Monday, January 27, 2014

Chi Junky #GetAddicted Grand Opening Party

Hey lovey,

So it seems that now Monday's are the day that I blog most consistently. That needs to be improved, so maybe I'll slip in another day this week for catch up!

A couple of weeks ago I was invited by Duet PR to attend the Grand Opening party for Chi Junky, a new wellness retreat located in the up & coming neighbourhood called Leslieville here in Toronto. Before I get into the actual event itself, let me give you a little background information about Chi Junky itself.

Chi Junky is basically a 1-stop shop for all things clean living. They have a team of professionals including naturopaths, massage therapists, nutritional counsellors, personal trainers and yoga instructors and they all work to fulfill your wellness needs (and as a bonus, if they don't offer the service you're looking for, they will locate the best provider of that service and arrange an appointment for you!).

Rachelle Wintzen, Owner of Chi Junky
Chi Junky is owned by the beautiful Rachelle Wintzen who is a certified yoga instructor, holistic nutritionist, iridologist and colon hydro-therapist. She started out in her career as a dancer but unfortunately had to stop due to overuse injuries and poor nutrition. She ended up in the bar scene in New York City and after a while left her physically and mentally wasted and she knew something needed to change. She travelled to Belize where she continued her journey and soon became addicted to living a clean, healthy life!

Chi Junky offers a WIDE variety of services including:

Open Yoga - a yoga class that's no bigger than 4 people so you're able to fine-tune your practice in a small group format.

Private Yoga - one-on-one yoga

Body Therapy - Massage Therapy all preformed by an RMT and they use all organic and natural oils. Treatments include thai yoga, aromatherapy, deep tissue, reiki, reflexology or accupressure.

Movement Therapy - Personal trainers develop a fitness plan based around minimal equipment and uses a lot of body weight movements to help decrease injury while strengthening and toning.

Food Therapy - Holistic Nutritionists teach you how to prolong your life and achieve vitality through food.

Supermarket Junky - You are provided a staff to go with you at your local grocery store for 2-hours while you're being taught how to read labels, decipher the truth behind pretty packaging and choose what you need to nourish yourself.

Clean Meal Delivery or Pickup - providing you with clean meals and the convenience of having it delivered to home or to your office.

Personal In-Home Holistic Chef - You receive a personal holistic chef to your own home to prepare your meals for the week.

For a more compete list of services and prices, click here and you can explore on your own!

Now for the fun part!!! The PARTY!

The party was a red carpet event located at their venue in Leslieville and was so much fun. I walked in and there was a live jazz band playing and they were SO good.


They provided all of the guests with complimentary coat check which was lovely of them. C and I eventually made our way to the back area where the bar was located and the drink menu was all drinks made from natural ingredients (with the exception of the alcohol).


I had to take a picture of our bartender, he probably thought I was nuts.



C and his bevvy.
We ran into the lovely Robyn Baldwin while we were there so we got to chat with her and her date for a while which was nice. I actually hadn't seen her in a really long time so it was nice to catch up quickly!! Obviously we snapped a photo before parting ways.... :)


It was a great night and we met some new people while we were there which is always fun! I took a quick tour of the rest of the facilities before we left (it was busy!) and actually purchased some new dark chocolate which I had never tried before!







I purchased some new dark chocolate and I'm loving it so far, look how pretty it is!


The "Flirt" chocolate is dark chocolate with raspberries and cherries in it, while the other is dark chocolate with dried strawberries and hemp on the top!! It's almost like art, I'm not sure if I can eat that or not! :) As we were leaving the event we were given a swag bag and it was so cute! It came in a reusable black bag and was full of fun stuff like a Vega protein shake, Jax Coconut Water and a Simply Bar!


Thanks to Chi Junky, Duet PR & Rachelle for inviting me! It was such a great time! Hope to go back and take a yoga class soon!!
Sarah

Monday, January 20, 2014

Optimal Body Fitness Check-In #1

Hey loveys,

Oh my god.. it happened again... I really need to put "Blog" in my planner so I can actually plan out days that I'm going to write for you.. Bah!

Not much to update you on really... School is still really good!! I'm loving most of my classes, and today I actually had to do a Summary Assignment in English class worth 15% of my final mark... I think I did well, I read and reread and reread again all of my work, made sure my spelling and grammar were correct and all of it was written in the 3rd person but in the present tense. Lol... I also had to get together and work on a group presentation today for my Business class. I got 100% on a math quiz last week (holla!) and I had my first Computers class last week where I had a lesson on learning how to use Microsoft Word. Lol... If I don't get 100% in this computers class I will be extremely disappointed in myself.

