+ Life Is Meant To Be Enjoyed +

When You Are Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop

On Oct 07, 2021 By: Laurie-ann
Lately I have been experiencing a feeling like things are too good to be true and waiting for the other shoe to drop.  It sort of feels like fear…like what if this all gets taken away? Oh, those tricky what if future-tripping thoughts!   It has made me think of how deeply rooted our fears go.  We have fears when things are not going well in our lives. Fearing that it will never get better. And we have fears when things are going well in our lives, fearing that it won’t last.  Thankfully, the work I’ve been doing over the past 20 years has prepared me for this emotional discomfort. I sat with these feelings and asked myself “how can I make sure that these fears don’t turn into panic? How can I prevent myself from self sabotaging when things are going really well and just fully embrace this joyful time?”  I mustn’t feel alone in this. I’m sure there ( read full post )

You Are Not Lost, You Are In A Phase of Exploration

On Sep 27, 2021 By: Laurie-ann
“NOT ALL THOSE WHO WANDER ARE LOST.” J.R.R. TOLKIEN When I first started to explore this idea about being in an exploration phase, I shared it with my contagiously positive community. I started writing and allowed my thoughts,  current experience, and inspiration to guide me.  I love sharing from this place because there is so much magic when we share from our heart. Whatever you are experiencing right now, if you are in a phase of exploration where you feel lost, or have more questions than answers, I hope this supports you.   Like many us, the past 2 years, while living in a global pandemic, I’ve been thinking so much about my life and business and what I truly want for both. I’ve been exploring my terms of success, what I value, what I desire, my goals, who I am, who I want to be, my beliefs, and I have to say, they have changed so much since the start ( read full post )

Turning Hopelessness Into Hope

On Aug 17, 2021 By: Laurie-ann
In times of hopelessness, we must turns towards hope for a better tomorrow.  What is normal? Are we meant to stay in a constant state of sameness, day in and day out? I don’t believe so. But regardless, even though we know change is inevitable and our normal changes as life changes, it can cause so much emotional and mental discomfort.  Whenever we put all our focus and energy into wanting things to go back to the way they were, not accepting that things have changed, and we don’t work at exploring what our new normal is, a hopelessness begins to creep in. In that hopelessness is where we feel trapped, like there is no way out, no solution, no point, so why even bother. I don’t want that for you. I don’t want that for me.  The past year and a half has shifted so much in our lives. I don’t think there is any area of our lives ( read full post )

Staying Committed When In Resistance & Fear

On Jul 20, 2021 By: Laurie-ann
“I know what I need to do, but it feels so hard today.” It is so normal to feel this way. Especially when we are in resistance or fear and feel like giving up. Taking action, especially inspired action, doesn’t always feel easy. Sometimes it flows and we have so much motivation. And sometimes we hit the wall of resistance. We know what we could be doing to take care of our mental, emotional, physical, attitudinal and spiritual wellbeing. We understand that we need to take time to fill our own cup. Most of the time, we know exactly what works and what doesn’t. So why is it so difficult to take consistent inspired action? Why does it feel so hard sometimes? Simply, it because we are human beings with very human emotions. These emotions are vast, constantly moving and so very normal. When we stop trying to not feel our feelings, we gain so much more freedom.  One being FEAR. We’ve talked about ( read full post )

The Judgements We Receive & The Judgements We Give

On Jul 06, 2021 By: Laurie-ann
There is someone out there who will think you are just too much, or not enough. There will also be times when you are loudly judged, quietly judged, or perhaps you are thinking that you are being judged. We cannot forget about the judgements we give either. Over the past 15 months, I’ve been exploring the topic of judgement. Why we judge, how we judge, and the human nature behind it. Once you begin to explore it, you can see how divided we are. I would like to play a part in filling that divide. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do, what you don’t do, what you say, what you don’t say, someone will think you are wrong. One person is too much of one thing, and another person is too much of the opposite thing. No wonder we find it so difficult to be ourselves. She’s too assertive. She’s too passive.She’s so self-judging. She’s so conceded.She talks too ( read full post )


On Jun 28, 2021 By: Laurie-ann
Managing a stress work environment can feel impossible when you are right in it, but there are so many things you can do. It feels like another lifetime, another person even, since I worked in the construction industry. It is hard to believe that I spent 10 years working in project coordination/management. Construction can feel like a constant reactionary industry. It is a masculine, fast paced, intense, sometimes conflictual, high energy, high stress, and also exciting and rewarding industry.  I have so much respect for everyone involved. From the architects, engineers, project managers, coordinators, supervisors..the teams are often massive and include different personality, skills, strengths and brilliant minds. But I was, and still am, in total awe of the trades. Watching a high rise building go up, with what looks like effortless skills from the trades is truly amazing. One thing can’t be done until another ends. The trades work in tight spaces, under tight timelines, building something from paper ( read full post )

The Messy/Magical Middle

On Jun 01, 2021 By: Laurie-ann
The messy/magical middle… This is an uncomfortable phase we enter when we commit to learning something new, take on a passion project, or work towards a goal or mission.  It might begin with you not even knowing what you don’t know and then you do know what you don’t know, which can bring up even more frustration because you want it ALL to happen right now. There is this space between where you are and where you want to be, and sometimes that space feels like a gap as big as trying to figure out how to cross the Grand Canyon.  This is a very normal space to be in, and there is a lot of magic that happens here, and it is also where a lot of impatience, frustration, and discomfort comes in. That is why it is a messy and magical middle. It is both.  I’m in a messy/magical middle right now. I’m having meaningful conversations over at the Sisterhood Podcast ( read full post )

An Invitation For Joy

On May 18, 2021 By: Laurie-ann
JOY… Is that an emotion you have felt often over the past week, month, or year?  JOY… Have you experienced this wonderful emotion over the past week, month, or year, but have felt guilty about it because of the struggles or challenges others have been experiencing?  A couple weeks ago, my mental health wavered and even though I turned to all my tools, which I believed helped, I still couldn’t seem to bring myself fully out of the sadness I was feeling. But I didn’t force my way through it, or try not to feel it, I just allowed it in and explored it. I know this isn’t always easy to do, but up and out feels way better than it taking up permanent residence in my mental, emotional and physical body.  Turns out, I wasn’t alone. There seemed to be an emotional current running through so many of us. I said to my girlfriend, I believe that it is ( read full post )

Communicating Your Needs

On May 04, 2021 By: Laurie-ann
People don’t know what they don’t know, which makes communicating your needs so important.  Whatever it is that you are not saying out loud, doesn’t go away just because you are not voicing it. It festers and grows and gains momentum. All of a sudden you are having an argument that doesn’t even have anything to do with the original thing that was bothering you. You end up saying ALL THE THINGS! Now the defences are really up and you are probably left feeling unsupported, unseen, unheard and resentful. Communication our needs is key between my husband and I. We don’t always do it perfectly, and sometimes we catch ourselves being defensive, both wanting to be right, but we have a deal that even if one of us is going to be angry, we will always talk openly about how we are feeling and what we need.  One day, my husband was walking through the house, huffing and puffing, obviously ( read full post )

Who Is In Charge Of Your Decisions?

On Apr 27, 2021 By: Laurie-ann
Who is in charge of your decisions? Is it your limiting beliefs, or your supporting beliefs? Let’s find out together. Neurologist, Dr. David Eagleman, explains that 95% of our brain activity is beyond our conscious awareness. He, among numerous other cognitive neuroscientists have conducted studies that have revealed that only 5% of our decisions, emotions, actions, behaviour is conscious, whereas the remaining 95% is generated in a non-conscious manner.  For example, logically, in our conscious awareness, we know that our limiting beliefs are not true and that we are safe to be, do and have what we desire. However, if 95% of our mind has been programmed to believe that nothing else could be true except that belief, no wonder it feels impossible to be, do and have what we desire.  Limiting beliefs show up everywhere. Not because we are weak, but because our mind goes everywhere we go. A belief is formed from our repetitive thoughts, combined with our ( read full post )

If You Knew You Wouldn’t Fail, What Would You Do?

On Mar 16, 2021 By: Laurie-ann
If you knew you wouldn’t fail, would you do it?  In this share, I thought we could focus on trust. Trusting in your path. Trusting in yourself. Trusting that no matter what, you are always being supported. Trusting that you don’t need to allow fear to be your decision maker. Trusting that you don’t have to have every step laid out, every road paved, or every question answered to keep taking one step after the other towards your goals.  I have said this before, that tiny five letter word TRUST, isn’t always so easy. There is so much happening externally that makes us doubt ourselves. There is so much happening internally that ignites our fears and turns us away from our true north.  How often do you not follow your heart, or follow those breadcrumbs towards a goal because you can’t see the final destination?  I wish I had crystal ball. There are so many things that I’m creating right ( read full post )

Strengthening Your Friendships & Creating Real Sisterhood

On Feb 23, 2021 By: Laurie-ann
Relationships are everything. The relationship you have with yourself and the relationships you have with others either creates magnetism in your life, or drains you of it – empowers or disempowers you. I was reading one of my oracle cards the other day that said, “Even Jesus picked 12 associates to help him accomplish his mission.” We can’t achieve our goals alone. My hope with this weeks share is that it will open you up to creating meaningful relationships, but also accepting, asking for and receiving support, and give up any belief that you have to go about this life alone. Last year my intention was to surround myself with people who made me feel good. My best friend Jolene said, “I’m going to surround myself with people who make me feel like sunshine.” This year she said, “I’m going to be the sunshine.”  That is what this weeks share is about – redirecting your energy on those relationships who ( read full post )

Listening To Your Inner Guide & Strengthening Your Trust Muscles

On Feb 02, 2021 By: Laurie-ann
It isn’t easy to go against other people when you are trying to do what is best for you, especially when there are opposing views. Which is why it is so important to strengthen your trust muscles. This share is about trusting yourself. Trusting your intuition. Trusting your deep knowingness. Trusting that pit in your stomach that tells you exactly what is correct for you. Trusting that no ones knows what is best for YOU more than YOU.  We all have that inside of us. I call her our Inner Guide. Your Inner Guide is your true authentic self.  Imagine that you have this part of you that knows the real truth and everything else is just conditioning, or outside noise. Imagine that this part of you is full of light, love, hope, positivity, peace, joy, trust, optimism, and happiness. It feels gratitude, faith, unity, compassion, acceptance of yourself and others, patience, kindness, and understanding. It is your heart, guiding you to ( read full post )

How Reflecting On A Year Gone By Can Help You Set & Achieve Your Goals

On Jan 26, 2021 By: Laurie-ann
If you haven’t set your goals yet, or you have, but you have been struggling to really connect with you them, this exercise will help you to gain clarity. I sat down with my journal on January 1st and started to reflect on 2020. Guiding myself with questions always helps me to take it deeper and gain more clarity. After the rollercoaster year that we all experienced, I wanted to ease my way into the new year and explore what I was going to take with me into the new year and what I was going to leave behind as I started anew.  The challenges we faced in 2020 are behind us, but there are some that we are still working on overcoming, so I believe that we really need to give ourselves so much grace. So if you haven’t set your goals yet, don’t be so hard on yourself.  As 2021 inched closer, I began to to see the ( read full post )

Stress & Your Hormones: Practices To Increase Your Happy Hormones 

On Jan 06, 2021 By: Laurie-ann
Your hormones affect the way you feel emotionally and mentally. They are neurotransmitters that play a significant role on how you function, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. We know this as women….HELLO PMS! What I want to talk about today is stress, but not external stress, because we cannot control external circumstances, but what will keep your stress from becoming chronic, which is taking care of your inner world.  Over the past year I’ve talked a lot about the emotional and mental impact of stress, and ways you can strengthen your emotional and mental muscles. In this share I want to shift gears a little and give you some practices to take care of your inner world, but from a hormonal level. Stress interferes with your hormones that are there to help you feel balanced, energized, happy, fulfilled and “normal.”  Before we balance our hormones, let’s see what our nervous system does to prepare us for external stressors.  ( read full post )

4 Ways To Incorporate a Gratitude Practice

On Dec 22, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
What are you grateful for? Does having a gratitude practice actually help? Most coaches, influencers and spiritual teachers will have you ask yourself this question. They will tell you to wake up and go to bed each and every day and express three things you are grateful for.  But why?  In a Harvard study, they showed the impact that gratitude had on not just our overall wellbeing, but on our brains ability to solve problems. The research showed that the positive emotions that are ignited when we think of what we are grateful has a positive impact on our body, our emotional state (even if we are experiencing challenges), and most importantly, our brain.  When your brain has formed neural pathways that develop from having a daily practice of gratitude, you become more open to more positive possibilities, and those positive, or optimistic emotions affect your ability to learn and make decisions with more ease.  The research shows that having a ( read full post )

3 Ways To Unleash Your Inner Contagiously Positive

On Dec 08, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
I love telling the story of how the name of my company was created. You’ve probably heard it so many times. It is really important to me because it isn’t just the name of my company. It is a reminder, especially when things are challenging, like most of 2020, that I can do hard things.  If you are new to our community, here is the short version of the story. Pre-contagiously positive days, I worked in the construction industry. One day on site, during the time I was right in the middle of practicing shifting my mindset, we had another five-alarm problem happen. The subcontractor who came to inform me was livid. As I sat there listening to him rip into me, I thought, “I cannot control the way he is feeling, or his reaction, but I’m not going to go down this rabbit hole with him. Instead, I’m going to shift into a solution-based mindset, and react and respond from that place, not from anger.”  So I ( read full post )

