+ Life Is Meant To Be Enjoyed +

Chia Seed Peanut Butter Cup Pudding

On Mar 21, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
Makes approximately 4 cups I found this tasted just like peanut butter cups, which was such an unexpected bonus. Chia seeds are natures little superfood because they are incredibly nutrient-rich. They add another healthy twist to a healthier version of chocolate pudding. To keep it healthy, use unsweetened peanut butter and unsweetened cocoa powder. Ingredients 2 heaping tablespoons unsweetened natural peanut butter 1/3 cup unsweetened canned pumpkin puree 2 cups nut milk (I used soy milk, but almond milk would be just as tasty) 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice 2 heaping tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder ½ cup chia seeds 1-2 tablespoons raw honey Directions Place all ingredients, except for the chia seeds into a blender. You can also use a handheld blender, which is what I used.  Blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl, add chia seeds and stir well to combined. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours, or until thick. If you don’t ( read full post )

Have You Lost Your Laughter Mojo?

On Mar 20, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
A contagiously positive moment is realizing you haven’t laughed that hard in way too long.  In this post and video below, I’m talking about the healing power of laughing. When did we forget the importance and beauty of our laugh, smile or just a sweet little giggle? It happens though, right? We wake up thinking that life is too tough, “adulting” should be a serious task and that a frown would be our accessory for the day. Laughter truly is the best medicine. It releases happy endorphins that help lower stress hormones, reduces depression and anxiety, makes you more desirable, boosts your creative mind and motivates you to achieve your goals and desires. Even with all of these amazing benefits, is it is the thing we so often forget to do. In 2002 or 2003, it was brought to my attention that I had lost my laughter mojo. A boy, that I had just met, said to a friend, “she ( read full post )

Banana Ice Cream with Almond & Vanilla

On Mar 19, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
Get Your Sweet On! I get lots of requests from my clients about healthy snack ideas. Especially for snacks that can replace their after dinner ice cream indulgence.  Instead of replacing it with something different, I decided to try and create a recipe that tastes and feels like ice cream, but is full of healthy goodness. It is so delicious and incredibly quick and easy to make. If breaking up with sugar is on your healthy living to-do list, this is a great recipe to honour your sweet tooth needs, but not sacrificing your health.  Ingredients 2 large ripe bananas 3 heaping tablespoons almond butter 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa nibs   Directions Cut bananas into 1” thick pieces. Place in bowl and place bowl in freezer until frozen solid. Add frozen banana to a food processor and puree on low until smooth. Add almond butter and vanilla extract and puree until creamy like ice cream. Place mixture into a ( read full post )

Self-Care Isn’t Selfish, It Is Being Self-Aware

On Mar 17, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
“You can’t give to others what you don’t give to yourself.” In this video, I talk about the importance of giving yourself some self-love. When you take the time to do things that are just for you, things that bring down your stress levels, make you feel peaceful, happy and joyful, you are so much better to those around you. A major part of being Contagiously Positive is self-care. Sadly, so many women just don’t take the time for it. Everything and everyone is more important than themselves. Sound familiar? I learned very early on that if I was going to perform at my highest potential, I had to take care of me first. I’m not talking about putting everything and everyone else aside and spending days or hours on just me. I’m talking about 30 minutes of scheduled me-time. When I was in college, I had a fulltime bartending job, on top of my fulltime class schedule. It was the ( read full post )

Spaghetti Al Salmone

On Mar 16, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
This recipe was inspired by my trip to Italy. I ate at this amazing restaurant called Za Za, bought their cookbook that they had at the restaurant and never cooked Italian food the same again.  Pasta isn’t the enemy when it comes to healthy eating. Once a week, with fresh, Mother Nature made ingredients is the perfect indulgence. Sneak in some vegetables like spinach and you have yourself a guilt-free, delicious meal that the entire family will enjoy. That’s if you decide to share it. Serves 4 Ingredients 500 g spaghetti pasta (or zucchini spiraled into spaghetti (zoodles) if you want to sneak in some more veggies) 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes (canned will also work if you don’t have fresh tomatoes handy) 2 cloves of garlic, minced 2 large salmon steaks, steamed and flaked into bite sized pieces 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil ½ cup chopped kalamata olives Pinch of dried chili flakes (or 2 if you like it spicy) Pinch of dried oregano ( read full post )

Unleash Your Inner Contagiously Positive By Smiling & Connecting To Others

On Mar 16, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
SMILE!  Have you ever noticed that when you walk by people, especially strangers, we tend to put our head down and not make eye contact? Today is smile at everyone day! Super easy happiness challenge, but we tend to avoid it. For the entire day, everyone that you pass by, give them your best smile. By the end of the day you will feel so good, especially as people smile back at you.   In this video, I explain why this challenge can enhance your happiness and health.   Smiling Is: A great way to connect to another human being and make us feel less alone. Releases endorphins that makes us feel happy and lowers stress. A great way to put you and someone else in a better mood.     All love, Laurie-ann, The Contagiously Positive Girl

Get Healthy One Small Change At A Time

On Mar 15, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
Don’t wait until a vacation, or summer weather to make healthy changes. You can start today by making one small change at a time. Pick one thing and put it into action. Having a healthy lifestyle isn’t just about losing weight for a trip or after-holiday binging. It is to prevent from gaining weight at all, and prevent chronic diseases. What would happen if you changed your focus from losing weight to maintaining your weight? What would happen if you changed your focus from reacting to an illness to preventing an illness? Think about how amazing it would be to feel healthy and throw away all those yo-yo diets, pills and trends. That is what making one simple change at a time can do. Healthy Living is a lifestyle. That means forever. It doesn’t mean putting a Band-Aid on the problem with pills and fad diets.   One simple change applies to all areas of your life, not just your ( read full post )

Warm Spiced Olives

On Mar 14, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
These are so delicious! They make the perfect salad topper, appetizer to serve at a dinner party, or to have a snack when the salty craving kicks in. Ingredients 1 jar pitted kalamata olives, drained 1 tablespoon ground cumin 1 tablespoon ground coriander Black pepper (optional) 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil   Directions Heat a medium sized pan over medium heat. Mix together all ingredients in a bowl until fully coated. Add to hot pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the olives are warm. They don’t need long, just enough time for the flavors of the spices to release and the olives to warm. You can store them in the original jar and refrigerate if you are not using them all at once. Just reheat them again in a pan or microwave.

Roasted Rosemary Almonds

On Mar 13, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
  Yields 2 Cups Don’t get hangry! Instead, have this tasty healthy snack. Roasted Rosemary Almonds are great for a healthy snack or to add some delicious flavour and crunch to a salad. Either way, you will love them! Ingredients 2 cups whole or slivered unsalted raw almonds 1 tablespoon ground rosemary 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil On medium-high heat, preheat a skillet. Directions Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix until thoroughly coated. Evenly spread out into hot skillet, stirring frequently until golden brown. Cool and store in a sealed container or Mason jar. Almonds will stay fresh for up to two weeks.  

Stir-Fry Sauce

On Mar 07, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
Stir-fry, pad Thai, spring rolls, sushi, these are some favourite Asian dinners over here at the Sheldrick home. My husband and I love them all. The problem is finding a healthy sauce to accompany them. If you read the labels on most store bought sauces, the first ingredient is usually sugar, with salt coming in second place. Often, they are also full of chemical filled preservatives, artificial colors, and sometimes MSG. Creating healthier versions of store-bought sauces is a great way to keep your health, and weight in check. Stir-Fry your favourite vegetables, protein of choice and toss with sauce.  Ingredients ¼ cup apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons unsweetened peanut butter (or any nut butter) 1 tablespoon ground ginger 1 tablespoon ground coriander 2 tablespoons Bragg’s soy sauce (or regular soy) 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil Juice of 1 lime Zest of 1 lime Pinch of chili flakes (optional) Sea salt and pepper, to taste Directions Place all ingredients into a mixing ( read full post )

Banana & Nut Breakfast Muffins

On Mar 05, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
Makes 12 Muffins These muffins are great because they have very little sugar and the sugar that is in them is an all-natural raw honey and the fruit. The breakfast muffins that you get at Tim Horton’s or Starbucks are full of processed sugar. Depending on the muffin, the sugar content ranges from 29 g to 60 g of processed sugar! Not a great way to start your day and it definitely will take its toll on your blood sugar, making you tired, cloudy minded, and full of cravings.  Ingredients 3 super ripe bananas (the blacker the banana, the sweeter your muffins will be) 1 large egg 1 cup almond milk (or milk of choice) ½ cup olive oil or melted unsalted butter ½ cup all natural honey 2½ cups rolled oats (not instant) ½ cup raw unsalted chopped almonds 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and chopped ½ teaspoons ground nutmeg 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground ginger Pinch of sea ( read full post )

How To Work With Your Doctor and/or Healer To Heal Your Mind-Body

On Feb 27, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
When I started my own Healthy Living journey, one of the tools that helped me the most was from Dr. Deepak Chopra’s book, The Healing Self. I loved this book because it embodied the concept that I was working to embrace. Which is, you cannot have a healthy body without a healthy mind and you cannot have a healthy mind without a healthy body. I write about this in full, constant, repetitive detail in my book and digital program, Healthy Living. It isn’t Mind & Body – it is Mind-Body. Our minds and our bodies are fully connected so when you are not feeling well, wanting to lose weight, wanting to heal from an illness, or recover from chronic fatigue, we must embrace both.   This concept that I share in today’s video is also one of the best tools you can use when working with a doctor or healer.   I still use these 3 steps, and in fact, ( read full post )

Trust, Honesty & Communication: Three Musts For Happy Relationships

On Feb 12, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
The best of friends are those who tell you what you need to hear, when you need to hear it, not what you want to hear.   My husband and I were talking about this while on vacation last week. We had both read the book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson. He talks about the importance of being honest in your marriage (or any relationship). He gave an example of telling each other when you don’t think they look good in an outfit instead of saying, “oh yeah, it looks great” to avoid hurting their feelings. This is a very minor example, but it brings forth some truth that many of us are so afraid of hurting someone’s feelings, by giving an honest answer or having deeper conversations, that we just lie.   This disconnects us. Without honest communication, there can be no trust.   My husband read it first and waited for me ( read full post )

The Energy of Giving: Kindness Is Contagious

On Jan 31, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
Do you find yourself saying feeling this way?   “I’m always giving, but never receiving. What gives?” “I do everything and get nothing back.” “I am always the giver, but never the receiver.” “Why do I even bother if I never get thanked or he/she doesn’t give in return?” “I buy gifts for him/her, but he/she never buys them for me.” “I do his/her laundry and he/she never does mine.”   Here’s the deal. There is a major difference in energy in giving from a place of not wanting anything in return where you just naturally want to do/say something nice vs. giving because you want something in return.   “If I do this, maybe they will get the hint and do it for me.”   Relationships just don’t work that way. People don’t respond that way. And, if we think that it should always be 50/50 or tick for tack, we are going to be sadly disappointed.   There ( read full post )

Meet Your Fears With Faith

On Jan 29, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
Someone really close to me made a massive, uber courageous change a couple of weeks ago. It was a biggie! They thought long and hard about this change, and wanted to make it for a really long time. Once the opportunity presented itself to take the leap, they took it. Were they afraid? Of course, change can be scary. Were they worried they were making the wrong decision? No, because they felt it so strongly in their gut and it was scarier to think about how they would feel if they didn’t do it.   I absolutely love this because when our souls are calling, the best thing we can do is answer.     Something that I found fascinating over the past week, since they released the news to some, is the response from many who also made a similar change. “I am so happy for you. When I made a similar move in my life, I thought, I ( read full post )

Tandoori Bowl

On Jan 25, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 This is a fresh and flavorful dish that is not only healthy, but also incredibly delicious. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated, it just has to stimulate your taste buds. Unleash your Inner Contagiously Positive by spending some time in the kitchen making a meal to nourish your body.   For a vegetarian option, you can replace the chicken with one block of extra firm tofu.   Marinated Chicken Ingredients 4 large grass-fed chicken breasts (boneless or bone-in is up to you) ½ cup plain yogurt (I like Greek yogurt for its thickness) 2 cloves of garlic, chopped 1 tablespoon curry powder 1 tablespoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon ground ginger Pinch of sea salt Black pepper to taste   Yogurt (Raita) Ingredients ½ cup plain yogurt 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 3 tablespoons freshly chopped mint ¼ cup chopped cucumber Sea salt and pepper to taste   Rice Ingredients 2 cups water 1 cup long grain brown ( read full post )

Immunity Boosting Chicken Bone Broth

On Jan 15, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
Enjoying a cup of healthy bone broth has been around for thousands of years. Chinese medicine dates it back over 2,500 years as being used to support the digestive system, and strengthen organs. What we think of as a fad or new craze, is actually ancient tradition brought back into modern times. Along with so many healing properties (listed below), a good meal of soups, stews, or gravies is brought to an entirely new level of taste bud enhancement with a good broth. When I am sick, this is now my go-to to help me fight the nasty bug and boost my immunity. I just fill up a mug, heat it up and drink 2 cups a day until I’m feeling better. HEALTH BENEFITS Improves gut health by aiding in digestion, soothing digestive upsets, and help alleviate painful gas and bloating. Great source of protein. Supports and boosts immunity, which helps prevent colds and flus. Also great to drink while you have ( read full post )

Mushroom Gravy

On Jan 12, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
When I first started creating recipes in the kitchen, I began with my favourite not-so-healthy foods and worked on turning them into healthier, but still delicious meals.  Gravy just happens to be one of my ultimate favourites. By making the gravy myself, and not buying it in the can, I’m omitting chemical filled ingredients, high amounts of sodium, and high amounts the bad boy fats. I used low-sodium vegetable broth from the store for the recipe, but I also use my own recipe here, which I have on hand often. Recipe is vegan friendly, gluten-free, and low in sodium.  Makes approximately 3 cups Ingredients 1 16 ounce package sliced mushrooms 3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock, divided 1/3 cup almond flour 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon onion powder 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon ground sage 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Soy, or regular soy sauce Black pepper to taste Handful of ( read full post )

Three Recipes To Spice Up Your Rice

On Jan 08, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
I rounded up some of my favourite rice recipes for you because three recipes are so much better than one and healthy eating does help us unleash our inner contagiously positive. I get bored easily with eating the same thing over and over again and I don’t like bland food. If this is true for you as well, or you just want some new tasty rice side dishes to spice up your meals, here are three of my favourites. Just scroll on down and start cooking. MEXICAN RICE Serves 4   Ingredients 1½ cups rice 2 cups water 1 cup canned diced tomato, with juices 1 clove of garlic, minced 1 tablespoon chili powder 1 teaspoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon sea salt See cooking note below for optional ingredients   Directions In a large sauté pan, that has a lid, add the water, garlic, seasonings and diced tomato. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once it comes to a boil, add the ( read full post )

So Much Stress & We Have So Little Time

On Dec 21, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
Stress! We stress about our health, kids, relationships, work, people at work, money, getting it “all” done, sleep, commuting, working out, we even stress about being stressed. I have written about stress a lot since starting the Contagiously Positive blog, so to make it easier for you, I’ve summarized a few of the topics I’ve written about that relate to stress. Choose your topic below and learn some tips, tricks and techniques to manage daily stressors and unleash your inner contagiously positive. STRESS PROOF YOUR DAILY COMMUTE  STRESS PROOF YOUR SCHEDULE  STRESS PROOF YOUR CAREER STRESS PROOF YOUR LIFE STRESS PROOF WITH SELF-CARE Be Happy. Be Healthy. Be Contagiously Positive. All Love, Laurie-ann Sheldrick, The Contagiously Positive Girl      

2017 Book Recommendation Roundup: 13 Of My Personal Favourites

On Dec 20, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
UNLEASH YOUR INNER CONTAGIOUSLY POSITIVE WITH READING I’m always reading or listening to something. Whether it is fiction or non-fiction, sometimes both at the same time, books can feed your mind and your soul. Books are our greatest teachers, especially when we take action in the tools that are provided. Take out one book that resonated with you and that you would like to practice the tools within it. What is one tool or exercise that you can put into action today? Start today! Every month I read a new book (or two) to recommend to the readers of my monthly newsletters. Here is a roundup of all books I read and recommended for 2017. The Gratitude Diaries, by Janice Kaplan Firestarter Sessions, by Danielle Laporte The Success Principles, by Jack Canfield The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldon The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho Beautiful Money, by Leanne Jacobs The Universe Has Your Back, by Gabrielle Bernstein Getting Things Done, by ( read full post )

Making Healthy Delicious: 5 Healthy Vegetable Recipes

On Dec 19, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
Not sure what to do with those tasty greens and veggies everyone keeps telling you to eat?  One of the biggest obstacles for many of my clients, when it comes to cooking vegetables, is knowing how to make them taste delicious without smothering them in melted cheese. Here are 5 of my favourite recipes that make healthy taste good. GREEN BEANS IN A ZESTY VINAIGRETTE  Serves 4   Ingredients 1 pound green beans, trimmed 7 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon tomato paste 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard   Directions In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients except for the green beans. Steam the green beans to desired tenderness. Place hot beans in large bowl, pour in the sauce and gently toss to coat. ZUCCHINI NOODLES WITH HEMP SEED MINT PESTO  Serves 2 meal sized and 4 side dishes   Ingredients 1 extra large zucchini ( read full post )

6 Vegetable Side Dish Recipes To Spice Up Your Meals

On Dec 18, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
Need a different side dish option that’s not a potato? I get bored easily with eating the same thing over and over again. If this is true for you as well, or you just want some new tasty vegetable side dishes to spice up your meals, here are 6 of my favourites. ITALIAN BRUSSELS SPROUTS Serves 4   Ingredients 4 cups Brussels sprouts, quartered 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 large clove of garlic Pinch of dried chili flakes 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning   Directions Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil. Add garlic, Italian seasoning, chili flakes and Brussels sprouts. Reduce heat to medium and sauté until Brussels sprouts are tender. CAULIFLOWER MASH Serves 4   Ingredients 1 head cauliflower ½ cup soy or almond milk 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 garlic clove 1 teaspoon onion powder 1 teaspoon dried thyme ½ teaspoon cinnamon Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper   Directions Steam ( read full post )

Dose of Positivity: Being Okay With Not Being Okay

On Dec 18, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
This is a very personal perspective for me. I’ve been completely honest that November felt like a funky month for me. The moment I stopped being so hard on myself about how I was feeling, I actually started to feel better. Giving ourselves permission to feel the way we want (need) to feel can have a massive impact on our lives. Instead of wearing a mask, pretending that everything is perfect, or getting down on ourselves for complaining because we have so much in our lives to be grateful for, we see it for what it is, just a funk – a bump in the road – a moment in time. When we know what we don’t want, or how we don’t want to feel, we can become very clear about what we do want and how we do want to feel.  Instead of trying to fix what’s wrong, shift your perception to adding little positive actions through out the ( read full post )

