20 mins with ‘Hitch’

On June 20, 2012 ~ Ken Hitchcock won the Jack Adams Award for NHL coach of the year. Pictured with his wife Corina.

Pre-Game Skate ~ The Backstory.

Growing up in rural Ontario, nestled a house which included my sports-loving dad and two younger brothers…we would watch hockey every single Saturday night. Common to many hockey lovers, this was simply – a ritual.

Bowls of popcorn in hand, we cozied ourselves together as a fam, as we settled in for an evening in-front of the tube. Staring back at us, was the TV stand’s shelf that was lined and completely filled with the entire collection of Don Cherry’s Rock ‘em Sock ‘em hockey videos.Throughout these years, my brothers played competitive hockey.  Back in the day, my ability to list the names of professional players/coaches from various NHL teams, impressed many hockey fanatics and non-hockey breathing friends alike.  Not much changed when I got married.  My husband is a die-hard hockey fan as well.  He is keeping the dream alive, while playing in his Tuesday night men’s league and may or may not be known for yelling a few choice words here and there at the television as we tune into ‘Hockey Night in Canada’. As you can tell…hockey was…and still is a huge part of our life. Heck…we even met for the first time, while out watching the hockey playoffs at a neighbourhood pub. Read on as I express my gratitude for having the opportunity to chat with a very genuine, humble and honest man.

First Period ~ The Prologue.

Enough about me. This post is about Ken Hitchcock – 2012’s NHL coach of the year and Jack Adam’s award recipient, and his associated success of bringing a Paleo lifestyle into his world.

REWIND. STOP…and PLAY…back several months ago now. My husband and I were curled up on the couch watching television one evening and a TSN video clip came on. It was an interview with NHL’s St. Louis Blues Head Coach, Ken Hitchcock. We were glued to the screen, as he spoke openly and candidly about his struggles with weight/health issues and his new(ish) appreciation for CrossFit and the Paleo Lifestyle. Literally that evening, I posted a link to this video and another related article on my PALEOdISH Facebook page…and it turns out the 2nd person to comment on the link was (is)…Ken’s wife Corina!!!

My post on Facebook and follow up comments went like this…

Me: @TSN_Sports_Buzz – just watched an interview with @StLouisBlues coach Ken Hitchcock…and discovered he does #crossfit and follows a #paleo lifestyle. ‘it has already helped him take off 60 pounds and has left him feeling better than he has in years!’ SO WICKED!! YEAH! ♥

Corina: He has actually lost over 90#! We started crossfit together at Desert Crossfit in Palm Desert. We changed our nutrition in May of 2010 and haven’t looked back! #heismyhusband #lovesyourcoconutcurrychickensoup

Me: WOW!!! THAT IS INCREDIBLE! Ken Hitchcock is your husband? CONGRATS to BOTH of YOU on making such a wonderful life change!!! ♥ VERY INSPIRING! =D

Corina: Thanks! He is doing great! We wouldn’t be able to do it without blogs like yours. I have scooped many recipes from it and have developed a greater enthusiasm for cooking as a result! Paleo community rocks!

Me: Holy smokes…super flattered! THANK YOU for following my blog!! YES…you are right…the paleo community does ROCK! I have met and learned so much from so many fabulous people along my journey. I feel so fortunate!! Thanks again…PS – I remember you posted the comment about the link to my coconut chicken soup not working now! LOL =P

Corina: You know what is funny, is I went to make it the other day and it didn’t come up again. I was going to bug you again, but decided not to. I tried to do it from memory, but something was a bit off. Hitch liked it anyway, but you may need to check that. Next time I will copy it down! Keep up the creativity and the great work :)

Me: I pm’d you! =)

From there, Corina and I continued chatting back and forth via email. After several conversations…I asked her if she thought Ken (AKA ~ ‘Hitch’) would be willing and interested in taking part in an interview with moi. He agreed and guess what??? KEN HITCHCOCK PHONED ME!!! Yep…you heard me! One afternoon, while I was bringing in some groceries or putting away dishes (worst memory and all a blur!)…the phone rang…and I answered it. I think I picked up a little snippily (I thought it was a telemarketer HA!) and was totally embarrassed when I heard his voice and realized who it was. He asked if NOW was a good time?! The flustered and crazy spazz that I am…actually asked if he would be able to call me back! DOH!!!! Who does that? *facepalm* I think my giddiness got in the middle of my rational thinking here. On his end…he was totally ‘cool as a cucumber’ and replied with “sure…I will call you again in a couple hours after I get back from the rink!” When I hung up the phone, I felt fully silly and embarrassed. I finished doing what I was doing and had a chance to pull out the questions I had come up with and go over them. A man of his word…later that day…the phone rang again. Recognizing the number, I greeted him with a much more composed hello. And there began my ’20 mins with Hitch.’

