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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Review Magazine Features Mountain Trek

lodge at mountain trek in british columbia

Mountain Trek has been featured in Review Magazine’s “Exercise Escape” article in which writer Leigh Doyle interviews program director Kirkland Shave and discovers why more people are turning away from beach lounging and choosing instead to “unwind at fitness retreats to kick-start healthy new habits.”

In the interview Kirkland is quoted as saying that people, typically urban professionals, visit Mountain Trek because “they want to change their body look and feel because that’s a visceral experience that their lives are back on track.”

The article goes on to detail the experience of a Mountain Trek alumni named Jean Aldridge who’s a financial planner in Orange County, California. She attends Mountain Trek every six months because it gives “her insights into how to make her day-to-day life healthier, and it also helped her lose about 10 pounds…it even helped keep her active after she returned home. She added more Pilates classes to her schedule, began walking after dinner and used her infrared sauna more regularly. She’s watched the extra weight disappear and, months later, has kept it off.”

Mountain Trek has good company in the piece as The Ashram in California and the Men’s Fitness Boot Camp Vacation in Florida are also listed but unlike the other spas and resorts, Mountain Trek’s program guarantees fat loss while also targeting sleep habits, improved fitness levels, stress reduction and detoxification.

Writer Leigh Doyle goes on to say in the article, “For people looking to lose some weight, a week-long fitness vacation can get the ball rolling…it 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.”

Book Mountain Trek for you or a loved one this year 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

To see Leigh’s story in its entirety, click this link: Mountain Trek Featured in Review MagazineReview Magazine

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5 Ways Alcohol Hinders Weight Loss

a glass of white wine

No single food item affects humans in so many varying and differing ways than alcohol. How it affects you specifically depends on genetics, diet, gender, potential ‘sensitivity’ to it, and your habits.

While enrolled in the Mountain Trek program, we ensure our guests avoid alcohol to help with detoxification and weight loss. That’s not to say we recommend completely avoiding alcohol altogether! But it’s important to get to know its impact on your body in order to make good decisions about when you do decide to have a drink.

To that end, below are five ways alcohol hinders weight loss.

1. All Alcohol Is Full of Calories

At seven calories per gram, alcohol supplies almost twice as many as protein and carbohydrates. In fact, alcohol has only two fewer calories than fat, which has nine per gram. It must also be remembered that the calories in alcohol lack the nutrients beneficial for a healthy metabolism and will therefore hasten fat storage.

The calories found in the average alcoholic drink are quite concentrated compared to many foods, and this actually causes one to inadvertently take in many more calories than would otherwise be consumed. Alcoholic drinks also contain calories from other sources, which add to overall caloric intake. Certain cocktails, for example, contain fats. Wine and beer both have high carbohydrate content. Although the effects that these calories have on the body are different: carbohydrates release insulin, which can hasten fat storage (unless we are active after imbibing), while fats will be stored directly in the fat cells. Thus, the overall result is added body-fat.

Related Article: My Body Feels Toxic, What Should I Do?

An example of how many calories can be easily consumed can be seen with a small glass of wine. A 5-ounce glass of wine will typically contain 110 calories, 91 of which come from the alcohol itself (13 grams), with the remaining five grams coming from carbohydrates. Beer contains more carbohydrates (except for “light” beers, which have a carb content similar to a glass of wine) and less alcohol than wine, but is seen as being more fattening, due to its higher calorie content.

2. Alcohol Loosens The Inhibitions

While drinking, people will not usually stop to consider the impact alcohol is having on their bodies; such is alcohol’s affect on loosening the inhibitions. The result of this relaxed thinking could mean more food consumed and extra body fat gains. Those that drink often might also eat more of the wrong kinds of food, without thinking of the consequences.

3. Alcohol Increases Appetite

Alcohol can increase appetite, making the combination of alcohol and a fattening meal worse. In fact, a hormone linked to increased hunger, particularly hunger for high-fat foods, has been linked to cravings for alcohol. According to Medical News Today, a study conducted at Princeton University showed that the hunger-increasing hormone, known as galanin, is produced when alcohol is consumed. Though the effect of increased galanin on appetite and eating behaviors varies amongst individuals, there’s a good chance your consumption of alcohol increases your desire for high-fat foods.

4. Alcohol Can Damage The Stomach, Lessening Its Efficiency

Given alcohol is a by-product of yeast digestion; it can have an irritating effect on the lining of the stomach and gradually weaken the kidneys and liver, leading to serious health problems. Any weakening of the stomach will lessen the rate and efficiency at which food is digested, which ultimately interferes with a healthy metabolism and the weight loss process.

5. Alcohol Lowers Testosterone

Testosterone, which has a powerful fat loss effect, is reduced whenever alcohol is consumed; thus halting its full potential as a fat burner. Also, testosterone as an anabolic hormone contributes to gains in lean muscle mass. Lowered testosterone means fewer muscle gains, and less muscle means a lowered metabolic rate.


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:

21 Reasons To Visit Mountain Trek in Beautiful British Columbia

What a Spring this has been! We can’t remember the last time we’ve had such a beautiful, sunny and warm start to the season here at our lodge in British Columbia. The days have been averaging +18°C (64°F), wildflowers are blooming and the rest of the environment is fresh, green and revitalizing.

