Lucinda Watkins is a busy mom of 2. She is a coach that provides Nutrition and Weight Loss coaching plan based on your individual needs. Using real food that you can buy at the grocery store, no calorie counting, magic pills or chemicals. Helping you build a sustainable, healthy lifestyle plan.
I just want to answer a few questions as many of you have booked a hike and now have some questions.... Or still deciding because you are not sure about the details.
All this information comes in a email 7 or so days before your hike. Please check junk mail before reaching out about the email. Also please reference the date and name of your hike, when reaching out for details.
Carpooling/ Transportation- Transportaion is not included.
We are just arranging carpooling from Olds as that is where your guide is from. If you are attending but live elsewhere, you will be given a detailed map and meet up times in an email 7-10 days before we go. If you live anywhere but Olds/ area... plan on meeting at the trailhead. (Dont drive from Calgary to Olds for carpooling to Kananaskis) All summer hikes are just meet at trailhead.
Weather Conditions: Unless it is dangerous conditions we go in most weather. I cancel if safety is a concern or if the trail is closed. That being said we went on a hike last year with terrible rain storms predicted, it misted and we got fantastic misty photos. Another hike was +25 and a random thunder shower just about washed us away- We still had so much fun and a soggy but fun ride home. If hiking in May, plan for snow or rain, if hiking in June count on rain. Come prepared!! Dress in layers, bring dry clothing for the car ride home. No refunds will be given due to bad weather.
What do I need to bring?
Hiking boots or shoes. Break them in before the day of the hike. A backpack to put the gear intoSunglasses and sunscreenBug spray if neededA hat (optional)Lipchap with sunscreenExtra clothing- layers, layers, layers! Alberta weather can do ANYTHING.Extra socksRain coatExtra food- Plan on more than usual, you will be hungry.Water. At least 1-2 liters per adult minimumA camera or phone to take picturesHIking poles (optional)ANY and all medications you might need. I need to know of major medical conditions before we hit the trail.
DONT bring; (I will be taking care of these items for you.)
A map of the trail- I will have copies if you would like one.
First aid kit
Loud radios or speakers-Just don't be "that guy"
What about bears and other wildlife?
Your guide has training and will include you a quick bear safety talk before our hike. The plan is avoidance. All trail reports will be checked and your safety will be top priority.
Why cant I bring bear spray?
A few reasons... the biggest one being... Do you want to hike with nervous people carrying pepper spray? me either!! The best prevention is to travel in a group and be loud. With 4 or more women- we should have that covered! If you are 100% confident carrying bear spray and know how to use it- Just let me know.
Why join me for a guided hike...
I am going to take care of all the details.
I am familiar with the trail.
I will take care of all safety concerns
I have my yearly updated First aid and CPR
I am certified as a hiking guide. I carry the proper permits and business license for the parks.
I hold a certificate as a Interpretive guide and will be sharing all the nerdy stuff about the area.
Summer speeds past.... end of June and you feel like you have so much time... You look up from the blur of fun packed days and Costco has snowsuits. FOR REAL... and you check the calendar and realize that's crazy. But back to school is coming... Quicker than you thought. It happens to me every summer.
One of the ways I get ready for the kids to go back is to start on the school snack stockpile early. I make 1-2 snacks to freeze each week. If I start now, that is 6 weeks of snack making. Potentially 6-10 dozen snacks in the freezer. Not too crazy right?
So I am starting now. Packing that snack box in the freezer, so I am not panicking the week before and needing to bake for 3 days in a row. I would rather spend that last week with the kids packing in as much fun as possible. So if time allows try this hack over the next few weeks.
Home backed snacks for the kids! All ready in your freezer. (Here are 2 of my favorites to make and freeze)
What do Insulin Resistance and Summer Have in Common?
Plenty, it turns out, and it has everything to do with what you’re eating this summer. Even though summer brings with it an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, making it easier to eat healthily, it also brings added risks.
What could taste better during the lazy, hazy days of summer than fruity cocktails and rich ice cream? Unfortunately, these are the foods that can spell danger for your blood sugar level. The few minutes of pleasure that you derive from those cold, sugary treats can pave the way for decades of chronic illness.
