Confession Time


I have a confession to make. I didn’t always love yoga; in fact, I didn’t really like it very much. The first time I did a yoga class was in university (where I was a dance major) back in the 90’s. I hated it. I didn’t understand all the inhales and exhales through my nose, and savasana? Don’t even get me started on my thoughts on “just” lying there at the end of class. Fast forward to sometime in the 2000’s, I was working as a dancer on cruise ships and I was living in LA for rehearsals. A group of dancers & singers would get together for a yoga class every now and then. This time I didn’t hate it, but I still didn’t get it.  It seemed like we always did our class right when I was starving and couldn’t concentrate on anything other than my stomach wanting all the food. Fast forward again to me back in Toronto and no longer dancing. I started taking a lunchtime Ashtanga class, the first class was tough, but I loved how athletic the class was and so I went back. It wasn’t long before I was practicing Ashtanga 3 times a week . I was still figuring out the breathing, but savasana became amazing.

I started to really love going to class and getting on my mat. I loved being able to leave class and feel like I was floating because when I practiced all my worries just went away. All that mattered was me and my mat. It made sense for me to get certified as a teacher. I went to Downward Dog since I loved Ashtanga and it was the perfect match for me. As a former dancer, I loved all the anatomy behind what we were learning. I found myself connecting more with that part of the practice and the more I was learning, the more excited I was about the idea of teaching.  As soon as I got my certificate I was hungry to get teaching.

For the two years or of teaching I always felt like I was playing the part of a yoga teacher. I didn’t feel authentic. So I started to pay attention to the classes that I found myself at again and again. As a result of that, I got certified as a Jock Yoga teacher. I loved classes where I was being really challenged athletically. So, my teaching started to reflect that…..but I realized something was still missing. I was a dancer for most of my life, starting when I was 3, until I stopped performing at 30. I loved moving my body and challenging how I moved my body, so why not bring that into my yoga teaching and sequencing? So I started.

When I put my classes together I think of it like I am choreographing a dance.  The music, the movements are a puzzle to be pieced together. I like to link poses together and move through pose after pose, with each side lasting about 10-20 minutes each (depending on the length of the class). Moments where I flow and moments where I like being still, moving deeper into each pose. The more honest I started to become in my approach to how I taught my classes, the more fun and  passionate I became about my teaching and I wanted to share my style with as many people as possible. I mean let’s be honest; there are a lot of us yoga teachers here in the city. We aren’t re inventing the wheel so we need to find our niche, what makes us…us! I like to take chances and push things a bit and, dare I say, rock the boat a little.










You want to know some more truths about me? I am not just a yoga teacher. I am a wife, mother and a runner, who runs many races a year. 2015 I raced 9 races alone (5 of which were half marathons). Running is incredibly important to me, so in order to be at my best on race day, I have a run coach who has me hitting the gym along with training runs each week.


What else? There are actually a lot of things in yoga that my body can’t physically do. Everyone is built differently; we all have bones and joints stacked in a different way. I used to get really down about what I couldn’t do, until I realized it really doesn’t matter. If I can’t do it, why do it? It doesn’t mean I will never be able to do certain things, it just means that I am good with where I am in my practice now, and isn’t that what it should be about? More truths? Are you ready? I am a yoga teacher and I like red wine, I like red meat, I love reality TV and will happily watch The Bachelor each season. There are some days where my practice is a few sun salutations because that is what my body needs. I like to play a variety of music and lately you may even hear some Drake in my classes, because why not? For me it is about moving your body, strengthening your body and your mind. It’s about how your body feels when you stretch and lengthen. It’s about not worrying about anything for however long you are on your mat and letting your breath guide you. It is about taking time for you. I love teaching athletically challenging classes that will have you working up a sweat, break some “yoga rules”, build your strength and have you leave with some serious yoga brain! Because come on, who doesn’t love some good yoga brain?

I hope to #seeyouonthemat soon :)


Train with Grains ~ Banana Blueberry Chocolate chip muffins


As a mom of a very active 4 year old, I am often on the go.  Teaching my yoga classes, hitting the gym for strength training or out for training runs in between all the other “mom” things I need to do keeps me busy on a daily basis. As a result, I am not the best at having healthy snacks to throw in my bag. I am scoring high points with meals on a regular basis, but snacks, not so much. My little guy will be content with bananas or apples or blueberries…really any fruit and this kid will inhale it all and I usually have a bag of almonds in my bag, but sometimes I want more. That is when I cave in and hit up the closest Starbucks for their Banana/Chocolate chip muffin…..I know, I know, you don’t even need to say it. But it is so good, especially when they warm it up for you. I can’t help it, it is a guilty pleasure, especially as a treat the day after a race. I am not alone right? No? Just me? Alrighty then….

