MELSAYS PODCAST – EP. 21 – Farinaz Lari

Photo credit: Ben Owens Photography

Hey what’s up everyone! Welcome to another edition of the MELSAYS PODCAST. Can you believe it, it’s already mid-august, I feel like the summer is flying by. This week, I recorded 3 new episodes of the podcast, so I’m excited to share these new episodes with you all, in the coming weeks.

Today’s chat is with Farinaz Lari. Farinaz, was born in Tehran, Iran and moved to Canada almost 10 years ago. In addition to being the co-owner of the District Warrior gym in Vancouver, she is also a kickboxing World Champion. She has paved the way for other female martial artists not only in Iran but also in Canada. Her story is incredible and is definitely one of my favourite chats so far. Hope you’ll be as moved as I was by her story!

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. 20 – Hilary Spires

Hey everyone!

Welcome to a new edition of the MELSAYS PODCAST! I hope you’re all doing well!

My guest for today, is a woman that I’ve been wanting to have on the podcast since I met her in person for the first time this winter, at a local trail running race. Her name is Hilary Spires, she is an ultra runner, a coach, a former National Women’s Hockey League player, kickboxer and all-around badass. She also hosts a podcast called the Trail Running Women Podcast.

She recently took part in the multi-Grouse Grind fundraising challenge here in Vancouver, which basically entails climbing the Grouse Grind as many times as you can in 1 day from sunrise to sunset, all this while being 7 months pregnant.

She’s become a popular figure in the local trail running community thanks to her accomplishments and her kick-ass attitude, so I’m thrilled to have her on today to talk about her career as an athlete, that infamous pain cave and some of the challenges she’s faced while being pregnant as an athlete. 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. Also, feel free to send me some guest suggestions for future episodes!

MELSAYS PODCAST – EP. 19 – Sharing my Story

Photo credit: Hilary Matheson

Hi everyone!

Hope your summer is off to a great start!

Happy to share with you today a brand new episode of the MELSAYS PODCAST. If this is the first time you’re tuning in, please note that this episode is a little different than usual.

I recently had coffee with one of my friends Mandy Gill, she’s a plant-based ultra athlete, an entrepreneur, tv personality and all-around amazing lady.

After sharing with her some of the hardships I went through this past year, she suggested I share my story, with you all on the podcast today. If you don’t follow me on Instagram, I recently posted about the fact that I was diagnosed with skin cancer, in June of last year and went for my super important 1-year follow up just a few weeks ago, and was told that I am still cancer free!

Recording this podcast, definitely made me feel super vulnerable but I’m hoping that by me sharing my story, the struggles I went through this past year, the diagnosis, surgeries, etc. that it can raise more awareness, and maybe even inspire some of you to go get a skin check! So thank you in advance for listening!

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. Also, feel free to send me some guest suggestions for future episodes!

MELSAYS PODCAST – EP. 18 – Krystle Wright

Hi everyone!

Excited to share with you a brand new episode of the MELSAYS PODCAST!

On today’s podcast, I chat with a brilliant photographer and director, her name is Krystle Wright. She was in Vancouver a little while back for the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival and I got to speak to her, in her hotel room, just minutes before she took the stage at the festival.

If you don’t know Krystle’s work, she’s an adventure sports photographer, originally from Queensland, Australia, who’s traveled the world to capture everything from extreme sports to epic expeditions. I highly recommend checking her out on Instagram @krystlejwright while you listen to the podcast to see some of her breathtaking work. Over the years, some of her work has appeared in National Geographic, The Times, Huffington Post and GQ, just to name a few. It was awesome to get her take on what makes up a good photo, what she tries to capture in her work as well as the impact of social media on photographers and beyond.

I hope you’ll like this short but sweet chat, so without further ado, here’s Krystle Wright.

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. Also, feel free to send me some guest suggestions for future episodes!

MELSAYS PODCAST – EP. 17 – Kayla Brolly

Hello hello!

