Nita Lake Lodge get away

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Our two night get away has come and gone (insert very sad, pouty face here) to Nita Lake Lodge in Whistler, BC.  I like to dream that our days could always be about travel and relaxation.  Well maybe it will be like that in our retirement… oh, I don’t like to say that though, it makes me feel so old!  I’d just like to have weekends away all the time with my husband!  Is that too much to ask for :) 

We were looking for a nice place to stay that was relatively close, so, we wouldn’t have to spend as much time on the road.  I said right off the bat, to Keith, that Whistler would be good with me, but, he was thinking Portland.  Portland would’ve taken us many more hours to get to, plus, our Canadian dollar is doing so poorly it would have been a lot more expensive right now.  Keith goes through Whistler often in the summer when he’s out riding on his motorcycle, so, for him I guess Whistler is not as special???  I don’t get there very often, so, any chance I can go there, I’m in!  I checked out reviews on various sites such as Trip Advisor and found Nita Lake Lodge.  Neither of us had stayed there before and it had very good reviews.  So, that is where we went for two nights. 

Here’s a few pictures and a little review.

Drive to Nita Lake Lodge|Refreshed and FitThe drive to Whistler takes about two and half hours.  We started off later in the afternoon than I would have liked, but, I’d just come off a night shift and needed to sleep for a bit.  The day was absolutely beautiful!  A perfect day for a drive to Whistler!

Drive to Nita Lake Lodge|Refreshed and FitThe Sea to Sky drive to Whistler is stunning.  You literally have mountains on one side and the ocean on the other side. 


Nita Lake Lodge lobby|Refreshed and FitWe usually stay in the village when we go to Whistler and Nita Lake Lodge is a few minutes away from there by car and on the other side of the highway.  My google maps got us a bit off track when we arrived in the dark, but, eventually we made it and we were both looking forward to a great meal and a glass of wine. 

The lobby was very pretty.  Right away I liked the coziness of the place and it had the typical Whistler mountain resort vibe.

Nita Lake Lodge|Refreshed and FitThis very interesting bench was in the lobby on the way to our room.

Nita Lake Lodge room|Refreshed and FitThe room was perfect!  When you walk in there is a closet and a huge entry way with benches and a full length mirror.  The room is very large with a beautiful gas fireplace, a large screen TV, and a very well stocked kitchenette that is beautifully hidden behind those cabinet doors.  The gas fireplace wouldn’t turn on for us when we arrived, but, it was fixed by the next day when we came back to our room in the afternoon.  

Nita Lake Lodge room|Refreshed and FitThe TV was great! It didn’t matter whether you were on the couch or on the king sized bed you could watch it as if you were looking straight on from anywhere in the room.  No tilting or turning required.  The kitchenette included a small sink, fridge, microwave, dishes, and a French press for making coffee.  It was perfect and well hidden.  They even had some creamers and milk in single serving containers in the fridge instead of that awful whitener for coffee. 

There is a small patio with a table and two comfy chairs behind those long curtains.  We didn’t spend much time out on the patio because it did end up getting quite cool the next day. 

Nita Lake Lodge slippers|Refreshed and FitThe room included slippers and bathrobe for both of us and the bathroom toiletries were from L’Occitane!  I love L’Occitane products!

Nita Lake Lodge king sized bed|Refreshed and FitThe bed was super comfortable.  I didn’t take any pictures that turned out of the bathroom, but, let me tell you it was huge!  A nice large shower and a separate large soaker tub.  The floors in the bathroom were a natural stone and the floor was heated.

Nita Lake Lodge Chandeliers|Refreshed and FitNita Lake Lodge has banquet rooms that looked pretty nice when we peeked into them.  Since we’ve been back one of my coworkers told me she was going to be staying here for a wedding very soon.  I can see it being very nice place to get married. 

When we arrived it was about seven in the evening, so, we got settled into our room and freshened up to go have some dinner.  We weren’t sure where we were going to eat.  Keith had looked up some restaurants and he was interested in one that was supposed to be right next door.  We ended up staying in the lodge for our dinner at the Cure Lounge and Patio.  There are three places to eat at the lodge and we ate at two of them.  We didn’t get a chance to try out the Fix Cafe.  The night we arrived I had the Nita curry dish which was excellent!  It was cauliflower and spinach in a coconut cream sauce.  Yum :)  I don’t even remember what Keith ate! 

