Fitness

Training Prep

 

So.  I’m in SoulCycle training.  Now what?

Many of you have asked me what it is going to be like and how I am preparing for it.

Well, I cannot predict the future. I cannot say what the program is going to involve or what it is going to be like.  What I do know is that training requires a lot of stamina. Not just physical endurance, but mental too.  I have a number of friends who are now instructors and I have picked each of their brains as to what training is going to be like.  Here is what I have learned:

  1. It is intense.  In the greatest way possible, it will require all the physical and mental toughness that I’ve got.
  2. It is demanding.  A lot of hours are spent each day sweating and riding.  Stamina is apparently the #1 thing that people wish they would have built up prior to starting training.
  3. It is fun! Despite the many hours on a bike, the training program is a lot of fun.  You are surrounded by like minded individuals, all doing what you love, so it is hard to do anything BUT have a great time!

 

So now that I have a general idea of what it is going to be like (painting with a wide brush stroke here), how have I adapted my training? How have I changed my daily routine so that I am setting myself up for success?

  1. Increasing my strength training.  I am making sure to hit two heavy leg days and two upper body days that are focused on lifting heavy weight at low reps.  I am trying to develop as much strength and muscle as possible before training.

  2. Increasing my stamina.  I already have a very strong cardiovascular base, however stamina and endurance can always be improved! While on vacation in Osoyoos, I have been riding my road bike every day, hitting between 40-50km and a few hundred meters in elevation.  A blessing in disguise has been the wind.  I have been battling headwinds each day and this only makes it more challenging.  With 80-110 minutes on the bike each day, my heart and muscles are getting stronger and stronger.
  3. Increasing my FOOD! With the spike in training, I have increased my calories by an extra 200 a day, mainly focusing on carbs and protein.  I am currently playing around with my macro range and am sitting right now at 45/30/25 split of carbs/protein/fat (see the screenshot taken from TDEE Calculator).  The carbs are helping me sleep deeper so I can recover better and they are also feeding my muscles for the long rides that I am doing.  Once in training, I might adapt the ratio, but I want to see how my body adapts and reacts to where I am at right now. Screen Shot 2018-09-01 at 3.20.49 PM.png
  4. Decreasing coffee.  Man, this is the hardest one.  I would gladly hop on my bike and go for hours for a delicious almond or oat milk latte.  My adrenal glands are currently battling a wee bit of fatigue.  One of the best things I can do is decrease stress and inflammation and, you guessed it, coffee.  I haven’t gone completely cold turkey, but I am decreasing it to a treat 1-2 times a week.  Instead, I have swapped it for matcha.  Between you and me, it tastes like grass.  Slightly moldy grass.  I have not developed a taste for it yet but am determined to do so!  Oh the things I do for my body.

I am now less than a week out before I leave for NYC.  I know that it doesn’t really provide a ton of time to see many changes.  In my mind, even a few days of stronger habits will pay off.  Our bodies are wonderfully adaptable and are capable of more than we give ourselves credit for.  Believe in what your body can do.  Give it time to respond and change.  Listen.  Listen to what your body is saying when you make changes.  Above all, love it.  It is working really hard for you.

Right now, I am asking my body to do A TON.  I recognize it and love it for what it is doing.

Xo

Tia

Lifestyle, Recipes

Matcha Train

Ok.

I am on the train: the matcha train.  My favourite matcha comes from Tropeaka.  I love their products, so it is not a coincidence that their matcha is my favourite.  Think of this as a coffee lovers ode to matcha.   Now I haven’t completely given up on my coffee; however, I have fully embraced the bright green world of matcha.  I owe this ode to my Naturopath, the awesome Dr. Kuczma.  She has become my health quarterback- she guides me along my health and wellness journey and I have learned a ton from her already.

So Matcha, I have something to tell you: I have a crush on you.

You are a little bitter at times, but that’s not a bad thing.

I am learning to embrace this.  I still need a buffer for you- almond milk is my buffer of choice- but I know that you two get along very nicely.

You are quite sensitive and like myself, you don’t like the extreme heat.  Although you can handle more than I can, I am sure to keep you slightly cooler than the other teas.

