Travel Workouts Week 15- TRX and Kettlebells in Nosara

Ever since the Around the World Running Blog Relay began, I have been running like crazy. It’s been great motivation, but, as a result, my strength training routine has fallen by the wayside.

When I read about the TRX and Kettlebell class at the Wellness Centre in Guiones, I knew I would have to try it out.

P1030131As some of you may have read, I rocked a TRX class back in Tamarindo and loved it. The thought of adding kettlebells to the mix sounded amazing. It’s funny how having the opportunity to add actual weight to your routine is such a treat when you are travelling!

I arrived at my first class and was instantly delighted by the temperature of the room. It had been a HOT one in Nosara that week, and although the room didn’t have a/c, it was in the basement of the wellness centre and was nice and cool. I find sometimes classes with a/c can get too cold and aren’t ideal for working out, this room was great.

Our class was taught by Tinis, a gorgeous Tica surf instructor who really knows her stuff. The more classes I attended with Tinis, the more I came to really appreciate her teaching style. Technique is super important when working with TRX and Kettlebells, and she spent ample time making sure everyone in the class was rocking it. No matter whether it was your first time, or your fiftieth time, she had her eyes out to make sure no one hurt themselves. I was also amazed at how she could tailor the class to suit everyone’s goals and levels. She could balance teaching a new student the technique for kettlebell, while guiding others through a TRX routine, all the while, motivating all of us to push ourselves to get the most bang for our buck.

P1030114

Tinis teaches Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 2pm. There is another class at 12:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays taught by someone else. Drop in is $10 for visitors and $5 for locals. Ten bucks is an awesome deal for this type of class, as you are guaranteed to get your money’s worth. 

I try and get most of my workouts done early in the morning or later in the afternoon when it isn’t as hot out. For those who are looking for a mid-day workout, this class is truly ideal. Doing a cardio class mid-day is not only exhausting, but  the intense heat here in Costa Rica could make it potentially dangerous. Tinis’ class is the perfect way to get in a great workout that is focused on getting stronger, feeling the burn, but without over exerting yourself.

So, if you are in the Nosara area, check out the TRX and Kettlebell class at the Wellness Centre. Tell them I sent you!

Want to learn more about TRX? Check out this article that Tinis is featured in!

Check out more recaps of my travel workouts here!

Pura Vida!

Kate

Follow me on Twitter:@caketress

Advertisements

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:.

cover-top-5-smartphone-apps-for-travel-fitness-628x356

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

The Natural Centre in Playa Samara, Costa Rica

After our five days of rest and relaxation in Nosara we made a quick pit stop in Playa Samara.The main reason we were stopping by was so I could get some material for writing an article  for MyCostaRica about learning to surf with Samara Adventure Company.

Yes my friends, that meant that yours truly had to take a surfing lesson. You’ll have to stay tuned to a future post to see how it went, although if you follow the Facebook page, you may already know!

P1020728When I wasn’t learning to hang ten like a pro, I did manage to do a little exploring. In amongst the touristy souvenir shops, and tour companies I stumbled across the Samara Natural Centre. Intrigued? So was I!

Located in the heart of Playa Samara, the Natural Centre is a hub for all your healthy lifestyle needs. Here you will find a juice bar, falafel stand, gym and most importantly, a giant health food store (more on that in a second)

The Farmers Market

The Farmers Market

I was extra lucky to have the opportunity to stop by on a Friday afternoon, when the local Farmer’s market was going. There vendors were selling baked goods, vegetables, jams, jelly’s, cheeses and other delectable treats. Many of the items being sold were advertised as organic, gluten free or vegan. A bonus for anyone who is trying to track down these hard to find products.

The vibe at the market was great. It was apparent that this was a gathering place for families and friends to come and pick up all sorts of goodies for the weekend. I had brought my sketch pad and planned to do some drawing while I visited, but found myself more interested in watching the wonderful atmosphere unfolding around me.

So much selection!

So much selection!

Now for the health food store. Samara Organics is by far the epicentre of the Natural Centre. It has the biggest and most diverse selection of health food that I’ve seen throughout my travels in Costa Rica. Along with their wide variety of natural products and produce, they are also set up as a cafe. Visitors can enjoy a full coffee menu, juices, smoothies plus a small menu of salads and snacks. During my visit I had a Cappuccino (no surprise), and was delighted when they offered me the option of almond or soy milk. It was just like being back home! Because the farmers market was going on, the cafe was very busy. Despite being run off his feet, the Barista kept a smile on his face, and made the experience extra special.

If you are in Samara, checking out the Natural Centre is a must.You will find products that you can’t get anywhere else, and be sure to stop in for a treat at Samara Organics.

Pura Vida!