So, they have the Cure Lounge and Patio, the Aura Restaurant, and the Fix Cafe.  The next morning we had breakfast at the Aura Restaurant before we went for our walk to the village.  I had the Light Nita Breakfast and Keith had the Gluten Free Pancakes… I think he had a few eggs on the side too. 

Pancakes at Nita Lake Lodge|Refreshed and FitKeith enjoyed his breakfast.  He’s not into powdered sugar, whipped cream or butter, so, he would have been happier without those on his plate.  He did like the pancakes though.  He’s not on a gluten-free diet or anything, but, he was craving pancakes and that was his option. 

Breakfast at Nita Lake Lodge|Refreshed and FitThis was my breakfast and this is when it gets a bit hairy, literally!  I had a pouched egg, some tomatoes, potatoes and my whole grain toast.  When I’m not home one of the things I love is having peanut butter!  We never have peanut butter at home due to my kids allergies.  So I grabbed the peanut butter and generously lathered my toast with it.  I had taken my first or maybe second bite and I noticed IT!  I can’t even think about it now because it makes me gag.  I’m so sensitive to that.  Even at home if anyone finds a hair in my cooking, I’m done for.  My stomach turns and I start to gag and I lose all appetite.  So, when this happened. I grabbed my napkin and started to spit into it… sorry this is so gross, and got up and went to the bathroom and calmed myself.  I came back to the table several minutes later and Keith knew what had happened by my reactions, even though, I hadn’t said a word.  Keith told me the waitress had come by while I was gone and asked if everything was alright.  He had told her that there had been a HAIR.  When I was seated again, the waitress came by and asked if everything was okay.  I told her what had happened.  She asked if she could bring me a new serving of toast.  I told her “no” to just please take the toast away (the culprit) and bring me a new napkin.  She brought me back new toast.  Never came back with a napkin.  I decided to eat some of the new toast and took another one of the peanut butter packets only to find it open and already used.  I ended up eating my potatoes and tomatoes.  I took another napkin from the table beside us.  We were going to say something about the napkin and the peanut butter on the table, but, this waitress was not on her game.  She had been totally uninterested from the moment we sat down.  Her head was on something else and serving food was not it!  Everyone has bad days, but, she didn’t even take anything off the bill for us!  If it had just been the hair, but, her inattentiveness to what she was doing ruined our breakfast.  The prices weren’t cheap!  So, unfortunately I can’t recommend the Aura Restaurant.  The waitress and the food experience was very lacking unlike the Cure Lounge and Patio which was wonderful as was our waitress.


Nita Lake Lodge|Refreshed and FitAfter our breakfast we went for a walk along the path that led to Whistler village.  The walk was about 4.5 km.  The day was very autumn-like… a perfect day for a walk.

Nita lake|Refreshed and FitNita lake is very pretty and the lodge has a dock where you can rent kayaks and other water equipment that would be fun in the summer.  Also, the lodge has bicycles for the guest, free of charge, for the first two hours.

Whistler|Refreshed and FitOf course anywhere you walk in Whistler its picturesque.  It’s the ultimate outdoorsy, lifestyle place.  After our walk to the village, our walk around the village, and lunch we called for the shuttle to pick us up.  I wanted Keith to just call a taxi, because I was expecting to have to wait for a long time to get the shuttle, thinking, that they go back and forth to the village on a set schedule.  But, that wasn’t the case.  The shuttle arrived within minutes of us calling and the driver was super personable.

Whistler|Refreshed and FitI’d stay at Nita Lake Lodge again, because, I loved the room and the setting.  I’d have drinks and food at the Cure Lounge and Patio for sure.  The ambiance was very nice there… loungy :)  Next time I’d like to take advantage of the spa they have.  Maybe for a sister’s get away!  They did tell us when we checked out to let them know we have stayed there already, because, we will get the “special” rate… hmmm.  Will have to look into that for sure. 

Does anyone else have this kind of horrid reaction to hair (yuck) in food?  Keith and my kids laugh at me when this happens… they think it’s funny!