7 Ways To Prevent Overeating During The Holidays

On Dec 15, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
You don’t have to feel stuffed, sick, tired or gain weight during the holidays, and you can enjoy all your favorites. We’ve all been there. The holiday season ends and our pants feel a little too tight. We are sluggish, maybe bloated and can’t look at another turkey, meat pie or dessert again. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can still enjoy our favorite treats, meats, desserts and holidays treats without the weight gain, and without the food induced coma. Here are 7 tips to avoid overeating during the holidays.   1. Bring a Healthy Dish If it is a potluck meal, bring a healthy dish that is hearty and will fill you up even if there are not other healthier options available. You can fill your plate up with your healthy dish and add the other food items in smaller quantities.   2. Aim For Smaller Portions Remember the small plate rule? Use that when eating ( read full post )

Nut-Free Pesto

On Dec 12, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
Will make a serving of 4 when tossed with pasta. To replace the nuts, we are using whole white mushrooms. Nut option is below along with serving recommendation.   Ingredients 10 medium mushrooms (instead of pine nuts) 506 ounces (50 g) sun-dried tomatoes in oil 2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste Handful (approximately 10) fresh basil leaves 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (plus extra for cooking) 2 cloves of garlic, minced 1 heaping tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional) Sea salt and pepper to taste   Directions Begin by pureeing everything, but the garlic and cheese in a blender or food processor. Add as much room temperature water as needed to make a smooth paste. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.   In a saucepan, cook the garlic on medium heat with a touch of olive oil for 2-minutes.   After 2 minutes, reduce heat to low and stir in the pesto. Add the Parmesan cheese ( read full post )

Lemon Rice Soup

On Dec 11, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 2 large meal sized, or 4 starters Flavour explosion! The easiest soup ever and absolutely so good for a cold winter day. Or, if you are feeling like you are coming down with a cold, or just under the weather, the bowl of sunshine will heal you from the inside out. The tofu adds some extra protein to fill you up, and it also thickens the soup without having to add flour.    Ingredients 1-liter low-sodium vegetable broth (or use my homemade recipe here) 1 ½ cups pre-cooked long-grained brown rice Juice of 2 large lemons 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped 1 small package soft organic tofu, or half a large package (should yield about 1 ½ cups)   Directions In a large soup pot, bring vegetable broth to a boil. Add cooked rice and reduce heat to medium-low. In a blender, add 2 cups of the hot broth, tofu, sea salt, and pepper to taste. Be careful with hot broth, ( read full post )

Freeing Ourselves From To-Much-To-Do Syndrome

On Dec 04, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
Monday Morning Thoughts… I have been thinking a lot about Time Management. I have been facilitating a time management workshop for years and honestly, I think we need to shift our focus from trying to manage time to managing our activities. We all get the same amount time every single day. 1440 minutes to be exact. Why do I think we need to shift our focus? Firstly, I don’t think time is actually the issue. Secondly, we cannot alter time. Every day only has 24 hours in it. Let me talk about why I don’t think time is actually the issue. I already mentioned that we all get the same amount of minutes each day. Its not like I wake up and have 30 hours, while someone else wakes up and only has 20. It is straight up 24 hours, 1440 minutes, 86400 seconds. If we can’t alter time, what is the solution to managing incredibly busy days, endless to-do ( read full post )

Homemade Granola

On Nov 21, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
Makes approximately 7 cups  This granola can be served with yogurt topped with sliced bananas or chopped apple and it is also great as a cereal. You can use it to make a healthy snack like Energy Bites as well. It is such a simple recipe and so inexpensive to make. It can be very expensive to buy a healthy (sugar free) granola, so why not make your own at home for a fraction of the cost. Remember, healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated (or expensive), it just has to taste delicious! Ingredients 3 cups rolled oats 2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes 1½ cups raw pumpkins seeds 1/2 cup chopped raw almonds 1/3 cup raw honey (or pure maple syrup) 2 tablespoons coconut oil 1 heaping tablespoon cinnamon powder (pumpkin spice would also be delicious) Optional additions: When the granola is cooled, add in your favorite unsweetened dried fruit like goji berries, raisons or cranberries.   Directions Preheat oven to 300 ( read full post )

Energy Bites

On Nov 21, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
Ingredients 1 cup granola ½ cup ground flaxseed ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder ½ cup raw almond butter 
(or natural peanut butter) 1/3 cup raw honey 1 teaspoon vanilla extract   Directions In a large mixing bowl, combine granola, flaxseed, and cocoa powder, mix to combine. Add in almond butter, honey, and vanilla, mix until the dry ingredients are evenly coated. Once thoroughly combined, refrigerate for at least an hour or more (this will help keep them together). Once chilled, using a cookie scoop or your hands, rolls into small balls. Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week. Note: Add more almond butter if mixture isn’t mixing well.

Vermicelli Soup Bowl

On Nov 16, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
An accidental recipe that I made for lunch and I ended up eating it for lunch, dinner, and again at lunch the next day. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated, it just has to taste so dang good that you want to eat it all the time.    Serves 4   Ingredients 1 package fresh arugula 6-8 green onions, chopped 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced Handful of fresh basil, chopped 8 cups of homemade broth (recipe here) 1 package vermicelli noodles 1 lemon, quartered (lime is great too) Braggs soy sauce, to taste Hot sauce, to taste (I used Franks Red Hot)   Directions Start by bringing whatever broth you use to boil. I highly recommend my broth recipe. You can cut the recipe in half to make a smaller batch. Cook the vermicelli according to package directions. While the vermicelli cooks, prepare your bowls. Add a large handful of the arugula to the bottom of the bowl. Next, ( read full post )

Winter Harvest Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

On Nov 14, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
This is a great winter salad from Healthy Living. With the warm toasted pecans on top and the maple syrup, it is so heartwarming that it goes on the Hygge list. Pair it with a hot bowl of soup like Minestrone, or Sweet Potato and Apple and you have the perfect meal for a cold winter day.   Serves 4 side dishes and 2 large salads as a meal.   Maple Vinaigrette Ingredients ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil ¼ apple cider vinegar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup Pinch of sea salt   Salad Ingredients 8 cups spinach (1 bag) 2 cups raw pecans 1 large red apple, diced 1 398 ml can no-sodium added chickpeas, drained and rinsed 2 cups cooked quinoa   Directions In a small bowl, whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients.   In a large frying pan, over high heat, toast the pecans. This is so easy and doesn’t take long. Just continue to shake the ( read full post )

Husband Approved Marinated Chicken (vegetarian option included)

On Nov 03, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 This marinade also goes great with shrimp or can be used to make tofu actually taste good for a vegetarian option.    Ingredients 2 cloves of garlic, minced Zest and juice of 1 lime ½ cup pure apple cider vinegar ½ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 heaping teaspoon ginger powder 1 heaping teaspoon curry powder Couple of pinches of red chili flakes Black pepper, to taste 4 grass-fed boneless chicken breast (or any type of chicken)   Directions Mix together all of the ingredients in an oven proof baking dish. Add the chicken (shrimp or tofu), cover with tin foil and let sit for at least an hour (in the refrigerator). Even better, prepare it the night before and let it marinate over night. It will be so tender!   When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Place in the oven and cook for 40 minutes to 1 hour.   Remove from oven and ( read full post )

3 Bean & Artichoke Salad

On Oct 31, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
This is great on its own for lunch, or even as a side dish. Double the recipe and you have lunch for the entire week. I serve mine on a bed of spinach or arugula so that I can get in my daily dark leafy greens. Health Tip: For the canned beans, look for the no-salt added option.    Serves 4  Ingredients 1 14-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed 1 14-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed 1 14-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed 1 can artichoke heart pieces, drained and rinsed 1 cup celery, roughly chopped 1 cup carrot, roughly chopped 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped (or parsley if you don’t like cilantro) 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon onion powder 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 clove of fresh garlic, minced) 1/2 teaspoon celery salt 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar   Directions Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  

Spaghettini Sul Tonno (with tuna)

On Oct 23, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
This recipe was inspired by my trip to Italy. I ate at this amazing restaurant called Za Za, bought their cookbook that they had at the restaurant and never cooked Italian food the same again. If you don’t like tuna, salmon is just as delicious.  Serve with Sautéed Spinach (recipe here)   Serves 6   Ingredients 500 g spaghettini pasta (or zucchini spiraled into spaghetti (zoodles) for an even healthier version) 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes (canned will also work if you don’t have fresh tomatoes handy) 2 cloves of garlic, minced 120 g can flaked canned tuna (or 1 large salmon steak, steamed and flaked into bite sized pieces) 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons capers 1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup) Pinch of dried chili flakes (or 2 if you like it spicy) Pinch of fresh oregano Black pepper, to taste Zest and juice of 1 lemon   Directions Cook pasta according to package directions.   While pasta is cooking, heat oil in ( read full post )

Changing The Way You Speak To Yourself

On Oct 02, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
My weekly journaling rant is making its way to the blog because I think it is so important for us to hear. Unleashing your inner contagiously positive means changing the way you speak to yourself. STOP IT! Stop telling yourself that you are not smart enough, good enough, pretty enough, successful enough, have enough or are not enough. Stop telling yourself that you are selfish for having (wanting and chasing) your own desires, wishes, dreams and goals. Stop telling yourself that you can’t do it, don’t have enough time, don’t have enough money, its too hard, or you are too old or too young. Stop pretending to be someone else to make other people happy, or being who you think others want you to be. Stop telling yourself that life is meant to be hard, or that no pain equals no gain. START THIS INSTEAD! Start telling yourself that you are enough. Start telling yourself that it is not selfish to ( read full post )

Nosh & Nod: Eating Your Way Towards Better Sleep

On Sep 26, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
When life gets stressful and hectic, sleep tends to be the first physical symptom that appears. We either want to sleep all the time, or we suffer from sleepless nights where we find ourselves counting sheep to numbers we have never counted to before. Few things are more annoyingly frustrating than when you can’t sleep, especially when the rest of the household seems to be peacefully sleeping the night away. This frustrates me more than not sleeping. There are many things you can do to get yourself to sleep more peacefully and I discuss them fully in The Contagiously Positive Guide To Getting Better Sleep. But for today, I wanted to focus on restful foods. Let’s call it, noshing your way towards better sleep. Researchers continue to learn more about the link between your stomach, (what you eat), and how you sleep. Especially the foods you eat before you go to bed. Let’s talk turkey. Most of us have experienced ( read full post )

Creamy Mushroom Pasta

On Sep 22, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4   Ingredients 454 g package whole cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced (a total of 7 cups of sliced mushrooms) 2 cloves of garlic, minced 1 small yellow sweet onion, chopped ¼ teaspoon dried thyme 1/3 cup freshly chopped cilantro ½ plain Greek yogurt (or cashew cream sauce – get the recipe here) ½ cup dry red wine (or ½ cup vegetable stock if you don’t want to use wine) Sea salt and pepper to taste 1 tablespoon coconut oil, or extra virgin olive oil for cooking 1 package spaghetti or 3 zucchini’s spiraled into spaghetti (see note below)   Directions In a large frying pan, melt the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is heated, add the sliced mushrooms, toss around and let cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. While the mushrooms cook, prepare the yogurt cream sauce by stirring together the yogurt, cilantro, red wine, a couple pinches of sea salt and black pepper to taste. ( read full post )

Preserving Tomatoes

On Sep 18, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
What do you do when you have a bumper crop of tomatoes? Preserve them! I didn’t have a good crop, but my mom did and shared a huge basket with me so I could preserve tomatoes for sauce and make homemade salsa. In this video I share a quick tutorial on how to preserve your tomatoes in jars.   If you want a pasta sauce to try after you preserve your tomatoes, this is a great sauce to start: Tomato Sauce.

Lemon Chicken

On Sep 15, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 Served with carrots and your favorite salad. This is an entire meal that will fill you up and is also incredibly nutrient balanced and healthy. Read the directions below for some tasty extras that I added into my salad.    For kitchen tools, you need a large skillet to cook the carrots, a baking sheet for the chicken and a large bowl to make your salad.    Bon appetite!   Ingredients 4 chicken breasts (organic is always a good choice to avoid hormones or antibiotics) 1 large lemon, cut into thin rounds 1 large bundle of carrots (enough for 4 servings), cut into thin strips 1 clove of garlic, chopped Sea salt Black pepper Cider vinegar (Optional. See notes in directions below) Olive oil, for cooking   Directions Preheat oven to 350 F.   Place the chicken on a baking sheet and season both sides with sea salt and pepper. Place the lemon on each chicken breast (covering ( read full post )

30-Day Upping Your Happiness Game & Unleashing Your Inner Contagiously Positive Challenges

On Sep 13, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
The Contagiously Positive Woman’s Guide To Unleashing Your Inner Contagiously Positive  30-Day Happiness Challenge “When you look for the good, you begin to attract the great”   I created something so fun to do for 30 days and I thought it would be great to include the full challenge here at my blog.   I believe that happiness is not inherited, it is created and you (we) are the only one who can create it. It starts from within. If I don’t make a conscious effort to bring happiness into my life, I can feel myself be pulled into the negative vortex. I hate the way I feel there, so this is something that is near and dear to me. It brings me happiness just to be able to share this really great challenge that I created.   I went through my Healthy Living book and workbook, plus my book Unleash Your Inner Contagiously Positive, and I pulled out 30 things ( read full post )

Bruschetta on Toasted Baguette

On Aug 14, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
Healthy eating does not mean giving up your favourite foods. When you cook with good quality ingredients, avoiding processed foods as much as possible, you will feel energized, healthy and vibrant.   Bruschetta is one of my favourites, especially in the summer. But I do it a special way. I cook the bread in a frying pan with olive oil until it turns a golden brown. Putting the tomatoes on the hot bread explodes with flavour with the juices absorbing into the toasted bread. Warm olive oil, fresh basil, juicy tomatoes…total blissful soul food!   I served it with a homemade caesar salad instead of boring old dry croutons. A deliciously light dinner that I crave over and over again. And, husband approved.   Now that you are salivating, here is the recipe and a little video tutorial. Bon appetite!   Makes 8 pieces Double or triple the recipe if you are serving a crowd for an appetizer.    Ingredients 1 ( read full post )

You Can’t Expand Without Change (Life Lesson From The Puppy)

On Aug 04, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
My new puppy, Axl, is fast asleep after a morning of playing, cuddling, and lots of licks. We have only had him for 5 days, but he is teaching me so much.   Most of all, he is teaching me about change. It’s funny, change when I was 18, or even 28, versus change today at 38 feels so completely different. In my younger days, I would think about something that I wanted or something I wanted to do and that thought or idea would immediately be taken into action. I would just do it and ask questions later. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.   Today, it is a little different. Not because I resist change, I actually think change is so important (it helps us learn, grow and evolve), but because I have, and continue to work the work of creating and living a life that I love. Sometimes that takes a little time, patience and processing to ( read full post )

How To Get Sneaky With Your Vegetables: Let’s Make Zoodles!

On Jul 31, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
A fabulous way to eat you and your family towards Healthy Living is to get sneaky with your vegetables. In today’s video tutorial, I’m showing you how to make Zoodles with zucchini with three different kitchen tools.   Zucchini is such a perfect vegetable to mix together with your favorite pasta sauce, or toss together with regular spaghetti because it absorbs all the flavor of the sauce you are using. You don’t even have to cook it. The heat from whatever sauce you use is enough to give it the perfect texture and taste.   Zucchini Health Benefits: Great source of manganese and vitamin C Fiber rich, which is great for keeping you full and for a healthy digestive system It also contains vitamin A, magnesium, folate (great for pregnant women), potassium, copper, and phosphorus, zinc, niacin, and protein.   Recipes If you are ready to get spirlazing, here are two of my Health Living recipes where you can taste test some Zoodles. Bon appetite! Zucchini Thai ( read full post )

Making Your Own Lemon Juice + Tip To Start Your Day Off Healthy

On Jul 26, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
It all starts the moment your alarm goes off and you open your eyes. When you wake up your body starts off very acidic and your metabolism is at its lowest. This is a normal process your body goes through while you are asleep and it is in repair and rest mode.   What we do first thing in the morning sets a tone for our day, even what we eat and drink. Most of us wake up, have a cup of coffee, which is very acidic, and run out the door without even having breakfast. If this is a daily routine, it is not good for your body because it puts your body in a stress mode. Now, I understand that you may not be ready to start your morning off with breakfast, so I have an easy Healthy Living addition to start your day, plus a fun make your own lemon juice tutorial video below.   Let’s start ( read full post )

Lemon Garlic Salmon

On Jul 25, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
  Healthy Living (eating) doesn’t mean giving up your favourites foods or standing by the stove for hours and hours prepping and cooking. This delicious meal was made in 15-minutes. Watch the tutorial video below to see how easy it was.   Health Benefits: Salmon provides a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which helps to protect against autoimmune diseases, such as arthritis, omega-3 fatty acids are also great for brain health and protect cell walls, which  when followed with a healthy lifestyle reduces oxidative stress. If you are a vegetarian, omega-3 fatty acids are also found in flaxseeds, walnuts, and chia seeds.   Ingredients  2 Salmon steaks (or 4 if you want leftovers or there are 4 of you) 1 large clove of garlic, chopped Juice of 1 large lemon 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 water Pinch of dried chili flakes (optional) Black pepper, to taste   Directions  1. Add all of the ingredients except for the salmon ( read full post )

Downstream vs. Upstream

On Jul 14, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
Explicit language warning: there is the occasional F-Bomb.   The adventures of being Contagiously Positive sometimes comes with being caught up on a tree branch, almost, but not almost drowning, and annoyed with my husband. It also just so happens to offer me the greatest metaphors on life.   First let me start with the story of that time I almost didn’t drown kayaking.    Kayaking is one of my favourite most peaceful things to do in the summer. Besides sitting on the patio with a glass of red wine and eating plain potato chips.   This week, my husband and I decided to kayak in a direction we have never gone before. It had little rapids and we thought, “This will be so much fun!” It was, until it wasn’t.   Imagine me in bright yellow kayak, paddling away (against the flow of the river), and the current is getting stronger and stronger. I’m paddling like a mad woman ( read full post )

Healthy Summer Recipes

On Jun 22, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
SUMMER IS FINALLY HERE! This post doesn’t need any more introduction than that. Summer is finally here. My cooker is going into storage for the next couple months and my oven can become extra storage. Refreshing salads, BBQ’s, and fresh veggies from the garden is all this girl needs. Here are 5 healthy summer recipes for you to enjoy.   BBQ PORTOBELLO BURGERS QUINOA GREEK SALAD TOMATO BASIL SALAD LETTUCE WRAPPED TACOS SALSA!    

Chickpea Sandwich

On May 24, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
Makes 2 sandwiches This may not look like much of a sandwich, but I promise you, once it is stacked with your faves, you will love it. This is my version of the vegetarians ultimate sandwich, using similar ingredients that you would use to make a tuna sandwich. Use your favourite bread and toppings. I added sliced cucumber and sliced dill pickle. You can also add lettuce leaves, or tomato slices. All good, all delicious!   Ingredients 1 398 ml can chickpeas Juice of ½ a lemon 1 tablespoon real mayonnaise 1 tablespoons freshly chopped dill (or you can chop up a dill pickle if you don’t have fresh dill) Pinch of ground celery seed (or minced a couple tablespoons of celery stalk) Sea salt and black pepper, to taste   Directions Mash the chickpeas in a mixing bowl, stir in all the ingredients and make your sandwich. Seriously, it is that easy!  

