CANADA’S BEST SOURCE OF HEALTH & FITNESS INFORMATION
Fitness Instructors 2021
The State — of the —
Fitness Industry STRETCHING for OPTIMAL MOVEMENT NAOMI KEANE Featured as one of Canada’s Top Fitness Instructors
THE INSPIRATION ISSUE
CANADA’S BEST SOURCE OF HEALTH & FITNESS INFORMATION
Fitness Instructors 2021
The State — of the —
Fitness Industry STRETCHING for OPTIMAL MOVEMENT DIONE MASON Featured as one of Canada’s Top Fitness Instructors
THE INSPIRATION ISSUE
CANADA’S BEST SOURCE OF HEALTH & FITNESS INFORMATION
Fitness Instructors 2021
The State — of the —
Fitness Industry STRETCHING for OPTIMAL MOVEMENT KIM HARVEY Featured as one of Canada’s Top Fitness Instructors
THE INSPIRATION ISSUE
You’re not still training clients on Zoom, are you? Level up.
Inside Every Issue NEWS & VIEWS 20 First IMPACT
The Top 9 Wellness Trends 92 Final IMPACT
Regular Recess for Your Brain SPORT MEDICINE 22 It’s A Stretch 34 Born This Way – Rehumanizing Movement H E A LT H & W E L L N E S S 24 7 Affordable DIY Hacks to Help You Breathe Easier WORKOUT 26 Peripheral Heart Action (PHA) Training 30 The New Living Room Routine AT H L E T E S W I T H I M PAC T 66 Reclaiming Life After Loss 68 There’s Something About Joan RUNNING 80 Running…Simply the Best!
H E A LT H 82 Heart-To-Heart with Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn
RECIPES 86 Vegan Cheezy Broccoli Soup 87 Roasted Parsnip & Chestnut Stew 88 Sweet Potato Stew 89 Vegetable Soup with Vegan Dumplings 90 Easy As… Apple Turnovers 91 Raw Carrot Cake with Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting
Features COVER PHOTOS BY CHRIS LINTON, INGE JOHNSON, RONALD LEE
FOOD & NUTRITION 84 Is all Wine Vegan-Friendly?
36 Fresh Air-Scapes
Where to go for winter escapes and mountains of activities 40 Canada’s Top Fitness Instructors
Meet our 2021 top fitness professionals who are changing people’s lives 70 The State of the Fitness Industry
After a year of turmoil we look at how the fitness industry has adapted, yet there are still many challenges ahead for gyms and fitness facilities
10 Inspiration Issue 2021
Inspiration Issue 2021 11
FRESH. HYDRATING. DELICIOUS. That is how Ted Grant, the co-founder of VIVEAU describes the product. A new, delicious beverage featuring real fruit juice and sparkling mineral water that is a taste sensation like no other, now available at your local grocery store. “VIVEAU has no preservatives or added sugars, is low in fructose and calories and is lightly carbonated,” Grant explains. Featuring three flavours, Wild Blueberry, Ripe Cherry and Crisp Apple Cider, VIVEAU is a 50/50 blend of coldpressed fruit and sparkling mineral water. The fruit is picked at the peak of ripeness and rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Grant and co-founder Hanspeter Stutz saw a niche in the sparkling drinks market. Many drinks include the label natural flavours and even more boast zero sugar or calories, but none that could actually produce the real flavours of fruit. VIVEAU’s beverages perfectly complement a healthy lifestyle. Founder Ted Grant asks, “would you make lemon squares out of something
that says lemon flavour instead of VIVEAU launched in Sobeys in the fall of real lemons?” Grant, a former Michelin 2019 and spread coast-to-coast in 2020. Star chef and food scientist, and Stutz, We took it to our retail partners and a renowned wine maker in Nova Scotia, they absolutely loved it. With a drink like decided to channel their resources into VIVEAU it’s all about the taste and trial. producing a product that would show off Since events and sampling opportunities the best locally produced fruit. “What we are currently on hold due to the global pride ourselves on is its taste. Whether it pandemic, we’ve had to get creative on is cherry, apple or blueberry that’s exactly how we get our product into people’s what it tastes like. hands to try. So far It’s not vicious or word of mouth sweet that puts has been very sweaters on your important.” is a refreshing, teeth,” says Grant. In September hydrating offering of All fruit found 2020, VIVEAU Canadian agriculture. in VIVEAU earned the Clean beverages Label Project™ Ted Grant, Co-founder is sourced Certification, locally in Canada – including apples the first sparkling beverage in North from Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, American Company to receive this blueberries from Oxford, Nova Scotia accolade. “This is a huge feather in and cherries from Vineland, Ontario. our cap – it means we are free of “VIVEAU is a refreshing, hydrating pesticides, plasticides, and heavy offering of Canadian agriculture – a feel metals.” VIVEAU is now available at major better beverage showcasing how great retailers across the country. Grant has local, Canadian produce really is,” Grant one request: “Be your best self and make adds. “After a successful pilot in 2018, VIVEAU part of your daily routine.”
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INSPIRATION EDITION VOLUME 30, ISSUE 3 A leader in the industry for 29 years, IMPACT Magazine is committed to publishing content provided by the best experts in their fields for those who aspire to higher levels of health and fitness
VANCOUVER • CALGARY • TORONTO PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Elaine Kupser firstname.lastname@example.org GUEST EDITOR Nadia Moharib email@example.com ART DIRECTOR Kelly Findley firstname.lastname@example.org VP BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Janet Henderson email@example.com COPY EDITOR Tom Lundteigen SOCIAL MEDIA INTERN Zara Khurana firstname.lastname@example.org
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14 Inspiration Issue 2021
SMILE No Shane Homes in this issue - Feb 17
LASIK: is PREMIER LASER VISION CORRECTION Experience freedom from glasses with minimally invasive SMILE® vision correction that can normally return you to full visual recovery within just a few days.
CO NTR I BUTO RS DR. LISA BÉLANGER Daily Recess for Your Brain Lisa Belanger an award-winning researcher, CEO of ConsciousWorks, and founder of Knight’s Cabin, offering wellness programming to cancer survivors. She holds a PhD in Behavioural Medicine, is a Certified Exercise Physiologist, a published author, international speaker and host of The Science of Work Podcast in Calgary, AB. WWW.CONSCIOUSWORKS.COM
SUZY CAMERON Sweet Potato Stew Suzy Cameron, Executive Producer of The Game Changers from Los Angeles, is an environmental advocate and business pioneer, committed to caring for the Earth with a focus on plant-based food to address climate change. She is the author of The OMD Plan, founder of the OMD Movement and MUSE School and MUSE Virtual, which she co-founded with her husband, James Cameron. WWW.OMDFORTHEPLANET.COM
DR. SYL CORBETT Running…Simply the Best! Syl Corbett, DC, PhD is an avid endurance athlete and scientist specializing in the effects of exercise on the brain. She is a consultant for professional athletes and corporate executives through Athletic Wise Sports Science Connectome and the founder of Rock on Clay, based in Calgary, AB. WWW.ATHLETICWISE.COM
MATT MOSTELLER Fresh Air-Scapes Matt Mosteller is a Senior VP at RCR, sought-after freelance story wrangler, lifelong ski bum, adventurer, and goosebumps lover in Kimberley, B.C. Powder Matt co-founded the first non-profit outdoor industry incubator in Canada (www.KoreOutdoors.org), and also co-founded #DisconnectTOConnect and the #MappyHourYYC chapter. WWW.KOREOUTDOORS.ORG
NICK ST. LOUIS Born This Way – Rehumanizing Movement Nick St. Louis is a scientist who uses play and curiosity to explore his work in the health space in Ottawa, ON. His focus is the study of humans and his primary research subject is himself. A self-described symptom treater (physical therapist), his current obsession is understanding complex systems and innovating scalable solutions to the health problem. WWW.TFCHARDGOODS.COM
DR. KELLY STARRETT It’s a Stretch Kelly Starrett, DPT, cofounder of the thereadystate.com, is a coach, physical therapist, author and speaker from San Francisco. He has revolutionized how athletes think about human movement and athletic performance. We share excerpts from Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance. WWW.THEREADYSTATE.COM
Lisa Bélanger, Rosalie Brown, Adam Campbell, Zuzana Fajkusova, Louise Hodgson-Jones, Curtis Howden, Maria Koutsogiannis, Nikki Lefler, Sam Luong, Laurie MacKay, Nadia Moharib, Liana Robberecht, Sam Turnbull, Emily Von Euw PHOTOGRAPHY
Alan Bailward, Dave Best, Paul Buceta for strong Fitness Magazine, Wade Clark, Jeremie Dupont, Kelly Funk, Sander Jain, Inge Johnson, Peter Kaczan, Joel Krich, Jake Lane, Ronald Lee, Chris Linton, Sam Luong, Mountain Skills Academy, Darren Miller/The Ready State, Nelson and Kootenay Lake Tourism, John Price, Crystal Sander, Kristi Sneddon, Zoe Spawton, Marc Torrecillas, Vairdy Photography, Visit Cranbrook, Katy Whitt
16 Inspiration Issue 2021
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Who Moves You?
W Elaine Kupser, Publisher & Editor-In-Chief firstname.lastname@example.org
elcome to our Inspiration Issue. As we begin 2021, I think we could all use a little inspiration, and I’m certain you are going to find plenty of that within the pages of this issue. If there is one thing that the past year has shown us, it is that we cannot get through this pandemic alone. Collectively, we have found ways to take care of each other, even from a distance. Technology combined with compassion has helped keep us together, while reminding us just how important human connection is for our health and wellbeing. And that is exactly what we are celebrating with this year’s Canada’s Top Fitness Instructors. It’s been a challenging past year for fitness clubs, recreation centres, and boutique studios who have taken every possible precaution to stay open just to be pummeled by the lockdowns. These restrictions have affected not only club owners, but their instructors and personal trainers as well. But it didn’t stop them from finding creative ways to keep members and clients active and engaged virtually and outdoors. In fact, fitness at home suddenly became accessible for everyone. My roots are embedded deeply in the fitness industry and I am so proud to be bringing recognition to our nominees and featured instructors who pour their hearts
and souls into helping us all stay physically and mentally fit. What a privilege it was for me to contact each instructor personally to deliver some positive news to kick off the year. You will be both moved and inspired by our Athlete with IMPACT stories – longtime IMPACT friend and contributor, Adam Campbell, thank you for sharing your story of unthinkable loss with us. Your vulnerability will undoubtedly help so many others navigate through their own losses and pain. And meet Joan MacDonald. Who knew that at 71 years of age one could deadlift 175 lbs.? It must be those 1.1 million Instagram followers encouraging you! Actually, we know it’s the other way around. Putting out a magazine during a global pandemic has not been easy, but we are determined to push past the uncertainty and continue looking forward. I thank my dedicated team: Kelly Findley, Janet Henderson, guest editor Nadia Moharib, and our brilliant expert contributors, loyal advertisers and friends who have shown so much support. And, as always, I thank you, the reader, for coming back time and time again. Look at what we can do when we work together.
D I G I TA L E D I T I O N Didn’t get your hands on a favourite edition of IMPACT? Or maybe your best friend secretly borrowed it from you? No worries. Subscribe to our FREE newsletter and digital edition online at impactmagazine.ca.
18 Inspiration Issue 2021
The Top 9 Wellness Trends for 2021 Experts identify future wellness trends that stops boosting and starts balancing
ramatic shifts are being forecast in health and wellness after a year characterized by a global pandemic, economic meltdown, racial injustice, polarizing politics and a mental-wellness crisis, according to the recent Global Wellness Summit. That combined with “fatigue with an industry too focused on elitist, hyper-trendy evidence-free wellness solutions,” will see it becoming more inclusive, accessible, affordable and evidence-based.
WELLNESS TRENDS The Future of Wellness in 2021 report identifies nine wellness trends underway. 1. Wellness will become a bigger, more meaningful programming focus in the TV and music industries, as Big Media digests the huge cultural force wellness has become. 2. Immune health will shift from “immune-boosting” supplements, foods and therapies to a pursuit of immunostabilization and immuno-balance with evidence-backed approaches. 3. Architecture design will tap into our spirituality. We will see new attention paid to creating everyday spaces that can incite sacred and numinous moments, building an environment that can move our souls. 4. Practitioners are bringing breathwork to ever-larger audiences for rehabilitation, fitness, community building, and relief from chronic stress, trauma and PTSD. 5. Healthcare and wellness will converge into a self-care renaissance. Wellness is learning to lean into science, and healthcare is beginning to borrow from the wellness playbook, transforming a once sterile and strictly curative
20 Inspiration Issue 2021
industry into a more holistic and lifestyle-oriented one. 6. To generate substantive change in terms of diversity and inclusion, the wellness industry will work to support more equitable access. Wellness enterprises that value diversity, respect Black wellness needs, and work to support more equitable access, represent the future of wellness. 7. The pandemic brought in-person events to an abrupt halt heralding a new world trend. New hybrid events (in-person and virtual gatherings) sprouted like mushrooms after a spring rain. In 2021 and beyond, creativity is driving connection—and how we gather is taking on new—and healthier— meanings. 8. The financial wellness movement is moving money talk beyond the bank. Financial therapists are tackling the intersection between money and mental health, and the three billion views of #personalfinance content on TikTok prove that finance influencers are officially a thing. 9. Looking ahead, the year 2021 may be the year that all travel becomes wellness travel, including making travel regenerative, challenging over-tourism, correcting under-tourism, tentative travel, embracing nature, and putting purpose first. Reprinted with permission from the Global Wellness Summit - an international gathering bringing together leaders and visionaries to positively shape the future of the $4.5 trillion global wellness economy. The full 100-page report can be purchased at: www.globalwellnesssummit.com/trends-2021/.
Two Masks – Better Than One Studies show doublemasking reduces COVID transmission by 95% A recent report by the CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) found that maximizing the fit of cloth and medical masks, and double-masking substantially improved the transmission and exposure to COVID-19. Double masking refers to fitting a cloth mask over a medical procedure mask. Fit masks correctly, such as knotting the ear loops, tucking in and flattening any extra material close to the face to improve source control and reduce wearer exposure. In experimental simulations, the CDC found that double-masking decreased aerosol particle transmission by up to 95 per cent at a six-foot radius. When choosing a mask, have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric, ensure the mask completely covers both nose and mouth and fits under the chin (masks worn beneath the nose, or worse yet, beneath the chin, are useless!), has a nose wire to prevent air from leaking out over the top, and adjusts to fit the sides of your face without gaps. Scarves, ski masks and balaclavas are not substitutes for masks but should be worn over your mask.