It’s been way too long since I’ve uploaded a new podcast and for that I’m truly sorry. I had computer troubles while I was away for the past month or so but now that I’m finally back home and have a new computer, expect new podcast episodes coming your way!

I always get so excited when people I really look up to agree to share their stories with me. Kayla Brolly is one of these ladies. She’s an ER nurse, as well as a crew member for North Shore Rescue, here in North Vancouver. If you live in British Columbia or in areas surrounded by nature, you know how important the work of search and rescue crews are. I’m lucky that I get to go run and hike in the local mountains and know how crazy the terrain can be. So having a group like North Shore Rescue, that is solely volunteer based, is incredibly important. The work they do in the local community is exceptional. Therefore I’m thrilled that she came to meet me and we sat down to talk about the work that she does with them as well as the challenges she’s had to overcome in her career. She was just lovely to talk to. I hope you’ll enjoy my chat with Kayla!

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.

How the Apple Watch Has Become the Ideal Fitness Partner

Photo by Mirae Campbell

As an early Apple Watch enthusiast, I’ve always been excited by the possibilities that this watch offers. From being able to track your workouts, to keeping you accountable with friends by closing Activity Rings to now having integrated some great fitness-related apps, the Apple Watch Series 4 has become the ideal fitness and health partner.

I’ve talked about some of my favourite features of the watch on the website before but am happy to share with you today, some of my latest and greatest watch discoveries.

Photo by Matt Massa

Snoww

Though the season may be coming to an end, it’s with tons of enthusiasm that I tested out a cool social ski and snowboarding app last week while in Whistler. Developed by Eddy Healey, a ski fanatic from the UK, Snoww is a ski and snowboarding tracking app that allows you to follow friends and compare vital ski/snowboarding statistics or even compete with skiers/snowboarders to climb your way to the top of the mountain’s leaderboard. Think of Strava but specifically designed for skiing/snowboarding. You can even add Siri shortcuts to get information about your runs while you’re on the mountain but my utmost favourite feature on the app is being able to track in real time the people you follow on the app to see their whereabouts on the mountain. As someone who lives in BC, where backcountry skiing and out of bound riding are a thing, this could potentially be really helpful if ever you were to be out with a group and lose someone. They also have an augmented reality feature that allows you to track someone and see in more detail where they are. The metrics from the Snoww app will then seamlessly be added to your Activity App once your day on the mountain is complete.

Photo by Mirae Campbell
Photo by: Mirae Campbell

Yoga

As someone who does a lot of running, yoga has become a great way to cross-train and also stretch plus take care of my body. Therefore, the new Yoga Workout in the Workout App is a great addition to the slew of activities like swimming, cycling, spinning, hiking, etc. that are already available. It’s a fantastic way to set goals for your practice, measure your heart rate as well as calorie burn during each session. Additionally, a great way of ending your practice is by using the Breathe app, which will guide you through 1 minute of deep breathing before moving onto the next thing on your agenda for the day.

Photo by Mirae Campbell
Photo by Mirae Campbell

Running

I’ve been using the Running Workout on the Apple Watch for the past couple of years. Though I’ve already talked about some of the things I love most about the Running Workout, one of the things that I have really enjoyed is being able to run without my phone, thanks to cellular connectivity with the Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple Watch Series 4. Another plus is being to run wirelessly thanks to my AirPods. I’ve enjoyed listening to podcasts and some of my favourite tunes without having to worry about wires. As someone who sometimes forgets to start my workout, having the Automatic Workout Detection is a great reminder to start and stop a running session if ever I have forgotten to do so. Like I’ve alluded to in a previous post, additional features like the rolling mile pace, cadence and target pace are all tools that can help, especially when training for a race.

