Category Archives: Blog

North Face Endurance Challenge

This post is sponsored by Fitfluential LLC on behalf of the North Face Endurance Challenge

I’m so excited to be working on this FitFluential campaign announcing and bringing awareness to an amazing endurance challenge coming to Ontario. This is the first time the international series is coming to Canada! It’s known as the premier trail race series and I couldn’t be more excited to participate on Sunday, July 13th up at Blue Mountain Resort just north of Toronto.

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There are several different distances offered over the entire July weekend.

Saturday, July 12: Gore Tex 50 Mile, 50K, Marathon, Marathon Relay & Kid’s Run

Sunday, July 13: Half Marathon, 10K, 5K & Kid’s Run

I’ll be taking on the 10K challenge on the Sunday. I’ll be running another trail race the day before so we’ll see how my legs hold up! To learn more about the races and register head on over to this link!

If you follow me on Instagram of Twitter you’ll have read that I’ve been dealing with an injury for the past month. I have a sprained lumbar spine which is causing tight hip flexors which is cutting into a nerve in my left leg which causes my quad to go numb at times. I have been going to my acupuncturist/chiropractor and physiotherapy. I’ve been icing it every night, doing stretches and I’m so ready to get back into the training realm. I need to get back in the gym in the morning lifting weights and I need to start running at least 3 times a week. Once I’m healed the plan is to run a 5K on Weds with my Tribe Fitness run crew, a 5K during Alpha Genesis every Saturday morning and a trail run on Sunday to get the mileage and ankle stability training in!

Want to try your hand at the challenge? Use the following code to get 10% off your entry! CODE: D30RBON

To join the North Face Endurance Challenge social community you can…

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Week 6: May Cause Miracles

Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4 and Week 5 recaps here…

The last and final week of reading May Cause Miracles was a great journey. The focus in week 6 was all about working miracles into our lives. What really spoke to me while reading this book was the concept, engrained each week to choose love over fear. Or to use love to right-mind the perception of our fears. This week we are asked to heal our mind, continually learn how to witness and surrender fear blocks, trust our path and choose love to change the pattern of our world. The below quote also sets up our minds for becoming miracle workers in the world for others as well through our journey.

“If you’re feeling helpless, help someone.” – Aung San Suu Kyi

On Day 36, our affirmation is to continuously shift from fear to love. Throughout this journey, ever day one of the week was spent witnessing fear. Having it boil up to the surface makes it more real vs. just bubbling underneath. When I learned to witness my fear I did feel it showing up a bit too often in my mind throughout the May Cause Miracles journey. The below affirmation will be key for me to continually push away fear and just focus on love.

The background image comes from my most recent trip to Mexico on my 2nd annual Transformation retreat. Going to the ocean, being by the water and taking deep breaths is very cathartic and representative of me learning to practice daily affirmations of love.

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On Day 37, I was reminded of my faith in God and that he has a higher plan than I do for myself. I have to remember to surrender and not try to force my plans when they aren’t the right ones for me. It’s a challenge for an A type personality to say Universe, God take care of me. It’s not about lying around being lazy and hoping God will take care of me but it’s more so being calm and peaceful in the knowledge that my journey is designed for me and I don’t need to force things into my life but can move through life with ease and divine guidance.

The background image is of the gorgeous eucalyptus trees in the Dandenong Ranges near Melbourne, Australia. The trees are majestic and representative of God’s nature power to me.  20140409-124054.jpg

On Day 38, we learned how to shift from me to we. Shifting your attention from your inner turmoil to the service of others is a great way to walk away from your fears and focus on the good you can do in the world around you. I will always be there for others when they need me because I would always ask for the same in return.

The background image is from a cottage weekend last summer. This was a boat ride I took right before leaving to rush to one of my friend’s sides. She didn’t ask for me but I knew I had to be there with her as she went through a trying time.

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On Day 39, the gratitude of all grateful lessons. This day we wrapped up all 6 weeks of being grateful into one and my heart was warm with happy gratitude. Nothing earth shattering happened just happiness.

The background image was from another cottage weekend last summer on the shores of Lake Huron. Water makes me so calm and happy so that’s why it’s in so many of my images :)

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On Day 40, I rounded out this week’s work with forgiveness for every false projection I’ve created and the attack thoughts I’ve listen to created by my ego. I still need to do the evening exercise. Gabby asks her readers to write a forgiveness letter to a person or an organization we’ve been resenting. So I need to put this on the to do list and get on it.

The background image was taken on a run I did down by the Toronto waterfront last fall. Water again. Nuff said.