BC is so incredible this time of year but don’t just take our word for it. We’ve compiled 21 photographs into one article about all the reasons why the Kootenay Rocky Mountains are one of the most beautiful areas in the world. Do yourself a favor and come visit us to enjoy all the things listed below. We’ll still be savoring the mild Spring weather and you’ll be inspired to kickstart a healthy and happy summer. We look forward to seeing you and we’re sure you’re looking forward to enjoying these wonderful activities that make up the Mountain Trek program in BC:

Enjoy perfect weather and temperatures

Perfect-weather-temperatures

Lounge on beaches

Lounging-on-beaches

Soak in natural hot springs

Hotsprings

Savor locally-grown food prepared by a master chef

Locally-grown-food

Take in the unbelievable mountain scenery

Mountain-Scenery

Spot baby wildlife

Wildlife-spotting (1)

Breathe in the fresh clean air

Clean,-fresh-air

Spend time on the many beautiful lakes here

Canoeing-lakes

Visit some of the many local streams and rivers

exploring-streams

Enjoy bird watching

Bird-Watching

Explore historic towns

Historic-Towns

Swim in an alpine lake

alpine-swim

Stop to smell the wildflowers

Flowers on the hiking trail

Watch unbelievable sunsets

Stunning-sunsets

Be invigorated by an inspiring environment

Invigorating-environment

Connect with friendly people

Friendly-People

Hike a mountain then rest on a beach

You-can-hike-a-mountain-in-the-morning-and-sit-on-a-beach-in-the-afternoon-

View beautiful waterfalls

Viewing waterfalls

Meditate and find inner peace

Meditate

Practice your photography

practice-photography


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:

Five Weight Loss Must-Haves for Every Kitchen

No doubt you have a fair few gadgets in your kitchen but there are really only a handful that are needed in order to ensure you stick to a healthy weigh-loss regimen. Here they are:

#1. Kitchen Scale

If you really want to get serious about weight loss then it’s important you understand portion size. Purchase an inexpensive food scale and weigh your food before you eat it. You’ll be surprised by how much you underestimate the amount you eat.

yellow-retro-kitchen-scale#2. Smaller Plates

Of course you can hold onto your larger plates for when you’re entertaining guests but for your regular, daily meals you should have a stack of plates handy that are no more than 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter. That way you’ll ensure your portion sizes aren’t too large.

selection-of-plate-sizes-and-bowls

#3. Good Measuring Cups and Spoons

Like the kitchen food scale, these items are essential for maintaining portion sizes. You can be more free-form with the spices, but when it comes to fats, proteins and carbohydrates, it’s best to measure.

pink measuring cups and silver measuring spoons

#4. Water Jug

Having a beautiful looking jug on your counter top that’s always filled with room-temperature water will encourage you to drink more of it.

Three-glass-water-jugs

#5. Pedometer

OK, technically this isn’t a kitchen gadget but if it resides in your kitchen where you spend a lot of your time, then you’ll be more inclined to use it. Pedometers come in all shapes and sizes and most are inexpensive. Keep one around your kettle or breakfast food area so that when you wake up in the morning it’s there to remind you to get in your 10,000 steps per day.

pedometer

Bonus: A Tablet

Like the pedometer, this one isn’t exactly a kitchen gadget either, but with a tablet (or laptop or smart phone) you’ll be able to access recipe sites and social media sites, such as Pinterest, that offer excellent, delicious and interesting dishes to try. And in the near future there will be a Mountain Trek app that you’ll be able to use as well. Stay tuned for more about that exciting development!

tablet-in-the-kitchen

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Cinnamon Granola Recipe

Recipe for Cinnamon Granola

This delicious, gluten-free Cinnamon Granola recipe is perfect for breakfast because it’s easy to make and can be stored for weeks. The ingredient list below is enough to make eight servings.

Ingredients:

2 ¼ cups rolled oats (certified gluten free)
¼ cup slivered almonds
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup sunflower seeds
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
¼ tsp almond extract
½ tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp cinnamon

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 325°F
  • Mix grains, nuts and seeds together on a large baking tray
  • Combine remaining ingredients together in a saucepan and heat briefly
  • Pour over nut/oat mixture and toss well to coat
  • Bake for 45 minutes until lightly toasted. Stir every 15 minutes to brown evenly
  • Cool before storing in airtight container

9 Ways to Get Beach Ready & Cure the “Muffin Top”

Beach-Body

Now is the time of year when many of us look in the mirror and wonder where our beach bodies went over the course of the winter. The fact is a number of factors combined with a more sedentary lifestyle during the winter months can lead to the dreaded “muffin top” in which our body spills out over our bathing suits. Thankfully there are some easy steps to follow that will help you lose weight, keep fit and look great in that swim suit. Below are a nine tips for curing the muffin top.

Walk-10,000-steps-a-day

Walk 10,000 steps a day, take the stairs or join a gym.

Take-Breaks

Take two 1-minute breaks in the work day to close eyes and breathe deeply.

Test-your-food-sensitivities-

Test for food sensitivities.

Power-Down-Electronics

Power down electronics 1 hour before bed and remove all electronics from bedroom.

Avoid-Alcohol

Reduce alcohol consumption to 1-2 days per week.

Avoid-Plastics-and-Soy

Minimize use of Soy, plastic food wrappers, pesticides, and petrochemical cosmetics.

Infrared-Sauna

Infrared Sauna 1-2 times per week at Day Spa or Health Club to release toxins.

Chew-your-food

Chew food to liquid state and add Probiotics to build intestinal flora.

Fibre-rich-diet

Switch to low Carb/high Protein and Fibre rich diet.

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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:

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 imageMountain 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-kilometre Kootenay Lake. There are gardens and wildflowers, mountains and blue skies. Meals are local, organic, plated – and mostly 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 travelling 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.