Vegan now carries the Susan Nichole line! Her vision for her designs is inline with what we believe in, vegan stylish options. As her website says:

"Susan Nichole was founded to provide women with beautiful, functional handbags designed to be elegant, stylish and fun-loving – much like the women who carry them. Consistent with our animal and earth friendly ideals, all Susan Nichole handbags are made from 100% recyclable, vegan materials and contain absolutely no animal products. Such a direction gives women the option to carry beautiful designer handbags that are trendy and fashionable, yet maintain their animal and earth friendly principals."

Check out these great bags at today for great November specials.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cavewoman Bars

It was a cold blustery day outside while inside I sipped tea and bit into my first Baklava Cavewoman bar. The smell of the spices and the pieces of pistachio from this bar made it feel like the holiday season. This bar is amazing! ...and it has so few ingredients! Dates, walnuts, pistachios, almonds and sweet spices!
This bar is 100 natural, gluten free, has no sugar added and vegan!
...Oh but I forgot to mention all the other yummy flavours!

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake! Easily my favourite with real pieces of pineapple of course.
PB & J (Strawberries, blueberries and of course organic peanut butter - my kids love this one!)
Banana Nut Bread (the Lemon in this one makes it taste even better than you can imagine!)
Blueberry Pancake (this one even has cashews and maple flavour!)

These bars are chewy full of flavour and taste just like what they say.

keep them in your purse like I do because they are great on the way to the gym, for pregnant moms when the munchies hit and just when you want a quick filling great tasting snack!

I'm excited to say that The Garden of Vegan is the first and only place in Canada that you can get these amazing bars! So order yours today. The Garden of Vegan ships world-wide and is constantly updating their vegan treats.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Review of SunWarriors Raw Vegan Protein Powder

It really seems to be the topic of the month, but I just had to share this new find with you.
Now being in the fitness industry and a vegan I've tried many a protein powder and when it's one I really like I share that with you.
Well I just tried Sun Warrior's Chocolate protein powder and I must say it's pretty darn good!
It's vegan of course, it's made from 85% protein, it's gluten free and non-GMO. The all natural ingredients include whole brown rice protein, cocoa, pectin, xanathan gum and stevia. pretty simple. One serving gives you 25 grams of protein, not to mention 33% iron and 10%  calcium of  your daily values. This only increases if you mix it with something like almond milk as I did. I love that it doesn't contain soy and is raw.

The taste was thick and chocolatey. It wasn't chalky or grainy and it didn't have a funny after taste. It was actually quite silky and mixes well in smoothies or is great on it's own. I don't know if this is in part to the bottle I mixed it in (which I will talk about in just a second) or because of the way this protein powder is formulated (which also happens to be 100% organic), but it didn't have lumps and was quite enjoyable.

Now back to the bottle, I got Sun Warriors Blender Bottle which I recommend for the gym rat. This is no ordinary bottle! It's a large 28 oz bottle that comes with a patented blender ball that you drop inside. It's really like a round whisk that helps blend your shake until it's smooth with no lumps. As Sun Warrior says you "Simply drop the BlenderBall wire whisk into the bottle along with your ingredients, screw on the lid, press down the flip top and shake! The ball moves easily throughout the bottle as you shake, mixing the thickest ingredients with ease .." It has an easy grip design a stay open flip top, yet comes with a secure screw on lid with a wide opening for your ingredients. It will fit in your drink holder if you are consuming it on the way to the gym or on the way home. It's easy to clean and dishwasher safe. It also makes a great water bottle.
This will now go into the top 3 as one of my favourite protein powders for the vegan market (Vega and my own custom blend being the other top 2).

You can order Sun Warrior products right here on our blogspot website, including their shaker bottle with the BlenderBall.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What Does The Bible Say About Being Vegan?

