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Justin Baker

Is Personal Training Worth It?

By Blog

Is Personal Training Worth It?

Youre struggling to achieve your fitness goals. Maybe youre not losing weight despite working out regularly, or maybe youre trying to build muscle but dont know how to create an effective program. It has left you asking yourself the question, is personal training worth it?”. 

Here at Gold’s Gym, we are advocates of personal training. The benefits of personal training are extensive. In short: if you want results, personal training is a guaranteed way to obtain them. So if youre debating whether personal training is worth it, youve come to the right place. Lets get into it. 

 5 Signs That You Should Get a Personal Trainer

1.You hate working out

If you have fitness goals like losing weight or building muscle, enjoying the process is key to being consistent. If you hate working out, youre going to struggle. Personal trainers ensure you enjoy their workouts – even though theyre hard! It keeps you coming back. Consistency = success. 

2. You’re not getting results

If youve been working for months to get your dream body but youre not seeing the results you think you deserve, you might be doing the wrong thing. Maybe youre overtraining, undertraining, or training with poor form. A personal trainer has been professionally educated in fitness to guarantee results. 

 3. You feel self-conscious in the gym

The gym can be an intimidating environment, especially if youre not sure what to do. Working with a personal trainer can help boost your confidence so that you feel comfortable in a gym environment. Youll know the correct form for every exercise and youll be following a program so you always know what exercise is coming next. 

 4. You struggle to be consistent

Are you constantly skipping your workout for other plans? You want to work out, sure. But when it comes down to it, youd rather go out for dinner with your buddies. We get it! It can be hard when you start a fitness routine. Life gets in the way and you cant stay committed. If you are, then its time to get a personal trainer at Golds Gym BC! 

 5. You’re new to working out

Many people have never stepped foot in a gym. Working with a personal trainer helps you start your fitness journey on the right foot. Rather than wasting time struggling to navigate fitness, a personal trainer will teach you everything you need to know so that you progress faster. 

Personal Trainers Aren’t Just for Beginners 

Not everyone who gets a personal trainer is a beginner. Many advanced lifters decide they want to take the next step in fitness, and so work with a personal trainer. These individuals may work with a personal trainer for many of the same reasons: accountability, guidance, and motivation. But for them, working with a personal trainer can give them the extra help they need to achieve their goals. 

 So when should an experienced lifter work with a personal trainer? 

  • Professional bodybuilders and bikini competitors – These athletes have likely trained for a long time and have a good understanding of strength training and nutrition. However, to be the best in their industry, they need additional support and guidance to ensure that their program is refined and monitored constantly. Bodybuilders who dont work with a coach struggle to time their bulk and cut cycles for their competition, because their energy is solely focused on training and eating. Instead, a coach will put you on the right program to get show-ready.
  • Training for a marathon – Training for a marathon isnt the same as a 5 km race! Youll need to work with a coach who has experience creating running programs for athletes to increase stamina and endurance.
  • Overcoming an injury – Anyone can get an injury. Dont let it take you out of the game! Instead, work with a coach who can rehabilitate your injury while keeping your body fighting fit. This training routine will be different depending on your injury, experience level, and goals. Its particularly important to work with a personal trainer if you are overcoming an injury to avoid making the injury worse.
  • Plateauing – If youve been training for years and have started to notice your progress plateau, its time to work with a coach! Many people experience plateaus, particularly if theyve been hypertrophy training. While you may experience strength and size gains at the start of your fitness journey, you need to understand how to adapt your training routine to your new capabilities. Otherwise, your progress will tail off! Working with a coach will get you back on track. 
  • Getting bored of their current training style – Keeping the same training routine for years on end gets boring – we get it! Thats why working with a personal trainer can help you fall in love with exercise again. Youll have a one-on-one session with your trainer to discuss all your goals and preferences when it comes to working out to ensure youre put on a program that will reignite your excitement for the gym. 
  • Goals changing – When you first started lifting, your goal may have been to have huge biceps. But now, after some years, youd prefer to be agile, powerful, or flexible. Working with a trainer will help you achieve these new goals. 

The Pros and Cons of Getting a Personal Trainer 

We want everyone who trains at our gym to understand that there are advantages and disadvantages of a personal trainer, depending on your training preferences, goals, and level of commitment. 

 We’ll start with the benefits of personal training:

1. Time-efficient

A personal trainer knows how you should train to get results. You wont have to trial-and-error your way through your fitness routine. They know what works, and however much time you commit each week, you can rest knowing its the most efficient use of your time.