You are a mighty powerhouse.

You amaze me at your nutritional quality.  In a tiny teaspoon, you offer more than 100 times the antioxidants when compared to your other tea friends.  You are rich in chlorophyl, a currency I am trying to increase my wealth in.  You help my body detox and keep my metabolism supported.  One of my favourite things about you is that you help my adrenal glands: you help my body cope with stress.  You don’t cause inflammation in my body- in fact, you fight it.  How considerate of you: while you quiet my inflammation, you are also working hard to boost my cell production to protect me from nasty free radical damage.  According to this sneaky little study you help lower my blood pressure which is a great thing since I have operated in a stressful environment for a while.

Lastly little matcha, you are stunning!

Like me, you are a bright, bright spark.  Your color is enough to plaster a HUGE smile on my face.  When you swirl with the pearly white almond milk, you create a marble pattern that is gorgeous.  A treat for the eyes and the body.

Thank you little matcha tea.

Thank you.  I am glad we are friends.

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Xo

Tia

Fitness, Lifestyle

I Got In!!

I was planning on crafting a witty title for this post but honestly, it is too good to mess with.

I passed my audition!

I am going to NYC for SoulCycle Training!! The reality of it all is still sinking in.

From the first audition to the fourth, a lot has changed.

Audition 1: Adaptation

SoulCycle had yet to open up in Vancouver .  This was the very first audition for the wave of instructors that would lead the community of Yaletown.  Looking back, my lesson, and the theme, was adaptation.  When the audition day came, I had not taken a SoulCycle class in over 8 months.  I was out of rhythm with the class and had lost touch with the essence of the company: the community.  Instead of auditioning in a group setting, we were called in one by one.  I was not prepared for this.  I was not prepared to “teach” to an empty room.  I was also not ready to hear my voice on the microphone.  I was thrown off by the whole experience, and I did NOT adapt.  Instead, I became overwhelmed by things out of my control.

Audition #2: Satisfaction

My second audition took place in November 2017.  This time, my theme turned out to be satisfaction.  The actual audition day was a breeze in comparison to every other one.  There were only 12 people auditioning and the whole process took 1 hour.  I do not remember much from the day; however, the process after the audition, I remember like it was yesterday.  I had auditioned well.  My songs were great, my words were inspiring, my flow was on point.  I was great! The catch? There was no space on the schedule.  There was no place to put me after training.  So, I had to be satisfied with the effort that I gave and had to learn to trust the process.  I had to surrender to the timing, God’s timing, and know that I did everything right and it was just not my time yet.

Audition #3: Inspiration

Fast-forward to April 2018, and we are at my third audition.  Third time’s a charm, right? Not exactly.  I invested so much into this audition.  I used my savings and flew myself down to LA for the audition because I thought this was the time.  Correction, I was wanting this to be the time…I was trying to WILL it to be the time.  I had spent the previous 3 months absolutely soaking up my best friend’s skill, talent and grace.  I had spent ever Tuesday night in a room filled with inspiration and was carrying all of that with me to LA.  This audition, I was with over 40 other people! Because there were so many of us, it was split into two rounds, and some people were cut after the first round.  I felt so inspired and motivated by all the people who came and showed up chasing their dreams.  The odd thing is that I still had a shadow of a doubt in my heart.  Although I was completely and utterly inspired, I was lacking an internal conviction.  I was at a crossroads in my career and was riding as much as possible in Vancouver, and I still doubted that I was “good enough”.   This is real talk you guys.  We are the ONLY people who stand in our way.  We are the ONLY people who give up right before the finish line.  Although I certainly didn’t give up, I just didn’t give my all because I wasn’t ready.

Audition #4: Determination

Damn was I ready.  My fourth audition day came, and I was BEYOND ready.  There was a shift inside of my heart and soul between the third and fourth audition.  I literally stepped into my own.  I stepped into the woman that I am today.  I was determined to be the best human that I could be.  I realized that I have a passion and purpose to bring joy and health into other people’s lives.  I relinquished living up to other people’s expectations and starting living MY life, in the biggest, brightest way that I could.  I was determined and disciplined in my preparations, both physically and mentally speaking, and knew that it would pay off.  THIS PIXIE DOES NOT QUIT! By the time the audition day came, the nerves had dissolved and instead, all I wanted to do was get in that room and light it up.  I wanted to lift all the other audition-ees up, support them and encourage them to chase their dream, just as I was chasing mine!