Wow! If that title didn't scare you off let me say you're doing great and please stick with this and give it a read.
Believe it or not this is a question that I get a lot. Normally I don't respond to it publicly because religion/God is such a touchy subject for most people. However, I've been getting this a lot so here goes.
Do I think God would want us to be vegan is the question. My answer is I can't speak for God. I can however tell you what I've read about how God views animals and animal consumption and most of you if not all of you (yes, both meat eaters and vegans) will be upset with what I'm about to share, but remember this is just my humble opinion.
So let's go back to the beginning. Even before The Garden of Eden.
God created earth, plant life, animals, then humans. In that order. That alone says a lot but let's move on. Animals were probably on earth for hundreds if not thousands of years before Adam and Eve. So as some of earths first inhabitants I think they deserve some respect.
When Adam was created he was surrounded by peaceful animals who had no fear of him, and why would they have fear? Adam wasn't killing them or eating them.
Now as I see it Adam had a pretty sweet life. He lived in paradise, had God as a best friend and as a result was assigned a pretty cool job - naming the animals. God arranged it for the animals to approach Adam. Adam would study them and name them. Everyone was living in peace.
The Bible does says that Adam would have dominion over the animals and that the animals would be in subjection to him. Now before you say well there you have it! God said the animals were to be in subjection to man that means we can eat them, wear them and do what we want with them. Note this. We as humans are in subjection to God as well and how does he treat us? Just something to ponder.
So having the animals in subjection to him meant Adam was accountable to God for how he treated them.
Then as you might know from Sunday school things went terribly wrong. Adam and Eve ate fruit from a forbidden tree and were kicked out of paradise to the harsh conditions outside the Garden of Eden.
So then no longer living in perfect conditions Adam and Eve and their offspring started to kill animals for clothing to keep warm and dressed.
Things continued to get worse on earth and God got rather ticked off and said he was going to cause a flood killing all animals and humans not in the ark that Noah would build. If God didn't care about animals he wouldn't have arranged for them to be saved. Instead he arranged for the animals to go to Noah so that he could preserve them along with Noah and his family.
Now keep in mind Noah and his family and the animals were in the ark for over a year. Many people think because it rained for 40 days and 40 nights that was all the time that was spent in the ark. Wrong. Over a year because the flood waters were that high! It was a global deluge and it too a long time for the waters to recede.
Prior to the flood as far as we know animals were not eaten. It was because of no produce being available outside of the ark because everything was under water for a year that God said he would allow humans to eat meat. To protect the animals God at this time also put fear and terror of humans into animals, since God was now giving them up to humans.  Right after saying that Noah and his family had permission to eat animals God then says something interesting. That they were not to eat the blood of the animals and that he - God would ask back the soul/life from the human eating a living creature. Now you can interpret this how you'd like. For me I think God is saying to Noah you can eat animals for necessary food but needless slaughter was wrong. I come to this conclusion because a little later Nimrod (yah can you believe being called a Nimrod comes from the Bible?!) was a huge hunter and God disapproved strongly of what he was doing.
Wow, I feel like a preacher here, but let me go on a little further to show why I think God is against animal exploitation. Later in the Bible God instituted a law that protected animals. This was called the Mosaic Law and talked about proper care of animals both domestic, wild and stray. In fact it even said that crossbreeding was wrong and forbidden!
So there you have my thoughts on animals and God from just one book of the Bible (Genesis) maybe another day I can go on with other examples and stories, but for now my fingers are tired. I'm sure this much alone will fire up another heated discussion on eating animals and the Bible. Maybe the best suggestion is for you to crack open your own Bible do some reading and see what it says for yourself.
Until next time. 
Vegan Peace & Love

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Basic Vegan Protein Shake

Hey guys as promised here is the first in a long line up of videos for you.
The number one request you had sent me was for a basic protein shake.
I hope you enjoy.
...and continue to let me know what you'd like to see for recipes, health and fitness workouts.

Vegan Peace and Love!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Become The Change You Envision

This quote of mine has been my email signature for years!
"....become the change you envision"
What do I mean by this?
When applying it to the vegan/animal world for me it simply means "Go Vegan!"
If you are against animals being exploited go vegan.
If you are against animals being abused, used for entertainment, turned into clothing, etc. Go Vegan.
If you are against killing animals and envision a day when they are no longer used by humans for pleasure, then go vegan.
Protesting against industries, institutions and organizations does very little. Trying to change a mass of people is more difficult. Changing yourself, walking the talk, is where it starts, practicing what you preach. I posted the following stats on my Facebook page(!/group.php?gid=304612241809):
The average U.S. resident eats over 200 pounds of meat per year, or more than 1/2 pound per day!

The average American eats 15 cows, 24 hogs, 900 chickens, 12 sheep and 1000 lbs of other assorted animals in their lifetime .Also if you eat 7 eggs in a week, you’ll consume 25 550 eggs in your lifetime.

If you are concerned about the way animals are treated and are frustrated by how little is being accomplished by animal rights groups then please see from the stats above, that you - YOU - as one person can make a huge difference by changing your diet from consuming animals to a vegan diet. You can save the lives of many animals that otherwise would be eaten by you.
You become the change you want to see by not exploiting animals. No one should be using animals at all. They are not for us to use.
If you go vegan you will feel better, you will be healthier, you will be saving lives!
Then once you do go vegan talk to at least one person a day about going vegan. Sure it won't change animal abuse overnight, but we can change things. One person at a time. Starting with you!
...become the change you envision.

Monday, October 4, 2010


I've had a big demand to start uploading videos.
I am working on this and hope to have it in place for you soon.
Happy Farm Animal Day to all! A great day to go vegan if you haven't already!


Friday, September 24, 2010


For those who follow me on Facebook you know this has been a big discussion lately between vegans and non-vegans alike.
Where do you get your protein? How much protein do you need? Do you need extra protein if you are working out?
As a fitness professional and veggie I hear these questions all the time. Often this even accompanies stories by people who were once vegetarian but were not able to maintain the lifestyle because they claim they weren't getting enough protein (and iron) and were tired all the time.
I can tell that when I became vegetarian I had more energy, when I became vegan I had even more strength and vitality! So trust me it's not the veggie lifestyle that makes you fatigued it's the way you eat and what you it. Just because you have eliminated meat does not mean that you are eating a healthy lifestyle.
So where do I get my protein from? Plant-based foods, nuts, lentils, beans, grains, and I use these and more to also create amazing protein shakes, bars and more for before and after my work-outs.
How much protein you need really varies by individual and activity level, and yes, you do need extra protein if you are working out.
If you were to read anything by vegan athletes and bodybuilders Brendan Brazier or Robert Cheeke you would quickly see that they both see the importance of fueling the body with protein, especially after a work out.
Your muscles need protein to repair and grow after a workout and as I've said before, the sooner after a workout the better. After all if your body can't get the protein from what you feed it after a work-out it will take it from the stores you have which often is the very muscle you are trying to build. This can cause you to become protein deficient and make it hard for you to gain muscle size and definition. This becomes a sort of self-cannibalism as the body eats it's own muscle and protein stores.
If you have a good pre-workout meal and a good post-workout meal or shake, not only will your recovery be better but so will your healing of the muscles you've worked.
I have perfected some pre & post workout meals and shakes for myself this year that I find I now no longer have muscle pain and soreness from workouts and have more fuel and energy to workout harder and longer.
I know this will continue to be a topic of conversation, and I will continue to try to enlighten you.