2.Proper lifting technique

Youd be surprised to know how many people train with poor form. They know roughly how the exercise should look, but the actual specifics of the technique are their best guess. Whats the downside of this? At best – you wont get the benefits from the exercise. At worst – youll injure yourself, and it can prevent you from training. 

3. Investment = accountability

Investing in a personal trainer keeps you accountable. You cant cancel at the last minute, you have someone motivating you to keep pushing through, and youve invested time and money into the process.  

4. It’s 100% tailored to you

A personal trainer creates a customized exercise program that is tailored to your current physique, goals, time frame, schedule, and preferences. You wont get that level of customization from finding a workout plan online.  

 So whats the difference between paying for an online workout plan vs. a custom plan by a personal trainer?  

  • An online plan is the same for everyone, regardless of their current capabilities, goals, or body type. This means it might not be suitable for you. 
  • An online plan doesnt track your progress, so you may plateau quickly or not get the results you want. 
  • An online plan is not usually suitable for people with advanced goals, for example, body recomposition or changing your aesthetic goals. 
  • An online workout plan is often created by fitness influencers who dont have the necessary credentials in exercise science or experience in the industry. Working with a personal trainer at Golds Gym will ensure that youre being coached by the best in the business – someone who is licensed, experienced, and dedicated to their craft. 

 One of the disadvantages of having a personal trainer, according to some, is the financial investment. But here at Golds Gym BC, we view it as an accountability investment. Youre investing in YOU. Youre proving that youre ready to be disciplined, accountable, and committed to your health and well-being. 

 5. You’ll start to love working out

One of our favorite benefits of getting a personal trainer that we experience in our gym is that our members start to love working out. Gold’s Gym members build a relationship with their trainers, and as a result, they start to enjoy the experience. Yes, even if theyre doing a tough workout! 

 6. Exercise = consistency = life improvement

Heres how the process goes: when you start to exercise consistently, your life improves for the better. Research has shown that an active lifestyle increases your lifespan, reduces your risk of chronic disease, improves mental health outcomes, and improves multiple biomarkers for health. When you exercise regularly, you look, feel and perform better than ever. In and outside the gym! 

 So is it Worth Getting a Personal Trainer? 

Ask yourself the following questions:[Text Wrapping Break] 

  • Do you want to improve your health in the most efficient way? 
  • Do you want to learn how to exercise properly? 
  • Do you want to fall in love with the process and the progress? 
  • Do you have the availability and commitment to stay accountable to a personal trainer? 
  • Do you have the financial means to commit to a personal trainer? 

 If you have answered yes to these questions, theres your answer! Its time to get a personal trainer at Golds Gym BC. Click here to schedule your first consultation. 

Here’s How Fitness Improves Mental Health

By Blog

Here’s How Fitness Improves Mental Health 

What you do in the gym, doesnt just stay in the gym. It transcends every area of your life – your relationships with others, your performance at work, the way you sleep – and, your mental health. 

The correlation between exercise and mental health is well-established; the more regularly you exercise, the better youll feel. In fact, some studies have gone so far as to use exercise as a tool to treat mental health disorders, much like you would a medication. Interestingly, these studies have found that exercise can alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety in the same way (if not better than) a prescription medication. 

So how does fitness improve mental health? Lets get into it. 

The Growing Need For Mental Health 

According to a 2019 study conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA), the rate of mental health issues has increased significantly in young adults over the last decade. 

Unfortunately, as you may have guessed, the pandemic exacerbated this. A 2020 follow-up survey conducted by the APA found that more than a third of adults admitted that the pandemic is having a serious impacton their mental health.  

Even though a few years have passed since the pandemic, the elevated rates of mental health issues are still prevalent, with one in five Canadians experiencing a mental illness. 

What Happens In Your Brain When You Exercise? 

When you exercise, a number of biochemical, hormonal, physiological, and psychological adaptations occur.  

 1. Rush of feel-good chemicals

You may have heard about endorphins, but theyre just one piece of the feel-good puzzle. Endorphins are hormones that work alongside other neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (well come onto this!). 

These chemicals are released during and after exercise and work by decreasing your perception of pain, improving mental clarity, and making you feel a sense of deep happiness. Runners often refer to this feeling as “runner’s high, but its the same sensation produced during other types of exercise too! 