Strengthen Your Manifestation Trust Muscles

On Dec 01, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
Manifestation can feel like a tricky thing sometimes. Especially with so much new-age rhetoric, and superstitions that make it even more confusing, or make us doubt in our own ability and gifts. This share is something that came to me a couple of weeks go, and I shared it in my weekly coaching email. It received some positive feedback, so I felt guided to share it here at the blog as well. It was difficult to put this one into words, and I hope it makes senses, but I believe it will offer up some impactful insight to help you begin to explore your beliefs further.  Here goes… I was out for a walk one day and decided to do a guided walking meditation. One of the questions asked in the meditation was, “what is one area of your life that you are being tested in right now, and what is the test trying to show you?” I was instantly able ( read full post )

Redefining Success

On Nov 17, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
I used to believe that success was external. I know that I’m not alone in this belief because I see it every single day in the way people work towards external success, but feel unhappy, unfulfilled and heading towards burnout.  Having the right body  Having the right job title  Having a certain amount of money Getting more things  Needing external validation  Having a certain amount of followers on social media  I see so many people, and I myself was one of them, appear to have all the external boxes of success checked, but are mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically exhausted.  2020 has really opened up my eyes and heart to fully embracing a redefining of success. So many of us were brought to our knees by the global pandemic and as we began to rise up, we realized we have been racing in a race we didn’t even want to be in. We were looking at success through the lens ( read full post )

Using Your Authentic Aspects Of Self To Make Choices

On Nov 09, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
Every single day we are faced with choices. Sometimes we know exactly what to do, and other times we just aren’t sure.  Should I leave that job or stay? Should I stay in this relationship and recommit, or is it time to go our separate ways? Should I say yes to that event, or respectfully decline because I’m not feeling it?  Lately, it feels like many choices are being made for us, which doesn’t feel empowering, but life seems to be an endless stream choices and wondering which one is right.  One way I make choices for myself is knowing what my authentic self desires and following my heart when I am in front of a decision fork.  The key to knowing what the right choice is can be a simple as asking yourself, “what feels like the right choice for me right now?” Not what other people want, expect or demand, but what you want.  Something that my authentic self craves ( read full post )

Looking At Stress Through A Different Lens

On Nov 03, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
I want to preface today’s blog by saying that this is for micro (acute) stress, not chronic stress. This share is about recognizing the difference between stress and stressors and how to prevent micro stressors from ruining your day. I don’t want to overlook the fact that so many people are dealing with chronic stress that this would not apply to. If this is you, I encourage you to reach out to someone for support, especially if you are feeling hopeless. I’m sending you so much love if this is how you are feeling. Last week, hot coffee in hand, I walked to my computer ready to write my weekly Monday coaching email. I received a phone call from my husband, and he asked me if I could handle something for the new house build. Well, after a couple of phone calls, and my stress levels rising, I had to take action right away and drive 2 hours to get ( read full post )

Experiencing Joy Even In Challenging Times

On Oct 27, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
Back in early spring, I wrote a piece about the stages of grief. I talked about how so many of us are grieving the life we thought we would live in 2020. We are way past the denial stage, which is stage 1, because there is just no denying that 2020 is not what we expected. With the year coming to an end, many of the conversations I’ve been having with my friends and family have been about feeling a sort of despair over what has happened, is happening and the questions around what is to come. Despair can be described in so many ways. It can of course come from the loss of a loved one, but it can also come from a bad day, or a really challenging year like we have been experiencing. Despair is a stage of grieving what could have been, or what has been lost. You might be at this stage realizing all that has ( read full post )

How To Win The Battle Between Your Inner Guide + Saboteur

On Oct 20, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
I watched this really great video the other day with Dr. Bruce Lipton. He was talking about how we have two minds. This is something I discuss in depth in UNLEASH Your Limiting Beliefs because it is so important that we know which is running the show.  We have our conscious mind and subconscious mind.  Simply put, the conscious mind is the mind that is very aware of what’s going on. It processes where you are, your surroundings, the work you are currently doing, the tasks, and all the thoughts that are right here now. Including read this share.   Then you have your subconscious mind. This is the part of your brain that allows you to do things without really thinking, which is what makes us do things habitually. Like driving home and realizing you were in a daze the entire time, but you made it safely. This is the habitual brain. We do and think things out of habit. ( read full post )

Changing Your Experience of The Experience

On Oct 13, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
I’ve been sharing a lot lately about the emotional scale because I want to normalize how we feel. My mantra has been, “You feel it, it matters, period.” If we don’t claim it, it will claim us because our emotions inform our decisions.  As you know, and have probably experienced, 2020 has been a rollercoaster. It has impacted us emotionally, mentally, physically, attitudinally, even spiritually for some of you. This year has made us look at every area of our lives with a magnifying glass. And although we can’t change the external experience of what is happening, we can change our experience of the experience.  What I mean by that is after 7+ months; you are probably ready to get off the emotional rollercoaster. The external experience is everything that has happened, and is happening governmentally, globally, and socially – everything outside of your control. While there are so many things that are making us feel so out of control, frustrated, sad, and perhaps even hopeless, ( read full post )

Whose Business Are You In?

On Oct 07, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
A few months ago I was talking to my girlfriend and I said, “I feel like I can never shut off my brain from worry about people, wanting them to be happy, or wanting to help everyone.” She, with so much love, said, “how are you allowing this and whose business are you spending more time in, yours, or theirs?” Goosebumps came across my entire body, which is my oh yeah, you have to look at this sign. What I realized is that I hadn’t been giving myself time to shut myself down from worry/helper mode because instead of just giving support when it was needed and/or asked for, I was constantly giving unasked for advice. AND, this was a big wake-up call, I was spending way too much time thinking and believing that I needed to be in other people’s business because I’m a people pleaser. I want everyone to be happy! What’s wrong with that? Nothing, except that not everyone wants, needs, or gives a crap about what I think will make them happy. That isn’t up to ( read full post )

Do You Give Too Much of Yourself?

On Sep 28, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
Are you giving too much to everyone around you, and not enough to yourself?  This has been a common theme coming up; not just in my own life, but also in conversations I have been having with other women.  If you are feeling tired because you have been taking care of everyone else in your life, leaving no time for yourself, your fatigue is most likely turning into frustration. You may be feeling trapped by having no freedom, annoyed by every ask, and perhaps you just want to be able to have days where you can do what you want, when you want.  Here is what I wrote the other day in my journal: “I’m feeling like lately I’m giving way too much and leaving little to no space for receiving, which is causing me to be annoyed, short-tempered and frustrated. I would like to see this from a different perspective, without resentment, and without frustration. What should I do? Who do I ( read full post )

Are You On The Wrong Path or Just Taking a Detour?

On Sep 21, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
I woke up at 4:30 am a couple of weeks ago and started to think of all the detours, pauses, and paths that have led me to where I am today.  One of the questions that I’ve practiced asking myself is, “how is this happening for me, instead of to me?” This is so hard to do when we are deep in it, but it’s a helpful mindset practice. If we looked at our current challenges as detours, we can be frustrated, but also hopeful that it’s temporary. I’ll often use it as a mantra to help me through it, saying over and over again, “this is a temporary detour, I will be okay. I’ve gotten through more difficult challenges before.”  Let’s be honest, we don’t often see the value in what we experienced until we have healed, but that doesn’t mean we can’t use this awareness to help us get through the challenging times.  Where Are You? Here is my question to you: ( read full post )

How To Make Life Happen For You, Instead of To You

On Sep 15, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
I talk about checking in with your inner guide so much because I want you to be, do and have all that you desire. When we take pause to notice what we need, and allow ourselves to take inspired action on giving it to ourselves, we stop waiting for life to happen to us and make it happen for us. We spend so much time getting prepared for things. We plan, we schedule, we arrange, make lists – all in an attempt to make the project, event, party, trip, experience, or task successful. Most of you are probably great external world planners and organizers and don’t think twice about the time it takes. You just know it needs to get done, so you do it, no questions asked. We spend a lot of time making things successful on someone else’s behalf. Yet when it comes to your inner world, are you making the same arrangements, plans, schedules and lists? Are ( read full post )

Is Your Fear False Evidence Appearing Real?

On Sep 14, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
In all my shares about fear, I talk about not avoiding fear because we need that natural response for when we are in true danger, and instead, looking at where our fears have turned into panic. You can read about fear and panic here. I spend almost 2 hours in the fear module of my online workshop UNLEASH Your Limiting Beliefs because when we allow fear, that isn’t a true dangerous situation, to make our decisions for us, we are programming our brain to be afraid and panic in situations that we don’t need our fear response (fight, flight or freeze) for.  We begin to make decisions, or not make decisions based on False Evidence Appearing Real (FEAR). When that becomes so deeply engrained into our subconscious mind, we don’t even stop to question the fear response becomes it is a programmed, habitual response.   One thing I often make appear real is my fear of being judged and disliked for just being myself. I have to stop ( read full post )

New Beginnings: Ending a Cycle To Start Something New

On Sep 07, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
We are such cyclical beings. It always feels to me like things in my life go full circle. Lately I’ve been paying attention to what needs to end in my life so that the cycle can become complete. COVID lockdown really ignited that in me. I started to question what I no longer wanted to go back to, or continue to do when life was “normal” again. I’ve been asking myself, what needs to end in my life, personal or professional, mental or emotional to complete the cycle so I can move on to other things that support me, or light me up?  With endings becomes a new beginning. How often do you hold on to something that you know just doesn’t serve you? Ending something doesn’t mean you have failed, it just simply means that you know yourself and acknowledge that it is time to move on.  You can start and end at cycle at any time, but often we do so when we ( read full post )

Feel The Fear, But Avoid The Panic: Creating a Mental Emergency Preparedness Kit

On Sep 02, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
Have you ever thought about creating a mental emergency preparedness kit? A little run in with some coyotes reminded me of the importance of this and being prepared so that normal fear doesn’t turn into panic. Last week I was out walking my dog Axl and came across a coyote. Usually when I see them, they just bark and run away. But on this day, he was very curious about us. As I turned to go another direction and he followed me. Not really being concerned yet, I picked up the pace and so did the coyote. I stopped, turned around and he stopped and sat. Each time I moved, he moved. Eventually another coyote came out and now I’m freaked. Not knowing what the protocol is to deal with coyotes, panic set in. Do I run, do I scream? I had no idea. My fear turned into panic and I ran, more concerned about my dog than myself. One ( read full post )

Do You Even Want To Be In The Race You Are Racing In?

On Aug 25, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
There have been so many things that I have done in my life that I did because it was what the herd was doing, or saying I should do. I worked in construction for 10 years, being a part of the rat race, racing to achieve, god only knows what, only to realize that I was in a race I didn’t even want to be in.  I remember being told growing up, especially in high school, that it was more important to get a job or career that offered security instead of following my passions. So I chose to get a business degree and entered that race, trying to feel that security everyone was talking about, but feeling emotionally, mentally and spiritually fatigued instead. I had joined a race I knew I didn’t even want to be in, suffering, because I followed the herd instead of my heart – my inner guide. She knew. I just ignored her. How often do we, do you do that?  When I ( read full post )

Dealing With Resistance

On Aug 19, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
So you want to make a change, but you are getting resistance from your friends and family. What do you do? There are so many external factors that inhibit change and one of the biggies are the nay-sayers. The people in your life who would prefer you stay just as you are, or don’t agree with what changes you are making, or how you are making them. And some people won’t understand your perspective on a certain topic.  Dealing with resistance can make you feel like the “odd woman out” as you might feel like you are not being fully appreciated, supported or understood.   A question I often get is, “why is it that people have a hard time supporting the changes I want to make?” Often is it is more comfortable for them if you remain your same, predictable self. The people close to us, parents, friends, partners, often just prefer to maintain the status quo. Your change, growth, and shift will ( read full post )

How To Gain Clarity When You Have a Decision To Make

On Aug 11, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
SO MANY DECISIONS TO MAKE, BUT WHICH ONE IS BEST?  Over the past few months, I’ve had to make so many decisions. Especially with regards to my company and where I needed to change to adapt to the shutdown. In fact, I’m still making pretty big decisions because the one area of my business that made the most revenue (corporate workshops) may be on hold for quite some time. I’ve been ensuring that I’m not just making the decisions from my mind, but also my heart. When I let my mind be the front show runner, I often feel stuck because it creates a mental movie of all the things that could go wrong. This can paralyze me from making any decision at all, or not going with my gut instinct because I’m afraid.  We make hundreds of decisions every week. From minor, what should I eat tonight? To major, should I change careers? The decision-making starts from the moment we ( read full post )

Calming The Scatterbrain

On Aug 04, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
Scatterbrain is frustrating. When I’ve taken on too much I feel scattered, unclear, anxious, irritable and impatient.  Scatterbrain happens when we have:  Too many tasks to complete and are trying to multitask. Too many books, or reports to read and get overwhelmed by seeing the stack.  Too many podcasts to listen to and are reminded by our limited time. Too many people to visit and don’t know how we can get it all in. Too many projects to start and don’t know where to begin. Too many projects unfinished, waiting for completion and become frustrated.  Too many emails to reply to.  Too many phone calls to make. Too much information being thrown at us and don’t know what to believe, or how to decipher it.   JUST TOO MUCH!  These, and anything else you add to the list, are tabs open in your brain. They are up front and center, just reminding you of all you have to do, without enough time to do them, or are just in information ( read full post )


