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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.

Men’s Health Features Mountain Trek

Men's Health Feature's Mountain Trek

Men's Health, one of the most popular men's magazines and fitness websites in North America, recently featured Mountain Trek in an article entitled "The 7 Best Vacations For Your Body." The story describes the "science-based program" and then quotes Brandon Mentore, an ACE-certified personal trainer, saying Mountain Trek offers everything you could want in a health and wellness retreat.

"The 7 Best Vacations For Your Body" article was recently published on MensHealth.com along with six other world-renowed health resorts. And of Mountain Trek, Mentore says, "Mountain Trek has one of the best balances of all the things you would look for in a health and wellness retreat. You’re not left to rough it out by yourself."

The writer of the article, Paige Smith, goes on to say:

"The program manages to feel both like a spa vacation and structured workout camp, but beyond that…the service and support provided by the staff helps you stay on motivated and on track."

To read Paige's article in its entirety, log on to: menshealth.com/health/healthy-vacations

Whether you're a male or a female who's interested in improving your own health, 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!

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Easy Ways to Digital Detox

Easy Tips for Digital Detox

"Digital detox" is a buzz phrase we're hearing more of lately but what exactly is it and why should we do it? After all, isn't technology meant to improve our lives, helping us keep more connected and freeing up time so we can concentrate on other things?

It's true technology has vastly improved certain aspects or our day-to-day but our relationship to digital devices is changing at a rapid pace and it's important to notice the specific impacts on your life. And to do this, we need to take a step back and discuss toxins, detoxifying and the role of digital media and devices in all of this.

What is Toxic Load? 

A toxin isn't just a form of poison that enters your body. Toxic load can also be mental or emotional. It is the result of stagnation through repetition. When there is a build-up of patterns that block energy, we become inflamed and constricted – we lose the natural flow state of expansion and contraction. This could be the increasing pattern of attention span interruption or multi-tasking at work, due to the constant repetitive information signals to our brain from our digital devices. It could be the build up of bio-waste and chemical compounds in our body due to the repetitive sitting we do, which limits circulation and elimination. Even our social world can become stagnant if we are not going deeper than social media for our heartfelt interactions.

Why is Detoxifying Important?

Detoxifying is the process of supporting a flow state in our whole being. When we take a break from ongoing patterns and habits, we recalibrate and become "lighter of being." Our mind, body and emotional states are interconnected. By taking a break from incessant incoming info bites, not only does our mind get a break from vigilance, but our stress hormone Cortisol gets a chance to lower, which in turn supports sleep, appetite and energy levels. When we move our body (ideally 10,000 steps a day), our circulation, lymph drainage and elimination organs (liver, kidney's, intestines, lungs and sweat glands) release waste and unhealthy chemicals. And on an emotional level, having an intimate conversation with someone we trust allows the weight of our concerns to be released.

What's the Best Way to Digital Detox?

Digital detox goes beyond just spending less time in front of your iPad, phone or computer. There are other aspects that can be incorporated to ensure a full detox experience. Here are three easy ways to do it: 

  1. Electronic Devices: Shut all electronics down one hour before bed. This will allow your Cortisol to drop and will support better sleep. Take that hour to do some restorative yoga, have an Epsom salt bath, or give and receive a massage, all of which aid in toxin release and deep regenerative sleep.
  2. Move More: It's not enough to be away from your devices for awhile and then just sit there waiting for the chance to check them again. Get up! Dance, walk, skate, swim. Keep the blood pumping, Breath deep. All of this will help your elimination system, decrease inflammation and increase a flow state.
  3. Eat Veggies: It may seem odd to mention food when discussing digital detox but the fact is by eating more vegetables, which contain more fiber and antioxidants, you're helping your elimination system and supporting a lean and clean body. In other words, the more veggies you eat, the more you'll want to move around, meet friends in person, get outside, and generally enjoy a fuller life.

Of course, the best way to digital detox is to take a break from your day-to-day life and immerse yourself in nature. Click here to learn more about how Mountain Trek supports digital detox through its program. 

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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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Spafinder Names Mountain Trek Best In Canada

Mountain Trek wins SpaFinder Wellness Travel Awards

We're excited to announce Mountain Trek has been named "Best in Canada" in Spafinder's 2016 Global Wellness Travel Awards.

