Category: health and fitness

Easy Keto Meal Prep Book Review

DK Canada

A cookbook that takes the guesswork out of keto meal prep planning, with over 60 low-carb recipes and 8 easy-to-follow weekly meal plans.

About Easy Keto Meal Prep

Eating keto can be challenging, and cooking keto recipes that are satisfying can be even more challenging! You need to make sure you’re eating enough fat to stay in ketosis, while still eating food that is satisfying. Weekly meal prep can help ensure that you stay in ketosis while still enjoying fresh, delicious, keto-friendly recipes that aren’t the same every week. With Easy Keto Meal Prep, planning and preparing your weekly keto meals has never been easier!

Each recipe in Easy Keto Meal Prep includes specific macro ratios and detailed nutrition information to ensure you’re always eating the right ratios to stay in ketosis. With over 60 delicious recipes, you’ll enjoy a large variety of recipes and never grow tired of eating the same recipes again and again. Eight weekly meal plans offer a broad range of recipe combinations to ensure you’ll never have to eat the same week of meals twice, and each prep plan includes detailed shopping lists, step-by-step prep day instructions, and handy equipment lists to help you prepare a week of meals in just a few hours. Also included is helpful guidance for eating keto and sticking with the diet, meal prepping like a pro, and safely storing your prepped meals.

My Thoughts

Roughly four years ago, I made massive changes in my life to lose over a hundred pounds. I changed the way I looked at my diet, what I ate and how active I was. I was (and still am) very proud of how far I came and how I struggled but succeeded.

What I couldn’t be prepared for was the mental battle that came afterwards and how hard it is to maintain that type of weight loss. In the last six months, I have regained fifteen pounds due to poor food choices and lack of exercise. I have no excuses – I have been lazy and lax in my ways, making up excuses that my regain isn’t that bad.

Over the holidays, I did some research on how to kick start back into my weight loss and getting physically fit again. I lost a lot of my weight following a high protein, low carb diet – so keto isn’t new to me. What I struggle with is variety, so that I don’t get bored and don’t return to an unbalanced diet or struggle with meal planning.

This book cotains over sixty recipes along with weekly meal plans. He includes all of the macro breakdowns, shopping lists, equipment lists and even how to start your prep day plan. The prep day plan has to be my favourite feature – prepping for a week can be daunting. To have someone tell you what order you should start each item, set them aside and so on is a lifesaver!

The recipes themselves are very easy to follow – ingredients are listed to the left and instructions on the right. The instructions are very easy to follow, direct and to the point. You can usually complete the recipe in five to six steps. He also includes tips for almost every recipe, which is super helpful for those who are not huge fans of cooking and meal prepping. Aaron breaks down the nutrition content for you, and I can’t stress how important it is to track your meals and every bite you take. It is amazing how quickly calories and carbs add up!

This is an excellent resource and cookbook for those new to keto and those who are returning to the lifestyle. There are recipes that all individuals will enjoy (my husband and eldest enjoyed the spicy pork taco bowls, we just adjusted the recipe for our son) and are easy to make. You don’t have to go out and buy ingredients that you will never use again as so many items you will either already have or purchase weekly. Aaron makes the keto diet easy to understand, prepare and follow. A definite must have for those who want to start keto or those who need new ideas.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

About the Author

Aaron Day is the author of Keto Sweet Tooth Cookbook and an accredited nutritional therapist and advanced sports exercise nutritional advisor. He has a passion for health and nutrition, and as an advocate for the ketogenic diet and keto lifestyle he’s the recipe developer, food photographer, and videographer behind the popular FatForWeightLoss website where he creates and shares delicious ketogenic recipes that are comforting, quick, and simple to make.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Continue Reading

Strengthening Confidence and Ease: #theOriginalStretchlace

When I first heard the word Stretchlace and how it created slip ons out of any shoes, I was intrigued by the hows.

I visited their website and kept looking at the images, the laces didn’t look any different, it didn’t change the look of the shoe or how the model wore the shoes, so how did these actually work?