On Jul 22, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
There are some people who think there is a problem to every solution, but I say there is a solution to every problem.  I’m an eternal optimist. I’m not always positive, but I’m always optimistic. This is because I just know, from experience, that there is always a solution, an answer will come, time will pass and pain will ease, there is guidance all around us, support is there if we ask, obstacles can be busted through, or worked around, detours can be taken, mountains can be climbed…I TRUST in all of this.  Instead of focusing all of my attention on what the problem is, or finding a problem for every solution, which is emotionally draining and not productive, I use that same energy to focus on what I actually can do to solve the problem. It takes the same amount of energy to focus on the problem than it does to focus on the solution. One just feels so ( read full post )

When Your Mind Gets The Best of You

On Jul 16, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
Last weekend I went to my very first group BBQ at someone else’s house since March, when COVID began. I was not my usual optimistic, contagiously positive girl self. I found it exhausting! It was mentally exhausting because my mind was in overdrive. Is there enough space? What if someone wants to hug, or shake hands, am I okay with that? Do I bring my own food and drinks? Do I take a drink offered from someone? Will there be too many people and not enough space to distance? And all the conversations and debates about it not being a real virus, the conspiracies, etc., just drained me. By 9:00 pm I was no longer just mentally exhausted, I was physically wiped and just wanted to crawl into bed. Instead of just being in the moment, I allowed my mind to get the best of me. It prevented me from fully enjoying myself and embracing my first real outing out ( read full post )

The Tools Don’t Work If You Don’t Use Them: Programming Your Brain To Be On Autopilot

On Jul 07, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
I read a really amazing book a few months back and I didn’t use any of the tools recommended. The book was inspiring, it made me feel good reading it, and it was a lot of new stuff for my toolbox. But I didn’t practice one exercise or tool. My inner guide gently spoke to me, “the tools don’t work if you don’t use them.” If we want to stay mentally, spiritually, physically, emotionally and attitudinally strong, we have to use what we’ve got, and not just once, but consistently. You don’t go to the gym once and have muscles for life. It takes commitment, practice, and making a conscious choice. The subconscious brain works on autopilot. The more we practice, the more action we take, the more we nourish our bodies, feed our mind with positivity, react, act, and decide in ways that serve us, the more our brain will just automatically continue doing what we want it to do ( read full post )

Embracing Change: Recognizing When You Need A Shake-Up

On Jun 22, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
Change is inevitable. We can fight against it. We can resist it. We can ignore it. But it’s still there and it’s still going to happen. Resist it, and constantly fight against the current, or we can embrace it knowing that it’s the most natural thing that happens as we age, grow, learn and evolve, as the seasons of our lives change, and as our wants, desires and needs change. Sometimes, we keep ignoring it so much that the universe offers us up a not so subtle wake-up call.  Since early March, we were all given a massive wake-up call. Whether we expected it, were ready for it, liked it, or not, it was forced upon us. For many of us, this forced wake-up call has made us look at many parts of our lives and examine what needs to be changed. One question I have been asking myself lately is, “do I really want every area of my life to go ( read full post )

The Worry Hangover: Are You Trying To Control The Uncontrollable?

On Jun 16, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
Sometimes I get stuck in a worry loop. I lay awake at night thinking of the what-if scenarios. Sometimes I catch myself right away, but sometimes it goes on for a few days where I just keep playing all the potential bad things that could happen in my mind. Usually after a few days of my worrywart syndrome exposing itself, I finally realize the loop I am in and know I need to shift my attitude because it affects my emotional state and I end up moving way down the emotional scale. Also, 99% of the things I worry about are out of my control.  That doesn’t mean I stop caring, of course I care, otherwise I wouldn’t be worrying. It just means that I need to pay attention to how it is affecting my emotional state. Constant worry is so emotionally draining. It takes a lot of emotional energy to try and control things we cannot control. In fact, it ( read full post )

From Surviving To Thriving

On Jun 09, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
What Do Envision For Your Life Now That Things Are Opening Up  During these challenging times, many of us are in survival mode. Waiting things out as our provinces and cities start to lift restrictions in stages. This is very normal while we go through any challenges, especially a global pandemic that is affecting all areas of our lives – both personally and professionally.  I couple of weeks ago, while writing in my journal, I thought, “Where in my life had I been in survival mode before COVID-19?” A few things that instantly came to my mind were: Trying to get it “ALL” done as though that is even possible because there is always more to do. Trying to fit everything and everyone into an already tightly packed week. Trying to be good at everything instead of focusing my attention on the few things that I’m actually great at. Or listening to what everyone else is telling me I should do professionally, instead of listening to my inner guide. And not fully being ( read full post )

Connecting With YOU

On May 26, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
You have desires, wants, needs, goals and wishes. What are they?   What is it that you want to do? When I created Heart-Centered Goals I talked about this in depth. I never imagined how important that question would become.  As I scroll through social media each day, I see post after post of using this time to do more, to hustle more, don’t take your foot off the gas, and that if you are not doing that, you are wasting this time. Even though I understand what these influencers are trying to do, they want to motivate us in a time where many of us may be feeling unmotivated, it doesn’t resonate with me. I do know that this approach is very motivating for some, maybe even you, and I love that, but it won’t be my approach that I follow or teach throughout this crisis.  You see, for me, and for many women that I speak to, I don’t want to use this ( read full post )

Your Emotions Inform Your Decisions: The Emotional Scale Practice

On May 19, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
We all have a compass that guides us in our decision-making and is also the first indicator when we are experiencing stress or emotional discomfort. It’s our emotions – frustration, fear, irritability, panic, and anger, etc. Processing our emotions is an inside job. When we remember that, we are able to work recalibrating our compass back to our true north.  In this practice, we are going to be using the emotional scale as our guide. This practice will not only help you name your emotions, it will help you claim it, feel it, move with it and follow your compass back to feeling the way you want to feel.  Imagine if you just experienced an external stressor and it triggered you. You begin to think, “That makes me so angry!” Your mind starts to play back all the reasons you have to be angry, and even creates new stories that may not even have happened.  For example, let’s use something really small ( read full post )

Expectation Hangover

On May 12, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
I’ve been putting all these expectations on myself to use this time at home in a specific way, and when I don’t meet them, I feel like I am failing. I have had to let that go – or rather I’m working at letting it go.  A couple of weeks ago I shared a journal prompt on social media about releasing expectations. Little did I know how much it would resonate with so many people, or how many people needed to hear it to validate that they are doing the best they can.   I think many of us put unrealistic expectations on ourselves on this endless quest of finding perfection. We put expectations on ourselves, we put expectations on others, and we take on expectations that other people have of us.  Trying to live up to most of these expectations is nothing short of soul sucking, mentally and emotionally draining, and unattainable. We literally can’t do it because we cannot be all ( read full post )

Transforming Fear Into Faith

On May 05, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
“If you fully knew who created you, and who walks beside you, you would never be afraid.”  Neale Donald Walsch I’ve never, you’ve never, we have never experienced anything like this in our lives. COVID-19 has really made me look at fear, but has also reminded me of all I have learned about recognizing fear has prepared me for this. This is a time of uncertainty, unknown and so much learning. But also unlearning, which we have to do so much of because we are taught to fear so much, even fear itself. We are even taught to fear emotional discomfort, which is why every week I have been saying, “You feel it, it matters. Period.” With many of us feeling like we are in this unknown and uncertain time, learning how to swim in these unchartered waters, we may be thinking, “Am I strong enough to handle this? Am I capable of learning all the new things I might have to ( read full post )

Practical Self-Care Tips

On Apr 21, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
We Need To Be More Selfless With Ourselves  You hear all the time, “you cannot give from an empty cup.” I mean, I’ve probably said it daily over the past 5 weeks since the COVID-19 crisis began. Before this began, I was out with my girlfriend talking about stress. She asked, “How do I manage my time better so I can be less stressed?” And I asked, “Do you really think time management is the problem?” And then I paused and let her digest and ponder that question. “No” she replied, “I don’t prioritize ME.”  If it was as simple as a time management problem, I think we would have it nailed down. And that is the real truth. We want it to simply be as easy as taking a time management course and all our stressors will go away. We want it to be simple. And the truth is, it can be simple, but we, especially women, have made self-care and prioritizing our health and happiness so very complicated.  We are experiencing a very different type of stress ( read full post )

Digital Detox: Taking Control of Your Mind Before It Controls You

On Apr 17, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
I am practicing taking 24 hours, just one day a week, away from the internet and it feels so good!  Sometimes the simplest thing we can do to find a happy place in the midst of all the external negative is to take a digital sabbatical and rest our brains.  MENTAL OVERLOAD Many of us are carrying a heavy burden of brain toxicity overload. It’s an INFODEMIC everytime we log on! Social media, news, radio, cell phones, iPads, computers, etc. We are getting negative information thrown at as all day. Not to mention that sometimes the beeps, dings, chimes and rings can make us (or at least me) feel so irritable.  Taking care of our mental and emotional health is so important, 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 mind needs a detox.  I recommend two things for detoxing your mind: no ( read full post )


On Apr 14, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
We Are Grieving The Life That We Imagined We Would Live in 2020 We are a month into self-isolation, and just coming off Easter weekend, where we would have been spending it with our families. For most of us, unless that family is living in your home, we were feeling a little unsettled this weekend not being able to be with our loved ones. I know I was. All weekend I felt like I should be somewhere. Which, of course, if it were life as “usual” I would have been. I received so many messages over the weekend from people saying they felt their anxiety and stress was higher than ever. Mine was as well. I was slightly short-tempered, felt like I couldn’t relax, wanted to do something, but also nothing. What I know for absolute sure is that this is so completely normal. Our mind, body, heart and soul is feeling everything so intensely. Some days are the most amazing days. You might have ( read full post )

24-Hours: All We Have Is Today

On Mar 31, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
On March 14th, most of us were thrown into reactive mode. We were told that schools would close, restaurants would have to shut their doors, and we were told to stay home and physically distance ourselves from each other. That alone was enough to throw us into a tailspin. And then we were told that all non-essential businesses would have to close. Every single day, sometimes hour by hour, we are being spun around.  It is okay if you are feeling dizzy. It is okay if you are feeling like you are on an emotional rollercoaster. It is okay to feel all the feels.  For me, on March 14h, my body and mind went into overdrive. To my core I am a problem solver and I went into my default. Adrenalin pumped through my body and my mind was sharp. It was though I could hear:  ‘“Your tribe is in trouble!”“You community is in trouble!” “Your friends and family are in trouble!” “Help ( read full post )

Dear Universe, We Hear You

On Mar 19, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
As I look at what used to be empty streets in my neighborhood, people are out playing basketball with their children in their driveways. Families walking together with their dogs, they are laughing and playing. I see joggers that I have never seen before.  I walk my dog Axl and people I never spoke to before stop at the end of their driveways to say hello. We chat from a distance and ask each other how we are coping and say, “If there is anything you need, please let me know.” We smile and continue on, feeling somewhat comforted by this strangers socially distant chat.  I woke up this morning, feeling rested for the first time in a long time, nowhere to rush off to, no hustling to be done, just a calmness and ease that I could really sit and enjoy my coffee and write in my journal, connecting with my inner guide. I’m watching the chipmunks, in what ( read full post )

Programming Your Brain To Work For You, Not Against You

On Mar 09, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
Scientists have discovered (and known for years) that our thoughts actually change the physical makeup of our brain. This isn’t woo-woo, it is real scientific brain science. This means that what we think consistently changes our neural pathways. These neural pathways are what controls how we think and behave. What we think consistently controls our emotions. The simplest, but not always easy way to quiet our negative mind is to talk to ourselves in ways that makes our mind work for us, not against us.   If your mind tends to go into negative default, it is because it has been programmed to do. Which is great news because you can program it to take you to the positive as well. This takes practice and repetition, repetition, repetition. You don’t think one positive thought and all your limiting beliefs and negative programming go away. It didn’t take one thought to get you there either. It takes making a conscious effort to use language that supports you ( read full post )

Asking For & Receiving Help – Do You Find It Challenging?