Second Period ~ The Phone Interview. 

Me: How did you first hear about the Paleo type of lifestyle?

Ken Hitchcock: To be honest with you, we started doing CrossFit in the Palm Springs area in early 2010. Corina and I had been doing this for about 2 months or so I think, at which point Dr. Gundry came in to our gym to do a presentation related to health and wellness. During his presentation he introduced a ‘different’ sort of eating plan (to us), where he discussed the specifics of a Paleo/Primal lifestyle. He talked about turning off your genes through food. We then found Mark Sisson and he talked about something similar. From there, we were off and running! After all of this, we became really interested in learning more about Paleo…and decided to give it a try. The take home point here was that after we made it through the adjustment period, things got so much easier. After the first 3 weeks, it actually became ‘no big deal’. 

Me: What motivated you to make this incredible lifestyle change back in May 2010? 

Ken Hitchcock: Like I mentioned, while taking part as active members at our CrossFit gym, we attended a presentation on the Paleo lifestyle and from there made the decision to take part in a ‘Paleo Challenge’ with a group of people from this location. Following the decision to make the switch, many positive results followed. With a combination of exercise and healthy eating, I definitely saw initial changes in body composition, due to weightloss. I was able to lose weight, but importantly, this type of eating allowed me to actually sustain it – week to week, while keeping the weight off. 

Me: Since changing your lifestyle, what are the most noticeable benefits that you have seen/felt in yourself to date?

Ken Hitchcock: By making this change and eating right and exercising, I have eliminated the yo-yo notion that many people experience. I have been successful in building muscle mass. More than anything, both physically and mentally, I just feel healthier. I love feeling that increase in energy and that you don’t need a nap. There is just this ‘clear’ feeling, it is difficult to describe. I have also noticed that I haven’t had as many colds or allergy symptoms. I feel like I have so much more stamina too!  To sum it up – I feel like I am in the zone…and I don’t ever want to get out of that zone!!!

Me: What advice might you offer someone who is reading this, who may be wondering about the first steps in initiating change?

Ken Hitchcock: I feel like so many people think it is only about portion control, but it really isn’t. It is about fueling your body with nutrient dense foods. The last thing you want to do is feel as though you are constantly ‘taking things away’. I don’t feel deprived when eating this way, no one does. Instead it is more helpful to think about eating larger meals, while consuming foods that are going to leave you feeling satisfied and provide you with more get up and go. For me that is key.  Speaking to the benefits once again, I find I have much more energy and recovery has improved. I am sleeping through the night more often than not, and I am not relying on medication. I feel GREAT!  This whole thing has been such good experience form me. I don’t ever want to go back to the old way. I love this healthy lifestyle that we have started and I just want to keep going…

Me: While spending so much of your time with your ‘St. Louis Blues’ family, have any of the other coaching staff or players noticed your successes? If so, have they been intrigued to dabble in Paleo or give it a go themselves? 

Ken Hitchcock: Yes, some of the coaches that I work with have started a 30 day Paleo challenge and are making changes. We also do CrossFit together as well. Also, when we go on the road, everyone is very respectful of the way I eat and they actually tend to gravitate that way.  

Third Period ~ The Epilogue. 

