Chasing Goals, Being Vunerable and Owning Life

The number one reason we do not create the life of our dreams is that we allow fear to hold us back. Fear of success, fear of judgement, fear of unworthiness. The majority of the time we would rather live in complacency, never feeling truly fulfilled in life rather than getting uncomfortable and making magic happen in our lives.

What if we just dropped fears and limiting beliefs, got out of our own way and just ran the race straight to our greatest desires. What if we then totally blew ourselves away and what we were able to accomplish?! How about finally excepting that we are all worthy of greatness and there is an endless supply of abundance out there for us to tap into.

There was a time where I pushed myself to the ultimate limit. I did the highest commercial bungee jump in the world located in South Africa.

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I will never forget how terrified I was. I stood at the edge, putting every effort in to back out. Yet the guys working the jump gave me such amazing support. They talked me through it and would not let me give up. They wanted to see me succeed.

As soon as I was able to overcome my mental limitations and jump off the edge, the feeling of total freedom came over me. An incomparable feeling.

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I had tears of joy at what I had accomplished within myself, and I could not stop thanking those guys when I arrived back up on the ledge.

They had just assisted me in one of the biggest transformations of my life. Overjoyed was an understatement.

I am now on the most incredible and powerful personal development journey of my life. In my journey, I have found my value. Found my voice. For too long in my life, I was allowing myself to feel unworthy, afraid of success, and I would be very hard on myself. I never would go as far as I knew I was capable of. I am sure many of you can relate to those feelings.

I know that the more I become the best version of ME, the more I am able to create a ripple effect to inspire others just like YOU to become your best. Life is a gift, and so is each one of us.

I have been setting crazy goals on this personal development journey. One’s that scare me and seem unachievable. Those are the best goals to make.

I now feel like I am back on that edge of that bungee jump. Because being this vulnerable is truly scary as heck. Yet unless you put what you want out there in the open, you will never get it.

When we choose to make magic happen in our lives, we truly can. People truly want to see each other succeed in life, no one ever gets anywhere alone.

You will be amazed at how people will willingly show up to support you if you put yourself out there and be totally vulnerable. This is to show everyone what we are all truly capable of when we put down the fear of judgement of being seen, claim what we want, and just be open to the universal flow.

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By being the best version of YOU possible, you are actually being of service to the world. As by being that amazing unapologetic you, you will create a ripple effect that will inspire and build up others to do the same.

Here is to making the impossible – possible.

Top 5 Free Sights To See On The Icefields Parkway

The Icefields Parkway is labelled one of the most scenic drives in the world, and for a very good reason. While cruising along it you will be immersed in dazzling scenery the entire way. From beginning to end, you will never in your life forget the feast that your eyes indulged in.

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From all the various lakes, rivers, streams and waterfalls, to the exquisite mountain ranges and majestic glacier, you will be in total awe for the whole trip.

Every single visit I make to the Icefields Parkway, I never cease to be totally amazed. It supplies you with an energy surge like none other. You literally feel on top of the world.

Throughout the Icefields Parkway, there are plenty of lodges, hostels, and even the glacier experience.

Yet if you want to do things on the cheap, there are so many amazing and free things to see. Some of the best experiences you will ever have will be those that cost you nothing, other than a little time in nature and tank of gas.

So without further adieu, here are my top 5 free sights to see on the Icefields Parkway.

     1. Valley Of The Five Lakes

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A beautiful, very comfortable and easily navigated 4.5km hike where you will be amazed at the stunning beauty of the 5 lakes.

Each lake has pristine turquoise blue water, yet also boasting their own unique beauty and shape. It seems around every corner you are wowed with mother natures splendour.

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The paths are extremely well maintained with sign postings throughout for easy navigation. You will be ridiculously happy that you made the decision to embark on this little journey.

          2. Athabasca Falls

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The green glacier water from the Athabasca Valley Glacier that flows over this cliff is sure to get your appreciation for nature peaking.

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Surrounded by the incredible mountain range, it brings the magical energy of this spot up to an all-time high.

The falls may be small, yet you can feel the power of the water when you are right beside them. Flowing straight through a gorge only adds to its majestic beauty.