On Mar 03, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
When my husband needs help with something, he simply just asks, “hey, can you help me with this?” He doesn’t stress over it for hours, or break his back trying to do it by himself. He simply just asks and accepts. I have always admired this about him.  My pattern is quite different. When I need help with something, my default tends to go to, “how can I figure out how to do this all by myself so that I don’t bother anyone or become a burden?” I proceed to try a bunch of different things, huff, puff, stress myself out, break my back, and finally I give in and I reluctantly ask for help. Or, I’ll get asked if I need help and I’ll proceed to say, “no, don’t worry, I got it.” Even though I know full well that I don’t got it! Sound familiar?  I’m getting better at this, but it is definitely a practice for me, as I’m sure it is for many of you. Being able to do everything ( read full post )

Giving Ourselves What We Are Asking Others For

On Feb 25, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
What do we all want from our relationships? We are all so unique, but I see a pattern in my coaching practice, when I’m speaking to friends and anytime I have deeper conversations with people. There are three common threads that I see many us wanting in relationships, including the one we have with ourselves.   We want:  1. To Be Seen – For who we authentically are.  2. To Be Acknowledged – I see you, I respect you, I hear you, I love you.  3. To Be Accepted – For all parts of what makes us US, but also for our differing beliefs, values and personality.   What I see often in relationships is that we are asking for what we are not giving to ourselves, or what we are not giving to others. In our Relationship Mastery workshop, my co-facilitator, Jolene Watson said, “stop asking for things you are not willing to give. You have to BE it to receive ( read full post )

You Are Not Going To Break

On Feb 18, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
Have you ever thought you couldn’t get through something, it just felt too heavy, and when the time came you were surprised by how strong you were?   “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” Christopher Reeve In January, we got a lot of ice rain and snow where I live. I walk my dog in the bush by my house and I can’t believe how much the trees can take during these storms. In some cases, the tree limbs were so heavy with ice and snow that they were laying on the ground. Not broken, just taking on the heavy load. They can do this because nature is always prepared for a storm, which makes them adaptable. So the trees are designed to flex and bend and when the storm passes and everything starts to thaw, the weight is lifted, and those trees will be right back up, strong and tall again.  This made me think about ( read full post )

Your Dreams Take Time

On Feb 11, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
Did you know that an elephant is pregnant for 18-22 months? To be able to grow a baby so big, she has to carry the baby in her belly for 18-22 months before she gives birth to it. This is because elephants are the largest land animals in the world with the biggest brains, so they need the proper time for the fetus to develop in the womb so that the baby has the brain power to survive from birth.  When I learned this, I thought about the patience it takes and how nature knows exactly what is needed to grow this magnificent animal. It also made me think about how much humans rush, rush, rush, and hustle, hustle, hustle, and stress, stress, stress to get everything to come on our want-it-now timeline. We want everything right now or we are just unwilling to put the time in to grow, and be, do and have all that we desire. We often don’t give ourselves the proper time to heal, learn and grow in a way that our ( read full post )

No Is Not A Dirty Word

On Feb 04, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
Are you leaving space in your life for rest, for things you love, or to say yes to fun opportunities that come up at the last minute? If you opened up your calendar right now, is there space in there for YOU? I had to start practicing saying no because I had every weekend booked, every evening had a networking event, every minute of the day was planned, organized and scheduled with me either sitting at my desk or with clients. This left no time for creativity, and no time to say yes to last minute things that come up.  It always left no time to just rest and do nothing. Which is so freaking blissful!  Saying no isn’t stomping your feet and telling everyone to go take a hike. It can simply be taking pause and doing two things: 1. Asking yourself if you actually want to do it? 2. Looking at your calendar and seeing if you even time for ( read full post )


On Jan 28, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
Your level of happiness will be on the best things you will ever spend your time and energy on.  Pre-Contagiously Positive days, I was only 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 – basically a lot more things, not more good feeling emotions. And I had the mindset that I would be happy when, and only when, I got all of those things. Each goal I set had a list of just MORE. Things that held no emotional attachment to me, brought me zero joy, and even things that I didn’t really want, but thought I “should” want.  Since I began creating my annual life vision, and heart centered goals, I have come to realize that I never wanted to HAVE more, I wanted, and continue to want to FEEL more.  Meaning, I want more fun experiences, I want more child-like excitement, and I ( read full post )

What Do You Want?

On Jan 21, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
This week, I had the extreme joy of teaching a grade 12 class on creating heart-centered goals. They are all about to graduate and most of them are heading to college in the fall. During one of the conversations, it became clear that once they hit a certain age, their parents and teachers stopped telling them to dream and use their imagination, and instead, be realistic. They have had all these big dreams for their lives and now when they are just about to graduate and go into the world independently, they are told to be realistic about what goals they set for themselves. Is this when we begin to instil fear in them, just before they go out on their own, which is already a scary enough?  As I thought about it that is exactly what happens. For years our dream of being an artist is supported and then we are told it won’t make us any money. Or, ( read full post )

Your Body Is Talking To You, But Are You Listening?

On Jan 14, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
Your body is uniquely designed: your digestive system, your organs, and your cells, all react differently to the foods, thoughts and emotions that you consume. That is why it is so important to get to know your body and to listen to the messages it is giving you.  Whether you are listening to your bodies signals or not, it will always tell you what’s up, what it doesn’t like and what it does like. If you eat something and it makes you feel tired, sick, gives you a rash, or you experience stomach upsets, that is a sign that you might not want to eat or drink that specific food. Those are the signs we can’t ignore. But it will also speak to you emotionally with feelings of irritability, and perhaps sadness. Yes, food does have that affect on us. On the flip side of that, when you are really taking care of your body, you will get a rush ( read full post )

You Are In The Drivers Seat

On Jan 07, 2020 By: Laurie-ann
If your life was a car, are you the one driving it? I don’t want you to be a passenger in your life, letting everyone else dictate where you are going, what you should do, and how you want to feel. I want you to be where you deserve – in the drivers seat. I want you all to step into 2020 with excitement and hope that it is going to be an amazing year. Which is why this weeks blog I’m sharing a few things I believe can help us all to feel the way we want to feel and start our year off intentional about what we want and putting ourselves in the drivers seat.   I decided not to set any resolutions for 2020. I want to spend my focus and energy on adding more health and happiness into my life, not focusing on what I don’t want or don’t have. That feels too limiting and I ( read full post )

Looking Back at a Year Gone By

On Dec 18, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
Can you believe we are in a new decade? I couldn’t have imagined the year 2020 when I was a little girl. Remember all the movies that took place in the future and how futuristic 2020 was depicted? Flying cars in most of them!   I know that many of you had an amazing year, and I also know that some of you may have had some ups and downs. Whatever your experience was, it was yours to have. There are lessons in both.  There is no better time to reflect on a year gone by then just before a new one begins. If it was a great year, what made it so great? What worked? What can you take into 2020 to continue having such positive momentum? If it wasn’t a great year, and you experienced those ups and downs, struggles, challenges, and possibly heartbreak, what caused it? What didn’t work? What do you intend not to take into 2020? What do you intend ( read full post )

Don’t Sacrifice Your Health

On Dec 10, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
Don’t sacrifice your health for wealth and don’t sacrifice your wealth for your health. That is the advice I would give my younger, less wiser self.   We work so hard to be successful. We stress, we hustle, we burn ourselves out, we don’t have time for exercise or even eating proper meals, often skipping most of them. Then we make it. We finally get to the place where we want in our career, but can’t enjoy it because we are burnt out, maxed out, stressed out. Does this sound familiar? This was my old story. Once I became sick from stress, by trying to get to the “top” and trying get it “all” done, I had the wealth, but was now spending it on my health. I was hiring every healer I could to just help “fix” me.   The true fix for me was when I began to make my health a priority. I no longer sacrifice my health for anything. And I ( read full post )

Staying Healthy During The Holidays – While Still Enjoying Your Favourite Foods

On Dec 02, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
Last week we talked about not welcoming holiday stress into your life this season with some great tips. If you missed it, you can read it again here. This week, I’m sharing some easy tips on how to stay healthy during the holidays while still enjoying all your favourite foods. You don’t have to feel stuffed, sick, tired or gain weight during the holidays, and you can enjoy all your favourites. 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 favourite 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 DishIf it is a potluck meal, bring a healthy dish that is hearty and will fill you ( read full post )

Holiday Stress: Going From Stressed Out To Blissed Out

On Nov 26, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
Are you ready to go from stressed out to blissed out this holiday season? The holidays, for many, include anxiety and stress. Let’s make stress unwelcome this season.  I used to get sick to my stomach every Christmas. I would over extend myself and go to every single event, but never really get quality time in because I was dashing from house to house. I would over spend on gifts that never got used, only to feel stressed when I saw my January Visa bill. I would lose my patience going from store to store that were filled with so many (too many) people doing last minute shopping. And then the special day would come and I would be hit with either a cold or the flu. Of course! My nervous system had just been on high alert for an entire month, lowering my immune system.   Today is a completely different story. I made the decision many years ago ( read full post )

Unleash Your Inner Contagiously Positive By Celebrating The Wins

On Nov 19, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
“Don’t let the next thing keep you from relishing in this thing.”  In the past, I would work on project, put the finishing touches on it,  and a voice in my head said, “now what?” Without even missing a beat, I was ready to move on to the next project – the next goal. In an instant, I felt like I was being taken away from the massive thing I just completed. Some projects are a year in the making, and I’m not going to celebrate it?!   Last year I completed UNLEASH. 6 years worth of content creation and dreaming, and when I put it online, I thought, “Now what? What do I work on next?” I was talking to another coach and she said, “You have to celebrate the bigness of this. Don’t move on to the next thing, stay with this for the next month and just be with it.”   The hustle part of my brain was telling me ( read full post )

Don’t Be SAD: Seasonal Affective Disorder

On Nov 12, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
This is the time of year where many people are suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). We are heading into winter, it is dark and cold when we leave for work and it is dark and cold when we get home from work. We may not be not as active, we are not getting enough sunlight, or maybe you are one who just have an overall hate on for winter. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs due to the change of seasons and it usually begins at the same time of year. For some it starts in the fall and lasts until spring. And for others, it will begin early January and lasts until spring.   How do you know if you are experiencing SAD and not just a bad week?  You will begin to feel your energy levels go down each and every day, you will experience every day moodiness, consistent irritability and on a daily ( read full post )

Making Decisions That Might Hurt Someone Else

On Nov 05, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
A couple weeks ago I spoke at an event where my topic was Making Decisions with Ease: Tapping Into Your Inner Guidance System. During the conversation, I asked the women why it was so difficult to make decisions, and one of the top reasons was hurting someone else. We will sacrifice our own happiness to not hurt someone else, which creates resentment and we end up hurting them anyway. This conversation I’m about to have with you feels heavy and may not seem Contagiously Positive, but it actually really is. It is real life. Real feelings we all experience. I want to have meaningful conversations with you, not just send you inspiring quotes, which are great to get us motivated, but sometimes we need more than just a few words, so let’s dive in.   Are you struggling to make a decision because it might hurt someone? If you said yes, you are not alone. So often we stay in something that is causing us pain ( read full post )

Attitude of Gratitude

On Nov 04, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
An attitude of gratitude turns feelings of lack into feelings of abundance.   One of my daily morning rituals, even before I get out of bed, is to say three things that I’m grateful for. I don’t think about, or do anything else before I express gratitude. This simple act starts my day off from a place of abundance and ease, instead of stress and lack.   The thing about gratitude is that it helps to look at your life positively, seeing that even in difficult times, there are still many blessings to be thankful for.   Do you have air in your lungs? Thank you. Are you able to stretch your body? Thank you. Do you a bed under you that kept you warm throughout the night? Thank you. Do you have a roof over your head, protecting you? Thank you. Do you have a job to go to, even if you don’t like it, that pays the bills? Thank you. ( read full post )

Becoming a Better Listener

On Oct 29, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
Have you ever said, “Why won’t you just listen?” or had someone say it to you? If yes, you are definitely not alone. Being a good listener isn’t always easy. While someone is talking, we are often thinking of what we want to say next, or distracted by a squirrel off in the distance. There is nothing wrong with you, or with the person not listening – it is called being human.   This lesson is all about becoming a better listener. The best way to do this is by becoming self-aware.   What is your listening default style?  Let’s find out where you land and how you can enhance your listening skills.   Level 1: Listening to Yourself  This is the me, myself and I zone. When a person listens at level 1, they are actually listening to the sound of their own inner voice. They may hear the words of the other person, but they are not really listening. They are aware of their own opinions, stories, and judgments — their ( read full post )

The Energy of Money: Overcoming a Scarcity Mindset

On Oct 22, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
How often do you doubt what you are charging for something, or earning a salary for? How often do you not stand in your own power and say, “this is what I’m worth”? Or even ask for what you want? In 2018, I set the intention that I was going to stand in my own power and value my worth. Before becoming an entrepreneur, when I was working for a company, I felt like I wasn’t making enough, knew I wasn’t making as much as the men in the same exact position, with the same experience (sometimes less), and I was terrified to ask for more. This didn’t end when I started my business. I felt so uncomfortable setting my rates and submitting proposals. I knew I had to get over this because it created a scarcity mindset. During this almost 2-year journey, I am proud to say, I have healed my scarcity mindset, value my worth and love talking ( read full post )

Enhance Your Positivity In The Workplace

On Oct 15, 2019 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 unleashing your inner contagiously positive, 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 inner balance, it is important to feel fulfilled good 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 don’t plan on leaving your job, and if you want to ( read full post )

Choosing Happiness

On Oct 08, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
Your level of happiness is going to be one of the most life altering things you can choose to control. It isn’t about choosing to be a perfect little happy robot. It is about choosing a happy life, regardless of what challenges you have to face. I thought that I would share one of the happiness methods that I talk about in UNLEASH.  This method has given me power when I felt powerless, hope when I felt hopeless, and choices when I felt like I had none.   Do you believe that happiness is a choice? We have this voice in our head that says no, I call it the Saboteur. It creates this false belief and narrative that makes us believe that the external world is where our happiness lies. This voice also makes us believe that we don’t have the power to make a choice, and that is a lie and story we tell ourselves over and over ( read full post )

Not Letting Fear Run The Show

On Oct 01, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
You are the thinker of your thoughts, you are not your thoughts.  We all get afraid. Fear is normal. We need fear to keep us safe. But so many of us are letting fearful thoughts keep us from doing things that we really want to do. We have become afraid of things that we don’t even need to be afraid of and fear is running the show for many of us.  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. 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. ( read full post )

