Skincare + Beauty

Safer Skincare: Disrupt the Industry

Make a Safer Choice

We work so hard to make the “right choice” every day.  We move our bodies, we work our hearts, we work our brains, we eat foods that nourish our cells and we spend time with people who add value to our life. Then, we slap products onto our bodies that contain potentially harmful and toxic ingredients.  Interestingly, not all “natural” products are safe and not all synthetic ingredients are toxic.  There is a long list of un-safe ingredients and they should be avoided at all costs.  We don’t realize it, but our skin (our largest organ) absorbs a lot of what we put on it. Roughly 60-70% of these harmful chemicals are small enough to be pulled into our bloodstream.  These nasties will then make their way to our endocrine system to set up camp and start a havoc party.

Yikes.

The skincare and makeup industry is a multi-billion dollar beast that has very little regulation.  Most women put on several different products on their bodies every day.  These products can have up to a hundred different harmful chemicals that are directly linked to immunotoxicity, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), hormonal imbalances and infertility.  Now, women are not the only ones affected by these harsh chemicals: men’s skincare products can be just as harmful, and have similar negative side-effects.  Harsh phthalates can have a devastating effect on sperm count and concentration.  Here is a terrific blog post on safer skincare and this is a fascinating study on couples undergoing IVF treatment and the effect of phthalates and DNA damage.

With such bold language, you can tell that I am very passionate about this topic.  It is my job, my purpose and passion in life, to help other achieve a lifestyle that makes them feel vibrant, healthy, balanced and alive! This goes from working our bodies at SoulCycle to helping you select the best products for your skincare and makeup routine and…

***drumroll***

SURPRISE!! I have joined the Beautycounter team and am a safer Skincare Consultant! I love helping others with skincare and makeup, and would LOVE to work with you! Drop me a line, email, DM, text…you name it…and we will get you on a safer skincare journey! Your health is extremely valuable.  There is no price-tag that can be named in exchange for having a vibrant life, so join me in disrupting the Beauty industry and chose safer products! See below for a recent makeup look I did and the products I used!

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Products Used

Eyes: Volumizing mascara, eyeshadow in Sienna and Copper, and liquid matte eyeliner 

Skin: Highlighter palette, Nectar blush

Lips: Bite beauty nude lip (circa 2016…almost out and can’t even read the bottom!)

Remember, beauty is much more than skin deep- but let’s take care of our skin!

Xo

T

 

Lifestyle

New Year…Old You?

Happy 2019!!!

Well, we have made it through the first week of 2019.  Anyone know where 2018 went? Yeah, me neither.

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Unless you have been living under a rock on the top of the Rocky Mountains, you have probably been inundated with tips on how to achieve “your best year yet” or “the body of your dreams”.  If your feed is anything like mine, tips on losing those last 5 pounds or talk of the latest new diet has been overshadowing the posts on gratitude for the year we have just had.

I am over it. I am over hearing people talk negatively about their minds and bodies and wishing for ways to fix superficial problems.  I am over taking things away from my life.

So this year I am NOT making resolutions.

Yes you read that correctly.

I am NOT making resolutions.

Instead, I am making intentions.  I am declaring ways to add value into my life. I am taking small steps towards living out God’s purpose for my life.

I have two sets of intentions for my year

Surrender + Alignment

The first set are themes of the actions and decisions I am taking in 2019.  I am surrendering my plans, my control, my individual strength for the ultimate plan God has for me. I am walking under His sovereignty and am aligning my life to the one He has placed me in.  I am aligning my life in Toronto to the one I feel that I have been called to. I am setting down roots and diving into making this the most beautiful and bright year yet.  SoulCycle Toronto, I know we have only just met however I feel like we are going to do big, BIG things together this year.

Motivate + Nurture

The second set of intentions hint at the purpose I believe I have been called to.  My job is to motivate a room full of moving bodies and captive brains.  It is my biggest passion in life to help you achieve your best, brightest, most vibrant life. I LOVE helping you build healthy habits and want to motivate you to be the best, most authentic version of yourself.  At SoulCycle, we work our bodies to physical limits so that we can crack open our hearts and souls. We lay a groundwork of authenticity, integrity, accountability, strength and love.  The work is gritty, sweaty, and sometimes even ugly; but, it is the foundational element to everything else that is beautiful in our lives.

So join me in NOT making resolutions and instead, make intentions.  Seek ways to add value into your life.  Join me in a dark room on a bike that goes no where and together, we will make 2019 our most passion-filled and purpose-driven year yet.

Xo

T

Fitness, Lifestyle

Get in your head

Get in your head.