Kate

Follow me on Twitter:@caketress

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

capture

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

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

Our Favourite Places in Bocas Town, Panama

After bouncing around from place to place the last several weeks, having five days in Panama felt beyond luxurious.

Not only were we able to fully unpack, but we were able to explore lots of awesome local businesses in Bocas Town.

So, without further ado, I present the next instalment in our series of favourite places, check out “Our Favourite Places in Bocas Town”

If you see this door in Bocas Town, go inside...you won't be disappointed!

If you see this door in Bocas Town, go inside…you won’t be disappointed!

Random Art: I can safely say, without a doubt, this is the coolest place I’ve visited throughout our entire adventure. Random art is a tiny art studio nestled amongst the restaurants, and tour companies on the main street of Bocas Town.

The owner, Christin, welcomed me to her studio with open arms and showed me around. I was overwhelmed with how amazing this place is. The studio is small but covered in art, and art supplies. The atmosphere feels like it would spawn creativity.

Christin offers a variety of classes for people of all ages. I had the opportunity to pop into one of her children’s art classes on our last day. I was amazed by the art work that these kids were producing.

The studio

The studio

Each class they focus on a different technique, artist, or style. She is passionate about helping children learn to look at the world through a different lense, and embrace their artistic abilities at an early age. On Friday nights, Christin also runs a free art class for the local kids of Bocas. These are the kids whose parents wouldn’t be able to afford such a luxury for them. I was disappointed that we left Friday morning as I would have loved to watch the magic of that class unfold.

Working on the skill of "perspective" note the boat in the background of this amazing masterpiece.

Working on the skill of “perspective” note the boat in the background of this amazing masterpiece.

Christin also offers a variety of classes for adults, including some that involve wine tasting. I don’t know about you, but nothing gets my creative juices flowing like a little bit of vino!

One of the primary reasons I am so thankful to have stumbled upon Random Art, is the fact that I am now decked out with all the art supplies I need for the rest of the trip. I’ve been sketching like mad since I got to Costa Rica, and have been dying to get my hands on some paint.

The artists hard at work

The artists hard at work

Thanks to Christin, I now have a set of acrylics, a large sketch pad, and some brushes. I can’t wait to set myself up on the beach, and get started.

Random Art is truly a must visit location in Bocas Town. Whether you are artistic, or have never picked up a paint brush in your life, Christin has artistic wisdom to pass on to you.

The store front

The store front

Super Gourmet Bocas del Toro: If you’ve read any of my previous favourite place posts, you know I’m a sucker for a health food store. And, although Super Gourmet has a wide variety of products, the amount of unique, and healthy food caught my eye.

Not only do they have natural peanut butter, but they carry almond butter as well. I certainly haven’t seen any of that during my travels through Central America!

An amazing selection

An amazing selection

In addition to nut butters, they have a variety of organic, gluten free, and kosher items, as well as imported items that simply can’t be found anywhere else.

Local chocolate-delicious!

Local chocolate-delicious!

Super Gourmet also stocks the famous Island Cacao chocolate, as well as many other varieties of locally produced chocolates. If you have a sweet tooth, and want to indulge in these local delicacies, I highly recommend taking a tour of their selection.

Nestled in the back of the store is a deli that offers a variety of fresh goodies that you can take to go.

I probably visited Super Gourmet Bocas del Toro, three times during our five day stay, and still feel like I didn’t see it all. I highly recommend stopping by, and checking it out.

It's pretty unassuming from the front

It’s pretty unassuming from the front

Frozen & Creamy– What would a favourite places post be without an ice cream shop! We stumbled upon this place one night completely by accident. We had finished dinner, and were trying to decide whether to go for a night cap, or grab a treat. We opted for dessert, and started poking around the grocery stores trying to find something involving ice cream.  Everything was looking pretty lacklustre, until I glanced up at a sign hanging over an alley. “Frozen & Creamy”, it was like it was destined to be.

A multitude of delicious treats to choose from.

A multitude of delicious treats to choose from.

We creeped down a little back road, and found Bocas del Toro’s only Ice Cream Parlour. It was fairly late in the evening, so their selection was limited. Luckily, their cookies n cream was in full stock. Normally in these situations, Shaun and I would share a cup of ice cream, but after a lacklustre dinner choice, we were looking for some indulgence. We each got a scoop in a waffle cone. I seriously thought I had died, and gone to heaven. This homemade ice cream was so creamy, and full of huge cookie chunks. Needless to say we both buzzed home on a sugar high.

If you are looking for an amazing ice cream treat, check out Frozen & Creamy. It’s pretty fabulous!

Want more of “Our Favourite Places?” Check out the rest of our posts. And as always, if you are visiting any of these areas, and have questions, or are looking for recommendations, feel free to leave us a comment or come visit us on our Facebook page.

Pura Vida!

Kate

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