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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A Full Day of Spa Cuisine Recipes

Spa-CuisineThere has been a lot of talk about “spa cuisine” in the past year and some people are questioning just exactly what the phrase means. Some assume it’s vegetarian or flavorless or served in tiny qualities. Others wonder if it’s new-age “superfood” or supplemental vitamins. In actual fact, spa cuisine can include meat, it’s delicious and, at Mountain Trek, it’s served in perfect portions at the right times during the day so your body doesn’t crave non-essential foods. From a scientific perspective, spa cuisine utilizes the natural elements, nutrients, and minerals in food to assist the body so that it can function at an optimal level of vitality. In layman’s terms, it looks colorful and tastes delicious! You’ll find little-to-no processed or refined ingredients in spa cuisine, and in many instances, a lot of what you’ll be consuming is locally grown or raised and seasonally appropriate. At Mountain Trek, you’ll discover that every single one of our meals is well-balanced and amazingly tasty. In fact, we have an on-site nutritionist who ensures the ideal amount of protein, carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables are consumed throughout the day, and at specific times of day, while our chef is always discovering new and delicious ways to prepare the dishes. To learn more about meal composition and timings read our Healthy Eating Tips blog. But if you’re looking for a daily sample of delicious spa cuisine, we’ve included three recipes below for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Bon Appétit!

Breakfast

Manna Bread Breakfast RecipeManna Bread Breakfast

Manna Bread is made with whole sprouted grain berries and pure water – a far cry from the heavily processed bread you find in most supermarkets. Manna bread can come in rye or multigrain or varieties and is available at your local health food store. Loaves tend to be smaller but that’s because Manna Bread is more dense and filling. At Mountain Trek, we’ll typically serve men three half-inch slice in the morning while women receive two slices. Women’s portion – serve with:

  • 2 slices smoked cheese (equaling ½ oz. or 14 grams)
  • 2 slices avocado
  • 3 slices tomato
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • Alfalfa sprouts

Men’s portion – serve with:

  • 3 slices smoked cheese (equaling ¾ oz. or 21 grams)
  • 3 slices avocado
  • 3 slices tomato
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • Alfalfa sprouts

Lunch

Kootenay Mushroom Barley Lentil Soup

Kootenay Mushroom Barley Lentil Soup

This recipe tastes best when you use freshly picked mushrooms from the forest floor, like we do at Mountain Trek. Whatever mushrooms you use, though, this recipe (which serves 4) will be sure to delight and fulfill.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cup yellow onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp grapeseed oil
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup celery, sliced
  • 1 cup carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 cup spinach
  • 1/3 cup barley
  • 2 ½ tbsp red lentils
  • 2 ½ tbsp sherry
  • ¾ tsp fresh rosemary
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¾ tsp paprika
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • 3 ½ cups veggie stock
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • 2 ½ tbsp parsley
  • ½ tbsp Bragg’s or tamari sauce
  • 2 tbsp flax oil
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne

Directions:

  • Heat oil and butter in a large soup pan.
  • Add onions, celery, carrots, and sauté until translucent.
  • Add mushrooms and garlic and sauté until translucent.
  • Add barley, lentils and spices and sauté for 10 minutes.
  • Add stock and let cook over medium heat for approximately 30 minutes or until the barley is done.
  • Add Bragg’s, sherry, flax oil, and parsley.
  • At Mountain Trek, our portions are typically two cups for men and 1.5 cups for women.

Dinner

The Kootenay Bowl

The Kootenay Bowl

This easy-to-make dish is as colorful as it is delicious. It serves four.

Tofu + Marinade:

  • 1 ½ blocks (600 grams) herbed tofu, cubed. (By freezing, thawing, and then squeezing the excess water from the tofu its texture changes, allowing it to absorb the marinade.)
  • 2½ tbsp tamari
  • 2½ tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 2½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ – ½ tsp. rosemary powder
  • Blend the above ingredients and marinate cubed tofu in it for at least 2 hours before cooking.
  • Reserve some marinade for cooking tofu.