Motivation / Positivity Hack: Strengthening Your Emotional and Spiritual Bodies

On Sep 23, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
“It isn’t what you do once in a while that makes a difference, it is what you do consistently.”  -Tony Robbins- I’m not healthy because I moved my body once and ate one healthy meal. If I want to keep my physical body strong, I have to consistently eat healthy and consistently move my body. If I just stopped doing this, I would become unhealthy.   Well, that same principle applies to our emotional and spiritual bodies. If you stop working the work of feeling the way you want to feel, they weaken and become unhealthy. You feel spiritually fatigued (like something is missing in life) and your negative emotions take over, wanting to move you permanently into negative-ville. You are going to have days where you drive through it, but what we want to avoid is taking up permanent residence there.   Two things that keep us from committing to our goals, daily habits and aligned action, are fear, ( read full post )

My Daily Manifestation Ritual

On Sep 18, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
I believe in the universal law: you ask for it, you will receive it. Not with magical pixie dust, sitting on the couch and doing nothing, but by focusing on the thing that you really want, and doing things that align your energy with it in a way that you believe without a doubt that this thing will be yours. I have been thinking about, reading about and listening to a bunch of podcasts about manifestation lately. I get a lot of questions about manifestation and have come to realize that it is confusing for so many. I myself have questioned it over and over again; feeling like sometimes it is a trap. But I believe I now understand the basics, or rather, I hope so.   “Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way.” Albert Einstein   Here is how I have ( read full post )

Life Happens For You, Not To You

On Sep 10, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
Sometimes things happen for you, not to you. What does the reframe look and feel like if you think, this didn’t happen to me, it happened for me? I am always being reminded and reminding myself that things often happen for me, not to me. And if I can see the lesson, turn it around and then teach it to others, that is where the gift lies because to my core, my purpose is to teach. There are things that have happened in my life that in the moment were terrible. Like, how am I ever going to get through this awful! But then, something amazing happens, or I meet someone new because of it, or it opens up a new door that I never even imagine before, or it allows me to grow, change and evolve in ways I never thought possible. In the moment that it is happening, I’m not thinking, “This is happening for me.” God no! ( read full post )

Let Your Light Shine

On Sep 02, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
When was the last time you just let loose, let all of you shine and felt the freedom and joy of letting your light shine? We don’t need a permission slip to be, do and have all that we desire, but some of us, many of us, think that we do. Consider this your permission slip. Let your light shine!   Give yourself permission to step into the person that you are, and the things that you know about yourself, but you are too afraid to put out there. Give yourself the space to step into that woman/man.   I invite you to take a pause and really take this in.   Marianne Williamson says, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”   What happens when we don’t allow our true selves to be seen? It dims our light. We begin to judge ourselves, thinking that our truest ( read full post )

Becoming a Master Problem Solver

On Aug 26, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
Being a problem solver means accepting the situation or problem for what it is. Just name the problem. Don’t sugar coat it, toss it in glitter or roll it in fluff – just name it, own it, accept it. And then, start throwing solutions at it. I became dubbed the contagiously positive girl after practicing being a problem solver instead of always being a part of the problem. This was pre-contagiously positive days when I was working in the construction industry. My co-worker was in a frizzy over a problem, and I decided not to go down the rabbit hole where we didn’t think we could ever solve this, and I started to throw out every random solution I could think of at him. I even said things that I knew we would never do because they were so silly, but it defused his frustration (which is what I wanted) and he said, “you are so f**king contagiously positive.” Then ( read full post )

Being Mindful of Your Shadow Self

On Aug 19, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
Your physical shadow doesn’t appear without there being a bright sun. Your spiritual shadow is the same. You would not know darkness had you never known the light and vice versa. In UNLEASH, I start the self-guided course by talking about our shadow self. I describe mine, how she works, what she says, and how she used to hold me back. I begin by talking about our shadow self because it is where so many of us make our decisions from – the darkness (fear) instead of the light (love).   In 1999 I hit rock bottom hard. I was living my life entirely from my shadow self. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I can see every moment. I remember the smells, the feeling of the floor that I was crying on, my thoughts; every feeling I felt is so vivid in my mind. I didn’t want to get up and it took every ounce of energy I ( read full post )

Are You At A Breaking Point? Where There Is Darkness, There Is Also Light

On Aug 13, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
In 1999 I had my very first rock bottom. Little did I know that this breakdown would become my blessing, my breakthrough, and one of the most important moments in my life. I consider it the worst and best day of my life. It was the absolute worst day because I felt so much pain, hopelessness and became terrified when I had the thought that I no longer wanted to live – what if I just don’t leave this floor? It was the absolute best day because it began my spiritual journey to becoming dubbed the contagiously positive girl. It became the moment where I had this glimmer of light shine through that I was worthy of so much more. It was the day that shook me to my core so strongly that I knew I wasn’t going to continue on the path of darkness any longer. It was the day I chose to get up off the floor and live, love and enjoy ( read full post )

Creating a Contagiously Positive Home

On Aug 06, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
I read in a law of attraction book once that we need to make space for new things to come in. Meaning, if you want to manifest a new wardrobe, clear away the clothes that don’t make you feel good, so you have space for the new ones. This isn’t about law of attraction, but everything really is because what we attract in our life is based on our energy. If your home stresses you out because it is cluttered, what will your mind feel like? Cluttered!   Albert Einstein taught that EVERYTHING is energy. That includes material objects, your home, the plants, your thoughts, your words, EVERYTHING. You spend a lot of time in your home, so making it energetically aligned with how you want to feel is freeing, spacious, joyous, and just plain fun.   Every year or so, I go through every single room and donate or sell things that I haven’t used, or simply don’t want ( read full post )

Strengthening Your Self-Worth Muscles

On Jul 30, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
The older I get, and the more I learn and grow within myself, the more I fully know and understand that my (your) self-worth is an inside job. Your worth is strictly how you perceive yourself, not how other people perceive you. Your worth isn’t defined by what you own, or how much money you have. Your worth is valuing that you are absolutely amazing when you are being your true self – without the masks. Your worth doesn’t come by trying to get other people to perceive you in a certain way, or to believe in you – your work is to like who you are and believe that you are worthy within yourself. We work the work to strengthen our spiritual, mental, emotional, attitudinal, and physical muscles (even when we don’t want to) because we are worthy of all that we want to be, do and have in this beautiful life.   One of the best things I have heard from a ( read full post )

Creating a New Story For Your Life & Living It

On Jul 23, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
The stories that we tell are either supporting us, or holding us back. What is the narrative that you are living your life from?  Since I can remember, I have been a procrastinator. I would leave everything until the last minute and then do a mad dash sprint to get it done just before the deadline. Studying for tests, completing assignments, starting projects, completing tasks – I would always leave it right until minutes before the end, then of course feel stressed out because I was being rushed. Rushing to get it done also affected the quality (poorly).   I have always disliked this about myself, but didn’t want to do anything to change it – or rather didn’t think I could because it felt like it was ingrained into my personality. It felt like it was just always going to be a part of my story.   One day my friend, Jolene Watson, who is a Myers Briggs Practitioner, took me through my assessment and apparently my ( read full post )

Pivoting: Deactivating A Thought, By Activating Another

On Jul 16, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
“You’re picky about the car you drive. You’re picky about what you wear. You’re picky about what you put in your mouth. We want you to be pickier about what you think.” -Esther Hicks- I learned about pivoting 10 years ago while listening to an audio book on my commute to work. This was back in the day when we had to buy the cd and play it in our car. The book was The Law of Attraction, written by Esther and Jerry Hicks. In this book, they take us on an exploration of our mind – deactivating a negative thought by activating another thought that is more positive.   Let’s start with thoughts. The longer you think about a thought, the stronger that thought becomes because it is given the time and space to gain momentum. Saying to yourself, “I’m not going to think about this thought that I have been thinking about all day anymore” doesn’t usually work. Why? Because saying you are not going to ( read full post )

Staying Committed When You Feel Like Giving Up

On Jul 08, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
“I know what I need to do, why is it so hard to do it?” The applying is really where the challenge lies. We know we need to work out. We know that we should be eating healthy. We understand that we need to take time to fill our own cup. So why is it so difficult to take consistent action and truly commit? This is something I’ve been hearing a lot as I’ve been working with the women who are taking UNLEASH. We talk a lot about fear and making new choices and that is really where it all begins; it starts with the choice and claiming what you want, while not letting fear be our decision maker.   For example: I choose ease over fear. I choose fun over fear. I choose clarity over fear. I choose love over fear. I choose trust over fear. I choose calm over frenzy. I choose balance over imbalance. I choose allowance over resistance. I choose financial freedom over the bondage of debt and scarcity. I ( read full post )

The Digital Detox

On Jul 02, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
Unleashing your inner contagiously positive takes a group effort between nourishing your body, soul, and mind. We have these three parts of us that work together so powerfully so that we can strengthen our mental, emotional, spiritual and physical muscles. Sometimes it isn’t the things we do that helps us stay strong and connected, but the things we take a break from – the not doing. And the busyness of social media and all things digital is often the simplest thing we can do to find our happy place and reconnected and be present. A digital sabbatical and resting our brains helps us shut down all the external noise and just be.   Let me ask you, do you feel like you have brain toxicity overload? Social media, news, radio, cell phones, iPads, computers, etc. We get negative information thrown at as all day. Not to mention that sometimes the beeps, dings, chimes and rings can become so annoying! And, how ( read full post )

An Elixir To The Shame Hangover

On Jun 25, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
“Shame hurts our soul the way physical pain hurts our body.” The dictionary describes shame as: ‘a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behaviour.’ Contagiously Positive Girl translation: Shame is like an emotional termite for our soul. If we let it in it will eat away and take down the structure of our home – our mind, body and soul.   The person we guilt and shame the most is ourselves. I see many people, myself included, holding themselves hostage to a mistakes they made. I also see lots of shame around money, relationships, parenthood, what we said, what we didn’t say, what we did, what we didn’t do. And, we also feel shame around what other people make us feel shameful for. There is this great quote from Anais Nin. “Shame is the lie someone told you about yourself.”   To fully unleash your inner contagiously positive, we have to accept ( read full post )

Recognizing When You Are Caught In “I’ll Be Happy When…”

On Jun 18, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
Are you enjoying the journey of life, or waiting to be happy when you reach a certain destination? And… How can you enjoy the destination if you are not enjoying the journey? I wanted to be happy so badly, but I got caught up in the trap of “I’ll be happy when I have…”   I’ll be happy when I get that job promotion. I’ll be happy when I get married. I’ll be happy when I am shown respect in my industry. I’ll be happy when I am making a certain amount of money. I’ll be happy when I live in this house. I’ll be happy when I travel to these places. I’ll be happy when I retire.   When I became aware that I was stuck in the trap of I’ll only be happy when I have or experience something, I realized that I could still have wants, needs, desires and goals, that haven’t yet been achieved, and still ( read full post )

Embracing Change

On Jun 11, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
Change is inevitable. We can fight against it. We can resist it. We can ignore it. But it’s still there and it’s still going to happen. Resist it, and constantly fight against the current, or we can embrace it knowing that it’s the most natural thing that happens as we age, grow, learn and evolve, as the seasons of our lives change, and as our wants, desires and needs change.   Imagine if things didn’t changed. Imagine where we would be; where you would be if everything stayed exactly the same and we never had the opportunity for newness and advancement.   Change is as natural as gravity so we can resist it and fight vehemently to stay where we are, to keep things just as they are, slowly driving ourselves mad, or we can embrace it fully and let it expand our lives, our hearts and use it to up our happiness game to new levels. As you can see ( read full post )

Dear Diary | Money Mindfulness

On Jun 03, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
Money is necessary. We need it daily, it makes our economic, consumer, retail, commercial world go round. Money is also not evil. Money is neither good or bad, it is a part of what we need while we live. Period. Almost every single morning, I get up; I make my coffee and free-write in my journal. I just write whatever comes to my mind. It can be my intentions for the day, what I want to release, the things I’m grateful for, or just any self-expression that I want to get out onto the page. Sometimes, if the creativity angels are with me, a blog post with random thoughts and questions about life comes out. Which is what happened with what I’m about to share with you today. These words flowed onto the page and I decided to share what I wrote with you, my beautiful contagiously positive community. Here is what flowed out of me… I’ve been dirt poor ( read full post )

Trust, Honesty & Communication: Three Musts For Happy Relationships

On May 27, 2019 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. Trust in any relationship is so important. In Mark Mason’s book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F&*K, 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. Which is, many of us are so afraid of hurting someone’s feelings, by giving an honest answer or having deeper conversations, so we just tell a white lie.   Depending on how many of these little white lies we tell each other, by not having real meaningful conversations, we become disconnected. Without honest communication, there can be no trust.   My ( read full post )

Your Tribe Affects Your Vibe

On Apr 30, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
Some people won’t be your people. It’s not that there is anything wrong with them, or you, your personalities just don’t align. They will be someone else’s people. You also won’t be everyone’s person. It’s not that there is anything wrong with you, or then, your personalities just don’t align. Once you really accept this without feeling unworthy, rejected, or judgmental of them, or yourself, you can align yourself with those who are your people. On the last day of my digital coaching course, UNLEASH, I talk about the importance of having a supportive tribe. A tribe a friends and family who love you, support you, cheer for you, raise you up, have meaningful conversations with, and never judge you. And also friends who you can grow together with and create really amazing lives with. I share the email from the course with you below (a little insider treat), but I want to tell you why I wanted to share this ( read full post )