Vegan peace and love!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jamaican Rice & Peas

Rice & Peas


•1/4 cup gungo peas or kidney beans

•1 clove of garlic

•1 green pepper


•black pepper

•thyme, salt to taste

•2 cups rice

•coconut milk or coconut [to make coconut milk]. Cut coconut in small pieces and blend in about 3 cups water in the blender, strain through a strainer to separate the milk.


1.Wash peas and soak in 2 cups of water.

2.Pour peas and water in a pot with coconut milk, garlic and put to boil.

3.Cook peas until tender adding more water if necessary.

4.When peas are cooked add salt, whole pepper, black pepper, thyme, & escallion.

5.Let season simmer.

6.Wash rice if necessary, then add to pot. Use a fork to mix everything together.

7.Cook on a low heat until done.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Post Work-out Supplements & Drinks

I should have seen this one coming. :-)
Thank you for your emails.
Yes, I do also use a post-work-out replenisher as well.
Especially as a veggie I think it's important to supply protein to the body.
Again this is not for everyone and I am responding to the many emails asking if I use a post work out drink.
Other may use them if they are cutting, bulking or maintaining, some wont use them at all.
I find it reduces post work out muscle fatigue and soreness.
Normally I will have a protein powder that mixes with water that I can put in my water bottle and have on the drive home until I can make a good meal because these are not meal replacements that I am consuming.
Post workout nutrition is important and your muscles (depending on how intense your work out is) are craving the proteins to replenish and help rebuild precious muscle tissue.
Liquids are absorbed easier and faster and are the reason I will have these drinks on my drive home as the sooner as these proteins are supplied to the muscles the better for recovery.
Again I prefer one that is plant-based and contains whole grains as I am always looking for something that is alkalizing, your muscles don't want or need the acid found in most post-work drinks.
I hope this helps!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Pre-Workout Drinks

Do I use a pre work out sports drink or supplement has been a regular question over time.
The answer is yes.
Now this doesn't mean everyone needs one or should have one?
No, so let me tell you more about energy drinks and why I use them.
If I am instructing a high energy class, especially if more than one back to back or if I'm doing heavy lifting in the gym I like the extra energy for sustenance and enhanced mental focus. These pre-work-out drinks also rreplenishes electrolytes and are designed to give you the extra boost you might need. When lifting they help by giving you the stamina to do that extra rep and reduce inflammation, joint and muscle pain to assist recovery.
Now not all sports energy drinks are made the same, and I find a lot of them out there on the market to be a bunch of garbage. So check out the ingredients carefully. Many are filled with sugars, dyes, and caffeine. I much prefer an organic plant-based drink that is safe and natural but still allow me to teach or train with high intensity and still build more vascular muscle.

Now if you need immediate energy before a class or need something that will reduce the stress on your muscles from inflammation or muscle pain then you may want to consider a pre-work out drink, but I urge you, read the label to make a smart informed decision.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Caribbean Creamed Corn

I know for many corn is an allergen. Thank goodness I am not one of them and I can enjoy this wonderful food all year round. One of my earliest memories of corn other than on the cob was my mother's creamed corn. As an adult I still love the stuff and have put my own vegan spin on her wonderful side dish. I hope you enjoy it.

Caribbean Creamed Corn

2 cups frozen corn
1 cup coconut milk
2 scallion
1/2 teaspoon jerk seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all the ingredients but the lime juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally. Then simmer for 15 minutes. Add lime and serve as a side dish warm.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Week 2

How did week one of your work out go?
I've had an overwhelming response to week one and as we move forward to week 2 I am asking that everyone who wants to continue this work out to email me and I'll be sure to forward it to you this way.
The reason for the change?
All the links to the correct ways to do the exercises I wanted you to do were not functioning properly from this site.
By emailing them to you I can send the program out to those who really want to follow it along with videos capturing the proper alignment and form of the exercise while continuing with our regular blogging here.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Almond Biscotti

You've been asking for some dessert or snack recipes.
Here you go.
I like biscotti. It's great with tea or a coffee substitute for dipping. Here is my vegan adaptation of this Italian twice baked cookie. I am trying to get better at offering you measurements since I cook and bake by eye. This makes about 2 dozen biscotti.

Sonia's Almond Biscotti

3/4 C. Whole wheat flour
3/4 C. All purpose flour (unbleached)
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 Sweetener
6 tablespoons applesauce
11/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 slivered almonds

I start by preheating the oven to 350 and lining a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.
Then in a large bowl I mix the first 4 ingredients. In another bowl I will mix all the remaining ingredients except for the almonds. Your next step is to combine the ingredients from both bowls into the large mixing bowl. After well mixed dust your hands with flour and shape the dough into a log that is about 4" wide and 1" thick and place on the cookie sheet.
Bake this in the oven for about a half-hour. You want them to be firm when you touch them.
 At this point take them out of the oven but don't turn the oven off.
You will let the biscotti cool for about 15 minutes. Then cut them crosswise into 1/2" slices. Though not necessary I like to replace the parchment paper with a new sheet and then lay the sliced biscotti cut side down and bake again for another 10 minutes. Then flip them over and brown the other side for about 5 more minutes.
Ready to eat!
...and how wonderful does your home smell now?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Popping In To Say Hello

Just popping in to see how you are doing and to share a recipe!
I was just informed that Yukon Golds are now available! Yippee!
So I'll post my favourite Yukon Gold Potato recipe at the bottom of this email.
Hopefully you can hit your local market for some of these great potatoes!