This began my quest to find a healthy guilt free muffin recipe. A muffin where I would enjoy eating the entire thing and not just the muffin top – Seinfeld anyone? Again, just me? Well I found a recipe that is so, so, so good and ticks all my must haves for a healthy muffin treat.

Banana Blueberry Chocolate Chip Muffins. Zero flour, zero white sugar, zero oil.  Just all good and all delicious melt-in-your-mouth-give-me-more-I-want-all-the-muffins!

They were quick and easy to make. I will generally ignore a recipe if the ingredient list is too long or if the time to make it is too long, but this was perfect. They are great to eat on the way to the gym or to teach, or as a great snack after I have completed a training run. The best part, they are also 100% kid approved, he doesn’t miss the flour or white sugar one bit :)











  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups rolled oats (old fashioned or quick)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (I use Giddy YoYo raw cane juice crystals)
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ cup chocolate chips, mini or regular (I used a little less than ½ and then piled in the blueberries)
    • Since the original recipe is just banana and chocolate chips, I went crazy with the blueberries! Pile in as many as you want :) But be sure to add them after you have mixed everything together.


  1. Preheat oven to 400F and prepare a muffin pan by spraying cavities with cooking spray or lining them with paper liners**. Set aside.
  2. Add all ingredients except for chocolate chips to a blender or food processor and process on high until oats are broken down and batter is smooth and creamy. Stir in chocolate chips by hand.
  3. Pour batter into prepared muffin pan, filling each cavity until it is about ¾ full. Optional: sprinkle a few chocolate chips over the top of each muffin.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops of your muffins are set and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool in pan for ~10 minutes before removing. Store in an air-tight container for up to a week.


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** If using paper liners, you’ll want to spray them with cooking spray as well, since the lack of oil in these muffins could make them stick to the liners after baking.

Be sure to check out the Good in Every Grain website for more RECIPES

Share your favourite pre or post run snack or meal on Twitter or Instagram usuing the hashtag #TrainWithGrains for your chance to win a $50 “Good In Every Grain” prize pack!







When I first started running seriously, I decided that running a marathon was something I wanted to scratch off my bucket list. Why not right? Who needs to start small with a 10k when you can go full throttle?! I figured since I used to run with my dad growing up and I did track when I was 12, it would be a breeze! Obviously, I was super naive and I had no clue what I was getting myself into. But I started training…badly. But I trained. Race day I was severely under trained but stubborn enough to push myself to finishing in just under 5 hours. Injured (obviously), I took time off from running until I started to run again for fitness a few months later.

Fast forward to the Spring of 2009, that was when I met my husband. On our third date he had just ran a 10k race and I realized how much I missed it. We started running together training for a fall 10k, that lead to more 10k’s, a 10 miler, and a half marathon. Now here I am with a plethora of medals, that my son loves to play with, for many half marathons, 5k’s, 10k’s, another marathon. I even started working with a coach to take my running to the next level.

In the fall of 2014, I made the decision to stick to the half marathon as my furthest distance and I started enjoying running even more than when I had been marathon training. Running for me has always been my way to escape and clear my mind, it’s my meditation and when I do my best thinking. As a yoga teacher who teaches many power classes in a week, I often say “I thought of this as I was running”. To be able to move and feel and see my body getting stronger has only increased my love of running even more.

This photo was taken during the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (Half) in October of 2014, it was the race that brought my half marathon time to sub 1:40. By far my proudest running  moment! I know that there are bigger moments just waiting to happen.

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Thank you running for showing me the strength inside of me, for keeping me moving and improving, not just athletically but personally as well.

Thank you running for showing my 4 year old how much fun it is to get your legs moving. He has already run an 800m and a 2.5km race, and he wants to run more and more :)



Share your thank you running story via Twitter or Instagram or by uploading your story at with Brooks Running (@BrooksRunning). You could win a trip for 2 to Amsterdam for the 2016 European Athletic Championships! Don’t forget the hashtag…#thankyourunning

Start sharing :)

Nike Women’s 15k recap

Nike jump shot

Not my best jump shot, but this was at the end of racing a 15k race, so not too shabby

I have been a long time supporter of all things Nike, for about the last ten years to be specific. I watched with envy as San Francisco and Washington hosted women only Nike events, so when I found out that Nike was bringing their race series to Toronto I was more than a little excited. I registered for the race as part of team Tribe Fitness Tribe Strong. The race took place on Toronto Island, which is awesome for me since I live very close to the ferry terminal.