When You Want To Give Up On Your Goals, Read This

On Apr 23, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” –Theodore Roosevelt- Some days I feel so connected to my goal that I believe without a doubt that nothing and no one is going to get in my way. I believe with full-hearted trust that there is nothing I cannot be, do or have and I take action from this place of confidence.   AND THEN…   There are days where I want to give up on my goal. There are days when it feels too hard, too far away, too unattainable, or too unbelievable.  And I yell at the universe and say, “why the heck did you put this desire in me only to make it so difficult?!”   I can listen to the voice that is telling me all the reasons why I should give up, and maybe it would be easier to give up and do something less challenging. If I listened to that voice and just gave up, I ( read full post )

Strengthening Your Emotional Muscles

On Apr 16, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
“You cannot control your external circumstances, what other people do and say, but you can control your reaction and attitude to those external circumstances and experiences.”  What do we actually have control over? This is a question I often ask myself when I’m being triggered, or when fear creeps in.   We have control over our reactions. We have control over our attitude. We have control over our emotions. We have control over our actions. What we do, or don’t do. What we say, or don’t say. We have control over our decisions. When we are afraid of doing something, we can choose to allow fear to be our decision maker, or we can take action with the fear tagging along.   What don’t we have control over? We cannot control our external circumstances. We cannot control what other people do, how they react, what they say, their attitude, and what they believe.   Pre-Contagiously Positive days, I learned how ( read full post )

The Subtle Art of Simplicity

On Apr 09, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”  -Leonardo Da Vinci- Keep things simple.  Sounds like that should be an easy task, right? But so many of us struggle with simplicity because we are not designed for it, or rather, we are, but it is ingrained in us to overcomplicate almost everything. Because if it seems too simple, we must not be working hard enough. And if we are not working hard enough, how can we measure success. And if we can’t measure our success, that must mean we are failing. And if we are failing, we must not be good enough. By the way, none of this is true. In my opinion, it is a big reason why most days we feel like mad hatter madness going on in our mind, body and soul. It has been beaten into our minds that we must hustle, work hard, and burn ourselves out if we want to achieve our goals.   If this is ( read full post )

Even The Contagiously Positive Get Angry

On Apr 01, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
I want to talk to you about anger and how to deal with this totally normal emotion in a positive way, instead of allowing it to turn into rage where you have now taken up permanent residence in hate. I’ve experienced, on several occasions, the need to say, “I’m sorry for what I said when I was angry.” It never feels good.   My buttons were pushed to the limit with an experience a few weeks ago and I took my own advice and practiced seeing it from a different perspective. It has been a great opportunity for me to practice what I preach.   “We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.”  Anais Nin    First, I am not apologizing for the way I felt. I felt it, that is okay. But, I didn’t have to act (or react) on the anger, which I chose not to.   Let  me explain…   In my business, someone was acting really unkind, angry, and being very hateful. ( read full post )

Your Attitude Is Contagious: Strengthening Your Attitudinal Muscles

On Mar 25, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
In Marianne Williamson’s book, Tears to Triumph, she talks about practicing spiritual exercises to train our attitudinal muscles, just like we would to train our physical muscles. She says, “The most powerful tool for success in life, in any area, is that our minds be channels for right thinking.”  I don’t only agree with this, but I am living proof. My business name and entire business came because a man I worked with was going on a negative rampage one day. I could have gone into the negative vortex with him, but instead, I waited for him to finish, and responded from a solution based mindset. After a few moments he looked at me and said, “you are so f*&cking contagiously positive. I want to be pissed off, but I can’t because your attitude is contagious.”   A few years ago I was facilitating a workshop called Harmony In the Workplace. One of the modules was about negative workplace attitude and how it affects the energy of everyone, including themselves ( read full post )

Have You Lost Your Laughter Mojo?

On Mar 19, 2019 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 laughter. 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 is going to be our best 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 ( read full post )

My Biggest Lessons From 2018

On Jan 09, 2019 By: Laurie-ann
“When you change you learn, when you learn you grow.”  I woke up one morning a few weeks ago and I was like, “I’m so frigging happy!”   I wanted to tell you this because working the work of feeling good, works. PERIOD! This stuff works! I want you to believe that you have the power to change your life if you are not feeling happy or fulfilled in one area, or all of them.   I know it works, because I have been working it like a full-time gig. If you read or watched anything from me in 2017, you’ve heard me say how much I couldn’t get my shit together. I was upset all the time – cranky, irritable, frustrated with my business, annoyed with my husband and my puppy, and this extroverted woman didn’t want to be around people.   I know that my problems are first world problems, but that doesn’t minimize how I was feeling. ( read full post )

Sweet Potato Brazilian Stew

On Sep 30, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
I was going to make a Brazilian Fish Stew, but decided to try it with sweet potato to make up a vegetarian option. The flavours together just pop! It is sweet, but also savoury and spicy. It is the perfect blend of all flavours. And it is so healthy, so win win. As I alway say, good health doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does have to taste delicious. Serve on its own or with rice, quinoa or even your favorite pasta of choice. Rice was my go-to.   Ingredients 1 large sweet potato, cut into large bite sized chunks 2 cups chopped carrots 1 zucchini, cut unto large bite sized chunks 1 small sweet yellow onion, diced 1 red bell pepper, cubed 2 cloves of garlic, minced 1 398 ml can chopped tomatoes 1 398 ml can organic coconut milk 2 limes (one for sauce and 1 for garnish) 1 cup water 1 tablespoon ground cumin 1 tablespoon smoked paprika Sea salt and pepper, ( read full post )

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

On Sep 23, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 8 This is the perfect fall meal, especially when served with some salad greens like arugula. It serves 8 and it cost me under 20$ to make, including the arugula salad. I did have all the spices and oil already on hand. Not only is this delicious as stuffed peppers, but the filling also makes a great nacho topper. Perfect meal for nacho night and you can serve it with salsa and guacamole.   Ingredients 4 medium bell peppers, halved and seeded 2½ cups chopped eggplant, skin removed (or zucchini when eggplant isn’t in season) 1 small onion, chopped 2 medium tomatoes, chopped 1 can (2 cups) kidney beans 1 can (2 cups) chickpeas 1 large clove of garlic, minced ½ jalapeno pepper, minced (use the whole if you can handle the heat) 1 tablespoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon smoked paprika ½ teaspoon chili powder 1 teaspoon ground coriander Juice of 1 lime Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped Extra-virgin ( read full post )

Salmon Cakes

On Jul 23, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 (makes approximately 8-10 patties)   If you are making these for burgers, make the patties larger, so they fill up the bun. The first time I had them I made them as a salmon cakes and paired it with a salad. The second time, I made burgers with them and I definitely preferred it as a burger. Probably because I smothered it with guacamole. Both options are delicious!    Ingredients 2 x 4-6 ounce pieces of fresh salmon, cut into large cubes Handful of fresh parsley ¼ cup minced sweet yellow onion 1 teaspoon ground ginger 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for cooking A couple dashes of hot sauce, like Frank’s Red Hot (optional) Sea salt and pepper, to taste   Directions Place all ingredients, except for the salmon, into a food processor and pulse until the parsley is chopped. Add the salmon and pulse until the salmon is minced up and everything is blended together. Don’t over ( read full post )

Pasta Primavera

On Jul 15, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
The Italian meaning of primavera is spring. Pasta primavera traditionally consists of pasta and fresh vegetables that honours the coming of spring and its seasonal vegetables. Use whatever vegetables are in season and load it up with healthy fresh garlic and extra-virgin olive oil. YUM! Swap any of the vegetables that I have used for your own. The magic of this dish is that is really doesn’t matter what kind of vegetables you use, as long as they are plentiful, fresh and delicious. Bon appetite! Serves 4   Ingredients 1 large zucchini, cut in half and thinly sliced 1 small red onion, chopped 2 cups white button mushrooms, quartered 1 cup fennel, thinly sliced 2 large cloves of garlic 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced 2 cups freshly chopped kale or spinach Juice of 1 lemon Handful of fresh basil, chopped 4-6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Pinch of chili flakes (or to taste if you like it spicy) Black pepper, to taste 1/4 cup chopped ( read full post )

Lemon Garlic Salmon

On Jul 11, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
Healthy Living 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 under 20 minutes.   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 into a large skillet over medium-high heat. Bring to a gentle boil. 2. ( read full post )

Anti-Negativity Guacamole

On Jun 12, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
Ingredients 4 ripe avocados 1 small jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped 1 -2 large garlic clove, chopped Sea salt to taste Juice of 1 lime Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped Pinch of cumin (optional)   Directions Halve the avocados, discarding the pits and scooping the avocados into a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients to the avocado and mash with a form until smooth. You can also place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until it is to the consistency that you like.   Serve with organic blue corn tortilla chips.

Love Your Body & Your Body Will Love You Back

On Jun 06, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
I haven’t always lived a healthy lifestyle and my body definitely let me know that it wasn’t pleased with the way I was living and eating. Stomach aches, acne, low energy, irritability, hormone imbalances, constant infections…just to name a few. Once I began to give my body some love, it started loving me back by becoming free of these symptoms. Stress was a major factor in my life, and I needed to give my entire life an overhaul, but I started with what I was eating. That seemed like the easiest thing to begin with since I had no clue where to even start managing the stressors in my life at the time. On my journey to becoming the Contagiously Positive Girl, dubbed by a man I worked with, I become a health-nut junkie. I dove head first into the deep end of nutrition. Food is always a great place to start when it comes to your health and your happiness. You ( read full post )

Mexican Lettuce Wraps Topped with Guacamole & Pico de Gallo

On Jun 05, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4   Pico de Gallo Ingredients  1 large tomato, chopped 1 cup chopped red onion ½ cup fresh chopped cilantro Juice of 1 lime Pinch of ground cumin (optional) 1 tablespoon ground coriander Guacamole Ingredients 2 ripe avocados 1 small jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped 1 large garlic clove, chopped Sea salt to taste Juice of 1 lime Pinch of cumin (optional) Filling Ingredients 4 cups sliced white mushroom 2 cup shredded purple cabbage 1-2 tablespoons taco seasoning 1 340ml can black beans, drained and rinsed (look for no sodium added brands, like Eden Organic) 1-2 tablespoons taco seasoning (see below) Taco Seasoning Ingredients 4 tablespoons chili powder 3 tablespoons garlic powder 2 tablespoons chili chipotle 3 tablespoons dried oregano 2 tablespoons ground cumin 1-2 tablespoons smoked paprika (or regular paprika if you don’t like it too spicy)   4-6 large romaine or lettuce leaves, or lettuce of choice, for wraps Directions Taco Seasoning: Mix all ingredients together in a ( read full post )

Strawberry Summer Salad

On May 30, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
  When the temperatures heat up, I look for fresh, cool and quick recipes to make. This salad was all of the above, plus it was so darn delicious. You can serve it on a bed of spiralled zucchini, like I did, eat it on its own, or even toss it with some fresh spinach.   Anti-Negativity Benefits  This salad is also very much an anti-negativity recipe. The berries nice bright red hue offers up a massive antioxidant punch and is full of vitamins and minerals to help not just your health, but also your mood. Strawberries contain vitamin B1 (thiamine), which has been linked to improving your mood. B vitamins are often described as the anti-stress vitamin. If you are feeling sluggish, tired and irritable, I highly recommend having your levels checked. Many women need to take a B-vitamin supplement. Adding strawberries to your weekly meal plan, especially in the summer when they are fresh, is a great way ( read full post )

Your Life, Your Choice – Take Your Power Back

On May 23, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
I haven’t always made the best choices, but one of the greatest lessons I have learned is that this is my life, my choice, and I take full responsibility for it. That wasn’t an easy pill to swallow at first. It was easier to blame everyone and everything else for the life I was living. But the truth is, only I could make my life different. That required taking my power back. That required letting go of the blame game and saying, “I need to make different choices.” I didn’t have bad luck. In fact, the problem wasn’t my luck at all. It was continuing to make the same choices, expecting different results. My life, my choice – your life, your choice. Today I want to give you the push to take your own power back and create and live a life that you love!   We (you) deserve a great life. But we try to change our circumstances, our ( read full post )

Eating Yourself Contagiously Positive

On May 18, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
What I Learned On My Journey to Becoming Healthy  Last week, a young girl interviewed me for a project about body image and how I overcame my eating disorder when I was a young girl. It was incredibly eye opening to me because everything I teach about health today started from when I was a young girl. Something that I feel has really helped me, even to this day, is learning about nutrition and cooking healthy food. When I changed my mindset from thinking that food is calories and will make me gain weight, to a more positive mindset of, the nutrients from food is essential for me to thrive and survive, my entire mindset around food and my body changed. That was something that wasn’t included in my early counseling and feel like it was a huge missing piece of the puzzle. I believe it helps because it connects us with our food. It helps us see that food isn’t just a thing that can make us ( read full post )

Say YES! To Life

On May 15, 2018 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. I realized that travelling other people’s roads was making me feel spiritually and physically fatigued. 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 at least it has been all MINE.   Sometimes it has felt scary and there have been so many times where I didn’t know where to begin, but I have tried not to let the fear old me back. Saying YES! to making happiness my permanent default setting has been challenging, exciting, exhausting, exhilarating, bumpy, fulfilling and I’ve made lots of “mistakes”, but I love every single part of it because it has brought me to this exact moment where ( read full post )

Transforming Guilt

On May 10, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
WOMEN AND GUILT GO TOGETHER LIKE PEANUT BUTTER AND JAM, BUT WITHOUT THE GOOD TASTE. 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 ( read full post )

Veggie & Nevis Patties

On May 08, 2018 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 )

Spicy Tomato Gnocchi

On May 03, 2018 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. I call that anti-negativity food. This is a ‘healthified’ 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. Keep it tasty! 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 whole tomatoes (mashed with fork while you cook) 2 tablespoons coconut oil 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 2 packages whole wheat gnocchi, cooked according to package directions Handful ( read full post )

Homemade Salsa

On May 02, 2018 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.  