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Lessons:

  1. Be yourself!  There are billions of the people in the world, and only one of you.  The audition team does not want to see another version of your favourite instructor.  You have a voice.  You have a style. You have a personality, so use it and show it.
  2. Trust the process.  This is a big, juicy lesson to learn.  Few people pass on the first round and to be honest, you will grow so much through each audition.  The more you audition, the more you grow, the stronger you get.
  3. Don’t get caught up by the noise of your surroundings.  Stay in your lane, and if you need to merge into another one, so be it.  No sweat.
  4. Don’t. Give. Up.  Be passionate, determined and focused in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.

 

Xo

Tia

 

Fitness, Lifestyle

After the 4th

Just like that, my fourth and final audition had drawn to a close. The last beat dropped and the last words came from my mouth: “I am chasing my dream SoulCycle- and I want you do to do the same.” In a matter of 60 seconds, my life had changed for the better.

 

Did I get it?

 

I still don’t know.  But I am writing as if I did.  And even if I didn’t, my life still changed.  I had made a decision to pursue what set MY soul on fire; not the soul of my brother, mother, friend…I made the decision to passionately pursue what I wanted most.

You see, the thing about taking responsibility for your life, is that you have to accept and own the good, the bad, the ugly.  When shit that hits the fan, you figure it out;  when diamonds fall from the sky, you count yourself blessed.  That is the brilliant thing about responsibility: you make a commitment to yourself to take charge of your life.

 

So where does this tangent come from? It comes from realizing that I am so glad I had to audition four times.  I would not pass that up for the world.  Each and every time I learned something about myself.  As I have mentioned before, motivation and determination are like muscles that you need to work on a daily basis.  This entire journey has refined me.  Wading through the process has made me stronger.  It takes a special kind of heart to stay determined while chasing a dream after three roadblocks.

 

So here I sit, on my couch 9 days post audition, feeling so thankful that I just went through a journey and a half.  It fascinates me to sit and reflect on where I have been and who I have become.  I am equally proud of the woman that is standing before me, as the one that stands behind me.  I don’t care that it sounds cliché, because I am just so damn proud of myself.  And for the record, being proud of yourself doesn’t mean that you are arrogant; it simply allows you to acknowledge all the beautiful, badass, amazing qualities you have.  Those awesome qualities are bound to be balanced by your quirks and shortcomings, and that is what makes you human.IMG_5907

So for what it’s worth, I feel as if I passed the audition. My journey has just begun.  A new chapter is opening as the previous one closes. I urge you to figure out what sets your soul on fire.  What lights up every cell of your being with joy? What is the dream out there that has your name written all over it? See it.  Chase it.  Grab onto it and never let it go.

 

Xo

 

Tia

Lifestyle

My Sexy Gains Plan

WOW.

 

I feel like I just ran several marathons.

 

I just wrapped up working 12 days straight; I have flown to and from Los Angeles; opened up a store; trained a staff of 8 people; poured out every drop of RYU culture I had in my heart; completed my fourth (and final, fingers crossed) SoulCycle audition; and helped throw an epic VIP party for over 120 people.

 

You now know that I adore my morning routine and I never realized how much of a difference it made to my life until I was out of my rhythm. I usually head to the gym or Soul every morning on my adapted “bulletproof” coffee. This past 1.5 weeks, I crept out my hotel room door between 6-6:30am without a drop of coffee, or fuel of any kind. I would NEVER repeat this.  I found that my workouts and motivation were hit hard, and, my performance was stifled because of it.  I made sure to fuel up properly after my workouts, but the struggle was REAL for each and every session.  Luckily, I did have my BCAAs in my water bottle.  The downside is that I have noticed that I am coming home feeling leaner than I left, and that is certainly NOT a goal of mine…I don’t really have much to lean out.

 

Wait, what? I lost weight?

