Travel Workouts Week 14- 5 Smartphone Apps for Travel Fitness

Well my friends, it happened!

I’m officially a member of the Travel Fashion Girl Team!

Starting this month, I will be writing a monthly series on Travel Fitness for this fabulous website.

Travel Fashion Girl is a one stop shop for everything a gal needs to know about travel. They cover everything from beauty, accessories and fashion to packing, destinations, and now fitness!

So, without further ado, I wanted to share my first article:.

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5 Smartphone Apps for Travel Fitness.

As with all my posts, If you like this article please share it on Twitter or Facebook. It really makes a difference!

What is your favourite part of the Travel Fashion Girl website?

Pura Vida!

Kate

Follow me on Twitter:@caketress

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Healthy Hostel Meals Part 6- How to make Ceviche!

Welcome to another addition of Healthy Hostel Meals! Check out previous posts in this series here. 

Enjoy

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Travel Workouts Week 12/13- Around the World Running Blog Relay

Sometimes you just need a good kick in the pants to get you through the home stretch.

With 7 weeks to go on this adventure, I find my motivation to work out dwindling a little. There are things to see, pool time to be had, and frankly, most mornings I would rather sleep in then get up and rock a workout.

That is, until I happened upon the Around the world Running Blog Relay 2014 over at Kyla’s Motivation blog

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Kyla, aka Drill Sargent Beattie, lives in my hometown of Victoria, B.C. I actually discovered her blog before I left Canada after reading a post of hers about a local obstacle race. It turned out that not only had we completed the same event, but we were in the same heat, and likely raced right next to each other. We didn’t even realize it until finding each other online. I love blogging for that kind of stuff!

Anyways, as of March 2nd, Kyla launched the Around the World Running Blog Relay. As it stands, 38 bloggers from all over the world have signed up to run as much as they can from March 2nd until April 30th. The goal is to see how far across the world we can make it!

My friend Shannon over at The Birthday Dinner, convinced me to sign up for a Half Marathon, 3 weeks after I get back. Unless I want her to have to drag me across the finish line, I know I’m going to have to stay the course.

Kyla’s blogging relay is exactly the motivation I need to keep up my mileage up for the remainder of the trip. So thanks Kyla, this is such a great thing to do, and I’m so excited to be a part of it.

For those of you who are wondering, I have pledged 100km and as of this morning I have 94km to go.

Better get running!

What motivates you to workout? Competition, goal setting, friends?

Pura Vida

Kate

Follow me on Twitter: @caketress

Travel Workouts Week 10/11- My Travel Fitness Must Haves

Staying on track with my workouts during this adventure has been easier then I expected. Most mornings I get up early, and get a quick and dirty workout in before starting my day.

This process is a lot easier thanks to a couple essential fitness items that I packed with me. So without further ado, here are my travel fitness must haves.

My brightly coloured ladies!

My brightly coloured ladies!

Two Pairs of Runners: I’ll be honest, I remember feeling a little high maintenance when I put these two pairs of shoes inside my backpack. Would I really need two pairs of runners to work out in?

The answer…yes.

Having already committed to a couple Half Marathons when I return, I knew I would have to log some serious miles here in Costa Rica in order to keep up my endurance. Running shoes are extremely important for long distance runners, and before leaving I had just broken in these saucy hot pink Asics. I knew if I was going to be running long distances, these babies were coming with me.

I also knew that I wouldn’t solely be relying on running for my fitness adventures. I knew I would be doing a lot of cross training in my room. My asics just weren’t flexible enough for all the jumping, burpeeing and all around flailing that I planned on doing. It’s also important to save your “running” shoes for running only, as they tend to wear our fast. So I brought along my Vibrams. These shoes are super compact, and are great for my hotel room workouts. I’ve also worn them on a whole bunch of hikes, and on the plane!

Call me high maintenance if you wish, but having two pairs of runners has been a huge help to my travel fitness regime.

SO glad I packed these!

SO glad I packed these!

Workout Bands: I wasn’t sure how much I would use workout bands, as I rarely use them at home. Well my friends, let me tell you, these things are pretty much a part of EVERY workout I do. You can do it all with these babies; Bicep Curls, Tricep Extensions, Rows, Chest Press, Abs Crunches, and the list goes on!  Whenever we check into a new hostel I’m instantly on the look out for what things I can wrap my bands around! I was totally expecting to lose a lot of definition in my arms during this trip, but thanks to these bands, I’ve managed to keep up a pretty decent strength training routine.