Dressing:

  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2½ tbsp water
  • 2½ tbsp tamari sauce
  • 2½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 tbsp tahini Blend above ingredients and serve on the side.

The Bowl:

  • ½ cup quinoa cooked in 1 ¼ cup water
  • 4 cup mixed greens
  • ½ cup beets, grated
  • ½ cup carrots, grated
  • ½ cup red cabbage, shredded very fine
  • 4 large cherry tomatoes, halved 2 tbsp sunflower seeds, toasted 4 pinches alfalfa sprouts
  • Rinse quinoa well and cook until tender (about 12-15 minutes).
  • Sauté tofu in a small amount of the marinade until browned on all sides.
  • Place greens on the bottom of each bowl, put quinoa on top of that, then add rows of carrots, beets, and red cabbage.
  • Sprinkle with sunflower seeds; add tofu, sprouts, and tomatoes.
  • At Mountain Trek we serve the following portions: women receive 7 cubes of tofu, 1/4 cup of cooked quinoa and 1 1/2 tbsp of dressing; men receive 9 cubes of tofu, 1/3 cup cooked quinoa and 2 tbsp of dressing.

To find more Mountain Trek recipes and to get the shopping list for these recipes, download our Habits 2 Health App now.

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10 “Non-Diet” Weight Loss Tips and Simple Holiday Detox Ideas

a woman in a red coat in a winter wonderland

The “Non-Diet” Approach to Weight Loss

Mountain Trek does not subscribe to any diet plan. In fact, we don’t believe in the concept of dieting at all; yet we guarantee those who participate in our program will lose weight. And they always do. Why is that?  It starts with the food we eat. 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. So many of us binge and then starve our bodies, only to repeat the cycle, that it’s no wonder we have trouble maintaining 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 healthy eating patterns. 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; along with the support-structure and strategies for turning them into long-term habits.

10 Weight Loss Tips

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

a bowl of yogurt granola and blueberries on a wooden table

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

a wooden box of apples grapes walnuts and almonds

4. Eat slower and chew more

a person eating an apple in a kitchen

5. Eat out at restaurants less

a couple cooking a meal together

6. Lower your intake of alcohol

three clear glass tea pots of tea

7. Eliminate or minimize artificial sweeteners

a jar of honey

8. Detoxify your body regularly (see below)

a woman in an infrared sauna detoxing

9. Eat less processed food and more organic produce

Fresh, local and organic produce

10. Drink more water

a person drinking water from a water bottle


Detox

Detox Your Body This Month

If you read our tips for relieving holiday stress, 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.

Related Article: Hot Springs Benefits

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 harboring 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.

What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning health retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you detox, unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at info@mountaintrek.com or reach out below:

7 Crucial Healthy Eating Tips and 5 Easy Nutrition Tips

a woman eating an apple with words tips for staying healthy

Wake up groggy – Coffee – Commute to office – Coffee – Quick lunch at desk – Chocolate/Coffee to spike low energy – Commute home – Huge dinner – Watch TV – Sleep – Wake up groggy

Sound familiar? This vicious cycle can be a hard one to break. Perhaps you’ve tried diets or removing certain food groups from your meals in order to lose weight and be energized throughout your day. Or maybe you’ve swung the other direction and are addicted to certain foods and can’t get through a day without them. Like coffee for example.

Let’s take a step back and look at the types of food you’re eating, and how you’re consuming them. Our modern-day culture stresses what kinds of food to eat, but few are concentrating on meal timing. How, and when you eat also has an impact on your overall health. It’s more important than ever to stress some key healthy eating tips

7 Crucial Tips for Healthy Eating

a blueberry smoothing in a jar with the words Meal Timings

Meal Timings

1. Eat Breakfast Within 30 Minutes of Waking

If you take nothing else away from this article, remember one thing: eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up. Even if it’s just an Energy Smoothie. With the prevalence put on coffee these days, most of us wake up and have a cup of joe–or several. And, because caffeine is an appetite suppressant, we go the entire morning without eating. The problem with this scenario is your body reacts by thinking it’s being starved and builds up fat cells. Fall into a habit of this and quite quickly it becomes too hard to shed weight because the body is always worried about when the next meal will come. The simple solution is to eat some form of food within a half-hour of waking. After breaking your fast first-thing in the morning, you will:

  • Kick-start your metabolism for the day
  • Be supporting your circadian rhythm and will have more energy
  • Keep your liver from initiating the “famine” response

We know that a warm cup of coffee is very comforting, especially as the cold weather settles in, but consider trying alternatives like ginger tea, which helps cleanse the liver rather than tax it, or perhaps a barley-based coffee substitute like Bambu or Akava. At the very least, try lessening your coffee intake by just have one a morning after your first meal or smoothie.

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

This is an issue that’s especially prevalent in North America where we tend to consume coffee during the day and then have a huge meal right before we watch TV and fall asleep. The issue with this scenario is the body doesn’t have the ability to work off all those extra calories while sleeping so it tends to store them all as fat. By eating most of your food during the first half of your day you:

  • Allow your body to burn off those calories by walking and being active 
  • Reduce your evening blood sugar levels so insulin doesn’t store the excess as fat

This may seem difficult to do at first because large dinners can seem so satisfying, but just try it for a little while and we’re positive your energy levels will increase in the morning.

3. Eat Every 3 hours

Not only will you benefit from eating within the first nine hours of your day, but you will also feel better if you consume multiple food groups every three hours. By snacking regularly you convince the body you’re not starving and it will be less likely to store fat. Let’s preface this, however, by saying that a snack does not include an entire bag of Doritos. All you need is a piece of fruit and a handful of seeds or nuts or any of our top 5 on-the-go-snacks to keep your energy up. And by eating throughout the day you will:

  • Maintain level blood sugar and avoid insulin spikes in response to large meals
  • Avoid the “famine” response that results in fat storage from skipping meals
  • Avoid energy drops associated with low blood sugar that tends to have us craving coffee, chocolate, or another caffeine source

a basket of vegetables with the words Meal Composition

Meal Composition

As mentioned above, meal timing is important. But we also must consider what food, and how much of it, we consume.

It’s crucial to combine multiple food groups at each meal and snack. So whether you get your protein from meat, beans, or certain leafy greens, you should be eating it at every meal. Avoid store-bought protein bars, which contain empty calories among other things. Try our delicious homemade protein bars instead. 

Along with your protein, be sure to include complex carbohydrates, vegetables, and fruit. Think slow-cooked oatmeal, not white bread, and most cereals that consist of refined sugars and simple carbohydrates. 

We should also stress it’s important to include a wide variety of local, fresh, organic, and unprocessed foods. Stay away from the center aisles at the grocery store. And if you’re eating animal protein, choose organic, wild, or free-range that are free of hormones and antibiotics. Here is how we break down our meals at Mountain Trek:

4. Equal Volumes at Breakfast

At breakfast, we recommend equal volumes of complex carbohydrates, protein, vegetables, or fruit. As well as a teaspoon of omega oil and a small amount of dairy (substitute if you’re allergic or have an intolerance). By combining these items you benefit by:

  • Supporting a “glycemic load,” which contributes to a longer, slower release of blood sugars and avoiding insulin spikes
  • Getting important minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals, which do the body wonders especially first thing in the morning
  • The high fiber from complex carbohydrates provides chromium to help regulate blood sugars and it creates a sense of fullness, lowering appetite

5. Two-Thirds Vegetables at Lunch

Your lunch should be two-thirds vegetables and one-third protein with a small dairy component or substitute.