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With well maintained and easily accessible paths surrounding the falls, you will be delighted at all of the pristine photo opportunities of all angles that are on offer.

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     3. Sunwapta Falls

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These tiny falls are the perfect spot to stop and have a little sample of when things are small in size, yet big in beauty.

With that glacier water and unforgettable views, you will once again be amazed at the landscape.

     4. The Athabasca Glacier

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Awe-inspiring. That is exactly what it is. Getting up close and personal with a glacier is an incredibly powerful feeling. It is an easy hike up a path to the base of the glacier, and totally free to do also.

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Prior to this experience I never imagined that a glacier would feel this incredible. The power of nature is all over it.

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The sad part is, is that the glacier is melting at an accelerated rate, which means in the next 100 years it may very well be pretty much gone. So now is the time to get a good look at it.

     5. The Iconic Peyto Lake

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Where dreams are made of. A short uphill hike will take you to this dreamy spot, where you will see that mother nature did not hold back in creating this canvas to be one of mind-blowing proportions.

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The colour of the water is so vibrant it will create waves of inspirational emotion in your mind.

It is so easy to sit and get lost in the splendour of it all. Taking your imagination to new heights. It will make you wish you could stay forever.

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These 5 places will set your soul on fire and re-charge your energy like none other. Let’s not forget – one of the main reasons to visit the Icefields Parkway is to simply enjoy the endless array of beauty that you will not even believe. Seeing is believing, yet when it is that good, it is still hard to believe.

A feast for the eyes, and a treat for the soul.

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What can I say? The best things in life truly are free!

A Healing Soak in a Volcanic Mud Bath In Columbia

Lying on the top of a mud volcano soaking the soothing minerals of the earth, was by far one of my most memorable travel moments.

While I was in Cartegena, Columbia, I had heard about this active mud volcano called the Totumo Mud Volcano, which was located approximately 50km away in an area. Having no idea at the time what I mud volcano actually was, it only made sense for me to check it out.

A group of us hired a van to take us there, and after some time on the main highway, we turned off onto a dirt road that led us through a totumo forest where located at the end of the road, on the shores of a lagoon, was the Totumo mud volcano.20180522_182955.jpg20180522_182935.jpg

Its mound has a prominence of 15m, with a staircase leading to the top. The volcano itself goes about a mile and a half into the earth.

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The mud is so buoyant that it is impossible to sink.

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It is the strangest feeling upon entering the earthy smelling clay. You can literally stand up straight in the mud and try with all your might to push yourself down, yet it will be to no avail. When you come to terms with the fact that you will not be able to sink no matter how hard you try, then you can stretch out and lie on the surface, totally surrendering to the experience. It is truly a surreal feeling.

The temperature of the mud was very intriguing also, as some spots were cool and then when you moved you would suddenly enter a warm spot.

There are locals at the top that offer massages in the mud, which definitely adds to the experience. While you float effortlessly in the volcano, they gently rub you down the front of your stomach and your back at the same time as are you suspended there on the mud. It is well worth the tip they ask for at the end of the massage, as that adds a relaxing charm like none other to the whole experience.

 

Eventually, you can’t help but get yourself totally submerged in the clay, feeling the mud fill all orifices of your head.

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Relaxing in the mud, taking the in the rich nutrients and enjoying some top notch company is healing for the mind body and soul.

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After floating around and absorbing the mineral-rich mud deep into your pores for well over an hour, you climb out holding on for dear life as it is slippering when you are coated in mud and so is the surface you are walking on feeling totally blissed out. There is an undeniable surcharge of healing energy pumping through your veins.

Down at the shores where you wash off, there are some local women waiting, whom also for a small tip will give you a good scrub down. Seeing as how this is there only source of income, I could also not decline.

It’s a rigorous cleaning, with buckets of water being poured over you and barely time to take breaths in between, hands rubbing away all the mud, fingers poking and cleaning your ears, and bathing suits and shorts being pulled in all sorts of directions. I will say, watch your lady and gent parts if your shy, as they will unexpectedly do their best to thoroughly clean you like no big deal. There are some areas I can’t help but prefer cleaning myself. You actually walk or possibly stagger away quite stunned at the end.

A few tips if you are visiting the Totumo Mud Volcano.