As you know I've been training with my trainer Deanna from Optimal Body Fitness for about 4 weeks now. Last week we discovered that the hardest thing for me to do is get in all of my meals throughout the day. My last post touched on my new adventures in food preparation... Things have still been going well but it really does take a good chunk of time and commitment. The plan calls for me to have 6 small meals every day, one meal every 3 hours... plus anywhere from 3-4 litres of water everyday and my supplement regime. To get kind of an idea of how my body has changed, here is a before and after. This.... is not fun for me to show you lol. But whatever - here you go!


Don't mind the white thing on my stomach, it's my diabetes thingy...

So anywho - see the change?? Isn't it lovely??? On Friday last week I got measured in about 12 different fat spots again and there have been some pretty neat changes... Jon (the owner of Optimal Body Fitness) pinched me with a skinfold calliper and compared it to the first time we did it. In total I'm down 2% body fat (from 21% to 19%), I'm down 2lbs in total but I've gained 1lb of muscle, I've lost 20mm of fat! Wahoo!!


I'm actually to the point now where I'm not INSANELY sore after my workouts anymore (I still get sore, but not to the point that I can't walk) and I look forward to seeing my workout partner Felicia and trainer Deanna! They make my workout fun... well, sometimes not Deanna because she yells at me when I'm being lazy (LOL) but for the most part she's fun!

We took some photos last week of one of our workouts...

Sore callus palms.. I bought workout gloves!
Plank + Dumbbell Row
Felicia, Deanna and crazy arms Me in the back.
Planks for all at the end of the workout!
I have my next workout at 4:30 today and usually Monday's are hard because I become lazy on the weekends. I know today is a hard, deadlift, squats, back, bicep type day so I just need to mentally prepare and all should be good! After seeing how much fat I've dropped and seeing the before and after photo (that before and after photo is only 1 week difference by the way...) it really motivates me to want to work harder and not cheat on my diet and be really strict with out I eat. I get another measurement session in another 4 weeks so hopefully you'll be able to see even bigger results at that time!

Q: Are you good with eating more small meals throughout the day, or do you eat 3 meals a day? 

Sarah

Monday, January 13, 2014

My First Journey With Meal Prepping

Hey loveys,

OH MY GOD it feels like FOREVER since I last posted!! I have to admit, with last week being my first week back to school full time I wanted to really focus on that and I kind of put this little guy to the back burner for a few days. I'm sorry! I feel like a neglectful mother not looking after my child properly... or something.

My first week back to school went surprisingly well. Monday through Thursdays I have my first class at 8am. You might be thinking "Sarah, why would you CHOOSE to have 8am classes most days of the week?". Let me explain my reasoning.

1. I figure it's easier to get my body into that schedule rather than waking up at different times every day.
2. The earlier I start my classes, the earlier I end my classes and can come home (for now) and do homework, reading, and of course blogging! Eventually it will make finding time to squeeze in a part time job easier.
3. I figured most people DON'T choose to have class at 8am so I hope that the people who do come for 8am classes are serious about their studies and don't disrupt the class.

To be honest with you, getting up early is only really tough for about the first hour. I wake up at 5:50am and am usually out the door by 7am to catch the street car. I find that if I can finish a cup of coffee and my breakfast before class, I'm usually good to go, ready to learn and like 95% awake by the time I get on campus. I also actually find that I seem to have more energy throughout the day.. Maybe that's because I'm constantly doing something and not sitting at a desk staring at a computer screen for 8+ hours a day like I was doing at my old job.

That brings me to another point - I'm SO much less stressed than I was when I was working.... I can't even tell you the difference it's making. I can tell that my cortisol levels have dropped, I'm pretty quickly loosing the few extra lbs I carried around my tummy for a while (which is linked to higher cortisol rates due to stress and not eating properly) which I think is 1 part due to not being so freaking stressed and 1 part due to the fact that I'm being really good with my diet and exercise plans lately.

Last week I got in 3 visits to my personal trainer and it came up that it was posing as a challenge for me to get in all the meals I'm supposed to be in a day. I'm literally supposed to be eating a small meal every 3 hours and when I was in school and feeling things out, I wasn't doing that.. or I'd have part of a meal which in turn wasn't allowing me to have the correct amount of calories which was leaving my body in a deficit for training later in the day. So I've decided that every other day I'm going to do food prep for 2 days in total, and that started last night.


