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







PJ ox

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!

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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 Blab.im called “Over 40 Fitness: Motivation Monday“.

To listen all you have to do is log onto www.blab.im 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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Click if you want to start looking and feeling better.







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Protein and Protein Powder

Protein and Protein Powder

Let’s talk protein.

Any weight loss program, as well as all exercise programs, rely on a protein-rich diet. Why you wonder?

Well, first off I think that I need to start at the beginning and explain the basics about protein and then build from there.

Importance of protein
Protein is found in every cell, muscle, tissue and organ in our body. The body needs protein for:

  • Growth (as in muscles)
  • Maintenance and repair of our cells
  • Metabolism (as in an increased one)
  • Digestion
  • To help transport nutrients and oxygen within the blood
  • Fight against infection
  • And, on a more aesthetic level it is the main nutrient that keeps our hair shiny and healthy, our nails strong, our skin looking fresh and glowing and our bones strong and healthy. (www.cdc.gov/nutrtition.com)

What is protein?

Protein itself is actually chains of other molecules called amino acids. There are 22 amino acids in total in the body.  Thirteen of them non-essential, meaning our bodies are capable of making these little guys on their own, and nine which are deemed essential because we need to ingest these aminos through the foods that we eat.

When we eat the right foods, these nine amino acids will get reassembled to form the different types of protein that our body needs.  (www.about.com/what-is-protein)



What foods contain these nine essential amino acids?

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • And, soybeans provide all nine amino acids and are therefore called “complete proteins”.

Plant sources, such as legumes, nuts, seeds, grain products and many vegetables have some, but not all, of the nine amino acids, and are so termed “incomplete proteins.” When combined, though, it is possible to get all nine without having to eat any animal products (great news for all you vegetarians out there).

A diet high in protein is a very successful weight loss technique, and a tried and true method for fitness-enthusiasts looking to maintain a lean body weight and a high muscle mass.

In a study published in Nutrition Metabolism, dieters who increased their protein intake to 30 percent of their daily diet ate nearly 450 fewer calories a day and lost about 11 pounds over the 12-week study – and that was without employing any other dietary measures! (www.msnbc.msn.com)

Worried about what all that extra protein in your body might do to your heart and vessels, though?

No need to. In another study, this time at John Hopkins University, they found that a diet in which roughly a quarter of the calories came from lean protein sources actually reduced blood pressure, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and triglycerides better than a traditional higher-carb diet.  (www.active.com)

However, if you have any kidney or liver problems it’s best to seek the advice of a nutritionist before increasing your daily protein.

[bctt tweet=”Calories from protein affect your appetite control center so you are more satiated and satisfied. “]

How much protein should you be taking?
To get the number of grams of protein per day that you should be eating use the following formula:

For women:

  • If you’re not very active: multiply your body weight (in kg) by 0.8
  • If you’re active or pregnant: multiply your body weight (in kg) by 1.3
  • If you’re extremely active & in training: multiply your body weight (in kg) by 1.8

For men:

  • If you’re not very active: multiply your body weight (in kg) by 1.0
  • If you’re active: multiply your body weight (in kg) by 1.5
  • If you’re extremely active & in training: multiply your body weight (in kg) by 2.0

(Tip: To find your body weight in kg divide your weight in pounds by 2.2)

Easiest way to get protein
Protein powder is the easiest way to introduce 20-30 grams  of pure protein into your system. A quality protein powder will have all the essential and nonessential amino acids that your body needs.

Wondering why we would need those nonessential amino acids, when our bodies are already capable of making them on its own?

Well, let me remind you that when we exercise, we place a great deal of stress on the body and need to supplement to offset this stress. The body can’t do it all on it’s own when outside it’s normal parameters – you need to give it some help. This is also true if you lead a high stress lifestyle, or are ill, or do not practice proper nutrition. In fact, the unhealthier you are, the more you need protein.

Protein powder is also convenient and has a very high bioavailability (BV). Foods, especially protein sources, are rated by their “bioavailability” – how useful that food is to the body. The theoretical highest BV of any food source is 100%, an egg being the standard measurement that all protein sources are held to. BV refers to how well and how quickly your body can actually use the protein that you just consumed.

funny protein shake photo


Eggs (whole) 100%
Eggs (white) 88%
Chicken/Turkey 79%
Fish 70%
Lean Beef 69%
Cow’s Milk 60%
Unpolished rice 59%
Brown rice 57%
White rice 56%
Peanuts 55%
Peas 55%
Whole Wheat 49%
Soy beans 47%
Whole-grain wheat 44%
Corn 36%
Dry beans 34%
White potatoe 34%


Whey Protein Isolate 100+%
Whey Protein Concentrate 90%
Casein 80%
Soy 74%
Rice Protein 59%

Let’s talk protein powder.

Whey Protein Powders

Whey protein is a dairy derived product. It is the ‘leftovers’ after milk coagulates and is the byproduct of the process of cheese making. It is, by far, the most popular of all of the protein powders.

