Caring For Your Pelvic Health During Menopause

Let us introduce you to Marie-Josée Forget BScPT, Cert. MDT, another esteemed guest blogger who we are lucky enough to welcome back to Balanced Motion. Marie-Josée is presenting a session on Caring For Your Pelvic Health During Menopause at our upcoming Self Care Day (MJ’s session is sponsored by Temiskaming Physiotherapy Clinic). Coming to us from Gateway Physiotherapy in North Bay, Marie-Josée has 20 years of experience as a Pelvic Health Specialist, and is in high demand as an educator in Pelvic Health Physiotherapy. She has been instrumental in raising awareness of the importance of Pelvic Health internationally. Her session is guaranteed to be amazing! If you would like to register for Marie-Josée’s session from 9 – 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 29th, please send us an email at You can also send us an email to requesting more information/poster regarding our Self Care day. Enjoy this wonderful guest blog!😊

Aloo Gobi and Baby Spinach Wraps

Total time: 45 minutes

6 Servings

This recipe is originally from Canadian Living magazine. Enjoy a delicious warm vegetable curry tucked into easy-eating wraps. The usual potatoes have been swapped out for protein and fibre rich chickpeas. *Reduce the carbs in this recipe by about 24 g by omitting the tortilla. *A great make-ahead meal.

3 cloves garlic, smashed

1 small onion, peeled and quartered

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon packed brown sugar or liquid honey 

2 teaspoons curry powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Half head of cauliflower, cut in bite-size florets (about 3 cups)

1 can (398 ml) diced tomatoes, drained

1 can (540 ml) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 can (400 ml) light coconut milk

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

5 cups baby spinach, packed

6 whole wheat soft flour tortillas (9 inches), warmed

In food food processor or blender, pulse together garlic, onion and ginger, scraping down sides, until chopped finely and onion is beginning to look mushy.

In a nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion mixture, stirring often, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add brown sugar, curry powder, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.

Stir in cauliflower, tomatoes, chickpeas, coconut milk and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until cauliflower is softened and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes. Finally chop 2 cups of the spinach and stir in. 

Arrange tortillas on flat surface. Sprinkle with remaining spinach. Dollop onion mixture over top and roll up tightly to serve.

Nutrition per serving: about 405 cal, 25 g protein, 13 g fat, 64 g carbohydrates (24 g fibre, 9 g sugar).

Lisa Goddard, BA, BScOT, Certified Pilates Mat & Reformer Instructor-Owner, HWL (Healthy Eating Weight Loss) Coach 

“Blog Of The Week: Chanting? Me? Oh My!”

Let us introduce Suzanne Mongrain-Smith, our esteemed guest blogger. Suzanne will be presenting a session on Yoga and our Voice ( aka Chanting) at our Self Care Day on Saturday April 29th at Balanced Motion. Suzanne currently teaches music and voice at Algonquin Secondary School in North Bay. She has over 25 years of experience teaching children, teenagers and adults and feels very strongly that lives can be changed through the joy of singing and/or playing an instrument. If you would like to register for Suzanne’s session from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. on Saturday April 29th, please send us an email at can also send us an email to requesting more information/poster regarding our Self Care Day. Enjoy this wonderful guest blog!😊 

Chanting? Me? Oh My!

Throughout my career as a voice teacher, I’ve heard many stories of voices being silenced. Some are told not to sing out loud in a choir, others are held back by a crippling fear to be heard. Regardless of the reason, many hold on to a limiting belief that their voice is not beautiful. There is no such thing. Your voice is beautiful simply because it is uniquely yours. It was given to you at birth to communicate with others and speak (or sing!) your truth. You use your voice to answer the telephone, have conversations with loved ones and interact with the cashier at the grocery store. If you are using it to speak and communicate with others, why deprive yourself of the joy that chanting brings? After all, your voice is your birthright! The sound that comes out of your body is what your body produces and it is perfect just the way it is.