Greek Potatoes

On May 16, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
A lot of health coaches will tell you to give up potatoes and other starchy foods. Not this health coach. Yes, potatoes are higher on the glycemic scale, however when paired with low glycemic greens, it all balances out. And, they are Mother Nature foods, grown from the earth, so I’ll keep eating them before any packaged goo claiming to be healthy. These are a healthier twist on restaurant Greek potatoes. Serves 4 Ingredients 20 baby potatoes, cut in half Juice from 1 lemon Zest from 1 lemon 2 tablespoons coconut oil (replaces butter) 2 cloves of garlic, chopped 1 tablespoons each of dried oregano and basil (or seasoned to your liking) Sea salt and black pepper (seasoned to your liking) Optional seasoning: ground coriander and dried chili flakes Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix everything together in a baking dish, cover and bake for 40-minutes or until tender, stirring them halfway through the cooking time. Note: You can ( read full post )

Chicken Meatballs

On Apr 18, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
Yields 20 small meatballs   When it comes to feeling healthy, cooking should not be optional. If you are eating foods made from Mother Earth, instead of “foods” made in a laboratory, you will feel energized, healthy and vibrant.   Meatball Ingredients 1 pound organic lean ground chicken or turkey ¼ cup almond flour (or unbleached flour) 1 tablespoon almond milk (or milk of choice) 1 egg, lightly beaten 1 clove of garlic, minced Handful of fresh basil, chopped (Leave a little extra to sprinkle on top before serving) Pinch of sea salt Black pepper, to taste   Sauce Ingredients 1 14-ounce can whole tomatoes 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon dried basil 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 clove of garlic   Directions Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.   In a large bowl, with your hands or a wooden spoon, mix together all the meatball ingredients and form 18 to 20 mini meatballs. Place the meatballs in a deep, ovenproof ( read full post )

Homemade Ginger Ale

On Apr 07, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
Makes 3 Cups Not only is this a refreshing drink, it can also be used for when you have an upset stomach, bloating or nausea. And, when you want a healthier cocktail, this is great with gin or vodka.   Ingredients 3 inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled 3 cups of soda water (I used San Pellegrino) Juice from ½ a lemon Optional: If you want it sweet, add a tablespoon of raw natural honey Optional: Fresh mint to serve   Directions If you have a juicer, place the ginger root and the lemon into the juicer. Remove the juice and stir together with the remaining ingredients. I used a large mason jar and shook it all up.   If you don’t have a juicer, use a zester. It looks like a cheese grater, but is much smaller. Zest the ginger into a fine sieve that is placed over a bowl. Using a spoon, push down on the grated ( read full post )

Red Lentil Dahl with Broccoli & Rice

On Apr 03, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4   The easiest way to make healthy meals at home is to make one-pot bowls like this one that is full of flavour and healthy nutrients. For any one with allergies, intolerances or special dietary needs, this dish is vegan friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free and oh so tasty.   Ingredients 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil 1 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon turmeric Pinch of chili flakes (more if you like it hot) ¼ cup diced red onion 2 cloves of garlic, minced 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1 cup red lentils 3½ cups no sodium added vegetable broth Zest and juice of 1 lime 1 small head broccoli, cut into bit-sized pieces (approximately 3 cups) Handful of cilantro, chopped 2 cups cooked rice to serve (½ cup per person)   Directions Heat coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the spices, cooking for 1 minute to release the flavors.   Add the onions, garlic and broccoli, cooking for ( read full post )

Sleepwalking Through Life

On Mar 31, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
Do you ever feel like you are sleepwalking through life? You continue with your regular routine where you go to work, come home, make dinner, pay your bills, breathe, eat, sleep, brush your teeth, shower, rinse and repeat. It feels like a normal routine, but it takes so little thought that you are basically sleepwalking through life. You know you did things today, but you can’t even remember what it all was. How did I get home? Did I eat lunch today? What did I have? I feel like I’m forgetting something. Oh yeah, it is my life!   I probably should not be telling you this, ruining my Contagiously Positive Girl image by admitting how imperfect I am, but I have found myself ignoring life. But hey, I’m just a regular human being, not a positivity robot, but that had been me for months – sleepwalking through life.   Almost one year ago to the day, in April 2016, ( read full post )

It’s Fajita Time!

On Mar 21, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 The great thing about wraps is that you can add any of favorite veggies into them. If you want to add chicken, add chicken. If you want to add black beans for an extra protein boost, throw it in! Recipes are just guidelines. Have some fun and make up your own Contagiously Positive recipe creation.   Dressing Ingredients 1 ripe avocado, mashed 4 ounces plain Greek yogurt Juice from 1 lime Lime zest from 1 lime 1 teaspoon smoked paprika ¼ teaspoon black pepper ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper If you like it spicy, add a few drops of Tabasco or Franks Red Hot sauce   Fajita Ingredients 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil 2 large red bell peppers, cut in half and thinly sliced 4 cups white mushrooms, thinly sliced 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 large red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced 12 cherry tomatoes, halved (or 1 large tomato, chopped) 4 cups spinach 4 large whole-wheat ( read full post )

Curried Lentil Soup Topped With Cilantro Yogurt (vegan option available)

On Mar 10, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 The cilantro yogurt for those who are dairy intolerant can either be omitted or replace with the Cashew Cream that I’ve included below.   Ingredients 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or olive oil) 1 small onion, chopped 1 large celery stalk, chopped 1 large carrot, chopped 2 large tomatoes, chopped 1 clove of garlic, chopped 1 teaspoon dried ginger 2 tablespoons curry powder 1 tablespoon ground coriander ½ cup dry red lentils (any lentil will do) 4 cups low sodium (or homemade) vegetable stock 4 heaping tablespoons plain Greek yogurt Handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped (should yield about ¼ cup)   Directions In large pot, heat the oil. Once heated, stir in the onions, garlic, carrots, and celery. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.   Stir in all the dried spices and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, lentils and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 ( read full post )

Contagiously Positive Cooking Lesson: How To Make Homemade Vegetable Stock

On Mar 08, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
One of the things I love about my Healthy Living Course is that the recipes are filling and delicious. I really just took my own personal faves and made them healthy. I took out processing, chemical-filled packaged, unhealthy ingredients and make everything from Mother Nature grown foods. Now I know that that’s not always going to happen, but it should be the norm. Cooking should not be optional when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. Especially if you want to get off the diet roller coaster, boost your immunity, feel energized and be productive. head on over the our website to learn all the details – registration is open. In today’s cooking lesson, I’m going to show you one packaged food you start to make at home, and that is vegetable stock. Even if you are not a vegetarian, honestly, it is actually better than most store bought chicken and/or beef broths. It is full of immune boosting, gut ( read full post )

Creating Healthy Habits

On Mar 06, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
Many of us have a habit, or two, that we would like to change, or add into our daily lives. For many it is healthy eating, exercising, positive thinking, giving up junk food, and breaking up with sugar…just to name a few. My clients will often ask me, “how can I have more willpower?” Honestly, I don’t believe it has anything to do with willpower, it all boils down to creating the habit. Make it so habitual that you don’t even have to give your overloaded brain another thought to process – you just do it. Watch the video below to learn three things you can start doing today.   If creating healthy habits seems like an overwhelming concept, I dedicate an entire module to it in my online Healthy Living Course. You can learn all the details here: Contagiously Positive Woman’s Guide To Healthy Living Course All Love, Laurie-ann Sheldrick, The Contagiously Positive Girl Be Happy. Be Healthy. Be Contagiously ( read full post )

Get That Body Moving

On Mar 03, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
MOVEMENT… I use the word movement instead of exercise because I feel like it is a much more positive way to get me motivated. It has way more meanings, like: I’m moving. I’m flowing. I’m grooving. It has a sexier appeal to it than; I’m exercising (blah!).   Being active, and finding a way to move your body that you love, isn’t just good for your body. Daily movement is good for your mind, body and soul. If you move more than you sit, you will make healthier food choices, you will sleep better, you will decrease stress, boost your immunity, and you will literally be happier because movement releases happy endorphins into your brain. Every move you make can increase your odds of promoting whole-body health.   Fitness doesn’t need to come in the form of an expensive gym membership, that is why I’m calling it movement. There are many things you can do right at home or outside. ( read full post )

The Best Way Is Not Always Yesterdays Way

On Mar 02, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
In Chapter 4 of my book, Out of The Darkness, into The Light, I write about my personal journey to letting go of my past self, past pains, regrets, worries, what ifs and all the dark stormy things that prevent many us, myself included, from moving forward.   In today’s video I share a passage from my book and discuss three things we take from our past that hold us back:   Limiting beliefs that we have taken from our childhood Hurt, disappointment and pain caused by others Regrets, worries and what ifs – should’ve, would’ve, could’ve   To truly step into a new positive life, I had to learn to not only let go of these things, but also to change my old habitual ways of doing things. What I have learned is that the best way is not always yesterdays way. Toni Morrison said it best when she wrote,“If you wanna fly, you got to give up that ( read full post )

Putting HUMAN Back In Human Resources

On Feb 27, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
Has the Human Resource department become just a company’s liability policy? Is having the Human Resources department run by lawyers, protecting every word that goes in and out the way to creating a healthy work environment? Do companies really need more policies and binders filled with step-by-step procedures?   All of that is important to the financial wellbeing of a company, but it is not what should make up Human Resources. Where in any of that is the HUMAN component?   I have facilitated a lot of corporate workshops, and this is the #1 complaint I get from company employees: “We feel like we are just another number, we are not respected, our managers don’t listen, and our HR department is liability insurance for the company, and doesn’t have any of our best interest at heart. “   Toxicity in the workplace can spread like wildfire and unless the leaders of the company make their employees (human beings) a priority, ( read full post )

Limiting Beliefs Are Thoughts, Not Truths

On Feb 23, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
  “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” Jack Canfield   When I started Contagiously Positive the plan was for it to be a life coaching practice. At the beginning, I was terrified. I was leaving behind a ten-year career that I had not only gotten pretty good at, but also very comfortable with. And, I had no idea what it meant to be a life coach, or entrepreneur. But I wasn’t happy and I had a calling, a deep desire to serve, so I said F-You to the fear (still full of fear) and I decided to give it shot.   The truth is, many of us, myself included, become blocked because we think we are choosing the safer route. We may not be happy, but we know that we are unhappy so we think that it is better to stay with the devil that we know – so to speak.   Before I signed myself ( read full post )

Oven Baked Halibut with Roasted Vegetables

On Feb 21, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 This recipe is good with any fish and you can also substitute the fish for chicken or turkey. You can use any vegetables that are your favourite or in season.   Ingredients 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 small red onion, thinly sliced 2 cloves of garlic, chopped 1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks 1 cup snow peas or green beans 1 cup red potatoes, thinly sliced 1 small pint cherry tomatoes (or two large tomatoes, quartered) 4 halibut steaks (or any white fish) ¼ cup dry white cooking wine or apple cider vinegar (optional) Handful of fresh basil, chopped   Directions Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.   Add all the vegetables into a large ovenproof dish and toss with olive oil, white wine, basil, and season with sea salt and pepper. Place fish on top of vegetables and cover dish. If your pan doesn’t have a lid, cover it with tinfoil.   Place in oven and ( read full post )

Shepherd’s Pie With A Twist

On Feb 17, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 6 What makes this healthier is adding cauliflower to the potatoes instead of using all potatoes. If you want to use meat instead of lentils, I recommend using an organic lean ground turkey or chicken. 1 small package of lean ground meat will replace the lentils and the carrots. However, you can leave the carrots in if you want.   Ingredients 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 medium onion, diced 1 clove of garlic, minced 2 large carrots, diced 1 can whole kernel corn 3 tablespoons tomato paste ¼ cup low sodium vegetable stock 4 large red potatoes, cut into quarters (sweet potatoes are also great) 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into same size as potatoes 1½ cups cooked lentils (or 1 can) *See cooking tip below* 1 pinch sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 2-4 tablespoons nut milk (or regular milk)   Directions Place oven rack in center and preheat the broiler.   Heat the olive ( read full post )

Achieving Success Without The Stress

On Feb 08, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
Achieving success without the stress. Is it possible? I believe it is.   Have you ever felt like you really had it all together, but then went on social media and were brought down by all the amazingness that other people are doing? You get into comparing mode, thinking you will never be able to achieve that, and start to question where you are and how you will ever get to where you want to go. Me too! And to be honest, it was just last week.   I was seeing all these posts on social media about how hustling and working endless hours are how they achieved their successes and financial abundance. It was a lot of advice on how you have to work, work, work, stress, stress, stress, hustle, hustle, hustle if you want to succeed. For a moment I thought, “I’m such a failure. I’m not doing any of that. Should I be further along in my ( read full post )

Slow Cooked Contagiously Positive Chili

On Feb 06, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 6 to 8   Ingredients 2 medium onions, roughly chopped 1 large carrot, chopped 4 celery stalks, chopped 2 red bell peppers, cubed 2 small zucchini’s, roughly chopped 2 cups white button mushrooms, quartered 1 540ml can (no salt added) kidney beans, drained 1 398ml can (no salt added) black beans, drained 2 796ml cans (no salt added) whole tomatoes, mashed with a fork 1 teaspoon chili chipotle powder 1 tablespoon cumin 1 tablespoon dried basil 1 tablespoon oregano 1 tablespoon ground coriander 1 large clove of garlic, minced ½ cup light beer (optional) ½ cup water or vegetable stock 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar Handful of cilantro or basil, for optional topping Chopped avocado, for optional topping   Directions Place all ingredients, except for the fresh herbs and avocado into the slower cooker. Stir and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours.   Stove Top Directions: If cooking on the stove, follow the ( read full post )

The Art of Hygge

On Jan 13, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
My friend Camilla taught me the most fabulous word the other day. When she said it, I instantly giggled, thinking, “that is the best way to describe a good mood.” We laughed just at the idea of how we could use the word and realized that we were actually experiencing the meaning of it in that moment together.   The word is Hygge.   ‘Hygge’ is a Danish word (pronounced ‘hooga’). Roughly it means coziness. The Danish use the philosophy of Hygge as a way of finding a recipe for a happier life. Hmm, I like that idea. Sort of like my own philosophy of living a Contagiously Positive life, but with a much cooler word.   It is not just a word though; it is a way of being, like choosing to live a positive life, or living with gratitude. It means simplicity, taking time to unwind and slowing down your pace of life. I believe we all need ( read full post )

Spicy Tomato Gnocchi

On Jan 10, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
Sometimes we just need comfort food – bad days, emotional rollercoaster weeks, whatever it may be, we just have to eat something that gives us emotional comfort when we take the bite. Here is a recipe that you don’t want to eat every single day, but it is so fresh and made with all natural ingredients that it will satisfy your emotional craving without the added guilt sprinkled in at the end. Healthy Living should never deprive you from good tasting food. Bon appetite!   Serves 6   Ingredients 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 cloves of garlic, minced 1 teaspoon chili flakes (add more if you like it spicy) 2 cups dry white wine 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (Organic chicken broth works too) 2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes 2 tablespoons coconut oil 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 2 packages whole wheat gnocchi, cooked according to package directions Handful of fresh basil, chopped Black pepper, to taste   ( read full post )

I Vow To Give A Shit

On Jan 04, 2017 By: Laurie-ann
Today I want to write about giving a shit. Seems like a strange name to give it, but it continues coming to me, which means the universe is nudging me to let go of my discomfort and write about it anyway. I have goals that I have set for 2017, mostly business, but this year I am setting a personal intention. The intention is to not be indifferent, not to ignore what is happening around me that makes me uncomfortable and to give a shit by stepping fully into my beliefs that all humans are created equally and should be treated as such.   Why this intention to give a shit and hopefully inspire others to as well? Because 2016 was a year where I kept hearing, even finding myself (yes, the CP girl), saying:   “I try not to give a shit.” “I just ignore that because it is to uncomfortable.” “If they don’t care, I won’t care.” “I ( read full post )

Minestrone Soup

On Dec 12, 2016 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 6   Ingredients 1 medium onion, chopped 3 large carrots, sliced into halve-moons 3 celery ribs, chopped 1 medium sweet potato, cut into mini pieces ½ cup dry red lentils 2 cups diced tomatoes (canned or fresh) 1 cup green peas 1 cup brown rice macaroni (or regular macaroni) 1 heaping teaspoon each of dried basil and rosemary (don’t be shy with the herbs) 1 bay leaf Pinch or 2 of chili flakes for some added heat 8 cups vegetable stock 2 cups water Juice of ½ large lemon Sea salt and pepper, seasoned to taste 1-tablespoon coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil   Directions In a large soup pot, heat oil on medium-high heat. Toss in the onion, carrots, celery and sweet potato into the pot. Stir it up and add the dried spices, including the bay leaf, to release the flavors. Let this cook for about 2 minutes to get those flavors out.   Next, stir in ( read full post )

A Tool For Working Through The Shit

On Nov 24, 2016 By: Laurie-ann
 “Pull out the weeds before they grow. This is when they are the weakest.”   Throughout our lives we will forever be weeding and feeding through positive and negative feelings and emotions. Writing can be a process that helps you do that with ease. It makes space in your mind, your heart and your soul for new positive thoughts, feelings and emotions to come through. How can you expect that to happen when your mind is full of negativity, a bad day, sadness, or even anger towards someone? You have to put those negative emotions somewhere, otherwise, if you keep them inside and stuff them down, they will fester and grow, leaving no space for any of the goodness that you want in your life to come through. You will be so caught up Negative-Ville that you will be unable to see the light that is right in front of you. To release negative emotions, I believe that writing can ( read full post )

You Never Fail When You Are Trying

On Nov 01, 2016 By: Laurie-ann
Fear of failure is something that I struggle with. Who wants to fail, right? But I “fail” all the time. I wrote a little snippet on failure last week on Facebook. I admitted that if you looked at my life, you would see that I “fail” a lot. I make recipes that bomb, I get stuck in Negative Ville and can’t create a Dose of Positivity, I release a program that requires changes because it was missing something, or I try Facebook Live chat for the first time and ramble on and on because I was so excited and totally missed the point I was trying to make. Or, sometimes I try something new for the first time and I bomb. Here was I have learned. None of those things are really failure. They are all learning opportunities. They are a slight detour that leads me to the right direction. I want you to remember this the next time you ( read full post )

Choosing Happiness Today

On Oct 11, 2016 By: Laurie-ann
I used to be a “when I have” I’ll be happy girl.   I’ll be happy when I have this amount of money I’ll be happy when I have that job title I’ll be happy when I have those material items I’ll be happy when my relationships reach this level I’ll be happy when my body looks like this   Through all of the “when I have-ing” I wasn’t happy. I was missing all of the happy moments that were right in front of me, staring me in the face, screaming to be noticed. I was missing them because I was stuck in future-tripping. Waiting to be happy tomorrow, next week, next month or next year.   When I became aware of this block, I realized that I could still have wants, needs, desires and goals, that haven’t yet been achieved, and still be happy. I can be happy by creating beautiful happy moments and be grateful for what I ( read full post )