We tried to post a video or picture to go with the recommend work out for this week but were having problems loading them.
If you are unfamiliar with the suggested exercise please email me and I will be sure to send it to you.

On a further note we have our 5 phone consults! They came in within the first hour of posting the article. I'm thrilled to say that we have 3 men, 2 ladies and none with similar goals which is nice!

I wish everyone great success with week one! I've been hearing that there are a lot of sore muscles waking up to say hello! Continue to log your strides!

New Italian Gnocchi

4 Large Yukon Gold Potatoes (or russet potatoes will also work)
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
11/2 - 1 3/4 unbleached all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast

Boil potatoes in the skin.
When soft carefully remove and scrap skin off while still very warm
In a glass bowls either rice or mash potatoes with a fork adding salt and pepper.
Slowly add in flour a 1/4 cup at a time until it forms a sticky ball. At this time add the olive oil. Then turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Add the nutritional yeast and slowly continue to add the remaining flour until the mixture feels like Play Dough.
At this point divide the dough into workable sections and start to roll it out using the palm of your hands to create rope like lengths of dough about 3/4 " thick.
Put salt water on to boil in a big pot. As you continue to work on your dough. Then cut 1" pieces off the rope and press the fork gently into it to create a design in your dough.
Then begin dropping them into the boiling water for approximately 1-2 minutes. when they have risen to the surface remove with slotted spoon and toss in olive oil.
You can then top with your favourite pasta sauce (pesto, vegan Alfredo, tomato, etc.)

Ciao darlings!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Week One

Here we are!
What have your favourite physical activities been that you've been doing?
Are there any that you want to try that you have not yet explored?
How often have you been doing the activities in your log and with what intensity?

Today I want you to map out your work out for tomorrow.

You should get your mind and body ready with at least 10 minutes of cardio.
That can be skipping, a brisk walk, running if you are a runner, or on the treadmill if you have one at home. Remember to keep your heart rate within the zone that we talked about yesterday.

After your cardio warm up I want you to begin a strength program that will look like this.
  • Squats (this can be done with a light weight that you hold overhead)  - 2 sets of 12 reps
  • calf-raises - 2 sets of 12 reps
  • Chest press (this can be done on the ball) 2 sets of 8
  • Chest fly (this too can be done on the ball) 2 sets of 8
  • push ups (do as many as you can but no more than 12)
  • bicep curls - 2 sets of 10
  • tricep kick backs - 2 sets of 10 reps

Stretch it out when you are done. Please include the following 3 stretches with whatever stretches you choose to do:
  • Quad stretch
  • calf stretch
  • Seated pike
You can also opt to do some yoga to stretch out.

You can follow this program 3x's a week on non-consecutive days after consulting with your physician.
2 x's a week I want you to pick your favourite cardio work out and do it for at least 30 minutes on days where you are not doing your strength training.
This will be your work out  for week one. For a total of 5 work-outs for the week.

Next week we will change things up.
All the best on week one!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Physical Fitness

You may feel you've been doing great with weight loss so far especially all without a vigorous workout plan in place, and wonder why you should have to introduce a fitness program at this time. I'll tell you why. So far you've learned a lot about food especial the benefits of a clean diet and all of the changes you've made have already brought you great results, you are sleeping better, losing weight and best of all feeling better about yourself.
Now nourishing your body of course is vital but so is keeping up your strength and vitality through physical activity.
So before we begin tomorrow. I need you to start a new page in your log and do the following assignment. See you tomorrow!

Assignment: Target Heart Rate (THR)
It's important to know your THR and the calculation is easy.
220 - your age= your target heart rate
Make a note of that number. It is your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR)
Then multiply your (MHR) 0.6 for your lowest range on the scale (note this number in your log).
Next multiple your MHR by 0.8 (or 0.9 if you are pretty fit)  to get the highest range on your work out scale, also make a note of this number in your log. Between these last two numbers is the zone in which you want to work.
If you are less fit you should start near the bottom end of the zone. Don't worry there are still many benefits to be gained a this end of the scale!

Friday, July 30, 2010


Where to begin when there is so much to say?
I know when I walk into a gym to meet a client the amount of people I see on the treadmills that spend an entire hour on it never cease to amaze me! ...and I don't mean that in a good way.
I'm not saying that cardio is dead. After all I am a Certified Zumba Instructor and have taught Zumba classes back to back. I think a warm up on the treadmill before your work out is great.
...but those of you who use it as your only form of working out 5 days a week are really wasting your time and money on your gym membership.
If you are doing it and not losing weight or just maintaining there is a reason for that.
Your body can quickly adapt to what you do on a daily basis on a treadmill and plateau if you don't challenge yourself. Too much cardio can also cause overuse and injury to joints. Plus there is so many better ways to maximize your time in the gym! That hour you spend on the treadmill in a nice slow pace, telling yourself that you are losing so much  fat and building beautiful leg muscles as you have your iPod playing in your ears or are watching TV is a myth.
That much cardio on a treadmill is a waste of time and you could be reaping so many more rewards in that hour doing other things in the gym like lifting weights. 
Cardio is not necessary for losing weight but certainly can help you to. It also is good for your heart. Yet what I am talking about is the craziness I often see at the gym. Girls chit-chatting with each other comparing manicures as they 'work-out' on the treadmill. The ones who are furiously texting away as they go for their slow 'run' on the treadmill. Then get off wiping away the invisible sweat into their towels and then I am sure head off to Starbucks before they go shopping too.
If you want to continue burning even when you leave the gym then start a weight training program! Don't be intimidated by the weights or those using them. In just the first few weeks of strength training you can increase your muscular strength 50%! You won't get that on a treadmill!
Muscles burn more fat! So even after you leave the gym you are still burning body fat even at rest.So what am I saying? That lifting weights gives you a metabolic spike for approximately an hour after a workout because your body is trying hard to help your muscles recover. That means you can burn an additional 25% of the calories you just did at the gym at home!  The more muscle you have the more calories you'll burn without a change to your diet!
The physical results are better when you lift weights, but if you still want your cardio then do it smart.
Workout within your target heart rate (220 - your age= Max heart rate. Then stay within 60-85% keeping your heart rate in mind).
Know the right amount to do. Too much can cause joint damage or cause you to lose muscle.
I always say, you can't flex cardio!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