  • Do leave valuables behind as there is no place to keep them at the sight
  • Make sure to bring some money for the small entrance fee and the tips for the massage and washing
  • Try and time your visit so it is not at the same time as big tour groups from hotels and such
  • Go with an open mind and enjoy every minute of it!

The whole experience is as unique as they come in life and one that will leave you feeling totally rejuvenated. It is the epitome of natural healing, health and wellness while you travel.

How To Maintain Your Gut Health While You Travel

It is no secret that keeping a healthy gut while you travel can be quite the feat. From airplane food to the uncertainty of food quality abroad and all the foreign germs in between. Our micro domes in our guts can sometimes become very unhappy with us. Introduce something that doesn’t belong and a serious revolt can happen faster than a blink of the eye.

With digestive issues and illnesses looming around every corner when travelling, it is important to not only be ready to treat it should it so arise, but to also take preventative measures, as to avoid it at all costs if possible. Plus, you will have a much more enjoyable travel experience without any gut setbacks.

Our bodies are introduced to so many different foods and germs while travelling, and our immune systems tend to also be compromised which makes it easier to have issues.

Here are a few tips to help keep your gut in tip-top shape and happy while exploring the world.

Always have probiotics on hand.

Preferably probiotics that made for on the go. I love this one from Usana. They come in convenient individual packs that you can put in your bag or pocket, add to water, juice, or simply open the pack and pop it in your mouth and then wash it down with a sip of your beverage of choice.

Many places offer probiotic kombucha drinks, and in virtually every country you can find yogurt or sauerkraut, which are also full of live healthy bacteria for your gut flora. Our gut is what regulates our immune system, so implementing as many probiotics as possible is a great way to prevent anything dodgy from causing you problems.

Carry a bottle of therapeutic grade Oregano Oil with 80% or more carvacrol when you travel. 

Oregano is a powerhouse against viruses and bacteria, among a whole host of other incredible benefits. Which includes tummy bugs, foreign bacteria, and food poisoning. The main ways we have gut issues when we travel.

When ingesting it, be sure to only add a few drops to a carrier oil such as coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, or whichever oil you can get your hands on. Oregano oil is very strong, so a few drops in a carrier oil held under your tongue for a couple minutes, repeated a few times a day, will rid you of any pesky bacteria that is causing mayhem in your gut.

Have a bottle of Olive Leaf Extract Capsules made with 25% Oleuropein Extract on hand.

Not only does olive leaf extract lower high blood pressure and preserve cognitive function, but it also is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-parasitic. Which means if you end up with a not so friendly bacteria or parasite, olive leaf extract will save the day. combined with oregano oil and there is no bacteria, virus or parasite that will get by unscathed.

Ingest gut health promoting superfoods daily. 

I always travel with chlorella on hand, and I always eat things such as chia seeds and drink hot lemon water. Lemons are available worldwide, and chia seeds also are often not hard to find. Both will keep things moving swiftly in the gut region. Chlorella cleans the blood, filters out heavy metals and greatly improves your overall digestion while also providing very important digestive enzymes.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Often the importance of hydration is overlooked or forgotten. Hydration keeps things flowing in your gut, and helps to prevent bacteria and viruses from latching on. Plus if you do catch something, it will flush it out. When your illness strikes your gut, it can easily get dehydrated, so it is best to always have water or tea on hand and on the go. Coconut water is another great option for hydrating and getting in those electrolytes.

A happy gut makes a happy traveller. It sucks when you get stricken with gut issues when on the road. Nobody wants to hug the toilet if they don’t have too. With a few prevention methods and a good natural emergency kit, you will be happy, healthy, radiant and ready for life’s endless adventures.

 

 

 

7 Reasons To Visit Kananaskis Lodge

If you want to take a short trip from Calgary and immerse yourself in an awe-inspiring beauty that can help make you feel totally disconnected from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, then Kananaskis Country is the destination for you.

As you drive into the mountain range that engulfs the Kananaskis Country area, you are overcome with a total feeling of serenity. This area is so vast and feels much less saturated with tourists and people as other areas nearby. It is that expansive feeling in the Kananaskis Country that will tug at your soul strings straight away.

