This time, you will not fail.

Vanessa and her husband, Kirby, on their annual bike trip. There might only be a year between these photo's, but what seems like an entire world of difference when it comes to health, confidence, and energy.

Vanessa and her husband, Kirby, on their annual bike trip. There might only be a year between these photo's, but what seems like an entire world of difference when it comes to health, confidence, and energy.

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

When I started with Encompass, as a Kickstart participant, I had no desire to change anything about my lifestyle, but definitely wanted (and needed) to lose weight. I reluctantly agreed to join the Kickstart with my friend, but said, in no uncertain terms, that there was no way I was going to be going to any group fitness classes.

Fast forward 18 months.

Not only do I attend group classes 5 times a week, but I also walk and jog 5 – 6 days a week, and actually miss it when I can’t get it in.

Looking back, I try to put myself in the mindset I had then, and the reason why.


My pride was in the way. I am a smart person, I can lose this weight on my own. I don’t need help.

What if I do the program and I fail?
EVERYONE would know I was trying to lose weight and failed...

What if I go to exercise classes and I can’t do it? EVERYONE will be looking at me and know I can’t do it...

Rather than be humiliated by failure, best not to try, right?


I can say, without any doubt, there is no judgement at Encompass. EVERYONE wants you to be the best you can be. The staff celebrate your successes and help you navigate the bumps (and there are bumps, darn it). The members encourage each other, and are so proud of others’ accomplishments.

I have no time or energy to look at others’ in class and make judgements, I’m focused on getting through the workouts. But on occasion, you do take note of others... and I can tell you this:

 Not once have I looked at a member in class and thought, ugh, look at her/him…can’t do this, can’t do that….
 I HAVE looked at a member in class, especially at the beginning and thought, I remember struggling and looking at all these “fit” people, and wishing I could be just like them.
 I HAVE looked at a member in class and thought, look at her/him go ….that’s amazing, he/she has made so much progress.
 I HAVE looked at a member in class and thought, wow, he/she looks fantastic. Sometimes, I even catch that person after class and tell them, because it sure is nice to hear. I remember people pulling me aside and telling me the same kinds of things, and it really means a lot.

My advice to you would be:
If you want a change, Encompass is a safe place to start making those very scary lifestyle changes.

There is no judgement, only encouragement.

What are you waiting for?

Vanessa Marcotte, 
Encompass Member


Don't let the festivities derail you... our top 6 holiday party tips!

Holiday parties are full of full, friends, and let's not kid ourselves.... free food and drinks.
And it's easy to go overboard. But if you're smart about it, you can have fun, enjoy food, and still stay on track (and keep on holiday hustlin'). 

Here's our top 6 holiday tips! 

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We want to know - what's your favourite healthy holiday tip or favourite healthy holiday recipe? Post in the comments below! 

Use these 6 Meal Prep Tricks When You Are Just Too Busy

It happens. You had good intentions, and suddenly you're in the middle of the storm with no way out, and definitely no time for preparing some healthy foods, let alone exercise. You find yourself resorting back to take-out, drive-thru's, and frozen meals. But, with a quick trip to the grocery store and a few minutes, you can turn the bus around! 

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When you just don't have time to actually stop and prepare a meal, or plan ahead, try to create some time in your schedule. Even skipping one workout and taking the time to plan and prepare a few meals will set you up for more success than one workout in the long run, even when it doesn't seem like it at the time. 

For the days, or even weeks that are crazy, stop at the grocery store and pick up a rotisserie chicken, a few bags of salad, some chopped vegetables, and some fresh fruit or a fruit tray. Even something as simple as this will keep you from getting completely derailed, and your body will feel much better too! 

For the days that you really have no time, call ahead to one of our partners, The Flat's, or Eddie's to call and pre-order a perfectly portioned meal, ready in 30 minutes or less, and absolutely delicious and healthy. Click below for the menu.  

Top 6 Tips for Staying on Track This Long Weekend

Here's our infographic on how to navigate the long weekend. Your fitness and nutrition progress is much like digging a hole. You dig diligently all week long, yet on the weekend you start to shovel the hole back in, undoing all of the hard work that you put in over the week. It doesn't have to be this way. Keep on digging until you reach those goals! 

Click here to download our Deck of Cards Workout. The easiest workout that you can do anywhere with no equipment needed

Meal Prep 101 - Part II.

Now that you've mastered grocery shopping, it's time to master the kitchen. 

I'll be the first to admit that meal prepping can be frustrating. The first time I attempted "meal prepping" I spent an hour grocery shopping, and 6 hours in the kitchen cutting, chopping, cooking, weighing, and cleaning. I share this with you because I do not want this to be you. 

Like any habit, the more you meal prep, the faster you will become. Here are my quick and easy meal prep tips to help you spend less time in the kitchen, and more time doing what makes you happy. 

Pro Tip #1: Have a Plan 

Before you can meal prep effectively and efficiently, you must have a plan. What meals will you be needing this week? Do you need to prepare breakfast, lunch, supper, and snacks each day? Will you be eating on the road, at home with family, or out at an event? Once you know how many meals you will be preparing, have a general estimate of how much food you will need per meal in terms of quantity of macronutrients - proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. 

Pro Tip #2: Start with the Protein 

Typically, protein and any starchy carbs will take the longest to cook. Start the oven, or barbecue and get your meat and starchy carbs ready to cook. Once you have done this, sanitize the kitchen, pop your protein in the oven, and begin the remainder of your meal prepping while your protein is cooking.

Simple Idea's: Cook chicken in oven, brown turkey meat or lean ground beef on the stove, hard boil eggs, barbecue steak or chicken breasts, saute strips of chicken or beef for stir fry. 

Pro Tip #3: Maximize Your Time 

After you get your protein cooking, you can maximize your time and your kitchen by also using your stove and other oven racks. Layer a tray with tinfoil and toss your vegetables in some olive oil and place them on another rack in the oven, or steam your vegetables on another burner on the stove. The more you get used to meal prepping, the more you will be able to multi-task and cut down on the time it will take. While everything is cooking you can wash and measure any fruit, nuts, or other sides that will round out your meals and snacks. 

Pro Tip #4: Assembly Line

Have your containers out and ready to go. As you chop, you can put all of your meals in the appropriate places. You may organize your containers by days of the week (Monday - Friday), or by meal (all breakfasts together, lunches together, etc). This way, you can see the week ahead of you right before your eyes. 

Pro Tip #5: KISS - Keep It Stupid Simple 

If you're in a hurry, or find meal prepping overwhelming, keep it as simple as possible. Buying a roasted chicken and peeling off the skin, or adding a can of tuna to a salad can be a quick and easy protein solution. Save time on chopping by purchasing pre-cut or frozen vegetables when you need. You can now buy individual portions of guacamole, hummus, and peanut butter making packing, and eating on the go convenient when short on time. 

Pro Tip #6: 

Have a cooler, lunch bag, or proper storage and travel system for your food. The last thing you want is your food spoiling, or leaking in your bag, car, or office. There are many different storage options. For relatively cheap you can purchase ice packs and lunch bags at Wal-mart. For more fashionable, or travel friendly bags, my personal favourite is 6-pack bags, which can be found online at 

Watch the video below for my favourite bags, and check out Facebook on Friday for a video of me in the kitchen sharing my meal prep routine.

Stay Tuned! Come back next week, as I will be sharing my easy "hacks" and quick and delicious time saving idea's (think taco salad, and extra ways to quickly and conveniently add nutrients into your food).