When Healthy Food is Really Junk Food

As a Fitness Professional let me tell you a secret as to why you are still hanging on to a few pounds.

Normally prior to meeting with clients or early in our training stages I have them keep a food log for me to get an idea of what their diet and lifestyle is like.

A certain percentage of them will brag to me about how they eat a very healthy diet and are excited to show me their food journals.

Well guess what? Most of those vary ones are not eating a healthy diet and I'll tell you why.

I am actually going to use a page from Ryan D.'s food log. It's a typical entry in his log and he's fine with me sharing this with you since he's come a long way from these "healthy" days. For those of you who know the Ryan I am talking about, he's a big guy, with a big appetite, and often people approach him in the gym for advice simply because of his physique.

3 egg whites, scrambled
2 slices of toast (when asked this was white bread)
Orange juice

Kelloggs All Bran Bar or Nutri-grain bar

Low Fat wheat crust pepperoni pizza (From Frozen) or 2 Whoppers

Salad (prepackaged)
Ranch dressing
Tim Horton's large double-double

BBQ'd steak
Potato with melted cheese

Cap'n Crunch Cereal with skim milk

Let's look at the good things on this list. Ryan was eating many meals throughout the day which is great. He was also having a big breakfast. Now the thought of eating eggs makes me ill, but this was Ryan's favourite form of morning protein. So after giving him my thoughts on why I thought he shouldn't eat eggs, I went on to tell him if he was going to continue eating eggs that he was throwing away the main protein (the yokes) by eating only the whites. His reason for tossing the yokes was for cholesterol reasons. When he learned that is where all the nutrients were and asked why he was afraid of cholesterol from eggs but not the cholesterol from chicken (and other meats) he was left with a lot to think about.

Next let's look at the granola bars. This is another area that puts people in a false sense of belief that they are eating healthy. These sugary snacks are full of UNhealthy ingredients! Take a look at the filling: HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, BLUEBERRY PUREE CONCENTRATE, GLYCERIN, SUGAR, WATER, SODIUM ALGINATE, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, CITRIC ACID, METHYLCELLULOSE, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, MALIC ACID, RED #40, BLUE #1.
This is just the filling! The ingredients list in this product and in most of his foods were incredibly long and unhealthy!
It's hard when foods are sold to us as a health food but are really nothing more than glorified junk food. Especially when one is trying to eat better and lose weight. So again I encourage you to read the labels and not to believe the hype. Just because you are told it's good for you doesn't mean that it is. Just as foods with various health check labels. People will see the symbol and believe they are being told the truth that these foods are great for you. Yet I've seen them on the most sugary, fatty foods out there! Read your labels, not the pretty packaging or what the commercials have promoted.

His lunch again was a long list of foods he couldn't even pronounce or identify. Frozen pizzas can be some of the worst stuff out there for you. You are so much better off to make your own with fresh veggies on top.

Look over his day he also consumed more coffee than he needed in his diet, and coffee at nigh is never a good thing.

As bodybuilder he needed to clean up his diet and have better sources of protein. He also needed bigger better meals. Now this is another thread entirely and I don't want to get off topic. I do want to point out that certain foods that are sold to you on the premise that they are health foods and are helping you get fit and stay healthy are not always true.

Ryan believed that granola bars were good for him and a great snack on the go. That his low fat frozen pizzas were healthy. That his Burger King burgers were great because they were 'flame broiled' and not fried. The amounts caffeine were keeping him pumped up and fueled. I thought it was cute that here there was this big body builder munching on Cap'n Crunch cereal for a night time snack. However, the ingredients in that was sugar, more sugar, food dyes, and preservatives. Again sold as a health food because the vitamins and minerals it contains along with corn.

 I am thrilled to say Ryan's diet has come a long way! He feels better and his energy level  has increased from healthy foods instead of coffee, which he now only has in the morning. He makes his own granola bars once a month from whole grains, nuts and seeds along with protein powder which all his gym friends love. Ryan D.also makes his own pizzas and salads now. Substituting his high fat ranch dressing with a simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar mix.

He still likes his evening cereal in front of  the TV but now is enjoying healthy cereals with almond milk.
Way to go Ryan, and thanks for letting us use you in this thread!!

Remember because it says healthy on the label doesn't mean it's not junk!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Questions & Answers III

Q: I am having a hard time getting more fibre into my diet. How can I increase my intake?

A: You are not alone. I find a lot of people often overlook fibre in their diet and are uncertain of sources and how to increase. Also, many don't find most fibrous foods to be tasty. So here are a few suggestions:
1. Eat foods with higher sources of fibre to meet your requirements
2. Start your day with fiver. I would recommend oatmeal. If you find summer too hot to eat this for breakfast there are also many cold cereals that are high in fiber.
3. Toss fibre into a shake or smoothie to take on the go

Q: What do you think about hemp protein?
A:  Hemp protein is a great alkaline forming food to add to your diet! It contains all the amino acids and is easy to digest! It's also a complete protein with Omega 3 & 6 so I say go for it! It's a staple in my home.

