5 Tips To Motivate You To Go Run

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It may be April next but it certainly doesn’t feel like spring in Toronto right now. I’ve got to admit, I’m starting to get a little fed up of running in the cold but if you’re just waiting for the temperature to rise to get out and run, then you may be waiting for a while…

I really wanted to go for a run this evening after work but I kept thinking of reasons why not to ie. fatigue, cold weather, etc. Instead of listening to any of these reasons I just convinced myself to get out the door. Here are a few things that have been helping me as of late go for runs even if the weather is still not very motivating. Hopefully they can help you too!

1) Don’t look at the temperature. The worst thing you can do is look at the weather app on the phone because you’ll start analyzing the temperature and how cold it actually is outside. Don’t focus on the temperature because by the time you’ve run a couple of minutes, you won’t even realize how cold it is outdoors.

2) Get dressed. Getting dressed is half the battle. Once you’re dressed you have no excuse not to go out. Layer if you need to, wear warm socks, cover your head and ears, wear gloves but get dressed!

3) Find a motivating music playlist. Whether you’re using Spotify, Deezer, Soundcloud, etc. prepare a motivating playlist of music, music that will get you fired up. I go through phases but I recently created an early 00’s screamo/punk/alternative playlist, which has become my go-to this past month. Embarrassing but true!

4) Focus on speed instead of distance. When it’s really cold out, you may not want to run for as long so focus on doing shorter distances but faster. Tonight, I went for a quick 5k, but my average time per km was 15-30 seconds under what I normally clock per km. You’ll get just as good of a workout in, trust me!

5) Dedicate your run to someone. I totally nabbed this tip from the lovely Sosasha. She’s been a big inspiration of mine this past year to really get into running. She recently posted on her Instagram that she dedicates each run to someone and it really motivates her to keep running when it starts getting tough. It’s psychological but it totally works. Tonight’s run was dedicated to my mom, a fierce woman who I’ve always looked up to.

And once you’re done your run, you’ll be so glad you went out and you’ll feel great!

Next week! I’ll be announcing a special series of blogs that I’ll be doing leading up to the Nike 15k race in Toronto. So stay tuned!

WMCFW Fall 2015

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This week has been absolute madness for me. I just got back from NYC on Monday and headed straight into World MasterCard Fashion Week. I decided to go a little more mellow on the shows this year, having been to almost all the shows these past couple of seasons. Though Fashion Week is incredibly inspiring, fun and a great networking opportunity, it’s also incredibly tiring. So this season, I picked and chose the shows I most wanted to attend – Mackage, Hayley Elsaesser, Narces, etc. Catch my recap of some of my favorite moments of World MasterCard Fashion Week this weekend on the blog! Also coming this weekend!! Don’t miss my #5QuestionsWith Hayley Elsaesser!

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Photos by @Offner

Zara striped patchwork tube dress (get it here)

Forever 21 handbag

Zara structured grey coat

Topshop white Oxford shoes

Team Bench

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The more I workout, the more I get excited about having fun and unique active wear. I was particularly stoked when I received this rad new #TeamBench personalized monogrammed hoodie with my initials on it. The perfect thing to throw on before or after a workout. It’s super comfy, just the right length and also in a color that you can rock with any outfit at the gym, while I run, bike, etc.

Bench Canada has a great line of active wear for women that comprises in tees, shorts, capris, leggings and pants. The hoodie is a great addition to some of my other favorite things I bring with me when I work out – water bottle, tote bag, customized training shoes, healthy snacks, etc. What are some of your go-to items when you work out?

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Photos by @Offner

Bench Canada Trifun Overhead (get it here)

Nike Free TR 5 iD Women’s Training Shoe (get it here)

Nike Toronto water bottle 

Nike gym tote bag

Anine Bing Skinny Jeans Double Zipper Black (get them here)

Adams 100% Natural Peanut Butter – Granola Recipe

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Peanut Butter is a lifelong love of mine. As a child, it was my go-to breakfast: 2 peanut butter toasts accompanied by either jam, brown sugar (yes, I went through a pb & melted brown sugar phase as a teen), homemade caramel or banana and honey. It was also my go-to snack after dancing, karate class or the swim team. I would sneak into my mom’s cupboard and grab a spoonful (or two!).

