We all need food to survive but to live well and free of disease eating the right type of food is necessary.

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Quick Energy Protein Smoothie -Take a minute for breakfast!

This is the early-morning High Energy Protein smoothie we serve our guests every day. It helps break our fast and kick start our metabolic process. We recommend mixing until really smooth to get the most out of the combined flavors.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup frozen fruit, such as berries, mangos, and/or strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon hemp oil
  • 3 tablespoons hemp protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 1 frozen banana 1 cup coconut or almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon powdered greens
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chia seeds pinch of cinnamon

METHOD

  • Blend all ingredients together until smooth.
  • Add water to thin as desired.

Serves 4 x 6 ounce cups

 


Interested in having this and many other delicious gourmet, spa-cuisine recipes prepared for you while you spend a week invigorating and restoring your health? Learn more about the Mountain Trek Program or email us with your questions: info@mountaintrek.com

Dr. Josh on How To Eat Smarter & Lose Weight

how-to-eat-smarter-1

Mountain Trek recently started offering Lifestyle Performance Coaching via clinical physcologist Dr. Joshua Klapow, who's also an alumni of the program. It seems the good doctor is also adept at explaining matters of nutrition as well given an article that has appeared on beachbody.com. In it, Dr. Josh is asked to explain how to eat smarter through "mindful eating" (also known as "intuitive eating") and how it can influence your body shape.

In the article called "9 Mindfulness Tips For Losing Weight," Dr. Josh compares mindful eating to mindful existence: “It’s not unlike taking a minute to look at a flower or experience being in nature,” he says. “We can either rush through it with a passing appreciation, or we can spend several minutes and take the entire environment into our senses. Mindful eating is the exact same thing.” He goes on to explain that "By itself, mindful eating is not a weight-loss cure, but as part of an approach or tool it can catapult healthy eating and weight loss.

By being conscientious when you consume foods, you limit distractions, choose healthier options and become more in tune with your body. Here are the nine mindfulness tricks to help you eat smarter, be conscious of what you eat and, ultimately, make better decisions that will help you lose weight. 

  1. Pause before you eat to ask yourself why you're eating
  2. Chew each bite thoroughly and savour it
  3. Drink water before meals
  4. Eat vibrant, flavourful foods
  5. Eat without distractions
  6. Wait before getting seconds
  7. When you feel the urge to snack, make a cup of tea first
  8. Take note of your cravings
  9. Eat with joy, not judgement

All of these tips will help you take more pleasure in your food and to read more about Dr. Josh's take on "mindful eating," log on to beachbody.com.

For an even more well-rounded culinary experience, book a stay at Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat and Health Spa to enjoy the delicious spa cuisine prepared by our master chef Bonnie VanTassel. She's renowned for creating healthy, farm-fresh food that you can't help but savour. Book your stay at Mountain Trek now.

CN Traveler Awards Mountain Trek

Conde Nast Travler Magazine

More than 300,000 travelers took part in Condé Nast Traveler’s 29th annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey submitting millions of ratings and over 75,000 comments to create a list of winning favourites – and Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat and Health Spa was one of them. In fact, Mountain Trek made it onto the list of the 15 Best Wellness Retreats in the World! “Whether you’re into hiking or yoga, or just need a nap-inducing Swedish massage, book now to rejuvenate both mind and body” is what the article says and that’s exactly what you can find at Mountain Trek.

Condé Nast Traveler, one of the most popular travel magazine and websites in North America, listed Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat and Health Spa along with 15 of the most exclusive wellness getaways in the world including Six Senses in Portugal, BodyHoliday in St. Lucia and Ananda in India. Mountain Trek was the only Canadian resort listed.

This is what the CN Traveler had to say about Mountain Trek: “You may be on vacation, but there’s no reason you can’t throw some self-improvement in the mix, too. At Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat Resort & Health Spa, way up in the clean, clear air of British Columbia, you won’t lament the week-long cheat day that could’ve been. Instead, embrace the granola life with day-long hikes led by one of the eager local guides, and sunrise yoga classes taught by certified professionals. Everything here is targeted toward achieving optimal health, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be shoving kale down your throat, or scraping bark off the nearest tree to kill the hunger pangs. Quite the contrary: The on-site nutritionist and head chef develop locally sourced, nutrient-rich meals, with lemon ricotta pancakes just one of the many fan favorites.”

“The 15 Best Wellness Retreats in the World” article was recently published on CNTraveler.com and you can read the story in its entirety here: http://www.cntraveler.com/gallery/the-best-wellness-retreats-in-the-world.

