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.

Eat all of the junk food you want. So long as you cook it yourself. - Michael Pollan Click To Tweet

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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A Trainer’s Weekly Menu – Week 3

A Trainer’s Weekly Menu – Week 3

I have been planning and prepping my meals for the week ahead for over 19 years. It has been the one constant in my life, next to loving husband and my eyelash curler (read here about how much I love my eyelash curler).

You need to start planning and prepping, too, especially if you are serious about:

  • Eating healthier
  • Eating in more than eating out
  • Controlling your waistline
  • Feeling nourished with the foods that you eat

Cause life it ain’t gonna hand you good food through the week. You gotta plan it, prep it and then grab it for yourself.

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

Notes about last week’s meals

  • Read Week 2 food menu here.
  • Last week didn’t quite go according to plan. When I realized on Sunday that I had a lot of yogurt leftover from my Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal I decided to scrap the Herb Frittata with Goat’s Cheese for breakfast and move it to lunch with a BAS (big ass salad). For breakfast I ate the rest of the yogurt with berries and Weeds & Seeds until the yogurt ran out.
  • You see I hate throwing away food. So, I am very fluid with my meal planning to adjust for times like these.
  • The Herb Frittata with Goat’s Cheese, with the adjustments I stated in my blog last week, was amazing! I ended up using fresh dill and chives, and what a treat. This recipe is a keeper and if you are looking for a high-protein, low carb meal this is it!
  • The Crockpot Split Pea and Ham soup was awesome too. Even loving husband enjoyed it. It was so easy to prep, and instead of bacon I cut up two thick slices of deli ham. I also had more than enough to freeze for a future meal. I love it when a recipe works out like that. 🙂
  • The White Bean Chicken Chili was good too. Mine wasn’t as thick as she said it would get and I used 3 cans of white beans, not 2.

TRAIN TIP: Did you see the workout I released on Tuesday? If you own a stability ball and are looking to work the glutes and target the abs you’ve got to check it out!

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

BREAKFAST

  • This week I am amping up my protein in the AM with this Blueberry Lemon Quinoa hot cereal. Looks great, however if you decide to make it as well be sure to read the reviews (the first one) as the recipe developer added some additional tips to the recipe.
  • Subs I will be making: I will not be adding the maple syrup and, instead, will sub in some stevia.
  • Reading this made me so THANKFUL that I froze 3 boxes of blueberries from the summer. Love those blueberries!

Blueberry Lemon Quinoa - Allrecipes.com
Blueberry Lemon Quinoa – Allrecipes.com

LUNCH

  • Since I did not get a chance to make last week’s lunch choice, Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoe Chicken & Quinoa Soup, I am going to make it this week.
  • It just looks too good, and it is too easy to prep, to pass up.
  • I will accompany this soup with a BAS (big ass salad), which I will prep at the same time as the soup.
  • For your BAS to last a whole week I suggest using hearty veggies like peppers, cut up red/purple cabbage, snap peas, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and cherry tomatoes (not cut). I always make my salads on Saturday or Sunday and they last me till Thursday/Friday.

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

DINNER

Sunday

  • We went for a HUGE hike yesterday. It is one of our faves, but it’s work (it’s a 5 hour hike, 3 hours straight up). So, to con/convince/coerce loving husband to do this hike with me I promised him spaghetti tonight.
  • He absolutely LOVES spaghetti, so I will make him a big plate and instead of pasta for me I will roast a cauliflower and some broccoli and put my meat sauce on those.
  • It grosses loving husband right out, but I absolutely LOVE this combo. It fills me up, tastes awesome and does not leave me feeling all yucky and bloated – like pasta would afterwards.
  • I have been doing this trick for a long time now. Try it, next you are having pasta.

Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower

 

Monday

  • I am going out on a limb with Monday’s meatless recipe, and if you are unaware of how picky loving husband is you can read his massive list of what he won’t eat here.
  • Monday night we are going to have Crockpot Vegan Chili by Holy Cow Vegan Recipes.
  • What sold me is she writes vegan recipes that even kids like, and since I described loving husband’s tastebuds to those of a 10-year old boy last week I thought “perfect!”.
  • Her chili asks for mushrooms, which I love and he hates, so I will keep them whole so he has an easy time picking them out.
  • The recipe also calls for diced tomatoes, which he will not eat, so I will buy crushed tomatoes and use those instead. He loves tomatoe sauce, he just can’t see any semblance of a tomatoe in his meal or he will not eat it.
  • Accompanying the vegan chili will be some of the BAS I prepped for the week.
  • So, a meal I will love and loving husband will not.

Crockpot Vegan Chili - Holy Cow Vegan Recipes
Crockpot Vegan Chili – Holy Cow Vegan Recipes

Tuesday

  • Loving husband has volleyball tonight and by the time I finish work and my workout I won’t be done till 6:30. So, an easy meal is required.
  • Kale salad with grilled salmon.
  • I will buy the store-bought, bagged kale salad with the cranberries and pumpkin seeds. Loving husband will eat this one (much to my surprise), so that’s the only one I buy.
  • For the salmon, I am addicted to this salmon rub that I buy locally at Coastal Olive Oil. It is the BOMB!! You have to try it.

TRAINER TIP: After you are done sitting and reading this ol’ blog try this 20-minute hamstring stretch and hip opener workout. Your low back, hips, glutes and hamstrings will thank you for it.

Wednesday

  • I teach until 7:10pm on Wednesday nights so we usually have left-overs, or I prep a slow cooker meal in the AM.
  • Since Monday we already did a crockpot recipe I will pull the healthy version of Pork Fried Rice that I have in the freezer (note: I also added an egg and a half cup of egg whites while stir frying).
  • Accompanying that will be the BAS prepped on Sunday.

Download your FREE weekly meal planner here.

Thursday

  • Trying some turkey cups tonight, Asian Turkey Lettuce Cups, from Bev Cooks. And, I am making loving husband eat them with lettuce cups too, should be interesting.
  • Accompanying the meal will be broccoli-slaw (that awesome bagged and chopped broccoli and cabbage that kinda looks like coleslaw). Yes, loving husband eats this. Surprises the hell out of me, but I do not dare say a word.

Asian Turkey Lettuce Cups - Bev Cooks
Asian Turkey Lettuce Cups – Bev Cooks

 

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

Friday

  • Since Saturday is Halloween we will probably go out tonight. Our fave thing to do is dinner and a movie. Both loving husband and I are movie addicts – so if you ever need a recommendation just email me.

TRAINER TIP: While I love movie theatre popcorn just as much as the next person (I get mine with extra butter and layered so that every handful is a greasy, cardiac-induced hangover), I don’t eat it all the time. Once in a while I go for it, but 75% of the time I don’t. Why? Well, you would be shocked to read how many calories a small popcorn is, and how two quarter pounders with cheese from MacDonald’s would be a better choice than a large popcorn. Read more here, it will shock you!

Saturday

  • Happy Halloween! Alright, that was said a bit sarcastically. I, personally, think Halloween is one of the most dumbest-ass “holidays” ever, but I get it. Some people love it. I am not one of those people so I apologize for raining on the parade of all those Halloween-er’s.
  • We do not give out candy on Halloween (surprise, surprise). In fact we keep the lights out – all night. I have given out candy once in my adult life and ended up with half a bowl of chocolate by night’s end. The following week loving husband and I promptly ate it. Neither one of us needs candy, and he definitely does not need any more sugar in his life (he’s sweet enough). So, I don’t buy candy, so then there is no candy leftover and no chance of eating it. Problem solved.
  • As for the kids, sorry tykes. But, we don’t have any children ourselves out there trick or treating on other people’s homes so I don’t feel the need to reciprocate by handing out sugar to the neighbourhood’s children.
  • I also hate getting dressed up, it’s kinda ridiculous I think.
  • And I can’t stand fire crackers. I don’t like loud noises and fire crackers scare Bella. So, tonight we will stay home and chill with baby-Bell and order in take out. And that’s Halloween at our house.

