5 Exercises When You Have Nowhere to Put Your Phone!

It happened to me yesterday. It was still the Christmas holidays, I had the whole day off, and we were in the midst of a complete whiteout blizzard hitting Ottawa with 20+ cm of snow. I knew that if I could get myself safely to the gym, the gym would be empty and I could get in my first workout since the chaos of the holidays hit a few weeks back.

I pack my pre-workout for the car ride, get my water bottle, coordinate a pair of gym clothes, and brave the blizzard in my beast of a candy blue Ford Fiesta.

Now, guys typically wear sweatpants, track pants, or basketball shorts at the gym, all of which usually have pockets. For me, wearing my typical compression pants, I reached into my bag only to discover I had somehow lost my armband to hold my phone. No music = no workout for me. Sorry, I’ve tried, I just can’t. 

Now ladies, in this situation you have three options:

  1. You somehow stuff that iPhone 6 into that strappy lululemon sports bra and risk it falling out every time you bend over.
  2. You do like the guys do and ‘waistband it’. Put your phone or music player in your waistband and risk the same fate.
  3. OR, you get creative and discover 5 Exercises When You Have Nowhere to Put Your Phone and you’re stuck holding it! Every person’s worst nightmare, if you only discover this at the gym.

After discovering this I quickly changed my focus to legs and glutes, because most other exercises require your hands to be holding weights, or bars, or anything for that matter. However, this immediately eliminated squats, deadlifts, weighted lunges, and many other favourites.

So here they are (YouTube or Google these for proper form:

  1. Weighted Hip Thrusts: My absolute favourite. The best for glute-building. This way you can use your hands to hold the bar but set your phone down on the floor or the bench. Place a weighted bar over your hips/pelvic area where it is comfortable and sit on the floor with your shoulders against a bench (it may help to have a friend lower the bar over you). Keep your glutes and core tight and complete 3 sets of 12.
  2. Hamstring Curls: Lay face down, put your phone on the floor/bench. 3 sets of 12. Keep the tension out of your back/shoulders.
  3. Leg Press: Easiest to hold your phone. Heck, I scroll through Instagram on the leg press, it’s wonderful. Moving your feet placement up on the platform will help target the backs of your legs as opposed to only using your quads.
  4. Calf Raises, you can do these seated or standing, as well as doing any other basic lunges, bodyweight squats, or hands-free leg exercises when you’re stuck and still want to get in a workout.
  5. As always, I finished off my workout with stair stepper cardio. It can be anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. Work your way up. Push through your heels and step with your whole foot, not just the balls of your feet.

These are just a basic leg workout for when I was stuck holding my phone at the gym. It sounds pretty minimal but not having somewhere to store my phone really threw off my plans for that workout!

Any other good ones come to mind?



Peach Cobbler Protein Shake

Simple peach cobbler protein shake recipe I just whipped up this morning. It’s actually tasty and fresh and a nice change for fall! 


  • 1 whole fresh peach (pitted)
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon (I add more cause I’m crazy about cinnamon 😝)
  • 1/4 cup organic quick oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 scoops of protein powder (30G protein, 0 sugar) 

That’s it! Blend together and you have breakfast! Low fat, low sugar, and delicious!

-Krista xx

Krista, founder of hh, onstage at the Ottawa Regional Show in 2015.

Sexy Bodybuilding? Branding Yourself in the Fitness Industry

In the last 6 months I have just broken into the bodybuilding industry. I have competed in my local regional show, the Ontario Provincials, written an article to be published in a Canadian bodybuilding magazine, done 2 professional photoshoots for a magazine, and branded myself further as someone in the fitness industry. Now I have am signing my first contract with my city’s first major bodybuilding company as a coach for other bodybuilders and serious athletes, and this is only the beginning! was founded well before this lifestyle change, as I have always had a passion for fitness, but am excited to incorporate this new change to my website, my readership, and above all– my brand.

However, one trend that I can’t help but be overwhelmed by is the sexualization of bodybuilding in the industry. Trust me, I get it, I’m actually not even ‘against’ it. I think we work hard for our bodies and if we look amazing in a bikini, why not be photographed in it? However, with the growing trend of more and more women trying to ‘make it’ in the industry I do believe it’s extremely important to just be aware of your brand. That’s right, whether you intentionally built it, whether you want it or not, everybody has a brand. It’s communicated through the things you share on Facebook, the clothes you wear, your Instagram posts, and even the people you spend time with. It’s the reason I probably posts more gym selfies than is considered normal. It’s also the same reason I don’t post pictures of me having drinks and going out partying in off-season. –Not that I don’t do it from time to time, just that’s it’s off-brand. Your brand should be like an automatic filter in your brain– Is this on-brand or off-brand? What does this method of communication say about me? What message am I trying to share?