Whether you’re interested in improving your own fitness, losing weight, or just want to relax in the fresh mountain air, we recommend you book Mountain Trek and enjoy the amenities that only our all-inclusive resort can offer:

  • complimentary massages
  • delicious boutique spa cuisine
  • natural hot springs
  • infrared sauna, outdoor hot tub and cold plunge pool
  • luxurious lodge in a natural setting far away from urban stressors

You’re also guaranteed to reach your fitness goals with our program that’s tailored to each individual. You can keep to your own pace but we’ll make sure you get results. We hope to see you soon!

 

10 Tricks to Stick To Your New Year’s Resolutions

Tips for Goal Setting

Half way through January is when most people start falling off the wagon and foregoing all the resolutions they made on New Year's Eve. But with these 10 easy-to-follow guidelines, you can have a better chance of sticking with your resolutions and watching them become healthy habits you'll enjoy for a lifetime.

1. Be Specific

Don’t be vague. If you resolve to lose weight, write down your fitness goals. How many pounds do you want to lose? How many steps will you take in a day? How much more flexible do you want to be? Exactly what do you wish to achieve out of your yoga practice?

2. Be Positive

Not just optimistic. It's easier to eliminate a bad habit when you replace it with a better one. So, if your resolution involves "no more chocolate bars at work," make "pack a healthy snack to take to work every day" part of the resolution.

3. Write Down Your Goals

There's an air of permanence when you write something done. Plus you can review them whenever you want to help stay on track.

4. Hold Yourself Accountable

Tell your friends about your resolution, join or form a like-minded group, score yourself on a chart– whatever works for you to make yourself feel accountable for success and failure.

5. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help

This can be tough for many of us, but when we do ask for help, help comes. Our tasks become easier. What a relief!

6. Allow Yourself a Trial Run and be Flexible

Not every resolution is perfect right out of the gate. Give yourself a two-week or one month trial run to work out the kinks. This allows you to stumble a bit and tweak your goals to something better suited for success.

7. Visualize The End Result

Focus on the carrot, not the stick. If you're having trouble staying motivated, focus on what you'll get from your end goal—whether that's feeling better at a lower weight, being able to impress your friends with your new drumming skills, or just being able to take a deep breath now that you've quit smoking. Staying positive seems like common sense, but it can be hard when you're in the middle of a big plateau.

8. Choose Goals That Are In Line With What YOU Want

Your resolutions should be deeply valuable to you, first and foremost. When we set resolutions that are driven by our desire to please others, we are doomed to fail.

Bad resolution: “My wife thinks I’m lazy, so I resolve to wake up earlier and exercise before work.” Good resolution: “I’ll wake up earlier and exercise before work because it makes me feel great throughout the day.”

9. Learn Something New

Step out of your comfort zone. If your goal is to exercise three or four times a week, take a risk and enroll in a fitness class you’ve never taken before. Or if you want to improve your marriage or partnership, consult with a relationship therapist or life coach.

10. Use the Mountain Trek App

Resolutions take time to solidify into habits, which is why Mountain Trek created the free Health Guide In Your Pocket app, which can be downloaded here. It'll help you create and monitor your health goals while offering healthy recipes, how-to videos and more. To learn more info about Mountain Trek's free app, click here.

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6 Healthy Travel Snacks That Are Prepackaged

Healthy Snacks

Guests at Mountain Trek are pleasantly surprised by the deliciousness of the snacks we supply during the hours they spend hiking on the trails. Many expect mass-produced "energy" bars to help fuel their activities but that style of snack is usually full of corn syrup and highly processed ingredients. We recommend people take a small time out of their week to prepare healthy items they can snack on throughout the course of their days. We even wrote an article detailing the "Top 5 On The Go Snacks" that mentioned some of our proprietary recipes such as bliss balls

However, we've since heard from some guests, especially those who travel a lot, that it can be difficult to find the time to whip up some Loki Dip to go with those carrot sticks. So, we asked our nutrition expert Jennifer Keirstead to supply us with another list of snacks that people can enjoy when they're traveling and don't have access to their kitchen. This is Jenn's reply and suggestions for 6 healthy travel snacks

Eating right on the road, can be tricky. I always take a few things with me so I have a little backup. Here are some of my favorite ideas:

  1. EPIC bars – These are basically dehydrated meat in power bar form. They're made from grass-fed meats, high in protein, and taste like jerky!
  2. SuperFood Energy Bar They're made from plant-based, high-quality ingredients. No fillers!
  3. Justin's Almond Butter in squeeze packs make great traveling companions. Pack a piece of fruit, or two, and spread on some creamy, high-protein almond, for a perfectly balanced snack on the go.
  4. Trail Mix – Try to avoid the prepackaged ones as they contain a lot of sodium. Instead, buy seeds and nuts from the bulk section and make your own. I like to mix unsalted cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds, dried currants and goji berries.
  5. Prepackaged veggies – Items such as baby carrots or sugar snap peas are easy to find and delicious with a container of hummus.
  6. Starbucks "Protein Box" – If you're at the airport and grab one of these boxes and enjoy a hard boiled egg, fresh fruit, cheese, and multigrain Muesli bread.