My little bean makes me smile whenever I look at my phone

My little bean makes me smile whenever I look at my phone

iPhone: Although this magical piece of technology is good for blasting music and podcasts while you are working out, I have found so many amazing apps that have become essential for my routines. I am not going to go into to much detail because I think I’m going to do a whole post about them at a later date.But whether its tracking my steps and runs or timing my Tabata or Intervals, my iPhone always has role in my workouts.

And yes, my iphone cover photo makes makes me smile every single time I see it!

Lots of sweat on these pages!

Lots of sweat on these pages!

Workout Journal: Before I left I took an old journal from home and recorded a whole bunch of workout routines in it. Little did I know that this thing would become my workout bible.

Before each workout I take a glance through the ever growing list of workouts. I either choose an exisiting one, or create something new. I then use the book to keep track of my reps and sets as I go.

Not only does this book keep me organized, but it is a constant motivator to keep my workouts interesting and creative. No workouts plateaus here!

So there ya go!

You certainly don’t need much to workout effectively while travelling, but these couple items have definitely made my life easier!

What do you bring to help you workout while travelling?

Pura Vida!

Kate

Follow me on Twitter:@caketress

Healthy Hostel Meals Part 5- My Favourite Healthy Costa Rican Snacks

I LOVE grocery stores, especially grocery stores in other countries.

Whenever we are in a new town, and I find a new grocery store, I am in heaven. I will spend so much time wandering down the aisles, looking at all the products, reading ingredients, and filling up my basket with all sorts of new things.

As a result of all this “research”, I have found a bunch of awesome healthy snacks that I’ve never seen at home.

Here are a couple of my favourite go to snacks here in Costa Rica:

Can't begin to express my love for these.

Can’t begin to express my love for these.

Suspiros: These calorie free meringues are AMAZEBALLS! Every year at Christmas, I make tons of cookies full of butter and sugar for Shaun, and I make Meringues made with Stevia for myself. They are guilt free, and still feel like a treat.

Well the lovely people at SweetWell (which is actually a Belgium company) sell a pre-packaged version of my Christmas treat. They come in Vanilla, Mint and Strawberry, and are a perfect sweet treat for dessert.

I can guarantee I’ll be lugging some of these home with me…although I’ll be lucky if they make it through the plane ride!

Veggie time!

Veggie time!

Natural Sins Beet Chips: There are some travel days where getting my servings of vegetables in can be a challenge. You can’t exactly whip up a salad when you are on an all day shuttle. On days like this, these beet chips have been a saving grace.

Unlike lots of the vegetable based chips you find at home, these ones are totally clean. The ingredients are just beets!

Natural sins also sells dehydrated pineapple,mango, orange and coconut, but I’ve steered clear of those, as I’m sure I would just eat the whole pack in one sitting!

Guanabana, you're my hero

Guanabana, you’re my hero

Pops GuanaBana Light Yogurt: Oh Guanabana, how I love thee. This yogurt is hard to find, so when I track it down, I always pick up a couple. Pops is a big ice cream chain here in Costa Rica, and although they make some sinfully good ice cream, they also have a great line of lighter products as well.

This yogurt has a rice tangy taste, with less guilt then the non-light version. I usually split the container in two and add it to my oatmeal in the morning. I know I’m going to miss this little beauties when I get home!

 

pipa on beach with straw

Pipas: Oh my Beloved Pipas, what am I going to do without you.Over the past few weeks, I’ve developed a plan of attack. I’m having a pipa every day until I leave. My thought process is that I will overdose on these awesome budget friendly, healthy snacks, so that by the time I leave, I won’t crave them anymore.

That being said, I can totally see myself getting home and buying whole coconuts in an attempt to recreate the magic. I wonder if Shaun will invest in the machete necessary to open them for me??

 

So there you have it, my favourite healthy snacks here in Costa Rica. What are you go to healthy travel snacks?

For more Healthy Travel ideas, check out my Healthy Hostel Life Page!

Pura Vida!

Kat

Follow me on Twitter:@caketress

Healthy Hostel Meals Part 4- What do you mean there is no kitchen?

Well, after two months of travel, we’ve officially hit our healthy hostel life groove.

We have accumulated a little supply of spices, staples, and supplies, and can whip up some pretty great healthy meals in a flash.

That is, of course, until you take away a pretty essential necessity, a kitchen.

No-SCOBY-in-the-Fridge-300x297The vast majority of the hostels we stay in have great shared kitchens, with all the supplies we need. Other’s don’t have a kitchen, but we’ve got a little fridge. In those cases we just plan ahead, and bring some pre made meals, or stick with simple things like cereal or salads.

The most challenging places, are the places that have no facilities. No kitchen, no fridge, nothing. How on earth do you eat healthy, when you have absolutely no amenities?

