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Apple Crumble Oatmeal

Andrea Falcone Recipes Leave a Comment

I love fall, the flavours, the rooting and grounding we do, layering (clothes AND food), the holidays and the colours. I have never enjoyed all of the #PumpkinSpice and #PSL stuff going on. Love pumpkin, but straight up. Apples are my thing and this oatmeal is sure to please every palate AND with fresh local apples all around they just add that perfect crisp to this breakfast meal.

Makes 4 servings (*great to make ahead and have for the week!)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Steel Cut Oats, cooked and cooled
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1⅓ Cups Plain Yogurt (I use 6% M.F.)
  • ⅔ Cups Coconut Yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp Psyllium Husk
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Flaxseed
  • 2 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Apple, shredded
  • 2 Tbsp Unsweetened Large Flake Coconut

Toppings:

  • 1 Apple, cubed
  • 4 Tbsp Natural Peanut (or Almond) Butter
  • 4 Tbsp Homemade Granola

Directions:

  1. Make steel cut oatmeal on the stove top by boiling 2 Cups of water. Once boiled add a pinch of salt, the oatmeal and lower the heat to medium-low. Allow the oatmeal to simmer until the majority of the water is absorbed.
  2. Place the oatmeal in a large bowl and allow to cool (this may take a few hours).
  3. Once cooled, add in the yogurts, psyllium husk, ground flaxseed, ground cinnamon, shredded apple and unsweetened coconut. Mix well to thoroughly incorporate all ingredients.
  4. When you’re ready to enjoy, scoop out ¼ of the pre-mixed oatmeal, chop up some fresh apple pieces (I use about ¼ per portion), 1 Tbsp natural peanut butter and 1 Tbsp my Soft and Chewy Granola (The Best Mistake I Ever Made).
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Lobster Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Andrea Falcone Recipes Leave a Comment

Cheese every day is often how it rolls around here!! But when these three cheeses come together with a butternut squash sauce — Oh My Word! Enjoy this with fresh or frozen lobster meat, or any of your left-over Thanksgiving meat shredded into small pieces!

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 1½ Cups Cooked Butternut squash, pureed
  • Olive oil
  • 450 g Elbow Macaroni or Short Rigatoni pasta
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • ½ tsp Fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 Cup Shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
  • ½ Cup Chopped Camembert Cheese
  • ½ Cup Shredded Asiago Cheese
  • 300 g Lobster meat, thawed and drained if frozen

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with foil paper. Cut the butternut squash lengthwise and remove the seeds. Add a small dab of oil all over the flesh of the squash and place flesh-side down on the baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, measure out all remaining ingredients. Mix all of the cheese together, reserving about ½ Cup in a small dish. If you are using frozen lobster meat, place in between paper towels to remove as much of the water as possible. If using fresh lobster meat, cut up into small pieces. (*Alternatively, you can use shredded chicken or turkey too).
  3. Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil.
  4. Once the squash is cooked, lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow the squash to cool for a few minutes. Measure out 1½ cups and puree in a food processor.
  5. Once pasta water boils, add salt and the pasta, allowing to cook through.
  6. Heat a large oven-proof pan over medium heat (I used a cast-iron skillet). Add the butter and allow to melt. Add the milk, black pepper, and pureed butternut squash whisking constantly. Once warmed through, add the mixed cheeses, a small handful at a time until incorporated into the sauce.
  7. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and place into the cheese sauce. Mix thoroughly incorporating all of the sauce into the pasta. Add the lobster meat and mix through.
  8. Sprinkle the reserved cheese all over the top of the pasta mix and place in the oven for 10 minutes, broiling for the final 5 minutes to ensure the cheese in bubbling.
  9. Serve with your favourite garlic bread or corn bread and enjoy.

 

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What is Your Language Saying? How talking about dieting, body image and food restrictions impacts a child.

Andrea Falcone Health, Nutrition Leave a Comment

It happened. I thought I was in a horror movie. Standing in line waiting to check out at one of my favourite stores and a little girl pointed to a bag of gummie bears and said ‘mommy look these are healthy’! She pointed to the words ‘fat free’ and ‘gluten free’. So I asked….. out of curiosity you know… why are they healthy? She indicated that those words were what her mom would look at on packages because her mom was on a diet. Trying to keep my composure, I jokingly said, “oh no one needs to be on a diet!” We ended up having a very friendly conversation about butterflies after that, but it just made me think about what I heard growing up, what turned out to be an eating disorder, and how much more saturated society is today on image, dieting, but more importantly, how we are talking to the children in our life – whether you’re a parent, teacher, friend, family member, or apparently a food marketer.