You Are Not Alone

On Oct 05, 2016 By: Laurie-ann
  I want you to know that you are not alone. Your story is unique, but it is not an untold story. We all have struggles, pains, losses and challenges. They just show up with a different voice and style of writing. The characters are different, but the story sounds so familiar. You are not alone.   There are moments for me where it is difficult to show my weaknesses and admit that I have not always been the Contagiously Positive Girl. But the strength in that honesty comes where you hear me say, “me too. Me too I’ve gone through something similar. Me too I’ve had struggles, pains and losses. Me too I don’t always want to be positive. Me too there are moments when I just want to stay in bed all day, binge watching Grey’s Anatomy and just let the day go by without my presence.” You are not alone.   These two little words, me too, ( read full post )

Give Your Brain a Detox

On Sep 23, 2016 By: Laurie-ann
Do you feel like you have brain toxicity overload? Living a positive life take discipline and work. Being happy is the most fulfilling work, but we can get sucked into the vortex of negativity so quickly. That is why it is so important to be mindful of when your brain needs a detox.   I recommend 2 things for detoxing your mind.   #1: Have a no drama day. Whatever you do, resist the urge to find out what is happening in other peoples lives and focus on your life – doing the work of making YOU happy, not all the ideas you have of how other people should live their lives to be happy. This means stop caring so much about the Brangelina divorce! #2: Have turn off all noise moments. This includes everything that beeps, sings, dings, rings, or dongs. Just shut it all off for at least 20 minutes. I’m not talking about meditation. I’m talking about ( read full post )

Stop The Dieting Confusion

On Sep 12, 2016 By: Laurie-ann
You have probably heard, read, had it stuffed down your throat and been told a bunch of confusing things about food that is bad for you and food that is good for you. Are you confused? If yes, keep reading because you are not alone. All of the information that is out there for us is so great, but it makes it so difficult for us to not only get healthy, but also stay that way because we are so confused about nutrition and our bodies. We spend so much time listening to marketing that we avoid paying attention healthy nutrition (instead of calories) and what our body is telling us in the form of physical and even emotional symptoms. My #1 piece of advice is to stop listening to marketing ads and start learning what your body absolutely needs to thrive.   Marketing mumbo-jumbo looks and sounds a little like this:   Milk is bad for you, so you ( read full post )

Serving With Love

On Aug 23, 2016 By: Laurie-ann
As I sit here with my morning coffee I am contemplating business, or more specifically, selling from a place of love. In the five years since starting my business, I have learned a lot about the nuts and bolts of social media, web design and knowing the numbers in my business, but as far as selling goes, I think many “experts” are missing a really important component, which is serving from love. If you are a new entrepreneur, you are going to be drawn to taking a lot of courses, workshops and purchasing books on building your email list, getting those additional 1000 Facebook likes, how to sell millions on Instagram in just 1 month, increase your sales and meet your monthly financial goals. There is nothing wrong with this, this is all necessary as the back end of your business is critical for your growth and success. However, the front end of your business, where you interact with human ( read full post )

Your Attitude, Your Choice

On Aug 08, 2016 By: Laurie-ann
LIFE IS ALL ABOUT CHOICES AND CHOICES CAN ALWAYS CHANGE What you wear, what you eat, when you sleep, your thoughts, your attitude, who you spend time with, the cleanliness of your home, your beliefs, your values, your feelings, who you love – all of these are your choices. Some choices are harder than others and change isn’t always easy, but it is always your choice and the path to happiness is always worth the effort. Pre-Contagiously Positive days, I learned how much power I actually had when I not only took control of how I wanted to feel, but chose to work on controlling my attitude towards external circumstances. Letting go of the belief that I had control over anything but my choices, my reactions and my feelings was a big hurdle and a great lesson. When I finally understood that I could not control what happens around me, but I could control my reaction and my attitude to those ( read full post )

Fear Is Not Your Friend

On Aug 02, 2016 By: Laurie-ann
Fear is the #1 barrier that prevents us from living a life of purpose, intention and joy. We fear changing our careers, going back to school, changing our old ways, the unknown, the unfamiliar, becoming sick, getting hurt, losing a loved one, being rejected, becoming successful, being vulnerable, or not being able to “handle” it.   As I continue to edit my new book, Out of The Darkness, Into The Light, the chapter on fear has been the most difficult to write. What I want to tell you is to not let fear hold you back. Period. But fear is so deeply ingrained into our subconscious minds that the chapter requires more than one line. While I continue to finesse this chapter for you, I want to share with you a little sneak peak into what I think about fear.   FEARS ARE NOT TRUTHS  Fear is just a fearful, false thought. It is not your reality, as it has ( read full post )

Love Is Not To Be Rationed

On Jun 14, 2016 By: Laurie-ann
Love creates an undeniable energy. It has the power to turn sadness into joy & hate into compassion & kindness. Each of us has that power inside of us. Why are we holding it back? We hold it back from others. We hold it back from ourselves. For what purpose? Is it because we are afraid of being hurt? Without love, we are already hurting. Is it because we do not trust in its power? Love is our main source of power that heals us all. Is it because we are afraid of looking weak? There is no weakness in love. Love is pure inner strength. Love holds us up when we cannot stand. Love connects us. Love creates a powerful force field making hate impenetrable. Love makes you strong, courageous, and powerful. Why are we holding it back? Stop rationing it and start using it.   Sending you oodles of positivity, happiness and joy, Laurie-ann Sheldrick, The Contagiously Positive Girl

Saggy boobs, Laugh Lines and Freckles. Love Them All!

On Jun 10, 2016 By: Laurie-ann
My boobs are going to sag, nothing a good bra can’t fix. I will get lines around my eyes, all from laughing of course. The tops of my hands start to look older, which is the amazing gift from playing in the garden, digging in the dirt and making so many memory filled meals for my family and friends. Freckles will randomly appear everywhere on my body from so many fun adventures in the sun. And what’s that? Oh, its okay, it is just white hair. All of this appears, not from being old, just from being older.   “I’m not getting old,” I tell my younger friends who gasp when I tell them that I am about to turn 38. “OMG, are you scared of turning 40?!” What? That’s ridiculous! The world will not end when I turn 40. I can still chase all the dreams that I have not yet caught. There will always be time, energy and ( read full post )

From Dreamland to Actionville

On Jun 06, 2016 By: Laurie-ann
Are you feeling stuck in the endless cycle of writing goals, making to-do lists, saying what you want, reading every self-help book, but still feeling like nothing is working? Are you stuck in rut of “why is nothing working?” You are not alone. I’ve been there too, and just recently actually. I’m great at making endless lists of things I want. I’m a superb self-help junkie reader who gets inspired by books and quotes. I read my daily affirmations and prayers and my to-do lists are perfectly crafted in pretty colours. That might sound like I have it all together, but none of that means anything when I’m stuck in Dreamland and can’t get to Actionville. For the past 3 months, that is where I have been. Life happened, change happened, and I got stuck. Knowing what I want is great, but it is not enough to read a book, quote, or make and set goals and to-do lists. What ( read full post )

Explosion, Expansion, Excitement

On May 30, 2016 By: Laurie-ann
Before I moved to Saskatoon (pre-Contagiously Positive girl), I was so focused on setting business and life goals that would get me more. More stuff, more clothes, more house, more car, more money, more material objects – more things, not more emotions. Each goal had a list of just a lot of MORE that held no emotional attachment to me.   Now that I’m back in Ontario in my “old” life, I was daydreaming this morning about my greatest lesson on that amazing 5-year journey while living in Saskatoon. I don’t want to HAVE more, I want to BE more. I want more experiences. My goal setting is going to completely change. I’m going to start focusing on setting goals that are infused with the emotional experience I want to have when I set it and once I achieve it. My new goal setting principle must include the 3 E’s. The 3 E’s To Setting a Goal #1: Explosion. It ( read full post )

Positive Communication: Could Have Saved Romeo & Juliet

On Mar 01, 2016 By: Laurie-ann
In my Lessons in Love blog, I talked about the importance of communication. My husband and I don’t argue often, but we do on occasion have to have a conversation that will affect us individually and/or as a couple. Just recently, we needed to sit down and talk about a major change – stay in Saskatoon or move back to our hometown of Ottawa. This would affect our relationships with the people we love and each other, it would affect our careers, it would affect our finances and it would affect our overall life, or more specifically, change our day-to-day that we have gotten used to. Because we have always worked on having a solid communication foundation, the conversation and the outcome was all 100% positive. We have been together for 15 years and you can’t spend 15 years of your life with someone without ever having to have a difficult conversation or make a major life change. We both ( read full post )

Carrot & Dill Soup

On Feb 26, 2016 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 Ingredients 1½ pounds carrots, cut into 1” pieces (approximately 6 cups) 1 small red onion, thinly sliced 2 celery stalks, chopped 1 clove of garlic, chopped 1 tablespoon coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil 3 tablespoons freshly chopped dill Sea salt & black pepper, to taste 1 teaspoon turmeric (optional) 4 cups water Directions Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery and garlic, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, approximately 8-10 minutes. Stir in the carrots, water, dill and seasoning. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 25-30 minutes until the carrots are very soft.   Puree the soup in batches in a blender, or in the pot using a handheld blender. Season to taste.   Serve garnished with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, Cashew Cream (recipe here), or crumbled blue cheese for a tasty treat.

How I Got Myself Out Of A Funk

On Feb 25, 2016 By: Laurie-ann
A few days, I posted a Dose of Positivity that said, Live in the present. Be grateful for the past. Be excited for the future. It came to me because I have been experiencing a funk. Let me explain. Over a month ago, my husband and I needed to make the decision to relocate back to our hometown of Ottawa, Ontario. We have loved our 5 years in Saskatoon, but we are excited to be heading back to where our family is. Relocating is no easy feat and it comes with lots of work, energy and bittersweet feelings as we are leaving so many amazing friends. In a very short period of time, just a few weeks, we bought a new house, sold our current house, are trying to get in as much time with our friends as we can, and I need to relocate my business and prepare all the necessary documents to now operate in Ontario.   The ( read full post )

Butternut Squash & Sage Penne

On Feb 22, 2016 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 Ingredients 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into ½-inch pieces or sweet potato 6 scallions, thinly sliced 2 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth Juice of 1 lemon or lime ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted or toasted sage leaves Freshly ground black pepper to taste 1 package gluten free penne, cooked according to package directions (reserve ½ cup of cooking water) 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional) Directions Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add squash and cook, stirring occasionally until spotty brown, 15 to 20 minutes.   Stir in the scallions, sage, nutmeg, and black pepper and cook until the scallions are softened, about 1 minute. Add the broth, bring to a gently boil, stirring occasionally until the squash is tender, about 10 minutes.   Add the cooked pasta, Parmesan cheese (if using), and lemon juice ( read full post )

Mindful Eating For Health & Happiness: 4 Tips To Get You Started

On Feb 08, 2016 By: Laurie-ann
You have heard about being mindful of what you think; think positive thoughts, write down what you are grateful for, and being mindful of other people’s feelings and all that jazz. Those are all great things to be mindful of, but being mindful of what you eat and drink throughout the day is just as important to your health and overall well-being and happiness. When you are mindful of the food you put in your body, you are increasing your brainpower, your energy, and your happiness. WHAT?! Food can make me happy? You bet! You can read more about that here. When I work with clients, one-on-one, or through my online Healthy Living Program, they are always surprised by what they eat and drink when I have them track it for the week. “I had no idea I ate that or didn’t eat that or how much.”   Here are some of the things you can start to mindful of ( read full post )

Contagiously Positive Lesson: Taking Your Power Back

On Jan 14, 2016 By: Laurie-ann
Our culture today believes that we are entitled to a great life. We try to change our circumstances, our careers, our health, our happiness and our finances by looking to others to give us these things. Here is the truth – the whole truth and everything that I know to be true today based on the 37 short years I have been alive. The only person who can determine what kind of life you will live, and the quality of what that life will be is you.   Creating the life of your dreams means giving up all excuses and all stories as to why you don’t have it. From this moment on, I don’t want you to have a limiting belief that you are a victim. You are so much stronger than you think. You have all the power and the only way someone else can take it away, is if you give it away. Your past does not ( read full post )

Goodbye Yesterday, Hello Today

On Jan 06, 2016 By: Laurie-ann
2015 was a difficult year for so many. Losses, heartaches, business mistakes, financial struggles, and health goals not met. For some, 2015 was the best year of their life. A new love, business goals met, a new career, health goals achieved, debt paid off. We all live the same year, but can have two different outcomes – two different stories. When I’m coaching or facilitating, I teach that whether your story happened 1 year ago, 10 years ago, 20 years ago, or yesterday, does not define what your future will be. If 2015 didn’t give you all of your desires, wishes, and goals, today is a new day to make it better. 2016 is a new year to take all the necessary steps to achieve everything that lights up your soul. Nothing else matters, but what you desire today. It is okay if you had an amazing 2015 and this year has started out a bit rocky. It is okay ( read full post )

Rustic Pasta

On Dec 29, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 If fresh basil is in season, chopped up a small handful and add to the sauce just before serving. You can also use fresh cilantro. Good health starts in the kitchen. From my kitchen to yours, bon appetite!  Ingredients 2 medium zucchinis 11½ ounces (about 3 cups) white button mushrooms, quartered 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped 2 large cloves of garlic, minced 798 ml (28 fl. oz.) whole canned tomatoes 1 bay leaf 1 tablespoon dried thyme 1 tablespoon dried basil 1 teaspoon dried oregano Black pepper, to taste 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional) 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + extra for zucchini 1 package (about 16 ounces) brown rice spaghetti Directions Preheat oven broiler to high heat.   Cook pasta according to package directions. This can be done while you let the sauce simmer. Any sauce tastes better when you it give it time to simmer and develop flavor from the spices.   Cut zucchini in ( read full post )

The Contagiously Positive Way To Deal With Holiday Stress

On Dec 18, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
With the holidays fast approaching, you might be finding yourself under stress and overwhelmed. This should be the most magical time of year, but we pile on the stress until we make ourselves sick and unhappy – preventing us from enjoying the holiday for what it should be about, which is being with your loved ones. It isn’t about the perfect gift, spending thousands of dollars, or making the perfect meal. It is suppose to make you believe in love and magic and family. It should bring people together, not tear them apart. It should be the time of year where you can just enjoy yourself, not feel stressed and overwhelmed.   What You Can Do First of all, I want you to truly take what I’m about to say to heart…you can’t see, do and be everything.   You don’t need to buy thousands of dollars worth of “perfect” gifts. The best gifts are those that come from the ( read full post )

Sweet Potato Salad

On Dec 14, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 6 Ingredients 2 large sweet potatoes, roughly chopped 4 large celery stalks, chopped 4 green onions, chopped ½ cup toasted, unsalted pumpkin seeds ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil + extra for roasting potatoes 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar Juice and zest of 1 lemon 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice 1 teaspoon dried rosemary 1 tablespoon raw honey 1 tablespoon Dijon or regular mustard Directions Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.   Place chopped sweet potato into a bowl and toss with a couple tablespoons olive oil, enough to coat and season with sea salt and black pepper. Spread out onto a large baking sheet and bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes, or until they are tender.   Remove from the oven and toss together in large bowl with all of the remaining ingredients.   You can toast the pumpkin seeds yourself by placing them into a pan and cooking them on high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring them ( read full post )

Busting Through Spiritual Fatigue

On Dec 09, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Are you feeling spiritually fatigued?   Annoyed with everything and everyone Emotional for no reason Can’t be happy for others Feeling unfulfilled Heaviness in chest Cloudy minded Lack of focus or clarity   These are all signs that you are spiritually fatigued and need a soulful detox. Here is what I recommend you do….   Dream Sometimes when we feel spiritually fatigued it is because we have been focusing 100% of our energy on other people and have stopped dreaming. When was the last time you sat down and set your goals, desires and dreams? When was the last time you did anything just for you? What’s great about dreams is that only you need to see them. Only you need to believe in them. They belong to you and you alone.   We all have dreams. Dreaming is one of the most beautiful things in life. The problem though is that so many of us get jaded and wrapped up ( read full post )

Roasted Beet & Chickpea Salad

On Dec 07, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 There are no words for how easy this recipe is, but also so delicious. The feedback I got from those who are in this Healthy Living Program instalment was so great that I decided to share it with you. If you want more recipes that are just as delicious, join the posse. It makes the perfect side dish for most meals, or a nice fresh and healthy lunch dish to bring along to work. It will keep you full, healthy and energized for the day. For an added touch, crumble a couple pieces of goat cheese into the salad while it is still warm. It can be served warm or cold. Ingredients 5 medium beets, roughly chopped 3 green onions, chopped 1 398 ml no-sodium added chickpeas, drained and rinsed ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil + plus extra for roasting beets 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar Juice and zest of 1 lemon Pinch of sea salt Black pepper, ( read full post )

Steps on Dealing with Difficult People

On Dec 01, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
We have all had, and will continue to have to deal with difficult people, a difficult situation, or a difficult conversation. These situations can be very unpleasant and make us want to lash out and get on the defensive. When dealing with a difficult person, this is the last thing you want to do. Why? Because it will get nowhere, except ‘angryville’. The best advice I can give is this; don’t react in the moment, control your own attitude and reaction, not the difficult persons, and wait for the person to calm down and finish what they have to say (even if it seems unreasonable). When the person is done, this is the time to try and have a positive conversation. The best way to keep everyone out of angry town is to not play the blame game on anyone or anything else in the process. This will show that you are a person of integrity.    Here are a few steps to remember: ( read full post )

Italian Wedding Soup

On Nov 29, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 Eating healthy doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your favourite dishes. When you make your meals with fresh, made from Mother Earth ingredients, you can eat so many delicious dishes, like this Italian Wedding Soup. I’ve removed the high sodium that is always found in canned soup – sometimes triple your daily recommended intake. I’ve also used organic lean turkey for the meatballs and even included a vegetarian meatball recipe for those who are vegetarian. In my Healthy Living Program, I have over one hundred recipes just like this one. A healthy lifestyle should never feel like you are in lack. You will see that making your food from scratch can be quick, easy, delicious, cost efficient and best of all will enhance your health and happiness. Ingredients 1 pound organic lean ground turkey 2 eggs, gently whisked 3 tablespoons Italian spice 1/3 cup 100% wholegrain breadcrumbs (or almond flour for gluten free option) 3 cups chopped carrots 3 ( read full post )

Spiced Carrot Soup with Smokey Kale Chips + Health Tip

On Nov 26, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 Eating healthy food doesn’t mean you are depriving yourself of good tasting food. It also doesn’t have to involve complicated, time consuming prep work. All you need is the right spice combinations. This spiced carrot soup has just a few ingredients, but the spices make a simple batch of carrots come to life. Also, just by taking a few minutes to add some tasty toppers, like the crispy kale chips, cilantro and red onion, you are giving the dish not just added flavor enhancers, but a restaurant style look. When food looks good, we crave it, want it and enjoy it so much more than if we just plopped it down on the plate. The kale chips are not essential, but they honestly take this dish to another level. Add some thinly sliced red onion on top and it enhances it even more. Ingredients 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped 1 teaspoon ( read full post )

