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Mountain Trek’s Weight Loss Tips Shared With Best Health Magazine

best health mag

Freelance writer Trish Snyder visited Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat and Health Resort in summer 2013 and her story appeared this week on Best Health Magazine, a health-specific publication launched by Reader’s Digest.

Mountain Trek “has all the trappings of a luxury wellness retreat,” Trish writes. “At the rustic lodge overlooking Kootenay Lake, guests dine on organic cuisine, detox in saunas and enjoy three weekly massages at the only hiking spa in North America…thanks to classes in sleep, diet, exercise and stress, guests learn simple formulas to take their newfound vitality home.”

Trish goes on to describe some of Mountain Trek’s best weight-loss tips including: “Eating breakfast within 30 minutes of rising kick-starts your metabolism and keeps the liver out of starvation mode. When you skip meals, the body responds by slowing down the metabolism and storing fat.”

Click here to read Trish’s entire story on Best Health Magazine.


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:

Q&A with client Markeeta Brown

The Mountain Trek crew from this past May. Markeeta is front and centre in the black jacket

The Mountain Trek crew from this past May. Markeeta is front and centre in the black jacket

Welcome to the fourth installment of our Q&A series, which features guests who have visited Mountain Trek. Each person came to our fitness retreat and health spa for their own reasons and they all had different experiences. In this piece we speak with Markeeta Brown, a resident of Dallas, Texas, who works in real estate. She’s visited Mountain Trek’s BC lodge every year since 2010 as well as joined us for our programs at Rancho La Puerta in California. Markeeta says she’s been making the journey to Mountain Trek the past three years because it’s helped her work around a number of life changes she’s been going through recently. Here is Markeeta’s story.

Hi Markeeta. Thank you so much for speaking with us today. Firstly, how did you find out about Mountain Trek?

I’ve been going to Rancho La Puerta (RLP) off and on for about 30 years. It was kind of my summer camp but after I made the decision to separate from my husband I knew I had to go to the ranch and do some extended hiking. I went for two weeks in November 2010 and did the Mountain Trek program. I loved its structure and since then I’ve returned three times to the BC lodge and three times to Rancho.

Tell us about your expectations?

BC is a different type of hiking than the milder terrain at RLP but Mountain Trek’s overall program at both places is the same. I know I’ll always go home with much more energy and focus. The thing that keeps drawing me back is it’s a challenge but it’s not overwhelming or stressful. The after-effects are much more lasting that anything I can do on my own. I also like that (head guide) Kirkland emphasizes to try and take on only two new habits when we return home to keep things manageable, rather than try and alter everything about our lives. It’s a challenge but it’s doable.

What are some of the highlights of your time at Mountain Trek?

Anybody who attends Mountain Trek will take home about 18 things you can do to supercharge your energy. But the program emphasizes that you only concentrate on two things and overlay those good habits over your bad ones. For me it was about only eating three meals and two snacks max a day and doing cardio a minimum of four times a week.

RLP Group, Nov. 10-17

The Mountain Trek program at Rancho La Puerta last November. Markeeta is on the far right.

What’s a lowlight from your experiences at Mountain Trek?

They seem to be putting a lot more emphasis on using foam rollers in the stretch class and that’s challenging for me. (laughs) But between the yoga and stretching in the morning and the massages in the evening I don’t experience a lot of physical discomfort.

What’s it like every time you return home after visiting Mountain Trek?

People notice. They say, “Wow you look great and you must feel great.” And I do. I think it’s important though to clear the deck a week or two after you return. You need to come home with a plan and have a bit of time when your life isn’t totally crazy so you can incorporate some of the things you’ve learned.

So what draws you back to Mountain Trek every year?

Lately I’ve had one major life challenge after another and Mountain Trek allows me to focus – it gives me a better chance to continue with my momentum. Plus I like being active and I like the feeling I get when my metabolism is running at the rate of someone who is much younger.

What would be your advice to someone who is thinking about coming to Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek plays a really key role in getting through your life challenges: whether it’s dying parents, caring for elderly relatives, divorce…all that together can be so stressful and Mountain Trek gives you a way to fight some of the physical and emotional damage and helps you keep your head straight. Because, ultimately, it doesn’t matter how well you do when your life is going swimmingly; it’s how you do when challenges are thrown at you. You have to have a plan to go through those periods of your life and Kirkland and Cathy and the Mountain Trek program definitely helps with that.

