Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Halloween Candy Swaps

Let’s be realistic here….

It may happen – you know, those Halloween treats hanging around the house may ‘accidentally’ fall down your throat. So if that does happen, here are 5 simple candy swaps that will lessen the damage:


Swap #1 – Swap 1 Hershey’s Milk Chocolate or Nestle Crunch mini for 1 Special Dark Chocolate bar

Swap #2 – Swap 1 Snickers mini for 1 mini 3-Musketeers

Swap #3 – Swap 1 package of Raisinettes for 1 snack bag of Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds

Swap #4 – Swap 1 package chewy or fruity candy (Starbursts, Skittles) for 3 Tootsie Roll minis

Swap #5 – Swap 1 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup for 2 York Peppermint Patties


While these swaps still contain processed sugar, they each contain fewer ingredients or higher-quality ingredients, making them better choices.

Think of it as a baby step in the right direction — although abstaining from candy is your best bet.

Happy Halloween!

PS. Here’s a good graphic that will help you get back on track….

Happy Halloween





Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Roasted Carrots with Honey, Rosemary and Thyme

So I am going to get a bit personal on you for a second.  I was “diagnosed” with a candida overgrowth issue.  I have diagnosed in quotations because I have holistic nutritionist + homeopathic friend who took a look at a growing skin irritation on my hands and now on my big toes and I don’t want any MD’s out there getting me in trouble for not seeing a doctor.

After a couple of questions she looks at me and says with a smile “you have candida!”

Awesome 🙁

So if you remember a couple of weeks ago I took a week off from writing and posting as I was just tired – guess what one of the triggers is – stress and overwork!

Candida is simply a condition of internal imbalance that has gone way out of control.  Candida is harmless until certain factors promote an imbalance or overgrowth.

So to make life more fun for me, for the next 30 days not only am I taking supplements to get my internal bacteria back under control, but I CANNOT have:




bread – no yeast products



tea of any kind


alcohol – beer and wine



white or balsamic vinegar

vinegar products – ketchup, mustard, mayo, pickles, salad dressings



Nothing like a bit of a challenge in the kitchen.  I am eating steamed or sauteed veggies and protein basically.  I can have rice products as long as there is no added sugar and i can eat quinoa, spelt, eggs, seafood, and a handful of other things.

The crazier part is, is that as you read through the list of common symptoms of candida, I have had  a good handful of them since having kids 18yrs ago!


So this week’s recipe is roasted carrots, but as I read the full ingredient list  I will need to make modifications to it but that’s ok.

Just click on the picture to get the recipe.






Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Sideways Training

Today we are doing lateral or sideways training.  80% of the time, most people move and train in the transverse plane (Up and Down) and frontal plane (Front and Back) and not a lot in the sagittal plane (Left and Right)




Training laterally is not only crucial to athletic development but essential to everyday life.  If we don’t train laterally then we can get weak in those movement patterns making us more susceptible to falling, loss of balance and finding the little things like getting in and out of a car (a lateral movement) difficult.


So this week’s workout is dedicated to being sideways 🙂


Here we go…


  1. side stepping goblet squats x 20 reps
  2. 1-arm overhead DB or KB walk or carry x 15 steps/arm
  3. lateral walking push-ups x 10 total, 5 to the left, 5 to the right
  4. 1- arm overhead DB or KB walk x 15 steps/arm
  5. lateral step-ups on a step/chair/bench x 10-15/leg
  6. 1-arm overhead DB or KB walk x15 steps/leg

You can add weight to your lateral step-ups if you want more resistance and go as heavy as possible with the 1-arm overhead walk.

If you have any questions about this workout just leave me a message!

Have fun!


1-arm overhead carry picture



Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

5 Reasons Why You May Still Be Fat

Most people I know who want to lose belly fat tend to make a lot of mistakes.

You’ve made the best choice to join me in my Positive Image Fitness community so you’re on the right track, let’s just make sure you’re not making these 5 mistakes…

5 Reasons Why You May Still Be Fat

Reason #1 You’re Way Too Stressed Out: Believe it or not, stress is a silent killer. It shortens your life, wreaks havoc on your hormone levels, and sadly increases your fat storage by adding unwanted inches to your waistline.

You’d be surprised at how fat loss comes MUCH easier when you restructure your lifestyle. My Stronger Bootcamp Workouts can be real stress busters!

Your mission is also to incorporate healthy eating and regular sleep into your lifestyle to supercharge your fat loss results.