Healthy Body – Healthy Mind How a prescription to exercise is helping people physically & mentally
t’s a fact – One in five Canadians Pre-COVID, many registrants level of household income. “This is experience a mental illness or were able to fill their prescription actually positive for our program. RxTGA addiction problem making it the with a trial access at participating is attracting those in the population leading cause of disability in the country. recreation facilities, but RxTGA has who may not be benefitting equally to Furthermore, Canadians in the lowest had to adapt and are offering more health resources.” income group are three – four times resources including online free trials Movement and Exercise is the single more likely than those in a high income (video-on-demand) and a free six-week most important thing that people can group to report poor to fair mental getting starting guide: an app to keep do to enhance their brain’s function health, with many relying on their family participants moving. “With fitness and resiliency to disease. Sanjay Gupta, physician for mental health support. facilities closed, going online gives Neuro Surgeon. The solution? Get moving. “Physical them the option to be physically active “It improves mood and energy, activity and exercise are primary forms in a safe environment,” Tareta explains. reduces stress, staves off depression of treatment for mild to moderate With the increase in tele-health, and dementia, and reduces risk of over depression,” says Jeff Tareta, Program prescriptions for RxTGA can also be 25 different chronic diseases with no Director for Prescription to Get Active administered virtually. negative side-effects,” says Tareta. (RxTGA). Since 2011 Prescription to Get the Alberta company Active has partners Physical activity and exercise are primary forms has been promoting in Ontario and of treatment for mild to moderate depression. the benefits of Manitoba with further JEFF TARETA, Program Director for Prescription to Get Active (RxTGA) physical activity as plans to expand to a means to prevent other provinces. In 2019 over 2,100 registered for and treat many illnesses and chronic They are also working on a ‘no cost RxTGA programs, 75 per cent used diseases. Partnering with health care low cost’ program with communities recreation facilities as a free trial with practitioners and fitness professionals, focusing on outdoor activities. Tareta 20 per cent continuing to use the individuals who exercise less than 150 knows their model is working for facilities. Eighty per cent said that minutes a week can get a prescription them. “Why wouldn’t anyone want to having access to a fitness facility from their doctor, nurse practitioner or be physically active knowing you can increased their activity levels, and 82 per specified health professional, register reduce chronic diseases and improve cent reported they saw health benefits with Prescription to Get Active and brain function? You can grow your because of RxTGA. Thirty three per have access to a myriad of movement, brain and help the decline of dementia cent of RxTGA registrants have a low exercise and support services. by being physically active.”
How It Works Step One
Talk to your doctor and their healthcare team about getting a Prescription To Get Active.
Visit prescriptionto getactive.com to get started with your prescription.
Find helpful resources and activity ideas to learn how to get moving more.
prescriptiontogetactive.com | 587-896-6929 | email@example.com
Fill your RxTGA for free access offers at participating facilities, online programs and remote coaching.
Above Dr. Kelly Starrett demonstrates an advanced rolling technique.
It’s A Stretch
Going beyond traditional thinking to optimize movement BY DR. KELLY STARRETT – Physical therapist, speaker, New York Times bestselling author of Becoming a Supple Leopard, living in San Francisco, CA THEREADYSTATE
“You need to stretch!”
ou’ve heard it a million times before. The perplexing assertion that you’re not stretching enough and that it’s why you’re injured or sore, slow or clumsy. Think of your first coach admonishing you to stretch after practice or your gym teacher preaching about the importance of stretching. Oh, your back hurts? No problem! Just stretch your hamstrings
22 Inspiration Issue 2021
and it will feel better. You can’t get into a good squat position because your quads are tight? Just stretch them out. Conventional wisdom tells us that if we want to optimize athletic performance, improve flexibility, prevent muscle soreness and reduce potential for injury, we must stretch. For a long time, stretching has been a catch-all modality for dealing with soreness and pain, for range-of-motion restrictions and for joint
PHOTO BY DARREN MILLER/THE READY STATE
troubles. Just keep stretching. But here’s is why we deadlift, squat and practice fullthe problem: stretching doesn’t work range functional movements in the gym. by itself. It doesn’t improve position, it The issue is not that static stretching doesn’t improve performance, it doesn’t lengthens the muscle. The issue is that it make you faster, it doesn’t eliminate pain addresses (albeit poorly) only one aspect and it doesn’t prevent injury. of your physiologic system – your muscle. Let me clarify: When I say stretching I’m It’s doesn’t address motor-control or the referring specifically to end-range static position of your joints or what’s going on at stretching or hanging out in an end-range the joints. static position with zero intention. I’m If stretching is not the answer, what is? talking about purposeless stretching. In short, we need to systematically deal Consider the classic hamstring stretch: with each of the problems that prevent You lie back, grab your ankle, pull your us from getting into the ideal positions hamstring to end-range and then hang and keep us from moving. Addressing all out while you dreamily watch the geese the components that limit position and overhead flying south for winter. This type challenge movement efficiency will solve of stretching can theoretically lengthen your specific problems and stimulate your hamstring, but doesn’t tell you, or measurable improvement. your coach, anything about your motorcontrol or ability to get into good positions. In other words, taking your hamstring I have deleted the words stretching to end-range and keeping it there is not and flexibility from my vocabulary and going to help you run faster or change replaced them with movement and mobility your capacity to deadlift more weight. Yet – or mobilization. when most people have a tissue or joint I define restriction that mobilization as a prevents them from movement-based, getting in to a good integrated, fullposition, they think body approach “Man, I suck! I need that considers all to stretch.” elements that limit An example, by movement and way of analogy: if DR. KELLY STARRETT performance. In you pull on each end short, mobilization of a T-shirt, what is a tool to improve your capacity to move happens after a minute or so? It becomes and perform efficiently. all stretched out, right? What do you think The idea is to get you to stop thinking happens when you take your beautiful that stretching is important. Are you truly tissues to end-range and keep them ready for this? Stretching is not important. there? They get all stretched out like your Position and the application of position pitiful T-shirt. Imagine lengthening your through movement is what matters hamstrings then sprinting down a field or most. If you can’t get into a good position attempting a max-effort deadlift without because you’re limited, or you have a tissue developing the strength or motor-control restriction of some kind, stretching alone to handle that new position. You might as won’t give you the results you want. What well get down on your knees and beg to be will is a system that helps you figure out injured. Lengthening your muscles is not a which of the variables are compromising bad thing if you have the motor-control to your ability to move correctly and then support that end-range position and you are engages effective modalities or techniques expressing those end-range positions with to resolve each of them. load-bearing to full-range exercises. This
MAKING THE SWITCH FROM STRETCHING TO MOBILIZATION
I have deleted the words stretching and flexibility from my vocabulary.
TRY THESE AT HOME SKIN-PINCH TEST This test illuminates how your body compensates to adaptively short tissues. Stand up, hinge from your hips and grab a handful of skin around your hip flexors. Now stand up. What happens? You must overextend and keep your knees bent to lift your torso upright. This is exactly what happens when you sit for long periods of time. Your hip flexors start to reflect your working position, becoming adaptively short and stiff. BELLY-WHACK TEST Just like it sounds, have someone randomly whack you along the belly. You should always have enough abdominal tone to take a whack to the belly. We do this at our gym and around the house. If you’ve got a spongy middle, you get caught right away. ORGANIZING THE SCAPULA A lot of coaches, athletes and physical therapists seem to think that an impingement of the shoulder automatically means a rotator cuff issue. Here’s what’s really happening: When your scapula is in a disorganized position, it turns your rotator cuff off. So, if someone tells you that your rotator cuff isn’t working correctly, you probably need to restore the scapula position so that your rotator turns back on. • Lay on the floor and place a lacrosse ball between your shoulder blade and spine. • On your back, bridge your butt up as high as possible, driving the ball deep into your soul and reach your arm overhead, parallel to the floor. Keep your elbows locked out. • Push that arm as far as you can. Then bring it across your body and try to touch your opposite hip. The idea is to bring the shoulder over as far as possible so you can get maximum range in the tissues.
Inspiration Issue 2021 23
H E A LT H & W E L L N E S S
7 Affordable DIY Hacks to Help You Breathe Easier Clean the air in your home with these simple tips BY SAM LUONG – M.Arch, B.Arch.Sci., WELL AP in Toronto, ON STUDIOCLOUDNINE.CA
ike it or not, we are spending a lot of time at home. We are surrounded by four walls much more than we would be during hot, summer nights and our time indoors is only exacerbated by pandemic protocols which have literally sent many of us home. In a single day, we breathe in at least 15,000 litres of air and consume four times as much of it as we do both water and food combined. Bad air and poorly-designed space (with poor air circulation, for instance) can impact our health, leading to headaches, sinus irritations, asthma attacks and serious cardio-respiratory diseases and cancer. Here are some ways to improve the air quality in the spaces you inhabit.
RIGHT The ideal living room setup to maintain great air quality.
LET THE LIGHT AND THE AIR IN
SHED SOME LIGHT ON HIGH-GERM AREAS
Cost: $0 to $20 Windows or skylights which open to the outside allow fresh air to circulate into our homes. Make sure windows do not open directly to a garage, exhaust or polluted areas.
Cost: $40 (bulbs) to $100 (lamps) Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI), light bulbs and lamps are great disinfectants, relying on ultraviolet radiation to damage the DNA and RNA of germs, thereby killing them. Place them in high-traffic areas more susceptible to germs as an extra measure of sanitization – on kitchen countertops, in washrooms and above high-contact surfaces in your home gym.
PLANT AIR-PURIFYING POTENTIAL Cost: $5 to $50 According to NASA’s plant experiment in space, one air-purifying plant for every 100 sq.-ft. should eradicate common indoor air pollutants such formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by destroying “pathogenic viruses, bacteria, and organic chemicals ...converting all of these air pollutants into new plant tissue.” The peace lily, English ivy and snake plant are on NASA’s top purifying plants list.
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INSTALL MERV 8 AIR FILTERS TO YOUR HVAC SYSTEM Cost: Starting at $40 Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) is a certified rating system which determines how effectively your system is at preventing pollutant particles from getting into the air stream. For residential spaces, MERV 7 to 12 is generally acceptable.
BUY A HEPA-CERTIFIED AIR PURIFIER
BUY AN AIR QUALITY MONITORING SENSOR WITH REAL-TIME DISPLAY
Cost: $100 to $200
Cost: $50 to $300 An indoor air quality monitoring sensor can identify common, potentially harmful air pollutants before they can become toxic to our health. Place a monitoring sensor in a central, visible location on each floor.
PERFORM A SYSTEM BALANCE ON YOUR HVAC SYSTEM Cost: $100 to $300 Contact a reputable mechanical duct cleaning company to conduct a system balancing. This ensures air from your HVAC system is distributed properly for each room in the house and meets requirements set out by the ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2010 Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality.
Inspiration Issue 2021 25
High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) is a certified rating system for air filters in appliances. As air passes through a fibrous membrane, these pollutant particles get trapped, intercepted, diffused, ionized, or even exposed to UV irradiation, depending on the filter’s technology and the particle’s size. According to The Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology, certified HEPA filters “must trap 99.97% of particulates 0.3 microns or larger,” which include bacteria, car emissions, mold, and spores.
Peripheral Heart Action (PHA) Training Cardiovascular and strength in one workout!
BY ROSALIE BROWN – Personal Fitness Trainer, Canada’s Top Fitness Trainer 2020, Canada’s Top Fitness Instructor 2019, TV Fitness Presenter, in Richmond Hill, ON ROSALIEBROWNFIT
Makeup courtesy of Genny Rovito, @gennydoesmakeup on Instagram
e all want to make our workouts as effective as possible. Peripheral Heart Action (PHA) is a timeefficient way to work out your whole body, increase the cardio intensity of your workout and improve calorie burning. PHA training involves switching between a lower body exercise and an upper body exercise with little or no rest between movements. It improves your cardiovascular endurance and aerobic capacity while simultaneously challenging your muscle endurance and strength. Research finds that alternating between upper and lower body exercises increase blood flow to the extremities—arms, hands, legs and feet— which can improve your metabolism at the cellular level. It also suggests this type of training might be a great way to lose weight in people who can’t or don’t want to do High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Overall, PHA training increases strength in the muscles worked – the chest, back, shoulders, legs and calves. By alternating between upper and lower body the burning sensation from lactate accumulation is also reduced.
WARM -UP Repeat x 2 • Step side-to-side x 16: Step out wide and to the side with one foot and bring the other foot beside it. Repeat with other leg. • Skaters x 16: Bend both legs into squat position, leaning slightly forward and step wide and to the side. Bring other leg in beside keeping knees bent as you swing both arms in direction of leg movements. • Reach up & tap floor x 16: Feet shoulder width or wider standing tall; reach both arms up over head and then bend knees deep as you bring arms and hand down towards floor and tap palms down to floor. • Air squats x 16: Start with feet hip width or wider and bend knees to drop buttocks as low as you can keeping chest and chin up. (Visualize sitting in a chair). Pres through heels and stand back up.
24 Reps, minimal rest • In the plank position distribute your weight evenly between your hands and your toes. • Check your form—your hands should be about shoulder-width apart, back flat, abs engaged and head in alignment. • Pull your right knee into your chest as far as you can and return. Repeat with the left knee. • Keep your hips down, run your knees in and out as far and as fast as you can. Alternate inhaling and exhaling with each leg change.
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24 Reps, minimal rest • Sit on an upright bench, a ball or stand holding a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height with your palms facing each other or facing forward. • Keep your chest up and your core braced and look straight forward throughout the move. • Press the weights directly upward until your arms are straight above your head. • Lower the weights back to your shoulder and repeat.
24 Reps, minimal rest • Lay flat on your back or elevate your feet on a step or exercise ball. • Hold a dumbbell or two on your upper legs, letting the load rest where your hips bend. • Bend your knees 90 degrees, pointing them to the ceiling and keep your feet flat on the floor. • Lift your hips towards the ceiling. Your shoulders and head remain flat on the floor. Your knees should still point upward, with your body forming a straight line from your shoulders to your hips. You may feel your abdominal muscles tightening while moving into this position. • Hold this upward position for a few seconds, then slowly release back to the floor and repeat.
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24 Reps, minimal rest • Stand with a dumbbell in each hand. Your elbows should rest at your sides and your forearms should extend out in front of your body. • Bring the dumbbells up toward your shoulders by bending your elbows. Once at the top, hold for a second by squeezing the muscle. • Reverse the curl slowly and repeat.
24 Reps, minimal rest • Sit on the floor with your hands beside your hips and your knees up in boat pose. • Tuck your knees in toward your chest and contract your abs. • Extend your legs as you lean back. • Pull your knees back to your chest & repeat. Watch these PHA workouts and many more in action by visiting Rosalie Brown on YouTube.
24 Reps, minimal rest • Reach down and pick up the dumbbells with bent knees and straight back. Hold them, arms extended, with a neutral grip (palms facing you). • Pull the dumbbells to your chest, concentrating on using your back and shoulder muscles rather than your arms. Keep your chest still as you lift. At the top of the movement, squeeze your shoulder and back muscles. Slowly lower the dumbbells until your arms are fully extended again.
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MEET OUR PERSONAL TRAINERS Pat is an excellent trainer; knowledgeable, personable and always professional. She knows her stuff and is able to skillfully work with me to meet my goals. Chris
Rose is a very experienced trainer. Not only does Rose help me to achieve my fitness goals, but also to change my mindset about fitness and health. Pat
BCAK-RK, BSc, BCRPA-PT
Our team of educated and passionate trainers are ready to help you reach your personal podium. Delivered in-person or virtually, our goal is to help you establish a foundation of health, wellness, mobility and strength. Learn more or book a complimentary consultation:
From the start, Chris has been approachable and kind, supportive, motivational and has taken the time to get to know me and my goals in a way that has consistently pushed me forward.
Working with Ryan has been the best investment not only for my physical health but more importantly my mental health.
