Category Archives: Blog

Diner en Blanc Toronto 2014

My friend Aubrie & I had the pleasure of attending Diner en Blanc last year for the first time. Although we were less than wowed with the parking lot choice of venue we had an amazing time and hoped for a better venue in 2014. Get ready for a picture heavy post from our amazing 2014 experience last night.

IMG_4204.JPG

We started planning our checklist of items & menu the minute the event was announced for September. Last year we rented table & chairs but seeing as were in this for the long haul this year we purchased a table from Canadian Tire & wood chairs from IKEA that we spray painted white. For attire I had purchased a white dress from Lulus.com this summer that was perfect so was hoping for great weather. I re-wore the fascinator I purchased last year. And although not the classiest I wore white flip flops because I learned my lesson wearing high heels last year. They are just not conducive to dragging a dolly with a table and chairs around on. As we were leaving Aubrie’s house a man said congratulations to me. Must’ve been the fascinator. So I let him down and said we were only going to a dinner party.

IMG_4189.JPG

If you’ve never been or heard of Diner en Blanc, the concept started in Paris 25 years ago. You pay a membership to meet in small groups around the city and arrive to a secret location for a white dinner party. This year we signed up for the Broadview station group. We were told we were a Pedestrian group at first so I was guessing the venue was going to be Riverdale park this year. Then a week before the event they said we were a TTC group and then when we arrived we were shuttled onto charter buses. I’m so thankful for the charter buses this year. Every single group had them and I feel like my membership fees were well spent. The secret location this year was… ONTARIO PLACE! The grounds were lovely and we had an amazing view of the Toronto skyline. I loved this year’s location.

Continue reading “Diner en Blanc Toronto 2014” »

Healthy Fast Breakfast Options

I was recently asked to what are some healthy breakfast options for a busy Alpha Female (or Male) on the go. Here are three options I’ve been using lately to fuel myself. I picked up these goodies all at the CHFA East show this past weekend.

1. Granola & Coconut Yogurt: I put about 1/2 cup of granola in a small mason jar in the morning. I add 2-3 big spoonfuls of Yoso Coconut Yogurt & then I sprinkled it with Natera Maple Hemp Seeds.

Granola & Yogurt2. Hemp Bread & Almond Butter: I picked up a loaf of Hemptation Silver Hills sprouted grain bread which means this bread is made without flour. The texture was so creamy and I was able to eat it with Almond Butter spread on top. I didn’t feel heavy or tired after consuming it like most breads will do (unless gluten free). There is a store locator on their site if you’re interested in where to purchase.

IMG_4171.JPG

3. Oatmeal on the Go: I got three containers of the Rocket Foods Redberry Blues oatmeal. Just add hot water and enjoy. Super easy breakfast to consume on the go or at your desk.

IMG_4183.JPG

 

Stay tuned for more breakfast ideas that require a little bit more cooking or food prep but are delicious.

 

5 Peaks – Kortright Centre

It was my 5th and final 5 Peaks trail race of the summer on Saturday! My ankle wasn’t feeling the greatest this week so I got a massage on Weds and then taped myself up on Sat morning with KT Tape. This company has great do-it-yourself taping videos on YouTube so I quickly watched one before applying to support my achilles.

KT Tape

Then it was time to gear up in Mizuno compression socks & trail shoes. I’ve raced all season in Mizuno Wave Kazans. These bad boys are super comfortable and have an amazing tread. They have survived five 5 Peaks trail races and 4 obstacle course races this summer. They have been doused in mud & water and are still going strong. These things keep me upright when I hit mud patches and have kept my feet & legs healthy all summer.

Mizuno Wave KazanI drove up and back to the event with my “new this year” friend Allegra Young. We met on Twitter after she started attending the spin studio where I taught this winter and it was trail running friend at first sight. Here we are taking mandatory podium fun pictures after the race.

IMG_4044.JPG

This race for me was epic. I finally figured out where to place myself in a wave. After 5 races and trying every wave but wave 1 I placed myself in the back of wave 2 and it was perfect. I was passed a bit but the faster ones took off and I was left with wide open trail! Winning! I somehow managed to shave almost a minute off my avg pace so that was a pb for me! I went from 7:21 at Albion Hills to 6:38 this race so I was really giddy. I came 16th in my age & gender category (out of 28). Maybe some day I’ll crack the top ten!

Did you run any trail races this summer? What’s your favourite part?