Reason#2 You’re wasting time on cardio:  Long slow cardio is not the answer to burning stubborn body fat from your belly. As a matter of fact, not only is long slow cardio both ineffective, and inefficient, but studies have even shown that it is known to burn valuable muscle tissue from your body which will absolutely destroy your progress. Avoid this type of cardio like the plague if you want to burn body fat. Now, with that being said, if you are a lover of running and find it a stress reliever for you, then go for it, just be aware that running is not your best bang for your buck when it comes to fat loss.

Reason #3 You’re Confused About What To Eat: It’s a fact that 80% of your results come from the quality of food you eat.

Don’t overthink things.

Instead of eating processed food, just choose natural foods. Focus on quality protein, veggies and healthy fats. Then fill in the blanks with complex carbs. Remember, better nutrition will skyrocket your belly busting results.

I find that women tend to skimp on protein and that’s a big mistake. Protein helps to moderate your appetite and keeps your energy levels steady. Probably my BEST tip for fat loss is to include protein with every meal and snack.

Reason #4 You’re Going Through the Motions:  The first reality is that many of you may not have even started working out…Is this you?

Or if you’ve started, you may not be challenging yourself enough. So make sure that every workout you push just a little bit harder, do a little bit more…

Keep in mind that if you haven’t exercised for a long time that you want to ‘ease’ into things, but once you’ve started, there should be no ‘easy’.

Reason #5 You Lack Accountability: Let’s face it, even if you know the right way, to eat, workout, and live a healthy lifestyle, you may not be motivated to do it. To avoid this situation, surround yourself with other people who have similar goals that will keep you accountable and I guarantee you’ll achieve some serious success.

I’m pulling for you! I know you can do this.

P.S.- When it comes to losing weight, there are two types of people…

Person A) This person says that they will start working out tomorrow, the next day, the next month, the next year and by the time they finally get started, they are 13lbs heavier, and 2-3 dress sizes bigger…


Person B) This person is an action taker

Be like person B and bust out those workouts!


PPS. If you find that getting enough protein into your day is difficult – THIS is a great supplement brand that I use.

Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Casserole for Dinner Tonight

I love one pot dinners, and sometimes it can be challenge making something new in the hopes everyone will eat it.  This would have been a good recipe to use up any turkey leftovers from thanksgiving, but chicken leftovers will to the trick as well.

Let me know what you think of this chicken and wild rice casserole.

Just click on the picture to get the full recipe




Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Circuit Time!

So this week we are doing circuits again and I have 3 circuits that you can do at home or at a gym.  You can do all 3 circuits at once or break them up throughout the week.

All you week need is a step/chair, or staircase and some wall space – that’s it!

Ok here we go…



20 step ups/leg on a chair, bench or stair case.  You can hold onto DB for added resistance

15 push-ups from the knees or toes

20 walking lunges/leg and you can hold onto DB here for added resistance




15 squat jumps or total body extensions for a non-impact version

15 tricep dips off a chair, bench or stair case step

low plank off the elbows with alternating leg lifts for 60 seconds




wall sit for 30 seconds

abdominal bicycles for 10/side

side plank hold for 30 seconds/side


Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

This is Super Risky!

Sitting may seem like a very “safe” thing to do.
Yet it’s probably one of the biggest health risks you expose yourself to…
You see sitting for extended periods of time messes up important muscles in your trunk called your hip flexors…
Even if you’re active, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day on your duff. And…
The hip flexors have a little known and strange connection to your fat…
When they are tight you can actually force your body into fat storing mode and it has nothing to do with inactivity. In fact…
Sitting Alone Is a Fat Loss Inhibitor
As the body’s “fight or flight” muscle your psoas (hip flexors) are deeply connected to your natural survival instinct.
They instantly tighten in moments of danger to either protect you (in a fetal position) or help you run, fueled by the release of adrenaline.
However if your psoas (hip flexors) are constantly tight from sitting too much it signals to the body you are in constant danger, leading to overworking of the adrenal gland.
When this happens, your immune system suffers and your body automatically switches into fat storing mode in anticipation of danger.
Can’t shift that weight? Some of the blame could be on those tight hip flexors known as your “survival muscle”.
If You Sit Too Much & You’re Having Trouble Losing Fat Try This:
If you have a desk job, drive to work or like to relax on the couch, congratulations you’re like a lot of other people. Sure you can decrease the amount of time you spend sitting but overall there’s no way around it. So what should you do?
Personally I recommend that you STRETCH your hip flexors everyday either in the morning as you are getting out of bed and/or at night as you are getting ready for bed.  You can use a foam roller, do some yoga poses or some static stretches to get into those psoas muscles allowing you to move better and possibly release some of that stubborn body fat.
Here are some examples…
butterfly-yoga-pose butterfly stretch
happy-baby-yoga-pose happy baby yoga pose
deep-hip-stretch deep hip, sumo squat stretch
pigeon-yoga-pose  pigeon pose
 lizard-yoga-pose lizard pose
frog-yoga-pose  frog pose
kneeling-hip-flexor-stretch kneeling hip flexor stretch
Give these a try, you’ll bring vitality back into your life so that you can be lean, active and energetic for yourself and your loved ones.
Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Soup Time