 

Yeah, I did.  And I am not feeling too great about it.  Despite eating wholesome meals at Erewhon and trying a few of the amazing gf/v/aip treats they have, I just was out of my normal rhythm.  In addition to missing my morning get-up-an-go coffee, I was missing my bedtime snacks. Normally I go to bed on a snack that fuels my body as I sleep, but, I didn’t have these while in LA.  I also had days where I was stressed AF.  In a typical week, I pepper in yin-based self-care moments (hello bubble bath…I see you); however, my only yin-based activity was sitting in the Uber to and from my hotel.

 

So, why am I pointing out that I lost weight? Certainly not to say that it is a good thing.  Nor to bemoan the incredible week I just had.  I just want to show the importance of healthy habits.  Through trial and error, I have figured out what works best for my body, and I have quickly realized that when I do not practice those habits, I slide backwards.

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. – Jim Ryan

I am also not perfect, and it is really important for me to highlight when I am not feeling my best.  Being vulnerable and acknowledging the things we are ashamed or self-conscious of is a very liberating thing.  When I lose 5 pounds, it makes a big difference on my frame. Not only physically, but mentally. I become quite self-conscious and aware of my slight frame and I struggle to feel sexy or feminine.  I hear it all the time “you are so lucky to have that problem!” You know what, I really don’t like when people tell me that.  I wouldn’t ever think of saying to someone “you are so lucky to be 5 pounds overweight” so it would be awesome if we can all bench those comments and just support each other in our health and wellness pursuits.

 

SO.

 

What is this pixie going to do?

I am going to hit my food hard, nail my macros, lift heavier, AND, love my body for exactly where it is meeting me.  I am going to plan some really nutrient dense meals and adjust my macros so that I can put a little curve back on.  High carb, moderate protein and moderate fat is where I will go. Everyday cookies and Birdie bars from TurF? Yes, yes, YES please.  Homemade sweet potato fries? Check. Summer tacos with guacamole and pineapple salsa? You know it.

 

I am going to get my butt in the gym and ask to be spotted at the squat rack so that I safely lift more that I think I could.  I am going to put on an extra plate on the bar and confidently support that bar as I drop down for my squat.
Lastly, I am going to put on a few more dresses and bodysuits. I am going to tap-back with a little more oomph 😉 I am going to play a little more hip-hop to practice those sexy body rollsQuick psa: my sexy corners are about to become REAL extra…I warned you.  (If you have no idea what I am talking about, get your butt on a bike this week and find out!)

I am going to love my body for where it is at, and I am going to refrain from comparing myself to the women that I would normally label as being sexy/feminine/desirable etc.  Comparison is the thief of joy, and hell no am I going to lose my joy.

 

My 2 asks of you, and 2 tips for you:

 

ASKS

1.) Next time you see me in the gym, please tell me to go heavier.

2.) I will gladly accept all ice-cream dates to Kokomo or Uma Luma; and snack dates to TurF.

 

TIPS

1.) Create healthy habits in your life that help you hit your wellness goals.

2.) When you fall out of routine, love yourself for where you are.  Meet you body where it is at, not where you want it to be. 

 

Xo

 

Tia

Fitness

Before the 4th

Here I go again.  This is my fourth SoulCycle audition.  At this point I could do them in my sleep, but I still have a little butterfly of doubt that flutters around in my stomach.  And you know what? I am glad that it’s still there.  I would hate to become complacent and jaded.  That tiny shred of doubt is what continues to build a fire within me: it pushes me and motivates beyond what is in my comfort zone.

 

So how do I feel heading into this audition?

 

Calm

Excited

Passionate

Content

 

My songs are picked out, as is my outfit.  We all know that I love my fashion, and so it is no surprise that the outfit had a high amount of deliberation.  I have ended up selecting my RYU Versa bra in the Arsenic colour, because when your hair is lavender, you take every opportunity to match it with your clothing 🙂 As for bottoms, I wanted to wear a SoulCycle branded pair of leggings (smart move my friends) and so I selected a high waisted, 7/8ths length black pair with a pastel signature Soul skull logo.

