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NYC Insta-Fit Recap

Prior to 2017, I had really only been to New York a handful of times. Despite it’s close proximity to Toronto and the fact that almost all of my best friends had lived there for an extended period of time at some point, it never seemed to be my go-to destination. In fact, after a quick weekend trip with my girlfriends this past October, I boldly decided that I officially don’t like New York! That’s right. I came home hating the rudeness of the people, the snobby attitudes and the fact that when the weather sucks, it really sucks. My mind was made up.

Yet, a mere 2 months after I vowed I would not be returning to the Big Apple anytime soon, I got the call from Old Navy that they wanted to take me down there to help launch the new active-wear line. And after a literal 24-hour trip, I did a complete 180 and decided I love NYC.

Maybe it was the exciting opportunity of traveling for the blog, or going with complete strangers who turned into friends, or doing something other than just shopping and eating while I was there. Whatever the reason, I finally understood what everyone meant when they spoke about the exciting energy of this crazy city and I was hooked.

Since that trip in January, I’ve been back 3 times, including another exciting opportunity for the blog with Samsung Canada. And I know a lot of this back and forth also has to do with my new bestie, Bianca. Bianca and I met “virtually” while we were both at the same nutrition school program online and became fast friends. She lives in New York and we make time to see each other every time I’m in town, even if it’s just for a quick Pressed Freeze date. So after a successful Insta-Fit retreat in Miami, and Jordana‘s summer move to New York, it only made sense that our next Wellness Week would be in NYC. 

I planned to come down and visit the girls for 3 nights and I was pumped to be able to spend more than 48 hours in the city. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been down for longer. But alas, I caught the flu right before I was scheduled to leave and once again it turned into a quick trip, in and out. 

Despite our limited time and my severe post-flu nausea we still managed to get in a couple workouts and hit up some of the hottest healthy food spots.

Our first workout was at Physique 57 which is one of my favourite barre classes. The talented Julie Cobble lead us through an intense butt and ab workout that left me sore for multiple days. As you probably already know, no workout for us is complete without a little photo-shoot and we had a ball (pun intended) taking pics in our matching Terez pants. 

It was then time to eat and we chose The Butcher’s Daughter to refuel our hungry bodies. I ordered the squash and quinoa bowl with an egg on top, which was filling and delicious. The rest of the day was spent “modelling” our new Beyond Yoga looks around the city. And just so you know, modelling for us means trying to be serious but laughing hysterically at how awkward we are and how we are just so not models. But we have fun pretending.

I was feeling a little better on day 2 with more of an appetite so we celebrated this by heading to Bluestone Lane for brunch thanks to lots of recommendations from Instagram. We ordered the cashew butter toast, avocado toast and banana bread. All I have to say is HOLY $H*t!!!! Their toasts are insanely delicious! Highly highly highly recommend to anyone going to New York anytime soon. Even if you have to wait 2 hours in line. 

With big smiles and full bellies, we walked (read waddled) our way to Bandier, the mecca of activewear stores to check out some of their latest gear and then take a class at their upstairs gym, Studio B. We tried out the Bootcamp class which is pretty much what it sounds like. Think hundreds of burpees, a little getting yelled at and a lot of sweat. I was slightly miserable at the time but of course, felt amazing after. 

It was almost time for me to head home but we had to make a quick pit stop at Dr. Smood, a new coffee shop/juice bar dedicated to gut-healing foods and an incredible selection of healthy take-out and cold pressed juices. I picked up some raw cinnamon buns and a rose-infused beauty water for the plane. 

Of course, no trip to NYC for me is complete without grabbing a giant salad at Sweet Green before the airport.  I always go for: half kale, half quinoa, carrots, sweet potato, beets, cucumber, feta, chicken and mix the yogurt tahini sauce with the balsamic vinaigrette. It’s pretty much the only thing that keeps me sane in Laguardia as I watch my flight get and more and more delayed, every. single. time.

So with my salad and a suitcase full of yoga pants, I said bye to my girls and, as with the last several trips of 2017, got on the plane with that NYC buzz, craving my next trip.

 

 

 

Miami Insta-Fit Weekend Recap

Miami has always held a special place in my heart. Since birth I’ve visited pretty much annually, with my family, typically over Christmas. And every year we go, we tend to do the same three things: eat, eat and eat. So when I decided to head down south with my sister Whitney and two fellow fitness bloggers, Jordana of I Hart Nutrition, and Bianca of Holistic RX, I knew it would be different from any other Miami experience I’ve ever had.

