Happy Dec 1st everyone!  Can you believe it??? Maybe I am the only one, but I am excited for the snow.  We got a wee glimpse of it yesterday…fingers crossed for a ‘white Christmas.’ Anyhoo…

This blog post features the wise words from my good friend and gym owner, Tyler Touchette of Caveman Strong.  Sit back, relax and enjoy…and he tells it like it is.  Something we all need to hear every now and again.  Also, I encourage you to swing on over to Caveman Strong, to check out some of the wicked things that they have going on over in their neck of the woods.  Thanks again Tyler for sharing your thoughts and opinions in such a candid manner.  You really do have a way of expressing yourself, so that your words ring true…

“Tyler, I need to freeze my membership. The Christmas season is too much for me to handle.”

“Tyler, I’m strapped for cash due to Christmas, I need to not workout for a month”.

“Tyler, I know you say ‘easy on the cardio’, but I just can’t seem to get results. Don’t I need to work harder?”

“Tyler, I miss the old crazy CrossFit workouts! I feel like I need more of that?!”


Ok… In my opinion this is always the same exact situation. It’s a matter of priorities. It’s a  matter of choices. It’s a matter of self-love and self-happiness.


It amazes me when people can’t seem to figure out what they need to simply feel better. To feel more energy and to walk with your chin just a little bit higher than the day before. I feel we as a community not only encompass that, but we also teach it very well. Better than any club I’ve seen.. anywhere. (Not arrogance, just my observation)

How can 4 hours a week be impossible? How can mom/dad not be granted 4 hours a week, so that they can feel better and thus be happier. Being happier as a person immediately makes you a better mother, employee, friend, etc… Being happier is your right!  You work hard – You take care of the kids – You take care of your spouse – You handle what you handle at work. Why is there nothing left over for YOU??!!

In this society it seems we are all in mad rush. What is it we are rushing for?? I think the only guarantee in life is DEATH – so if you’re in a rush for that…GO AHEAD. Just don’t drag me down with you? LOL.

So, how can working out and eating properly make you better? Why do you show up here? Why do you workout? Why do you ‘TRY’ over and over to get your diet on track?


Because you want to be HAPPY. That’s why. And guess what.. It’s a DAM good reason.

When anyone comes to me with these types of issues (top of page) it’s always the same. Before they even say it – I know what the problem is.. YOUR PRIORITIES ARE NOT IN CHECK, YOU HAVE NO GAME PLAN, NO GOALS. No matter how good our service/coaching is, at the end of the day YOU have to help YOU or else this ship does not sail..

Back to lifestyle…

Paleo is NOT a diet.

Going to the gym is not a hassle.

Sleeping better is a must.

These issues are what we all work on in order to be healthier and happier. We do not advocate quick fixes. We ask you to figure out (with our help) what is lacking most in your life? What do you need to make more time for – asap? WHAT IS YOUR PRIORITY? Do you have any clue at all? If not, I’m afraid you WILL be another ‘comer and goer’ in our club.  It’s too bad, but it’s the way it is.

I/WE call this a lifestyle, because that’s what it is. In order to be healthy and NOT like the rest of the world (On drugs, getting fat and sick, diseased, feel like shit) you need to CHANGE YOUR LIFESTYLE OR BETTER YET – CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

After 10 years of developing this lifestyle for myself I will give you the nuts and bolts of what it takes…


1. Eat Paleo at least 80/20. Most of us don’t even make a solid effort. We somehow believe that if we workout a little harder it will compensate for the garbage we are eating. Don’t be one of these people. I worked out for years (since 14 – every other day) and never got anywhere until I improved my FUEL source. You don’t have to be perfect, but you have to at least TRY!

7. The ‘NATURE’ factor. I am a big fan of ‘nature walking’, getting in the bush, sitting on a dock, etc.. We are animals of the earth and we need to re connect with our mother earth. It may sound weird to some of you to read this but guess what??  YOU ARE THE WEIRD ONE FOR NOT NOTICING THE POWER OF NATURE.  It will literally re-balance you, cleanse you, and give you clarity. My ‘SOUL WORK’ has always happened in two places: The outdoors and the gym.