Most importantly, your voice is an incredibly powerful healing tool. I believe we can heal ourselves through the power of the vibrations of our own voices. Countless studies have proven that singing releases dopamine in the brain which increases an enormous surge of pleasure. If you’ve ever been in a choir, you’ve certainly experienced the effects that singing with other people can have on your mood. You might have walked into a choir practice tired and stressed, and walked out an hour later energized and feeling so full of joy you couldn’t stop singing!

The good news is, you don’t even need to be in a choir to receive the health benefits. You can sit still, alone at home, chanting simple vowel sounds and feeling all the good vibrations your voice creates. With chanting, there are no wrong notes, no voices to be silenced. These vibrations have a direct effect on your subtle energy body and gets those chakra wheels spinning at full throttle! As a result, Prana or Chi (life force energy) is activated and makes your energy flow more freely. What a feeling! Chanting enables you to experience the healing vibrations of your own unique voice in a safe space, free of judgment and free of fear. So please, let go of your limiting beliefs and give chanting a try. You will be amazed at what your voice can do!


Suzanne Mongrain-Smith

B.A. Music Education AEO








“Recipe Of The Week: Three-Bean Chili”

(Makes 18 cups, 4.5 L)


1 tablespoon olive oil 

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 large sweet onion, chopped

1 each medium sweet red and green pepper, diced

1 small unpeeled eggplant, diced

1 can each (19 ounce/540 mL) red kidney beans, Romano beans, black beans, drained
and rinsed 

3 cans each (28 ounces/796 mL) tomatoes, 210 strained, 110 undrained

2 tablespoon chilli powder

1 tablespoon each ground cumin, dried oregano and sugar

½ teaspoon pepper

4 cups cooked couscous


In Dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion, red and green peppers and eggplant; sauté for 8 to 10 minutes or until softened. 

Add kidney, Romano and black beans, tomatoes, Chili powder, cumin, oregano, sugar and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for one hour or until thickened.

Pour 1 ½ cup of Chili over 1 cup of couscous.

Nutritional Value (1 ½ cups Chili with 1 cup Couscous): Calories: 483, Fat: 5g, Carbs: 91g, Protein: 20g, Fibre: 13g. 

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

Keeping it supple, a discussion of pelvic & sexual health!

I had a great opportunity to participate in the online Pelvic Floor Conference put on by Susi Hately of Functional Synergy in Calgary. Not only did I learn a lot but I got to do it in the comfort of my own home, I truly love technology!!

I learned a lot of great stuff about my Vagina (yep I said it), sex (yep I said that to) and what happens to both in Peri Menopause, Menopause and post Menopause.  I went into Menopause 41/2 years ago, I do believe I am coming into Post Menopause now, as the symptoms have definitely decreased. However there are some changes that take place that don’t go away, and a lot of women suffer in silence including myself.

New research tells us that 1 in 20 women are going into early Menopause, defined at before the age of 40, this number use to be 1 in 100 women, which is a pretty big shift. So it is possible for a women to be post-menopausal for at least 30 years, that was a big ah ha moment for me, as I am 51 and have every intention of living well into my 80’s!

85% of women will suffer from vaginal dryness and for some this is a permanent change. This makes sex painful and lubricants are often needed.  Add a decreasing libido because hormones are declining and sex can go from pleasure to frustration pretty quickly.

As our estrogen decreases we lose elasticity and tissues weaken or atrophy. So like any muscle we need to work them to maintain elasticity, doing Pilates is a great way to keep those muscles balanced. Working on your breath so that you are breathing properly and in sync with your pelvic floor’s natural rhythm will also help these muscles, both Pilates and Yoga are helpful here.

