Up your wellness game by kicking non-essential ingredients from your daily routine! My guilt-free start to the day

Wellness, wellness, wellness. I hear this term so often. With so much attention and research out there, I’m often re-assessing my daily routines and choices and left in a confused state just trying to figure out where I stand on this wellness continuum. Whoa, let’s take a step back here. Sure, wellness is a multifaceted term, but the number one thing I’m after is mental peace and clarity. That’s what we’re all shooting for in this crazy life, right?! There’s no simple way to attain this goal, but for me there have always been two simple things I can focus in on when I’m feeling out of whack: 1) make sure I’m getting plenty of exercise, and 2) re-assess what’s been on my nutritional menu recently and try to swap in some healthier choices. Exercise and healthy eating are basic ideas, but for me they always get me back on the right track.

Cam Lee Vancouver Wellness Journey

It’s always been obvious to me that what I put into my body will have a direct effect on how I look and feel. And I’ll be the first to admit that I have to mix in some unhealthy treats from time to time to keep my sanity! The occasional indulgence is a legit component of a healthy diet. Seriously! But I’ll be the first to admit I have often overlooked another equally important part of my daily routine: not only what I put into my body, but what I put on my body. So, recently I made it a priority to be more vigilant in how I choose the everyday products that I use on my skin. This led me to dig deeper into reading labels and researching what ingredients my favourite products are actually made of.

Cam Lee Vancouver Wellness journey

Just like changing up my eating habits or revamping my workouts, I’m always tempted to jump in with reckless abandon to make a drastic change. An old-fashioned shock to the system is great, but I’ve come to realize that I personally have better long-term success when I do a bit of planning. So rather than frantically read every label in my house, I thought it would make more sense to pick one product that I use a lot. Rather than something I only use once in a blue moon, simple math told me I could make a bigger impact on my body by picking something I use every day, then finding an equally effective replacement that lacks unwanted ingredients that shouldn’t be cozying up with my skin on a daily basis. Sounds super simple, but past experience tells me this might be more challenging than it sounds.

Cam Lee Yoga - Wellness Journey

After some deliberation, I settled on that place we all love talking and worrying about… my armpits! I bet I’m not alone here, so I’m just going to cut to the chase. Odour protection is a mandatory necessity for my daily deodorant, but I know there are some sneaky ingredients that I would rather live without. Aluminum, parabens, and dyes were the trio I aimed at knocking out of my daily vocabulary, but there’s not much use applying a more natural deodorant if it doesn’t do the job of actually preventing odour. So, I set off on this hopeful yet risky journey!

I’ll spare you my stressful and extensive search details, and my cringe-worthy memories of a single good intentioned years old attempt at giving another alternative deodorant a try. This time my research eventually led me to a new candidate: Secret’s new Aluminum Free Deodorant, which is also free of parabens and dyes. Check, check, and check on the ingredients. But, the results you may ask? Well, well. Let’s just say there was a test, and Secret passed with flying colours. Here are the details. Stinky pits? Nope. To my surprise, even though this new Secret deodorant is free of many of the typical players in the deodorant realm, this time around I was totally odour-free. Ah refreshing, and if I’m being honest, actually surprised. And it’s not like there’s some sort of compensation with a blast of tacky car air freshener - just a nice, subtle scent. Even though I was already convinced at this point, I was super impressed because it was comfortable (it goes on dry, not sticky) and didn’t wreck my looks with those stubborn white marks on my clothes (you know what I’m talking about).

I started with a healthy diet and ended up at the armpits. That’s wellness for you. All jokes aside, I think we can all use some outside the box thinking to up our wellness game. For me, I have a simple formula. Once I’ve got my exercise routine on lock and some healthy fuel lined up, I systematically pick other high traffic areas of my life that could use a simple tweak to reap some serious benefits. Give this approach a shot, and I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you’ll find. Let me know where you ended up in the comments! I love hearing your ingenious approaches to wellness!

What’s in my yoga bag?

My tips for the aspiring, new age go-getter!

I love the fast-paced hustle of day-to-day life. There’s something so satisfying about simply getting things done. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably addicted to that uplifting surge you get by putting pen to paper and simply checking off box after box on your to-do list! Even though I’ve come to realize that I definitely possess an internal drive to make the most out of every day, even self-starters like myself benefit from the positive feedback that this basic exercise delivers.

For me, the only way to keep this hustle and grind sustainable is to plan, plan, plan. Sure, life can get hectic and unpredictable, but I find that if I set small goals and have a basic structure to my days, weeks, and months, I can adapt and overcome almost anything. And when all the hard work and planning finally come to fruition with success, no matter how big or small, this gives me a little confidence to keep it up. It’s not all success and go, go, go though. We all need a way to recharge our batteries and reset - my number one way to do this is through moving meditation.

What’s this, you may ask? For me, it’s yoga! Everyone is always looking for that single tip or shortcut to get them over the hump. Breaking news: there aren’t any! The truth isn’t pretty: grab your hard hat and lunch pail. It’s hard work, and requires chipping away to get after your goals. Recharging your batteries sounds simple, but I’ve found I really need to practice this aspect of my life too. Practicing yoga daily allows me to relax, focus on calming myself with my breath, and listening to my body. Even if it’s only for 10 or 20 minutes a day, you would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t rave about the relaxation, calm, and confidence that a basic meditative yoga practice delivers.