The Contagiously Positive Self-Esteem Boosting, Stress-Free Closet

On Nov 10, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Yes, you read that title right, even your closet can be Contagiously Positive. How? By making space and clearing away the stressful clutter of the clothes that don’t fit and the items that make you feel like you wish you never wore them. Just like life, having things that no longer fit into your life or your body needs to go.   A few months ago, I went into my closet to get dressed and in a frustrating fit, yelled to my husband, “I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!” I couldn’t believe that the simple act of getting dressed was making me annoyed and irritated. I have a closet full of clothes. Surely there is something in there for me to wear. However, the problem wasn’t the clothes, it was the clutter. The solution was to get rid of all the clutter and create a stress-free closet that I could quickly and easily get dressed in and feel good in the ( read full post )

Bok Choy For Your Health + Shrimp & Bok Choy Rice Bowl Recipe

On Nov 06, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Bok Choy is becoming one of my new favorite cabbages to cook with. This leafy green Chinese cabbage doesn’t get a lot of play. Not because of its flavor, its actually very tasty, but I think because many people don’t know what it is or what to do with it. There are many health benefits to this low calorie, low GI leafy green. To help you out, I’m sharing a recipe straight from our Healthy Living Program that you can add to your next meal plan and give it a taste test. First off, lets start with its health benefits.   HEALTH BENEFITS Due to its heavily dosed phytonutrient and antioxidant properties, it is an amazing contender for fueling your body to attack those daily toxins that you are exposed to on a daily basis. It’s high in vitamins K, C, A and gives a good dose of minerals such as, potassium, calcium and folate. Vitamin K comes in at ( read full post )

Overcoming Your Inner Saboteur

On Nov 05, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Have you ever asked yourself, why do I feel like two different people? In one moment you feel like you could tackle the world, and in the next, you hear this voice telling you that you can’t. The truth is, we do have two inner voices. One voice speaks to you in loving, kind and supportive ways. That is your true self. The second voice is the one that crushes your dreams, tells you that you can’t do it, keeps you in the darkness and holds you down in fear. It also fills your mind with toxic thoughts and negativity. That, my dears, is called your Saboteur, definitely not your true self.   How To Recognize The Saboteur  The saboteur makes you feel unmotivated, keeps you in a fearful state, decreases or even eliminates all of your self-confidence, prevents you from love, keeps you in a constant negative state, removes all clarity and calmness. We all have inner voices that come ( read full post )

Veggie & Nevis Patties

On Oct 26, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 These taste so good and actually look like regular ground beef burgers. The cheese adds a nice flavor and by only adding ½ cup, you won’t have to worry about the added calories. If you are near Lancaster, Ontario, the cheese is specially selected from Glengarry Fine Cheese and I have it on good authority that it is made with so much love. Serve on a bed of spinach or mixed greens tossed with your favorite salad dressing. I added mine on top of my Superfood Salad. Click here for recipe Ingredients 1 medium zucchini, shredded (see note* below) 2 medium carrots, shredded (approximately 1 cup) 1 small beet, shredded 3 green onions, chopped Handful of cilantro, chopped (you can also use parsley) 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs (or almond meal for a gluten free option) 2 eggs, gently whisked ½ cup shredded Nevis cheese (or cheese of choice) Sea salt and pepper, to taste Coconut oil or extra-virgin olive ( read full post )

Every Journey & Every Story Starts With A Beginning

On Oct 21, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
If you need it to, today can be your new beginning. Everyone’s journey is different, but there is something that we all have in common, a beginning. Everyone has a beginning, everyone has a starting point, and sometimes that involves multiple beginnings and several starting points. That is one of the greatest gifts of life. As long as you have another day to live, you have another opportunity to begin again.   I had many beginnings that have brought me to where I am today. My Contagiously Positive journey began the day I decided that I wanted to be happy. Even with all the lessons that I’ve learned and the endless tools in my toolbox, I still have days where I need to push the reset button and start again.   You have so much power inside of you. The choice to begin again or to stay where you are is yours. If you have decided that you are ready ( read full post )

Curried Lentils with Homemade Red Thai Curry Paste

On Oct 15, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 My new absolute favorite! Serve over rice or even use a dip with organic blue tortilla chips. Sounds strange, but this combo is so good. If you are not in the mood to be adventurous, start with serving it over rice. Ingredients 1½ cups dry red lentils 1 small red onion, diced 1 large clove of garlic, minced 3 cups water 2 tablespoons coconut oil ½ cup coconut milk 2 tablespoons red curry paste (homemade recipe below) 1 teaspoon garam masala 1 teaspoon curry powder 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger 1 cup canned tomato sauce Chopped fresh basil, or cilantro for garnish Long-grain brown rice for serving Directions Start by making the lentils. In a large pot, bring three cups of water to a boil. Add the lentils, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain any extra water and set aside. If you want to save on dishes, place cooked lentils in a bowl ( read full post )

Like Yourself Today, Love Yourself Tomorrow

On Oct 07, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
From your nose to your toes, your eyes to your thighs, your lips to your hips, you are unique. You hear it all the time, “you must LOVE yourself first.” As much as I agree with this, I also believe that there is a step that comes before love. The first step is LIKE. As someone who once struggled with an eating disorder, I know that love does not come first. For me, it started with liking my body, one body part at a time. Every day, I would like another part of myself, until one day, it turned into LOVE. Love for what I was born with. Love for what I could make my body do just by eating, thinking and moving in a positive way. Love for the realization that I don’t have to perfect to be happy.   Pretend you and your body are on a first date. You like certain parts, maybe you think there is ( read full post )

So Much Food, For When You Have So Little Time – Three Freezer Friendly Meals

On Oct 05, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Coming home late, or just feeling too tired to cook can become a roadblock to losing weight and getting healthy. You can simplify your meals by cooking in bulk. Your slow cooker, baking dish, or large soup pot can be your new best friend. I always have something made and ready to be taken out of the freezer for those crazy fright nights. Start by making large batches of casseroles, chili, soups, or stews that you can store for easy meals made in minutes. All you need to do is come home, throw it the pot and cook on medium-low heat until it is fully thawed and heated through. If stored in small portions (see tip below), this will only take 10-15 minutes.   Freezing Tip: To freeze, store them in individual Ziploc bags or small containers. Only add one to two portions per bag or container. This way, you won’t have to thaw the entire container, which could take hours ( read full post )

Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup

On Oct 05, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 6-8 Ingredients 1 medium onion, chopped 2 cups cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces 2 cups carrots, chopped 2 cups celery, chopped 2 cups broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces 3 cups cabbage, roughly chopped 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon dried basil 1 teaspoon turmeric 1 teaspoon nutmeg 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder ¼ cup apple cider vinegar 2 bay leaves 5 cups water 1 398ml can low sodium kidney beans 2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional) Freshly ground black pepper to taste Directions Place all ingredients into slow cooker and stir. Cook on high for 4 to 5 hours.

Vegetarian (you won’t miss the meat) Shepherds Pie

On Oct 05, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 6 to 8 Ingredients 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 onion, diced 1 clove garlic, minced 2 large carrots, diced 1 large can whole kernel corn 3 tablespoons tomato paste ¼ cup low sodium vegetable stock 4 large red potatoes, cut into quarters 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into same size as potatoes 1½ cups cooked lentils (1 can) *See cooking tip below* 1 pinch sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 2-4 tablespoons nut milk Directions Preheat oven broiler to high heat.   Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and carrot and cook until soft. Stir in the corn, lentils, vegetable stock, and tomato paste, Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until thickened.   Place the potatoes and cauliflower in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook until soft. Drain and add them back to the pot. ( read full post )

7 Tasty Soups That Warm Up Your Soul

On Sep 30, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
With the cool evening temperatures, there is no escaping the fact that winter is upon us. Yes, this means cold temperatures, snowy days and lots of layers. But it also means warm fires, cuddling up with your favorite blanket; movie days during a snowstorm, and let’s not forget hot, soul satisfying soups. I love to have batches of soup simmering on the stove, waiting to warm me up after shoveling the driveway or welcoming me home after a long day at work. I always prepare enough to freeze for those days when I don’t feel like cooking. I can just grab an individual serving from the freezer and heat it up – no fussing or stressing about what to make for dinner. Here are a few of my favorite soups to help you get through winter.  Coconut Lime Soup Sweet Potato Apple Soup Roasted Garlic Tomato Soup White Bean & Mushroom Soup Carrot Ginger Soup More Carrot Soup Recipes: Spiced Carrot ( read full post )

You Are What You Believe

On Sep 23, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Our limiting beliefs are truly our biggest obstacle to achieving anything that we desire, including getting healthy and losing weight. Tony Robbins says, “it’s not the events of our lives that shape us, but our beliefs as to what those events mean.” What we do is often driven by our beliefs. We get attached to the beliefs that we have of ourselves, whether it’s negative or positive. That is why it is so difficult to change the way we think about ourselves. We get very comfortable with those beliefs, and at times, the fear prevents us from doing the things that we want to do, or what we need to do. Our limiting beliefs and what we think of ourselves become our excuses to moving forward.   If you believe that you are not smart enough to do something, you won’t do it. If you believe you are not a capable of losing weight, you won’t do it. Maybe you ( read full post )

Health & Happiness Starts With Loving Yourself First

On Sep 23, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Last week, I talked about overcoming limiting beliefs. One of the ways to do that is to practice self-love. Loving myself was a major part of my healing journey, especially recovering from the limiting beliefs that I had developed during my childhood/teenage years when I struggled with an eating disorder. I truly believe that so much healing can be done when we love ourselves for who we are. My wish for you today is that you to do something really special for yourself. That you see the beauty that is already within you and to love the skin that you are in.   “Words of affirmations plant seeds of self-love in your subconscious mind.” Laurie-ann Sheldrick, The Contagiously Positive Girl    There are many ways to plant seeds of self-love into your subconscious mind and into your heart. Today, I’m going to share one of my methods with you. First, I want you to know that self-love is not selfish, ( read full post )

Wheat Swaps & Recipes For The Gluten Free Foodie

On Sep 16, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
If you have just been diagnosed with celiac, or have made the decision to go gluten free, you might be having a panic attack. Thinking, “how am I going to survive without my tasty wheat?!” If this is you, you are not alone. Another thing is that many who go gluten free because they think it is healthier, without knowing the healthy swaps, end up not reaching their health goals. Giving up wheat doesn’t automatically mean you are going to be healthy, especially when you are swapping it out for processed foods. To help you on your gluten free journey, here are some tips, swaps and recipes to help you get started.   The Pasta Swap Going gluten free doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy pasta anymore. If you are going to a restaurant, ask them if they have a gluten free pasta option. They often do, but they don’t list it on the menu. At home, all of your favorite sauces ( read full post )

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancakes

On Sep 16, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Makes approximately 8 small pancakes. Ingredients 4 eggs ½ cup unsweetened canned pumpkin 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice 1 teaspoon cinnamon ¼ teaspoon baking soda 2 tablespoons coconut oil (plus extra for frying) Directions In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla. Stir in the pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and baking soda into the wet ingredients. Melt the coconut oil and add it to the mixture. Stir together until thoroughly mixed into a batter.   Over medium-high heat, melt a tablespoon of coconut oil in a large skillet. Spoon the batter into the hot skillet to make pancakes to the size that you want. Flip when they start to get firm enough to flip with ease and cook them until they are cooked  through. If you are cooking them in batches, you will have to add more coconut oil as you go.   Serve with pure maple syrup, butter or sliced bananas.

Let Your Vision Pull You

On Sep 14, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Do you ever feel like your goals, desires and dreams are being blocked? It may feel as though someone is standing in front of you, not allowing you to pass. Sometimes our own thoughts can block what we want from coming to us, especially if the thought is surrounded by negativity such as; pushing, manipulating, controlling, I need to have it now or I will just give up mentality.   When I am feeling blocked, I ask myself how I’m in my own way and I allow things to start and end as they are suppose to. I don’t bully people into making it happen for me, I don’t try to control how I think it should be or look, I just let it be what it needs to be. Often, it is so much better than I could have ever envisioned.   “You may not always get what you want, but you will always get what you need.”   ( read full post )

For The Love of Tomatoes!

On Sep 09, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
With summer coming to an end and the tomato harvest about to be complete for another season, I decided to give you some inspiration on what to do with the last of your tomatoes.   Summer is my favorite season for so many reasons, but I especially love the fresh produce that I plant, grow and buy. Tomatoes are one of my favorites. Not only do they burst with flavor and can be used in so many recipes, they also come with lots of health benefits. Tomatoes red pigment contains lycopene, which acts as an antioxidant. This antioxidant helps neutralize cell-damaging toxins that can cause damage in your body. Research has shown that lycopene helps lower the risk of developing stomach, colon or rectal cancers, reduces the risk of heart disease and can prevents cataracts. Tomatoes are also very high in vitamin C, and have a healthy dose of vitamin A. Adding tomatoes to a variety of other healthy fruits ( read full post )

Vegetarian French Onion Soup

On Sep 02, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 You will love the smell that this dish creates. It fills up the home with such deliciousness. Using no sodium added organic vegetable broth makes this a healthier option than the traditional French Onion Soup. This soup is bursting with flavors and doesn’t need all the extra salt. I’ve added fresh thyme and sage to this recipe to replace the salt and give it my own unique flavor enhancer. Ingredients 4 large yellow onions, cut in half and thinly sliced 3 tablespoons coconut oil 4 cups no sodium added, or low-sodium organic vegetable broth ½ cup dry white wine 1 cup water 1 tablespoon freshly chopped sage (or 1 teaspoon dried) 2 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried) 2 bay leaves Sea salt and black pepper to taste 1 cup organic grated Swiss cheese 4 slices rye bread or crusty French bread Directions In a large soup pot, over medium-high heat, melt the coconut oil. Add ( read full post )

Dose of Positivity: Just For Today…

On Sep 01, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Don’t let what you want, get in the way of what you need.    Just for today, believe that you have everything that you need. Even if you don’t have everything you want. Just for today, trust that everything you desire is coming your way. It’s already on the truck, waiting to be delivered. Just for today, be grateful for all the blessings that you have in your life. Gratitude turns feelings of lack into feelings of abundance. Just for today, know that love is all you need. Giving love and receiving love give you equal joy. Just for today, be guided by your heart, not by your mind. Your heart is your compass and it will always lead you in the right direction. Just for today, trust that you have the power to make your dreams come true. It is already inside of you. Clear the blocks and your light will shine through. Just for today, don’t let what ( read full post )

Superheroes of the Plant Kingdom

On Aug 31, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
I love superfoods. They fight disease, they work hard to keep us healthy, boost our immunity and prevent us from many illnesses. Why would I avoid eating something that could give me an extra boost? I’m always loading up on foods that have the highest nutrient superpowers, and that includes kale & spinach. I try eating these amazing superhero foods as much as I can and incorporate them into my weekly meal planning. Here is why and how you can add them into your meal planning.   Kale Labeled as the new “beef” because of its protein and iron power, this low calorie, high fiber leafy green is rich in iron, (per calorie, even higher than beef.) It is filled with antioxidants, calcium, vitamins A, C and K. It helps lower cholesterol levels, fights against arthritis, helps maintain your metabolism, keeps your liver healthy, and is great for your skin and eyes.   Getting The Most Benefits You will experience ( read full post )

It Is Not Too Good To Be True, It Is Just True

On Aug 18, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
When good things happen to you, do you find yourself saying that it is too good to be true, always waiting for the other shoe to drop? Missing out on the moment because you don’t trust it to be real. This used to be me. When good things happened to me, I thought that it would be short lived, or something or someone would come around and take it away. Here is what I’ve learned and what I want to leave you with today. Take this into your heart and know that what I’m about to share is the real deal and comes straight from my heart to yours.   Stop believing that when good things happen to you, it is too good to be true. There is no shoe waiting to drop a bomb on your happiness. Good things, happy things, loving things, are true. Anything that fills your heart with joy and love is true and real. Anything ( read full post )

A Way To Connect To Your Heart

On Jul 29, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
  “Journal writing is a voyage to the interior.” Christina Baldwin   Journaling For me, there is nothing better than a new journal. Cracking it open for the first, a blank page to write my stories. The amazing feeling that I can start all over with new positive energy and dreams. I honestly can’t remember not having a journal. When I was a young girl, someone read my journal. GASP! I was devastated. It was as though they had read and learned all my secrets that were just meant for me. After that day, I continued to write, but it became filtered writing out of fear that someone would read it. It didn’t have the same feeling anymore. It wasn’t until my life coach training that I bought a new journal, along with a few of the women in my class. We talked about how we all filtered what we wrote out of fear that someone would read it. How ( read full post )

5 Italian Recipes Made Easy, Delicious & Healthy

On Jul 23, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Who doesn’t like a soulful Italian meal? You might love rolling spaghetti into the perfect bite, or biting into a tomato that bursts with juicy sweetness, and who can forget the garlic and olive oil. Here, in North America, we seem to think that cream sauce, battered fried meat, three cheese blends and processed noodles make an Italian meal. As tasty as all that sounds, it is extremely heavy and does not help us manage our waistline. Italian food can be delicious and healthy, which I learned first hand on what turned out to be a foodie’s dream vacation to Rome, Venice and Florence. Everything is fresh, with lots of flavorful tomato sauces, grilled meats, vegetables to die for, and homemade pasta. It is real made from Mother Earth that fills up your belly and of course your soul.   “A recipe has no soul. You as the cook has to bring soul to the recipe.” Thomas Keller   Here ( read full post )

Sautéed Spinach with Garlic

On Jul 23, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 Ingredients 2 pounds spinach, washed and stemmed 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 4 garlic cloves, chopped Directions Pre-heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with the oil. Add the garlic, stirring continuously for 1 minute. Add the spinach, in batches, turning it until it is wilted.

Garlic Green Beans

On Jul 23, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 Ingredients 1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed and trimmed 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 large clove of garlic, minced Directions Preheat a medium skillet over medium-high heat with the extra-virgin olive oil. Add the garlic and green beans and cook until the beans are slightly tender, but still a little crunchy.

Bloody Mary Poached Salmon

On Jul 23, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 Ingredients 4 salmon steaks 1 teaspoon Tabasco hot sauce 1 tablespoon lemon juice Dash or two of Worcestershire sauce 1 ounce vodka 1 cup tomato juice Pinch of celery salt Black pepper to taste Directions In a small bowl, add all the ingredients except for the salmon steaks. Mix well to combine.   Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sauce and bring to a boil.   Add salmon to skillet, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until salmon is cooked through.   Place salmon on plates and drizzle with remaining sauce.