Anything else you want to tell our readers about the Mountain Trek experience?

To me there’s no better self-intervention than taking yourself to Mountain Trek. It’s absolutely worth the money, especially when you take to heart what Kirkland says and when you land on the tarmac at home you can incorporate a simple plan to make it all work out.

Q&A with Client Phil Lanni

Phil Lanni_group in Peru

The group on the trip to Machu Picchu, Peru, last Spring. Phil Lanni is the second from left.

Welcome to the second installment of our Q&A series, which features guests who have visited Mountain Trek. Each person came to our fitness retreat for their own reasons and they all had different experiences. Last time we spoke with Debra Fordham, who’s visit to Mountain Trek last year was the catalyst for a 70-pound weight loss. In this piece we speak with Philip Lanni, a business owner living near Toronto, Ontario, who is “three-quarters retired” he says. He’s visited Mountain Trek every year since 2002 and he’s also joined us on a few of our global adventures including the hike to Everest base camp and this year’s trek to Macchu Piccu. Phil makes the journey to Mountain Trek every year because, “I like the adrenaline of pushing myself.” Pretty inspiring for a man who’s celebrating his 65th birthday this year. Here is Phil’s story.

Hi Phil. Thank you so much for agreeing to speak with us. Firstly, how did you find out about Mountain Trek?

On the internet. I’d done a lot of hiking before in the States but I wanted to find something in Canada. That was in 2002. And I’ve been coming back every year since. I brought my wife a few times and my kids. I also brought along my brother and my brother-in-law because they were both experiencing some health issues at the time. They all got something out of their visit.

Tell us about your expectations?

When I was 35, I smoked 70 cigarettes a day and was around 275 pounds. I had three small kids then and I knew I had to make some changes. I started eating better, walking and doing more healthy things and eventually got down to 230 pounds on my own. That was 30 years ago and since then I’ve attended many different resorts but they’re not in the same league as Mountain Trek in terms of what you get for you money…it may be a bit more expensive than other retreats but you really do get what you pay for.

What are some of the highlights of your time at Mountain Trek?

I like the adrenaline of pushing myself to the point where I feel I just can’t go any further – and then I do. I love that I’m competing against myself rather than anyone else. I find that really invigorating. To be able to do that in the kind of scenery Mountain Trek is located in, well, you just can’t replace it. Another highlight is the staff. They’re so great because they live the life. They walk the talk, which makes the program a lot easier to accept because they’re living proof that it works. And finally, I never did yoga before and Mountain Trek got me into it, which is great. I find as you get older, yoga definitely helps you to be more flexible.

What’s a “lowlight” from your experiences at Mountain Trek?

I once sprained my foot and wasn’t able to participate in the rest of the hikes that week. But even though I couldn’t go hiking I still managed to lose seven pounds just eating the food!

Phil Lanni 2_ group in Peru

Phil and the crew in Peru

For me Mountain Trek is just a continuation of my routine. I do two hours of exercise a day to stay healthy. Then, I’ll go to the lodge and maybe I’ll lose five or six pounds (the same I lose every time) but it’s just part of my routine now. I probably eat a little more when I come home because of going out to restaurants and things.

So what draws you back to Mountain Trek every year, Phil?

Again, it’s just part of my routine. I use it as a basis to steer my life in the right direction. Going to Mountain Trek helps me maintain a weight of around 200 pounds and 18% body fat. (Ed note: According to the Jackson & Pollock Body Fat Percentage Chart, 20% body fat is “ideal” for someone over 56 years of age. Phil is exceeding that.)

What would be your advice to someone who is thinking about coming to Mountain Trek?

Be prepared to get rid of your inhibitions. Some people say, “Oh I won’t be able to keep up with the rest” but it’s not about that. You’re not competing against anyone but yourself. It’s all about getting rid of your demons…It’s about your total health, not just weight loss.

Anything else you want to tell our readers about the Mountain Trek experience?

The yoga instructors, coaches and guides, they’re all excellent. And the quality of food is very good. I never get hungry when I’m there!

