WOW Wednesday with Crystal Reia - Just Because You Can, Doesn't Mean You Should!

I thought this would spark some food for thought if you will! Wise words that apply to all areas of life, but thinking of our health & fitness in particular I have a few thoughts to share with you this week that have come to mind.

1. Listen To Your Body

I always want my clients challenging themselves. But sometimes certain exercises are just not right for everyone... and just because you can do it, doesn’t always mean you should! Sometimes we are dealing with previous or present injuries; or our bodies can be different when it comes to certain movements (i.e. uneven hips, tight hips, hyperextension, sway back knees, pigeon toed etc. etc.) It can affect your posture and how you perform movements. So it’s best to speak up if something you are doing in class or with your trainer doesn’t feel right! You do not want to exacerbate the problem, you want to try and fix it if possible or work within your means. Always listen to your body... that is #1.

2. Crazy Fitness Social Media Pictures

I loooove social media. It’s a place where I get to educate, share and celebrate my clients success stories with my followers. However, some sites (I am finding this more and more) are showing some ridiculous exercises (I’m all for out-of-the-box exercises as long as they are done properly, safely and with good form) but sometimes they are demonstrating with poor form, and then people are going out and duplicating what they see with little or no instruction. Some pictures I’ve seen are literally “injuries waiting to happen”! Scares me to look at it!

Really it just comes down to common sense. If there is a certain move you want to master, be sure to get informed first. Again another example of “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”. Sometimes, you can put strain on your joints and tendons from poor exercise choice and form. Don’t believe everything you see on the internet. Be sure of the source and the person’s credibility.

I get lots of inspiring ideas from people on social media, and follow several fitness sites, but I always test them before allowing my clients to try to ensure they are effective and not just hype. Just because they’ve posted some pictures of themselves doing crazy intense exercises and have several followers, does not necessarily make them an expert.

Short post today, but thought it was worth writing about! Can’t believe we’re almost into October! Happy Fall everyone! Chat with you all next week!

Crystal Reia
Your Health-Your Choice


High Medium Low - Striped Shirts

I love reading High, Medium & Low columns. Magazines, websites and bloggers have them for everything from clothing to home decor to real estate to you name it. I'm jumping on an already established bandwagon and posting my own high/medium/low column, starting with striped shirts. Ah, the striped shirt. So easy to wear and yet so hard to find a perfect one. Sometimes the colors are not exactly what you want, too much detail or too few, or the material just isn't what you had hoped. For the inaugural HML (oh yeah, I'm calling it that now) I did a lot of research and didn't choose items just because of the price, I read reviews and internet comments. They had to fit a very scientific criteria of wearability (did it get good reviews), cute-ability (has to look nice right?) and purchasability (basically would I buy the item myself if I had a black AMEX). Like I said, very scientific. Without further ado, HML Striped Shirts

High - Petit Bateau $150

Medium - EM +ME £48 This is the same shirt Kate Middleton wears!

Low - Land's End $19.67 CAN On sale from 68.89 Now is the time to buy!

Feeling Foxy

This past weekend I spent some time in Amherst, NY to see a concert, a football game and of course a little shopping. Just your basic perfect fall weekend. It was while browsing the home decor section of Target that I came up with today's post about the lovable critter, the fox. It was last fall that I first noticed the fox popping up in decor, fashion and holiday items and now seems like the little guy is everywhere! 

Blaze A Trail Fox Clutch - Kate Spade at Nordstrom $416.22 CAN

Kiel James Patrick Fox Bow Tie Bracelet at Brooks Brothers $58 US 

Martha Stewart Collection Fox Decorative Pillow at Macy's $111.74 CAN

Fox Wool-Silk Tie Ralph Lauren $125 US

Fox & Horn Needlepoint Hat Smathers & Branson $35 US

Fox & Hound Leather Tab Belt Belted Cow Company $34.50 US

Fox Trot Tights Anthropologie $29.50 US (Women's sizing)

Fox Tights Gap $14.95 CAN and Fox Sweater Dress Gap $44.95 CAN  Both 0-24 months

Red Fox Plaid Luggage Tag Horse & Hound Gallery $24 US

Betsey Johnson Fox & Pave Ring Drop Earrings at Lord & Taylor $48.89 CAN

Alex Monroe Fox, Rabbit and Mouse Chase Bracelet at Harrods £195 (British pounds)

I'm still smarting over missing out on last years must have items, the fox sweater from Old Navy and the Tory Burch flats

Nothing haunts us like the things we didn't buy!