Photo by Mirae Campbell
Photo by Mirae Campbell
Photo by Mirae Campbell

In short, these are just some of the many fitness and wellness features that come with wearing an Apple Watch. With all the testing that Apple is continuously doing and the addition of trackers such as the accelerometer, the altimeter, GPS, heart rate tracker, etc., it comes as no surprise that the Apple Watch has become highly coveted by both people like you and I and Olympic athletes like Canadian Ski Cross Olympic gold medallist Marielle “Big Air Mar” Thompson and Brady Leman, who is also a Canadian Ski Cross Olympic gold medallist.

For more information on the Apple Watch and how it can enhance your workouts, go here.

2019 Ford Escape Titanium

Just before leaving for Australia last month, I had the opportunity to test drive the brand new 2019 Ford Escape Titanium. I lined up a couple of excursions during the week I had the vehicle including my first trail race of the year, thinking it would be a great way to put the vehicle to the test. Here are some highlights of the vehicle.

LOOK

Over the years, the Ford Escape has gotten a lot sleeker looking. The once boxy compact SUV, now has gotten a major facelift thanks to new key elements such as the 19-inch aluminum wheels with lustre nickel painted spokes and pockets, a body-coloured rear spoiler, both an upper and lower grill, cool looking fog lamps and dual chrome tipped exhaust just to name a few. You can choose from 9 exterior colours including Ruby Red (as pictured above!), Sedona Orange, Baltic Sea Green, etc. With the Ford Escape Titanium’s current look, it comes as no surprise that the vehicle can appeal to a large audience.

SAFETY

Though things such as rear view cameras, reverse/forward/side sensing systems as well as integrated blind spot mirrors have become common in most new vehicles, driving the 2019 Ford Escape Titanium will make you feel that safety was one of the main concerns of the makers of this car. Its additional features like Driver’s knee airbag, SOS Post-Crash Alert System™, Perimeter alarm, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and Emergency Brake Assist System, that really make you feel like you can drive with confidence.

PERFORMANCE

If you’re all about the numbers, then you’ll be happy to know that the 2019 Ford Escape Titanium comes equipped with a 6-Speed Automatic Transmission with SelectShift® Capability and gives you 245 horsepower. But one of the elements that is most important, in my opinion, is the 2.0L EcoBoost Engine which has automatic Start-Stop Technology, which allows you to reduce not only consumption but also very importantly, emissions while driving around in the city. Other important features like Curve Control, which senses if you’re going too fast and can slow you down using throttle reduction and anti-lock breaking plus Traction Control will help keep the car on the road.

TECHNOLOGY

It comes as no surprise that the 2019 Ford Escape Titanium comes equipped with the latest technological features. From Ford’s Wi-Fi Hotspot FordPass Connect to Voice-Activated Touchscreen Navigation System with SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link that allows for turn-by-turn guided navigation and a touchscreen that has swiping, pinching capabilities. Moreover, this ultra smart system comes up with adaptive search results based on your preferences. Other characteristics such as Enhance Park Assist and Parallel Parking, can without a doubt come in handy when maneuvering in tight spots. Finally, the Hands-Free Foot-Activated Liftgate is definitely a nice little extra when grocery shopping or packing the car for a snowboard session or road trip.

RECAP

All in all the 2019 Ford Escape Titanium is a versatile compact SV that is suited for all types of lifestyles. Whether you have a family (the interior space/comfort is wonderful!), you’re an adventure enthusiast, a city dweller or use this car for business, the new Escape has appeal for everyone. Plus, it is perfect for the variety of terrain that offers a place like BC. Driving it around from Vancouver to the snowy and slippery roads of Squamish and Whistler or towards Port Coquitlam and the trails of Belcarra Regional Park, the car handled all environments and terrain. go here.

For more information on the 2019 Ford Escape Titanium, go here.

*I was not compensated for this post but Ford lent me the vehicle for the week.

Melbourne – A Little Touch of Toronto

It’s been a while since I’ve posted but I felt compelled to share some of my thoughts on my recent trip down under. The past month has been incredible. Australia and New Zealand has been on my travel bucket list since I was a kid so to finally be able to go, was pretty surreal.