I’ve certainly had my own share of slip-ups, trust me, we all do. But the more I think about it, the more I notice how easy it is to fall into the ‘sexy’ darker side of bodybuilding. Of course, you look great in a bathing suit, girl! But if that’s all you have to post about, how does that impact your brand?

Be careful of ‘industry professionals’ promising to work with you and help get your name out there. I recently had a photographer who I met at an event flip on me via Facebook and promise I ‘never get any work in this city’ because I refused to flirt with him and wanted to keep things business-focused. If that’s the price I have to pay to make it in this industry, I guess I’ll take my chances bud.

Not that you have to be on-guard all the time. People in the bodybuilding and fitness industry are some of the most genuine, hard-working and kindest people I know. Just have your wits about you and keep the bigger picture in-mind. Build something that’s true to yourself. Build something you’re proud of and you’ll be just fine, there’s nothing wrong with being sexy sometimes! Think of it as an #occupationalhazard (lol). Just offer something more than just that. You’re so much more than a pretty face or a hot bod, find your talent and share it!

Krista, founder of hh, onstage at the Ottawa Regional Show in 2015.

Krista, founder of hh, onstage at the Ottawa Regional Show in 2015.

– Krista


Quick, Healthy, Flourless Berry Protein Pancakes

These are SO simple and have no batter or flour in them. For gluten-free friends, please ensure oats (and other ingredients) are certified gluten free.

  1. In a bowl, mix together:
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1 cup oats (I used Organic Quick Oats from Farm Boy) 
  • 1 cup egg-whites
  • 2 scoops of your favourite protein powder (I used one that’s whey isolate Vanilla: 30G protein and 0 sugar)
  • Cinnamon to taste (I like a lot😄, cinnamon is great for you!)


2. Heat large pan and use light cooking spray. I used a light cooking spray coconut oil. 


3. Pour pancake batter mix. Flip, and enjoy!

I topped mine with pure Canadian maple syrup 😋 but a healthier alternative may be agave nectar or honey. 

Top with sliced almonds and crushed pecans.

These are honestly incredible! So easy and so delicious and fresh! Let me know what you think!☺️



Krista Pool

Quitting… And Why I Won’t Do It

As I sit here, I am currently 5 days out from the Ontario provincial show for Natural Bikini (bodybuilding). A quick background, which also explains where I’ve been: I began training for my first regional show in April. I competed July 4th, messed up my posing a bit, came 5th in a big category and landed myself a spot in provincials. Rather than resuming normal life after July 4th, I dove back in and began prep for August 8th, the provincial show. Another 5 weeks of prep. So. Damn. Draining.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t lose a bit of steam over the last 5 weeks. I still trained daily, but some days I was less enthusiastic, some meals I was less strict. But I find myself now 5 days out wondering if I’ll even be ready. If I’ll be embarrassed to get up on stage infront of all those people and have wasted all this time and sacrifice for nothing.

The truth is, nothing is guaranteed. I may get the result I wanted, I may not. But what I’ve learnt about this sport is that it is truly a marathon, not a sprint. I won’t look at the days or weeks I didn’t do as well as I should have, I look at the combined FIVE MONTHS of sacrifice, of little choices that made a difference. 

All the mornings I woke up sore. All the days I had to plan out my workouts and meals around still having a life and a job. The hours and hours of cardio I’ve put in, sometimes at 1 am, just to get it done. I’m proud of how far I’ve come. And despite the outcome of this show in 5 days, I’m nowhere near finished. I’ve already got my eye on the first thing I want to do after this show, the next month, even next year.

Never get so focused on what you didn’t do that you forget about all the things you did. A lot can happen in 5 days/a week/a month. Remember that you can choose to turn things around at any time. Your body is already capable of doing it, it’s your mind you have to convince.

Have an amazing week! :)

Oat Cookies

3-Ingredient Healthy Banana Oat ‘Cookies’– Fast, Easy, and SO Versatile!

I made these the other night when I had a craving for something sweet but didn’t want to overindulge. You can make them with only 3 base ingredients and then add more as you go. If you don’t want to make too much, just cut the recipe down and use your judgement.

  • 4 bananas
  • 2 cups of oats (use certified gluten-free for allergies)
  • 1/4 cup of PB2
    • PB2 is a powdered, dehydrated peanut butter that still offers the taste without many of the calories and fat. You can pick it up in most health food stores.

Mash bananas and mix together with oats and PB2. Consistency should be like a cookie dough, adjust as necessary.