It has the highest BV rating of any of the other powders
– Easiest powder to find at the grocery store and health food store
-bMixes well with water, juice, milk and milk substitutes
– Is fat-free

There are 3 types of whey powders on the market: concentrate, isolate & hydrolyzed:

Concentrate forms are low in fat & cholesterol, but your body only absorbs 55-60% of it (concentrate has the lowest BV of the whey protein powders). This is also the cheapest powder that you can buy.

Isolate forms
are a purer form of protein and have been processed less than concentrate forms. Isolate also has a very high BV rating (100%) and it won’t bloat you or give you gas like the lower quality concentrate will. However, you will pay for these benefits.

protein powder is isolate, but with a facelift. The whey protein is cut into smaller chunks called “peptides”. These peptides absorb into your body fast, offering a quick jump-start to repairing those muscles and a very high BV. But this is also the most expensive protein powder. Think of hydrolyzed as your porterhouse steak, isolate as your sirloin and the concentrate as your flank. I love isolate powders personally. But, if you find you get bloated, or feel “too full” after a shake then hydrolyzed is your powder.


  • High amounts of protein should not be taken by people with pre-existing kidney problems
  • If you have an allergy to diary, consult with a dietician, or your doctor, before taking whey protein
  • If you are increasing the amount of protein in your diet, be sure to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day – protein uses a lot of water within the body to metabolize.


Casein Protein Powder

  • Milk consists of three main components – water, fats and proteins. The proteins are whey and casein.  Casein, however, is structurally different than the whey protein and it is responsible for the white, opaque appearance of milk.


  • Casein is extremely slow at digesting
  • This makes it the best protein powder for right before bed, or anytime when you are not going to be eating for seven or more hours. A drink with 20-30 grams of casein powder will help prevent muscle catabolism and keep you satisfied.


  • Same as the pro – it is slow-acting, so not the best choice for right after a workout, or as a morning meal.

Soy Protein Powder

  • Soy protein comes from, surprise, soybeans


  • Great alternative for people who cannot, or will not, eat whey protein
  • The vegan choice for powders


  • If you can, I would recommend staying away from soy protein powder. It has a low BV rating and is high in allergens.
  • It has also been researched that more soy we eat, the more likely we can develop allergies to it.
  • Soy was once considered a waste product in the soy oil industry and fed to cows.
  • If you need to, or want to, eat a vegetarian-based protein supplement, then I recommend chlorella, hemp seed, or spirulina. These three are considered “super foods” because they contain the proper ratios of the three macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates and fat. I, personally, take 3 grams of spirulina a day and 4-6 grams of chlorella (more during the flu season to up my immunity), in addition to an isolated whey protein shake.

Rice Protein Powder

  • Standard cooked rice has a protein content of only 5%-7%. To make concentrated rice protein, whole brown rice is ground into flour and then mixed with water. Natural enzymes are then added to break down and separate out the carbohydrates and fibers from the protein portion of the slurry.


  • Rice protein is high in the amino acids cysteine and methionine
  • Great for vegans


  • Other than cysteine and methionine, rice protein is low in the other 6 essential amino acids


When is the best time for a protein shake?

I prefer mine right after my workouts. When you workout you are actually creating tiny microscope tears to the muscle tissue. Because solid food takes time to digest, and I want those amino acids found in protein to build the muscle tissue ASAP that I just broke down, so a protein shake is my answer.

Protein, in particular the branched chained amino acids (BCAA) leucine, isoleucine and valine, are key at re-building the muscle tissue.

Recent research also suggests that there is a 30-60 minute window of opportunity to get the greatest benefit, and since it only takes about 30 minutes for my body to break down the protein chains in a powdered form, this leaves me assured that my shake is delivering the nutrients that I need, at a time that my body needs them most.(www.sportsmedicine.about.com)

What brands do I use?

  • Quest – this one contains sucralose, but tastes great with just water. I have also mixed the Strawberry in mny plain Greek yogurt to liven it up.
  • Vega – this one is vegan and needs milk, milk sub like almond milk to make it taste good. I also find it needs to be put in the blender with some ice too. This is the cleanest protein powder on the market, however not the tastiest.
  • Cellucor – this one contains sucralose and acesulfame potassium. So, not a “clean” powder, but tastes great mixed just with water. All the others need almond milk – or whatever milk sub you drink – to make the shake taste good.
  • North Coast Naturals – they carry a whey as well as a vegan formula and it does not taste great in water alone either. Mixed with a milk or milk sub, though, it’s really good.
  • Promisal – this is the powder II have used in the past! It tastes amazing in just water. I recommend the soft-serve vanilla, dutch chocolate and the cookies and cream. You can buy this online, or at GNC.
  • Devotion – hands down this is the BEST powder I have had in the 20 years of purchasing protein powder. It mixes amazing-balls with water alone. It is creamy, mixes well and tastes amazing.
  • One tip though, purchase the one sweetened with stevia. The other, sweetened with sucralose, is super sweet. I much prefer stevia.








PJ ox

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