Cedar Juice

Last week I decided to reset, clean out my gut and kick start my metabolism. I chose Cedar Juice as my Juice Feast provider. Although it is called a Juice Cleanse by many I like calling it a Juice Feast as you’re still getting the nutrients and calories your body needs to function & perform.

I chose the Starter Cleanse which is a 3 day cleanse. The deciding factor in my choice was the fact that I got two nut milks in this one and they are my favourite. I’m not a rookie to cleansing. I had tried a 3 day cleanse in March of 2012 and it went really well. The starter cleanse has 6 “juices”. It contains a total of 1,305 calories and 50g of protein.

Starter Cleanse

Starter Juices

The other two cleanses available with Cedar are the Challenger & the Master cleanses. They even walk you through what to do pre and post cleanse and include a handbook in the cleanse delivery. Cedar Juice delivered all 3 days of juice in a big box with ice packs the day before our cleanse. We found a fridge with a lock and stowed our drinks away. Myself and 2 other coworkers decided to do it all together so we could keep each other accountable.

Hands down my favourite “juice” was the Cracked It nut milk. The only thing with this one is you had to keep repeatedly shaking it as the vanilla bean would settle at the bottom and need constant mixing.

Cashew Milk

Although I loved the 2 & 4 juice in the day which were both fruit based they weren’t hearty enough for me and my calorie needs. I think I would try the Challenge Cleanse next as there were more Kale based juices in it. However, the pineapple one was so delicious!

IMG_4010.JPG

My biggest struggle during the cleanse was lunch time in the office. The food smells that would start around noon and go for an hour were brutal. Thankfully it was sunny last week, so I fully took advantage of the lunch hour and went outside to sit in the sun and sip my Kale Juice.

IMG_4012.JPG

The final 4-6 juices of the day were a lemon based juice, a beet based juice and the second nut milk. On Friday of last week I was wearing white pants. I definitely drank the Beet Juice leaning far to the right so I wouldn’t spill. I’m klutzy like that so I was a tad scared. I’m happy to report my white pants are still white.

I spread my juices out as follows:

8 am Nut Milk
10 am Juice 2
1 pm Juice 3
3 pm Juice 4
5 pm Juice 5
7 or 8pm Nut Milk
IMG_4016.JPG

I was able to lift every morning in the gym and have enough energy. Although I’m not going to lie… I was super hungry. However over the three days I was fine for energy. I’m generally a happy person but I would say I was a tad grumpy. Just a tad. But every time I was I would make a funny joke and pull myself out of it. I think my coworkers though are very grateful my 6 Pack Bag is back and I’m back on my solid food ;)

If you’d like to order your own 3 day cleanse and you’re in the Toronto area, Cedar Juice has generously given my readers a 10% code. Please use “Robyn” at checkout! Click Here to order.

Blogger Ad

Happy Cleansing!

Lesson of 2014 – Worth

I was recently introduced to Gloria Roheim McRae through a mutual friend. She is another Alpha Female so I’m very glad our paths have crossed. She recently asked me on Facebook what lessons I’ve learned so far in 2014. I always do a full recap post at the end of the year on which goals I’ve accomplished for myself during the year and lessons I’ve learned. However, in the spirit of constant reflection I thought I would share one lesson I’ve learned before the end of the year.

Relationships touch us in so many different ways from romantic, to friendship to how we interact with our family members. I have been back on the dating scene over the past 2 years AND many of my friendships have completely changed at the same time. People have come and gone and sometimes their choice to leave hurts deeply. I must say that I have an ability to go into situations with an open heart, full of trust and respect before it’s even earned by another person. I apply this type of living to friendships and while dating. Being open has broken my heart, crushed my spirit and has made me question who I am and my worth through many situations.

No matter how strong you believe you are, when another person says I don’t want you in my life you can’t help but have an argument with your ego about your “worth”.

It may sound like this:

“Why am I not good enough for this person to stay in my life?”

“Why am I not worth fighting for?”

“Why am I not enough?”

