Tuscan Vegetable Chicken Stew

This stew was really tasty and froze well. I used 1/2 rutabaga and 1/2 carrots and it really added a great flavor.pic-of-stew

Author: Kelly – Life Made Sweeter

Serves: 6


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups chopped carrots
  • 3 cups chopped celery
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped
  • 1 sweet red bell pepper, chopped
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 (19 oz.) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup diced cooked chicken breast (I used rotisserie)
  • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh parsley
  • parmesan cheese (optional)


  1. In a large pot over medium high heat, add the butter and olive oil. Add in the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery and saute for about 4-5 minutes, until tender and fragrant. Stir in the zucchini and red pepper and cook for another 2 minutes until slightly softened. Sprinkle in the flour to create a roux and cook for another minute. Slowly add 1 cup of the chicken broth while continuously stirring until it starts to thicken and comes together. Then slowly pour in the remaining chicken broth.
  2. Stir in the Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, beans and entire can of tomatoes.
  3. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add the chicken and reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 25-30 minutes. I used a cast iron dutch oven and cooked in the oven. When it was finished I mixed 2tbsp of flour with a little water and stirred in to thicken then put back into the oven until thick.
  4. Stir in the spinach and cider vinegar and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes or until everything is heated through.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve hot with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese, if desired.

Nutrition: Calories 253, Fat 5.9g, Carbs 36.1g, Protein 13.6g


Sherry Morton-Jibb,
PTS. RYT. FIS. HWL (Healthy Eating Weight Loss Coach)
Certified Pilates Mat & Reformer Instructor, Certified Personal Trainer, Registered Yoga Teacher

Sher-Fit Personal Training ,Yoga & Pilates
Cell 705-648-0591

“Blog Of The Week: Sit Not…Be Well”

Are you sitting right now? I’ll bet you are. We all have to sit sometimes, but statistics show that our culture is sitting more and more as our world becomes more automated and our connection to screens and motorized transportation grows. We sit to eat (and I support this absolutely), drive, plan, meet, research, study, organize, shop, play, relax and then we lie down to sleep (hopefully for 7 to 8 hours). Prolonged, morning-to-bedtime sitting—doctors call it sedentary living—has been shown by researchers to play a significant role in many of the most troublesome health issues of our time, from obesity and heart disease to diabetes to depression. Add to this vertebral disorders and chronic pain, since the sitting position is the most stressful of all for your spine.

The human body is not meant to be sedentary. Eons past we would be physical all day to hunt, gather or process what we reaped. Even when relaxing we would have hung out in a deep squat rather than sit. In generations gone by, many of us walked to work then most likely worked physically all day. In fact, other than for athletes and soldiers, the idea of “working out” never existed until just a few decades ago! Then we came to it that the solution to the problems that come from prolonged sitting was structured work-outs. And although I am a fan of people gathering at Balanced Motion Pilates and Yoga for workouts 😉 recent research supports a more generalized solution: Move your body! Apparently just being up and about throughout the day can be healthier for you than doing a rigorous workout, then sitting the rest of the time.

This concept comes up regularly when I council my Balanced Weight Loss Solution clients. How about adding some movement into your average day? Everyday activities can burn a lot more calories than you think. In the kitchen, what if you ditched the food processor to chop and dice with a knife? While you’re at it, kneed your dough and mix your batter by hand. Why not walk faster, take the stairs, walk outside for part of your lunch break, and dance whenever you get the opportunity? Do it yourself, have walking meetings and use a stand-up desk. Park on the perimeter; do heel raises while brushing your teeth etcetera, etcetera. How many ways can you think of to add movement/physical effort to your day?

Any physical movement is better than no movement. Although the preferred lifestyle involves daily ‘move your body’ (targeting 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week – the intensity of exercise where you can still talk), if you’re a person who is vigorously active a couple of times per week (targeting 75 minutes of vigorous exercise), say… on the weekends, and sedentary during the week, recent research has shown that this is also beneficial for warding off the negative health effects of sedentary living. The take home message is to get moving however, whenever and wherever you can. Be creative. Go wild*! Your body and brain will thank you today and for years to come.

* If you are middle aged to older, keep in mind that you are recommended to do as much as 12 weeks of moderate exercise before introducing vigorous exercise to boost confidence without running the risk of setbacks due to injury.


Lisa Goddard, BA, BScOT, Certified Pilates Mat & Reformer Instructor-Owner, HWL Coach

“Recipe Of The Week: Roast Chicken with Lemon-Rosemary Glaze”

This combination is so delicious with roast chicken. If you’re feeling like a little extra upper body movement, manually chop the ingredients for the glaze (this will make more sense when you read my blog this week 😉
Alternatively, use a food processor.

