Category Archives: Blog

Book Review: 10-Minute Toughness

What kobo.com says:

Mental training is a must for high performance both on the field and off. But simply hoping for mental toughness isn’t going to build any mind muscles. You need a proven routine of daily exercises to get you where you want to go. 10-Minute Toughness is your personal coach for boosting brainpower and achieving a competitive edge in whatever game you play. With quickness and ease, you’ll learn how to master your own mind and psych out your opponents using personalized techniques from one of America’s most successful sport psychology consultants. Like no other program available, the 10-Minute Toughness (10-MT) routine gets you ready for the competition in just ten minutes a day.

10 Minute Toughness

What I say: I’ve never really been involved in organized sports or teams, except for my stint as the water girl for the grade 9 volleyball team oh and let’s not forget my starring role in the grade 11 badminton team! The point of that story is that I’ve never really considered myself an athlete until the past few years. Even as I was dabbling in the world of fitness competitions it took me a while to call myself an athlete.

This is a great book to put you in the right mindset to compete. Whether you are a weekend warrior or on track to compete in the Olympics this book will give you the right mental workouts. There are worksheets in the Appendix that I’m excited to work through. I practiced centering breaths this week while learning how to surf in Nicaragua and can’t wait to apply them to my OCR training.

The highlight for me is learning about setting process vs. product goals. I’ve written down my goal plan for 2015. I can’t wait to practice my mental workouts to achieve my OCR goals for 2015 and see how this aids in my training regime.

Fitness MBA International Fall Summit

I had the honour of hosting a free webinar in March of this year that can now be found on the FMI Guild online platform. I shared some of my knowledge on growing your personal brand value and it went over so well that they asked me to present a full length presentation in person at the Fall Summit.

MBA Summit

I had such a fun time adding to the webinar content and truly organizing building personal brand value steps into an easy way of learning. I took all of my knowledge of attending FMI as a delegate from 2010 – 2012 and put it into a presentation that I wished I had heard when I was just starting out. I think it’s smart to hire former alumni because we know exactly the steps we took to develop our brands and I personally wished I had learned a more step by step approach to developing my brand way back when vs. stumbling around for a few years until it all fell into place.

I arrived in Newport Beach on Weds, Oct 22nd and met up with the FMI founders Gary & Natalie. They let me know that the keynote speaker Greg Plitt was not able to attend Thursday morning and was moving to Saturday and asked if I would open the conference. Of course I would!!

So my session entitled “Growing Your Personal Brand Value” began bright and early Thursday, October 23rd. I’m happy that they filmed the conference and that the video will be available later for all those who showed interest in being able to watch it on social media.

Brand Value

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Magnum Mimic Product Review

Disclaimer: I am a sponsored athlete with Magnum Nutraceuticals

As a runner and obstacle course racer I don’t fear carbs. I know that I need to eat them to generate energy in my body. My amazing supplement sponsors have created a new product that helps me use carbs more efficiently than I could have on my own. I’ve been test driving it for the past month and here is my review!

Magnum Mimic

Magnum Mimic

 

This product is built in such a scientific way that it’s amazing but could be hard to understand. What I love about my sponsors is they always take the time to really explain the science to us the athletes. As brand ambassadors we obviously need to speak knowledgeably and truthfully if we are the mouth pieces of the company so we should be able to explain the product functionality with ease. And for me personally I need to understand how and why a product I’ll consume is good for me before I start taking it.

Ok so in easy to understand (I hope!) english what does this product do for me?

1. It’s an insulin mimicker. What this means is that it helps my body improve it’s insulin sensitivity without actually spiking insulin levels. When I consume carbs my body could spike insulin levels which means that carbs are then stored as fat.

2. Because mimic doesn’t spike insulin, ingredients such as Berberine, Cinnamomum Cassia & R+ Alpha Lipoic Acid help the uptake of glycogen to muscles which in turn improves recovery time.

3. Another bonus for this supplement is that it drives amino acid and creatine uptake to muscles. Which means my body is maximized to build healthy lean muscle.

I’m almost finished my first bottle and it’s been amazing. I’ve been prepping for photoshoots while I’m in California and although I’m not in cover model shape I haven’t deprived myself from carbs in the past month and I’ve leaned out while taking a combination of Quattro, G, Acid, Primer, Hi5 and Mimic. I love Magnum products and the fact that they are pharmaceutical grade and continue to innovate and bring amazing products to the fitness industry.