6. One-Half Vegetables, One-Quarter Protein, One-Quarter Complex Carbs at Dinner

Your dinner plate should be one-half vegetables, one-quarter complex carbohydrates, and one-quarter protein with a small dairy component or substitute. This is because:

  • Higher vegetable portions provide antioxidants, fiber, and phytochemicals to support active, growth-centered metabolism (salads, soups, steamed or sautéed)
  • Fewer dinner calories reduce the chance of fat storage
  • It promotes a healthy appetite for breakfast

7. Soul Food

At Mountain Trek, we believe in feeding the body AND feeding the soul. Therefore, we don’t expect you to follow this eating program to the letter. If you can try to eat like the way we detail above five days of the week and allow yourself two days to consume what we call “soul foods” you’ll be happier, and that has a huge impact on your health as well!


Support Healthy Eating With These Easy Nutrition Tips

Aside from the seven suggestions above about when and how to eat, these five easy-to-implement nutrition tips will help increase your vitality and support your health.

a woman drinking water with the words Drink your food; eat your water

Drink Your Food; Eat Your Water

In other words, eat slower, chew more, and swish your water around in your mouth before you swallow. This will help initiate the breakdown of carbohydrates with saliva enzymes and ease digestion. You will also allow time for the vagus nerve to communicate when you’re full, thereby avoiding overeating.

a woman feeding a man pasta sauce from a wooden spoon with the words Eat Out Less

Eat Out Less

We all love restaurants but there’s a reason their food tastes so good: lots of butter, oil, sugar and salt. By visiting fewer restaurants you’ll avoid oversized portions, lots of empty calories, and fat. We’re not saying to avoid restaurants entirely, but perhaps limit it to once-a-week or special occasions.

someone holding a mug and saucer with the words Drink Less Alcohol

Drink Less Alcohol

It’s especially important to avoid more alcohol as the cold weather and holidays approach. All alcohol has empty calories (even the ones marketed as being free of carbs) and when combined with excessive eating around the holidays, it’s a one-two punch that will guarantee weight gain. We’re not saying don’t drink at all, just limit binge drinking and consider only drinking at mealtimes to help your liver process.

grapes on a white plate with the words Minimize Artificial Sweeteners

Minimize Artificial Sweeteners

This means limiting (or better yet, eliminating) sodas, energy drinks, candy, and all the toxins associated with them. If you want a treat, consider having chocolate that contains 80% cocoa or better yet sweet fruit like dates. We can’t stress this enough because, ultimately, artificial sweeteners fall into the category of really bad foods given their poisonous qualities.

a white ceramic dish filled with eggs with the words Explore the Sour Eight

Explore Your Sensitivity to the “Sour Eight”

The Sour Eight are wheat, corn, dairy, soy, sugar, eggs, alcohol, and peanuts and the majority of the population has some form of sensitivity to at least one of these. Sensitivities could range from full-blown allergies to mild discomfort. But by taking time to remove one of these from your diet for a month, you could avoid constipation, bloating, excess mucus, fatigue, headaches, water retention, and most shockingly of all, you could eliminate 5-15 pounds of water retention in your bowels! 

Try it! Start with peanuts and see how you feel after a month. You may not notice a difference in which case move on to eggs and then work towards the others, which you’ll find are a little more difficult to eliminate as they’re so omnipotent. But ultimately isn’t your health and vitality worth it?


What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at info@mountaintrek.com or reach out below:

10+ Tips to Keep Well and Active as the Cold Weather Approaches

Autumn Hiking at Mountain Trek

When winter sets in, the days get shorter, the thermometer drops, and our bodies enter into what was, traditionally, a time of dormancy. Before the industrial revolution, we humans would spend the winter months in a state of quiescence – there was very little farming, hunting, or gathering to be done so we’d slow down and conserve our fat stores. These days, our bodies are still programmed to a certain amount of inaction during the colder months but, unlike the past, we now have plenty of fatty and processed foods to snack on during that time.

Tips to avoid unhealthy snacking and remain well and active during winter

1. Avoid Drinking More Coffee

Morning Ginger Tea

With cooler temperatures comes the desire to drink hot drinks and the most prevalent, especially in the Western world, is coffee. However comforting that cup of Joe is on a cool day, however, one must remember the harmful effects of caffeine. There is a proven relationship between caffeine and weight gain. Continuous consumption of it leads to prolonged levels of cortisol in the bloodstream, which has a negative effect on metabolism, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure. Instead of drinking more coffee, consider other hot drink alternatives such as a detoxifying and energizing morning ginger tea.

