Never Eat This For Breakfast

Never Eat This For Breakfast

And 50 Things You Should Eat Instead

While on this journey to better health and fitness (because this is a journey and not a destination), there are some things that can help with your journey and some that will just side-track it to hell.

Today I am going reveal one of the biggest impersonators in the weight loss and healthy food world.

This one food pretends to be healthy, all fortified and full of nutrients. It has also been known to toot its’ own horn because it is a “delicious, wholesome beginning that fills bellies and fuels bodies and minds”.

However, once the fanfare has stopped and you delve a little deeper you will soon see that this breakfast favourite will instead:

  • Stall weight loss
  • Increase our appetite for more food (and the wrong kind)
  • Raise our blood sugar levels
  • Leave us feeling tired, sluggish and brain-dead by mid-morning

Cereal and Kim Kardashian

That innocent box of cereal in your cupboard, impersonating as a healthy start to your day, is about as innocent as Kim Kardashian is at being camera-shy.

While I understand the draw to cereal (it’s quick, it’s easy), and I am not against all packaged food par sae (you will notice below in my recipes I use protein powder). What I am against, though, are unhealthy choices that we think are healthy choices because that’s what food manufacturers have duped us into believing.

I am also against starting our day with a product that is high in refined carbohydrates and high in sugar. Both of these are bad news, and even worse for us over 40-year olds.

You see, at this age we need now more than ever to maintain a steady blood sugar level throughout the day and foods high in refined carbs and sugar do the exact opposite.

A steady-eddy blood sugar level through the day will help us feel fuller for longer and teach us to only eat when we are really hungry. Two powerful allies to weight management in our middle years.

How Cereal Is Born

First, the process of how cereal is made is very unhealthy for the body – no matter what organic, expensive crap from the health food store you buy.

All cold breakfast cereals are made by a process called extrusion (Weston-Price). And, the extrusion process is roughly 5 steps of hell for an innocent piece of grain.

In the first part of the extrusion process the grains are mixed with water in a slurry and then processed in a machine called an “extruder” (sounds like a character in the “Terminator” movie, doesn’t it?).

Once the grains and water have fought with the extruder/Terminator (“I’ll be back” – they say… haha, couldn’t resist. Sorry.), the grains/sludge are then pumped out of tiny holes using high temperatures and pressure. These holes are what create the shapes of cereal that we find in our cereal box.

[bctt tweet=”Eat all of the junk food you want. So long as you cook it yourself. – Michael Pollan”]

Certain grains from the above process will then be passed through the extruder again to produce puffed wheat, oats and rice. Afterwards all of these shapes are then sprayed with a coating of oil and sugar to seal the deal.

This sealing process is actually the most crucial part to a cereal’s success. You see the cereal must stay crunchy while floating in a bowl full of milk for it to be successful.

Unfortunately they don’t stop the processing there.

Due to the high heat and pressure used (during the processing) this pretty much destroys most of the grains’ nutrients (Fighting the Food Giants Paul Stitt), and since the manufacturers have to sell Mom and the rest of us that this particular box is breakfast-gold, the food manufacturers take the cereal through one more process.

This time adding back the vitamins and minerals synthetically that their processing stripped of the grain that it had naturally in the first place.

To put it simply, they suck all the goodness out of the grain, then pump artificial “goodness” back into it.

Grain: I was just minding my own business when all of sudden I was sucked into this vortex and stripped of everything that makes me – me! “.

Funny Don't Eat Cereal Photo

How Sweet It Is

Most of us know that cereals like “Lucky Charms” and “Frosted Flakes” have a ton of sugar in them. That’s a no-brainer.

But, what if I were to tell you that even the most “healthiest” cereals have an unnecessary amount of sugar in them?

