For this week's blog I really want to share our experience at Strides for Obesity last weekend. This is our second year being a sponsor at this incredible event, but my own personal first experience. It was incredible, to say the least.
To best explain this incedible organization, I've copied directly from their Facebook page (click the link and follow along with them!):
"It is an event that was brought about by the need for obesity awareness. Obesity is recognized as a chronic disease and is a growing epidemic and yet society, as a whole, continues to grossly blame the individuals themselves for being lazy or for having lack of self control. Even amongst healthcare providers there is a large degree of weight bias and stigma that needs to be addressed. Thus our goal..our passion..is to bring this issue forward and have it addressed and to help individuals looking for support and to advocate for increased access to weight management and treatment services. It is a 3K walk with the registration being done through the QE2 Health Sciences Centre Foundation. The first annual walk was held Saturday October 8, 2016 and was a great success! We had approximately 90 walkers and raised over $6000.00 for the clinic towards increasing patient resources and access to the clinic."
Before I get to the actual event, let me tell you a little bit about our journey to get there. We live on an island (Prince Edward Island - Nutracelle's headquarters!) so naturally to leave the island you have to be either on the ferry boat, driving over the bridge, or on an airplane. The event was taking place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, so there was no point in flying. Initially we planned on taking the ferry boat as this would save 75 minutes of driving, but upon realizing that the event started around 7am and the boat wouldn't be running that early -- we decided we'd just drive over... at 2:00AM!
I live pretty far from our office, so I actually had a sleepover with our finance manager at he & his partner's apartment. (Sidenote: their couch is super comfy!). Jeff and I awoke at 1:30AM and sleepily wandered around getting ready for the drive. Luckily we had pre-packed everything at the office the day before and Jeff loaded Mel's car up so there wasn't much to do before we left.
Thanks to Nutracelle, that was an easy one. I grabbed my shaker cup and put about a cup of water in, with my 3 scoops of Salted Caramel Nutralean. Shook it for a few seconds, and voila. Ready to go. Jeff did the same, but he made a Vanilla shake instead. And of course we have our sugar-free energy drinks for the drive, too!
After grabbing the last of our items, we went outside where Melanie was picking us up for the drive off island. (Mel's morning shake was a Coffee Mocha one, of course!)
The event was held at the Halifax Convention Centre, so we made our way through the building to find our assigned table as a sponsor, and immediately began setting up.
Check out our awesome table!
Registration for the walk began around 7am so it didn't take long for people to start wandering over, curious about what we were setting up. Prior to the 3K run/walk we had a few people sample the Salted Caramel (and they loved it), but mostly people were getting themselves ready for the event.
I was lucky enough to join all of the participants outside for the opening ceremonies while Mel and Jeff manned the table. The energy was incredible. Everyone was smiling, chatting, and doing their best to keep warm on the chilly morning. The attendees came in every shape & size, and the best part? Everyone felt at home. It was such a supportive, friendly, upbeat event to get to witness.
The warm-up was amazing, too! They had an incredibly talented, lovely lady (I'm not sure what her name was) lead the group of over 200 registrants in a belly dancing routine! The smiles on everyone's faces throughout this was heart-warming, to say the least. Even those that initially weren't participating in the warm-up were grooving to the music by the end of it.
It wasn't a race, it was a do-it-at-your-own-pace event, so some folks were casually strolling while others were getting their daily runs in. Regardless of fitness level, everyone was welcome.
While they were off, our Nutracelle team got to work moving most of our stuff outside. We had rows of Salted Caramel samples lined up to help replenish the walkers/runners once they made it back. This was where the real fun started for us.
I spoke to people who told me their struggles and successes when it came to weight loss. So much of it sounded just like my own personal story. You may not know this about me, but I'm actually a very shy person. I tend to find it very hard to approach new people, but there was something about this event that took me out of my shell. Maybe it was just knowing that everyone there was like-minded in the sense that they were all there to support better health, and awareness about obesity. Or maybe it was just that I couldn't have been more proud to represent such an incredible company. Either way, I had an incredible time getting to know so many new people.
We were proud to hand out samples of an all-natural, clean-ingredient, Canadian-made product. It was so easy to brag about our gluten-free, peanut-free, tree-nut-free formula that had been the main instrument in changing my own life.
The best part of my day was watching their faces light up in delight when they sampled the Salted Caramel. You really don't know how much of a 'need' there is for healthy, safe products until you're in a crowd of 200 people who have never heard of your product before. People kept confirming, "This is diabetic-friendly?!" "This is nut-free?!" "THIS IS PROTEIN?" -- they really couldn't believe it. They would read the back of the bag and look at each other and say, "Oh my GOSH! Look at this!". One lady placed an order after sampling the Salted Caramel and winked at us saying, "My husband isn't allowed to touch this. He can stick to his nasty stuff unless he wants to buy his own Nutracelle!"