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On Day 41, although self love, self development is very focused on the self, when you change yourself you can be a better instrument for change in the world. I’ve never thought of myself as a miracle worker and to use the words seems cheesy and hokey but that’s ok. I see myself as an alpha female and I love receiving emails, fb messages, twitter direct messages that tell me I inspire or motivate someone. So if that is my mission as a miracle worker, I accept. I am here to be truly helpful.

The background image is from my trip to Turks & Caicos with my mother in Sept of 2012. Who knew that in the midst of my pain and hurt I would start a journey that could be truly helpful to others.

20140409-124128.jpg The best part about this day was reading about how to increase my overall love energy. How can I bring more fun into the world? Fun & love breed more fun & love. It’s an easy equation and I love incorporating it into my life. I’ve been doing that for the past two years and I can’t wait to continue my happiness miracle creating journey.

Without a smile, the world cannot be saved. – A Course In Miracles

Book Review: The Rosie Project

What Kobo.com says:

A first-date dud, socially awkward and overly fond of quick-dry clothes, genetics professor Don Tillman has given up on love, until a chance encounter gives him an idea.

He will design a questionnaire-a sixteen-page, scientifically researched questionnaire-to uncover the perfect partner. She will most definitely not be a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker or a late-arriver. Rosie is all these things. She is also fiery and intelligent, strangely beguiling, and looking for her biological father a search that a DNA expert might just be able to help her with.

The Rosie Project is a romantic comedy like no other. It is arrestingly endearing and entirely unconventional, and it will make you want to drink cocktails.

20140408-160523.jpg What I say: Sometimes I feel like the awkward Don Tillman. Granted I’d like to think I have better social graces. However, in the search for a life partner I seem to be enduring all the same problems. I swear I need to design a questionnaire and hand it out on dates. Think that will go over well? Just kidding. Kind of sort of. This book was heart warming, had me smiling and hopeful for my dating future!

 

SunSki Canada Product Review

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I received product at no cost.

Sunski Polarized Sunglasses are my new favourite accessory for running & everyday life. I connected with Martina (the Canadian distributor) on Twitter and a week later this beautiful package arrived. I may have squealed :)

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What I love about this company is the story of how it got started. In August 2012, Martina & Deanna found a Kickstarter campaign where two Californians, Tom & Michael were bringing back an old vintage sunglasses brand that they discovered in a mom & pop shop in Australia. The entire line consisted of one classic style in four transluencent neon frames, with eye popping mirrored lenses that are polarized. I have worn them commuting to and from work and on several runs and love how they look on me and how they feel on my face. They stay snug on my face while running and the polarized lenses really are awesome.

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 “Imagine you could see the world in sheer clarity. Imagine you could feel unique, confident and bold. All with a simple glance in your rearview mirror.”

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What I love about the owners is that they want the glasses to make their customers feel happy. The glasses really do make me quite happy. Evidenced by the large grins above. I may have added another spring to my step to when I slide them on. They are just that kind of awesome.

The black frame walkabouts and the Sunski originals (clear frames that I have) are $64 CDN. You can order online or several different shops in the greater Toronto area!

Book Review: Life After Life

What Kobo.com says:

Here is Kate Atkinson at her most profound and inventive, in a novel that celebrates the best and worst of ourselves. What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right? During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath. During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale. What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to? Life After Life follows Ursula Todd as she lives through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. With wit and compassion, she finds warmth even in life’s bleakest moments, and shows an extraordinary ability to evoke the past.

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What I say: i found this book to be a bit long but thoroughly enjoyed it! I fell in love with the main character Ursula Todd and rooted for her in every twist and turn and “reincarnation” of her life. She is a woman of gumption, sweetness and I loved following her story.

 

Personal Brand

Personal Brand Definition: Personal branding describes the process by which individuals and entrepreneurs differentiate themselves and stand out from a crowd by identifying and articulating their unique value proposition, whether professional or personal, and then leveraging it across platforms with a consistent message and image to achieve a specific goal. In this way, individuals can enhance their recognition as experts in their field, establish reputation and credibility, advance their careers, and build self-confidence. Source

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Image Source

As a self-branded Alpha Female I’ve had help along the way to direct me on my personal brand growth path. I’ve had the pleasure to attend Fitness Model International (FMI) California LA Conferences in 2009 & 2010 and their inaugural Canadian event in June of 2011. As an alumni I am grateful for what they taught me about growing my personal brand and treating myself as a business.

On March 13th I had the pleasure of giving back to those looking for more information on personal branding and hosted a free webinar called “Growing Your Personal Brand Value”. The webinar can now be found on the FMI Guild website. You can try a 3 day trial for $1. Basically without going to business school this is the Fitness MBA for growing a career in the health & fitness industry but can be applied to other industries as well.

