This Post Will Change Your Life: The 10-80-10 Principle

The 10-80-10 Principle

On Friday and Saturday I had the opportunity to attend the 5th Annual Food Matters Conference at the University of Alberta Hospital. There were so many amazing topics and speakers but I can honestly say that one particular session completely changed my life. I’m not quite sure how I have made it 27 years without hearing about this incredible approach but, I am going to do my best to share it with everyone I know.

The first seminar I attended on Friday was The 10-80-10 Principle: Strength Based Approach to Leadership given by Sunjay Nath. Sunjay is an international speaker who shares insights on leadership and performance. I don’t think I have ever heard a more dynamic, engaging and hilarious speaker in my life. The 3 hour session was over in a blink of an eye. Here is a short video that I found on his website that does a good job of providing an overview of the approach:

The best part of the 10-80-10 Principle is that you can apply it to so many different facets of life. You can apply it to organizations, groups, and your own individuals behaviors. The basis of the approach teaches people to stop putting all their efforts into fixing bottom 10 behaviors, but rather empower and grow their top 10 behaviors. This way – the majority 80 behaviors that are more easily influenced will shift towards the top 10 rather than the bottom 10.

Here is a really great example related to healthy eating and physical activity that really resonated with me. Sunjay told us that at one point in his life he was overweight. He realized that he was not making the best decisions he could for his health and wellness and he wanted to address it. He then spent some time thinking about his behaviors and categorizing them into top 10 and bottom 10. He felt that one of his top 10 behaviors was taking 2-3 20 minute walks per week with his wife. This was something that was positively influencing his health and wellness. When it came to his bottom 10 behaviors he felt that the fact that he ate at McDonald’s multiple times per week was a contributor to being overweight. Simple, right?

Once you’ve identified your top 10 and bottom 10 behaviors you then have to neutralize the bottom ten and empower the top 10. For him, this meant making a clear cut rule about eating at McDonald’s. From now on – he would only eat there once per week. This was something he was comfortable with and could comply with. He could now put the minimum amount of time, energy, attention and thought into that behavior so that he was no longer concerned with it and it no longer pulled him from his desired result.

Next, he empowered his top 10. He found ways to grow the behavior of walking with his wife by spending more time, energy, attention thought and resources on it. This would look different for everyone, but for him this was going for longer and more frequent walks. When he got to a point where he was walking 30 minutes per day, he decided that he would increase the intensity by running for as long as he could and then walking the remaining time. Eventually, Sunjay complete a marathon.

Because of his increase in physical activity he found other behaviors were shifting in his life. When he would come back from a walk or a run he found that he was thirsty and craving water. In the past, when he felt thirsty he would gravitate towards soda. Now, he was choosing water more often. Also, he found his food cravings change. He craved an orange. He had never craved an orange before in his life. The majority 80 behaviors were following suit of the top 10. Over time your behaviors shift in a positive direction that is closer and closer to your goal.

As a Dietitian, I often find myself trying to isolate negative behaviors and teaching individuals how to change those. But now, I see the value instead in focusing on the positive behaviors and empowering them to grow.

I encourage you to visit Sunjay’s website and learn more about his approach. And, if you ever get the chance to see him speak – I would run (not walk) to hear what he has to say!

Aurora: The Perfect Patio Beer

So how about this weather???

But actually…it has been friggen beautiful outside in the YEG this spring! All this vitamin D has me dreaming of sipping on ice cold beverages out on the patio with friends. It doesn’t get much better than that (in my personal opinion). So it was pretty much fate when our friends, Kristen and Josh, brought a pack of Aurora over to our place for dinner.


Let me tell you about it.

I am going to be completely candid with you – I would not call myself a beer drinker, but this beer does it for me! It is totally refreshing, has a bright floral/citrus flavor profile, and is brewed locally in Canmore, Alberta (#shoplocal). One of the first things I noticed about Aurora was the subtle carbonation. I often feel uncomfortably full after drinking a beer, but this is not the case here. The five simple ingredients used to brew Aurora were chosen specifically to maintain nutrient content and reduce bloat – sign me up!


If you happen to drop by this summer, you will definitely find a can of this beer in our fridge/in my hand.


PS. Use this super handy website if you want to know where to find it!