Me: What would be your closing remarks on how to successfully implement a paleo lifestyle on the go?
Ken Hitchock: You have to be determined about what foods need to be eliminated from your thought process. Grains, processed foods and refined sugars for example. If you eliminate some of those foods, it becomes quite easy to be successful. When we are on the road it is actually fairly simple because our meals are set and you just make the appropriate choices. It’s a little different for me because I have the opportunity to be with the team, and meals as fuel are a priority. For me, I have to watch myself and be sure I don’t grab for things when I am frustrated or stressed. I know I have to be mindful with that, but for the most part, I do well there too.
*** Latest Update: I am continuing to do really well. At present, it is somewhat different because there are no highs and lows because of no NHL season! Overall I feel good. Just bored at times and I miss the competition. 
Overtime ~ The Shootout.
Bacon…YES or NO:  Yes, crisp!
Favourite Paleo meal: Chicken fried cauliflower rice
Most satisfying NON-Paleo treat: Ted Drewes frozen custard here in St. Louis
Favorite workout: Long chipper with rowing.
P.O.P (% on paleo): 90 %
The paleo lifestyle in one word: ENERGETIC!
Post Game Commentary ~ My thanks to Ken (& Corina too!)
For your time, I am so very appreciative and grateful. In a busy world, Ken and his wife Corina have been so down to earth, accommodating and a real pleasure to talk with and get to know. I continue to be flattered when I find out folks like you are enjoying reading blog posts on my site. That makes me smile. I am glad both of you are part of this incredible community. I really hope our paths cross in the future, as I would love to share more stories in the flesh. Until then…best thoughts and wishes are being sent your way for continued health, success and adventure! Here’s to hoping the NHL’s season will get underway in the next while, so we can see you in action! (fingers crossed) THANKS AGAIN!!!

Behind the bench. (May 5, 2012 - Source: Harry How/Getty Images North America)

snacky(ish) ideas

I was inspired to write this post after meeting and chatting with a new friend of ours from the gym this past weekend. We were out spectating at The Threshold Open Competition, which was hosted by CrossFit Toronto on Saturday…and got gabbing. He asked me…’What kind of Paleo type snacks do you usually eat?’ I paused for a second…and then replied by saying ‘veggies and guac’, ‘hard-boiled eggs’, ‘beef jerky’…and then paused again, realizing that we don’t really do all that much ‘snacking’ per se…especially when we are able to consume large nutrient-filled meals that keep up going and fully satisfied throughout the day. I think that I initially had a difficult time answering this question because all of the things that I would consider ‘snacks’…are all pretty much the foods that make up our regular meals somehow on a daily and weekly basis.

However, this is a question that I get quite frequently (and I totally get where people are coming from)…so I decided that I would share my thoughts with all of you, by creating a post filled with all the ‘snacky(ish)’ type foods that we make or buy. We find these especially important to have at the ready while on the road, on vacation, when travelling or when attending something like an all-day conference/competition. I also think having access to such a list is really beneficial for someone who is new to Paleo style eating, and is still transitioning from their ‘conventional’ diet. Many of these ideas are fully portable, satiating and super delish to boot!

Below you will find a super comprehensive list (that I hope you find helpful)…that includes different goodies, either store-bought and/or homemade. I have written them out in no particular order. Some are literally ready to eat in no time (berries – don’t forget to wash), while others require additional prep (meat cupcakes), and then can be stored and eaten in the days to come. Have fun poking around and hovering/clicking on the links in this blog post, as I have also included some of our favourite brands and where to find them. At the bottom, I have also added an easy reference sheet that you can print off as a go-to guide that you can look back on when you are feeling a little peckish! Stick it on your fridge, so it is visible!!! Finally, feel free to leave any of your favourite ‘snacky(ish)’ ideas in the comments section at the end…I would love to hear from you!

Veggies (anything you love…chopped up) with Homemade Guacamole/Salsa – literally cut up your favourite veggies and keep them in the fridge in a container, so that they are ready to go! Try dipping carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes etc…If you don’t have time to make your own, I would recommend using some Mad Mexican Guacamole and Salsa!

Avocado drizzled with olive oil & balsamic - take a knife and slice an avocado in half. Plate and drizzle with some good quality olive oil and balsamic. Sprinkle with some pepper and sea salt. Enjoy!

Nuts & Seeds/Homemade Trail Mix – choose raw or dry roasted cashews, macadamias, almonds, pecans…and the list goes on… Have a handful here and there when you are on the go! You can even get creative by making your own trail mix with various nuts, shredded coconut, dried fruit, dark chocolate etc…

Kale Chips – made these for the first time this week and they were a total success! Basically used 1 bunch of organic kale, a couple tbsp of melted coconut oil, a few sprinkles of ground chipotle and sea salt. Bake at 300(ish) for about 8 minutes, turning and then for about another 5 minutes, while watching carefully. Full blog post on this coming soon…

Sweet Potato Chips – we are huge fans of these babies. Feel free to play around with different seasonings when you make these. All you need are some sweet potatoes/yams, a mandoline slicer and some spices and you are off to the races!

Taro Chips – these are similar to my sweet potato chips, but they actually turn out a little crispier if you like some more of that ‘crunch’! Have a looksy at your local Asian market and pick up some taro root and get slicin’.

