Apple Fitness+

Last week, Apple unveiled their brand new Apple Fitness+ platform available for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV users. This new fitness experience is designed for everyone by world-class trainers from around the world.

For the past week, I’ve had the opportunity to try a handful of these workouts and have been pleasantly surprised not only by the quality and variety of workouts available on the platform but also by the great playlists and overall production value of each class.

What’s great about Apple Fitness+ is that there are a bunch of different workout types to choose from; HIIT, Strength, Yoga, Cycling, Rowing, Dance, Core, Treadmill and Mindful Cooldown and the workouts vary in length from 5-45mins (this is awesome for busy parents who only have time to get a quick workout in! 😅). These workouts not only synch up with your Apple Watch but can also be downloaded so that you can do them outside or at the gym.

Each week, Apple Fitness+ users get a fresh new batch of workouts to try out. The platform is incredibly intuitive and easy to use. You can easily pick a workout type, a specific trainer, try something new, see the popular workouts, redo some of your favourite workouts, etc.

Something else I’ve also enjoyed is being able to see all of my metrics right up on the screen as I’m doing my workouts. Not only can you see your calories burned, heart rate, ring progress, but some workouts also incorporate the “Burn Bar“, which can be a great motivator as it shows you where you stack up against everyone else during a particular workout.

Apple Fitness+ and the trainers they’ve brought on board are making a concerted effort to make their workouts as inclusive as possible by not only selecting a wide variety of trainers but also by offering modifications in every workout video for those either just starting to exercise, those recovering from injury or even for pre or postpartum women. An extra nice touch is the inclusion signing by the trainers during their workouts.

Apple Fitness+ is available in Canada for $12.99/month or $99.99/year. Apple Watch owners get 1 month free and you can share your workouts with 5 other family members!

To find out more go here.

Best Virtual Running Challenges to Kick Off the Year!

There are so many great virtual challenges going around at the moment. The one thing that has emerged from these strange times is new and exciting ways to not only run/workout but also build community and these virtual running challenges are definitely a great way to do so!

Because there are so many for you to choose from, I’ve rounded up a few of my favourites that are currently available for you to try out across the country!

Camp KM
This running/walking challenge is a partnership between Canadian Running Series and Ciele Athletics and it begins on January 1st for the entire month. The Camp KM challenge is to run or walk as many kms as you can. The challenge is to see how far you can go in a month. This challenge is open to everyone across Canada and participants earn KM achievement badge at the end of the challenge as well as a custom CIELE cap.

Price: $50 CAD

CMTR’s Winter Scavenger Hunt
You’ve got until December 14th to register for Coast Mountain Trail’s Winter Scavenger Hunt. You’ve got 60 days to complete 20 challenges and this challenge is open to anyone worldwide. This challenge is open to runners, hikers and walkers and each challenge has a minimum of 35-45 minutes workout associated with it. Proceeds of the challenge goes towards the CMTR Scholarship Fund as well as the Food Bank, as a way to give back to the underserved communities and those needing some extra support during these challenging times.

Price: $55 CAD

Virtual Chilly Half Marathon
Although usually based out of Toronto, this year the Chilly Half is now Canada-wide. It’s now possible for anyone across the country to take part in either the Frosty 5K, Frigid 10K and Chill Half Marathon. You can run, walk, jog this challenge either outside, on the treadmill, on a trail or even the track. You have to complete the challenge by March 30th 2021.

Price: $65-90

Vancouver Sun Run
Hands down one of the city’s most iconic races is going virtual this spring. The virtual race will kick-off on the originally planned date of April 18th 2021 and will continue through April 30th 2021. You can run anytime, anywhere during that time and submit your results with the community. You can either register solo or with a team for the Sun Run.

Price: $25-45

Apple Watch Series 6: Best New Features

The latest Apple Watch is now here and with its release comes many great upgrades for a product that has undoubtedly become the top smartwatch in the world. As someone who’s been wearing the Apple Watch since its very first inception, I’m excited to share with you today some of the latest and greatest things that the Apple Watch Series 6 now offers.

Hand Washing Countdown
This is a great new feature that we can all agree on is incredibly important these days. The watch uses on-device AI to detect when you are washing your hands and counts down 20 seconds. What’s neat about this AI is that it detects hand washing through hand motions as well a s the sounds of water and soap.

Sleep Tracker
The built-in sleep tracker is easy to understand and connects directly to the Health app of your iPhone. It’s been neat to be able to track the time spent in bed, the time spent awake vs. asleep. It can also a good tool to set some sleep goals for yourself.

