Sustaining Success 2015 – Nicola

Sustaining (1)

Continuing with featuring people who have made successful change over the last year, I am privileged to introduce you to Nicola.  A supervisor tied heavily to her desk by day turned Zumba instructor and POUND Rockout Workout Pro  extraordinaire by night! She has an infectious laugh and zest for life and her motorcycle! Back in the beginning of 2014 she decided to tackle her first round of the 30 day flip with a friend Patty (who was previously featured) they have never looked back since. Several rounds later she has really developed tools to make these healthy habits stick.  Hope you can have your own aha moment as she explains what it took to get where she is at now.

What made you decide now was the time to make a change?

When I learned about the 30 day flip, it just made sense, the timing felt right, and I was tired of how I felt, physically and emotionally. When I look back now, I believe I finally came to the awareness that I couldn’t keep trying the same thing over and over and expect to have different results!!  All the pills, shakes, supplements, and diets I tried over the years were different, but the same, in that they weren’t sustainable, or healthy!! It was definitely time to change things up!

What did you do differently this time?

I stopped obsessing over the weight and that stupid scale.   In Round 1, and even 2, weight loss were at the forefront of my thoughts, but I realized that the weight was just taking care of itself so I stopped focusing on that and more on how I was feeling, the increase in energy, and the decrease in joint pain.  I have to say it was a relief to learn I wasn’t alone in my ridiculous attachment to the scale… being part of the FB group is truly the key to success on this journey… you become an extended family, sharing your struggles, accomplishments and joys ☺

 Do you still struggle?  What is different about the way you struggle?

A lifetime of “diet” mentality still manages to creep into my thoughts.  The ‘emotional’ cravings connected with specific foods will occur, but I am now so much more aware of the emotional triggers that fuel those thoughts and cravings.  I’m not blindly reaching for comfort in that bag of Miss Vickie’s, but am conscious of the choices I’m making, why I’m making them, and being gentle and forgiving of myself, knowing that if it’s a poor choice, it doesn’t define me, nor does it mean that I have failed.  I made a choice for this moment… that’s it, and move forward.

What were your most unexpected non-scale victories?

The significant decrease of pain in my joints, specifically relating to the arthritis in my hands and fingers. I actually didn’t even realize it until I saw a bottle of Tylenol Arthritis sitting in my cupboard and couldn’t actually remember the last time I had to take one!  Then it occurred to me that I’d been opening jars, stirring sauces, even teaching Pound and not having continuously aching hands and wrists… brought me to tears… incredible.

What were your biggest Ah-ha moments?

Realizing that I had an actual ‘relationship’ with food, and quite a dysfunctional one. Food wasn’t just a source of nourishment and fuel for my body.  I used it as a reward for pretty well everything and it was how I showed my love to family, friends, and myself.  Food was a source of comfort, an apology, a celebration of achievement, an I love you… So many emotional attachments but I’ve learned that it’s not about the food… It’s never been about the food.

 What is your favorite healthy meal?

Fajita chicken with onions, peppers, guacamole and fresh salsa in lettuce wraps!!! And… ground beef curry on spaghetti squash!  And… Shepherds pie with sweet potatoes! And… Thai chicken soup! Okay I’ll stop ☺️

What would you say was your biggest hurdle?

Not getting on that stupid, mood make-or-breaking, life sucking scale!!!! ☺  I used to get on that scale every other day, if not every day, and it would determine what that day was going to hold for me, whether I was going to skip a meal, or wear my ‘fat’ pants, or indulge because I was down a lb.!  Even though I knew that number would change by the end of the day, or even a few hours, and tomorrow again, it still held a ridiculous amount of power over me.  Not anymore.

Why have you stuck with it?

I feel better than I have in years…. Many, many YEARS!!!!  This is about so much more than weight loss! I feel healthy, my energy levels stay consistent during the day, even my skin is clearer and nails are stronger.  I’m no longer lethargic and bloated after meals, cravings have diminished and all by just eating real food!!!  I’ve stuck with it because I don’t like how I feel when I don’t… And I love how I feel when I do. It’s a lifestyle and it’s become second nature because my mindset and habits have changed.

Any other insights you would like to add?

This is not just another diet, it’s so much more, and it has been life changing for me!

I would encourage people to do more than one round as each time has brought me a better understanding, deeper insight, and stronger healthy habits.  I am truly grateful for this program, the ability to support and feel supported, and the camaraderie in the 30 day flip FB groups!

“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try” ❤️




Sustaining Success – Lisa

lisaAs we put a cap on 2015 I have asked some people in the Cornerstone Fitness Community that have seen successful healthy change happen in their lives over the last year to SHARE their journey.  My hope is that we learn that change is possible when you embrace a new mindset and work at it over time.

