MELSAYS PODCAST – EP. 7 – Kaitlyn Burke

The 7th episode of the MELSAYS PODCAST is now live!

My guest for this episode is Kaitlyn Burke, she is the founder of the New Heights Basketball Academy in Vancouver. It is the only female focused basketball academy in British Columbia, whose goal is not only to develop female athletes through the sport of basketball but also empower them to become strong leaders in the classroom, on the court and in the community. I hope you’ll enjoy our chat! 

The podcast is just one click away or you can also listen to it below. If you enjoyed our chat, make sure you subscribe to the MELSAYS PODCAST here -> iTunes and Google Play.

What’s worth seeing at the VIMFF

Photo: Chris Christie

The Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival (VIMFF) kicks-off this Friday February 9th in Vancouver and will showcase some of the best mountain and adventure films as well as athletes, speakers and content creators. During the 9-day program, festivalgoers will be able to screen films, watch live multimedia presentations, photography exhibits, take part in workshops, seminars and more! The festival will be taking place in a variety of theatres around the city and will bring together the Canadian and international community of mountain and outdoor enthusiasts.

Some of this year’s speakers include David Suzuki, Jim Herrington, Parvaneh Kazemi, Cory Richards, Darcy Hennessey Turenne and more!

Can’t make it to all the screenings? Here are a few recommendations to help you plan your week.

In Constant Motion – Director: Cameron Sylvester

Saturday February 10th – 7:30pm at Centennial Theatre – Trail Running
An evening filled with presentations and films from trails around the world.
Speakers: Susan Hui, Rick Arikado & Suzanne Johnson, Laddie Hannam & Ann Taylor, Adam Campbell
Films: In Constant Motion (Canadian Premiere), Driven (World Premiere), Why I Run, Feel The Burn.

Surf the Line – Director: Jeremy Frey

Sunday February 11th – 2:30pm at Rio Theatre – Best of: Mountain Sports & Adventure
An afternoon showcasing international films on different sports and adventures.
Films: The Ario Dream (North American Premiere), Moment (World Premiere), The Worlds Highest Marathon, Freedom (World Premiere), This Way Up (North American Premiere), Surf The Line.

Directly Affected – Director: Zack Embree

Sunday February 11th – 7:30pm at Centennial Theatre – Uniting the Salish Sea
Moving beyond extreme energy and protecting our communities.
Speakers: David Suzuki, My Sea To Sky
Films: Directly Affected (World Premiere).

Where the Wild Things Play – Director: Krystle Wright

Thursday February 15th – 7:30pm at The Cinematheque – Women in Adventure
An evening where women from around the world will be sharing their stories about being in the outdoors.
Speakers: Kat Young, Natasha Drozdzenska & Ania Markiewicz
Films: Where the Wild Things Play, My Big White Thighs and Me (North American Premiere), Army (BC Premiere), Waters of the Greenstone.

Escape – Director: Anjali Nayar

Friday February 16th – 7:30pm at Rio Theatre – MEC Canadian Adventure Show 
An evening dedicated to pushing self-propelled adventure and exploration by Canadians.
Speakers: Steve Tersmette & Shawn Emmett, Lorraine Blancher & Robin Munshaw
Films: Escape, Strong The Wind Blows.

For more information on the VIMFF or for tickets, visit https://vimff.org/.

5 Best Vegan Spots in Lyon

Lyon has really become this past year, a much more vegan-friendly city. There are tons of new restaurants, coffee shops and organic groceries, popping up everywhere around town. Here are some of my favourite spots in the city that are worth the visit if you are plant-based!

1) My Petite Factory – Located on Rue Neuve, right in downtown Lyon, My Petite Factory is heaven for those who follow a plant-based diet. They have the most delicious buddha bowls, sandwiches, soups and homemade desserts all made from scratch and fresh daily. They not only serve vegan options but also gluten-free options, making them a hotspot for not only locals but also tourists.

2) Harvest Cuisine – This pizza joint is new to the city and prides itself in serving farm-to-table style pizzas and pasta. They work with local farmers to get the freshest in-season ingredients. They have a handful of vegetarian options and also the most delicious vegan pizza made with cashew cheese. Harvest Cuisine is definitely revolutionizing conventional pizza making in the area.

3) Moi Pur Jus – One of the newest juice bars and cafes to open up in Lyon this past year. Also located on the presqu’île in downtown, this beautiful café offers a wide variety of cold-pressed juices, chia puddings, snacks and treats that are both vegan and gluten-free. Moi Pur Jus is 100% organic and in addition to offering food and drinks, also offer different health and wellness services.

4) Slake Coffee House – A great spot for breakfast, lunch and also to spend the day working on your laptop. Slake Coffee House is located in the most beautiful antique building that offers a real vintage and warm vibe. They’ve got lots of salads, snacks and warm drinks to choose from. It’s not 100% plant-based but a great place to spend time people watching and catching up on work while in the city!