The creator of Strechlace (Jamie Montz) originally developed the laces to help her three boys learn to tie their shoes. How many parents here can relate to that?! This is one of the most trying lessons to teach as a parent. What seems like an easy concept, can end in tears and frustration. Even when they do master the skill, there will be moments when they will struggle, their laces will come undone during an important game and they will panic.

Stretchlaces are just that – they stretch. When they came in the mail, I wasn’t sure if there was a trick to them and I am going to be honest, I kept looking for instructions in the box. I expected them to have a loop somewhere or that they would need to be threaded differently in your child’s shoes. I can be quite honest with you, I had to google to make sure all that I had to do was thread them and then tie to them to ensure they are tied properly on your child’s feet.

After they were tied, because of the stretchy material in the laces, it gives the shoes that extra room for your child to slip the shoe on and off. That was the real magic, it is the extra give in the laces that allows the shoes to come on and off easily.

As most children (and adults), already like to slide their shoes on and off, we know the damage this causes to our shoes (or our walls as they ricochet off your child’s feet when they wont slide on!). Shoes with regular laces are not meant to slip on and off, the stretchy material in these laces changes that.

Here is what I loved the most:

  • The stretchlaces look identical to regular laces! This is so important for younger children, who don’t want to look different than their peers.
  • They are easy to thread through the shoes and once on and tied, you can forget about having to re-tie the shoes.
  • The company offers fifteen different colours, allowing your child to express themselves and to better match their shoes.
  • The company also offers nine different lengths of laces, which allows people of all ages to benefit from the laces.

I didn’t list it here because only time will tell, but I do have a strong suspicion that this will actually increase the life span of my son’s shoes. He breaks the backs on them quite frequently (I am also guilty of this as I don’t untie my shoes to take them off) because he turns them into slip ons, when they were not meant to be. I suspect because of the extra give in the front of the shoes, this will not happen anymore.

What I also noticed (and can fully appreciate), is how many adults would benefit from these laces.

Adults that may have any type of mobility issue which can make it difficult to bend, pull and tie, would benefit greatly from these laces – once they are tied to fit their feet, they will no longer struggle with these actions. I also noticed how Jamie mentioned that it also benefits those who suffer from swollen feet (right here!!), parents who have their hands full all the time, and those with special needs.

The Stretchlace is reasonably priced, with prices starting at $9.99 and can be purchased on their website.

Want to learn more? Visit the Original Stretchlace website and make sure to follow Stretchlace on Facebook and Instagram.

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned products in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Continue Reading

Be Happy, Be Active, Be Confident in Your Body with uresta

As women we should be proud of our bodies. They are remarkable and do remarkable things. As a society, we are so hard on women and on ourselves. We beat ourselves down for that extra five pound weight gain, skin that may start to sag, the cellulite on our legs, and the natural aging process (this list can go on and on).

As women, we need to stand together and say these changes are normal, lets talk openly about how a woman’s body changes throughout her life and the impact on our bodies from having children. While someone may be blessed and not experience some of these common changes, many do but are too embarrassed to come forward.

For me the most embarrassing and difficult thing to discuss when it came to my body was when I was pregnant with my second son and it all centred around urinary incontinence.

The first time I experienced urinary incontinence, I didn’t even realize it had happened and I was worried it was amniotic fluid (because lets face it, I didn’t think it could happen to me and no one forewarned me on what to expect). Then it started happening more frequently and it was taking over my pregnancy. I was so ashamed of myself and embarrassed that I could not control my body. I did not want others to make fun of me but I desperately needed someone to talk to and receive advice from.

After weeks of hiding, I finally spoke to my physician about the problem but they strongly felt that it would pass after I gave birth. I had to suck it up for a few more months and then my body would be back to normal.

Life is never quite that simple, right?

My problems actually got worse after I gave birth – I didn’t even feel it happening anymore. I tried every suggestion that I was given by my physician – lose weight, drink less caffeine, don’t drink after dinner, toilet train my body (go to the washroom every thirty minutes to relieve my bladder – this is not recommended and I later found out from another physician that this is a bad idea).

