Friday, April 25, 2008


For today's post I've decided to answer some comments from the past few weeks. If you have a question please feel free to email me at 

1. Kimberly: 
Thank you for sharing your favorite tracks with us and for spreading the Clean Eating word. Most women preparing for shows hire someone to help them. Find someone in your area who has experience training women for competition. You can also check out The Precontest Bible by Larry Pepe. It's very bodybuilding focused, but you can modify it fit your needs. Good luck!

2. Anonymous: 
Don't think of this as an instant 180 in your life. Make small changes day by day. The first step is cleaning out your cupboards of all the unclean foods and stocking them with delicious, clean options. Starting there will make everything else much easier.

3. JTremble: 
I have a recipe for Clean protein bars in The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook. They are all natural and delicious. I don't like to recommend one brand in particular, but I have tried Clif Bars and Lara Bars and they are delicious and clean. By the way, I am not endorsed by either of these companies. 

4. Krissy:
Body Pump is a great place to get a foundation for weight training. Why don't you try 2 days of Body Pump a week and then 1 day of full body weight training on your own in the gym. The next week you can try 2 days on your own and 1 day of Body Pump. Just be sure to give yourself 2 - 48 hours between weight lifting sessions to allow for muscle recovery and repair.

5. Anonymous:
I purchase my Naan bread at the health food store in my area. However, I am on the lookout for a clean recipe. Can any bloggers out there help?

I hope these questions help some of you out there. Have an excellent Friday and weekend...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Happy Wednesday Bloggers...

I just downloaded a bunch of new music onto my iPod. This is definitely one of my key pieces of gym equipment, especially for cardio. 

When I first started doing weights years and years ago I was very nervous to make that giant leap into the so-called "men's" section. By the "men's" section I mean the free weights. Even the machines had me jittering. I started off doing BodyPump weight-lifting classes with a few of my friends at Goodlife in Milton, Ontario. This gave me a bit more confidence. But the things that really gave me courage to walk over there were my hat and my iPod. Actually, at that time I think it was my CD Walkman. Anyway, I would tuck my hat on my head, put my earphones in my ears, and walk on over. I kept my focus on me and what I was doing and the bulky, grunting men didn't even bother me. As I became more and more comfortable with the area I realized the guys weren't even noticing anyone else but themselves anyway. Soon enough I was right there with them, going in on sets, and trading tips. Who would have ever thought!

Back to my original reason for writing. I wanted to share 5 songs I just put on my iPod that are seriously pumping me up. Some old, some new, but all good! Check them out on iTunes:

1. List of Demands - Saul Williams
2. Bleeding Love - Leona Lewis
3. Starlight - Muse
4. Police and the Private - Metric
5. No Air - Jordin Sparks

Monday, April 21, 2008

Birthday Weekends

Don't you just love birthday parties? This weekend we celebrated my stepdaughter's 15th birthday. She turned 15 earlier in the month, but planned the party for later in the month when we all had a free weekend. There is always a lot of preparation surrounding these parties. I spent Friday at Pottery Barn buying up decorations for the table. I found these cute little butterfly sticky notes to give instead of goody bags. They also had these beautiful green candles, seashell decorations, and a lovely green and white runner. I am so glad Pottery Barn made its way up to Canada. I also noticed they have lunch bags with glass food containers and aluminum water bottles. What a great idea! 

Chelsea, her dad, and I went grocery shopping for the party on Friday and Saturday. To feed 8 extra people is quite an undertaking. It did force me to get into spring cleaning mode. I swept and organized and scrubbed the house as much as I could until the partygoers started to stream in around 5pm. 

Chelsea decided she wanted a dinner and sleepover party. So we took 8 teenagers out to dinner on Saturday night to One 99 in Orangeville. It was delicious and the ladies got all dressed up and looked lovely. As per Chelsea's request, we celebrated with ice cream cake afterwards at our house. I decided that Saturday would be my cheat day and indulged in a delicious glass of shiraz at dinner, but what was I thinking when I decided to have ice cream cake?!?! Did I forget that I am lactose intolerant? Wow! I did not feel well all night. So after an ice-cream induced night of tossing and turning, I woke up to make breakfast for the girls. My eldest daughter was home and helped me me make fruit salad, pancakes, scrambled eggs, etc. It was a great spread, but the sleepover girls were groggy since they went to bed at 3 am!

All in all it was a great weekend. The sun was shining (finally) and everyone enjoyed themselves. I hope you also enjoyed your weekend.

