Monthly Archives: December 2012

Physical Activity Experiences of 2012

2012 has been a outstanding year of physical activity experiences for me. I became more interested in the practice of yoga, which has been an amazing journey so far. And I have had the privilege to be fit everyday in some inspiring locales this year. In no particular order of importance some of my favourite moments of being active:

Yoga Practice: I practiced yoga with quite a few different teachers in many different settings this year. Restorative yoga has been particularly transformative for my well being in every way.  Learning from Alyssa Cohen on the south coast of Jamaica at Jakes was a very special time. The entire journey has been a hugely beneficial experience in helping me integrate body, mind, spirit and fitness.

Yoga at Jakes

Yoga at Jakes

Hiking Diamond Head: Much like Oahu itself, this hike is the perfect blend of nature in the big city. The views at the top are fantastic and getting there requires a slightly scary run through a dark tunnel…

Running to Kailua Point: There is nothing better than a run that takes about 12 minutes and stopping for a breathtaking view to meditate on.

View from Kailua Point

View from Kailua Point

San Francisco Waterfront Run: This was the ultimate food tour combined with a run. Imagine my delight to find TCHO chocolate available in Toronto after I discovered it through seeing an arrow that said chocolate during my run and stopping for a sample.

Family walk in Hong Kong: A great uphill walk that my brother Matt (also a physical educator) and I took our family on was such a great way to enjoy Hong Kong, physical activity and family time all at once.

Hormone Fat Loss with Steve Elvins: Training with Steve was a great learning experience. Hormone Fat Loss is a special program that truly targets fat loss through specific testing, prescription of training and nutrition protocol that is extremely effective. A must try if you are looking to lose fat, contact us for details.

Shock Wave by IndoRow: Shock Wave is a super fun circuit type group fitness class that uses the water rowers as a cardio station. I was fortunate enough to be a participant in its debut in Canada. The inclusive, team building atmosphere combined with a fun and effective workout is sure to reach a wider audience.

IndoRow: I took an IndoRow class again this year at Can Fit Pro and the magic of being on a team, competing together and with yourself is still great fun in a workout.

Cycle Class: I make time to attend a cycle class at least once a week when I’m in Toronto with Vlad or Ting at Extreme Fitness. I cannot tell you how long they have taught fitness classes to me. It has been many years and I still love their classes for their energy, music and motivation.

Pole Class: A friend had recommended pole class as the perfect accompaniment to yoga practice. I did not give it much thought until there was a pole at a friend’s place and I was challenged to give it a try. What a great new physical challenge, so I attended a class at Brass Vixens, a warm and welcoming environment for learning. I recommend trying a pole class to build strength combined with rhythm and grace.

Secret hike on Oahu: I won’t mention the exact location of this hike (email me and I’ll pass on the recommendation), as it is possible that I crossed a No Trespassing sign to start this hike…A fun physical challenge of about 1 hour each way combined with breathtaking views of Oahu makes for a perfectly enjoyable workout.

It's beautiful

Active in Hawaii

Sunset Run at Ala Moana Park: This run is a beautiful experience. Ala Moana Park is a magical combination of a beautiful green park and beach right in the city with a great vantage point to catch the sunset on 2012.

Sunset Run at Ala Moana Park

Sunset Run at Ala Moana Park

Happy New Year, with best wishes to set your true intentions of healthy well being for 2013.


Food Inspiration Moments of 2012

Here are some of my favourite moments of food inspiration in 2012 in no particular order:

Callaloo: A great tasting, super nutritious green veggie that I enjoyed and  learned about on the South Coast of Jamaica this year. There was nothing better than being shown where and what the plant looks like growing wild.

Sea Asparagus Pesto: Another highly nutritious, delicious and naturally salty veggie made into a unique delicious pesto product that I discovered in Hawaii.

Blue Hawaii Acai Bowl: This antioxidant packed sorbet like treat topped with granola and fruit was delicious in addition to the energetic boost it provided. I nicknamed the acai bowl ‘superjuice’, as I felt superjuiced after I ate it.

Galerie au Chocolat, Fire: The heat really builds up from the chili in this chocolate. I amused myself just a little by having various friends sample the chocolate and watching their reaction to the heat.

Minisyrup: This unsweetened flavouring was a surprise discovery that led to further inspiration in the idea of adding flavour to club soda and water to create your own beverage. Adding flavour to water is common practice in the UK. I was reminded of Ribena (available at Sobeys), a sweet, blackcurrant concentrate syrup in production since 1938 that I enjoyed as a child. What’s old is new and water flavouring will reach new heights here.