Today, peanut butter is STILL one of my go-to breakfast favorites and spoonfuls of pb have remained a favorite of mine before or after running or working out. Having been a vegetarian for close to 13 years now, peanut butter has been an important source of protein and energy for me.

When I turned 30 this year, I made a conscious decision to adopt the healthiest and cleanest lifestyle possible. I’m therefore a lot more careful with what I put on and in my body and eating as clean, natural and organic as possible. I also cook as much as possible, making most meals from scratch and also adopting a regular fitness regimen (running, NTC classes, biking, surfing, etc.).

I recently discovered Adams 100% Natural Peanut Butter, on one of my trips and immediately added the brand to my cupboard. I love this peanut butter because it has no trans fats, no preservatives, no hydrogenated fats, no stabilizers and no added sugar! They offer a creamy and also crunchy variety so you can switch it up depending on your mood. Plus it’s all natural, which is AWESOME!

These days, some of the favorite things I love to make with peanut butter are stacked rice cakes for breakfast, peanut butter banana smoothies, sauteed tofu, muffins, etc. I’m excited to share with you on the blog today, my favorite recipe to make with Adams Natural Peanut Butter – it’s Homemade Peanut Butter Granola! It’s a super simple recipe that you can make with just a few ingredients in only a couple of minutes. It goes perfectly with fruit and yogurt or even just plain milk in the morning or as a snack.

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What you’ll need:

2 tbsp. of Adams 100% Natural Peanut Butter
2 tbsp. of honey
1/4 tsp. of cinnamon
1/4 tsp. of maple syrup
1 cup of oats

How to make it:

Preheat oven at 325F degrees. Grease cookie sheet with coconut oil. Combine Adams 100% Natural Peanut Butter and honey in a bowl and heat up (either stovetop or microwave) until the peanut butter melts. Stir. 

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Stir in the cinnamon and vanilla into peanut butter and honey mixture. Add oats and stir until the oats are entirely covered by the mixture. Spread the mixture onto the cookie sheet and bake for 7-8 minutes or until the granola is slightly browned. Let it cool until the granola is crunchy.

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Enjoy!

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What are some of your favorite peanut butter recipes? #AdamsPB #NaturalUpside

If you’re in Toronto next weekend, make sure you stop by the Adams 100% Natural Peanut Butter booth at the Green Living Show on Saturday March 28th between 1-3pm. I’ll be there to talk fitness, balanced eating, etc. We can even exchange peanut butter recipes in person if you’d like! :D Come say hi!

First Signs Of Spring

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Nothing makes me happier than seeing the first signs of Spring in Toronto! I love my city and especially love the city when spring rolls around. Spring in Toronto is just sublime! It’s always super sunny, the patios start opening, people are out and about, you see more people running outdoors and everyone can finally start dressing down a little more. The city just comes alive again when Spring hits and this couldn’t make me more excited! What are some of your favorite things about Spring?

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Photos by @Offner

Zara TRF leopard furry coat

Anine Bing black silk blouse (get it here)

Anine Bing boyfriend jeans (get them here)

The Kooples faux python embossed boots (get them here)

Elizabeth Stone double geode cuff ring (get it here)

 

The Good Fight

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Earlier this week, one of my fitness inspirations and Toronto blogging maven SoSasha, invited an amazing group of women to fight “The Good Fight” at Equinox. We had the privilege of working out with Nate Bower, a personal trainer, a fitness expert and most importantly a 4-time provincial boxing champ.

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I’ve never boxed before but I got to throw my fair share of punches when I was a teenager in karate. I was therefore pretty thrilled to get to try a new sport. We got to participate in Nate’s super high intensity boxing class. We learned how to wrap our wrists, did a boxing warm up, learned some boxing technique and did a bunch of drills with the bag and with a partner. It didn’t take long before I worked up a sweat! I was surprised by just how much footwork is involved in boxing and how athletic you need to be in order to complete drills.