PPS. I snacked on Sweet Chili Pistachios while photographing/drinking this beer and it was delish 🙂



Mission Hill Cooking Class: Spaghettini with Pine Nuts, Black Olives, Roasted Tomatoes and Smoked Tofu

Back in February, Alex and I took our annual trip (and by annual I mean it’s the second time we’ve done it) to spend my birthday weekend with my BFF, her fiance and their fur-baby in beautiful Kelowna, British Columbia. Kelowna is one of our absolute favorite places to visit and we hope to be able to call it home one day in our future. The food and wine scene has a lot to do with how much I love it there, which is why I was so excited when they surprised me with a Valentine’s Day cooking class at Mission Hill Winery! I’ve been to a few cooking classes in Edmonton, but this one was a little bit different than I was used to. The best way to describe it is it’s as if you were the studio audience of a Food Network show. After waking up at the crack of dawn to fly to Kelowna, I was thrilled to find out that instead of working for my food, I got to watch the chef prepare four amazing courses while sitting on my butt and drinking delicious wine.

The menu and wine pairings were as follows:

Scallop and Shrimp with a Cucumber Feta Salad – 2014 Reserve Pinot Blanc

Angel Hair Pasta with Dungeness Crab, Pine Nuts and Black Olives – 2014 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc

Whole Rousted Poussin for Two with Rice and Mushroom Stuffing – 2012 Martin’s Lane Pinot Noir

Vanilla Sable and Sweet Cherry Napoleon – 2011 Reserve Riesling Icewine

I would generally be all over documenting this, but to be honest, I was having way to much fun eating, drinking and laughing to worry about bringing out my camera before each course started. Instead, I decided I would recreate one of the dishes with a few healthy substitutions.

I was really excited to use smoked tofu in this dish because I have been crushing on it so hard lately and using it just about anywhere that I can. For all the tofu haters out there, you must give this a try before you write off tofu off all together. It has a smoky flavor that reminds me of gouda and lets be honest – anything that tastes like smoked gouda = love (my picky mother even liked it!).

Spaghettini with Pine Nuts, Black Olives, Roasted Tomatoes and Smoked Tofu
Serves 4

1 – 900 g clam shell of grape tomatoes
1 red onion, sliced1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
1 – 375 g package whole wheat spaghettini
2 Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 package smoked tofu, cubed
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Salt, to taste.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Toss the grape tomatoes and half of the sliced red onion in 1 Tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes.


Remove the tomatoes and allow them to cool. In the meantime, bring a pot of salted water to a boil.

Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a pan over medium heat. Add garlic and the remaining sliced red onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add the pine nuts, olives, smoked tofu and 1/3 of the roasted tomatoes. Turn down burner to low just to keep warm.


Add remaining 2/3 of the cooled roasted tomatoes to a blender with the greek yogurt and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.


Add pasta to the boiling water and cook as per package instructions. Strain well.

Add the pasta to the tofu and olive mixture and toss carefully. Add basil, season with salt and pepper and toss.


Place pasta mixture onto the plate and top with the roasted tomato and greek yogurt sauce.




Nutrition Month 2016: Take a 100 Meal Journey

Nutrition Month

Have you heard that March is Nutrition Month?? I know I’m a little bit late to the ball game but the past few weeks have been crazy in the Fudge-Antosh household. Plus, a separated shoulder is a great excuse to procrastinate.

Back to my favorite month of the year…

Every year in March, Dietitians of Canada organizes Nutrition Month with a goal of providing information and guidance to make it easier to choose, eat and enjoy healthy food. This years campaign is “Take a 100 Meal Journey: Small Changes, One Meal at a Time.” We consume nearly 100 meals every month and making small changes supported by real life strategies can make those changes last.

Each week is centered around tips, strategies, or ideas to support making small, positive changes:

Week 1 – Get Ready!
The first week is all about joining the 100 meal journey by taking the pledge. I took a pledge to drink water at all of my meals. This is something that I really struggle with. The only time I find myself “craving” water is during physical activity, but at most other times of the day I gravitate towards tea, lattes, or diet carbonated beverages. I plan to use fresh herbs and fruit to help flavor the water and encourage me to drink more!

*Check out the tip sheet

Week 2 – Quality Counts!
This week focuses on making food decisions that support individuals’ goals, such as cooking more meals at home, choosing nutrient-rich foods and substituting ingredients.

*Check out the tip sheet

Week 3 – Prioritize Portion Size!
This week, they provide strategies for individuals to be aware of selecting realistic portion sizes during their 100 Meal Journey.

*Check out the tip sheet

Week 4 – Try Something New!
Because taste is the number one reason for food choice, this week focuses on nourishing meal and snack ideas that are delicious!

*Check out the tip sheet

Week 5 – Make it Stick!
Every journey encounters detours along the way. This week’s tips will equip people with doable strategies to put in place during their 100 Meal Journey and make healthy eating stick!

*Check out the tip sheet

The Dietitians of Canada have also put together two recipes for the campaign that look delish and I am really excited to try. Click on the links to get the recipes!