Recently Spafinder announced the results of its 3rd annual WTA awards, which recognize hotels, resorts, destination spas and retreats offering the best wellness vacations and experiences on six continents and in 41 countries. This year, 388 finalists competed for top honors, and consumers cast over 130,000 ballots for their favourite properties, more than twice as many as last year. Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat and Health Spa was recognized as the best health retreat in Canada and was also named #1 in the following categories for Canada:

  • Best for fitness
  • Best for nutrition & healthy cuisine
  • Best for outdoor adventure and activities
  • Best weight-loss program
  • Best for going solo

“This has been a record-setting year for Mountain Trek in terms of the number of awards we've received, which means the benefits of our program and our lodge's incredible setting is truly being recognized," says Program Director Kirkland Shave. “And to be named Best in Canada by Spafinder is such an honour. We pride ourselves that we're a Canadian retreat located in one of the most beautiful areas of the country."

One of the reasons Mountain Trek received the award is because it's a boutique luxury fitness retreat and health spa program that guarantees results for its guests. The dynamic boot-camp-style retreat helps people of all fitness levels literally change their lives while immersed in the breathtaking beauty of British Columbia.

To read the news about the Spafinder awards in its entirety, click here. And to book a stay at Mountain Trek (and enjoy the amenities that only our all-inclusive resort can offer) call Michelle today or visit our "Book Now" page.

Delta Sky Magazine Features Mountain Trek

Delta Sky Magazine

Delta Airline's popular inflight magazine Sky has featured Mountain Trek in its most recent issue. Called "Getting Back on Track," the article describes writer Susan B Barnes's experience attending a one-week fitness program at Mountain Trek's lodge near beautiful Nelson, British Columbia, and how she got the "reset she needs."

The story appears in the September 2016 issue of the monthly Sky magazine that's published by Delta, which flies into Spokane, the closest US airport to Mountain Trek. (A free airport shuttle is provided for guests arriving by air.) In the article Susan mentions why she decided to enrol in the program in the first place: "After months of indulging much to much while traveling, I had made the decision to get my fitness and eating routines back on track and was confident that the Mountain Trek program – the only mountain-based hiking, fitness and weight loss program in North America–would whip me into shape." 

Most of our time during the weeklong stay was spent on the nearby hiking trails, some of which took us into provincial parks and all of which presented challenges over the three- and four-hour-long daily hikes. The scenery was stunning— secluded forests, creeks carving through rock formations hundreds of feet below, glacial-fed lakes—but the hiking was intense and we didn’t linger to admire the sights. After all, we were there to work—hard. " 

Susan goes on to say that "At the end of my week, I felt stronger and healthier than I had in quite a while. My cardio stamina increased. I was happy, well-rested and invigorated. And, as a bonus, I lost eight pounds."

To read Susan's article in its entirety, download the PDF of it here: Delta-Sky-Mountain-Trek-article

Whether you're a resident of BC or a visitor, 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!

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7 Tips to Help You Sleep Better

Sleep. It’s Not Just a Guilty PleasureEdit Entry

There are few things that feel better than getting a good night’s sleep. And few things worse than lying in bed with insomnia when we have an early meeting the next day. In fact, as we get older, getting deep, restful sleeps begins to take priority over a night out of socializing.

There’s a good reason for this. Not the passive state many people once considered it to be, sleep is now known to be a highly active process during which the day’s events are processed and energy is restored.

Sleep is an integral factor in living a well-balanced, healthy life full of vitality. Most studies show that the average human needs between 7 and 9 hours. And science is increasingly showing us that sleep deprivation and poor sleeping habits affect both our body’s AND our brain’s ability to function properly. You want to function at peak capacity? You want your memory to serve you? You want your sex life to be full of vitality? Then sleep better! Below is a list of common sleep problems and ways to fix them and sleep better. At Mountain Trek we call these tips "Insomnia Busters" and they're part of the lecture on sleep we offer during our week-long health and fitness programs.

Common Sleep Problems

Snoring: Weight is usually the main cause of snoring so shedding excess fat around the neck will stop extra pressure being put on the airways.

Sleep Apnea: Apnea is caused by the same muscles that cause snoring. It occurs when the muscles of the soft palate at the base of the tongue and the uvula (the small fleshy piece of tissue hanging back of the throat) relax, partially blocking the opening of the airway. However, sleep apnea is more dangerous than snoring in that it alters normal breathing patterns.