  • Sugar that will raise our blood sugar levels too quickly
  • Sugar that does not satisfy the body, instead leaving it craving more, and more often
  • Sugar, that will add girth to our waistlines
  • Sugar that increases inflammation in our bodies – leading to such diseases as cancer and metabolic syndrome
  • And sugar, that the World Health Organization (WHO) is advising us to half our daily consumption of

In addition, some cereals are high in sodium, that same sodium that Health Canada is telling us to watch out for.

Serving Size Disillusion

Another problem with cereal is that most people free pour it. Who has the time, or even wants to, pull out a measuring cup?

However, we all know what happens when we are left to our own devices to judge how much we are eating. We all over do it.

Sugar. It ain’t a great way to start your day.

Let’s take a look at some the “healthiest” cereals on the market today and see how they measure up for sugar grams.

Kashi GoLean (1 C) 9 grams sugar (just over 2 tsp)

Kashi GoLean – Crunch (3/4 C) 13 grams  (3 tsp)

Barbara’s Original Puffins (3/4 C) 5 grams (just over 1 tsp)

Bob’s Red Mill Granola (1/4 C) 8 grams (2 tsp)

Cheerios (1 C) 1 gram – while this is a low amount of sugar, don’t allow that to lull you in a false sense of security that you are eating healthy. Not only are the ingredients full of GMOs, the FDA even agreed  that Cheerios did not live up to the hype that General Mills was pumping out, and issued the company to change their marketing and box wording.

Apple Cinnamon Cheerios (1 C) 13 grams (3 tsp)

Koola Crisp – Nature’s Path (1 cup) 11 grams (almost 3 tsp)

Fibre One (half a cup) 14 grams (just over 3 tsp)

Smart Start Healthy Heart – Kellogg’s (1.25 cup) 17 grams (just over 4 tsp)

Corn Pops (1 cup) 14 grams (4 tsp)

Raisin Bran (1 C) 19 grams (over 4 tsp)

General Mills Granola (half of a cup) 18 grams (over 4 tsp)

Raisin Bran Crunch (1 cup) 20 grams (5 tsp)

Grape Nuts (1 C) 10 grams (over 2 tsp)

Kellogg’s Just Right Fruit & Nuts (1 C) 15 grams (4 tsp)

Quaker Natural Granola with Raisins (1 C) 30 grams (almost 7 tsp)

sad-cheerios Fitness with PJ blog

What You Should Eat For Breakfast Instead

Most nutritionists and trainers would love for you to eat a balanced breakfast. One that has a ratio of complex carbs, protein and good fats – and one that you prepped all by yourself.

If cereal is your thing than try large-flake or steel-cut oats. (Try this awesome oatmeal recipe.)

50 Breakfasts That Are Better For You

  1. Greek yogurt with fresh fruit
  2. “Wasa” Crisp bread with almond butter and sliced apple
  3. Scrambled eggs with salsa and avocado
  4. Egg-scramble with veggies
  5. Nut butter, whole grain tortilla shell & a banana (wrap & go)
  6. Avocado spread on toast with a poached egg
  7. 2 hard boiled eggs chopped in a bowl with a half an avocado
  8. Last night’s leftovers (my fave is cold salmon)
  9. Greek yogurt, berries & mixed nuts
  10. Carrot Cake Overnight Oats
  11. Baked Banana Oatmeal
  12. Baked Quinoa with Apples
  13. Baked Breakfast Peppers
  14. Avocado and Baked Egg
  15. Zucchini Noodle Breakfast Bowl
  16. Baby Kale, Mozza, Egg Bake
  17. Protein Pancakes
  18. Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal
  19. Breakfast Salmon Egg Bake
  20. Paleo Breakfast Casserole
  21. Raw Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Chia Bowl
  22. Energizing Green Smoothie Bowl
  23. Overnight Oats Banana Split
  24. Banana Chia Pudding
  25. Raw Buckwheat Porridge
  26. Easy Breakfast Salad
  27. Vanilla Chia Pudding
  28. Veggie Quiche Cups To Go
  29. Grain-Free Applesauce Pancakes
  30. Healthy Bran Muffins 
  31. Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake
  32. Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Bake
  33. Tofu Scramble
  34. Coconut Protein Chia Pancakes
  35. Breakfast Kabobs
  36. Superfood Porridge
  37. 5-Minute Oatmeal Power Bowl
  38. Black Bean Breakfast Burrito
  39. Ricotta Tomatoe Toast
  40. Creamy Berry Quinoa Parfait
  41. Mushroom Tomatoe Omelette 
  42. Mediterranean Morning Scramble
  43. Slow Cooker Red Pepper Asparagus Frittata
  44. Banana Oatmeal Protein Pancakes
  45. Coconut Lemon Chia Seed Muffins
  46. Pumpkin Pie Quinoa Breakfast Cookies
  47. Savory Pesto Breakfast Pesto Bowl
  48. Hot Chocolate Breakfast Smoothie
  49. Baked Apple Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal
  50. Loaded Veggie Avocado Quinoa Frittatas