I may be an Alpha Female who manages two careers, runs obstacle races, teaches spin, blogs 3 times a week and is writing a full length novel but I don’t have relationships figured out. I am not an expert and I’ve had my moments of feeling lost and broken this year. I’ve asked the above questions while air slapping myself in the face because I know better at the same time. I started seeing a new therapist that allowed me to talk out my hurt, figure out my hurt buttons from how I was brought up, from previous relationships and truly grasp that I am worthy of great relationships romantically & with friendships. I don’t have to force current situations to work when they aren’t right. I’ve put it into practice this year and calmly let people go who I know were only meant to come in and out of my life for a short period of time. Even if everything seems perfect I may not be the right person to be in that person’s life and that is ok and has nothing to do with my worth. I alone control how I feel and sometimes a third party ear is exactly what you need to figure out what you already know about yourself. Worth You alone know your worth.

Pro Compression Review & Giveaway

After seeing my friend Christina earlier this year at the Sporting Life 10K wearing her purple marathon socks I had to get myself a pair. I immediately ordered the neon lime marathon socks and have rocked them for a few trail runs this year.

Neon Yellow Marathon Sock

I get asked all the time why do I wear compression socks for my trail runs & races? The easiest way to understand what they can do from you is: improved blood flow, added stability and comfort. I feel stronger when I wear them on my trail races. I know my body could be much more sorer then it has been with all the training and races I’ve put it through this summer so I know something must be working!

PRO Compression is built with graduated compression technology that promotes circulation by pushing fluid up from your feet and ankles to toward your knees. This design also helps reduce swelling and inflammation while providing critical support to muscles and tendons during runs or after for recovery. 

Trail Run

In amazing, spectacular, epic news… I’m giving away a pair of Marathon Socks or Sleeves to one lucky reader! Simply enter below!

The contest is open to my US readers (sorry Canada). Contest open from Sept 3, 2014 12:00am – Sept 10, 2014 at 12:00am EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you can’t wait for the contest to finish! You can use the code BLG14 which will get you 40% off Marathon Socks and Sleeves. I need to grab some new sleeves for half marathon training this winter!

Kilo Run App

I had the chance to test out another running app this past weekend while I was in Ottawa. Kilo Run is brought to you by the same app makers as Kilo Beat.

It was easy to set the app up for my preferred settings. You input your name, weight, heigh, gender and preferred distance measurement unit.

Kilo Run

The home screen then appears and you have the choice of quick start or workout.

Kilo Beat

Continue reading “Kilo Run App” »

Book Review: Fire Starter Sessions

What kobo.com says:

The Fire Starter Sessions is an apathy-kicking, integrity-infusing guide to defining success on your own terms. 
 
As the creator of DanielleLaPorte.com–deemed “the best place online for kick-ass spirituality,” Danielle LaPorte’s straight-talk life-and-livelihood sermons have been read by over one million people. Bold but empathetic, she reframes popular self-help and success concepts:
 
Life balance is a myth, and the pursuit of it is causing us more stress then the craving for balance itself.
Being well-rounded is over-rated. When you focus on developing your true strengths, you enter your mastery zone.
Screw your principles (they might be holding you back). 
: We have ambition backwards. Getting clear on how you want to feel in your life + work is more important than setting goals. It’s the most potent form of clarity that you can have, and it’s what leads to true fulfillment.

Fire Starter Sessions

What I say: This is a lovely soul fire up book. Danielle LaPorte is a fierce Canadian author and definitely puts the soul into success searching. Her book is broken down into 3 Parts (Mojo, Moxie & Results) and 16 Sessions (or chapters). Sessions that really spoke to me in this moment were the No, Thank You. Yes, Please chapter whose worksheet has you work through The Stop-Doing List. I’m definitely guilty of trying to take on too many projects at once so I need to focus on how to say no so I can make room for more YES! I also loved Session 15 on Be The Giver. I seek and reach out for mentors as I move through my career & personal aspirations so as I gain knowledge and ideas I’m always willing to share. I Skyped for an hour with a new fitness entrepreneur on Monday to share branding knowledge because he gave me the fire to start a new Yes project that will allow me to properly say no to all the tiny things I do. Pick this book up if you need inspiration or to re-focus on defining your success goal getting.

 

X Man Sherbrooke 2014 Recap

This was one of the best race weekends of my life! Since I train at Alpha Obstacle Training I get to find out about amazing races from the owner Jesse Bruce. He mentioned he was traveling to Quebec to run the XMan Race near Sherbrooke, so I took at look at their website & videos of past races and was sold! Jesse (AOT owner), Michael (I’ve known for over a year – we met at a Lululemon run club), Amelie (trains at Alpha), Sylvie (trains at Alpha) and Leo (has competed at an Alpha OCR series event) were my travel buddies for the weekend.