Library Bows

Ok, seriously hilarious showing The Oldest how to look up your book before computers. 

Location Kitchener Public Library 85 Queen St. Kitchener// Photographer The Oldest

Outfit Details// Cardi Banana Republic Outlet// Skirt Tommy Hilfiger// Heels Nine West// Brooch Vintage// Bracelets Talleres de los Ballesteros & Old Navy// Tote L.L.Bean

If you are ever in Kitchener, Ontario make sure to visit the Central Downtown branch of the Kitchener Public Library, and don't forget to look up! Flux, the art installation in the main entry way, is hard to miss. You are immediately hit with color floating down from the glass ceiling. Each string has tiny square pieces of paper that represent the different phases in books and printing, starting with text from the Gutenberg bible all the way to binary code. The library and the artist, Moss & Lam, have posted a PDF with information about the artist and the meaning behind the installation. I love art and find that reading the background, vision and intent always help to enhance my appreciation of the piece. 

Setting the Table

Recently, my mommy (yes I'm an adult and still call her mommy) bought me serving spoons from the Vera Wang Wedgewood collection. 

The pattern is called Love Knots and are as cute as can be. I love setting the table and have been collecting my china pattern, Old Country Roses, since I was 16. I've used the serving spoons a few times now and I just love them. They are quite heavy and while I asked that they not end up in the dishwasher, they did and luckily it didn't damage them. A total win for me, I have far too many kitchen items that are delicate and need hand washing only. 

We are still in the early stages of fall and I started looking around the web for some dining table items that I can use until I bring out my Thanksgiving tableware.

Kate Spade New York Hopscotch $22 Can. @ The Bay

Pottery Barn Paros Round Charger $19.50 US

Kate Spade Charlotte Street Napkin $8 US

Brian Gluckstein by Lennox Starlet Serving Bowl $275 @ The Bay

Ralph Lauren Glen Plaid Highball $50 a set on Ralph Lauren
I just bought a set of 4 at Homesense for $8.99 each! They are 24% lead crystal and heavy! We have been using them every night since we bought them. 

Pier 1 Placecard Holder with Pen Set $28.95 US

And no table is set without a fresh flower arrangement

Roses my hubby bought me, from my Instagram page

White roses would be the perfect match for the green plates and blue napkins. 

Green and blue is such a fresh color combo. It works for all four seasons and you can change it up by adding in seasonal table centerpieces (like pink florals for spring, seashells for the summer, orange flowers and mini pumpkins in the fall and greenery in the winter).

Are there any new dining pieces currently on your must buy list? 

Happy Fall Y'all

It's official, my favorite season is here. Time for pumpkin spice everything!

Things I love about fall

The golden colors in the trees and the setting sun
Daylight savings time and sleeping in that extra hour
Sitting in the cool night air with a blanket and a cup of tea
Pumpkins, apples and squash. If you pick them yourself, bonus!
Layered outfits. Lots of plaid shirts, warm sweaters, long socks and tall boots
Turkey, mashed potatoes and lots of gravy followed up with apple, pumpkin and/or pecan pie
Sleeping with the window open while bundled up in warm pj's, fuzzy socks and thick blankets 

and pumpkin spice on everything!

What are your favorite things about fall?

WOW Wednesday with Crystal Reia - Fitness & Health Myths Do Not Fall For The Hype

I feel the need to keep educating my clients to not fall for the hype! There are so many fad diets, pills and fitness gadgets out there, and I feel sometimes they give our whole fitness industry a bad rap! Most are out there to just make money (true in every industry I suppose) as well as most people are looking for a quick fix when it comes to their poor health choices.

So I want to debunk a couple of the most common fitness and/or health myths today that I still hear so often!

1. I need to cut down my FAT intake.

Fat does not make you fat! Our bodies require healthy fats to even function! Our brain, skin, hair all need healthy fats and omegas to flourish. For a few decades we have been fed lies about fat. We see on every carton or package, low-fat this and low-fat that. I’m telling you it’s B.S. They have taken out the fat and put in sugar for taste. It is SUGAR that is killing you and our bodies have become so addicted to it, that it’s making our nation sick. Diabetes is and still is the number one killer in our nation. Get rid of the processed foods. A calorie is not a calorie. Calories in and out do not work, when that calorie you are eating is processed and full of processed sugars. Snow this does not mean I’m giving you permission to go out and eat all the deep fried foods you can! Stick with the whole food fats (avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, seeds, eggs, fish) lean proteins and all the non starchy vegetables you want. They will keep your blood sugar stable and keep you full! Make better choices and try to stick to shopping at farmers markets or the perimeter of your grocery store. There are even food services now that help support local farmers by delivering healthy and nutritious food right to your door.