How do you talk to your kids about weight and image? Are you sensitive with the words you use? I thought I grew up in time when it bombarded us left right and centre, and had people around me constantly obsessing about how they looked as opposed to how they felt, but now it seems to be getting even worse. As much as I think that there is so much advocacy around positive body image, health at every size, all foods fit, there are still the conversations I overhear, the entertainment reports on television, radio, the internet or in print, and oh-my-goodness the diets, diet products, or cleanses with fancy marketing taglines, pretty much dictating how we, in society, should look and eat.

Do you speak about your image, weight and dietiting in front of your kids? Certain foods you “can’t have” (but then go and feed your family?) Now allergies are one thing to be dealing with, so please don’t get me wrong here, but consider how a child may feel when he or she is eating a certain food (let’s take the ever-forbidden pasta here), and mom or dad “can’t have it” because “they’ve decided to cut out carbs”. What do you think that may say to a child? I’d be confused to be honest – ‘she made me pasta, but then she can’t have it. Why would she give me something that is not good for her?’ There are a plethora or different dialogues that kids can have. Don’t believe me? Well, guess what? I speak from feedback I hear from kids themselves, especially as they grow older, or are now even adults, explaining where their emotional food and body image issues may be rooted from. They hear you! Internally, they may be having their own dialogue. Using words like strong, balanced, or beautiful to speak to them, but MORE importantly, about your own self, makes such a difference and an impact to support them along their journey.

What about if your child is trying to adapt some healthier habits, and has confided in you that they want to eat a certain way? Encourage them! If they decide to go out with friends, or want an ice cream or cookie, try not to say “you shouldn’t eat that” – they’re human, and may just truly want that ice cream or cookie (and plus, all foods fit right). They will feel more motivated (and less defeated) if they can have a treat and carry on with their goals, without being scrutinized for it. We all know that we should aim to include more whole natural foods as often as possible, with fewer processed foods for our health and longevity. They give our bodies more energy, focusing on the quality of the nutrients we are nourishing our body with.

Telling someone to eat a certain way, or follow a certain way of living is no one’s job but the person’s own self to identify with. There is so much nutrition information out there, including a ton of mis-information. Our jobs are to listen to the person, encourage them with the goals they set, use positive language, and help direct or steer them into understanding what their bodies need for certain periods of their life, stages, growing seasons, and always being mindful of the words that are used. If you wonder whether you need to intervene in someone’s life because they look ill, please reach out to a dietitian or nutrition professional to support you along the way. If you feel your child would be better off sitting down with a professional to help guide them, then help them book an appointment. And if you open up your internet page to see 5 new articles on “eat this and not that”, and get confused with the content, take the time to sit down with someone yourself so that you can get the true facts for your health and lifestyle.

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All Time Hearty Chicken Soup

Andrea Falcone Recipes Leave a Comment

Who doesn’t like a good, warm bowl of chicken soup? We grew up with a lot of homemade chicken soup, but we also cracked open a package of Lipton’s on a Sunday night with grilled cheese from time to time. My Mother would help out with the boiling water and soup, and my siblings and I would be lined up along the counter putting the butter on the bread and slapping a piece of Kraft single sliced cheese in between for an oven baked grilled cheese! Yes, we had prepared foods every now and then, because sometimes to make a meal hearty and comforting, you need it a little quicker. Nourishment is the key. When I played around with my own chicken soup recipe once when I had left-over chicken that I wanted to use in a different way, and some fresh collards from the garden, I was just comforted by the hearty feeling of all of the nutrition in my bowl, but also brought back to my childhood. And it happened to be a meal I enjoyed with my whole family too.

