Friday, March 30, 2012

ELM Lole Meet Up Comox Valley: Tonight!!

Join me for a free community fitness class tonight, March 30th! Sponsored by Lotuswear and Lole clothing, this 'Meet Up' is designed to get you outside, get you moving and get you inspired!!/events/134361906690919/

At the ELM Lole Meet Up you can participate in a free ELM Fresh Air Fitness class, meet up with other local women, share laughs and pick up some free swag!

Fresh Air Fitness is a new outdoor fitness program that combines fitness walking with strength, balance and flexibility exercises. Fresh Air Fitness is a FUN, low impact, full body workout in the beautiful outdoors! Similar to our Fitness Bootcamp program but designed specifically for those seeking a lower impact and less intense version, Fresh Air Fitness is a great way to get fit outdoors!

Please spread the word to your girlfriends and family members! All levels and abilities are welcome to join the fun!

RSVP to book your spot!

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Minimal or Traditional? Last Day to Register!

Interested in participating in this exciting Comox Valley Footwear Research Study? We have extended the registration deadline until TODAY at 12pm noon! Check out the details below, and follow the link to register if you meet the prerequisites and want to join the study!


Or Traditional?

We want to compare the injury rates along with changes in foot structure and function between runners wearing these different types of footwear. What happens to the body, foot function and running mechanics during a 10 week introductory run:walking program in these types of shoes?

Here is how you can help!

We are seeking volunteers to participate in a 12 week study in the Comox Valley, beginning April 3rd, 2012. All levels of running ability including beginner and experienced runners are invited to participate in this study. Participants will have the opportunity to complete a progressive 'Learn to Run', run:walk training program building to 20 minutes of running, 3-4 days per week. Participants may choose to complete the program wearing either traditional or minimal footwear. This is a great opportunity for beginners who want to 'Learn to Run' and for experienced runners who want to transition into minimal footwear!

Participants are needed for the following three study groups:
1. Traditional Footwear- Beginner Runners
2. Minimal Footwear- Beginner Runners
3. Minimal Footwear- Runners with some Experience

Participants will receive the following complimentary services in exchange for volunteering for the study:
Before and after functional testing
10-week once per week coached Learn to Run Clinic
10-week Learn to Run training program
Weekly motivational & educational emails
Detailed training manual & training log

Successful participants must meet the following prerequisites in order to be eligible for the study:
'Healthy' as per the Par-Q Health Screening Form (see questions below).
18 years of age and over.
Beginner Runners- no prior running experience or no regular running for the last 4 months.
Experienced Runners-ability to run a minimum of 20 minutes 3 days per week currently BUT with no minimal footwear running experience.
Must be free of running induced injuries for a minimum of 6 weeks.
Must supply their own footwear, either traditional or minimal (see definitions below), depending on choice of study groups.

Must attend weekly clinic sessions: once per week for 12 weeks including before and after testing sessions.
Must complete 2-3 additional weekly training runs and adhere to prescribed running program.
Running Experience Group volunteers may continue with their own running programs in addition to the weekly study homework runs.

Must complete pre/post health questionnaire and submit weekly progress reports for duration of study.

Dates: Tuesdays, 5:30-6:30pm April 3-June 19, 2012
Deadline to sign up: MARCH 29TH 12NOON!

Footwear Definitions for Study:

Traditional footwear: Includes any traditional running shoe.

Minimal footwear:
4mm or less drop from heel to forefoot cushioning.
15mm or less maximum cushioning in any part of the sole between foot and ground.
No significant arch support.
Flexible structure to allow natural foot movement.

*A list of specific shoes that fall within these guidelines will be provided for participants although footwear will not be limited to these suggestions.

Answers to your Frequently Asked Questions:

Where do the training sessions take place? The Tuesday night training sessions will take place at the Courtenay Airpark. Before and after Fitness Testing sessions will take place at Ascent Physiotherapy, Comox.

Can I run on trails for my homework runs? No. All homework runs must be completed on a flat asphalt surface to ensure consistency throughout the study.

I am going to be away for 2 weeks during spring break. Can I still participate in the study? No. You will need to attend at least 9/10 of the weekly group training runs in order to contribute data to the study.

How long will we be running? Participants will be following a Learn to Run program designed for beginners. This means starting at week one with Run 1 minute : Walk 2 minutes for 6 repeats. Each week the running segments will get longer, while the walking segment will go to one minute. The final week, participants will be running 20 minutes continuously.

