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Recipe: Savoury Turkey Pie

Canadian winters are as cold as a woman scorned.  You could curl up in sadness under a dozen layers of Hudson’s Bay stripe wool blankets waiting for the polar vortex to pass; or you can make some comfort food, put on your best onesie, and surf Netflix until the last snow flakes fly.

Savoury Turkey Pie is a new take on the classic Sheperd’s Pie.  In the new year turkey parts are abundant and as grocery stores try and move the fresh meats off the shelves it is also highly affordable.  Turkey is incredibly nutritious, and is a highly bioavailable source of protein.  (Without going into a lesson about bioavailability, in short it means how much of the protein is actually absorbed and used in the body, and in turkey, it’s very high!)  The pie is hearty and flavoured with herbs reminiscent of holiday stuffing. It smells so good you’ll think that your Grandma was in the kitchen cooking for you!

Suggested sides for this dish: steamed broccoli or green beans, leafy green salad, and even cranberry sauce!  Fresh cranberries are in season from September till harvest in November, and are available in stores through January.  Frozen cranberries are available year round.  And if you find yourself in a point of low desperation, there is always canned.  (You did NOT see me blog that.)

Savoury Turkey Pie

*Gluten free, nut free

Serves: 12
3lb extra lean ground turkey (or 3 butcher’s packs)
3 whole eggs*
100g prosciutto
3/4 c butter, ghee, coconut oil, or butter flavour coconut oil
2 c white onion, chopped (approximately 2 medium onions)
2 to 2-1/2 c celery (approximately 4 stalks)
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
*Eggs are optional, but I include them because I find that the pie holds together much better opposed to crumbling apart.


Potato Topping Ingredients:
4lb potatoes (or more to your liking, I use 6lb!)
1 whole egg*
1/2 c whole milk or full fat coconut milk
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
*The egg is optional here too, however it helps the mashed potato hold its shape and contribute to a nice golden hue when broiled.
Recommended Equipment:
3 qt rectangle glass baking dish
Potato masher or immersion blender

Garlic press


Prepare potato topping first.
Peel and cut potatoes into chunks. 
In large pot of boiling salted water, cover and cook potatoes until tender, 15 minutes.
Using a potato masher or immersion blender mash with choice of milk, salt and pepper.
Let the mixture cool completely.
In a separate bowl whisk egg and pour over potato mixture, stir until combined.


Turkey filling:
In skillet, melt butter or coconut oil over medium heat.  Cook celery, onions, garlic, sage, rosemary, salt, pepper and prosciutto until just tender, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
Add lean ground turkey.  Sauté until no longer pink, but do not cook.
Drain off all liquid.  Allow to cool.
In a separate bowl whisk the eggs.  
Pour drained turkey mixture in 3 qt rectangle glass baking dish.
Pour eggs over turkey mixture and stir until combined.
Using the back of a large spoon or spatula press the turkey mixture into the baking dish so it is firmly combined.  Use the same utensil to level the mixture in the dish.

Scoop mashed potato on top up the turkey filling.
Using the back of a large spoon or spatula press the mashed potato into the turkey filling and use the same utensil to level the mixture.
If you want to get fancy you can create designs on the top of the mashed potatoes.
Bake at 370 for 40 minutes
Broil on low to medium for an additional 10 minutes until potato topping appears golden
Let stand 15-20 minutes before serving.

Approximate macros are not for the faint of heart!  This dish is satisfying and a great option for the muscle builder to meal prep for the week.
Per Serving:
Calories: 523  -  Protein: 33g  -  Carbohydrates: 44g  -  Fat:24g

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2017 Has Started, Your Goals Are Waiting


