Cleansing your body of toxins is an major part of Mountain Trek’s program and a great way to feel more vitality.

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5 Ways Alcohol Hinders Weight Loss

Alcohol Hinders Weight Loss

No single food item affects humans in so many varying and differing ways than alcohol. How it affects you specifically depends on genetics, diet, gender, potential ‘sensitivity’ to it and your habits.

While enrolled in the Mountain Trek program, we ensure our guests avoid alcohol to help with detoxification and weight loss. That’s not to say we recommend completely avoiding alcohol altogether, we just believe it’s important to get to know it’s impact on your body in order to make good decisions about when you do decide to have a drink.

To that end, below are five ways alcohol hinders weight loss. And if you’re interested in taking a break from booze this Thanksgiving Holiday season, then be sure to join us at Rancho la Puerta in Baja, Mexico where we’ll ply you with delicious food, sunshine and a proven-exercise regime that is guaranteed to help you lose weight.

1. All Alcohol Is Full of Calories

At seven calories per gram, alcohol supplies almost twice as many as protein and carbohydrates. In fact, alcohol has only two fewer calories than fat, which has nine per gram. It must also be remembered that the calories in alcohol lack the nutrients beneficial for a healthy metabolism and will therefore hasten fat storage.

The calories found in the average alcoholic drink are quite concentrated compared to many foods, and this actually causes one to inadvertently take in many more calories than would otherwise be consumed. Alcoholic drinks also contain calories from other sources, which add to overall caloric intake. Certain cocktails, for example, contain fats. Wine and beer both have high carbohydrate content. Although the affects these various calorie types have on the body are different – carbohydrates release insulin, which can hasten fat storage (unless we are active after imbibing), while fats will be stored directly in the fat cells – the overall result is added body fat.

An example of how many calories can be easily consumed can be seen with a small glass of wine: a 5-ounce glass of wine will typically contain 110 calories, 91 of which come from the alcohol itself (13 grams), with the remaining five grams coming from carbohydrates.
Beer contains more carbohydrates (except for “Lite” beers, which have a carb content similar to a glass of wine) and less alcohol than wine, but is seen as being more fattening, due to its higher energy content.

2. Alcohol Loosens The Inhibitions

While drinking, people usually will not stop to consider the impact alcohol is having on their bodies; such is alcohol’s affect on loosening the inhibitions. The result of this relaxed thinking could mean more (food) calories consumed and extra body fat gains. Those drinking might also eat more of the wrong kinds of food, without thinking of the consequences. (See #3.)

3. Alcohol Increases Appetite

Alcohol can increase appetite, making the combination of alcohol and a fattening meal all the more worse. In fact, a hormone linked to increased hunger, particularly hunger for high-fat foods, has been linked to cravings for alcohol. According to Medical News Today, a study conducted at Princeton University showed that the hunger-increasing hormone, known as gelanin, is produced when alcohol is consumed. Though the effect of increased gelanin on appetite and eating behaviors varies amongst individuals, there’s a good chance your consumption of alcohol increases your desire for high-fat foods. (ghelin?)

4. Alcohol Can Damage The Stomach, Lessening Its Efficiency

Given alcohol is a by-product of yeast digestion; it can have an irritating effect on the lining of the stomach and gradually weaken the kidneys and liver, leading to serious health problems. Any weakening of the stomach will lessen the rate and efficiency at which food is digested, which ultimately interferes with a healthy metabolism and the weight loss process.

5. Alcohol Lowers Testosterone

Testosterone, which has a powerful fat loss effect, is reduced whenever alcohol is consumed, thus halting its full potential as a fat burner. Also, testosterone as an anabolic hormone, contributes to gains in lean muscle mass. Lowered testosterone means fewer muscle gains, and less muscle means a lowered metabolic rate.

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Why Mountain Trek Is The Perfect Girls Getaway

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Mountain Trek is just starting its season and what an incredible one it has been. The weather has been absolutely stunning: we’ve enjoyed lots of sunshine with clear blue skies and stunning views of the mountains, lakes and rivers in this beautiful area of British Columbia.