We spent several weeks in a van (post about that coming soon!) and then flew to Australia to visit the Gold Coast and drive all the way from Brisbane to Melbourne and surf at as many spots as possible along the way. I will definitely make certain to share with you some of my favourite plant-based foodie finds while I was there but before doing so I wanted to share some of my thoughts on the great city of Melbourne.

Immediately when we arrived, I felt a familiar sensation in my chest. I right away felt like we were back in Toronto but with the nature and weather of Los Angeles. The parallels between Toronto and Melbourne are actually pretty crazy.

Here are a couple of similarities I noticed:

They have streetcars. They look and sound exactly like the ones in Toronto. They’re even made by Bombardier!

They have similar architecture. They have tons of old houses that remind me of the houses in the Annex in Toronto, with the stained-glass windows and a victorian feel. Even the downtown looks the same and has many of the same street names.

They have a big train station. It resembles Union Station because of where it’s located in the city, what it looks like and also because it connects both commuter trains and the local subway to the downtown core.

Lower Dawn Parklands is known as Merri Creek Trail. In Melbourne, the trail goes more than 21k across the city and is a mix of forested area, gravel and road.

They are right on the water. There’s both the beach and the river, both of which have a similar vibe than The Beaches and parts of the Martin Goodman Trail. It’s a great place to explore, go for a walk or run. The only difference is instead of being Lake Ontario, it’s the ocean!

They have a “Trinity Bellwoods” and “Christine Pitts”. There are tons of similar looking parks around the city, but the area called Fitzroy, definitely reminded me of West Queen West.

There’s a graffiti alley. This is probably what reminded me the most of Toronto. The alley was filled with awesome artwork and tourists taking photos or staging photoshoots.

They have West Queen West shops. There are so many of them that remind me of the ones in Toronto. I found a super cute shop that reminded me of Bluboho in Toronto. Since leaving Toronto, I’ve definitely missed my friends and also the city’s edge, independent shops, fashion, etc. Recently, I was able to get some pieces from Bluboho sent to Vancouver and I now bring them with me everywhere I go. They are a lovely reminder of the city I spent 10 years in and will always love.

Wearing my Bluboho Lasso Bracelet and La Petite Amie Signet Ring (that I engraved with my initials!)

There are countless other ways Melbourne made me think of Toronto from restaurants to the coffee shops and various neighbourhoods. It made my visit to Melbourne that much more enjoyable as I spent time remising about the great years I spent in Toronto.

If you’re planning on heading down under, make sure you stop in this incredibly multicultural and lively city!

Get my Bluboho Lasso Bracelet (here) and La Petit Amie Signet Ring (here). 

*I was not compensated for this post but was gifted the Bluboho jewelry

MELSAYS PODCAST – EP. 16 – Sarah MacPherson

Happy New Year everyone! Hope your 2019 is off to a great start! Excited to be putting out some brand new podcasts this year with some inspiring women.

My guest for this episode is Sarah MacPherson. She is a Canadian 1500m runner, currently training in Victoria, BC with the Vic City Elite. She is working towards representing Canada at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. I had the chance to meet up with her on a recent trip to Victoria to find out more about her journey as an athlete. 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.

MELSAYS PODCAST – EP. 15 – Courtney Burt of Run Like a Girl

Celebrating the end of 2018 with a brand new podcast!

My guest for this episode is Courtney Burt, she is the co-founder of Run Like A Girl. She is a BC-based long-distance runner who has run races anywhere from 50 to 250 kilometers long. Courtney runs all the behind the scenes stuff at Run Like A Girl and also leads some of their retreats. I’m thrilled to have her share more about this awesome community that she has helped create. So without further a due, here’s my chat with Courtney.

Thanks so much for all of your support with my first year of podcasting! I hope you’ve enjoyed the episodes that I released in 2018 and hopefully were inspired by the women that I spoke with, I know I was! Hope you’ll join me in the new year for tons more!

Happy 2019!