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30-Minute Banish Fat Workout

30-Minute Banish Fat Workout

30-Minute Banish the Fat Workout

Sometimes you just need a good a** kicking. And, sometimes you need that a** kicking to be done in under 40-minutes and with very little equipment.

This is one of those workouts.

However, all levels can join in (don’t be scared off with the a** kicking).

I provided modifications throughout the workout so that EVERYONE feels successful.

Trainer’s promise.

Tools needed: 1 heavy dumbbell (8lb – 20lb), and a pair of moderate dumbbells (5lb – 12lb)

The Workout

30-Min Banish the Fat - full workout Fitness with PJ







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A Trainer’s Weekly Menu – Week 6

A Trainer’s Weekly Menu – Week 6

Not sure what to cook this week? Check out what I prepping and making for myself and picky loving husband for some inspiration and ideas.

Notes about last week’s meals

  • The protein pancakes were awesome. I also bought some raspberries and sprinkled them on top. It was so convenient to have these already made and in the freezer. I just pulled one out the night before and popped it in my toaster oven each morning.
  • The Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Noodle Soup was also a keeper! I added a red pepper and an onion to the slow cooker too. But, super easy, sure filling and super healthy.
  • WHAT I WILL NEVER MAKE AGAIN?? The Baked Spaghetti Squash Casserole. I threw the whole damn thing out. It was gross and I was pissed because I bought $10 worth of ground bison, not to mention all the other ingredients. I knew it sucked before I even served it. While the sauce was simmering I tasted it and hated it – and knew that picky loving husband would hate it even more. So, I threw it right then and there. I think it’s the stevia she has you add in the recipe. I really don’t think you need it. But, nonetheless, I will never make it again.

>>> Download your FREE weekly meal planner here.<<<

Catch Up On Previous Week’s Menus



  • Superfood Porridge from the amazing Oh She Glows website.
  • Angela, of Oh She Glows, also has the most wonderful cookbook out too. If you are looking for a gift for Christmas (for a healthy eater in your life), you have to go and pick up her book!
  • Hers is also one the BEST food blogs on the internet.

Superfood Porridge - Oh She Glows

Superfood Porridge – Oh She Glows


  • As always, I will prep enough lunch for Monday – Thursday leaving my Friday open to eat out with a friend or colleague, or have my fave PB and a banana on Wasa bread, shot back with a chocolate protein shake (read here: why you need protein with every meal).
  • This week’s lunch: Kale and Apple Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing – this seriously looks like a winner and I can’t wait to try it!



  • Slow Cooker Pot Roast with mashed carrots & parsnips
  • I already have this in my freezer and made my own taco seasoning mix and added parsnips to it as well. We have had this before and my carrots never really made it out of the slow cooker whole like hers show in the picture on her website. So, I just mashed them up with the parsnips and all was right again with world.
  • Kale salad as a side


  • Meatless Monday, otherwise known as loving husband’s least favourite day of the week. Read here about how a mushroom traumatized him close to death.
  • Crockpot Black Bean Soup, from Joyful Healthy Eats – finger’s crossed picky loving husband eats this.