 

CNN features Mountain Trek

CNN travel

It seems the biggest of the big media corporations in the U.S. are taking an interest in Mountain Trek lately.

First there was Kirkland Shave’s presentation at Google headquarters in New York City  a month ago. In it the head guide at Mountain Trek spoke about the “Muffin Top” and how modern lifestyle plays a big factor in weight loss.

Then Atlanta-based CNN posted an article about how Mountain Trek is one of the best get-fit retreats in the Americas. In it, Kirkland is quoted as saying: “People are tired of sitting on the beach with a Mai Tai…A week without hearing a car can blow someone’s mind.”

Read more about Kirkland and the Mountain Trek experience on the CNN web site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hiking On BC Trail

People are tired of sitting on the beach with a Mai Tai.

 

 

Q&A with client Debra Fordham

Mountain Lodge in Britsh Columbia

Welcome to the first of our Q&A series, which features guests who have visited Mountain Trek. Each came to our fitness retreat for their own reasons and they all had different experiences. In this inaugural piece we speak with Debra Fordham, a television writer living in Los Angeles, California, who visited Mountain Trek for a week in May 2012. Since that time she has lost almost 70 pounds and is training to run a half-marathon again. This is Debra’s story.

Q&A with Mountain Trek Alumni Debra

Debra Fordham (second from left) on her visit to Mountain Trek.

Hi Debra. Thank you so much for agreeing to speak with us. Firstly, how did you find out about Mountain Trek?

I was feeling low one day and sitting at the computer googling generic topics like “fitness retreats” and “weight loss” when the Mountain Trek link popped up. I checked out the Trip Advisor comments and most of them included the words “life changing.” It struck me as a bit expensive so I called my friend to ask advice. She said, “How much would you spend to change your life?” I booked the next day.

Tell us about your expectations?

Well, I went in 80 pounds overweight and out of shape. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting it to be as hard as it was. I knew we’d get good food and go on hikes but I was surprised by the raw physical challenge and the evening lessons regarding healthy living. That said, the experience literally did change my life. After six days of eating healthy foods, exercising and detoxing my entire physiology changed. When I got home I no longer craved soda or Oreos.

What was the highlight of your experience at Mountain Trek?

I wanted to buy a house in the Kootenay region. It’s just so beautiful there. I also really enjoyed Kirkland’s lectures in the evening – they gave me not only an understanding of what I was going through in terms of physiology but I was also given tools to use when I returned home.

What was the low-light of your experience at Mountain Trek?

I wanted to physically give up at one point. I was thinking of myself as this fat girl who doesn’t exercise and it was all too much but the wonderful thing is the staff wouldn’t let me give up – they just inspired me to keep going. I was amazed at how motivated I was around the guides, most especially Kirkland, Cathy and Krista.

Q&A Success Story

Debra, over 50 pounds lighter

What was it like when you returned home?

When I got home I craved healthy foods. I also craved exercise and I continued hiking around my area. And I acted on Kirk’s lectures – I started cooking for myself. I made bliss balls and Mt Trek soups and I stopped eating processed food.

What were some of the challenges you faced when you returned home?

I was doing really well until the holidays when I got together with my family. We have such a wacked idea of food – we eat like crazy. I had people at my house at Christmas and so we started baking and because of the family dynamics – well, you just don’t want to eat tofu salad while someone you love is eating something unhealthy. It’s kind of a social statement not joining in.

How did you overcome those challenges?

Mountain Trek staff kept stressing “Have more good days than bad” and that really is the key. Sometimes you just have to eat the snacks on the airplane and it’s important you not beat yourself up about it. I don’t let it derail me. I’ll enjoy a “no limits” great meal but the next morning I’m back on the pony eating foods from the local farmer’s market.

What would be your advice to someone who is thinking about coming to Mountain Trek?

Go!!!! With five exclamation points! For some people it may seem expensive but like my friend says, “How much would you pay to change your life?” You have to take it seriously – you’ll be challenged but it really will be the launching pad to changing your life.

Anything else you want to tell our readers about your experience?

I can’t wait to come back! I’m coordinating with someone who I met there last May and we’re going to return together. That was another benefit of the experience – the alumni are an amazing resource and they become your friends.

