MELSAYS PODCAST – EP. 22 – Kat Drew

Hey what’s up everyone! Welcome to another edition of the, MELSAYS PODCAST. How’s it going? Thanks for all of your positive feedback, following the last episode with Farinaz Lari, I always appreciate hearing from everyone. If you haven’t listened to it already, check out episode 21 here.

Super excited to release today’s episode, before I head off to Europe for a few weeks.

My guest for today, is Kat Drew. She’s a local Vancouver runner, who recently took part in one of the most prestigious trail races in the world; the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Race. Not only did she finish it, but she placed 8th female overall! I happen to meet her while doing some trail work on the north shore, just a few days after her race, and asked her if she wanted to share her story on how she got to this legendary race. She was really lovely to speak to, and it was super interesting to get more insight on her experience at Western States. I hope you’ll enjoy!

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. 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!

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.

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!

MELSAYS PODCAST – EP. 14 – Sarah Leanne Hart

photo: Doerte Pietron

Welcome to another edition of the MELSAYS PODCAST!

My guest for this episode is Sarah Leanne Hart. Sarah is a climber and she was MEC’s first ever ambassador, and still is to this day. She has traveled the world doing some epic climbs and is considered to be an “all-arounder”, climbing at an elite level, in different climbing disciplines. In addition to climbing, she also works as a facilitator for groups of women and girls. I had such a lovely time speaking with her at her home in Squamish a few weeks back, 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.

 

MELSAYS PODCAST – EP. 12 – Kate Harris

This podcast episode was a LONG time coming and for that I apologize. I unfortunately had some technical problems with the sound when we recorded the episode and lost all of my questions. That said, it was too good of an episode to not share it with everyone. So please forgive the imperfect sound quality!

My guest for this episode is Kate Harris, she is a writer and an adventurer who recently published a book called Lands of Lost Borders, recounting her cycling travels across the Silk Road. In addition to being an author, she is also an accomplished scholar with degrees from MIT and Oxford. She also has also written for Canadian Geographic Travel, The Walrus and other notable publications. I’m so thrilled to have this modern-day explorer on the podcast today. 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.

Unique Getaway Idea – Nectar Yoga B&B on Bowen Island

If you’re like me, then you’re always on the lookout for unique experiences and getaways.

Since before moving to Vancouver, I had been wanting to check out a super cute B&B located on Bowen Island that I found on Instagram called Nectar Yoga B&B. I had heard that this place was not only a great spot for yoga but also a very tranquil place to stay and recharge for a couple of days.

I had the opportunity to finally to check it out just a few weeks ago and the magical B&B did not disappoint.

Getting to Bowen Island is a quick 25-minute ferry ride that departs from Horseshoe Bay several times a day. Once on Bowen Island, you can easily access to Nectar Yoga B&B either by car, by bike or even just walking or hitchhiking, as a lot of locals do.

Located just off one of the main roads on the island, this beautiful eco-friendly B&B offers its guests 3 different lodging options on its 1.2 acre lot. You can either opt for the Nectar Loft (that can welcome up to 4 guests), the Forest Cottage (that can welcome 2 guests) or even opt for the Garden Suite (which can accommodate an even larger group).

The Nectar Loft offers guests beach style cottage accommodations. The loft is furnished with sustainable and local decor, organic bedding, a Canadian-made pull-out sofa and all-natural beauty products. There is also a kitchenette that is filled with local coffee and teas as well as an area with books, board games and art supplies encouraging guests to get creative during their stay.

The Forest Cottage is a prefabricated building that was delivered to the property by boat as a way to reduce waste, fossil fuels and have less of an impact on the forested area in which it is located in. This west coast beach style cottage has a very homey feel with its cute beach-themed deco and fireplace.

There is also a beautiful outdoor shower on a private deck that features all natural eco-friendly bath products. From the shower, guests can spot local wildlife such as deer and beautiful 100-foot trees. The cottage also includes a mini fridge, local teas, coffee as well as a wide selection of DVDs and books to cozy up with in the evening.

Another reason why this place is so special is because the entire B&B only uses natural cleaning and beauty products to ensure they minimize their negative impact on the environment.

The one thing I was most excited to check out at the B&B, is their yoga dome that is located on property. When you check-in, you can opt for an Evening Arrival Yoga Lesson in the dome followed by a Guided Relaxation. Each morning, you can also start your day with a Guided Meditation and Yoga Lesson, before enjoying the homemade vegetarian or vegan breakfast that is delivered right to your door. Waffles, coconut yogurt, smoothies and fresh fruit are just some of the delicious homemade treats that can be served for breakfast. It’s a healthy and hearty way to start off the day!

During your stay at the B&B, you can also set up an in-room massage or even order a juice cleanse (that is made with seasonal fruit and veggies that are local and organic when possible). To top it off, there is also a Wood Burning Finnish Sauna that you can access on property.

If you’re looking for things to do beyond the property, you will find a little secluded beach just a 5min walk away. The beach is quiet and offers breathtaking views of Horseshoe Bay and the surrounding mountains.

If you’re into hiking, there are also tons of trails on the island to choose from, Mount Gardner being the most popular and longest route.

All in all, the Nectar Yoga B&B is the perfect place to unwind and spend a couple of days focusing on your health and wellbeing while being at one with nature. It’s a true gem and so incredibly close to Vancouver. I look forward to spending some additional time there later in the year.

For more info on the Nectar Yoga B&B, go here.

5 Counties Worth Visiting in Gold Country – Pt. 2 El Dorado County

Today’s Gold Country destination is El Dorado County. The county is located entirely in the Sierra Nevada and ranges from the western foothills to the High Sierra in the east.

This is the location where gold was found for the first time!

Situated just a 45 min drive from Sacramento, El Dorado County is where James W. Marshall discovered gold in Coloma on January 24th 1848. Soon after, the population of the area exploded with miners hoping to strike it rich. Today, the area is home to more than 181 000 residents.

These days, the area is known for its wineries, 26 miles of biking and hiking trails, pristine public lands, glamping tents as well as fun outdoor water activities on the American River.

White water rafting has become a huge attraction in the area, thanks to companies like Raft California, that offer a multitude of organized excursions from a simple rafting trip to rafting and wine tasting, camping and so on. Rafting with the crew from Raft California, was hands down one of the coolest experiences of my life!

Talk about a thrilling adventure. I would go white water rafting again in a heartbeat!

The area is also filled with tons of cute farm to fork cafés such as The Argonaut, which is located just a stone’s throw from the river and the historic Sutter’s Mill Site, where gold was first found.

The first covered bridge in California was built in Coloma.

In addition to the protecting the rich history of the area, locals have worked hard at protecting the local environment and unique lands such as the Lake Tahoe area since the 1960 Winter Olympics hosted at Squaw Valley Ski Resort.

El Dorado County is an easy getaway to the Californian countryside for anyone coming from Sacramento and beyond.

For more information on El Dorado County, go here.

Tomorrow’s Destination – Amador County!