Well let me tell you my friend, it requires some serious creativity.

If you are travelling short term, you could just go out for meals, but we’re on a budget. Homemade meals are a way of life here in the land of Hostels and Hot Rollers.
So today I thought I would share some tips on how I manage to stay relatively healthy when faced with the dire circumstances of having no food amenities. Let’s start with my supplies:

SHOPPING LIST

Peanuts, Almonds
Peanut Butter
Protein Powder
Canned Tuna
Canned Vegetables
Wraps
Bananas, Apples, Oranges
Oats

I usually try, and buy the supplies when I find them, and keep them on hand. It’s a pretty limited shopping list, so if we get to a town that doesn’t have one or two items, I’m pretty much out of luck.

Next up is meals. Shaun, and I will usually make something in advance when we know we won’t have a kitchen. That means, the first night we get there we will have something for dinner. Usually some sort of rice, veggie, bean concoction (stored in all the empty peanut butter jars we are accumulating!)

After that, the meals start getting pretty creative. Here is an example of what I ate during our last kitchenless day:

MEALS

Slop makings!!

Slop makings!!

Breakfast: Kate’s Magical Slop: Mmmm, doesn’t that sound appetizing? Don’t let the name fool you, this delicious concoction is both tasty, and will curb your hunger. I invented it by chance one morning by just throwing everything I had on hand in a bowl. So, my very precise recipe is: nut butter, oats, banana, almonds, protein powder, and a little bit of water. I like mine to look like a chunky cake batter. You can add whatever you want, coconut, raisins, granola…be creative! Be advised though, with all that protein, a little goes a long way with this concoction. A little bowl full can easily keep me going till lunch.

Lunch: Peanut Butter and Banana on (blank). Oh hello peanut butter, so we meet again. I usually smear some of this legume gold on rice cakes, and then slice some banana’s on top. Unfortunately, rice cakes aren’t always available. If all else fails I’ll use a mini wrap, or slice of bread, depending on what Shaun has hidden away in his carb stash.

I find preparing this delicacy in the bathroom really heightens the flavour.

I find preparing this delicacy in the bathroom really heightens the flavour.

Dinner: Tuna Vegetable Medley: When I first decided to try this concoction, I did not have high hopes. The thought of my entire dinner coming from cans made my stomach churn, but I forged ahead.

I was actually shocked at how much I enjoyed it! Maybe it’s just because it was a welcome change after a long day of peanut butter and banana overdose. Regardless, I actually look forward to this meal. 

I always have a small can of light tuna in water on hand. One that has a snap open lid so you don’t have to deal with a can opener. Add in a can of drained vegetable medley (my fave is peas, beans, and carrots), a couple dashes of lizano, and some pepper, and you my friend have yourself a meal! If I’m looking to mix it up, I’ll put it in a wrap, or grab a small head of lettuce, and make it into a salad. Either way, in a pinch, this meal will do. (Full Disclosure I’m editing this post three days after writing this…and am sick of this meal now! Glad we have a kitchen tomorrow!)

To curb any potential Hanger throughout the day, these are the snacks that I keep on hand, or I’ll pick up, during our kitchenless times:

SNACKS

Carrots, and Cucumber- Buy and consume the same day
Nuts- Keep them in your purse, for emergency Hanger!
Kale Chips- If you’re lucky enough to find them
Buy a Smoothie-Add some of your protein powder to it if you’re really clever
Side salads- Nothing beats fresh greens

Eating like this is certainly forces you to be creative, and is not something I can sustain for more then a day or two. I feel fortunate that this moments are pretty few, and far between during our trip!

How would you eat healthy when faced with no kitchen??

Pura Vida!

Kate

Follow me on Twitter:@caketress

Our Favourite Places in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Although most people go to Manuel Antonio just to see the National Park, we decided to spend an extra day poking around, and exploring everything the little town had to offer.

Our adventure was well worth it, the town is full of great restaurants, coffee shops, and hidden beaches. Plus, with the hilly terrain, there are breathtaking views at every turn. So without further ado, here are our favourite places in Manuel Antonio

The entrance to Emilio's. You can see the view from the front door!

The entrance to Emilio’s. You can see the view from the front door!

Emilio’s Cafe– One of the first things I asked David when we checked into our hostel was, “where is the best place for coffee?” My stomach was finally feeling better, and I was ready to jump back on the coffee band wagon. He recommended Emilio’s, which was only about a 7 minute walk from our hostel.
Emilio’s is, just off the main road to Manuel Antonio near the Falafel Bar. It is an open concept coffee shop/restaurant which means when you peer through the door from the road, you can already see that the view is breathtaking.