Have a great week!

Refreshed and Fit




Sometimes you can’t get over night shifts

I can’t get myself turned around after my last set of night shifts!  I pretty well always work four twelve-hour shifts in a row and it’s usually two days and two nights.  The life of a nurse… I tell ya! Last set it was one day and three nights.  I’m not sure if it was that extra night or the fact that my sleep during the day wasn’t the best.  Whatever it was my days off have been completely messed up!  I’ve been getting my second wind late in the evening, staying up too late, and then sleeping in too long.  That’s the worst!  By the time I get going it’s the afternoon and I feel like the day is over! 

Spinach avocado breakfast wrap

Spinach avocado breakfast wrap

I did enjoy this tasty morsel for my late breakfast though with lots of coffee to get me going!  I sat on the computer and checked out places to stay in Whistler.  The life of a shift worker.  My husband has it even worse.  He’s working graveyards (as they call it and he won’t let me forget) right now… seven in a row!  He’s supposed to come home from work on Sunday morning, sleep during the day and then somehow get some sleep that night and go to work for seven Monday morning.  What kind of sense does that make??  He does get well compensated for this craziness, but, still it does take its toll.  We’ve literally been like ships that pass in the night for  a while now. 

So, we’ve decided to escape away to Whistler next week.  It’s only two nights, but, it’s all we can manage to squeeze in right now.  Our baby is turning nineteen on Thanksgiving Day (that’s Thanksgiving in Canada).   So, at her request, her birthday dinner will be a turkey dinner on Monday night.  I was supposed to work the whole weekend, but, I was lucky enough to have a really nice colleague swap shifts with me and work my shift on Thanksgiving night (which is the Monday).  I still have to work the next night, so, we will be leaving Wednesday afternoon after I get a few hours of sleep in the morning.  Then the following weekend she is “partying” with her friends, so, I want to be home and available as needed.  A two night get away in the middle of the week is better than no get away!  I told my husband we need to make more time for each other.  Since we are both working shift work now there are many weeks we hardly see each other.  

Sometimes you can't get over night shifts|Refreshed and Fit

This little beauty is turning nineteen!

We’re going to be staying at the Nita Lake Lodge in Whistler and I can’t wait!  The reviews are really good!  I’ve never stayed there, so, I’m excited to check it out.  I mean you can’t really go wrong in Whistler with the views, but, I want to make sure I have a bit of luxury too :)  I’ll let you know all about it when I get back.  

For the next five days I’ll be eating a pretty veggie diet and that’s what prefer, but, this gives me the added incentive.  Nothing like a get away with the hubby to do that.  Plus the turkey won’t tempt me much.  I love my mashed potatoes and stuffing!  I can LIVE on those with a bit of cranberry sauce and brussel sprouts :)

Have a great weekend and to everyone in Canada… Happy Thanksgiving!



Cinnamon and clove the scent of fall

Cinnamon sticks and clove|Refreshed and FitCinnamon and clove are the scent of fall!

Our sense of smell is more powerful than we can imagine.  When we smell something from our past the smell can trigger emotions and memories that we don’t even know we have.  I can vouch for this!  When my oldest son was a little five-year old boy he started playing hockey.  I used to get up early in the morning to get him to the hockey rink before school.  Many times I would be laying on the benches having a nap until he came off the ice, because I was also a young nurse, a single mom, working shift work… so always lacking in sleep.  He’s thirty-one today.  Whenever I go back to that arena (which I have quite a few times since with my other son who also played hockey) I would smell that hockey arena and be transported back in time, twenty-five years in my memories as if it was just yesterday.  It is the strangest thing.  That arena has a particular smell.  I hadn’t been there in at least twenty years and the smell triggered memories.  I’ve been in hundreds of hockey rinks (well maybe not hundreds, but, it sure feels that way)  over the decades with my boys.  Who knew that they all have their own unique smell!