This race was more than a race, it was a 4 day epic event with Nike creating their own village at Harbourfront (again, awesome since I live so close).  A giant store was put up where you could purchase limited edition Nike Toronto run clothing was well as shoes and a plethora of other Nike workout clothes. Let’s just say I had to restrain like I have never restrained before….after I bought 2 tank tops, a sweatshirt and a new pair of shoes, the LunaRacer 3’s. They also had a studio set up on a barge, named the Crystal Coliseum, where they offered NT+C classes from Thursday – Sunday.  I personally didn’t take any classes, as both coach and I wanted to be sure that I wasn’t exhausting my body any more than it would be in a typical week of teaching yoga and training.

The day before the race I did a shakeout run with Nike that took off from Sport Chek in Maple Leaf Square. It was a short, easy run of just a couple of kms. Afterwards I headed home to get my usual day before race lunch from IQ Foods. I love having the Lima box with quinoa :) . I usually will just relax after lunch, watch movies, nap. But this time I went to a bridal shower of a friend. I made sure to stick to snacking on the veggies, no pastries or desserts for me (which was hard, as this bridal shower was stunning with a ton of delicious food!) Once I got home, I got everything ready for race day before my usual pre race dinner of salmon, asparagus, mushrooms and sweet potato. Dessert was a few squares of dark chocolate. I was in bed and fast asleep by about 10pm

Nike Tribe photo

Pre race with some of the Tribe ladies

Race day, I was up at 5am (I can never sleep the night before a race) to get ready. I was on the 6:40am ferry over to the island so I made my pre race breakfast of white rice, quinoa, banana, peanut butter and cinnamon and put it in a take-out container to bring with me. I wanted to be sure that I had my breakfast by about 7 – 7:15am since I was in the first wave and was starting at 9:30am. I met up with Tribe teammates and hung out until the usual pre-race potty breaks began around 8:15am. That’s when I headed towards my wave and started to warm up. I listened to some pump up music while warming up. In case you’re wondering, some of my favourites on this list are:

Lose Yourself – Eminem
All I do is Win – DJ Khaled (feat T-Pain, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg & Rick Ross)
Turn Down for What – DJ Snake & Lil Jon

Right off the top it was crowded and it took a bit to get around people, but once I did I was able to settle into a 4:30/km pace. The grassy parts of the route were pretty squishy and soft due to the all the rain, and the dirt path was more mud path, so these parts of the route slowed me down a bit. By far, the coolest part of the route was being on the runway of the Island airport. Around the 9.5 – 10k part of the route my vision started to go funny – squiggly lines and dots – and it only got worse when I started to panic about it happening. I have had this happen to me a few times in the past, twice in my dancing days and once during a workout. What I have done in the past is eat something with sugar and after a bit it goes away. I had a small water bottle with me on race day containing watered down blueberry/pomegranate juice with raw honey, so I sipped some of that. That helped a bit, it was still there, just not as severe. Seeing my husband and son at the 10k and again at the 14k parts of the route was just what I needed! I kept pushing myself and gave everything I had for the last km and crossing the finish line was a huge relief. I felt like my lungs were going to explode for most of the race and because the rain finished and the sun came out, it was actually muggy and humid while I was running. Not long after I finished, the rain started again and I was freezing. With my husband and son with me we headed back to the ferry.

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I would love to tell you what Km this was, but I can’t remember. But I have my usual race face on.

My goal was to run the 15k in 1:05-1:07, I finished in 1:11, while not the time I was hoping for I have been trying to not get too down about it. I placed 26/1171 in my category which isn’t too bad.

After talking to my coach, we think we may have pinpointed the reason why I was seeing spots. I have noticed that lately my breathing during races is quite labored; really short breaths with heavy breathing out of my mouth. So the plan is to start incorporating my yoga breathing a little bit more and hopefully I can get back on track with getting some serious PB’s.

Overall Nike did such an amazing job; 10,000 runners + family/friends + staff and it was so organized – from the Village at Harbourfront to the ferry to everything they had over on the island. Getting that Tiffany necklace, and seeing a friendly familiar face, the lovely Eva Redpath (Nike’s Canada’s Master Trainer. I have taken her classes for years!) who I haven’t seen in months! Was pretty sweet and the perfect way to finish off a great weekend. After a complete rest day where I binged watched Rookie Blue, I am back to my training. I am moving on and focusing on the rest of my race season. #ontothenextone

Thanks again Nike for a great event :) #betterforit



nike finish line 1

VERY happy to finish!

Nike collage

Seeing my husband and my little guy with his sign he made at pre school made my day!