Beet Chips – yet another yummy and delicious way to enjoy a healthy chip type snack. I was honestly amazed how wonderful these turned out. They are super easy and really satisfying. Love ‘em!

Coconut Flakes/Shredded Coconut – grab and go and feel free to enjoy right out of the bag! This is a handy dandy food item to keep in the pantry or to take with you in the car when you are on the go! Also, terrific to add to your own homemade trail mix or sprinkle on top of some fresh berries.

Coconut Butter/Oil – I honestly keep an entire jar and a spoon with me, at the ready, both at work and at home. I love love love coconut butter so much and literally just eat in plain the majority of the time. I now have some of my co-workers hooked on this product as well…that and hard-boiled eggs! HA!! You can also melt it and devour over your favourite fruit!

Coconut Wraps with Nut Butter or sliced meat – this product was a total hit with us. Having said that…it is not something we eat all the time, but would definitely recommend as a delicious treat when paired with your favourite kind of nut butter. We found them in Toronto at The Big Carrot on the Danforth!!!

A Piece of Fruit (in season if possible)/Fruit salad (Berries) – a friend asked me the other day – ‘Do you eat a lot of fruit?’ My reply – ‘No, not really. I tend to eat more in the summer however, when it is in season.’ The peaches right now are to die for! Other than that, we usually stick to mixed berries, which includes: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.

Beef or Pork Jerky/Sticks – If you have a dehydrator (which I don’t), you can get creative and make your own jerky in the comfort of your own home. We tend to pick up beef jerky/sticks or pepperettes at the Brickworks Farmer’s Market on the weekends and enjoy them here and there throughout the week. A wicked punch of protein that is super portable. Be mindful of store-bought jerky/sticks, as they often contain soy and/or wheat…and other nastiness.

Bacon – rocks any time of the day! Enough said!! Source some good quality bacon from a local farmer and bake up a tray to munch on whenever! Scrumptious!!!

Good quality Summer Sausage/Salami – again we get ours at the Brickworks Farmer’s Market, at the Monforte stand. They carry a mennonite-style summer sausage that is made from pork and spices or a pork/beef blend. It is excellent. It comes encased in a cloth bag and does not need to be refrigerated. This is definitely on our weekly grocery list! YUM!!!

Smoked Salmon – we really don’t eat smoked salmon all that often, but I do know of many who enjoy this food as a healthy option. A high-quality source, can often be somewhat pricey, however for many it’s convenience and deliciousness outweigh the cost. Comes cured and pre-sliced.

Shrimp – people LOVE shrimp! Have you ever been to a party and watched the vultures, I mean folks hover over the shrimp cocktail?! I know I have. Shrimp is awesome on it’s own (cold) or super fabulous when marinated and then quickly grilled on the BBQ. Done is no time flat!

Prosciutto – salty goodness! I can seriously polish off an entire package in one sitting. This has to be one of my fav treats! Peel and roll…and pop it in your mouth. It is really that simple. We get ours from a company called Niagara Foods Specialties…and rave about their quality. Another Brickworks Farmer’s Market find!

Hard-boiled/‘Guacafied’ Eggs – oh hard-boiled eggs…I honestly never get sick of you! I eat them almost daily…for reals! Super quick to make and even easier to take with you on the road. I usually just crack, peel and sprinkle with a dash or two of hot sauce…and some pepper and sea salt. If you have more time and want to get a little fancy…try guacafying your eggs!

Scrambled Eggs – this is a go-to option for us on evenings where we are super busy. You can whip them up lightning fast, as a full-on meal or a wee snack if you are hungry. Packed with nutrients and lots of goodness too. If you wish,  you can also add in some herbs and spices or some leftover meat to make them even more flavourful and hearty!

Egg Muffins – these cute little bite-sized beauties can be made ahead of time. They keep well in the fridge and can then be re-heated or even enjoyed cold. If you have children…they will be sure to love them as well!

Pickles – we adore Bubbies pickles. These dills are naturally fermented, without vinegar or preservatives. Pick some up today at your local health food store and thank me later! Enjoy by themselves, as a garnish or in a dish, like my zingy tuna salad!

Sauerkraut - you can purchase this natural pro-biotic from the store or even better…make it yourself. Again, for a store-bought version, we really like the Bubbies brand. Many people often find they enjoy making their own as a way of keeping costs down and controlling the whole process. If you don’t do well with cabbage, you could also try fermenting other veggies such as carrots, asparagus and beets.