The New Living Room Routine
Get a total body workout with minimal equipment BY CURTIS HOWDEN – One of Canada’s Top Fitness Trainers; Personal Trainer, Regional Fitness Director at GYMVMT Fitness Club in Calgary, AB COACHCURT.H
midst the challenges we typically face to stay on a targeted fitness program, due to COVID restrictions, we now have the additional limiters of space and equipment. If you would like to start a new routine and develop a solid foundation in 2021, this full-body workout using only a band is for you.
The reps, sets, and rest protocol chosen here may look odd to you. This is based on a Gironda protocol and works great for increasing density (work done in a given time) without needing a lot of load/weight. You can expect to work hard, notice some muscle shaping, and likely lose a bit of fat in the process.
A good warm-up will improve the way your muscles respond and give you an idea of your body’s readiness that day. For this workout, focus on the shoulders and hips and pay attention to the available working space / range of motion. Active mobility drills tend to be superior, and I typically would perform controlled articular rotations and progressive/regressive isometrics prior to lifting. Quality execution during your workout is the best way to protect joint function and allow you to target the right tissue.
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QUAD FOCUS 5 Sets, 12 Reps, 30 Sec Rest between sets Complete all 5 sets consecutively No band required • Stand tall with your heels raised, keep your chin down and your lower back in neutral. • Keeping your weight evenly balanced between your heel and toes, lower your body by pressing the knees forward. • The heel raise won’t target the muscles of the quads alone but pressing the knees forward, without being limited by the ankle will.
SPLIT STANCE LAT-FOCUSED ROW
BANDED SKATER DEADLIFT
HAMSTRING/GLUTE FOCUS 8 Sets, 8 Reps, 30 Sec Rest between Sets Complete all 8 sets consecutively • Step on the band with your front foot and hold your lower back in neutral without allowing the pelvis to twist. • Initiate the movement by pushing your hips backward until they can no longer continue this path. • Keeping your weight focused on your front foot, squeeze your front glute to stand up tall while straightening your front knee. • Keep your pelvic position from changing and only go until your hips no longer move backward. • Focus on moving the hips rearward and keeping your back from tipping the spine forward.
LAT FOCUS 6 Sets, 8 Reps, 0 Sec Rest Complete 1 set of each side, no rest, move onto exercise #4 • Stand tall with your front knee above your front ankle and your rear knee below your hip. • Start with your arm fully outstretched and the band anchored around shoulder height. • Initiate the movement by pulling your upper arm down and dropping the elbow/shoulder unit as if you are trying to pull the elbow to the hip. • Once you’ve pulled the elbow as far as you can towards the hip, slowly return the arm along the same path to outstretched. Focus on pushing the upper arm/elbow down, not back.
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PEC FOCUS 6 Sets, 8 Reps, 15 Sec Rest Complete 1 set, rest for 15 Sec, move onto exercise #5 • Lie on your stomach with the hips and chest off the ground and the elbows tucked into your sides and above your hands. • You will have the ends of the band situated under each hand and wrapping around your upper back. Press to full extension of the arms without allowing the lower back to arch. • The band will be stretched as you press yourself up, increasing its resistance. • Reach as long as you can through the arms and slowly lower. • If you want to make this easier, come up on the knees and down on the feet. • Adding a thicker band or removing the band will further challenge the exercise or remove the challenge, respectively.
COPENHAGEN SIDE PLANK - ELBOW & FOOT
ADDUCTOR/OBLIQUE FOCUS 6 Sets, Hold for 30 Sec each side, 15 Sec Rest Complete 1 set of both sides, rest for 15 Sec, move onto exercise #3 • Lay on your side with your elbow and top foot on the ground. Lift your hips off the ground and get the spine in a straight line, holding a neutral position, and squeeze your knees together with the bottom knee bent. • To make this harder, you can put your foot on a riser or support yourself with a hand instead of the elbow; to make it easier, you can put your top knee on a riser. • The ideal position would keep your body completely horizontal. Typically, a sofa or low bed works perfectly for this.
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EXPERTS Our team of qualified Trainers are here to help you get results and the develop the confidence to improve your fitness. Our trainers take pride in your performance and successes. You’ll train in our newly renovated – and expanded - private Personal Training Studio. We partnered with TechnoGym® to offer the most innovative equipment and wellness experience.
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forever active. forever strong.
Simple daily strategies to replace prolonged periods of chair sitting, such as sitting on the floor will help create strong, functional, pain-free bodies.
Born This Way – Rehumanizing Movement Make exercise a natural part of daily life rather than a supplement BY NICK ST. LOUIS – Curious human that loves to play, leader of the Foot Collective in Ottawa, ON THEFOOTCOLLECTIVE
fter spending several years questioning knowledge I acquired during my Master’s of Physical Therapy program, I’ve learned that the way most of us go about improving our health is built on some false assumptions. As a culture, we strive to achieve an image of health that is sold to us but isn't true to our biology. We seem to think health is a destination we eventually reach by working really hard
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and doing things that make us miserable, like eating bland salads or running on a treadmill alongside others who also wish they weren’t there. We view fitness as a quest to become tanned and lean, with abs that show and a marathon to brag about. And we view movement as a supplement to be taken (called exercise) and our physical body as an innately flawed machine that falls apart as we age. I am proposing a new story. One that
expands awareness, gives hope to those who have given up, and one that I have found to be true both in my own life and from the feedback we receive every day from our Foot Collective community. In this new narrative, health isn’t a destination we reach, but a process we engage in daily. Movement is seen in a broader context as a fundamental basic need and a part of everyday life rather than a supplement prescribed by a doctor. In this new reality, the body is an amazingly adept, self-healing machine that adapts to the inputs we give it and only fails us if we’re not using it correctly. Through this new lens, fitness means being physically capable to live a life aligned with our physiology and being resilient enough to withstand physical challenges that we encounter along the way. It’s time to shift our cultural perspective and rehumanize movement, basically going back to the way we were built. We need to drop the exercise-based, workcentric mindset and, instead, adopt a
movement-based, play-centric one. It is said the human body positively adapts to the demands we expose it to. Indeed, the Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand (SAID) principle is a foundational truth in physiology. When it comes to our ability to move efficiently, it boils down to some simple arithmetic: the more time you spend exploring a variety of different movements, the more efficient your movement patterns become. It also works the opposite way: the more time you spend in a fixed position (sitting in chairs, for example) the better the body becomes at sitting in a chair - at the expense of all other movements. The problem with sitting for eight or more hours a day and then “working out” for one hour is that you’ve just spent eight hours training your hips to be proficient at not resisting gravity and not being able to extend. You then ask those stiff hips, that are great at sitting, to not only move beyond the range of a chair but to do it under load, fatigued and for extended periods. Injury is exactly what should result.
Working out is a risk factor for getting injured when you spend most of your day sitting in a chair; your workout could be doing more harm than good. So how do we solve this? Re-integrate movement into our day and avoid spending prolonged periods in a single static position. Simple strategies can include replacing chairsitting with floor-sitting, kneeling, squatting, standing, standing on one leg or lying on your side. The more variety, the better. Essentially, we are rehumanizing movement or moving the way we were born to so we can be empowered to do our best to create strong, functional, pain-free bodies. Think of sitting like salt. A bit of salt on your food is fine but eating a pound of salt will kill you. It’s not parking your posterior in a chair in and of itself that is the problem, it’s the dose that does the damage.
Another element in the mission to rehumanize movement is to expand your options beyond exercise. If the realm of movement was an entire swimming pool, what we view as exercise would only be a few cups of water out of that entire pool. There’s a lot more to explore and more than enough variety available. Find something you enjoy doing. Better yet, incorporate more of that water into your daily life by taking little sips throughout the day. It’s time to shed our old stories and embrace one where movement isn’t a supplement to take but a way of life. Where the process of health is viewed through a lens of playful and creative exploration. Find your own path. A good place to start? Spend five minutes on the floor tonight instead of on the couch and try a new movement that puts a smile on your face.
Working out is a risk factor for getting injured when you spend most of your day sitting in a chair
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Where to go for winter escapes and mountains of activities BY MATT MOSTELLER – Outdoor & adventure writer and photographer in Kimberley, B.C. POWDERMATT
inter may be here but don’t let yourself cocoon inside, it is better to seek daylight and exercise. And before you say don’t even go there – enough blaming the weather and it being too cold to get out. It is time to right-side that ageold winter excuse, unplug now and then head to these top five mountain towns for winter adventures. We hereby double dare you to try going unconnected, by putting down that iPhone and adding some extra self-care into this blissful snowy season. There’s nothing like a road trip to really feel that get-out-oftown sensation — the mountains and healing waters are calling.
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NEW HEIGHTS – WHISTLER, B.C. – 1 REACH MIDWEEK TURNS AND LEARN TO CLIMB ICE
Get vertical, not only while descending the slopes but on the ice wall, too. Take a course and learn to ice climb. You will feel accomplished knowing you really challenged yourself with this activity. No limits for you, build upon your winter season’s skillset by joining a high-performance group lesson from the Whistler Blackcombe Snow School to raise your skiing and riding game.
MOUNTAIN SKILLS ACADEMY
2 HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT – CANMORE, AB – THE PERFECT MIDWEEK SNEAK Who does not like waking up to towering peaks and a wide array of walking trails? Here, these features are available and accessible from the front doors of the Malcolm Hotel for that sneaky midweek getaway you’ve been dreaming of. Feel like an Olympian by visiting the Canmore Nordic Centre, take a cross-country ski lesson to hone your gliding game, or practice your kick and skate. One of the best ways to get your cardio workout in, if you are in need of some thrills, is to try tubing or learn to alpine ski or snowboard at nearby Nakiska Ski Area.
3 ENJOY DAYLIGHT – CRANBROOK, B.C. – WINTER WALKS AND MORE
Have you driven through but not stopped in for a visit? Now is the time to give this sunny place its due recognition. Looking for trail time? Pick from one of the largest groomed networks for winter fat biking at South Star Trails. Or go for that winter walk or trail run, starting at the College of the Rockies Trailhead at Gateway Trail and take the 10 km Lakes Loop – its gradual grade is a perfect winter workout. More than likely, given that Cranbrook and Kimberley get the most sun hours in British Columbia, you’ll feel better thanks to the region’s boost of vitamin D. Of course, don’t miss an après workout healthy fuel up. Try Kootenay Soul Food in the historic Mt. Baker Hotel.
4 MOUNTAINS OF ADVENTURE – FERNIE, B.C. – THINK BIG
Rolling down the winter trails and not only getting your body in gear, but feeling that powerful refresh, is the norm in Fernie where you can ride year-round. Rent fat bikes at Fernie Alpine Resort or Gear Hub Sports just off historic main street. You will be out spinning with joy in no time on the snowy trails. Pause amongst giant cedar trees to reflect and, like the size of the snowflakes here, you may find some new big ideas.
A newly built NHL-sized rink is calling, so lace on the skates because nothing beats taking laps around a snowy mountain rink in a flake-filled village. Welcome to Sun Peaks. Next up is snowshoeing. No, this is not the penguin walk – snowshoeing is easy. It’s just like walking but with bigger shoes on your feet; you got this. Don’t miss features along the village trails like the snow cave, various winter bird identification signage and areas to learn about the winter animals who inhabit the area.
MOMENTS – GOLDEN, B.C. – THE PERFECT FAMILY 6 GOLDEN AND COHORT ADVENTURE
Combine some adventures here with a couple of days with your cohort group skiing and riding at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Pre-booked, guided snowshoe and/or ski touring adventures are offerred at Purcell Mountain Lodge, one of Canada’s first luxury backcountry lodges. Stay in a private cabin at Lush Mountain Accommodations, and your group can ride together on the gondola to explore the mountain and head into the backcountry to Purcell Mountain Lodge for an epic playtime in untouched powder.
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MATT MOSTELLER, VISIT CRANBROOK, KELLY FUNK, DAVE BEST
5 A HEARTY ESCAPE – SUN PEAKS, B.C. – MOUNTAIN VILLAGE
7 STORMY GOODNESS – TOFINO, B.C. – WORLDS AWAY FROM REALITY
Welcome rainy and windy into your life. There’s really nothing like being smacked in the face by Mother Nature on a beach walk to truly hit your refresh button. Let the vibes of big trees settle in and hit Long Beach for a unique winter walk while keeping aware of tides and the wild waves. Don’t shy away from the storm as local accommodation spots like Long Beach Lodge Resort have guest rain jackets and umbrellas. Your inner seven-year-old self will enjoy wearing rubber boots to splash in puddles again.
8 TRAIL TIME – KIMBERLEY, B.C. – BREAK THE SCRIPT AND LEARN
Stay in Trickle Creek Lodge and from your doorstep take the snowshoes for a loop on the flat and easy nearby trails of Trickle Creek Golf Resort – trails perfect for learning. A short drive away is a hidden gem, The Kimberley Nordic Club, where more than 30 km of cross-country trails beckon. It’s not difficult to see why everyone in Kimberley has such vibrant smiles from sunrise to sunset. A favourite first-timer trail which is also lit at night is the threekilometre Centennial-to-Spruce loop. This one comes complete with views of the Rockies, forested corridors and an inviting grade. Why not make this town a trifecta of first-time experiences? Learning something new is always good especially when it comes to the roots of this town’s winter activities of crosscountry skiing, snowshoeing and alpine skiing, all in one place.
A stay in Nelson may require a good workout afterwards, as the foodie experience here is top notch and worthy of enjoying. So why not rent cross country gear from Gerick Cycle and Ski, head up to Whitewater Ski Area and venture out on to their five kilometres of trails and take in spectacular mountain views? Our advice for beginners? Start on the flat Night Loop trail, at the Nelson Nordic Club, and you will glide like a pro in no time. Enjoy an historic and luxury stay downtown at the Hume Hotel, then relax with craft food and local brews in the Library Lounge. From food and fitness, it’s onto healing waters. Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort is your place to recuperate and rejuvenate. Proudly owned and operated by the Ktunaxa People, why not make your visit a healing-waters tour? Add a stop and stay at Halcyon Hot Springs Resort for good measure. You can never be too relaxed.
COVID, COVID, COVID… We all want this to leave our lives as soon as possible. Of course, we know you may be tired of hearing this but please be a responsible and respectful traveller to any of your upcoming destinations. The protocols may be different in the communities you are traveling through, however it’s always better to have your mask on in public, practice social distancing and show your respect by not traveling in the event you are not feeling well. Check details on your destination regularly before you go, as information may change – this can help you stay alert and in the know.
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SANDER JAIN, MATT MOSTELLER, NELSON AND KOOTENAY LAKE TOURISM, KELLY FUNK
SOAK, XC & FOODIE DELIGHTS – NELSON & AINSWORTH, B.C. – 9 HOT CRAFTED FOR YOU
Photo by Jeff Bartlett
What you see, is what you get.
Get insider info For blogs featuring useful tips, insider information, videos great stories on winter adventures in Golden visit:
Head to Golden, B.C. for the ultimate winter adventure.
Located in the Canadian Rockies and surrounded by vast expanses of ski terrain, Golden has plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy and makes for the perfect winter destination. The serious skier can explore the incredible ski touring terrain that surrounds Golden or book a heli-skiing or cat-skiing adventure with one of the many operators in Golden. If you prefer groomers head to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, a playground for everyone and boasting one of the highest vertical drops in North America. Families and non-skiers can experience great activities such snowshoeing, tobogganing or snowmobiling. With plenty of accommodation options from secluded backcountry lodges, luxury mountain homes to charming rustic cabins, Golden is the ideal place to enjoy a winter vacation in the majestic Canadian Rockies.
