taking a hike

Hi! Hope you’ve had an wonderful day so far <3 Thanks for hanging in there with me this week with a slightly sporadic blogging schedule. Things should be back to normal around here starting tomorrow 🙂 I’m still having an incredible time here In BC and am constantly blown away by the majestic scenery. I’ve had the privilege of making friends with some incredible people while I’ve been here, too. In my last post, there were some requests for what a full day of adventures looks like, so here’s a recap of a typical day:

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6:00 am: Knock at the door. “Good morning, Gina.” At first I thought it would be totally bizarre to have someone knock to wake me up this morning, but turns out that I love it. It feels a little more kind than the blare of the iPhone alarm. Also, this is random, but whenever I pick a song to play as my alarm, it’s always the WRONG CHOICE as soon as it goes off. Does this happen to anyone else?

After checking emails on my phone for a couple of minutes, I get dressed and head downstairs to start the day.

6:20: We meet in the lobby for pre-yoga smoothie and ginger drink. The ginger drink is boiled ginger in water, which is fresh and delicious, and the smoothie is frozen fruit blended with almond milk, chia seeds, hemp seeds and protein powder. 

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6:30-7:30: Yoga time! At first I thought it would be a vinyasa-style class, but it’s more of a gentle stretching and foam rolling session. This is perfect because the day includes plenty of activity; it feels amazing to stretch first thing. Each day is different, and today we finish off with a 10-minute meditation series. Each day that I wake up to go to this class, I debate sleeping in, and each time I go, I’m so glad I did. I walk out feeling centered and awake, and will remember this when I’m back at home and tempted to hit the snooze on the alarm.

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7:30-8: Breakfast time! This is my favorite meal of the day, and I have so many new recipes to try (and lots of inspiration) to take with me. Some favorites: grilled turkey sausage with sweet potato and veggies; poached eggs with refried beans and guacamole; quinoa porridge with apple compote and fresh fruit; and today’s, a Manna bread with various toppings. 

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(Worth noting: as I mentioned in my last post, I asked for the “man portion” to get a little extra fuel while I’m here. The man portion is really a normal-sized portion, and very similar to the amounts and types of food I’d be eating at home. It’s been incredible to enjoy clean foods this week that I didn’t have to prepare! It has been a glorious treat. Also, bringing chocolate and caffeine was a wise choice.)

8-9: Get ready for the day + foot care. This is when I usually get to Skype with the Pilot and Livi for the first time of the day before grabbing my hiking gear, foods,

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and filling up my water.

As far as the foot care goes, I never thought it would be a part of my life, and it’s been a huge part this past week!

Everything on this table freaked me out.

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It is now my friend.

9:15: Head out for the day’s hike. We hike an average of 3-4 hours a day in various locations. For this particular day, we explored Pilot Bay and hiked around the Kootenay Peninsula. 

To get out there, we took the ferry!

Total ferry noob.

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(“Wait, so cars go on that? But we can walk around? This is so cool.”) <— eye rolling permitted. This whole “water travel” thing beguiles me. 

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Ferry  1 of 1

10-2: Hiking, hiking, hiking.

hiking (1 of 1)-4

I’ve fallen in love with hiking, particularly due to the gorgeous scenery, and it’s become almost meditative for me. It made me realize how noisy the world is, and it’s been an appreciated escape from the constant distractions and volume in the world. At first, I was like an awkward 4-legged spider using the hiking poles. Poke, poke, step, step. Now… I’m a less awkward 4-legged spider. 😉

During our hike, we stop for snacks

(snacks are always some type of protein + fruit/veggies. Some examples: veggies and dip, egg and an apple, orange and trail mix, etc.)

and lunch. 

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For lunch, it’s usually some type of veggie and protein soup. Turns out, soup is the best hiking food. It’s just enough to warm you up and satisfy you, without being too filling to finish the hike. Today we had a lentil and veggie curry (which was phenomenal) and yesterday was a hearty chili. 

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Not a bad view, eh?

We also have a chance to check out some local artisans in the Crawford Bay specialty shops, including homemade brooms:

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(the broom corn aroma was out of this world)

knit goods,

and pottery.

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I also meandered into a coffee shop for an afternoon jolt and sweet treat. 

We get back to the lodge in the afternoon and have enough time to shower/relax until our evening lecture.