Insomnia: A prolonged and usually abnormal inability to obtain adequate, uninterrupted sleep. Symptoms may include having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up too early in the morning, feeling unrefreshed. The consequences are unpleasant, leaving sufferers feeling exhausted, irritable and unable to concentrate on simple tasks.

Restless Leg Syndrome: a tingling, itching sensation and unexplained aches and pains in the lower limbs.

A recent study in the journal Sleep shows that one night of sleep deprivation is associated with signs of brain tissue loss.

In addition, a brain imaging study from the University of California, Berkeley, showed that a night of sleep deprivation affected the brain’s decision-making and reward areas, and also led to study participants craving higher-calorie foods. Writing in the journal Science, University of Rochester scientist Maiken Nedergaard describes how during sleep, cerebral spinal fluid is pumped around the brain, flushing out waste products like a biological dishwasher. She believes that this cleaning process is more active during sleep because it takes too much energy to pump fluid around the brain when we’re awake.

Natural Ways To Sleep Better

Develop a routine: Regularly go to bed early (9 or 10 pm) and get up 8 hours later (even on weekends). This helps set your internal sleep-wake clock and reduces the amount of tossing and turning required to fall asleep. It also helps counteract the affects of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Exercise: Doing some form of aerobic exercise 3 to 5 times a week will improve your sleep. But make sure you do your exercise several hours before bedtime so you’re not revved up.

Change your diet: Cut out food and drinks that contain caffeine—such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, and chocolate—by late afternoon. Make dinner your lightest meal and finish it a few hours before bedtime. Skip spicy or heavy foods, which can keep you awake with heartburn or indigestion. Eat magnesium-rich foods like fish, nuts, seeds and leafy greens.

Cut out the nightcaps: Alcohol disrupts the pattern of sleep and brainwaves that help you feel refreshed in the morning.

Turn down the heat: A temperate room gets you a better sleep than a tropical one, we recommend keeping the room tempature at 65°F or 18°C. Striking a balance between the thermostat, your blanket, and your sleeping attire will reduce your core body temperature and help you drift off to sleep.

Make your bed a No-Work-Zone: Your bed is for sleep and sex—not work, food, or TV. If you wake up during the night, skip turning on your computer or TV and do something soothing like meditating or reading until you feel sleepy again.

Cut out the gadgetry: Turn off your TV, computer, phone, iPad, and video game at least an hour before bedtime. Light from these devices stimulates the brain, making it harder to wind down for sleep. You can also download the free software F.lux to your various devices and it makes the colour of your computer's display adapt to the time of day: warm at night and like sunlight during the day. Here's an excerpt from Mountain Trek guide Simon Shave's lecture about sleep health at our BC Lodge.

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You Deserve To Reward Yourself – Seriously

Reward yourself

In our modern-day society it can be seen as selfish to reward yourself and yet this action is crucial to helping build healthy habits. To achieve your long-term wellness goals, it's imperative you treat yourself regularly. In fact, the behavioural psychologist we had help us build Mountain Trek's new Habits To Health app says we should all be rewarding ourselves at least once a week because, after all, we deserve it! 

Life isn't supposed to be all work and no play. At Mountain Trek we encourage everyone to let loose occasionally otherwise our day-to-day can become too stressful. Have that glass of wine on a Saturday night. Treat yourself to that 90-minute massage. As long as you ensure your "rewards" don't become unhealthy habits then indulge! In fact, we believe that as hard as you’re working to accomplish your health goals, it’s just as important to be rewarding yourself for your effort to do your best.

Treating yourself is important – even if you don’t achieve your health goals right away. The reason this is true is because we aren’t treating ourselves for having succeeded, we’re treating ourselves for the good intentions to do our best, even if it sometimes means we fail.
Building a new habit or breaking a bad habit can be hard. That’s why it’s important to keep perspective and to give yourself a little treat, a kind of pat on the back if you will, just for staying the course.

Rewards can be anything positive, as long as they don’t involve sweet or salty indulgences. Here are a few of our favorite types of rewards, but the sky's the limit!  

  • Get a massage
  • Visit a museum
  • Sleep in on Sunday
  • Treat yourself to a manicure or pedicure
  • Make a wildflower bouquet for yourself
  • Indulge in a hot bath with Epsom salts and essential oils
  • Attend a local art exhibition
  • Take a class in something you've always wanted to try

For more ideas and to learn how to incorporate rewards into an overall health and wellness strategy, be sure to download Mountain Trek’s Habits to Health app.