2. Trendy Magazines with catchy titles (Example) 5 Ab exercises to help you look cut!

Ab strengthening is amazing and I do core strengthening with all of my clients. But some magazine who is selling a picture of a ripped guy or gal on the front cover telling you to do this many sit ups, or what not, will not get your abs to show. Abs are 100% made in the kitchen. You need to fuel with the cleanest leanest foods possible and have a good full body workout that combines, strength training, high intensity intervals/cardio & core. Just doing 100 sit ups a day will not get you there.

3. Lifting weights will make me look bulky. (I hear this from women)

Lifting weights is one of the best things (as a woman) we can do for our health! It combats Osteoporosis in our later years, making our bones, muscles & ligaments strong. A pound of muscle is so much smaller in size than a pound of fat. Trust me ladies you want the muscle! It will also help your metabolism run faster and more efficient. There are so many benefits I could go on all day! Lol So get lifting. You will not look bulky. Women who train for competition events, lift extremely heavier weight than the average woman in it for health and weight loss. They also consume a lot more protein and have regimented diets. For the majority of my lady clients, I do not train them like that. With the right balance of foods and exercises you will get stronger, leaner and will have the energy you need to get through your daily job and tasks! There are no negatives to weight lifting, unless you are lifting with severely poor form! Then that is a whole other subject!

4. Any product or pill claiming a quick fix for weight loss.

Do not fall for the trap! There is no quick way. It took you several years of bad habits and poor choice to put it on? So it will take you several years of good habits and choices to take it off. As with everything, it is a process. Make goals, seek help (i.e. a trainer) and start moving and eating healthier. Trust in the process. Every small step you make for the better will get you there. I’d much rather see a person lose weight slower than drop it all off in the first month only gain it all back again and then some! Slow and steady changes that will fit into your lifestyle are the ones that will stick with you longer. It can take anywhere from 6-8 months to make one good habit stick. Did you know that? Once you start seeing how wonderful you feel, eating healthy will become a way of life not a chore.

5. I don’t have 3 hours a day to spend in the gym.

Being active each day is great! But you don’t need to waste hours and hours of time. You just need to work out smarter with the time that you do have! Combining upper & lower body exercises together at the same time in a smart way, eccentric training, high intensity interval training are all great ways to make use of shorter time durations when it comes to working out. If you have any questions about these types of training, please feel free to contact me! I’d love to help you out!

All in all, there is no miracle drug or quick fix when it comes to your health and well being. There is just a commitment and investment in yourself to choose better choices daily. Only you can want to change your habits, nobody can do it for you. Start with a few little things this week. You’d be surprised in a year’s time how that will add up! A year is a such a short time in the wide spectrum of things.

Have a fit & fab week everyone!

Crystal Reia
Your Health-Your Choice


The Body Shop

If you're like me, it's been a long while since you shopped at The Body Shop. It was all the rage when I was in high school but after graduation I worried about early onset wrinkles and switched to one of those grown up/anti-wrinkle promisers (even though I had none I stressed about it like crazy). My skin has undergone a lot of changes - pregnancy, entering my 30's and a 5 month stint on Accutane in my late 20's, - I have been on a journey to find something that will soothe my fairly sensitive skin and prevent those nasty wrinkles I still worry about. I heard some buzz about The Body Shop's Vitamin C line and after speaking with a very knowledgeable customer service agent, I was willing to give it a try. My concerns were that my skin feels dry after washing and greasy by the late afternoon, I wanted something to help with brightening my skin, it needed to have SPF and I want to prevent wrinkles (told you I worry about it).

Here's what she recommended:

We started with an SPF 30 moisturizer. She told me that Vitamin C works to boost your radiance while protecting from environmental pollutants. And that greasy feeling I usually have late afternoon? That is caused by the SPF, specifically the higher SPF count. I've worn this for about two weeks and by late afternoon I do feel a little oily, but less than I did with my previous brand. Next time I will try an SPF 15 and see how that works. The citrus smell is great and it might be all in my head but I think my skin does look a little brighter.

I love this stuff! I use it twice a week after I have removed all my makeup and washed with a gentle cleanser. It makes your skin feel clean and fresh and since you only scrub for one minute it is non-irritating to the skin. I have tried some other microdermabrasion products that have left me bright red. I really think it works, like I said I think my skin is brighter. I did break out a little after using it for a week but that quickly cleared up. 