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

 

Bella & I - out for a fall stroll.
Bella & I – out for a fall stroll.

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.

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A Trainer’s Weekly Menu – Week 2

A Trainer’s Weekly Menu – Week 2

Well, this new blog, A Trainer’s Weekly Menu, that I have added seems to be a bit of a hit! Thanks or being so supportive. I appreciate it and want to give back and make sure that you set yourself up for success.

Click the link below and download my weekly meal planner. That, as well as valuable food prepping tips, will be emailed right to you. How cool is that???

Download your free Weekly Meal Planner here.

Notes about last week’s meals

  • I loved the Southwest Kale Power Salad  from Cookie + Kate and it will definitely be a regular thing on my weekly lunch rotation (lunch only though, cause loving husband WOULD never eat any of that)
  • My sister from another mister does have my favourite twice-baked sweet potatoe/yam recipe up on her blog. Check out Risse’s blog and awesome recipe here.
  • Wednesday night leftover night never happened because loving husband pulled a 12 hour day and didn’t get home until 9pm. So, I had the tuna salad from the night before and the leftovers were pushed to Thursday and Thursday’s salmon dinner was pushed to Friday. So, we never had a chance to try Two Peas and their Pod Grilled Steak Fajitas, but I will definitely try it in the future. We only eat red meat, at max, once a week and loving husband MUST eat salmon once a week. That’s our deal, much to his chagrin.
  • And, after 6 days of my Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Steel Cut Oats (recipe coming) you would think that I would be pumkin-ed out. But, I ain’t. In fact I really wanted to make it again for this week’s breakfasts, but alas common sense kicked in.

A Trainer’s Weekly Menu – Oct 18- 24, 2015

BREAKFAST

Herby Frittata with Vegetable & Goat's Cheese - Cooking Light
Herby Frittata with Vegetable & Goat’s Cheese – Cooking Light

  • 1/4 C mixed nuts and herb frittata with vegetables and goat’s cheese.
  • I am a huge fan of mixed nuts as a breakfast side dish and as a snack. I find by adding more healthy fats to my diet it helps me feel fuller, for longer, and therefore keeps my waistline in check.
  • I will be changing the frittata recipe somewhat. First, I will use 6 eggs and a cup of egg whites. Second, I will put it all it in a casserole dish and bake it for 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees. And, third, I will probably use dried dill. I love fresh herbs, but I find I throw away more than I use. (Yes, I know about the ice cube tray trick – freeze your fresh herbs in an ice cube tray – but I never seem to get to that.)
  • With these changes to the frittata recipe I will have 6 servings. So, one prep day and I am golden until next weekend for breakfast :).

LUNCH

  • I found this recipe on a new food blog that I am following, Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoe Chicken & Quinoa Soup.
  • How brilliant is that? A slow cooker meal (so nice and easy to prepare), with all my favourite foods.
  • I am on the fence, though, about whether or not I will add the chicken. I usually don’t eat meat during the day. I just never really have the appetite for it. So, if I decide to go sans chicken I will add some more black beans, or quinoa to the recipe to amp up the protein.
  • For dessert, cause lately I have been craving something sweet after lunch, I will buy a big ass bag of grapes. I love grapes when my sweet tooth (teeth!) kick in. They always squash the craving and fill me up. Now, I have been seeing (on my Instagram account) cotton candy grapes and they are apparently awesome. I haven’t seen them make an appearance locally, though. How about you? Have you heard/tried them? Let me know below in the comment section. I’m curious about them.

Sweet Potatoe Chicken Quinoa Soup - Chelsea's Messy Apron
Sweet Potatoe Chicken Quinoa Soup – Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Download your free Weekly Meal Planner here.