Find Your Zen


As a yoga teacher/runner living and working in downtown Toronto, I am always excited to hear about cool events happening in my neighborhood and this event taking place at the end of the month at Leon’s Roundhouse is no exception.

I have been living in downtown Toronto for quite some time and I walk around a lot, but I have never been in the Leon’s Roundhouse store.  Whether it is a training run or on my way to/from a Jays game, I always think to myself that I want to check it out,  but it’s never the right time.  I am always on the lookout for home décor advice for my condo. Leon’s Roundhouse offers beautiful, affordable and contemporary home furnishing and décor options perfect for both condo and home owners. It seems silly to not go when it’s practically in my backyard.  Well Leon’s has finally given me the perfect reason to  get through the front door, by offering FREE YOGA!

On Saturday, June 27th, you can find your zen and liberate your mind and home from clutter.  There are three different yoga classes that are 60 min in length,  (9:00am, 10:15am and 11:30am with instructors Laurie Campbell, Sheldon Shannon and Naomi Zahler). Did I mention that it’s a FREE? I’ve signed up to attend the 11:30am class. The yoga will take care of your mind, BUT what about the home clutter? They are offering FREE one on one Feng Shui consultations, just bring your home décor photos and you will get advice to find your zen at home. You will also get free smoothies and fresh pressed juice. You will leave Leon’s with a new sense of calm and a free yoga mat. There is so much FREE going on here it is crazy!

What a neat idea for an event.  It’s no secret that your mental state is often a reflection of your surroundings; so having a messy, disorganized living environment can affect your mood and mental wellbeing. That’s why Leon’s is helping Torontonians free their mind, body and space.

It is super easy to sign up for, just click this LINK make sure you RSVP for the time you want to attend :) I hope to see some of you  there!

P.S: While everything is free, a donation to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada is encouraged and can be made on the Facebook registration page or at Leon’s Roundhouse.



2014 STWM Half

STWM MarathonPhoto

Around the 15 or 16km mark during the STWM Half

I can’t believe race season ended almost two weeks ago. I have been in denial.  2014 was my busiest race season ever and I have loved every second of it, even those painful races where I didn’t perform how I wanted to. After each race I learned something about myself as an athlete, and I am super excited to take what I learned and make 2015 an amazing year.

My 2014 race season was made up with:

5 x half marathons
1 x 8K
1 x 10K
1 x 5K

As each race ended I went right into training for the next one with little downtime, but I have been on downtime – running wise at least, since I finished STWM half (Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon). I have also been on a high because finishing my race season strong and in my backyard was simply amazing! My goal for this race was to get a sub 1:40 half, I have been going after that goal for so long that to be honest I was beginning to think that it would just not happen for me. In my corral at the start I realized that I was the calmest I had ever been at a start line….ever. I was just really excited to get going.

The night before the run I made a race plan: take it easy for the first couple of Km’s, once I start going down Bathurst, #makemylegsgofast, enjoy Lakeshore, once I have turned back and get past Ontario Place make my legs go even faster to get me into that pain cave, then spend the last 2km making my legs go super fast. I crossed the finish line fists pumping and chest heaving. It was the best! I knew I did very well, but I didn’t know my chip time because as usual, I got excited and forgot to turn off my Garmin. It wasn’t until I got a text message from my coach that I knew my time was 1:38:06 and I was literally jumping up and down in shock and happiness. What made STWM extra special for me was having my brother and sister in law at the finish line. They live in NYC and they have never been to any of my races, but I keep them up-to-date with post-race recap emails and photos, so it was great to have them there in person :)

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In the pain cave at 19km during STWM and at the finish line super excited for the sub 1:40

It was a difficult decision to switch from the full STWM to the half.  I was worried that I would have regrets, but as I crossed that finish line I knew I had made the right choice. All season long I was using my races/training runs as an indication on how the marathon would go; “If I got tired and sore at this point in a half, how can I race the full?” I never realized just how much of an impact the negative talk was having on my performances. I was setting myself up to fail each and every time, there was no way I could get that sub 1:40 if I had any doubts about my abilities. Once I officially made the switch, a weight lifted, my training runs felt easier and lighter, and race morning was calm (believe me, that never happens).

I haven’t run since October 19th but will lace up for my first run back – a 10k this weekend. My focus for this off season is on getting stronger and faster. I have been in the gym almost every day since last week. I am sticking with my coach and I can’t wait to crush that 1:38:06 half marathon time. You want to know why? Because I know I CAN!!!

I, of course, have to thank my husband for being so supportive, whether it was being on the race course as photographer/sherpa, spending a night in Niagara Falls, travelling with me to Vancouver to run the SeaWheeze and most importantly for believing in me when I needed it most.