I am already an experienced runner, can I participate in the study? Yes please! But only in minimal footwear and only if you do not currently run in minimal footwear. This is a great opportunity to transition slowly into a minimal shoe and track changes in your foot mechanics, strength and flexibility. You will be able to continue with your regular running / training program in your regular footwear in addition to the short study homework runs.

Please join our new facebook page to keep up to date online!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Moroccan Stew

The last day of winter had me craving the comfort of one of my favourite stews yesterday...thanks for the reminder about Moroccan stew Kelly!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Going WAY Back..


This weekend the ELM Fearless Leaders organized a 'surprise' ELM 10 Year Anniversary party for me, spearheaded by super party planner Kathy Campbell. I am one lucky girl:) Surrounded by all my favourite people for a night of warm words, belly laughs, tears of joy, and tales from years gone eyes are still welling up!

THANK YOU to everyone who came to celebrate and for all of your support, love and friendship over the years. I am forever grateful to have created ELM 10 years ago... Starting a business in 2001 to share my passion and create a job for a Kinesiologist in this small town... I could never have known how many amazing friends I would make and how many wonderful journeys we would all take together...

As you all said to me this weekend...thank you for the past 10 years of inspiration, adventures and friendship! And cheers to the next 10...

Kathy & Lynn opened up their closets to count out their ELM shirts from the past 10 years...many more were passed along so this is just a sampling! Wowee!

And I have been reminicsing all morning...digging through my old photos and scanning the prints! No online records or images from the early years- that dates us!

We spent quite a while trying to figure out who was in our very first ELM Wild Women Running Clinic back in 2002... was it this group? Was it the 10K Country Roads OR was it a Learn to Run clinic? If you know the answer help us settle this one!

Here is one of our first 10k winter clinics... 2003 February I think? Running the clinics out of Extreme Runners with their friendship and support since the beginning!

Our first Need for Speed clinic participants in the fall of these smiling faces...what a strong team you girls were!

We had a tie breaker question for our ELM Trivia competition at the party and I asked: Which current ELM friend was in the first ELM Bootcamp class in 2002? I thought it was Cindy S (below) and awarded the prize accordingly... BUT this morning going through my old photos I realize I was mistaken! This photo- above- is of a few of our participants in our very first Bootcamp class in spring 2002! The Comox Valley got their very first taste of Fitness Bootcamp after my sister in Victoria inspired me to bring this style of program to the mid/north Island! Thanks to my big sister for the great has been a wild 10 years of ELM Outdoor Bootcamp!

One of our first Bootcamp classes! Do you see yourself in there? Spring of 2003 down at Simms Park Courtenay! Seems like yesterday...

What the heck is next?... You tell me! ELM has always been steered in partnership with YOUR ideas, dreams and goals... Can't wait to see where this big adventure will take us all over the next 10 years...



Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Egg Rant

I haven't gone on a blog rant in a long time but if you have been trapped at the gym for an hour with me over the past 2 weeks you will have heard my egg goes....

Ah the simple egg. Perfect in many ways. 6 grams of crazy high quality protein, under 70 calories, easy and endless ways to prepare, inexpensive, full of Vitamin D (good for your bones), Choline (good for your brains), Lutein (good for your eyes), Omega 3's (good for everything) could argue they are the perfect protein (vegans and vegetarians aside:)

Alas, not all eggs are created equal. You know you are what you eat. But do you ever think about the fact that you are what your food eats too? You are a secondary consumer when you eat animals (herbivores) rather than plants and you are becoming what those animals consumed before you.

No problem, you think, I eat eggs that are 'organic', 'free range', 'veggie fed', and high in 'omega 3s'! I am awesome! Well, my friends, I too thought I was awesome not so long ago. But I soon learned that spending $5.99 (or more) on a dozen 'high end' eggs does not garauntee a healthy egg. No-sir-ee-bob!

Organic- well, ok that IS awesome. That means your chickens weren't eating pounds of pesticides so that is a good thing when eating eggs in Canada where we usually trust the organic certification process.

Free Range- Really? You probably picture your chicken trotting freely through fresh green fields filled with nutrient rich grasses, greens and bugs. Freely ranging through the hills without a care in the world and a big smile on her beak, right? Well, go grab your 12 pack right now and read the fine print sucker. Chances are your chicken was allowed to run FREE inside an 'open air' coop or 'dust bath' (yes, one carton really listed this as a benefit) to their hearts content. Truth is, many of those 'free range' chickens never even left the coop and are NOT spending their days as you imagine.

