Improving your personal health may mean the need for weight loss. Get advice, program ideas and activities From Mountain Trek to make you a weight loss success story.

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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.

CN Traveler Awards Mountain Trek

Conde Nast Travler Magazine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Why You Need To Stop Calorie Counting Right Now

Calorie Counting

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

What Is Calorie Counting?

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

Why The Calorie Calculation Formula Is Skewed

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

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

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

Why A Calorie Isn't Just A Calorie

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

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

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

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

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

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Huevos Rancheros – A Fast & Delicious Recipe

Huevos Rancheros

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

INGREDIENTS

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

PREPARATION

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

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

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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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Should You Eat Breakfast? Our Nutritionist Vs. The New York Times

Do you eat breakfast?

A recent New York Times article cited a study published this year by James Betts, an associate professor of nutrition and metabolism at the University of Bath in England, and stated there is "no difference in weight change…between people assigned to eat breakfast for six weeks and those assigned to skip it." 

The article went on to say, "Dr. Betts said that unlike randomized trials, observational studies of breakfast consumption could be misleading. They show, for example, that people who eat breakfast also follow other behaviors associated with good health. They tend to drink and smoke less, consume less sugar, eat more fiber and exercise more than those who skip a morning meal."

Jennifer Keirstead, Nutritionist at Mountain TrekThe premise of the article raised some flags for us here at Mountain Trek because one of the main beliefs of the Mountain Trek Way program is that eating breakfast within thirty minutes of waking helps kickstart your metabolism and gives your body the energy it requires throughout the day. So we sat down with Mountain Trek's nutritionist Jennifer Keirstead, went over the article and the report carefully and then discussed the factors the study was missing and whether breakfast is, in fact, good for you.

Thanks so much for speaking with us, Jennifer. You've had a chance to read the New York Times article. What was your first impression?

I was really surprised. I know there's a movement right now with "Bulletproof" coffee which encourages people to put two tablespoons of coconut oil or grass-fed butter in their coffee every morning and that's supposed to act as their breakfast and boost their metabolism. That concept, as well as the concept of skipping breakfast entirely goes against a lot of what we teach through the Mountain Trek Way. 

What would be your retort to this article?

From a common sense aspect if you start your day with a healthy meal it sets the stage for the rest of the day. I hear time and time again from our guests that when they skip breakfast and just end up picking at sugary things and jacking themselves up with caffeine and coffee it leads to over-eating later in the day when you're less likely to burn those calories off. 

So breakfast is important?

Absolutely, for those reasons I've already mentioned but also for metabolism. With the Mountain Trek Way program we encourage people to balance their hormones to support their metabolism and by eating breakfast they can boost their anabolic (their good, calorie-burning) metabolism by 15% because it helps keep cortisol levels down which is that stress hormone that leads to catabolic hormonal responses. By keeping that cortisol hormone down it's a way of communicating to the body that, "I'm going to feed you and look after you and you don't have to go into that famine response when you store and hold calories and you'll have sustained energy throughout the day." 

It sounds like the study cited by the Times needs to be put into better context? 

I read the New York Times often and some of my favourite writers and health experts write for them. I guess I just don't agree with the the idea of this particular story that not eating breakfast is going to benefit someone's weight and overall health long term. Also, the question needs to be asked, what are the people in the study consuming instead of breakfast? Just coffee? Caffeine has a dramatic effect for a third of the population by increasing their cortisol levels. For another third of the population it surpresses appetite, which people might think is great for dieting but really if you're supressing your appetite in the morning when you're metabolism is its highest you want calories coming in at the earlier part of the day because you're more likely to burn them off than eating a late lunch and a huge dinner before bedtime.  And finally, caffeine affects a third of the population and their ability of insulin to unlock glucose and stabilize sugar. So we believe there are different negative effects caffeine has on people and if that's all you're having for breakfast and you're not taking in whole foods then there'll be long-term impacts. 

So it sounds like this article and the report aren't telling the whole story. 

Yeah, it's taking a snapshot and showing a small portion of people who didn't gain weight when they skipped breakfast for six weeks. But what it's not showing is quality of life and energy levels after that time period. Your energy levels are going to drop when you skip meals and that's going to affect your thinking. You won't be as productive at work. You won't have the energy to do that brisk walk around the park at lunchtime.

What are your thoughts about breakfast. Feel free to leave your comments below or download our Habits 2 Health app.
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Mountain Trek Is The Perfect Bachelorette Destination Say 2 Writers

Friends-hiking-together

Mountain Trek has been featured in two articles recently that describe our health program as the perfect fitness-focused destination for brides-to-be. In her recent JetSetHerBlog.com article, Jamie Gaul writes that you’ll leave your bachelorette party at Mountain Trek “feeling like a new woman” and Alison Lewis writes in her HealthyTravelMag.com article that Mountain Trek is “the perfect retreat just before the big day!” Both place a spotlight on the hiking and how brides and their bachelorette parties can get fit before the big day, rather than derail all their hard work.

