Ski Big 3

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The ski season may be winding down for most of us but there is still plenty of snow to ride on in the Canadian Rockies. Plus spring is my absolute favorite time of year to hit the mountain!

Last month, I had the opportunity to travel to Calgary for a special snowboard getaway. This was my first time riding in the Canadian Rockies. Though I grew up skiing every weekend, I mostly skied in Eastern Canada, going to mountains across Quebec and also in Vermont, New Hampshire and New York.

I was thrilled to find out that some of the biggest and best mountains for skiing and snowboarding are located just an hour or so away from the Calgary airport. Calgary being a short flight from Toronto (approximately 3.5hrs), made it for an ideal weekend getaway!

Ski Big 3, is the association of Mt Norquay, Lake Louise and Sunshine Village, three top-quality ski resorts located in the Banff and Lake Louise area. What is so amazing about these three fantastic resorts is that they are all located less than 45 mins away from each other. Additionally, they offer complimentary shuttle service to those wanting to ski the tri-area.

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The drive from Calgary to Banff and Lake Louise was stunning. It really made me appreciate the beautiful natural landscape that we so often forget when living in the city. Plus, living in Toronto, you never see such majestic mountains.

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FullSizeRender (88)I spent most of my weekend exploring the runs at the beautiful Lake Louise Ski Resort. I can honestly say that it was some of the best riding days of my entire life. Why you ask? The conditions were absolute perfection! It was around 0 degrees celsius out, there was a layer of fresh powder on the mountain and the sun was out for most of the weekend. Additionally, the atmosphere at the ski resort was great. Everyone was friendly, laid-back and super helpful. You never have to wait too long in line for a chairlift (unlike Ontario!), the runs are also incredibly well groomed and large enough to allow everyone to ski without interfering with one another. You get a real sense of freedom you get when you ride the Rockies. The mountain and nature views combined with the fresh air and chill vibe, it’s truly magical!

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I think another highlight of my riding weekend was having the opportunity to eat lunch outdoors at the super cute wooden WhiskyJack Lodge. I never experienced that growing up, skiing in the freezing cold, eating outside was never a possibility. I loved being able to relax and watch other riders enjoy the mountain before going back out myself.

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I debated for a long time whether to bring my skis or my snowboard and decided to bring my snowboard with me. I had so much fun trying new tricks and perfecting my riding technique on these pristine slopes.

As I write this in Toronto, where the snow is now gone but the weather is still freezing, I can’t help but want to go back and explore more of the Ski Big 3 area!

For more information on Ski Big 3 lift tickets, spring passes, lodging and vacation packages, visit their website: http://www.skibig3.com/.

Top 5 Juiceries in Canada

FullSizeRender(3)A few months ago I had the opportunity to travel to 13 cities across Canada. Those who have been following my blog, may have seen the #13Cities13Runs series that I posted (in case you missed it, check it out here). In each city that I stopped in, I also made it a point to try some of the best cold-pressed juices.

I’m lucky to live in a city like Toronto, where cold-pressed juice is everywhere you look, that said not every city across Canada offers as much selection. The good news is more and more cities are jumping onto the juice bandwagon and opening up juiceries across the country. Here are my favorite 5 juiceries from my trip across Canada:

j11j10j12j95) Rawsome Juice BarCharlottetown was one of my first stops on my cross-Canadian tour and I was delighted to find that this small island had a great local cold-pressed juicery. Located in a small industrial building right by the main street in downtown Charlottetown, Rawsome Juice Bar is run by two amazing folks that serve up both cold-pressed juices and smoothies. Their juices are available for pick up at their production office and also at several local coffee shops and stores. If ever you stop by, check out their Matcha Green Tea shake or Wakeup Juice, two perfect options to get your day going!

FullSizeRenderIMG_6081FullSizeRender(1)4) Green Carrot Juice Company – By the time I made it to Winnipeg, I was feeling super sick. My first stop in the city was the Green Carrot Juice Co., where I stocked up on nourish shots and a bunch of juices that I hoped would bring me back to health. Low and behold, these juices were a huge help! I love that spot not only for their amazing selection of juices, shots, smoothies but also for their acai bowls, sandwiches, salads and healthy sweets. I stayed in the city for a couple of days and returned to the juicery every morning! My favorites: Fix Me Up shot , Monkey Business smoothie, 24 Carrot and Summer Squeeze juice.

j6FullSizeRender(2)3) Thrive Juice Co. – I had heard of Thrive Juice Co. even before I got to Saskatoon through social media and was thrilled to be able to check it out. Their super clean and modern looking shop is super inviting and a space you want to hang out in. I love their branding and big glass bottles. If you stop by, check out: Matcha Mylk, Awaken and Black Lemonade.

j3j22) CRU JuiceCalgary was a major food discovery for me this fall. This was my first real stay in the city and I was so impressed with its selection of healthy eats and juiceries. My favorite was hands down CRU Juice. I love their way of labelling and organizing their juices. Their flavours are also original and unique, offering something different than most juiceries out there. I love that they not only have greens but also citrus, fruits, roots and nut mylks to choose from. My favorites: F3: Blue My Mind, N3: Stone-Cold Rosso and F1: Pumped Up Kicks.