2. Avoid More Alcohol

Avoid Alcohol

As we enter months where the nights are longer, we as a species are driven to socialize more in the evenings. And in our modern world, that typically means there is more alcohol on offer. We at Mountain Trek are not abolitionists by any stretch but we think it’s important to stress alcohol’s relationship to weight gain. All alcohol has calories (even the ones marketed as being free of carbs) and so by consuming more, you’re adding to your fat stores. In the case of alcohol, this is doubly taxing because it stresses your liver and impairs its ability to flush toxins. Imbibe in the occasional drink but considering capping of the evening with a nightcap of #3.

3. Drink More Water

Drink More Water

Last year we wrote a post about water versus soda pop and one of the most interesting facts about the lack of water was that it is the number one trigger of daytime fatigue. As we enter the longer, colder months, our bodies tend to want to slow down and lethargy is more prevalent – drinking a few glasses of water easily rectifies that. Plus it helps you flush toxins and curb hunger pangs.

4. Get a Good Nights Sleep

Get a Good Night's Sleep

As the nights get longer our bodies respond by desiring a bit more shut-eye. Although our bodies require between seven and nine hours of sleep a night, there are many sleep problems that are preventing some of us from getting that. The good news is there are easy things you can do to ensure a good night’s rest. In this post, we list seven tricks but the most important is to make your bedroom a work-free and gadget-free zone. Leave all electronic devices outside the bedroom and enjoy some shut-eye unhampered by bells, lights, and agendas.

5. Go For a Soak

Go for a Soak

This one is easy, especially as the colder months set in: find yourself a bathtub, hot tub or hot spring and just lie there. That’s it. There are many therapeutic benefits to a good soak but the main one is relaxation; the power of de-stressing is not to be underestimated, especially because balanced hormones lead to balanced health.

6. Get Massaged

Massage

As with #5, this one isn’t that difficult either. There are reasons most cultures on earth have offered some form of massage for thousands of years: not only is it relaxing, it’s also good for your health. In fact, an evening massage is one of the best ways to relax after the day’s activities. It will help prepare you for a restful night’s sleep.

7. Enlist the Help of a Friend

Enlist the help of a friend

In another blog post we listed seven reasons why you should work out with a friend and these apply that much more in the cooler months when it’s easy for us to justify sitting in front of the TV under a blanket instead of getting up and moving. A friend will help keep you accountable but will also make fitness that much more fun.

8. Exercise – Even Just a Little

Exercise

It goes without saying that we here at Mountain Trek are big fans of exercise, no matter what time of year it is. We also appreciate, however, that when the cooler weather sets in, it can be harder to get motivated. That’s why we’ve compiled some tips to help beat sedentarism some of which are as easy as doing stretches in your office doorway. Remember, though, that to keep your metabolism up and your weight down, your body has to move for at least 40 minutes a day, even if it’s just a brisk walk around the block.

9. Show Yourself Some Love

Show Yourself Some Love

There are many ways to pamper yourself but the best is to do something you enjoy. It seems like such a simple thing and yet many of us work so hard, by the end of the day we only have energy to sit in front of the TV. Take time in the coming months to do something that recharges your batteries: read a good book by the fire, indulge in a hobby or attend a class. You’ll find you’ll be happier and have more energy to face the cooler weather and shorter days.

10. Book a Stay with Mountain Trek

Book your stay at Mountain Trek

The best way to pamper yourself is to dedicate a vacation to you and your health. Join us in autumn at our gorgeous lodge in British Columbia where you’ll enjoy the pristine mountains and hang out with like-minded friends by the fire, in the natural hot springs, or in our spa.

Related Article: Beating the Winter Blues

Where Do I get my Vitamin D?