I bought the eye reviver duo to help with some early morning dark circles (I'm up before the sun driving The Oldest to his cross country club at school). Each side is numbered and has an image to show you how to apply. Side one is a roller ball with gel  for around the eyes and the other side is a light cream you apply directly under the eyes. It has some shimmering light reflecting properties meant to lighten dark circles. I have not seen any improvement. The cream disappears quickly but by the afternoon feels greasy and I have on occasion noticed the product has cracked and flaked off. Reviews online are mixed about this product, I say skip it. 

The Vitamin E Nourishing Night Cream is a best-seller for good reason. I wanted something very hydrating for night time and I got exactly what I was hoping for. It immediately quenches dry skin when applied and after 8 hours of sleep has soaked in completely. Smells great, feels great, I can't rave enough about this one. I will be using it for the foreseeable future. 

I've turned into a bit of a product junkie lately and I am open to any and all recommendations! Share away in the comments below!

Mixing Metals in the Kitchen

The cool fall air is here and I am spending a little more time bundled up indoors thinking of home decor updates I can make over the next few months. I have a few minor projects in mind but the one currently on the top of my list is choosing lights for my kitchen. I need three fixtures, a main one that will provide the majority of the light in the kitchen, one for above the island and another for the sink area. 
My kitchen. I bought the orange mason jar utensil holder at HomeSense to add some fall color, my rosemary is in a vintage blue and white bowl and the white garlic holder is from The Art of Home.

My cabinets (and future bookcase and shelves, remember those projects I talked about?) are all Cloud White by Benjamin Moore and the walls are currently a tan/beige color. And while I am planning on repainting the walls, the color will be pretty much the same. The appliances are stainless steel, the hardware is polished nickel and I have a few blue and white pottery items in my kitchen window. It's a pretty standard kitchen. 

I feel like it's lacking some warmth and while looking at kitchen examples on Pinterest and Houzz I noticed that each one I liked had a lot of mixed metals in it. I needed a little more encouragement so I tweeted my design blog friend White Cabana and asked her advice

So now the hunt begins for some warm metal fixtures and a few accessories. I'm using the below photos as inspiration

Martha Stewart's kitchen at Turkey Hill. Her entire Turkey Hill home has been a constant source of inspiration for me. 

I love the large drum lights above the island. I only have one electrical box there now, wonder how hard it is to add a second one?

More great hanging lights. I also love the covered chairs and the lights beside the stove! 

The light above the window is exactly what I want for above my sink! I also love the carpet runner, I would love a nice persian rug for underneath my island. 

This photo is the same kitchen as the previous photo, just at a different angle. I love the dark wood floor (another future project) and the dark colored island. Eventually I will need a new island and my plan is to have it a dark color on the bottom with a marble top. 

How do you feel about mixing metals, are you for it or against it? 

Working for a Living

Outfit details// Dress H&M// Blazer Target// Belt Old Navy// Shoes Payless// Bag Tory Burch// Watch Michael Kors

Location Sun Life building King St. Waterloo// Photographer The Oldest

My oldest son came to visit me at work and I just happened to be wearing my favorite work outfit (yeah right, I totally planned it that way) and I asked him to snap a few photos. We decided to take some photos by the historic section of the building. It dates back to 1912 and is on the Waterloo Region and Canada's Historic Register. The gardening crew always does such an impeccable job, it's a perfect spot to sit and enjoy the sunshine.

I love blogging so much and I am even getting to feel a little more comfortable in front of the camera but I still need a day job to pay them bills. I have an odd little job. I do the marketing, communications and event management for a business continuity/disaster team. Basically, I am always prepared for anything. And while this is a very serious job, I still like to have fun with my outfits! 

As I mentioned this is one of my absolute favorite work outfits and it's the one I receive the most compliments on, it also happens to be the cheapest outfit I own! I bought the dress a few summers ago from H&M, the belt is from Old Navy and the blazer is from Target and each piece was a clearance item! I think the entire outfit was under $25. I love the dress, it has this great shimmy to it when you walk and it washes like a dream. I was really worried about that with all the little individual flowers on it but after many washes it still looks great. The blazer was a total score. I rolled up the sleeves and was so happy to see a great striped fabric on the inside. During the day I have a large bag to hold my laptop and wallet and after work my little Tory Burch Robinson bag is all I need to hold my phone and wallet. It also perfectly matches my belt and shoes (I'm a little OCD btw).

What's your favorite go-to work outfit? Let me know in the comments (did you post a photo to social media? Include the link, I'd love to see it!)