I love natural scents and as the evenings are getting cooler and the darkness comes earlier I sometimes like to light scented candles.  I’ve become more concerned with lighting too many candles, because, I don’t want to breathe in unhealthy fumes that the candles might emit or from the candle fragrance.  I never use Febreze or any similar product for that reason.  I don’t want to inhale any more synthetic chemicals than I already do.  Now I want to make it clear I’m by no means a fanatic about this either.  I personally love  to have a few pretty perfumes on hand.  I love essential oils that I use in a diffuser.  But, with all the scented products out there I think our bodies are just getting overloaded.  If  you can smell it, then, you are inhaling miniscule particles.  I try to clean with all natural soaps and essential oils, because many of the commercial cleaners give me a headache almost instantly.  Which means that it’s getting into my body and my body doesn’t like it!

I work in emergency and we are seeing younger and younger people with all kinds of terminal cancers.  It’s heart breaking.  Just the other day a colleague who has just started working at the Cancer Agency posted on Facebook about what she is learning and it reminded me again to not get caught up in the craziness of buying all these scented items for the home. 

…. breast cancer is on the rise in the under 45yr olds. We have noticed this at RMH but it was sad when I had the experts confirm my suspicions. Pass on to your daughters and friends:breast self exam, exercise, eat clean, avoid smoking of any kind, avoid vit supplements with hormones, and think about what lotions etc you rub all over your body. Don’t be afraid to tell your doctor you found a lump.

We all know it’s next to impossible to eliminate every toxin we may encounter… we can try to do our best.  One thing I like to do as a natural air freshener in my home is to simmer a few cloves with a cinnamon stick in a small pot of water on the stove.  Around Christmas I’ll add a few strips of orange peel to the water also. 

Cinnamon and clove|Refreshed and FitCinnamon and clove just smell like fall to me and as a bonus they also have many health benefits.  Many homemade laundry soap recipes call for clove essential oil, because, in my opinion it adds such a clean scent, but, it’s also a natural antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, and much more.  Cinnamon also has antibacterial properties, but, the smell alone is enough of a reason for me to scent my home with it.  Both clove and cinnamon have properties that help with brain function such as mood stabilization, relief of nervous tension (we can all use some of that), and boost brain activity. 

Cinnamon and clove simmer|Refreshed and FitI love my candles, some scented candles, essential oils, some perfumes, and best of all… I love natural ingredients that smell delicious, clean, warm, and inviting. 

Cinnamon and clove|Refreshed and FitHow do you like to add scent to your home, or freshen your home… for instance after cooking fish or something similarly stinky :) 

Have a wonderful week!

Refreshed and Fit

Farmers Market trip on the weekend

White organic carrots from farmers market

White organic carrots bought at the farmers market

Happy Labour Day!

I don’t know where the summer has gone!  I spent some time at our local Farmers Market this weekend and was feeling a little sad, because… number one I hadn’t gone there sooner and more frequently throughout the summer, and number two… because it reminded me how much I’m going to miss all the fresh herbs that I’ve planted in my pots :(

As I’m writing this I have the good fortune (trying to stay positive) of having an extra day off  work this Labour Day weekend.  Yes, an extra day off.  As you may know I’m a nurse.  I was scheduled to be at work today at 0715 after having a lovely staycation at home.  Last night I tried to get to bed extra early, so, I could feel oh-so refreshed at 0600 today.  After many wake ups throughout the night… I get to work this morning and find out I’m not on the schedule!  Needless to say there has been an error.  My schedule says I work, but, hey I went home :)  Now the only thing about this is, that for us nurses, it’s a big payoff to work on this day… at least here in B.C.  But, now I have no excuses to get some more things done today… or not :)

Farmers Market in Maple RidgeWe had the most beautiful summer in the lower mainland of British Columbia this year, but, it sure ended with a bang.  Apparently the windstorm we had at the end of August was the windstorm of the decade!  Our power was out just over twenty-four hours and that was long enough, I tell you!  Since then we have had rain, hail, thunder, sun, and more rain and hail.  I lucked out on Saturday with a sunny break and headed to the Maple Ridge Farmers Market!

Tomatoes in all shapes and colours Beautiful tomatoes in all colours.

Fresh local strawberriesStrawberries!

Carrots sold at farmers marketI bought some of those white carrots and roasted them yesterday… sweet and tasty.

Peppers at Farmers Market I just love looking at all the produce even if I don’t buy them :)

Kale at Farmers Market I had to buy kale from the Red Barn!