Start planning: tourismgolden.com/fun
Meet our 2021 top fitness professionals BY NADIA MOHARIB AND ELAINE KUPSER
lthough we've been celebrating them for decades here at IMPACT - this is our fourth year officially recognizing Canada's Top Fitness Instructors & Trainers. From year to year, we alternate between Top Fitness Trainers and Top Fitness Instructors. This year, we ask Canada's Top Fitness Instructors to take a bow. As much as it’s about honouring the Top 10 in each region in our magazine, it’s also about acknowledging and saluting the hundreds of nominees and instructors everywhere who help make our communities healthier. Nominations have been flowing in since July, 2020. All nominees were scored on subjects such as education, certifications, years in the business, philanthropy and community service. Additional topics which included success stories and personal fitness philosophies were ‘blind-scored’ by our skilled expert panelists who spent hours reading some pretty inspiring stories. What was not part of the scoring criteria was how many social media followers one had, and there was no popularity voting. It was a vigorous and grueling process where in many cases there were only one or two points separating scores. If we could, we would feature them all.
They are talented, inspiring and passionate about helping people live their healthiest and best lives. It’s been a challenging year for the fitness industry. Most clubs and studios have been closed or working at reduced capacity. But when the doors closed, the hard work started. When pandemic protocols threatened what these professionals do, these incredible individuals didn't give up but dug in. If there was a time to be celebrating these outstanding nominees and featured instructors, this would be it. Instructors have gone from teaching classes to dozens of participants in person, to reinventing themselves and their livelihood online. This meant moving to virtual classes without skipping a beat. Every single nominee has given back to their community in a unique way. The pandemic has certainly heightened our awareness of how important our health and fitness is, and this industry has continued to give back expecting nothing in return. Fitness instructors have a wealth of education and expertise and a genuine desire to help others succeed. Thank you for your passion and dedication. After many months of anticipation we are proud to present Canada’s Top Fitness Instructors 2021. FUELED BY
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Andrew Alcalde, 38 Group fitness instructor at Fitness World Canada, Robert Lee YMCA VANCOUVER, B.C. ANDREWABRAHAMALCALDE ANDREW ABRAHAM ALCALDE
ooked after joining his first group fitness class, Andrew was encouraged to become an instructor. With his certification, he went “from eager participant to an over-the-top diva” who demanded his clients call him Beyoncé. Andrew’s classes, which include a healthy dose of fun with fitness, keep clients coming back.
I’m a born entertainer. I love the euphoria of being on stage and entertaining people. You will never get bored in my class, because when the music starts, I take on a completely different persona. The switch goes off and suddenly, a sassy drag queen takes over.
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Patricia Blanchard, 71 Group fitness instructor VANCOUVER, B.C.
his Stott Pilates certified instructor has never had trouble filling her classes – something that hasn’t changed despite the ongoing pandemic. Now, Patricia offers destress, myofascial release and Pilates classes online for $7/class, and she is loving it. Via Zoom, she instructs nine classes a week, offering free and/or subsidized ones to those who need the break.
I’m good at what I do and have great results. Having good posture, strength, flexibility will make every day more enjoyable and active. We don’t need to grow old and feeble and stooped. We can be fit, active, alive, healthy till we drop dead.
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Simon ‘Thor’ Damborg, 34 Group fitness instructor and owner of Raincity Athletics VANCOUVER, B.C. WWW.RAINCITYATHLETICS.CA
he Raincity Athletics head coach/owner focusses on building community around fitness. Simon is president of the BC Functional Fitness Sports Association and as a group fitness instructor teaches functional fitness and Olympic lifting. Raincity’s Fit Club is an approved behaviour interventionist provider which allows Simon to work with kids on the autism spectrum and at schools across the Lower Mainland where he shows that everyone can benefit from a proper fitness program.
I believe functional fitness should be fun and accessible to athletes of any level, age and physical or mental ability. We provide two things — community and accountability.
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Louise Green, 49 Group fitness instructor VANCOUVER, B.C. BIGFITGIRL.COM
I really love showing people that don’t believe fitness and athletics are possible at the body size they are at .. that they can be an athlete, if given the right environment and just how life changing that can be to switch their mindset.
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ouise has dedicated her career to size-inclusive fitness since 2007. Prepandemic, this entrepreneur ran outdoor bootcamps, wrote her first book, Big Fit Girl, and recently released her second, Fitness for Everyone. Her online fitness app, BigFitGirl allows clients to train at their own pace and Louise also coaches a group of about 130 clients via Zoom to train for virtual races. This size 16 trainer hopes to inspire people to push past barriers to reap the rewards every one can achieve through fitness.
Ella Jotie, 41
Kim Harvey, 54
Group fitness instructor at Barre Fitness and co-founder of Barre Fitness
Group fitness instructor at GoodLife Fitness Vancouver VANCOUVER, B.C.
lla is an exceptional leader who pioneered Vancouver’s boutique fitness community when she co-founded Barre Fitness which has grown to six locations in the Metro Vancouver area over the past decade. Ella has trained and mentored countless instructors and empowered the company’s allfemale franchise owners and team members, helping to further her vision of creating happiness through health, one plié at a time.
im was already a veteran fitness instructor when she helped open the first GoodLife Fitness in B.C. nearly two decades ago. She later assisted with hiring and training fitness instructors at locations across the province. These days, the avid runner and regional marketer for GoodLife, keeps herself moving and connected with her fitness community by teaching a Facebook live group that has attracted 600 members.
Fitness has been a saviour for me. I came from a pretty crappy upbringing and got into fitness and never stopped. This is what I do. It’s who I am.
I specialize in group fitness and franchised my business because I strongly believe in the power of community. I believe that change begins on an individual level, but it amplifies through collective energy.
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Ballet was my first love and then I fell in love with the fitness industry. I became a personal trainer and group fitness instructor because I developed a strong desire to help others feel good about themselves, to feel strong and beautiful regardless of their body shape or type.
Suzy Kaitman, 37 Group fitness instructor and owner/ creator of Ballet Lounge & Ballet Fit VANCOUVER, B.C. WWW.BALLETLOUNGE.COM BALLETLOUNGE BALLET LOUNGE
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rained as a professional ballet dancer, Suzy is a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, pre- & post-natal fitness specialist and studio owner. Specializing in adult ballet and fitness, Suzy created the BL Curriculum and Teaching Method and Ballet Fit, a choreographed combination of Suzy’s passion for ballet, fitness and fun.
My passion has pushed me through life and is pushing me through this pandemic. My persistence keeps me moving forward to create new classes online and to create new ways to keep our community together in a time when we so need connection.
Karen Kobel, 42 Group fitness instructor, founder Kahlena Movement Studio VANCOUVER, B.C. WWW.K AHLENA.COM KAHLENAMOVEMENT
aren integrates more than three decades as a dancer with extensive fitness training into unique and inspiring movement for clients at Kahlena Movement Studio. Her workouts encourage clients to reach for the discovery of full-body awareness and deeper understanding through the mind, the body as well as their breath.
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Daniela Tempesta, 40
Hana Weinwurm, 41
Group fitness instructor at The Arbutus Club
Group fitness instructor at The Arbutus Club, YYOGA, YYOGA.TV, owner of hanahealth.ca
aniela’s extensive background in dance led to a successful 20-year career in the fitness industry. Her focus is on education and instructor development through courses (American Council on Exercise’s Group Fitness Course), workshops, evaluations and mentoring. Daniela encourages selfinquiry and connectedness with each other, leaving the students feeling balanced in body, mind and spirit.
We’re workin’, while workin’ out. Much of what we do to our ‘outsides’ is an opportunity to work out what’s happening on the inside. A strong, lean body with incredible lung capacity is a beautiful ‘consequence’ of working out but most of us are dealing with personal struggles we may never tell others about. Training together provides the space to focus our energy and leave it all on the fitness floor.
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VANCOUVER, B.C. WWW.HANAHEALTH.CA
his fitness professional with more than a quarter-century of experience has a natural talent at fusing mind, body and spirit when instructing clients. These days, due to pandemic protocols, Hana teaches yoga, Pilates and smaller total-body, low-impact classes. Group fitness allows her to enjoy a balance between having space to be creative while at the same time offering an opportunity to stick to teaching the fundamentals. She loves the energy.
We all feed off one another. I get inspired to be more creative in my work because people are showing up to learn and collectively come together. RONALD LEE
Jodi Barrett, 45 Group fitness instructor at KBKB Studio in Regina, Kettlebell Kickboxing Canada founder & CEO REGINA, SK WWW.KETTLEBELLKICKBOXINGCANADA.COM KETTLEBELLKICKBOXINGCANADA KETTLEBELLKICKBOXINGCANADA
eing pulled to New York really got Jodi into the swing of things. The prairie girl from Saskatchewan was drawn to the Big Apple where she was certified in Kettlebell Kickboxing in 2017. Today, the master level trainer is certified to train Kettlebell Kickboxing instructors across Canada. While there are nearly 40 instructors trained in KBKB North of the Border, Jodi’s studio in Regina is the first to open in this country thus far.
I believe balance is the key to life and finding and being around a positive tribe is essential.
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This was a new concept to take on, but I have really grown to love it. I think virtual training is the way of the future and I believe COVID helped us accelerate this.
Chantelle Erickson, 35 Group fitness instructor at Kinetic Indoor Cycle & Fitness, Personal Peak LETHBRIDGE, AB WWW.KINETICFITNESS.CA PERSONALPEAK.CA RUNNINGMAMA85 CHANTELLE ERICKSON
ifteen years ago, fitness changed Chantelle’s life. And the big-time runner and passionate trainer has been paying it forward ever since. During pandemic shutdowns, Chantelle found creative solutions to connect with clients. That includes instructing outdoors, doing virtual group run coaching over Zoom and taking on the role as Kinetics’ lead for on-demand virtual fitness instruction, catering to numerous interests including spin, barre and Baby Mama classes.
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Naomi Keane, 35 Group fitness instructor, owner Oranj Fitness in Kensington and Airdrie CALGARY AND AIRDRIE, AB NAOMIKEANE
s an owner of two Oranj Fitness locations, Naomi recruited 38 instructors to take on the “privilege and duty to share the value of health, happiness and community each and every class.” The pandemic shutdown was devastating but not long after, Naomi and her team launched their online platform Oranj On Demand which now offers more than 500 recorded classes. The instructors host more than 70 classes per week. Naomi often tells clients, ‘we can do hard things’ especially with the right support. Looks like that applies to both fitness and life.
... privilege and duty to share the value of health, CHRIS LINTON
happiness and community each and every class.
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Jess Leblanc, 35 Yoga educator at Yoga Nova, Pure Hot Yoga, Embodied Adventure CALGARY, AB WWW.JESSLEBLANC.COM JESSSSLEB EMBODIEDADVENTURE
escribing herself as “a connection catalyst,” Jess inspires others to build a healthy connection and interaction between the mind and body - two equally important entities in the pursuit of true health. As Embodied Adventure founder, she creates experiences for people to connect to their most purposeful self away from home through yoga, retreats and workshops around the globe.
Over time, after illness, injury, trauma, grief, heartbreak, transitions and transformation I began deeply acknowledging and studying the potency of yoga from an entirely different lens which ignited my purpose for existing on the
planet, a connection catalyst.
52 Inspiration Issue 2021
Jennifer Linton, 34
Jari Love, 55
Group fitness instructor at Oranj Fitness Airdrie, Orang Fitness Calgary
Group fitness instructor at Repsol Sport Centre, Fitness Plus CALGARY, AB
AIRDRIE & CALGARY, AB
en’s career allows her to witness the transformation of clients. And it’s been an opportunity for her to see herself evolve from “a run-of-the-mill instructor to one with passion, purpose, humour and CONNECTION.” This master instructor, who loves to challenge clients to work hard and enjoy fitness, leads member retention, personally reaching out to 20 to 30 guests daily to see how classes are going.
When asked why I became a fitness instructor at my Cycle Certification I actually broke down into tears because my answer was simply that I wanted people to be happy moving their bodies.
n the business for more than two decades as a certified personal trainer and creator of the Get RIPPED workout system, Jari’s proven transformative skills have made her an international fitness personality and go-to expert for those looking to achieve real results. Always one to share the love, Jari created online certifications for Get RIPPED and How to Become a Rockstar Instructor.
I was working at a health club as a receptionist in 1983. I was overweight, never exercised in my life. When an instructor didn’t show up for class, the manager told me to go and teach. I didn’t want to get fired, so I reluctantly agreed.
Inspiration Issue 2021 53
Rhyan Pietromonaco, 28 Group fitness instructor, HITT at League in Calgary CALGARY, AB RHYANLION
efinitely a man on a mission. Rhyan says he was born to be a fitness instructor and believes as people work on their physical health they are also likely to find solace and joy. With a reputation for being high-energy, Rhyan pushes his clients to find the confidence to set goals and motivates and supports them as they work towards making their goals happen.
I love helping clients achieve their goals! My fitness philosophy is simple… I want people to leave my classes smiling from ear to ear, but also drenched in sweat!
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Marjorie O’Connor, 62
Tania White, 49
Group fitness instructor at Millennium Place, Derrick Club, Crestwood Community League
Group fitness instructor at GoodLife Fitness
or Marjorie, creating a career combining her love of movement and people is a rewarding way to make a difference. The fitness expert says it’s truly a calling. Marjorie has hosted dozens of workshops for fitness leaders in local schools and classes for students, lectured and presented at more than 50 conferences globally and as an Alberta Fitness Leadership Certification Association (AFLCA) trainer facilitated more than 300 certification courses.
I encourage others to follow their dream. By just giving a bit of a push and some positive guidance, it’s unbelievable how change can be made mentally, physically and spiritually.
CALGARY, AB TANIA WHITE
ith more than two decades in the industry, Tania is well-positioned to share wisdom with up-and-coming fitness instructors. And that’s exactly what she has done – serving as National Trainer of Instructors for Les Mills Canada and as a canfitpro presenter. Tania’s goal with students is to invest in every body the ability to move with the greatest possibility.
Whether the goal is returning to functional pain-free movement, elevating personal fitness or enhancing performance, success comes from an integrated approach: appropriate physical movement patterning, a healthy mental state, sufficient sleep and recovery, stress management and proper nutrition.
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Kalyn Swihart, 37 Teacher and owner at Ballet Beats CALGARY, AB WWW.BALLETBEATS.COM
BALLET BEATS METHOD
alyn has beautifully blended ballet and fitness – opening two Calgary studios, hosting Ballet Beats Retreats in Costa Rica, Montana and B.C. and creating a teacher training program. And the beat goes on. Kalyn’s program is taught in many Calgary gyms and there are more than 30 Ballet Beats instructors everywhere from Calgary to Montreal, Grand Cayman to Mexico. Students increasingly tapped into her online streaming program during COVID-19.
I rebel against the ideal body type and the I should workout culture. We don’t speak about body size, weight, calories. We focus on the movement, the dance, the technique and the absolute love of moving to music.