 2. Release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)

BDNF is a protein produced inside nerve cells, and its responsible for a process known as neurogenesis. Neurogenesis is the process by which new neurons are formed. Researchers have found that people with severe mental health issues like depression often have lower rates of neurogenesis and damaged neurons. Combating this by exercising more effectively hits a “reset” button in the brain, helping to heal your mind at the source. 

 3. Increases blood flow

When you start moving your body, blood flow increases. This delivers nutrient-rich blood to your mind and muscles, which can help to mitigate stagnant energy and brain fog. This helps your brain work better, specifically the hippocampus.


The hippocampus is the part of your brain responsible for regulating your mood, fear, motivation, learning, and memory recall. Hippocampal atrophy occurs in depression, and due to its role in fear mediation, can also exacerbate anxiety.   

Studies have also found that oxygen levels in the brain are a key predictor of depression and other mental health issues. Moving your body increases oxygenation, and as a result, alleviates symptoms and helps you feel better. 

 How These Changes Can Improve Mental Health 

Aside from the immediate changes that occur during exercise, regular physical activity also has a long-lasting effect on mental health, heres how. 

 1. Gets you out of your head

Chronic stress, depression, and anxiety are all characterized by incessant thinking and being in your head. By simply exercising and moving your body, youre focusing on movement and not your thoughts. This is why some experts refer to exercise as an act of mindfulness. 

Plus, if youre exercising in a group class or with a personal trainer, youre also interacting with others, which can help you feel connected. 

 2. Boosts self-esteem

Having low self-confidence can impact the way you show up in the world and worsen mental health. A clinical trial published in Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment in 2016 found that physical activity is directly associated with self-esteem, perceived physical fitness and body image. 

When you feel more confident in yourself, youre more likely to practice positive habits like socializing, eating healthily, and taking care of yourself. 

 3. Increases social connectivity

We all want to feel connected socially, but unfortunately, when youre struggling with your mental health, its difficult to feel comfortable or motivated to be around others. Its a viscious cycle: the more time you spend alone, the worse you feel. 

Being part of the Golds Gym BC community, youll always have someone to talk to and like-minded people to be around. Many of our members build lasting friendships with the people they meet at the gym. If youre feeling low, get involved. 

 4. Improves physical health markers

Your mental and physical health are closely connected. If youre sedentary, eating unhealthy food, and not taking good care of yourself – youre not going to thrive mentally. 

For example, eating highly processed food that is high in saturated fat and sugar causes inflammation. Inflammation is one of the markers of disease and mental health issues. Thats perhaps why studies have concluded that junk food causes depression. 

Similarly, excess body fat correlates with depression risk. A study published in Translational Psychiatry found that per 20 lbs of excess body, the risk of depression increases by 17 percent. 

Regular exercise helps to regulate your body weight and improve key health markers like triglycerides, blood pressure, and inflamamtion. 

 5. Improves work performance

When youre struggling with your mental health, other areas of your life are also impacted, like your career. The good news is that exercise has been shown to increase work performance, by way of enhancing cognitive function and regulating mood. This is due to BDNF and the effect on the hippocampus.


 A study published in 2013 gave a group of participants a working memory test after before and after exercising for 15 minutes. The researchers found that compared to a control group, those who exercised saw an increase in their working memory. This gives an insight into how the hippocampus benefits from exercise, even if its just for 15 minutes. 

Final Takeaways 

Want to improve your mental health? Exercise! 

It may feel difficult to start a workout routine when youre feeling low, which is why it might be beneficial to work with a personal trainer or join a group fitness class. Once you start exercising, youll feel the effects immediately. When it comes a regular habit, youll feel happier and healthier. 

 It’s time to take the first step. 

PT Special – Feb 01-28 2022

By Landing Page

15 Pack $85 Per Session

Getting a late start to your 2022 fitness goals? Gold’s Gym is offering an incredible Personal Training promotion from now until February 25th.
• Set fitness goals for yourself
• Great motivation and fitness focus
• Great for beginners or advanced sessions

Provide your information below for a complimentary Fitness Assessment with a personal trainer and get access to our special offer.

    Local ID or proof of local residence is required. Please familiarize yourself with our current covid protocols and mask policies.
    *terms and conditions apply

    Experience for yourself everything Gold's Gym BC has to offer:

    See what our members are saying:

    Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce

    By Landing Page

    Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce

    Try us FREE for 3 day

    Fill in your information and someone from our team will reach out to set up your 3-day pass and review your members benefits.