Rosemary bunch I couldn’t resist buying some rosemary, lemon thyme, and a big bunch of Italian parsley.  Yesterday when I roasted the white carrots, I added some of this lovely rosemary finely chopped up with sprigs of the lemon parsley.  It turned out really nice.  Yes, fall is here.

Variety of herbs at farmers market

What interesting veggies have you tried this summer?  Are you looking forward to fall?  It’s my favourite season.

Talk to you soon!

Refreshed and Fit



Comfort food recipes

Crispy almond coated chicken roasted with artichokes and lemonHello end of summer!  Where have you gone?  I’m getting a little sad that the lazy days of summer are almost over… just kidding.  My youngest is eighteen and I don’t have much for vacation time in the summer months, so, really it’s been pretty well business as usual except for the extremely hot temperatures we have been having and the drought that has affected us here in beautiful British Columbia.

Since it’s been a tiny bit cooler the past week, I’ve had more of an urge to cook and bake.  I’ve actually turned the oven on again!  I’m getting tired of the barbeques… especially since my last attempt.  Lets just say I will never buy chicken thighs with skin again, ever!  It was an inferno!  I had to pull the fire extinguisher out… just in case. 

I prefer to eat a vegan diet, but, the rest of my family doesn’t :(  My daughter would probably not mind skipping meat, but, my son and husband really do like their chicken and steak.  When I cook for everyone, I usually just eat the side dishes and it works out really well, because, my cooking is mostly dairy and egg free due to my son’s allergies, which makes the side dishes usually very vegan!

Here are some of my favourite blogs with recipes that I’ve tried recently and we all love!

Petite Kitchen

Love this blog!  I’ve been making the crispy almond coated chicken roasted with artichokes and lemon since last fall and it’s still a favourite!  I’ve only used skinless, boneless chicken thighs when I make it and I usually I forget to add the lemons at the end, and it’s still perfection.  I love the artichokes and pumpkin seeds.  The other day when I made this dish I was running low on almond flour, so, I mixed some whole wheat flour with the almond flour and it turned out just as great. 

Crispy almond coated chicken with roasted artichokes and lemonDishing up the Dirt

I love everything about this blog!  I love the pictures they post. I love what they are doing.  And I love the recipes they post.  I’ve tried many of their recipes and I haven’t made one that I haven’t loved!  The latest recipe that I’ve made from this blog is the tomato harissa coconut bisque.  It was so delicious!  My daughter said it was like a “fancy” tomato soup :)  I didn’t have any Harissa spice blend (nor did I know what it was until I looked it up), so, I used some hot peppers I had in the fridge.  I think it turned out excellent.  A creamy tomato soup with a bit of a kick to it.

The Green Forks

I have made these coconut oil banana muffins over and over again.  They are one of the few treats my son can eat that I can make really quickly and without a lot of fuss.  They are moist and delicious with no egg or dairy in them.  We all love them!

Coconut oil banana muffins - vegan

Coconut oil banana muffins - vegan



This blog has great family friendly healthy meal ideas and recipes!  One of my favourites from this site is the no bake black bean brownies.  I was lucky enough to taste test these before they were even on her blog!  This is another treat that is safe for everyone in my family to eat.  I just love them!  If you go check the brownies out on her site, you will not be able to resist making them, I guarantee you, they look that good!

Laura in the Kitchen

Her blog has all the recipes that she shows on her YouTube channel, which, I much prefer.  So, I watch the episode and then I go to the website for the exact measurements if I need them.  What I have recently made is the virze rise (Italian cabbage with rice), so, good.  It’s a real comfort food, like a savoury rice pudding, but, I guess that’s what risotto is:)  I always say that if I wasn’t Finnish, I would want to be Italian! I just love food from all parts of Italy!  Here is the Virze Rise episode from her channel.

So, that is all for me right now.  I hope you check out some of these blogs for meal prep inspiration.  I used to watch the food channel on TV for inspiration, but, now that it’s all just competition type shows, I’ve found great blogs and great YouTube channels that I much prefer.

If you have some go to sites for healthy recipes and vegan recipes let me know in the comments.  I’m always searching for new ones to check out.  Have a great week!

Refreshed and Fit