2. Work out 4 times a week. Science suggests that working out 4 times a week yields 40% more gains than 3 times a week (Poliquin). 4 hours a week!! Even if you can’t make it in – You can walk, play hard with the kids, etc.. YOU need to make time for you. The people around you who love you will understand. If not – they are the selfish ones and you need to be strong about YOUR priority.

3. Sleeping. Take naps. Sleep in. Get more of it when you can. If it’s a priority make it happen. Shut the computer off, turn the TV off – ETC..

4. Weightlifting with the mindset: ‘I want to be able to move well when I’m 75′ will always keep you focused on what truly matters.. Six packs are great, but a great back squat tells me you have the mobility of a 12 year old. Moving well with good posture is always number one.

5. Weightlifting should take up 80-90% of your workouts. I don’t care if you ‘LOVE’ running. or ‘LOVE’ crazy CrossFit style workouts. Science, observation, and results dictate that well coached weightlifting is the ‘REAL DEAL’… Just look around at some of the physiques at the gym.  CONNECT THE DOTS.

6. Negative people and situations. Pay attention to the ‘haters’, the ‘nay sayers’, and all the people and situations that make us feel ‘OFF’.  Life is energy and anyone who feels they can just SUCK my energy  needs to go. Negative people that only hear their own story are incredibly selfish. They don’t even hear us speak to them or offer help.  They are so CAUGHT up in their own ‘NEGATIVE GARBAGE’ that they literally don’t care about anything else. Be aware of ENERGY, your intuition is a great resource. Re-connect and make decisions based on what makes you happier.

Long story short,

The world is against us but that’s ok. If our LIFESTYLE is in check we will help ourselves and all those around us. That’s what I call POWER. That’s what motivates me EVERY DAY. WE. I, YOU are the only ones who can make us happy. No one else will EVER do it. YOU HAVE THE POWER. Make a plan, find your weaknesses, and have a ton of fun working on yourself. Life is growth, there is NO end point. Be in love with growth and positive change and don’t get caught up in the details. Get caught up in the BIG PICTURE…

~ Tyler

Visit Caveman Strong.

PALEOdISH holiday gift guide

I love this time of year.  The smell of pine, holiday cheer, cozy gatherings around the fireplace and spending quality time with family and friends.  The Christmas season is upon us.  Last weekend…Santa Claus Parade.  This weekend we went to our first Christmas party (‘ugly sweater’) of several that are upcoming.  Next…the good ol’ tree chop. Weekends are filling up and the hustle n’ bustle is definitely in the air.  December 25th is less than a month away folks!

I had so much fun putting this little (well actually kinda large(ish) gift guide together.  Hopefully you will find it useful and you will snag a few ideas, as you check off buying for those who are on your ‘nice’ list this year.  Sit back…get cozy with a blanket and a yummy warm bevy.  Guaranteed to get you in the spirit of giving.  Many of the suggestions in this guide are items that I own and LOVE or are currently on ‘my wish list’…hint, hint…wink, wink!  Browse away at your leisure and have fun clicking away like mad on all the products links that I have provided throughout!  (Note:  I am not partial to all the specific brands…they are merely gift suggestions!!!)

For your bookshelf…

These are all must-haves for your bookshelf collection…to be read of course first!  I highly recommended these reads to almost everyone I meet…those following a ‘paleo lifestyle’ or not.  I have purchased several copies myself, for special people in my life…and I honestly can’t say enough wicked things about these incredible authors…and dear friends of mine.  Inspire someone to take control of their health, learn more about the science behind nutrition and ultimately find their inner chef!

1.  a)  The Paleo Solution: Robb Wolf

Do you want to lose fat and stay young, all while avoiding cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and a host of other illnesses? The Paleo Solution incorporates the latest, cutting edge research from genetics, biochemistry and anthropology to help you look, feel and perform your best.’

‘Written by Robb Wolf, a research biochemist who traded in his lab coat and pocket protector for a whistle and a stopwatch to become one of the most sought after strength and conditioning coaches in the world. With Robb’s unique perspective as both scientist and coach you will learn how simple nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes can radically change your appearance and health for the better.’

