Trail Running + Forging my own path

Despite the risk of looking like a lunatic to the internet (not that I mind), I have a confession to make.

I talk to myself… a lot and out loud when I’m running or hiking alone. I’m not sure if I’m talking to myself or the Divine, but it’s probably a bit of both. Sometimes I repeat positive self talk or mantras:

“I can do hard things”
“I’m getting stronger”
“One breath, one step at a time”

Or  I talk about the experiences I would like to create in my life. There’s something about saying it out loud that truly seals the deal. Say it. Say it out loud again and again. Say it with conviction and before you know it, you’ll be living it.

After my hike with the girls on Sunday, I needed some alone-time to run, reflect and regenerate. I set out on a 16km trail run around Upper Kananaskis Lake.

First, this trail is SO beautiful. It’s straight out of woodland fairy tale. One of the best things about running in the forest is taking in  deep, delicious, pine-scented breaths of fresh air. Nature is where you go to plug into vitality.

As I made my way along the lake shore, deep into the forest, pushing past rushing streams, waterfalls and rocky terrain, I found myself saying, “Thank you for my hardships. All of them. I know I couldn’t see it while I was in the midst of  past, painful moments, but I knew I’d reach a point where I would look back with gratitude and say thank you. Thank you for taking me where I need to go and never leaving me where I was.”

… and then I cried, because there’s no better feeling than the revelation of truth. Holding faith in the knowledge that yeah, life can have it’s challenges, but when you are committed to being happy, loving and truthful, you can (and will) make it through anything. ANYTHING.

This is why I treasure running and pushing my physical and mental limits. It has taught me that I’m responsible for generating my own power,  thoughts, beliefs and attitudes. Because I’m bound to my own life experience – and ONLY my experience, it doesn’t matter what other people are doing or thinking. I don’t rely on anyone to make me happy or fulfilled.  Instead, I am just happy and fulfilled.


The only thing we ever have control over is ourselves. So, when people say that we shouldn’t be selfish, it doesn’t sit right with me.
If we don’t practice self care, set healthy boundaries,  speak up for ourselves and declare what we desire, then what do we have to offer the world? Or anyone? Not much…

If we can’t show up for ourselves, how can we expect to show up fully for other people?  It doesn’t mean that we have to “be perfect” or a completed product before we’re ready to create a new beginning. It’s the opposite, actually. It begins with the willingness to live fully and whole-heartedly, despite the unknown.  It’s looking at life and declaring, “I’m all in!”

Living this way is filled with so many gifts. Although it requires 100% participation and dedication from ourselves and sometimes forging our own path, it doesn’t mean we are destined to a life of solitude and loneliness. Sometimes, people will leave our  lives, or we’ll want to leave theirs. At first, it can be sad (and scary!), but it’s  necessary in order for better-suited companions to show up. Individuals will seemingly ‘appear’  out of the blue who want to meet us halfway on the bridge and walk with us, instead of away from us. The kind of people who will enhance our lives, support and accept us, 100%.

When we focus on our obligation to own our authenticity, and being “the type of person” we’d like to meet, we will meet our tribe, our twin soul, soul mate or great love. It is a universal law and guarantee:  like attracts like. What we seek is also seeking us.

My hardships have taught me all of this and I am better because of it. How can I not be grateful for them?

One of those girls.

“Oh my god. You’re one of THOSE girls.” -my friend Paul’s reaction to my excitement over finding pumpkin spice Oreos. (And date rolls!) Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure he referred to me as  “one of those things” instead of a girl.


One of those things. Thanks buddy guy… thing. Laugh it up. Keep in mind, it was HIM who asked if we could dig into the Oreos shortly after dinner on Saturday night.  (Paul is BFFs with my work husband, Carlos. And now we’re the three best friends that anyone could have!)

Okay, I understand I have a naturally occurring tendency to do typical white people stuff. But I embrace it. This is who I am. I turn salads into smoothies, caption my Instagram photos with inspirational quotes and celebrate the seasonal shift with pumpkin spicing every morsel of food and beverage that crosses my lips.

Pumpkin spice season is my favourite mass consumerism holiday of the year. I did a lot of pumpkin-y things over the weekend:

-I added pumpkin pie spice to my french press
-Bought a can of pumpkin puree, Oreos and Natural Delights
-Made overnight pumpkin protein oats

(Good god, how many times can I insert the word pumpkin into this post? I’m getting annoyed with myself)

I am done now.

Alright, so this weekend!  I ran 8 miles after work on Friday night. The only thing I wanted to do was run, eat and watch tv. That’s my idea of a perfect evening, if you ask me. I couldn’t have timed it better, because a few moments after my friend picked me up, it started storming. I’m talking high winds, heavy rain, lightning and thunder that lasted deep into the middle of the night.  It was the first crazy thunderstorm I’ve experienced in the Rockies. From time to time, we might get a few lightning strikes here and there, but nothing like the wild storms on the prairies.


Saturday night, I stayed in and cooked dinner for my buds, laughed for a few hours and went to bed. I had a 6:30am alarm set for Sunday morning, because I had a busy day planned with my #AlbertaAdventureGirls friends.