4:00: Lecture time! One of the particularly amazing things about Mountain Trek is their emphasis on creating habits and learning techniques to take home with you. I have learned so much while I’ve been here, and am working on putting everything together to share in my last recap post, which will be a reflection (and history/focus of the lodge) after I get back. We’ve had lectures on nutrition, exercise, stress management, sleep, and how to create a specific plan that works for you and your lifestyle. Since I’ve worked in the fitness resort world (totally different and very similar at the same time), I really appreciate the fact that there’s an emphasis on total lifestyle change and support along the way. All of the guests are here for different reasons, and it’s been beautiful to watch and participate in achieving our unique goals as a team. 

5:15: Dinner! It’s the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, and one of the guests explains the significance of the holiday as we enjoy apple dipped in honey.

For dinner, it’s a huge piece of halibut with ginger sauce, along with spring rolls and almond butter dressing. 

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5:45: Celebration! It’s one of the girls’ birthdays, so we all sing “Happy Birthday” and enjoy a little sweet treat: coconut milk yogurt with cacao and cashews.

6:00 Fitness class. This one changes each night, and last night was a modified version of a CrossFit class, which was awesome. We did some warm-up moves and went into a 12-minute AMRAP including lunges, sit-ups, bicep curls and pushups). The other nightly classes have been ball fitness, core, strength and circuit training. Since I despise working out on a full stomach (and have been pretty tired after hiking), I’ve skipped some of the night classes. 

7:00 Nighttime protein smoothie and detox time. There’s a huge emphasis on detox nighttime routines, including massage, steam room, sauna, alternating between cold and hot dip, and visiting the local hot springs. I’ve enjoyed three glorious massages -more massages than I’ve had in the past year in a single week- and love the steam room. If I don’t have a service booked, I’ll grab a magazine and lounge in the lodge to chat with everyone.

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8:00 Skype time with the Pilot and Liv… and Caro 😉

9:00 Feet soak and chatting around the fire outside. One of the guides will build a fire, and we can hang out around the fireside or chill in our rooms. The nights have been pretty open to do what we’d like to do, and I’ve enjoyed the relaxation time.

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10:00 Bed!

Usually I’m a “bedtime by midnight” kind of person, unless I’m going through one of my “we HAVE to go to bed early” weeks, and 10 has been perfect. My new goal is to make 10 or 10:30 the magic number.

So there ya have it! A full day of adventures 🙂 

What’s something fun or random that you did today? All-time favorite breakfast?

Hope you have a great night and I’ll see ya in the morning!



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  1. Carrie (This Fit Chick) on September 25, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Oh my gosh this looks lovely! That breakfast is actually perfect. Perfect.

    My favorite breakfast is eggs sunny side up with an english muffin and sausage!

    • Fitnessista on September 25, 2014 at 10:01 pm

      right?! that breakfast was EVERYTHING. i want it all the days haha

  2. Linda @ Fit Fed and Happy on September 25, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Would you say yo prefer cardio in the morning, or yoga?

    For me, i personally preder cardio since i feel much too stiff to stretch first thing in the morning but i want to see what you think 🙂

    • Fitnessista on September 25, 2014 at 10:01 pm

      i prefer cardio in the morning, yoga/stretching at night 🙂

  3. Laura @SheEatsWell on September 25, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    This looks so amazing and the scenery is absolutely gorgeous. I loved reading this post and learning what the day looks like…it looks like an incredible experience – I hope you continue to soak it up. Also, gotta love the white robes…there is something so luxurious about them! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on September 25, 2014 at 10:01 pm

      thank you so much! it’s been an incredible trip so far <3
      it makes me think about the jim gaffigan skit about wearing a robe. it's pretty awesome haha

  4. Yaara Leve on September 25, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Wow! This looks glorious! I would love to do something like this for a week. It seems like it’s really healing for your body. I also love the holistic approach. And the scenery is beautiful. The hiking though would give me anxiety. 3-4 hours of hiking just seems really tiring. Did you get bored on the hikes or did you find it peaceful? Like did you listen to music or did you find people to talk to? Just curious what your experiences were. For me–being alone with my thoughts like that for so long–I worry I’d go crazy–lol 🙂

    • Fitnessista on September 25, 2014 at 10:00 pm

      it has been so glorious! i love the holistic approach, too. i brought my music, but haven’t used it on any of the hikes. i end up talking to people or just zoning out; it’s really peaceful

  5. Priya on September 25, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    this sounds amazing! quick question, haha, what is manna bread? lol.
    and i am with you on the working out thing! i dont mind working out in the afternoon, but i cant do it after dinner! (unless i have eithe rplanned to eat super late after or have just had a really bad day and need to workout… haha).