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Janey Brown, 34 Group fitness instructor at Fearce Academy TORONTO, ON WWW.FEARCEACADEMY.COM
aney is a speaker, trauma-informed mindset coach, Under Armour Ambassador and Fearce Academy founder. A veteran in delivering wellness education, she has also taught movement and mindset to athletes in the NHL, Olympics and NASCAR. While Janey teaches yoga, recovery and breathwork much of her eclectic portfolio has moved from movement to the area of mental fitness.
The reason I became a fitness instructor/mindset coach become their best selves. Attaching service to others to my personal aspirations is my golden rule.
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is simple: I am truly my best self when I’m helping others
Kristin Dalziel, 31 Group fitness instructor at SoulCycle & Barry’s Bootcamp TORONTO, ON KRISTINDALZIEL
PAUL BUCETA FOR STRONG FITNESS MAGAZINE
his international fitness professional and owner of her personal training fitness brand built a career which has taken her around the world - as a fitness coach in the U.K., launching a spin studio in Switzerland and training CrossFit athletes in New York City. In Toronto now, Kristen loves leading group classes and being part of the work it takes for people to be the best version of themselves mentally and physically. Her #deathbydalziel speaks to the intensity of the work she does with clients.
I am actually in love with the psychological change that happens when people start to take care of themselves.
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Michelle Epstein, 47
Heather Gardner, 41
Group fitness instructor at Elle on Demand, owner of Elle Fitness studio
Group fitness instructor, founder and owner of Kardia
WWW.K ARDIA ATHLETICA.COM CATCHINGHEATHER CATCHINGHEATHER
WWW.ELLEONDEMAND.COM ELLEFITMICHELLE MICHELLE EPSTEIN
he founder of Elle Fitness and Social, a women-only boutique fitness studio has shifted her passion to a vibrant on-demand format. Offering hundreds of 15-, 30- and 55-minute classes, Michelle gets to continue to do what she loves despite a pandemic. Her fitness philosophy is for people to find the way they like to move and stick with it. Oh, and surrounding yourself with people who bring out your best.
Michelle is the best friend you didn’t know you needed kicking your butt, encouraging you to push yourself to the next level and changing your fitness game forever.
eather is the founder of Kardia, a boutique run, yoga, and performance-based cycling studio in the heart of Toronto’s waterfront. With her inclusive approach to active living, Heather builds community and connection while fostering fitness. In the past seven years, the studio owner has offered more than 1,300 free workouts to help build a fitness community. It worked. Pivoting during a pandemic has been tough but via Zoom and an on-demand platform the workouts continue.
While things might look very different to eleven months ago, my community has never been stronger.
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Cindy Johnson, 42
Hanna Lenskis, 41
Group fitness instructor at GoodLife Fitness
Group fitness instructor at Harmony Fitness
AURORA, ON WWW.CINDYJFIT.COM
indy specializes in barre and spin classes and is a wellness advocate and registered nutritionist. The veteran instructor was forced to make a dramatic shift in how she does business due to pandemic lockdowns. Transferring the principles of personal training to a group setting, she now instructs 50 to 75 clients in her live on-line classes every week.
I believe everyone deserves to live a healthy life and to have the resources to do so. Working as a fitness instructor I’m able to make this happen by guiding people towards their goal of happy and healthy living.
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TORONTO, ON TRAINWITHHANNA
TRAIN WITH HANNA
anna’s approach to fitness is - keep it simple. Her classes are designed to be challenging yet suitable for all fitness levels and delivered with a thoughtfully curated playlist. Hanna frequently posts workouts on Instagram from the sunny foyer of her home and during the pandemic taught free classes to kids on Zoom.
Fitness should be fun and not be complicated or feel like a chore. I feel that this resonates with a lot of people. I became a fitness instructor for one main reason — I wanted to motivate people and (hope) I achieve this on a daily basis.
I have been lucky to win some awards through my clients’ achievements including Muskoka Region’s number one weight control service.
Ashley Moore, 34 Group fitness instructor at Reactivate Sports Rehab Clinic and Snap Fitness Huntsville MUSKOKA, ON WWW.THEBARBELLES.COM THEBARBELLESCOACH THEBARBELLES
his former natural pro fitness competitor runs group strength and conditioning programs for women and coaches the only female powerlifting team in her area. The Barbelles co-founder is part of a team hosting live Facebook fitness classes and sharing ongoing training and nutrition information to foster accountability and support with clients. “My clients have achieved amazing things, including competing nationally in both powerlifting and bodybuilding, winning body transformation awards and overall becoming stronger and healthier.”
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Dione Mason, 44
Paul Nam, 42
Group fitness instructor at Ryerson University, University of Toronto, Humber College, The Boulevard Club, The Adelaide Club
Group fitness instructor, owner of TheWorkoutLoft
TORONTO, ON WWW.DIONEMASON.COM DIONEMASONFITNESS
D INGE JOHNSON
ione is a fitness and lifestyle coach, event producer and founder of the Toronto Carnival Run. More than 20 years into her career, she continues with the philosophy that “a strong body leads to a strong mind – therefore a strong spirit.” Known as the ‘warm-up lady,’ Dione has contributed to more than 100 charity fitness events and in 2017 became the first Black woman to receive the canfitpro Fitness Professional of the Year award.
I love being able to see, in a relatively short time, a transformation in people’s lives, not just their body. I actually see the impact of what I do. Physically, yes, but overall in their lives. Beyond weight loss and fitting into a bikini — overall, they function better.
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TORONTO, ON WWW.THEWORKOUTLOFT.COM
aul built his career on a successful foray into bodybuilding and eleven years ago opened his fitness and wellness studio. As a trainer, he focusses on functional movements, full-body workouts and the belief that success lies in keeping fitness and nutrition simple. Paul likens his group fitness clients to a family of individuals who “feed off each other’s energy.” The pay-off for many is being better at their golf game and seeing improvements in their running. Once a week, Paul indulges in a cheat meal consisting of pizza, chips and chocolate milk.
If I can transform people lives and make a decent living from it, I call that a win-win situation. Seeing people become physically and mentally stronger makes me happy.
Emily Thorne, 25 Group fitness instructor TORONTO, ON WWW.YOUTUBE.COM/EMKFIT
his group fitness trainer turned into a fitness YouTuber after the pandemic put an end to her busy in-person teaching schedule. Emily went online and in a few months grew from 32 subscribers to over 100,000 on YouTube doing her signature EMK HIIT Dance classes.
I lost everything and had to move back home with my parents after being laid off my jobs at the gym and losing my PT clients. I posted a Disney-inspired workout on YouTube for something fun to do with a friend. It went viral and currently sits at over 1.5 million views.
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2021 Canada’s Top Fitness Instructors Panelists
Sandra Bueckert is the owner of One On One Personal Fitness Instruction where she has been a personal trainer and leader in the health & fitness industry for over 30 years. Sandra has been interviewed by CTV, QR77 Radio, CBC Radio, Breakfast Television, The Globe and Mail, The Calgary Herald, the Calgary Chamber of Commerce Magazine, LA Times, Avenue magazine, IMPACT Magazine and the Calgary Sun and appeared on the X-weighted television series on the Slice Network.
Curtis Christopherson is the President & CEO of Innovative Fitness, North America’s largest network of personal training studios With over 20 years in the fitness industry, Curtis is widely regarded as one of the most influential people in the health and wellness space. Recognized as Canada’s Top Trainer in 2020 by Impact Magazine, he leads a team of over 225 elite-level professional trainers and has been featured in publications such as The Globe and Mail, Forbes, and SGB Magazine.
David Faassen is President & COO of Lebert Fitness, a Canadian firm dedicated to making fitness more accessible to everyone through the development and distribution of versatile, bodyweight fitness equipment. With over 25 years in a number of senior roles, David’s passion is developing solutions to help people lead healthier lives while growing sustainable businesses that are underpinned by meaningful client relationships.
Fitness and nutrition expert Richard Pierce is the Founder of LEANFIT® which was created in 2002. Fueled by his passion for helping people of all ages, abilities, and lifestyles eat better and feel better, he worked tirelessly on creating quality products that were not only efficacious, they also tasted great. Nearly 20 years later LEANFIT® has found its way into households across the world and continues to stand for quality nutrition rooted in science.
Congratulations to all nominees Abby Malott, Adam Fitchett, Adriano Silva, Alison Fudger, Alma Ladouceur, Amy Johnston, Andrew Alcalde, Andy Drake, Anita Ivic, Anne Chaiko, Annie Lisi, Ashley Ciprick, Ashley Moore, Atley Ma, Austin Catalano, Bianca Liberatore, Bonnie Jordan, Brad Soanes, Brian Hyciek, Broden McLean, Bryan Hyciek, Chantelle Erickson, Chris Lemky, Chris Monfort, Christine Woodington, Cindy Johnson, Codrut Corteneau, Colin Urqs, Colin Urquhart, Corrina Anne Poss, Cresswell Hamilton, Crystal Urquhart, Dane Pedersen, Daniela Tempesta, Danielle Feinstein, Danni Feinstein, David Rose, Deanne Keller, Denise Beattie, Dione Mason, Donna Cheong, Donovan Prendergast, Douglas MacGregor, Elaine Campbell, Elisa Choi, Ella Jotie, Emily Thorne, Ewa Kieras, Francis Gutierrez, Fyonna Vanderwerf, Geneviève Renaud, Gino Suarez, Greg Cooke, Greg Hetherington, Hana Weinwurn, Hanna Abergel, Heather Gardner, Heather Hartley, Heather Wilson-Phillips, Janey Brown, Janina Schmidt, Jari Love, Jason Bell, Jay Morven, Jay Vitt, Jeff Aker, Jeff Whissell, Jen Linton, Jenn MacEwen, Jenna Berman, Jennifer MacEwan, Jennifer Rochon, Jessica Leblanc, Jill Cody, Jim (Demetrios) Tsouris, Jimmy Hartley, Joanna Magik, Jodi Barrett, Jody Bencharski, Joel Schneider, Jomana Assaf, Jon Villani, Josef Serfaty, Joumana Omar, Judi Weaver, Julie Harrish, Julie Hodge, Jumana Assad, Jumana Omar, Kalena Morton, Kalyn Swihart, Karen Kobel, Kat Leppanen, Kaylee Bennett, Kayley Tovey, Kelsey Andries, Kennedy Lodato, Kevin Yeboah, Kim Harvey, Kim Tilander, Kim Tuttle, Kristen Adams, Kristen Snead, Kristin Dalziel, Kristina Sergi Marshall, Kristine Murphy, Kyle Savard, Lacey
64 Inspiration Issue 2021
Thank you to our expert panelists for helping Active in sports and fitness for over 30 years, Barb Pontes is the Certification Manager at canfitpro where she leads the strategy and development of certification and education curriculum for fitness professionals. canfitpro is a certifying body whose accreditation’s are recognized internationally. Barb introduced online, self-directed fitness education nearly a decade ago and with her team shifted all canfitpro education to a fully virtual offering in 2020.
Jessica Power Cyr is the Therapeutic Services and Lifestyle Director at The Glencoe Club and Faculty Instructor at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta. She is fortunate to be working closely with industry leaders at Mount Royal University, University of Calgary, the Alberta Fitness Leadership Certification Association (AFLCA) and the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) to provide you with the latest research on health, physical activity and exercise that is safe and effective.
Jonathan Schow is the VP of Sales and Marketing at Big Marble Farms, the largest independently owned greenhouse in Alberta. Big Marble services the western provinces with local produce year-round through their hightech lit greenhouse operation. Big Marble represents the earth, and is actively working to reduce their environmental footprint while incorporating new ways to grow sustainable produce and encourage healthy lifestyles. Jonathan’s true passion is snowboarding and weight-training.
us select this year’s featured instructors
Snyder, Laura Flood, Lauren Zandee, Leah Brooks, Len Panchuk, Lisa Gervais, Louise Green, Lyn Housser, Lyn Veitch, Lynn Borrowman, Lysey Marti n, Margaret Daniel, Margot McKinnon, Marisa Brolo, Marjorie O'connor, Marko Matic, Matthew Taub, Meghan Lindsay, Meghan O'Connell, Meshkin Makari, Michael Panarella, Michelle Epstein, Michelle Gaulin, Michelle McGrattan, Morgan Hodge, Naomi Keane, Natalia LeCours, Natalia Marie Lecours, Natalie Lecours, Natasha Flett, Nathan Bodewitz, Neil Fox, Nick Mueller, Nicole Lark, Niki Hejtmanek, Ning Guo, Norrie Zaplatynsky, Patricia Blanchard, Paul Nam, Peter Estabrooks, Peter Nazarewycz, Philipe Drougett, Rabih Majzoub, Rachel Carscadden, Rachel Hall, Rafal Matuszewski, Rhondelle Ferguson, Rhyan Pietromonaco, Rich Hill, Richelle Love, Rochelle Court, Ron McPhee, Rondelle Ferguson, Ryan Lean, Saman Munir, Sarah Hawco, Shaiful Azrin Zakaria, Sharon Lamb, Shawn Lukacsy, Simon Damborg, Stephanie King, Stephen Carter, Steve Carter, Steve Nagle, Suzy Kaitman, Talis Aurini, Tania White, Tim Borys, Tom Hoffman, Tracie T., Vanessa Klassen, Wendy McCormick, Zavier Boyd
Inspiration Issue 2021 65
AT H L E T E W I T H I M PAC T
Reclaiming Life After Loss
Nature a powerful healer in quest to survive after deadly avalanche IMPACT MAGAZINE WITH ADAM CAMPBELL
Spellbound by Mother Nature’s splendor, Adam Campbell also knows the humbling power intertwined with such beauty. In 2017, IMPACT profiled his long recovery and odds-defying survival after falling from the side of a rockface. His wife, Laura, sadly wouldn’t get a second chance after being swept up in an unforgiving avalanche. Lost in the aftermath of incredible loss, Campbell leaned into what has always offered him solace. In returning to nature, the Canmorebased mountain athlete sees transformation and hope for healing amidst alpine meadows of creeks and wild flowers and snowy slopes. Nature provides a coping mechanism but, he says, he is grateful to a supportive community which rallied to him in his despair. I’ve had some really dark moments where suicide was an option. A support network gives you a reason to keep going. If I didn’t feel that support I might have made different choices and Laura would have been so pissed with me. Campbell hopes sharing his story might help someone facing their own. That would make it a real tragedy if it all happened in vain and all it did was cause trauma and hurt. If any kind of healing can come from it — it helps me.