5) Les Cafetiers – If you don’t mind waiting in line, you’ll want to pay Les Cafetiers a visit. Their minimalist setting and Australian influenced coffee shop (you can even order a Flat White there!) is without a doubt the trendiest coffee shop in the city. They serve up delicious brunch (hello avocado toast!), sweets and drinks and though not everything on the menu is vegan, they’ve got some delicious options to choose from.

Vans Releases its First Ever Snowboard Film LANDLINE

On January 26th 2018, Vans will be releasing their first ever snowboard film called LANDLINE. Directed by Tanner Pendleton and shot almost entirely on Kodak 16mm film, the flick documents the Vans snowboard team as they travel around the world exploring new terrain and doing some of the best snowboarding tricks out there.

The film features Vans’ eclectic team roster including seasoned pros, new stars as well as pioneers of the sport. Everyone from Pat Moore to Arthur Longo to Jake Kuzyk all appear in the film. It not only showcases great snowboarding but also everything related to the snowboard culture.

One of the film’s star, Minnesota native Dan Liedahl shares his thoughts on being a part of Vans’ first ever snowboard film. “Team videos do happen but not all that often so I think that sets it apart a little, but more so I think the fact that it’s Vans first video they’ve ever done is what’s really doing it. It’s crazy to think that Vans has been around supporting snowboarding for so long and has never made a full length video so that’s a really exciting thing,” explains Dan.

As for his favourite part about being in this film, he says “my favourite part about all of it is that I got to hang with the crew the whole time. I love these guys and I love that I got to be there and see most of the tricks that were in the video happen. I like that I was there to help my friends set up the spots, get tricks, and then eat food afterward haha, that’s my favourite part about being in the video.”

The film has been premiering in a handful of cities around the globe and most recently in Vancouver. The official launch takes place on January 25th in Denver, Colorado and will feature some musical guests from the film’s soundtrack Dinosaur Jr. and a DJ set by Sonic Youth’s very own Thurston Moore.

While you await its release, you can get stoked by watching the trailer below!

The film will be available January 26th 2018 on iTunes and also on Vimeo on Demand.

MELSAYS PODCAST – EP. 5 – Keltie Hansen

The fifth MELSAYS PODCAST episode is now live!

My guest for this episode is Keltie Hansen. She is a Canadian freestyle skier who made her Olympic debut at Sochi in 2014, where ski halfpipe was introduced for the very first time. She placed 13th at her first games. The Edmonton native now resides in Squamish, British Columbia and welcomed me into her home for a little chat. She is fresh off a weekend of competing at the Mammoth Grand Prix in California. I hope you’ll enjoy our chat!

The podcast is just one click away or you can also listen to it below. If you enjoyed our chat, make sure you subscribe to the MELSAYS PODCAST here -> iTunes and Google Play.

Shout out to Columbia for their help setting this up!

Everything You Need to Know About the OTR Program

The Own the Run (OTR) program is back and better than ever. Whether you’re new to running or a seasoned vet, whether you’re planning to run your first half-marathon in 2018 or a 50k Ultra trail race, the program’s objective is to help local Vancouver runners attain their running goals.

By bringing together the city’s best health and wellness partners and practitioners, the program helps runners work on injury prevention, running efficiency and optimal performance all needed to crush this year’s running goals.

If you’ve been following my running journey these past 2 or so years, you know that I’ve unfortunately been plagued by a few injuries. At first it was my lower back, followed by a stress fracture in my right foot and my latest injury was spraining my left ankle while trail running six weeks ago. But I’m feeling more determined than ever to conquer new distances and set even bigger running goals for myself in 2018. Therefore, I’m extremely excited that an innovative program like OTR is available for runners like myself. My goal is to learn more ways on how to stay injury-free throughout the year and also push myself more than ever before.

This year’s program is a partnership between Myodetox and Vancouver Running Company, Mile 2 Marathon, MOVR plus Kokomo, who are all leaders in their respective wellness communities.

For those interested in partaking in OTR, the program is designed to begin at least 12-14 weeks prior to an upcoming race. The program includes the following:

  • Running Specific Therapy Screen (Duration 60 minutes)*
  • Individualized Exercise Program Development (Duration 60 minutes)*
  • Post Race Massage Therapy Session (Duration 45 minutes)*
  • Exercise Module developed by MOVR app
  • Training Program customized by Mile 2 Marathon (value $100-$200)
  • Full Access to M2M track workouts, and social runs at Vancouver Running Company
  • Membership to Flight Crew Premier 2018 (value $70-100)
  • Option of Nutrition consult at Kokomo
  • Exclusive Technical Running Shirt
  • Ciele Running Cap

All items indicated with an * are actually covered by extended health benefits, so a major plus.