A lot of trainers tell you to get out, but I say, get in.  Instead of running from “I can’t do this” or the “I am too tired” thoughts that creep in, change the narrative.  Change the thought process and pattern.  We don’t learn anything by running away from problems.  Pretending like something isn’t there only allows it to manifest into something bigger.  “I can’t do this run” turns into “I am not good enough to come to class” which could turn into “I am not good enough”.

Flip it, part 1.

If you have come to my class, you’ve heard me say it before: change the narrative.  Change the sorry that is running rampant in your head.  Grab onto the thoughts, flip them around, and make empowering statements about your life.  Replace the negative words for statements that will strengthen you and lift you up.

Flip it, part 2.

When you are facing something that definitely feels too big to handle, break it into smaller pieces.  A great example is doing a long run out of the saddle.  That run takes a strong foundation of skill and muscle to properly complete it.  Instead of running wild out of the saddle, we start small by learning how to do jumps.  “Jumps” are when we come straight up for a series of counts (usually 8, 4, or 2) and then go back down.  We learn how to control our muscles and body in smaller increments.  When done properly, jumps are JUST as hard as long runs, if not harder,; however, they are more manageable.  If your instructor is leading a long run and you simply are not ready to do the whole thing, break it up! Stay up for 8 or 16 counts then sit back down again. Repeat until it is over, or, until you feel strong enough to run the whole segement.  Replace the “I can’t do this run” with “I can jump for 8 counts at a time”!

You can do it.  You need to want to do it.

Ultimately, you need to WANT to attack what is in front of you. You need to decide to show up and do it.  Nothing will ever change from skirting the problem or just bowing out completely.  There have been many days where I don’t think I can confront what is going on in my body; however, I WANT to see it get stronger.  I WANT my body to be strong. I WANT my body to be healthy.  That WANT is my fuel for my story.  That WANT is what inspires me to change my “I can’t” into the biggest, best “I CAN!”

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Want it.

Flip it.

Change it.

Yes you can.

 

Xo

T

Lifestyle

First Christmas Out of Home + Tip #1

Today is the first Sunday of Advent and the Christmas season OFFICIALLY kicks off today! Truth be told, I have been playing carols for weeks now but shhhh…that can be our not-so-well kept secret.

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This is the first Christmas that I will not make it home.  I am 29 years old.  That means I have been home with my family for 28 years! Christmas is a huge holiday in my family that is rich with traditions, laughter, skiing, cookies, mulled wine, and puzzles! Although my heart yearns for my family, I am also feeling quite excited at the opportunity I have at hand.  I am going to be spending it with a new community of wonderful people, bringing joy, love and light into the studios over the holidays.  What I am learning more and more is that each season of life is what you make of it.  You could dwell on things that you DON’T have, or, you can chose to focus on what you DO have and cultivate new traditions.  When unpacking all my boxes in my new home, it was the perfect time to go through all my Christmas decorations.  Although I have spent Christmas at my parent’s home, I have been collecting ornaments and knick-knacks for decorating my apartment, wherever that has been in the world.

I know the holiday season is one of many parties and celebrations for people.  Often, the social calendar is packed with events.  I am not a believer in deprivation or saying NO to fun times.  This is a time to make good choices 80% of the time, and live life BIG the other 20%.  Instead of stressing about that beautiful slice of Christmas cake or that celebratory champagne cocktail, let yourself indulge without the guilt.  This brings me to my first tip of the season:

Tip #1: Embrace the wiggle room and leave the guilt at the door!

During the week when your parties and events are at a minimum, make really healthy, clean-living choices.  Walk a few extra blocks, drink more water, eat more plants, and for  heaven’s sake, COME TO CLASS! SoulCycle is the perfect addition to your holiday schedule.  You can come in, get a seriously awesome workout and a mental break, and then walk out in under an hour.  I promise to have you through my class on-time so that you can be on your merry way.  Ultimately, look for ways to give yourself a bit more “wiggle room” so that when you are out at the party, you know you’ve made some really great choices during the week.  Here comes the most important part: LEAVE THE GUILT OUT.  Just stop with the “I shouldn’t have had that cookie and that glass of wine.”  That just is the biggest party pooper of all time.  Guilt is a thief: it will rob you of joy and peace, which is the exact opposite effect of what the season should bring you.

So there you have it, my first tip of the season + a sneak peak into my Toronto home and the cozy Christmas vibes that it houses.

Come back next week for Tip #2 and until then, book those bikes and I will see you this week!

Xo

T

Recipes

Hello Toronto + Muffin Recipe

Well hi there Toronto – nice to meet you!