Our adventure: Tryst Lake in Kananaskis.

I made sure to give myself enough time to explore the Smith-Dorrien road on the way. It’s a photographers paradise, that’s for sure. (Especially in the morning!) That Friday night thunderstorm I mentioned earlier? Yeah, it turned into a snow storm at the higher elevations at some point in the night.  It made for quite the foggy, eerie, quiet morning.

A few scenes from my journey to the trailhead:

While I waited for Amanda and Courtney at the trailhead, I dug into my fast-food breakfast.

Oats, Vega Sport protein powder, coconut milk yogurt, chia seeds, cashew milk, goji berries and banana slices in a near-empty almond butter jar.

Trailpeak suggests the hike to Tryst Lake takes 5 hours, but we finished it in under 3  – walking at a leisurely pace AND through snow.  Not only that, we lost the trail a few times due to the snow cover. I’d imagine that in the summer months, it would take 2-2.5 hours to complete the entire thing.

Due to the low cloud cover, we couldn’t see the mountains, but I really want to come back on a clear day to get a better view.


It looks a lot colder than it actually was. We were all sweating and had to keep removing or adding layers. Love these girls and our group. We are in the midst of planning some upcoming Calgary adventures – Screamfest, an outdoor potluck/bonfire, yoga classes and more. If you’d like to come, join our Facebook group to RSVP and to find more details. For privacy and safety reasons, it’s a closed group, so just request to join and we’ll add ya! :)

After parting ways with Amanda and Courtney, I headed off on a solo mission, but I’ll tell you more about it later this week.

Over to you: 

What did you do on your last friend-date?

What’s the weather like in your area? It’s back to fall here and the snow is gone.

A series of random/mini stories from the week

I think I’ve blogged more this week than I have in the entire month. Life is busy and I have lots to talk about! 

We’ve been experiencing a lovely Indian Summer here in the Rockies. What October  in my ‘hood looks like so far:


It’s still shorts and tank top weather! Well, kind of. The mornings are quite chilly, but once the sun rises over the peaks and casts it’s delicious rays onto me, I’m the happiest girl in the world.


I took my first seasonal white girl photo of the season:

(My sneaks are from Old Navy)


I’ve had a snack plate for dinner almost every night this week. Have you tried beet hummus yet? It’s truly one of the best food inventions EVER! It’s funny how the package says a serving of hummus is 1 TBSP. That’s how much I put on each bite of food.


Last night’s cotton candy sunset was a solid 10/10. My buddy Paul and I walked to dinner and bonded over good food and wine at Thai It Up.  I’ve been eating there a lot lately. Green papaya salad, massaman and green curries are rocking my world.


I love that we live in a world where all kinds of crazy peanut butter flavours exist. Red Velvet? Omg.  I rarely buy jars of nut butter in Canmore because they’re so expensive. This little guy is $16. (Justin’s maple almond butter is my absolute all-time favorite)


Knocked this run out of the park on Monday night. I didn’t think I’d EVER reach a point where I’d become capable of running 7:xx miles. You know what the biggest factor has been? Changing my attitude about my capabilities and perceived limitations.  Our minds are such a powerful tool. On some level, whether we’re conscious of it or not, we’re deciding how to be, how we perceive the world and what we attract. I believe that experiences or events don’t just “happen” to us. We invite it. Usually because we have something to learn or teach, but usually both.  Like attracts like.  I use my choice of free will to focus on emotions, experiences and people that make me happy, and as a result, I end up attracting more of it into my life.   Old me used to say things like, “I want ___ BUT (insert excuse)” Eliminating the word “but” from my vocabulary is one of the best things I have ever done. BUT is a roadblock… and kinda cancels out what you desire. What do you think?

Tell me some mini-random stories from your week!

What are you going to do this weekend?


Ha! Made ya look.

Our first adventure as a group in Waterton was an interpretive two hour boat cruise to Goat Haunt, Montana. Now, I’m not typically one for guided tours as I prefer to explore on my own terms. Or better yet, connect with a local who can offer a personal perspective and insight. However, the Goat Haunt cruise is a MUST if you ever find yourself in the park.

Waterton Shoreline Cruises is operated by Waterton locals, who are not only a wealth of  information, but deliver it in a genuine, interesting dialogue instead of reciting a script. And, if you’re fascinated by geology, local history and wildlife like I am, you absolutely have to add this excursion to your adventure bucket list!

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Interesting facts I learned during our cruise:

-The mountains in Waterton Lakes National Park are the oldest exposed peaks in the Canadian Rockies – dated at over 1500 million years old!

-Upper Waterton Lake is the deepest lake in the Canadian Rockies

-BALD EAGLES are mountain goats biggest predators. (How in the flying !$%* -literally – does that even happen? Can you imagine witnessing a bald eagle flying around with a goat gripped in it’s talons?)


After our boat tour wrapped up, it was time for lunch. Without a doubt, my favorite place to eat in Waterton is Wieners of Waterton. They serve gourmet locally-made hot dogs with fresh, warm, doughy buns and all kinds of fun toppings.

