Happy New Year – Free Love


2016 Starts tomorrow! Can you believe it? Now is the time to for us all to forgive our overindulgences and get our health show back on the road. I thought a bundle of healthy tips for nutrition and detox would be useful for you all for a healthy journey in 2016 {tomorrow}.

Check out these food and living facts for a kickstart in 2016 ~ if you need more guidance, check out my discounted services for January sign up:

  • MACRO check/instruction
  • Supplement list
  • 2 week fat shed workout plan
  • $50 toward a 12 week tune up plan

❤ All the best.

S

Water in ~ first thing

Don’t mistake being dehydrated for being hungry. Reset that hunger feeling ASAP with water! You’ll also help your body flush out toxins, provide fuel for your brain and help boost your metabolism.
Magnesium is “the man”

Stressed out from the holidays? A simple snack may do you wonders. Pumpkin seeds or almonds are packed with magnesium, the anti-stress nuts/seeds. I take magnesium supplements nightly about 30 minutes before bed to improve sleep & relaxation – give it a try!
Eat greens

Nutrients that support your liver – and I’m sure you sort of killed your liver this holiday season, didn’t you? Do your best to include dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale and arugula to your meals – try to hit the 50% mark.
Avoid diary

They taste delicious but based on the way that they are produced……you may want to think twice about that whack of cheese. Or, maybe you did your research and found something ethical – good for you!!! Even so, your body is not meant to digest dairy past your breastfeeding babe days.

Sadly, dairy is also majorly acidic and really hurts our PH levels. Your body doesn’t do well with inflammation, so try to kick it to the curb and look for alternatives like nut milks and cheeses.

Fiber up!

Why? Regulate your blood sugar and banish toxins at the same time. Need a better reason? Ok, fiber also reduces that bloated feeling as well as hunger. The best kind of fiber comes from fresh fruit, vegetables, brown rice and oats. I start my day off 1/3 cup of quick oats and ½ a banana sliced ~ quick, easy and really gets the system going.
Alkaline all the way

Balance PH & reduce inflammation. If you haven’t included these already, please do: lemons, pears, kale & parsley.

Get the binge over with and get back to your 5-7 {balanced} meals per day. You might find very quickly that you shed 2-10 lbs of bloat in just 1-2 weeks.

Becoming Little Miss Bikini – Episode 9 – Peak Week

I’ve finally made peace with this whole thing I’ve decided…sitting here covered in haemorrhoid ointment, festooned in my luxurious Jacques Cousteau leggings, clutching my morning coffee mug like a life raft.

Peak week is upon me and I’ve thrown out all my preconceived notions about anything I thought I knew.

Salt baths, more cardio, less cardio, more weights – but less, this supplement, that herb….I’m just following orders at this point.

It has been significantly harder to drag my ass out of bed the last two days. I’m pretty much a morning person so it isn’t that I am completely unable to open my eyes or function, it’s that my body has finally reached the point where it no longer takes its prime directives from my brain. This results in me finding it emphatically challenging to roll over in bed to actually get up, lift up my feet, peel off my Jacques Cousteaus for a pee (or seven) in the night etc etc…

My body has become especially au courant of any minor shifts in my diet plan. I’ve significantly increased my asparagus intake and I think this is making me more effervescent than usual….could be that I’ve dropped Tofu and increased Tempeh? I’ll have to pay particular attention to the feeling and timing today.

Soon, as in tomorrow (5 sleeps out), I’ll be obliged to drop all powders from my regime, eventually kissing even vitamins goodbye and slowly abdicating from my daily 6 litre water guzzling tournament.

As luck, or timing, would have it, my workouts will begin to taper off starting tomorrow. After this brief but vexatious weekend of increased fasted cardio for which I am not grateful – sorry coach.

I’d like to note here that I have been instructed to avoid casting my gaze on other competitors who will be guzzling red wine (presumably to appear more vascular) and eating copious amounts of decadent chocolate (in an effort to punch my feelings in the face) while I am back stage in all probability sucking on a shoestring and sniffing the food essence of a piece of tofu.

Ok, I’m being extreme here BUT my prescription for backstage nutrition management is far less alcohol and sugarific.

My nail girl went MIA and my new suit is currently in parts unknown….also known as the great void of the Canada Post system. I don’t have the stress muscle available to me to feel worried about it.