Serves: 8-12

Ingredients:

  • 2 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 Large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Butternut squash *see note below
  • 1 Sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 Yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 stalks Celery, diced
  • 4 Cups No-salt added Chicken Broth (or homemade)
  • 1-2 Cups Water
  • 4 Cups Left-over or store-bought chicken, skin removed and shredded
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh (or dried) Parsley
  • ½ tsp Each, dried thyme, rosemary, and oregano
  • Pinch Ground pepper to taste
  • 1 Small bunch of kale or collards, washed and chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 o Fahrenheit.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. If using a whole butternut squash, cut it in half, take the seeds out and place on the baking sheet, skin side down. Roast in the oven for 35-45 minutes.
  3. Prepare carrots, sweet potato, garlic and ½ of the onion as indicated. Toss the ingredients in 2 Tbsp of the olive oil and place on second baking sheet. Place in the oven and roast with butternut squash. (*Note: there should be approximately 20-25 minutes left on the timer now).
  4. While the vegetables are roasting, peel and chop the remaining onion and celery stalks. Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add in the celery and onion and cook for about 4 to 6 minutes. Add the broth, 1 Cup of water, and herbs and bring to a simmer.
  5. Meanwhile, wash and cut the kale into small pieces and place in a bowl. This will be added right at the end of the cooking process.
  6. Once the vegetables are cooked, add to the pot. Carefully slice, peel and cube the squash and add as well. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup contents, leaving some vegetables still in chunks. You may need to add the extra cup of water here.
  7. Once at the desired consistency, add the shredded chicken breast and kale to the soup pot and stir to combine. Allow to simmer for about 5-10 minutes (or it can stay on low heat for up to an hour).
  8. Adjust with any seasonings if necessary.
  9. Serve when ready!

Change-it-up Tip:

  • If you want to peel and chop the butternut squash yourself, you can do so and add it in with all of the vegetables. Alternatively, you can purchase cubed squash already.
  • If using raw chicken breasts, you can either bake them separate or allow chicken to cook in the broth for about 45 minutes. If poaching the chicken as such, add it to the broth after step 4 in the directions above. Once cooked through, remove the chicken from the broth, add the vegetables and puree, and then you can shred chicken into pieces and add back into the soup.

Playing the Power Ball

Andrea Falcone Nutrition Leave a Comment

Who has Your power when it comes to making Your food choices? Seems like a silly question! Maybe I should ask you who do you give your power to when you make your food choices? With the flux of television, radio and print ads that bombard us in every possible direction, I can’t help but question when I hear a new one come through the audio or visual streams, as to why some corporations would take such an angle with some of their public service announcements.

Ask yourself this, do you feel any way vulnerable, sensitive, or questioning yourself, and in particular, the food choices you make for yourself and/or your family, when you see a commercial or hear a radio advertisement? Are the words in the advertisement so powerful that someone makes you question, “yah, I should spend more time with my children and just order in today”, or “maybe the real reason I’m not losing weight is truly because I don’t have this supplement or weight loss product”? These are just a few different feelings, but what I want to highlight is the importance of not allowing others tactless, sometimes manipulative words to shift your own thinking and knowledge, and possible faith you have in yourself to the other side of doubt.

The “psychology” behind product placement in grocery stores, words being used in public service announcements, or even when you see a commercial on the television during the day, is interesting to learn about, and then master. Are those bags of chips staring at you when you’re in the check out line, when all you needed to do was pick up bananas on your way home from work, but are also starving that “they win” and you make the purchase?   Companies pay oodles of money to have those foods in those places, and they know why. I’m not at all suggesting you never eat foods like chips, cookies, or chocolate bars, but to simply be informed if you feel this is at all a challenge in your life! Having a bit of a plan, or knowledge behind how to fuel yourself at different times of day, and having a back-up plan may be useful to consider.

How about one of the new radio commercials which is approached from an angle of your “lack of time to spend with your children”? How do you feel? “Already don’t have enough time with your kids, make life simple by dialing us up and having your (insert fast food advertisement here) food delivered to you. It may make the working individual feel somewhat guilty about not having time with their kids, and in turn takes the company up on their offer to be able to spend time with their children….resulting in what?  A win on their end!  Don’t get me wrong, the more time we can spend with family the better, but at the cost of your health? And at the cost of not spending 15-20 minutes in the kitchen to prepare something simple? As for time with your kids, involve them, and you’ll see the quality time and memories you build, not to mention the skill you’ll instill in them.