Prep: Max 15 minutes

Cook time: approximately 1.5 hours

1 chicken in a roasting pan

1 tbsp sea salt

Let your chicken come to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 475.

Meanwhile rub the skin of the chicken with salt and prepare the glaze.

 For Glaze –

 5-6 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tsp pepper

2 sprigs rosemary, leaves only, finely chopped OR 1 tsp dried rosemary

zest of 2 lemons

juice of 1 lemon

*Putting the unjuiced lemon inside the chicken cavity will enhance moisture and lemony flavour of the meat

When the oven comes to temperature put in your chicken and immediately reduce temperature to 375. Cook for about one hour until internal temperature is 170. Remove from oven and brush chicken with glaze. Return to oven and continue roasting to an internal temperature of 180 (15-20 minutes more). Remove from oven, cover and let chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Remember the leftover chicken carcass can be made into delicious, nutritious bone broth!

 Hope you enjoy!

Lisa Goddard, BA, BScOT, Certified Pilates Mat & Reformer Instructor-Owner, HWL Coach

“Blog of the Week: Goals, Resolutions and Bucket Lists: How they make us Happier!”

January offers us the perfect time to re-assess, re-boot and perhaps kick it up a notch in terms of our health and happiness.  Lisa got us thinking about the difference between resolutions and goals in her first Blog of 2017,  reminding us that we have more chance of success with our resolutions if we take more of a goal-oriented approach.  Now it sounds very boring to go through this process but this concept has been around for decades and it has stood the test of time.  So if goals are SMART ( specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time sensitive) you have a fighting chance with them.  January – March Break ( about 10 weeks) is a great time frame to set some goals and you have the opportunity to reward yourself at March Break ( time away, a 90 minute Thai Massage, new clothes…you get the picture).  This rewarding system ( deciding on it from the get go) has been proven to be very effective in terms of motivation.  Imagining yourself enjoying this reward ( keeping a photo on your phone, tablet and/or computer) keeps your goals at the forefront and sprinkles some excitement and anticipation throughout your day!

To me, how Bucket Lists differ from Goal Lists is that Bucket Lists, for the most part,  are lists of Experiences that we would like to experience. Goals can include experiences but they are very often related to changing something about ourselves or our daily habits.   Bucket Lists are not time-sensitive ( except before death hense its name) but as we write down our Experience “to dos”  they are not necessarily SMART…in fact, they may be quite the opposite depending on your appetite for adventure.  I make a March Break and Summer Bucket List each year and keep my ongoing (before death) Bucket List.  Now for an Experience on my bucket list to become a reality, it has to go through the goal process at some point.  So, if I have on my Summer Bucket List Niagara Falls, running a 10 K, a 4-day canoe trip, those Experiences won’t happen until they go through the goal setting/planning process and take in to consideration finances, other peoples schedules etc. etc.  If the planning does not happen ( right now for some things) it may not happen and it has to move to next summer.  The reality is that planning becomes a huge part of our Experiences and thus our Happiness! As Lisa mentioned, when we write our resolutions, goals and bucket lists down, they become solid. 

In terms of the recent Happiness research, having bucket lists and goals have a huge impact on our daily levels of happiness.  They give us something to look forward to ( as some research has suggested,  the anticipation of the event sometimes brings as much, if not more happiness ) and it keep us moving forward.  We always want to feel like we are progressing and moving forward and life experiences move us forward!

If you haven’t already, grab a bright coloured notebook/journal and have a go at your resolution and/or goals and bucket lists and keep us posted on how you are doing!

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Lorrie Mickelson, M.A., BPHE/B.A., Registered Yoga Teacher, Certified Pilates Mat and Reformer Instructor, Certified Personal Trainer, activeoptionsbylorrie@gmail.com, 705 647 2848

“Monday Recipe: Tomato Cheddar Quinoa Soup”

 Thank you to Maureen Goddard who sent me this recipe from Wendy Polisi.  I found the fire roasted tomatoes in the organic section at Chartrands and the “kick” from these is amazing.  It is a very satisfying full meal type soup.  Make sure you soak and rinse your quinoa well ( to get rid of the coating that can irritate the stomach) and just keep playing with the consistency by adding more or less liquid.  You can also decrease the salt/fat by changing up your cheese and broth choice.
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • ¼ cup dry white wine (or broth)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 28 ounces fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
  1. Heat ½ tablespoon love oil in a saucepan over medium low heat. Add onion and cook for 7 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook for one more minute. Increase heat to medium high and add wine or broth. Cook for 4 minutes. Add tomatoes, quinoa, broth, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cover. Cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Using an immersion blender puree soup until smooth. (You may also do this in batches in your blender.) Return soup to pot and heat to low. Stir in cheese a little bit at a time until melted.
Servings 6, Calories 268, Fat 10.6g, Carbohydrates 18.6g, Protein 19.9g, Cholesterol 56mg, Sodium 673mg, Fiber 3.2g, Sugars 6.8g
Lorrie Mickelson M.A., B.A/BPHE, Registered Yoga Teacher, Certified Pilates Instructor, Certified Personal Trainer, activeoptionsbylorrie@gmail.com  705 647 2848