Mexican Fiesta! 5 Healthy Mexican Recipes Exploding with Flavor

On Jul 18, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
This Italian girl loves Mexican food. The fresh flavors of cilantro, Pico di Gallo, salsa and guacamole. The spicy zing of hot sauces, enchilada sauce, Mexican spices, and Jalapeno’s. And let’s not forget the rice, sizzling vegetables, tortillas, wraps and refried beans. When I started my health journey, it was important for me to not only get healthy, but also continue to enjoy the foods that I had grown to love. I also wanted to make sure that my clients had good tasting food, so they would feel like changing their dietary habits was a lifestyle, not a diet and not restrictive. Mexican food was on that list, and unfortunately, a lot of the recipes are usually loaded with fatty cheeses, tons of sodium (usually twice as much as your daily-recommended allowance), artificial flavors and unhealthy fats. All this makes a delicious combo for the taste buds, but not so great for our hips and ass if we are trying ( read full post )

Eggs In Sweet Potato Nests

On Jul 17, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Makes 4   Ingredients 1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil, or extra-virgin oil 1 medium to large sweet potato 4 eggs 1 small red onion, roughly chopped   Directions Shred the sweet potato using a cheese grater. Or, to you can also cut the potato into quarters and shred it in a food processor. On medium-high heat, heat a 9-10-inch skillet with the oil.  Once the pan is hot, place the shredded sweet potato and onion into the pan. Stir frequently until tender and golden brown. This will take about 10 minutes. Evenly spread the sweet potato around the pan and create 4 small wells for the eggs.  Crack the eggs one at a time into each well.  Reduce heat to medium low, cover and let cook 5 minutes until the eggs are cooked to your liking. Use a spatula to portion it off into four servings and enjoy.

5 Tips For Staying Healthy & Energized At Work

On Jul 13, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
If you consistently feel like you could sleep at your desk, especially around 2:00 pm when so many of us have our midday crashes, this blog is for you. Before learning all I know now about healthy living, and following a healthy lifestyle, I could have slept at my desk every afternoon. If I’m being totally honest, I felt like this all day long, even if I got 8 hours of sleep. “If I just close my eyes for 5 minutes, I’ll feel better.” Everything is different today, because I pay attention to what my mind, body and soul needs and now, afternoons are my most productive time.   Listen, this is so important because you spend 8+ hours a day at work, so wouldn’t it be great if you could stay energized and happy throughout the entire day? If you are thinking that this impossible, it absolutely isn’t! You can eat yourself happy and there is so much you can do ( read full post )

Healthy Fats That Can Help You Lose Weight & Stay Healthy

On Jul 07, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
You can get rid of that fat-free cookbook collecting dust on the shelf. You are not going to find fat-free in any of my programs or blog recipes. This post comes straight from my Healthy Living Program. It is such an important part of your health that I’m sharing it with you today. Fats have been given such a bad rap, but healthy fats are essential to whole body health, so it’s about choosing the right fats, not eliminating them. You can fight body fat by eating the right healthy fats and eliminating or at the very least avoiding unhealthy fats. Doesn’t that sound great? Fighting fat with fat…awesome!   Why Fat Is Essential Good fats support the function of your cardiovascular, immune and nervous systems. Good fats also encourage proper absorption of certain nutrients and play a crucial role in repair and recovery, and helping reduce inflammation in your body. And, they help remove your body of cholesterol, therefore ( read full post )

Letting Go of Controlling The Uncontrollable

On Jul 03, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
One of the obstacles that prevent us from being happy is holding on to things that no longer serve us. Is there anything in your life that you need to let go of that is no longer serving you? Is there anything that is making you feel stuck and powerless? If yes, it might be time to let go.   Letting go can mean so many things to so many people. It can be letting go of:   Past pains caused by people we loved Control of doing things “My Way, or the highway” Things that no longer serve you People that no longer serve you Goals that no longer light up your soul Toxic thoughts that make you feel stuck Limiting beliefs that make you feel powerless Guilt Worry about things that you can’t control Material things that you no longer need     I remember the days when I tried to control everything. I tried controlling events happening ( read full post )

The Power of Trust

On Jun 16, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
We grow up hearing not to trust strangers, and not to trust anyone but our parents. My parents taught me not to trust strangers and they definitely gave me a compass to follow, but they were amazing at letting me make my own decisions and mistakes. I don’t recall them nagging me, or telling me, “it’s either my way, or the highway.” They would tell me the dangers, of course, but it always came in the form of communication, not yelling or forcing their own agenda. Because of this, I had the opportunity very early on to build my own trust muscles. I made a lot of mistakes along the way, and I’m sure I made my parents cringe and bite their tongue at some of the decisions I’ve made, but it taught me very valuable lessons. It taught me how to follow my own inner compass. It taught me how to get back up and try again. It taught ( read full post )

Eat Yourself Happy

On Jun 15, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Did you know that eating healthy, made from Mother Earth food, can actually put you in a better mood? Well, it is true!  When we understand that food is more than just for your body, but is also fuel for our brain and has amazing physiological benefits, we can eat our way towards a happier outlook.   Here are 3 ways you can start eating yourself Contagiously Positive:   1. Eat more fruits and vegetables. The antioxidants you get from fruits and vegetables helps reduce inflammation in the body, which has been linked to depression. Inflammation can also cause brain fog and fatigue. Start with one piece of fruit per day and work your way up from there. With vegetables, start by trying to add vegetables to every meal.   2. Include a daily dose of dark leafy greens to your daily meal plans. They have many mood enhancing abilities because they are full of antioxidants that not only give your body ( read full post )

Transforming Guilt

On Jun 12, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Positivity Barrier I was asked once if there was one emotion I would give up what would it be. That is so easy…GUILT. Guilt can be a major barrier in being positive and living a happy life. It can make you feel stuck because you become paralyzed by not doing/saying what you think you should be doing/saying. Sound familiar? It does to me because I’m a recovering guilt-a-holic.   Women & Guilt Women & guilt go together like peanut butter and jam, but without the good taste. There is no doubting this fact, women feel guilty. I know this because every woman I speak to suffers from some form of guilt. Guilt over working too much, working too little, what they say, what they don’t say, what they do, what they don’t do, not doing enough, doing too much, what they eat, what they don’t eat. The list goes on! I even felt guilty about writing this blog. What if ( read full post )

Breaking The Sugar Habit

On Jun 04, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Dear sugar, I think it is time for us to see other people. Let’s break up!   I’ve changed a few words to Dixie Chick’s, Earl Has To Die to inspire you. Sing it! “Sugar and me have been the best of friends, all through my entire life. Both members of the sugar club, both active in getting a sugar high. Nah, nah, nah, nah, sugar has to die.”   All Kidding Aside, Let’s Get Serious The biggest module for many of my clients taking the Healthy Living Program is getting control of their sugar habit that is controlling them. Currently, many of us are eating 34+ teaspoons of refined sugar every day. This isn’t your fault though because it is hiding out in so many of our foods.   Crackers Salad dressings Sauces Condiments Soups Granola bars Cereal Juices Bread The list goes on…   With thousands of packaged and processed food items available at our disposable, it is ( read full post )

Being Happy Is More Important Than Being Perfect

On Jun 03, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Being Contagiously Positive isn’t about being perfect, just the opposite actually. It’s about being happy without being perfect. In the words of Pharrell Williams, “Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth. Clap along if you know what happiness is to you.”     A Lesson On Being Happy, Rather Than Perfect Before I got married, I wanted to do something special for my husband, so my friend Melissa and I decided to take a pole dancing class. It would get us in shape and I would learn a sexy routine to surprise my new husband with. During the first class it became very obvious that I had no rhythm. I could have been embarrassed, frustrated and self-conscious, but I wasn’t. Why? Because it was hilarious! The laughter that came out of that class was worth any moves I could have learned. I’m uncoordinated and quirky, but I loved it anyway and so did my husband. He loved it because I ( read full post )

No More Boring Salads! Salads That Heal & Satisfy

On May 29, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
In my house, we don’t make boring salads. When I don’t want to make an entire meal, I make big bowl salads that are not only loaded with essential nutrients, but keep me full and prevent me from snacking later on in the evening. Here are 7 tips from my Healthy Living Program to help you make a salad that will not only be healthy, but will satisfy your cravings.   Load it Up!    In the salad photo above, I added a mix of roasted beets and sweet potatoes. Naturally sweet tasting vegetables like beets and sweet potato will help prevent sugar cravings. If you are always craving sugar, give yourself a healthy dose from naturally sweet tasting food and you will start to not crave refined sugar. This tip has helped many of my sugar addict clients. Beets and sweet potatoes are also an amazing source of healthy carbohydrates that provide fuel for your brain. Happy carbs! You need ( read full post )

Positive Money Mindset: How To Be Positive While Paying Bills

On May 28, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Mixing up the words from Salt-N-Pepa… Let’s talk about money, baby. Let’s talk about positivity. Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things money can bring. Let’s talk about money. Let’s talk about money! I’m about to write about the most taboo topic…MONEY. But first off, let’s come to an agreement that we are going to get really comfortable with being uncomfortable talking about money. “I do solemnly swear that I’m going to be open to talking about money.” In the book, The Smart Cookies, they say that most women probably have no problem telling their girlfriends about the great deal they got on clothes or shoes, but they never talk about personal finances. It’s not only okay to talk about money, but it is essential if you want to become financially abundant. Starting today, I will be writing a series of blogs on this topic to help you release limiting money beliefs, get to know your numbers, and reduce ( read full post )

Eating Yourself Contagiously Positive: You Are What You Eat

On May 26, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
What I Learned On My Journey to Becoming Healthy and Becoming A Health Coach When I first started my own health journey, I was so confused about health, nutrition and what my body needed not just to survive, but thrive. After getting very poor advice from my doctor, I decided to become my own teacher. I read every book I could get my hands on, but every new book I opened, contradicted the previous book I read. It was so frustrating! I was getting information overload on all the new fads diets and “miracle cures” but nothing taught me about nutrition or my body. What does my body need to be healthy? I didn’t want to count points, or calories, I didn’t want to give up carbohydrates, or only eat raw food, and I also didn’t want to feel like I was living in lack, starving for good tasting food. All I wanted was to feel healthy. Amazing things started ( read full post )

Homemade Salsa

On May 20, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Makes 3 liters (You will need three sterilized 1-liter jars) This fresh salsa is perfect for your next party, house warming gift or even just something to bring along to a cocktail party. You can also try it with our Baked Salmon Salsa. Ingredients 6 extra large tomatoes, chopped 1 large red onion, chopped 4 cloves of garlic, minced 1 large jalapeno pepper, minced Juice from 2 fresh lemons 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped (about 2 cups) 2 tablespoons smoked paprika 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon sea salt 2 tablespoons ground coriander 2 tablespoons onion powder Directions Place all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and toss together. Add more seasoning to taste. Spoon salsa into 1-liter jars and store in refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks.  

Lessons In Love

On May 16, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
  Love is precious. Love is priceless. Love fills up your heart. Love fills up your soul. It needs to be cherished, supported, cared for, respected and appreciated for all it can bring into your life.   For those of you who know me, you know how much I love everything about love. I believe that love conquers all. I discovered this belief when I married my amazing husband. Together for 13+ years and blissfully married (twice) for almost 8, I’ve learned a lot of lessons about love. And what do I do with my lessons learned? I share them. You may not agree with everything that you read here and that is okay. These are some of the lessons that have made my relationship with my husband thrive and connect us in a way I never imagined possible. My wish for you is that you find another soul that you can connect to in the same way. If anything ( read full post )

Dinner Table Positivity

On May 12, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
It is so tempting to get home and eat dinner in the front of the television. There are times where this is more than okay, but it is so important for yourself, your relationship with your spouse, and your children to sit together at the dinner table and talk. I’ve seen people sit in silence, play on their phones, or just spend the time complaining about their day. This leaves everyone feeling drained and unconnected. I have a better idea. How about making dinner time a positive experience? Something you all look forward to and something that will not only bring you closer, but will fill your home with positivity.   Here Is Your Challenge  Sitting at the dinner table, you each have talk about three good things that happened that day. It can be as small as, I didn’t get yelled at by my boss or as big as I closed a major sale. For the kids, have them ( read full post )

Lemon Ginger Halibut

On May 11, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Today’s recipe is so full of flavour that you won’t be able to resist having seconds, so make a double portion for later. It is quick to make, so it is a perfect mid-week meal when you are short on time. Serve it with brown rice and your favourite steamed vegetables and you have a healthy, quick, and delicious meal.   Good health starts in the kitchen. From my kitchen to yours, Bon Appétit!   Serves 2   Ingredients 2 halibut steaks Juice from 2 lemons 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced, or grated with zester 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil   Directions Heat a large deep frying pan, over medium heat, and add olive oil. Add the ginger and lemon juice, and stir. Place the halibut steaks in the pan, cover and let simmer on medium to low heat until fish is cooked. Fish cooks really quickly, so this should only take about 5 minutes.   Place fish on serving plate and ( read full post )

Creating A Fulfilling Career

On Apr 29, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
  The Story We Tell  You wake up every morning, you go to work, you pray for the end of the day, you yearn for the end of the week. You don’t like the work you do, you feel unchallenged, you feel unwanted, you hate your boss; you sit around with your coworkers and complain about everything wrong with the company, thinking this can’t be all there is. You daydream about what you really want to be doing. You have so many ideas, desires, aspirations, and goals, but you put them aside for another day. You do this day in and day out, feeling unfulfilled, and stuck. Does this sound like you? My dear, you are not alone. Many of us live in this repetition, going around in circles, feeling like we are living in our own personal Groundhog Day. I was just like this before I decided that I wanted a career that made me feel fulfilled.   Why ( read full post )

Mexican Chimichangas with Homemade Sauce & Mexican Rice

On Apr 24, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
This is a much healthier version than what you would get in a restaurant. Also, the homemade sauces, seasoning & filling means you won’t be consuming high amounts of sodium, sugar or harmful ingredients. Everything is natural and right from Mother Earth – as it is meant to be. Cooking Tips Before Beginning: 1. Cook the Mexican Rice while you make the filling for the chimichangas. Recipe is below. 2. Prepare the Pickled Red Onions before anything else. They should sit for at least an hour. Recipe is below.   Chimichangas Recipe Serves 4   Ingredients 4 large brown rice tortillas 4 green onions chopped. These are optional. I used them for a garnish when serving the dish. It added a nice flavour.   Sauce Ingredients 3 large tomatoes, quartered 1 cup water 2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste 1 teaspoon each ground cumin, chili spice, dried oregano, smoked paprika, ground coriander, onion powder, and garlic powder 1 clove of garlic, ( read full post )

Natural Allergy Relief Straight From Your Kitchen

On Apr 16, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
It’s that time of year again – stuffy nose, itchy and swollen eyes, sneezing and coughing. ALLERGY SEASON   The usual treatment is to take some antihistamines, or shut your windows and doors and stay inside. What if I told you that there was a solution right in your kitchen? Well, there is. The most important thing you want to do is build up resistance. A balanced diet will help you do this naturally, and will relieve those annoying symptoms.   Straight From The Kitchen Tips Eating a diet high in vitamin A and C can be the answer to your prayers. Vitamin A increases immune resistance. When the offending allergens strike, your symptoms will flare up if your immune resistance is low. It only makes sense that if we build up these resistors, we will have fewer to no symptoms.  Vitamin C has antihistamine properties that will help inflammation. Inflammation of the eyes, nose and even throat can make for a very ( read full post )

Enhance Your Positivity With Gratitude

On Apr 15, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Starting and ending the day with gratitude is my #1 tool for enhancing positivity and happiness in my life. I was discussing this with a client and she asked, “what if I have nothing to be grateful for today?” In the years that I’ve been writing in my gratitude journal, and making mental gratitude lists before I go to sleep, I’ve come to realize that there is always something – even in the days that I felt were the worst. You just have to look for it – with your heart, not with your eyes. Gratitude comes in many forms. It can be big things like a promotion at work, the purchase of a new home, marrying the man (or woman) of your dreams, your children, family, and your friends.  It can also be something as simple as hearing your favourite song on the radio, someone smiling at you, or having time to go to the gym today because you ( read full post )

Bust Through The Negativity

On Apr 14, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
  There is so much negativity around us. Throughout the day it is thrown at us in all directions. Through the television, newspaper, internet, radio, and that’s just the social media! Now factor in all the people around us who are radiating with the negativity that they have absorbed throughout the day, or all the errands we have to do, and all of our daily responsibilities that stress us out to the max. By the time we get home we are emotionally drained.   We can’t change negative people and circumstances that happen throughout the day, but we can control our own feelings and not let them take control over our lives and emotional well-being. Here are a few ways that help me keep my sanity and bust through the negativity.   Gratitude. Remind yourself of all the things you have to be grateful for. Close your eyes and think about all the wonderful people in your life. Go through the list ( read full post )

The Choice Is Yours

On Apr 10, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
In the year 2000 I was faced with two hard, but necessary lessons. The realization that I had in that moment is what started my journey to becoming happy & healthy. It began with two important lessons. Lesson #1: I was unhappy and unhealthy because of the lifestyle choices I was making. Lesson #2: I could become happy and healthy by changing my lifestyle choices, changing my attitude, and choosing to be happy and healthy. Taking the “wrong” path often leads to the right path, as long as you look for and can see the lessons. We all make what we think are bad choices, but the great thing about life is that we get lots of do-overs to make other choices. Some will be bad and some will be good. Your choices will be what brings you down the path of happiness or brings you down the path of unhappiness. Your choices will be what makes you feel healthy or ( read full post )

8 Ways To Boost Your Energy

On Apr 07, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
  Do you need an energy boost? Do you feel like you are running on little to no energy? Do you crash at 2:00 pm, feeling like you could take an 8-hour nap?   If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need energy boosters. I have just the solution for you. Just like you, I used to feel like morning came too soon and bedtime came too late. When I changed my lifestyle and started practicing daily healthy habits, everything changed. I’m not saying I never get tired, but I don’t get tired for no reason. Meaning, fatigued caused by what I ate, and how I moved, or rather how I didn’t move. There is usually an explanation for your fatigue and it isn’t always caused by lack of sleep.   Here are 8 small changes you can add to your day. Choose them all, or choose one at a time. Every small change can make a ( read full post )

Halibut with an Olive Tomato Sauce

On Apr 03, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
This Italian dish is so delicious. You can replace the fish with salmon, tuna, or even chicken if you are not a fish lover.   Good health starts in the kitchen. From my kitchen to yours, bon appetit!   Serves 4   Ingredients 4 halibut steaks 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil ½ cup pitted green olives, chopped 1 large lemon 1 medium tomatoes, chopped 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper   Directions Season both sides of fish with juice from half of the lemon, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.   In a medium sized mixing bowl, add tomatoes, olives, and juice from other half of the lemon. Stir together and set aside.   Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat with the extra-virgin olive oil. Add the fish and cook for approximately 3 minutes on each side.   Top fish with tomato and olives mixture, reduce heat to low and ( read full post )

Give Yourself A Happy Boost!