Then comes the fun part. From here, you can add SO MANY fun ingredients to make variations to these cookies. Some ideas are:

  • coconut flakes (toasted, unsweetened, or sweetened)
  • chocolate chips
  • raisins
  • walnuts, pecans, crushed almonds

Then lightly grease a cookie sheet (I used spray coconut oil), and bake in oven for 15 minutes at 350. That’s it! These are so fast, easy, and simple to make. Enjoy!

Photo from Women's Day

3 Simple Tips to Grocery Shopping- The Healthy Way

Grocery shopping is one of my favourite things to do. It wasn’t always, but as soon as I started taking pride in a) what I was creating through cooking and b) what I was putting into my body, it became one of my favourite ‘chores’.

Grocery shopping sets the tone for the week. Here’s the simple truth: if you don’t buy it, you can’t eat it. Think about that for a minute. Luckily, we live in a world where things don’t just miraculously appear in your cupboard unless you make the conscious choice to pick them off a shelf, purchase them, and bring them home. Use this simple law of the universe to your advantage, don’t buy something ‘for later’ or ‘just incase’ unless you plan to eat it. Because you will.

  1. Buy real food: The majority of what you buy should have an upcoming expiration date on it. If it doesn’t, it is likely very processed and not very good for you. The one main exception here is brown rice/quinoa/grains because they can store for a long period of time. One easy way to think of it: 90% of what you buy should be going into the fridge/freezer when you get home. Think perishable.
  2. Protein + Vegetable(s) + Starch: That is your main breakdown for a simple meal. Try and choose lean proteins (chicken breast, ground turkey, extra lean ground beef, fish), you can always freeze some if you don’t think you’ll use it right away. Then choose your vegetables (the greener the better): asparagus, spinach, kale, etc. Next choose your starch, which should only account for about 1/4-1/2 of your plate. My favourites are sweet potatoes and quinoa, but brown rice, potatoes, and even pasta can be good in moderation.
  3. Watch your sauces! This tends to be where I see most people unknowingly ruin a ‘healthy’ meal. They buy all the right ingredients then douse it in heavy sauces, sugary dressings and fattening condiments. Check bottles at the grocery store: I always look for sugar, sodium, and fat contents. When I’m training for a show I go zero on all three: 0G sugar, 0G sodium, and 0G fat. But normally a very small amount is OK. Read bottles and I promise you will be shocked by the sugar, salt, and fat contents of your condiments, I’m telling you.
    • Seasonings to avoid: BBQ sauces, ketchup, most salad dressings (even the ones that seem healthy!).
    • Some that are OK in moderation: mustard (yellow or dijon, not honey), Frank’s Red Hot sauces (mostly: again, read labels), Mrs. Dash (salt-free). Get into using real spices– not pre-mixed rubs or blends because they tend to be very salt-heavy, but real spices you mix together. Get creative!

With healthy cooking feel free to get creative, just keep in mind that the more you do yourself, the more control you have. Buying pre-seasoned chicken breasts may simplify things for you, but you have no control over what goes into it. Same goes for rice blends and prepared vegetables.

Keeping things simple and sustainable for your everyday life is the key to success here. There’s no sense over-complicating things if you can only realistically cook once a week. Find a system that works best for you, then stick to it!

Krista- 6 weeks from Bikini

The #1 Reason People Fail At Anything. Period.

I’m going to keep this one simple guys, because it is essential that you get the point. I have been faced with this challenge time and time again and am slowly narrowing it down to why people struggle, why people give up, and ultimately why people fail at anything. Period.

It doesn’t matter if it’s bodybuilding, dieting to lose weight, a sales job, or trying to find the perfect relationship. It all comes down to your reset button and how often you use it. Let me explain that a little.

What I call ‘your reset button’ is actually your ability to bounce back; your ability to forget (and forgive yourself!) for what happened yesterday, last week, last year, or five minutes ago. It really is that simple.

It doesn’t matter that you ‘cheated’ on your diet yesterday, or didn’t make it to the gym at all last week. The only thing that matters is you hitting your reset button this second and making a choice about what you’re going to do right now. That’s it.

The more you learn to drop decisions you made in the past (whether it was a bad choice you made a year ago or that muffin you just ate), learn from them, and move on from them. Hit the reset button and make an intention for the right choice you want to make starting now. 

You’ll get to a point where you’re so used to living in the moment and hitting your reset button that things don’t seem to phase you like they used to. And by that point you won’t be making many of the mistakes you used to because you’ll be living your life from a place of control and empowerment. Does that make sense?

The better you get at doing this and hitting the reset button, the better you get at being in control of your life. And the best part? It gets easier. Like any muscle, the more you use it the stronger (you) get.

