Jonesee’s Breadcrumb Free Beef Meatballs

Hey everyone!

So if you used to watch my vlogs every Saturday, you know Matt and I usually do out big grocery shop that day. So this Saturday we went to Walmart, Bulk Barn and Costco and picked up many goodies, including AMAZING new spices to play with. I picked up a few things I don’t normally pick up at Costco since I have been loving cooking up various dishes and trying to make my own recipes. So this week we picked up ground beef for the meat sauce I wanted to make for dinner since we were having guests over. As we all know, Costco usually sells in large quantities so to say the least I had a good 2 lbs of beef left over, so I thought I would attempt to make meatballs for the first time!

I just made them up and gave Matt two and his response was “OOHHH MY GOSHHHH… mmmm. PLEASETELLMEYOUMADEMORETHANTWO!!!!” (no spaces since he said it so darn fast ;)). With that kind of reaction I thought it was only fitting to blog the recipe. I have another pound of beef left in the fridge so I may have to make more by the sounds of it!



1 lb ground beef
1 egg
1 cup chopped baby spinach
3/4 cup minced onion
2 tablespoons Garbanzo bean flour
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
pepper ( I used a few dashes but its up to you!)
1.5 tsp Coconut thai curry spice (I bought this at Bulk Barn! you can add mild curry spice instead)


Let’s get cookin’!!

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Chop up spinach and onion. Set aside.
3. Mix flour and spices in mixing bowl. Add chopped veggies and beef.
4. Add beaten egg and mix! I ended up just getting in there with my hands as it seemed to be the easiest method :P.
5. Now get in there and start molding those meatballs and place them on an oiled cookie sheet. You can play with the size you prefer, I made a medium size-ish.
6. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes (depending on your oven).


Et Voila! Yummy beef meatballs! I am going to attempt making Turkey meatballs next. I will keep you all posted on that venture.

Now for the Nutritional Information. As you can see in the picture of the meatballs raw, I ended up making an odd number! So the information here is for the full batch split into 11! (Weird, I know! Silly Jenn. Should have made 12. Coulda shoulda woulda. Oh well!).



Change of Plans

Gosh I miss having wifi! It is being installed on Friday though, thank goodness. I want to blog from the comfort of my sweatpants, no makeup and messy hair! Is that too much to ask?

Anyway, I wanted to do an update in regards to a big move I decided to make with my meal plan and training plan. As seen here on blog, I have been working with my coach Michelle for about 4 months now. I will just say it, I have decided to stop working with her. It is nothing against her. She is great and people see amazing results with her! But I want to explain why I have made this choice. It is due to something that I haven’t mentioned too much on my blog or Youtube because, quite honestly, I have felt rather embarrassed and nervous to talk about it. I have come to the realization that many people struggle this situation and I thought it would be good to address it.

If you have seen my bio, either on my blog or through my videos, you will have seen that I was always an athlete. Exercise is something I have always been very passionate about and that is still true today. However, I was overweight and matters only got worse after my first year at university. I have always explained it was because “I didn’t know much about healthy eating,” but only part of that statement was true. Really I struggled with binge eating. I now know what situations bring out the “I wanna binge” feeling and this is the main reason why I stopped working with Michelle (again, its not because of her!). Personally, the planned out concise meal plan did not work for me. It brought out the binge eating tendencies. Now don’t get me wrong, I haven’t gained weight from the many binges I experienced in the past four months. I have maintained part of the weight I lost in month 1. I just feel this was the best step for me.

What I needed was balance. The one cheat every two weeks was not cutting it for me. Also, the fact it was suppose to be a clean cheat. After having beef flank every single day for a month, the last thing I was craving was a beef steak! Again, nothing against this way of eating, it is just not for me.

As a certified trainer and coach, I believe self development is extremely important. I have been studying, reading and learning more about weight lifting, gaining muscle, fat loss, nutrition, and so on. I have come to the realization that much of what I want to accomplish I can do on my own for the time being. I may hire someone, locally, when I get into show prep (because lets be honest, AWKWARD Jenn posing for her show needs to be slightly less awkward!). For now, I am okay to do my own thing.