1.  b)  Robb Wolf’s 30 Day Transformation Guide

Do you want to:

  • Lose weight?
  • Feel better?
  • Have more energy?
  • Reduce inflammation and pain?
  • Reverse diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, autism, diabetes, and obesity?
  • Look, feel, and perform at your best ever?

If you answered yes…then Robb Wolf’s 30 Day Total Transformation is your answer. This is a 60-page, new, interactive multimedia guide is amazing!  He includes sections on nutrition, exercise, your first 30-days, a month of paleo meals, shopping lists, recommended resources and more!

2.  Catalyst Athletics – Weightlifting Book, DVD and Poster Package

I have personally read Greg Everett’s Olympic Weightlifting book and was also fortunate enough to attend his weightlifting seminar when he came to Toronto last year.  This man is a wealth of knowledge in this area.  Take a minute to check out his Catalyst Athletics site, where you will find all kinds of goodies and products for sale in his online store.

You can purchase items separately…or buy them in nicely bundled packages.  Such items include books, DVD’s, posters, Performance Menu subscriptions, tons of equipment and much more!  Take advantage of their ‘Cyber Monday’ offers, which gives you 25 % of all DVD’s!  This would make a super gift for that strong guy or gal in your life…get shopping!

3.  Paleo Comfort Foods: Julie & Charles Mayfield

In 3 words…totally wicked awesome!!!  This Paleo cookbook is a total MUST HAVE for anyone! You are fully guaranteed to find all sorts of yummy dishes in this book that that will tickle your fancy! Since getting this cookbook, I basically cart it around with me everywhere. People at work are now so intrigued and many of my friends have ordered a copy of their own since!
This book is stuffed full of delicious recipes that will make your mouth water just by looking all their gorgeous full colour photos! DROOL…Cooking instructions are easy to follow, steps are concise and the end products are definitely something to write home about.

4.  Make It Paleo: Bill Staley & Hayley Mason

I have said it before, but I will say it again…THIS BOOK IS A MASTERPIECE of BEAUTIFULNESS!!! IT ROCKS! When you buy this, get it in your hands and find a recipe that you want to attempt…you will right away feel like you will be successful in doing so. They have truly set you up for success. Each recipe is paired with a stunning photo of the finished product on the right side.

I really appreciate that the recipes don’t call for a million and one ingredients and that the instructions are SUPER EASY to follow. Fully doable for first time chefs and pros alike.

5.  Paleo Magazine

Who doesn’t love magazines?!?  I know I do!!!  Our coffee table always home to various different ones.  The gift of a magazine subscription is a beautiful thing.  It is the gift that keeps on giving all year round.

When I was at the Ancestral Health Symposium back in August, I was fortunate enough to pick up a copy of this magazine…of which I thoroughly enjoyed reading!  ‘Paleo magazine is the first, and only, print magazine dedicated to the Paleo/Primal lifestyle. Each issue is packed with the latest research, exercise and nutrition. They also give you interviews, recipes, reviews and much more!’  This sweet read is def on my own wish list this year…

For your kitchen…

6.  Anything Le Creuset

I am a huge fan of anything Le Creuset.  A few years ago, I received a wonderful Le Creuset Dutch Oven for Christmas from my mother-in-law.  It is a lifesaver…we use it ALL the time.  TRIPLE LOVE!!!

They can be a bit of a pricier gift…however, I have to say…that they are fully worth every penny.  Gorgeous and durable to last you an entire lifetime!  Keep your eyes peeled for various Le Creuset products at discounted prices at their outlet stores and other house and home shops such as Winners.  I hope to be adding to my Le Creuset collection soon…as there is an outlet that just opened across the border, in Niagara Falls, at the Fashion Outlet Mall.

7.  The Crock-Pot

If your household doesn’t already have one…get one!  Crock-Pot…’the original slow cooker’, is key for making batches of stews, chillies, soups and other meat dishes.  Super easy to use, but the benefits in producing delicious dishes and saving loads of time are definite factors for people with busy lives.

You can find these bad boys on sale at many stores for under $ 4o!  We just started using ours fairly recently…and wonder why we didn’t start sooner.  Crock pots are da bomb!!!  A full-on essential kitchen item in my opinion.