    Get started today!

      Refer a coworker or family member:

      Upgrade their 1-day first-time visitor pass to a complimentary 3-day pass.

      * Valid for FIRST TIME visitors only. Local ID or proof of local residence is required. Please familiarize yourself with our current covid protocols and mask policies

      Chamber Member Benefits:

      • Unlimited access to all Gold’s Gym BC locations:
        Langley, Port Coquitlam, West Broadway and University Marketplace

      • Up to 35% off Elite Multi-Club membership dues

      • Access to all group fitness classes that are inclusive with membership

      • FREE quarterly Fitness Assessment with certified Personal Trainer

      • FREE monthly Body Composition test

      • 14 visits per year to any Gold’s Gym in the world (750+ locations globally)

      • Corporate pricing available to immediate family members

      See what our members are saying:

      Simple Cardio Routine You Can Do Anywhere!

      By Blog

      Cardio that can be done without the gym and without running – amp up your fitness routine!

      Cardio doesn’t have to be hard, or on a treadmill, or eat up a significant part of your day. Did you know for general well-being and Cardiovascular health all you need is a minimum of 30 minutes per day?

      There are simple ways of adding it in without needing to hit the gym, here are a few to consider:

      • Taking walking breaks/lunches throughout your day
      • Setting a daily movement goal such as steps or distance traveled
      • Taking calls/meetings as you walk (if possible)
      • Walking to run errands whenever possible

      Sometimes getting outside isn’t an option, especially mid-winter in rainy Vancouver. If that’s the case and you’re looking for an easy option we’ve built out 2 Interval Cardio workouts you can perform anywhere!

      Handsome young Arab man doing squats, working out at home, full length

      Easy On The Knees

      Plank Hop-Out
      Start in the plank position, hop your legs towards your chest, then back out

      Side Steps
      Squat to a comfortable position and take 5 steps to your right, then 5 to your left

      Jumping Jacks
      If jumping is uncomfortable, step out one foot at a time while your arms swing overhead

      Shadow Boxing
      Punch across your body alternating arms

      Butt Kicks
      Think high-knees, but reverse it to kick your heel to your butt, alternating sides

      Experienced HIIT

      Squat Jumps
      Add a pulse at the bottom to really feel the burn!

      Reverse Lunge to High Knee *alternating legs*
      Step back into your lunge, as you step back forward draw your knee up towards your chest

      Mountain Climbers
      For an added oblique burn, add a twist drawing your knee towards the opposite shoulder

      Jumping Jacks
      For more burn, add a band and jump out against the resistance

      Plank Hold
      You know it, hold it as long as you can. Up for a challenge? Try going from your hands to your elbows during the hold

      Here is the timing to follow, depending on your goal and fitness level:

      12 Minutes: 60 Seconds Each, 2 Rounds + 2minute break between rounds
      21 Minutes: 60 Seconds Each, 3 Rounds + 2minute break between rounds
      28 Minutes: 60 Seconds Each, 4 Rounds + 2minute break between rounds

      We recommend trying it first for the 2 rounds, then slowly working your way up to 4 rounds.
      If you’re still looking for more recommendations on your cardio routine, feel free to reach out to anyone of our Personal Trainers. They can assess your current levels and help recommend what cardio is right for you.

      Most importantly, Try to have FUN with it!

      Top 10 Foods to Boost Your Immune System

      By Blog

      Best foods to help you stay healthy through the winter months

      With the emphasis on staying healthy and safe this year, more people are looking for tips to boost their immune system. COVID-19 has brought a lot of changes to our daily lives and one of those being the conscious effort in staying healthy. 

      A healthy lifestyle has been proven to help build a strong immune system, which includes:

      – Healthy foods 

      – Regular exercises 

      – Reduced alcohol

      – Not smoking 

      – Adequate sleep 

      – Reduced stress 

      On top of a healthy day to day life, you can also look to boosting some of the benefits through nutrition.

