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

Run Analysis

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Because running has become such an important part of my life these past couple of months and also because I’ve signed up to do my first two races coming up in the spring (eek!!), I decided to stop by the Nike Store in Toronto this past week to get my free run analysis.

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The entire thing takes 15-30 minutes at most and basically consists in you running on a treadmill while a Nike athlete films you using an iPad and a special program. The representative will ask you a few questions before you get on the treadmill about your run habits, where you mostly run, what kind of shoes you use, etc. and based on the results from your run analysis, will be able to recommend the best shoes and tips for you to run at your best.

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Not going to lie, it’s a little weird to see myself run on video. I always thought I overpronated while running but I was surprised to see that it wasn’t too bad. Luckily, I have a pretty neutral position when I run, which definitely came as good news to me!

 

Once your video complete, the Nike Athlete will be able to recommend what best footwear for the type of running you do and how you run. You can then also test these recommendations out on the treadmill to get a feel for the different types of shoes. I was recommended the three shoes below:

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Nike Air Zoom Structure 18

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Nike LunarGlide 6

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Nike Air Zoom Fly 2

The most important tip that I learned from doing the run analysis is that – you should wear different types of shoes according to the distance and area that you’re running on.

You too can go get your free run analysis done at the Nike Store at the Eaton Centre in Toronto. They also do the run analysis in NYC and at other locations around the world. Check your local Nike Store for more information!

With all that new info, there was no excuse for me to get my running on at the Queen West Run Club this week. Even if it felt like -20C out, running in a group is always so motivating! Excited to keep training for my upcoming races!!

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5 Things To Do In Lyon

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1) Visit the zoo in Parc de la tête d’or – The Parc de la tête d’or is the biggest and most beautiful park located in Lyon. The park reminds me a lot of Central Park. This 19th-century park is filled with beautiful statues, tall trees, flowers, fountains and also the coolest zoo that is open all-year-round. It’s a great place to go for an afternoon stroll or even for a run. At the zoo, you can pet ponys, see girafes, bears, monkeys and a handful of other beautiful animals that live outdoors in beautifully crafted habitats. The zoo is vast and is surrounded by lush gardens. A beautiful place for kids and for kids at heart ;)

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2) Have an ice cream at the Grand café des Négociants – Around since 1864, the Grand café des Négociants has been a hot spot in Lyon for artists, politicians and traveling salesmen who come to discuss and enjoy either a drink or a homemade ice cream. The café is decorated with the most beautiful mirrors, moulded ceilings, drapes and paintings. You will find it located right in the heart of the business and arts district on the Lyon peninsula.

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3) Spend time in La Croix-Rousse – If you’re looking for a trendy spot to spend the afternoon or even to stay (they’ve got the most beautiful Canu loft apartments available for rent on airbnb that you can get for $50 a night!), you have to visit La Croix-Rousse. The area is filled with lot’s of yummy cafés, patisseries, restaurants, bars and shops. The architecture is also incredibly beautiful in the area. Paddy’s Corner, L’atelier du Boulanger, La brasserie des écoles and the weekly market are some local favorites.

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4) Go for a walk or a run on Quai Rambaud in the Confluences – Les Confluences is a brand new area of Lyon that has been around for two years or so. They recently inaugurated a the Confluences Museum in December and there is also a huge shopping area that was recently developed on the waterfront with hotels and also restaurants. The Quai Rambaud, is located just a few minutes of walk from there. It’s where you’ll also find the trendy new bar and exposition spot La Sucrière. On the quai, you’ll also find a bunch of barges. It’s also a popular place for running amongst locals.

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5) Take a ride on the big wheel at Place Bellecour. If you’re looking for one of the best views of the city, take a ride on the big wheel located on the Place Bellecour. It allows you to see not only the peninsula but also get a view of both rivers that surround Lyon. It’s only 8 Euros per adult for the ride.