This is an excellent time of year for you to visit Mountain Trek because it’s a chance to really launch into recreation, relaxation and retreat. You work hard all year and now it’s time to consider taking some space for yourself: start thinking about leaving behind the stresses and worries of your job, your child-rearing, or whatever it is that occupies so much of your time, if even for a little while. It’s a great thing to reward yourself with a healthy vacation but imaging bringing along your girlfriends so you can all help support and encourage each other to get in shape and have fun!

Here are four reasons why you and your girlfriends should book a Girls Getaway to Mountain Trek:

#1. The kids are away. Time to play

Leave the children at home and enjoy this perfect opportunity to get away from your day-to-day and spend some much-needed time with your friends getting fit during the day and getting pampered at night with our massages, saunas and world-famous hot springs.

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#2. Have the outdoors all to yourself

Can you imagine having the mountains all to yourself? The south-central region of B.C. is perfect because unlike areas such as Banff, Whistler and every national park in the United States there are fewer tourists around. We’ll go on such iconic hikes as Idaho Peak and Fry Creek and it will be just you, your friends and some of the most stunning mountainous views in the world.

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#3. Get on track for the year

Take time out for yourself to learn healthy routines and indulge. What better way to get into a healthy mindset than to visit Mountain Trek and disover all the ways to shed stress and be healthy. Come to Mountain Trek, eat delicious meals, boost your vitality and metabolism, become more active and get your year back on track with all your closest friends by your side.

Girl's Get Away at Mountain Trek

#4. Have a guaranteed support network when you get home

Sometimes the hardest part about attending Mountain Trek is leaving. It can be difficult to incorporate the healthy aspects of the program when you get back to your day-to-day but if you and your friends all return from the fitness retreat at the same time, you’ll be there for each other and help each other through those moments when it’s tough to stay on track. You’ll have a fitness friend, a confidante and someone to share recipes with.

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How to Take Better Care of Your Skin. Start Now!

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Our skin is our suit of armour against all the elements of the world and so it’s important to take care of it. It’s also the artistic canvas we present to those around us and so we tend to have a lot of guests at Mountain Trek asking how to improve theirs so they appear younger and healthier. Of course, the longer answer to this question is to be healthier and act younger by exercising, eating nutritious food and taking care of yourself. However, there are other things you can do for your skin specifically that will help. This doesn’t mean slathering on lots of store-bought lotion, however, as many of those products contain hormones that affect our inner functions. Here are six easy, no-nonsense tips that will help your skin retain its youthfulness.

1. Protect yourself from the sun

It goes without saying that one of the most important ways to take care of your skin is to protect it from the sun. Not only will this prevent wrinkles from forming, it will also slow down the formation of age spots and other more serious problems such as skin cancer. For the most complete sun protection:

  • Seek shade. Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.
  • Wear protective clothing. Cover your skin with tightly woven long-sleeved shirts, long pants and wide-brimmed hats. Also consider wearing special sun-protective clothing, which is specifically designed to block ultraviolet rays.
  • Use sunscreen. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours — or more often if you’re swimming or perspiring.

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2. Don’t smoke

Aside from all the other negative affects of smoking, it also makes your skin look older and contributes to wrinkles. It narrows the tiny blood vessels in the outermost layers of skin, which decreases blood flow. This depletes the skin of oxygen and nutrients that are important to skin health. Smoking also damages collagen and elastin — the fibers that give your skin strength and elasticity. In addition, the repetitive facial expressions you make when smoking — such as pursing your lips when inhaling and squinting your eyes to keep out smoke — can contribute to wrinkles. If you smoke, the best way to protect your skin is to quit: ask your doctor for tips or treatments to help you stop smoking.

3. Treat your skin gently

Daily cleansing and shaving can take a toll on your skin. To keep it gentle:

  • Limit bath time – Hot water and long showers or baths remove oils from your skin. Limit your bath or shower time and use warm — rather than hot — water.
  • Avoid strong soaps – Strong soaps and detergents can strip oil from your skin. Instead, choose mild, natural cleansers.
  • Shave carefully – To protect and lubricate your skin, apply shaving cream, lotion or gel before shaving. For the closest shave, use a clean, sharp razor. Shave in the direction the hair grows, not against it.
  • Pat dry – After washing or bathing, gently pat or blot your skin dry with a towel so that some moisture remains on your skin.
  • Moisturize dry skin – If your skin is dry, use a moisturizer that fits your skin type but be wary of most of the brands on the shelves – they contain many additives and hormones that negatively impact your body. Sometimes the best moisturizer is natural food oils, such as coconut oil applied sparingly.