Having access to such quality coaching and support is key to training properly and attaining the running goals that I’ve set out for myself. Furthermore, it’s incredibly inspiring to be surrounded by people who keep pushing the envelop in the health and running community. Excited to see what I can achieve this year!

For more info or to register for Own the Run program, go here.

5 Workouts Worth Checking Out in Lyon

Planning a trip to Lyon, France? Here are a few recommendations for workouts and activities that will keep you moving while you’re in the area.

1) M.ROC – Bouldering has become a super trendy sport in North America and apparently in France as well. M.ROC is a super neat concept bouldering space that offers not only a ton of different walls to practice your climbing skills but also offers a place to relax and be social after climbing with their cool cafe. This “Bloc and Bistro” as they call it has three locations in Lyon. It costs around 15 Euros/day including shoes.

2) Bikram Hot Yoga – Yoga is slowly making ground in Lyon. The latest and greatest studio to open up is a Bikram Hot Yoga studio right downtown on the presqu’île. The studio recently underwent some renovations to be able to accommodate it’s growing number of customers. Owned by a husband and wife duo, they’re rapidly becoming the go-to spot in the city.

3) Parc de la tête d’or – Looking for places to run while you’re in Lyon? Le parc de la tête d’or is an absolute must! The park can easily remind someone of Central Park, minus the madness. It’s located right next to Rhône, so you can easily run through the park and then run along the waterfront, getting the most beautiful views of the city. In the park, you’ll also get to see the botanical garden and the city’s zoo.

4) CrossFit Enyento – Located in the 9th arrondissement, this CrossFit box is home to some of the city’s best athletes. CrossFit Enyento offer a wide-variety of classes that specialize in weightlifting, cross-training and more. They offer free trial classes for newcomers and have great trainers that will make everyone feel welcome and provide you with great training tips.

5) Go to the Alps – Because Lyon is located just 90 minutes away from the French Alps, going on a day trip to the mountain is a must.  There are plenty of resorts and mountains to choose from, whether you’re looking to hike, snowboard, run or even eat local mountain food. Worth checking out: Les 2 Alpes, Alpe du Huez and Courchevel, just to name a few.

MELSAYS PODCAST – EP. 4 – Genevieve Arnaud

Happy New Year everyone! Took a little break over the holidays but I’m back with a brand new podcast episode and I’ve got tons of new content coming up in 2018!

Excited to share with you today the fourth episode of the MELSAYS PODCAST.

This week, I chat with Genevieve Arnaud. She is the founder Atwell Health, plant-based nutritional counselling and mental health coaching, out of Squamish, British Columbia. In addition to running her private practice, she is also a trail runner and the volunteer coordinator for the Coast Mountain Trail Series out here in BC.

The podcast is just one click away or you can also listen to it below. If you enjoyed our chat, make sure you subscribe to the MELSAYS PODCAST here -> iTunes and Google Play.

Riding Through Winter

Though winter hasn’t officially begun, I’ve been feeling major wintery vibes since I landed during a snowstorm in Quebec last week.

My winter season started extra early last month in BC when I took my board and skis to two local mountains on their respective opening day. Since moving to BC, one of my winter goals has been to ride more and get better at snowboarding, especially in powder. Growing up out east, I never got to ski or ride in powder so this has become an important objective of mine.

Having access to world-class skiing and snowboarding resorts and conditions just make me that much more excited about getting out there and doing it as much as possible for the next couple of months. I’m also hoping to do my first ever AVI course later this winter so that I can have the most knowledge and be the safest when riding on this new terrain.

Skiing and riding in BC has lots of advantages compared to the east. Not only is the terrain a lot bigger, the fresh powder is unreal and the weather is always a little warmer. That said, having the right gear for playing in the snow is so key! With the help of Sport Chek, I was able to pick a bunch of accessories that will make my skiing and riding season that much more enjoyable. From a warm Helly Hansen base layer, to new Burton gloves and Spy Optics goggles, they have all of the winter essentials you may need.

Leaving Quebec tomorrow and headed to Europe and the Alps for some epic riding. Can’t wait to bring these accessories along with me for the ride!

This post was written in collaboration with Sport Chek, but all opinions are my own. 

MELSAYS PODCAST – EP. 3 – Leigh Wall

The third MELSAYS PODCAST episode is now live!

This week I chat with Leigh WallShe is a truck and transport mechanic, a public speaker and also student recruiter. After doing a complete 180 with her career a few years ago, she’s been helping other women break through barriers in non-traditional roles. I’m thrilled to have her share her insight and passion for women in trades today on the podcast.

The podcast is just one click away or you can also listen to it below. If you enjoyed our chat, make sure you subscribe to the MELSAYS PODCAST here -> iTunes and Google Play.