my story

dumbell push press @ cfto- courtesy of john vivian

The road to a fitter and healthier me…

I am Cindy

woman.daughter.sister.aunt.wife.friend.teacher…

more recently…

CrossFitter.nutrition enthusiast.cook…

and now…

blogger!

What a life changing journey these past several years have been!

In March 2003, my world was shaken by the sudden death of my dear mom.  She was a nurturing and generous person, someone who always put others first. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with diabetes in her thirties and she became insulin dependent.  As time went on she also developed other related conditions.  At the age of just 56 she suffered a massive heart attack and left our world far too soon.

Living through this has been heartbreaking. After taking time to grieve and deal with this loss, I realized that I had to re-evaluate my own life, including my food choices, level of physical activity and my personal goals. These were all areas that I thought I was in control of, but in reality I was overweight and sedentary.  I learned from my mom’s death that I had to turn my life around and take the reigns of my own fate.  When I was finally able to gain my ground, I was infused with strength I didn’t even know I had!  Sure, there were ups and downs, but I found the motivation to get back on track.  Not a day goes by that I don’t think of my wonderful mom.   I thank her for giving me the willpower, determination and the focus to embark on a new lifestyle.

By drastically changing my eating habits, exercise regime, sleep patterns and overall outlook on life (in various stages), I have witnessed astonishing results.  Not just in the way I look, but more importantly in my performance, mood and function.  I am seventy(ish) pounds lighter, a heck of a lot happier and much, much stronger!  I wake up every morning with a channeled energy.  I feel that I have a heightened sense of purpose and passion for what I believe in. I am thriving.

In February 2009, I reconnected with a close friend, Tyler Touchette of Cornwall CrossFit.  As my road towards greater health continued, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.  Tyler has been, and still is a major player, as well as countless others in bringing me to where I presently am.  During our conversation at that time, he told me all about the Paleo lifestyle and the strength and conditioning program he was involved with.  Without hesitation, I decided to join the CrossFit Toronto gym.

It has now been over 4 years since my husband and I experienced those “deer caught in headlights” days in the boot camp.  Every day I become more and more in love with this way of life.  My passion for cooking and eating “real food” has grown remarkably. I never realized that making a few changes could make such a huge difference. This journey is far from over, and perhaps only just beginning.  I hope to continue to thrive, and in the meantime share some delicious recipes and tips along the way.  Life is precious, live it!

Here’s to a healthier and fitter you. Welcome to my blog… Have a blast reading my tidbits on health, fitness and how to thrive when eating nutrient-dense foods, while making some of my delicious recipes. Enjoy!!!


Comments

  1. Jo-Anne Sexton says:

    Dear Cindy

    This is amazing! I have learned some helpful information. Your accomplishment are to be applauded and I am one person in your life who is clapping the loudest! I look forward to visiting this site with great anticipation. Perhaps one day you could be my food and fitness coach.
    Your loving Mother in Law

  2. Hi Cindy. I enjoyed reading your blog and especially love reading people’s success stories. I wish you well in your blogging and look forward to reading it daily.
    Cindy.

  3. viki says:

    three cheers to a great role model and inspiration….YOU! I am extremely happy, fortunate and blessed to have crossed paths with you and ‘the duster’ and hope to grow older, wiser, stronger and fitter with you both!!!

    super proud of you! toughest little package i’ve ever known!!! :) v

  4. Hillary says:

    What a great site Cindy!! I look forward to making some of your recipes. You really have inspired me. First by suggesting books by Michael Pollan and now this. Chad and I will be following your blog for sure!

  5. Alan Butler says:

    Hey Cindy,
    Such an interesting story! It is great you have such a sense of purpose and passion in your life!

  6. Jen says:

    Hey Cyn,
    wow…what a transformation…you should be very proud of yourself! It’s amazing to me what unexpected changes in our life can lead too…as you know my life too has been a journey these last few years, allowing me to find strength I didn’t know I had, exploring new interests and discovering what I really value! Thank you for sharing your story too…I think it will inspire many! Congrats to you, life changes are no easy feat! What a pleasure to know you (and Dusty too!)…keep in touch!

  7. Chef Chow says:

    Hey Cindy, cool blog! I definitely respect this lifestyle and have a similar passion for eating and cooking “real” food. I’m hooked on Jamie Oliver. Have you checked out his Food Revolution program?

  8. Amy says:

    Hey Cindy,

    I LOVE your blog! I’m a Paleo Registered Dietitian – check out my blog if you get a chance!!

  9. cindy says:

    All of your comments mean so much to me! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! You are all so kind and generous in your words.