Blood Sugar Basics
When you eat sugary treats, your blood sugar levels rise. Your blood sugar level is a measure of how much sugar or glucose is circulating in your bloodstream. Too much glucose in your blood is dangerous, so your body works hard to lower the levels. It does this by releasing insulin, a hormone which enables your cells to absorb the excess glucose.
The danger comes when you continue eating too much sugar, because your body responds by producing more and more insulin. Too much insulin trains your cells to become resistant to insulin, and this is called insulin resistance.
The net effect is that it then takes more and more insulin to make your cells remove the glucose from your blood. When this happens, your blood sugar levels stay elevated, your insulin levels stay elevated and you develop pre-diabetes.
Still want that ice cream? I know, me, too. ;-b
Moderation is the Key
Don’t panic. This doesn’t mean that you can never indulge in a sugary treat again. What it means is that you need to be smart about the amount you eat and how you eat it.
Have you ever heard of the glycemic index? It is simply a way of categorizing foods according to their effects on the level of glucose in your blood. A food with a high glycemic index will cause more glucose to build up than will a food with a low glycemic index.
In order to control your blood sugar levels, it is helpful to eat lots of foods with a low glycemic index. And if you eat foods with a high glycemic index, be sure to pair them with low glycemic foods in order to slow the effect on your blood sugar.
High glycemic foods include white flour, white sugar, white rice, and even big, white potatoes. Low glycemic foods are foods that have lots of fiber and protein. These would include beans, whole grains, lean proteins and nuts.
Simply being aware of the glycemic index will help you eat in a way that reduces the stress on your body. If you are going to have an ice cream treat, make sure you eat it at the end of a meal that contains low glycemic foods. And, if possible, have it on a resistance training day – that will help also!
So this summer, have an occasional treat, but be sure it is occasional...seriously. ;-b Your body will thank you!
It’s Summer! Beat the Heat with these Summer Workout Tips
Baby, it’s hot out there!
If you have been working out over the past winter and spring months, you may be surprised at the new challenges that summertime fitness throws at you. Today is the first day of summer, and you are probably discovering that your body reacts to the heat and humidity differently than it does to cooler, drier conditions.
But don’t let the heat cause you to lose your momentum. You can keep working hard in the summer, you just have to adjust your approach a little. Keep the following summertime fitness tips in mind as you continue getting stronger and healthier.
1. Cool down first! You can improve your performance in the heat by lowering your body temperature before heading outside. Taking a cold shower or simply putting ice cold cloths on the back of your neck can help you to better tolerate the heat.
2. Find some shade. You may need to move your workout to a different area in order to be in the shade. If you are a runner or biker, change your route to a wooded area.
3. Avoid caffeine. Because caffeine acts as a diuretic, it forces water out of your system. This is the last thing you want when exercising in the summer heat. Save your caffeine intake for several hours before or after your workout, rather than near the time you will be exercising.
4. Stay hydrated! Drinking plenty of water before, during and after your workout will reduce the heat stress on your body.
5. Choose your clothing carefully. Now more than ever it is important to wear clothing that will move sweat away from your body and help it evaporate it quickly. A cotton t-shirt may be fine in the winter, but you will be much cooler in a fabric designed for exercise.
6. Change your workout time. If you are used to exercising during lunch or in the afternoon, you may need to adjust your schedule for the summer months. Early mornings and late evenings are the best times for outdoor exercise. On blistering, hot days, even the shade will not bring much relief.
7. Wear white or light colored clothing. Lighter colors reflect the heat better than darker, more intense colors.
8. Take breaks. Your body can only handle so much extreme heat. When the thermometer climbs, you may find that you need more frequent breaks to keep performing at your best. Be sure to take them. Listening to your body and caring for it is not a sign of weakness: it’s smart.
9. Monitor your heart. The heat places greater stress on your heart. Keep tabs on your heart rate as you work out in the heat. If it spikes quickly or stays too high, give it a rest.
10. Hit the gym. You may find that it is best to simply move your workout indoors for the summer. If you would prefer not to put your body under summer stress, work out in a gym.