I’ve procured myself a set of the latest 2015 version of “Lee Press On Nails” and hope that this will suffice. If they knock off points for my fingernails…I’ll have to show them a title-holding finger or two in my possession.

I’ve managed to survive two nights of Epsom salt baths in our 3rd and very forlorn bathroom in the basement. I call it the cat pee bathroom because it’s a full (and updated/decent) three piece however, I’ve employed the bathtub as the bowels for the cat box for at least a year.

It was an absolute delight to expurgate all of the bits of excrement and kitty litter from. There is a covered cat box in the tub, I’m not a total dreggy bastard, but the damn cat misses from time-to-time ok? Sheesh, get off myback.

I then made an uneducated choice and got my hands on some scented epsom salts – never do this – which made the whole house, myself included, retain the malodorous stench of Mr. Clean married with old women. Needless to say I went to bed feeling a little sickened.

I’m craving fats violently. All of the deprivation and timing of foods has really illustrated cravings clearly for me. I was quite the dullard when it came to those things before.

All of this stuff is going on while we have 2 dogs, a cat, an 8 year old, work, a complete house renovation, a Mexican vacation and a visit from my folks on our docket. I’ve also been petitioned to instruct a  monthly health class at our daughter Anastacia’s school which I need to prepare for and oh yes, I’ve volunteered to rent out a friends home and need to deal with a move-in inspection for this next week as well.

Fornicate my life.

There is really no more to update on – not much in particular unless you have questions of me – if so please ask. I’m about as open a person as you will ever hope to meet!

Here’s a confession: I had to ask Jeff to hide the peanut butter while I locked myself away in the bathroom with the fan whirring so that I wouldn’t attempt to consume all of it in a fit of starved lunacy.

There are at least 2 more posts coming that will close off and tie this story all together by mid-November. I’m  looking forward intensely to cooking again and ushering some easy, fun and relatively adventurous recipes back into my home and yours.

Zuch haystacks 

This recipe was rolled out in an effort to get rid of a lot of zucchini….lets face it, the stuff grows like a weed. Luckily it’s also super versatile and practically calorie free. No really, there are just 19 calories in one cup of raw zucchini.

This is a simple and quick recipe, feel free to play around with it…I wasn’t over the moon about the way the almond meal worked and would have rather used regular gluten-free flour.

Ingredients:

2 large zucchini shredded

2 eggs or equivalent in egg replacer

1 tbsp hemp hearts

3 cloves garlic, pressed or diced

3/4 cup flour (your choice)

1.5-2 tbsp unscented coconut oil for frying

Salt & pepper to taste

Method:

Take shredded zucchini and lightly salt. Let sit for 5 minutes. Strain out all excess moisture.

Add all ingredients in bowl and mix well. Scoop out a heaping tablespoon worth for each “patty”.

On stove-top heat up 1/2 tsp of oil at a time over medium-high heat. Do not let it smoke.

Transfer spoonful into hot pan, squish down into small patty. Cook for 3 minutes each side, until browned well.

Transfer to plate with paper towel and serve hot.

 

Zucchini steaks 

While camping in my good pals back yard this summer (don’t laugh till you see the pics) he picked what may be the most gigantic zucchini I’ve ever cooked.

This recipe is simple and tasty without too many calories. In fact, it’s pretty much Bikini Competition friendly though, I didn’t weigh it out so I can’t give you exact quantities/cals this time – sorry, I was a hungry bear!

I am recommending spray seasonings as they are far easier to NOT overdose on unlike bottled varieties. The application is also far more simple in a large recipe setting.

Ingredients: 

1 gigantic zucchini or a few medium sized friends.

6 small tomatoes diced or sliced

2 tbsp fresh oregano

2 tbsp shredded parmesano reggiano or Vegan Parma

Balsamic vinegar (spray type if you have it)

Braggs liquid aminos (spray type if you have it)

Himalayan sea salt

Hot chilli flakes

Method: 

Slice zucchini into 1.5-2″ “steaks”. Place in large bowl tossing with a few pinches of sea salt and chilli flakes. Allow to sit for at least one hour to draw out some of the water in the vegetable. You will notice there will be a pool of water at the bottom of the plate/bowl you have rested them in.

