#SweatingForTheWedding: You Got This

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! This post is going to be a little different than the previous three: not as long (yay, right?), and less wedding stuff (I know, sad). I’m going to start with the wedding, and combine the wellness and workout sections.


I recently went to Texas to visit my fiancé, his family, and a few friends. It was a great week! I left Canada at -21C and landed in +15C weather in Texas. It was amazing! Coming back up north was really hard, not only because Austin and I are starting another 3.5 months apart, but because it’s -30C and we have WAY MORE snow than when I left.

I didn’t do a whole lot of wedding planning while I was there, but I did accomplish a few things. While Austin was at work I researched flights, hotels, and transportation for our honeymoon to Italy. It felt surreal looking all of this up, knowing we’ll be there in 6.5 months. I’m so excited! My last day there we went and picked out our wedding bands! It took me a while to get used to having one ring on my left hand (I used to rarely wear rings), so trying on a second was even weirder. But the rings are SO beautiful!

Wellness & Workouts

I can understand why people get frustrated when they can’t see results after putting in a lot of work to reach their goals. You see yourself in the mirror everyday, and that makes it difficult to notice any physical changes. Kind of like the frog who doesn’t realize he’s boiling to death because he doesn’t notice the gradual increase in temperature.

My goal was to feel better: have more energy, less bloating, and healthier skin. Not long after I made some changes per Charity’s recommendations last summer, I noticed the internal changes. I felt so much better, was less bloated, had less breakouts, and wasn’t as tired all the time. I was hoping physical changes would follow not long after. I knew I had to put in the work for that to happen, and I did. I never skipped a workout, ate pretty well, slept enough each night, but still didn’t notice any of the toning I was expecting. Turns out, I wasn’t seeing any changes because change takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight. It took well over 4 months to notice small changes in my body.

People who hadn’t seen me in months noticed that I was more toned and had lost some weight. I don’t own a scale so whenever I visit my family I weigh myself. Little did I know, I had lost 15lbs in six months. My goal from the start wasn’t to lose any weight, it’s just a positive side effect to changing my eating habits, following a workout plan, and getting enough sleep. I can’t stress that enough. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep!

My goal for this post is to tell you to keep putting in the work. Eat well. Give each workout 110%. Never give up on yourself. And allow yourself a treat every once in a while. If you don’t, you’ll end up bingeing and feeling even worse. When I look at the two pictures above side by side, I can’t believe the difference (shout out to Megan, who just happens to be in both pictures, and as you can see has also lost weight!). Change takes time. Don’t get discouraged when you don’t see any after a few months. Keep going. I can say with confidence that it’s worth it. I feel SO good, and I couldn’t have done it without Charity’s help. Anything she had me do was easy to add or change to my routine. There were no drastic measures I had to take to get where I am today. I’m excited to see what other changes will occur by continuing with #sweatingforthewedding


Some cool news to end this post with — on February 9th I’ll be taking over Charity’s Instagram! So follow charityelliottnutrition to learn about my daily routine (the supplements I take, my workouts, what I eat, etc.) and how I stay committed. You don’t want to miss it!

Don’t forget: You. Got. This.


Are you getting married this year? I can help you be your healthiest self! Email eatreal4life@gmail.com or call 705-257-6499 for more information!

Steve Memegos: Just Do It

As a child growing up there was some focus on eating nutritious, I remember my parents always having some sort of vegetables on my plate when I sat down to eat.  As I got older I started to make my own meals and I found myself slowly straying away from eating nutritious but would try to have a vegetable on my plate.  As I got into my teens my Dad would tell me what to eat before hockey games to help me fuel up, but being a young, stubborn kid, I never listened and didn’t think eating right made a difference. Boy was I wrong!

 Fast forward to the age of seventeen when I started to use alcohol and drugs very heavily my attempt at nutritious eating went out the window and when that happened I was eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and that caused me to gain weight very rapidly.  From the age of seven-teen totwenty-seven I was very deep into an addiction to alcohol and would abuse drugs when there was nothing left to drink. Being stuck in the routine of buying alcohol, partying, eating at the end of the night began to take it’s toll on my body and mental health. I felt very sluggish and tired all the time and I just felt like I needed to get out of the routine because I was sick and tired of being sick and tired all the time. I didn’t feel like myself anymore because I never really let myself stay sober long enough to deal with things that were going on in my life, all I cared about was the next drink I was going to have. On June 10th, 2011 I woke up from another week-long binge of drinking, and using whatever drugs were available, I said to myself “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired, and tired of the same old routine I’ve been doing for the past ten years”. That day I decided I wanted to get sober and wanted my life back! To pass the time I would take walks, hike, and would bike around town to kill time, and fight off the urges to drink. In my first thirty days of sobriety I lost 10 pounds and was starting to feel so much better and felt that living a sober life was really possible.  Along with the biking, hiking,and walking I decided to start lifting weights to build up my strength that I lost from not exercising and abusing alcohol. That’s when I started to feel better and noticed how much better I felt whenI did eat the right things and that made me want to keep eating nutritious meals.   I am currently working on my 8thyear of sobriety and I am still loving the gym and how it amazing it feels to complete a hard workout that I didn’t think I could do.

