Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How much FOOD are you eating?

Hola Amigos!
I just spent a crazy week with my family on a giant boat, cruising over 4000kms to Mexico and back with 3500 average North Americans. Of course I appreciate this special annual holiday with my family and the laughter, memories and smiles that it brings-these special memories will last a lifetime and I am ever grateful for them.

But it is, to say the least, a very, very foreign world to me. A far cry from the supernatural Comox Valley with its pristine forests, friendly farmers markets and fresh clean on a cruise ship is more like an altered Universe than a familiar (albeit floating) city, to me. From 24 hour bustling buffets to 8 course dinners (2 of everything please), the volume of all you can eat 'food' consumed on the ship is, well, horrifying.

Don't get me wrong, I love a good holiday with a little decadence and celebration as much as the next passenger! I will be the first to admit I wasn't exactly on my 'normal' eating regime on the boat - and my family will back me up on that one:) Cheese plate anyone? But, although I sampled cheeses from around the world, enjoyed local fare (they don't drink water in Mexico), and went with an 'I'll try anything once' attitude, my overall diet didn't really vary that much from my home life. I I got my fitness nearly every day and filled my plates with fresh veggies and lean proteins whenever possible. There is crap everywhere you go, whether you are on a cruise ship or in your local grocery store. You can always wade through it to find some real 'food'.

Juxtaposed against this passenger feeding frenzy I was lounging in deck chairs, reading the 'sermon' of Michael Pollen in his recent book:
In Defense of Food. If you haven't read it yet, go grab a copy- and go watch Food Inc while you are at it...and get your kids to watch it with you... Albeit preaching to the choir, so to speak, reading this book while on a cruise had a bigger impact on me then it would have during my 'real' life.

The moral of his book is this (and it is found right on the cover so you don't have to dig too far):

Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.

If you are reading this blog, you are probably a relatively health conscious person...interested in healthy, active stuff. But even the most health conscious among us can benefit from a little check in now and then. You may think you eat well...but how much of what you eat is actually 'food'?

So, this week I posed a challenge to my Sunrise Bootcamp class and now I am going to send it out to you as well...

1 Week 'Food' Challenge
*This challenge has 2 parts you can choose to take can decide how much you want to challenge yourself.

1. READ every single label that you find on the food you are choosing this week. Just read it, that's it.
2. EAT only the items that contain ingredients you actually recognize as food. Hint: if you can't pronounce or define an ingredient, it doesn't count as food. Or, as Pollen writes, 'if your Great Grandmother wouldn't recognize it as food', don't eat it.

I scared off a few of my Bootcampers with that second part of the challenge, I think. But really, it is your challenge, and there are no punishments for trying. Try it and see what happens. See how close to the challenge you can get. Some 'food' for thought after your challenge...

  • What percentage of your normal choices are actually 100% 'food'?

  • What items had ingredients that surprised you?

  • How hard was it to stick to 'food' only choices?

  • What changes, if any, would you make to your regular eating regime after completing this challenge?

I am interested to hear how it goes! Good luck, enjoy the journey, and send me your comments!
Happy Eating,

Friday, February 10, 2012

ELM 10th Annual 10K Running Clinic!


"10K training forms the foundation of all-around fitness, because it includes ample amounts of the three core components of running-strength, stamina, speed. When you race a 10-K, you immerse yourself in near-mythical tradition." - Runners World

Equilibrium Lifestyle Management (ELM) is kicking off their 10th annual Times Colonist 10K clinic beginning Thursday, Feb 16th.

Led by Sarah Seads, of ELM, this 10-week co-ed running clinic takes place on Thursday nights from 5: 30-7: 00 pm and offers programs for both novice and advanced runners. Novice runners start by runwalking 3kms and work towards completing (and enjoying!) their first 10K. Intermediate and advanced runners are provided with a challenging 10-week program tailored to meet their 10K goals. Hills, speed work, pacing, mental training and race strategy will be the focus for the experienced runners program.

This popular running clinic includes weekly discussions on running related topics including running form & biomechanics, nutrition, stretching, injury prevention, motivation, goal setting, and much more.

New participants receive a detailed training manual and log book. All participants receive a training program that is specific to their 10K goals as well as weekly instruction and motivation to help them get there successfully.

This clinic wraps up with the option of racing the Victoria Times Colonist 10K race on April 29th. Racing provides opportunities to set and meet goals, stay committed to a running program, boost motivation, and challenge yourself physically and mentally. Some people race to win and others race against themselves and the clock to see what they are able to accomplish. Once you cross the finish line of your first race, however, you are destined to be a runner for life!

Register at Extreme Runners @ 436 5th St. before February 13th or go to fmi

Monday, February 6, 2012

Edge To Edge Running Retreat: June 8-10

Hola Amigos!
There are a tonne of exciting things coming up at ELM that I am itching to share with you! Unfortunately I am pulling out my hair with my e-newsletter launcher (deep breathe:) and cannot send out my February newsletter. is the first of a few exciting upcoming ELM events I have for ya!

Edge to Edge Running Retreat: June 8-10th, Tofino BC!

Join us for a rejuvenating summer weekend at Cox Beach Resort in Tofino, BC. This new co-ed retreat ties in with the Edge to Edge Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay Running Race on Sunday, June 10th. A special weekend dedicated to improving your running, your fitness and your health on the beautiful west coast of Vancouver Island!

When: Friday June 8-Sunday, June 10, 2012
Where: Cox Beach Resort, Tofino, BC

Daily group training sessions with Sarah Seads on the beach and in the trails of Tofino:
Friday night group beach run before dinner.
Saturday morning Yoga wake up followed by a running technique session including drills for strengthening form.
Sunday morning Yoga/Stretch.
Option to race in the Edge to Edge Marathon! Sign up online to confirm your own registration. Contact ELM if you would like to join Team ELM in the relay.
Evening mental training & motivation coaching sessions.
*BONUS: Package includes a detailed 10 or 14 week training program for the race distance/goal time of your choice to help you prepare for the Edge to Edge race! Program options include marathon, half marathon and 10k distances!

Inspiring west coast accomodations at Cox Bay Resort:
2 nights sharing a beautiful one bedroom suite at Cox Bay Resort.
Sauna, outdoor hot tub , lounge, full gym and stretch area, full kitchen, westcoast-style shared accommodation.
2 healthy westcoast dinners including salmon and crab at 'sister lodge' Middle Beach Lodge.

Adventure Options:
Adventure Option A: 3 hour introductory surfing lesson including rentals and all equipment with Pacific Surf School
Adventure Option B: 2.5 hour guided kayaking trip with Weigh West Marine Resort.
Adventure Option C: 2.5 hour whale watching trip with Weigh West Marine Resort.
Spa Option: Would you prefer tostay on land and treat yourself to a spa service? No problem! Your adventure credit can be applied to spa services in Tofino.
View complete details...

Space is very limited and available on a first come first serve basis so be sure to register early to book your spot! Email ELM for more information or to register!