I’ll share a story because it’s recent and relevant to this principle: I was having dinner with a few friends last night and my best friend made these delicious banana pecan muffins with an icing glaze on them, fresh and warm out of the oven. I should explain: I’m one month out from a bikini show, otherwise this wouldn’t be a problem, but I wanted to have one so badly.A friend at the dinner party pointed out that I had already had a fish taco (spicy tilapia and grilled veggies wrapped up in a pita, the only part that was outside my ‘diet’ was the pita), so why not just indulge a little more, I mean I had already broken my diet, right? Wrong. I had already hit my reset button. I had owned my decision to ‘break’ my diet and indulge in a fish taco, and it was the most delicious fish taco I ever had! I enjoyed every minute of it, then didn’t give it a second thought, moved on from it, and went straight back to competition mode.

If you think like my friend at the dinner party, you’ll always be living in the past, making excuses for yourself, but never really forgiving yourself for making ‘mistakes’ and being human. You need to own your decisions, own the past, no matter how big or little it may weigh on you, and make peace with it. Hit reset and move on. It really is that simple.

Krista @ hardbody happiness

THE #1 Most Underrated Supplement (Hint! It’s not what you think!)

I love when people ask me what I supplement with, because I love to share it with them. Many people nowadays supplement their diet in some way to gain more vitamins and nutrients but one that many people forget is fibre.

Generally my supplement routine in a day looks like this:

  • Women’s Vitamin Pack (Peak Performance)
  • Pre-Workout Bar (non-caffeinated, fat-burning)
  • Creatine (while I work out)
  • Amino Acids (while I work out, but ideally throughout the day)
  • Protein Powder (30G of Protein, 0G of Sugar)

Now to some people this may seem like a lot, but I assure you, do your research and you’ll soon realize that it isn’t, (regardless of where you are on your fitness path). Our bodies just do not get the vitamins and nutrients they need with the average North American diet and lifestyle.

However, there’s one supplement that we should all be getting way more of, in a safe and natural way, and that’s fibre. Now fibre is not only essential for… the way we traditionally think of fibre, but more and more studies are showing incredible evidence that show the importance of fibre for heart health.

Again, I’m not a doctor, but I can strongly suggest doing some research (start with Googling soluble & insoluble fibre and go from there). I take a 12G of fibre, sugar-free fibre supplement drink every morning and it has changed my days, weight-loss, and energy levels drastically.

I’ve been told that the average person carries 5-15 lbs of ‘sludge’ in their intestines that hasn’t been digested properly. Imagine that extra weight in your midsection! What’s the point of eating properly, investing in good supplements, and exercising if our system is not even functioning at 100%.

Do you have any good research or articles to share on the importance of fibre? Comment below. Any other supplements that have really made an impact on your life?

If you are interested in knowing exactly what I recommend, you can comment below or message me.


Fit On the Go: 4 Ways to Stay Fit While Traveling

If you’re anything like me, traveling can be a bit of a blessing and a curse. Don’t get me wrong, I adore traveling: seeing new places, meeting new people, expanding my knowledge and understanding of different cultures and ways of life. However, when you live a rather fit and active lifestyle at home, it can really throw you off your game when you have to break your routine and be thrown into a new scenario, not knowing where your next meal is coming from or if you’ll find a gym that suits you where you’re going (if at all!). 

However, over the years I’ve picked up a few tips that help me maintain my lifestyle a little easier when I’m on the road, whether I’m training for a bikini show or just trying to maintain my general health and fitness level. 

  1. Drink your water: Sounds like common sense but we all forget it from time to time. Travelling is especially a good reason to up your water intake. Always keep a bottle on you; not only does it keep you hydrated but will help curb cravings for those other foods and beverages that do not align with your fitness goals. 
  2. Research simple body weight exercises: Even if it’s a simple exercise sequence you can do in the hotel room before you leave in the mornings, it’ll serve as a nice reminder throughout the day to stay on track. You’ve already started your day off right, you’ll be less inclined to order the fast food burger at lunch. No idea where to start? Try doing something simple, like 20 bodyweight squats, 10 push ups, and 15 leg raises on the bed. Repeat this sequence three times and it’ll get your exercise mindset going for the day at the very least. 
  3. Do some groceries: Stock up on simple, healthy snacks you can keep in the hotel room for when you’re stuck without a meal. Raw almonds, plain Greek yogurt, and cut veggies can be an easy way to hold you over till your next meal. You’ll be less likely to cave when you pass a bag of chips. 
  4. Don’t Stress! Stressing about whether or not the salad dressing at the restaurant has 2g of sugar is only going to ruin your trip if you’re faced with these dilemmas multiple times a day. Do your best to prepare, feel free to ask questions, but some things are simply beyond your control in that exact moment. Don’t let it ruin the trip for you and those around you. If you slip up, forgive yourself and move on! Regroup and get back on track, and no matter what, keep going!

What ways do you stay healthy and active when traveling? Share them with us!