DINNER

Sunday

  • We are hoping to hike on Sunday (if the weather cooperates), so if we do I will use a Slow Cooker Beef Roast and Veggies meal that I have in the freezer, ready to go (the recipe in the link uses only carrots, I also added a parsnip, potatoe and a sweet potaote).
  • If we don’t hike, then I will make a double batch of Skillet Enchilada Bake (loving husband requested this), and freeze one batch for future use.

Monday

  • Meatless Monday is a hard one in my house. Loving husband, in case you didn’t know, has the tastebuds of a 10-year old boy. He will not eat:
    • Quinoa
    • Tomatoes, eggplant, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, zucchini, mushrooms, broccoli, most squashes, sweet potatoes (he will eat the odd chunk in a stew, but not a whole one), avocado
    • Black beans, white beans, etc (he will only eat canned beans in tomatoe sauce. However, I do make him eat the others when I add them to a dish. There’s only so much patience I have.)
    • Yogurt & sour cream
    • Salsa – he puts ketchup on his tacos
    • Healthy peanut butter (he will only eat Skippy)
    • Any nut butter
    • Almond milk
    • Berries, pineapple, any citrus fruit
    • Cheese (I can get away with cheese in some dishes, but I always use half of what any recipe calls for)
    • Seafood (he will only eat fish & chips, haha…go figure, and the mandatory salmon I bake every week)
    • Now you know the pain I go through, each and every week, when it comes to meal planning 🙂
  • This meatless Monday we will have the twice-baked potaote again (me sweet potatoe, get the recipe here) and I will bake them with my prep later today so we just have to re-heat the day of.
  • Kale salad, this is my fave and loving husband will eat it to.

Tuesday

Crockpot Split Pea Soup - Family Fresh Meals
Crockpot Split Pea Soup – Family Fresh Meals

Wednesday

  • Leftovers from last night for Larry, a protein bar for me 🙂 I am teaching until 7:10pm and then I am off for a presentation right after. There will be no time for me to eat and I do not want a meal at 9pm at night. So, I will munch on a bar while travelling to the event I am presenting at and then have a mug of Natural Calm when I get home.
  • Natural Calm is awesome. It restores a healthy magnesium level and balances out your calcium intake—the result of which is a natural stress relief. After a speaking event I always find that I am really wound up, so this will help calm me down, fill my belly a little (I won’t lie, I will be going to bed hungry though) and help me fall asleep.

Thursday

  • White Chicken Chili – Once Upon a Chef
  • Recipe adaptations: I will NOT be using a jalapeño or the poblano peppers. Both loving husband and I do not like spicy. We find we are spicy enough.
  • Spinach Salad prepped from Tuesday night

White Chicken Chili - Once Upon a Chef
White Chicken Chili – Once Upon a Chef

Friday

  • Salmon Casear Salad
  • Instead of croutons I use pumpkin seeds – surprisingly loving husband does not complain about this and eats them.
  • I do not make my own dressing, though. I have tried in the past only to have loving husband not like it and barely eat any our supper (he never complains, he just doesn’t eat it). This, in turn, leaves me wanting to stab his eyeballs out with a dull spoon. So, to save our marriage (and keep me out of jail for attempted manslaughter) I use this store bought dressing that we both approve of.

Renee's Half the Fat Caesar Dressing
Renee’s Half the Fat Caesar Dressing

Saturday

  • Eat out or take out 🙂
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies. I am a cookie fiend! I love cookies and will either bake some, or pick one up at our local coffee shop in Beach Grove where they sell Fieldstone Cookies.
  • Fieldstone’s is a bakery in South Surrey (near Crescent Beach) that makes the BEST baked goods, including cookies, in the world. If you are local go check them out. They are awesome.

Don’t forget to click on the link below to download your free Weekly Menu Planner, and share below what you will be prepping for the week ahead.

Download your free Weekly Meal Planner here.

 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!

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