I have officially been here for 2.5 weeks and it feels like it has been months! Here is a quick recap of the last few weeks:

Nov 1-10: I had 10 days to pack up my life in Vancouver.  I had 10 days to say my “see you soon” to friends and family.  10 days to say goodbye to an apartment building that has been a part of my family for 20+ years.  10 days goes by quick my friends.

Nov 11: Fly to Toronto

Nov 12-19: teach 14 classes and become acquainted with a new city.  Talk about diving into the deep end! To be honest, this was such a gift as I was able to meet so many new people and really start to establish a rhythm.

Nov 20-24: Teach my regular class schedule.

Nov 24: Movers arrive with all my belongings.  I had 36 boxes of various sizes, 2 large kitchen/china boxes, 2 wardrobe boxes, 1 couch, 1 arm chair, 1 bookshelf, 4 paintings, 1 mirror, 1 baby Christmas tree, 2 lamps, 1 bed and 1 bike to organize, unpack, and fit into my new home.

Nov 26: Unpack the last box! I had finished moving and settling into my new home in just two days.  Talk about a marathon.

Nov 26-Dec 2: Teach my regular classes + 2 subs… Lots of classes! Lots of sweat! Lots of LOVE.

WOW

It has been a crazy journey. I think back to three months ago and I was working a corporate job, floating along in Vancouver.  Fast-forward, and I am now living out a dream job that I have been working towards for years, settling into a new home and a new city all the way across the country, and making life big, bright and beautiful! I had a quiet afternoon yesterday so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to christen my new oven and kitchen.  I had a craving for banana muffins and SURPRISE – I was missing some key ingredients.  I didn’t let this stop me and thought I would give it a whirl anyways.  What shouldn’t have worked out, did.  I don’t know how, I don’t know why, but these are some of the tastiest gluten free banana muffins I have ever had!

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Impossible Banana Muffins:

1 1/2 C GF All-purpose flour (I use Pamela’s baking mix)
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
2 brown, overripe bananas
1/4 C applesauce
2 Tbs egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 C coconut sugar
Optional: add in some nuts, dried fruit or chocolate chips if you are feeling frisky! I added in some refined sugar free chocolate chips because #yesplease.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Mix your dry ingredients together (flour through baking powder).  In a separate bowl, mix your wet ingredients together (bananas through coconut sugar).  Fold the wet into the dry *JUST* until combined.  (This is CRUCIAL as you do not want to over mix your batter.  If you do, it will be gummy, gross and icky.  Use a deft hand my friend.)

Pour into muffin liners in your pan.

Bake for 16-19 minutes, or until the tops bounce back when lightly pressed.

I made 9 muffins, you could make them slightly smaller and do 12, but why cheat yourself on an extra bite?

ENJOY my beauties!

Xo

T

Lifestyle

Goodbye Vancouver

As I stand here and look out my balcony I am washed with gratitude, excitement, joy and a touch of sadness.

Gratitude for the many blessings God has given me in this home.  I have lived at the foot of the ocean for so many years now, that falling asleep to the lap of the waves on the shore is my bedtime song.  I have gazed at countless sunrises and sunsets that have left me feeling absolutely tiny in the greatest way possible.  I have been surrounded with a community of friends and family that all share a similar love of the outdoors and adventure.  I am so grateful for the richness of all these gifts.

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Excitement for the journey ahead.  I am off to chase the unknown.  I am leaving to start a new chapter in a new city with a new community and a new job.  That is a lot of new.  I am about to write the first pages of what is going to be an extraordinary chapter.  This is going to be epic.

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Joy for the fact that I am standing where I have dreamed to be for so long.  I have been working towards this very moment for 5 years.  After over 1,500 rides in 4 different cities over 60 months, I am now a SoulCycle instructor.  I successfully graduated the instructor training program.  I spent 7 weeks in New York City training and learning to become the best coach and athlete I can be.  It took a lot of sweat, passion, food and energy to complete it and man, it was so worth it.

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Sadness for the season that has now come to a close.  I moved to Vancouver with my family when I was 5 years old.  Every time I left the city for another modelling contract, I always had a home to come back to in Vancouver.  After 8 years of travelling, I moved to NYC for 3 years, yet always had this place to return to.  Now, at 29 years old, I am the last of my nuclear family to be leaving the city.  It will forever have a piece of my heart and I know I can always return, but for now, this is the last page of what was a beautiful chapter of life.

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Vancouver, I love you.

Toronto, you have some very large shoes to fill.

Xo

Tia

Fitness, Lifestyle

SoulCycle Training – Week 5

THAT’S A WRAP!!!

Wow

Can you believe it? No? Me either.  I am stunned that we are already into Community Ride week.