I’ve been asked to expand upon my 30 min webinar and present this October at the annual LA conference!! Woot Woot! As I work on my presentation I wanted to give a shout out to some awesome blog posts over on Cocoandcowe.com written by my social media friend Pauleanna Reid.

A Little Guide To Help You Develop & Grow Your Personal Brand: a 5 step process

How to Turn Your Passion Into Profit: a 6 step guide

Simple Strategies to Help Promote Your Brand, Ideas or Products: an 8 step checklist

These blog posts are a great place to start and then head on over to the FMI Guild website and try out the 3 day trial!

Happy Branding!

Date Night Idea – Hike & Homemade Pizza

In the lovely world of dating sometimes the standard “let’s go for a coffee” is just not going to cut it in my world. I’m of the mindset that if you’re going to spend an hour with someone new you should 1. have fun 2. not feel like you’re wasting your time so do fun things and 3. do things that make it easier to chat and get to know someone.

So with that being said I just had the most chill and fun date night that cost less than a dinner out to execute. First thing on the schedule was to work up an appetite. Since it’s “almost” spring in Toronto and the snow has started to melt it was a perfect sunny evening to adventure outside. There is a gorgeous trail in North York that I do long runs on the weekend so I thought this would be a great place to start. This is probably not a first date idea as you are going off into the woods with someone so you should make sure they aren’t an axe murderer first.

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Week 5: May Cause Miracles

If you’re just joining me for my journey reading May Cause Miracles by Gabby Bernstein you can find past week recaps here:

Week 1        Week 2             Week 3            Week 4

Week 5 had us looking at our self-worth and how it can affect our net worth. I have always thought about financial thoughts separately from self development but it makes sense to start associating both within the same realm. When I started on my fitness and health journey I became more productive at the office and my career took off so it can only be a positive impact now to look at my self-worth and financial worth to see new potential.

“If you dwell within abundance you will have abundance.” – Marianne Williamson

On Day 29, the first day of the week we always focus on witnessing our fears, so today was financial fears. On this day I choose to be thankful for all the financial blessings that I do have so that my ego doesn’t think I’m completely lacking but I did start to think about how I have limited myself with a lack mentality. As I went through the morning affirmation exercise I had a couple of financial fears come up. I usually avoid paying bills up until the last minute. I’m a type A personality but I don’t like letting go of money even though I’m blessed to have enough to live comfortably. I didn’t judge why this happens just let myself think about it. I also started thinking about how I earn money outside of my career. Sometimes I don’t think I’m worthy of creating information based products or fitness based products because my career is first and foremost in Marketing. I let myself witness that and know that I’m slowly moving to a thought process on how I can truly grow my personal brand “business” and not be embarrassed about it. I definitely look at others who have created great personal fitness businesses and I fall into comparison fears and I’m glad I can recognize that during this process.

The Day 29 background is at Le Nordik in Ottawa. I chose a stark winter scene to represent just sitting in the hot tub being relaxed enough to think about my fears that surround me (the cold snow & winter air).

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Yoga Show Goodies

I had the pleasure of attending the Toronto Yoga Show on Saturday morning. I love walking around the trade show to find new goodies. My only real goal was to walk away with a new yoga mat as I had to leave mine behind in Mexico. They sorta kinda got destroyed by all the bootcamping we did on them. I found the lovely green mat at a booth for $30 and am happy to say it’s eco friendly and made out of recyclable material and not PVC.

The first aisle we walked down we were greeted by the Matcha Ninja booth. This stuff was so epic I walked around the whole show and came back for a tin. This stuff is ceremonial grade and they had samples mixed with peppermint & agave that were so good I actually was shocked by the taste. Matcha is powdered green tea and is believed to be more potent since you’re consuming the actual leaf vs. steeping. This matcha is ceremonial grade and when asked what that means we were explained that the leaf is harvested by hand and only the top leaves. I can’t wait to try making my own matcha lattes! 20140331-105710.jpg

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Sunday Meal Prep

I got my meal prep Sunday vibe on this week! It was epic. I have to say epic when the meals for the week truly excite me! My convenience trick (which seems to amaze people on Instagram) is my smoothie baggy trick. I prep my smoothie ingredients in individual bags for each day so all I have to do is dump into the Vitamix, add coconut water & ground flax seeds and blend! This week’s ingredients include: handful of baby spinach, 1/2 an apple, 1/5 pear, 1/5 of a beet, 1/5 of a cucumber, coconut water and ground flax seed. 20140331-105154.jpg

I love me some red meat. This week I purchased grass fed beef from the Healthy Butcher on Queen street!20140331-105308.jpg

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