MELSAYS PODCAST – EP. 31 – MIRNA VALERIO

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!

MELSAYS PODCAST – EP. 30 – JENNIFER HOLLINSHEAD

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

MELSAYS PODCAST – EP. 29 – LYDIA RICARD

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!

MELSAYS PODCAST – EP. 28 – VALERIE DUPRAT

Hi and welcome to another edition of the MELSAYS PODCAST! Happy New Year! Hope you have wonderful holidays and that 2020 is off to a fantastic start! 2020 is shaping up to be a crazy year, as we are expecting our first child in May. So my goal is to get as many episodes out and edited as possible before the arrival of our daughter.

I’m super excited to have Valerie Duprat as my guest today on the podcast. She is a surfboard shaper, surfer and mom. She was recently featured in the new book Surf Like A Girl and today she shares how she went from growing up in Paris to shaping boards in Encinitas and become one of the first local female shapers. I hope you’ll enjoy my chat with her!

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!

MELSAYS PODCAST – EP. 27 – LUCY ULMER

Hi, and welcome to a new edition of the MELSAYS PODCAST!

I’m excited to be sharing with you today, one last episode before the end of the year. I hope you’ve enjoyed the guests I’ve had on this year. It’s been such an honour meeting all of these incredible women. I hope that I can keep bringing you even more stellar guest in the new year!

We’re finishing off 2019 with a firecracker! My guest for this episode is Lucy Ulmer. She is the co-owner of two of Vancouver’s most coveted fitness studios – Hustle Up and Spin Society. She is also a Master Trainer at Lagree as well as a Pregnancy Specialist. She is a new mom and an absolute badass. 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 -> Apple Podcasts and Google Play. Also, feel free to send me some guest suggestions for future episodes!


Wishing you all the most wonderful and relaxing holiday season. See you in 2020!

MELSAYS PODCAST – EP. 26 – DANIELLE BLACK LYONS

Photo Credit: Jo Savage

Hi, and welcome to a new edition of the MELSAYS PODCAST!

We are December 1st, just one month left until the new year! Finishing this year off strong with a handful of new podcast episodes coming your way soon. I recorded this one while I was down in San Diego just a few weeks ago.

My guest for today is Danielle Black Lyons, she is the co-founder of Textured Waves, a community that was founded to propagate the culture and sport of women’s surfing towards women of colour and underrepresented demographics through representation, community and sisterly camaraderie. She shares her experience in the water, as a mom and as a visual artist.

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!

MELSAYS PODCAST – EP. 25 – ELAINE FUNG

Hi and welcome to another edition of the MELSAYS PODCAST!

How are you all doing? I’ve mostly been at home here in North Vancouver working on a ton of different projects as of late and am hoping to be able to record more episodes of the podcast during my upcoming travels in California and in Arizona later this month.

Today’s guest is Elaine Fung, she is a Vancouver trail runner who recently launched, along with her friend Linda Barton-Robbins (another BC trail runner and the wife of Gary Robbins) an online platform called We Are Trail. The goal go this platform is to celebrate diversity and inclusively in the trail running community. She talked to me about what inspired her to launch this platform, her personal experiences getting into trails, etc.

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

MELSAYS PODCAST – EP. 24 – BRYANNA BRADLEY

Photo credit: Bryanna Bradley

Welcome to a new edition of the MELSAYS PODCAST!

I just recently got back from a week in Tofino and while I was there, I had the opportunity to chat with two incredible women that are part of the local surf community. If you haven’t been to Tofino, it’s a wonderful surf town located on the very edge of the continent in British Columbia, there’s no place quite like it. There’s a huge community of female entrepreneurs and surfers that live there so I wanted to chat with some of them for the podcast to find out more about their line of work and the community they live in.

Today’s guest is Bryanna Bradley, she is a local photographer and visual storyteller from Tofino, who has photographed not only the local surf community in Tofino but has been able to travel around the world and document a ton of incredible surfers and surfing events. I was thrilled she invited me into her cozy home in Tofino and we got to sit down for a nice 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!

5 Things I Love About the New Apple Watch Series 5

The highly anticipated Apple Watch Series 5 dropped a few days ago and I was fortunate to be one of the first ones to get my hands on one!

The Apple Watch has completely changed my life; the way I travel, workout, communicate, etc. As an early watch enthusiast and adapter, it’s been a thrill to see the evolution of this wearable technology over the last couple of years. The watch’s seamless integration with the iPhone is without a doubt what has helped position it as a leader on the market.

There are tons of great new features on the Series 5 but here are 5 of my favourites:

Always On: This new low power consumption mode now replaces the screen going off after a few seconds. All you need is a single tap for the watch to go back to the full active screen mode. This new feature allows you to easily glance at your watch during the day to see the time, date, next meeting, etc. It also allows me to keep seeing my workout metrics without having to stop whatever activity I’m doing. It’s a great new feature that will without a doubt come in handy to everyone!

Compass: A big hardware advancement on the Series 5 is the addition of the compass. It now allows you to see the direction you’re facing on Maps and the compass app itself on your watch allows you to see your longitude and latitude. It also provides additional data on your workout summary, giving you maximum and minimum elevation as well as total elevation gain, which are incredibly useful when trail running, hiking or even cycling.

Cycle Tracker: Happy women no longer need an external app to be able to track their cycle thanks to the new Cycle Tracker that can be found on the watch. It allows you to record details about your period, symptoms, sexual activity, ovulation test results, cervical mucus quality, basal body temperature, spotting, etc., which you can then also see in greater detail on your iPhone.

Noise: Apple continues to expand its in-depth health tracking with its new Noise app, which allows you to see if the room or the environment in which you are in is too noisy. It will not only measure the noise in dBs but also let you know if it’s better for you to leave the area as it could have permanent repercussions on your hearing.

International Emergency Calling: This is a great new feature for those who travel internationally. Users with the cellular models of the Series 5 can now call emergency services, no matter where their device was originally purchased and whether or not the cellular plan has been activated. This feature also works with fall detection, allowing an emergency call to automatically be placed if the watch detects you have taken a hard fall or if you remain motionless for a minute.

All in all, the Apple Watch continues to impress me and has become an essential that I can’t live without. It does everything you would want a wearable to do without any fuss; it works quickly and efficiently and provides you with a ton of important data right on your wrist. I can only imagine what other great innovations are coming down the pipeline for this great watch series!

For more information on the Apple Watch Series 5, please go here.

*I was not compensated for this post but was gifted the Apple Watch.