Fire up the BBQ and let warm on high for 5 minutes. Reduce to medium heat.

Place “steaks” on BBQ and allow to cook for 8-10 minutes per side, rotating at approx. the 2.5 minute mark – as you would a steak to get the perfect grill marks.

Spritz each side with one quick shot of Braggs while cooking.

Remove from heat once grilled.

Top first with parmesan / vegan parma , then tomato, then oregano and a spritz of balsamic to each one to top.

Serve warm with freshly ground pepper if desired.

I plated this with a marinated pickled beet salad, my killer breaded cauliflower and a couple of Field Roast Apple Sage links. 

The large zuc I am holding in the picture will serve 4 adults at least. If you reduce this recipe to a couple mediums this will serve 2 with no side dish.

Doukhobor Zuchinni time!

Doukhobor Zuchinni time!

Watermelon salad

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I threw this recipe together in a matter of minutes armed with the challenge to continue eating six to seven 2-300 calorie meals per day in preparation for a fitness competition. Somehow, I forgot to take a snapshot…so I had some fun with this classic guy.

This recipe  is a compilation of all remnants from my fridge and I hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients: 

J100 g fresh Watermelon

100 g chopped Avocado

85 grams extra  firm Tofu chopped – toast this in a pan or leave raw ( I left raw in this recipe)

Optional – 15g crumbled Boursin garlic cheese

30g toasted pumpkin seeds

.5 tbsp Mint leaves chopped

1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Method: 

On stove-top lightly toast pumpkin seeds until browned.

Chop all ingredients and layer watermelon, avocado and tofu. Top with remaining ingredients and serve.

Warning – works out FAR better if you layer rather than try to toss everything – I tried both ways and layering is definitely the way to go for flavour and presentation.

Nutritional Info: 

537 Calories

41.2 gms fat

23.9 carbs

23.9 Protein

Raspberry vegan shake – Bodybuilder friendly

My life has never been boring. I attribute this entirely to the fact that I have ants in my pants and have since I can remember. My folks like to think that because they had me wrapped up in so much dance as a kid that I never knew how to do anything but plow full speed ahead – I think I tend to agree with this.

The latest passion I have developed is for bodybuilding. Not the stuff where you become Arnold Schwarzenegger over night, but the kind that gets you in about the most amazing shape of your life – AND it’s easy to maintain. As I have embarked on a new adventure I thought that I would share a recipe that worked for me and may help other people who are on the same path!

There is a lot of calorie/macro counting which is TOTALLY not my thing however, it’s interesting all the same so here I am, learning more!

Ingredients: 

150g Soyganic Tofu

1/2 1 navel orange

1/2 cup frozen raspberries

1/2 cup Vega Vanilla protein

1/2 large banana

Method: 

Add water and blend baby blend!

Health Breakdown: 

285 Calories

40 Carbs

5g fat

22g Protein

136g Sodium

24 g sugar

BBQ curried cauliflower

I remember the first time I saw barbecued vegetables, probably 16 years ago at least – I was floored. Especially at seeing lettuce on the grill – how do they do that??? Whether you are grilling at home or on the road, I believe nearly every veggie can be cooked up quickly and tastefully on the grill. This is a great way to get rid of what’s left in the fridge because a lot of these veggies can be added to a stir-fry or simple curry. With the added BBQ flavours dishes become more robust in their taste.

I am posting this recipe as inspiration for your healthy eating summer!

Ingredients: 

1 head of cauliflower

1 tsp curry powder

Coconut or Avocado spray oil

Himalayan Salt to taste

Method:

Preheat grill to 400 degrees.

Prepare cauliflower by cutting away excess leaves and washing then halve.

Using aluminum foil with the shiny side in, place cauliflower halves cut side down on foil. Spray with oil, powder with curry and salt., continue to wrap and seal.

Place flat side down on BBQ for 10 minutes. Return and flip over for 5 more minutes.

Peek into your foil wrap to check on progress. There should be a lot of steam and you should hear snap, crackly and popping inside the package. Rotate twice more and your cauliflower should be perfectly steamed up.

Remember, you lose heat each time you open the grill so try to keep check ins to a minimum or cooking will take longer.

Sweet Superfood Salad

 

Summer, finally.

Summer, finally.

Summer is here and it’s time to celebrate by taking in all the colour and nutrients we can.