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4. Eat a healthy diet

A healthy diet can help you look and feel your best. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. The association between diet and acne isn’t clear — but some research suggests that a diet rich in vitamin C and low in unhealthy fats and processed or refined carbohydrates might promote younger looking skin.

5. Manage stress

Uncontrolled stress can make your skin more sensitive and trigger acne breakouts and other skin problems. To encourage healthy skin — and a healthy state of mind — take steps to manage your stress. Set reasonable limits, scale back your to-do list and make time to do the things you enjoy. The results might be more dramatic than you expect.

6. Smear food on your face

This can be fun! A lot of people, especially women, like to use masks to help rejuvenate the skin on their face and bodies but as will commercial moisturizes, a lot contain hormones and other additives that can be harmful over time. Here are four fun ideas for giving yourself a fancy spa facial at home:

  • Vinegar has been used as a skin toner by the Greeks and Romans for centuries. After you wash your face, mix 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar with 2 cups water as a finishing rinse to cleanse and tighten your skin
  • Mash up a ripe banana into a smooth paste and use that as a face mask and apply to your face and neck. Let it set for 10-20 minutes then rinse off with cold water. It’ll leave your skin looking and feeling softer.
  • Create a facial that both exfoliates and moisturizes by mixing the juice from 1 lemon with 1/4 cup olive oil or sweet almond oil.
  • If you don’t have any aversion to dairy, then make a mask by mixing 1/4 cup powdered milk with enough water to form a thick paste. Throoughly coat your face wit hthe mixture, let dry then rinse with warm water.
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10 “Non-Diet” Weight Loss Tips and Simple Holiday Detox Ideas

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The “Non-Diet” Approach to Weight Loss

Mountain Trek does not subscribe to any diet plan and in fact, we don’t believe in the concept of dieting at all, and yet we guarantee those who participate in our program will lose weight. And they always do. Why is that? Well among other things we make sure everyone who attends Mountain Trek, whether it’s at the British Columbia Lodge or our Rancho La Puerta programs workout their bodies for portions of the day but there’s more to it than that. Our guests always compliment us on the quality of the food (for proof look at our TripAdvisor comments) and very few have ever said they’ve gone hungry during the program. So what’s the secret?

Have you ever stopped to wonder why there are so many fad diets out there? The fact is, none of them work, certainly not for any length of time anyway. And don’t even get us started on trendy weight loss pills and claims of slimness in a bottle or with one type of exercise device sold on late-night TV. So many of us binge and then starve our bodies only to repeat the cycle that it’s no wonder we have trouble maintain a healthy consistent weight. Problems such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease are all a result of improper eating practices combined with lack of physical activity for which our bodies were designed for.

At Mountain Trek we’re not interested in short-term efforts for losing weight but rather we want to encourage a long-term lifestyle change for lasting health. A large part of it rests on the nutritional pillar of our program, which isn’t so much based on counting calories as it is about encouraging healthful eating patterns and nutrition. We focus on balancing blood sugars and the hormones Insulin, Glucagon, Leptin and Grehlin, in order to raise and maintain an Anabolic metabolism. Which is just one way of saying, we teach you about healthy eating habits that transform your health. Our guests learn how to “diet” without actually going on a diet and these are just a few of the tips they take home with them after a stay at Mountain Trek along with the support-structure and strategies for turning them into long-term habits.

#1. Eat Breakfast within 30 minutes of getting out of bed

Healthy Breakfast

#2. Eat two-thirds of your food in the first 9 hours of the day

Steaming Bowl of Soup

#3. Eat multiple food groups every 3 hours during the day

Fruit & Nuts

#4. Eat slower and chew more

Eat slower, chew more.