I ordered a local bison smokie wrapped in romaine leaves (instead of a bun) and topped it with pickled ginger carrots, sauerkraut, grainy mustard, curry ketchup, potato chips and a pickle. I got an order of deep fried dill pickles with ginger-wasabi dipping sauce on the side. (I miss you, sweet wienery friend! My computer keeps trying to correct that to winery. No. WIENERY. Do you ever create new words by adding a y to the end? It’s the best.)

Shortly after lunch, our group split up for the afternoon. Brie, Ashley, Kris and I set off on a short yet moderately challenging 6km hike to Bertha Lake.  The weather was all over the place during our trek. I started out in a tank top, but quickly changed into my puffy jacket when rain and a light hail storm surprised us. I always make sure to pack extra base layers, hot packs, gloves and a hat during shoulder season hiking because the weather conditions can change in an instant. Moisture-wicking clothes are essential  because dry = warm. Cotton is pretty much the worst thing you can wear because once you’re wet, you stay wet and cold. (And miserable!)

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Make sure you stop at the viewpoint of Upper Waterton Lake on the way for a photo op!

When the girls and I arrived at Bertha Lake, we waited out the hail storm under a tree and snapped a few photos before heading back. There’s a back country camping site nearby that I wouldn’t mind staying at next summer. Anyone up for another group Waterton trip?!

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I love this photo of us. We’re so ca-ute! Our outdoor-adventure-girls tribe is so, SO awesome.

If you’re in the market for a new day pack, I highly recommend the Tempest 40L Osprey which is engineered specifically for women. It’s ideal for light backpacking and hiking.

My favourite features:

-Built in external ergonomic support and padding in all the right places
-Very lightweight and holds quite a bit of gear without feeling bulky
-External hydration compartment
-Carries your poles
-Easy accessible compartments in the waist straps to hold my phone and keys

I tried on several backpacks in Atmosphere and kept going back to this Osprey design because it felt the best.

Post hike, we reconvened at  Lakeside Chophouse for a slightly more upscale dining experience. I was still full from my deep fried pickle heavy lunch and opted to keep things light. I ordered a vodka martini, Moroccan spiced lentil soup and a starter salad with prawns. All three were excellent!  This would be a great date-night restaurant to visit with a nice looking mountain man. 😉 :)

Good friends, good food and good hiking = the holy trinity of…  all I truly need in life to be happy. :)

What’s the last meal you had in a restaurant?

Hot dog or hamburger? Fav pub/bar food? I love nachos and sweet potato fries!

What’s the coolest guided tour you’ve been on? I’d have to say flying around the Rockies in a helicopter is up there on my list.

You gotta experience this: National Geographic’s Most Thrilling Trail

Kris and I couldn’t have asked for better hiking conditions when we arrived in Waterton on Friday morning. Alberta weather is crazy and unpredictable – especially in the spring and fall. When Kris took on the role as our fearless leader and began coordinating our Alberta Blogger Retreat a few months ago, we knew there was a good chance we could experience a blizzard or an Indian Summer on our trip.  We kept watching the forecast and crossing our fingers that the summer would hold out through the end of September. And it did!!! Yay

I used to be the kind of person who would only go hiking if it was clear blue skies, over 20C, no wind, at low tide,  a strong Canadian dollar, with the moon in Virgo… aaaand only after a good night’s sleep. Now I don’t care. I’ll adventure in almost all conditions… unless it’s blizzarding and I can’t see two feet in front of me.  That said, apparently if you wear warm, dry, weather-appropriate gear, you won’t become cold.

Before we get into my Waterton story of the day, I want to say thank you to Experience Waterton, Travel Alberta and Explore Southwest Alberta for inviting us to the Alberta Rockies for a weekend getaway. It was such a treat to be able to meet up with a fantastic group of Alberta bloggers from all over the province. We were representing Calgary, St. Albert, Canmore, Red Deer and Lethbridge.

One of the suggestions on our itinerary was the Crypt Lake hike. National Geographic has named it one of the world’s best and most thrilling trails – best for hikers who love adrenaline rushes and waterfalls.  Of course we had to do it!  This was my second time on the trail – I did it several years ago when I was a bit of a wimp/princess and just getting into the outdoorsy lifestyle.  Back then, I remember reading mixed reviews online and seeing that it was “terrifying” while others said it’s not scary at all.  There’s a bit of scrambling, exposure and climbing, but I never felt like I was in danger. But it’s all about perception, right?

Distance to Crypt Lake: 5.4 miles/8.7km ONE WAY – about 2.5-3 hours to the top, and 2-2.5 hours back to the landing
Elevation Gain: 2300 ft 

I met Kris at the marina around 9:30 to grab our boat tickets and then we boarded the Miss Waterton for our 15 minute shuttle across Upper Waterton Lake to Crypt Landing.  You know it’s going to be a great hike when it begins with a boat ride. Ahoy!

About 20 hikers unloaded at the shore, and despite starting the hike at the same time, everyone spread out fairly quickly.