In her article Gaul writes, “Every time I get a wedding invite, I know a bachelorette party is in store and that means too much wine, too much food and a week-long hangover. Bachelorette parties don’t have to derail all the hard work you’ve done to get your wedding day bod. These locations are fun, relaxing and have your wellness in mind. So long, Vegas!”

Gaul then goes on to describe Mountain Trek saying, “A true backcountry experience, Mountain Trek offers the bride-to-be and her bridal party a dynamic ‘boot camp’ vacation. Yes, I know bootcamp and vakay aren’t exactly synonymous but trust me, you’ll emerge from this bachelorette party feeling like a new woman. Set in spectacular natural landscapes, guests spend time hiking, practicing yoga, indulging massage therapy and have access to a variety of fitness, detox and nutrition classes Average weight loss for a one week program ranges from 4.5 – 6.5 lbs per week for women. You may even need your wedding dress taken in after this trip!”

In her article entitled “Health Inspired Bachelorette Destinations” Alison Lewis writes, “Set in the most spectacular natural landscapes, (Mountain Trek) guests are treated to an ultra personalized program and spend time focusing on activities including hiking, yoga, massage therapty, detox treatments and a variety of fitness and nutrition classes.”

Mountain Trek has hosted many groups of women throughout the years and we even wrote our own article about “Why Mountain Trek is the Perfect Girls Getaway.” Here are just a few of the reasons why a healthy bachelorette party at Mountain Trek is such a good idea:

  • Spend some much-needed time with your friends away from all the distractions of your daily lives
  • Enjoy the world-famous hotsprings five minutes from our lodge
  • Lose weight before putting on that wedding dress and look beautiful on your big day
  • Learn healthy habits that will stay with you long after you leave our luxurious lodge
  • Have a guaranteed support network when you get home

To see Jamie’s story in its entirety, please click this link: Bachelorette Destinations Inspired by Health, Not Hangovers. And to see Alison’s story, please click here: Health Inspired Bachelorette Destinations.

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Yoga For Weight Loss

Yoga Instructor Sage Leboutan

Sage Leboutan is the on-site kinesiologist at Mountain Trek as well as a yoga instructor and guide.

One of the best features of the Mountain Trek Lodge in British Columbia is the beautiful, large yoga studio with a wall of windows that look out over Kootenay lake and the Purcell mountain range. It’s easy to spend time in that room yet many guests ask us why it is we do gentle yoga every morning before we head out hiking for the day. There are three main reasons for this:

  1. Yoga limbers up our bodies and gets them ready for a day’s worth of outdoor activity.
  2. When combined with intentional breathing, yoga helps to calm the mind and allows you to start the day with intention: it’s easy to put your work and home cares aside and just concentrate on you.
  3. And finally, we do yoga for weight loss.

Yes, that last one’s correct. Yoga actually helps with your weight loss program. This may surprise many people because yoga is such a gentle, slow, methodical experience and it’s not as obvious a fat flush activity as Cathy’s evening cardio fitness regime. Yet yoga for weight loss is a key component of the Mountain Trek program because it’s integral to moving your body and boosting your metabolism.

Who does yoga?

Yoga For Weight Loss – How Does It Work?

Metabolism is the rate at which your body uses energy and burns calories. You can learn more about it in our blog post about metabolism but, in short, it describes the process of serving our body’s energy needs – if we’re expending a lot of energy (high metabolism) then we’re burning up the calories we’re consuming. And, in the case of Mountain Trek’s program, we’re rebooting the body’s metabolism and not only burning calories consumed each day, but also energy stored in our fat cells.

In other words, by waking up and doing a 45-minute gentle yoga session, we’re getting our bodies to move immediately and boosting our metabolism so that we start burning calories. We then maintain that movement throughout the day so that by the end of your stay at Mountain Trek, your metabolism is functioning at a higher level and you’re burning more calories on a daily basis.

To tell us more about yoga for weight loss and, specifically about Mountain Trek’s yoga program, we spoke with Sage Leboutan who is our resident kinesiologist as well as a yoga instructor and guide. She grew up in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia (where Mountain Trek’s lodge resides) and, in between getting her Degree of Kinesiology from UBC in Vancouver, she taught yoga in Central and South America.

Mountain Trek Yoga Instructor Sage

Thanks for taking the time to speak with us Sage. How long have you been doing yoga and why did you get into it?

I have been practicing yoga for 8 years, originally I started in my first year of university for stress and weight management. It was my 1.5 hours / day I used to unwind and connect to myself.

Is yoga for everyone?

Can anyone do yoga?

Yes, definitely anyone can do yoga regardless of shape, size or experience level. What’s most important is an open mind and willingness to try.
Nowadays there are so many different styles of yoga to choose from; including chair yoga which is suitable for people with reduced mobility or suffering from injury.

Yoga at the Mountain Trek Lodge in British Columbia

What type of yoga is offered at Mountain Trek?

At Mountain Trek we offer ‘Hatha’ yoga. The sequence is designed to specifically target sore, tight muscles from all the hiking we do everyday. It begins with gentle stretches lying or sitting on the mat and gradually builds. Guests find themselves in standing positions part way through the class and then it finishes with a cool down gentle stretch and a “savasana” – lying on your back, breathing deeply and letting all your muscles relax.

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