Garden Veggie Buddha Bowl

Spice Roasted Peach and Yogurt Parfaits

Make sure to comment below if you make the pledge and share what your goal is 🙂

Check out the Dietitians of Canada website for more information.

Almond Roca Chickpea Muffins

So I’ve had quite the weekend….Thursday evening I had my second playoff game (I play in an old ladies ringette league) and we were playing the first place team. We’ve played this team two to three times previously and we generally lose by about ten goals. In some weird twist of fate we were tied 4-4 at the end of the 2nd period (we only play two periods in ringette). With 15 seconds left in overtime, I was racing down the ice towards the ring, circling around the net and I caught an edge and went shoulder first into the boards. As I was skating back to the bench I noticed a bone sticking out of the top of my shoulder that doesn’t usually do so. My first thought was dislocated shoulder. Luckily, my mom and my husband were watching the game and they quickly shuttled me to the emergency department. I made it into a room quickly….apparently the crying and hyperventilation speeds things up a little. Long story short, I have a Grade 4 AC (clavicle) dislocation. Which means I can no longer dress myself, brush my teeth properly or effectively wash my hair. So in other words I had a team of people help bake, photograph and blog about these unbelievable muffins (Big shout out to:  Sam, Steph, Karly, my husband and my mom). And in case you are wondering, we won in a shoot out (that makes the injury slightly more bearable).

Now let’s talk about these amazing muffins. Our Chickie Dough feature flavor this month was Almond Roca and I had a slight obsession with it, which is why I wanted to immortalize them in a muffin. These muffins are special for a few reasons: they are made with chickpeas, have a combo of oil, avocado and greek yogurt as the fat source and they taste totally indulgent and fudgy. I’ve tried making these with splenda and brown sugar and the version with brown sugar are a thousand times better, so I wouldn’t suggest subbing this ingredient out. And here we go.



1 can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
2 eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
1/2 avocado
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup skor bits
Chopped almonds







  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. and prepare your muffin tin.
  • Add the first 6 ingredients into a blender or food processor and mix until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the next 5 ingredients.
  • Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well (I used my mixer for this step).
  • Add the skor bits and mix to combine.
  • Scoop batter evenly into muffin tin and top with chopped almonds (my almonds were pre-roasted).
  • Bake muffins for 35 minutes or until knife comes out clean.


Makes 12 Muffins
Nutrition Facts (1 Muffin): 190 calories, 8 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0.1 gram trans fat, 32 mg cholesterol, 157 mg sodium, 26 grams carbs, 3 grams fibre, 10 grams sugar, 6 grams protein.

Birthday Month: Ampersand 27

Seven months ago I got married and at that moment I went from having three wonderful parents to having eight! Blended families are pretty much the norm these days, but I think my husband and I take this to a whole new level. I didn’t know it yet, but at that moment birthdays went from a weekend event to a month long celebration. All I can say is – I am not complaining!

Last night I celebrated my birthday for the third time this month at Ampersand 27. I tend to be the most adventurous family member when it comes to food, so I was pleasantly surprised when I was told to put together a charcuterie board for the table to start. I wanted to choose items that I knew everyone would enjoy and this is what we ended up with:

  • Prosciutto de Parma
  • Bison Smokies
  • Appenzeller
  • Pecorino
  • Pickled Asparagus Spears
  • Hummus
  • In House Bavarian Pretzel
  • Blueberry & Port Chutney
  • Maple Grainy Mustard


I think it’s safe to say I chose well, because the food disappeared in about 2.5 minutes flat. My personal favorites were the appenzeller cheese (perfectly firm and creamy swiss style cow cheese), the bison smokies, and the pretzel with honey mustard (plus it was in the shape of an ampersand – how cute is that??). It was clear that the asparagus had been pickled using fennel, which is kind of unfortunate, as most of the table really dislikes the black licorice flavor it gives. But, overall a huge win.

The “Butcher’s Pride” feature was a meatloaf made with 90% bison and 10% beef, served with tricolor baby potatoes and kale. The “Captain’s Catch” feature was a seafoood green curry with scallops, shrimp, mussels and salmon over coconut rice. I instantly knew what I was going to order – I am a sucker for green curry! Between the five of us, we ordered two of the “Captain’s Catch”, two of the “Butcher’s Pride” and one Organic Free Range Chicken (Apple Hickory Smoke, Honey, Herbs, Little Gems and Vegetables).IMG_3941IMG_3944IMG_3943

Everything was delicious and we all left absolutely STUFFED. It was brought up that we were charged $1 per person for water, but when I saw this on the menu I was totally on board:

“Proudly Serving Q Water – In an effort to reduce our carbon footprint & support charity all are welcome to our unlimited filtered still or sparkling water at the cost of $1 per guest. Partial proceeds of Q Water sales will be donated to Mealshare. Thank You”
Mealshare is an organization that partners with restaurants to raise money for individuals in need. If you want to learn more about what Mealshare is all about check out their website:
I would definitely recommend Ampersand 27 as a place to meet friends for cocktails and charcuterie or to go for dinner on a special occasion. The service was amazing and the decor is absolutely beautiful. Check it out!