      While there is no specific food that will prevent the contraction of viruses,  certain foods that are higher in specific vitamins and nutrients can aid in boosting the immune system. Focus on adding these 10 types of foods into your diet:

      1. Cruciferous Vegetables: These are POWERHOUSE veggies that come with a list of beneficial nutrients for our bodies. This includes broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, bok choy, collard greens, rapini – the list goes on. These veggies include Vitamin A, C, K and Folate, the dark green ones have higher contents of A and C. 
      2. Citrus Fruits: Lemons, oranges, limes and grapefruits are packed with vitamin C . Careful if you’re going for juices as they can be quite high in sugar Aim to get these fruits in their whole format.
      3. Peppers: Green and sweet bell peppers are also high on the vitamin C content
      4. Seeds & Nuts: These guys fill two categories with their great levels of Vitamin D and being high in Vitamin B. These are easy to add in to smoothies and salads, or  on their own as snacks. For some seeds and nuts,  you want to make sure they are either ground or broken when eating them.
      5. Oily Fish: High in your omega’s, but again another Vitamin D super star. It has become clear as we learn more about COVID-19 that Vitamin D is a major player in preventing serious symptoms. 
      6. Spinach and Leafy Greens: These are packed with Vitamin A and  many other nutrients. This fibre rich addition is a great foundation for salads, quickly added to smoothies and many more uses! 
      7. Ginger Root: Most commonly known for its ability to ease stomach upset. Ginger is also a superfood when it comes to immune response. It is anti-inflammatory which aides in fighting off most viruses since inflammation directly affects our bodies immune response.
      8. Turmeric: This is widely known for its bright yellow colour and mainly anti-inflammatory benefits. It has been found that turmeric activates the production of certain cells that are the force of your immune system! Try adding some to your tea, smoothies, or making a turmeric latte.
      9. Whole Grains: These help regulate our digestive process, assisting in a healthy stomach and gut. They also come packed with B vitamins which are crucial for a healthy system but more specifically our energy levels! 
      10. Water:  Saving the best for last! Water! It seems like an obvious part of the equation, but often it is forgotten how important this is.  Adequate water is crucial to our bodies to help eliminate toxins, in cellular function and aids in digestion.!

      As you can see with a lot of the foods listed, there are multiple uses and benefits with the main message being eat a variety through your day. What are your go-to remedies through cold/flu season? 

      Finding Your Motivation

      By Blog

      Helping you find your motivation

      We get it. Finding the motivation to stay fit can be hard at times, and more often than not other things come in the way. We’ll review simple but actionable ways to help you find your motivation and set yourself up for success.

      Key principles in motivation to help you stick to your fitness goals

      Motivation is the driving force behind our actions, for good or bad. This comes from a variety of influences but ultimately decides if we will take action or not. As the cooler weather, rain and short days set in, motivation can at times be hard to muster up to physically get into the gym. We all look for that kick-start, the drive to get up and go, but sometimes it’s just not there. Understanding a little bit more about motivation can help in finding it. Here we will break that down into easy to implement tools to re-ignite your internal drive for exercise.

      Motivation can be broken down into two types, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

      Intrinsic: Internal forces that drive behaviour. Such as thwarting off disease, the feeling of accomplishment, stress reduction, feeling better.

      Extrinsic: External forces that drive behaviour. This can be weight loss goals, physical appearance, being accountable to another person.

      Everyone has different motives behind their fitness journey. The ultimate goal would be to find a balance between internal and external desires to create a lasting lifestyle. 

      To figure out how you are motivated and how you can better use your motivation, try answering these key questions:

      • What is it you want to get out of your fitness routine? 
      • Do your goals align with a longer-term lifestyle change? 
      • If they do, what is the desired outcome and commitment you’re making to yourself?
      • If they don’t, what kind of lifestyle goals can you align with your current ones?

      Use these questions to align your goals with your motivations, recognize if your goals are more internal or external. If they are more external, try finding a few more internal and vice versa.

      Setting yourself up for success

      Creating an accountability system

      Accountability can come in a few different forms, such as:

      • External accountability with friends and family checking in.
      • Your own set of accountable systems that you use to track your workout days.
      • Let people know what you are working towards, find a friend who can check-in and celebrate each other’s successes.
      • Work with a trainer or sign up for group fitness classes. These external accountability partners can pave a great way to success in your fitness routines. 

      Setting your days for success

      Find your time that works in your schedule and stick to it! Are you someone who needs their workout to set the tone of their day? Or is after work  for stress relief  a better option? Know your optimal workout time  and schedule that into your everyday

      Some simple daily actions to keep you on track can include these:
      • If you workout in the morning, have your workout clothes ready to go the night before. Remove the decision making in the morning, creating a “grab and go” atmosphere. 
      • If you are on the opposite end and workout at the end of your day try packing your gym bag in your car, having your gym clothes ready to go right when you get home.
      • The easier we make the process the better chances we have to act. Simple daily habits like these may seem small, but have the power to create major change. 