    • Fitnessista on September 25, 2014 at 9:50 pm

      yeah i’m the same way! once i have dinner, the workout option is over. i’d rather have a small snack and eat dinner late if i have to teach a late or evening class

    • Fitnessista on September 25, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      manna bread is store bought whole grain brain; whole foods usually has it. it has 6 ingredients and is sprouted. the version they gave us had chunks of quinoa in it!

      • Priya on September 25, 2014 at 10:36 pm

        mhmm sounds good! ill have to try 🙂 i LOVE sprouted breads!

  6. Jeannine on September 25, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing so much of your adventure! I’m impressed that you both have and make the time for these marvellous recaps. Really enjoy your blog and get a lot out of your posts.

    • Fitnessista on September 25, 2014 at 9:50 pm

      thank you, jeannine! i appreciate it so much <3

  7. Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs on September 25, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Sounds like quite the experience! The scenery is absolutely beautiful 🙂

  8. Kay on September 25, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    That smoothie with your name tag on it is just the cutest thing. It reminds me of having a bagged lunch with my name on it as a kid.

    I had a papaya boat recently for breakfast, and it was amazing. Half papaya, filled with fruit, yogurt and some sunflower seeds. Yum.

  9. Sue Faunt on September 25, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    Beautiful, amazing, I’m so happy you got to experience this adventure Gina!! Thanks for sharing with us all!! I hike every day and it’s my form of meditation, the word I came up with the other day (while hiking) was hikenosis. It’s almost a flowing, pure state of climbing, sweating and breathing.

  10. Shaya on September 25, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    if you don’t mind me asking, how much does it cost per person for this retreat? my husband really loves hiking and I want to look into it, but you need to give away all your info on the website before they quote a rate and I’m not sure if I want to do that. thanks!

    • Fitnessista on September 25, 2014 at 9:49 pm

      i will double-check for you and send you an email when i find out!

      • Shaya on September 25, 2014 at 11:06 pm

        you’re amazing, thank you!

        • Kay on September 25, 2014 at 11:23 pm

          Not sure if you stumbled across it, but their rates and dates page lays out a few options:


          It looks like ~$8,550 CDN for 14 days, and $4,500 CDN for 7 days. Not sure exactly what hikes/locations that includes. But it’s probably a decent start for ballparking. I’m sure Gina can get you a more accurate quote.

      • Tammy on September 25, 2014 at 11:07 pm

        I was wondering the same thing. It sounds like an amazing experience, but I’m guessing it’s pretty spendy.

        Fav breakfast – eggs benedict…. or when in Hawaii, pancakes with banana slices, macadamia nuts, and coconut syrup.

      • Jeana Andrighetti on September 26, 2014 at 12:24 am

        I would love info as well. I am getting ready to start planning a honeymoon and this could be right up our alley!

        • Fitnessista on September 26, 2014 at 12:35 am

          k i’m emailing the manager tonight and will send you all an email when i hear back tomorrow

          • Fitnessista on September 26, 2014 at 12:58 am

            congrats on your upcoming wedding, too! excited for you 🙂

  11. Lauren on September 25, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    Wow what an active day! I can’t wait to read your recap of the resort!

  12. Nicholle on September 25, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    I love that part of BC–I used to do a lot of skiing in the area and Nelson was typically our home base. Also love the ferries. Bit of trivia–the broom makers did all the brooms for the Harry Potter movies.

    • Fitnessista on September 25, 2014 at 10:04 pm

      i was joking about seeing the harry potter brooms… i didn’t know they were REAL HARRY POTTER BROOMS. that is amazing! the brooms are exquisite

  13. Amanda @ Slimplify Life on September 25, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    Oh my goodness it sounds great and looks beautiful! It kind of sounds like a summer camp-ish kind of schedule?! I love breakfast, I never skimp on this meal =).