I decided to sign up with Charity because I felt like I was crashing in the middle of some of the WOD’s that I was doing, so I decided to emailed Charity to ask if she can help me learn how to fuel my body even better than I do now so I don’t have those crashes throughout the day.  I follow her on IG and see her posts about nutrition and how passionate she is about it. That inspired me to reach out to her to help me

One thing that surprised me was that I never knew I was undereating by a few hundred calories.  After one of the sessions with Charity she had me eat a bit more that I normally do and I was amazed how much more energy I had throughout the day.  I thought what I was eating at the time was enough for me but it wasn’t.  The things that surprised me the most afterthe first few with working with Charity I started to crave vegetables for a snack instead of something sweet! Never in my life did I think I would ever want veggies over a cookie. The other thing that surprised me was not craving a coffee in the morning, after the first few weeks I found myself not wanting to stop at Tim Hortons on my way to work.

 After my sessions with Charity I made several diet changes. I started to eat more vegetables, and find it hard to keep enough vegetables in the house now because I will snack on them while watching a movie or hockey game.  I travel for work a lot, so Charity helped me come up with several ways to eat nutritious while on the road, such as meal prepping, researching a restaurant before going to find out what is healthiest, and having nutrient dense snacks on hand while I am away from home. Having all those to work with helps me stay on track as best I can while on the road for work.  A month into working with Charity I started to notice my sleep was improving and I was feeling more refreshed. I usually have a hard time falling asleep and would wake up a few times during the night. A week or so after that I slept through the entire night without waking up once! Which hasn’t happened in so long, I was so surprised when I woke up I had to check my phone and iPad to see if the time was right, because I couldn’t believe that I slept through the night.  Charity also gave me the idea of having cheat snacks instead of cheat meals, so every once in a while, I will have a cookie for dessert or some ice cream but still have all my nutritious foods instead of having a full-blown cheat meal. I find that helps me out a lot.  It’s amazing how good I feel when I’m eating healthy so much that I want to keep it up and eat as heathy as I can so that my son can see his Dad making healthy choices. I want to be a role model for him.

The advice I would give to someone that is looking to make a change is to do it, because you’ll feel so much better and have a lot more energy.  If they don’t know what to do to make a change I’d say reach out to a nutritionist so they can help you make changes because learning it on your own can be overwhelming, having someone to help you along the way can make the change not as overwhelming.  They are always willing to help, all you have to do it reach out and that will be your first step into making a change.

Steve Memegos

If your looking to make a change to your nutrition, without breaking the bank, the next Nutrition Repo program will be starting January 14th. It’s an all online 45 day program that helps you identify the foods that fuel you and the foods that may be holding you back! Check it out here!

A Familiar New Years Tale

It’s January 1st, you spring out of bed ready to start the diet that will finally result in the weight loss you’ve been trying to achieve for years. You write out the rules and put them on your fridge. You envision how you will look in your new bathing suit when you go on your February cruise. If you could just lose these last 20lbs, you know you will be happy.

A week into your new diet and things are going well. Sure, you couldn’t have birthday cake at your sons birthday but it will be worth it. Your clothes feel a little looser and you feel it has well been worth the effort and hunger you’ve been feeling.

2 weeks in and your getting kind of bored of having to add up points, eat the same dinner everyday and skip going out for lunch with your friends. You get invited to a friends engagement party and your excited to go but know you wont be able to eat any of the food. You eat your lowered calorie dinner and vow to only drink water at the party. You arrive and everyone is having such a good time, what could one drink hurt. One drink leads to one appetizer, which leads to one dessert, which leads to another appetizer. Before you know it you are full to the brim but at this point why stop. By the time you get home you are nauseous and feel the guilt setting in. All your hard work is ruined, why did you even try in the first place. You decide your just not disciplined enough to be successful,  maybe next year you will be different. 