Beer and Cheese: Who knew? However, someone seated beside me at the Gabardine had a plate of beer battered cheese and I had to order it as well. Very tasty.

I was convinced to sample Spearhead Hawaiian Style Pale along with some cheese at the LCBO and found the crisp, slightly fruity beer to be a great complement to the cheese. Very tasty and very smooth combination.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi: A most inspirational and beautiful film about one man’s passion in his work, his creation of sushi.

Societe Orignal Churned Seashore Honey: This honey is the best ever with its fluffy texture that tastes of caramel, marshmallows and a hint of flowers all at once.

Salted Caramel Icecream: I had amazing salted caramel icecream at BiRite Creamery in San Francisco. XocoCava (1560 Yonge Street) has an outstanding salted caramel hazelnut icecream. One young hipster told me she is so over salted caramel…and I still love it.


Ps. The best salted caramel macaron is at Petite Thuet

Vinamit Chips: These are the most amazing fruit and vegetable chips that are made through dehydration and are sold at T&T. My brother introduced them to me and I am hooked. Mixing together one bag of the mixed fruit and jackfruit chips are the perfect combination.

All things Austrian: Are up and coming as spotted by the eagle eyes of the man behind Making Life Good…thank you JK.

Happy Christmas!


Recipe: Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Apricots

A turkey dinner is complete once there is some homemade cranberry sauce. I first tasted this cranberry sauce many years ago at a Thanksgiving dinner. I never got my hands on the recipe, so I created this one over the years based on the flavours I first enjoyed. And it is still my favourite cranberry sauce.

1 bag fresh cranberries

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 water

1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

Zest of one lemon

1/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans, optional

In a medium saucepan, bring water, orange juice, cranberries and sugar to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, add chopped apricots and lemon zest. Stir frequently and cook until cranberries burst and are cooked through. Mix in toasted pecans if using. Enjoy at room temperature.


Workout Gear with Style: Adidas by Stella McCartney

As the year comes to an end, a review of the year seems natural. As someone that is in workout gear 6 days of the week, I would like to share my pick of 2012 for style, quality and function,  Adidas by Stella McCartney. They made some inspired designs this year. I have 2 pairs of the 3/4 tights in orange (found in Hong Kong) and bright yellow, which I purchased at the adidas store in Toronto. My Adidas by Stella McCartney yellow pants, have brought myself and those around me a burst of sunshine this past year in addition to being well designed and highly functional-an outstanding achievement for workout gear.

Find Adidas by Stella McCartney apparel at:


Recipe: Gingerbread Waffles

This is a favourite Christmas time recipe of mine that I love to make for some special little people and for family and friends in general. They are fairly sweet waffles to begin with, so a little maple syrup, whipped cream or icecream are great toppings.

1 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1 egg

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup molasses

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 cup currants

1-2 tablespoons crystallized ginger

In  a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. In another medium bowl, whisk together egg and brown sugar. Add molasses, buttermilk and butter, blend well. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients, add currants and ginger. Stir until just combined.

Preheat waffle maker. Pour 1/2 of batter at a time. Makes 8 waffles.





Recipe: Root Vegetable Soup

This is a hearty soup recipe that provides an interesting way to eat a variety of veggies all in one bowl. Add any spicing that you think would enhance the flavour.

1 onion, diced

1 carrot, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 celeriac root, cut into cubes

1 rutabaga, cut into cubes

1 parsnip, chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped

6 cups vegetable broth

1/2 cup barley

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon thyme

1 bunch rapini, chopped

Salt, pepper and lemon juice

In a large soup pot, saute onion, carrot and celery. Add root vegetables cook until slightly softened and browned. Add chopped tomatoes, vegetable broth, barley, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer for 35 minutes. Add chopped rapini. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.

3 Questions…for Alice or Everyone

I saw the National Ballet of Canada production of Alice in Wonderland last weekend. Attending this performance was a long time in the making (very grateful!) and we enjoyed it immensely. More than a week later, a scene from the outstanding production still resonates with me. After some time through the rabbit hole, Alice ponders alone for a moment, three questions which arise in smoke on an indigo screen:

Where are you?

How are you?

Who are you? 

I believe these are questions we could ask ourselves at any moment in our lives. It would help us to see where we are, how we feel, who we are and what we are becoming. Taking a moment to be present and tune in with ourselves at any point with these questions in our journey down the path of life or down a rabbit hole can provide insight, clarity and vision for us.