Fall hiking is at it’s prime right now. Kris and I couldn’t get over the vibrant shades of gold, yellow, orange and red foliage adorning the trails.  Once we were out of the treeline, we embarked on switchbacks for a couple hours while stopping every few minutes to take pictures because THESE VIEWS THOUGH.


And then it was time for the best part of the hike: approaching the tunnel, climbing through it and then up and over a cliff. (Calm down, Mom) I can assure you, it definitely appears more dangerous than it actually is. Sure, there’s a 600 ft drop off next to the ledge I’m walking on, but it feels safe!

At one point, I turned around and asked Kris if the internet made it seem scarier than it actually is and she said yes.  A 10 ft. ladder is there to assist the climb inside the naturally occurring tunnel. Over the years, Parks Canada has hollowed out parts of it to make it easier to clear with backpacks and gear.

“Hey look, I’m inside a mountain right now!” Here’s Kris leading the way once we were both inside.

From there, we finished traversing the ledge and began our ascent up the face of a cliff. There’s a cable to hold onto but it’s there for peace of mind, more than anything.


SO FUN!!! I wish the entire hike consisted of tunnels and climbing. 20 minutes later, we arrived at Crypt Lake and found a spot at the opposite end of the lake to rest, sunbathe and eat our lunches.

We decided 2pm would be a good time to start heading back. We planned on a 2km detour to check out Hell Roaring Falls on the way, plus we wanted enough time to chill out and relax at the beach. As we were leaving Crypt Lake, a guy asked us to take his picture (for Instagram, of course) and I invited him to hike back with us.

Everyone, meet Tyson from Utah.  This was his first trip to Canada! After seeing pictures of Alberta on Instagram, he was inspired to grow a beard and head out on a solo adventure through the  Rockies. “The beard and hat were good choices. Now Instagram is going to know you’re a real explorer. You just need a hammock, fold up kayak and a tent to make it official.” I said.

Waterton was his first stop, with plans to travel to Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper afterwards. Tyson asked us a lot of questions about Canada and Canadians along the way. We had a ton of laughs educating him on our northern existence.


“What kind of music do Canadians listen to?” Me: “I like everything except country and Satanic death music. I’m really into EDM, the xx and London Grammar right now.” Kris: “I like country… can’t say satanic music has ever crossed my mind”

“Does Canada have Tinder? My friends keep telling me to sign up”  Me: “Yes! I’ve used it and didn’t mind it. You have to go into it with no expectations though. I’d compare it to shopping at Winners or TJ Maxx. There ARE gems out there, but you have to be patient and sift through a lot of garbage to find it. And you have to be in the mood otherwise you’ll just end up annoyed.” #NAILEDIT

“What are Canadian winters like?” Us: “In Alberta, it’s not uncommon to experience all seasons in one day – especially in the south. The west coast stays mild all year round, while the prairies tend to have long, dark, cold winters.”

“Do you know what fry sauce is?” Me: “Ketchup and mayo?” Tyson: “YES THAT’S A UTAH THING!” Us: “You should try ketchup and all-dressed chips while you’re here”

“What kind of beer is good? Do you have Coors and Budweiser here?” Us: “Ewww!! We like craft beer. Look for Grizzly Paw and Granville Island”

Making new friends on the trails is the best.

Once we made it back to Crypt landing, we chilled on the dock until the boat picked us up at 5:30pm. GUYS. Here is the photographic evidence that I am not tall in real life. Now, Kris is tall. She is almost 6ft!

Back on dry land, we checked into our hotel room (we stayed at the Waterton Lakes Lodge Resort), changed and went in search of food and beer. The rest of the girls had already eaten or hadn’t arrived yet, so we all did our own thing for dinner. Kris and I chose 49th Parallel Pizza for our post-hike feast.


I love the abundance of wildlife in Waterton. This massive buck was hanging out behind Kris and casually munching on grass while we ate our pizza. Don’t you just want to pinch Kris’ cheeks? She’s so smiley and happy.

With full (beer) bellies, we ventured over to Ashley and Danielle’s room for a nightcap and quick chat before heading off to bed. If it’s one thing I know for sure about healthy living bloggers, we don’t stay up late. Ever.

Have you been to Waterton? 

What is your ultimate post-hike meal? BEER

Necessary Evils

After what felt like a very, very long work day last Wednesday and a 3.5 hour drive ahead of me, I knew I’d feel much more energized and happy if I got a quick run in first. I get cranky when I’m sitting for extended periods of time! (Ps. Hi, Happy Monday!)

I knocked out 4 ‘hilly’ miles along a bike path. It ended being more of a run/walk because I kept hitting maximum heart rate or cardiac arrest after 10 strides or so. Plus I was dicking around and taking a few pictures for the blog.


I love-hate hill training. Even though it makes me want to throw up, I’m becoming a stronger and faster runner. Necessary evil.

Additional necessary evils that instantly come to mind:

-Eating vegetables everyday


-Wearing pants (and a bra)

I felt pretty darn good after my run. Ain’t fall running the best? Remember back in the day when people would get all heated about the word ‘ain’t’ and now we live in a world where ‘bae’, ‘can’t even’ and pumpkin spice everything exists? NO LIE: I saw a sign advertising PUMPKIN SPICE manicures and pedicures in Calgary. White people are nuts.