Here’s a simple, crisp, savoury and sweet salad that takes just 10 minutes to make – including the homemade dressing.

Ingredients: 

3 cups torn kale

2 cups baby spinach

1/2 cup chopped cucumber

1/2 cup chopped strawberries

1/2 cup of micro greens – these ones were grown in Alberta – Thanks to Reclaim Urban Farm

Handful of mixed nuts

Dressing: 

1/4 cup spring water

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 heaping tbsp tahini

1 tbsp tamari

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 clove garlic

Method: 

Mix all salad ingredients in large bowl.

Blend all dressing ingredients with hand blender/magic bullet type device OR double/triple recipe and use a standard blender.

This should serve 2 as a side salad, 1 as a meal.

What to plant this spring? Here are some MUST haves for the budding Herbalist.

 

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An old herb garden looking alive and potent.

 

When I first started learning about herbal medicine, I had NO idea about how much medicine we have at our fingertips. I also had no idea how medicinal our food could be if we ate things that weren’t necessarily found on our grocers shelves. Trying to incorporate a little bit of herbalism into your every day, or even better – into your kitchen, helps your body to stay healed and grow stronger as you age. Eventually, your body will be chock full of vitamins, minerals and virus fighting medicines without much effort at all.

Of course, not all plant types are going to be found or thrive in every environment SO take some time to get to know these easy growing fellows below. If you find them to be easy to care for, spread your wings and try growing your own at home.

It’s only February BUT looking forward to spring and looking into my seed stores gets me excited to start planting and reaping the benefits of home-grown medicine. I look forward to adding nettles to my ferments, drying herbs in my dehydrator and making skin salves to pass out to my friends and family. I certainly miss all of the classes and students I had in Vancouver, I might have time to squeeze some teaching in again this spring in Calgary.

As always, when using any type of medication, make sure that you consult with your GP and do your research before ingesting unconsciously. Your body deserves a little curious research before undertaking a new regime.

 

Aloe Vera

You can purchase this plant at nearly every home garden supply store. Even Home Depot. Because you aren’t going to be ingesting this plant I feel that you are ok to be a little less questioning of it’s origin.

Why do you want to keep Aloe Vera around? Simply, there are so many topical benefits that there isn’t a reason NOT to. Snap a sample of a well-grown leaf off and you are on your way to healing cuts, wounds, burns, eczema and inflammation.

Marsh Mallow

You can find seeds or starters for this plant at select growers. I order my seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom seeds or Vesey’s. These are pretty hardy plants – but watch out for wet feet!

There are a number of great uses for marshmallow both inside and out. You can take the root internally to help treat inflammation and UT irritations, gastritis or peptic ulcers. Topically, you can use a poultice, salve or cream to treat bruises, sprains, muscle aches, insect bites, slivers or skin inflammation.

Fun food fact: The leaves of the marshmallow plant are edible! Add to salads, boil or fry.

Pot Marigold

These hardy ladies will grown in almost any soil condition. Use a tea consisting of marigold petals to increase circulation and ease varicose viens. A poultice of marigold stems will aid in removing corns and warts.

Camomile

You probably know this as a great fruity tea! Camomile works well in aiding digestive issues and also has a soothing effect in its aroma. This helps reduce stress and induce sleep.

Echinacea

 If you’re living without it, you probably shouldn’t be. This beautiful flower has amazing antibiotic properties that relieve allergies and help prevent viral and bacterial infections. The roots, beneficial in treating sores, wounds and burns when applied as a poultice, salve or cream. She grows well in well-drained soil with a lot of sunlight.

Lemon Balm

By far, the easiest herb I have ever unintentionally grown. The leaves give off a lovely lemony mint scent that cannot be mistaken. Crushed leaves used as a poultice help relieve pain from herpes, sores, gout and bug bites. The leaves infused with hot water can treat colds, fevers, indigestion, depression, headaches and insomnia.

I grew this herb for years in the wet wet wetness that is Vancouver BC!

Peppermint

Nearly another weed, as easy to grown and impossible to kill as Lemon Balm. peppermint is high in manganese, vitamin A and vitamin C. Leaves ground into a salve or cream help to sooth and relax muscles.

Sage

Another herb that is nearly impossible to kill is Sage. When consumed it can help to ease indigestion, flatulence, anxiety and excessive sweating.