Faster Charging
This is a definite bonus for those of us who use the watch day in and day out. Now that I’m also tracking my sleep with the watch, having it charge from 0% to 100% in just 83 minutes and having it last up to 36 hours without a charge, is a great upgrade.

Apple’s commitment to creating products using recycled materials, is one that I commend. The Series 6 features 100% recycled rare earth elements in the Taptic Engine, close to 100% recycled tungsten is used throughout the product and 100% recycled cases on the aluminum models. They’re also helping their manufacturers transition to renewable energy while also removing the AC adapter from their packages to reduce electronic waste.

Always-On Altimeter
As someone who is often on the mountain going for hikes or trail runs, the always-on altimeter is a great new feature that provides real-time elevation all day long. It records even small elevation changes above ground level up and down to the measurement of 1 foot and can be shown as a new watch face complication or workout metric.

Other notable things to mention: SpO2 monitoring that can be recorded in 15 seconds when you lay your hand still on a table, the “always-on” mode is now 2×5 brighter and the S6 chip is also 20x faster than its predecessor.

Keep an eye out for the upcoming release of Apple Fitness+, a new engaging and personalized fitness experience that will come to life with Apple Watch!

The new Apple Watch Series 6 is now available in Canada. Visit for all the pricing and details.

9 Newborn Must-Haves

Sharing with you today some of the things I’m most excited to have for my new daughter. Most of these products were either recommended to me or things I wanted to invest in after watching countless parenting and baby videos on YouTube. There are so many things you are “supposed” to need with a newborn but we’ve really tried to keep it to the basics, to have the least amount of clutter possible. I will be posting more in depth posts about a few of these in the future but for the time being, here’s a quick list.

1) Snuggle Me Organic – I’ve heard lots of great things about this baby lounger from friends who have used it for their newborn babies or toddlers. The Sensory Lounger is designed to curve around the baby’s back, giving them a comforting hug, which can be incredibly calming for the baby. The lounger can be used for supervised naps, lounging, tummy time and more.


2) Burt’s Bees Baby – These products were sent to me and I’m excited to use them with our daughter because like all of Burt’s Bees products, they do not contain any harmful chemicals that could potentially be harmful to a baby, especially a newborn. They have a whole bunch of baby hair and body care products as well as other baby essentials such as burp pads, onesies, bedding, etc.*

3) Wildbird Sling – This is an item that I have been coveting for a long time. I’m very excited that this small mom-centric brand has gifted me one of their beautiful slings for my daughter. These slings are quick and easy to use, made from soft and breathable linens from Europe and the US and are incredibly versatile; allowing you to carry your baby on your front, hip or back. Their fabric even doubles as a sunshade, nursing cover and more. Plus, they’re also incredibly pretty! There are a variety of slings to choose from and all of them can be used for babies from 8-35 lbs.*

4) Baby Dreamer Bag – I was recommended this bag by a mom that I follow on Instagram. This diaper bag comes from Denmark and is without a doubt one of the coolest and most versatile bags that I’ve seen. I love the minimalist look and also the functional inside. Not only is it made from recycled polyester it is also very spacious, water repellent, has a built-in changing mat and looks like a normal discreet backpack.

5) Musky DY 28 Light & Clock – We scoured the internet for a long time before finding this multipurpose night light. Although there are some very popular brands like Hatch who make some awesome night lights, white noise machines, etc. we wanted to find something that was a little more affordable. This LED night light not only comes with 3 different brightness settings (and a bunch of colours!) it also acts as an alarm clock, a Bluetooth Speaker, Wireless Portable HiFi Stereo that can be used for indoor or outdoor. It has a line in jack, a USB plug and a Micro SD slot. We have therefore downloaded a bunch of white noise tracks on a USB key that we will be able to use at night and will be able to take care of the baby without having to turn on any big bright lights during night feeds.

6) Philips Avent Bottles – I was gifted this set of Avent Natural Baby Bottles because my husband and I are considering combining breastfeeding and bottle feeding. These bottles can be used for bottle feeding or gathering breastmilk from breast pumps. They also have wide breast-shaped teats that allows for natural latch on, are made from soft material to mimic the feel of the breast, have an anti-colic valve that is designed to reduce colic and discomfort and are easy to clean and use.*

7) Grovia Reusable Diapers – One of the best discoveries I’ve made during all the months I’ve prepared for the birth of my daughter is finding these Grovia diapers. The one non-negotiable that I wanted to abide by with our daughter was trying our hardest to ensure we produce the least amount of waste possible with our daughter, so the thought of throwing away hundreds or even thousands of diapers into landfill was a no go for us. I will be doing a more in-depth post about these diapers in a few weeks, but for the time being I wanted to share with you all my excitement about this product. We have chosen to go for their Hybrid Cloth Diapers, that will suit our busy life on the go.*