Olives – personally, I can’t even stand the smell or sight of them, but my husband loves them, as do many others. They come in all sorts of varieties, and you can even buy them stuffed with things like almonds! They are a great option to grab and chow down on!

Canned Tuna/Salmon/Sardines - When we purchase fish in a can…we usually go for Raincoast Trading brand. I really like that this company is committed to quality and sustainability. ‘Raincoast Trading adheres to the highest sustainability standards when catching, processing and packaging its seafood.’ This product is definitely worth the extra dollar in my opinion!

Zingy Tuna Salad – we tend to make a monster batch of this stuff and store it in the fridge to have throughout the week. Totally yummy on it’s own, in hard-boiled eggs, or even on top of a bed of mixed greens! Extreme party for the taste buds and it packs a superb punch of dill!

Larabar or similar homemade version – Coconut Cream is pure gold! Larabars are really convenient and sold as minis or in full-size bars. As far as bars go, they are great because of their minimal ingredient list – usually just dates, some kind of nut and spices. Look around, as you can often times find them on sale at Costco (limited flavours though) and at various grocery/health food stores. We eat them once in awhile, but not a lot, as I find them super sweet! Note – I don’t do much baking myself…but if you want to try making a similar version on your own, just do a wee google searcheroo and loads of recipes related to these bar will pop up!

Dark Chocolate – we don’t have it in the house all that often. I feel better when I don’t eat chocolate. That being said…I love sampling and trying new ones every now and again. A square or two once in a while usually does the trick for me!

Slice of High Quality Raw/Unpasterized Cheese (if you tolerate dairy) –  I can eat most dairy products without an issue. When I do indulge, it is usually with a slice or two of high quality raw/unpasterized cheese from the farmer’s market. Check out Monforte Dairy and Best Baa Dairy!

Leftover Meat with Hot Sauce/Mustard or Guacamole - may sound weird to some, but this is a natural and frequent occurrence around these parts. Open fridge…open glass container and then grab a chunk of meat. Dip in some hot sauce, specialty mustard or guacamole and you are laughin’. It really doesn’t get any easier than that!

Cup of Bone Broth - OPPS! I have made bone broth several times and just realized that I haven’t done a full blog post on it…just photos and descriptions on good old fb! I will put it in the queue. Anyhoo…slow cooking of meaty soup bones can easily be transformed into a delicious and super mineral-rich broth. After making a huge batch…it can also be easily stored in the fridge or freezer for later use/consumption!

Unsweetened Dried Fruit - what  you are looking for here is fruit that has been de-hydrated, without having extra sugar added to it when packaged. You want to try to look for the most authentic brand…or get busy in the kitchen making some of your very own. You could try dried mango, apple, banana or whatever else your heart desires. A word of caution – (dependent on your goal)s…you may want to be careful not to just eat an entire package in one sitting! (this is easy to do)

Spicy Meat Cupcakes  or Homemade Meatballs – again both of these meaty treats can be made up ahead of time and consumed at your leisure! HA!! Top with some guacamole for a little added yumminess. Can be heated or eaten cold.

Other snacky(ish) foods you may want to try: pork rinds, liverwurst, baked sweet potato/yam, SeaSnaxPaleokits and Grass Fed Jerky Chews. I am sure I will think of more…so this post will be updated whenever necessary.

I hope you enjoy…happy eating!!!

snacky(ish) ideas
  • veggies with guac and salsa
  • avocado drizzled with olive oil & balsamic
  • nuts/seeds/trail mix
  • kale/sweet potato/taro/beet chips
  • coconut butter/oil
  • coconut wraps with nut butter
  • fruit
  • beef jerky/sticks
  • bacon
  • summer sausage/salami
  • smoked salmon
  • shrimp
  • prosciutto
  • eggs - all kinds
  • pickles
  • sauerkraut
  • olives
  • canned tuna/salmon/sardines
  • larabars
  • dark chocolate
  • raw/unpasterized cheese
  • bone broth
  • dried fruit
  • leftover meat with hot sauce, mustard and guac
  • meat cupcakes/meatballs
  • pork rinds
  • liverwurst
  • baked sweet potatoes
  • sea sax
  • paleokits
  • jerky chews
  1. buy, prepare and eat!
  2. print this off and have it ready when you feel hungry!!
  3. make good choices!!!



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

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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…