Located right in the heart of it all is the newly renovated Kananaskis Lodge. Having undergone a $35 million dollar renovation, the results are astounding. It is the perfect destination for a travel and wellness getaway.

To care for your health means that you will be able to enjoy travelling for so much longer in life. To travel to unimaginable destinations means that you will keep that travel bug strong and anticipate more. When you can combine both, you have a powerhouse adventure combination.

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Here are the top 7 reasons the Kananaskis Lodge should be put on your radar.

1. Check Out The Amazing Renovations – I feel as though that is self-explanatory, but it still has to be said. From the minute you walk into the building it feels luxurious although while also maintaining lodge charm.

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I can say without having seen the lodge prior to the renovations, it is incredibly impressive and absolutely beautiful.

2. Enjoy The Feeling Of Being Surrounded By Pure Nature – at the Kananaskis Lodge, you will enjoy a 360-degree view of the mountains. You can turn in circles as many times as your heart desires and enjoy a never-ending view of the mountain ranges. When you open the curtains on the window in your room, and the soul-soothing sight of the mountains bursts straight in.

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3. To Get Ultimate Spoiling – the above and beyond service for each and every guest does not waver. From the small details to the larger details, you will feel the care and pleasure they take in creating an unforgettable stay for their guest.

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The rooms are impeccably decorated.

 

 


And they even do a turndown service on their heavenly beds.

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4. Enjoy An Incredible Culinary Journey – with 5 restaurants to choose from, and everything from Italian to modern contemporary dishes accompanied with craft cocktails, and fine wine, your taste buds will be awakened every bite and sip of the way. For some, it is about the amenities and for others, it is about the food.

5. Unwind And Release All Your Stresses In The New Nordic Spa – the newly built Nordic Spa is a four-season alpine sanctuary that is a place of sauna lovers dreams.20180509_143708.jpg With three outdoor pools, hot, medium and cold, and various saunas and steam rooms to enjoy. You will be in pure detoxing bliss. Still, under a bit of construction, it is only going to get even better.

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If you want to take it the extra mile, you can also indulge in a massage.

6. Take In One Of The Best Views Of Your Life – hiding behind about 60 feet of trees is a mind-blowing view that will nearly make your eyes burst out of your head with pleasure from feasting on this site.

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If the Spa wasn’t therapy enough, this view will make your soul sing.

7. Enjoy World Class Outdoor Activities – with something to enjoy in every season, you will not be disappointed by the array of options for the outdoor enthusiasts. From hiking, mountain biking, X-Country skiing, skating and snowshoeing, there is something for everyone.

 

Kananaskis Lodge is a place that you will visit and never want to leave. It is one of the most pristine destinations that you will ever immerse yourself in. With all of the bases covered and more, you will fill your heart, soul and belly with nothing less than the most astounding delights.

A slice of paradise in a dreamy location. See you at Kananaskis Lodge.

 

Spring At Emerald Lake, Yoho National Park

Emerald Lake, in Yoho National Park, is a classic beauty. Discovered accidentally over 100 years ago by a famous European mountain guide named Tom Wilson, while he was searching for his horses who went astray.

It is a destination that will never cease to impress you with its natural splendours. With spring having arrived, things are beginning to melt and seemingly come to life again. It is always amazing to watch the transformation of nature every year. Especially if you make sure to always take the time to stop and appreciate it all.

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In the summer Emerald lake is so magical, with the sun glistening over the aquamarine water, creating a vibrant iridescent colour that can drop your jaw and ignite your soul.

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The snow and ice-covered lake and mountain peaks, of winter and spring, are equally as picturesque as they come and also known to be some of the most impressive in the Rocky Mountains. With the lakes claim to fame being the stunning emerald colour of the water, one might think that it would be quiet during the off-season months.

However, that is not the case what so ever. As you stroll the paths, taking in the sunshine and spectacular views, there are plenty of other nature enthusiasts paying a visit to this unforgettable spot all throughout the various seasons.

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On this fine spring day, the birds were chirping, and the flies were buzzing around. Two clear indications that summer is on its way. As opposed to what mother nature is making people think when winter seems to be lingering well into spring. Don’t you worry, I am certain, summer is right around the corner.

I do love all of the seasons, I think the only thing that gets a bit hard is the lingering when seasons are supposed to change.