So what’s the real take home here:

  • The vagina needs moisture from the inside and there are products available to help with this. One of the presenters Chia Chia Sun a geneticist in cancer research and epidemiologist was studying vaginal dryness associated with breast cancer, and then made the link to Menopause. Her company created an all natural lubricant that helps restore moisture to the vagina.  Here is a link to the website . Just a little note I recommend using a panty liner for the days that you use this product.
  • If you don’t use it you lose it!!! This goes for working the muscles of the Pelvic Floor and I highly recommend Pilates for this. I know that for me Pilates has really had a positive impact on my Pelvic Floor and low belly muscles. Same applies for sex! Having consistent intercourse (twice a week was discussed) will  help keep your vagina supple, and we all want that. Their was even discussion about using a device if you don’t have a partner to keep the muscles healthy.
  • Having honest dialogue with your partner if things are changing,  if your frustrated I am sure your partner is.
  • Using lubricants if needed that are low in PH. Sex does not have to be painful.
  • Making an appointment with a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist. They can help with painful sex, incontinence, prolapse and other pelvic health issues. Here is a link to find a Pelvic Health Physio near you

I wrote this blog to create a conversation and educate about a topic that is very real but few people are talking about. As women we don’t have to suffer in silence. There are things we can do and products we can use to help. Lots of great info out there and remember that education is power! I hope this helps and gives you hope if you are struggling:)

If you want to learn more and live in the New Liskeard area come join us on Saturday April 29th as we welcome Marie-Josee Forget Pelvic Health Physio for a workshop on Pelvic and Sexual health. Please contact the studio if you are interested.


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


Beef Cabbage Roll Casserole

This was a quick recipe and really yummy!

Author: Jen NikolausBeef-Cabbage-Roll-Casserole-2

Serves: 12 servings


  • 2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (28-oz) can tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • 3½ pound head cabbage, chopped
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ¾ tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 (14-oz) cans beef broth
  • monterey jack cheese, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Spray a 9×13″ pan (or two smaller dishes) with cooking spray.
  2. Brown beef and soften onion in a saucepan on the stovetop. Drain if needed. Dump into a large bowl.
  3. Add tomato sauce, cabbage, rice, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Stir together and pour into prepared pan(s). Pour beef broth over the top of casserole. Do not stir. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.
  4. Take off foil, stir, recover with foil and cook an additional 30 minutes, or until rice and cabbage is tender.
  5. Serve as is or with a sprinkling of monterey jack cheese on top! Enjoy!


Recipe adapted from Allrecipes

Nutrition Information

Serving size: per cup (about 12 total) Calories: 277 Fat: 6.3 g Saturated fat: 2.8 g Carbohydrates: 26 g Sugar: 8 g Sodium: 590 mg Fiber: 5 g Protein: 27.4 g Cholesterol: 67 mg


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

Reformed by the Reformer

A little break from the norm can be awesome to refresh one’s perspective… Fresh eyes so to speak. So, as I came back from a sweet vacation last week I found I was struck anew by how much I love the Reformer. Six years ago when I began taking Reformer classes I was wowed by the fluidity of the exercise and how it assisted me with developing my awareness of my body’s position in space, my balance, and coordination: developing my mind-body connection was a key component. The nature of the exercise made me stay focused on my core engagement in order to stay aligned and safe on the machine. Thus for the duration of the class there was no room for mental distraction and that assisted me to combat monkey mind and left me feeling calm and happy. The muscle development I got from the reformer was long, strong and lean and the ab strength was awesome. As the exercises got more advanced there was a corresponding balance of stability in my body and mobility in my joints, assisting me to open up tight areas like my shoulders and hips. The exercise left me feeling strong and also stretched, with a supple spine and an ease of movement that reduced aches and pains. So, you can maybe see how I fell in love with this form of exercise and decided it would be great to teach others how to do it too.