      Motivation gets you started, habits keep you going

      Align your goal with a lifestyle as opposed to a deadline

      Goals are a great place to begin to kick start your motivation.  After setting these goals, we find issues in actually maintaining the behaviour. When you can align your lifestyle with your goals, you will find more internal reasons to continue beyond the goal. 

      For example: One might want to lose 10lbs before their wedding. We would want to know why that weight loss matters besides looking good. Could it be for improved livelihood and energy? What about thwarting off disease later in life and reducing the burden on their partner? There are many ways to internalize an external goal. A critical look into why the goal matters is one way of aligning that goal with your lifestyle.

      Create a reward system

      Create a system of rewards for immediate post-workout and through regular intervals into the future. These can be as simple as your post-workout routine of a warm shower and smoothie or other yummy breakfast. 

      Future rewards can include “after 6 weeks of following my routine I will treat myself to a massage.” Keep these going and find different creative ways of adding to your rewards to keep you motivated. 

      Other tips on staying motivated? Let us know your tricks in the comments below! 

      Energy Boosting Tips to Beat that Midday Slump

      By Blog

      We’ve all been there. Our energy has been great all day. We’ve had a productive morning all the way until 2 pm hits and we are  left wanting to check out and take a nap. We’re left getting that afternoon coffee which we know*will keep us up at night, or opting for a quick sugar snack to ease the slump. There are some simple tricks to help you overcome this midday slump. Below, we’ve compiled some tips from snack ideas and small activities to help you overcome the siesta hour. 


      If you are thirsty drink water, if you are hungry drink water, if you are tired drink water – this tends to be a catch-all for most of our bodily ailments. Usually, the thought is to have something with caffeine for that extra zing in the afternoon, but water may be the one thing we need. Not enough water in a day can lead to fatigue. On average most people need 2-4 litres of water a day depending on their activity level. 

      Smaller Lunches: 

      Eating a smaller lunch can assist in avoiding the midday slump. Although the research is unclear, it is assumed that a larger lunch provides a bigger spike in blood sugar with a bigger crash into the “slump”. Try something lighter, with more nutrients to help maintain your blood sugar better. 

      Healthy, Whole Snacking: 

      To maintain energy levels, it’s best to eat small meals more frequently throughout the day (yay for snacking). When adding an afternoon snack, focus on complete foods. For example, nuts/seeds, hard-boiled eggs, and smoothies can all offer you a great source of healthy fats, fibre, and protein. This will help keep you full and provide sustained energy levels. 

      Stay Away From Sugar: 

      Sugar provides quick energy, but can also provide quick crashes. It may feel good in the moment, but typically you’re left more tired than before. Try a piece of fruit such as a banana or apple, this will provide you with enough fibre and sugar to give  that boost without crashing shortly afterward.

      Get Some Movement: 

      It has been found that a midday workout can not only boost your energy but also increase productivity. If getting to your gym midday isn’t possible, try going out for a walk or use some online resources for desk yoga, stretches, or mini exercises. 

      Take a Walking Meeting:

      In our age of working from home and virtual meetings, this is becoming a larger trend where it’s easier to plug in and take a walk. A walking meeting is a great way to add some movement and variety into your day. Not to mention if it’s a bright sunny day, the boost you can get from some time outdoors.

      Other Tips: 

      Although the midday slump has more to do with our daily activities, you want to also check in on your sleep hygiene. If you sleep is impacted at night, you may be more prone to tiredness throughout your day. Try staying away from any screens an hour before bed. Take time to relax, This can be through reading, meditating, or any other self-care that allows you to relax.

      Mindfulness Practice – Adding mindful practices into your every day

      By Blog

      What is mindfulness? 

      “Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present and engaged in the moment, aware of your thoughts and feelings without distraction or judgement” – headspace

      This practice can be in the form of meditation, journaling, gratitude practice, movement base with yoga or walking. 

      Mindfulness practices can increase our ability to be present in the moment which in turn helps us regulate emotions, decrease stress, anxiety and depression. It does so by allowing us the time to observe our emotional reactions, assisting us to develop healthier and more compassionate responses. 

      Mindfulness focuses on the present moment and all that is in our present control. The past has happened, the future is not yet here and all you have is this moment. 