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j51) The Juice Truck – This Vancouver juicery makes it to the top of my list because The Juice Truck is so much more than just a juicery. The guys behind this rad spot have created not only healthy food and juices for the city but also a community of people. Their actual Juice Truck is usually located in Gastown during the day. It’s where you can pick up juices, smoothies, delicious salads, rolls, puddings and more! In addition to their truck, they also have a cool little shop in East Van. It’s not only a place to grab food and juices but also an event space. I actually took a fitness class while I was there. They also offer movie screenings, baby classes, lectures, etc. If you’re in the area, you must make time to check these guys out. My favorites: The Spicy Apple juice, The Almost Chocolate smoothie and The Winter Hearty Salad.

Honorable mentions also go out to: GLOW Juice in Edmonton, Urban Juice Press in Ottawa, Krokodile Pear in Vancouver and The Juicery Co. in Vancouver.

Running in Miami

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I was happy to get back to running in shorts in Miami last week. Miami weather is ideal for running right now. It’s not too humid, the sun isn’t too hot and there is always a little breeze. I thus couldn’t help but go for a run, while trying out some new gear. Running along the beach is hands down my favorite running location. When I run in Toronto, I always run along the waterfront, right on Lake Ontario. It obviously pales in comparison to running along the ocean with palm trees, but I’ll take what I can get.

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Running in Miami was a nice treat. There are lot’s of great places to run in South Beach, Mid-Beach, Bal Harbour, etc. My favorite spot is the Miami Beach Boardwalk, it starts just passed 5th St and goes all the way up to 46th St. It’s about 4 miles in length. Though the boardwalk tends to get packed on weekends, people are really respectful of runners. The South Point Park also gives you a great view of downtown Miami and all the passing cruise ships. Another option is a little further north, just passed Bal Harbour. Haulover Park is a great place to run as well. There’s a great boardwalk along the beach.

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If boardwalks aren’t your thing, there are a lot of areas on the beach where the sand is packed, making it a lot easier to run in the sand but adding a little more difficulty. The thing with Miami is that there is no shortage of places to run.

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For more info on Miami’s different running trails, go here.

Photos by: @Offner

What I’m wearing: Nike 5.7 cm Zen Rival shorts (get them here), Nike Dri-Fit Knit Tank (get it here), Nike Pro Classic Bra (get it here), Toms Traveler sunglasses (get them here), Garmin Fenix 3 watch (get it here).

 

Pure Barre Toronto

Photographed by Tobias Wang
Photo by Tobias Wang

I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting ways or places to work out in the city, especially during the winter time so I was thrilled to have been invited to Pure Barre Studio yesterday to try out one of their classes before the studio officially opens in a couple of weeks.

If the name Pure Barre sounds familiar, it’s because there are a lot of Pure Barre studios located in the United States, the one opening up on Queen Street W. in Toronto will be the first studio in Canada.

Photographed by Tobias Wang
Photo by Tobias Wang
Photographed by Tobias Wang
Photo by Tobias Wang
Photographed by Tobias Wang
Photo by Tobias Wang

We had the chance to train with Paige, the owner of the studio bright and early and let me tell you, it was not an easy workout. I’m feeling incredibly sore 24hrs later, which means I definitely worked hard and worked on some different muscles or muscles I haven’t worked in a long time.

Photographed by Tobias Wang
Photo by Tobias Wang

The studio is great because it’s small enough to make you feel like you’re getting very personalized training. Paige goes around throughout the workout to make sure you have proper form, which is always appreciated especially when doing a type of exercise for the very first time.

Photographed by Tobias Wang
Photo by Tobias Wang
Photographed by Tobias Wang
Photo by Tobias Wang

The workout itself reminded me a bit of my ballet classes growing up with a lot more strength conditioning. Though you are only required to do small movements, they are surprisingly just as hard as any other big movement to do. Less is more in the class. We also got to use weights, stretch bands and a ball to add variety and complexity to the moves we were doing.

Photographed by Tobias Wang
Photo by Tobias Wang
Photographed by Tobias Wang
Photo by Tobias Wang
Photographed by Tobias Wang
Photo by Tobias Wang
Photographed by Tobias Wang
Photo by Tobias Wang

All in all, I got real sweaty, real fast during the workout and had a blast experiencing something new. It definitely kicked my morning into high gear.

PureBarre Studio will be opening in Toronto in the next couple of weeks. For more information, check them out here.

New Year, New Goals

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2015 was a stellar year for me on the health and fitness front. I ran my first ever races, I trained harder than ever and became the healthiest I’ve ever been.

Whether it snowed, rain, it was super hot or freezing cold, I didn’t let the elements interfere with my training program. I also used all of my travels as extra motivation to get out there and explore new cities and new sights along the way.

Not only did I achieve my goal to run my first ever race, I also ran a 15k race and a handful more during the year. I accomplished things I honestly never thought possible.