8) Lebenswert Organic Infant Formula from Organic Baby Food – Because we are planning on combining breastfeeding with bottle feeding, the hunt for the best organic infant formula was a long one. I really wanted to find a 100% plant-based formula but most of the plant-forward formulas here in North America are riddled with junk and not 100% plant-based and the only one I could find in France was sold out and would not ship to Canada given the current state of the world. So I finally decided to try this German formula that is hands down the cleanest formula that I was able to find, with the least amount and best quality ingredients. Although I did not plan on feeding my baby a non plant-based formula, the most important thing for me was for her to get the cleanest and top quality product possible. I’m grateful I found the Organic Baby Food website, who made it so easy to obtain the formula. They shipped the formula from Europe and I received it in less than a week.*

9) Baby Car Seat Cover – I’ve read lots of posts and watched a ton of videos about the benefits of having a car seat cover. Not only can it serve as a 360 cover for sunlight, wind, cold, insects, dust and bright lights, it can also be used as a nursing cover as well. It also allows you to carry the baby around, letting them sleep without anyone coming up to the baby, taking a peak at them, etc.

*All the products with an asterisk were gifted to me but I whole heartedly believe in these products and am incredibly honoured to have the support of these brands for my daughter.


Photo credit: Damien Poullenot / WSL

Hi and welcome to another edition of the MELSAYS PODCAST. Hope you’re all hanging in there.

This week, I am conducting my very first podcast en français, with one of the top female surfers in the world. Hailing from Anglet, France, Pauline Ado is currently ranked 8th on the WSL Tour. She’s had an amazing last couple of years winning titles all around the world. I spoke with her live from New Zealand, where she has been the past couple of weeks due to the pandemic. I hope you’ll enjoy my chat with her. Sans plus tardé, voici Pauline!

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 -> Apple Podcasts and Google Play. Also, feel free to send me some guest suggestions for future episodes!


Hi and welcome to another edition of the MELSAYS PODCAST. How are you all holding up? I’m happy to share with you today another great interview!

My guest for this episode is BC-based artist Jessa Gilbert. She is renown for her colourful murals and works of art that depict beautiful landscapes from her outdoor adventures. Over the years, she has received several awards for her art and has worked with many renown brands such as MEC, Nature’s Path Organics, Burton Snowboards, just to name a few and has created murals in different cities across the province. She was a joy to speak to, so without further ado, here’s Jessa Gilbert!

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 -> Apple Podcasts and Google Play. Also, feel free to send me some guest suggestions for future episodes!


Hi and welcome to another edition of the MELSAYS PODCAST. How are you all doing? I know these last couple of weeks have been filled with many ups and downs for a lot of us. I’m hoping that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe!

I’m hoping that today’s podcast will bring you sense of joy and inspiration. My guest for today’s episode is Mirna Valerio. Mirna is a former school teacher, that began a blog several years ago called Fat Girl Running. In a short amount of time, she’s become one of the most popular ultrarunners and adventurers thanks to not only all of the incredible races she’s run, but also with the publication of her book A Beautiful Work in Progress as well as the public speaking work she’s been doing, breaking down barriers for all types of athletes. I had been wanting to chat with her for almost two years now, so I’m so incredibly grateful she took time out of her busy schedule to chat, it was an honour. So without further ado here’s Mirna Valerio.

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 -> Apple Podcasts and Google Play. Also, feel free to send me some guest suggestions for future episodes!


Hey what’s up everyone! Welcome to another edition of the MELSAYS PODCAST.

I hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe during these unprecedented times. It’s been a hard couple of weeks for everyone, including myself. I didn’t know if I wanted to keep the podcast going or not during this time, but figured it might bring some relief, distraction or even entertainment your way, so I figured I would keep at it. I will try to record a few episodes from home for the first time this week, so stay tuned for that.

My guest for this episode is Jennifer Hollinshead, she is the founder and also the clinical director at Peak Resilience, a women-run counselling practice located in Vancouver. I think during times like these, the work that Jennifer and her colleagues do is paramount. This was obviously recorded previous to the pandemic and everything that’s currently going on, but she still shares some awesome tips and advice during our chat, which I hope might help some of you. So here’s my chat with Jennifer!

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 -> Apple Podcasts and Google Play. Also, feel free to send me some guest suggestions for future episodes!

