WholeME – my health revolution

whole30book1It has taken my entire life to actually grasp the role that food plays in my day-to-day life.
It’s shocking to me that I have neglected my vessel.
I kept doing fitness activities and fueled it with chips, cookies, chocolate, junk food, processed food, ….
WHOLE30 (at least temporarily since “never say never”) has revolutionized my nutrition intake.
It’s not a diet. It’s not a fad. It’s a simple formula to consume your needed fuel to achieve peak health.

Sugar … gone.
Salt … gone.
Grains … gone.
Legumes … gone.
Dairy (including – gulp – ice cream) … gone.
You know what, I don’t miss any of it. Really.

The food trifecta IS:

There are no guarantees in life.
I cannot promise that you will live to be a healthy 150 years old by eating WHOLE30.
However, I can promise you that taking your bad food habits out and replacing them with good food habits gives you a chance.
A chance to be healthy. A chance to be active. A chance to live a full life.
What’s the one thing that everyone (EVERYONE!) does once they are diagnosed with an illness? Change. Change fitness. Change diet. Change lifestyle. Change Change Change.
So, why not do it now?

The benefits are all there:
Higher energy.
Fat to muscle.
Better sleep.
Healthier you.

I plan to reintroduce some non-WHOLE30 foods and drinks into my life, but not a lot. We’ll see how this ebbs and flows. It’s life … shit happens.

You’ll still see me drinking a beer. Promise.

Thank you to everyone who supported me throughout the 30 days, especially the most awesome Whole30 office elves evah. Kindness breeds kindness.

Bro at the Barre (The Dailey Method)

Fellow TDMers Brandon, Katie & Amy in tree pose.

My name is Stephen, I am a bro and I am a big fan of The Dailey Method (TDM) barre classes.

I am on the verge of completing TDM’s 30 Day Challenge. I cannot believe that I have arrived at the final week of June with lots of TDM classes in the books, short-term fitness goals achieved and gold stars on the board! I have thoroughly enjoyed participating in a variety of TDM classes with 8 of the most amazing barre instructors. I love the way that I feel, the way I look and the way I am.

Up an inch, down an inch: TDM is filled with great people from the 613. Don’t you hate it when you pick out the perfect workout gear … and someone else is wearing the exact same thing?

I’m a pretty open-minded bro who takes my health and well-being pretty seriously (in a zen kinda way). I bike, I run, I yoga, I swim, I SUP … and now, I barre. I barre hard. I appreciate a good 1 hour fitness class that pushes me because I find it hard to self-motivate at the gym. I need someone cueing me. I need good jams. I want a room filled with positivity and peeps that also want to be there. TDM is all these things AND MORE.

After slipping on the gripp-y socks (wear them out and show everyone that you are a rock star), I was welcomed to my first class by TDM instructor Mariah Slassen and set up in the studio. Barre class prep has the same feel as other fitness classes: you each have a mat, and plenty of space between you and your studio-mates. I loved the cueing, the pace (you can really push it if you want, but that’s not mandatory), and the fact that the entire class was timed to provide a great combination of stretching, core strengthening and muscle toning (I like to call this “sculpting”). The vibe in the class was upbeat, there were smiles, there was laughter, and there was a clear positive energy flowing throughout the participants. That is REALLY important to me when it comes to me deciding whether I want to return for class 2.

There are also a variety of TDM classes to choose. One hour classes are the norm and move at a brisk pace – usually involving props like a ball, weights, and straps – to get your daily (dailey?) fitness goals in place. 45 minute interval classes are a faster cardio-paced class that allows you to make your best sweat-soaked face. If you want to slooooow it all down and still get the physical benefits, sample the Dailey Gentle 1 hour class. TDM is even incorporating a 45 minute noon class that will provide you with the fitness benefits and get you back to work in time. Oh, and workshops … lots of cool workshops.

barre studio ottawa dailey method_0036
Happy Hour at the Barre with these 8 amazing TDM instructors. From L to R: Stephanie Thompson, co-owners Jamie Rigby and Sarah Thompson, Moriana Kachmarsky, Sarah Whiston, Sarah Shropshire, Kelsey McMartin, Mariah Slassen.