-Original Post: January 14th, 2017-


It's been two weeks since we toasted to the New Year and with deep introspect, made plans of self-betterment for 2017.  So my question for you is: where are those plans now?  What happened to the resolutions you made with every ounce of self certainty to begin to tackle this year?  For some of you, you started strong and things sort of trailed off.  For others you never got started.  And for those of you who dove in and stayed strong this post isn't for you.  (Post something on instagram with the caption "two weeks and still on track" and tag @platesandpines so we can give you a high-five.)
Let's look at the reasons why New Year's Resolutions end up on the curb next to the Christmas tree.  For starters, the word "resolution":
Resolution - defined as:
1. an official decision that is made.
2. a promise to yourself to do or to not do something.
3. the act of solving or ending a problem or difficulty.
Number 1. and number 2. sound great, but number 3. indicates that there is a negative aspect about yourself that you want to change.  The biggest reason we often do not commit to a change of habits is because it is founded upon negative enforcement.  Focusing on the negative rarely motivates anyone, or anyone for very long.  Don't get me wrong, it is wise to see that we as human beings are imperfect, but a negative opinion of ones self cannot be a driving force.  It keeps you in an unhappy state, one of which you will need to get away from.
1. the object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.
2. the destination of a journey.
3. a point marking the end of a race.
These are the definitions of "goals".  These are the reasons you should have if you aim to achieve that which you have set out to do.  Trade in the idea that you have an imperfection, a flaw, or an aspect that makes you feel lesser than your full potential, because it isn't.  This is an opportunity for incredible growth and all you need to do is set your sites on the outcome you are looking for.
Set goals, not resolutions.
The second reason you may be stumbling on how to keep or how to start working toward your goals for this year is a lack of, or poor planning.  If you want to build a house, a business, or cook a delicious meal, all of these successes begin with a plan.  A goal is no different.  A plan is so crucial to achieving your goal.  You must realize that at the end point, there is no more work, it becomes a new chapter, but it's the day to day steps you made to get there that ultimately won the battle.  It doesn't work just waking up and hoping that you'll begin making motions to achieve your dreams.  Take time to sit down and figure out how your day can shift to include working towards what you want to achieve.  It will be the most valuable time you have given yourself this year.
When planning how to get your goal there are two types of approaches: one is to go all in and the other is take it one step at a time.  To understand those who go all in, it is easier to eliminate bad habits and risks of falling of track by making the plan to change all at once.  Those who take it in steps find it easier to focus on mastering one skill at a time, often through repetition.  For anyone who needs to take it in steps it is tremendously important that you not only make a plan for your goal, but plan each step along the way and set a realistic timeline for each success.  Most people find themselves as either an all in or a taking steps kind of person, but as we are all unique and individual human beings, you may find success balancing both methods, maybe going all in with fitness, but taking steps improving your nutrition, or vice-versa.
The final reason you may find it difficult to start or stay on track is that you don't know where to begin.  Your goals do not have to be a solo effort!  Ask for help.  Get a nutrition coach and/or fitness coach to work out a plan with you.  Enlist friends and family to support and motivate you.  They may even join you!  Start a journal or social media account to document your journey and create accountability, even if it is just with yourself.  If your goal is not health or fitness related seek out the guidance of your local small business advisor, financial planner, or therapist.  There is nothing you cannot achieve in health and happiness in 2017.
A goal isn't an idea, it's where your future self will be. 

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Welcome To Plates And Pines

-Original Post: November 16, 2017-


It's been a long journey getting to this point, and it has only just begun!  What started out as a few friends seeking nutrition and fitness advice years later boomed into Laura V, the Nutritionist, Fitness, and Lifestyle Coach.  And now Plates and Pines has finally launched online and I couldn't be more excited!  
As a Nutritionist with a growing client base, I want to be able to share with you more information about the health and wellness services I provide, a newsletter to keep you informed, along with an engaging blog full of food, fitness, and lifestyle tips.  You can learn more about why I care about helping you achieve your personal best on the about me section, and getting in touch with me on how to get a personalized nutrition plan is made easy directly from my contact page.  
So what is "Plates and Pines"?  I'm glad you asked.  (Let me assume you did.)  I'm dedicated to healthy eating and spend the best part of my days hiking and canoeing in Muskoka, Ontario.  I truly believe in eating natural, whole, and unprocessed foods that are as locally sourced as possible. Also having a healthy, active lifestyle should go beyond the gym and into the outdoors where it can rejuvenate the mind as well as the body.  That's where it all connects.  The healthy food on your plate, moving the body it fuels, and enjoying every piece of this beautiful life we have once we step outside to see it.  It is my mission to bring that to you!

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Laura Livesfit
March 21, 2020
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