We talk a lot about how versatile Nutracelle is on our site, but to see first-hand the reaction from future-customers when you say "You can even make things like cupcakes, pancakes, bread, etc!" was amazing. One lady's eyes lit up when I told her that I had made salted caramel cookies! I can't blame her, my eyes still light up every month when I receive my order. It still seems too good to be true most days.
You guys are used to my story as I write about it fairly often. These people though? They'd never met me, and most hadn't even heard of us! (We're still a new company, believe it or not!) I put myself way outside of my comfort zone though and bragged about my successes so far. Everyone was so supportive, and a few incredible ladies even told me that I inspired them to get started, too. I received hugs, high-fives, literal pats on the back, and even had some heart-to-hearts with a few people. I'm so, so, so thankful to be a representative of a life-changing product, and participating in Strides for Obesity was an amazing reminder of that.
Concluding the event we reluctantly packed up and began our journey back to the island. I say reluctantly because to be honest: none of us wanted to leave. We were all, though sleep-deprived, so excited and full of energy from talking to so many inspiring people. We spent the entire trip home talking about how excited we are for next year's event.
As a fellow weight loss surgery patient, participating in Strides for Obesity is a joy and a blessing! It's an opportunity to talk with, hug, cry and cheer on other folks like me who know first-hand what the struggle with obesity is really like. Strides is so much more than a walk or an event - it's a way to connect with other bariatric patients on the same journey. It's a way to change the perception of obesity and to say - loud and proud - that I had weight loss surgery! Obesity is complex, and no one chooses to become heavy. Many of us face judgement, criticism and sometimes discrimination when we are obese, and it can be really discouraging. For me, Strides is about raising awareness that there IS a treatment, there IS hope and it's about celebrating success and life! Thank you to all the volunteers and everyone who came out to walk, run and have fun!!! This amazing event is an inspiration!!!
Being able to help represent Nutracelle for Strides of Obesity is one of the main reasons I love my job. I am able to talk to people about what Nutracelle can do for their health and what an incredible product it is. I was so happy to see the positive response that everyone was having when they had that first sample of our Salted Caramel, seeing them say things like, "o=Oh my Gosh, this tastes so good...no way this is a protein shake", makes me so proud to represent this amazing Canadian Company that is all about supporting and promoting a healthy lifestyle. We met and chatted with tons of people, which is not what your typical Finance Manager gets to do, and I feel very lucky to have been there.
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If you aren’t personally impacted by a nut-based allergy, there’s a high probability that you know someone who is. CEO & Founder, Melanie Wildman, gives you an inside look about why she created Nutracelle's allergen-friendly protein powder, why nut-free was one of the main priorities, and what it's like living with two children who have life-threatening allergies.
Love this flavor! Definitely appeals to my sweet tooth!
When I opened the bag I couldn't believe how GOOD it smells! It really smells just like fresh picked strawberries. And there are REAL Strawberry flecks in it!!! I watched Melanie's webinar and she said there were dried real strawberries in it, but I didn't realize she meant actual strawberries in it!! omg! I was kind of worried that it would taste like that nestle strawberry milk syrup but it doesn't - it just tastes like you are eating real strawberries. I love that it's not too sweet too. Anyway, if you are thinking about trying it and you like strawberries, you will love this one! I'm changing my monthly order now to make sure I get a bag every month along with the natural I use in everything I eat. I've lost about 7 pounds in the last two months and I just fit back into my favourite jeans again so I'm pumped to get to keep the weight off with strawberry now too! Thank you Nutracelle (and Melanie and Tracy!)
I absolutely love my new cookbook! Such a great selection of recipes and so far every single one I've made is fantastic! Thank you Melanie
The old nutralean was so good and the new blend is even better. Did not thing protein nutralean could get better man it’s better!! And my 2 & 1 year old know what I’m drinking and take my drink all the time for themselves. Love It!!!!
Absolutely loving the new formulas. They mix beautifully with water now... and they taste amazing!
I have trouble finding protein powder I don’t hate. I bought the cafe mocha and chocolate dream to try and didn’t expect to love it but I do!!! It was amazing! No weird after taste or texture. It also came with a shaker cup! I love that the ingredients are all things that I know. Plus it’s made in Canada!
Love these protein powders. Love the recipes...easy and quick!!!
So happy with my product. It’s a great product for anyone who’s on the go and always busy. I can rest easy knowing I’m getting good nutrients, that also taste yummy!
WOW!!! I’m sipping a Pumpkin Spice Smoothie as I’m typing this review. I received my order of the new formulas today and was excited to try it! I’m so impressed with the smooth, creamy consistency and the ease that it blends! 2 thumbs up from me!!!
This will hands down always be my go-to choice for anything protein related. I am glad it does not even taste like i am having a protein supplement. Since I don't enjoy eating meat often, this is the best alternative!