Oh and before I forget... my daughter was accepted to the Joffrey's summer program! I guess I'll be sending her to New York City for the month of August, the same time I send another daughter to Portland, Oregon for med school, and yet another away to Holland for exchange. Now there's some planning! 

Okay, have a great day everyone... I'll blog more later!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Maria Shriver on Oprah

I made a date with my hubby last night to watch Oprah because her guest of the day was Ms. Maria Shriver. She is one of the women I look up to in the world. I had the opportunity to meet her years ago at a bodybuilding event and I was honored and thrilled. You can imagine me poking around in my closet trying to decide what to wear, thinking the whole time "now, what would Maria wear?" For a woman of 52 (and one who is very open about her age... good for her) she looks fantastic!

I learned a lot during the hour. She was very open with the viewers yesterday. As one woman said, she made herself transparent to the viewers because she came clean about things troubling her in her life. We all glamorize people of relative fame, and expect them to have no issues. It's not true, as I learned yesterday. A woman of her class and stature being truthful about her life is encouraging to all of us. As I've told my girls many time, we all put our pants on one leg at a time. There is no need to be perfect, but there is a need to be out there giving it your all in life and giving it a try. Her honesty about the fact that she feels she is still learning and is not finished yet makes me feel like we are all just beginning, too. The learning curve is steep, but the point is we are out there trying.  These are inspirational words.

Maria Shriver is involved in many projects as the First Lady of California. Two stand out in my mind. She has created 10 Steps to Healthy Living (read them here). Check out the list and review it with your kids. Another campaign is the Minerva Women's Awards given out at the Minerva Conference, which is held in October (read more here). She reaches out to women and I'd like to be there one day soaking up that empowering experience. 

It was an hour packed full of honesty, inspiration, and motivation.

Bottom Line: keeping giving life a try... one day at a time... don't let it pass you by...

Monday, April 14, 2008

NYC Weekend

Hi Clean Eaters one and all. I just arrived home from a whirlwind weekend trip to NYC with my daughter, Kelsey-Lynn. She is my little ballerina, and by that I mean a dedicated 16-year-old who lives away from home to study ballet. She is a student at the Quinte Ballet School of Canada. I am one proud mama! She had a workshop and audition this weekend for the Joffrey Ballet School Summer Intensive. It was a thrill to take her there and watch her strut her stuff. I'll let you know whether or not she was accepted in a week or so. 

When she wasn't dancing we did some great sight seeing. We took a lovely walk around Greenwich Village where I had my treat of the week at Magnolia Bakery. They have the best cupcakes!!! We also had a delicious dinner at my favorite restaurant, Pastis, in the Meatpacking District. The following night was dinner at Budda Kan, which  is featured in the upcoming Sex and the City movie. Yummy!

We also visited the original Union Square location of Barnes and Nobles. I was so excited to see my book there. I have to admit I am that author who goes into the bookstore and checks to see if her book is there! Oh well.

Anyway, it was a beautiful weekend with 74 degree Fahrenheit weather. We walked around everywhere and I wish I had sneakers on instead of my silly heels. I'll remember that next time I'm there! 

Have a great day!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Fired Up and Ready to Go!!!

Today on CNN they are doing a feature on boosting energy. They have offered 10 Fresh Ways to Boost Your Energy Now, which is something we all need. I have an image of most of us being caffeine-driven machines! I am definitely not one to give up my morning cuppa' joe, but I can always use more advice on how to keep my energy going allllll dayyyyyy lonnggggg. 

Some of the things they mention are already used by us Clean Eaters:

Point #2 is to eat more protein because it contains certain amino acids, such as tyrosine, that will elevate levels of the special brain neurochemicals that keep us happy. Keep eating your lean protein and complex carb combo every 2 - 3 hours!

Point #4 is to exercise, and do it more often. You'll find me on the treadmill or running hills with my dogs in the  morning, doing my weights at night, and often a yoga class midday or in the evening. Find ways to incorporate small amounts of exercise throughout your day. 

Point #5 is to find new types of hot beverages. We Clean Eaters know all about the excellent benefits of green tea, Maca in tea form, Tulsi tea, etc. etc. I often have 2 or 3 cups of herbal tea throughout the day. CNN also makes a good point by mentioning that these teas do not require a lot of sweetening - one more way to avoid that processed white poison we call sugar!

Point #6 says to switch up your routine from time to time. This is the same as switching up your exercise routine every couple of weeks to alleviate boredom. Also, switch up your Clean eats so as not to get bored. Add in a new ingredient from time to time... pick a new veggie... try a new protein source. Yummy!