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How to Lose Those Last Stubborn Pounds

Weight Loss Tips

Ok, you’ve made some lifestyle changes, drink more water, eat more salad, go for a walk a few times a week…so why does that last 20 lbs of weight hang on so stubbornly? It’s great you’ve made those changes, but there could be a few factors that thwart your health and weight loss goals:

  • what you burn is perfectly balanced with what you consume
  • you may not be aware of how your food choices prevent you from breaking through your weight loss barrier
  • fatigue from lack of sleep makes it harder to for you to exercise effectively
  • you might be stressed, and this can impair metabolism

If you take a long view of your health, you can gradually make changes that stick. If you are pressed for time, with risks to your heart or impending diabetes, you might need to make changes quickly.

Ideas for Reassessing Your Approach to Weightloss

  1. Assess your habits. Condiments add extra fuel to a meal and may have ingredients your body doesn’t need. Bottled sweet drinks including juice and soda add calories with less value than whole fruits or freshly pressed juices. Notice the many ways extra calories creep quietly into your day, then make clear choices.
  2. Get enough sleep. Being well-rested means you can exercise the next day; exercising means you’ll sleep well. If your body clock is properly adjusted, meals can also fall into a pattern that can prevent binging.
  3. Snack wisely. Keep veggies, nuts, and fruits available to stave off hunger between meals. A small snack will keep fat cells calm, your metabolism burning properly, and prevent your body from swinging between feast and famine modes. Make sure to have breakfast and eat a healthy lunch.
  4. Read ingredients carefully and assess your larder. Be picky! Anything that does not come from a farm or is not simply derived from a natural ingredient is worth researching. Go easy on saturated fats and avoid trans-fats completely. The more you know, the easier it will be to make healthy decisions.
  5. Find inner peace. Perhaps that’s too much to ask, but find ways to unwind. High-stress levels lead to fat storage, so figure out how to have fun and feel good. A mindfulness practice plus exercise can alleviate stress and help the body be resilient.

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 and featuring daily sunrise yoga and night-time restorative yoga, will help you unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress, anxiety, 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:

8 Ways to Make the Most of your Fitness Vacation

hike3

Attending a Health Retreat or Fitness Vacation has far-reaching benefits that can impact a person for years. The idea of investing in a structured, healthy vacation, instead of the well-worn “all-you-can-eat” getaway is steadily growing in popularity; and is meeting the needs of millions of vacationers looking to revitalize their health.

Because, really, who wants to come home from a vacation with a larger waistline than when you left?

The term “Wellness Tourism” is something you’ll see more of in the coming years as active baby boomers and younger generations seek healthy adventurous and educational retreats to learn new areas of growth and self-improvement.

Structured programs, such as the one offered at Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat and Health Spa, go beyond the basics of a morning fruit smoothie and pool volleyball. Savvy guests are looking for services, treatments, and consultations that cater to all areas of health, and they see the advantage of an on-site group of therapists and practitioners with varied skill sets.

8 recommendations to look for in your next Fitness Retreat or Weight Loss vacation

These offerings will help ensure you get the most out of your stay. We at Mountain Trek offer all of these–and more!

  1. Private Yoga Sessions –Frustrated by inflexibility? Feeling lost in the crowd? Enjoy individual support and tailored advice outside the group dynamic.
  2. Kinesiologist Assessment – Suffering from poor posture, a weak core or shoulder, neck or back pain? Get an assessment and a personalized home program to help correct imbalances with stretching, re-training, and revitalizing techniques.
  3. Nutrition Consultation –Meet with a Registered Nutritionist to assess your eating habits, address any symptoms and receive recommendations. Learn new recipes and eating habits to meet your unique nutritional needs.
  4. Life Coaching – Make the most of a credentialed Life Coach to support and mentor you on your journey. With some coaching during and after your program, you can better overcome challenges and set realistic goals that are in alignment with your transformation. (Mountain Trek’s program director, Kirkland Shave, is an accredited Life Coach.)
  5. Spa Treatments – In addition to Swedish or Deep Tissue Massage, take advantage of treatments you’ve never had, and you’ll be amazed at how skilled therapists can heal what ails you.
  6. Reflexology – applied pressure to meridian points on the feet to promote the clearing of energetic pathways and deep relaxation for the whole body.
  7. Personal Counseling – whether you’re working through a life transition, relationship issues, depression, anxiety, stress, trauma, grief, addiction, or issues relating to self-image and self-confidence, these client-centered counseling sessions are an opportunity to slow down, become clear, and find ways to resolve current concerns or issues from the past that interfere with living fully in the present.
  8. Private Yoga Session – a personalized session focusing on creating your own take-home routine, or deepening your current practice.