Week 5 training was about leaning into what we have learned, practicing, and asking any last minute questions.  At this point, we need to trust in the training, knowledge and advice we have been given.  We need to trust that all the information is stored somewhere in our brains and at the right time, we will tap into it.  Now, in order to tap into the knowledge base, we need to have a calm brain and body so that it can just flow through us.

The incredibly exciting task at hand is for all 41 of us to complete our Community Rides.  If you are no where near the SoulCycle world, Community Rides are when new trainees teach a regular class to the public and a training officer will sit in the room and then share feedback 1-on-1 so we know what we do really well, and where we need to fine-tune.  You can sign up for all of our classes online and they are FREE! How exciting for you! A free SoulCycle class with a bunch of rad, excited and talented instructors.

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What can you expect from MY class?

  1. A TEAM atmosphere
  2. More resistance than you think you can push through (but I know you can🙂)
  3. SWEAT…a ton of sweat…so hydrate properly
  4. High-fives, fist pumps, air kisses, handle-bar smacking…all the things
  5. Mountains (figuratively speaking…although it will *feel* literal) with sweet views from the top
  6. Quirky comments that fly from my mouth before I filter them
  7. Knowledge bombs about anatomy, nutrition, life
  8. Rad music from all genres
  9. Growth: mental, physical, emotional, spiritual…all the growth in all the ways
  10. A coach who is tremendously passionate about your well-being and teaching you how to SHINE YOUR LIGHT BRIGHT

So book those bikes, find me on Instagram ( @tiastake ) and let’s find some epic hills and show them what a BOSS team we make!

xo

T

Fitness, Recipes

What I Eat in a Day- Training Edition!

The short answer to this post is EVERYTHING.  I am constantly eating from the moment I get up to the minute I go bed.  Even without training, I have a fast metabolism, so throughout this process it is cranked up! Instead of breaking this post up by meal, I’m going to segment it by time of day.
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Morning

Big glass of water
“Bulletproof” Style coffee:
1-1 1/2 C freshly brewed coffee
2 Tbs coconut cream
1 tsp mct oil
2 tbs collagen
1/4 C almond milk
1 Apple
Oatmeal:
1/3 C oats
2/3 C water
Pinch of salt
Half a banana
Topped with: 2 Tbs PB, Protein yogurt (2Tbs vegan protein powder mixed with the same about of coconut yogurt), 1Tbs pumpkin seeds
After my first class of the day: 1 rX Bar + Oatly Milk Matcha latte + collagen stirred into the Matcha.

Mid-day

It depends on my lecture/drill schedule and what I am doing. If I am riding right away, then I will usually have 1 brown rice avocado roll or 2 rice cakes sandwiched with hummus.
If I am not riding until later in the day, then I will have a big salad thing with sweet potato or quinoa as my carb, greens, nuts and seed and a protein (eggs, tuna or chicken).  I have also taken to the gluten-free mushroom toast from Merriwheather with a poached egg. I mean, yum.
Basically, my mid-day eating pattern is all about eating enough protein/carbs/fats around my riding schedule, which changes.
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I also drink BCAAs, water, Kombucha, Bone Broth and/or green juice during the day.  LOTS of water…3-4 litres per day.

*BCAAs are super helpful when performing so much cardio as they help to preserve your muscle tissue and performance

*Aim to drink 2 water bottles per class.  You don’t have to drink both in class if that makes you feel ill, but budget two per class.  This is in ADDITION to your regular water intake folks.  HYDRATION is key for your cells, muscles, glowing skin, healthy bowels (yes I went there), detoxification, breathing…essentially everything you do.

Evening

Snack when I get home: frozen peas + some sort of “chip”.  I am a huge fan of the lesser evil cheezy puffs…omgeeYUM
1 glass of wine…yes, 100% I earned this
water
My favourite go-to pasta right now:
Sauteed onion, zucchini, cauliflower, butternut squash medley with either ground chicken or tempeh all deglazed with a splash of coconut aminos.  Add a big pinch of pepper and a smidgen (or to taste) of salt.
Cook up some Eat Banza Pasta…usually I go through 1/3 box in one sitting.  Mix it all up with 2 Tbs of plain hummus, 1 Tbs pesto and 2 Tbs of nutritional yeast and DEVOUR!
I will also have a BIG ASS salad: greens, cilantro, green onion, sliced apple (in season), avocado, crispy chickpeas, balsamic drizzle

Bed-time snack

Bowl of Maple ladders (chickpea flour based cereal that hints at maple syrup), or other gf plain cereal, topped with some nut butter, coconut milk yogurt mixed with collagen or vegan protein powder (added protein) and a banana.