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5 Questions With: Sheila Reid

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A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of getting trained at NTC by Canadian Olympian Sheila Reid. Sheila is a track and field athlete and a professional runner that participated in the 2012 London Olympics. She is currently training for next year’s Olympics in Rio and also this year’s Pan Am Games in Toronto. She was in town for the announcement of Nike Women‘s upcoming 15k race happening in Toronto on June 14th (In case you didn’t already know, those interested in participating in the race will be able to sign up on March 9th!). Training with Sheila was incredibly inspiring to say the least. Getting to spend time and talking with an athlete of that level was very enriching. I’m looking forward to following her next running achievements. Hope you’ll get inspired by this week’s 5 Questions with Sheila Reid:

1) What first got you interested in running? Do you remember your first race and how it went?

The first race I can remember was in grade 4- that was the first year we were allowed to participate in sports at school outside of gym class, so I joined the cross country team. I came in second and everyone from my school was really proud of me. I remember being really confused by that because I wanted to win. The team didn’t train at all, and the only requirement was signed consent from a parent to compete. So from the start, for me, it was all about racing; how far could I push my body on any given day? By the end of elementary school I was a champion.

2) You are currently training with the Oregon Track Club Elite, what does your training regimen look like? How has training in the US helped you as an athlete?

My training regimen consists of running, cross training, and weight training. I run every day (twice a day 4x/week), lift weights 2x per week, and some days I will supplement my training with cardio work in the pool or on an ElliptiGo machine. Specific race preparation happens during interval workouts; these are running sessions I do twice a week to work on pace-specific training. I decided to go to America for school to compete in the NCAA system because I felt that the high level of competition would force me to compete at that same level. I’ve remained there based on many of the connections I made while at university. 

3) You took part in the 2012 London Olympics and placed 28th in the 5000 meters, how did that experience change you as an athlete?

Like after any competition, you go back to the drawing board with your team and assess where you can improve. After this particular instance, I felt more energized than ever to be more calculated with my training and listen to my body during each session. I decided quickly that London wouldn’t be my last race and was vocal that I was ready to give running my all for myself, my teammates and my coaches. 

4) What advice would you give to people who are just getting into running?

If you’re just starting your running journey, my advice would be to create a routine and find a positive community that will push you. Even if you set a goal to run 15 minutes a day without stopping, you will be surprised by the improvement and momentum that can spring from something as small but routine as that. From there, build your goals by attainable bite sizes. The best way to find inspiration to keep moving is by surrounding yourself with positivity and community. By committing and finding a strong community like a Nike+ run club, you will push yourself faster and further, and the people around you will help you go beyond your limits. 

5) You’ll be taking part in the Nike Women’s 15k Race happening in Toronto on June 14th as well as this year’s Pan Am Games in Toronto. What are your career plans for the next couple of years?

My training program is largely focused on going faster. I’m constantly focusing on developing my fast twitch muscles and pushing my cardio abilities to keep me at my peak speed for a longer duration of every race. In my training over the next couple of years, I’ll be aiming to improve my speed with the long term goal of competing in the Rio 2016 Olympics. I’m fortunate enough to have some amazing competitions and checkpoints along the way, including the Pan Am Games in 2015 in Toronto, and the 2015 Track & Field World Championships in Beijing in August. 

Valley of Fire

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Though the ocean is definitely my element, I recently found a kinship with the Valley of Fire in Nevada. Maybe it’s because I found a place who’s colors matches my fiery mane… ;) The one thing that’s for sure, is that the day I spent at Valley of Fire, was one of the best days of my life. Seeing 4000 year-old petroglyphs, 150 million-year-old petrified logs are just some of the things that make this place so amazing! If you have yet to give this place a visit, you’ll want to make the drive out there next time your in Vegas!

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Photos by @Offner

Converse – Chuck Taylor Dainty (get them here)

Anine Bing Cropped Jeans with slit – charcoal (get them here)

Zara TRF green square cut t-shirt (get it here)

Stella & Dot Gold Signature Engravable Bar (get it here)

Wave necklace from Etsy

5 Things To Do In Paris

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1) Grab a coffee at Springsioux – One of the hottest concept stores in Paris is now serving coffee daily. Grab an espresso, latte or they’re own Sprinsioux special coffee while you browse through their beautiful shop, people watch or walk around Le Marais. Ste. Croix de la Bretonnerie is booming right now, with tons of new shops and restaurants in the area. You never know who you’ll bump into in that area.