Book Review: Spartan Up!

What kobo.com says:

Twenty-six point two miles isn’t enough anymore. Obstacle course racing, which combines the endurance challenges of a marathon with the mind-bending rigors of overcoming obstacles along the way, is taking the world by storm. At the center of this phenomenon is Joe De Sena, the driving force behind the enormously popular Spartan Race. De Sena offers a simple philosophy: commit to a goal, put in the work, and get it done. From that philosophy, as played out first in his own life and now for millions across trails, through mud, and up mountainsides, Spartan Race was born.

Now in Spartan Up! De Sena gives you a life strategy guide that takes you out of your comfort zone and into a combat zone. As he breaks down obstacles from his many races, detailing how each parallels real life experiences, you will learn how to:

• conquer your greatest obstacle—your will
• embrace your greatest friend—discipline
• make limitations vanish and establish a new normal
• achieve the ultimate: obstacle immunity

Filled with unforgettable stories of Spartan racers as well as hard-won truths learned along the course, Spartan Up! will help anyone reach their full potential—in life, business, relationships, indeed anything one sets out to do. It is the blueprint that takes you right past Go to your finish line.

Spartan Up!

What I say:

In May I was asked to help promote the book release and featured a write up about the book on the blog. While I never did get my free copy (mail problems or my concierge stole it) I did read it on my Kobo in September so this is definitely not a paid endorsement since I sought out to read it on my own.

This year was my first year running a Spartan race. I’d heard about them in 2013 as I started to delve a little deeper into the world of obstacle course racing and I knew I had to try one this year. I planned to run the Toronto Spartan Sprint in June and unfortunately was dealing with mind numbing shoulder pain and had to transfer my registration to another race in the future. I opted for the Ottawa weekend almost two months later since I could go home and see my family at the same time as race. Since Ottawa only had the Super or the Beast distances I opted for the “shorter” Super. You can read about my experience here. After running it and being humbled by it’s difficulty I’m also hooked to become stronger and faster. My training begins for 2015 in November after I’ve given my body ample time to heal and return from my travels (LA & Nicaragua).

To mentally prepare for more intense training I wanted to dive into this book. I appreciate learning about Joe’s story and hearing about how he lives and his family life. I kind of adore that he teaches his kid’s how to do burpees. Can I have Spartan kids of my own soon!???!! LOL. Although there was little insight into the business side of Spartan which my marketing self is curious about I got amazing things out of the book.

The Chapters focus on everything from your will to overcoming obstacles to changing your frame of reference to fitness training to eating right to moving past mountains and eliminating limits and becoming a Spartan. I loved every bit of the book and am excited and fired up to train. This book is great for the newbie to obstacle course racing and even the elite who may need to challenge their current way of thinking. I love that I am now a Spartan and can continue to strive for better, set new goals to go after and constantly overcome life & race obstacles.

 

FIt Squad Meal Delivery Review

So I knew that after getting back from Ottawa over Thanksgiving weekend that the grocery stores wouldn’t be open on the Monday and therefore I would have no food. Even if I did grocery shop (while I was in Ottawa during the weekend) I drove back later in the day so I was not going to have any time either to food prep. I have wanted to try Fit Squad meals for a while so I was prepared and ordered it the week prior. They offer meal plan delivery services in the Toronto area.

Fit Squad

I ordered “The Standard” 3 meals a day for $45 a day and had them delivered to my office. The meals were delicious but as an athlete I definitely needed more food and should have supplemented with snacks. It was also not the most convenient if I wanted them delivered to my condo (they charge for delivery to North York). Here’s what they feed me with and my constructive critique for making it a better service.

Day 1 Menu:

Breakfast: Sweet potato hash (this had mushrooms and a mystery meat that wasn’t listed on the menu, but still delicious)

Lunch: Grilled Pork Chop w/ Pear Chutney, Cauliflower Mash & Sautéed Cabbage (I was surprised how much I loved the cabbage!)