8. a) Spiral Slicer – Westmark Spiromat

This is a unique and fun gift for someone who maybe has all the standard kitchen essentials.  It is a fantastic tool that turns a variety of vegetables into super curly ‘noodles.’  You can basically use anything from sweet potatoes, to zucchini…in order to create many yummy dishes.  This handy device also serves as a neat way to make different meals that will appeal to your children.  Fun and inventive…we use ours often.  Note – not the easiest to find…so you may have to do a little bit of searching for this one – well worth it though!!!  Read my full post on this cool kitchen gadget here.

8.  b) Mandoline Slicer

Also, if the ‘chef’ or ‘foodie’  in your life doesn’t own a madoline slicer, I would highly recommend getting them one.  It really does make slicing and dicing much easier!  I have two.  The basic one I have is the OXO Hand-Held Mandonline Slicer and the more complex (fancier) one I have is the Borner Germany V-Slicer Plus Mandoline .  Both of them are fabulous!  Feel free to print off my ‘beet chip’ and ‘sweet potato chip‘ recipes for them, to include with the gift!

For your body:

9.  Mobility products

These gift are inspired by Kelly StarrettMobility WOD.

“Every human being should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves. You know what to eat, how to train, and what to do if you have a cut; you should also know how to fix your tight hips, painful knees, and stiff shoulders, and how to make yourself faster and more powerful. It’s too much to mobilize everything, all the time, everyday.  Start somewhere”

From bands to rumble rollers and  all the way to ‘The Stick’…you will find what you need to take care of your muscles.  These items are sold individually or in ‘packs’ that make fabulous gift for those you care about.

10. Powerlifting Belt

‘All Inzer Forever Belts ™ are one solid thickness of the finest, select, exclusive leather.’ This is an ideal gift for someone in your life, who is into lifting some heavy weight.  Inzer offers high-quality products that will stand the test of time.  Take a minute to head over to their site to check out other products from ‘The World Leader in Powerlifting Apparel.”  They come is a rainbow of colours and various styles.  I personally love the forest green!

11.  T’s, Tanks and Hoodies

My husband likes to say that the last thing I need is another hood…but come on…can one really ever have too many!?!  I don’t think so!  Anyways, check out some of these awesome T’s, hoodies and fancy duds from some amazing people.  Thank me later…as the men and women (kids too) in your life will love being all decked out in these comfy clothes.  Great for the gym or for lounging after a big holiday feast.

Why not head over to Catalyst Athletics to buy one of their fabulous tanks or one of their new ‘jerk hoodies’!?!   You could also dress your entire family in Nom Nom Paleo’s adorable clothing.  Check it out…as they have a little something for everyone over there.  If you want to make a statement, saunter on over to The Food Lovers’ Primal Palate’s shop to purchase a t-shirt that tells it like it is!  Choose from 4 different, cleverly crafted designs…or heck if you can’t decide, snag ‘em all!!!  Finally…mosey on over to Balanced Bites, to pick up a t-shirt for that special bacon lover in your life.  There are many different styles and colours to choose from in her shop as well!

For your loved ones who were ‘extra nice’ this year:

12.  Big(ger) Ticket Items

Depending on your budget and how you celebrate, you may wish to spoil some of your special peeps with some more expensive, but wicked-awesome presses.

Weightlifting Equipment

Imagine how happy ‘the weightlifter’ on your list would be if they woke up on Christmas morning to see some solid new weight plates or a barbell, with bows on them under the tree.  These types of gifts are great to go in on as a larger group as well!  Check out companies like: Pendlay, Muscle Driver, Westside Barbell, Catalyst Athletics and Rogue Fitness for a plethora of such products.


I do not own one myself, but everyone that I speak with, who does…absolutely loves theirs.  These machines are a terrific gift, for that serious user…the one that you know will actual use it to it’s max, and not let it sit on the counter un-touched.

‘Whether you’re looking to add more fruits and vegetables into your menu, introduce your family and friends to culinary treats, or simplify everyday kitchen tasks, the Total Nutrition Center package is for you. Bring home the same power and performance, in a blender, experienced by chefs and restaurants around the globe and start making smoothies, soups, frozen desserts and more.’  Find the one that is right for you or yours…

An Experience

Finally…why not give ‘an experience’ to someone special on your list this year!?  It is something a little it different, often overlooked, but sure to be received with great appreciation.