 

Here’s to spring, and happy plantings. Stay tuned for my inevitable posts containing the trials and tribulations of trying to sustain plant life in the Rocky Mountains.

 

Sasha

 

 

 

Fit on the road – European Vacation

 

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Running in Germany, spooky delight.

 

Aaaaah travel. Were it not for a very terrible series of events, this last trip I would have not taken for at least a few years. However, my friendship duties called, and on (very) short notice I made my way with my BFF of 20 years to Europe….an anniversary of sorts as we had made the trip back in ’98 as teenage gals and were heading back on *nearly* the same path.

Without a lot of time to pack the biggest thing to cover was getting all the true essentials into one easy carry-on bag. I made a small listing of necessary items on a Facebook post:

Key #fitontheroad ingredients for a successful trip abroad. First stop,#Vienna:

– portable water bottle
– hand sanitizer
– lip balm
– moisturizer
– baby wipes – for all surfaces of aircraft/trains
– kleenex
– earbuds
– a couple of pens
– a diary
– bergamot essential oils (in lieu of deodorant)
– peppermint oil (for headaches)
– wicked playlist
– good books
– podcasts that rock
– pre-packed workouts
– travel data plan
– last minute call to your banks
– phone charger
– power adapter
– foreign currency

 

I recently purchased a North Face small sized duffel bag which has become a miracle bag for me and travel. It converts to a backpack and fits enough in it for 2 weeks abroad in winter weather. A dream. Check it out HERE if you wish.

We boarded an 8pm flight from Calgary to London and from London on to Vienna and eventually Prague and East Germany.

Traveling over night is a great way to get your sleep on AND arrive a little refreshed. Unfortunately, I was enamored by in flight entertainment so I did not end up getting any rest. I did however, guzzle enough water to get a camel through the desert for a year…..random act of hydration, satisfied.

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Vienna, my newest love.

 

First stop: Vienna. What a town, what a place, what an amazing couple of nights. Not only had I never seen Vienna before, I had no idea what to expect and we had absolutely nothing planned. We found a great hotel near the middle of it all which had free internet and had been modernized. Hotel Mercur in Wein Zentrum. A little on the pricey side, no breakfast included however, free wifi and central. So, who’s complaining about working for their meals?

I have to admit, after booking the flights I soon quipped to my partner Jeff ” my god, Europe, what will I EAT?”. My last experience in 2011 with Spain and Morocco left me a little starved and disappointed. Lets just say, Vienna won it all back for me.

 

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Kat and I walked just 5 minutes and happened upon a little vegetarian hole-in-the-wall gem (pictured above)  that served some type of Turkish food. It wasn’t bad at all and whats more is it was better than most restaurants around Calgary. Full of flavour and colour. Beans, rice and a few dried fruits. This dinner was accompanied well by a glass of white wine and a walk in the chilly temperatures in and around the Danube and beautiful city of Vienna.

The hotel room we had was more than small, it was EENSY…but that was no match for work out number one as pictured below. With just 6′ x 3′ of space to work out I managed this couplet/butt series as well as a great walk around the city that night. I managed to have a great sleep for a full 7 hours after showering and a bit of reading and meditation.

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We woke up on Friday morning to the task of finding breakfast and getting some train tickets purchased. The train station was all the way across town and ended up very near a lot of amazing sights like a gigantic palace where a lot of Viennese locals were jogging around the footpaths. (Insert jealous huffy face here). The second day and only full day out I managed to look at the step counter on my iphone and we made it over 20,000 steps that day! We saw sights, stopped for a beer and even found a random pub with a veggie burger.

We headed back to our room for a little nap and some meditation then made our way back out to find dinner. Man alive did we find the spot that knocked our socks off. Yamm.  Vegan, Vegetarian, quality and amazing buffet style food. We loved it all so much we ended up going back to fill our plates twice AND sharing a small dessert. While Vienna pricing is not for the faint of heart, for the quality and atmosphere, this place was fabulous. Sadly, we planned to go back for breakfast the next day but were out of time.

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After dinner we continued to walk the city and take in the sights…even finding a fantastic local/organic/slow food market called MERKUR which just about killed me with all the intense variety of salts, truffles and vegan delights. We bough freshly squeezed juices and fruit for our breakfast in the morning along with a few treats and even a VEGAN chocolate bar. Yes, heaven on earth is Vienna, Austria.