Dinner: Cod Cakes w/ Azacari Mixed Greens & Blueberry Compote (as you can see there was mixed greens but such a small portion it was really all about the cod cakes which were delicious with a great spice mix)

Day 1

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Soul 7 Toronto

I had the honour of being invited to Soul 7 in Yorkville, Toronto to see the new facility, meet the founder & experience a treatment. I was greeted at the door by the most adorable dog that stole my heart and then Bob Berman the founder and the head of PR, Chris. We sat down to chat and I found out the reason why Soul 7 was created and was just flooded with great information from Bob.

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Soul 7 is a wellness and relaxation centre. Their focus is on helping the body heal itself. They offer a combination of revolutionary Healing Technologies that are available in many countries around the world but not North America on a wide scale. They can treat anything from chronic to acute pain. Their target market is anyone that suffers from anxiety, memory-loss, body pain, headaches, fibromyalgia and cancer. They also treat athletes and really anyone with pain.

Why did Bob create this place? 8 years ago his wife, Jayne developed breast cancer. Her story is long but to keep this in digestible blog format she had a double mastectomy and fought back against the disease. However at the age of 57 was then diagnosed with terminal gallbladder cancer. At the same time Bob was admitted to the hospital for open heart surgery to treat a closed heart valve. After leaving the hospital Bob realized he needed to heal himself and started researching alternative therapies for himself and his wife. He has an amazing long story full of travel and spiritual awakening. If you have the pleasure of meeting him you will have to pick his brain. To make a long story short he opened this facility to marry ancient healing wisdom with state-of-the-art alternative technologies. I was given a tour of the facility and discovered the many options for treatment.

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Mingling with Elites

This is something that has been on my mind for a couple of weekends. This post is meant to challenge my way of thinking and a bit of therapy for why I’ve let some things bother me or get to me lately. After writing the first draft of this post I shared it with an OCR (obstacle course racer) friend for his perspective, then I saw another OCR friend’s status on Facebook and then I saw an image another social media friend posted that put everything into perspective. So here is the original post plus additional perspective.

I am an obstacle course racer. I’m not fast and I’m not slow. But then again speed is all relative to those around you. In the past three races that I’ve run I have registered in the first wave of the morning which is otherwise known as the “elite heat”. One of my mind shortcomings is that I still don’t consider myself an elite even though I can hold my own against the other females in those waves. After re-reading this several times over the past weekend I realize that I hate my inner critic. My inner critic has been telling me I don’t belong there and I’m believing it. Until Now. One of my goals moving forward from here is to believe I am an elite athlete and to stop the negative self doubt.

Inner Critic

Ok back to the post… I’ve been thinking about why I train, travel and race with elites? I know I choose to surround myself with the best because they motivate and inspire me to better than I was yesterday. I train with elite racers but I also train with beginners, with weekends warriors, with former competitive high school & college/university athletes, with those who put in effort and fight hard and at times those who are just starting on their fitness journey. I’ve seen all kinds of individuals and interacted with all sorts of athletes over the past two years being involved in the fitness industry and while taking on the racing world. I’ve been around Crossfit athletes, Obstacle Course Racers, Marathon Runners & Trail Racers. I surround myself with like minded individuals and I travel to and from obstacle course races with passionate individuals. I participate in run clubs and socialize with speedsters at road races. I spend a lot of time in the gym and have frequented Crossfit boxes. So when I think of elites I’m covering a broad variety of sports. Everyone that has come across my path has been there to build me up or to teach me a lesson. I’ve been around a couple of frustrating situations lately (I’m just going to focus on one example) and I just honestly needed to pin point my thought process. I am going to attempt my best to write objectively. I am attempting to be critical of the situation but also of how I interpret things. Here is simply my perspective…

Continue reading “Mingling with Elites” »

Give Thanks

Gratitude: a feeling of thankfulness. Ok so now I’m wondering what does being thankful really mean… So off to dictionary.com I go and it means expressing one’s appreciation for people, places and things… ok I got this!

I love Thanksgiving. I love being home in Ottawa surrounded by my immediate family. I love to see the tree’s leaves in their colour change glory and I love that I can take a step back to dwell on my blessings. When I focus on being in a positive mindset and celebrate good things and it’s a lot easier to reframe bad things to good when they happen.

give thanks

Here are 14 things I’m thankful for in 2014:

1. A body that has pushed new limits in my fitness journey to accomplish two 10K races, 5 trail races and 6 obstacle course races in one year.

2. Parents that would move mountains for me. I’m beyond spoiled, appreciative and utterly grateful that they created a life where their children are supported and loved.