Crockpot Black Bean Soup - Joyful Healthy Eats
Crockpot Black Bean Soup – Joyful Healthy Eats


  • I hate throwing away food, so since I still have some asparagus leftover from last week’s slow cooker frittata I am going to make another frittata.
  • This time, however, I will sauté the asparagus with some olive oil, along with a yellow pepper and a half of an onion with 1 tbsp of Italian Seasoning.
  • From there I will pour all the veggies into an 8×8 casserole dish and add 6 eggs and a cup of egg whites, whisked well.
  • On top I will sprinkle some goat’s cheese and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes
  • TIP: to make your asparagus last store the whole bunch upright in a mug, with about an inch of water. I can get my asparagus to last up to a week like this.

>>> Download your FREE weekly meal planner here.<<<


  • It’s “On Our Own Night”. My group classes start up again this week, so that means that I won’t get home until 7:30pm and I will be too exhausted from kicking people’s asses for two classes, back-to-back (it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it) to cook.
  • So, since it’s late, and I’ll be tired, we will just do our own thing. What is my “own thing”, as of right this moment I have no idea what my own thing will be. Picky loving husband, on the other hand, I will bet the house that he will prepare himself a can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup (his fave soup), with half a sleeve of Premium Plus crackers smushed up in the soup, accompanied with two PB and grape jelly sandwiches. I bet ya…


  • Baked salmon with some lemon juice and dill, with a baked potatoe for picky loving husband and baked Brussel sprouts for me.
  • Sautéed green beans with garlic and olive oil for both of us as a side


  • Eat out or take out – cause I ain’t cooking tonight.


  • Turkey Burgers with sweet potatoe fries for me and Tator Tots for picky loving husband
  • The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies in the World







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TRX Tabata Workout Part 2

TRX Tabata Workout Part 2

I love a good TRX workout, and since I have almost 42,000 views on my TRX Tabata Part One I am guessing so do a few other people.

This Tabata is unique because you do not need to lengthen or shorten the TRX. We keep it at one length for the entire workout and cycle through six exercises, one after another, in a Tabata format (8 rounds, 20 seconds hard with 10 seconds rest in between).

If you love tabata workouts then you should check these out:

TRX Tabata Workout – Part One

30 Minute Dumbbell Tabata


30-Minute TRX & Dumbbell HIIT

Total Body Kettlebell HIIT

TRX Tabata Workout Part 2

TRX Tabata Part 2 - Fitness with PJ list of exercises

 Have you checked out my latest “thing”? Fitness with PJ is now hosting a weekly show on Blab. Join me every Monday at 11am.

 Episode 1 Blab – Nov 2, 2015 (Over 40 Fitness: How to Stay Motivated)

Episode 2 Blab – Nov – Nov 9, 2015 (3 Strategies for Successful Weight Loss That Aren’t Dieting)

Click here to register for Episode 3 on Monday, November 16 2015.

Blab: Fitness with PJ Over 40 Fitness

 Looking for some tough love training? I’ve got small group classes, one-on-one appointments, and online personal training. In other words – everything you need to get started! Check out my website here.

 For more healthy living tips, recipes and workouts please subscribe above to this blog

 You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

 If you are really interested in getting started on your own weight loss and fitness journey, shoot me an email!

 Don’t forget to sign up for my weekly blog by clicking on the box above. I’ve got lots of awesome workouts, exclusive content, and exciting offers available to subscribers only!

[Over 40 Fat Burning Course Ad for Blog 






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A Trainer’s Weekly Menu – Week 5

A Trainer’s Weekly Menu – Week 5

I need to ask a question to those of you with a significant other.

Is it bad to have the urge/want/desire, every so often, to punch your loved one in the throat?