*Your body repairs itself as you sleep…that requires energy.  If you do not have enough energy in your body, your recovery will be slow.  Simple math here guys…Make sure you have adequate intake so your recovery is optimal.

*I am aiming for about 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight which puts me at 190 grams of protein per day.

*I am aiming for about 280g of carbs per day.  Carbs are an essential player in athletic performance and the more cardiovascular output you generate, the more carbs your body needs to repair, refuel and recover.

*The rest of my daily calories I source from healthy fats…avocado, coconut oil, nuts and seeds/ nut butters, coconut milk yogurt, fatty fish such as salmon.

You do you buttercup.  Just please oh please make sure to give your body enough food and hydration so it can thrive.  This is not the time to restrict your eating.  If you do, your body will not recover.  Your body will start to break itself down and use your muscles as fuel…and that is definitely not what we want.

Xo.

T

Fitness, Lifestyle

SoulCycle Training Week 1

SoulCycle Training Week 1

Well we did it.  We made it through week one of the SoulCycle instructor training program.
I didn’t know what to expect other than a whole lot of riding and sweating and for it to be tough, emotionally, physically and mentally.
I am so happy to report that I am feeling inspired, grounded, motivated, strong, uplifted…all the feelings! Yes it is difficult, but it just feels so right.  I haven’t felt this happy everyday in a while.  That is what makes it all worth it.  Also, the thought of being able to offer someone the best part of their day…45 minutes of heart pumping love and endurance, that is what keeps me going.
A few learnings thus far:
  1. A balanced breakfast with all my macros and nutrients is more important than ever.  I need a strong hit of carbs, fat and protein right in the morning.  My mid-day meals have been wonky and I feel like this will be a trend that continues.  I am riding between 2-4 hours each day on average, so I need a lot of quality fuel and nutrients!
  2. I cannot ride on a full stomach.  I ate a salad last week before a drill and felt so nauseous the whole time.
  3. Apples, organic honeycrsip to be exact, are my best friend.
  4. Oat milk matcha lattes are also my best friend. Add collagen peptides and you’re set.
  5. Pair the apple with the matcha and I have a great snack with carbs, fats and a bit of protein (see collagen peptides note).
  6. Protein bars have become a thing, as well as no fruit green juices.  I want to make sure I am getting enough protein and a protein bar is a quick option.  I know it is a processed food but ya’ know what? I don’t care.  As long as the ingredients are clean, it is a fast and nutritious option so that is what I need.  Since I am not having a traditional “lunch”, a green juice is a great way for me to get fast vitamins.
  7. Dinner needs to be big.  HUGE.  Massive.  Dinner will always include a big-ass-kitchen-sink-salad along with a main.  I have been rotating through chickpea pasta and sweet potatoes as carbs (large serving here) with some veggies and either tempeh, fish or ground turkey breast.
  8. Snack before bed is imperative.  My muscles undergo a lot of training during the day and the prime time for them to repair is while I am sleeping.  A snack before bed is a great way to top up my calories and macros so my body can repair through the night.
  9. Hydrate with enough electrolytes + bcaas to keep my muscles and cells filled.
  10. Soak it all up and stay true to myself! Although the days are packed and the emotions are high, I am reminding to keep grounding myself into the day and soak up being in NYC again.  This is an amazing experience and I don’t want to rush it or let it fly by without being present.  I also am focusing on staying in my own lane and being my authentic pixie self.  I was brought into this program for who I am and they want ME…they do not want another version of an existing instructor.  I need to find and trust my voice.
Bonus: the sweat bag situation is real people.  I am tossing those bags in the freezer and making a trip to the laundromat every 3 days or so.  It takes a lot of sweaty spandex to pull through this program.
Love ya!
Xo
Tia
Lifestyle

To my surprise

I was not expecting that.

At all.

When I landed in NYC, and walked into the Noho SoulCycle studio, it felt like home.  I am surprised by the fact that I feel more calmness and strength and certainty in this city than the one I came from.

I love Vancouver.  I love the outdoors, lifestyle, wilderness, being closer to family and the amazing community that I have been welcomed into.

BUT.

I adore NYC.  I love the energy, the vibe and the people of this city.  I am equally humbled and inspired by the SoulCycle community here.  Yesterday, I was welcomed with arms that were stretched out in excitement.  I was uplifted by the palpable energy of that dark room.  It felt like I was gone for 2 months, not two years.  Everything just felt right.

I do not know what lies ahead.  I only know that I am going to soak up every minute of these next 8 weeks.

NYC, I love you.

NYC, I missed you.

NYC, let’s find a way for me to stay.

 

Xo

Tia