Also, I am working on my fitness business to get it up and running in the next year or so. I have many big ideas and dreams but the main plan on is to train clients locally as well as online. So I am planning on being a guinea pig for the workouts I am putting together as well as trying out a new way of eating.

As you may have noticed, I am an Instagram-aholic! I had noticed the hash tag #IIFYM all over the place and thought… “what is it with people and acronyms?!” ….just kidding. I was actually very curious and did a fair bit of research. IIFYM stands for “If it fits your macros.” This is my “new way of eating” that I found.

A basic rundown of what IIFYM (click to learn more) is:
Not all calories are created equal. 4 calories per gram of protein, 4 calories per gram of carbohydrates and 9 calories per gram of fat. This is why there is a shift of focus from calorie counting to macronutrient counting. The understanding is that if you want to have treats like frozen yogurt, sushi, pizza, or “insert food of choice here,” you can as long as you have the fat, carbohydrate, protein grams that allow for that. IIFYM is also known as “flexible dieting.” It reminds me a lot of the Weight Watchers “points plus” system that came out when I was working as a leader and receptionist! Like IIFYM, Weight Watchers focus was now on the macronutrients. Why? because not all calories are EQUAL. *light bulb turns on*

I have been using this method of eating and honestly, I am eating clean 90% of the time and still enjoying food I love! I am finally feeling BALANCE again and have no urge to binge. What else? I am seeing improvements in my energy levels, more power in my workouts and changes in my body! Not too shabby if you ask me!

So that is a not so brief run down of where I am at now! I still have plans to compete and gain muscle, I just will be working towards those goals with my own knowledge and planning.

One step at a time

Wanted to share a few thoughts that have been with me the past few weeks…

Since I have been officially DONE undergrad since April 22nd, I have taken the past few weeks to have a bunch of time to myself to reflect, read and renew myself. I have been thinking a lot about what overwhelms me most and how to overcome that. I will be upfront to say I have gained a bit of my weight back, about 10 lbs, and it has made me feel pretty frustrated, annoyed with myself and unhappy. I have experienced some extreme “self love” emotions to extreme lows of “self hate” for my body image in the past few months. It’s exhausting. So I took these “personal development” days to step back and reflect on what to do from here.

tumblr_m6iahq8EKu1rptw4do1_500 I realize that I have a habit of looking too far ahead and not embracing myself and the moment. I am happiest when I live in the moment. When I leave my worries of what could happen if I take this or that risk behind, I find I am freed. I looking too far ahead of where I am right now to be somewhat destructive as it makes me feel overwhelmed and almost “not good enough” to carry on. So what I have decided to do is step back and embrace each step for its ups and downs. From time to time, look bad to admire the battles I have fought and move forward with new ones.

You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. This was an idea I followed when I started my journey in 2009, and I found a way of losing grip of that idea. One step at a time. I need to focus on each step in order to move forward and feel at ease. I know I am a high anxiety and high stressed individual, so this is what works best for me.


The Importance of Cross Training for Runners

I have spoke to a few groups lately on this topic and as a runner and a gym addict, I want to show people how adding in one or more extra activities to their routine can benefit their overall fitness.

So lets get the captain obvious point out of the way. Running can be hard on our bodies. It is high impact and can often cause tenderness to our joints. Cross training can help us avoid injury by supplementing in low impact work that still increases out fitness. It can also help avoid over training, give us a little mental variety and help keep our fitness up if we are recovering from an injury. With so many benefits it stumps me when I hear runners saying cross training couldn’t benefit what they are setting out to accomplish. Their punchline is that if they want to improve their running they must run and I am not refuting that. But by adding another activity or two into your routine you can increase leg speed, finish runs with little to no tenderness in the hips or knees, create a more powerful push off and create greater range of motion in your joints.

What activities should I look at when cross training for running?

I find people will not keep up with an activity more often than not because they hate doing the activity. No one is forcing you to do that one activity! There are tons of options out there! Take up swimming, spin class, cycling, weight lifting, group fitness classes, yoga, cross training, you name it! Most facilities have a great policy when it comes to your first class or first time using the gym, try it out and see if that is something you want to keep up with!