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Merkur, your slow food won my heart.

Upon returning to the room later that night I whipped off this little Ab 300 routine that was a perfect way to end an entire day on my feet. You should try this puppy out, she burns. I like to throw it in on days where I have no set routine. Pairs up perfectly with Leg 300 routines as well. Google or hit up my Pinterest for ideas.

 

Now that our fun in Vienna had come to an end….off we rode to Prague. Excited much? Unfortunately, on a 4 hour train trip there isn’t much to do for exercise but stretches and walking the aisles while I was stir crazy I managed to find a great new Yoga app that I’ll tell you about later on in this trip, and I managed to make some use of a pretty neat little meditation app I have called Stop, Breathe & Think. Click HERE for details.

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Rolling out of Austrian borders and into the Czech Republic was obvious from the train window. Clean and tidy countryside became graffiti plastered, littered with garbage and generally more poor looking. While the Czech’s are part of the EU, don’t expect to see Euro’s here – they have kept their Crowns, so hit up a bank CZ-side…the upside? Way cheaper stuff. I don’t know how to communicate just how impressed I was by the food available in Prague. Last time I was there I was on an extremely small budget and ate buns and cheese from the market so I really have a narrow frame of reference however, I was floored by the amount of amazing vegan/vegetarian options and their proximity to the old and new parts of the city.

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Cue music: “Now I…..had…the time of my liiifffeee……”

 

Prague has done a lot of changing since I was there last. Nothing that you would notice outwardly in the first few minutes but the vibe is definitely different, and I guess I’m different too! What we did notice a massive influx of were these Thai Massage storefront operations. We had no choice to partake on our first night after a Long walk through the city and a hotel room workout. This workout was great because I had a lot more space to get a good HIIT in. Try it out.

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Thai Massage. Back cracking good times.

 

Day two was filled with seeing sites and walking over 30,000 steps that day. I was exhausted. Again, I can’t believe how handy this new iPhone iOS 8 update is…have a look at it a little further down the page. This day was so much fun, cold but a lot of great memories were brought up and we really had a fantastic time. We also managed to find FOUR Vegan/Vegetarian restaurants and got the chance to hit up two of them. I haven’t had such thoughtfully prepared Vegan fare since L.A. in August, I was a total peace and glowing after eating these meals. Impressed doesn’t even begin to describe how great the options were.

 

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Prague Castle – the 30,000 step day!

 

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Maitrea, Prague old Town. A great stumbled upon treat.

 

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Hummus & another appy dish at Maitrea.

 

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Loveg. Oh YES you did.

 

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Traditional Vegan AND Czech? You had me at Dumpling.

This night, Veganism took us to some amazing sites. We ended up at LoVeg where the food and atmosphere were second-to-none! To our surprise, there was a tiny rooftop terrace that we were shown to which just happened to look out onto the Castle lit up at night as well as a sprawling view of the rooftops of the old city. You know what? Eating differently, healthfully has really led me to be able to see a LOT  of sights I wouldn’t have if things were different. To add, when trying to find a great place to get some exercise without equipment AND outside, I’ve stumbled upon some pretty awesome places as well. Like Petrin Hill Park (below) and the cool little funicular that ran from top to bottom.

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A morning run through the park. There she is yonder!

The majority of the time spent in Prague we were major tourists and sightseers. We did find what I thought was a set of stairs heading up this hill the evening before this picture was taken. As is stands, in the daylight, it was an amazing park with a bunch of paved trails that lead uphill to a beautiful view of the orange and gold rooftops of new and old Prague. Breathtaking. There was even an old funicular railway system that I got to see running as I did some push-up sets on an old railing.

Czech out the Petrin Hill park HERE.

After a quick shower and a decent hotel breakfast at the Hotel Leonardo Prague, we were off to the races again. This time, a 6 hour train journey to North Eastern Germany. Hohen Demzin to be exact.

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Old friends headed to old haunts – off to Germany.

Now, the true reason for my travels was to say goodbye to my best friend Kat’s Oma (grandmother in German). She recently passed away peacefully yet completely unexpectedly. We had the great privilege of being able to stay at her home in a small village. The weather this time of year is not all that welcoming, though, with the natural and vast beauty of this part of Germany it didn’t really matter. Littered with amazing running/walking/biking paths, there is no way to stay sedentary even without a gym or equipment.