Don’t get me wrong. I love and adore my husband. Since the day I meet him he has made me want to be a better person. But, every so often I would really love to punch loving husband in the trachea.

Having this urge once in a while is normal behaviour, right?

Why I wanted to kill loving husband

Case in point early last week. For Meatless Monday we had some of the leftover vegan chili from the previous week (very yummy, click here for the recipe). This particular recipe asked for mushrooms, and while I usually do not add them to a recipe because of picky-loving-husband (click here for the list of what he won’t eat), I felt like eating mushrooms because I miss them.

So, I added them to the recipe, but I did not cut them. Instead I left them big and whole, so that picky-loving-husband could easily pick them out of his bowl if one found its way there.

Little did I know, however, that he would shovel the stuff into his mouth without looking at the contents on his spoon first. Yeah, you know where I am going with this.

All of a sudden there were choking and retching sounds to my right as he dramatically pulled a whole mushroom out of his mouth. Normally I would have just rolled my eyes, ignored him and continued on eating.

But, he wasn’t done yet. He had to also go on a tirade about how he almost choked on a mushroom and what would people say if they found out I killed him with a mushroom?!?!

He continued on, wondering out loud, how I would write his eulogy (death by mushroom?), what would I think of the irony of him dying from eating healthy food, how his gravestone would be the laughing stock of the graveyard with death by mushroom written on it, and what if, God forbid, he actually swallowed the damn thing.

He could have had a mushroom sitting in his stomach right this second. Apparently at that point there was no more trust with the chili and he spent the next 5 minutes carefully dissecting his entire bowl.

It was at that moment, as I was envisioning places to hide the body, that I wanted to choke him and punch him in throat.

I did not. Instead I ate my mushrooms with great slurping and mmmmmm’s sounds until my dinner was finished. Yes, we act like a couple of 10-year olds in our house sometimes.

Notes about last week’s meal

  • Not much to report, it was all good and the oatmeal recipe is amazing. HAHA, yes that’s my recipe. But, trust me, it is really good!
  • Actually, I do want to give a shout out to my (other) favourite from last week, the Creamy Avocado Spinach Pesto Zoodles (click here for the recipe). It was AWESOME!
  • I did have a serious brain fart when shopping for this recipe, though. The recipe clearly states “3 cups of spinach” and I clearly bought a crap of baby kale. So, I made do with the baby kale and it tasted great (however, having never made it before I have absolutely no baseline to judge taste on).
  • I also did use 2 tbsp of olive oil. I found I only needed one.
  • In addition, I roasted my baby tomatoes with some olive oil and garlic and also added fresh basil when I plated it. This was super good and I will definitely keep this as a regular meal – when loving husband is not home.
  • Loving husband’s favourite meal from last week…. the double, double burger from White Spot we ordered on our “take-out night” with the two servings of fries he ordered with it and the extra coleslaw he ate (I don’t like restaurant coleslaw, so he always eats mine). When I pressed him to tell me what fave meal from the recipes we used, he said the Split Pea & Ham Soup.
  • Check Out Week 1
  • Check Out Week 2
  • Check Out Week 3
  • Check Out Week 4

>>> Download your FREE weekly meal planner here. <<<

TRAINER TIP: if you need a workout for when you are traveling, or need a low maintenance, little equipment workout, you are gonna LOVE the Total Body Tubing Workout I released on Tough Love Tuesday. It’s the perfect travel workout, or the I don’t wanna spend any money on exercise equipment workout.

A Trainer’s Weekly Menu


Protein pancake recipe - Fitness with PJ

  • This is an “off” week for me, meaning that my classes are on a week break so my mornings are not as rushed as they normally are.
  • Because of this I am going to make some of those protein pancakes (click here for the recipe) I wrote about on Friday, each morning. BUT, if I have time today I will prep them in advance.
  • TIP: to prep protein pancakes I make them for the week and then wrap and freeze them individually. The night before I pull one from the freezer and in the morning toast it, or re-heat in the microwave.
  • For toppings I will slather some almond butter on it, or heat some strawberry jam and pour on top of it.