Strawberry Crush

On May 01, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
With summer just around the corner, this refreshing drink is just what you need on a hot summer day, soaking up the sun. Keep it tasty! Serves 4 Ingredients Juice of 1 lemon Handful of fresh basil leaves 8-10 Strawberries, stems removed and cut in half San Pellegrino Vodka (optional)   Directions In a large drink mixer, or just a large Mason jar, add the lemon juice, basil leaves and strawberries.   Using a wooden spoon, muddle (mash) everything together until the strawberries turn into a chunky pulp. This also releases the oil from the basil leaves, which enhances the flavor.   Fill mixer with San Pellegrino, stir well and pour into ice filled glasses. You can garnish with a few basil leaves and extra lemon wedges.   If you are using vodka, I recommend 1 ounce per drink.  

Food Combining – Follow Your Gut

On Apr 26, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
The greatest wealth you will ever receive is your health.    When you have problems with your gut, it can feel incredibly daunting to try and pin-point the exact cause. For some it may be food sensitivities and for others it might be the way their digestive system is breaking down their food – or rather not doing its job properly. Just like any diet, there isn’t one diet for anyone, and the same goes for resolving digestive issues. The solution requires some detective work and you are the detective. Here is one tip that may help you solve the case.  Food Combining  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 for those people with sensitivities. Both causing painful stomach upsets. If after you eat, you suffer from bloating, constipation, gas, ( read full post )

Unleash Your Inner Contagiously Positive With Books

On Apr 20, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
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 10 of my favourites. The Gratitude Diaries, by Janice Kaplan Firestarter Sessions, by Danielle Laporte The Success Principles, by Jack Canfield The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho Beautiful Money, by Leanne Jacobs The Universe Has Your Back, by Gabrielle Bernstein A Return To Love, by Marianne Williamson Ask and It Is Given, by Jerry and Esther Hicks You Can Heal Your Life, by ( read full post )

Positive Money Mindset: Knowing Your Numbers & Setting Your Financial Goals

On Apr 18, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
Before I wrote this blog, I shared a video to help you create a financial vision that will guide you when you set financial goals. You can read/watch it again here. In this blog, I’m sharing with you a few tips from my goal setting process to enhance this process even more.  KNOW YOUR NUMBERS The first step to setting your money goals is to actually know what your current numbers are. I have attached a worksheet below to help guide you. Knowing your numbers is powerful. We must take control of our finances and not be afraid to look at our bank accounts. If it isn’t the way you like it, let’s work on a plan to make it better. I used to hate looking at my accounts and credit card statements. But the thing is, even if I don’t look, it doesn’t change the reality. Now I have total control of what comes in and what goes out, which puts me in the power seat. I also have ( read full post )

Contagiously Positive Style Lettuce Wrapped Tacos

On Apr 17, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 This recipe is so packed full of flavours, you won’t even miss the meat. It is vegetarian friendly, gluten free friendly and taste bud friendly. There are two bonus recipes for you to enjoy as well. The homemade taco seasoning is just as good as store-bought, if not better. By making it yourself, you are omitting the crazy amount of salt that is in those little packets and all the other hidden ingredients that you can’t even pronounce. You are also saving money, because this batch makes lots of extra for you to enjoy later. The sauce for the topping is a little flavour bonus that adds a cool and refreshing touch to a spicy dish. All of this put together is like a flavour explosion in your mouth. And it’s healthy! Swaps: If you want to add meat, just swap out the tofu for your favourite meat. Don’t want to wrap it in lettuce? No worries, swap ( read full post )

Creating Heart-Centered Goals

On Apr 16, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
You have set a goal and after a couple of months, it falls by the wayside, never to be seen again. Did you not achieve it because you were too lazy, procrastinated or unclear about how to achieve it? In my opinion, no, I don’t think that is why at all.   I used to set goals just to set them. Meaning, January 1stwould approach and I would sit down and list all of the things that I thought I “should” list out to achieve throughout the year. My old pattern looked like this:   Thought: “I should save more.” Goal: Put $50 dollars a month into savings account.   Thought: “I should probably work out more.” Goal: Work out 3 times a week.   Thought: “I should do more to improve my personal/professional development.” Goal: Read more books on personal/professional development.   Usually, by February 1st, my soulless list of “should” do this was forgotten and lost. “If your ( read full post )

Italian Bean Soup

On Apr 13, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
You don’t have to roast the tomatoes and peppers, but it does give it such a nice smokey flavour. It really ups this soups game. Remember, healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated, it just has to taste delicious. Serves 4  Ingredients 1 small onion, finely chopped 1 large yellow bell peppers, seeded and halved 2 tomatoes, halved 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 large carrots, finely chopped 3 large celery stalks, finely chopped 1 liter low sodium vegetable stock (or 4 cups homemade) 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil ½ teaspoon each of dried basil, oregano, and thyme (use 1 tablespoon each of fresh if in season) 1 tablespoon smoked paprika Fresh ground pepper to taste Fresh ground coriander to taste 1 can (approximately 2 cups) white kidney beans, or chickpeas 2 tablespoons lemon juice (optional) Optional: I added spinach to give it an extra nutrient boost.  Directions Preheat the broiler to high. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange yellow ( read full post )

Positive Money Mindset: Creating Your Financial Abundance Vision

On Apr 10, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
Last week, I talked about being more positive paying the bills. You can read it again here. This week, I wanted to continue our money talk by sharing with you a portion of one of my archived digital programs, and help you create a financial vision that will guide you when you set financial goals.  When creating any vision, and money is  no exception, we have to get very clear about what it is that we want. Before going anywhere, you have to decide what you want, otherwise, you might be feeling like you are going around in circles, not actually getting anywhere and really confused about what it is you should do next. Don’t get hung up on the how while you are in the vision phase. Many people stop before they even begin because they can’t imagine how they are going to achieve what they want. During this vision phase, you don’t need to know how you are going to get to where you want to go because ( read full post )

How Sending Thanks Can Up Your Happiness Game

On Apr 09, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
“Gratitude turns feelings of lack into feelings of abundance.”  This weekend, I was reminded of the importance of telling people how grateful you are for them, or thanking them for something they did or said that helped you in some way. I can write in my gratitude journal every single day, but nothing brings me more joy than letting those people I write about, in that journal, know how thankful I am for them. There is something amazing that happens to each person when we express our sincere thanks. For the person who is being thanked, I believe that it makes them feel connected, important, like they had an impact and are cared for, appreciated and loved. For the person who is doing the thanking, I believe it turns feelings of lack into feelings of abundance because it connects them and also makes them feeling cared for, appreciated and loved. It’s a Contagiously Positive cycle. One simple thing we can ( read full post )

Granola Apple Crunch

On Apr 05, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
You don’t have to sacrifice satisfying your sweet tooth when you are eating healthy, or trying to lose weight. The trick is to find healthy recipes that are sweetened with natural sweetener like honey. Limiting white sugar is one of the best things you can do for your health and happiness. Serves 4-6   Ingredients 7 apples, cored and chopped (peeled optional) 2 cups granola (see recipe here) Juice of ½ an orange 1 heaping tablespoon cinnamon 1 heaping tablespoon honey 2 tablespoons coconut oil Directions Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.   Toss together the chopped apples, orange juice, cinnamon, and honey. Mix until the apples are fully coated.   Spread the apples into an 8-12” baking dish.   Melt the coconut oil in the microwave. This should only take 30 seconds.   While the oil is melting, spread the granola on top of the apples. Drizzle the oil evenly on top of the granola. This will prevent the ( read full post )

Positive Money Mindset: How To Be Positive While Paying Bills

On Apr 04, 2018 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 money ( read full post )

No More Boring Salads!

On Mar 27, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
Salads That Heal & Satisfy 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 + 3 recipes from Healthy Living to help you make a salad that will not only be healthy, but will satisfy your cravings. Load it Up!  Load it up with 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 complex carbohydrates ( read full post )

Avocado Chocolate Pudding

On Mar 26, 2018 By: Laurie-ann
When life throws you an overripe avocado, make chocolate pudding!  Serves 2 (double the recipe for more)   Ingredients 2 ripe avocados ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 2-4 tablespoons nut milk (I use almond milk) 1 ripe banana A little honey for sweetness (a tablespoon or 2) A couple splashes of vanilla extract Pinch of cinnamon Unsweetened coconut flakes or berries for topping (optional) Directions Scoop out the flesh of the avocados into a food processor or blender. They can also be mashed by hand. Add remaining ingredients and process until creamy.

Love Is Not To Be Rationed

On Mar 26, 2018 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. Your Spread The Love Challenge (watch video below)  All love, Laurie-ann Sheldrick, The Contagiously Positive ( read full post )

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 )

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
“Self-care isn’t about selfishness. It is about self-awareness. You can’t give to others what you don’t give to yourself. When you take time for yourself, things in your life flow with more ease.” 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 ( 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
Spring and summer is a time lots of people make massive changes to their lives and their health, but my advice is not to wait until a vacation, or summer weather to make healthy changes. It can be so incredibly overwhelming to try and pack everything into a short span instead of spreading it out throughout the entire year. You can start today by making one small change at a time. Pick one thing and put it into action. I hate feeling sick, sluggish, having belly aches, and basically just blah. One of my top core-desired feelings is to feel healthy, which in turn also makes me feel happy. “You can’t have a healthy mind without a healthy body.”  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 ( 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 )

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      

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 )

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 )

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 )

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 cup 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. Mix ( 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.   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 the full chicken). ( 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 )

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 )

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 )

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 )

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 business? Should ( 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 )

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 )

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 )

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 )

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 )

You Never Fail When You Are Trying

On Apr 25, 2016 By: Laurie-ann
EVERYBODY FAILS. LEARN FROM IT AND TRY AGAIN. EVERY TRY MAKES YOU BETTER.  Fear of failure is something that I struggle with. Who wants to fail, right? But I “fail” all the time. 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 while I’m on Facebook Live or doing a live event, I 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 failures. They are all learning opportunities. They are slight detours that leads me to the right direction. I want you to remember this the next time you think you failed: ( read full post )

Positive Communication Could Have Saved Romeo & Juliet

On Mar 01, 2016 By: Laurie-ann
  Romeo & Juilet is just another example of why communication within a relationship is so crucial.  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 ( 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 )

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 )

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. 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, to taste Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped Directions Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.   Place chopped beets into a bowl and toss with a couple tablespoons of olive oil (enough to coat) and season with sea salt ( read full post )

Steps on Dealing with Difficult People

On Dec 01, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
If you were to squeeze toothpaste out of a tube, and I asked you to put it back, would you be able to? The answer is no. And the same goes for your words. When you say something to someone, you can’t take it back – those words are forever out of the tube. I thought it would be great to learn some new (or maybe not so new) tips on how to deal with difficult people or someone who just annoys the heck out of you.  What does this have to do with nourishing your mind and soul? Well, simply put, most of us feel guilty for hurting other people, especially when we only said what we said in the moment that we were angry. This is not a positive feeling and definitely does not nourish your heart and soul. Take it from me – the hot blooded Italian woman who has learned this the hard way.  “Just because you feel ( 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 )

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
SOUPS ON!  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 ( read full post )

You Are What You Believe

On Sep 23, 2015 By: Laurie-ann
Self-worth: valuing that you are equal to anyone you interact with. Self-esteem: believing in your worth. What would change for you if this was your truest, most valued, most trusted belief?   Our limiting beliefs are truly our biggest obstacle to achieving anything that we desire because they attack our self-worth. When we don’t feel worthy, we don’t do the things we want to do because we don’t believe in ourselves; we don’t value our worth.   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 ( 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 )

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 Happier & Healthier You. 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 keeping ( 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 )

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 )

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 resonates with you, let it guide ( 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 )

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 )

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 )

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 )

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 ( 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
How do you want to feel? When you know how you want to feel every day, it is much easier to make healthier choices that help you strengthen your emotional, physical, mental, spiritual and attitudinal muscles. Have you ever been asked how you want to feel? When my coach first asked me this questioned, over 10+ years ago, it took me so long to answer. My default answer was, “I want to feel happy.” We all want to be happy. But I felt like it was a deeper question. Today, many years after first being asked that question, I have seen so many of my favourite teachers and authors ask this question. Danielle Laporte has created an entire empire around it. The deeper answer is that I want to feel it all. I want to feel joy. I want to feel free. I want to feel healthy. I want to feel vibrant and energized. I want to feel sexy. I want all the goody, magical, ( 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 )

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 Healthy Living. 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 1 ( read full post )

Asking The Universe For Guidance

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.  You want to listen and be open to the guidance and signs that come. 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 something new, or whenever you need clarity, you can try my own personal method on asking the universe for guidance.   Find a quiet space and get a ( 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 it? 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 )

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
The mushroom gravy is really what makes this delicious. Add it to these cutlets or BBQ chicken. Delicious! 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 ( 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.  