Of course, being even just a little prepared with a snack in your purse, or suitcase can go a long way to help keep you on the right track nutritionally.

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Why You Need To Stop Calorie Counting Right Now

Calorie Counting

Recently Mountain Trek's nutrition expert Jennifer Keirstead was asked whether calorie counting is beneficial for those who are looking to lose weight and improve their fitness. Below is her response but before we jump into it, let's first define the subject at hand. 

What Is Calorie Counting?

Calorie counting is the act of adding together the caloric value of food(s) that one eats. The history of this practice dates back to 1900 when Wilbur Olin Atwater and his associates at the Connecticut Agriculture Experiment Station determined the caloric values of a number of food components (i.e., the protein, fat, and carbohydrate isolated from various foods) by multiplying the heat of combustion of the food with correction factors that take into consideration incomplete digestion or oxidation of the food in the body. The conversion factors determined by Atwater and his associates remain in use today.

Why The Calorie Calculation Formula Is Skewed

Despite the fact Atwater built in various correction factors for caloric values, they do not account for:

  • variation of individual absorption
  • the influences of an individual's intestinal bacteria and that's affect on absorption (these change depending on history of travel, antibiotics and present diet)
  • variation in nutrient density of today’s foods compared to foods from those used in the Atwater research of 1900, which were less processed, more organic and more local
  • and they exclude many nutrients that were unknown in 1900 (the number of known nutrients to science in 1900 was fewer than 16 whereas now it's exponentially higher than that. 

Moreover, both meal timings and meal composition also have an impact on how calories are absorbed by the body.

Why A Calorie Isn't Just A Calorie

Now that we've looked at the history of calorie counting and why it can be considered inaccurate, here is Jennifer's further response to why calorie counting isn't worth it:

"Not all calories are created equal. Take the example of an ice cream cone versus an avocado: both are calorie-rich foods but the calories in the ice cream cone are considered "empty" because they don't offer the body any nutritional value. They simply spike our blood sugar and leave us feeling lower in energy after we eat them. However, the calories from real foods, like the avocado, offer the body nutrient-dense calories that are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Your body gains energy, antioxidants, and digestive support from the calories in real foods. But it's important to remember you can still overeat the good calories too. It's great to be mindful of how much we're eating, regardless of where the calories are coming from!"

It can be argued that Mountain Trek stresses specific (and different) caloric intake for women and men but this is a rough guideline and it's important to remember the entire nutrition tenant of the program includes many proven elements such as only eating real foods, abstaining from cortisol-raising foods such as sugar and caffeine and stressing the importance of meal timings and composition.

To fully appreciate the Mountain Trek nutrition program we suggest you book a stay with us. Contact us by phone or email to learn more. Alternatively, book online now.

Huevos Rancheros – A Fast & Delicious Recipe

Huevos Rancheros

These delicious Mexican ranch eggs can be accompanied by slices of avocado or a spoonful of guacamole and a dollop of rice for lasting energy. Serves 4.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 cup cheese
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 chipotle Tabasco sauce dash
  • 2 tbsp cilantro leaves – chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup cooked pinto beans
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 dash of salt
  • 4 oz diced canned tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp green chilies
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup onions
  • 2 oz tinned tomato sauce

PREPARATION

  1. Sauté half of the onions with the cooked beans, adding cumin, a dash of salt, and a dash of the chipotle sauce. When cooked through, mash and set aside, keeping warm.
  2. Sauté the remaining half of the onion in a small amount of water with the garlic, tomatoes and tomato sauce, chili powder, green chilies, and chipotle.
  3. Scramble or fry the eggs.
  4. Heat tortillas slightly (steaming or frying in a spritz of water).
  5. Place the tortilla on the plate and layer the bean mixture over the top. Next, layer the egg, and then place the sauce over the top.
  6. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
  7. Garnish with avocado slices and minced cilantro.

To download find more Mountain Trek recipes and to get the shopping list for this recipe, download our Health Guide in Your Pocket App now.

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“I Survived Adult Fat Camp” – Fitness Magazine features Mountain Trek

Mountain-Trek-Program-at-Rancho-La-Puerta

The headline may be a bit sensational but we enjoyed reading Juno DeMelo’s first-person story of her time spent experiencing the Mountain Trek program at Rancho La Puerta that recently ran on fitnessmagazine.com.