These are simply thoughts I have, backed by the education and understanding of the food system, psychology and behavior. No one in the world is created the same, but if you ever feel yourself doubting your own knowledge, or ability to make wise food choices, I encourage you to sit down with someone like a dietitian or other nutrition professional to get to the root of the choices you DO want to make on a daily basis to support your best health! Creating a healthy relationship with food which includes being able to enjoy celebrations and all of the foods your body can tolerate is a wonderful thing to achieve once you’ve allowed yourself to understand why!

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Pappardelle with a Wild Salmon and Arugula Roasted Tomato Rose Sauce

Andrea Falcone Recipes Leave a Comment

My two favourite things about this time of year are wild salmon and fresh greens from the garden! So, with so much arugula coming on the daily, mixed with a little TV-time with my parents, this beautiful recipe came to me.

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 2, 255 g Pints, Cherry Tomatoes, washed and dried
  • 4 Cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 tsp Fresh cracked Himalayan salt, divided
  • 5 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 6 Cups Arugula, chopped
  • ½ Tbsp Sugar *optional
  • 1 Shallot, peeled and chopped
  • 1.5 Lb Fresh Wild Sockeye Salmon
  • 1 Cup Cooking Cream
  • 500 g Pappardelle Pasta

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with foil paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the washed cherry tomatoes and garlic cloves with 1 tsp cracked Himalayan salt and 3 Tbsp of olive oil. Stir to combine and spread on baking sheet.
  3. Roast in the oven for 25-28 minutes stirring once in between.
  4. While tomatoes roast, wash and chop the arugula, leaving aside in a bowl. If the arugula seem bitter, you can mix in ½ Tbsp of sugar. Peel the shallot and chop, leaving aside in a bowl.
  5. Rinse the salmon, and rest on paper towel on a dish. Add a drizzle of olive oil and fresh cracked black pepper and salt to the flesh.
  6. Preheat a cast iron skillet, non-stick fry pan, or stovetop grill to medium-high heat. Place the salmon filets, flesh-side down, searing for 3 minutes. Flip over and continue to cook, skin-side down for 1-2 more minutes. Remove from heat and place in a casserole dish with a lid.
  7. Once the cherry tomatoes have finished roasting, remove the pan from the oven and gently press the cherry tomatoes so that their juices escape.   Be careful not to squirt the juices all over you!
  8. Place a large wok or skillet on the stove and heat 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and all of their juices and continue to sauté for a few minutes. Add the cooking cream and bring to a low simmer, gently mixing with a whisk.
  9. While sauce simmers, boil a pot of water with salt for the pasta.
  10. Once the water boils, add pasta and cook until just al dente (they will finish cooking in the sauce).
  11. While the pasta cooks, remove the sauce from the burner and pulse briefly with an immersion blender to allow the sauce to thicken up slightly. Place the sauce back on the stovetop on low heat. Break up the salmon into small pieces, ensuring you remove all of the skin and add to the sauce. Add the arugula, and 2 ladles of the pasta water to soften the arugula.
  12. Stir the sauce to combine all of the ingredients, and bring to a light simmer. The sauce will be slightly watery but that is OK!
  13. Once the pasta has reached al dente, use a slotted spoon or spaghetti server to add the pasta to the sauce. Allow the pasta to finish cooking in the sauce, ensuring you stir often, for about 3-5 minutes.
  14. Plate the pasta into bowls, topping each plate with a spoonful of the sauce.

Enjoy with your favourite people!! Even if that is your beautiful self

Switch this recipe up!

  • Gluten Free – Change pasta to rice, thinking of a stew or curry-style dish
  • Dairy Free – Use full fat coconut milk (I would also suggest the rice in place of pasta for this switch), or Cashew Cream
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Polenta-Tot Poutine

Andrea Falcone Recipes Leave a Comment

What is polenta? That’s the question I get many times when I make a dish including it! I mean, I grew up on polenta, and I love getting experimental with it now in different ways! But many people may not know how to use it or be scared to cook with it! Not anymore. Polenta is cornmeal, boiled with water or broth to form into a sticky pancake-like food to then enjoy as you wish! BUT here’s a recipe to celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday….a-la-poutine style! Serve this up at your next BBQ and you’re sure to have a winning dish for everyone to enjoy.