When UV rays from sunlight touch the skin, this triggers Vitamin D synthesis. But when sun exposure is at a minimum during the winter months, we can turn to diet to help with our vitamin D intake. Unfortunately, very few foods are high in Vitamin D naturally, and so it is not possible to get all the Vitamin D you need from diet alone. In conjunction with a high-quality multi-vitamin, here are some of the best food sources of Vitamin D:

  • Fatty fish: So very nutritious for you for so many reasons, fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, and even seafood such as oysters, contain some of the highest concentrations of Vitamin D in food.
  • Eggs: Not only high in protein and so many other nutrients (Vitamin B12), the sunshine yellow of egg yolks do contain a hearty helping of Vitamin D.
  • Beef liver: Not everyone’s favorite, but when mom said ‘eat up!’ to those liver and onions, she knew what she was talking about as far as Vitamin D’s concerned.
  • Mushrooms: Certain varieties of mushrooms, like white button, can provide Vitamin D among other nutrients (Vitamin B5) when lightly cooked.

Many foods are fortified with Vitamin D for the simple reason that we don’t get enough in our diet, or in general. Almost all milk (and baby formula) in the U.S. and Canada is fortified with Vitamin D as are some orange juices, soy products, and cereals. But please use caution and check labels, as many of these products can contain refined sugars, hydrogenated oils, and other undesirables.

What About Sunny Vacations?

Sunny Vacations

Who doesn’t enjoy a relaxing trip to a more sunny clime during the cooler fall and winter months? It’s important, though, to moderate your solar intake while on vacation. So many of us rush to the beach and neglect proper sun care in the quest for the perfect tan. This is definitely more harmful than not having any sun at all. Instead, stay out of the sun when it’s at its peak or cover up with loose-fitting, SPF-rated clothing, hat, and sunglasses.


What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning health retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you detox, unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at info@mountaintrek.com or reach out below:

Mountain Trek featured in Canada’s Largest Newspaper

globeandmail mt image

Mountain 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-kilometer Kootenay Lake. There are gardens and wildflowers, mountains and blue skies. Meals are local, organic, plated – and most 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 traveling 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.


What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning health retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you detox, unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at info@mountaintrek.com or reach out below:

Lotus Prawn Vermicelli

Notes
[b]Sauce:[/b][br]Tbs. almond butter[br]¼ tsp. toasted sesame oil[br]large clove garlic[br]¾ Tbs. dried ginger[br]½ Tbs. honey[br]Tbs. lightly packed cilantro[br]½ tsp. lime juice[br]¾ tsp. Chinese hot sauce – watch how hot this stuff is – (different brands)[br]Tbs. tamari[br]½ Tbs. miso[br]½ Tbs. rice wine vinegar[br]Water to thin[br]Blend until smooth, pour into sauce pan and warm gently. Pour over noodles, veggies and prawns and top with toppings.[br][br][br][b]Toppings[/b][br]Roasted Cashews chopped fine (1 tsp. per person)[br]Garnish with chopped fresh mint and cilantro[br]Finely chopped green onions[br][br][br][b]Portions:[/b][br][br] ¼ c. cooked bean thread & 1 ½ c. vegetables per person [br]Women – 4 prawns & 1 ½ Tbs. Sauce, Men – 5 prawns & 2 Tbs. Sauce

 

Your Metabolism: How to make it work for you to get fit and lose weight

Metabolism: Make it work for you.Last week, inspired by the controversy surrounding the latest winner of the reality TV show, ‘The Biggest Loser’, we had a look at healthy weight loss and what it means to shed the pounds in a sustainable, healthy way. In the weight loss world, we often hear of metabolism, how it affects our bodies and our weight, and how we can give it a ‘boost’. But what exactly is metabolism? How does it work, and how can we make it work for us when getting fit and losing weight?

Metabolism is the rate at which your body uses energy, or, burns calories. It is an endless, two-part cycle of anabolism (when energy is created and stored) and catabolism (when energy is used or released). This process is directly dependent on our endocrine system, or hormones. Simply put, if our hormones are at all out of balance, then so too will be our metabolism, meaning the rate at which our body uses calories is not optimized.