66 Inspiration Issue 2021
ur second date was a backcountry ski, I proposed while bodysurfing and bouldering in Hawaii and we were married on the shores of the Yukon River in Whitehorse. My relationship with my wife, Laura, was defined by a mutual connection to nature where we found profound experiences running, climbing, skiing and swimming. Tragically, nature brought an end to our physical relationship. On January 10, 2020, Laura died in an avalanche on the south shoulder of Mount Hector in Banff National Park. I have had to live with the fact that I triggered the slide while we were backcountry skiing and was unable to save her. It is a horrible truth to live with — full of guilt, trauma, sadness and grief. It is also incredibly conflicting given that a space which brought us so much joy, up to and including Laura’s last run, is also the source of so much pain. You don’t initially realize it, but the person you were before a tragic event dies that day, too. Nothing can prepare you and you are forever changed. There is no roadmap for moving forward; you find yourself in a deep emotional and cognitive fog of fear, confusion and tears, left to feel your way through the darkness to survive. Listening to my gut about how to heal and rebuild, I felt drawn back to the cleansing power of nature. Not everyone feels this pull and not everyone will understand, especially my decision to return to the backcountry in winter. And that is okay. We all cope in our own way. Less than two weeks after triggering the avalanche, a friend invited me back out and I went. The day was cold and crisp. We walked up the slope slowly and solemnly with our skis
MAIN Adam Campbell shares how the loss of his wife sent him spiraling into survival mode. RIGHT Soulmates. Adam and Laura shared a deep love for one another and the beauty of nature.
on our feet, stopping a few times along the side of the trail when I was crippled by sobbing fits. My body felt incredibly heavy from sleepless nights and constant sorrow, but I trudged forward, sliding my skis along the snow through the treed ridge, feeling a strange, almost comforting familiarity with the effort. We reached our high point, a mellow slope covered in larches with spectacular views towards the jagged peaks of Kootenay National Park. There was a cold sparkle to the sky and for the first time since Laura’s death, I saw beauty in the place. It can only be described as love. I am not a traditionally religious person, but in that time and place I felt a strong connection with Laura and the environment. For a brief moment, the pain of loss melted away as I slid down the hill and took my first deep, powdery turn.
I often head out into the backcountry for escape and solace from the anguish of losing Laura. As I try to make sense of my new life, it has complemented professional counselling and my support network. I revisited many of the sites we went to together, including the avalanche location once in summer to retrieve her skis lost in the rush of snow and on the one-year anniversary of her death where I spread some of her ashes and had an intimate ceremony with friends. It has been powerful to reclaim that space from death and tragedy to one of connection and beauty. Although the mountains ended my physical relationship with my wife, our emotional and spiritual one lives on with every awe-inspiring moment I feel out in nature.
Inspiration Issue 2021 67
AT H L E T E W I T H I M PAC T
There’s Something About Joan
Incredible fitness transformation showing age ain’t nothing but a number BY NADIA MOHARIB
68 Inspiration Issue 2021
work. It was incredibly hard work. My How important are work-out buddies? motto was, ‘I don’t mind if my changes are Very important - iron sharpens iron. slow. I am going to go at my own pace and Seeing others around me level up makes this time the changes are going to last the me want to continue to pursue my best self. rest of my life.’ I think it is human nature, What are you lifting these days? especially on a long journey, to wonder if Deadlifts. I did one at 175 lb. and hip we are on the right track, but as the months thrusts around 275 lb. I lift weights five rolled by, we were all changing. The weight days a week and usually get in daily cardio and the inches were coming off. walking or bike riding. I’m now four years into my journey and I Nutrition tips? am a different woman. I know what macros Food prep items individually so you can are, can create balanced meals, know create meals throughout the week. We how to move with confidence in the gym usually have prepared salmon, chicken, and understand the importance of lifting pasta, rice and roasted veggies in our heavy weight. fridge. Where do you find inspiration? You’re a really big deal right now with Some days I am just not motivated. In 1.1 million IG followers. Why do you think those times I just lean into my habits. Your that is? good habits will carry you through always. I am really surprised by how many How has fitness changed you? people have been inspired by me. I do I am more outgoing. Having a vibrant think that I am relatable and that may community around you can keep you sharp be a part of it. I love how supportive and and grounded. Being surrounded by love encouraging everyone is and watching really fosters growth. I have more energy, people start their own transformations. nixed my medications and got strong. I Advice for others starting their fitness have arthritis but the pain goes down when transformation? I move more. Start with what you can do and make What would you say habits out of them. to your 20-year-old You may only be self? able to walk three Start taking care of blocks. That is okay. yourself. Now is your Start with walking JOAN MACDONALD investment into the those three blocks future. I wish I would on a regular basis have started my transformation earlier. until you do a little bit more. I also suggest Words to live by? tracking food intake with a free app and You can’t turn back the clock, but you looking at water intake. Don’t give up! can certainly wind it up again. Change takes time, but we are worth it.
Good habits will carry you through always.
few years ago, Joan MacDonald was pushing 200 lbs, weighed down by a sedentary lifestyle and the associated health issues. The way the 75-year-old sees it now, she was merely existing. A heart-to-heart with her daughter was the catalyst for a fitness journey that made MacDonald an Internet sensation and inspiration – a woman dubbed everything from ‘Ripped Grandma,’ to ‘Sexy after 70,’ in headlines around the world. Workouts, healthy habits and patiently pursuing results paid off. Photos don’t lie. Scroll through MacDonald’s Instagram @trainwithjoan, and you can see the transformation borne of hard work and a belief progress is possible. MacDonald, whose home is Ontario, lives in Tulum, Mexico with her daughter right now. IMPACT Magazine is delighted she took time out of her busy life to chat. Next time, we want to meet her on the beach. How did your health journey begin? I was 5 ft.3 in., 198 lbs and had a 39 inch waist. I was on medication for high blood pressure and acid reflux, had terrible edema in my ankles, extremely painful arthritis and difficulty walking up and down stairs. I was tired, emotional and in desperate need of a change. My daughter, Michelle, came to me on the verge of tears and offered me the opportunity to work with her (she’s a fitness coach) by participating in an online group with women working to change habits. I renewed my gym membership, bought a food scale, a tape measure and got to
Main She deadlifts 175 lbs, has attracted 1.1 million Instagram followers — a fitness success story that, at age 75, shows no signs of slowing down.
Inspiration Issue 2021 69
70 Inspiration Issue 2021
THE STATE OF THE
FITNESS INDUSTRY After a year of turmoil we look at how the fitness industry has adapted, yet there are still many challenges ahead for gyms and fitness facilities BY LOUISE HODGSON-JONES LOUISEHODGSONJONES
LEFT The Richmond Oval is adapting to the restrictions in B.C. offering personal training in a safe socially distanced environment.
a new year — a time traditionally when we make those New Year’s resolutions to get fitter, eat better, stay healthier. Gyms and fitness facilities usually see a spike in memberships about now, but not this year. The fitness industry is still reeling from the Coronavirus, some facilities hanging on by a thread but many having to close their doors. The summer of 2020 saw some hope for the industry as many were able to operate albeit with reduced class sizes. But then the second wave came in the fall and provinces again started to lock down the industry. Some are able to operate with one-on-one clients while others are having to close and revert to 100 per cent online. This happened to GYMVMT in Calgary who despite having zero COVID cases from June to November had to close its doors along with other Alberta clubs in December. “While our clubs have been closed, we have been fortunate enough to quickly shift our offerings entirely to virtual services,” says Scott Wildeman, Senior VP Fitness and Operations. They offer an array of classes online through their streaming platform, GYMVMT GO, including Zumba, HIIT, Yoga, Cycle and Barre.
Inspiration Issue 2021 71
LEFT When Calgary’s opens they will be re-envisioning what services to offer based on customer feedback.
“I have never, ever witnessed anything like the pandemic of 2020. In the almost 32 years that I have owned One On One Personal Fitness, we have always been a brick and mortar location,” says Calgary’s Sandra Bueckert, who although pivoted online during the first wave in March 2020, misses the personal connection with clients. “We realize that human interaction is not something that can be easily replaced.” During the late summer and early fall, offering outdoor classes was a saviour for Rosalie Brown at her club in Richmond Hill, Ontario. “We taught five outdoor classes well into November 2020, then when the snow hit, I offered Zoom classes five days a week. I also recorded 50-plus YouTube classes for anyone who
We realize that human interaction is not something that can be easily replaced. SANDRA BUECKERT – OWNER OF ONE ON ONE PERSONAL FITNESS
72 Inspiration Issue 2021
could not attend outdoor or Zoom classes.” Rafal Matuszewski, Director of Education for Ora Fitness and Yoga in Surrey, B.C. adapted very quickly and efficiently to the never-ending openings and closures. During the first wave of the pandemic they went totally online and had live Zoom classes. “When we reopened we had both online and in-person options for our members which I think really made the difference. We started to see many of our members come back and we started to see our business flourish once again.” But then in the fall many B.C. gyms in the Lower Mainland received closure notices because of the spike in COVID cases. Hot yoga and spin classes were particularly affected. “We were shut down for an entire two weeks before we were given the green light to reopen, but once again with more restrictions. We had to cut our class sizes by another 25 per cent, and on top of that, with the current gym restrictions not being able to have ‘high intensity’ classes which when you also have a spin studio, doesn’t work out too well,” he adds. But Matuszewski is resilient: “With all the speed bumps we’ve had along the way, we have a high standard for our COVID protocols and we are ready to continue to adapt to whatever the future holds.” With clubs offering more personal training options, many found that the retention rate upon re-opening was high. Curtis Christopherson, CEO & President of Innovative Fitness in Vancouver said that on re-opening in the summer, over 55 per cent expressed an interest in
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Inspiration Issue 2021 73
continuing their virtual personal training sessions. This hasn’t waned: “Personal training is going really well. Some of our locations are way ahead of where we were before COVID – so we are pivoting well.” For smaller studios that don’t rely on group classes the uptake in personal training was a natural progression. They also haven’t been affected as much, says Brent Bishop, founder of Think Fitness Studios in Toronto. “We were virtually unaffected due to the fact that we did not rely on large numbers of members in the facility at one time. We reduced the sizes of our classes to fit the government regulations but also heavily focussed on regaining momentum with our core business: personal training.” This included setting up separate training pods, each with its own equipment, and reducing sessions from one hour to 50 minutes to allow for thorough cleaning. Larger fitness centres that are community hubs offering sport leagues and outreach services have been gravely affected by the lockdowns. Many, such as the Genesis Centre in Calgary, haven’t been able to host events or gatherings for nearly a year, which is the heart of their business. The Repsol Centre in Calgary is temporarily closed and has had to lay off staff. However, the January 29 announcement by the Alberta Government that fitness centres can re-open in a limited capacity has the Centre re-envisioning which services they can offer. This will likely include personal one-on-one training
in fitness and aquatics. Once they ascertain customer demands they see a partial re-opening shortly thereafter. In the meantime they are offering a moving challenge during February, Zoom cycling sessions and at-home workouts. The Richmond Oval had a membership base of 5,700 pre-COVID and now operates at 25 per cent of that. But they pivoted well, says general manager Gerry De Cicco. “We completely transformed our delivery model and leaned on our most-important assets – the Oval’s massive footprint and an engaged and creative team of staff.” In the summer they moved all group fitness classes out of the studios and into a 10,000 sq. ft. court. When B.C.’s Ministry of Health imposed further restrictions in November, the Oval was able to retain some services such as skating and personal training as well as some national team programs. “As operators, we are most appreciative of our members and guests who have stayed with us.” The Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE) in Victoria, B.C. has taken advantage of the time it was closed including investing in equipment and safety measures, says CEO Robert Bettauer. “We also completed a major renovation of the gymnasium and our front entrance which will provide an enhanced training and programming environment for the community when they can enjoy PISE again.”
RIGHT PISE in Victoria installed Plexiglas shields between equipment and enhanced many of their fitness areas.
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THE POWER TO MOVE YOU Calgary realtor Veronica Palin has found how to balance her business with fitness Veronica Palin likes nothing better than to roll up her sleeves and help her clients move. “Many may not have the resources to move themselves and so I am happy to help; it’s a physical activity and I am fortunate to have the strength to do it,” says the Calgary realtor who has worked in real estate for 15 years and strength trained for over a decade. Before the pandemic closed gyms, she worked out three times a week with her personal trainer of 11 years, Melissa Rowe at the Riverside Club. “I found weight training to be the greatest benefit for my mental health” she says. Rowe has noticed a difference in Palin over the years. “She decided to make her workouts a priority and she has become stronger for it.” She now follows Rowe’s workouts on line and has started skating and going for long walks with friends. She likes to structure her days between work and being active. “I feel I have found the balance and that I can get a lot done in the day.”
COVID has transitioned to running and now clocks up six to ten kilometres on foot instead. “Being active really helps me with my day. I may start the day with a run or if I can’t then I look forward to one at the end of the day.” Palin sees a bright future in 2021 with real estate sales picking up. “We expect an influx of new homes to come on the market in spring so it is important to have the conversation with realtors earlier in the process. With interest rates low, buyers will act quickly before rates may increase.” Palin understands client needs and has the integrity to work with them and guide them through the decision-making progress. “Team Palin will give you honest, straightforward answers – you can count on us.” Contact Calgary realtor Veronica Palin (pictured above with her son Michael and below with trainer Melissa Rowe) by calling 403-819-1399 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Real estate can be a challenging career but it can also be stressful for the buyer which is where Palin can help and be a supportive, calming influence. Being fit mentally and physically is definitely an advantage, she says. She can also empathize with her clients. “I’m aware of the stress and mental health of people when deciding to buy or sell. Planning and having a conversation with a realtor far in advance of that decision helps prepare a seller for the “right time” to list their property.” Her work ethic is shared by her son Michael and as Team Palin with First Place Realty, they are a formidable and dynamic duo. Michael swam 1.5 hours daily, but since
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R E -TH I N K I N G TH E F UTU R E
It is the future that facilities are looking forward to when they can re-open and hopefully resume their normal service. But what will that look like? And will it be business as usual? The consensus is no – the industry has been rocked by the pandemic and things will never be the same again. There will always be a sector of the public who will resume their exercise regimen, but others might have reservations about returning and will expect that certain protocols will remain in place. In many ways the industry is on a tightrope, trying to keep that balance and clients happy but also having the fear of losing them. Mo Hagan, COO with Canada’s largest fitness education provider, canfitpro, understands the uncertainty in the industry. “Fitness professionals continue to endure unprecedented challenges that require entirely new ways of operating their businesses and servicing members. The need for community, connection and credibility has never been greater.” Matuszewski feels that even though we all want to go back to some sort of normality, everyone – clubs and the general public alike – will be cautious at first. “We will most likely keep things as they are now and slowly open up more workout pods in each room, continue having our staff wear masks, keep up with hand hygiene and slowly peel away those layers once the entire world stabilizes. My advice for anyone looking to sign up for a gym, yoga, or spin is to not only ask about what services they offer but what COVID protocols they’ve implemented and also be shown those in practice.” At Think Fitness, Bishop will heed to his client’s needs. “If some members want to continue with virtual training for a while longer and gradually progress back
into ‘in-person’ sessions then we will play our part in allowing for this progressive adaptation back to the training floor.” It is the mix of in-person and virtual that is predicted by many in the industry. We have got used to the Zoom sessions in the comfort of our homes and there may be a reluctance to go back to a studio with 20-30 bodies closeted in one room. When restrictions are lifted De Cicco is looking forward to the return of high-intensity classes and hot yoga at the Richmond Oval, but they will retain a booking system for some activities rather than offering drop in. Bueckert is realistic about the future and sees her offering a mix of in-studio and online coaching. Hannah Fletcher, lifestyle, fitness and nutrition coach based in Vancouver concurs: “I believe most personal trainers and studios will continue to have hybrid models where some sessions are in-person, and others are video calls.” Christopherson sees the future as a blend also but one where micro-gyms will merge to offer more one-on-one training.
RIGHT & BELOW The Richmond Oval implemented advanced cleaning protocols as well as upgrading its air filtration system in their fitness areas.