The story above is a story I have heard over and over again from new clients. They come to me feeling hopeless and defeated. Their dreams of feeling confident in their bodies have been squashed, even worse they feel worse than when they started dieting. Years of on again/off again diets have taken their toll. They are nutrient deficient and their bodies have become efficient at burning as little calories as possible to keep them alive, making it difficult for them to lose weight.

On January 14th another Nutrition Repo will be starting. Nutrition Repo is a 45 day all online program focused on helping you make a lifestyle change rather than hopping on another diet bandwagon. Previous participants have had positive results such as weight loss, improved sleep, decreased acne, increased energy and improved mood. Throughout the 45 days I will guide you through three phases:

  1. Introduction/Knowledge: The first week is spent learning about how food affects your body. We will cover common inflammatory foods and help you identify which foods may be hindering you. We will also talk about incorporating nutrient dense food into your everyday life.
  2. Elimination: As daunting as it sounds, an elimination diet will help you identify common food allergies/intolerances. Not ready for that? You can choose from three different levels with level 1 being beginner friendly and focused on limiting sugar and junk food.
  3. Reintroduction: The final phase is all about reintroducing the eliminated foods so that you can observe their effects on your body.

Every morning you will receive an email in your inbox with either a tip, encouraging word or piece of knowledge that will help you stay committed. You will also be added to a private Facebook group where you can ask questions and communicate with other participants.

Make 2019 the year you made a real sustainable change for the better, you owe it to yourself.

Sign up: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/nutrition-repo-reclaim-your-health-january-2019-tickets-45937774119?fbclid=IwAR2hIjZp1-Rv-o-a7Cvr5Javpdo71CDob6XaqWPpqdZ_OyymRSqwfxE9RQs

Have Questions? Email eatreal4life@gmail.com

Charity ❤

Alice Jazmin: A Birth Story Part 1

At the beginning of my pregnancy my dream was to have an at home birth. I trusted my body and felt that a home birth would give my baby its best start at life. My midwife talked me out of it, saying it was better to be cautious and have first babies at the hospital. She assured me that as long as everything went well she could have me checked out after 2 hours in recovery and I could go home. God had other plans.

I had a picture perfect pregnancy until 37 weeks. Up until then pregnancy had been easy. At 37 weeks you are tested for Group B Strep, a bacteria that upwards of 40% of women naturally carry in their bodies. It came back positive. While Group B often goes unnoticed by adults, it can be harmful to newborn babies. I was advised to accept antibiotics during labor to help lessen the chance my baby would develop health problems related to the bacteria. I would have to stay at the hospital a full 24 hours after birth so that they could keep an eye on my baby. I was disappointed, not only was I not able to have a home birth, I now had to have antibiotics during labor that would cross over to the baby destroying any gut bacteria the baby would pick up on the way out. This was not what I had envisioned when I found out I was pregnant. 

Photo By Andi Fraser

On Friday Dec 7th, four days before my due date, my water broke. I had been told that the water breaking before being in active labor happened to about 1/10 women. My midwife said I would need to go to the hospital immediately to receive my IV and be hooked up to the anti-biotics but assured me it was unlikely this would happen to me. Again, God had other plans.

I was sleeping on the couch, the bed had become uncomfortable, I woke up because I thought I was going pee. I hopped off the couch and a gush of water soaked through my pants, this was not pee. I went upstairs and woke Dan, finished packing my bag and then called the midwife as we headed for the hospital. They brought me into the delivery room almost immediately and my midwife, Fiona, was there in a matter of minutes. I found out later this was her 6th baby of the week! She had only 3 hours of rest between her last baby and ours.

After blowing a few veins, ouch, they got me hooked up to the IV and started the antibiotics. I would need a new dose every 8 hours that I was in labour, my midwife hoped we would only need one. She then told me they would be inducing me as I was only 1cm dilated and 50% effaced. Again this was not what I had hoped for but at this point I realized I needed to let go and let God. She also said I would be getting an epidural because she wanted to speed this up and my body would not be creating any natural pain killers with the synthetic hormones being pumped into my body. Obviously this was no longer in my control and I had to trust that this was part of his plan even if it wasn’t part of mine, I felt peace come over me as I accepted that my baby was going to be brought into the world via other measures.