I stopped at Community Naturals along the way to pick up a few treats (Kevita and kombucha) + an $800 salad bar dinner. White people are nuts.

Here we have a roasted vegetable medley, sweet potatoes, beet salad, peas and turkey meatballs. I neutralized my healthy meal once I got to my parents house and ate chocolate cake with caramel icing.

The following morning, I was out the door by 8:30am for a run. I covered a little over 5 miles through the neighbourhoods I grew up in. It’s interesting to come back and observe the places you used to live, isn’t it? Everything is still the same, but you’re different.

Leaves crunching beneath your feet is one of the most satisfying sounds.

Back at my parents house, I dug into the breakfast I prepared the night before: overnight protein oats. This has been my daily breakfast for the past two weeks or so. I know I should switch things up, but I just don’t want to. The only thing that changes are the toppings or protein powder.

In this mix: 1/3 cup oats, vanilla pea-protein powder, almond milk, coconut milk yogurt, hemp and banana. Looks super gross, right?

My pets love food just as much as I do! Oliver (bird) and Ruby (cat) were both trying to help themselves to my bowl. I offered Ruby a banana slice and she winced in pain like she was in one of those Sarah Maclaughlin animal cruelty commercials.

I spent the rest of my day doing a little bit of shopping at Atmosphere (my fav store), eating lunch with my parents, visiting my sister and picking up snacks for my Waterton trip. I finally tried the new mint chocolate chunk Quest bar! I’ve heard mixed reviews about it – that it has a ‘weird taste’ and you know what it is? I HAVE PINPOINTED THE ODD FLAVOR:  It doesn’t really taste like chocolate – but rather black licorice  mixed with mint. It was the first thing that came to mind – those god awful multicoloured Goodies pellets. It’s not overpowering but it’s there, for sure. That said, I didn’t mind this bar. Not my favourite, but I’m also not the biggest fan of chocolate Questies. Aka. Don’t listen to me.

My Dad and I went on the hunt for Taber corn (my dinner request) and couldn’t help but laugh at this sign:

While my parents were busy cooking dinner for us, I went to Bodypump and ran into blog reader/new friend (Hi Jodi!!) Small world, hey?

And then I was off to bed because I had an early wake up call to meet Kris in Waterton for a full day hike. But more on that later in the week.

What do you think of Quest bars (or this new one?)

How many white girl/pumpkin spice thingies have you consumed since we last talked? Does anyone know where I can find those pumpkin spice Oreos? I need them.

Tell me something exciting about your upcoming week ahead! 

My latest addiction

Remember that time I said I cancelled Netflix to give Shomi a try? The verdict: eeeehhhhhh

Overall, I found the variety of content to be underwhelming. ‘Girlfriends Guide to Divorce’ was the only interesting-to-me show that I ended up watching. Now I’m back to Netflix and working my way through Narcos. Anyone else watching this? I’m beyond addicted!

My social calendar has been filled with lots of friend dates lately. Dinners, walks, life chats over glasses of wine or ice cream.  I’m in a place of saying YES! to pretty much everything right now. It’s a good place to be. When someone asks if you want to drive to Banff for impromptu burritos and margs after work, you go!

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I was wearing 3 hoodies in this photo. One evening, I started running home from work and a friend picked me up along the way so we could go for a walk. I locked myself out of the house and couldn’t change out of my sweaty gear, so not only did my friend get stuck with me stinking up their car (and life), they had to give me their all layers to wear.  I imagine this is what hypothermia feels like.

Friday evening was dedicated to ME and some much needed alone time. I *think* I’m more of an introvert, but not like an anti-social-shy one. I really enjoy being around people but sometimes reach a point where I’m all “Okay I’m done talking and socializing now. I need to be quiet and recharge my batteries.” After work, I stopped by the store to grab a few things:

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Maple syrup, kombucha, tea, yams, kale, rice crackers, vitamin d and ‘Great Bear Apple-Cinna Summit Bites’ which are SO GOOD! They’re marketed as paleo cookies and are a blend of coconut, apples and cinnamon. Very similar to a macaroon.

I took the time to prepare myself a healthy meal and made extras so I’d have leftovers to eat throughout the coming days.

Quinoa seasoned with olive oil, himalayan salt, pepper, turmeric and ginger with chopped kale, broccoli, yam, chicken and sweet potato.

As for my weekend adventures, I hiked to Stanley glacier in Kootenay National Park, BC on Saturday morning.  I always forget how close I live to BC – maybe half an hour? My friend Brianne met me at my house and we drove to the trail head together.

Technically the Stanley glacier trail is about 8km return that winds through a valley and abruptly ends at a lookout. Most people turn around at this point, but because we’re #AlbertaAdventureGirls, we kept going! From there, we continued onto an unofficial trail (which is more of scramble than hike) to the basin of the glacier.

“I really hope Brianne isn’t mad at me!” I thought to myself while we were navigating through loose rock. “Just pretend you’re a mountain goat and keep three points of contact at all times!” was the advice I offered her in some sketchier areas.