Serves 12 people

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp Fresh Cracked Sea Salt
  • 2 Cups No Sodium Vegetable Broth
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 2 Cups Cornmeal

For the Feta Cheese Curds:

  • ⅓ Cup Finely Chopped Fresh Dill
  • 1½ Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Cups Crumbled Feta Cheese

Directions:

  1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the thyme, garlic, salt and allow for all flavours to blend, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the broth and water, bringing to a boil. Once boiled, lower the heat to medium-low, gradually whisking in the cornmeal.
  4. Once all cornmeal is added to the saucepan, continue to whisk for about 3-5 minutes until the cornmeal is dissolved, holding the same consistency throughout.
  5. Scrape polenta onto prepared baking sheet, evenly distributing the polenta so that the tops are smooth.
  6. Refrigerate for one hour, or up to 24 hours ahead of time.
  7. Once polenta sets, remove from the fridge and preheat oven to 375o
  8. Cut polenta into small 1-inch squares, or whatever shape you’d like and place on an ungreased baking sheet. (you can use the same baking sheet the polenta was in the refrigerator on, but remove the parchment paper).
  9. Place the polenta squares in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes, turning each square over at the halfway point.
  10. While the polenta tots bake, prepare the feta cheese curds. Mix together the dill, Dijon and olive oil in a medium-sized bowl. Add in the crumbled feta and stir to combine all ingredients.
  11. Once the polenta tots are baked, make individual servings or serve the whole dish on a large platter with the feta cheese curds mixed in between or simply on top.

 

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Crispy Baked Calamari

Andrea Falcone Recipes Leave a Comment

Calamari may be one of our favourite appetizers to order at a restaurant.  Grilled or fried, it’s often a go-to to start a meal off with including protein and flavour!  I figured since it’s such a go-to I would figure out how to make it at home, so that I know how it all goes down, and can whip it up whenever the crave hits!  and O-M-G! So simple and delicious!  Check out this recipe which is a win-win any time.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 Lb Calamari Rings and Squid, fresh or thawed from frozen
  • 2 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • ½ Cup Cornmeal
  • ½ Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Fresh ground pepper
  • Fresh Lemon wedges
  • Fresh thyme or dill for garnish

For the Avocado Dipping Sauce

  • 2 Ripe avocados
  • ½ Cup Fresh thyme or dill
  • ½ Lemon, juice from
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • Fresh cracked black pepper and salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400o
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Clean and rinse the calamari rings and/or squid, allowing to dry on paper-towel.
  4. Once dried, sprinkle with cornstarch and evenly coat.
  5. In a dish, combine the cornmeal, panko breadcrumbs, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  6. Drizzle the olive oil over the calamari rings and/or squid, tossing to evenly coat.
  7. Dip the pieces of calamari and/or squid in the cornmeal-panko mixture and place each piece on a baking sheet.
  8. Bake in pre-heated oven for 22 minutes, turning the pieces over at the half-way point.
  9. While the fish is cooking, prepare the avocado dipping sauce. Combine all ingredients in a food processor. You may choose dill or thyme as your herb of choice, depending on the flavor profile you prefer! Once all ingredients are combined, scoop out into a bowl until the calamari are ready.
  10. Once the calamari are cooked, place on a dish, garnishing with fresh thyme or dill and fresh lemon wedges.

 

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Soft and Chewy Granola (aka~ The Best Mistake I Ever Made)

Andrea Falcone Recipes Leave a Comment

My friends I’ve shared this recipe with also know this one as “the best mistake I ever made”! In an attempt to make my own granola bars, I may have altered a few of the ingredients this way and that which prevented the ingredients to hold together well into a bar, but did it ever make a great crumble mixture!! Which today, I make once a month and hold in the fridge as my granola. A great fridge staple to have with yogurt as a snack, added to cereal, or enjoy on its own!