  14. Amy on September 25, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    Looks like a wonderful retreat. I love hiking and have some beautiful places to hike here in Northern California. I would love to hike in Canada! What a wonderful treat to have this week to recharge. Love your blog!

    • Fitnessista on September 25, 2014 at 10:03 pm

      thank you so much for reading, amy 🙂

  15. Sally on September 25, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    I’m not going to lie, that sounds exhausting. I am glad you are enjoying it, but I am one of those people who does not like being ‘scheduled.’ Something a little more ‘a la carte’ would be my style. The views are tremendous though!

    • Fitnessista on September 25, 2014 at 10:03 pm

      the beautiful thing is that there’s a schedule, but you don’t have to do all of it. i’ve missed a couple of lectures and classes here and there. having a lot of class/lecture options for each hour would make more sense at a bigger place, but since it’s a small group (max 16 people), i don’t think it would really work here

  16. Angela @ HonestlyAngela on September 25, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    This sounds like my perfect holiday! So relaxing – I love getting away from the busyness of the city. The food looks amazing, and the evening rituals sound heavenly!

  17. Sam @ Grapefruit & Granola on September 25, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Those massages sound amazing! Glad you are having a good time.

  18. Amy S on September 25, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    How awesome and rejuvenating!! Enjoy the rest of your time there…it looks like a lovely adventure. I enjoyed reading all about it!

    • Fitnessista on September 25, 2014 at 11:15 pm

      thank you, amy! <3

  19. Kelly @ Femme Fitale on September 25, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    Loved this recap!! How long has Mtn Trek been running, out of curiosity? I’d never heard of it while living in Alberta, but totally something I’d love to do with a few girlfriends (once my kids are bigger, that is). They advertise as a “weight loss retreat”, but wondering if there are different programs that simply focus on general health and well being.

    • Fitnessista on September 25, 2014 at 11:09 pm

      they’re been around for 25 years (next year is their anniversary). they’re actually trying to expand on their reputation from being a weight loss retreat, because it’s really a holistic health environment. one of the managers told me that their goal is create a lifestyle change, emphasizing functional fitness and natural health. sometimes weight loss is a part of that, sometimes weight gain may be a part of that. i think they’re in a tricky spot because people google “weight loss retreat,” so they emphasize that on their website, but could really expand the website to indicate that fitness-loving people all over the spectrum could benefit from their program

  20. Aunt Bee on September 25, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    The only thing I kept thinking while reading this, is where do you go potty on a 4 hour hike with all those people LOL!

    • Fitnessista on September 25, 2014 at 11:29 pm

      hahah you do what you gotta do

  21. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment on September 26, 2014 at 12:42 am

    Your trip looks amazing! Those views!!

  22. Liz on September 26, 2014 at 5:52 am

    This whole trip looks out of this world amazing! I think I would love it. I have kind of an odd question though: did you feel like you had to be chatting with the other people a lot of the time? I’m super introverted and don’t always love feeling like I have to be “making friends” with everyone else in situations like this.

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2014 at 11:05 am

      that was the part i was most nervous about. usually in situations like this, i’d hide in my room and keep to myself, but hiking with everyone really helped break the ice. the people here are also extremely friendly and kind, so it made it a lot easier to become friends with the group. it’s also nice that i’ve had some down time, so i could come to my room and recharge for a while in between group activities if i wanted to

  23. Crystal on September 26, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Wow, sounds amazing!! So is manna bread a brand or a type of bread? All I can picture is manna from heaven, lol. Also, do you order off a menu at the resort, or do they just have a set menu for everyone? It sounds like you’re having such a great time, it makes me want to go now, haha.

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2014 at 11:01 am

      it’s a brand. you can get it at whole foods, and it does taste like heaven 🙂 no, they have a set menu. it’s a small group and they make a majority of the food in the kitchen here
      hope you have a great weekend!

  24. Katie O on September 26, 2014 at 10:29 am

    wow, I’ve never heard of this before but now I’m dying to go! I was actually randomly looking at outward bound last week but this looks awesome. Or really now I just want to do both, haha.

  25. Emily on September 26, 2014 at 11:12 am

    That right there is, like, my dream vacation. Someone else to feed me, tons of time in nature, AND massages nightly, if I want them? Sign me up!