Find something that could improve over all fitness
As runners we are bad for neglecting our upper bodies. The only time I recall using my upper body is when my legs are completely shot on the last few kilometers of the marathon distance. Here are a few examples:

Swimming is a great cross training activity as it works the muscle groups we often don’t use, its low impact and yet still aerobic like running.

Pilates is a great cross trainer as it can have a lot of focus on the core and many runners, again, tend to neglect doing core work. Sometimes lower back pain in runners can be caused by a weak core and/or taking strides that are far too long for them.

Yoga is an AMAZING cross trainer since flexibility has been linked to increase your speed as it opens up range of motion in your hips and allows for a stronger stride.

Cycling is great because it helps develop your quadriceps at a better rate than running. Runners hamstrings tend to develop much faster than the quadriceps. When there is a significant muscle imbalance, injuries become much more prevalent. Cycling is low impact, works many of the same energy systems as running, improves hill running and increases leg speed. Not too shabby! If cycling on busy streets just isn’t your cup of tea, take up a spin class!

Plyometric work! My favorite. Plyometric movements are explosive jumping type movements. Some of these movements are performed laterally which is very different from running (so I highly suggest not performing these in your running shoes since shoes designed for running are not built for this type of movement and you will ruin your runners!). Movements like jump squats, burpees, switch lunges and so on! (AKA SUPER HAPPY FUN TIME WORKOUTS!) They help increase power, lactic threshold, and push off!

3)Low impact vs high impact
This is just personal preference but on days that I am not scheduled to run, I look for low impact exercises to give my joints a little bit of a break. These are the days I work on strength, yoga, or cycling.

Feeling overwhelmed with how you will fit it all in?
– Plan ahead! Print off or buy a calendar where you write down your schedule at the start of each week. Bring in the post its and highlighter brigade!
– If you are weight lifting, write out what muscle groups you want to target and don’t work them out two days in a row (them muscles need time to repair so they can grow back stronger!)
Write out what day is your rest day! Rest is EQUALLY if not MORE important when it comes to working out!
Make sure you have flexibility in your routine somewhere even if it is just post workout. Stretching is VERY important!

For those who cross train with their running routine: What is YOUR favorite cross training activity?

For those who don’t cross train: What is holding you back from doing so?

Motivation: How to keep it

tumblr_lrqtn7YDLd1qzsh7ro1_500_largeI am often questioned about motivation. My journey was not a short one. Sure, I could have lost those 50 lbs in a matter of a few months. I didn’t. I had a bit of a set back where I gained back 20 or so pounds. I lost site of my goals, I let stress and emotions take control of my habits again and lost motivation completely. I could have easily been like “well I guess it wasn’t meant to be” and quit running, quit Weight Watchers and gone back to my old ways. But I got back up and kept on fighting.

Weight loss, fitness or muscle gain are not easy roads and you will wake up some mornings feeling that motivation pumping through your veins and other days waking up not wanting to get out of bed. These moments that our mind is resisting what our heart wants most are the moments that we need to find a way to push through. Those moments can be what determines your success. It is far too easy to say “oh well, I missed one day…I start next week.” Nope! I am telling you now that you need to pick your butt off the ground and do it now even if you don’t want to. Believe me, when I was in the peak of my marathon training there were mornings where I was ready to have a hissy fit, crying and all, because I did not want to run 36 km in the pouring rain and wind by myself. But you put your big girl (or boy) pants on and get it DONE.

Here are a few things to remember:

Duration of workouts

I find more often than not people have this idea that fitness has to last at least an hour to see any kind of result. Not true. When I first started I told myself “Jenn, move for 20 minutes..” That is do-able right? 20 minutes is basically a sitcom on TV. If you are getting into running, that could be running 10 minutes from your doorstep and 10 minutes home. There are 1440 minutes in a day…what is 20 minutes of that? Not much! Get going!

Biting the bullet and just doing it

There are MANY days I wake up with that want to just stay in bed and not complete my workouts or anything else I have prepped for that day. Sometimes you just have to do it. Get a playlist together, watch some youtube videos on your phone if you have a data plan or wifi, download a podcast or audiobook and get on your way! You need to remember that these moments of resistance are the toughest to pass but they can be the difference of you improving or staying static with your fitness.