You get to this point where you feel that urinary incontinence has taken over your life. I didn’t want to go out with friends, I was embarrassed in front of my husband and I was constantly paranoid. While there are many options for women after trying the basics that I mentioned above, many want to try a non-invasive method of treatment.

uresta: A non-invasive Method of Treatment

For many women, they don’t want an invasive treatment to help with urinary incontinence. Or maybe you only have mild to moderate leaking and you can’t justify a surgical procedure to correct the problem. Or maybe you just don’t want surgery. All of this is okay and normal but there are options out there for you.

uresta is a bladder support device that helps to prevent leaks that are caused by urinary incontinence. It is a reusable device that is inserted into the vagina and provides support to the urethra (which is what helps to stop those leaks!). The device can be worn all day or only during activities that cause you to leak (high or low impact activities like running, walking, weight lifting, etc.)

The uresta device comes in a starter pack, where users start with one of the three sizes to determine which is the most appropriate for their body type and size. It is recommended that you start with size three and if it is too big, try a smaller size and if it falls out, go up a size (sizes are easily found on the handle).

I have to admit, I was quite nervous when I first tried this out. I was nervous that it would get stuck, that I would not insert it enough and it would fall out but I was pleasantly surprised on how easy it was to both insert and remove. The handle has a good grip and fits your thumb and forefinger perfectly allowing you to easily remove. Because the device is reusable, you save a lot of money over a period of time (not having to buy liners, etc..). It comes with its own discrete container to store the device in when you are not wearing it.

uresta works incredibly well at controlling the leaks but even more so at giving you your confidence back to get outside, go to the gym, go out with friends without that nagging concern about a potential leak and the embarrassment that comes with that. I had no problems with the insertion, removal, care of the device and comfort level while wearing it. The bonus part – it helped reduce leaking, a problem that I am still dealing with despite multiple interventions.

And the statistics don’t lie (statistics taken from uresta):

  • 75% of women surveyed in a clinical study said using uresta either stopped their leaking or reduced it to a significant degree
  • 84% of women said they felt more comfortable in public when using uresta
  • 72% would recommend uresta to a friend

Do you suffer from urinary incontinence? What interventions have you tried up to date? Is uresta a product that you would consider as a non-invasive method of treatment?

Make sure to follow uresta on Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with the latest product news.

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Continue Reading

Calm Mindfulness for Kids Book Review

DK Canada

Calm: Mindfulness for Kids shows that supporting a child’s positive mental health doesn’t need to be expensive, time-consuming, or difficult. Activities help children to de-stress, focus, and get moving while having fun.

About Calm Mindfulness for Kids

Teach your kids how to focus their thoughts and notice the world around them with this fun mindfulness kids activity book.

Mindfulness activities are a great way to teach children about their thoughts and feelings and how to understand them–while having fun at the same time.

This book is packed with activities–make a mindfulness jar, learn how to appreciate food with mindful eating, and get out into nature and explore the outside world. An illustrated journal section at the back of the book encourages children to make notes about their own thoughts and feelings.

Calm: Mindfulness for Kids has everything you need to know about focusing your child’s mind to help them enjoy and appreciate things that they take for granted every day, while boosting their confidence and self-esteem. Children are guided through each activity, to make sure they achieve maximum enjoyment and awareness. All children will learn and react to each activity in a different way and parent’s notes give advice on how to encourage children to embrace mindfulness in the modern world. Each specially designed activity is flexible for each child’s needs and inspires them to seek calmness and tranquility in all situations.

Our Thoughts

Mindfulness is something we hear a lot about in the news, media and research. It is an important to tool in the busy times we live in. It helps us to focus, pay attention and remain present in the moment.

Sometimes, children can be overlooked and brushed off as being too emotional or acting out. Children feel a lot of emotions but many don’t have the tools to help them understand their feelings and how to process them. We need to teach our kids these skills in order to be successful later in life.