I would love for you to add a yoga practice to your arsenal during your next busy week! When you’re planning and aligning all your puzzle pieces to fit yoga into your schedule, you might need a little cheat sheet to get started. All you need is a handful of basic tools for the job and a positive attitude! So, let’s take a look inside my yoga bag to see how you can get started! Let’s start with the basics. Some of these might seem like no-brainers, but no one wants to finish an amazing yoga sesh and then have to drive home and waste time to grab their forgotten necessity.

what's in my yoga bag @camleeyoga

1) Towel - obvious, duh. Shower up and feel refreshed! 2) Extra hair ties - we all know they always disappear in times of need. 3) Water bottle - stay hydrated to last the day! 4) An extra pair of yoga pants - who can have too many pairs? 5) Face wipes - you don’t always have time for a shower, so you gotta make sure you stay looking fresh!

6) Deodorant - so critical. Whether it’s during a light yoga class or with a busy day ahead, I need a deodorant that has odour protection on lock, and Secret deodorant is my go-to. While yoga helps me clear my mind, using this amazing little product gives me peace of mind! I already have a long list of things to worry about, but having this area under control gives me added confidence by letting me kick the worry of odour off this list! Not only does it preserve your goddess-like smell (I know you all smell great!), but it goes on clear and dry. I can’t stand those white marks! So simple, but such a life saver.

Here’s the proof! I am so excited to say goodbye to those terrible white marks on my clothes! And because  Secret  goes on clear and dry, I feel so much more comfortable without any residue on my skin!

Here’s the proof! I am so excited to say goodbye to those terrible white marks on my clothes! And because Secret goes on clear and dry, I feel so much more comfortable without any residue on my skin!

7) Headphones - you won’t be cranking up the beats during your yoga class, but I love getting into the zone prior to class with a sweet playlist. 8) Lip balm - all those deep inhales and exhales can really do a number! Make sure to give those lips some moisturizing care!

There you have it. I know you’re already crushing goals and taking names, but we can always swap notes and evolve! So, I hope you get out there and roll out your mat this week. I promise your mind will thank you.






Avoiding Those Pesky ‘Winter Blues’

One of the major perks of living in Vancouver is the amazing summer weather. While other parts of North America are battling the blistering heat and swamp-like stickiness, Vancouverites are smiling in the pleasantly warm and humidity-free summer months. As you can imagine, this has some amazing side effects, as we find any excuse to get outside and run, hike, and play in the many local parks and beaches to maintain our summertime fitness routines. Although the winter doesn’t bring with it quite the frigid temperatures of the east coast, the dreaded dark and gloomy winter days start to roll in come December.

In an effort to battle the typical ‘gloom and doom’ that hits me like clockwork each winter, this year I have decided I need to be proactive and make some actual goals to help avoid slipping into the undesirable sluggish feels of winter. So, my main goal this winter is to focus on maintaining my activity levels through these darkest and coldest months. However, I realize this goal is far too vague - I will have to add focused details to create targets that are truly achievable. 

Personally, I know that as it gets cold outside, it’s far too easy for me to stay inside and become inactive. So, goal number one is to move some of my favorite outdoor summer activities indoors - that way I won’t lose the progress I worked so hard to achieve. This means moving my yoga practice from the beach to the studio, and from running on the seawall to the treadmill. Doing that three days per week sounds easy enough. To push myself outside of my ordinary comfort zone, I am also going to focus on getting active outdoors. At least one weekend per month, I will get outside by hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, or even camping all winter long! 

Even though I now have this two-part goal all set to go, I know I can do even better. Specifically, I think this is the perfect opportunity to up my game and take advantage of the new age technological tools that are out there. In order to hold myself accountable, I know I will have to be extra cognizant of just how active I really am, and do a better job of tracking my fitness progress so I can make adjustments and really hone in on my goals. To help me become more aware of my fitness patterns and habits, I decided to head over to Sport Chek and get the Fitbit Ionic. My main motivation was to get an activity tracker that would assist me by showing me just how active I really am.

One month later, I am here to check back in with my current progress. Overall, I would say it’s going pretty well! Sure, I don’t always make it to the gym three days each week, and some of my outdoor weekend activities are more strenuous than others. But what I have learned, though, is that tracking my actual activity levels has taught me how to be resilient, plan ahead, and compensate for stretches of low activity. Quantifying my activity levels with the Fitbit has allowed me to illuminate my weaknesses and show me what I'm doing well. However, one of my favorite features has nothing to do with activity, but is just as important. In addition to tracking your activity levels, it also analyzes how you sleep. At first, I didn’t give this much thought. By increasing my activity levels, though, getting adequate sleep was just as critically important to ensure that my body could rest and repair itself to avoid an old-fashioned overtraining burnout. By informing me of how much light sleep, deep sleep, and REM sleep I was getting, it has opened my eyes to the small details of maintaining a well-rounded healthy lifestyle, and that was a big eye-opener for me.