Find things you love to do!

No one is forcing you to run a marathon. If you don’t want to run a marathon, don’t. There are so many options out there. Join a team sport, take group fitness classes at the gym, pick up some at home workout DVDS, start hiking, swimming..ANYTHING. As long as your moving, you are ahead of the game! Okay, I take that back…wii bowling or wii tennis isn’t really something to “take up.”

Find someone to stay accountable with

If you know someone who has similar goals, text or call each other each day to ask what they did or plan to workout together. Make sure you both are on the same page and push each other. “I’m not gonna workout today” does not always deserve an “Okay” type reply. Ask their reasons for missing a workout or making the choices they are making. You have to call each other on excuses! Or if you feel super comfortable with a person you can make a weekly measurement/weigh in/ body shot date if that will keep you more in line. Personally I don’t weigh myself very often but if that is something that will keep you motivated, go for it.


Yes! I goal set for most time periods. I have daily, weekly, monthly, and annual goals. They keep me on track and keep my on the right road. My daily goals usually include drinking a gallon of water at least (I drink lots of water, yep :)), thinking positively (Positive self talk is extremely important), taking my vitamins and eating only when I am hungry (I am a terrible boredom and stress eater.. but this goal keeps me in line). I often write these on a post it and keep them in a visible place, for me that’s my agenda. I keep weekly and monthly goals in my Agenda/Journal too.

Or, if you are a runner, cyclist or into adventure type sports, sign up for a race! I am signed up for the TC 10 Km at the end of April and Tough Mudder in June. By committing financially, most of the time people commit to their workouts and training.

Schedule time for fitness and make it a habit!

I still don’t take the “I don’t have time” excuse as a viable reason for not working out. Like I said before, a workout does not have to be an hour long. You can always find time. If that means waking up an hour earlier so you have time to workout and shower before work, do it. If its important you will find time. Fitness needs to be scheduled just like any other appointment you make. Its a commitment to yourself. “They” say it takes about 21 days to form a habit. Make yourself a regiment and commit to it!

Find your WHY

Check out my last post. Determining WHY you want to lose weight, WHY you want to be healthier, WHY you do anything is extremely important for success. Write this and keep it somewhere you can reference!

Find what motivates you

For myself, I can be motivated by MANY things. New playlists, a new audiobook on self-development, Pinterest, Youtube videos, blogs, you name it! Find what fuels you to push past those “I don’t wanna” moments and run with it! (PUN TOTALLY INTENDED).

Baby steps

For those who are brand new to fitness remember you won’t see change over night. In fact you may be sore for a while after starting to workout. Take everything one step at a time! Start by being active for 2-3 days a week, then as time goes on you can add in more days! You are trying to change up your eating habits? Have one less soda or make healthy substitutes (Example: Sour cream swapped for Plain Greek yogurt..tastes pretty much the same!).

Sore does not mean stop

Like I said, you will most likely be sore post workout. This is normal! Your body is being challenged! With challenge comes change so don’t stop! If you are TOO sore to even think of the idea of running, squatting or what have you, add an active recovery day! Yoga or going for a power walk with your puppy are great options!

Balancing cross training

I find people have the most trouble with the idea of doing more than one type of activity in their routine so they just lose the motivation to keep up with it. Know that it is possible. Get out a calender and plan out your week! Planning ahead is everything! Just make sure you have at least one full rest day in there, you aren’t working the same muscle group two days in a row and you aren’t over training to the point that it is completely bogging your entire week down!


Sometimes people are motivated by rewards. Personally I ask people to stay away from food type rewards as sometimes it can trigger them into a spiral of unhealthy eating. When I started my journey I was motivated by making rewards like pedicures, massages, new workout tops and so on. I would get a reward for every new “decade” I would enter in my weight loss :). (aka, every 10 lbs or so)


I’ve said it before, and I say it again. Rest is equally as important as work periods. If you don’t allow rest, your muscles will not repair, you won’t see much change, injuries can happen and plateaus are very common.