Since I know you are all dying to know what I am racing, below is my race schedule for 2015:

April 4th:  Harry’s Spring Run off 8Km
April 19th:  Toronto Yonge Street 10km
May 3rd: GoodLife Half
June 7th: Niagara Falls Women’s Half
August 15th: SeaWheeze Half
September 12th: Oasis Zoo Run 5Km
September 20th: Island Girl half
October 18th: STWM Half

P.S A huge shout out to my runner friends (specifically the STWM digital champions and The Tribe) for always inspiring me with every tweet, facebook and Instagram post!  You are all amazing!

Below are some more race photos from my season, Enjoy!


My medals from my 2014 racing season!

Seawheeze 2014

Before running the SeaWheeze, it was such an amazing weekend and I can’t wait to do it again in 2015!

Oakville 2014

At the end of the Oakville half. I used this run as a training run and still finished in the top 10 in my category! It was pouring down with rain the entire race, which I didn’t mind because of how humid it was.

Zoo 2014

On my way to a 6th female finish and a PB at the 5K Oasis Zoo run. Thanks for the pic Tribe Fitness!


Niagara Falls Womens Half. It was super hot that day and I went out too fast too soon. I learned this day not to wear sunglasses. Sunglasses and the mist of the falls don’t mix. I have since purchased visors.


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The 19km mark of the Goodlife Half, AKA the day my shorts chafed my legs so bad that I had blood coming down my thighs causing me to be scarred! LESSON LEARNED!!

TYS10k 2014 finish

Sprinting to the finish during TYS10K! I got a PB that day :) Going for even faster in 2015

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Harry’s Spring run off 8Km getting to the finish!

On wards & Upwards :)

On October 20th, 2013, I ran the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM), which was my second marathon. Things were going great for the first 28-30 km, until I experienced pain in my hip so bad that it pretty much halted me and I slowed my pace from about a 4:35/km to about 6:30/km. The best way I can describe it is that I felt like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz and I needed some oil big time. I finished the marathon that day in 4:11, not the 3:45 I was hoping for (and on pace for until the pain hit.)

Fast forward to 2014. My race season began back in April and I have run an 8k, 10k and three half marathons. I have a 5k and another half marathon next week and in my running calendar was the STWM full again. I had been going back and forth for quite some time over whether or not I would run another full marathon after what happened last year. I often thought about sticking with the half marathon as the longest distance I would run and just work on getting faster and stronger with that. After talking with my coach, my husband and going through every scenario in my mind, I decided to give the full one more go and then this would be it…I swear! I’ve been keeping up with my training, however as I have been doing my long, slow runs every Saturday and the mileage has increased, I began to have more than just the regular doubts creeping up. I noticed that on my longer runs…really anything longer than 24km, I would start to feel that hip pain again. The pain I would feel is more than “I am tired, my legs are throbbing and I want to stop” kind of pain, this was the pain that had me hobbling for weeks after the marathon last year.

After a painful and frustrating long run last weekend I came home and collapsed on the floor. I then announced that I was not going to run the full and instead run the half and really go for it. I didn’t get the response I was hoping for, instead my husband told me “no way! This is your year to get a BQ”. Yes, he is right that a BQ has long been a goal of mine, but I thought that maybe now is not the time to go for it. I could go and run the marathon and hope that my hip pain won’t have me wanting to curl up in the fetal position at the 37km mark and call for a pick up (which I was super close to doing last year), but something in my gut was telling me that I had to switch to the half. It was that same feeling that I had been pushing aside since February, yet I was constantly being reminded of my goal of qualifying for Boston. I decided that my goal of wanting to race strong and healthy far outweighed my goal to get the BQ. I went back to my coach again and this time he fully supported my decision to make the switch. He knows what I am capable of in that distance so he said go for it! For whatever reason my body is good with 21km, and I will “run” with that ;)

So here we are today. I have made the switch with CRS, I have switched gears in training and I feel like a weight has been lifted. On Saturday I had a long, slow run of 15km, I felt light, I felt happy and I remembered why I love running. Running the Boston Marathon is not in the cards right now. I am not going to say that it will be that way forever, but for now my focus is half marathon training. Next weekend is a big weekend for me, I have the 5K Zoo Run on Saturday and then the Oakville half on Sunday. I have never had a “race weekend” and I am a little nervous, but I am excited for it as well. I am extremely excited to run the STWM half in October as it is a route that I run on a regular basis and what better way to celebrate my new goal then at home. :)

To everyone I know running the full 42.2km, I know that you will all be amazing and I will see you at the finish line on October 19th , but I will already be showered!

Now if you will excuse me, I have to hit the track for some speed work :)

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