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2) Visit the National Museum of Natural History - If you’ve got a couple of hours to spare, head over to the beautiful National Museum of Natural History, located across La Seine and from the 4th arrondissement. This 17th-century palace houses plants, animals and a HUGE collection of skeletons, fossils and more particularly dinosaur skeletons. It’s such a magical place because it’s nothing like current museums. The building itself is so unique and has such an old vibe. There’s also beautiful gardens and outdoor exhibits that are worth looking at. The Great Gallery Of Evolution was by far my favorite, see the incredible photos below!

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3) Drink a Monaco at Les Philosphes – Les Philosophes is one of the most sought after bars in the Le Marais area for a post-work drink or appetizer on their terrace. It’s the best spot for people watching on the bustling Rue Vieille du Temple. They’ve got the best salads and appetizers. Be sure to grab a Monaco (a French drink composed of beer and grenadine syrup) or even a Picon bière while you’re there.

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4) Jardin des Tuileries – This beautiful garden may be well-known by tourists but is still totally worth checking out. The gardens are located in the 1st arrondissement and is also in proximity to the Louvre Museum. The public garden was originally created by Catherine de Medicis in 1564 and was opened to the public in 1667. It’s beautiful all-year-round is a great spot for a picnic, a walk or just to sit down and enjoy the sights. It’s also  great spot to observe the beautiful Parisian architecture.

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5) Carnavalet Museum – Located in the 4th arrondissement otherwise known as Le Marais, since 2013 this lovely mansion is dedicated to the history of the city. The museum is located in the former Hôtel Carnavalet and Hôtel Le Peletier. You will find different collections spanning from the 13th century onwards past the French Revolution and up until the 20th century. I loved the mix of paintings, drawings, engravings, photographs that were present along with furniture, ceramics and decorations from the different eras. My favorite room was this golden room below, which was just stunning! Also, as an added bonus, the museum is FREE!

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What are some of the things you love doing in Paris? Let me know :D

Canyon Exploration

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Last weekend, I had the opportunity to visit the magnificent Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. I made sure to take my workout gear with me to explore this beautiful landscape. There’s nothing more awesome than spending time outdoors especially with a scenery like this. Since my runs and workouts have been in the cold these past couple of months, it was nice to get a little bit of a break for the weekend and be able to be outdoors without fearing your fingers and toes will freeze. Running and walking around such a beautiful setting is SO motivating and is such a unique experience. The view was absolutely priceless. I made sure to let it sink in as much as I could and appreciate the beauty that surrounded me. How lucky are we to live on such a beautiful planet?! I make it a point to remind myself when I see such incredible things like the Valley of Fire!

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Photos by @Offner

Nike Legendary Lava Tight (get them here)

Nike Free 5.0 TR Fit Womens Training Shoes (get them here)

Nike Pro Fierce Bra (get it here)

Neon Museum

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I learned so much this past weekend from visiting the Neon Museum in Las Vegas. It was so beautiful and interesting to walk around all of these vintage symbolic neons. I’ll be talking about my experience in Vegas on an upcoming travel blog, so stay tuned! One thing’s for sure, some of my favorite discoveries were the story behind this beautiful Stardust sign and also the Moulin Rouge sign. Did you know that the Moulin Rouge (pictured above) came to Vegas? Though it only was around for a couple of months, it was the first casino in Vegas that was against segregation and allowed everyone to play and go to the casino. How amazing is that? Frank Sinatra was also a regular at the casino.

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Photos by @Offner

Anine Bing boyfriend jeans (get them here)

Converse – Chuck Taylor Dainty (get them here)

Sincerely Jules Muse tee

Airport Style

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Just got back from the most awesome trip in Vegas! I’ll be sharing some of my favorite things from this trip on a new travel blog coming soon. With so much traveling coming up in the next couple of weeks, packing and dressing appropriately for traveling has become key. Over the past couple of years, my travel style has definitely evolved and as of late I’ve been prioritizing comfort and warmth (Sunday night’s redeye flight back to Toronto was like flying in an ice box!!) above anything else. Love some relaxed slacks, a baggy tee, layering some sweaters or jackets and a comfy pair of kicks. What are your favorite things to wear when traveling?

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