 

Now that I had my songs and my outfit, finding my message and my words was the next part.  One of the biggest pieces of the audition is finding your voice in the room and letting it shine.  The Audition team can teach anyone how to ride like a Rockstar, but they cannot teach you how to command space.  This time around, my message was clear, simple, and vulnerable: I wanted to acknowledge that this is my 4th audition.  There is no reason to hide it. In fact, it might give someone else that boost of motivation they need.  There is no limit to our dreams and goals unless we set them ourselves.  A ceiling is a man-made thing.  No one caps your potential but you.  Was I going to give up on myself just because I didn’t make it the first three times? Hell to the NO.  There is a dream out there with your name written all over it- go after it. Chase it.  Run towards it with relentless persistence.  Be passionate about what sets your soul on fire.

 

Songs? Check

Outfit? Check

Message? Check

 

Now it is time to do the damn thing.

 

Xo

Tia

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Fitness

My Training Split

You know by now that I love to train and push my physical limits.  My training game doesn’t come easy though…I don’t wake up every single day feeling like I am at the peak of my performance game.  Some days, I walk my butt into the gym with less pep and sparkle in my step, but the key thing is that I still am showing up.

One of the most common questions I get asked is “what keeps you so motivated?” To be honest, my answer is pretty annoying.  I am someone who is intrinsically motived. I was born to live a life with ample motivation locked deep in my heart.  Now, this doesn’t imply that life is easy for me.  Even if you are someone who is intrinsically motivated, you still need discipline and dedication.

Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing. – John C. Maxwell

Motivation and discipline are like peanut butter + jelly: they bring out the best in each other.  Think of your motivation as your WHY and your discipline as your HOW.  Both are attributes that need to be flexed, just like our muscles.  Both require passion and dedication.

So.  Now that we have the WHY and HOW behind slaying our fitness game, here is a typical snap shot of what my training split looks like.

Monday

  • Morning: LEG DAY
  • Afternoon: circuit training/tabata

Tuesday

  • Morning: Mobility + Upper Body (Chest + Bis/Tris) + Abs
  • Evening: SoulCycle 60 mins

Wednesday

  • Morning: SoulCycle 45mins
  • Afternoon: Physio or stretching/mobility

Thursday

  • Morning: Upper Body (Back and Shoulders)

Friday

  • Morning: total body

Saturday

  • SoulCycle, 45 mins
  • SoulCycle, 60 mins

Sunday

  • Active recovery day

 

I take each week day-by-day and sometimes change it up.  Being that it is the summer time, I love to head outside for a good ride…my bike also likes the adventure 🙂 Remember to listen to what your body is asking for.  I vary the intensity of my workouts as it is unsustainable to crush it every day and hit your “red zone”.  I have just come off of a lighter week where I cut my workouts by a third as I was feeling pretty tired.  The payoff is awesome as I now feel recharged and ready to go again!

Some other things that help keep me on track are great playlists and accountability buddies. I have the luxury to have a friend who goes to the same gym as me and he is a certified PT.  Not only that, he could possibly have more discipline than I do.  Every so often he will throw a “you want one more plate on?” and I know it is a rhetorical question.

Find someone to train with that is more fit or strong than you are: they will only raise you up and inspire you when you need it the most.

That’s all for today my beauties- I have a really exciting project coming up that I will announce soon!  It will include a week of workouts written by moi that require no equipment and I promise your heart will be pumping and the sweat will be dripping!

 

xo

Tia

Lifestyle

Love Letter to SoulCycle

Dear SoulCycle Yaletown,

I am filled with so much gratitude on this day: the day that marks your 1 year anniversary.

Your vibe attracts your tribe.

Your bright white walls and yellow accents welcome me almost everyday in my week.

Your people greet me with warmth behind their smiles and they genuinely care when they ask how I am.

As I am given a pair of your well worn shoes, I am filled with anticipation as I velcro them closed.  This feeling never goes away…after close to 1,000 rides, I still get excited every single time I put those shoes on.

I fill my water bottle and head into your dark studio.  How is it that even in the darkness of your room, I know my way as if there is a light shining?