We know how resilient, strong, adaptable and creative the fitness industry and its members can be. MO HAGAN – COO OF CANFITPRO
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One thing is clear – safety protocols and hygiene will remain. “Once we can offer programs and sports back into the community, we will continue to follow the highest level of safety and cleanliness protocols to ensure the health and safety of our team and the public,” says Sherry King, Executive Director of the Genesis Centre. Community support for the industry is crucial, says King: “We need the community to know that we are all in this together. We need to work together with empathy and compassion, being kind to one another now and always.” The public also needs to know that gyms are safe, says Christopherson. “We are not the environment that spreads COVID in the way people might think.” Sharing a positive personal training experience or an awesome on-line workout is one way the public can help in supporting the industry. People can also be pro-active, says Wildeman. “Please put pressure on our elected government officials to reopen indoor fitness facilities. Many Albertans have been misinformed to believe that gyms opened on February 8. Gyms can only be open for private personal training sessions by
appointment. For many, it is not feasible to open and only provide these services.” Supporting fitness professionals is also a key factor for the future of the industry which is where canfitpro can help. “We know how resilient, strong, adaptable and creative the fitness industry and its members can be. This inspired us at canfitpro to revolutionize our business and reinvent how we delivered training and educational experiences so that we could help fitness professionals remain certified, relevant, elevate their credentials and innovate the ways in which they could help their clients,” says Hagan. As COVID restrictions continue everyone is feeling the strain but fitness leaders know that maintaining a healthy lifestyle has many positive benefits. “The research is clear that beyond the obvious positive physical impact, there are also strong psychological effects such as boosting mood, reducing anxiety and the effects of depression,” says Bishop, who like many facilities are frustrated that they are being treated as a non-essential service. “We realized that through speaking and working with our clients daily that we are an essential mental health
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service,” says Bueckert. “We know that serotonin (the feel good neurotransmitter) is elevated with exercise. Fitness needs to be embraced by our politicians and health care providers as an essential service.” The fitness industry is voicing concern about its plight. The Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC), which has 6,000 members and employs over 150,000 people, has a coalition of provincial chapters across the country that meets via Zoom every two weeks to exchange news and information. Recently Sara Hodson, FIC BC Coalition co-leader connected with Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland to discuss what support the government can give the fitness industry. Hodson specifically asked if fitness memberships and services could be included as a medical cost on personal taxes. Freeland was very receptive to the idea and will be considering the request. The Prescription to Get Active program, that is currently in Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario, will be expanded across Canada to align with the new tax initiative. The FIC Alberta Coalition has a campaign on www.savefitness.ca and is encouraging members and the community to support them on social media with the hash tag #savefitnessAB.
For many clubs this has all come too late. Some data has shown that 25 per cent of gyms will close in the first half of 2021. The industry has seen closures such as the Eau Claire YMCA in Calgary, Oak Bay Fitness in Victoria, Barre Belle in Calgary and Vancouver and Bolo in Toronto to name a few. With all of the provinces in some kind of lock-down it is evident that something has to be done and soon. Communicating that gyms are not the super-spreaders of the virus is one of the key messages to get out. Facilities all over the country have gone over and above their provincial orders to ensure they have a safe and clean environment for their clients and staff. “It is really important to communicate that welloperated sport and fitness facilities continue to be safe for the community, and that a healthy population is a key driver in fighting illness,” says De Cicco. While the industry is facing a grave future owners and operators are thankful for the support of its members, in-person and online. “We are so grateful for those who are supporting us during this pandemic, and we want to be here to continue supporting you in your fitness journey,” says Wildeman.
The research is clear that beyond the obvious positive physical impact, there are also strong psychological effects such as boosting mood BRENT BISHOP – OWNER OF THINK FITNESS STUDIOS
RIGHT Brent Bishop from Think Fitness will continue to offer virtual training in the future as well as inperson sessions.
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Running…Simply the Best!
Why running makes plain old common sense during a pandemic BY DR. SYL CORBETT, DC, PHD – Avid endurance athlete and scientist specializing in the effects of exercise on the brain; consultant for professional athletes and corporate executives, from Calgary, AB ATHLETICWISE
ur fitness regimens , similar to most of our lifestyle behaviours, have all likely modified due to the novel coronavirus. It’s no surprise running has gained a resurgence in popularity amidst the pandemic. Given gyms, pools, climbing walls and other fitness options have closed, many have gone back to the basics with running being a common default. Minimal equipment is needed, even minimalist shoes can do the trick! We’re all presumably familiar with the myriad of physical and mental benefits to running, such as gains in cardiorespiratory fitness, improved metabolic function, increased longevity, lowered stress and a reduction in the risk of many chronic diseases. Our health needs to take precedence now more than ever. Despite being cognizant of the many positive rewards it may bring, some may have let inertia take hold. Motivation may
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not be an issue to newbies, but what about These routines may also give you a muchseasoned runners losing their way? It’s needed strength boost. understandable to feel dismayed that your Your in-person race may no longer fitness plans have been forced to change, be on the calendar, but there’s no point however, there are many tactics to keep lamenting. There are ample virtual races you successfully on the running track that conveniently allow you to ‘travel’ much through the pandemic. further than you thought possible. Look for Sometimes creativity is the facet we an event that both stretches and excites you. need to exercise the most. Instead of Reach out to others taking part and share in running the same routes week after week, the training journey. You’ll possibly gain new try committing to friends from afar. regular exploratory If there aren’t any outings. You’ll virtual events that conceivably find suit you, make up some gems along the your own. Challenge way. If you’re short yourself and your on time and need to running friends DR. SYL CORBETT stick close to home, to accomplish there’s nothing like something together. a fun circuit to spice up your schedule. Support each other as you contribute to a Intersperse some snappy efforts with bench common goal and share in the collective hops, clap push-ups, skipping or burpees. sense of satisfaction of reaching it.
There are ample virtual races that conveniently allow you to ‘travel’
Enlisting the expertise of a coach is perhaps the best approach if you’re a competitive athlete trying to make the smartest decisions about your training or a runner that would like objective, experienced eyes to evaluate and plan the most efficient schedule. A coach can ensure you’re healthy, fit and ready to go when the starting guns finally go off. Wearable technology is another motivating means of accountability. Everything from resting heart-rate reductions to mileage increases and higher elevation gains are metrics easily gleaned from wearable sensors. Instead of a floundering feeling, your workouts gain purpose. Documenting your efforts provides a surge of dopamine that you’ll want to continue experiencing. Thankfully, running provides plenty of forward momentum and beautifully, conveniently and simply addresses our fitness needs during this time. What many of us lifers have known for years is that running is simply the best!
COMMON MISTAKES FOR NEWBIE RUNNERS 1 - IMPROPER SHOES
5 - DEHYDRATION
Get properly fitted at a running store so you start off on the right foot and make your running experience pleasant at the onset. This is the first step!
Chances are you’re losing more water than you realize. Not only drink more water to replenish the loss, but eat foods with high water content to ensure you’re getting enough water and electrolytes.
2 - NOT ALLOWING ENOUGH REST Similar to the previous point, schedule enough rest in your plan. Run for several months before you run on back-to-back days.
3 - BEING HARD ON YOURSELF Running is typically challenging. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far you go, it’s all good. Enjoy your journey!
4 - TUNING OUT While running is a great mental outlet, don’t forget to tune into how your body is responding. Address issues before they impede your progress.
6 - INADEQUATE NUTRITION Running is demanding and requires vast energy stores. Replenish your efforts with nutrient-rich foods and you’ll up your entire health game.
7 - PROGRESSING TOO QUICKLY This can be in volume and speed. Running is far less forgiving than non-impact sports. Your body will need time to adapt to the new stresses you impose. You want to run for years to come, so don’t rush the process.
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Inspiration Issue 2021 81
H E A LT H
Heart-ToHeart with Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn How whole food, plantbased nutrition improves our health and saves lives BY NADIA MOHARIB
Above Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, the physician behind a revolutionary, nutrition-based approach to combat coronary and cardiac disease, promotes the proper diet over surgical and pharmaceutical approaches.
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he words roll off Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s tongue by rote, as if he’s said them a thousand times. And he has. Bok choy, swiss chard, kale, collard greens, beet greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, Napa cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, cilantro, parsley, spinach, arugula and asparagus. A list of vegetables to some, but for the U.S.-based physician and veteran researcher in preventative cardiology, they are key ingredients in a diet he touts to prevent and even reverse cardiac disease. “Of course, exercise is an enormous bonus, but it is worthless without nutrition,” Esselstyn says from his home in Pepper Pike, Ohio. “You can exercise until you are blue in the face, but you are not going to protect yourself from a heart attack if you are eating oil, meat, fish, dairy and sugar.”
“It’s just not going to work,” he adds. “You can swim, jog, walk – nothing is going to trump food.” Esselstyn, who has been healing hearts for more than three decades, says the best tools to keep the cardiovascular system and the rest of your body at its best aren’t found in a pharmacy or by going under the knife but come down to what you put in your belly. It’s been known for years that in certain cultures, cardiovascular disease is nonexistent. And lessons gleaned from those cultures underscore the power of proper nutrition - “eating food as it’s grown” - to keep hearts healthy and avoid chronic illness. “If you try to hang out your cardiac surgical shingle in Okinawa, rural China, Central Africa, Northern Mexico, forget it, you better plan on selling pencils,” he says. “Why don’t they have disease? Wholefood, plant-based nutrition with an essential, minimal amount of oil.” The
dressing. No oil because it damages the endothelium cells,” Esselstyn says. Don’t eat meat, eggs or dairy. That’s right, no butter, milk, cream, yogurt or cheese and ditch the sugary drinks and foods, including those with Stevia, agave and honey. Esselstyn - who traded his own meat-eating, dairy-drinking diet for a whole-food, plant-based one in 1984 knows it may take time to shift to a new, seemingly rigid regimen but he has seen countless patients pull it off because the results are worth it. And the alternatives, given heart disease is a leading killer of men and women in Western civilization, are not. Esselstyn says patients are empowered when they adopt good nutrition. “Never, never, ever again are they to pass through their lips another morsel of food that is going to injure the endothelium,” he says. “How can anyone with a brain in their head say, ‘Gosh, I really enjoyed my last heart attack. I’ll destroy my last endothelial cells and have another.’”
NIX THESE FROM YOUR GROCERY LIST • Anything with a face (no meat, poultry, or fish) • Dairy products • Oils of any kind (yes, devotees of the Mediterranean diet, that includes olive oil) • Generally, no nuts or avocados
ADD THIS WONDERFUL VARIETY OF DELICIOUS, NUTRIENT-DENSE FOODS • All vegetables. Leafy green vegetables, root vegetables, veggies that are red, green, purple, orange, and yellow and everything in between • All legumes—beans, peas, and lentils of all varieties • All whole grains and products, such as bread and pasta, that are made from them—as long as they do not contain added fats • All fruits except avocado Source - Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr. M.D.
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Tarahumara Indians, for instance, eat only beans, corn and squash and they have magnificent health with no obesity and no hypertension, he says. Experts agree that when we progressively injure the delicate, innermost lining of blood vessels called the endothelium, heart problems begin. That’s because this lining manufactures nitric oxide which allows blood to flow smoothly in the body, prevents blockages and plaque from developing and protects against high blood pressure. “We have never had a weapon as powerful as whole nutrition,” he says. Unlike the typical Western diet with its processed foods, meats, oils and dairy, diets in those cultures do not injure the endothelium’s capacity to produce nitric oxide which protects against cardiovascular disease. “The good news is, this is not a malignancy. It’s a benign, foodborne
illness,” Esselstyn says. “It’s really an embarrassment to think our present treatments consist of drugs and pills and stents and bypasses – all of which have not a single thing to do with causation of illness.” Esselstyn — whose work earned accolades from former U.S. president, Bill Clinton, who underwent coronary artery bypass surgery — has seen patients who have improved their diet yield results that are, to say the least, impressive. “They have been able to not only halt disease progression but we have seen striking examples of disease reversal,” Esselstyn says. While years of research and decades of treating patients have convinced Esselstyn of the transformative capabilities of good nutrition, he says not everyone is persuaded. “The challenge becomes how to make the public and even physicians as well aware of the power of nutrition,” he says. “In medical school or post-graduate training [doctors] only ever get but a smattering of education on nutrition.” Five years ago, Esselstyn was invited to become a member of the American College of Cardiology and was thrilled when he was asked to join its nutrition committee to educate cardiologists about the causation of the illness they treat. “I feel we are on the cusp of a seismic revolution in health,” he says. “It is never going to come about with an invention of another pill or a drug, procedure or operation. It will come about when we have the determination to share with the public what is the lifestyle and nutritional literacy that will empower them to absolutely annihilate chronic illness.” So, what should you eat? Because a meal can heal or hurt the heart, Esselstyn cautions people to choose wisely. First, anything in a box, bag or can is likely processed and should be avoided. If the ingredients are a paragraph long, move on. Eat your fruit, rather than drinking juice and eat whole grains, legumes, lentils, beans, red, yellow and green leafy vegetables white and sweet potatoes and fruit. And, the doctor says, consuming oil will foil any pursuit of a diet designed to maximize health and avoid disease. “Don’t eat oils. Not olive oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, palm oil, oil in a cracker, in a piece of bread nor in a salad
FOOD & NUTRITION
Is all Wine Vegan-Friendly?
magnet attracting and clinging to haze-inducing proteins and organic materials making the molecules larger and therefore more difficult to pass through a filter. The choice of fining agent lies in the hands of the winemaker and can be either a plant or animal product. The most common animal fining agents are egg albumin (egg whites), casein (milk protein), gelatin (bone marrow), isinglass (fish bladders), and chitosan (crustacean shells). Some wineries make it easy with a ‘Vegan Friendly’ symbol on the back label. Vegans can breathe easy when they see it because they know BY LAURIE MACKAY – Wine Columnist and sommelier CBC Radio for certain that the wine has been made using animal-free One in Calgary, AB. alternatives such as carbon, bentonite and poly-vinyl-polySOULVINES SOULVINES pyrrolidone (PVPP). Another option is to look for a wine that is unfiltered and unfined. In this case, time is the fining agent. By giving the wine more ave you ever noticed “May contain milk, eggs or fish” time to age, it self-clarifies, and all the unwanted particles gently on the back label of a wine bottle? Animal products settle to the bottom. If the wine is unfiltered, it will have a slightly and wine, what the heck? If you cloudy appearance and some sediment in are not in the wine business, this probably the bottle. Many wine experts feel that comes as a big surprise. It did to me cloudy wine has more flavour. This slight VEGAN-FRIENDLY WINES when I first learned about it. After all, difference in appearance may take a little To get you started here is my short list wine is made from grapes. Why would it getting used to but is a small price to pay of vegan-friendly wines: contain any milk, eggs or fish? The truth for peace of mind. One of the easiest ways • Sperling Vineyards and Summerhill is, it could. So, if a vegan lifestyle is to find out if your favourite wine is vegan is Winery – British Columbia important to you or you have allergies, this to check out www.barnivore.com, a great • Benjamin Bridge – Nova Scotia information is good to know. resource for vegan-friendly beer, spirits and • Dog Point Vineyards– New Zealand Near the end of the winemaking cider, too. The staff at your local wine • Bodega Matsu – Spain process, wine is cloudy and hazy. It shop can also be an untapped source of • Schug Estate Winery– California is at this point when the fining knowledge. Vegan wine is becoming more • Yalumba – Australia process happens to make the wine bright popular, so they might even have some and clear. Fining agents act like a hidden gems to share!