Don’t get me wrong, we ate…a lot. Some really healthy, some not so much. But we also tried out some really great fitness classes in different neighbourhoods, tested out fun, new activewear, and did I say we ate lots of food?

Here’s a little recap of our incredible #miamiinstafit weekend:

Bianca and I arrived early on Thursday morning and our first plan of action was a grocery haul at Whole Foods. B is from New York and we met through our online nutrition school program (IIN) so it was really fun to shop together and chat about our fave healthy products. She also introduced me to so many delicious brands that we can’t get at home in Toronto. We went a little overboard at the store and asked the girl at the checkout how long she thought we were in town for based on the amount of groceries we bought…she said eight days…we were only there for four. The even crazier part is that we finished everything! 

The first day of our trip ended up being super rainy so we decided to experiment in the kitchen with a few of the ingredients we bought and baked some Simple Mills banana muffins. We of course had to fill the mini muffins with chunks of Justins peanut butter cups. They were topped with a Siggis yogurt icing and Purely Elizabeth granola. Pretty much heaven. 

Eventually it was time for our first fitness class – SoBe Kick, a kickboxing studio in South Beach. We loved the look of the gym. It was a large open space filled with punching bags and had an old-school feel to it. The class was half floor work with skipping ropes and free weights and half combinations on the bag. It reminded me how much I love boxing and that I need to incorporate it into my workout routine again. We also felt like total badasses in our new Lilybod looks. 

Once we finished class, we had time lots of time to relax on the beach. It was Cinco de Mayo that day so it seemed like a good excuse to polish off a few bags of Siete chips. I was excited about trying them as we can’t get them in Toronto. They are completely delicious but be warned, they are addictive!

Day two meant a new workout class in new workout gear. We were so excited to try out the Terez leggings and tanks at Flywheel North Miami. I had been to this studio a few times and was excited to go back. It is also fun to take a spin class every so often instead of teaching one. The tights really held up during class but we were also excited to rock them off the bike at one of my all-time favourite lunch spots, Miami Juice

After two days of intense workouts, we were excited to take a relaxing yoga class as our final workout of the weekend. Wearing our matching, comfortable K-Deer looks, we headed over to Exhale Spa Miami which probably has to be one of the nicest yoga studios in the world. It looks out onto the ocean and the teacher kept the doors open during class so we could feel the breeze and smell the fresh air. I could have stayed in savasana all day.The only thing getting me out of that studio was our stunning pool-side cabana waiting for us at the Ritz Carlton. We spent the day lounging in the sun, listening to music, laughing a lot and toasting to the perfect weekend getaway! 

There’s nothing like combining my two favourite things: travel and fitness, with friends and family. We are already planning our next Insta-Fit getaway, so stay tuned! 

Comment below if you have any questions or recommendations for our next retreat. 

 

 

 

NYC with Samsung Canada

When Samsung Canada invited me to come to New York City with them, I honestly couldn’t believe it. I was so excited I of course said yes without even knowing why, when or how. 

Once the logistics were sorted out, dates were set and flights were book, I still didn’t know why I was going. They were so secretive about it and promised a really exciting surprise.

Once I arrived and met up with the Samsung Canada crew we were told we would be attending the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8, at the Lincoln Centre. This was the global launch – the first time anyone in the world would be seeing this phone. I was with a food blogger, fashion blogger, 2 photographers and several tech journalists. And while we sound like a motley crew, we all basically glue our phones to our hands for a living so we could appreciate the ever-present excitement surrounding this launch. 

And exciting it was! By now you have probably seen the commercials for the new phone via TV screens or Youtube ads. The scuba diver and the whale? Or the ostrich flying to Elton John’s Rocket Man playing. Ya those ones. Well picture seeing them for the first time ever, with hundreds of people from around the world, on a screen a bajillion times bigger than your TV’s or laptops, at the Lincoln Centre. Let’s just say a tear may have been shed. (If you think I’m emo or crazy, watch it here). 

At the launch we learned all about the new phone. The screen is the largest of any smart phone out there right now. But it’s slim and easy to hold. They basically re-built the phone from the inside out so that every function is still accessible while maximizing screen space. 

And the camera. Oh that camera. It is so clear and crisp. They also really fine-tuned the front camera so it takes amazing photos in dark and light – yay for selfies! And for a jumping shot fanatic like me, the phone captures movement and focuses really well so the photos come out with no blurs. 

Post-launch we had the opportunity to walk around the city and test out the phone’s camera. We hit Central Park, the MoMa and the Top of the Rock. All photos you see below were taken on the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Thank you Samsung for the experience of a lifetime and if you want to get your hands on the new phone well…it’s in stores NOW!