Veggie fed- Is usually NOT what you think! Remember that picture of your egg eating bugs and fresh green grass/greens filled with vitamins and minerals? Sure veggie fed is better than those eating pellets from rendering plants (AKA animal waste fed), but what kind of veggies are they eating? GRAINS like wheat and soy. Grains that are over processed, modified, undernourished and imbalanced when it comes to their nutrient profile. Look at the difference between a salmon raised on pellets and a salmon that dines on the undersea buffet filled with vibrant plants...there is no comparison visually and the nutrient make up differs just as greatly. And remember, you are what your food eats...

Omega 3s! Awesome! My chickens have to take supplements! You must have heard by now that Omega 3 fatty acids are super important for your health. Omega 3s have been associated with a crazy number of health benefits- from decreasing inflammation, to decreasing symptoms of depression, decreasing risk of heart attack and promoting weight loss. Yes, the omega 3 vs 6 balance is out of whack for most people who eat a typical north american diet. Grains and grain fed animals make up the bulk of the NA diet and these are loaded with Omega 6s, which in turn, creates the same imbalance in our diets and bodies. And marketers have caught on. Everything from eggs to yogurt to bagels are now being beefed up with Omega 3s to grab your attention on the shelf. Nothing wrong with getting more Omega 3s- don't get me wrong!

Supplementation and eating Whole Food are on different sides of the spectrum. Sure, many people around the world benefit every day from nutritional supplementation- and many would not live another day without it. BUT, it is clear that the highest quality nutrition is found closest to nature. And if you are privledged enough to live where you have the opportunity to get closer to nature then why wouldn't you?

Why eat an egg laid by a chicken who was raised entirely in a coop, eating low-quality processed grain feed pellets which were supplemented with Omega 3s...when you CAN just eat these?

Last weekend I travelled to 3 different Comox Valley grocery stores in search of an organic GRASS FED egg that was truely free range. This is what started my Egg Rant:)

What looked good at first (awesome marketing) appearance proved futile in all cases. My 3rd stop was Edible Island- our local healthy 'market' style grocery store. It is where you go for the good, healthy, hippy stuff and I love it. Great choices and selection. I figured I would just grab my grass fed eggs and go...

I thought I picked the right ones...they said: Organic, Veggie Fed, Free Range. But I missed the fine print. COUP raised, and allowed to dust bathe freely...yadda yadda yadda... BUT THE KICKER WAS THIS... can you guess where they were from? I thought for sure they would be from somewhere on the Island...


Yup. Don't even get me started on that one.

So.....I found my happy healthy hippy chicken eggs at the place where I should have gone to in the first place...the place they have been selling them all along...the place we should all be visiting because we can...

The local Comox Valley Farmers Market!

Not only did I get the eggs I was looking for, but I got to meet the farmer, ask him questions (aka grill him), see a picture of the chickens actually eating weeds and bugs, cut out the middle man (and the costs associated with shipping them from Manitoba but really I am so over that) AND, get this... they WERE CHEAPER. $4 for a dozen.

I met a few farmers that day... and I left with my grass fed eggs and much much more...

Pea sprouts YUM!

Local Seeds for my garden- yippeee!

I am no angel by ANY stretch of the imagination. I eat banana's from Ecuador nearly everyday for crying out loud. But this whole 'egg' thing just really got my goat.

What choices do you make for you and your family that are important to you?

How do you balance out the pros and cons of healthy and earth conscious food choices?

What do you stick to your guns on and what do you let slide?

Would love to hear your thoughts!

See you at the Farmers Market on Saturday!


Thursday, March 8, 2012


I would like to invite you to a community screening of the new
GO DEATH RACER (check out the trailer) documentary this Saturday! This 30 minute documentary, narrated by Les Stroud (AKA Survivorman), follows 4 individuals as they complete the 125km Canadian Death Race in Grand Cache, Alberta. I completed this ultramarathon last summer along with another Comox Valley runner, Mary Bridges. We will both be there on Saturday and we are looking forward to re-living this amazing experience from a pub chair! Hope you can join us!

Where: Waverly Hotel, Dunsmuir Ave, Cumberland
Saturday, March 10th movie runs 4:00-4:30pm, arrive earlier to get a seat and order some stub and grub!
Pre-movie trail run or ride? Meet at the Cumberland Rec parking lot at 1:30 for a couple of hours of playtime before heading over to the Waverly!

RSVP via email or on the facebook page if you can make it!

Hope to see you there!

Sarah Seads
Voted #1 Personal Trainer Western Canada
Get Out There Magazine 2009 & 2011
Owner Equilibrium Lifestyle Management

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