On Apr 02, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Do you look to other people to make you happy? Do you forget the things that make you happy in difficult times? Do you start your day off happy, but can’t seem to stay that way throughout the day? If you answered yes to any of these questions, what you need is a Happy Boost List.   A Happy Boost List goes like this: What is happening in your life when things are really working? Think about a day when you were really happy. What was happening that made it so great? Those are the things that will make it on your list. This list is what you will turn to when you need to give yourself a happy boost. So often, we look to others to make us happy, but it actually starts with us. There are things that we can do, without relying on others, to get back to feeling more centered and happy. It can be the ( read full post )

Egg Muffins

On Mar 20, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Makes 12 Make a whole week’s worth on Sunday night, then refrigerate them and reheat them every morning. If you don’t want to make 12, just cut down the recipe. Below is what I added, but you can add any filling you want. Ingredients 12 eggs 1 small zucchini, diced 1/2 cup diced mushrooms 1/2 cup diced onion 1 cup diced spinach Directions Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.   Whisk the eggs in a bowl.   Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper muffin cups. Fill each cup with the vegetable mixture, then pour the whisked eggs into each cup.   Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until you can poke the centers with a knife and it comes out clean. Let cool before storing them in the refrigerator.    

Caesar Salad Dressing

On Mar 15, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Makes one large salad for 4 Bottled dressings are often full of sugar, preservatives and sodium. This is my favourite caesar salad dressing. I never feel guilty after eating this. Warning: Garlic Alert! Garlic is so incredibly good for you. It is natures natural antibiotic, so don’t worry about the breathe. It will pass Ingredients ½ cup extra virgin olive oil Juice from 1 lemon 1 to 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce (optional) 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 heaping tablespoon natural plain yogurt 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese 2 large cloves of garlic Black pepper, to taste   Directions Place all ingredients into blender or food processor and blend until creamy.  

Are You Ready To Choose Happiness

On Mar 11, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
This might shock you, but I did not come out of the box Contagiously Positive. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Negativity and unhappiness was like a drug to me. I loved being around negative people because it made me feel better. Misery loves company. I remember feeling like the happier other people were, the more depressed I became.   One day I made a decision. I was going to become the happiest person I know. That was a big goal for the unhappy young woman that I was. It has been about fifteen years since I made that decision and I never looked back. It didn’t happen over night and it took a lot of work. It takes work to have the life that you want.   The first step to becoming happy, a.k.a. Contagiously Positive, is to make the decision to change.   I choose happiness I choose to be happy I choose to feel happy   ( read full post )

Keeping Your Sanity At The Airport

On Mar 07, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
I have to travel a lot and have picked up a few tricks for keeping myself sane and relaxed while at the airport and on the plane. If you get stressed even thinking about air travel, here are some of the things that I do to stay Contagiously Positive while travelling. These little changes have helped me relax and enjoy the flight.   1. Wear comfortable clothes. Make sure you won’t be too warm or too cold. Layers are perfect combinations.  That massive snow parka is not going to be comfortable on the plane. Not only will you be too hot, but also where will you store it? Space is very limited on a plane. Place it in your suitcase before you check your bag, or bring a lighter coat. On the other side of that, wearing shorts and a t-shirt won’t keep you warm. Wear light comfortable pants; bring a sweater, a wrap and even socks. It gets cold up ( read full post )

Coconut Lime Soup

On Mar 05, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 Fresh, delicious and the perfect winter warm up. This soup is even better the next day, so make a double batch and take it for lunch the next day.  Ingredients 1 400 ml can coconut milk 1½ cups water (just fill can of coconut milk) 1 tablespoon coconut oil 3 celery stalks, chopped 2 medium carrots, chopped 3 green onions, thinly sliced 1 large clove of garlic, minced Juice of 1 large lime Zest of 1 lime 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 cup cooked quinoa 1 tablespoon each: turmeric, curry powder, ground ginger, and ground coriander ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper Pinch of sea salt Black pepper, to taste Handful fresh cilantro, chopped Directions In a large soup pot, melt the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, and celery. Cook for 2-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender.   Add all of the dried spices and garlic. Stir well and cook for another 2 minutes to release the ( read full post )

What To Do When Life Happens

On Mar 04, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
We are constantly striving and reaching for a feeling of balance in our lives.   Work-life balance Balance between all the children Balance between friends and family Balance within ourselves, searching to find more personal time   Here is what I’ve learned about balance. It isn’t actually about balance at all. It is about striving to get it all done. Listen, you will absolutely never get everything done. Why? Because we set these ridiculous expectations on ourselves and we think we have superhuman powers. Life is going to happen. So, the question shouldn’t be, how can I find more balance. The question should be, how will I deal with life, when life happens?   Unplanned Life Happenings   A new deadline at work will be dropped on your desk. One of your kids will get sick, forcing you to take the day off work. Your calendar is full, causing you to think, “how will I get this all done?” You ( read full post )

Say YES! to Life

On Feb 25, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
  The status quo will get you nowhere. Don’t be afraid to do things differently than everybody else. Tina O’Connor, Author of Be That Girl   I have definitely been making my own footprints in the sand. Following others was what I did in primary school, high school, and even college, but along the way, I realized that travelling their roads was making me feel spiritually and physically depleted. One day I woke up and decided that I was going to make my own road and say YES! to life. The road along the way has sometimes been unpaved and bumpy, but it is all MINE.   It was scary and I didn’t know where to begin, but I didn’t let the fear old me back. It has been challenging, exciting, exhausting, exhilarating, bumpy, fulfilling and I’ve made lots of mistakes, but I love every single part of it. It has brought me to this exact moment where my heart ( read full post )

6 Things To Stop Doing To Reach Your Health Goals

On Feb 18, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
There are bad habits and there are good habits. I don’t like to focus only on the bad habits because I don’t believe that is productive. Whatever we focus on, positive or negative, the more of that we attract. Me being who I am, I’ve taken 6 bad habits and created solutions on what you can do to shift them into something more positive – positive healthy habits. When we are trying to get healthy, whether it is losing weight or just wanting to eat healthier for our overall health, there are blocks that can get in our way from achieving our goals. Those are usually habits or thought processes that we have created or that we continuously tell ourselves.   The Blocks  1.Guilt 2. Quick-Fix Mentality 3. All-or-Nothing Mentality 4. Calorie Counting 5. Judging Success By The Numbers On The Scale 6. Limiting Beliefs   In today’s video, I’m going to teach you why these 6 things may be ( read full post )

Food Combining – Follow Your Gut

On Feb 11, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
If you have sensitivities to certain foods, it could be caused by food combining. Here’s why. Certain foods have different digestion times, which means the time it takes to exit the body, and some don’t mix well together, especially for those people with sensitivities. Both causing painful stomach upsets. If after you eat, you suffer from bloating, constipation, gas, or diarrhea, food combining may be just the remedy you need.   Taken right from Healthy Living, the following tips will help you start your own discovery. To understand your body and how it works, you have to become an inner body detective. It takes a bit of time, practice and patience, but once you get it right, you can kiss those digestion upsets goodbye!   Benefits of Food Combining:   Decrease in bloating, gas and stomach upsets. Weight loss and weight management. Increased in energy.   Food Combining Tips   Tip #1: Eat fruit alone and on an empty stomach. ( read full post )

10 Tips For Productive Stress-Free Days

On Feb 09, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
If you are like me, your days are busy and you find yourself asking, “how can I get everything done today? There isn’t enough time.” Over the years I’ve learned how to find the balance between work and life. Here are the daily balance practices that have helped me the most.   Make a Daily Routine List That way if something should come up you can add it to your list or just move whatever is less important to later. Prioritize the list. The things that must get done TODAY should be done first. That way you are not stressing out at the end of the day. It will be easier to stay on task when a distraction occurs.   Run Errands at Lunch  Pay bills, pick up daily essentials, make doctors appointment, dentist appointment, respond to emails, or return phone calls.   Be Happy Without Being Perfect A book recommendation (which I read before writing this blog) – Be ( read full post )

Roasted Beets with Creamy Tahini Lime Dip

On Feb 06, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 What a healthy snack for yourself or to serve to your guests. The dip is creamy and tangy and when roasted, the beets taste like little pieces of candy. Beets are not only delicious, but they are also really good for you. They provide a good source of vitamin C, iron & magnesium, fiber and potassium. They also provide a good source of antioxidants. The dip can also be served as a salad dressing. We served it with a roasted vegetable salad and it was so amazing. Ingredients 3 large beets, thinly sliced ¼ sesame tahini Juice of 1 lime Zest of 1 lime ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil + extra for roasting beets ½ cup apple cider vinegar 1” piece of fresh ginger, skin removed 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 clove of garlic,   Directions Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Start with roasting the beets. Place sliced beets into a large mixing bowl and toss with a couple tablespoons of ( read full post )

Eat, Move, Think Your Way To Whole-Body Health

On Feb 01, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Eating healthy and exercising is more than just losing weight. Having a positive mind is more than just being happy. It’s also about preventing what I believe, and have learned from years of research are preventable diseases and illnesses.   Consider This:   1 out of 4 people you know will get cancer. 2 out of 3 people you know will get heart disease. Over 3 million Canadians suffer from some form of lung disease. In 2012, 6.5% (1.9 million) of Canadians aged 12 or older reported that they had diabetes.   If you combine those 4 diseases above, 9 out of 10 people will die from what could be preventable diseases every year.   Now Consider This:   To date, 3589 hospitalizations have been reported in Canada for 2014/2015 for the flu (influenza). 59% of adult Canadians are either overweight or obese. 31% of young Canadians (17 and under) are either overweight or obese.   Hundreds of years ago ( read full post )

Sweet Potato & Apple Soup

On Jan 30, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 2 Meal Size and 4 Starters Full of flavour and oh so delicious and healthy! Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring and tasteless, but don’t take my word for it, make it and taste it for yourself. Ingredients 1 large carrot, roughly chopped 1 large sweet potatoes, cubed 2 large red, cored, peeled and chopped 1 small onions, chopped 1 cup white cooking wine 3 cups water 1 teaspoon each of ground ginger, curry powder, garlic powder, and cinnamon Pinch of nutmeg (or to taste) ½ teaspoon celery salt Black pepper, to taste   Directions In a large soup pot, bring the wine to a boil. Add the sweet potato, carrots, onion, red apple, and all of the spices. Stir well to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes to release the flavors of the spices and soften the vegetables, stirring frequently. Add the water and bring to a boil. Gently simmer until all of the vegetables have softened. With ( read full post )

I Have Suffered Too – A Dose of Vulnerability

On Jan 26, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Talking about my personal struggles has never been easy. I had a lightbulb moment the other day that if I want to be of service to others…and I mean true, passionate, honest, authentic service, I need to be more vulnerable and share my personal stories.    I haven’t always been healthy, mind or body. In fact, suffering from an eating disorder from grade 7 to grade 11 was one of the biggest struggles that I overcame. I’m very proud of what I overcame in those years, but I didn’t do it alone. I had amazing support and love from my family, friends and counsellor. Now that I’m 36 years young, I can look back on those times as lessons learned. If I hadn’t gone through those struggles, I would never have become a Life Coach and I definitely wouldn’t have went back to school a couple years ago to become Health Coach. It is our struggles, our accomplishments, our lessons ( read full post )

Roasted Garlic Tomato Soup

On Jan 23, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 Starters or 2 Meals This soup is so delicious. If you are a vegan, omit the Parmesan cheese. Garlic is natures antibiotic and a great cold/flu buster. With 2 heads of garlic, you may never be sick again after eating this soup. Ingredients Dose of positivity 2 heads of garlic ½ cup vegetable stock ½ cup red wine 1 398ml can whole plum tomatoes (use a good quality Italian tomato, makes a huge difference) 1½ cups sun dried tomatoes, thinly sliced 1 small red onion, chopped Pinch of cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 teaspoon onion powder 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (omit for vegan version) Handful of fresh basil, chopped Extra-virgin olive oil, for roasting garlic Sea salt and pepper to taste Directions Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.   Start by roasting the garlic. This is really easy. Cut off the top of each head and drizzle with olive oil. Coat well, so it doesn’t burn in ( read full post )

Enhance Your Positivity & Reduce Stress With Yoga

On Jan 19, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
I’m so excited about today’s post! A few months ago, I had the privilege of speaking to today’s guest blogger and was beyond inspired and impressed. Devon Blackburn is the founder of Divine Divas & Dudes. Her mission, passion and life purpose is to help men and women build the physical, mental and emotional strength they need for long-term health and happiness. Devon uses her education, skills, and passion as a registered kinesiologist, personal trainer and yoga instructor, to help clients experience transformational health & wellness.        When I spoke to her about doing this post and being a part of the stress management feature, I didn’t want our conversation to end. Just listening to her speak put my entire mind and body and ease, so just imagine working with her.    In today’s post, Devon is going to speak to us about yoga and how it can help you manage stress and help you tune in to your body, ( read full post )

Sweet Potato Stuffed Peppers

On Jan 14, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 This dish was incredibly easy to make and according to my husband, “best stuffed peppers I’ve ever made.” It can easily be made into a vegan meal by omitting the goat cheese. The meal was also inexpensive to make for a family a four. It cost approximately $15, including salad greens. This does not include the oil and pumpkin spice, which I already had on hand.   I never see sweet potatoes on superfood lists, but they truly are a super food. They are package with antioxidants, beta-carotene, vitamins C and E. These nutrients combined give sweet potatoes healing power. They can help with memory, maintaining a healthy heart, and studies have proven that they have cancer-fighting properties as well.   Sweet potatoes are high in complex carbohydrates, the good carbs, which will help with controlling your weight by controlling your blood sugar levels. They are also high in fiber, which is great for overall health, but definitely for controlling ( read full post )

How Do You Want To Feel?

On Jan 13, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Core Desired Feelings Have you ever been asked how you want to feel? Today, that is my question to you. How do you want to feel, every day, all day? I came across this question in Danielle Laporte’s book The Firestarter Sessions and then again when I was going through my Life Coach Training.  I thought, this is brilliant! That is the most important we should know about ourselves, and we never get asked it, or ask ourselves. I got out my journal and asked myself, how do I want to feel? Two core desired feelings kept coming up. For me, I want to feel healthy and happy. Those are my two core desired feelings that I’m always working towards.   My husband asked me, “isn’t it difficult to make healthy food choices all the time?” The answer is no. Why? Because I know how I want to feel. When I made the choice to take care of my health ( read full post )

To Enhance Yourself, You Must Unleash Your Inner Awesome

On Jan 12, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Unleash Your Inner Awesome! That is the first message that you see when you visit the Infinite Zenergy Holistic Health website. You also see the beautiful face of the owner of Infinite Zenergy, Shannon Richards. I interviewed Shannon to get her take on how learning about nutrition can help people enhance their life, not just physically, but mentally. As you will see, Shannon is passionate about health, life, having fun, helping other people, and raising two healthy boys. She isn’t just any ordinary health coach. Shannon is a warrior of motivation. Her energy and beautiful spirit light up every room she walks into and can make anyone laugh in minutes. Shannon is also the author of two cookbooks that she created with her two boys called Monkey’s In The Kitchen. There is nothing this women can’t do.   In her words, are you ready to unleash your inner awesome? Sit down, relax and let Shannon inspire you to unleash your inner ( read full post )

I’m Sorry For What I Said When I Was Angry

On Jan 09, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
As I was writing this post, I was at yet another airport trying to make my home, so I was practicing what I preach in the moment.   On my way home from my recent trip to Mexico, a storm in Ontario caused our flight to get cancelled. We waited 24 hours for our next flight to take off only to find out that our connecting flight would be missed and we wouldn’t get out of Ontario for three days after we returned from Mexico. During it all, my husband and I continued to work on staying patient, finding humour and remaining calm. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, it wasn’t only happening to me, and I refused to get angry with the airport staff and take it out on them. They didn’t want any of that to happen any more than we did.   I decided to be pleasant, patient, and try to make it more enjoyable for all of those ( read full post )

To Enhance Yourself, You Must Sleep

On Dec 22, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Over 30% of Canadians are sleep deprived and it has also been said that 60% of people feel tired all the time.   I don’t know about you, but there are times when I just can’t sleep, especially when I am stressed. It is a double edge sword because stress causes us not to sleep and not sleeping causes us stress.   According to a study from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, a lack of sleep significantly reduces our emotional states and even the quality of our relationships and positive thinking. Think about it, how positive are you when you are sleep deprived? And, what about the dietary choices you make? Are they better or worse when you are sleep deprived? For most people, they are worse.   A lack of proper sleep can have a massive affect on your mind and body. Regular disruption of sleep can affect the way you eat, the way you think and ( read full post )

Hungry Girl Health Bowl with BBQ Cauliflower & Sesame, Hemp Seed Dressing

On Dec 19, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 2 Meal Sized or 4 Sides This is one of my favourite recipes from my Healthy Living Program. I love all the flavours, especially the BBQ cauliflower. Who says salad has to be boring? Not this girl! Salad Ingredients  2 green onions, thinly sliced 1 cup cooked long-grain brown rice ½ red bell pepper, thinly sliced 2 cups arugula or salad greens 1 cup low sodium canned black beans, drained and rinsed ½ cucumber, thinly sliced 10 cherry tomatoes, halved   Cauliflower & BBQ Sauce Ingredients  1/3 cup apple cider vinegar 1 tablespoon onion powder 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon lemon juice Cayenne pepper, to taste (I use about ¼ teaspoon) 2 tablespoons tomato paste 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (if you are concerned about this not being vegetarian, there are vegan options available) Black pepper, to taste 2 cups cauliflower florets (small bite sized pieces)   Hemp & Sesame Seed Dressing Ingredients  2 tablespoons hemp seeds 2 tablespoons sesame seeds ( read full post )

To Enhance Yourself, Become A Conduit For Positive Energy

On Dec 15, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
This weeks interview with Ellen Forsythe, owner of Ellen’s Whole Body Health, was so inspiring. I had my first experience with energy work when I went in to see Ellen for health related issues. It helped clear away all the blocks, which was needed to  help guide me to what I needed to do to heal my body. Reiki treatment, along with all of the alternative health guidance I received from her and Linda completely transformed my health.   “Every answer you ever need lies within your own silence.”  Ian Tucker, Your Simple Path – Find Happiness In Every Step   Every time I walk into the store, I am immediately filled with positive energy. I know that if I have questions, they will have the answers, or at least be able to guide me in the right direction. They truly care about you and take the time to help. That alone just melts the stress away.   In this ( read full post )

Enchilada Sauce

On Dec 12, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Making your own sauces is a great way to manage your sodium intake and will help you avoid processed foods that can be affecting your health. This homemade sauce is so delicious and will decrease your sodium intake by 1000 mg, by not buying the package sauces. Ingredients 2 medium tomatoes 1 tablespoon tomato paste Juice of 1 lime Lime zest of 1 lime 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon chili chipotle powder 1 teaspoon smoked paprika ¼ apple cider vinegar   Directions Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Add to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the sauce has thickened. Double the recipe ingredients for larger portions. Sauce will keep in the refrigerator for three days and up to three months in the freezer.