  10. Mary Anne says:

    Dear Cindy: I love your blog. You are an inspiration to us all. We have so little control in our lives why not eat what makes us feel energetic, happy and healthy. I want to learn more and try your recipes. Thank you so much. Jo-Anne is raving about you. xoxoxo ma

    • cindy says:

      MA…your words are so kind…thank you so much! I love to share my experience with anyone who is willing to listen ;) Hope you are doing well!

  11. Erica says:

    Love the site- wish you had an RSS feed! (Or maybe I just can’t find the button on your site?)

    • Cindy Sexton says:

      Thank you! I used to…thought I did, but you are right, I don’t see it there now. I will look into it. =)

  12. Brenda says:

    I totally can relate to you Cindy! My Mom was my best friend and the best Grandma in the world! She had many health problems, including Chron’s disease, osteoporosis, and many more. She had a major heart attack at the age of 57 and my world has not been the same since! It’s horrible to lose your Mom, no matter what age you are! I don’t want my children to have to go through life without their Mom. I have been doing paleo for about a month now and am trying to convert my family as well. I don’t want to be plagued with health problems! I want to live a happy and healthy life and I truely believe this is the way to do it!

    • Cindy Sexton says:

      Hi Brenda! Thank you for sharing your experience with me. I couldn’t agree more. Good for you for making the change. Others will catch on! ;) xx

  13. Tim Swart says:

    Great site Cindy!! Not sure which other Paleo type site directed me here, but you are bookmarked for sure :-)

    I began the paleo lifestyle 8 days ago, and have already lost 11 lbs. I look forward to following your site and will definitely check out the books you’ve listed here. I am a sponge with it right now and can’t get enough, there are so many great sites for information. I wish this was more readily available 10 or 20 years ago, i’m, 42 now and was diagnosed 3.5 years ago with Type 2, and have struggled with it. I am a big man, (shrinking though :-) ) and have been all my life. I started at 312 lbs this time around and as I said have lost 11 so far, but have struggled with weight my entire life.

    Since going paleo, my fasting sugars have come down 50 points in just over a week, and I even hit some normal ranges under 120 at certain points during the day…I know this works and I am truly motivated now to keep this up for the rest of my life…I’ve eaten more veggies & fruit in the past 8 days than i’ve eaten ever!!

    I’m going to experiment with some of your recipes, and looking forward to following your site.

    You’re an inspiration!

    Tim

    • Cindy Sexton says:

      THANK YOU SO MUCH for the kind words Tim. Congrats on the progress that you have made so far and please provide me with any feedback if you do decide to try any of my recipes. I also have a FB page of you are on there as well. Take care and enjoy the journey in becoming a healthier you! =)

  14. Jeannette Rebelo says:

    Hi Cindy!

    We see each other every day, and every day I am amazed by how inspirational you are. I want to be like you when I grow up!!!! Thanks for inspiring me to be a “fitter and healthier me”. Your blog looks great the recipes look yummy. I’ve told all my friends about your blog and they love it.

    • Cindy Sexton says:

      Awwww…geez thanks! Fully blushing…you are so sweet! Thanks for passing my blog along. What are we going to do after next year??? ahhhhhhh lol!

  15. Marta says:

    Hi Cindy, I’m a 35 year old single woman who’s just gone Paleo. I live in downtown Toronto and I’m looking for other Paleos to connect with, who can tell me where to get the best prices on grass fed meat, etc. Also for support – maybe even have a meal together. Do you know of any groups around? If you’d like to connect, please let me know how. Thanks and great website!

  16. Laura says:

    Love your site!!! Been Paleo for a month now and absolutely loving it!! So excited to try some of your recipes =)

    • Cindy Sexton says:

      Hi Laura! Thanks so much!! Best of luck on your journey. Contact me if you have any questions…I may be able to help! =)

  17. shannon gillespie says:

    Hi Cindy, I also lost my mom to diabetes. She was such a wonderful woman! I love your blog and I wanted to know if you only do crossfit workouts or olympic style weighlifting? Thanks

    • Cindy Sexton says:

      Hi Shannon! Sorry about your loss. THANKS so much…I am glad you like my blog! I enjoy sharing and blabbing away on here. I have cut out any long metcon style workouts (crossfit-esque) and have turned my focus to getting stronger through mainly weightlifting now! Let me know if you have any other questions!!

      • shannon gillespie says:

        Thanks for getting back to me Cindy. Hope you had a great holiday! Wanted to know if you could give me some ideas with lifting heavy. I love deadlifting, squating, and bench pressing. I’d love to hear what you typically do when you train. Thanks. Shannon

  18. Kelly Crigger says:

    Cindy – I’m sending out advance copies of Sarah Fragoso’s new book, Paleo Pals, and would like to send you one. Please send me an email so I can get one out to you.