You may be surprised to learn, the answer is no
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Vegan Cheezy Broccoli Soup
Bring out your blender for this cheezy broccoli soup and enjoy the benefits of 23 grams of plant-powered protein in each serving RECIPE AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY ZUZANA FAJKUSOVA & NIKKI LEFLER – Personal wellness coaches and vegan food authors in Vancouver, B.C. ACTIVEVEGETARIAN
he secret ingredient in this fabulous soup? Nutritional yeast. Seriously, thank goodness for this stuff - it’s a real lifesaver for anyone transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle. It is an excellent source of protein and B vitamins and is therefore often used abundantly among the veggie crowd. Considered a complete protein containing 18 amino acids, it also contains a variety of minerals such as chromium, an important nutrient for maintaining balanced blood sugar levels. Enjoy this rich, creamy soup and know you’re getting all the nutrients you need from a well-balanced meal!
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INGREDIENTS • • • • • • •
1 Tbsp. coconut oil 1 medium red onion diced 3 cloves garlic minced 1 tsp. Celtic sea salt 1 tsp. black pepper 1 tsp. Dijon mustard 2½ cups water
• 1 cup unsweetened coconut or almond milk • 5 cups broccoli florets • 1 cup nutritional yeast • 2 large carrots shredded • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
INSTRUCTIONS 1. In a large pot, cook the onions in the coconut oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes. 2. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, and Dijon and cook for a few more minutes. 3. Add the plant-based milk, water, and broccoli. 4. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until broccoli is tender.
5. Turn off heat and stir in nutritional yeast. 6. Remove the soup and puree in a blender. 7. Pour it back into the pot, add shredded carrots and bring to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in nutmeg and lemon juice and serve.
Nutrition facts per serving Calories 204; protein 23g; fat 4 g; carbs 11 g.
Roasted Parsnip & Chestnut Stew This quick, easy and delicious recipe will comfort and warm you up on the dark and chilly evenings to come RECIPE & PHOTOGRAPHY BY LIANA ROBBERECHT – Executive chef, Calgary, AB CHEFLIANA
he holiday season is over but the cold weather isn’t! January and February are the coldest months of the year in Canada. You won’t be roasting chestnuts on an open fire, but you can use them in this hearty and delicious stew. The perfect winter pairing of parsnips and chestnuts will help you and your loved ones ride out the season. 4 servings
INGREDIENTS • • • • • • • • • • • • •
2 large parsnips, peeled, medium diced 1 large carrot, peeled, medium diced 1 small white onion, peeled, medium diced 1 cup peeled chestnuts 1 Tbsp. grated ginger ¼ cup white wine 1 Tbsp. roasted garlic 2 whole star anise 2 bay leaves 4 Tbsp. cornstarch 4 cups vegetable broth 2 Tbsp. olive oil 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat oven 375F. 2. Toss parsnips, onions, potatoes, chestnuts, carrots with olive oil, season with salt/pepper roast in oven for about 45 minutes. 3. Remove from oven when vegetables are slightly golden in colour. 4. While vegetables are roasting, in sauce pot add vegetable broth, ginger, garlic, bay leaves, star anise. Bring to a boil then let simmer for 45 minutes. 5. Remove star anise and bay leaves, thicken broth with cornstarch, and add roasted vegetables. Heat, season to taste – add chopped parsley. Enjoy! Nutrition facts per serving Calories 226; protein 4 g; fat 7 g; carbs 38 g. IMPACT Magazine
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Sweet Potato Stew
This stew brings the flavors of that classic, gooey-sweet Thanksgiving side dish in a way that feels like an indulgence but isn’t! RECIPE & PHOTOGRAPHY BY SUZY AMIS CAMERON – Environmental leader, business pioneer and author of the OMD Plan: Swap One Meal a Day to Save Your Health and Save the Planet SUZYAMISCAMERON
nce served from a can and topped with marshmallows, the humble sweet potato has come a long way, and is now rightly featured as a fresh ingredient in many dishes. Available in a variety of colors, including white, yellow, orange and purple, and sometimes called a yam, this tuber is as naturally sweet as its name implies. Orange and yellow varieties have the softest and most dessert-like flesh, while white and purple are on the starchier side with a texture more like a Russet potato. All varieties are available throughout the year. This version has the added healt beneifts of coconut milk which has metabolism-boosting MCTs as well as, anti-inflammatory ginger, and blood-sugar stablizing cinammons.
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• • • •
1. Add all ingredients except garnish to a large pot and turn heat to high. 2. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until sweet potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. 3. Remove ginger (if using fresh) and mash stew lightly with a potato masher until about half of sweet potatoes are broken down (for a creamier result, remove 2 cups of stew, blend, and return to the pot). 4. Garnish with pecans and cinnamon before serving.
• • • •
5 cups sweet potato cubes (½ inch or so) 2 cups full-fat coconut milk 2 cups water 1 1-inch thumb ginger root, sliced in half (if not available, substitute ½ tsp. dried) 1 tsp. maple syrup 1 tsp. cinnamon 1 tsp. salt Garnish: 2 Tbsp. chopped pecans, a sprinkle of extra cinnamon if desired
Nutrition facts per serving Calories 368; protein 4 g; fat 23 g; carbs 38 g.
Vegetable Soup with Vegan Dumplings Nothing says comfort food more than a big bowl of savoury soup with pillowy dumplings RECIPE & PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARIA KOUTSOGIANNIS – Recipe developer & food blogger at FoodByMaria in Calgary, AB FOODBYMARIA
his hearty soup is healthy, warming, easy (yes, dumplings can be easy), and will become one of your winter go-to recipes. Dumplings can be made in a variety of ways such as baking, boiling, steaming, etc. For this recipe, we will be making vegan dumplings that can easily be added to your vegetable soup. They’re delicious!
INGREDIENTS Vegan dumplings • 1 cup all-purpose flour • 1 tsp. baking powder • 3/4 tsp. salt • 1 tsp. fresh thyme • 1/4 tsp. cracked pepper • 2 Tbsp. olive oil • 1/2 cup warm water
Vegetable soup • 1 Tbsp. olive oil • 1 medium-sized white onion, finely chopped • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped • 2 medium-sized carrots, finely chopped • 5 stems of green onion, finely chopped • 1 Tbsp. vegan butter • 1 heaping Tbsp. all-purpose flour • 1 tsp. sea salt • 1 tsp. fresh cracked pepper • 1 tsp. fresh thyme • 1 Tbsp. vegetable stock paste mixed with 1 1/2 cups boiling water • 7 cups boiling water
DIRECTIONS 1. Start by making the dough. Combine your flour, baking powder, sea salt and herbs. Create a well in the center of your flour mixture and pour oil and warm water into the middle. 2. Using a spatula, fold together until sticky and well combined. It will be wet and sticky but this is what you want. 3. Form into a ball and place a tea towel on top and let it rest while you make your soup. To a large pot add your olive oil on medium heat for 1 minute before adding onions. Cook the onions for 7-8 minutes or until translucent. 4. To the pot add your carrots, celery and green onion. Cook for 7-8 minutes while stirring often to avoid burning. 5. Scrape any brown bits that develop at the base of the pot with a wooden spoon. To the pot, add your vegan butter and let it melt. 6. Add your flour and stir until everything is coated. 7. Season with salt and pepper and add your fresh thyme. 8. Give one more stir to ensure everything is well-coated with flour. Increase heat to high and add 1 Tbsp. of vegetable stock paste plus 1 1/2 cups of boiling water to the pot. 9. Stir and scrape any loose bits from the bottom of the pan. 10. Once your water has almost reduced add the rest of the water and bring soup to a boil. Cook until the vegetables are tender. 11. Grab your dough mixture and using a tablespoon begin scooping little balls and dropping them into the soup. It’s not an overly fancy or particular process, just make sure you’re using a tablespoon. 12. Cook for around 5 minutes before removing from heat. 13. Serve with fresh dill and your favourite vegan sour cream! Notes 1. Let the vegetable soup base simmer a lot to develop the flavour. 2. Don’t skip on good quality herbs in your dumplings to really add a pop of flavour. 3. Sweat your vegetables out on a lower heat rather than blasting them on high heat. This helps with the flavour as well. 4. Switch up the vegetables in this recipe to whatever you have in your fridge – throw in kale, broccoli, squash, etc. Nutrition facts per serving Calories 228; protein 4 g; fat 11 g; carbs 28 g.
Inspiration Issue 2021 89
Easy As… Apple Turnovers These delicious plant-based treats will satisfy your apple pie cravings in less than 30 minutes! RECIPE & PHOTOGRAPHY BY SAM TURNBULL – Food blogger and creative voice behind It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken, from Toronto, ON. ITDOESNTTASTELIKECHICKEN
Makes 12 turnovers
hese taste like mini apple pies wrapped in flaky puff pastry! Unlike pie pastry, puff pastry is surprisingly easy to work with and very forgiving. Even if your unbaked turnovers look a little wonky, you’ll be amazed by how gorgeous they’ll look coming out of the oven. You can easily find prepared puff pastry in the freezer section of your grocery store, and many brands are even vegan (usually the cheaper brands, so it’s a win-win)! Just double check the ingredients to be sure. Courtesy of Fast Easy Cheap Vegan: 101 Recipes You Can Make in 30 Minutes or Less, for $10 or Less, and With 10 ingredients or Less! / Published by Random House, a division of Penguin Random House Ltd. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
• 2 cups peeled and small-diced apples, any kind (about 2 apples) • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar • ¾ tsp. cinnamon • 2 sheets (1 pound) frozen puff pastry, thawed (check to make sure it’s vegan) • 2–3 Tbsp. plant-based milk, such as soy or oat (optional) • 2–3 Tbsp. white sugar (optional)
1. Preheat your oven to 450°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 2. Into a medium bowl, add the apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon, and mix to evenly coat the apples. 3. Roll out the puff pastry to about ⅛ inch thick. Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough into twelve 4-inch squares. 4. Fill each square with about two heaping tablespoons of apple filling. 5. Fold the pastry in half diagonally over the apples to make a triangle, and use a fork to press and crimp the edges closed. Repeat with the remaining turnovers.
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6. Use a sharp knife to cut three slits in the top of each turnover. Carefully transfer to the prepared baking sheet. It’s okay if they look a little odd; they will look beautiful once baked. 7. Optionally, you can brush the top of each turnover with a bit of plant-based milk and then sprinkle sugar over top. This will make the turnovers extra golden and sparkly. 8. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the pastry is puffed up and golden. Let cool on the pan for 10 minutes before serving. Nutrition facts per turnover Calories 186; protein 3 g; fat 10 g; carbs 23 g.
Raw Carrot Cake with Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting The classic dessert without the processed ingredients RECIPE & PHOTOGRAPHY BY EMILY VON EUW – Award-winning creator and best-selling cookbook author of This Rawsome Vegan Life from Vancouver Island, B.C. THISRAWSOMEVEGANLIFE
his cake is a bit less dense than some other raw cake recipes because it is not made up of 100 percent oats and/or nuts. As one might expect, it’s mostly carrots. These crunchy orange characters are not only delicious, they have an abundance of health benefits! Carrots are most nutritious and easy to digest when they are eaten in their natural form: whole and raw. Apart from being delicious, this cake will give you great skin, improved vision, a clean mouth, and keep you young - in spirit and body! Thanks, carrots! Serves 8-12
• 2 cups cashews, preferably soaked for a couple hours • 1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice • 2 Tbsp. liquid coconut oil • 1/3 cup maple syrup • Water, as needed
1. Blend all ingredients in your high-speed blender until smooth, adding as little water as possible. Taste it – yum! 2. Put in a bowl and set aside.
Cake • 2 large carrots, peeled • 1 1/2 cups oat flour or buckwheat flour • 1 cup dates • 1 cup dried pineapple (or more dates) • 1/2 cup dried coconut • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Cake 1. Cut the carrots into small chunks. Then throw all the ingredients (including the carrots) in your food processor and pulse until everything is in small pieces and sticks together. 2. Press half the cake mix into the bottom of an adjustable spring-form pan, mine was about 6 inches. 3. Spread on about 1/3 of the frosting. 4. Put it in the freezer until the layer of frosting is hard.
5. Press on the rest of the cake mix. 6. Either frost the cake right away or let it set in the fridge overnight, then frost the whole thing. 7. Take it out of the pan and use the remaining frosting, decorate with whatever garnishes you like. Enjoy! Nutrition facts per serving Calories 387; protein 8 g; fat 19 g; carbs 51 g.
Inspiration Issue 2021 91
Regular Recess for Your Brain Breaks done effectively can work as antidote for stress and burnout
BY LISA BÉLANGER, PHD, CSEP-CEP – CEO of ConsciousWorks. Author, international speaker, founder of Knight’s Cabin, and host of The Science of Work podcast. CONSCIOUSWORKS
ur brain needs a break approximately every 40 to 50 minutes. But learning how to properly recover from work and stress, and taking the time to do it, is often an underappreciated way to get a competitive advantage and a sustainable way to work. How do we take effective breaks and why do we need them? Prior to the pandemic, I spent several weeks touring Europe researching how to effectively take time off from work and stress. I spoke with leaders, workers and companies about how they take breaks which led to conversations about vacation time, work hours and even maternity leave (which is, by the way, not a break at all.) I started scheduling breaks into my life and savoured the downtime spent with coworkers. Whether it was sharing baked goods, a run-club outing, meditation or simply enjoying a perfect cup of coffee – there was something incredible about the connection and my newfound respect for these micro breaks. Industry expert Dr. Bob Pozen from MIT Sloan School of Management and co-author of Remote Inc.: How to Thrive
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at Work…Wherever You Are, explains why breaks are beneficial, citing six positive cognitive effects: 1. Improves focus 2. Increases creativity 3. A walking rest can help consolidate memories 4. Improves decision making 5. Decreases Zoom fatigue 6. Increases worker engagement When we reach for our phone to scroll social media, that is our brain seeking a break. However, this type of break is not entirely conducive to mental recovery and has a known negative impact on mental wellbeing and productivity. An effective break is about connections which replenish and improve performance. Connecting with yourself, with nature or with others.
TIME WITH YOURSELF Connecting with yourself takes as little as two to three minutes alone to practice mindfulness, play an instrument or journal. One of the most effective breaks is physical activity because of its positive impact on the brain’s recovery.
TIME WITH NATURE Surrounding yourself with nature has a powerful meditative effect. If it’s nasty outside, recreate this connection by looking out a window at trees or simply having plants in your home can also be helpful.
TIME WITH OTHERS We have an innate need to connect with people. This was much easier when we were all stationed in one central location but try a quick fiveminute phone call with an old friend or colleague. These micro-breaks, which should be taken throughout the day, allow you to recharge. Many of us work longer hours in this pandemic world leaving little opportunity for those times when we typically unwind on our commute or walk from one meeting to the next. The practice of recharging starts from the top down; if a leader never takes a break, they are unknowingly setting the precedent. Find what works for you. You deserve a break today.
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