You will have the added benefit of personal attention and group accountability. It’s a great time to work on form, increase intensity, and plan out a new and exciting workout routine. Beat the heat by mixing things up this summer-try a gym workout.
If you’re anything like me, your schedule is jam-packed. The days fly by, and sometimes you wonder how you’ll get it all done – sound familiar?
Being busy on a regular basis can make it tough to add in new, healthy habits… or add anything extra at all to your already overflowing schedule. This is why it’s crucial to have a plan that fits into your schedule – this is the most effective way to see your health goals realized. One of the best things you can do for yourself and your family is to learn the art of planning your meals ahead of time… and making them simple.
Pre-planning your meals helps keep your head clear about what to expect for the week. If you go through the week without a plan, it’s incredibly easy to revert to fast food or unhealthy pre-packaged convenience foods due to lack of time. Without a plan, your health goals continue to be pending on an uncertain tomorrow, and we certainly can’t have that. We need a plan.
This is precisely why meal planning needs to be a part of your life; meal planning with a pinch of willpower can help you achieve your health goals. It gives you more control over your choices, which has an overall positive effect in your life.
When lunch time rolls around at the office, and you don’t have a meal planned, a quick run to the vending machines is easy, fast and exactly what we are trying to avoid here. From here on out, we are going to be mindful about our meals by planning them ahead of time (don’t worry, it doesn’t take as much time as you think) so you have more confidence about making healthy choices.
We will be going over small strategies throughout these five days together, but today, we will start at square one.
Start today by organizing your thoughts. Jump on Pinterest and search for healthy, simple meals and pin as many as you can find. Having a strong arsenal of easy recipes and meal ideas is crucial in keeping this going. Today is all about getting prepared to make this easy meal planning a regular occurrence in your household.
Peruse Pinterest to find any inspiration for new, simple, healthy recipes you can tryMake a list of ALL of the fruits & vegetables you/your family enjoy, so you have many options to choose from
You don’t need a recipe to cook healthy, delicious, simple food. I’m going to be sharing some recipe-free meal ideas throughout the week that I know will inspire you!
Avocado Boats. Fill avocado halves with a mixture of fresh, delicious ingredients. Pictured above is tuna, red onion, tomato. Simple and filling! What can you put in your Avocado Boat?
So you spent the winter working hard. You exercised consistently, you were careful to eat more healthy foods and you watched your portion sizes. Why? So you would look great at the lake and have plenty of energy to enjoy summer. You greeted summer with a healthy, toned body.
But summer, in spite of all the fun and relaxation it brings, can be tricky and deal us a cruel blow when it comes to our fitness.
Have you noticed the scale creeping up a little over the last couple of months? If so, you are not alone. Summer is a very easy time to overindulge and pick up those pounds that you shed during the winter months.
Is that what you want though? Are you willing to undo all that you worked so hard to accomplish?
Remember that bad habits creep in slowly. Perhaps you are skipping your workouts a couple days each week, because ‘You have so much to do.’ Or maybe you have been indulging in unhealthy food or drinks a little more frequently when you are with friends. It happens-little by little. It happens one small choice at a time. But those choices add up fast.
If you realize that you have been slipping up, it’s not too late to turn around and get back on track. Really! There is still plenty of summer left for you to regain whatever ground you might have lost and get back to awesome.
Here are a few common reasons that people gain weight in the summer and how to remedy them.
1. Disrupted sleep cycle. Summer brings with it more daylight and longer days. This extra sunshine can cause our circadian rhythms to change which causes us to sleep less. But if we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies will respond by packing on a few extra pounds! The solution? Be diligent to get at least seven hours of sleep each night.
2. Baby, it’s hot out there! When it’s hot and humid, we tend to move around less. Our energy is lower and besides, who wants to sweat even more, right? But the less you move, the slower your metabolism is and the fewer calories you will burn. Be intentional about keeping up with your exercise. Find indoor exercise alternatives like boot camp classes or maybe even take up swimming. Just keep moving.