In addition to considering our hormonal balance (which controls a lot more in our bodies than just our metabolism; like cell and tissue growth, mood regulation, etc.), there are other key factors to consider when considering our weight. Although metabolism does have the major role of serving our body’s energy needs, our weight is based predominantly on calories consumed and physical activity. If you consume more ‘energy’ than you expend, you will hang on to some of that energy in the form of excess weight. Keeping this in mind, and supposing we are doing our best to output more energy (exercise) than we are inputting (calories), what can we do make sure that the calorie-burning going on inside of us is optimized? How can we make sure our metabolism is running at its very best?

Eat regularly, and consume 2/3 of your calories in the first 9 hours of your day. If you skip meals or intensely reduce calories, your body’s metabolism slows way down, and your body hangs onto those calories to fuel basic functions.
Strength training: More muscles = faster metabolism! Muscle burns calories more efficiently than fat; the more muscle you have in relation to your body fat, the higher your metabolism will be. So integrate the weights or resistance training.
Good nights: Lack of sleep over a prolonged period (‘sleep debt’) can seriously alter our hormonal balance, which in turn can negatively affect our metabolism. Aiming to get 7-8 hours of truly restful sleep will promote hormonal balance, along with all the other benefits of getting a good night’s rest!
Stress: Cortisol, the stress hormone, can wreak havoc on our hormonal balance when our stress is not kept in check. Engaging regularly in relaxing activities like massage, meditation, walking in nature, even simple deep breathing, will not only help your state of mind, but your hormonal balance as well.

Keep in mind too that our metabolism, like many aspects of aging, slows down, which helps to explain why many people in their 40s and 50s notice that they are unable to lose weight like they were in years past. To maintain weight as we age, we need fewer calories than we did as spring chickens.

In addition to these tips, Dr. Edward Geehr, M.D. and writer for Lifescript.com, has summarized all the tips he learned at Mountain Trek on how to boost your metabolism. And of course, there is always the option of trying all these tips for yourself, in a metabolism reboot at Mountain Trek!

No matter what our age, exercise (both aerobic and strength training), nutrition, and engaging in healthy hormone balancing habits are the keys to losing weight, feeling fit and living with vitality!

Holiday Health and Fitness Challenge: a wholesome head start for 2014

[portfolio_slideshow id=6078] A hearty congratulations are in order to us all. We made it through the toughest, most temptation-filled, overindulgent part of the holidays!

Sure, there’s still one more epic night of jubilation, but New Year’s Eve is less about stuffing ourselves with delicious food, and more about celebrating (with possibly one-too-many drinks) what was hopefully a healthy, happy and bountiful 2013, while wishing the best to each other for the year ahead.

As we start thinking about our resolutions for 2014–whether it’s quitting smoking, eating healthier, exercising more, or a host of other healthy lifestyle improvements–now is a good time to also start taking the initial steps towards achieving those resolutions. Why wait until January 2nd to reboot a healthy lifestyle?

Whether you’re still scuttling between the final few office parties and family gatherings, or you’re on a sun-filled vacation, Mountain Trek has come up with a manageable way to reset your perspective and kick start a fresh, healthier you.

Join us for our Holiday Health and Fitness Challenge– seven days of effective tasks to improve your overall health. Complete the challenge and we think you’ll find that sticking to your New Year’s resolutions will be that much easier.

We’d love to hear about your experience during the Holiday Health and Fitness Challenge. Keep us posted on your progress, the hurdles that you face and how you feel at the end. Good luck!

December 29, 2013: 
Day One: CORE

Challenge: We start our challenge by focusing on our core. Functional movements are highly dependent on the core, and lack of core development can result in a predisposition to injury. The major muscles of the core reside in the area of the belly and the mid and lower back, and peripherally include the hips, the shoulders and the neck.

Task: There are many core-strengthening exercises you can do, from knee fold tucks, to ball routines, to plank exercises. Find a few that you feel comfortable with and try them out at some point today.

December 30, 2013: 
Day Two: DETOX

Challenge: Our lifestyles put our bodies to the test. Rising stress levels, lack of exercise, constipation, poor diet and poor lifestyle choices – not to mention the ever-increasing levels of toxins in our environment – push our bodies to their limits. While it’s impossible to avoid toxins completely, it’s important to support your body so it can get rid of them.

Task: Today we challenge you to an infrared sauna. An infrared sauna uses infrared heaters to emit infrared light experienced as radiant heat, which is absorbed by the surface of the skin. Taking a 20-minute infrared sauna is a great way to sweat out toxins, with a side benefit of weight loss.

December 31, 2013:
Day Three: NUTRITION

Challenge: Today we want you to eat breakfast. And not only that, we want you to eat breakfast within a half hour of waking up. So many of us skip breakfast altogether. Not today. Eating breakfast kick starts our metabolism, supports our circadian rhythms and keeps our livers from initiating the “famine” response.

Task: Make yourself a fruit and veggie smoothie (or prepare it the night before and keep it in the fridge), enjoy a bowl of muesli, scrambled eggs, or broccoli and smoked cheese frittata in the morning. Whatever your choice try and include equal volumes of complex carbohydrates, protein, vegetables or fruit, as well as a teaspoon of omega oil.

January 1st, 2014:
Day Four: SLEEP

Challenge: This one shouldn’t be too much of a challenge, especially if you’ve been up celebrating the night before.
As an adult, our being needs between 7.5 and 9 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period, in order to maintain a healthy, growth-centered metabolism.

Task: The challenge on this night is to go to bed early (get cozy in bed between 9 and 10pm) and sleep relatively undisturbed for 7 to 9 hours.
If, like so many of us, you spend too many hours on your computer, download justgetflux.com. During the day, computer screens look good—they’re designed to look like the sun. But, at 9PM, 10PM, or 3AM, you probably shouldn’t be looking at the sun. The f.lux software fixes this: it makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.

Have a good night…

January 2nd, 2014
Day Five: STRESS

Challenge: For some of us, today’s challenge may be the toughest… a gadgetry detox. Try one full day without a technological gadget or social media platform that usually has you so absorbed in it that you feel a sense of panic when that thing is temporarily taken a way from you.

Always being available to answer an email or take a call from someone at work has made our workdays 10 to 14 hours long (in some cases longer).

Task: Just for today, turn it all off! Your heart rate just went up didn’t it? You’ll be okay.

If it’s absolutely not possible to turn it all off, try one gadget at a time. Turn off your cell phone, or try no emailing, or no television, or no Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. And substitute the dopamine fix that you usually get from the gadgets, with a healthy dopamine boost. Shut your cell off, go for a hike. Substitute a no-social-media-day with a day of visiting friends and family. Turn it all off and fill your day with yoga, meditation, and healthy cooking.

 January 3rd, 2014
Day Six: WILLPOWER

Challenge: Admittedly, if you successfully went through a gadget detox the day before, then your willpower is on the right track. But now it’s time to strengthen it even more, because today is the day you engage one of your resolutions for 2014.

Task: Pick a healthy habit and embrace it. Today is the day you start yoga classes, or begin healthy cooking classes, or reconnect with an estranged loved one, start writing that novel you’ve always wanted or find some way to love yourself a little more every day. Whatever it is, seize the day with open arms, open mind and open heart.

January 4th, 2014
Day Seven: NATURE

Challenge: Has it been a while since you’ve explored and enjoyed the great outdoors?  On this, the final day of our Heath and Fitness Challenge, we urge you to get outside and play. We don’t need science to tell us that doing some form of healthy activity outdoors is good for the soul.

Task: Take your dog for a long walk along the beach, go for a hike with your son, snowshoe with your daughters, cross-country ski with an old friend, swim in the ocean with your spouse, stroll through the neighbourhood with your grandchild, or ride bikes with your mom. Whatever it is, get out there, breath the fresh air and be thankful that you’ve made it another year!

Once again, let us know how you do, we’d love to hear from you and good luck!

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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