Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Avoid the holiday weight gain game!

If you struggle to maintain your weight from the time you see the stuffing and pumpkin pie until the time you toast the New Year, you’re not alone.

The average North American gains just under 2lbs between Christmas and New Years.  (

That may not seem like much until you start adding it up year after year.

This doesn’t have to happen to you. There are plenty of smart steps you can take that let you enjoy the celebrations and still avoid gaining weight.


Top 11 Tips for Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain


1. Be realistic when setting your goals.

For many, it’s the not the right time to set a big weight loss goal. Focus on maintaining where you are now instead of setting goals that are unrealistic. This time of year is hard! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

2. Drink plenty of water.

This is true all year long, but especially when youre goal is to maintain your weight. The better hydrated you are, the less likely you are to mistake thirst for hunger. You will also feel more full.

3. Watch the alcohol.

Every beer, glass of wine or cocktail adds up. Alcohol is a double whammy because it also lowers your willpower around high-fat foods. Opt for a  healthier drink instead like Kombucha, a smoothie or a protein hot chocolate and serve them in a fancy glass so it feels festive!  Here’s a link to a peppermint mocha hot drink :

4. Savor your food slowly.

The more mindful you are when you are chewing and tasting, the better. Look at your food. Chew well, swallow, and talk to somebody before taking another bite.

5. Choose colorful foods.

If you seek out bright colors, you have a better chance of eating fresh vegetables. All that fiber will help fill you up too.

6. Have a strategy before you walk up to a buffet.

Start with something green and walk around and look at what is there, then choose wisely.  Simply choose larger helpings of steamed foods and things you know will nourish your body. Remember to taste the things you love the most and indulge some but keep those portions smaller.

7. Know your host.

Bring a healthier dish or appetizer to the party. Most hostesses will appreciate a little something extra to share with guests. If you’re going to a party where the host is going to push you to eat more, take a small portion for your first serving.

8. Give yourself a break.

If you try to stay away from all the goodies, you’re going to end up feeling like you’re deprived. Then you’ll end up eating more.

Let yourself indulge some in whatever your favorites are but in moderation.

And not to worry, if it’s chocolate you love…I’ve got you covered with a healthier dark chocolate fudge recipe that’s worthy of gifting if you don’t eat it first 🙂

9. Eat before you arrive.

Plenty of people make the mistake of not eating before a party. Instead, fill up on healthy foods before you go. Then you won’t be too hungry to eat thoughtfully.

10. Don’t give up on exercise.

Even though this is a busy time of year, remember to stay active. Daily exercise will keep you focused, energetic, and mindful of your good health. So if you’re going shopping, park in the farthest parking spot. Take the stairs instead of the escalator. Go for a walk to look at the holiday lights or do any one of my weekly workouts that are posted every Wednesday on FB

11. Set yourself up for the healthiest  2018 possible.

Ask for and give health-minded gifts. Herbal teas, workout clothes or one of those fruit and nut baskets you’ve been eyeing will be well received by most anyone.

Set your intentions now for a powerful start to 2018 by doing a vision board of your 2018 goals, mark your calendars with scheduled workout times, even if its just a 10-15 min walk everyday at lunch to start, and start printing off or picking out healthy recipes so you can start stock piling your pantry so you are ready to rock!

Its not hard, but it takes time and effort to make it happen and if you need an accountability partner then just reach out and I will be there for you.

Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing

Sometimes you just need a new flavour to go on that same old, same old salad.

Apple cider vinegar has been praised for many benefits for many years, so why not find ways to incorporated it into your daily diet.

Here is a great info graphic on some of the health benefits of apple cider vinegar:


So here is a great salad dressing to give a try this week.



I know the font is small so here is the recipe again:

1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar

1 tsp of dijon mustared

1/2 tsp of salt

pepper to tast

1-1.5 Tbsp of maple syrup

5 Tbsp of olive oil.

Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Turkey Poppers

For this weeks recipe we are doing an appetizer that could also be a good mid-afternoon snack too.

Personally I find, finding a good appetizer a challenge but this one is delilsh and would make the perfect post-workout snack too with the combo of turkey and sweet potato.

As always, if you give this recipe a try be sure to let me know how you liked or didn’t like it ok.

Just click on the pic to see the full recipe.




  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 cup sweet potato, shredded or riced (using a grater or food processor)
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp rosemary
  • 2 tsp sage
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp sea salt



Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

My daughter Brittany made these one night, but she made them using flour which is ok, but not great.  Don’t get me wrong they tasted really good but it made me go on the hunt for a better version.

Cauliflower can get pretty boring after awhile, so any cauliflower cooking variation is good for me and you!

I eat them just as is, but you can make your own ranch dip if you like.  If you don’t have coconut aminos, just use tamari or gluten free soya sauce.

If you don’t have ghee which is basically clarified butter, then just use butter but start with 1.5 TBSP and add as needed.

If you decide to make this delectable little bites be sure to let me know how you liked them.  They make a great side dish to any meat or if you are going vegetarian for a meal then this is perfect too.

Just click on the picture to see the full recipe.



  • 1 large head of cauliflower, stems removed (or 2 – 10 oz. bag cauliflower florets)
  • ½ cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
  • 2.5 Tbsp. ghee
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Ranch for dipping
  • Parsley or green onions, chopped (optional)



Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

A 1 skillet meal!

