Boost your nutrition!

Smoothies are a great way in get a boost of vitamins and minerals in your day! They help to increase energy, fill your stomach with nutrition and, if made with the right ingredients, boost your immune system.

My daily smoothie starts with juicing vegetables and fruit.
I juice apples, carrots, celery, cucumber, spinach, kale, lemon and ginger. This juice in itself is great, but I like to then blend it with mixed frozen berries to give it a little sweetness and some extra fibre and antioxidants.
I then stir in a couple tablespoons of milled flax seed for the added healthy fats.
Feel free to throw in protein powder too! (I usually eat nuts with my smoothie - personal preference smile emoticon




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Instructor: Brenda Keller (Utopia Fitness Training)
Where: 502, 11th Ave SW
When: Thursdays, 6:00 – 6:40am (starts Mar. 3)
Cost: $125/5 session pass; $230/10 session pass

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Training Tip #1 for 2016:

Take it up a notch!
Already running steadily on the treadmill? Finish your steady run, then power blast it at the end by super setting Tabata sprints and jump squats. Run as hard as you can for 20 secs, take 10 secs to transition off the treadmill and then jump squat for 20. Repeat this pattern for 4-8 sets of each and reach new heights in your anaerobic training!



Juicing follow-up

It's been 1.5 weeks since the end of my juicing challenge.  My nutritional intake has remained 90% clean, I have had a more sustained energy level, I have been drinking less coffee and I have maintained a weight of approximately 5 lbs less than where I started.

Interestingly, I now seem to crave my green juice.  On the weekend I don't tend to follow as strict of an eating regime, but this morning I actually only wanted my green juice for breakfast.  I was fully satisfied and only had 1 cup of coffee (which is unheard of for me on the weekend :))

Now to talk fitness goals - recently I have achieved my goals of holding headstands and handstands.  Stay tuned as I work towards my 3 full pull-ups, 5 "skin the cats" on the rings and being able to hold crane in yoga by Christmas.  

In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your summer.  Get outside, go for a walk, a hike, a bike ride!  We don't get much outdoor time to take advantage while you can!




Day 5

I have reached the end!  Today was a much better day.  Not sure if it was just another re-adjustment, better juice balance or just a change in hormones :)

Regardless, I am down a total of 5.8 lbs and feel good.  Now the trick will be to keep the weight off and maintain the level of energy and health that I am feeling!

Today's consumption:

Smoothie - orange, pineapple, berries, banana, flax seed, carrot

Green juice - kale, celery, lemon, apple, kiwi, ginger

Sweet Beet juice - beet, carrot and apple

Melon berry smoothie - watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, berries, spinach

Melon juice - watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe


So, here are the pros and cons of my little experiment:


lost weight, feel less bloated, feel healthy, sugar cravings greatly decreased, renewed desire to create a whole food - plant based diet, ingested a variety of vitamins and nutrients that I wouldn't normally get.


  • expensive - the cost of that amount of produce for the little output you get from juice is a lot;  
  •  time consuming - between going to get produce (there wasn't room in the fridge for more than 2 days worth of produce), prepping the produce, juicing and cleaning up all the mess, I probably spent an average of 2 hours a day juicing over the past 5 days.  This probably wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have to prep regular food for my family at the same time;       
  • less long-term energy during workouts - my "staying power" dwindled at about 20 - 30 of a moderate-high intensity workout in the past couple days.

Overall, I am glad that I did this.  In my opinion, this is a good way to boost your system and cleanse your body and palate to aid in creating a better overall diet.  If I am to do this again, I will probably only do it for 3 days and would research a better juice balance to help ward off some of the desire for food.

Moving forward, I am feeling like I'm in a better place diet-wise.  I plan to continue with my smoothie in the morning, but will add a whole food product with fats and proteins (i.e. nuts or egg), I will continue with my green juice to get that extra nutrient boost with foods that I wouldn't normally eat raw.  My lunches will be primarily plant based (salad or soup) but I will add a protein or dairy most likely.  Then for dinner I will join my family in whatever meal I make for them.

And so marks the end of this challenge and on to the next one!




