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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.

 

 

 

January Favourites

I’m back with a new installment of my monthly favourites and I’m so excited to share more about the products that I picked for January! 

I always feel compelled to reiterate that I am not paid to write any of this and I would never promote a product that I don’t actually love or use. Every now and then some of the products are gifted but I will point out which ones and I just want to say I am so grateful to be able to try out new things and share them with you. 

This month has been all about lifestyle changes for me, as I transitioned from working corporate, to traveling for a month, to becoming self-employed. I’ve now somewhat settled into a new routine – or at least I have a better idea of what I want that routine to look like – and I’ve come to rely on some of the products below.

Favourite On-The-Go Snack

Genuine Health Fermented Vegan Proteins+ Bar 

    

When I pictured myself working from home, I always got excited about the idea of having more time to whip up delicious meals in my kitchen however that is just not the reality of my new situation. I am always on the go, traveling from the studio, to a client’s home, to a lunch meeting. Often times this means my next meal or snack is usually eaten in the car. I’ve come to rely on Genuine Health‘s fermented protein bars, which I had the opportunity to first try at a fitness class they hosted in November. I find them extremely filling which is my number one criteria for an on-the-go snack plus they are GMO free and the fermented protein supports digestive health. They are also delicious and do not have that dense, chalky protein taste to them. I would highly recommend if you are looking to change up your snack bar game.

Favourite Health Food Beauty Hack

Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

I have two jars of coconut oil at home. One in my pantry, one in my bathroom and I definitely use the one in the bathroom way more often. Let’s forget cooking and just focus on the reason this jar takes up prime real estate in the ensuite. First of all, it is the only product that properly takes off my eye makeup. Until I started using coconut oil as makeup remover, I found my eyeliner and mascara would never properly come off and I would still get black streaks after washing my face the second time that day or night. Just dip a Q-tip in the jar –  you don’t need very much to get every last bit of black off your eyes. I also use my coconut oil for my cuticles. Coming back to this freezing winter after 4 weeks in a hot climate didn’t exactly do wonders for my skin or nails so I have been lathering the oil on my cuticles before bed every night. It has been making such a difference and I’m getting less and less of those annoying and painful little cuts around the nail beds.

Favourite Read 

Breaking Vegan by Jordan Younger 

I had been following “The Blonde Vegan” and then subsequently “The Balanced Blonde,” Jordan Younger’s handle,  on Instagram for a while when I saw this book came out. I felt compelled to buy it not because I was ever a vegan or even a vegetarian but because the concept of Orthorexia fascinated me. Orthorexia is defined as “an obsession with eating foods that are healthy.” It is essentially a disordered way of eating when an individual becomes so obsessed with only eating things they consider healthy, that they become afraid to eat most foods. This is what happened to Jordan who realized veganism was not only controlling her  life but causing her to develop a negative relationship to food. Her struggle and successful overcoming of orthorexia was interesting but what really drew me into the book was how she found a balanced approach to eating. Balance is something I struggle with every day and I know will continue to be a challenge for me. Jordan also goes into great detail about how she started her website and pursued blogging full time so this was definitely the perfect book for me.

Favourite Winter Workout Gear

Lululemon Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve Crew

Probably my favourite part of pursuing fitness full time is I get to dress in activewear all day. Seriously, nothing makes me happier! I normally teach my spin classes in a sports bra and tights but when I am personal training, or doing my own workouts, I thankfully don’t get nearly as sweaty and can cover up a bit more.  This Lululemon long sleeve has been perfect for training clients in the winter as it keeps me warm but is still tight enough to show my muscles and proper form in exercises. I have one in grey and one in black and I always feel chic pairing it with long running tights and sneakers. And now that I am doing this full time I think I have an excuse to buy a third colour, right?