These are just some of the ways to augment your Fitness Vacation program and start your road back to excellent health.


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:

Stress Less on Your Business Trip

How to stay health on business travel
Does your career require you to travel?  Whether you love or hate it, it doesn’t have be a dreaded journey of indigestion, poor sleep, stress and anxiety.

Is it possible to adopt a “spa retreat” state of mind along the way, so your cortisol isn’t sky high?  With a bit of planning and intention, there are things you can do to stay more relaxed and calm amidst the hectic pace.

Physical and Psychological Management of Stress on the Road

  • Stretch and/or Massage – release those tight muscles with a stretch. Massage increases the “feel good” hormone oxytocin by 30% and lowers the “stress” hormone cortisol. Hop on the 15 minute chair massage at the airport, or have a quick visit to the local spa.
  • Support your body – maintain your energy levels and immune system with nutritional supplements, especially with B vitamins.
  • Eat well – bring healthy snacks from home, such as protein or super greens powder for smoothies on the run. At restaurants, choose salads and slow burning complex carbohydrates, which will sustain you better than a muffin, and will keep your blood sugar levels normal.
  • Exercise – bring workout or walking clothes; it will burn off stress, raise serotonin and endorphin levels, and help you sleep.
  • Hydrate – drink plenty as dehydration hits quickly on planes and in stuffy offices, leading to fatigue and foggy thinking. Take a water bottle with you everywhere.
  • Sleep – bow out on the 10:00pm cocktail and honor your body’s need to rest.  Have a bath, bring earplugs and a good book to help you doze off.
  • Meditate – calm racing negative thoughts and visualize positive outcomes.
  • Listen – travel with your iPod or MP3 and fill it with relaxing music
  • Breathe – practice mindful, deep belly breathing
  • Go with the flow – don’t worry about circumstances you have no control over
  • Bring astress ball” – squeeze it to release anxiety
  • Practice gratitude – be grateful for all the gifts in your life; it will lift your mood and shift your perspective.

Enjoy your next business trip!

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Detox Your Mind

Fed up with the steady onslaught of bad news and anxiety in the world?  With the depressing media stories and global strife which creates worry over things you have no control over, the daily news does not often support a peaceful and relaxed state of mind.

Thanks to technology, bad news is everywhere now, and taking a break from the negativity of it is essential to your health on all levels; physically, mentally and emotionally.  Feeling clear, balanced and good in your life is not just a fanciful memory of way things used to be, but a state of being that with intention, only you can create for yourself.

Along with the fitness and weight loss benefits of vacationing at a Wellness Retreat, the rising trend of “healthy vacations” is answering the need for allowing people to unplug from their stressful lives, the TV and computer, unhealthy habits, and  cram-packed schedules that leaves little time for self reflection and adequate sleep, let alone feeling full of vitality.

Guests Hiking

Detoxification is any process that removes injurious substances from your body.

If you’re regularly being exposed to unpleasant news, or barely manage to juggle an overloaded schedule of too many obligations and deadlines, have you considered taking a detox break from that lifestyle as well?  The effects of these stressors is far reaching, such as skyrocketing Cortisol levels (the stress hormone), which wreaks havoc on your metabolism, immune system and hormones.  And we won’t mention the bad moods, irritability and depression.

If you’re of an age to remember the days before computers, email and smart phones, than part of you longs to return to that way of being, if only for a short while, and if only to remember what it feels like to be yourself again without gadgets, technology and a long list of to-dos.

If you’re feeling overburdened in your body and mind, you’re certainly not alone.  That’s why more people than ever are turning to Fitness Retreats as their answer to distressing, detoxing, losing weight, and unplugging from their busy lives.