Day 4

I've gone back to being a bit irritable this afternoon. Not because I'm hungry and not because I have low energy, but because I am TIRED of juice.

This afternoon was very hard not to "chew" something.  I don't have any sugar cravings (due to the fruit sugars I'm consuming I assume) but I would have really liked something savoury, even a piece of cheese!

I don't know how anyone could do this for an extended period of time unless absolutely necessary.  I am very thankful that tomorrow is my last day of juice only.

Today's consumption:

Smoothie - orange, carrot, banana, berries, flax seed

Green juice - kale, lemon, celery, apple, ginger

Watermelon juice with cucumber, lime and mint

Carrot Apple and ginger juice

Kale smoothie with orange, pineapple, carrot, berries

Pineapple, orange, mango, blueberry and carrot smoothie


Down another 1.4lbs. Total 4.6.

Tomorrow I will go through my list of pros and cons to my experience, let you know where I'm going from here and provide you with my overall opinion.  Stay tuned....


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Day 3

I went to bed last night pretty sure that I was going to wake up tired and with low energy.  Boy, was I wrong!  I had so much energy this morning, I felt great.  (Much to the dismay of my clients who were the recipients of my energy load!)

Even after 45 min of yoga, 40 min of a cardio / upper body / ab circuit and a 30 min kickboxing session, I still feel great!  I think I was a little crabby over the past couple of days while adjusting - I'm sure my husband will verify that - but I've been in a great mood all day.

Today's consumption:

Smoothie - orange, carrot, berries, banana, flax seed

Green juice - kale, celery, apple, lemon, ginger, bell peppers

Melon juice - honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon

Kale smoothie - kale, carrots, berries

Veggie Cocktail - broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, peppers, beet, banana peppers, spinach, carrot

Peach, Pineapple and banana blended with ice


The scale says I'm down another 1 lbs. 3.2 in total.


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Day 2

At the end of day 2 and feeling pretty good.  I wasn't as hungry today, but still found it a little hard as I sat at the table while my family chewed their dinner :)

Today's consumption:

Smoothie - carrot, orange, flax seed, mixed berries, banana

Sweet beet juice - carrot, apple, beet

Green juice - kale, apple, celery, lemon, ginger

Watermelon juice with cucumber, lime and mint

Carrot, Spinach and Apple Juice with ginger

Melon juice - watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew


Over the last couple of days I only taught a cycle class as my exercise, so I'm curious to see how I feel during a workout tomorrow.

Down 1.2lbs today, a total of 2.2lbs. so far.



End of Day 1

I'm not going to lie, I spent most of the day feeling quite hungry.  But it was manageable :)

Today's intake included:

1 whole peach

Smoothie - carrot and orange juice, mixed berries and banana

Green juice - kale, celery, lemon, apple, ginger

Peach and pineapple blended with ice

Carrot, Beet and Apple juice

Kale and berry smoothie

Apple and lemon juice


Overall, I'm feeling pretty good and scale says I'm down 1 lbs.

Tomorrow's another day!


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My personal 5-day challenge

Well, today marks the first day of my personal 5-day juicing challenge.  

A few weeks ago my husband and I watched the movie "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead".  If you haven't seen this movie, it is about a man named Joe who went on a 60 day juice-only diet.  This diet was a choice he made in order to lose some much needed weight and hopefully rid him of a disease that caused him chronic hives.

Well, after the 60 days, not only had he lost a significant amount of weight, but he also was off all medications and feeling fantastic.

Now, 60 days is a little extreme, and not something that I would recommend that anyone should do!  But, 5 days....I'm curious.

What will a 5 day juice cleanse be like for someone who already eats a primarily vegetarian diet?  I'm going to find out.

What is the purpose of my cleanse you may ask, well, there are always those 5-10 vanity lbs. that I'd like to get rid of, but I also like to know what it is that my clients are going through before I recommend something to them.  Whether that be in their workout programs, or in nutritional suggestions that I make, I try to stay away from the "do as I say, not as I do" motto.  I'll do it too so the journey can be shared.

Follow my daily update and I will share my thoughts, feelings and physical changes with you along the way!

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