Q: This isn't really a questions but I'll try to make it one to see if you will post a reply. I don't agree with you about plant protein. I think meat as a source of protein is superior and that you say plant protein is simply because you are vegetarian.So to make this a question other than saving the animals why would plant protein be better? (I do hope you will publish this one)

A: I know that less than 5% of Canadians are vegan so it's hard for the greater population raised on meat to believe that it isn't the best source of protein. That being said worldwide health experts are slowly starting to see the benefits of plant protein and are starting to recommend it as a source for a healthy diet. This even includes the World Health Organization (WHO).
With out giving reasons for the animals how about reasons for health? Often when people are diagnosed with cancer their doctor recommendations are to cut out meat (and dairy) and introduce other sources of protein (plant). Plant based proteins help prevent cancer, obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other illness.
I will send you some informative links privately as to many other reasons plant protein is superior. Thank you for making your opinion a question.

Q: How do I get on your list for phone consults? I'm not sure I understand how that works.

A: Hi! I was going to post more information on this tomorrow but I'll just post it here in reply to your question.
When the post comes out on August 1 all you need to do is send me an email with the title of the post (this way you can't send an email earlier than when it's posted to be one of the first five) and a few lines as to why you should get the free phone consultations. It's as simple as that.
Good luck!

Remember August 1st is the beginning of our fitness journey and blog entries will no longer be on a daily basis.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ten Tips to Trim the Fat

If you are trying to lose weight here are some tips you may want to implement in your life.

1. Consume 5-6  meals a day. Yes you heard right! This will help boost your body's metabolic rate.

2. Reduce your sugar consumption

3. Hire a personal Trainer

4. Introduce a cardio work out at least 3 times a week of at least 30 minutes each.

5.  Drinks lots of water

6. Get a good night's sleep

7. Exercise portion control on your plate

8. Set realistic goals

9. Increase fibre and decrease/avoid trans fats

10. Keep a food and exercise journal

We have another Question & Answer post coming soon so again feel free to submit  your questions!

Monday, July 26, 2010

A New Section for Your Log

You have been keeping many records in your log (food, sleep, feelings) and good for you!

Now I need you to keep one more. A fitness log.
I know you will probably think this is one more hassle from me that you don't want but it can really help you keep on track!
There are so many benefits to keeping a work out log but one of the best is it can be a wonderful confidence booster! You will be able to look back and see your progress! You'll be able to see how far you've come.
Also in keeping a fitness journal you'll think twice about skipping a work out when you know you'll have nothing to report as an entry that day.
We start on August 1 and here is how you might want as the headers at the top of a basic fitness log:
So get ready to start your log!
You'll be glad you did!

Sunday, July 25, 2010


I'll be taking you through some training in a little over a week.

I want to familiarize you with a few simple terms.

First, I want to address a couple of emails I received in case it applies to more of you planning on following the program. I know a couple of you are planning on joining the gym though this is not a necessary step at all to do this work out as I have mentioned previously.

Still for the two that I know are definitely joining as per emails I want to reinforce what I said to you privately here for others, and that is, DON'T be intimidated by the gym environment or worried by those working out around you.

I want you to focus on yourself and your goals that brought you there. chances are no one is really watching you anyhow as they are busy with their own program.

The first set of terminology I want you to be familiar with is "sets" and "reps".


a 'rep' is simply short for repetition. It will refer to the amount of times you lift the weight once.


a 'set' is the number of reps you perform in a row.

An example would be if you lift a weight 15 times, then take a break, then repeat this again 15 times, you will have just completed 2 'sets' of 15 'reps'.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Food Addictions

Are you addicted to food? Do you eat under stress? Do you feel comfort from food? Maybe you eat when not hungry, or feel your self-esteem is linked to your weight? Do you eat in secret or feel guilty after you eat? What about when you are full, if there is still food on your plate is it hard for you to push it away?

Food addictions and emotional eating can be real problems. Especially if you are depressed or overweight and constantly turn to food for comfort. After all food doesn't judge you and it's always there for you. In return food addicts make excuses for their behaviour. "I had a hard day I deserve it" "Well just one piece everyone else is having some"

So how do you break the habit and begin to cure yourself? Unhealthy eating habits can be hard to break.

First thing is to recognize that you are an emotional eater.

Second, try to understand your relationship with food. Often people need help with this step by seeking professional help. Especially if this eating disorder stems form something in your childhood.

A third thing I would recommend is spotting the triggers that send you into an unhealthy eating spiral. This way you can help manage your stress in better ways.

Visualize yourself eating healthy and eat regular satisfying meals. Best of all try not to store the bad foods that are your temptations.

Journal your feeling and habits around food, including the excuses you make to eat. Remember that food is the number one mood altering substance! If you are addicted to food, often eating doesn't make you feel better, and if you look back on what you ate and it wasn't healthy you may even feel guilty which could further lead to more eating. It can be a vicious cycle. So if you find yourself in this group please let someone know and seek help.
 Food should be enjoyable , but never an unhealthy addiction.

Friday, July 23, 2010


As a mom of two I know how important sleep is and how out of sorts one can feel when you don't get enough. ...but how much sleep is enough?
The standard recommendation is at least 8 hours, though i do believe some of us, myself included, could do with a lot more.
Failing to get enough sleep leads to aging, fatigue, shortened life span, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and the list goes on.
I'm not a fan of legal drugs so I'll share with you a few natural wonders that can help you catch a few zzzz's.