Happy Shoveling

Well winter has arrived! I know that not everyone is a winter lover but this is the north so at some point you have to accept it. I enjoy the winter, mostly, except for those -40 days. Nothing like a sunny crisp day to get outside and enjoy all that snow has to offer. That being said the shoveling season has also arrived. As beautiful as snow is, it is also heavy and often our muscles get quit a workout at the end of a shovel. Doing some Yoga stretches can help get your muscles ready to shovel and stretch them out after your done.


Start by stretching out your neck muscles. Place your hand on the top of your head if feels good for your shoulder. Imagine pouring water out of your ear onto your shoulder as you reach the other hand down towards the ground.Hold each side for 5 breathes.


Stretch out the side of your waist. Think of arcing your ribs away from the tree and keeping your shoulders relaxed, away from your ears. Hold each side for  5 breathes.


Stretch out the front of your shoulder and chest by keeping your hand lower than your shoulder. Walk into the stretch and hold each side for 5 breathes.


To stretch your hip, align your front knee over your ankle, plant your back foot at 90deg and lean forward until you feel a stretch in your back hip. Another option is to go up on your back toe, bending your back knee towards the ground and away from your hip. Hold for 5 breathes and switch sides.


To stretch out the side of the hip use a tree for support. Cross the ankle over the knee and reach your hips back. Hold each side for 5 breathes and longer if you need to.

Happy Stretching:)


Sherry Morton-Jibb,
PTS. RYT. FIS. HWL (Healthy Eating Weight Loss Coach)
Certified Pilates Mat & Reformer Instructor, Certified Personal Trainer, Registered Yoga Teacher

Sher-Fit Personal Training ,Yoga & Pilates
Cell 705-648-0591






Apple Mustard Glazed Pork Tenderloin

This is an easy recipe with yummy results!

Original recipe: Katerina | Diethood

1 hr, 20Cook Time, 1 hr, 25Total Time
  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 onions cut into wedges
  • 2 apples cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain dijon mustard (I used regular Dijon)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped sage


  1. Preheat oven at 350F.
  2. Lightly grease a roasting pan with cooking spray; season pork tenderloin with salt and fresh ground pepper and transfer to roasting pan.
  3. Arrange wedges of onions and apples around the meat and set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine apple juice, apple cider vinegar and mustard; whisk until thoroughly combined.
  5. Stir in sage.
  6. Pour the apple-dijon mixture over the meat.
  7. Cover with foil and roast for 1 hour.
  8. Remove foil and put back in oven.
  9. Continue to cook for 20 minutes, basting the meat every 4 minutes with the juices in the pan.
  10. Remove from oven and let rest for about 10 minutes.

11. Remove the meat and cover. Bring the drippings to a boil and add 1tbsp of flour to water then mix in to thicken. ( I used tapioca starch) This makes a yummy gravy.

Calories 177, Fat 4g, Carbs 4g, Protein 31g, sugar 4g


Sherry Morton-Jibb,
PTS. RYT. FIS. HWL (Healthy Eating Weight Loss Coach)
Certified Pilates Mat & Reformer Instructor, Certified Personal Trainer, Registered Yoga Teacher

Sher-Fit Personal Training ,Yoga & Pilates
Cell 705-648-0591

“Blog Of The Week:  Happy New Year 2017!”

It’s my privilege to write our first blog of 2017. Welcome to a shiny new year full of possibilities. Although I have never been a resolution kind of girl, the fact that I got to write to you at the get-go of this year has got me reflecting more about how I can make 2017 a year to remember. For me, often writing something down makes it more real and definitely more memorable. So blogging about resolutions will most certainly make them more solid and likely to happen, plus I’ve got all of you to be accountable to lol.

Most often resolutions are targeted at changing something for the better. It’s no wonder we make them when we have a full calendar year before us offering us hope and possibility. So here goes… these are my resolutions for 2017.