Here are just a few work outs I posted on my Facebook page:

 

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Hohen Demzin. Miles and miles of running trails and rolling hills.

 

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New HIIT cards came in handier than I thought.

 

I purchased a new 3-pack of these HIIT cards. Talk about making putting a workout together easy. You only need to pick the type of workout you want, match this by colour, add some cardio cards and you are off to the races! If you don’t have a list of possible workouts in your smart phone photos already – you really should pick these up. Cheap and easy workouts here folks. We also took an amazing 15 km bike ride up cobblestone paths and through a very large nature preserve-type area that housed dozens of amazing art installations. I even managed to see a bunch of castles and add some more handmade pottery to my collection! Using these smaller roadways I was able to fit in a 10km as well as a 7km run in this week. Even with the snow, the temperatures hovered above zero and made for some decent running weather. Minus a few mud puddles, all was well.

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Beauty begets peace.

 

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Airplane prep time – stretch it out.

Yoga apps & dancers legs

Yoga apps & dancers legs

 

The yoga app I used here is called Yogify. It is made by EA Sports. There are some free classes on here in a variety of capacities so if you need instruction while you travel, this one works very well. Try your luck at using it HERE.

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Fun on ice.

Karls. A wonderful delight about 1.5 hours down the Autobahn near Rostock. Strawberryland is really what it should be called. Anything and everything they can make out of strawberries exists here. And I mean anything. Jam, soap, liqueur. To die for. There were even ice sculptures, Gluhwein, ice skating, aquariums and DOGS allowed everywhere.

50's themed ice sculptures at Karl's near Rostock.

50’s themed ice sculptures at Karl’s near Rostock.

 

I did manage to go grocery shopping a couple of times to be able to eat cleanly. I was able to buy bananas, brussel sprouts, eggplants, lettuce, arugula, cucumber, tomato, onion, oranges, dried fruit, vegetarian mortadella as well as some decent quality unsalted mixed nuts and large bottles of water. What I didn’t prepare myself for were these chocolate covered rice cakes that Kat found. I didn’t buy any myself, but must admit that I had a couple and they were pretty darn great!

Healthy & bad for you. Treats are OK too!

Healthy & bad for you. Treats are OK too!

Bike riding to Schlitz Castle over 15 kms of muddy but stunning trails.

Bike riding to Schlitz Castle over 15 kms of muddy but stunning trails.

Traveling home again, I was prepared for the worst in food however, I was able to eat quite decent food all the way home. First stop: Berlin, Tegel airport. I managed to get a vegan bagel with avocado, sprouts and tomatoes at a coffee shop inside the terminal. Then, British Airways had a snack from Berlin to London that was a hummus wrap made with “all natural” ingredients and 100% vegetarian, THEN a stop in London where Apostrophe coffee shop had a curry hummus & roasted veggie sandwich on the menu. What I DIDN’T know was that Gordon Ramsay has a restaurant in Terminal 5 that will pack  “plane picnics” for you. WTH??? Why am I not living in one of these amazing places?

Finally, getting on the flight home to Calgary I decided that because I was arriving at 5:45pm local time, I would stay up the duration of the 8.5 hour flight and try to head off jet lag. Usually, I sleep where I can so I don’t eat much and I bring and fill my own water bottle. I travel with a Platypus collapsible water container. Check it out HERE if you like. I find it to be awesome for saving space and keeping hydrated.

We were served a curried rice as well as a half decent cheese/jam type sandwich. If you’re starving, it hits the spot. Also, the food quality seemed to be pretty decent as far as airline food goes and with most airlines you aren’t offered much past some type of unidentifiable meat with a Pepsi/Coke product.

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London, your airport food puts the City of Calgary to shame…..

Travelling is fun, exhilarating and mind-blowing. It can also be expensive, frustrating and exhaustive. If you fall out of your routines on trips or vacations you could  be placing more stress on yourself than you think. Guilt creeping in after too many fancy cocktails, brownie treats or lack of exercise can put a damper on your mental and physical “fun” vibes. Make a point to keep your endorphin’s running and your palate teased. Searching out amazing food can also lead to seeing amazing sights!