Thank you for giving me a place to call home.  Thank you for attracting rad humans that I now call family.  You have given me a space that accepts me for who I am in my entirety.  I know that all I have to do is show up with a heart that is ready to work, and you take care of the rest.

You have given me a community that is a backbone to my life.  You have given me friends that I now cherish and hold close to my heart.

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You have shown me my greatest purpose and passion in life.  You are my intersection.  You are my intersection of my passion and purpose. You bring joy to my life and give me a place to shine my light even when I am not so sparkly.  You give me a place to get stronger: physically, emotionally, and mentally.  It doesn’t matter how many times I turn up the wheel on your bikes, I still have a place to grow into.

Soul Yaletown, I am so excited to begin this next chapter with you.  As I look back to the year that we had, I am filled with deep thankfulness.  As I look forward to the year ahead, I am filled with excitement and anticipation.  I have a sneaky feeling that this time next year, I will be celebrating as an instructor, not a rider, and that lights me up more than I can articulate!

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Love you,

xo

Tia

Lifestyle

The YIN to my YANG: A Healthy AND Fit Vacation

How do you maintain your healthy lifestyle on vacation? Do you need to forgo treats? What is your balance?

When you are in the hot pursuit of a healthy and fit life, it can be easy to slide into one of two camps while on vacation.  Either you keep up all your exercise and nutrition regimes or you throw every towel in and let loose! Neither is bad, and neither is good.  Letting yourself live a little while on vacation can be very rewarding.  Taking a break from your regular gym routine can be a blessing in disguise.  I have 5 easy tips for encouraging you to find balance while maintaining a healthy and fit lifestyle on vacation.

1. Wake up!

DSC00434This is your golden opportunity to re-fill your sleep bank- allowing you to score 1-2 extra hours each night so you feel rested and refreshed.  While it may be tempting to sleep in until noon each day, resist the urge! Vacation mode can throw off your circadian rhythm big time.  Try and maintain a similar sleep schedule to when you are at home, working full time.  Now if you are traveling far away, cut yourself some slack, and try and adjust to the new time-zone as soon as you can.  Once adjusted to the time, wake up no later than 1.5 hours after you normally would, and try to go to bed at a reasonable time.  (unless you are having a bonfire on the beach, then by all means, stay snuggled up, watching the flames flicker under the stars and count yourself blessed.)

2. Get Moving- early on!

DSC00506.jpgFit in a quick workout early in the day.  This is an easy and tempting one to skip, but your body will really thank you for it AND you will sleep better at night.  Win-win.  Don’t make it complicated or long – unless you really want to of course- but do get moving.  My favorite thing to do is go on a local run to check out the area, or a fun little circuit! It is easy to string together a bodyweight workout that will elevate your heart and build those muscles.  Also, don’t discount active rest days.  If you are someone who is always training and on the go (like me) then find your YIN based activities! Put that early wakeup to good use and do a morning beach yoga session.  Or, rent a paddle board and go out on the water for a peaceful 30 min session.  It doesn’t have to be long, or complicated; in fact, it shouldn’t be.  This is the time to be kind to your body and really listen and tune in to what it is asking for.  This is also your time to spend with your family and friends so invest into those moments, take everyone for a beach walk, and forget about the gym for a few days.  My favorite ways to get my workout in while on vacation are SUPs (stand-up-paddle board), wake surfing, water skiing, beach circuits and short runs.  All of these activities, with the exception of water skiing, are not too taxing on my body and they leave me feeling refreshed.  Water skiing is a whole different sport! I do find it incredibly challenging, the first one or two laps around the lake.  I slalom ski, so both feet are locked into one ski.  It is basically like holding a squat, while moving very very fast, on water.  It is a total body sport, so after 4 minutes, I am done! I absolutely love it though: I live for those glassy-lake moments at the crack of dawn when no one else is up!

3.  HYDRATE!

I am literally walking away from my laptop as I write this to go get another glass of water.

Brb.

Ok I am back.