Taaadaaaa... so these are the meals that I have to take with me and not eat at home. I didn't prep dinners or anything because C and I usually cook those together and I'll just make those the day of. We have a breakfast there of chicken, steamed spinach with organic butter and some almonds and half an orange, a snack of hard boiled eggs and celery and carrots, a lunch of chicken, celery, carrots and almonds, a pre-workout meal of hard boiled eggs and blueberries, a post-workout meal of rice and chicken and I think another snack in there that I'm pairing with a protein shake. Deanna will be so happy when she sees this photo :). That was the one thing I was having trouble with, trying to figure out what to take with me to school at like 6am... but now I think I've figured it out! In class today I had some almonds, some cherry tomatoes and a protein shake. BOOM. :)

While I'm on the topic of good food, this weekend I took Jenny out for her birthday and we went to a place kind of close to us called Rodney's Oyster House. It's just that, an oyster house. I have a very public love affair with seafood and oysters are one type of seafood that I had never tried, so this was SUPER exciting for me. I don't know anything about oysters but luckily Jenny did so she ordered us some. We got 3 different kinds of oysters and 4 each (so 2 per person).


They were DELISH. They come with sauces that you can put on them and omg my mouth is drooling just thinking about it. After the oysters we shared a tuna tartare and some garlic scallops (along with a bottle of pinot noir.... oops). It was soooo so so so so so good and I want to go back there really bad. I should scout out some other seafood restaurants in Toronto and check them out, I bet I could find some really delicious places!!

On Sunday we hung out in a fancy area in Toronto called Yorkville. Jenny and I went for a coffee at a nice little cafe called Cafe Bacio. It was so cute, it had vintage photos hung on the wall and their latte's were so pretty...


A latte is probably not on my nutrition plan, but that's ok... it was worth it and it was fun spending the afternoon with Jenny. All in all it was a pretty good week! I hope I keep up the food prepping because it honestly made my morning today so much easier and less complicated when I knew what I had to take with me and could just put it in my bag instead of having to plan and weigh it all out right then.

What are some tips and tricks you have for planning ahead for meals? Are you good about it? Do you do a big prep 1x/week or a couple of smaller ones throughout the week? I have a small, condo sized fridge so I was worried about trying to fit in a week worth of meals so that's why I started with doing 2 days instead. I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Sarah

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

GoodLife Fitness Exclusive VIP Blogger Event

Hey loveys,

I'M A STUDENT!! Hahaha.. today marks day #2 of my student life and so far I'm loving it!!! Minus the -35C weather we're having here in Toronto currently. It makes waiting for a street car UBER annoying. Yesterday I had a 3 hour English class and we had to actually write an Essay Diagnostic so she can tell where each student is at that's in her class in terms of writing. Frig, I hope I did ok. I had to write an entire essay off the top of my head about The Benefits of Healthy Stress Management. Good thing I know a thing or two about the benefits because every other option I had to write on I knew nothing about... dodged a bullet there! :)

Today I had a 2 hour math class and I have the cutest little Russian teach ever, Mr. Slakov. I think he's Russian... I may be wrong, so don't quote me, but he has a thick accent and everything. To be honest, I haven't taken a math class since grade 11, about 8 years ago... so my math is probably fairly rusty. We did a little assignment today in class about total revenue and total cost and figuring out how many customers a business would need to have each week in order to break even and stuff like that. I got all of the answers right, I just totally short cutted it and didn't show any of the work I was supposed to... I still got the same answer, but didn't include the following:

6.50x = 2555 + 1.50x
6.50x - 1.50x = 2555
(6.50 - 1.50)x = 2555
5x = 2555
x = 2555/5
x = 511

I TOTALLY FORGOT that this was necessary. There was no grades, however I do remember all that jazz now and can figure things out going forward. To be honest with you, I love math... algebra was my FAVOURITE class in highschool.. I'm not totally sure why, but I was really good at it and my brain works well with it. So hopefully this class is a lot of algebra and I'll be golden! That and I think Mr. Slakov will make math fun... at least I hope so! :) I was supposed to have another class today, Business Concepts, but unfortunately due to the weather it was cancelled so I got to come home 2 hours early! Yipeeee!!