  26. Alex on September 26, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Wow, Gina..your trip looks amazing. It seems to be such a good mix of activities and relaxation. A perfect balance for a retreat or vacation. That food looks delicious and the hikes…the scenery is just breathtaking. What has been the most memorable part of your trip??

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      it definitely was! i enjoy active vacations that give me a chance to be outside, so this was absolutely perfect. the food was glorious too!
      the most memorable part was hiking idaho peak and making it to the top, where there was gorgeous scenery of the glacier and lake. when the guide told me we were climbing up there, i thought he was joking, and then we actually did make it to the top. it was pretty amazing!

  27. Nicole @ Fitful Focus on September 26, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    This looks absolutely blissful! I really enjoy hiking and being with nature, but this trip looks like it takes everything to a whole new level. Also, I wish I had someone just gently knock on my door to wake me up each morning instead of my screeching alarm haha.

  28. lizzie on September 26, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Omg can you do a post about all the foot care things you learned? I would love that! I know nothing about taking care of my feet except those awesome band-aid anti-friction sticks.

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2014 at 1:43 pm

      i didn’t learn a ton, because i’t was more of an individual basis type thing. we used something called friar’s balsam to attach pads to the back of our feet, and if we had any spots that were sore or rubbing in our boots, the guides fixed it for us. the top of my foot started to bruise, so she made a little donut-shaped cushion, and all the pain went away. pretty amazing! they also had files and nail clippers to make sure our toenails were sort

  29. Julie on September 26, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    I love to hike! Your experience sounds wonderful! I did a double take tho when the evening workout was right after dinner. Umm no thanks! I agree w/ a couple other commenters about preferring cardio in the a.m. & yoga in the evening. At the very least, I’d prefer the evening workout to be an hour or so later or else do it right before dinner (even better). Sounds like a really great experience overall, tho!

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2014 at 1:40 pm

      it was beyond amazing!
      yeah, that’s why i skipped some of there. workout + food baby = super uncomfortable
      i asked one of the guides about why they do that, and they said it’s to encourage movement after eating. usually after dinner, we all retreat to the couch. it reminds us to find the energy to take the dog for a short walk or do a little something active after dinner. even so, i like to wait a while after eating 🙂

  30. Kirsten on September 27, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    I am from BC but live in the Caribbean. I have loved reading your post on the hike. I can not even express how jealous I am! I would love to do something like this. Please do a more full length post. It would be very interesting to read. Thanks for sharing.

    • Fitnessista on September 29, 2014 at 1:15 am

      so happy to hear you liked it! i have a really long recap post to share. it should be up this week!

  31. melissa on September 28, 2014 at 1:52 am

    I find it weird that they have you do yoga or exercise after eating. Oh well. I guess I understand their point, to a point…

    The food looks absolutely fabulous!

    Here is a funny question — how are calls of nature handled during hikes? Presumably you’re not always near a coffee shop or whatever. Do you have those stand-up-and-pee devices? (I’m primarily thinking about #1 here but if you want to share about how #2 is handled I am all ears.) 🙂

    • melissa on September 29, 2014 at 11:33 pm

      Sorry for asking such an indelicate question! 🙁

  32. Jenn on September 29, 2014 at 10:23 am

    My jaw literally dropped when reading this post. My mom lives 10 minutes from Crawford Bay. That area is my favourite place in the world! Never would have thought that one of my favourite bloggers would end up visiting the Kootenays!!

    • Fitnessista on September 29, 2014 at 11:30 am

      NO WAY! such a small world. one of the most beautiful places i’ve ever seen!

  33. Kate @ SoCal Runner Gal on September 29, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Breathtaking photos!! I want to be there soooo bad! It looks like the perfect balance of relaxation and movement. I would most definitely need the man portion although I laughed at the larger glass with the “Gina” sticker on it. Haha! Such a cool experience.

    • Fitnessista on September 29, 2014 at 7:21 pm

      that combo made it my ideal type of vacation 🙂
      the giant cup with my name on it cracked me up too

  34. Kelli on September 30, 2014 at 1:48 am

    Wow, that looks amazing! I’d love to do a week there. Do you know if they adjust the meals for people with different ways of eating (veg/vegan, etc)? I didn’t see anything about that on their website.

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