The reason Juno decided to take part in the Mountain Trek program is because, “I’m not fat or out of shape, but I’ve put on a few pounds over the last three years. And though I hate the idea of dieting, I like a challenge. I also figured that not having constant access to food would help me separate real hunger from the fake kind that tends to pop up when I’m bored or stressed. So, I packed my bags…with the hope of gaining energy and losing weight.”

The article then details what Juno experienced day-to-day while enrolled in the program, from morning yoga classes to day hikes to after-dinner workouts. She also spent a large part of the story talking about food.


Fitness Magazine features Mountain Trek


“I never felt stuffed, but I felt full for a couple of hours after each meal,” Juno writes. “By the third hour, it was time to have a snack, which usually – and surprisingly – held me over to dinner. By day five my appetite downshifted and…I felt satiated. The hikes started to feel more doable (and) I stopped fantasizing about cheesecake…”

By the seventh day it was time for the weigh out and Juno learned she had lost 5.2 pounds. “I was elated.” she writes. She then goes on to describe one of the best parts of the Mountain Trek program, namely the post-retreat support plan. “They say that if I keep this up, I should be able to maintain my weight loss and maybe even continue to drop 1/2 to 1 pound a week until by body hits its happy point…I now know I’m strong enough, mentally and physically, to hike for eight miles a day, six days in a row. That I can be a little bit hungry without the world crashing down. And that while food is still one of the great loves of my life, I’ve probably been over-romancing it.”

To see Juno’s story in its entirety, log on to the Fitness Magazine website and read, “I Survived Adult Fat Camp.”

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Will Bacon Kill You? Facts vs Fiction

Will bacon kill you?

Last week the World Health Organization released a report that classified bacon and other processed meats as “carcinogenic to humans…based on sufficient evidence in humans that consumption causes colorectal cancer.”

The media reacted instantly with articles that read, “Bacon: as bad as cigarettes” and “Hot dogs can kill.” Of course, a lot of the coverage was sensationalized and a few key facts were missed so we looked into the controversy a bit deeper and asked Mountain Trek Nutritionist Jenn Kierstead to give us her thoughts about it all and whether processed meats are indeed detrimental to our overall health and wellbeing.

What the W.H.O. Report Actually Said

To see the World Health Organization’s press release about the report regarding processed meat and red meat, click on this link: WHO-press-release. However, here are a few key items pulled from the document.

  • At this juncture the agency’s discussion of red meat is premature and inconclusive because it admits it’s based on “limited evidence” and the fact that “red meat has nutritional value.”
  • However, after reviewing the scientific literature of 22 experts from 10 countries the organization says it has “sufficient evidence” to classify processed meats as carcinogenic.
  • According to the experts, eating 50 grams of processed meat per day increases your risk of colorectal cancer by 18%
  • Examples of processed meat include hot dogs (frankfurters), bacon, ham, sausages, corned beef, and biltong or beef jerky as well as canned meat and meat-based preparations and sauces.

Not All Bacon Is the Same

Jennifer Keirstead, Nutritionist at Mountain TrekWhat’s interesting about the report is it doesn’t qualify what exactly “processed meats” are. To be clear, there are definitely examples of bacon, ham and sausages out there that do not fall into this category. Our nutritionist Jenn says eating bacon from a locally raised, pastured pig is a far-cry from the shrink-wrapped rasher at your nearby super-store. However, it’s safe to say that, in this case, the W.H.O. is referring to mass-produced meats.

“The key word in all of this is ‘processed,'” Jenn says. “Anything that goes through processing means it’s been tampered with; it’s altered and eventually becomes a non-food. In the case of processed meats, they go through a curing process that requires a lot of nitrites and other preservatives so that they can last and last on grocery store shelves.”

What Would Mountain Trek Do?

“It looks like processed meat is the next hot topic surrounding food,” Jenn says. “Every so often news agencies and the general public will jump on the latest superfood or fad diet and that dominates the discussion.”

“At Mountain Trek we tend to ignore the hype,” she continues. “We’ve always stuck with the same program around nutrition and its proven to work: eat local, healthy meals as often as you can and, occasionally if you have some bacon or a hot dog, it’s not going to be the end of the world.”

In other words, don’t eat bacon every breakfast or foot-longs every lunch. But indulging during a Sunday brunch or at the ballpark is OK.

Remember, though, the more colour on your plate the better. (And no, that doesn’t include ketchup and mustard). To learn more about the importance of meal timings and composition, check out our “Health Eating Tips” blog.

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