IMG_3770.JPG

X Man race is described as a foot race done in an extreme environment in an extreme atmosphere. We were told the race was a little over 7km and over 35 obstacles. I counted a little over 8 km on my Garmin and we counted 51 obstacles on the race map!

On Saturday, Jesse & Leo raced in the elite heat first thing in the morning while Michael, Amelie, Sylvie & I volunteered. The pic below is the volunteer car on our way to Secteur 2! Since we were in the heart of Quebec I got to use my French all weekend. Sylvie & Amelie are also french speaking so we had a blast and that side of my brain loved being able to use it again. We also got awesome black X Man race dry fit shirts on top of our white race participant ones!

IMG_3799.JPG

Michael and I monitored the Tarzan obstacle that we’re playing on below and Sylvie / Amelie were superstars at the first water station. Since we had to arrive early as volunteers we had time to play on the rings! And hammed it up of course!

IMG_3795.JPG

IMG_3748.JPG IMG_3797.JPG

Continue reading “X Man Sherbrooke 2014 Recap” »

Book Review: Thrive

What kobo.com says:

In Thrive, Arianna Huffington makes an impassioned and compelling case for the need to redefine what it means to be successful in today’s world.
 
Arianna Huffington’s personal wake-up call came in the form of a broken cheekbone and a nasty gash over her eye — the result of a fall brought on by exhaustion and lack of sleep. As the cofounder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group — one of the fastest growing media companies in the world — celebrated as one of the world’s most influential women, and gracing the covers of magazines, she was, by any traditional measure, extraordinarily successful. Yet as she found herself going from brain MRI to CAT scan to echocardiogram, to find out if there was any underlying medical problem beyond exhaustion, she wondered is this really what success feels like?
 
As more and more people are coming to realize, there is far more to living a truly successful life than just earning a bigger salary and capturing a corner office. Our relentless pursuit of the two traditional metrics of success — money and power — has led to an epidemic of burnout and stress-related illnesses, and an erosion in the quality of our relationships, family life, and, ironically, our careers. In being connected to the world 24/7, we’re losing our connection to what truly matters. Our current definition of success is, as Thrive shows, literally killing us. We need a new way forward.
 
In a commencement address Arianna gave at Smith College in the spring of 2013, she likened our drive for money and power to two legs of a three-legged stool. They may hold us up temporarily, but sooner or later we’re going to topple over. We need a third leg — a third metric for defining success — to truly thrive. That third metric, she writes in Thrive, includes our well-being, our ability to draw on our intuition and inner wisdom, our sense of wonder, and our capacity for compassion and giving. As Arianna points out, our eulogies celebrate our lives very differently from the way society defines success. They don’t commemorate our long hours in the office, our promotions, or our sterling PowerPoint presentations as we relentlessly raced to climb up the career ladder. They are not about our resumes — they are about cherished memories, shared adventures, small kindnesses and acts of generosity, lifelong passions, and the things that made us laugh.
 
In this deeply personal book, Arianna talks candidly about her own challenges with managing time and prioritizing the demands of a career and raising two daughters — of juggling business deadlines and family crises, a harried dance that led to her collapse and to her “aha moment.” Drawing on the latest groundbreaking research and scientific findings in the fields of psychology, sports, sleep, and physiology that show the profound and transformative effects of meditation, mindfulness, unplugging, and giving, Arianna shows us the way to a revolution in our culture, our thinking, our workplace, and our lives.

Thrive

What I Say: this is a great book for anyone at the beginning or middle of their career or even nearing the end and realizing you need a change. In my very first advertising job in Toronto I watched senior staff around me look burnt out, make unhealthy choices and spend countless hours away from their family. I learned how to be a work a holic. I was lucky/unlucky to witness a family tragedy with a senior executive at my first agency and from that moment on I vowed to myself to find work/life balance. That being said I know when to dig my heels in and put in the hours but I also learned how to make myself a priority while still being very productive in the office. Arianna Huffington is a big proponent of sleep. If you burn the candle at both ends then you need to remind yourself the value of the 8 hour sleep. The book is divided into only 4 chapters albeit long ones. Arianna covers Well-Being, Wisdom, Wonder & Giving. For me personally, I really loved reading the giving section as I adore doing things for others but don’t have a regular volunteer practice in my life. So this definitely got the wheels turning!