Funny enough, the epidural was the worst part of the entire hospital stay. The anaesthetist was called out of bed at 6am to come give me my epidural, at this point I had been on the Pitocin for 5 hours and was only having mild contractions that I could still talk through. My midwife told me he was the best and would be there shortly. Dan could probably tell this part of the story better than me. The anaesthetist started with freezing which felt like any regular needle going into your back. A few pricks later and this no longer felt like a regular needle, it hurt. My midwife was standing in front of me holding my shoulders to keep me still. At the time I remember thinking that it was a lot of needles I was feeling, I figured it was freezing. Dan said the Dr. kept shaking his head as he tried to insert the needle, then all of a sudden the right side of my body convulsed and I heard yelling as pain went up and down my body, I didn’t realize it was me yelling until I looked into my midwifes eyes and could tell something was wrong. In my head I thought for sure permanent damage was done. The Dr. stopped pushing and asked me what I felt, I tried to pull myself together while tears streamed down my face and my body shook like my nervous system was broken. The pain slowly subsided and the epidural was successfully inserted. Later I was told I had a “tricky spine” and that he had probably hit a nerve. Thankfully no permanent damage was done.

After 8 hours of clindamycin Dr X (name omitted for privacy) was brought in to consult. He checked me and I was only 3cm. Both he and the midwife noticed how tight my pelvic floor was, despite my attempts to hold back in the gym and let things relax I couldn’t undo 10 years of weightlifting. As he washed his hands we could see him thinking. He then walked back over to me and looked at both Dan and I as he said ” Your 3cm dilated, and have been for the past 2 hours. You’ve had two doses of antibiotics and your on the max dose of Pitocin that we can give. Mom is healthy and baby is healthy. Lets get baby out while baby is healthy. I think we should prepare for a C-section.”

At the beginning of my pregnancy a C-section was the LAST thing I wanted. I was going to do everything I could to avoid it but in that moment I knew we were doing the right thing. Sure, some hospitals would have let me go on longer to see if I progressed, but I knew in my heart that a C-section was what was going to happen.

Photo By Andi Fraser

The plan was for 2 hours from then but a few minutes later they decided to move forward with it immediately because the anesthesiologist was available. I was quickly wheeled into surgery and much to my delight I knew the anesthesiologist. I went to high school with her kids and had interacted with her many times at my previous job. We talked about a number of things and before I knew it I heard “cut made”, Dan was then brought in to sit near my head. All I could feel was some tugging and pulling but absolutely no pain. We chatted as we waited for the words that came 15 minutes later “I see a head of dark hair!” Tears started to stream down my face as I realized someone had just seen my baby for the first time. I then heard “He’s out!” to which I said “It’s a boy?” I will never forget the reply “ummmmm……it’s not a boy.” I then cried even harder as I had so badly wanted to name a little girl after my amazing sister in-law, Jazmin. Before I knew it, Alice Jazmin was being placed on my chest and we were blessed with 30 minutes of skin to skin. She was beautiful. I found out the next day that Dan and Jazmin had to fight for the skin to skin and thankfully my midwife heard them arguing with the nurse and called in a second midwife so that my request could be granted. Within 10 minutes she started rooting and latched like a champ. After everything that had gone wrong, I was so thankful for this small blessing. 

Alice is a feisty little girl who punched, kicked and grabbed onto the Drs. as they tried to pull her out, she was a mover in utero and she continues to wiggle and has almost rolled over a few times, my midwife says not to trust her. So far her health has been amazing, I don’t know what the future holds but I am thankful that as of now she doesn’t seem to be held back by the many drugs and hormones that her little body had to deal with. I have NO regrets about how she was born. I don’t feel like less of a women or less of a mother. A mothers job is to keep her baby safe and that is what I did by trusting the medical professionals around me. I could not be more thankful that Western medicine was available when I needed it. 

I’ll be sharing more about the days following Alice’s birth and the many ways I have aided my recovery. Thank you for the many well wishes, gifts and food. I have already vowed to be more of a help to my friends who have babies now that I know how crazy this transition is. We couldn’t have done it without our family and friends ❤

Thank You!

Dan, Charity and Alice

If your looking to make a change to your nutrition, without breaking the bank, the next Nutrition Repo program will be starting January 14th. It’s an all online 45 day program that helps you identify the foods that fuel you and the foods that may be holding you back! Check it out here!  

#SweatingForTheWedding: Christmas Is Coming

Hey everyone!
I can’t believe it’s already been one month since the last blog post. So much has happened since then, especially with the wedding plans!! 