#5. Eat out at restaurants less

Eat out at restaurants less

#6. Lower your intake of alcohol

Drink less alchohol

#7. Eliminate or minimize artificial sweeteners

Try Natural Sweeteners

#8. Detoxify your body regularly (see below)

Detoxify

#9. Eat less processed food and more organic produce

Fresh, local and organic produce.

#10. Drink more water

Drink more water


Detox

Detox Your Body This Month

If you read our tips for relieving holiday stress in last-month’s newsletter and then attended Mountain Trek’s Winter Program, chances are you’re feeling fit, healthy and happy. However, if you’re like most of us, you indulged a bit during the holiday season and are now looking to get back on track. Well, aside from the weight loss pointers mentioned above, there’s one other key thing you can do in order to encourage wellness and lose a few of those extra pounds that might have crept on what with all the holiday chocolates lying around. And the good news is that one thing is relatively easy to do.

Detoxification has been a tradition among most cultures on earth for centuries: from Scandinavian saunas to American sweat lodges mankind has understood the value of purging toxins through the skin. Essentially, the term refers to the process of removing injurious substances from our bodies, which can be biological (such as bacteria and viruses) or harmful chemicals like heavy metals, food processing compounds and cosmetics. (Nowadays processed foods contain more than 3,000 chemicals whereas at the turn of the century, the only preservative found in food was salt.) These toxins are continuously being flushed from our body through breath, sweat, urine, etc but problems arise if we can’t detoxify fast enough. What happens when we don’t purge these toxins quickly, our fat cells will get larger so the body can store the excess toxins and keep them safely away from sensitive tissue.  When the toxins are more concentrated, our fat cells will also increase in size to keep them diluted.

In other words, detoxing is not only good for riding the body of bad biology and chemicals, it’s also a good way to ensure your body doesn’t start harbouring fat cells. Here are just a few easy actions you can take to support your body in detoxifying:

  • Drink enough water throughout the day so that your urine is almost clear. This will help support your kidney’s removal of water-soluble toxins.
  • Utilize exercise, saunas and steams to aid the release of stored toxins.
  • Dry brushing your skin is another good way to encourage blood circulation, cell regeneration and toxin removal.
  • Eat fibre-rich foods to aid your intestines in moving toxins out of the body.  Constipation leads to toxin re-absorption.
  • Eat organic, pesticide-free produce, and less processed food.

Bonus: Detoxification Talk By Kirkland!


Salmon Fennel Leek Chowder Recipe

Salmon Fennel Chowder Recipe

This recipe will fill the emptiest of bellies and warm the coldest bodies. It’s intended to make a large portion so you can share it with friends or store it in the freezer for enjoying it later but if you’d prefer to make less, just halve the ingredient amounts.

Ingredients:

  • 1⁄4 cup coconut oil
  • 4 cups finely diced onion
  • 4 cups finely diced carrots
  • 4 cups finely diced celery

Sauté above ingredients until they start to brown lightly then add:

  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 16 cups veggie stock
  • 2 cups finely diced parsnips
  • 4 cups sweet potato diced
  • 2 cups diced fennel
  • 2 cups leeks
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp. thyme
  • 3 tsp. salt (to taste)
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer and add:

  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 – 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 3 salmon filets – deboned, cooked and flaked
  •  2 cans coconut milk
  • Almond/coconut flour to thicken as required

Cold Weather Must-Haves

Winter is fully upon us now and for most of us, we’re experiencing shorter days, colder temperatures and an aversion to going outside. It’s only natural to feel a bit more lethargic this time of year; in fact, our ancestors spent the winter months immersed in cultural activities rather than hunting and gathering. However, with the plethora of processed snacking foods within arm’s reach, it’s important to surround ourselves with “must-haves” that promote health and well-being. Here are just five things that we encourage to have near you at all times in order to weather the colder months and encourage wellness.

Ginger Lemon Tonic

#1. Ginger Lemon Tea

Enjoy a detoxifying and energizing ginger lemon tea every morning. There’s a reason ginger is called “the miracle root” – in fact, it’s one of nature’s best combinations of detoxifier, anti-inflammatory and digestive aid. You can read more about the tea and how to make it here. Plus it’s just nice to start your day with something warm.

