Shampoo and Conditioner…On the go

I’ve had more bottles of shampoo and conditioner explode in my bag than I care to count…and I don’t know about you guys but, I’m just not adult enough to deal with it.

This summer I decided to take a stand against packing my toiletries four layers deep in secondary small bottles, ziploc containers, plastic bags, and even a toiletry bag, trying to appear pulled together.

For all my efforts leading up to this summer, I’ve had to clean or throw out bags due to countless failed attempts to secure a tidy, mess-free means of showering away from home.

And then I met Lush Cosmetics’ Shampoo and Conditioner Bars.

To be clear, I have no affiliation with Lush, aside from being a regular patron; they aren’t paying me to say nice things. I’m just amped about having a product that has basically zero chance of exploding in my bag. 

I actually haven’t quite found the conditioner that’s right for me (in bar form), but, BUT, I can now shower at any of the facilities I train out of, with no stress about traveling with toiletries.

So, fellow humans, as I continue my search for the perfect to-go conditioner: What do you use to wash-up on the go? Any suggestions?

Photo Cred:


Water Wonderland

In YYC a special, magical event occurs on May 1st every year.

The Glenmore Reservoir opens and all of us prairie-bound water junkies rejoice.

It’s water season.

If you’re looking for a fun, comprehensive workout, a great community, and some fabulous sunshine, Calgary Rowing Club is a great place to go.

Throughout the summer, the Calgary Rowing Club (CRC) offers Learn To Rows for the uninitiated, Novice (read: Newbie) rows, youth camps, recreational/competitive programs for all age groups, private lessons, AND a kick butt para-program. The Calgary Rowing Club is equipped to handle us all.

Rowing can be a highly demanding sport; the rowing stroke requires the use of 84% of the body’s muscle mass and high cardio-vascular output…but, it also requires technique and patience.

Sitting in a rowing shell as the sun rises, and hearing the woosh of your blades moving through the water as you make your way up to the starting line, is by far my favourite way to start the morning. Plus, workouts can cost your body upwards of 1000 calories – my giant follow up breakfast is my second favourite part of my morning.

Row-mantic imagery or giant breakfasts peak your interest?

Should you sign up for a Learn to Row, here’s what to expect:

  • All forms of weather. Rain or shine it’s time to get in that rowing shell and party! Bring a hat in either instance; you’ll thank me later.
  • People from all walks of life. As I touched on earlier, the programming at the CRC is built to handle us all. Don’t be shy! Come on down and give it a whirl.
  • We’re all awful at the beginning. Nothing is natural about sitting in the boat backwards, holding a stick in your hands and propelling it by moving your legs. Don’t worry about it.
  • A fun workout. Being new at something typically means that our bodies are super inefficient at it, which means we get a good workout just for trying something new!

See you on the water!

Spring Spirits

It’s the time of year in which I begin anxiously eying up my tulip bed. 

Don’t sprout too early, you gorgeous things, the prairies are a dastardly place in the spring. 

Speaking of gorgeous spring things, here’s my spring update:

For summer athletes, spring means things are about to get crazy!

On top of jumping back on the water as soon as possible, here are some shifts and some continuities for my spring schedule:

Indoor Cycling: 

My indoor cycling services are currently being offered out of the Cochrane Health and Fitness Centre on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. If the current times don’t work for you and you’d like to attend, give me a shout! I’m always happy to consider adding to or changing up my weekly schedule.

Private and Group Rowing Lessons:

Want to get back on the water, or even get on the water for the first time?

I’m happy to announce that the Calgary Rowing Club and I have partnered up again to provide private, in-depth, and flexible instruction to help you get where you want to be on the water. The club reopens with a bang on May 1st so, make sure you contact the club manager in advance for bookings!

Indoor Rowing:

Interested in the toning and health properties of rowing but not so interested in the rain, water, or boats? Well, lucky for you, I’ve taken on a position instructing classes at Canada’s first and only dedicated indoor rowing studio, Row 17! You can access all my knowledge and expertise on how to row without stepping foot in a boat.

The studio opens Saturday, April 2nd, at 9:30am. Come on down and check us out!

Change of Studio:

Perhaps one of the most exciting developments in my training career is my partnership with Janis Isaman of My Body Couture. The website, in part because of my joining the team, is currently under construction so, stay tuned for the re-release of the website and, of course, my offerings in the studio. The studio is located in the historic Devenish building on 17th Ave, SW, in downtown Calgary. It’s conveniently right across the street from Row 17 and only slightly east of one of the main vegetarian restaurants in the city (score!).

For me, personally, there are fashion weeks and photoshoots on the horizon, new certifications to obtain, and even an acting opportunity to pursue.

Spring is always so much fun.

See you soon!



Wellness is not Separate

“I could never do that”

“I’m going on a diet” 

“I’m trying to eat clean”

“I went for a run today”

“New day, new you”

We are inundated with messages of wellness as other, or separate, from normal/average practices. We speak of clean eating as though everyone else is eating dirt, we speak of making exercise changes as if what we were doing before was absolute inactivity, we give up “bad habits” for “good” ones.

What if this forced dichotomy isn’t quite true?

What if real, sustainable wellness comes in the form of noshing on beaver tails while walking around the zoo?

Although we talk about lifestyle blogs, urban and rural lifestyles, athletic lifestyles, student lifestyles and many other descriptor variants of “lifestyle,” the idea of lifestyle rarely seems to encapsulate what, by definition, a life style is.