3. On the road again. Summer meals travel and travel means healthy eating just got harder. Eating on the road presents big challenges if you are trying to eat clean. Before your summer trips, brainstorm some ways to reduce the amount of fast food that you will consume while you are away. Consider packing a cooler with hummus, nuts, lean proteins sources like chicken, fresh fruit and raw veggies.
4. Caution: Cookouts! Ahhh…summer cookouts, parties, family reunions. All this spells danger because the food at these festivities is usually about as unhealthy as you can get! Make sure you pass on the hotdogs, potato salad, oily salad dressings and rich cakes. Look for grilled vegetables, fresh fruit and lean cuts of meat prepared without greasy marinades.
Don’t let the summer creep undo all the hard work you’ve done to get you where you are right now. Decide to fight back. Make up your mind to finish well this summer. Your future self will thank you!
There has been lots of talk recently about what has become known as “gut-health.” The Johns Hopkins Medical Center website, one of the most well-respected hospitals and Medical Schools in the United States, there is a good reason for this. Hidden within the walls of your digestive system is what is known as “your second brain” and this “brain in your gut” is changing the way that we look at the links between mood, digestion, health and even the way that you think
Does Disease Begin with Gut-Health? The answer is “NO”. Not all the diseases start in the gut. For an example, it doesn’t apply to the genetic or inherited diseases. But, there are evidences that lots of chronic metabolic diseases do. They begin in the gut.
We can prevent these diseases by following some easy steps.
Step 1: Know What Second Brain and Why Does It Matter This “little brain” is called the “enteric nervous system” or ENS and it comprises 2 thin layers of over 100 million nerve cells that line your GI tract from your esophagus to your rectum. The role of the ENS is to control digestion, including swallowing to releasing the enzymes that help break food down, to the control of blood flow, which aids with both nutrient absorption and elimination. The ENS communicates with our brain with significant results. When you have an unhealthy gut the symptoms of that can manifest themselves in other parts of your body. It’s your body trying to tell you that something is wrong or out of balance.
Studies have found that increasing your gut-health can lead to improvements in: • Immune function – 80% of our immune system is located in our guts • Brain function • Symptoms of anger, sadness, and depression • Obesity • Toxin levels in the body • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) • Allergies • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome What Results? How Is This Even Possible? The ENS may sense things that our cerebral brain can’t. Evidence has been found that when the GI tract is irritated it sends signals to the central nervous system, which can trigger our mood and ultimately affect it. When you consider that between 30%-40% of the population has bowel problems of some kind and that a higher percentage of these individuals develop depression and/or anxiety it’s easy to see how there could be a connection. Our bodies are filled with bacteria – good and bad. There are more bacteria in a human body than there are cells and there are an estimated 100 trillion microorganisms living in our bowels alone (http://www.naturallivingideas.com/ 13-ways-to-improve-gut-health/.) The key here is to have more good than bad bacteria in your gut – the fancy name for the good microorganisms is probiotics.
Probiotics help us do things like:
• Digest food;
• Absorb nutrients;
• Break down medications; and
• Kill some of the bad bacteria that lead to infection.
Step 2: Get More Probiotics
There are quite a few ways to get probiotics, but one of the easiest is to take a supplement called a probiotic. You will find many different kinds under different brand names and it would be a good idea to talk to your physician or pharmacist to see which is the brand that they recommend. There are foods that are also high in probiotics. Unfortunately, many of them are not widely available or thought very high of in America.
These foods include:
• Unpasteurized Cheese – Gouda, Cheddar, Provolone, and Gruyere are some examples
• Apple Cider Vinegar
• Yogurt – be sure and read the labels on the different yogurts. Most have high sugar and that can be counter productive.
• Getting more probiotics into your system is one of the best ways that you can improve your gut-health.
More Probiotics, What Else? The ones we hate. The ones that your grandmother and mother told you. Stress Less. Laugh More.