Good Duvet

#2. A Good Duvet

Sleep is so important any time of year but in the winter months when the temperature drops at night it’s important we’re comfortable. That doesn’t mean cranking up the thermostat, however, as most of us are not attuned to sleeping well in the heat. Keep the inside temperature of your house cool at night but cozy up under a good duvet or thick blankets and you’ll sleep more soundly.

Warm & Hearty Recipes

#3. Warm, Hearty Recipes

There are many recipes on the Mountain Trek site for healthy and hearty soups and chili. They are made with vitality-nurturing nutritious ingredients and their warming qualities will dispel the day’s chill. A few we recommend are Bison Chipotle Chili and Squash & Turkey Soup.

A Hot Bath

#4. A Hot Bath

Lying in a warm bath filled with epsom salts is not only relaxing, it’s also a good way to detoxify. It’ll help remove any damp chill that has seeped into your bones and it will open up your pores and encourage toxins to exit your body. If you don’t have a bathtub, a hot shower is an OK replacement but a visit to the local gym for a soak in their hot tub is even better.

Layered Clothing

#5. Layered Clothing

A good quality pair of merino wool long underwear and a long-sleeved top is invaluable at warding off any winter chill when you’re out in the elements. Even if you’re just going for a walk to the corner store, remember to layer and dress appropriately as it doesn’t take long for the chill to sink in and when it does, it can take awhile to disperse it again.


Bonus: A Sun-Filled Getaway!

What better way to beat the winter cold than by escaping entirely and heading to sunny Baja, Mexico for Mountain Trek’s Rancho La Puerta program. Watch the video below and Kirkland will explain the highlights of the program and why it’s an excellent mid-winter vacation option.

Mountain Trek featured in Canada’s Largest Newspaper

globeandmail mt imageMountain Trek  was featured on the front cover of the Travel section of The Globe and Mail, Canada’s largest national newspaper, this month:

“7 hours a day of  exercise…Welcome to your vacation.”

The Globe feature was written by Amy Rosen who found “bliss in a boot camp getaway.” She chronicled her experience in a diary-format and spoke of each day and what she ate, experienced, and witnessed from “halibut fish steaks with pineapple mango salsa” to “vibrant green old-growth forests.” This is an excerpt:

“Mountain Trek’s spa and fitness studio have floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the 100-kilometre Kootenay Lake. There are gardens and wildflowers, mountains and blue skies. Meals are local, organic, plated – and mostly delicious, enjoyed by guests around family-style tables. So that’s the good news. Back at my weigh-in, the excuses fly: “I’ve been travelling a lot, no time for exercise. It’s summertime … and those gin and tonics aren’t going to drink themselves!” Until, finally, acceptance: I’ve gained a few on the rump. Let’s. Do. This.”

Click here to read Amy’s entire article, and to experience a similar personal transformation to what she did, contact Mountain Trek and we’ll let you know about what program would best suit your needs.

 

Review Magazine Features Mountain Trek

Review Magazine Article_cover-smWriter Leigh Doyle interviewed regular Mountain Trek alumni Jean Aldridge for an article called “Exercise Escape” that appeared in this summer’s issue of Review magazine. The story was all about how Jean visits Mountain Trek to and discussed why she returns every six months: “It’s like adult day camp with planned activities and meals ready for you,” she’s quoted as saying.

The article goes on to say, “A week-long fitness vacation can kick-start motivated individuals into making serious changes by showing them how regular exercise, proper eating and dedicated de-stress time can do the body good.”

Click the thumbnails below to read the entire article:

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Join us for the Mountain Trek “Super Reboot” Week

Working togetherAugust is the month for recreation, relaxation and retreat. You’ve worked hard all year and now you deserve to take some time for yourself: it’s time to leave behind the stresses and worries of your job, or whatever it is that occupies too much of your time, if even for a little while. Whether you need to do this on your own, or you’re happy to have your spouse, family or friends join you, it’s time to treat yourself to a Mountain Trek experience! And that experience just got stepped up a notch…

As many of you already know, a week or two at Mountain Trek is a life-changing adventure. Nowhere else offers the unique combination of spa, vacation and boot camp that is the Mountain Trek experience. With our luxurious alpine lodge as your comfortable home base, you’ll experience world-class hiking, and nutrition and lifestyle guidance that will boost your metabolism and shift you into a lasting, healthy state of body and mind for the rest of the year, and beyond!