Hydration is your best friend.  Always- but in particular, when you are on vacation.  Keeping your body hydrated while on the beach or walking about a new city will make your vacation feel that much better.  We lose a lot of water through our skin when we sweat and in the hot temperatures, we sweat that much more! The water will also help to counterbalance the alcohol that will be consumed (no judgement, I am all for a healthy pour of chilled white wine while on vacation).  If you want to go ahead and have a beer at lunch, then do so! Just make sure to re-hydrate with a glass or two of water after.  Vacation is your time to let-loose a bit, just try to space out your alcohol throughout that day.  Skip the sugar-laden beverages like pop, soda and mixed drinks and opt for sparkling water, vodka soda, a mojito or a nice dry cider or light beer.

DSC00248.jpgI love making a great Gin & Tonic with Empress Gin or another locally made spirit.  With a squeeze of lime, it is so refreshing! A good rule of thumb to remember is that the lower the sugar content, the better you will feel.

4. Balance your food!

I love joining my family at the local gelato spot while on vacation.  I mean, a daily scoop of ice cream or sorbetto is a wonderful treat.  If you are having a craving for pizza, find the best spot you can and indulge! Find your 80/20 “everything in moderation” balance while on vacation.  A great tip is to ALWAYS have breakfast.  This jump-starts your metabolism and is a terrific way to monitor your cravings for the rest of the day.  Try to consume a healthy source of protein, fat and carbs with veggies and fruit.  Smoothies, eggs and toast with fruit, and fruit cups with greek yogurt and trail mix are always easy and available breakfast choices.  Having a balanced breakfast will set your body up the right way and will diminish the amount of cravings you will have throughout the day.

While on vacation in Osoyoos, my daily meal breakdown looked something like this:

  • A morning tonic of lemon, greens powder and adaptogens blended up and knocked back
  • Protein pancakes for breakfast
  • a handful of cherries or apricots for a mid-morning snack
  • a BIG salad with protein, fat and carbs at lunch
  • more fresh fruit in the afternoon
  • Wine + Terra chips
  • Dinner: protein, multiple veggies, sweet potato
  • a little after dinner treat!

5.  Walk away from your phone!

This is a really tough one for me, but it is the most rewarding healthy vacation hack of them all! Because I value my family time so much, I want to remain present in every moment.  I do not get to see them very often, so when we are all together, I really cherish each moment. While in Osoyoos, I did take a mini break from Instagram and did not post as regularly.  I had zero interest in checking emails and the only time I spent on my computer was uploading my latest youtube video.

When was the last time you left your phone at home when going out with friends or family? To paint with a wide brush stroke here, we, as a collective society, have lost the art form of conducting stimulating conversation.  I don’t know about you, but I love to be sitting across from, or right next to, my favorite people in the world, and having a real conversation.  There is a connection that is generated that we cannot possibly recreate through social media.  I am all about creating lasting connections with the people I love…and if that happens to be on a beach while I am on vacation, all the better for it!

 

So there you have it, my 5 top tips for having a balanced, healthy and fit vacation!  I hope you all have time for an amazing vacation this summer.  Practice my 5 tips and I promise you will have an awesome time away that leaves you feeling healthy and rejuvenated!

xo

Tia

 

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Lifestyle

SUPERfoods that give me SUPERpowers

I want to preface this post by stating that all the following superfoods I am going to chat about have been either recommended by my Naturopath or at the very least, cleared and supported by her and my trainer.

My Why

Because of my autoimmune diseases, in particular my Celiac Disease, my nutrient absorption is less than ideal.  There was so much damage done to my digestive lining that I need to support my diet with extra nutrition.  I like to think of “Superfoods” as the Super Heros in my diet, as they pack a serious nutrition punch and enable my body to perform as well as it does!

The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison. – Ann Wigmore

Much of my diet is focused on reducing inflammation in my body to alleviate my symptoms.  This means that I follow a plant-based diet that is rich in nutrients and diversity.  I do enjoy a little grass-fed and organic meat + fish as protein sources along with fermented tempeh and sprouted tofu.  The superfoods that I take are geared towards inflammation reduction, hormone balancing and thyroid + gut support.

Read on for a summary of all the superfoods that I take everyday!