The Workouts

The last four weeks I’ve been doing what’s called a hypertrophy cycle, which is meant to produce some toning results! I started each workout with 3-4 different lifts, doing 12-15 reps of each for four rounds. Each time I focused on a different muscle group (arms, legs, back, etc.), and finished the workout with a 25-45 minute yoga session. At first I thought, “No, I don’t want to do yoga. Yoga is for people who don’t like to workout hard, and want to relax.” I’m telling you now, yoga is not just about relaxing and melting the stress of the day away. What I did was a more intense form, and wow, it had my muscles burning! And by the end of the video, I actually was more relaxed…probably because the video always ended with “Savasana” (shah-VAHS-uh-huh), otherwise known as Corpse Pose: lying on your back, eyes closed, with your entire body relaxed. It’s heavenly. I was actually a little upset when I realized I had done my last yoga video. BUT Charity recently sent me the next four weeks of workouts, and yoga is involved! Never in my life did I think I would enjoy yoga, but there’s a first for everything! So, for the next month I’ll be doing metcon (metabolic conditioning) workouts four days a week, and fitting in yoga videos whenever I have time (on the same day, or on a rest day). As Charity put it, “Go hard for the workouts, and chill during the yoga.” I’ll let y’all know how that goes in my next blog post! Oh! And I’m getting a week off for travel and Christmas. Thanks, Charity 🙂 

The Wellness

In my last blog post, I mentioned that I would start taking two probiotics a day, instead of just one. I’ve gotta be honest, I sucked at doing this. I had some pretty busy work days, and would forget to take it. But I must say, the days I remembered I did notice a difference. My body just felt better. It’s hard to explain, but the probiotic is doing something good! 
And oh my goodness, I can’t stress this enough: DRINK WATER. Not too much that it’ll kill you (because it can), but juuuust a little less than that. The days I drank lots of water, I had more energy, it helped keep the bloating down, and over time, if I was consistent in drinking a lot each day, my face remained clear of breakouts. Water is magical, tasteless and a bit boring, but magical. 

I’ve been working out for many years now (it’ll actually be 10 next year), but it was never consistent. I’d do it for six months at a time, then stop for one month, continue again for four months, and stop again for two. When I’d stop, I hated getting back into it, but once I did, I would get into the swing of things and feel weird when I missed a few days. If I let a few days turn into a week, then in no time, that week would turn into a month. This inconsistency probably wasn’t the best for me. I’m not saying you have to workout all the time, but doing some sort of physical activity 3-4 times a week can produce results. You don’t have to be a gym junkie. I’m only doing 4 days per week + 1 night of floor hockey, and I’m still seeing results. 
I said I would provide ‘physique updates’ every few posts, as I assumed there wouldn’t be much change between posts (4 weeks time). Well…I was wrong. No big changes have occurred, but in the last four weeks I’ve noticed that some of the business wear I bought in October are just a little bit looser. It’s the little things, am I right? 

The Wedding

Again, the most important part 🙂
My fiancé, Austin, came to visit me for a week in the middle of November. It was so much fun! The first weekend he was here we went to Toronto to take our engagement photos! 

Kayla & Austin Final26.jpg

The photographer was amazing. If you’re in the Toronto area, or even Ottawa for that matter, Stacey Naglie is incredible. She takes beautiful pictures, and captures those candid moments, as you can see. After the engagement shoot, we went to Barrie to visit really good friends of mine who will be the emcees at our reception. Austin hadn’t met them yet, and I really wanted them to get to know him, so they’d be able to make fun of him at the reception as well, LOL. I spent the rest of the week showing him Ottawa (Byward Market, Mer Bleue, etc.), and he got to build his first snowman in 21 years! 

Back to the actual wedding plans: we went to Moore’s to pick out suits for him and the groomsmen. They had one we both liked, and they ended up having a really great deal on it! He’s going to look so good! I’m slowly choosing the music for each part of the day. I didn’t realize how many you need for one day! Pre-ceremony music, processional, recessional, first dance, father-daughter dance, the list goes on. Next on my to-do list are the flowers. My wonderful maid of honour, Allie, is planning on going to flower shops in SSM to get quotes for me since I won’t be there until Christmas, and don’t want to spend my entire week stopping and smelling the roses…literally. Besides, isn’t that what the MOH is for? I plan on having the shop order the flowers, and my bridesmaids and I will put the bouquets together ourselves the day before the wedding. At first, I wasn’t a big fan of this idea when suggested to me, but Charity (she’s a bridesmaid for those of you that didn’t know) showed me pictures of ones she helped put together for a friend’s wedding, and they were beautiful! This is also a big money saver as well, just an FYI!

I am so excited for the holidays! It’s my favourite time of year, and I get to go home and spend it with family. Unfortunately, I’ll be spending it apart from Austin, but have already booked my flights to go visit him in January! See you soon, Texas! 

Since my next post will be after the New Year, I just want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! 2019, here we come!