What I really liked is this book is geared towards children. She writes to the child first – you as a parent can read a long and help but the child is the most important part in this book. She speaks to the child in a mature, open and caring manner that encourages your child to open up, read more and try each activity presented.

She presents six chapters and encourages your child to move through them in any order they need – the choice is up to them. The chapters include: focus, calm, move, change, care and reflect. Each chapter has activities, crafts and exercises that they can do alone or with a parent or a friend. Each section has helpful tools to encourage your child to reflect on the activity, exercise or craft – this helps to reinforce the learning process. We started with rainbow breath and unwind stress – these were also amazing for Mom too! Our next craft to try is energy slime!

This is an extremely thoughtful book for children of all ages to help them get in touch with their emotions, feelings and body and encourage a positive outlet for them.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon and Indigo.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Continue Reading

Reaffirming My Health, Body and Fitness Goals with #CoolSculpting®

By now you are quite familiar with my weight loss and fitness journey as well as my very first treatment with CoolSculpting®, which I chose to have with the goal of achieving that extra confidence in my own skin after my weight loss. If you haven’t read my posts yet (gasp!), check out my weight loss journey here and my first treatment with CoolSculpting® here.

I have always been proud of my weight loss and perseverance through some extremely difficult times along the way. It was an uphill battle and I had to learn to give up things that didn’t make me happy and focus on myself (not the easiest task for any parent). Sometimes though, I look in the mirror and I am frustrated. I can’t always see that weight loss (funny – I never used to see the ‘fat girl’ in the mirror either) and I can be so hard on myself if the scale moves up and if my pants feel tighter around my waist.

Even with my maintained weight loss, I still have to be so careful to not slip into old habits. It is always too easy to skip a workout, eat that extra cookie, take that extra helping and the list goes on and on (why are the worst habits in life so much easier to do?).

I have noticed in the last few months, with added responsibilities at work and taking on the Team Manager position for my son’s team (really what was I thinking – completely going against my own advice from my first post but I am a sucker for those little sweethearts on his team!), I have not been as active as I used to be, I am feeling a bit more tired and I can notice the difference in my stomach and back area. Those little fat pockets can creep up so easily and they are so difficult to manage. I notice as soon as my stress levels get too high, my abdomen and flanks take a beating with extra fat storage.

CoolSculpting® is a non-invasive treatment that is performed in the office of a CoolSculpting® certified professional.[i]I had my first CoolSculpting® treatment roughly two-and-a-half months ago, done by Linda at The Plastic Surgery Clinic in Mississauga and it was an eye-opening experience. I learned so much about my body, treatment options to achieve my final goals and realistic expectations for my own body (follow my entire experience with the treatment here). CoolSculpting® is non-invasive[ii] and designed to have you back on your feet immediately following the treatment.[iii],[iv] The treatment works by applying cold temperatures through an applicator to targeted fat pocket areas on your body over a set period of time.[v],[vi]

The real magic happens after the treatment, as your body breaks down the frozen fat cells naturally and eliminates them through your lymphatic system – the time frame for this to happen is anywhere from one month to up to three months.[i],[ii]

The bonus for patients? No extra work is required on your part. I almost thought this was a trick question! Linda was telling me that I didn’t have to drink more water, exercise more or wrap my torso? The treatment took only thirty-five minutes and it didn’t require any tough follow-up care.[i]

BUT that being said, you shouldn’t go out the next day and eat everything in sight or give up on your fitness routine. You would be defeating the hard work your body is doing in breaking down those frozen fat cells. You should be maintaining a healthy diet and still regularly working out using whichever form of exercise makes you feel good. All forms of exercise are important – from walking to yoga to strength training. 

Linda was fantastic and treated my flanks roughly two and a half months ago and this was my before picture (this was definitely not an easy picture for me to look at – aren’t we are own worst critics?):

She was fantastic and noted that while I did have some loose skin, I did have enough fat pockets that she could treat the area. We completed my first treatment with no side effects, no pain and I was able to resume all of my regular activities and work that same day. I can honestly say that it did not feel like I had a treatment done that day.