  • Chamomile tea
  • A warm bath
  • Valerian root
  • A spritz of lavender to your pillow

What to Avoid:
  • Here I am again saying to avoid caffeine, alcohol, and sugar as they all interfere with sleep.
  • Naps during the day
  • Try not to have a TV or computer in the bedroom

Other things you may want to try include:
  • Yoga
  • Meditation and relaxation techniques
  • Sleeping in  a dark room

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Let's Get Ready!

As you know the physical can be as important as the nutritional in achieving your goals.

So far most of our focus has been on diet, again that is because I truly believe a lot of your goals can be reached just by making the changes to what you eat and how eat.

In August we are going to begin focusing more on your work-outs.

So here are a few things you may want to purchase if you don't already have them.

-Weights (2.5, 5 or 10 pounds all depending on your strength)
-Exercise bands
-Yoga mat
-Comfy work out clothes
-Cross trainers

Now most of the exercises I'll be assigning you will be using your body weight. I am hoping that you can do these physical assignments without thinking you need to go to the gym or need to build one in your home.

In fact if you are not doing these exercises indoors you'll be doing them with me outdoors! You'll be learning to play again as we return to the park! Monkey bars make great chin up bars, benches are great steppers, and the hills are great for cardio!

So get ready, August is almost here!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Go Green!


Today I want you to try going green with a healthy green smoothie.

It can be all fruit (green apples, kiwi, pears, honeydew, etc.) or all veggies (Kale, spinach, romaine, etc. ) or a combination of the two.

Try adding some green herbs, liquids, or plants to spice it up like mint, chlorophyll, or basil.

Do your best to keep it all green today. That means no bananas, no mango, nothing unless it's green with the exception of water or ice.

Our bodies need the many nutrients found in green foods to thrive so pump up your system with one today and feel free to share what kind you had!

I think I'll make mine a spinach, kale, kiwi, honeydew and apple smoothie with chocolate mint from the garden!

There are so many benefits to drinking your fruits and veggies!
Go green!

That's your challenge for today.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Who Do You Want To Be?

Today you will begin becoming the person you want to be!
Do you need to gain weight? Lose weight? Build muscle?

What's holding you back from achieving your goals?

Go back to the page in your journal where you wrote about the future you. The one that starts now.

What changes do you need to make to be that person?
Is it simple as a haircut or a little more complicated like landing your dream job?

Maybe you are afraid to share your goals and achievements? If so why? If not how will you combat negative influences en route to becoming that person? How will you deal with people who tell you that your dreams are silly or unattainable?

Know you are capable!
See the unlimited possibilities of your future!

Pay attention to what matters to you on this path to the new you. Use positive self talk and challenge your boundaries.


Surround yourself with people who are supportive and link up with a buddy also following this program for encouragement.

Today you have a couple of assignments and I know you are ready for them.

Pull out your journal and complete the following:

Assignment #1

List 5 things you'd like to learn more about. Then feed your curiosity and learn something new.

Assignment #2

I want you to start paying attention to the quality of your life.

How do you show yourself you care?

Do you accept yourself as you are now in order to move forward to the new you?

What are you doing to create and live the life you dream of and want?


Take a walk alone with your thoughts and nature now that you've completed the above assignments.

I want you to use your willpower. I want you to believe in yourself! ...because I do!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Questions & Answers II

Here it is and looks like Q & A's might be a regular
posting as I couldn't get to all the questions you submitted. Most of these are your questions just "cut" and "pasted" without your names.

Q: Hi Sonia! I just started following your blog and love it! I'm a male over 40 and so is my waist. Will this work out starting in August help me trim my waist line down as well? I've lost 3 pounds already just by cutting down my sugar and red meat. I hope to drop another 30.

A: I like your sense of humour about it. If you've been following the blog and make the lifestyle changes then you are already seeing a difference in your weight (congrats on the 3 pounds!) and waist. Without knowing your personal details I can't say or advise that 30 more pounds will happen or is needed but the blog is about safely achieving your goals and if that is what your body needs we can certainly do it!

Q: Why all the free content? No one does this! I'm not complaining because it helps me, but why?

A: I've answered this question a few times already on Facebook and the simple answer is, it helps people. All I want to do it help people achieve their goals. If a free content blog does it, why not?

Q: How do i test to see if I am too acidosis or alkalosis?

A: Your doctor can test your blood or cells for this. If that's not possible you can look at doing a self urine or saliva test (though not the most accurate reading). If you are going to do a urine test I suggest first pee of the morning just as a woman would do for the best pregnancy test results. pH test strips can often be purchased at drugstores or health food stores.

Q: How will you be doing the fitness part of this? Or how will we be doing it?

A: I hope in the near future to be able to show you the exercises by creating videos and uploading them for you, but right now as I am on the mend it's just not possible. So for now the best I can do is give you a written description of the activity or exercise and hopefully add a few pictures.

Q: In one of your posts "Dairy Vs. Calcium" you are against cow's milk. What if it's raw organic unpasteurized milk?