And now, for the first time ever, Mountain Trek is offering an above-and-beyond experience called the “Super Reboot” week. From August 24-31, 2013, we’ll be offering a unique event, workshop and lecture each day in addition to the regular workouts and massages we provide. And, at no extra cost!

Why are we doing this? Because you deserve it! Here are the additional events you can expect to experience between this coming August 24-31:

Healthy Cosmetics

Did you know there might be lead in your lipstick? In fact there are toxins in many of our everyday body care products and in this evening workshop a beautician expert from Mountain Waters Spa will be discussing the hidden chemicals in shampoos, make-up and other skin and body care products. She will share ways to avoid these products and offer alternate brands that do not pose a risk to our health.

Laurie ChefCooking Re-Mastered with Chef Laurie Hartland

Laurie Hartland is Mountain Trek’s kitchen manager and chef who specializes in creating the healthiest meals possible using seasonal, locally-sourced, organic ingredients. In this workshop she’ll teach you how to make the same quick and healthy meals that she’s mastered for our resort and give you recipes to take home with you to wow your family and friends.

Office Posture Demystified

For the evening Postural Alignment Workshop we take an in-depth look at what postural dysfunction can look like, and what simple and effective things we can do to help correct this. Our instructor, Anna Topf, is a kinesiologist and she’ll spend time with each client looking at their specific spinal curvature and then provide take-home strategies that will help improve your posture so you’ll look and feel better.

Art Therapy with Milli

Art Therapy combines visual art and psychotherapy in a process using a created image as a foundation for self-exploration and understanding. Thoughts and feelings are often easier to express through images rather than in words and this class will allow you to explore your emotions and current state-of-mind through a creative medium. Registered Art Therapist Milli Neufeld-Cummings will have you working with paper and paints to release unconscious feelings and improve your overall well-being.

The Science of Face Reading

Experts say that in China, good doctors can identify 70% of a person’s health problems by examining the patient’s face. The Traditional Chinese Medicine art of face reading can be used as a way of determining the personality and characteristics of a person, and can even be used as a diagnostic tool to help prevent illness. Experts say the health conditions indicated by face readings aren’t set in stone, they’re simply warning signs, but you can heed these signs and make adjustments to protect your long-term health. Join our expert Kendra Starr, Dr. of Traditional Chinese Medicine, as she performs face readings and offers tips and tricks about how to do it yourself.

So, whether you’re a returning Mountain Trek client or new to our world-class hiking retreat, tucked away in the southern British Columbia wilderness, we’d love for you to come join us for our one-of-a-kind “Super Reboot” program between August 24-31, 2013. Click here to find out more info.

 

Mountain Trek on BC Living’s Must Do List

bc living logoBC Living has just listed Mountain Trek as one of their “To Do” activities in the province.

The story, written by Anna Dupas, lists ten things residents and visitors to British Columbia should do. Of Mountain Trek, Dupas writes, “this alpine resort offers invigorating exercise, organic cuisine, detoxing saunas and massages — as well as classes in nutrition, stress management and sleep hygiene.”

Dupas goes on to quote Kirkland Shave who says, “We want people to walk out having fallen back in love with their body.”

To read the entire article, log on to BC Living.ca.

 

Metro Recommends Hiking to Health with Mountain Trek

metro storyToronto-based freelance writer Vawn Himmelsbach visited Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat and Health Resort this June and her story about rebooting her metabolism appeared last week in Metro, a publication that’s distributed in city centres around North America.

Mountain Trek is “a hiking-focused fitness retreat and health spa in the Selkirk and Purcell ranges of B.C.’s Rocky Mountains, set in a luxury alpine lodge overlooking Kootenay Lake. Once you get through the caffeine withdrawal, you might find it’s one of the best vacations you’ve ever taken,” writes the self-described coffee aficionado.

Vawn goes on to describe her experience at Mountain Trek as a “week in a serene, scenic setting, with a high guide-to-participant ratio to provide a personal and supportive environment.”

Click here to read Vawn’s entire story in Metro.