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What I enjoyed most was that it was a great stress relief because let’s be honest, throwing punches on a bag always feels good! What I found out is that it’s also a great complimentary workout for us runners. It’s a full body workout and also great cardio. It was also a ton of fun!

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If you’re looking for a new workout, with a rad coach and in the most beautiful gym in the city (they have the most luxurious facilities, the best post-workout smoothies, kind staff and a rad choice of classes), make sure you check out the Equinox 50 minute boxing class with Nate Bower!

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To know more about Nate Bower and his Bower Boxing, go here and for more info about Equinox, go here. Thanks again for the invite Sasha! #SSFitxEquinox #EquinoxMadeMeDoIt

**Photos by Dirk Teunissen.

Bing Obsession

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The Anine Bing obsession continues! As of late, I haven’t been making too many fashion purchases, instead I’ve been saving money for other things (ie. travel, wedding & more!) but I couldn’t resist stopping by the Anine Bing shop while I was in LA last week. I always have the best welcome at her shop and am always tempted to buy absolutely everything in there. Over the past couple of years, my closet has really transformed into almost exclusively Anine Bing threads, can’t really explain why, she just makes the most comfortable and coolest clothes!

My dear friend Maggie (m.y. photography) was nice enough to lend her awesome photography skills for my latest outfit post. We took a little walk to capture the beautiful Southern California scenery. I love all the trees, plants, flowers and landscapes there so much! Hope you guys enjoy these! :D

Do you have a designer you’re currently obsessed with?

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Photos by: m.y. photography

Anine Bing Straight Ripped Jeans In Black (get them here)

Anine Bing Studded Boots With Buckles (get them here)

Zara silk leopard tank 

Beach Workout

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Apologies for the lack of blog updates last week! I brought my workout clothes to California and made the most of the sunny weather. I don’t think I’ve ever worked out this much while on “vacation” before. I went for a run 5 out of 6 days (I officially registered for my 1st ever 15k race today!!), went for a hike, did some NTC and the day I didn’t go for a run, I had a personal workout with my dear friend and certified personal trainer My Whole Healthy and also went for a surf session. Honestly, with the sun shining and the temperatures averaging in the mid 20s (70-80F), there was no excuse not to work out! What’s even more awesome, was taking advantage of the beach to workout and relax! The beach is my happy place so anything that is beach-related is fun in my books! Love these photos that we took on the beach last week, makes me happy! :D

Do you usually workout on vacation? What’s your favorite beach workout?

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Photos by: m.y. photography

Nike Pro Indy Freeze Frame Women’s Bra (get it here)

Nike Gym Dri-Fit Knit Women’s Sleeveless Tee (get it here)

Nike Woven Women’s Loose Pants (get it here)

Nike Free TR 5 iD Women’s Training Shoe (get it here)

5 Tips To Stay Healthy While Traveling

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1) Look up grocery stores or markets in advance. I was recently traveling to Regina and Winnipeg, two cities that aren’t renown for the healthiest food options. Knowing that, I decided to look up in advance the areas I would be staying in to see if there were any organic or local markets I could shop at while I was there. Sometimes, there won’t necessarily be some healthy grocery options in your area so you’ll have to make due with what’s available. For example, while we were in the prairies, our hotels were only close to a Safeway, which isn’t the best grocery store chain but they did have a few organic and healthy food options. It was a lot more expensive than let’s say in Toronto, but even if the groceries were a bit pricier, you always end up saving money by buying groceries instead of going out to eat.

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2) Pack snacks and lunches. If you have the luxury of bringing a cooler or a lunch box while you’re traveling, bring one with you. If not, pack a few Tupperware containers or re-usable bags that you can use to pack some snacks or lunches with you while you’re traveling. It’s also a good idea to travel with a canteen, so that you can always drink water instead of buying water bottles, sodas, juices, etc. I always pack snacks or a lunch, depending on how long my flight is when I’m traveling. Airport food is always SO expensive and also there are very few airports that actually have healthy organic snacks available. Granted, so do! Airports like San Francisco, Paris, London, Vienna and even Toronto do now have some healthy options for food but most of them don’t.