The Emerald Lake Lodge which is situated right beside the lake is actually open all year round, and there are plenty of activities to enjoy in the area during every season. In the winter it is known for its cross-country skiing, and in the summer for its canoeing and hiking.

Let me just say, the thought of a nice cabin style room, with a warm fire blazing in the corner on a chilly spring night, truly seems so appealing.

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Emerald Lake is a breathtaking place, with endless beauty to be appreciated, rain, shine or snow. An absolute must see if you find yourself in the area on a beautiful spring day.

5 tips to simplify your life, live minimally, and feel free

Freedom feels so good. In fact, for myself, it is one of the best feelings in the world. One of the best ways to create more freedom in your life so to simplify your life, and live minimally.

Having and creating more space in your life means you will have more space for new and amazing things to come in. Such as more travel, flexibility to enjoy a little more spontaneity, more money, and peace of mind in general.

Over the years I have downsized more and more. It seems every time I would leave the country to go travelling, I would come home only to downsize even more. Bit by bit my materials became less and less.

Although it is not just about minimizing your materials, it is also about clearing the space in your mind. It all goes hand in hand.  But, by simplifying your life and all the various facets of it, you will free up your whole space, and welcome so much more awesome energy into your life.

By taking actions steps everyday to free up your life, it becomes easier and you naturally become in alignment within yourself. When you are in alignment, life won’t just give you lemons, it will give you the whole lemonade stand and a helper.

Here are 5 tips that have been tried, tested and proven true in my life to simplify and create so much more freedom.

  1. Reduce Clutter – I feel like this is self-explanatory, however, it can be so easy to let things build up, and before you know, there is just stuff all around you. I find that not only does meaningless stuff create stagnant energy in our lives, but it also blocks our creative flow. Anything that is just lying around and taking up space, can go. Unless something it has sentimental value, it is not necessary to keep around. Out the door, it goes for me.
  2. Think Before You Buy – ‘Do I really need this, or do I simply want it?!’ That is the question I so often hear myself saying. We have all done it, seen something shiny and pretty, and decided right on the spot that we had to have it, only to get it and have it accumulate dust. Never to be used, and only to be a space taker. When I come across something I like, that I wasn’t in the market to get, I always have a good think about it first. The majority of the time, I will leave and go think about it for a day or more. If a few days pass and I am still thinking about it, then I will go back and get it, and if it was still there waiting for me, it was meant to be, and if it is gone, then it wasn’t meant to be in my life. That helps keep the clutter down in my life.
  3. Choose Experiences Over Stuff – less stuff means more adventure. I don’t know about you, but I live for adventure and awesome experiences. It is so much more enriching then mass amounts of material stuff. My experiences that I have had around the globe are priceless, and if having less stuff means more of that, then I am in it for the long haul. Plus the less money you spend on stuff the more money you can spend on travel and adventure.
  4. Make A List And Be A Doer – accomplishing things just feels so satisfying. No matter where I am, I love being a doer. When you make a list, it helps you visualize exactly what you want to achieve, and will be a sure way for you not to forget everything, it also pushes you to be a doer. You get things done and don’t let things pile up in life. When you let things pile up, it wears a person down, as you are always in a stress state of having way too much to do. Placing those check marks beside the things you finished, feels so good.
  5. Forgive And Release – emotional clutter is a thing. When we hold on to negative feelings or resentment, it holds us back and stops the flow in our life. A lot of time it’s about forgiving ourselves over others. It is so easy to be hard on ourselves, blaming ourselves for our hardships, putting ourselves down for not being as far along in our pursuits as we would like. Also, when we feel others have wronged us, and purposely did negative things towards us, it is all too easy to point fingers and hang onto anger and resentment towards them. The reality is, these feeling are truly only hurting ourselves. By forgiving and releasing the situation, whether it is towards yourself or someone else, and doing it sincerely and from your heart, you open a massive space for amazing energy to flow into your life. That doesn’t mean you need to keep anyone in your life that is holding you down, but you can still forgive and let it go. Total freedom is what lies on the other side of holding on.