On my next visit to Linda, she had me stand in the same positions as at my previous visit to take photos in order to get a good idea of how the first treatment worked.

While it may be harder to tell from the photo (and I noticed that I was leaning a bit to the right in this picture and slouching with the angle of my shoulders which is a very bad habit I have picked up from working on the computer), I have noticed better definition down the sides of my abdomen as well as improvements in how the skin on my flanks and back feel. It was smoother with more definition and with less of a roll – it didn’t have that ‘squishy’ feel that it usually had which would have been where my fat was located. Have you ever just squeezed that fat roll? (I live in a house of boys, so we tease each other and laugh about things like this all the time!) I had less of that fat to squeeze.

I left my second appointment with Linda feeling quite happy and accomplished. My visit with her reaffirmed what I had already been feeling – that my waistline felt smoother, more defined and I had less of those fat rolls on my back. I also had the confidence to wear a tight dress again and to show off my curves and be proud. With everything that I had been through in the last two years, this was a huge step for me. I have come so far with my body image acceptance and I am finally at a time in my life where I love my body how it is. 

My CoolSculpting® treatment was an exciting learning experience for me and opened my eyes to a non-invasive treatment[i] that is the perfect alternative to surgery. With zero downtime,[ii],[iii] no pain and no extra requirements post-treatment, this is a fantastic alternative for women and men who are looking to get that extra boost of confidence by eliminating those stubborn fat cells that seem to haunt us on our abdomen, arms and thighs.[iv],[v] It helps you to naturally eliminate those fat cells without having to have surgery[vi], medical leave or stop participating in your day-to-day activities.[vii],[viii] It is an excellent alternative for individuals who are close to their fitness and body goals but who would like to target areas of fat.[ix]

Remember to always book your consultation first with a CoolSculpting® certified clinician, this will ensure you are prepared with realistic treatment options, expectations and not disappointed. They will go over every aspect of the treatment to ensure you are mentally and physically ready. Treatment plans do vary based on your body type, so this step is incredibly important to ensure you know what to expect post treatment, you can visit http://find.coolsculpting.ca/find-a-center/ to find a qualified clinic in your area.

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned CoolSculpting® treatment in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.


[i] Zeltiq Data On File. About CoolSculpting. 2017.

[ii] Krueger N, et al. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology 2014;7:201–205.

[iii] Nelson AA (ed) Avram MM. Fat removal: Invasive and noninvasive body contouring. Wiley- Blackwell; 1st edition. April 2015. ISBN-10144433428X.

[iv] Zelickson B, et al. American Society for Dermatology Surgery 2009;35:1462–70.

[v] Zeltiq Data On File. About CoolSculpting. 2017.

[vi] Zeltiq Data On File. About CoolSculpting. 2017.

[vii] Krueger N, et al. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology 2014;7:201–205.

[viii] Nelson AA (ed) Avram MM. Fat removal: Invasive and noninvasive body contouring. Wiley- Blackwell; 1st edition. April 2015. ISBN-10144433428X.

[ix] Zeltiq Data On File. About CoolSculpting. 2017.

[i] Nelson AA (ed) Avram MM. Fat removal: Invasive and noninvasive body contouring. Wiley- Blackwell; 1st edition. April 2015. ISBN-10144433428X.

[i] Zelickson B, et al. American Society for Dermatology Surgery 2009;35:1462–70.

[ii] Klein KB, et al. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine 2009;41:785–90.

[i] Zeltiq Data On File. About CoolSculpting. 2017.

[ii] Zeltiq Data On File. About CoolSculpting. 2017.

[iii] Krueger N, et al. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology 2014;7:201–205.

[iv] Nelson AA (ed) Avram MM. Fat removal: Invasive and noninvasive body contouring. Wiley- Blackwell; 1st edition. April 2015. ISBN-10144433428X.

[v] Kilmer SL. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine 2017;49:63–68.

[vi] Kilmer SL, et al. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine 2016;48:3–13.=

Continue Reading