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 )

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 )

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. 

Zucchini Thai Salad with Asian Dressing

On Aug 22, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 Sides or 2 Meals   Salad Ingredients 1 extra large zucchini 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced 1 cup thinly sliced red onion 2 large carrots, cut into matchsticks 1 cup shredded purple cabbage ½ cup thinly sliced radishes   Dressing Ingredients 1” piece of fresh ginger Handful of fresh mint 1 tablespoon sesame tahini 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond butter 2 tablespoons Bragg’s liquid soy sauce 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar Juice of 1 lime 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon ground coriander   Directions Start with making the dressing. Place all ingredients into food processor and process until smooth. Add a few splashes of water if the dressing is too thick. Set aside while you assembly the salad. Spiral zucchini with a spiral machine, or thinly slice with vegetable peeler to make spaghetti-like strands. In a large mixing bowl add the zucchini noodles and all the other salad ingredients. Gently toss with the dressing until thoroughly ( read full post )

Superfood Kale Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

On Aug 15, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
This salad will serve 2 as a main course or 4 as a side dish. Salad Ingredients 4 cups roughly chopped kale 1 cup cubed cucumber 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced ½ cup thinly sliced radishes 1 cup roughly chopped purple cabbage 1 cup thinly sliced red onion Vinaigrette Ingredients Large handful of fresh cilantro 1 teaspoon raw honey Juice of 1 lime 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil ½ cup apple cider vinegar Black pepper to taste Directions Place all vinaigrette ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside while you prepare the salad.   In a large bowl, toss together all salad ingredients and mix with vinaigrette.   Contagiously Positive Flavor Enhancer: Marinate the sliced onions with the apple cider vinegar for 30 minutes. It gives the onions an amazing taste. Don’t forget to keep the vinegar for the vinaigrette.

Staying Healthy While Cruising The Roads

On Aug 06, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
I love to travel, especially long road trips with my husband, just taking in the scenery. What I don’t love is not being able to find healthy food options along the way. Some of those backcountry towns only have a small convenience store that stocks chips, chocolate bars, and candy. Hey, don’t get me wrong, I love those things too, but they don’t keep my energy up, my belly healthy, and my waistline and butt in check. The last thing I want when I’m travelling is low energy, and a sore stomach. I also want to save all those extra calories for when I finally reach my destination and get to try out some of the local food.   There are ways to stay healthy, energized, and well fed along the way. Below are three tips, including recipes.   Tip #1: Pack it Up You can make your own meals and snacks and take along a cooler with you. This ( read full post )


On Aug 06, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Ingredients 2 bunches parsley ½ cup fresh mint ¼ cup hemp seeds 1 large tomato, diced 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Juice of 1 lemon ½ cup chopped red onion ½ teaspoon sea salt Directions Place the parsley and mint in a food processor and pulse on low until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Toss well and serve.

Italian Brussels Sprouts

On Aug 01, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 Brussels Sprouts are a nutritional power house. The biggest benefit being that they are incredibly high in vitamin C. Vitamin C has many benefits, with the most common one being that it helps boost your immunity. Preventing colds, flu and other viruses from making you sick. This recipe is nutrient and flavour packed. 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.  

Going Within & Getting The Life You Want

On Jul 30, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
We all want to be successful at whatever we do, myself included. Whether you are trying to lose weight, get a promotion at work, enhance your relationships, or have a big goal you want to achieve, there are certain things you need to do first. When I work with a client, I start with the inside. I call it laying the groundwork  for success. You have to clear out the junk to make room for the new stuff. Because I focus on the mind-connection, I believe that when you start from the inside, you are clearing the blocks, so that you can achieve what you truly desire. You all have what it takes to achieve everything you want in life. Sometimes, you have just been blocked by life events or negative thought patterns that are keeping you stuck. I help my clients clear those blocks so they can plunge ahead.   “Turn your dreams into actions. Turn your negative thoughts ( read full post )

Tomato Basil Salad

On Jul 25, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 Tomatoes and basil combined together provide a flavour explosion. This is one of my favourite recipes that I have been making for years and ate a lot of when I was in Italy. It is the perfect summer recipe. Ingredients 3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved 1 cup chopped fresh basil 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional) 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar Pinch of sea salt Black pepper to taste Directions Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.  The longer it sits, the better the flavour.  

5 Health Tips For Eating Burgers

On Jul 23, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
How can I eat healthy in the summer? This has been a question so many people have asked me lately. BBQ season does mean there is an abundance of fresh salads, but it also means lots of other not-so-healthy foods come out more often as well. This is because we are going to BBQ’s, having backyard parties, and enjoying dinner on the patio with friends. What’s the culprit causing people to worry about their weight? Hamburgers – the greasy and delicious burger. Yes, those burgers are yummy when grilled on the BBQ, but they are full of calories and saturated fat. One burger won’t cause you to gain weight, and shouldn’t cause you stress, but combined with all the other goodies you might be eating, you could be tripling your intake of calories.   If you are looking for ways to enjoy BBQ season, weight-gain free, here are some tips to cut down on the calories and fat just by ( read full post )

BBQ Grilled Oysters

On Jul 11, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
My husband and I have made many trips to Prince Edward Island, and while we are there, we always indulge in oysters. We haven’t been able to travel to the PEI in a few years, so I was inspired to bring some of our favourites into our home. Even though I’m a vegetarian, seafood is one of those things that I will never give up entirely. When I do treat myself to seafood, I make sure it is fresh and I really go out of my way to make it delicious. These BBQ grilled oysters are amazing! Ingredients 6 large oysters, shucked 1 small clove of garlic, finely minced Tabasco sauce 1 lemon, cut into wedges ¼ cup shredded old cheese 1 green onion chopped Directions Pre-heat BBQ on medium-high heat.   Arrange oysters on BBQ safe baking sheet. Top each oyster with a pinch of the minced garlic, Tabasco sauce to taste, a few onions and top with shredded ( read full post )

Quinoa & Chickpea Greek Salad

On Jun 27, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 Go into your garden or local vegetable market and this dish is like summer in a bowl.  I was inspired to make this dish after getting some fresh oregano from the garden. It will definitely be my new summer favourite. Ingredients 1 large cucumber, cubed 2 large tomatoes, cubed 1 red bell pepper, cubed 1 yellow bell pepper, cubed 1 small red onion, thinly sliced 1 398ml can chickpeas (no salt added), drained and rinsed 200g feta cheese, cubed ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil ¼ cup apple cider vinegar Zest of 1 lemon Juice of 1 lemon 2 heaping tablespoons of chopped fresh oregano 1 garlic clove, minced ¼ cup balsamic vinegar 1 cup quinoa Directions In a sieve, rinse quinoa under cold water. Add quinoa and 2 cups of water to a medium pot. Bring to a boil on high heat. Once it boils, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 7-10 minutes. Don’t lift the ( read full post )

You Relocated, Now What?

On Jun 17, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
I made a big move four years ago. I moved from Ottawa, Ontario to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, so that my husband could take on a new amazing new challenge. The decision to move was a no-brainer. The challenge of such a major change was greater than the fear of the “what ifs.” I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because someone said to me that I wasn’t acting like I was upset enough (like there is some sort of emotional scale to respond to change) that I left my hometown, friends and family. In the past three years I’ve had many people come up to me and think that I should be breaking down in tears, or falling apart. But I just don’t feel that way. It’s not that I’m insensitive, just the opposite actually, my husband says that I’m too sensitive. But I’m really strong in my beliefs that once I make a choice, I stand by the choice and ( read full post )

BBQ Portobello Burgers

On Jun 13, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Makes 4 This is honestly my new favourite recipe. Not only did I love it, but so did my husband! When a vegetarian meal gets my meat-eating husbands approval, that is when I know I’ve done good. The BBQ sauce gives it a zesty tang, the smoked gouda is gooey, with a hint of bacon flavour, and the purple slaw topping cools it down and brings all the flavours together. Ingredients 4 large Portobello mushrooms 4 large buns Smoked Gouda cheese (amount to your liking) 4 large slices of tomato 4 sliced pickles BBQ Sauce Ingredients (Yields 2 cups)  1½ cups apple cider vinegar ½ cup tomato paste 2 heaping tablespoons onion powder 1 tablespoon smoked paprika 1 tablespoon sweet paprika 1½ tablespoons garlic powder 1 teaspoon chili chipotle 1 teaspoon ground thyme 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoon honey 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/3 cup water Purple Slaw Topping Ingredients 4 cups shredded cabbage 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 ( read full post )

My Personal 50 Commandments For Being Contagiously Positive

On Jun 10, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Being happy with your life isn’t just about positive thinking, it’s so much more than that. It’s about living your entire life as positively as you possibly can – in all areas of your life. Judy Garland said, “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”   I have tried to hold on to that advice throughout the years. Do you want to just accept life as it is, or live the life you want? I want to live the life I want and I want the same thing for you. I want you to forge ahead and travel your own path. I want you to believe that you can be the happiest and healthiest person you know. My wish for you is that you get everything that you want in life and I want to help you achieve it. I haven’t always been a positive person. It was actually quite the opposite, ( read full post )

6 Stress Relief Tips for the Daily Commuter

On May 29, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Being in Ottawa this weekend reminded me of the long commute I use to have to drive to get to work. It’s not that we don’t have traffic in Saskatoon, trust me, there are some hair pulling days where traffic builds up. But, when you put it into perspective, being stuck in Saskatoon traffic for an extra 20 minutes, vs. Ottawa’s 1 hour (or more) is really not that bad. I know exactly how you all feel though. I’ve been where you are, living in a big city and being stuck in bumper to bumper traffic, moving inch-by-inch. So this blog is for you. I thought I would share all the things that I did to help me get through the long drive, with my sanity in check. Accidents, traffic jams, bad drivers, roadwork, and long commutes – all of these can contribute to stress on your daily commute. Whether you have to commute for 20 minutes, 1 hour, or ( read full post )


On May 09, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 This recipe is so incredibly easy to make and is the perfect dish for brunch, or a make ahead meal for your weekly breakfasts to take to work. Sweet potato would also make a great swap for regular potatoes.  Ingredients 3 cups cubed potatoes 1 small onion, quartered 8 eggs 2 tablespoons soy milk (or milk of choice) 2 tablespoons coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil Sea salt and pepper to taste 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional) Freshly Chopped Spinach (optional) Directions In a food processor, add the potatoes and onion. Process until it has a shredded consistency. You can shred the potatoes and onion by hand, but this is much quicker.   In a medium bowl, whisk eggs. Whisk in milk, sea salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Set aside.   Heat a large, deep frying pan over medium-high heat with the coconut oil. Once the oil is melted and hot, add the shredded potato and onion. Sauté ( read full post )

Strawberry Balsamic Dressing

On Apr 25, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Makes 1-1/2 Cups I love experimenting with recipes for summer BBQ’s that are just around the corner. This Strawberry Balsamic Dressing is sure to please all taste buds. I tossed it with Brussels sprouts that I shaved with a mandolin, and also served it with a tossed salad. Both were delicious. It will keep in the fridge for two weeks, if sealed tightly in a container or mason jar. Ingredients 12 Strawberries, stems removed 2 cups balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon lemon juice   Directions Add strawberries and balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan. On medium-high heat, bring to a boil and let simmer until sauce has reduced and thickened. Once sauce has thickened, remove from heat, set aside and let cool.   Once sauce has cooled, place in a blender with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Blend until smooth. 

Smokey Roasted Vegetable Soup

On Apr 11, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
Serves 4 I love everything about this soup. Cooking the spices before adding the liquids was a trick I learned while I was in Italy. It enhances the flavours and I absolutely love the smokey flavour from the smoked paprika. I served it with a simple salad so I could just savour the amazing the taste. I hope you enjoy it as much I did. Ingredients 1 small onion, finely chopped 1 large yellow bell peppers, seeded and halved 2 tomatoes, halved 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 large carrots, finely chopped 3 large celery stalks, finely chopped 1 liter low sodium vegetable stock 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil ½ teaspoon each of dried basil, oregano, and thyme 1 tablespoon smoked paprika Fresh ground pepper to taste Fresh ground coriander to taste 2 tablespoons white wine (optional) Directions Preheat the broiler to high. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange yellow pepper, and tomatoes, onto baking sheet. Broil the vegetables ( read full post )

Smokey Lime Cashews

On Apr 04, 2014 By: Laurie-ann
I’m always looking for healthy snack ideas and I think you are going to enjoy this new creation as much I do. It will be a great addition to your healthy snack toolbox. Sneak it into the movie theatre (you didn’t get that from me), or take it for your pre-workout snack. It won’t matter when or where you eat these tasty goodies, you will love them. Ingredients 2 cups unsalted raw cashews Zest of 2 limes Juice of 1 lime 1 egg white 1 teaspoon smoked paprika Directions Preheat oven to 350° F.   Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.   In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg white, lime zest, lime juice, and smoked paprika. Add cashews and mix until all the cashews are coated well.   Spread cashews onto baking sheet and bake in oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Be sure to watch them carefully, to ensure they don’t burn.   Remove from oven and ( read full post )

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All rights reserved
Website by Monolith Digital