When you create space in your life for more freedom, whether that is time freedom, mental freedom, emotional freedom, financial freedom, and so on – whatever it is that freedom is to you, you open up your energy space to many more wonders of life. When you are not bogged down by clutter in all it’s various forms, you then are standing up tall and reeling in the highest and most fulfilling life you can imagine.

For me, I love having the freedom to pack up at the drop of a hat and go explore the world. I love having the freedom to go and help people when they are in need, and I love to have the mental freedom to enjoy life to the fullest.

Freedom, feels amazing.

Easy, healthy, anywhere in the world – Flax Tortilla

I absolutely love nothing more than taking care of my body. Well, I actually love a lot of things in life, and that just happens to be one of the tops! It is so vital that we love and nurture our bodies, as they do so much for us, and the better we take care of our body the better it will take care of us. Especially in times of illness. If you love and nurture your body daily, it will bounce back from unforeseen illness so much faster.

No joke, travelling the globe I have experienced some seriously crappy travel illnesses. Something you can’t really get away from when travelling. Plus, just being home in the city also brings about some bugs. So, regardless of where I am, I prefer to keep my immune system in extra good shape, that way, in turn, my body is stronger and can naturally be healthy, vibrant and awesome.

Not to mention, when it comes to food, I like it to be easy, and tasty!! Something I can do anywhere and anytime. Travelling, camping, at home. You name it, I like to always have the ability to bring health and wellness to the table.

This flax tortilla is incredibly tasty and so easy to make.

All you need is 3 things.

  • Ground Flax Seed
  • Salt
  • Water

For this one tortilla, I used about 3/4 cup of ground flax seed, a dash of salt and about 1/4 cup of water.

You can also add any spices or herbs that you would like to change up the flavour. What can I say?! So versatile.

Once you mix it up, roll it in a ball, and let it sit for a couple of minutes while the pan heats up, then place it in the pan and use the back of a spoon to flatten it out gently.

I say gently as it will break if you are too rough, but if you are gentle, it will flatten super easily.

Cook both sides until golden brown, and then add your choice of toppings. Voila! You have an incredibly tasty morsel, chalked full of Omega 3’s, fibre and antioxidants.

I change my topping’s all the time. This time around I put, organic grass fed cream cheese, avocado, cherry tomato and fresh mint.

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It’s even better when combining it with a fresh smoothie.

So easy to make, and even easier to get addicted too. Here’s to glowing, no matter where in the world you are.

Spring Rejuvenation With Some TLC At Inner Balance Spa

Nurturing my body, going the extra mile to promote healing and restoration, particularly after winter, it’s something I don’t falter on. After all, if you love your body, it will love you back. 

Exfoliation and detox play a large part in my daily self-care regime. It is so important to renew our skin, lymphatic system, and promote overall renewal in our bodies as a whole. Plus, it keeps your skin and body youthful and supple for so much longer in life.

I am a massive advocate of dry skin brushing for that exact reason, and I do it on the daily, which I talk about, it, and all it’s benefits here.

Although sometimes, a person needs a little extra pampering and an even deeper exfoliation. Done by someone other than yourself. Especially when spring has sprung! Well according to the calendar. If you look outside mother nature may tell you a different story, as she is a trickster around here.

Lately, my self-care routine has brought on a bit of an infrared sauna addiction.

I wanted to take my spring detox to another level. After doing some research to find a little oasis that had the amenities I was looking for, I came across Inner Balance Spa, which is located in the Kensington area of Calgary.

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Photo Credit -Sarah Ali BFA

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It immediately stuck out to me as it is eco-friendly and all the products they use are derived from natural and organic ingredients.

Anyone who knows me knows that I live a life of natural living and healing as much as possible, so this made Inner Balance Spa an A+ in my books already.

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Photo Credit – Sarah Ali BFA

For those reasons, it was my spa of choice for some rejuvenation.

I found the decor and atmosphere very welcoming.

It is bright, ambient, and immediately brings a wave of relaxation over you when you walk in.

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Photo Credit – Sarah Ali BFA

I was loving the wide variety of organic skin care products, including a fine line of natural make-up, as well as a beautiful line of essential oils, which infuse the room with an incredible healing scent.

 

I pretty much want one of everything on those perfectly laid out displays.