I love the taste! Even when you mix it with just water it has a creamy taste. You can do so much with the variety of flavours, you can not possibly get bored with Nutracelle!
Absolutely the best shake i have ever tried. Such great flavors... I love it! ☺
Product works when you follow guidelines. Always weighed at Doctor's office
believe it or not i've lost 51 lbs in 9 weeks. 30lbs to go...
My whole family loves Nutralean! Great taste and quick shipping.
Nutracelle products are great! Mixes amazingly! No grittiness like those other whey powders. Naturla Nutralean prebiotic protein for baking works awesome to make not just baking, but also make shakes and protein balls. The plain flavour allows incorporation into food without tasting that there is protein powder in it! I would recommend this product to those looking for a good quality protein powder!!
I can literally put it everywhere, whatever food i make i can add some natural protein in it, soup, bake goods, protein balls, pizza dough, etc.
Its amazing and so tasty
I have been in a stall between 208 and 202 for 5 months....in one week of being back on Nutracelle I am now in ONEDERLAND!
The taste and quality of nutracelle is absolutely unparalleled in the protein market. I recommend it to all my friends and family and having been using it daily for almost 2 years now. And still in love!
The Vanilla Cream is a great flavour added to any of my favourite smoothie recipes! Also makes a nice tasting pancake recipe.
Natural Nutralean from Nutracelle is the perfect protein to add to your food!! There is no added taste!! I made a zucchini meat pasta and added 2 scoops of Natural into my meat sauce!! Not only did it give me and my family all the protein we needed for dinner, but it cut back our portion sizes because we felt fuller faster! We have leftovers now for lunches!! I am so happy with my Nutracelle!
The Vanilla Mocha from Nutracelle is to die for!!! If you are like me and need my coffee every morning to function...then this is for you, as it will give you all the energy you need!! It even taste just like something I can get from Tim Horton's but this is good for you to drink every morning!! This is a must for coffee lovers!!!
The Chocolate Dream Protein from Nutracelle is soooo good. Chocolate is my all time favourite snack and with Nutracelle I am able to make these delicious desserts that are actually good for you! This is a must flavour to have!!
Meal plan is realistic and absolutely manageable. My coach checks in post every workout to see if there is any area I struggle in or if maybe the routine was too easy. He is quick at answering any questions I have and is very knowleageable with nutrition and what my body needs to eat and can explain it to me in various ways to make sure I understand as well. I have never worked with someone who is so passionate about fitness and proper nutrition as well as someone who is on top of everything. App is also very user-friendly; super easy to log everything in with a few click so that you dont have to do it urself on paper. Absolutely thrilled to be working with this team to better my fitness life. Highly recommend joining the team!
Nutracelle's Weight Loss kit has made such a huge impact on my life! I was a junk food junky before I found Nutracelle, and now I don't even think about it! It's been months since I've had any kind of junk and I've never felt better! More energy, tons of weight loss, and I've dropped 2 clothing sizes too!! AMAZING!
The weightloss kit has enabled me to wake up each morning knowing that I've got this!! For the first time in my life I've found something that allows me to feel full and satisfied and I can bake and cook with it to curb cravings I have for junky foods! In my first two months I'm down 15 pounds and dropping. Almost everyday there is a decrease on the scale I couldn't be happier!! I'm looking forward to continued success THANK YOU NUTRACELLE!
Nutracelle is the best product I have ever used for protein. All the flavours are fantastic, can't taste the protein. Since I started to take Nutracelle I have consistent energy throughout the day, it keeps me full and satisfied. My recovery from my workouts and running is fantastic. Recommend this product to anyone wanting to lose weight, athletes or to increase your protein intake daily.
Shakes are amazing. I just mix them with (sugar-free) milk and have no problem drinking them. Like at all! I even love the chocolate. I never ever love chocolate protein shakes haha
This Whey protein powder is the most amazing and the most delicious that I have ever tasted.....with it having 30 grams of protein and 10 grams of prebiotic fiber in one serving, not many meals have that so a great way to get that into your diet.....It mixes very well with no clumping and doesn't have the chalky after taste. I find that is is very easy on my stomach as I am lactose intolerant and I have no issues what so ever, it has actually helped with my stomach issues....Love that it mixes very well with just water! I also Love that it is so versatile that I am not just limited to the shakes, that I can use it in my baking and cooking . If I could give it 10 Stars I would.
I have been on nutracelle since January 2017 and absolutely love it!
I'm losing weight and inches, I have so much more energy and it makes me happy! Nutracelle is giving me my life back! #ilovenutracelle
Nutracelle has been the one product that has kept me on track with my weight loss journey. So easy to incorporate into my daily routine and it tastes amazing! Almost all of my immediate family all use and love Nutracelle too!
It tastes amazing & reduces cravings! I'm breastfeeding and was finding my cravings worse than when I was pregnant. I needed something to eat with my meals to help me stay full, be nutritious and curb cravings. This is it!