What is the outcome after 30 days? Well, I could see muscular definition, core strength and shape (again, sculpting) where I had never (NEVER!) had it before. I consider myself the least flexible yogi out there, yet my flexibility has improved. I have also noticed that these physical benefits have blended effortlessly into my yoga practice. I literally feel a little “happy rush” in me when I book a class and make my way to TDM studio in The Glebe (corner of 5th Avenue/Bank Street). This is a true community fitness studio. Smiles are not optional.

As always, there is no magic pill to fitness. You have to put the time in to see the benefits physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. TDM provides the positive atmosphere that many other gyms and fitness classes seem to miss in their Mission Statement. That is a real endorsement of the vision that co-owners Sarah Thompson and Jamie Rigby set when they opened TDM in 2015.

Would I recommend TDM? HELLAYES. If you are a bro, you will thank me. If you are not a bro, you will also thank me. I accept the thank you in the form of beer and wings.

Special shout out to Sarah T, Sarah W, Sarah S (TDM hiring practice becomes clearer), Stephanie, Mariah, Kelsey, Moriah and bro Jamie for the Dailey inspiration to your flock. Side shout out to Kevin and Whitney for almost always being there for me at 7am. Yes, there are 7am classes, and they are an awesome way to start the day.

[History lesson: I sampled a TDM program at a Lululemon (shameless yogi endorsement) in-store community Sunday fitness class in the summer of 2015. I remember TDM co-owner Sarah Thompson leading the class and explaining that TDM incorporates the best benefits of yoga, pilates, and ballet to allow participants to build strength and focus on alignment. After 45 minutes, I was sold on the benefits … and that was without actually getting to do any moves at the barre.]

Front desk staff like Whitney make TDM a very open & welcoming place for new clients.

#DoItDailey30 #LivingADaileyLife #TheDaileyMethod

The Dailey Method Ottawa – 99 Fifth Avenue, Unit #10 (in Fifth Avenue Court). 613-422-3482

Follow TDM on Facebook (The Dailey Method Ottawa), Twitter (@TDMOttawa) and Instagram (@TDMOttawa)

Follow me on Twitter (@FrugalFit) and Instagram (@BytownBoy)


Top 5 reasons why TDM will blow your fitness mind

  1. The community: everyone attends for the right reason. Positivity oozes out of TDM from your first chat at the front desk, to the instructors, to the beats, to the smiles. Remove “competition” from your vocabulary and embrace the practice.
  2. The pace: Everyone is different and every day is different. You can go at your own pace. We all have different physical strengths: embrace it. Take a break if your body needs it.
  3. The price: $79 TDM New Client Special for a month of unlimited classes is a very good deal in the 613. You cannot get this kind of personal instructor attention in a generic gym. Unlimited means unlimited. I may have taken my fair share of classes. I recommend at least 3x/week for benefits to be seen and felt. That’s a simple commitment of 3 hours. PVR that show you want to watch. Tell your friends that you’ll meet them after your class. Get your tush here. Now.
  4. The instructors: All 8 instructors (including “bro” Jamie Rigby) know their fitness 101 and are all experts in kinesiology. They are here for you. Talk to them. Share your goals. Share your stories. Share your smiles. They are appreciated.
  5. The noggin and the soul: Yes, your physical body will change, but so will your mind and spirit. This is the whole package, barre none (it’s hard not to make puns).

Welcome / Bienvenue

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

Remember when your fitness shoes were $8 Converse hightops? Me neither, but my parents tell me stories about the good ol’ days.
Today is the great now day.
Fitness options are everywhere and Ottawa (the 613) remains one of the most fitness-friendly cities in North America with abundant greenspace, bike paths, the Rideau Canal, and the Gatineau Park all within arms reach. Not to mention the box gyms, the boutique fitness homes, and the abundance of free or relatively inexpensive fitness options.
Most of the free fitness options can be found on my Twitter account (@frugalfit). This blog gives me a chance to sample fitness options in Ottawa and write about them. Maybe I help you in your fitness choices. Maybe you accidentaly stumbled on this poorly written blog and are amused by my typos. Either way: Welcome / Bienvenue.