Serves: 18, -Cup portions

Ingredients:

  • ½ Cup Unsalted dry roasted pumpkin seeds
  • ½ Cup Unsalted Dry roasted sunflower seeds
  • ½ Cup Lightly salted cashews, chopped
  • 1 ½ Cups Large Flake Oats
  • ⅓ Cup Dried apricots, chopped
  • ⅓ Cup Dried Cherries, chopped
  • ⅓ Cup Dried Rasins, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • ¾ Cup Natural Peanut Butter
  • ¼ Cup Honey

Directions:

  1. Mix the first 8 ingredients into a bowl.
  2. In a larger microwaveable bowl, add the peanut butter and honey. Microwave for about 15-30 seconds (depending on the intensity of your microwave), so that the ingredients mix together well with a spoon.
  3. Once the peanut butter and honey are well mixed, pour the oat mixture into the peanut butter and honey mixture, stirring well until everything mixes together.
  4. Place the mixture into the refrigerate for 20 minutes or up to a day (if you’re not in a rush to eat it)!
  5. Once ready, remove the bowl from the fridge and break it apart with a spoon. Place in a large container and keep in the fridge to keep fresh.

You can choose whichever dried fruit you would like to use. I use these three because I like the combination and often have them all on hand! Try dried apples, figs, Gogi berries or whatever you’d like.

Are You Hard on Yourself?

Andrea Falcone Uncategorized Leave a Comment

The conversations I have on a daily basis with others, both professionally and personally, help to spark the conversations I want to have with all of you through this blogging platform. Over the month of April I found myself saying, as well as hearing from my circle of people, “don’t be so hard on yourself”! So it seems only appropriate to try to get to ‘why’ so many of us can embrace the support amongst those around us to recognize all of the value in our accomplishments, yet then be so hard on our own selves for not quite getting to or reaching what we had set as our intention.

We live in a culture where doing more seems to be the main thing to stay on top of for the next day to come. You know how I feel about goals… just have a read here, here and here as a start! We need them, whether they’re small or big, or simply, “I want to just get through today with a smile on my face at the end of it”. Goals are defined by you, the individual, based on what YOU want to achieve, not what others want you to achieve. And if we don’t achieve those goals or set things-to-do list, have we failed? Are we hard on ourselves? Well, I think that has to do with your expectations and your perspective!

The expectations we put on ourselves are for our own growth, our own responsibilities, and I truly think they’re important to have – BUT, that’s simply my perspective! What we need to recognize is whether those expectations are being put on us from our own thoughts, our own goals, or from others. I find this so frustrating in the “dieting and health business”. We are flashed with so many unrealistic diets, diet programs, fitness programs, or whatever it may be, that amplify the before and after of said person, and if you try that “program” out and don’t reach the same results promised to you from said company, how do you feel about yourself? Or rather, how are you supposed to feel about yourself? Do you feel you’ve failed? That you’re not good enough? In my profession, with the clients and groups I see, the programs I develop and the lectures I give, it always comes down to that – what about this diet? What about that diet? Hey, what about YOUR life? Your diet? Your goals? Your expectations of yourself and your realistic views of what your lifestyle is all about and finding what will fit, is only yours to decide. The marketing tactics and easy-as-1-2-3 programs that are out there are not often looking after your lifestyle and health. And why do I know this? Because, well, it’s not as easy as 1-2-3. Especially if you’re an adult with set behaviours and patterns in your life. Can we drop 10 pounds in 5 days – sure we can! But it’s not realistic for your long-term life and that’s what you should try to ask yourself before jumping on another wagon.

It’s about being honest with yourself. What type of coaching or accountability do you need? What resources do you have at your fingertips? Many times I work with people and they are successful, but at some point during the process, something may happen and we need to side step to reflect on what resources are available around them to use to support them at that time to help get them to the next step. It can be done! So before you step into the “I’ve failed again” or “What is wrong with me” mindset, stop that thought and ask yourself, “what of this strategy didn’t work for me that I have to change?” Is this truly a priority for me right now, or is the fact that changing jobs, getting my kids through dance competition season, supporting my child through something, buying a house, planning a wedding, getting my finances in order – whatever it may be in your life – needs to take precedence at this point? It doesn’t mean you’ve failed. There is a time for everything, and if your health is worth it, which I know it is, you will find that time to make it a priority and give it the attention it needs.

Before you start the riff-raff about what you did wrong though, celebrate what you did right! Is it simply that you slipped but recognized it? Hey, that’s you being aware, so a light bulb is flashing at you. And remember, at the end of the day, to do what you need or want to do for You and Your health. Setting out to do something to please other people, or to “look” a certain way is not a great starting point. You! You are important! You are capable and able…just look at all that’s around you and start tapping into those resources and your own set of skills that you already have!