I plan on making 2016 an even more kick-ass year health and fitness-wise. My main goal is to not only stay active and healthy but also run my first half-marathon! To accomplish that, I will need to take my training up a notch.

I’m excited to be kick off the year and be a part of Nike’s 21 Days of #BetterForIt that start on January 4th. Head over to Nike.com to take a personal quiz and see what fitness program is best for you. The program will be specifically designed for your personal lifestyle and fitness level. I honestly couldn’t think of a more motivating way to start off this new year and to move towards my new goal, knowing we can do it all together just makes it even better! Stoked to be a part of such an amazing community of women all around the world. For more info, go here.

Nutcracker High Tea at Shangri-La Toronto

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If you’re looking for something unique to do during the holidays, make sure you head over to the Shangri-La hotel in Toronto for a special high tea service inspired by the classic Nutcracker ballet.

Taking place in the Shangri-La’s luxurious lobby lounge, the Nutcracker high tea is an enchanting way to spend a couple of hours with either a loved one, family, a business partner or friends.

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You will be seated either fireside or close to the grand piano and be able to relax and enjoy some lovely holiday classics interpreted live right before your eyes. The atmosphere is welcoming and also very homey.

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The Shangri-La offers a selection of 75 teas to choose from for their high tea ceremony, the biggest collection of any hotel in the city.

There are three different versions of the menu available; their regular menu, a vegetarian menu and also a special menu for children.

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Featured in this special Nutcracker themed menu, you will find their delicious selection of finger sandwiches, special festival marzipan stollen as well as their scrumptious warm candied ginger and traditional scones that are accompanied by house made jam, clotted cream and honey from their own “B-wall” that they cultivate in the hotel.

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The selection of pastries they offer are inspired by the dances in Act II of the Nutcracker ballet. You will be offered four pastries: the Spanish Dance (a dark chocolate cinnamon crèmeux), the Arabian Dance (coffee cardamon crème diplomat), the Chinese Dance (Imperial Dragon well tea cream) and the Russian Dance (Russian style gingerbread). The ingredients they use for these pastries are directly influenced by the dance’s country of origin.

The Shangri-La’s beautifully dressed staff will make sure you feel at home and take care of everything you need during the service. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself staying longer than expected to enjoy the magical ambiance.

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The Nutcracker high tea is being offered at the Shangri-La hotel in Toronto from 2-5pm daily until January 3rd 2016. To make a reservation or for more info, go here.

Wedding Inspiration – Look 3

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Today’s Look 3 without a doubt has more of a bohemian feel to it. Not only with the setting we chose but also with the hairstyle and dress we picked.

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We decided to go with a short but incredibly cute floral lace gown. Wedding dresses don’t always have to be long with a train. Short dresses can be just as cute and also a lot more practical. We accessorized it with a gold belt and gold shoes.

As for the hairstyle, we decided on a fishtail braid and added a strand from the bouquet in the braid to complete the look.

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This look is super romantic and flirty. Perfect for a more casual wedding.

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Photos: Aleyah Solomon
Hair: Cabello by Carolina
Makeup: Michelle Gardeen
Dress: NARCES

Exploring BC

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I spent the past two weeks exploring beautiful British Columbia. What makes BC so special is that they’ve got it all. They have the mountains, the ocean, nature, the city and also small villages. It’s a truly stunning place to spend time in. Just on this trip, I saw whales, seals, sealions, bald eagles, countless birds, etc.

After having spent the past two months traveling non-stop across the country, it was nice to finally get some time off in BC to explore nature and get away from the bustle.

I’m thrilled to share with you in the coming weeks, a series of travel and fitness blogs on this magnificent province.

As I write this post, I’m waiting for my flight back to Toronto and I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t going to seriously miss this place. I hope I won’t have to wait another 3 years before heading back to beautiful British Columbia!

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Photos by @Offner

What I’m wearing: Sanuk Siena Boot (get it here), Bench Onetimer III Jacket (get it here).

Dress for Fall

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Fall is here and I’ve found the perfect dress for the season. A dress that will keep me warm while still looking stylish. Not a big fan of tights so I will keep rocking the bare legs for a little while longer, hopefully I can keep doing so as I cross the country from east to west for the next seven weeks. Hopefully we won’t be running into snow along the way… Fingers crossed! This dress will be perfect for staying in and cozying up on colder days but also for dressing it up with a pair of boots or even heels! Plus, the best part, it has a hood! It has now become my indispensable dress for the fall!

Will you keep rocking dresses this season?

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Photos by @Offner

Bench Indispensable Dress (get it here)

Bench Harmonist Handbag (get it here)

The Chic Canuk – Feature

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The Chic Canuk recently did a feature on the Top 15 Fitness Bloggers to follow in Canada. I had the honor of being a part of their list. I’m incredibly flattered to be featured on this list with some incredibly inspiring women. Read the full article here: http://www.thechiccanuck.com/blogs/the-latest/60901955-the-top-15-canadian-fitness-bloggers-to-know