You seriously can not take me anywhere near the top of the line natural skin and beauty products. I am a minimalist in most things, except when it comes to my self-care and the products I use on and in my body.

The infrared sauna room is very warming to the soul and has an extremely therapeutic feeling all in itself.

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Photo Credit – Sarah Ali BFA

 

The sauna also has light therapy built in, and you can change the colours to your specific needs.

There is a print out which tells you what each colour corresponds with healing-wise in your body. It is very enjoyable to switch it up to your individual needs. I was in my happy place.

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With a shower located right in the sauna room, and some of their organic body wash and lotion there for you to test out, the infrared sauna session soon feels like a mini spa day.

It was apparent to me, that all of the staff are highly trained. Their services range from massage, facials, body scrubs, infrared sauna, onward to acupuncture, and even nutritional consulting.

With so many great treatments to choose from, it is hard to narrow down a selection. I did contemplate a package, as they have fabulous packages on offer, as well as a ‘refreshment of the month’ package. Decisions, decisions.

Although, I was just looking to get a nice deep exfoliation to rid my skin of all the winter build up, and renew my body for spring. So, I booked in for their basic body scrub called ‘The Renewal’. The name said it all, and even though I say it is the basic choice, it by no means feels basic.

It is a 45-minute process that includes a body scrub + body polish + a 10-minute steam + an organic apricot oil moisturizing treatment.

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The quaint and cozy steam room is built into the shower that is also located directly in your treatment room, so it provides perfect convenience.

After a detailed scrub down and polish, which feels absolutely incredible, you then step into the steam to help open your pores and take the nourishment in even deeper.

I loved the steam! It not only feels good on the skin, but it feels great on the lungs too. I easily could have stayed in there longer than 10 minutes.

After my steam room session, I was back on the table for the application of the apricot oil moisturizing treatment.

Oh my word, the smell of that oil was absolutely intoxicating, and the feel of my skin was total silk!

I left this treatment feeling divine. My whole energy and being felt lighter and refreshed. Not only is spring in the air, but I felt like I had a spring in my step.

I am a firm believer in body scrubs as part of my self-care now.

I would highly suggest everyone get one. Male or female.

If you want to maintain a silky smooth glow all your year round, I was recommended to receive a body scrub 4 times a year, once with each season.

All the details are covered at Inner Balance Spa. They even have an array of fresh complimentary teas on offer to soothe your soul from the inside.

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Um, yes please!

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Photo Credit – Sarah Ali BFA

I am so happy with my choice to visit Inner Balance Spa, and even more grateful for the great detail they put into their clients and into my own experience there. Total refreshment every time. Having been part of the Calgary community for 15 years, you can see that their articulate detail and above and beyond service is what has made them a mainstay gem.

 

 

 

10 Truths About Solo Travel

Discovering new destinations and far-off lands. Immersing yourself in a totally new culture and language. Living every day as the new adventure that it is. All while on your own terms, on your own journey of discovery, which doesn’t only mean places, but it also means of ‘Self’. That is what solo travel is all about.

I personally love solo travel more than anything else. For me, it’s where I connect with myself and the world on the deepest level. It’s a time where you will be pushed so far out of your element, that you have no choice but to grow and transform.

My solo travels have taken me around Central and South America, across the Amazon, throughout Africa from South Africa to Egypt, all around Europe and on my own home soil of Canada.

Through it all, you do tend to learn a few things, and a bit more.

Here are 10 truths that I have learned from my life experiences of solo travel.

1. Booking The Flight Is The Hardest Part – yes you read that right. The majority of the time we can think too much about that solo trip that we yearn to take. The new destination that we want to discover. All while doing exactly that. Just thinking about it. Once you take that step of booking your ticket, you suddenly just solidified the trip. The rest is just details now. You’re doing it! You’re going on your solo adventure.

2. You Will Be Challenged – let’s be real here. If you are taking yourself completely out of your comfort zone, away from everyone and everything that you know, you will absolutely be challenged. It’s a whole new ballpark out there. Challenge is amazing though and is best received when welcomed. If you remind yourself that through a challenge is where you become a better version of yourself, then there is nowhere to go but up. To live boldly is to accept a challenge, and use it as a catapult to the next amazing step of your life.  With or without solo travel, life will be challenging. Plus, you can pick easier destinations for your solo trip. Ease your way into it. I chose the most difficult because I am always looking for a new challenge.

