Warning! Gluten ahead!

After a year of collecting recipes from our Bootcampers, recruiting friends to do recipe testing and trading personal training for design and illustration services, I’m so psyched to introduce our Food Feels Good community cookbook!  Have a look at the Forward to learn a bit more about our food philosophy, check the back for some awesome resources about everything from food politics to disordered eating and then dig in to some delicious recipes!

(from the forward of the Food Feels Good Cookbook)

Warning! Gluten ahead!

None of these recipes will promise to make you lose weight or look like a celebrity or be bikini ready in 3 weeks. Be warned that they might contain fat and meat and dairy and deliciousness. These are a collection of recipes chosen by people like you; busy people with families and jobs who like to make and eat food that makes them feel good.

I know you want to be buff and beautiful and have a flat stomach. And you’ve probably heard that people who cook are more likely to have a healthy body weight and live longer. In fact, the decline in home cooking closely tracks the rise in obesity and all the chronic diseases linked to diet. Research even indicates that children who enjoy home cooked meals with their parents do better in school and are less likely to drink, smoke and suffer from eating disorders.

This book was designed to evoke a time when people cooked at home about twice as often as we do now. Cookbooks were not glossy hardcover kitchen decor but smudged with lard grease, chocolate fingerprints and years of wear. Those 1970’s cooks may have been making jellied ham salads, but at least they were making their own and not outsourcing their food to industry. And they were a lot thinner and healthier than we are today.

You may think that a cookbook by a Personal Trainer and a Nutritionist should be a bit more prescriptive. If you want food advice, I would quote my favourite food writer, Michael Pollan, in saying: “Eat real food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” And then I would add: Eat with people you love. And pay attention to how it makes you feel (physically, emotionally, psychologically).

If you want some ideas from active and awesome people such as yourself, check out these recipes.

Oonagh Duncan

Personal Trainer, Fitness Educator & founder of Fit Feels Good 



The Food Feels Good Community Cookbook!

June 2015 BootcamperS of the Month: Claire and David!

Meet Claire and David! One of the best things about having a co-ed bootcamp is that we get couples who are getting fit and feeling amazing together! Claire stumbled upon us in a park and we invited her to join us and we are so glad she did. Claire and David are an inspiration to the 6am High Park crew and to anyone who thinks they are too busy to exercise!


How has being an FFG Bootcamper changed your life?
With 4 kids of our own, aging parents, demanding careers and a very gregarious cat named Max,  it would be easy to let our fitness programs lapse. In fact, 6:00 a.m. is about the only time of day that we can both be sure we are available. Fit Feels Good gives us a challenging and fun fitness It allows us to be at the top of our game and meet the challenges life throws at us. And it’s a GREAT thing to do as a couple.


What do you do when you are not Bootcamping?

We live a very hectic life from sunrise to sunset every day. We’re very involved with our kids, parents, careers, volunteer activities and so much more. In our spare time (whatever that is), Claire loves to garden while David is very involved in several volunteer pursuits. We also love to dance, watch a great movie, and when possible, read.


What’s your major fitness goal right now?

We did the Alpha Obstacle Course last year and it was a blast (read here about the hidden benefits of signing up for a race)  We’d like to get in great shape to tackle that again. We also run in the Terry Fox each year and would like to expand the number of fun runs we do each year. David would also like to shed a few pounds over the next few months – Fit Feels Good will be crucial toward reaching these goals.


What about coming to Bootcamp makes you jump out of bed at 5am singing the Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Music?

We love exercising as the sun rises in High Park. We look forward to whatever our excellent instructor Scott will have for us today – it’s always something new. The people we exercise with at High Park are awesome and a lot of fun to work-out with – we encourage one another and have lots of laughs.


What exercise or drill makes you cower under your bed covers and pretend you don’t hear your alarm?

For David, it is the dreaded burpee (although he’s a lot better at it now); for Claire it’s running backwards.


What advice would you give someone who is just starting out with FFG Bootcamps or just thinking about it?


Make a commitment to attend every session for at least 4 weeks. It takes a while to get into an early morning exercise routine – but once you’re in the groove you can’t imagine skipping a class. It’s completely addictive.


What is the accomplishment or personal milestone you are most proud of?