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We stopped for a brief rest near the top and ate snacks before heading back. What I like about this trail is you can do an entire loop within the basin of the glacier, instead of having to hike back the same way. Brianne brought the most amazing salted chocolate chip cookies for us. I’m going to get the recipe from her and share it with y’all ASAP. (They’re gluten-free, too!)

After our hike, I took a hot bath and napped for a couple hours. (+ watched 500 episodes of Narcos) Perfect Saturday, if you ask me. :)

On Sunday morning, I embarked on a solo mission up a mountain. I wasn’t very hungry when I woke up, so I packed my breakfast to go and ate it on my hike.

If you saw my Instagram post, you’ll know that I didn’t make it to the summit due to extreme winds. Oh man, it was terrifying at times! I literally had to sit down, close my eyes, cover my face and brace myself every few minutes.  After three hours on the trail, I called it quits and went for a run instead.

I rounded out the day with a sushi date. Look at this beautiful sashimi bouquet!!

If you are wondering where to eat sushi in the Bow Valley – Chef Studio Japan! The service is terrible (it’s been especially bad this summer) but the food is great. I’m not one to complain about businesses publicly online, but after reading Trip Advisor reviews a few moments ago, it confirmed I’m not just an a-hole. Even ordering take out is a hassle. But at least it’s usually worth the ordeal! I think? Maybe I’m too tolerant.

Ahhhh! Only two days of work left until I head down to Lethbridge to visit my family for a couple nights, then I’m off to Waterton on Friday morning for a weekend of hiking, running and eating with a great group of Alberta-based bloggers. So exciting.

What does a typical work-week look like for you? What do you do in the evenings?

What did you eat for dinner on Friday night?

What are you currently watching on Netflix?

The Struggle Is Real.

HOT OFF THE PRESS: GoodLife Fitness just launched a new #MakeItHappen community for Canadians to motivate each other and share tips and stories on prioritizing our health and well being.    GoodLife recently conducted a survey to get a better understanding of what prevents us from working out or eating healthy and it ultimately came down to work-life balance. Most of us are juggling full time careers, families, relationships, social events and more. It can be tough to find time to hit the gym or justify allocating an hour to  fitness with a seemingly never-ending to-do list.


GoodLife’s survey results revealed that our primary motivating factors were finding a reliable friend to work out with, a health scare, a personal goal such as signing up for a race, and a convenient gym location. I definitely agree with their findings. When I first started working out, I had NO IDEA what I was doing (or supposed to do) in the gym and looked to a friend to show me the ropes. I didn’t even know how to properly lift a dumbbell. Eventually, I found that my friends weren’t reliable so I began participating in group exercise classes, which ultimately led to my love (and borderline obsession) with Bodypump.

In terms of health, I’m genetically pre-disposed to heart disease- from both sides of my family. My Dad had a heart attack earlier this year and required bypass surgery which was semi-successful.  I have a heart murmur (atrial fibrillation) so needless to say, I kind of feel like a ticking time bomb. My Doctor isn’t concerned and says it’s pretty common for young, healthy athletes to develop them, but considering the hand of genes I’ve been dealt, it’s something I’m mindful of.

That being said, current epi-genetic research suggests that lifestyle influences HOW those (crappy) genes express themselves. When we take care of ourselves, the chances of developing a genetic condition might be lessened, or not even occur at all. Proper stress management, balanced nutrition and exercise reduce inflammation and lessens the likelihood, risk and severity of developing disease. Makes sense, right?

                                                                            I try to eat a lot of green, planty stuff

I don’t want to look back on my life and wish I would’ve taken better care of myself. Our power is in the present moment and it’s never too late to start making healthy lifestyle changes. It’s all about small, daily choices that add up to HUGE, lasting results. Don’t let the lack of experience stop you from moving forward and taking that first step. Seven years ago, I couldn’t even run a block. Now I run long distances, climb mountains and do all kinds of crazy, fun, adventurous stuff.

                                                           That time I accidentally came in first place in gender and age division 

So, pop on over to the Make It Count community and while you’re there, take advantage of a free 3 day gym pass (you should really try Bodypump or CXWORX. If you are in Calgary we can go together!)


Switching gears… I guess you could say I’m not much of a “girly-girl”. I appreciate the IDEA of girly stuff – jewelry, makeup, nail polish, clothes, and do a pretty good job of putting myself together to look like a young professional lady. But I get overwhelmed and anxious by owning ‘too much stuff’. Unless it’s running shoes or outdoor gear – then you can NEVER have too much – haha!

The jewelry I consistently wear are my ‘story bracelets’:



-I got the blue prayer beads from a Buddhist temple

-The green beads are from a local market in Calgary. The wing reminds me of freedom, truth, and that I am constantly being guided

-The pink one is a lokai bracelet which has a black and white bead on it.  The black bead holds mud from the lowest point on earth – the Dead Sea. It serves as a reminder that: “Sometimes you hit a low.  Stay hopeful”  The white bead contains water from Mount Everest – the highest point on earth. “Sometimes you’re on top of the world. Stay humble’

Steven Izen is the creator of lokai bracelets and he brought these two key elements together as a reminder that life is full of cycles. He says, “Life is full of joy and sadness. I hope that lokai will remind you to stay balanced and centered along your journey”

What a grand brand and concept, hey?