What’s in Store in 2016? you love wandering the aisles of the grocery store? I’m not sure if it’s a dietitian thing, but I could spend hours slowly walking up and down each aisle looking at new products and reading nutrition labels. Not only is it totally fun, for a food nerd like myself, it’s also important to know what clients are referring to when they bring up a specific product they use or love. So naturally, when I received an invitation from the Dietitians of Canada to attend a grocery store tour at my local Save-on-Foods I couldn’t say no! This specific tour was lead by my friend and fellow dietitian, Karol Sekulic, and focused on pulses and legumes, anti-inflammatory foods, and hidden sugars.


Those of you who know me, know that I have a very special relationship with chickpeas. Which is why I am beyond excited that the United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses. Some of you are probably thinking – “what the heck is a pulse?!” A pulse is a lentil, dried bean, dried pea, or a chickpea and they are ridiculously awesome (but we will talk more about that later).


The tour started where any good trip to the grocery store starts – the produce section. Here is a snapshot of the discussion:


Inflammation is a totally normal and necessary response that your immune system has when your body is healing a wound or fighting infection. But sometimes, this response goes into overdrive. Cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s have all been linked to chronic (aka long term) inflammation. There are a number of factors that contribute to inflammation such as insufficient duration and quality of sleep, BPA’s (found in some plastic food and beverage container’s such as water bottles), smoking, stress, obesity and diets with large amounts of refined carbohydrates, fried foods, sugar, red meat and processed meat.


*The World Health Organization recommends that individuals reduce their intake of free sugars to 6-12 teaspoons per day. FYI – one can of coke contains just over 8 teaspoons of sugar!


*The Canadian Cancer Society recommends limiting processed meats such as hot dogs and bacon as much as possible (only special occasions!) and consuming no more than three 3oz servings of red meat per week.


The good news is – there are patterns of eating which have been found to help with the reduction of inflammation. This is what you need to know:


Eat more vegetables and fruit – There is a reason you hear this over and over and over. Dark green and orange vegetables contain antioxidants that reduce inflammatory markers. It’s a fact and you should probably do it.


Choose whole grains and high fibre foods – As I mentioned before, obesity is an inflammatory disease. When you have a large amount of adipose (fat) tissue, you release a larger amount of adipokines, which cause increased inflammation in your body. Research shows that people who have a diet high in fibre, generally have a lower body weight. So, essentially: higher fibre = lower body weight = less inflammation.


Incorporate more omega 3’s into your diet – Omega 3 fatty acids have been found to reduce interleukin 6 and c-reactive protein, which are inflammatory markers found in the body. There are three types of omega 3 fats – DHA, EPA and ALA. DHA and EPA are found in fatty fish such as salmon, herring, anchovy, mackerel and sablefish (if you don’t like fish try taking a fish oil supplement). ALA is found in flax oil, walnuts, and canola oil.


Drink green tea – Catechins are antioxidant compounds found in green, black and oolong tea. It is recommended that you drink 3-5 cups per day, preferably on an empty stomach (helps with absorption). So, if you are able to drink 3-5 cups of green tea in the morning before your stomach starts eating itself – good on you! I will continue drinking my 1-2 cups before breakfast and have the rest on a full and satisfied stomach.


PS – my absolute FAVOURITE hot drink right now is lemon green tea with a ¼ of a fresh lemon and a little bit of stevia. Heavenly.


Cook with pulses as much as humanly possible – but seriously, pulses are amazing. In regards to inflammation, beans are known to reduce inflammation as they have high levels of bioactive molecules, as well as provide relief from inflammatory bowel disease. But beyond inflammation, pulses are rich in many nutrients such as protein, fibre, iron, folate, and potassium, and are low in fat and cholesterol-free. They are a delicious and budget friendly meat alternative and you can use them in sauces, soups, salads, chili, casseroles, and baked goods. And if that isn’t enough, Canada is the world leader in pulse production/sales (#local) and they have nitrogen-fixing properties, which can contribute to increasing soil fertility and have a positive impact on the environment. WOW.


I hope you had as much fun reading this as I did writing about it! Check out this link if you are interested in setting up a nutrition tour at Save-on: