Alpha OCR Series #1 Race Recap

I’ve been training at Alpha Obstacle Training for well over a year now. In 2014 they created their very own obstacle course race series but unfortunately due to injury and having a season’s pass to a trail race series (it was scheduled on the same days as Alpha’s OCR) I was never able to attend one last year. Cue 2015, I’ve been have an amazing few months of training and I couldn’t wait for the first Alpha OCR of the season! On Saturday, April 11th I headed down bright and early for the event.

We met at the indoor facility to register, grab free t-shirts from Spartan Race Canada and get some MyoDetox treatments (physio & massage) before the race. MyoDetox is actually located at Alpha and I can get treatments on site before or after class which is amazing. At 8:30am we met in the Soccer Dome for warmup. Jesse, Alvin and Steve (Alpha Founder & two trainers with Alpha) led us through a series of plyometric movements to get our body ready for the race.

Alpha Warm Up

After the warmup we took a knee for a motivational speech from the founder Jesse Bruce. I always love listening to his speeches as he really knows how to fire up a crowd. Although I don’t know how he manages to not knock anyone out with the flag as he walks passionately around the circle. He finished with the crowd pleasing “if you have a fitness goal, let’s go freaking get it!” one liner that is his signature statement and we headed back to Alpha to grab water and change if needed.

Jesse Bruce Speech

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Book Review: Revenge The Devil Wears Prada Returns

What kobo.com says:

The sequel you’ve been waiting for: the follow-up to the sensational #1 bestseller The Devil Wears Prada.

Almost a decade has passed since Andy Sachs quit the job “a million girls would die for” working for Miranda Priestly at Runway magazine—a dream that turned out to be a nightmare. Andy and Emily, her former nemesis and co-assistant, have since joined forces to start a highend bridal magazine. The Plunge has quickly become required reading for the young and stylish. Now they get to call all the shots: Andy writes and travels to her heart’s content; Emily plans parties and secures advertising like a seasoned pro. Even better, Andy has met the love of her life. Max Harrison, scion of a storied media family, is confident, successful, and drop-dead gorgeous. Their wedding will be splashed across all the society pages as their friends and family gather to toast the glowing couple. Andy Sachs is on top of the world. But karma’s a bitch. The morning of her wedding, Andy can’t shake the past. And when she discovers a secret letter with crushing implications, her wedding-day jitters turn to cold dread. Andy realizes that nothing—not her husband, nor her beloved career—is as it seems. She never suspected that her efforts to build a bright new life would lead her back to the darkness she barely escaped ten years ago—and directly into the path of the devil herself…

Revenge Wears Prada

What I say: So my last book was self development so I thought I could jump to chick lit as I haven’t read one in a while with all my business & self help choices lately. I was a big fan of the Devil Wears Prada when it first came out so I knew I would enjoy Lauren Weisberger’s writing again. She makes you fall in love with the main character Andy even 10 years later. I love the adventures of running a magazine, wedding chaos and the stress brought on by the Devil herself. It’s a great read if you need escape and to not think much but be proud of how well the Andy character has grown up!

2015 Toronto Yoga Show Finds

I love going to the Yoga Show. It’s a chance to check out new products being offered, connect with vendors I’ve met before, see some familiar faces and try out free classes in the Yoga Garden area. I had planned on attending Sunday but after running an obstacle course race on Saturday at Alpha (race recap to come) and then a 9km trail run on Sunday in Ancaster I was way too exhausted to go Sunday afternoon. I powered through my exhaustion after the race on Saturday and decided to just go to walk around the show and skip the free classes.

Here are my new favourite products that I decided to try.

I love hummus. I haven’t been eating much of it lately but I definitely wanted to try a flavour I may have not tried before by Sunflower Kitchen. I sampled the Jerusalem Hummus which contains parsley and loved it so I grabbed a container from Essence of Life during my Sunday afternoon grocery shop. I also loved sampling Nomz Energy Bites a Toronto based snack company. I really liked the coconut balls so I also grabbed a container of these at Essence of LIfe during my Sunday shop. The container has 6 balls within it and 3 may have disappeared during the drive home. I was a tad hungry after running trails for an hour earlier that morning.

Hummus & Nomz

 

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Healing a Leaky Gut

When I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in December  I started researching how I could eat better to help me manage this auto immune disease. I believe nutrition is part a a complete health care plan. When I started looking into the science of why I have MS I came upon information on leaky gut being tied to auto immune disorders. So in my continued saga to share my MS journey here is an instalment on leaky gut and how I’m working towards healing my gut to manage my MS sidekick.

After my diagnosis I reached out to RHN, Chantale MIchaud from Eat Heal Love. Here is the link to my post on my nutrition consultation. I booked a mini consultation with her and she immediately sent me her paper “Autoimmune Disease and the Leaky Gut Connection” to explain the science behind “leaky gut” and why it can be associated with auto immune disorders. I have battled IBS in the past (gasp yes I’m talking about my gut problems on here). Before I got into fitness competing I was unhealthy in my eating habits and ate foods that affected my digestion. After being dairy & processed sugar free for many years I wasn’t having any noticeable problems so I thought the IBS was gone. My digestion would be so so if my diet wasn’t completely clean or I was stressed or I lacked sleep but overall it wasn’t that bad. Cue MS diagnosis, steroid treatment and bam unhealthy gut symptoms reappeared.  I don’t know if my leaky gut symptoms are associated with the steroid treatment, stress, foods or sleep patterns so I wanted to get to the bottom of it. I’m of the mindset that your holistic health care works together to optimize your body’s ability to fight auto immune disorders so I love researching every aspect I can that will affect in my life in a positive way.

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Soul 7 Cancer Awareness Month

April is Cancer Awareness Month

I have been receiving treatment since January at Soul 7 so I wanted to support their April fundraising efforts in support of The Hospital for Sick Kids. Based on what the treatments have done for me to reduce stress and boost my immune system I can only begin to rave how amazing this place is for cancer patients.

Bob Berman, founder of Soul 7 opened this healing technology centre in honour of his wife whom he lost to cancer.

SOUL 7 will be raising $10,000 for the oncology department at The Hospital for Sick Kids.  All month long donations can be made at SOUL 7, located at 17 Yorkville Ave Suite #100.  Once a donation of any amount has been made the donor will have the opportunity to experience a SOUL 7 Healthy Living Session designed to: Increase Energy Levels, Regularized Sleep, Boost the Immune System, Detox, and Relax the Mind and Body.  100% of all proceeds will be donated directly to Sick Kids oncology department.

Soul 7

RSVP online on their Facebook event page. In order to get your complimentary session like them on facebook and then call 416.847.6999 to book your appointment. When you arrive at Soul 7 they will accept any size donation that will go directly to Sick Kid’s Hospital (a tax receipt will be issued for donations $25 or more).

Soul 7 Sessions:

- HEALTHY LIVING – Anti-Ageing, Weight Loss, Skin Cell Rejuvenation, Chronic Fatigue, Insomnia, Cardio Wellness, Detox/Immune Boost, Blood Pressure, Menopause, Osteoporosis, Prostate
- CANCER SUPPORT PROGRAM – A drug-free, non-invasive way to boost your immune system in the fight against Cancer.
- STRESS FREE LIVING – Chronic Stress or Anxiety
- HAPPY LIVING – Depression
- RELAXED LIVING – Pure Relaxation and de-stress
- PAIN FREE LIVING – Fibromyalgia, Joint/Muscle Pain, Arthritis, Chronic Pain

You will also receive 25% off any packages you purchase when you come in for your free treatment.

More info on Soul 7:

Soul 7’s breakthrough energy balancing therapies boost the immune system and enhance overall physical, mental and emotional well-being. Using a combination of proven Healing Technologies, Soul 7 delivers powerful relief for stress/anxiety, enhances brain performance and relieves chronic pain including back pain, headaches and fibromyalgia, without pills or surgery.

We will also be offering a one-for-one cancer support program. When you buy a package we give a package to someone who is going through Cancer.

For more info visit their website: www.soul7.ca

Mizuno Wave Hayate Product Review

Disclaimer:  This is a sponsored post. I am a brand ambassador with Mizuno Canada and I received the shoes at no cost.

I spent the summer of 2014 running in Mizuno Wave Kazans at all my obstacle course races. As amazing as they were they were definitely heavier when I compared them to other trail shoes. Cue the start of training for the 2015 season and bam the amazing new Wave Hayate’s landed on my doorstop! I was beyond excited. They are pretty snazzy in terms of colour & design and definitely lighter than the Kazans. Kazans are 8 oz in weight and the Hayate’s are 7.2 ozs but feel considerably lighter on the feet.

Wave Hayate

I’ve taken them out three times since receiving them. Two hill training sessions at Riverdale park & one hill training session on snow at Earl Bales Park. I grabbed a spare tire I have and brought it along for extra awkward weight to carry up and down the hill a few times.

Riverdale Park

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Book Review: The Greatness Guide

What kobo.com says:

Robin Sharma, the #1 bestselling series of inspirational books spun around the engaging fable of a jet-setting lawyer who gives it all up to search for his best life. Well over a million copies of Sharma’s books have been sold, inspiring business people, parents and people from all walks of life to reach for — and realize — their highest potential.

Now, in a remarkable book that will appeal to his legion of fans, as well as introduce him to a whole new audience, Robin Sharma has written a deeply personal guide that shares his own life journey, combined with 10 high-impact lessons for success.

Readers will discover:

  • how to transform fears into freedom
  • lessons to find lasting happiness
  • unique tools to build loving relationships
  • powerful strategies to simplify life and reduce stress

The Greatness Guide is an extraordinary resource for all those searching for peace, meaning and authentic success in every facet of their lives.

Greatness Guide

What I Say: I really liked the format of this book. The chapters were 1 – 3 pages on my Kobo which is the perfect amount of information to digest at a time. There are amazing quotes scattered throughout the book that I liked turning into shareable pictures to Instagram. I find Robin Sharma’s writing easy to understand, inspirational and warm & caring. My way of living definitely follows many of his philosophies. I enjoyed the reminder of a few & am inspired to take action in other areas of my life that I haven’t focused on in a while. There are too many to name but there are 101 chapters of goodness within the pages.

My favourite quotables come from the following chapters:

Chapter 35 – Be Wildly Enthusiastic
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Chapter 7 – Get Some Skin In The Game

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Chapter 72 – Apply the U2 Standard

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Chapter 8 – Be Into Breezes

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Have you read this book? Does it peak your interest?

Toronto Yoga Show

The Toronto Yoga Conference & Show is this weekend!! I’m so excited to walk around the trade show and check out new products & try a couple of free classes in the yoga garden area.

Toronto Yoga Show

Where: Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building

When: 

Friday, April 10 & Saturday, April 11: 10am – 8pm

Sunday, April 12: 10am – 6pm

I’ll be attending on Sunday to try my hand at a few of the free classes in the Yoga Garden and then to peruse the trade show.

I’m really interested in taking the following classes…

12:30pm – 1:00pm Accuball Yoga – Yoga with the Accuball

1:30pm – 2:00pm Sat Dharam Kaur – Kundalini Yoga

4:30pm – 5:00pm Salimah YogaVision – Laughter Yoga – This one I just want to watch!

5:00pm – 6:00pm Sebastin Kowalik & Kaelyn Wong – Partner Yoga To Rock The Close Of The 2015

Ever since I saw this video below I’ve wanted to try partner yoga. I’ve had the chance to try their partner yoga jam at Yoga Lounge. It was so hard and so fun so I’m definitely hooked to try more!

Here is the Link to the full Show Schedule.

Price: Floor Admission is $15 for the weekend

GIVEAWAY! The amazing organizers have opened up 10 pairs of tickets for my readers. Comment on this post and tell me what yoga means to you if you’d like a pair and I’ll pick 10 winners (at random) on April 8th at midnight to win a pair of tickets.

For me yoga is a way to reconnect with my breath, to feel centred and calm,  stretch and expand my tight muscles from training, feel graceful and feel the energy in the room from others who want to be on the mat in the present.

Robyn Baldwin - Yoga - Noel Daganta

 

Be Bold, Not Abrasive

I don’t talk a lot about my job on this blog. Which I realized as I started writing this post I should do more of. I call myself an Alpha Female after all due to juggling a full time career & being a fitness personality. I’m really blessed at my job at Kobo. I still call it a dream marketing job two years later as much as I did when I landed it. I’m blessed in my second year at this company to be supported in leadership skill development and wanted to share my review of a course I recently took to develop personality presentation & communication skills.

When searching the world wide web for a course that could help my leadership skills I found the Women of Influence: Be Bold, Not Abrasive, Advancement Centre course. I have been told on more then one performance review that I can be blunt, straightforward or direct at times. I’ve learned to soften my tone after being let go from a former ad agency job in 2011. I wrote a blog post (Why Being Let Go Can Be Good For Your Career) that you can read if you’re curious. I’ve made leaps and bounds since then but I believe communication style & presence is something you can always improve upon and want to continuously become better so I signed up ready to learn.

I headed off to the Spoke Club last week for a full day of learning, armed with old school pen and paper.

Be Bold Not Abrasive

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Book Review: Ruby

What kobo.com says:

The newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection! The epic, unforgettable story of a man determined to protect the woman he loves from the town desperate to destroy her—this beautiful and devastating debut heralds the arrival of a major new voice in fiction.

Ephram Jennings has never forgotten the beautiful girl with the long braids running through the piney woods of Liberty, their small East Texas town. Young Ruby, “the kind of pretty it hurt to look at,” has suffered beyond imagining, so as soon as she can, she flees suffocating Liberty for the bright pull of 1950s New York. Ruby quickly winds her way into the ripe center of the city–the darkened piano bars and hidden alleyways of the Village–all the while hoping for a glimpse of the red hair and green eyes of her mother. When a telegram from her cousin forces her to return home, thirty-year-old Ruby Bell finds herself reliving the devastating violence of her girlhood. With the terrifying realization that she might not be strong enough to fight her way back out again, Ruby struggles to survive her memories of the town’s dark past. Meanwhile, Ephram must choose between loyalty to the sister who raised him and the chance for a life with the woman he has loved since he was a boy.

Full of life, exquisitely written, and suffused with the pastoral beauty of the rural South, Ruby is a transcendent novel of passion and courage. This wondrous page-turner rushes through the red dust and gossip of Main Street, to the pit fire where men swill bootleg outside Bloom’s Juke, to Celia Jennings’s kitchen where a cake is being made, yolk by yolk, that Ephram will use to try to begin again with Ruby. Utterly transfixing, with unforgettable characters, riveting suspense, and breathtaking, luminous prose, Ruby offers an unflinching portrait of man’s dark acts and the promise of the redemptive power of love.

Ruby

What I Say: I started reading this book while in the Dominican, during flights to and from Miami for the cruise and finished it on my recent business trip to New York City. I really didn’t LOVE this book. It was more a like. I didn’t love the struggle and the tough subject of prostitution, women’s abuse and rights. I guess I really do live in a rose coloured bubble of positivity these days. However, the book was very well written. The prose was elegant and excellent. Seeing the love of a man so strong that can help heal a women’s brokenness was beautiful but I definitely need to pick up a light hearted subject next that does not deal with any heaviness as my next read.