Workshop/Seminar – sign ‘em up and register them for an upcoming nutrition or strength training seminar in your area.  Check out OPT Nutrition Series, Catalyst Athletics Olympic Weightlifting Seminar, MovNat Workshops and Westside Barbell Events for more information on their upcoming gigs.

Nutrition Consultation – give the gift of health and help someone get on the right track by hooking them up with a nutrition consultation.  Head over to Robb Wolf’s site to read about his qualified crew (registered dietitians) over there and the services they have to offer!

Cooking classes/demonstrations – another really neat idea, would be to give the gift of cooking classes or a kitchen skill session (eg: knife techniques).  All you have to do is do a little ‘google search’ for offerings in your area to find something of interest.  If you live in the Toronto area…enroll a loved one in the ‘GE Cafe Chefs Series.’

There they will “get intimate with Toronto’s hottest chefs. In these demonstration-style cooking classes, you’ll learn about cooking local food, learn tips and techniques while enjoying a delicious dinner and wine from Stratus Vineyards.”  Click on the above link for a full description of classes that are still available.

Meat/Veggie CSA – give the gift of farm fresh food deliveries, from farms you can trust.  Take a minute to check out Eat Wild site, and learn more about the different CSA farm shares and programs that they have going on in many locations.  We started one this year…and look forward to our box of delicious meat every month.  A useful ‘source for providing healthy, safe, natural and nutritious meats and other wild edibles’ to your family and friends.  A gift that will last many months of the year!

Mini-vacation/Retreat – Don’t forget about the charm in planning a wee weekend getaway for you and your partner, as a way of surprising them over the holidays.  This could be a mini-vacation to a resort, yoga centre, bed and breakfast or ski excursion.  The options here are endless…and sure to knock their wool socks off!

Other nifty gift ideas include: a good quality knife set, cutting board, market produce buggy, nested bowl set, food dehydrator, fermentation pot, cast iron skillet, ‘black-out’ blinds…or even a basket filled with assorted ‘paleo’ items/products.

Stocking Stuffer Ideas:

Holiday Shopping Tips:

  • Shop around – take some time to check out different online sites, as well as in-store deals
  • Subscribe to ‘company’ newsletters when possible – they often send you promo codes for special offers
  • Remember – the quality of your gifts over quantity matters!  Make your gift giving meaningful!!!
  • Don’t forget to check out sites like Groupon and Living Social for excellent deals!
  • Try searching online for discounted shipping options and codes
  • Get creative with your gift wrapping, to save on paper (I like to wrap gifts in tea towels!)
  • Support independent companies and local shops in your neighbourhood – separate blog post about this COMING SOON…


take a few extra moments to…

I have been thinking about time lately.  Precious.  Doesn’t stop.  Keeps on ticking.  Although, eventually ends.  Live it now.  We all get ‘caught-up’…trust me, I know.  It is super easy to say…’I am too busy, way too rushed or I just don’t have the time.’  Make it!  Think about it.  Just be aware.  The gains are tenfold.  Take a few extra moments to…

take a few extra moments to...
  • Look someone in the eyes
  • Smile
  • Say hello
  • Hold the door
  • Chuckle
  • Listen to someone
  • Cook
  • Re-fold the shirt you just tried on
  • Say something positive to yourself
  • Put your dishes in the sink
  • Floss your teeth
  • Pack a lunch
  • Empty the garbage out of your car
  • Care
  • Pay someone a compliment
  • Call a friend or family member
  • Smooch
  • Play
  • Wander
  • Leave a sticky note for someone
  • Write a thank-you card
  • Eat if you are hungry
  • Lift
  • Cross something small off your to-do list
  • Think before reacting
  • Tell someone you love them
  • Take the stairs
  • Embrace somebody with a huge hug
  • Get lost in your thoughts
  • Rock out to your fav song
  • Stretch/Roll-out
  • Allow someone to give you a hand
  • Unplug
  • Sit in silence
  • Read
  • Put your feet up
  • Crawl into bed early
  • Treat yourself