Choco-Coco Peanut Butter Snack Bites

I’ve written about it before, but one of the easiest ways to ensure you eat healthy throughout the week, is to have healthy snacks pre-made and ready to go. One of my favourite snacks to make on the weekends are Peanut Butter Snack Bites made using Kraft All Natural Smooth Peanut Butter. They give you a great dose of healthy fats, protein, and a complex carbohydrate and are delicious to boot!

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I remember making these when I was a child, and I also remember making a version of them with the kids I babysat for growing up. No-bake recipes like this are a wonderful way to introduce children to baking and creating in the kitchen when they may still be too young to use the stove or oven (or kitchen appliances). There is always a huge sense of accomplishment when you make something yourself, especially as a child. I remember making no-bake snacks like this with my mom and I know the kids I babysat for remember making them with me. Making recipes together in the kitchen really does create a lasting memory, more so than just eating the finished recipe. Not only that, but it helps teach kids how to cook for themselves, a skill that will serve them for the rest of their lives.


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Ellie Black’s Journey To The 2015 Pan Am Games

I’m so darn excited to finally be writing this post to let you all in on the secret I’ve been keeping from you for the last two months!

I have partnered with McKesson® Canada and it’s retail pharmacy banners (Guardian, IDA, The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy and PROXIM) and more specifically it’s exclusive atoma® brand who have sponsored five Canadian athletes on their journey to the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games, including Nova Scotian artistic gymnast Ellie Black.

“This year, Canada has the chance to host the third largest international sports competition – we’re proud to support our Canadian hopefuls at this major event,” explains Alain Champagne, President, McKesson Canada, ” Our team atoma® athletes are models of perseverance and performance,” he continued. “It’s an honour for us to act as an ally in helping them stay healthy on their way to the Games.”

Aside from Ellie (who we will talk more about in a moment) team atoma® is made up of diver Jennifer Abel from Quebec, sprint canoeist Mark Oldershaw and wheelchair rugby player David Willsie, both from Ontario, and swimmer Ryan Cochrane from British Columbia. Team atoma® will represent the brand as ambassadors across the country and will inspire more Canadians to embrace an active lifestyle for Better Health.

You may be wondering where I come in, in all of this. Well, as the title of this post might indicate, I have the distinct pleasure of following Ellie’s journey to the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games, and sharing it with all of you! I am beyond thrilled to have the chance to share the journey of such an accomplished gymnast who also happens to be a proud Nova Scotian!

 

Over the coming months you can look forward to reading more about Ellie and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I will get a chance to meet her and see her practise one day soon. This girl has some amazing skills, just check out this sweet video she posted on Instagram last weekend!

Ummmm what!? #CrazyAwesome

I’m also going to have the chance to have a give away or two for you all of atoma® products. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the brand, not only are they the Official Pharmacy to the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, they are the exclusive brand of the Guardian, I.D.A. and The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy and PROXIM (in Quebec). atoma® products are made of the highest quality and they contain the same active ingredients as national brands, but at lower prices.

And to top it off, as part of my partnership with atoma® I get to go to the Opening Ceremonies of the 2015 TORONTO Pan Am games and the first two days of competition! We don’t know yet if Ellie will be competing on those first two days, but even if she isn’t there will be amazing athletes and competition to be seen that is for sure. I’m so excited, and I can’t wait to share more about Ellie and her accomplishents in the weeks and months to come.

In the meantime, you should absolutely be following Ellie on Instagram and Twitter (@ellieblack_) if you’re not already. And you can catch er tonight (Thursday, April 16th) on CTV’s  Live at 5. She is also being interviewed by Sandy Smith from CBC News Radio, Eastlink TV, and will be Global Morning News tomorrow morning so keep your eyes pealed for those as well!

I’m going to try to find the interview clips online after they air and post them here for you to watch, but even if you don’t catch them, you can be sure you’ll be hearing a lot more about Ellie Black leading up to the games, both here and in traditional news media as well.

You guys…I’m going to the 2015 TORONTO Pam Am Games!! :D :D :D Phew! It’s so nice to let the cat out of the bag!

To learn more about team atoma®, the brand’s products and online contest, consumers can visit www.teamatoma.ca.

Disclosure: This post has been brought to you as part of my partnership with McKesson® Canada/atoma®. All thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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3 Tips to Overcome (mental) Burn Out + Body Sculpt Warm-up Video

Heeeeeey! I gotta say, since the sun has decided to come out a few times this week I’m feeling a whole lot less cranky. Man this has been a rough winter for us in Nova Scotia. I’ve droned on and on about it here and in my email newsletters (sorry!) but all of Nova Scotia has been dealing with a serious case of the winter blahs for way too long. These warmer temperatures (and resulting snow melt) have really started to lift my spirits!

It’s also no secret that I’ve been dealing with a little burn-out  (largely thanks to the never ending winter, the reoccurrence of health issues – including IBS, and some other “unpleasantness” like this ) and I’m happy to say I am starting to feel like I’m getting passed that as well.

A couple of the things that have really helped me with my burnout were:

Talking About It

As soon as I opened up to you all about it I got some many comments and messages it really helped make me feel better. And it’s so nice to know that I wasn’t in it alone, and to help others who also were dealing with burnout realize that they aren’t alone either. Talking about these things always makes them better.


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IBS: An Unwelcome Visitor

The past month or so I’ve noticed that foods that haven’t bothered me in well over a year are starting to once again bother me.

I’m noticing more and more days where I end up with a bloated belly, uncomfortable abdominal pains, and digestive upset.

It would appear that my IBS which has been leaving me alone for nearly a year has decided to come pay me a visit. Fantastic.

IBS
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Body Sculpt

Prior to becoming a Zumba Instructor I was teaching regular old fitness classes, in fact if you’ve been around this blog since the beginning, you might even remember when I went to my first Zumba training. Sadly I can’t link to what I’m sure was an amazing post ;) since many of my old posts were lost a few years back thanks to some hackers, but the long and short of it is, I had a fitness life before Zumba. After over 3 full years of teaching mostly Zumba, and Zumba specialty classes the initial hype started to wean and last summer I decided it was time to ditch one of my evening Zumba classes and replace it with a more traditional class – enter Body Sculpt.

Body Sculpt was the product of my imagination, but was based loosely on other full body classes that I’d seen around. Essentially, I created a class which consisted of a choreographed warm-up, followed by a song concentrating on legs, then chest, back, triceps, etc. taking participants through a full body workout. I decided to run each class release for 10 classes before changing to a new one which would be in the same format, but with different moves for each body part. I wanted to stick with the same routines long enough for the participants to become proficient with them and to feel an improvement, but to change the routines after 10 weeks to work the muscle group differently and to keep things from getting boring and monotonous.

Anytime you decide to drastically change a class from what they are use to it’s a bit nerve wracking. Sometimes you succeed, other times you fail miserably. Fortunately, this was one of the former. My participant love (to hate) the class, and it is consistently one of (if not the) largest evening class I have these days. Personally I love seeing the changes in my participants from class to class and release to release. It’s for certain one of the most rewarding classes for me as an instructor to teach, I just love it.


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