3. You Will Develop Your Intuition – it’s true, you and that little voice that you often ignore in your day to day life, will suddenly become best friends. As the way, it should be. Your intuition knows what’s going on, and it will never steer you wrong. When you are navigating through new and foreign lands, you will learn very fast that you best be listening to your inner voice. It is your built-in compass. Developing your intuition will continue to be a tool that strengthens the rest of your life. This is a massive gift you will receive from solo travel.

4. You Will Get To Know Yourself Very Well – when it is just you and the open road of adventure, you have no one to lean on but yourself. At times things will be amazing, other times tough, and regardless of what situation presents itself, you will only have YOU to get on with it. Celebrating the highs and lows. You will come to know yourself very deeply. How you feel, how you react, what you truly like and dislike. It’s incredible. It is also a gift you will receive from solo travel. The gift that will keep on giving.

5. You Will Not Be Lonely – as opposed to what a lot of people think, travelling solo is not lonely at all. In fact, when you are alone, you are so open to everything, that you easily meet people. So much easier then when you are travelling with others, as when you are with others, you tend to get in your bubble and meet a lot fewer people. When I am alone, I meet not just other travellers, but so many more locals. They always invite me places, show me off the beaten track things, and I find I get the real cultural experience of the country in this way. I have so many more opportunities that present themselves when I am alone. Funny enough, you meet so many people when you are solo, it can be hard to get time to be SOLO.

6. Hostels Are A Great Place To Stay – let’s just say if you ever do find yourself actually feeling a tad lonely, then just go check into a hostel. You will make new friends immediately in any hostel. There are dorm rooms for the tight budget or private rooms if you prefer your privacy. I have stayed in plenty of stunningly beautiful and immaculately clean hostels in my time. Travel books and websites will always rate hostels, just as they do hotels, so you will have a good idea of what you will be arriving at. Many times over I have met amazing travel buddies at hostels, who are going in the same direction as me, so we team up to travel together for a bit. I have actually met some of my lifelong best friends in hostels.

7. When You Are Alone, People Will Go Out Of Their Way To Help You – that is after they question you if you are crazy for travelling alone. I have had that questions posed to me SO many times, particularly in third world countries where even the locals feel unsafe a lot of the time. Always, you will have people looking out for you when you are solo, making sure you are safe, that you get to your destination, that you are not getting ripped off. It’s truly amazing the beauty you will see in humanity when you are on a solo trip.

8. Single Supplement Costs Are Higher – yes, yes they are. If you are travelling with people you then are able to split costs of taxi’s, rooms, and get group costs on excursions. However, if I am craving ‘me time’ and just wanting to bask in my own company, then that is priceless and worth every extra penny so my vibes get recharged and remain high as heck.

9. If You Are A Solo Female, You Will Receive A lot Of Extra Male Attention – this is also depending on what continent you are on. Europe and North America are generally fine, but the catcalls in Central and South America can be a bit much, and the attention in Africa, will for sure become mentally exhausting. If you just take it all with a grain of salt, keep alert and level-headed, with a positive demeanour, and just remember it is truly just all part of the experience, then you will be just fine.

10. It Will Be The Most Freeing Experience Of Your Life – it’s like spread your wings and fly baby! Seriously, solo travel is a whole new realm. It’s all about you and what you want. Where you want to go, what you want to see, and what you want to eat. Sometimes in life, if only for a brief moment, it is so important to just DO YOU. That is what you get when you travel solo. A nice chunk of time where nothing else matters but you and spreading your awesome high vibes everywhere you go. You will get a taste of freedom like none other, and your eyes will be opened to the importance of finding and creating a bit of freedom in your everyday life. Soul food.

If you have never taken a solo trip in your life, then I highly recommend doing so.  Potentially you will find solo travel isn’t your thing, and you will decide that in the future you will only do group trips. Or perhaps like me, you will be feeling like ‘this is your jam’. Either way, I can guarantee you will come back from it with a stronger mindset, a deeper connection within yourself, a friendship with your intuition and some darn good stories.

The truth is, no matter how solo our trip may be, we are never truly alone.

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