This is Lisa’s journey.  Talk about impressive. She decided to commit to changing how she ate in your 30 day flip all while working and going to school FULL time!

(1) What made you decided now was the time to make a change?

I was frustrated that I was not making any progress at getting my weight under control.  In February this year, I stepped on the scale at my doctor’s office and was mortified at the number staring back at me.  I had developed a pattern of my weight creeping up by about five pounds every year.  My blood pressure had also been inching up over the past two years.  I didn’t feel good about myself and it was making me unhappy.  My doctor was quite concerned as was I, so I decided I needed to ‘get myself together’ and make some changes in my life.  

(2) What did you do differently this time?

The 30 day flip program appealed to me, especially knowing that I would be starting with a group of other ‘like minded’ people, although joining a group was big for me!  Plus – I have a deep admiration for Ira.  I have attended his classes at the gym and I find him to be very inspirational.  I thought with his support I could do this!  

(3) Do you still struggle? What is different about the way you struggle?

I’ve been following the plan now for the past five months.  I love the way I feel so can’t really identify any struggles.  I do find travelling for work a challenge though.  I really dislike not being in total control of my food preparation and eating out is not really all that enjoyable for me.  
(4) What were your most unexpected non-scale victories?
My biggest non-scale victory was my annual physical this year because I had a perfect check-up.  My blood pressure had dropped, cholesterol was down and my doctor was ecstatic with my progress.  My second victory was I started sleeping through the night again.  I have enjoyed the best sleep since before I had children and trust me – that was a long time ago!  My husband has watched my transformation and is starting to get on board with the program as well.  

(5) What were your biggest Ah-ha moments?

I’ve had a few Ah-ha moments on this program.  I didn’t believe that the cravings would subside and I would feel completely satisfied.  I don’t have cravings and I do feel satisfied.  I don’t eat nearly as much as I used to.   I also don’t feel cheated out of anything – I simply have no desire to consume processed or sugar laden foods.  I am appalled by the control that food processing companies have gained over our population.  I liken processed foods to what it must be like to have a drug addiction.  

(6) What is your favourite healthy meal?

My favourite meal is a frittata made with chorizo sausage, eggs and whatever veggies I have in the fridge.  I make it ahead on Sunday nights so that I have it available to take during the work week.  I never get tired of it.  My second favourite is the Sunshine Sauce (a sunflower seed dressing).  That stuff is incredible! 

(7) What would you say was your biggest hurdle?

The biggest hurdle is getting through the first two weeks and learning to take the time to prepare food for the work week.   I really didn’t feel so good during that period of time however, that was a good indication to me that my body was going through a significant change.  

(8) Why have you stuck with it? 

It’s really about the way I feel and I do feel great.  My skin is clear, my clothes are baggy and now I have to get new duds – oh my – what a dilemma! 

(9) Do you have any other insight you would like to add?

 The program makes a lot of sense.  You’re eating a very clean diet.  It’s  amazing how the body responds when we don’t fill it with garbage.  Most of all – I made a commitment to me and I have upheld that commitment.  That is self-empowerment.  Finally, I always balked at weight loss groups but I found being with others has been very helpful.  I didn’t say much online but certainly did my share of checking out everyone’s postings and recipes!  Gosh – now I sound like a creep – really – I’m just a very private person!  :)
Sincere thanks to Ira and Jen for your support and encouragement.  Looking forward to our November session.  


Sustaining Success 2015 – Patty


It is easy to take up healthy habits for a SHORT period of time but real change comes when you start rebuilding your roots over the long haul.  I believe we can learn from each others A-ha moments. So I have asked some members of the Cornerstone Fitness Community around me that have made some INSPIRING healthy changes over the last year to share some of what they have learned.

First up Patty. A energetic and joyful Nurse, Zumba Instructor, and now kickass POUND pro who I crossed paths with in Vernon, BC when she was hooting and hollering her way through my POUND classes. She took the plunge and join our 30 day flip online program in January 2015. Here my interview with her,