As the days start to get a little longer and a little brighter, I can happily say that up until this point, I have been successful in fighting off those pesky ‘winter blues’! Armed with general and detailed goals has allowed me to keep the main objective in mind, and target in on the daily activities that will keep me on track. As we cruise closer toward spring, I will check back in with my progress, and maybe even cater and tweak my goals toward some warmer activities to come!

5 Supplements that are Essential to Women’s Health

For those of us that don’t meticulously track all the nutrients contained in our daily diets, it’s likely that we lack some of the essential vitamins for optimal health. To take a step towards improving my overall health, I decided to supplement my daily food intake with some vitamins in order to deliver the missing nutrients my body needs to run on all cylinders. If you’re anything like me, the simple idea of going to the store and wading through the myriad of potential vitamins that might be right for you is an overwhelming task to say the least. After doing a bit of reading and research, I found there are 5 vitamins and supplements that are ideal for maintaining optimal women’s health. I have been taking this simple regimen for the past few weeks, and in addition to feeling the assurance of knowing that I am now delivering all the essential vitamins and nutrients that my body needs to thrive, I am also welcoming in some beneficial effects that I have taken note of on a day to day basis.

Although logic tells me to try to maintain a clean diet, often times I just can’t fight what must be my genetic propensity to be magnetized toward fatty foods and desserts. Since sticking to this regimen of vitamins and supplements, one of the major beneficial effects I notice is a decrease in my cravings for these rich, fatty foods. Maybe not surprisingly, this has likely triggered an improvement in my digestion as well as noticeably clearer skin. These synergistic effects didn’t just manifest at the physical surface level, though. My mood and energy levels have definitely improved, I am sleeping more soundly, and my immunity levels are holding strong through the sniffly, sneezy cold season. So, let’s get into the 5 essential vitamins and supplements that are rounding out my daily nutrition!

1. Multivitamin

What I’ve been taking: Sisu Supreme Multivitamin with Iron (also available without iron if your health needs require a reduction in iron).

In general, taking a multivitamin helps the body metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. In addition to these all-around benefits, I love this multivitamin because it includes a high dose of B vitamins, Ester-C, Vitamin K, Lutein, and antioxidant bioflavonoids which aid in daily stress, bone health, and eye health. Personally, I find that this versatile multivitamin really assists in curbing my sugar cravings, as well as reducing pms symptoms.

Other Forms: Fish, Eggs, Lean Meats, Whole Grains

2. Magnesium

What I’ve been taking: Sisu Calcium & Magnesium 2:1

Although magnesium might not garner as much attention or publicity as other more well-known vitamins or supplements, many troubling issues (including headaches and migraines) may be caused by insufficient magnesium levels. As someone who is constantly taxing my body and trying to squeeze out every last ounce of productivity, I have made sure to integrate magnesium into my daily regimen to reduce sore muscles and cramps, which may all be a result of low magnesium. A bonus? Taking it at night before bed helps promote a more restful sleep!

Other Forms: Avocados, Dark Chocolate, Bananas, Epsom Salt Bath

3. Omega-3

What I’ve been taking: Sisu Full Spectrum Omega

At this point, I’m sure everyone has heard the term “omega 3” from a friend, coworker, or in the media. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for healthy skin, joints, and heart - three parts of the body that are undeniably critical for looking, feeling, and functioning at our absolute best. Omega-3 supplementation has been proven to reduce the risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. And although you have many choices of where to purchase your personal omega-3 source, I find some serious peace of mind knowing that Sisu’s Full Spectrum Omega is from sustainably caught wild salmon, free from environmental contaminants like heavy metals, PCBs, and dioxins - ensuring that I’m getting all the major benefits without any unwanted and unforeseen toxins.

Other Forms: Fatty Fishes, Walnuts, Flax Seeds

4. Probiotics

What I’ve been taking: Sisu Integris 30

Some say our gut is the second brain, and taking probiotics helps our gut health. We have all been trained to tone and condition our muscles, but our gut plays the critical, yet often overlooked role of digesting and absorbing nutrients before they can be integrated into those working muscles. When our digestive tract is healthy, it’s able to eliminate harmful toxins, wastes, and bad bacteria, thus preventing diseases, boosting mood, and promoting overall health.

Other Forms: Kimchi, Sauerkraut, Miso, Kefir, Yogurt

5. Vitamin C

What I’ve been taking: Sisu Ester-C

Here’s one we’ve all heard of for boosting our immunity: Vitamin C! Personally, I take Vitamin C to not only help boost my immune system, but also aid in iron absorption and promote formation of collagen. Why did I choose Sisu? Sisu Ester-C is a patented form of Vitamin C buffered with calcium, which is proven to last up to 24 hours in the body, providing extended delivery of this critical vitamin.

Other Forms: Fruits and Vegetables

Bonus supplement

I also love taking Sisu Skin Hair and Nails to deliver added strength to these critical structures, which are often battered by busy hands, everyday wear and tear, and the harsh elements of mother nature.