How I Ask The Universe For Guidance (with bonus audio)

On Dec 09, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Whenever I feel stuck, I immediately reach for my journal. I’m a big believer that if you ask for clarity on something, the universe will provide you with the answer you are searching for. The trick is to listen and be open to the answers. Don’t look for the answers that you think you want, be open to seeing the answers that you need. So often we ignore what is right in front of us because it doesn’t look anything like what we planned, expected, or wanted. There is a saying, “when we plan, God laughs.” When we are trying to force something, we are actually creating a block, which makes us feel stuck, because we are not allowing it to flow naturally and with ease.   If you want to practice a new tool, and whenever you need clarity on something, you can try my own personal tool.   Find a quiet space and get a pen and notebook. It ( read full post )

To Enhance Yourself, You Must Take Care Of Yourself

On Dec 08, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
The interview that I’m sharing with you today is a hot topic. Self-care is one of the #1 things that my clients cringe at when I ask the question, “What do you do, just for you?” The answer usually goes something like this…   I don’t have time. It is selfish to think about myself. I don’t like the way I look, so why bother. I am too tired. I am too busy. I am too stressed out. I don’t remember the last time I did anything just for me.   The reasons flow freely and the stress continues to build up because they give away more than they get – more of their time and more of themselves, physically and emotionally.   Here is what I know. Self-care is essential to managing stress. When you take a few minutes, just for yourself, you can manage a stressful situation with more ease. Clients have come to me and said that ( read full post )

To Enhance Yourself, You Must Know Yourself

On Dec 01, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Discover Your Perfect Self Through the Secrets of Knowing Your Personality Type Knowing yourself is such an amazing tool to enhancing your positivity. What are you naturally drawn to? Whether it is your career, your communication style, your fitness style, or even the way you manage stress, we all have different personality styles. There is a reason for this. In the words of Lady Gaga, “you can’t help it, you were born that way.”   We all have the same burning questions:   What do I want? Who am I?   I had these questions answered when I went through the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI ®). Just having the clarity of knowing what I was naturally being drawn to helped pave the path I am on today. It has helped me find a career I could love, understand who I am, know what I truly value and love in life, and even communicate better by understanding not only my unique personality style, ( read full post )

Spaghetti Squash Latke & Carrot Spaghetti with Creamy Ginger Tahini Sauce

On Nov 23, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Makes 8 Patties, Serve 4 Ingredients 1 egg, whisked 2 large carrots, shredded 1 spaghetti squash ¼ cup coconut flour 1 small onion, shredded Pinch of nutmeg (or to taste) Sea salt & pepper, to taste Coconut oil, for frying (approximately 2 tablespoons) Directions Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.   Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Lightly oil the inner flesh and place flesh part down on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes, or until you can easily remove the squash with a fork.   In a large bowl, flake out the flesh of the squash with a fork. It will look stringy, like spaghetti. Hold the squash with a cloth if it is too hot. You don’t have to wait for it to cool. Mix together all the remaining ingredients, except for the coconut oil, and mix until thoroughly combined.   Using your hands, make 8 round balls with the mixture and ( read full post )

Tomato Pasta Sauce

On Nov 14, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 6-8 This sauce is so delicious! I served it on top of spiraled zucchini noodles, but it can go with any noodle of your choice. It can also be used for lasagna or a pasta casserole – very versatile. Ingredients 1 litre jar of preserved tomatoes or 2 28-oz cans whole tomatoes (no-sodium added) 2 cans tomato paste 1 large onion, chopped 1 11-oz package white button mushrooms, halved 3 large carrots, chopped 3 large celery stalks, chopped 1½ cups dry red wine Juice of 1 lemon (this cuts the acidity from the tomatoes) 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning (or to taste) 1 tablespoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon red chili flakes (or to taste) Black pepper, to taste   Directions In a large pot, over medium-high heat, add the carrots, celery, onion, and red wine. Bring to a boil and cook for approximately 5 minutes to reduce the wine. Stir in the spices and mushrooms, and continue to cook for ( read full post )

Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life

On Nov 08, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
How can you lose weight if you don’t believe you can lose weight? How can you have the relationships you want if you don’t believe you deserve them, or don’t think you are good enough? How can you achieve your goals, in any area of your life, if you don’t think you are capable?   We have 60,000 thoughts a day. I didn’t just make that up, it is a true fact. Most of those 60,000 thoughts are repeated and a lot of times the ones most repeated are negative.  Before I became Contagiously Positive, the one thought that I was repeating over and over again was, “I am not good enough.” I wasn’t good enough to be healthy. I wasn’t good enough to get the career I wanted? I wasn’t good enough to have the relationships I wanted. That thought consumed me. Without a doubt, changing that thought has changed my life.   I needed to release my limiting ( read full post )

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

On Nov 07, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 2 This pesto can be served with zucchini pasta (which is what I did), regular pasta, or as an appetizer with crackers or crusty bread. It is incredibly versatile. I cut out the parmesan cheese and added cashews to reduce the fat, sodium and make it vegan friendly. It was just as delicious as the standard pesto. Ingredients Large handful of fresh basil 1 cup sundried tomatoes 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil ½ cup unsalted cashews Juice of 1 lemon Sea salt and black pepper to taste Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)   Directions Place all ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth.

How I Believe I Cured My Cold

On Nov 03, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
I woke up with terrible symptoms:   Achy Sore Throat Tired Runny Nose   I knew what that meant, I was getting sick. I thought, I don’t have time to be sick! So, I made the choice right there that I wasn’t going to let it take over me and I was going to fight back. So, that’s how I woke up, those terrible symptoms above, but by the next morning I was feeling 90% better. It took a couple days to feel 100%, but it was so much better than what it could have turned out to be.   Here is what I did for 48 hours to fight back against the nasty bug.   I Took This:   Vitamin C (which I will continue to take for 1 week) 2 B12 (1 on day 1 and 1 on day 2) Vitamin D (which I will continue to take every day now that winter is upon us)   I ( read full post )

You Are As Unique As A Snowflake

On Nov 01, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
I hear so many of my clients say that they hate looking at themselves in the mirror. This statement always tugs at my heart. I wish they could the beauty that I see in them. I watched this amazing video of women who got to see a sketch of how strangers see them. It was as though for the first time they were seeing the beauty in themselves that others saw in them.   My wish for you today is that you to do something really special for yourself. I want you to go into the bathroom, close and lock the door so that you are not interrupted, and look into the mirror. What positive things would you say to yourself? What do you want the woman looking back at you to know? Don’t just focus on your physical attributes, but what’s inside as well.   I also want you to look at yourself and repeat these five things:   ( read full post )

Gluten Free Spaghetti with Tomato Vodka Sauce

On Oct 31, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4   Ingredients 1 package brown rice spaghetti, or zucchini noodles 1 large clove of garlic, minced ¼ cup vodka 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 28-oz can whole tomatoes, mashed with potato masher (see note) 4 cups chopped spinach Juice of 1 lemon 1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes (adjust to your spice tolerance) ¼ cup freshly chopped Italian parsley   Directions Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Reserve some of the cooking water. About ¼ cup. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, and vodka  and sauté for 1 minute. Add the canned tomatoes and lemon juice. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes. Just before serving, stir in parsley and spinach, cooking until the spinach has wilted.  If you need a little more liquid, stir in some of the reserved cooking water. Divide spaghetti between plates and top with sauce. Note: you ( read full post )

How I Conquer Fear

On Oct 28, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
I often wonder what would have happen if I let fear make my decisions.   I wouldn’t have moved to Ottawa and started on my own personal journey to becoming happy and healthy. I wouldn’t have taken the chance on Jason and be in this amazing marriage. I wouldn’t have taken chances with my career, ultimately leading me here. I wouldn’t have started my own business. I wouldn’t have moved to Saskatoon and be on this amazing adventure.  I wouldn’t be writing this blog. I wouldn’t have gone back to school…twice.    All of those things were scary, but I’m so glad I did them. If I had let fear make my decisions, I would be living someone else’s life, not mine. I would be filled with regret and what ifs, which is the scariest thing of all.   When fear creeps in, this is what I do.   I’m very strategic when it comes to doing something scary or uncomfortable. ( read full post )

White Bean & Mushroom Soup with Cashew Cream Sauce

On Oct 24, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
 Serves 4 Ingredients 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 cups cooked white navy beans 1½ cups, roughly chopped button mushrooms 1 red onion, chopped 1 clove of garlic, chopped 2 large celery sticks, chopped ¼ cup white wine 3 cups vegetable stock 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (optional) 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme Cashew Cream Sauce (recipe below) Directions Make the cashew cream sauce first and set aside. See recipe below.   Heat a large pot over medium-high heat with olive oil. Add the garlic, onion, and celery and cook for 5 minutes.   Add the mushrooms, thyme, white wine, and Worcestershire sauce. Cooking for another 5 minutes.   While cooking the mushrooms, add the beans to a food processor or blender with 1 cup of vegetable stock and process until smooth. Add the mushroom mixture to the food processor and process until smooth. Return the mixture to the pot and add the remaining vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce ( read full post )

Italian Feast

On Oct 10, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
I love cooking an entire meal for my friends and/or family. The kitchen is the heart of the home. It brings people together. It is where conversations happen and where our bellies and souls are filled up. Here is an entire Italian themed meal for my Contagiously Positive posse that all your guest will enjoy. Click on the images below to get each individual recipe. Double all recipes depending on how many are sitting at your table.   While feasting with your loved ones, why don’t you mix things up a bit and go around the table and say what you are grateful for. I call this Dinner Table Positivity. First Course Spaghetti with Tomato Vodka Sauce  Second Course Roman Salad with Balsamic Glaze Main Course Bloody Mary Poached Salmon Side Dishes Roasted Root Vegetables, Garlic Green Beans and Sautéed Spinach  Dessert If you still have room for dessert after all of this, you are on your own. This girl is not a baker! I recommend going ( read full post )

Zucchini Cutlets with Mushroom Sauce

On Oct 10, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
 Makes 8 Cutlets Ingredients 1 large zucchini 1 small red onion Handful of fresh cilantro 1 egg, gently whisked 2/3 cup almond flour 2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive Sea salt and black pepper to taste Directions You are going to add the zucchini and red onion to a food processor, so cut them into manageable pieces. Add the zucchini, red onion, and cilantro into food processor. Pulse until mixture has the look of being shredded.   In a large bowl, mix together the zucchini mixture, egg, flour, and salt and pepper.   Cooking Tip: Before cooking the patties, set the mixture aside and make your sauce. This will ensure that everything stays hot and nothing gets overcooked.   On medium high heat, preheat a large skillet with olive oil. Using your hands, form the mixture into balls, a little larger than the size of a golf ball. Flatten the each ball with your hand. You want them to be ( read full post )

Italian Fried Mushrooms

On Oct 10, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 Ingredients 5 cups buttons mushrooms, washed and left whole ¼ cup Earth Balance vegan butter or regular unsalted butter 1 heaping tablespoon Italian spice Freshly ground black pepper to taste Directions Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat with butter.   Once the butter has melted, add the mushrooms, Italian spice and pepper. Stir well, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook until mushrooms are a golden brown, stirring occasionally.  

Roasted Root Vegetables

On Oct 10, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 Ingredients 2 large carrots 1 large sweet potato, cubed 2 large red potatoes, cubed 1 tablespoon each of cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, add all ingredients and stir together until vegetables are thoroughly coated with spices. Spread out on baking sheet and cook in oven for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

Roman Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

On Oct 10, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
 Serves 4 Ingredients 1 small pint cherry tomatoes, halved 1 cup green olives, halved 1 small cucumber, cut into bite sized pieces 4 cups arugula or salad greens 1½  cups balsamic vinegar 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil ½ cup basil, roughly chopped Directions Start by making the balsamic glaze. In a small sauce pan, over medium-high heat bring balsamic vinegar to a boil. Reduce heat and gently boil, uncovered, until the sauces reduces and thickens. It will reduce to about half. Let cool while prepping the salad.   While the balsamic reduces, make the salad.  On a large serving plate, evenly lay out the arugula or salad greens. Add the olive oil and with your hands, or mixing spoons, mix arugula until all the leaves are coated with oil. Add more oil if needed. Evenly distributed the tomatoes, olives and cucumbers. Drizzle the cooled balsamic over entire salad and top with basil.   Optional: For an added twist, grate fresh Parmesan cheese ( read full post )

Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Stew

On Oct 03, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 This is such a hearty meal. I served it with a spinach salad, but it was too much food. One bowl of this stew is enough to fill you up.  It will also warm you up on those cool fall and winter nights. Make a double batch and you have the perfect lunch the next day. Ingredients 1 large sweet potato, cut into small cubes 2 cups unsweetened pumpkin puree 1 small red onion, chopped 3 celery stalks, chopped Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped 1 tablespoon ground coriander 2 heaping tablespoons pumpkin spice 4 cups no sodium added vegetable stock (1 946ml container of stock will give you 4 cups) Black pepper to taste 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil   Directions Heat a large soup pot, with oil, over medium-high heat. Add the sweet potato, onion, and celery. Stir and cook for 5 minutes.  If the vegetables are sticking, add a splash of the vegetable ( read full post )

Artichoke Cakes Drizzled with Caper Sauce

On Sep 26, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Makes Approximately 7 Patties These cakes are perfect for an appetizer or serve with a fresh garden salad. I added them to my Superfood Kale Salad and made an entire meal. It was delicious! Patty Ingredients 1 sheet of nori 1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained ½ yellow bell pepper, finely chopped ½ red bell pepper, finely chopped 1 large green onion, finely chopped 1 egg, whisked 2 tablespoons chickpea flour ½ teaspoon celery salt ½ teaspoon smoked paprika Black pepper to taste Extra-virgin olive oil for cooking   Caper Sauce 2 teaspoons minced capers 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard Dash of Tabasco sauce 1 tablespoon lemon juice 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 1 teaspoon onion powder Black pepper to taste Directions  Prepare Artichoke Cake Batter: Using a food processor, break up the nori sheet, place it in the food processor, and pulse the nori sheet until it has a powder consistency. Remove from the food processor and place in large mixing bowl. ( read full post )

Carrot Ginger Soup

On Sep 19, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 Ingredients 1 clove of garlic, chopped 1 small red onion, chopped 3 large celery ribs, chopped 3 pounds of carrots, thinly sliced (approximately 8 large carrots) 3 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth 3 cups water 1 small block of soft tofu (approximately 2 cups) 2 tablespoons honey 2 tablespoons ground coriander 2 tablespoons pumpkin spice 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Sea salt and black pepper to taste Directions STEP 1: Over medium-high heat, preheat a large soup pot with olive. Once heated, add the carrots, red onion, celery, ginger, and garlic. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes, with the lid on to keep in the steam. Stir frequently.   Health Tip: If you need more liquid, don’t add more oil. Add a splash of water. Keep a glass of water by the pot and keep adding water if needed. This will cut down the fat content.   STEP 2: Add ( read full post )

Enhance Your Positivity In The Workplace

On Sep 17, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Are you spending 8+ hours a day hating your job, your coworkers, your boss, or maybe even all three? When you are thinking about enhancing your positivity, doing so in the workplace should be on the top of your list. It is where most of us spend a massive amount of time, so if you hate it, you may have noticed that those negative feelings often spill over into your personal life as well. To feel a sense of balance, it is important to feel fulfilled in all areas of your life, and your workplace is no exception.   One of the workshops that I offer at Contagiously Positive is called, Enhance Your Positivity In The Workplace.  I love facilitating this workshop because I have learned so many lessons throughout my own career that has made me love working with a team. If you have been following me on social media, you know that I love to teach what I ( read full post )

Layered Bean & Avocado Taco Dip

On Sep 12, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 6 to 8   Fried Beans Ingredients 1 398ml can (no salt added) kidney beans, drained and rinsed 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 2 tablespoons coconut oil 1 teaspoon each of ground cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder and ground coriander Black pepper to taste Taco Dip Ingredients 3 ripe avocados Juice of 1 lemon 2 cups plain Greek yogurt (150g container) Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped 3-4 tablespoons taco seasoning (click here for recipe)  1 cup sliced kalamata olives 3 large green onions, thinly sliced 4 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped (see cooking tip) Directions Preheat oven to 350° F.   Set out an 8” x 8” baking dish. Any medium sized baking dish will do.   Step 1: Start with making the fried beans. Preheat a medium skillet with the coconut oil. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the beans, and spices and stir. Cook on medium heat for 15 ( read full post )

Saving Money While Eating Healthy

On Sep 08, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
I’m always looking for ways to save money. In this blog, I’m going to share some grocery store tips to help you save money during your journey to better health. I’ve also included a few health tips for you as well.   My clients are often concerned that Healthy Living and changing their eating and shopping habits will cost more money. This is not true. It may seem this way because you are used to eating out and only seeing one small bill at a time, instead of seeing one grocery bill a week.    Your health is priceless, so choosing home cooked healthy food is always a better choice.   If you are like me and saving money is on your wish list, here are some costs saving shopping tips you can use on your next grocery store trip.   Savings Tip #1 Make your own sauces and dressing. Making these at home is a great way to save money. ( read full post )

Greek Style Stuffed Peppers Topped with Tzatziki Sauce

On Sep 05, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 Lemon Rice Ingredients 1 cup uncooked long-grain brown rice 2 cups water 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil Pinch of sea salt Zest of 2 lemons Juice of 2 lemons Stuffing Ingredients 3 large bell peppers, cut in a half and seeded 1 cup chopped carrot 1 cup chopped celery 1 large clove of garlic 1 small red onion, chopped 1 tomato, chopped ½ cup sliced green olives Handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped Handful of fresh mint, finely chopped 1 398ml can kidney beans (approximately 2 cups) 1 teaspoon each of dried oregano, basil, and thyme 1 tablespoon onion powder Black pepper to taste Tzatziki Ingredients 1 medium cucumber 1 clove of garlic 1½ cups Greek yogurt Handful of fresh dill Juice of 1 lemon Zest of 1 lemon 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil Black pepper to taste Directions Preheat oven to 400° F.   Start by making the lemon rice. In a large pot, add all of ( read full post )

Get Off The Stress Train

On Sep 01, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Anxiety, nervousness, fear, worry, heaviness. It doesn’t matter what name you give it, we all suffer from it and know it as stress. Some deal with it on a daily basis, and some only occasionally, but we all have our moments. The question I get from almost every client is, “Can you show me how to get rid of stress?” [Enter here the visual of them staring at me with a hopeful, please help me, I’m drowning here stare.] You are probably wondering, “Can she actually help me get rid of stress?” The answer is no. No one can. However, I can help you manage stress. That is really what we need to focus on. So many us, I myself included, try to rid our lives of stress and than have major meltdowns when we can’t achieve that unachievable goal. You can’t control the stress of deadlines, rude people, crazy schedules, traffic jams, a loss, or even an ailing parent, but ( read full post )

Lemon Hummus

On Aug 29, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Ingredients 1 398ml can chickpeas (low sodium), drained and rinsed 1 clove of garlic Juice of 1 lemon 2 tablespoons sesame tahini 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Black pepper to taste Directions Place all ingredients into a food processer and blend until smooth, scraping down sides as you go.  Add a splash of water or more olive oil if required.   Health Tip: Spread on your favourite sandwich as a replacement to mayonnaise. 

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All rights reserved
Website by Monolith Digital