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3) Ask for a mini fridge in your room. Most hotels in North America will carry mini fridges in their rooms, which is perfect when you’re staying somewhere for a while. Having a mini fridge will allow you to buy things from the grocery store like fresh fruit, veggies, yogourt and milk that you can use for your breakfast, to make lunches, etc. Having a fridge will also allow you to save a lot of money, by not going out. In addition, you’ll be able to control what you eat and what you put in your body! Also, if you are making food at the hotel, there’s always the possibility of asking for cutlery or even dishes at the front desk or the hotel’s restaurant, that you can re-use every day. If you’re staying in an airbnb, instead of a hotel, chances are they’ll have a fridge and full kitchen, which is even more awesome than a hotel room!

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4) Pack your workout clothes and a pair of sneakers. If you’re traveling to a warm’ish place (like basically anywhere but the prairies in February), lace up and go for a run. You can map out your run in advance either using the Nike + running app or your app of choice. It’s a great way to also see the city you’re in. If you’re also traveling to a big city, chances are they’ll have a local run club that you can join depending on what days you’re in the city. Nike has run clubs in many big cities around the world and they’re always free to join.

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If you’re staying in a hotel chain, chances are they’ll have a gym or even a pool. While I was recently traveling to the prairies, both of the hotels I was staying at had potentially the WORST gyms I had even seen. They only have 1 or 2 machines, no free weights and no space to do exercise beside the machines. As a result, I didn’t use their gym facilities as often as I would have liked. Luckily, on my phone I have the free NTC app (there are lot’s of other free similar apps and videos available for working out) so I was able to get a few workouts in, in my hotel room. Also, packing something like a skipping rope or rubber bands can be very useful if the gym isn’t your thing. Skipping for a few minutes is always great cardio exercise and great for your arms. Another alternative is if you’ve got a gym membership with one of the big gym chains in the country, chances are, there may be a branch of that gym where you’re staying.

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5) Walk. If you don’t feel like hitting the gym, you forgot your bathing suit, you have no space to exercise in your room or you don’t feel like it, go for a walk. It’s a great way to explore the area you’re staying in and also a great way to get a bit of exercise in. If possible, walk to get groceries, walk to get to where you’re working or visiting, etc. Walking will always be better than no exercise at all. It’s always a good thing to get fresh air, maybe listen to some tunes and relax. It’s a great way to air out your ideas and get inspired for whatever’s next on your travel agenda!

Hope these tips were helpful! Share with me some of your healthy travel tips!

Last Day Of February

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A perfect weekend in the city is underway! Brunch at the Drake Hotel, afternoon stroll in the sun, eating the goûter at the Tempered Room and spending the evening watching a brand new season of House of Cards. Anyone else binge-watching House of Cards this weekend?

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI also discovered an amazing new place called Her Majesty’s Pleasure in Toronto last night. It’s a cafe, bar, hair and nail salon. Located on King West, this brand new “fashion house” as they call it, is the perfect place for a date with a girlfriend or just for a relaxing drink or snack. I love the concept of mixing café/drinks and a beauty salon. They also use and sell a lot of local and natural beauty product brands like one of my favorites LOVEFRESH. I had the prettiest and yummiest custom-made drink at the bar last night. I look forward to my next visit!

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Hope you have an enjoyable weekend! Can’t wait to ditch the layers and jacket next week and soak in the California sun!

Photos by @Offner

Elizabeth Stone Double Geode Cuff Ring (get it here)

Zara structured grey coat (get it here)

Zara France TRF plaid boyfriend shirt

Anine Bing boots with silver studs (get them here)

Public Butter grey beanie

COMMUNION By Joy “Rays Of Light” ring (get it here)

 Zara Biker Jacket with zips