Fast forward 5 ½ years that I have been teaching Reformer to many of you wonderful readers, I find I still love it!! I am constantly amazed at the variation of the exercises and the versatility of the machine. We have added cardio to some classes and play with the Pilates equipment to challenge and support our movement, which is great for athletic people who want to develop their performance in all the ways I listed above. On the flip side, it can also be a gentle and effective way to move the body when dealing with chronic illnesses or conditions. The Reformer is also an awesome way to prepare the body for big surgeries such as joint replacement. Sometimes my clients ask me if I dream about Reformer and come up with new stuff that way, and frankly the answer is often yes. I still get a thrill helping others enjoy the Reformer. Though, having a few weeks away from it has cemented for me that I need to keep this type of exercise in my life as a student of Reformer as well as teacher. My body really missed it.

I would love to show you all the wonders of the Pilates Reformer. If you’re interested in trying it please give me a shout. The exercises can start very simply but the sky is the limit in terms of how far you can progress.

Lisa Goddard, BA, BScOT, Certified Pilates Mat & Reformer Instructor-Owner, HWL (Healthy Eating Weight Loss) Coach 

Recipe of the Week: Marinated Chickpeas

This Spanish chick pea mixture makes a delicious appetizer as part of tapas. But also, what a delicious, vegetarian protein addition to a leafy green salad (add approximately 3 oz.). A serving of 2 tbsp could be a great snack too.

5 – 3oz. servings

1 15oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 egg, hard boiled, cooked and chopped


3 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

3 cloves garlic

2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme)

1 tbsp capers

Salt/pepper to taste

Add chickpeas and egg. Refrigerate overnight. Serve at room temperature.

Nutrition: per 3 oz. serving: Calories-414, Fat-15.6g, Protein-19.8g, Carbs-58.3

Per 2 tbsp serving: Calories-69, Fat-2.6 g, Protein-3.3g, Carbs-9.7g

Lisa Goddard, BA, BScOT, Certified Pilates Mat & Reformer Instructor-Owner, HWL (Healthy Eating Weight Loss) Coach 

What Can you Do in 20 Minutes?

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I remember sitting in front of the TV being mesmerized by the 20 minute workout ( along with thousands , if not millions of male viewers).   I was not as interested in the camera angles as some were, but by the music, the moves and the energy.  I was an Aerobics Instructor at the time and yes, I had the one piece suit to prove it ( my oh my).  I was also running track and the idea of doing exercise for anything less than one hour when aerobics classes were one hour and track practices two hours, seemed pointless.  That was until the 20 minute workout.  Although the recommended exercise times vary depending on your goals, you can do quite a balanced strength training, yoga or pilates sequence or cardio segment in 20 minutes.  The key is consistency in terms of daily activity and the balance of exercises to ensure the maximum benefit.   And 20 minutes just seems doable ( tell yourself 10 and you will still probably do 20).   

This 20 minute chunk of time can also work well beyond exercise sessions.  I like to set my timer for 20 minutes when I want to accomplish a task I really don’t like to do. It may be for cleaning a closet, organizing a cupboard, even sorting photos ( boxed and digital).  These are tasks that will take more than a 20 minute chunk but tackling it in chunks with a timer that signals an end somehow motivates me to get going.  For me, there is actually a sense of accomplishment after the 20 minutes and it has helped me move away from that “ all or nothing”  trap that can prevent me from starting anything!  I like 20 minutes in that it is enough time to sink my teeth in to something but not enough time to become bored or feel like I can’t fit it in to my day or evening.  And the 20 minutes also works for the good stuff as well such as meditation, a nap and an Epsom salts bath.  It is interesting to note that the recommended time for a 2 cup Epsom salts bath is 20 minutes.  Beyond this 20 minutes we can feel depleted and weak as opposed to soothed and relaxed.  Funny, this is how I feel if I try to clean a closet for more than 20 minutes….another reason to keep it to the 20!

This time chunking also work well for husbands.  Now I am not saying who got her husband working on some home renovations with the 30 minute timer ( not 20) but it worked.  Now it is going to take quite a few of those 30 minute sessions to get the work done but you have to start somewhere.

So….what can you do in 20 minutes?


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