The pursuit of health or wellness is a component of many different lifestyles but, it is rarely (with the obvious exception of athletes) considered as an integral component of absolutely everything that an individual is already doing.

So, dodge that diet change and skip the guilt trip about the gym and start unpacking all of the ways that you pursue wellness in your day-to-day life.

For me, it involves not only my identity as an athlete but my decision to cook my food from scratch, my walks with my dog, walking to work, being obsessed with tea, gardening in the evening with my partner, and running away to play in the mountains as frequently as possible.

With all that on my plate, it hardly matters (from a wellness perspective) if I miss a date at the gym.

To Exercise or not to Exercise: Vacation as a Fitness Enigma

So, you’re going on vacation. 

Do you bring training gear?

Well, if you’re participating in Wellness Tourism, of course you are!

But if you’re going to drink wine, sit on a patio, sail around the coast, lounge at the beach and eat all the delicious things you can find…do you bring your gear?

One of the conceits that I’m doing my best to break down on this blog is the idea that there is a type of lifestyle perfection that you ought to be pursuing. There isn’t one.

So, when you go on vacation, even if you’re a regular exerciser at home, it is totally up to you to decide how much you want to work out. You don’t have to go for runs in the streets of Paris or hike to the archaeological site of Machu Picchu…even though I think both of these things rock.

Meeting general activity level requirements on vacation is rarely an issue. There are so many things to walk around and see, so many seas to swim in, so many monuments with an absurd amount of stairs…your general activity level on vacation is probably much higher than your activity levels at home!

However, participating in high intensity work outs, just like at home, is a decision that you need to make yourself.

For me, this is a decision I make before vacation starts.

Unless you’re an elite athlete, there is very little reason for you to hesitate to put your running shoes down for the duration of your vacation. Put them down! Packing your runners, “just in case” you get around to getting a workout in, is the worst. Guilt is not something that should be hauled along on vacation with you.

However, if you’re a regular exerciser back home and you feel that vacation is the perfect time to explore new places and new workout opportunities…pack that gear! Two years ago, my partner and I stayed in Cannes La Bocca, a 6km run from Cannes proper. Nearly every morning we packed a light bag and ran down to the beaches of Cannes for fun, sun, espresso and breakfast. It was awesome.

So, ask yourself!

Before you pack that horrible “maybe” gear, are you going to do high intensity workouts on vacation?

I’m eating dinner: The process of food selection at restaurants

Somewhere in the middle of my relationship with my partner, we discovered that we were really different about how we approach eating food at restaurants.

I mean, yeah, I knew that I was a vegetarian and he was not but, it went way beyond that.

When we’d stop for a bite to eat at a pub/restaurant after a day of hiking, I’d eat dinner…and he’d eat at a restaurant.

It sounds a bit funny to phrase it that way but, it’s the best I’ve got.

I would eat something akin to what I would make myself for a meal and he would “splurge” on something that he’d never make at home. I’m not talking technically difficult food here, I’m talking deep fried fries, burgers, deep fried fish, wings/ribs…things soaked in salts, fats, sauces, and whatever else goes into meat things (I confess my ignorance here).

If I made something like that at home, he’d tease me relentlessly about my poor taste in food. 

But somewhere in our brains, I’d maintained what I considered as a stable entity for meal appropriate food and he’d created a subsection for what one eats at a restaurant.

Therefore, I eat like I do at home and he eats restaurant food.

The excess of food consumed, not only because of portion size but, because of the nature of what his brain had categorized as ‘food that is appropriate to eat in a restaurant setting’ meant that the different caloric intake between our two meals was huge!

If you’re a super busy person like me, who often needs to supplement her packed meals with something purchased, eating out a lot can really add up on your waistline.

When I go to a restaurant, I look at the menu and ask myself, “What do I want for dinner?”

Try it out, see if it helps 🙂

Spring has Sprung!

Get out your runners, your hikers, or what ever floats your boat!

Hiking is a great way to whittle your waist, define your legs, increase your aerobic capacity, and spend time with friends and family….and puppies. My dog much prefers hiking with me to staying home while I lift weights.

If you’re looking for some great hikes around Calgary this spring, there are heaps!

Remember though…mountain weather, especially in spring, is a little bit bananas. Be safe, check the weather, grab a friend, and always tell people where you’re going.

For a light day with friends, one of my favourite day trips is out to Lake Louise! 

There are two lovely hikes up to two different tea houses in the mountains where you can rest your legs, grab a snack (cash only, mind you), and enjoy the scenery before you head back down towards the Chateau.

If you love the tea house hikes but find them to be a bit too short (as I do), there’s a little something that Banff/Lake Louise Tourism have dubbed the Tea House Challenge. You get to have TWO snacks while completing a 15 km loop that takes approximately 4.5 hours…plus snack time. Heads up: Tea doesn’t start until the first of June 🙂

There’s even a website that you can check out for a few more details:

Yamnuska is another popular favourite for local climbers and hikers… and the chimney to the top? Well, it’s just asking to be climbed. This hike has a fair amount of “up” to it and some pretty serious scree so, comfort in a scramble environment is a must. If you don’t know what scree or scrambling is…I’d suggest finding an avid hiking friend to do this one with on your first time up. This hike, although a shorter time and distance than the Lake Louise ones, is much more challenging.

There are so many other hikes that you can tap into…we’re right beside the Rockies!

I solemnly swear that I’ll share pictures and stories about some of the awesome hikes I complete this summer.

…Just make sure you share yours too!