3. New fitness friends from Alpha Obstacle Training, social media and the running community who have shown me that amazing new friendships can grow even as an adult.

4. A career path at Kobo that is exciting and fulfilling. I still can say that this is my dream job. I am able to contribute meaningful marketing programs that impact the company. I respect and adore my coworkers and I love going into work and some days don’t even realize it’s 5pm.

5. For the courage to write a full length self development book this year that shares my story, my years of healing and will hopefully impact the life of another. I cannot wait to work on it some more over the next few months and finally put it out into the world in 2015.

6. For #theface and everything is means. I love adventure, capturing memories, having fun at all times and living life with excitement. I love capturing life moments and laughing at myself along the way.

7. For the BCBD Transformation Retreat (Part 1 & Part 2) I went to in Mexico with 12 amazing ladies that just filled my heart with love to tackle this year with goal setting excitement.

8. For the financial means & vacation time off work to travel to Nicaragua on my own this year for my first solo trip. I cannot wait to surf, practice yoga, read & just be on the beach during every spare moment possible.

9. For the loss of friendships this year that no longer were a positive impact in my life.

10. For relationships that came and went, that allowed me to open my heart, continue to learn how to deal with hurt and learn what is good for me and what is not.

11. For my social media world that laughs with me, hopefully finds inspiration and motivation when they need it and build me up & keep me accountable when I need a boost of confidence to tackle new projects.

12. For discovering bulletproof coffee and hugging a warm cup every morning.

13. For my voracious appetite for reading and all the books that have influenced me this year.

14. For celebrating my grandmother’s 95th birthday with our extended family

There is so much more to be grateful for but for now I’ll cherish this list.

PaleOMG Road Trip Treats

Whenever I carpool to obstacle course races I try and win the best carpooler award by baking for my car mates. This past weekend I went all out and tried two new recipes from the website PaleOMG.

I spoiled these lovely ladies in the picture below with two kinds of treats (see my race recap of our weekend) & my protein pancake recipe!

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Strawberry Blueberry Tarts

I adapted the recipe from PaleOMG for Rhubarb Strawberry Mini Pies. Everything is the exact same except I didn’t have Rhubarb so I used Strawberries & Blueberries mixed together for the filling.

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Squash Coffee Cake

I adapted the recipe from PaleOMG for Pumpkin Coffee Cake.

When I went grocery shopping last weekend I couldn’t find any pumpkin puree or pumpkins so I bought a buttercup squash, cut it in half and roasted it in the over at 400F for 40 mins. I scooped out the insides of the squash into my Vitamix and blended it all up with the other ingredients listed on the website. I skipped the topping & icing portion and opted to just sprinkle chopped pecans on top.

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I definitely burnt the tarts so have been enjoying them myself but the coffee cake went over very well on the drive home and I had enough for leftovers this week for breakfast! Happy Baking!

Book Review: 50 Shades of Grey Trilogy

So let me preface this book review by saying I was one of the few who said very loudly that I was never going to read these books. I may have succumbed to the romance/erotica trend and liked it! But don’t tell anyone.

What kobo.com says: (this link is for the trilogy vs buying each book separately)

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY: When college student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating.  The unworldly Ana realizes she wants this man, and Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian’s secrets and explores her own desires.

FIFTY SHADES DARKER: Daunted by Christian’s dark secrets and singular tastes, Ana has broken off their relationship to start a new career. But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and while Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Ana is forced to make the most important decision of her life.

FIFTY SHADES FREED: Now, Ana and Christian have it all—love, passion, intimacy, wealth, and a world of possibilities for their future. But Ana knows that loving her Fifty Shades will not be easy, and that being together will pose challenges that neither of them would anticipate. Just when it seems that their strength together will eclipse any obstacle, misfortune, malice, and fate conspire to turn Ana’s deepest fears into reality.

This book is intended for mature audiences.

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What I say: I loved loved the psychological aspect of these books. I loved how Grey & Ana interact and although I will join in with others that said the books dragged out I was still riveted to them. The sex scenes became repetitive but their conversations and how their relationship grew was so much fun to read and for that I’m a 50 shades convert and can’t wait for the movie to come out. That’s all you’re getting out of me. If you want to see what kind of BDSM fantasy E L James has created you’ll have to read for yourself ;)