 

Collagen Powder

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Collagen is a miracle building block for our bodies.  It is essentially our bodies most abundant protein that is essential for optimal skin, nail, and hair growth along with supporting our gut health.  It is important to note that collagen is not a complete protein as it only contains 3 out of the 9 essential amino acids.  It is however a critical protein because it is the glue that holds our cells and tissues together.  This is important for joint health and repairing damaged tummies.  Interestingly, I have noticed that my body has become more efficient at recovering post work-out with collagen added into my diet.

I add my collagen into my coffee every morning along with my coconut yogurt to get a nice serving every day!

Maca Powder

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Maca is a root similar to the radish family.  It is a plant that is native to peru and is used to support hormone function:  it increases libido and regulates estrogen in women. It is also used to regulate energy and stamina.  Maca is highly nutritious and each serving packs carbs, protein, fiber, vitamin C, copper, iron, potassium, vitamin B6 and manganese all into one little teaspoon.  Maca is also rich in antioxidants such as glucosinolates and polyphenols.

Along with my collagen powder, maca powder finds a way into my coffee every morning…sneaky little super root powder that it is.

Alkaline Greens/Ultra Cleanse

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Greens powders are great ways to sneak high quality vitamins and minerals into your diet.  Many greens blends are rich in chlorophyll which aids in cleansing and support healthy immune and digestive functions.  Greens are a valuable source of phytonutrients and contain a full range of essential amino acids.  I love adding greens powder into my smoothies at seamlessly blends into the mixture and I know I am getting quality nutrients with every sip.

Açai Powder

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Talk about an antioxidant power house! Açai contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals and is a natural energy booster. Açai contains powerful anthocyanin and plant sterols which combat free radical damage in the body.  Also, açai is known for boosting the radiance of one’s skin and contains powerful natural detox properties.  I noticed boost to my skin’s glow and tone after a few weeks of adding this purple fruit into my diet.  I am all about that #glow.

 

BCAAs

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BCAAs are also known as branched chain amino acids and help with muscle recovery and growth.  I look for ones with added electrolytes to keep me hydrated.  I noticed a significant POSITIVE difference in my riding endurance at SoulCycle when I started drinking BCAAs during classes.  The TONE BCAA+ from Tropeaka also has passionfruit, pomegranate, sea buckthorn and sea mineral complex for vitamin C levels, electrolytes and immune boosting properties.  The coconut water powder in this blend helps to restore sodium and potassium levels after an intense sweat- perfect for SoulCycle!

Vegan Protein Powder

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As I have mentioned before, protein is a key macronutrient for performance and health.  It took a while to find a vegan protein powder that didn’t give me any digestive issues.  I love the Vega Sport Protein, Tropeaka Lean and Botanica Health Perfect Protein. Vega Sport relies on pea protein along with alfalfa, pumpkin and sunflower seed proteins.  Tropeaka uses pea, sprouted brown rice, maca, and sacha inchi for protein sources.  Lastly, Botanica Health utilizes a blend of brown rice, quinoa and coconut proteins, all of which are sprouted for optimal digestion.  I like to switch up my protein powders every few days (I have big stash at home!) so that I vary the micronutrients I get from my diet.  It also prevents me from becoming bored.

Spirulina

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This dark green powder is an algae.  I know that is really not an appetizing word.  And you know what, it smells like pond.  I am really selling this one I know…I’m cool like that. Spirulina is packed with amazing qualities: it is rich in chlorophyl which helps remove toxins from the body; it is high in plant based protein; rich in iron and B-Vitamins; packed with powerful anti-inflammatory antioxidants; contains GLA and Omega 3 fatty acids; and vitamins A, C, D and E.  WOW.  A little goes along way and spirulina is a staple in my morning breakfast.  I like to add it to a smoothie with banana, cinnamon, and vanilla protein powder as all of these help mask the pond-ish flavor.

 

So there you have it! All the superfoods I take!

I know it seems like a lot, because it is.  There is no way around it.  It takes a lot of help for this bod to function.  But you know what? I am ok with it.  We are blessed to live in an age with great research and resources available for us to use.  Sure, it would be amazing to live a life with no health issues, no chronic illness, but it has shaped, coloured and diversified my life! It is all about your perspective.

 

Xo

 

Tia