A: I think no matter what type of cow's milk it is a very poor and unnecessary source of calcium for your body. I don't think it's natural in this day and age despite the many commercials saying otherwise. I'd suggest checking out a few sites that show how the milk is attained. What happens to the cow and just how natural that is for the cow.
I've attached a link to a recent article on milk and the myth of the happy cow. I hope you take some time to read it and watch the video.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sonia's 10 Tips for a Healthy Happy Life

1. Eat a wide variety of healthy fresh whole foods

2. Drink lots of water and get lots of sleep

3. Surround yourself with positive friends & family

4. Avoid processed, refined, artificial foods

5. Get spiritual and meditate

6. Eliminate or reduce sugar and caffeine

7. Get out doors

8. Laugh

9. Avoid foods you know your body is sensitive to

10. Do what you love and make others happy too!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Why I Talk About Being Alkaline

From the emails I've been getting this is obviously a new concept to many,and I am still being asked why this is important and if I can talk a bit more about it.

I talk about it in my blog about fertility ( and I will talk about it here, because it is that important.

Too much acid is extremely damaging to the body in so many ways. You can create acidic blood by your diet, medication, your lifestyle, etc.

So what is the range you want to stay in? Well it's actually a very narrow one on the pH scale. Between 7.35-7.45. Though you may see other ranges, this is the healthiest range to fall within. Being above or below this range can give you disease, cause infertility, and cause you to gain weight. In fact many studies show that cancer can't exist in an alkaline body!

Next you ask how do we get within this range. The best way and easiest way is with an alkalizing diet or eating alkalizing foods.

Of course these will be whole grains, veggies, especially the dark leafy ones, legumes, and fruits like bananas and cantaloupe (both in season). The highest acid forming foods are meat, dairy, and sugar.

All this being said it is not just our diet that can cause our bodies to be out of balance when it comes to pH levels. Your mood, personality, even culture can cause you to be too acidic or even alkaline.
For example if you are always angry or living in fear, your body becomes acidic. If you are happy and at peace you become more alkaline.

Fitness too plays a part. If you practice mindful fitness like yoga and t'ai chi this helps relax your body and again balances the pH levels.

We want to have healthy blood, healthy tissues all resulting in healthy bodies.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Two Weeks To Go!

In another two weeks we will start the physical component. Free phone consultations will be offered to the first 5 that contact me on Facebook when we launch the physical on August 1. Others can also get in on the phone consults at a discounted rate.
How are you doing with your activities and food?
If you've been following my recommendations to date, I am sure you've lost anywhere between 5-10 pounds and are feeling great!
If you haven't already you may want to take your before picture now.


Your new challenge will be to work in a salad a day for the next week.
Do not load it up with salad dressing please!

Feel free to post what you've put in it or even to upload pictures of your salads!

We've got another question and answer post coming up so feel free to continue sending me your questions and I'll try to tackle as many as I can.

Now is also a good time to order Vega off of the blog home page. It's on sale and for those who want a great fitness recovery drink, energy drink or protein shake it's the place to go. Order now and have it in time for when we begin our work-out posts!


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Top Foods

Okay here we go, in response to your many emails about the foods I think you should have in your home right now, the following are either in season or readily available at your local outdoor or farmer's market.

-Summer Squash

Tastier and fresher now that they are in season or available go crazy because these foods are great for you! Incorporate them into salads, smoothies, stir fry or on the grill or munch on them just as they are!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010


How are you doing with breakfast? Are you making it a large meal in your day?

At a loss of what you should have for breakfast? This morning I had, oatmeal, fresh fruit, a smoothie, with Ezekiel bread toasted with almond butter. I'm set!

Breakfast should be one of your largest meals of the day because it's the longest period of time your body has gone without food. Likely you've not eaten for 8-12 hours after waking up and your body needs to refuel and get it's energy for the day.

I'm still getting emails requesting breakfast recipes so here is one more! I've done my best to give you measurements as you know I cook by eye and not by measuring cups and spoons.

Morning Crepes:

2 egg replacers

1 c. Soy milk or other non-dairy milk

1/3 c. water

1 c. flour

2Tbsp. sweetener

1 Tsp. vanilla

2 Tbsp vegan margarine

Whip in a mixing bowl, pour thinly into a hot pan. Keep an eye on these as they don't take long to cook! Then fill with your favourite fruit, or sauteed veggies. This is also a great recipe for dessert you can fill with sliced bananas and drizzle with warm vegan chocolate!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Negative Self-Talk

How much better would your life be without the negative self-talk? This is something we examine in the self-esteem portion of the MBC Challenge (

What do you believe is true about yourself?

You come into the work without these issues and low self-esteem, so where did they develop? Childhood? TV and media? High School? A negative relationship?

Surely however long it has been you don't want to continue this pattern for the rest of your life.

So how do you change your inner dialogue? How do you stop your ego from controlling you?
What makes you feel fulfilled inside? You've already created a list that describes you in a positive light. However, for many that is not enough.

Have you found your mission and purpose in life? Are you happy with your job, your relationship, your life? If not, what needs to change?
Who would you be without the negative self-talk? Who do you want to be?


Today I want you to write a letter to yourself about how great you are, all the things you've accomplished and still want to do.

Accept who you are in mind body and soul. Remember you are always growing and becoming aware of who you are supposed to be.

Until tomorrow,


Monday, July 12, 2010

Eating Out

A few people have emailed about eating out in Winnipeg and what my favourite restaurants are. A friendly website for finding vegetarian/vegan restaurants is:

In Winnipeg some of my top 3 favourite veggie friendly restaurants are:

Affinity Vegetarian Garden

Delicious Vegetarian Restaurant

East India Company

On the blog home page you will find a full list of restaurants that I have personally enjoyed both within Canada and Internationally. This by no means comes close to the complete list and keep checking back as I continue to update it.

Please feel free to share your favourite veggie restaurants with us in the comment section following this post.