Not sure if any of you are still working through your Thanksgiving leftovers or not, but here is a little recipe that you can toss in some leftover turkey into or use ground turkey.

With fall definitely here, we have had our first frost of the season and so soup season in now in full swing as far as I am concerned.

Enjoy your soup

Just click on the picture to get the full hot and delicious recipe.



Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Circuit Time!

So this week’s workout is workout I put my boot camp clients through last week (and myself) and it only takes 8 minutes/ circuit and there are 4 circuits that you can do all at once or you can break them up and do 2 one day and 2 another day.

Set your interval timers for 30 seconds of work to 10 seconds of rest of  12 rounds (you will do each move 4x in the circuit).

Let’s do this!



jumping lunges

abdominal jack-knifes



inverted rows – use a table if you don’t have equalizer pull up bars.


suicide or up, up. down,down planks



pike pushups

alternating reverse lunges

weighted abdominal leg raises



tricep pushups

squat jumps

abdominal heel lifts


BONUS: 30 seconds of work to 15 seconds of rest for 4-5 rounds

30 seconds of DB or KB swings

15 seconds of plank holds



Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Stressed? Just Breathe..

So as you may have noticed, I didn’t post anything last week.  I was totally mentally wiped from work and life in general.  I am extremely grateful to have found Janelle to assist me in teaching in London, but I just needed some time off from writing and thinking in general.

For those who know me well, I have a tendency to overwork myself, I put a lot of pressure in myself and burn the candle at both ends.  I am grateful that I have the Canada long weekend already booked off, the last week of July booked off, the last week of February booked off and fingers crossed for a week off in November so thank you for your understanding as I recharged some of my battery over the long weekend.

Now onto a very fitting topic – stress and breathing.

Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest and in searching for ways to help alleviate the stress induced by our hectic, hyper-connected lifestyles, we often forget that one of the fastest, easiest and most effective solutions is with us at all times. For free. It’s called breathing.

This vital human function, which we do an average of 17,000 – 30,000 times per day, is an age-old, clinically validated way to reduce stress, strengthen our immune system and simply relax.

Although the science is extremely solid on the benefits of deep conscious breathing, most of us take breathing for granted and do not harness the incredible benefits a regular deep breathing practice can provide.

A study published in the scientific journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (eCAM) investigated the effects of diaphragmatic breathing on athletes following an exhaustive endurance training session. These athletes were training for a 24-hour (yes, 24 hours!) bike race. Group 1 spent 60 minutes practicing diaphragmatic breathing and concentrating on their breath in a quiet place. Group 2 represented the control group and spent 60 minutes just sitting in a quiet place. Those athletes in Group 1 who practiced and concentrated on their breathing experienced lower levels of oxidative stress and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in comparison with the control group.

One simple method popularized by Dr. Andrew Weil who is a legendary medical doctor and healer who is a trailblazer in the field of integrative medicine. He has also written many best-selling books, including 8 Weeks to Optimum Health, Spontaneous Happiness and his most recent, a cookbook called True Food.

Dr. Weil’s breathing technique is called the 4-7-8 Breath, also known as the Relaxing Breath. It’s an instant stress reducer and should be a go-to option when life seems like it’s spiraling out of control. Here’s how to do it:

Sit in a comfortable chair with your back straight.

Exhale through your mouth, making a “whoosh” sound.

Inhale deeply through your nose to a mental count of 4 seconds.

Hold your breath for a count of 7 seconds.

Exhale slowly through your mouth for a count of 8 seconds, making a whoosh sound.

That’s one breath. Repeat this cycle three more times (4-second inhale, 7-second hold, 8-second exhale) for a total of four breaths.

That’s it!

No special equipment needed and you can do this anywhere. Give this breathing technique a try the next time you feel agitated, stressed, or if you feel a road rage episode coming on! And for long-term benefits to your immune system and overall well-being, practice the 4-7-8 breath daily.

Here’s to better health.