What made you decide now was the time to make a change? 
There comes a time when something you hear resonates deep within and you say; “YES!” I was drawn to sign up for a Whole 30 round because I was tired of being tired and feeling old. I signed up because it felt right for this time in my life and that quiet voice was right!
What did you do differently this time?
Being part of a group really made my commitment to my health and well being seem more concrete. I trusted that I had said “YES” for reasons beyond my limited thinking mind. Did I say being part of group? And participating in the group? That was a major turning point for me.
Do you still struggle? What is different about the way you struggle?
I would use the word challenged more than struggle now. That is the difference. Struggle sounds hopeless and powerless while ‘challenge’ sounds empowering. I am challenged by my emotions at times and just want to eat cookies and ‘zone-out’! I can do that consciously now, by choosing it and the consequences of that. Then I move on…. get back on track. No Guilt!! Patient persistence. ( sound familiar Ira?)
What were your most unexpected non-scale victories?
Reconnecting with my adult children was the most unexpected. We shared prepping and cooking and while doing what seems to be mundane tasks, we bonded by trying new recipes, laughing, talking, and respecting the different perceptions of each other. We talked about the emotions that came up when staying committed to the rules of the program. We celebrated the small milestones along the way. My God but we laughed at how our collective minds would entertain the idea of “cheating”. “How can I eat this cookie without actually eating it?” Talk about insanity sometimes!
What were your biggest Ah-ha moments?
Realizing the depth of how I used food for more than nourishment.  Hell, I didn’t know how blah I felt until I started feeling really healthy. I was surprised how accepting I became of others in my family or circle of friends with their opinions. I quietly stayed the course and eventually they ALL started asking questions because they noticed a difference in my physical health and overall well being.

What is your favourite healthy meal?

I love fried sweet potatoes, with chicken apple sausages, apple sauce, and avocado. Oh, and I love Shepherds Pie made with sweet potatoes!
What would you say was your biggest hurdle?
At the beginning I always felt hungry because I would only stop eating when I started feeling bloated. I thought different degrees of bloating was different degrees of being full.  I don’t get bloated on this plan….ever! So, I had to relearn what “full”felt like. My body just says…”You have enough nourishment so stop eating.” … and I stop!
Why have you stuck with it?
I feel generally so much better than I ever had! This is not a fad diet and it is sustainable. It makes so much sense. I am a nurse and really understand how the body becomes diseased when being challenged by so many outside factors…starting with food and moving on up to the thoughts we think and believe. The body is a miraculous system that is always striving toward homeostasis or true health. It will do this for you, effortlessly, when given the proper ingredients. Plus, with each round I complete, I go deeper in understanding my attachment to food and therefore more capable of letting it go. The space in my life that used to be filled up with food obsessions is now free to be filled with so many other activities!  It has become a habit now.
Any other insight you would like to add? 
 I am grateful for my curiosity. Be curious when something peeks your interest because it could change your life completely! Whole 30 has become a way of life. I laugh out loud now when someone asks me if I am still “eating that way”….. I say; “Yes, I am still eating REAL food :)
Hey if you are ever in Vernon, BC head on over to Fitness West and catch one of Patty’s awesome Zumba or Pound classes you will not be disappointed.

The MUSIC driving my classes this season


So I have been doing some retro playbacks in my cycle classes this season.  YEP bringing back the nostalgia from other decades.  I love seeing the memories jump across people’s faces when they hear a song that triggers an old memory!  This is one of the reasons I love music, it can transport you to a different time and place.Well delay no longer here it is my fall season playlist. Including one of my all time favorite cycle songs! Drop me a comment, let me know what is your favorite RETRO song?

Video Killed the Radio Star (RETRO!) – The Buggles

Where Did I Go? (Dillion Francis & Kill Paris Remix) – Monstas

The Hum – Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike VS Ummet Ozcan

California Dreaming (2ki Reloaded) – Royal DJs (retro remixed)

Ruby Blue – Roisin Murphy

Gibberish - Max feat. Hoddie Allen

Radar Love – Golden Earring (WAYYY back playback)

For A Better Day – Aviccii

Shots (Astrolith Remix) – Imagine Dragon

Come on Eileen – Dexy’s Midnight Runners (retro)

Levels (Jump Smokers Radio Edit Remix) – Nick Jonas

and drum roll please , one of my favorite cycle songs ever  -

Dog Days Are Over – Florence + The Machine


Lemon and Garlic Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted veggies are king in our house! … full of flavor and easy to prepare! This cauliflower is a perfect complement to any curry dish. (but good as a side for plenty other options as well) It’s simple to prepare with only 5 ingredients!
We often make huge batches for dinner and leftovers!


1 head of Cauliflower, chopped
1/4 Cup avocado oil (or olive)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt
Juice of 1 fresh lemon

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut up the cauliflower in small pieces, removing the large stems. Place in large mixing bowl.
Toss with garlic powder and sea salt.

Squeeze lemon juice(watch for seeds), toss to combine, and spread cauliflower on baking sheet.

Drizzle oil over cauliflower and place in oven(uncovered).
Cook for 30 minutes total and voila!