1. Hydrate better… boring, you say?…true, as a resolution it’s not earthshattering but when facing another 4 months (potentially) of our dry winter air it is worth considering. Fascia (skin and all connective tissue), organs, muscles, joints and brain… basically your whole body operates more effectively when cells are plumped up and hydrated. I find it a constant challenge to hydrate enough in my work, so I have some tricks to keep up the fluids. I try to drink a glass of warm water (with a bit of apple cider vinegar) upon waking, drink extra water before and after work, drink smoothies for snacks and homemade broth or soup at lunch as ways to increase my fluid intake. It’s when I’m at home or out of the work routine that I need to improve. One idea is to keep a small glass on the counter and empty it plus refill it every time I walk by. Let me know any effective ways you have found to maintain good hydration.

2. Practice Resiliency – Our ever-changing world trickles down to everyday life and I could use a little tune-up on dealing with constant change. Al Siebert, PhD, writes that “highly resilient people are flexible, adapt to new circumstances quickly, and thrive in constant change. Most important, they expect to bounce back and feel confident that they will. They have a knack for creating good luck out of circumstances that many others see as bad luck.” One source I found lists the 5 best ways of bolstering your own inherent resilience as #1 Pump Up your Positivity, #2 Live to Learn, #3 Open Your Heart, #4 Take Care of Yourself, #5 Hang Onto Humour. My first step is to read Dr Siebert’s book, The Resiliency Advantage. I’ll get back to you on this one in a few weeks.

3. Simplify – Many times last month as I madly prepared for the holiday season I wondered how to best simplify that process. I go through this mental dialogue every year. Tricky to avoid the madness when family wants traditions honoured. Yet it was worth it to ask which traditions meant the most so as to eliminate some of the prep. In the rest of the year simplifying and streamlining things is equally important and challenging. My hope in 2017 is to evaluate what is most important and eliminate some of the tasks that seem less important.

What’s the next step?? I feel like I need to set some S.M.A.R.T. goals around making my 2017 resolutions attainable. If any of you are in the mindset to set some S.M.A.R.T. goals in your life but maybe need some assistance, give me a shout and maybe we can do it together.  

I can already feel that the process of recording my thoughts and aspirations here has brought me a leap closer to following through. Thanks for reading and for giving me this opportunity.

Happy New Year Everyone!!

Lisa Goddard, BA, BScOT, Certified Pilates Mat & Reformer Instructor-Owner, HWL Coach

Recipe Of The Week: New Year Turkey Soup with Chillied Nuts”

New Year Turkey Soup with Chillied Nuts
(Serves 4)

This soup is a great way to use leftover turkey. The original recipe calls for breast meat, so factor in a bit more fat if using thigh meat. I highly recommend the Chillied Walnuts as a topping as they have quite a kick and enhance the flavours of the soup. If you find walnuts too acetic, try soaking them for 8 hrs to mellow that flavour. You could also substitute a nut you enjoy. Where there are options in the ingredients, the nutrition info has been calculated using the first option of each.

1 medium onion, chopped 

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp butter

¼ cup gingerroot (or to taste)

1 turkey breast

1 tsp orange peel

1 tomato, chopped coarsely

1 330ml bottle of beer or fizzy cider (or turkey or chicken stock)

salt, pepper, sage or thyme to taste

Sauté the garlic and onion in butter on medium heat until soft. Add gingerroot and stir for about 1 minute. Add turkey and stir until turkey cooked, approximately 5 minutes (or until heated through with pre-cooked turkey). Add orange peel, tomato, salt (if using) and pepper. Stir 2 minutes. Add liquid and sage/thyme then simmer about 20 minutes. Do not boil. When serving top with 1 tbsp. Chillied Walnuts.

Chillied Walnuts 

1 clove garlic, minced

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 small hot pepper, seeded and minced

½ cup walnuts

2 tsp grapeseed oil (or olive oil)

Put all ingredients except oil in a bag and toss together. Heat oil. When hot add walnut mixture and sauté until you can smell the aroma. Add salt (about ¼ tsp) if desired.

Use 1 tbsp. of the mixture per serving of soup. Left over nuts will keep well in the fridge and can be eaten as a snack or as a topping for salads etc.

Original Recipe from The Urban Peasant 

Nutritional Value (Soup): Calories: 122, Fat: 3.2g, Carbs: 7.9g, Protein: 9.1g, Fibre: 1g. 

Nutritional Value (Chillied Nuts-1tsp): Calories: 61, Fat: 6.1g, Carbs: 1.2g, Pro: 1.3g, Fibre: .5g.

Lisa Goddard, BA, BScOT, Certified Pilates Mat & Reformer Instructor-Owner, HWL Coach