The view from Emilio's. This was the perfect incentive to make it a two coffee day!

The view from Emilio’s. This was the perfect incentive to make it a two coffee day!

Shaun, and I popped in here one morning after a beach walk.  As we sat outside, looking out over the National Park, sipping a Cappuccino and a Gingerale, and listening to Jack Johnson, I knew I would be writing about this place. Luckily for me, I hadn’t brought my camera, so I had the perfect excuse to come back later in the afternoon for another coffee,  to snap some photo’s, and use their free WiFi to catch up on some blogging.
Emilio’s offers a small, but delicious looking menu. The morning we were there, the special was a French Toast with pineapple, and ginger syrup. Holy yum! Their dessert display was even more tempting. I was astounded by the sheer physics of their Mississippi Mud Pie. A towering pie of whipped cream, and chocolate that seemed beyond belief. My Cappuccino had the most beautiful coffee art on the top, something that I’ve always taken for granted at home, but so appreciate when I find it here.
Although it is only about 3km from the bustling tourist hub near the park, the chilled out atmosphere makes Emilio’s feel like a different world. If you are looking to relax, have coffee, enjoy some amazing food, and enjoy a view that will take your breath away, Emilio’s Cafe is the place to be.

Can you spot the plane?

Can you spot the plane?

El Avion: This restaurant seems to be a rite of passage for guests visiting Manuel Antonio, and rightly so. It’s not everyday that you come across a restaurant inside a green cargo plane that is perched precariously on the top of a hill. Since you have to pass it on your way to the park, many tourists get curious, and stop either on their way to the park, or on their way back.
The story about how this plane ended up on the side of the road in Manuel Antonio is full of mystery, corruption, and scandal. You can read all about it here.

I had visited the restaurant three years ago on a previous visit, but Shaun had never seen it. We made a point to stop in for a happy hour to check out both the feat of engineering, and the breathtaking view.

Impressive eh!

Impressive eh!

If you are eating, make sure you keep an eye out when your food arrives. The kitchen is below, and food is delivered fuselage dumbwaiter!

If you visit, make sure you check out the bar inside the plane. It is open during the day, but at night converts into a night club. You can go right in, and sit in the cockpit!

Shaun rocking the tourist shot!

Shaun rocking the tourist shot!

If you are leaving Manuel Antonio after a big day at the park, I highly suggest making a pit stop at El Avion. Don’t worry if you are sweaty, sandy or wet, they are used to it. It’s a great place for a meal, snack, beverage or final photo op before making your way back home.

The farmer's market in Quepos

The farmer’s market in Quepos

Raw Food Express– Okay, so this one is a little bit of a cheat, as it’s actually located in Quespos, a town located about 6km from Manuel Antonio.

We were lucky enough to be in the area over the weekend, which meant the farmer’s market was open on the boardwalk in Quespos. So, we hopped on the bus to check it out.

Nuts, seeds, cookies, cocoa butter.  A little bit of everything!

Nuts, seeds, cookies, cocoa butter. A little bit of everything!

The market was lovely. It was mostly vendors selling fresh vegetables, fruits, and of course Pipas. There were a few artisans selling jewellery, soaps, and clothes, but one vendor in particular caught my eye.

The table for Raw Food Express was covered in all sorts of amazing raw food items.  As many of you know, I’m always on the look out for unique healthy options while travelling here, so I had to stop and take a look.

My beloved kale chips

My beloved kale chips

I met Debbie, and Gabrielle whose passion for raw healthy food was evident.I scanned their many products, and was impressed by the diversity, and uniqueness of their merchandise. There were so many items that I hadn’t seen in Costa Rica before like: raw cookies, coconut milk, raw crackers, Spirulina, and even my beloved peanut butter.

I could have bought it all, but when my eyes fell upon Kale chips, I knew there would be a sale. Our next stop on our trip was to a remote town, and we didn’t have a fridge. I had been trying to figure out how I was going to get my vegetables in while we were there. Kale chips were the perfect solution. I opted for two bags, one honey mustard, and one herb flavoured.  I am eating them as we speak, and they are so delicious.

Raw Food Express also makes food that you can pre order, and pick up at the market. Everything from raw lasagne with zucchini noodles, to mango sushi. A great option for those interested in raw food, but unsure how to get started.

If you are into raw food, or just looking for some healthy alternatives while travelling in Manuel Antonio, I would definitely look up Raw Food Express. Try the honey mustard kale chips, you won’t be disappointed!

So there you have it, our favourite places in Manuel Antonio. There are lots more where that came from, so if you are looking for more recommendations, drop me a line!
Pura Vida!
Kate
Follow me on Twitter: @caketress