Stress, especially long-term stress, not only affects our gut bacteria, but it also affects the productions of hormones and neurochemicals that communicate with our brain. When it is long-term stress these chemicals and hormones can change permanently (unless you specifically work to change them back). Long-term stress may also lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), stomach ulcers, IBD, IBS, and potentially food allergies Laughter really is the best medicine. It helps to reduce stress and floods your body with the happy hormones and chemicals that make the good overtake the bad. There was even a study conducted (you can read more about it by clicking the link,) https:// www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19543102, where researchers studied healthy people as well as those with atopic dermatitis – a disease that is often associated with imbalances in gut bacteria. The researchers had the participants watch funny movies daily for one week. In only one week, the patients’ gut flora had changed and resembled the healthy participants.
Step 3: Play in The Dirt! This is true both literally and figuratively. Gardening is good for you because it gets you outside, gives you exercise, and putting your hands in soil introduces your body to the microorganisms that are found on the plants and in the ground. In a more figurative way, stop killing all the bacteria. They have recently stopped putting anti-bacterial agents in things because humans are killing all the bacteria, the good and the bad. And what is happening? The bad bacteria are getting stronger and the good bacteria are dying. Studies have shown that kids who grow up with a dog have both a lower risk of allergies and a healthier immune system. Dogs are associated with a type of house dust that actually exposes us to important strains of bacteria, L. johnsonii is one, which is essential within the digestive tract (http://www.naturallivingideas.com/13-ways-to-improve-gut-health/.) Dogs also work somewhat like a probiotic, helping develop healthy bacteria that boost your immune system, stopping you from getting ill, and possibly reducing allergies. Dogs also help you, or in some cases force you, to exercise more and help relieve stress in your life.
Conclusion It may well be that a large part of maintaining good health is maintaining good gut-health. There are many ways that you can do this, including exercise, and learning to listen to your body; however, some of the easiest changes that you can make are to: Get plenty of probiotics – through supplements and food Laugh Manage your stress better Don’t over sterilize or try and kill all bacteria
I am a mom to 2 kids who love to hike. It has been a process but worth it. I want them to come with me and love it as much as I do. we did our first backpacking trip last summer and they loved it. I have lots of people ask... how?
First of all why? Why take them? If you love it you want them to as well so they don't get left behind. Also I am a big believer in teaching resilience. Kids don't get to do much that pushes them, that feels hard. We have easy sedentary lives. I believe we can teach grit and resilience. Hiking does just that- there might be hard parts. It might get cold or rain.... and they will make it, learning that hard is worth it!
Here is some of my tips, tricks and easy hike recommendations;
1. Start early
-Take them out where you want to go. There are many trails that are stroller friendly. They also make great baby backpacks. Talk about how much fun hiking is.
2. Start easy
- Pick the right hike that is age appropriate. Start with 1-2km. EASY stuff. If they are 5 and you make them walk 9 km for the first hike EVER, they will not love it. I started the kids with 1-2km at age 4-5, by age 7 my daughter has worked up to about 9km hikes (see point 3 and 4) and my 10 year old can do most of what I can.
3. Make it a fantastic, fascinating, interesting adventure!!
- Go somewhere cool! A waterfall, gorgeous lake, under ground streams coming off the side of a mountain, something with rich history, Pictographs. Get excited, talk about what they get to see, talk about how great it will feel to reach the destination. You dont get to whine, just talk about how much fun you are having- lead by example.
- My kids base activity decisions on how good the snacks will be. Bring lots of snacks! find something they love and save it for the finish line. This works!! (with adults too!)
5. Fantastic starter hikes;
Grassi Lakes- A waterfall, underground streams, gorgeous lake at the top- by Canmore. 4km round trip.
Grotto creek Canyon- Cool pictographs, rock climbers, waterfall, creek bed to follow and jump over- 3.8 km round trip.
Heart Creek- Easy trail that leads to a waterfall. 3 km
There are many more! Take the kids, go enjoy nature!!
Lucinda is a great guide! She picked the perfect hike for my abilities. Before we went I was worried that I might not be able to keep up, but Lucinda went at a pace that was comfortable for me. Lucinda was prepared all around - she picked the hike, did the driving, and brought everything we needed. The only thing I had to think about was my lunch and water. If you're looking to try new hikes and need someone experienced to show you the way, Lucinda is the guide to call!