      Finding what works for you 

      When we approach mindfulness, the most common tool used is meditation. Meditations is training our awareness and perspective, learning to observe our thoughts and feelings without judgement. Meditation has some physiological responses too that have been noted through scans such as MRI’s on brain activity. These show a slowing response in our processing, assisting in increasing focus and improving cognitive aging! This all acts like a muscle though and requires consistent work to reap the most rewards – just like our daily exercise.

      Meditation is a practice, which requires daily work to get used to. For some people it may not be the easiest practice to start with and it might be better to start in some form of mindful movement to break up your day. This can be walking in nature or some stretching to recenter your mind. As you practice this movement the goal would be to focus on the moment, like the fresh air, how the sun feels, how your stretch deepens with your breath. Using meditative processes while practicing these movements will help you become more mindful about the activity. The goal is to be present and aware, taking time from our busy minds to refocus. 

      Other forms of mindful practice can include journaling and gratitude. Journaling can help you focus on what you presently feel and align your emotions in a positive way. Let yourself recognize you have the power to choose how you feel and how you perceive your day. Write down your thoughts and experiences, describe what you felt or are feeling. which ones you want to feel. 

      Gratitude is the appreciation of everything you have in life. This can be material, physical, well-being and security. Starting a day with writing down all you are grateful for is a perfect way to align yourself with the present moment. We often wish for more, without recognizing and being grateful for all that we have. 

      How to practice this daily

      Like exercise, mindfulness is a practice that requires consistent effort to reap all the benefits. You want to find the time of day that is best for you to have your own mindful practices. This can change depending on your schedule and what feels best for you. An example of a day of mindfulness: 

          • In the Morning, meditate and journal first thing: Gratitude and Intention setting
          • Midday, take a break and move distraction free: Go for a walk outside, even just around the block without any devices and try to notice new things about your neighbourhood
          • If the weather does not permit walking, there are options to do some desk stretches or midday mindful movement. Even a quick breathing exercise: Inhale for 4, hold for 6, exhale for 10 repeated 3-times is a great way to reset your nervous system. 
          • Before bed, meditate or set some time to journal: Reflect on your emotional state, what good things happened through your day – find a positive thought to help carry you to sleep.

      Our challenge to you is to add some mindfulness into your day for the next two weeks, we’ve prepared a handy calendar you can download below to track your own progress! Let us know how you feel after trying out some of these tips. 


      Delicious and healthy Granola – DIY

      By Blog

      Give this delicious Granola recipe a try!

      1/2 c. olive oil or extra virgin coconut oil (melted)

      3/4 c. pure maple syrup

      2 tbsp. turbinado sugar (we used Sugar in the Raw)

      1 tsp. kosher salt

      3 c. old-fashioned rolled oats

      1 c. unsweetened coconut flakes

      3/4 c. raw sunflower seeds

      3/4 c. raw pumpkin seeds


      Best-Ever Granola

      1. Heat oven to 300°F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In large bowl, combine oil, maple syrup, sugar, and salt. Add oats, coconut, and sunflower, and pumpkin seeds and stir to evenly coat.
      2. Spread mixture onto a prepared baking sheet and bake, stirring every 15 min., until granola is light golden brown and dry, 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool completely.
      3. For Ginger-Pecan Granola: Omit pumpkin seeds and reduce sunflower seeds to 1/2 cup. Add 1 1/2 cups pecans (roughly chopped). Bake granola per recipe instructions, tossing with 1 1/2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (from one 2-inch piece) when it comes out of the oven.
      4. For Cumin-Thyme Granola: Omit coconut. Add 2 tablespoon each cumin seeds and fresh thyme leaves and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon to the bowl along with oil and maple syrup.
      5. For Spicy Sesame-Tamari Granola: Omit sugar, salt, and sunflower seeds. Use only 1/2 cup coconut and increase pumpkin seeds to 1 cup. Stir in 1/2 cup tamari with oil and add 1/2 cup sesame seeds and heaping 1/2 tsp cayenne along with oats.
      6. For Coriander-Almond Granola: Omit sugar, coconut, and pumpkin seeds. Add 1/4 cup coriander seeds (lightly crushed) and 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds along with oats.
      7. For Sweet and Spicy Granola: Omit coconut and increase pumpkin and sunflower seeds to 1 1/2 cups each. Bake granola per recipe instructions, tossing with 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder when it comes out of the oven.