  19. Hi Cindy, I love your blog and all the awesome info you’re sharing on health and nutrition! You’re an inspiration :)

  20. Dr. Doug says:

    Hi,
    I came across your website/blog while doing a search for related blogs.

    I am a Chiropractor and Clinical nutritionist in NYC. I have a forthcoming book, “Quantum Paleo”, due out in hardcover,paperback,Kindle and Nook in May of 2012.

    Here is a video I just completed this week that you may be interested in seeing titled.

    What is Paleo?

    http://paleosoul.com/?p=525

    Let me know what you think and if you would like to connect in some way. The video is free to post and use. I only ask that you put my byline on it, so I get a reference.

    To Your Health!

    Dr. Doug

  21. Casey Dunne says:

    I’m loving the recipes on here. Such a broad range of options. Paleo has changed my life – no more heartburn, no IBS, LOWER cholesterol and blood pressure. I’m glad I have this website to help me stay creative on this food journey!

    • Cindy says:

      THANKS SO MUCH Casey for the kind words!!! CONGRATS to you on changing your life. Enjoy the site and feel free to email me if you have any specific questions!!! ALL THE BEST…

  22. Chris Jax says:

    Cindy,

    I added your blog to the ‘Paleo Canada’ page – http://primalcut.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/paleo-canada/ – I’m trying to start a list of links specific to Canadian Paleo/Primal blogs. Take a look and let me know what you think?

    Stay primal,

    Chris

  23. Jaclyn says:

    Hi Cindy,

    i just found your blog.
    You’re inspiring. I’m constantly struggling to stay on track with my eating so I’m always looking for new paleo blogs with recipes…And you’re local.

  24. Michelle says:

    Hi Cindy
    I just stumbled on your blog. I’ve been paleo for a few months now (switched from 5 years of Pescetarianism after reading Gary Taubes and then reading some paleo books and blogs.) I also live in Toronto (near Fiesta Farms) and am trying to compile a list of Toronto stores/butchers and Paleo friendly brands – best place to buy free run omega 3 eggs, where to buy macadamia nut oil, etc. Any interest in posting a resource like this on your site that we can contribute to?

    I’d be interested in seeing where else you shop (have you tried Vince Gasparro’s Meat Market at Bloor/Roxton? Great Mennonite chicken and sometimes grass fed beef. They tell me all their meat is antibiotic and hormone free). Also, where we Canadians can easily acquire some of the items only in the US (a girlfriend is bringing me some Kerrygold butter later this summer as it’s not allowed to be sold here, their cheese is sold here though).

    Do you know of any other Toronto-based paleo websites or blogs?

    Nice to meet you!
    Michelle

    • Cindy says:

      sounds really interesting. do you mind sending me a personal message at paleodish@gmail.com and then we can chat further there! that would be terrific!!! :)

    • Neil says:

      for grass-fed beef and raw dairy, your best bet is to get it from a cow-share. they make deliveries to the city every week to different locations. I’ll usually get milk weekly and buy bulk beef and freeze it.

      let me know if you want a supplier to contact.

  25. Hey Cindy,

    Just found your blog randomly since I was looking for a Crossfit Gym in Toronto to try.

    I’m Phalakone, a new Paleo adept starting a new blog, and I just wanted to introduce myself and thank you for the recipes you made on your blog.

    I might see you in the gym or online.

    Cheers.
    Phalakone

  26. Neil says:

    Hey just stumbled upon this page. Although the post was a while ago. If you’re looking for grass-fed beef or raw dairy, i have a farm who delivers downtown. Email me if you’re interested!

  27. Tina Kawai says:

    I simply want to say I’m very new to blogging and seriously liked your web-site. Probably I’m planning to bookmark your website . You amazingly have exceptional articles. Cheers for sharing your website.

  28. WOW I am in love with Paleo… I’ve been on it for 3 months and have noticed such drastic positive changes…. I strongly recommend this to ANYBODY! I started the diet off by watching this youtube video for great recipes!!! here

  29. Deb says:

    Hi Cindy, My husband and I started the Paleo diet almost 2 weeks ago. I had been following the Curves diet for months with very little results (3 lbs in 2 months) After the 12 days on Paleo I have lost 13 lbs.
    I love your site, lots of info to go over and support. I am also starting Crossfit in May, my husband has been doing it since August, with wonderful results. I can’t wait. A year ago today I had a skiing accident that left me with a broken left leg and a level 2/3 MCL tear on the right. I am no stronger through yoga and Curves, and ready to move on to Crossfit. It will be scarey, as I am a “plus” size girl…but your storey has motivated me. Thanks!
    I found out about your site through your sister.

    • Cindy says:

      That’s awesome! Good for you – minus the accident part. I am so warmed to hear that my story was inspirational to you! Let me know if you have any further questions. Good luck on your journey!!!

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