Favourite Clean Beauty Product 

Bamboo Makeup Remover Wipes

As I mentioned I have been so lucky to receive new and exciting products from some amazing companies. Prior to my month-long trip, Boo Bamboo, a Toronto-based company that sells all natural, personal care products reached out to me about sending me off with some of their items to try while I was away. Strapped for space and in need of a good travel face cleanser, I opted to take a few packs of their makeup remover wipes with me. To be completely honest I did not wear makeup while I was away so I cannot fully speak to their makeup removing abilities, however I used the wipes daily to cleanse my face. Whether I was on the beach or in an airport, I felt so good knowing I was using an all natural product that contained vitamin E antioxidants. I was super impressed with how the packaging held up –  the reusable container actually kept the wipes moist the entire time. Since I have been home, I continue to use the face wipes after I teach spin classes, to quickly get rid of the sweat. I have also started using their all natural shower gel and am happy with it so far. 

Since I love supporting local brands, especially one’s who promote a clean and healthy lifestyle, I have partnered up with Boo Bamboo for the chance to give one lucky Instagram follower a package of their best products, including: Shampoo, Conditioner, Revitalizing Hair Treatment, Face Wash, Face Lotion, & Makeup Remover Wipes. All you have to do is head on over to my Instagram, follow @kale_and_krunches and @boobambooproducts and tag 3 friends in the comments. All of these products could be yours! Giveaway closes Friday. 

October Favourites

I love posting about my favourite healthy take-out restaurants, snacks and recipes but I rarely tell you about all of the other products I use on a day-to-day basis so I thought I would start a series of my monthly “favourites.” From beauty and skincare products, to workout gear and books, I am going share with you the things that I can’t live without. 

Also…disclaimer: While some of these products were gifted (Saje), I am not getting paid to post ANY of this content and all of these opinions are my own

Now that that’s out of the way, without further ado, I give you my October Favourites:

Favourite Skincare Product:

Organic Rosehip Face Oil by Pure + Simple

I’ve been using this face oil for about a year now. Like all Pure + Simple products, it is 100% all natural, organic and vegan. It is made with tons of vitamin C, omegas and fatty acids and leaves my skin feeling dewy and nourished all day long. I apply it after I wash my face and apply my serum, before moisturizing. 

Favourite Beauty Product:

Brow This Way by Rimmel London

It was starting to feel like everyone else had “eyebrows on fleek” except for me so I began experimenting with filling them in. Let me be the first to say I am the ultimate beauty amateur but I found this kit really easy to use. I actually see a big difference when I wear it and now I feel like my makeup is incomplete without using this. I am interested, however, in transitioning to clean, natural makeup, so if anyone has suggestions please leave a comment below!

Favourite Workout Gear:

Muscle Love Crop Tank by Lululemon

I go through phases with the clothes in my closet, choosing one item to wear over and over until I’m sick of it. The same goes for all of my workout gear. Right now I am totally into my crop muscle tank that I just had to go pick it up in another colour. It is so comfortable to move in, especially when I’m teaching a sweaty spin class. 

Favourite Read:

The Leader Who Had No Title by Robin Sharma

My hubby gifted this book to me when I decided to leave my corporate job (next month!!!) and pursue health and fitness full time. Sharma is one of the top leadership advisers in the world and offers incredible business advice. Whether you work for a massive corporation or are an entrepreneur, I highly recommend it to anyone looking for some professional motivation. 

Favourite Natural Remedy:

Immune by Saje Natural Wellness

Tis the season of the common cold. Despite developing a sore throat this week, I’ve managed to avoid catching that nasty cough going around my office and definitely give credit to the many natural products I use daily. This week however, I’ve added in Immune, to prevent my sore throat from developing into anything futher. Every morning and night I’ve been rubbing it on my glands and along the T-Zone of my face for my sinuses. Just smelling it all day already makes me feel better. I use the oil roller from the Saje Pocket Farmacy.

There you have it – the products that I cannot live without this month. Comment below if you would like to see more posts like this.

 

I do not own these photos. All photos belong to the linked websites.