-I have some exciting news and travel plans in the works with our group of Alberta healthy living bloggers. We’re  participating in a mountain-meet up in Waterton Lakes National Park on September 25, 26 & 27. We’ll be Instagramming, Tweeting and blogging from the Rockies so make sure ya follow #AlbertaAdventureGirls  for highlights.

I’m going to be in Waterton early on Friday morning to catch a boat to Crypt Lake Landing for a full-day hike to Crypt Lake. This particular trail holds a special place in my heart as it was the first “big” hike I ever did and what ultimately triggered my passion for the outdoors.  I’m so excited to share our stories and adventures with all of you!


Have you been to Waterton? What are your favorite things to do in the park?

How do you motivate yourself to stay active and hold yourself accountable? For me, it really comes down to not making excuses or complaining, not thinking about it and just doing it!

Are you a “girly-girl”? Maybe I am a sporty girly-girl. Yes.

This post was written as part of the GoodLife Fitness Blogger Ambassador Program

3 Days; 3 Hikes; 3 New Friends

The outdoor adventure gods must have known I had a busy/outdoorsy weekend planned because when I walked into the grocery store on Thursday night, Clif bars were on sale for $1.00 each. Yay!!!


When it comes to hiking fuel, I try to ‘keep it mostly clean’ with whole foods, but depending on the duration and intensity of the climb, there comes a point where my body just needs calories and it doesn’t care from what. Not only that, I find someone usually forgets to pack food (or enough food) so my backpack usually has several Clif bars kicking around. I’ve tried the protein bar version on a few separate occasions and my stomach says No. Absolutely not. Dislike. Stop eating them. I thought it was maybe a one-off reaction I had to them, but nope. Extreme GI distress that leaves me feeling the effects for days afterwards. I’m wondering if it’s the protein blend or sugar alcohols in the bars. Just a heads up in case you tend to be a sensitive wimp to protein powders and sugar alcohols too.  Well, that was a long/gross story. I don’t know why I told you that.

Apparently good things come in threes: 3 days off, 3 hikes and 3 new friends.

On Friday morning, I made myself a green smoothie using Vega Sport’s new mocha blend. I really like the quality of ingredients in Vega, however, I’m SUPER sensitive to the flavour of stevia (I hate it).   I find Vega Sport tends to be less sweet than their other protein powders though. I’ve used their vanilla protein powder off and on for years and don’t mind it one bit.

I’d heard great things about the new mocha flavour and wouldn’t ya know – Vega Sport was on sale during my grocery trip the night before.  I tossed spinach, a frozen banana, chia seeds, a scoop of Vega Sport and unsweetened cashew milk into the Vitamix and gave it a whirl.   I honestly couldn’t taste mocha… or chocolate at all. So that made me a little sad.  (White girl problems or what?) It was still a good smoothie, though!

After breakfast, I spent the day hiking in Banff with my friend Jess. We met through Instagram several months ago while she was planning her move to Alberta (from Ontario). She is outgoing, bubbly and has a huge passion for the outdoors, photography and making new friends, so naturally we get along wonderfully.  We hiked about 20km return to Bourgeau Lake, then onto Harvey Pass.

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I CANNOT sleep in anymore. It’s so frustrating. I was wide awake at 5:30am on Saturday morning, and after unsuccessfully trying to fall back asleep, I watched a couple episodes of Girlfriends Guide To Divorce and slowly started getting ready.

By 10am, I was on the road to my next outdoor adventure – this time in Kananaskis. I met Jess and Amanda at Upper Kananaskis Lake and we trekked to Rawson Lake. It was such a beautiful day! We couldn’t have asked for better hiking weather.


#AlbertaAdventureGirls is really taking off! The group has a Banff hike planned for Saturday, Sept 19 to Rockbound Lake, and a few of us are heading out on Sunday the 20th to a TBD destination. Wanna know the great thing about having outdoorsy Insta-friends? THEY TAKE ALL THE PICTURES AND I GET TO STEAL THEM.  “I’m just gonna let you guys take all the shots and I’ll use yours cause I’m feeling lazy.”  I’m used to being THE friend who’s always snapping photos and it was nice to take a break.

After Rawson Lake, I met up with a couple coworkers for spiked lemonade and nachos. Say hello to Shannon and Carlos! Remember how I told y’all about my work-husband last week? Carlos is The One.  (How much do you want to bet my Mom is going to call me and ask what’s going on. I can hear the panic and confusion already. One time she thought Arman and I were dating. LOLZ)

My original Sunday plan was to go for a long run + hot yoga but I ended up in Lake Louise instead. Awake by 6am, on the road by 7:30. The plus-side to early morning road trips is that I got to enjoy some quiet time at  Moraine Lake before the bus loads of tourists arrived.