We are most proud that we have firmly established fitness as a regular part of our crazy lives. We feel younger and more energetic than most of our friends who don’t exercise.

May 2015 Bootcamper of the Month: Maija!

Meet Maija from the 6am Christie Pits class! The self-described ‘awkward, uncoordinated fat kid in gym class’ is now someone who shows up early for the 6am class, takes every option for higher intensity and is well on her way to becoming a trainer herself. Maija is an inspiration to our 6am Christie Pits crew…even if there are still a few exercises that make her hide under her covers…

What made you sign up for a FFG Bootcamp? How long have you been training with us?

Haha! I never had any intention of signing up for a bootcamp. I was volunteering with an organization that held a silent auction at a fundraising event. One of the items up for auction was a month of bootcamp. Soon Oonagh emailed and informed me that not only was I starting the next day but that it would be before the crack of dawn. And that was the first time Oonagh made me sweat.

This was October of 2013, 18 months ago.

How has being an FFG Bootcamper changed your life?

I honestly feel like becoming a bootcamper has changed my life entirely. I never thought of myself as an athletic person. I had no interest in sports and could not understand their appeal. Being the awkward, uncoordinated fat kid in gym class made me feel like I could never possibly enjoy physical activity. I’ve been a gym goer on and off but it’s never been fun. Working out with Oonagh feels like all of the best parts of gym class without the middle school bullies. It is so much fun! I’ve become hooked on trying new things, tackling challenges and making goals in all aspects of my life. I’ve learned how to snowboard from scratch, acquired brand new software skills, run my first 10K and half marathon, and have taken a Personal Training Certification course. Losing 60 pounds isn’t so shabby, either. I feel strong, with a clear mind and a super positive outlook. And I became a morning person.


What do you do when you are not Bootcamping?

Most of the time I’m doing the stay at home mom thing. When I can squeeze it in I make custom jewellery (I’m a goldsmith by trade), and any other hand crafted thing I can think of. I’m currently tuning my craft habit into an Etsy shop.

What’s your major fitness goal right now?

My current goal is to finish the Sporting Life 10K (happening next weekend) in under one hour.

What about coming to Bootcamp makes you jump out of bed at 5am singing the Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Music?

The Glute Challenge. Slam ball. Bill breaking into song. Sprints. Any class with a holiday theme.

What exercise or drill makes you cower under your bed covers and pretend you don’t hear your alarm?

Bear crawls with sliders. Mountain climbers.

What advice would you give someone who is just starting out with FFG Bootcamps or just thinking about it?

Relax and have fun. This isn’t military style bootcamp. No one is going to yell at you if you can’t do a pushup. Just keep showing up and you will get stronger.
What is the accomplishment or personal milestone you are most proud of?

Finishing the 2014 Scotiabank waterfront half marathon.

Fit Feels Good Community (#sweatworking)

Ever heard of #sweatworking? It’s business networking done while partaking in physical exercise. The theory is

the shared experience of suffering is effective in establishing a bond and conducive to promising business relations.

Four martini lunches, meet the four-minute burpee Tabata (MWHAHAHAH):





We are more about getting fit and feeling good than being all networky. However, it’s kind of a bonus we get to sweat it out with some amazing people.  Fit Feels Good Bootcamps are full of awesome artists, professionals and business owners. Supporting them and building community feels good!

Check it out!

Go watch Bill play at Graffiti’s

Check out Cheryl’s cool arts organization

Take your kids to see Juno-nominated Maury and Shoshana and the Monkey Bunch

Take your adults to see the Canadian Comedy Awards Best Female Stand Up Sara Hennessey

Learn how to make sweet music at Annie’s music school

Buy a house from Amanda

Go to Jamie’s amazing restaurant

Help Susan feed hungry kids for Breakfast Clubs of Canada

Ask Jenny to publish your crazy poetry

Get Alex to take beautiful pictures of your kids

Check out Cecily’s wicked dance classes on Monday nights

Get Maija to design some jewellery for you

Get Michelle to come to your kids’ school and revolutionize the physical education program

Check out Steph and Sara playing the Terrific Women

Get Michelle to design your cocktail menu

Check out Ben’s columns in iRun Magazine or read his awesome book about running

Go see one of Christine’s films 

Watch Steph being hilarious