Download App

 

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Insomnia Busters – How To Sleep Better

Insomnia busters for better sleep

There are few things that feel better than getting a good night’s sleep. And few things worse than lying in bed with insomnia. At the Mountain Trek Health & Fitness retreat we spend time talking about the importance of sleep for every aspect of our lives – how it affects our belly fat to how it impacts our metabolism. In the copy and videos below, program director Kirkland Shave offers a small sampling of our “Insomnia Busters” lecture, which gives you tips for sleeping better.

As we get older, getting deep, restful sleeps begins to take priority over a night out of socializing and there’s a good reason for this. Not the passive state many people once considered it to be, sleep is now known to be a highly active process during which the day’s events are processed and energy is restored.

Sleep is an integral factor in living a well-balanced, healthy life full of vitality. Most studies show that the average human needs between 7 and 9 hours. And science is increasingly showing us that sleep deprivation and poor sleeping habits affect both our body’s AND our brain’s ability to function properly. You want to function at peak capacity? You want your memory to serve you? You want to lose belly fat? You want your sex life to be full of vitality? Then sleep better! Here are three videos that describe exactly how to sleep better.

How to Sleep Better Around Electronics

In this video Kirkland discusses electronics and their impact on us, especially right before bedtime. It’s only been in the past 30 years we’ve been using personal computers, cellphones and other devices with displays that feature the white-blue colour spectrum. This light is similar to the daytime sky and by staring at them, our cortisol remains high. When the sun sets the colour spectrum changes to red/orange and our melatonin is prepared for release but by staring at our devices, our brains and our bodies are not ready for sleep.

How To Sleep Better Through Diet

Our diet is also related to Insomnia Busters. So often we see advertisements claiming that how to lose belly fat is simple because you can lose weight while you sleep. If that were truly the case, then we’d all just be sleeping and shedding off pounds. But we’re not. If we want to counteract weight gain and lose belly fat, then we want to examine what our diets are right before bed. If we are eating late at night, we’re keeping our bodies in the process of digestion and not letting our stomach, liver, pancreas and all the other digestive organs rest, which they need at the beginning of the night. So try to cut back on your food intake and try not to snack in the evenings because unless you’re going to be active, you’re just going to store that food anyway. And that is definitely not how to lose belly fat.

Another thing that affects our sleep is alcohol. As much as it’s delicious with a meal, it can impact our bodies negatively if consumed on its own and before bed. Firstly, alcohol is a muscle relaxant so it causes many people to snore. Secondly, the liver converts alcohol into acetate, which is a form of vinegar, and that process will disrupt our sleep about 2-3 hours in. Also, many people may not know this but all alcohol has calories (even the hard stuff) so, the more you consume, the more belly fat you have, unless you’re working out right before bed to counteract the weight gain.

Finally, let’s talk about caffeine. For about a third of the population, caffeine is a cortisol stimulant. (Cortisol is the hormone that awakens us.) We don’t want to increase cortisol in the evening because it will override the sleep beckoning hormone melatonin.

The last section of this “Insomnia Buster” mini-lecture discusses stress. To help with insomnia we have to do something about managing stress. Relentless stress day after day causes our hormone Cortisol to stay elevated and Cortisol will always override our sleep hormone – Melatonin. Some of our stress is a result of organizational thinking. Trying to remember what’s on your plate the next day – picking up the kids, getting to the board meeting on time, dinner party with the in-laws. All that’s orbiting around in your brain before bed and you’re not going to allow the unconscious part of your brain to drop until you deal with it. So get out your day timer or your phone and plug those things into your calendar and then your unconscious brain can let go of all those things orbiting around.

The other form of stressful thought is concern about our own self or others – it’s more of an emotional form of thinking. These too need to be released from the unconscious part of the brain through typing or writing in a journal. It may sound silly but the act allows our unconscious brain to let go of its vigilance and then cortisol will drop. You can empty your mind and allow Melatonin to seduce you into sleep.

For more about Insomnia Busters, read our “7 Tips to Help You Sleep Better” article. And to book a stay at Mountain Trek and enjoy deep, restful sleeps at our luxurious lodge, call 1-800-661-5161.

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