Then it was time to get moving! From Lake Louise, I hiked to Little Beehive where I ran into my Insta-famous friend, Sam. If you’re into Alberta photographers, you likely follow this fellow. Upon meeting, one of the first things he said to me was: “I thought you were going to be six feet tall. You have gangly legs”. (Side note: I get that a lot! Apparently I give the internet the perception I’m super tall, when I’m 5’5 IRL)

We hiked to the Lake Agnes and Plain of Six Glaciers tea houses together. Sam took a few shots of me with his fancy camera. I took pics of him with my  iPhone. Hahaha.. you’re welcome?

I’ve realized that I can manifest genuine friendships with almost anyone, no matter how different we appear on the surface. It doesn’t really matter if we have varying hobbies, interests, religious or cultural beliefs, (which is all superficial surface stuff, anyway). I’ve cultivated the ability to connect with people’s hearts and very quickly  came to understand WE’RE ALL THE SAME. And now I can’t un-see or un-learn it.  I suppose it’s easy to play it safe by sticking with the old familiar tribe that we’ve always known, but where’s the fun in that?

And those are my mountain adventures and stories from the week! 

Have you ever met anyone from Instagram? How do you meet new friends these days?

What kind of protein powder/brand do you use? Any other stevia haters out there? Why is it so gross?

What is your fav bar/flavor? 

Let’s Catch Up

Have you ever experienced a dream so lucid – so vivid that it instantly woke you up? One that leaves you thinking, “WELL that was weird.  I’m done sleeping now. And I need to remember this.”

It happened to me earlier in the week!   To set the scene, I’m in the forest – somewhere near Lake Louise when I hear a loud voice say,  “The universe is always speaking to you – planting seeds of awareness in you – even in your dreams”.  At that point, I became conscious  I was dreaming – asleep, yet awake and sat up straight in bed.

You see, I’ve been doing a lot of self-analyzing and deepening my awareness and understanding lately. With that, comes a ton of questioning and trying my best to be receptive to my internal wisdom. Reassessing my values and focusing on what’s truly ‘important’.   How I’m living and if it’s aligned with a way that makes me feel happy and free. If the people I spend time with add value.  What’s working. What isn’t.  What fuels my spirit. What drains my spirit.


When I think about my ideal life and “passions”, it really comes down to this: I want to be of service to the world by touching people’s hearts with my writing and stories. To teach and learn radical self love.


To continue forming genuine connections and friendships, lead and participate in adventures, local meet ups and more. This is where my brain child for creating an online community for active, outdoor women (or anyone curious about the outdoors) comes into play. #AlbertaAdventureGirls (it was actually Alberta Mountain Girls for a few days, but the tribe suggested Adventure Girls is more inclusive and I agree!)

Join the Facebook group HERE. And please tag your Instagram pics with #AlbertaAdventureGirls 


This is kind of last minute, but I’m hiking in Banff on Friday and Kananaskis on Saturday if any of you want to join! Just a note about safety to any potential creepy lurkers: A group of women armed with bear spray, knives and hiking poles? Don’t even try. 

HOW WAS YOUR WEEK, GUYS? (I don’t know why I’m yelling) I think I’m a little excited that today is my Friday. :)

A few highlights from the week:

-The view from my new place is alright. There’s nothing quite like Three Sisters bathing in that warm, fiery early morning glow. (The snow on the peaks is from last weekend’s unexpected dump. It snows at the peaks, but rains down here in the valley)

Fun fact: the Three Sisters names are Faith, Charity and Hope. And Big Sister, Middle Sister and Little Sister

-I went for a nice walk with my work-husband after work on Monday.  We have a great relationship: he takes me out for daily all-you-can-eat lunch dates at the staff cafeteria and in return, I amuse him with endless nonsense.

-My two favorite meals right now: homemade acai bowls and overnight oats.  (Confused about what an acai bowl is? This article explains. )

I’ve been buying Sambazon frozen acai packs from Costco and Great Canadian Superstore lately. This gross-looking bowl had spinach, frozen banana, vegan protein powder and an acai pack as a base. Banana, cacao, coconut chips and crunchy peanut butter to top it off.

My roommates have super-healthy /plant-based preferences and inspired me to start eating overnight oat breakfasts like them. In addition to having an abundance of plant-y things around the house, they own a Hurom slow juicer (that I can’t wait to use!), a Vitamix and drink filtered, room temperature water just like me. I can’t handle chlorinated or cold water – it kills me! Hahahaha

In a jar, I mix a scoop of goat whey protein powder, 1 T chia seeds, coconut yogurt and cashew milk together. Then top it with ground flaxseed, fresh raspberries, goji berries and coconut chips. In the morning, I add half a sliced banana and stir it all together. I love this breakfast – it’s so filling and delicious!

– Running is filling my spirit and heart with so much joy right now. I’m not sure where all of this energy and vitality is coming from, but I’ll take it! I’ve found myself waking up before my alarm too – as in 5-5:30 am and feeling well rested. Although I haven’t been able to motivate myself to workout before work, I’ve been using the extra time to do some yin-yoga/deep stretching.

What kind of workouts/movement are you loving lately? Are you a morning or evening exerciser? (I workout late afternoon)

Do you have a work spouse?

What’s been your breakfast lately? Overnight oats or hot oats?