>>> Download your FREE weekly meal planner here.<<<



  • This afternoon we are meeting friends for brunch at a restaurant that does not serve brunch (WTF? Who does not serve a breakfast menu? Especially on a Sunday? Apparently the Cactus Club does not.). After that we are headed for a late matinee of the new James Bond movie (hello sexy Daniel Craig).
  • At the theatre I may have popcorn – GASP! Yes, trainer’s eat crap once in a while too. I am a trainer, not a goddamn saint.
  • So, because of this late brunch that’s not really brunch, and the potential crap that might be eaten at the theatre, dinner will be non-existent. Maybe a protein shake, but I doubt it because we probably won’t be very hungry.


  • Oh joy, another Meatless Monday! Or, as loving husband likes to call it “his worst day of the week”.
  • Tonight I will go easy on the guy (since he is still recovering from the above mushroom incident), and make a slow cooker egg frittata. (Recipe to be released on Friday… so hang tight.)


salmon-tacos-with-avocado-salsa - Fitness with PJ Blog Salmon Tacos with Avocado Salsa – Cooking Classy

  • Taco Tuesday! Yum!
  • Grilled Salmon Tacos with Avocado Salsa – by Cooking Classy
  • This recipe looks amazing! However, I won’t lie. I probably won’t make the avocado salsa. But, it does look amazing…. so maybe I will. Let’s see how ambitious I feel Tuesday night.

>>> Download your FREE weekly meal planner here.<<<


  • Sweet Chili Lime BBQ Chicken with Cucumber Salad 
    – from Muscle & Fitness (of all places!)
  • TIP: if you are going to do this recipe I suggest pounding your chicken breasts out a bit to flatten them before bbq-ing. This is a trick I picked up from some food blog (sorry I can’t give you a source. I literally read 4-6 a day). You see all chicken breasts have a thicker area, and since eating raw chicken is not cool you have to keep the chicken on the BBQ for as long as it takes to cook this “thicker” area. Unfortunately the rest of the chicken dries out when you do this. By making the breast one thickness you eliminate that, decrease your BBQ time and have juicy, yummy chicken every time. Try it.


Baked Spaghetti Squash Casserole – Eat Yourself Skinny

  • Baked Spaghetti Squash Casserole – from Eat Yourself Skinny
  • I am hoping if I also make garlic bread loving husband will ignore the fact that he’s eating squash. Finger’s crossed.


  • Leftovers! There are bound to be some leftovers from this past week which we will dish out, heat up and nosh on.


  • Take out or go out. But I ain’t cooking!

>>> Download your FREE weekly meal planner here.<<<

Blab: Fitness with PJ Over 40 Fitness

I am so excited to share with you my newest venture. Every Monday at 11am (PST) I will be broadcasting an online social chat room on called “Over 40 Fitness: Motivation Monday“.

To listen all you have to do is log onto and use your Twitter account to sign in. That’s it.


Not familiar with Blab? Well, it’s like a podcast, webinar, Google Hangout all rolled into one. It’s super cool. Lots of great info and tips from pros around world and YOU have the opportunity to sit in and ask them any questions that you want.

Check it out >>> every Monday at 11am.

My guest this Monday is Mary Roncarelli, health coach and author of 12 Weeks to Wellness:

3 Best Strategies to Weight Loss – and That Have Nothing To Do With Dieting   Click here to register.


Looking for some tough love training? I’ve got small group classes, one-on-one appointments, and online personal training. In other words – everything you need to get started! Check out my website here.

For more healthy living tips, recipes and workouts please subscribe above to this blog

You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

If you are really interested in getting started on your own weight loss and fitness journey, shoot me an email!

Don’t forget to sign up for my weekly blog by clicking on the box above. I’ve got lots of awesome workouts, exclusive content, and exciting offers available to subscribers only!

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