They mention a bunch of other great points, too. Check the rest out here

Well, we all must be little energy buzzers if we've already mastered 4/10 points!!!

Here's to an excellent energy-filled weekend!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Boxed Chicken Buyers Beware

Hello Everyone,

I've arrived in Maryland for a conference today. It's a pretty gloomy day here, but that's not something to get me down. 

I was sent a great email yesterday regarding chicken that I would like to share with you. This is a staple of the Eat-Clean Diet and something I have in the house all the time. The author of the email wanted me to tell them if their box of frozen chicken was okay or not. She listed the ingredients off to me and they included: water, flour, salt, and thickeners. Hmmm... No wonder she was concerned. This doesn't sound like clean food to me. 

I'll leave this as a reminder to all of you to check the labels of your food. The big fancy print on the front of the box can be misleading, so take the time to read the packaging properly. The best case scenario is to purchase food with one ingredient on the label, such as oatmeal, where the one ingredient is.... you guessed it... oats! You can get fresh chicken the same way. Buy it fresh from the butcher. In my little town we have an organic butcher with delicious fresh meat options. He'll even order in bison for me when I need it. 

So when you're off to the supermarket today to stock up on your clean eats be a smart shopper and a label reader!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Shoot Day

Hey All, 

I'm writing a quick note from the shoot today to say hello and Happy Monday. Things are going well today. We've gotten some great shots so far and have a bunch more to take. I'm excited to share them all with you in the next book... Are you wondering what it is yet??? I'm not telling! 

I brought my Maui Black Bean soup (from the cookbook) for everyone here today. I brought some yummy naan, hummus and boiled eggs to accompany the soup. Our tummies are full and it's time to get back to work. I'll write more later on this week after I get back from my travels. 

Have a great Clean Eating day!!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Friday's Post About Nothing

I happily arose this morning to Friday! The end of the week and the beginning of the weekend. I am heading into Toronto today to pick up my daughter from the train (she is finished her 2nd year at Queen's University.... yeah KK!) and to get ready for a photo shoot I have on Monday for the next book we are working on. I'm not going to give away what it is just yet, but I'm excited! 

This weekend I am planning on taking some down time with my family before the photoshoot and trip to Baltimore, Maryland scheduled for early next week. We will be there for a conference for a few days with our book distributors. I'd like to go catch a movie or enjoy the sunshine we are supposed to have. I heard it was supposed to get up to 14 degrees Celsius this weekend. That's hard to believe since it's currently snowing/raining. Blah! 

I had a great yoga class last night. I'm finally getting back into my normal routine after vacation. It always takes a couple of weeks for me to settle into the groove. Anyway, class was wonderful, but I always struggle with downward dog. Who knew that someone who lifts weights almost everyday would shake as much as I do in that blasted position! Yoga is the most humbling activity I have ever done. I am still trying to convince my husband that is it worthwhile. He's pretty stuck in the lifting frame of mind. 

So before I hop in my car for the slippery drive into the city I'd like to wish you all a wonderful weekend. Eat Clean, exercise, and live for the moment!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Birthday Girl

Today is the birthday of my stepdaughter, Chelsea. She'll be blowing out 15 candles today. I'd give away her presents on here, but she might read this and find out. Let's just say they are very Wi-  and Hannah Montana-oriented gifts. Anyone else out there with daughters (or sons) caught in the Hannah Montana craze? I've heard the theme song so many times I can sing it in my sleep!! 

Anyway, tonight we will be taking Chelsea for a nice family dinner in Orangeville to celebrate. I've found a great restaurant called Juniper that offers an excellent selection of lean protein and veggies along with homemade bread. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it! The owners also grow their own veggies in their backyard garden. Drooling yet?

It's so nice to learn about places that offer foods in line with Clean Eating principles. I've been living here in Caledon for almost 5 years now and I'm still trying to find good spots to have a night off from the kitchen. Are you having the same success in your neck of the woods?Remember, Clean Eating doesn't mean no eating out. Since this is a lifestyle change we have to fit the principles into our everyday activities. 

Eating out and Eating Clean go hand-in-hand as long as you stick to your guns. Ask the waiter or waitress to leave off butter, sauces, and dressings. Also, ask them to not bring the bread basket to the table. Decide whether or not this is a treat meal - occasional treat meal, that is. If so, indulge in a glass of wine or a dessert. Otherwise, stick to water and black coffee and/or tea. Finally, don't be afraid to ask for what you want. After all, this is about your health and only you should be making the calls on what you put in your body!