If you have been reading my posts for a while then you know I am a BIG fan of the crockpot and 1 pot meals.  Today it’s a 1 skillet meal.

Perfect post-workout meal or for a quick dinner.

If you want to substitute veggies you can, or add more variety you can.  Feel free to use ground chicken or left-=over chicken from another meal instead of the ground turkey.

If you decide to make it be sure to let me know if you liked the recipe or not.

Just click on the picture to see the full recipe




  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lbs extra-lean ground turkey
  • 1 tsp garlic clove, minced
  • ½ cup onions, diced
  • ½ cup yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 ½ cups sweet potato, diced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A pinch of red chili flakes
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh parsley for garnishing


Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

pumpkin bite snacks

Just like I promised on Tuesday, here is your pumpkin recipe.  But I would love to hear about your favourite pumpkin recipe too so please feel free to share your recipe either here or on my facebook page at Positive Image Fitness.

Like I mentioned on Tuesday in the blog post, pumpkin has a ton of health benefits:

  • Pumpkins are great for your eyesight and 1 cup has more than 200% of your RDA for vitamin A
  • Pumpkin is one of the foods recommended for weight loss and to help reduce cholesterol
  • Pumpkin is also a great source of B vitamins, which help with cell growth and help to support a healthy metabolism.
  • Pumpkins have a light diuretic effect.  This helps with flushing out toxins and other waste from your body, giving you more energy, and leaving you feeling refreshed.
  • Pumpkin flesh also has something called L-tryptophan, which helps trigger feelings of happiness and well-being.

So with that being said, my pumpkin recipe for you guys this week are pumpkin bites.  They are perfect for on the go, after school or a late night snack.

Just click on the picture to see the full recipe.

Be sure to let me know what you think of the recipe.


Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Perfect meal

When I saw this recipe I got very excited – why??

  1. this meal can be the perfect post workout meal, just add some chicken or left over turkey from thanksgiving
  2. this salad can be made and stored in the fridge for 2-3 meals for the week
  3. its so colourful

I really like quinoa, its higher in protein and better for you than rice or pasta.  Butternut squash is just so yummy and sweet when roasted, the colour of the dried cranberries, the crunch of the pumpkin seeds plus all the good fats and zinc they provide us with a very healthy homemade oil and vinegar dressing – perfect!

And who would not want to eat this at thanksgiving either??



  • 3 cups butternut squash, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (I used rainbow quinoa but any type will do)
  • 1½ cups water
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries
  • ⅓ cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. toasted pumpkin seeds
  • salt and black pepper
Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt and black pepper

Just click on the mouth watering picture to see the instructions!

Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

A New Twist on your Slaw!

So when I saw this recipe I had to try it.  I love coleslaw, and cabbage is so good for you.

Cabbage has the highest amount of some of the most powerful antioxidants found in cruciferous vegetables – phytonutrients such as thiocyanates, lutein, zeaxanthin, isothiocyanates, and sulforaphane, which stimulate detoxifying enzymes. Research has shown these compounds to protect against several types of cancer, including breast, colon, and prostate cancers. They also help lower the LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or “bad cholesterol” levels in blood, which can build up in arteries and cause heart disease.

Rich in vitamin K, cabbage provides 85 percent of the body’s daily requirement. This is very important, not only for bone metabolism, but as a known Alzheimer’s disease preventative by limiting neuronal damage in the brain. The 54 percent daily value of vitamin C supplied to the body with one serving of cabbage is impressive, too – even more than oranges – which can help scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals and protect against infection.

Cabbage is also an excellent source of fiber, vitamin B6, folate, and manganese, as well as healthy amounts of thiamin (vitamin B1), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). It also provides iron, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium for strong bones, and potassium for regulating the heart rate and blood pressure. (

I know a lot of people see coleslaw as more of a summer dish, but this recipe definitely takes it into the fall and would impress any guests this Thanksgiving.

Just click on the pic to see the full recipe!


Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Cauliflower Veggie Meatballs

Hey everyone, for this weeks recipe, we are going vegetarian and using cauliflower to make the meatballs!  Now I know if I where to make this recipe, I maybe the only one to eat it.

If you are not a cilantro fan than you may want to skip this recipe too but this recipe is definitely a good hearty fall meal.

Now the recipe has links to specific brands of seasonings – feel free to use the what you have at home for cinnamon, turmeric, allspice and black pepper.

If you decide to make this recipe be sure to let me know what you/your family thought of it.

Just click on the picture to see the full recipe



Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Overnight Oatmeal

Like I promised, here is your easy and nutritious way to eat oatmeal without having to fuss over it in the morning and it has peanut butter, one of my favourite food groups 🙂  You could also substitute out the peanut butter for almond or cashew butter if you prefer.

Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

½ cup unsweetened almond milk
¾ Tbsp. chia seeds
2 T peanut butter or almond butter
1 T organic honey
½ cup rolled oats
sliced banana or berries















Add almond milk, chia, nut butter and honey in a bowl and stir.

Add oats and stir again, pressing down to make sure they are covered with the almond milk.

Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight.

Top with sliced banana or berries.


So there you have it and be sure to let me know what you think of this awesome recipe.

your partner in health