So all in all, remember. You are not a lone. It is VERY normal to wake up unmotivated to eat well and workout. You just have to battle your “I don’t wanna” monster and do what has to be done!

2013 Resolutions? Nah, 2013 GOALS!

Hey everyone!

2012 gone in a flash! Am I right?! So I don’t know about you all, but I am a HUGE goal setter. I set goals for the year, the month, the week, and even every day. (post-it notes and highlighters are my best friends….yeah I don’t get out much. HUSH!) So why is it that when January 1st hits goals are now named “resolutions”? (I googled the history of New Year’s Resolutions, if you are interested here is a neato article!) I think what baffles me most is the idea of “I will start on January 1st.” Kind of like my old excuse of “I’ll start my diet on Monday” since it was the start of the work/school week. The final time I joined Weight Watchers and began my weight loss journey it was NOT a Monday, it was a WEDNESDAY *gasp*..yet I was successful?! CRAZY TALK! 😉 Why start later when you can start now? everyone has to start somewhere right? (I am all about the tough love if you can’t tell).


So in my “catch all” journal I decided to start writing out my resolutions 2013 goals. (My “catch all” journal is my everything journal. I write down my thoughts, feelings, ideas for blog/business/videos/wedding/recipes and notes for fitness and so on…can you say SUPER UNorganized?!)  Last year I achieved all the fitness type goals I set out for. Here they are:

Jenn’s 2012 Fitness Resolutions Goals

1. PB the half marathon distance  ✓

2. Sub 4 hours on the marathon distance  ✓

3. Fund raise and run the marathon with Team Diabetes in Reykjavik, Iceland 

4. Run the Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon

5. Become a Can Fit Pro Certified Personal Trainer 

Why was my 2012 so successful? I personally believe that you should write your goals down in a place you can reference. My daily goals? (HELLO POST IT NOTES!) I stick them in my planner! Sometimes I will even post them to my bathroom mirror if I need a SPECIAL reminder (ie: Be kind to Jenn today – sounds corny but I can be my worst critic!) I also categorize goals into things like Fitness, Self/Well being, Relationships, Financial, School, Business and so on. Not only should you write them down, but write down what your first step of action will be for that goal! I am not saying write an entire game plan, just write down your first step. Once that is done cross it off and write down your next step.


“Lose 5 lbs in the month of January”

Step One: I vow to do cardio for at least 30 minutes four times a week and add more colour to my plate (AKA veggies/fruit).

Step Two: ??? (eg: incorporate in a weight routine!)

So yes. I believe goal setting is one of the most important keys to success. I am sure we have ALL heard of the S.M.A.R.T acronym (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-targeted) and I believe this is important. It is so easy to get overwhelmed, especially when it comes to weight loss, muscle gains, training for a race, ANYTHING. Don’t be one of those people who are going hard at the gym and then we don’t see you once March has come. This is a lifestyle. Your body was meant to move and be nourished. If you are having a day where you are finding it hard to get to the gym or go for a run make a mini-goal for yourself. This was a tactic I used on myself when I was just beginning to get active again. “Jenn, move for at least 30 minutes..if you STILL don’t want to do this you can stop.” If you think about 30 minutes is really not that long, in fact most of our favorite TV shows are that long! Why not do jumping jacks/burpees/pushups/squats/lunges/WHATEVER while you watch your TV show? Pretty manageable if you ask me!

Don’t wait for January 1st or Monday. Start now. If you really want this, you will put everything aside and WORK for what you want. Don’t have that goal be just a wish. Make it happen! Believe me, I had a few too many treats on Christmas but once boxing day hit it was on it like Donkey Kong (uhh that is a saying right?). I popped in my Insanity DVD after a day of shopping in terrible boxing day crowds (that’s agility training on its own!) even when I was completely exhausted, I ate completely clean and stuck to my caloric goal! (Hey follow me on My Fitness Pal!) You will make time for fitness and you will make the effort to eat clean if you really want to achieve your resolution of “being healthy” in the year of 2013. (Told ya! Tough love!)

Happy New Year everyone! Let’s make this one the best year yet!! I challenge you to write down your goals and course of action!