10 Ways to Preserve your Mental Health during these Uncertain Times

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a proper blog post other than a few posts here and there, but in light of what’s been going on around the world I’m compelled to share some of the things that I have been doing to preserve my mental health and relax as much as possible while being asked to stay at home. I hope that some of these things can also help you get through the next little while!

1) Download the Calm App – I’ve been overcome with a lot of anxiety as of late, as I’m sure many of you have. I recently downloaded the Calm app, a great app for meditation, relaxing music, story time, etc. I’ve committed to doing at least 10 mins of mindfulness or meditation a day, which I find has already been helping me a ton. There are other great apps like Headspace, Oak, Relax Meditation, etc.

2) Take some online classes – With a lot more free time due to contracts being cancelled, I’ve decided to take this opportunity to do some additional learning. There are a handful of classes being offered online for free at the moment, so why not seize this opportunity to learn something new? Since I’m expecting my first child in less than two months, I’ve decided to gain a better understanding of the pelvic floor and diastasis recti, with the help of Dr. Sarah Duvall‘s free online courses.

3) Discover new music – Music has always had the power to heal in my opinion. In times of stress and anxiety, I’ve always turned to music as a way to let out how I’m feeling. We’re lucky to have so many great music streaming services at our disposal these days such as Apple Music and Spotify. I love being able to discover new tracks and playlists that are curated based on moods, genres, etc. This above playlists is one of my current favs.

4) Workout from home – If going for a walk, running or cycling isn’t your thing, there are tons of free apps available online that provide great HIIT, no equipment, full body workouts that you can do from home. Some of my favourite free workout apps include Nike Training App, Sweat (you get 7 days free!), Daily Workouts Fitness Trainer, Seven – 7 Minute Workout. If yoga is more your thing, there are lots of free online yoga workouts on Youtube and a lot of local yoga studios are offering daily or weekly videos online either via Instagram or Facebook. Moreover, several boutique fitness studios in cities around the world are offering free live classes that they will stream via Instagram. Lots of ways to stay active even from home!

5) Clean/Declutter your home – Since being asked to stay at home, there’s no better time than now to do your spring cleaning, declutter your home and put things in a donation pile. With a move potentially coming later this spring, it’s a great way to go through everything and see what I want to take with me or donate. Plus there’s no greater feeling than spending time in a place that is clean and organized!

6) Catch up on the latest podcasts – With so many amazing podcasts now available online, why not take the time to catch up on some of your favourites. Some of my favourites include: Joe Rogan, Rich Roll, Anna Faris, Trail Running Women, Sibling Revelry, Armchair Expert & more!

7) Get some fresh air & vitamin D – Although it has just been announced here in Canada that all national parks have been closed, if you can get outside for a quick walk or for a bit of sunlight and nature, your body and mind will thank you. Vitamin D is key in keeping your health on track. Healthy bodies and healthy minds are the best way to fight this pandemic.

8) Stay in touch with your friends & loved ones – We’re so lucky to live in a time where we can not only stay in touch via phone but also via video messaging, group chats, group video calls, emails, etc. My family in France and I have created a group email chain, some of our friends have created Whatsapp groups, etc. Although in-person meetings are being cancelled, virtual meetings with your friends and loved ones from all around the world don’t have to be.

9) Watch stand-up comedies, your favourite movies/series – Laughter is key to help fight anxiety and to relax. I’ve been making it a point to watch a lot of stand up comedies as well as some of my favourite movies and series to help boost my mood. One of my favourite discoveries this week has been Taylor Tomlinson’s Quarter-Life Crisis. Tons of great content on Apple TV, Netflix, Amazon, etc.

10) Practice self-care – This can mean so many different things to everyone. For me, it has meant trying to sleep more, taking the time to up my skincare routines, taking baths, making delicious plant-based homemade meals, going for runs, reading, etc. Take this opportunity to take care of yourself, it’s primordial in preserving your mental health.

Share with me what are some of the things you’ve been doing during the past couple of days to stay relaxed and keep anxiety at bay while we’re all at home. Never thought we would be going through something like this but we are all in this together. Sending much love and health to you all!

Mel xo


Photo credit: Bryanna Bradley

Hi and welcome to a brand new episode of the MELSAYS PODCAST. How’s everyone doing? Got a brand new interview for you all this week.

My guest is Tofino longboarder Lydia Ricard. She is one of the best long boarders in the country and one to watch out for in the coming years. I had the chance to sit down with her a little while back in Tofino to talk about the growth of the sport in Canada, her journey as a Canadian surfer and more! 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 -> Apple Podcasts and Google Play. Also, feel free to send me some guest suggestions for future episodes!