Last night I went to the new GoodLife Fitness that's opening here in Toronto at Richmond/Bathurst for an exclusive VIP Blogger Event with a couple fun gals! When I first got there, Jason Sheridan (one of our VPs of Operations) was there and showed me where the changerooms were and took me on a tour of the whole club. The club itself is maaaassive. I didn't even realize the building it's in is as big as it is.






See how pretty it is? After we took a tour of the club, the bloggers went in for a 30 minute melody of different group exercises classes. We started off with Newbody, a low impact cardio class with hand weights, and got into CXWorx which is a core class using resistance tubes, then into BodyShred which is Jillian Michaels' 30 minute class.. guys... I did 5 minutes of this class and quickly made up my mind that I could never do a full 30 minutes of it... I mean, I might try someday, but not until I forget how hard the 5 minutes lol! Then we finished off with a nice relaxing 5 minutes of BodyFlow which was super nice, it's a yoga/tai chi/pilates combo class!

I hung out with Sarah from Nancy Francis and Krysten from The Misadventures of a Darwinian Fail all night so it was so fun catching up with these gals!!

All 3 of us decided we are super uncoordinated together... team work! :)
A candid shot of them checking out a treadmill!
Then right before we were leaving we managed to track down Tara from I'm Fit Possible so the girls could finally meet her in person! I've known Tara for a while just because we both worked for GoodLife, it was nice to see her!


Check out my amazing socks. Haha. All in all it was a great night and I'm excited to go to the big Grand Opening party tonight and see how many people show up!! It will be so fun! I'm bringing my friend James with me so he will make the night even better!

How has your 2014 been so far? I know we're only a week in, but I hope it's off to a great start!!
Sarah

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Start Your Day Off Right.. With Water & Lime!

Hey loveys!

HAPPY  NEW YEAR!!

I hope you all have started your new year's off on a great foot! On New Years Eve C and I had our friend Jenny over and then later our other friend Lena came over, and we played Dance Dance Revolution and DJ Hero all night..... IN OUR PAJAMAS!! It was amazing and I got to be so cumfy all night! Have I ever confessed to you how much I love Dance Dance Revolution? One summer back in like 2008 I played an epic amount of it and so I'm a decent player now... turns out not everyone can catch on to the tricks of the game as quickly as I thought and they got frustrated because I was beating them all.

Ha.

I also didn't drink a lot. I knew I wanted to get up and be productive and have a great day and I also knew if I did drink a lot Deanna would kick my ass... so I opted out of that. I woke up on New Year's Day and headed down to our condo gym and hit the bike for some serious interval training.


I did 20 intervals in total (I snapped this about half way through) and the whole workout lasted about 40 minutes including warm up and cool down. I rode the bike at a standard level 3 for the first few minutes, and when the hard interval part started I cranked up the intensity to level 14 and rode as hard and as fast as I could for 30 minutes, then back to level 3 for 1 minute, and back to level 14 for 30 seconds, 20 different times. I was soaked in sweat by the end, and have sweat dripping off my nose....

It's hard to see but there's a drop of sweat on the end of my nose here
If you watched my vlog on the new years resolutions I'm setting, you know one of them is to drink more water. I've been doing SO WELL with my water intake that it's crazy. I'm drinking about 3-4 litres of water every day and now that I've been doing it for a while, when I don't drink enough water I can really tell I'm getting dehydrated. Every morning I start my day off with 800mL of water with the juice of 1 whole lime. Why?

1. Your body becomes naturally dehydrated when you're sleeping because you're obviously not drinking water. By drinking water first thing you're replacing the water in your body that was lost overnight.

2. A glass of water first thing in the morning "wakes up" your digestive system and gets it ready and prepared for digesting your breakfast.

3. The lime juice in the water helps prepare your body for breaking down fat. It basically liquifies bile and helps eliminate excess bile from the body.

4. The lime water helps bowels eliminate naturally and easily.

5. It helps alkalize your body. If you drink it before eating anything, it helps your body pH stay higher than if you didn't drink it. The more alkaline your body, the more your body is resistant to minor and major disease.

There you have it! Even if you started your day with warm water and lime or lemon juice it would help your body so much! Don't forget to stay hydrated even in the winter. I know a lot of people don't think about water so much in the winter because they aren't sweating and hot like in the summer, but the cold naturally takes moisture from your body because it's so dry (ie. Dry lips and skin!) so make sure to drink lots of water every day to keep water levels up!

Today I'm off to run a bunch of errands and buy myself a backpack! Monday is my first day of school and I'm fairly nervous, but I'm excited to tell you how it goes!! Wish me luck!!
Sarah