Healthy Swellness: Lake Plunge Adventure with Yeti


As lake plunges and ice baths have gotten more popular over the last couple of years, I’ve scoffed at the fans. And then I tried it. And I liked it. A lot.

My first experience was in March at a session at Othership. The guided session starts with a long stint in the sauna, followed by two minutes in the ice bath, and then more sauna time. I wrote about the ice bath/cold plunge trend for Fashion–you can read it here.


But a lake plunge is a whole other story, in my opinion. For one, I wouldn’t be be in an intensely hot sauna beforehand; at Othership I was almost craving some cold relief after an intense 30 or so minutes in the sauna. With the lake the water is moving more and there’s the rocks to content with underfoot. And what I saw as the most difficult hurdle: you have to walk into the lake (versus simply stepping into the ice bath and lowering yourself down). I envisioned myself ankle-deep in freezing water, my body saying NUH-UH and I’d just turn and head straight back to the beach.

I interviewed Unbounded, a Toronto-based company that offers guided lake-plunge experiences, and they invited me to do a lake plunge with them. Which I figured I’d try but I wanted some moral support and haven’t found a friend who wants to do it. But then I got an invitation from Yeti to do a lake plunge at sunrise. I told them right away to count me in.


We met at sunrise in early April. The experience was actually facilitated by Unbounded, and we started with a meditation and a little warmup session of stretched and a little cardio on the beach (think jumping jacks and high knees). They recommended water shoes, so I got on my HBC x Tevas and before I knew it, we were hand in hand and walking into the water.

I think the water was as cold as the ice bath I’d done at Othership (so about 2 Celsius). I think we walked until we were about waist deep and then we all lowered down to about our shoulders together. It was shocking to the system and I remember exclaiming out loud a little (“Oh my–!”) and locking eyes with the guide–he nodded encouragingly–and I know I focused on taking deep breaths to alleviate the panic I felt percolating.


Then two minutes was done! I can’t say it passed quickly and I was eager to get out. We all sort of scattered a bit as we got out of the lake – I had a hard time getting my legs moving and thankfully one of the girls came back to grab my hand. We changed quickly out of our bathers and into a warm Yeti hoodie and gathered around the campfire for some hot coffee as the sunshine danced on the lake, and we all had a little extra sparkle in our eyes from the exhilarating experience.


For any adventure, it’s always a good idea to be well prepared with your gear to make the experience as smooth – being well prepared is something I’ve really come to appreciate from my camping trips (or maybe I came to appreciate it  from my Brownie days – that was the motto, “Be prepared.”). For this sunrise plunge, Yeti kitted us out so we had a ton of Yeti gear–Lowlands Blanket, toque, hoodie, and a Rambler travel mug for the hot coffee post-plunge–and a towel. And all of the gear was easily totable to the lake in a Yeti Camino 35 Carryall. The Carryall is the best: it has a flat bottom so it stands upright, and I like to use it for road trips for things I like to have easy access to such as my tripod and toiletries, and for camping, I tend to pack the dry food goods in it (anything that I don’t need to put in my Yeti cooler, which is another favourite of mine).


Once I’d warmed up by the fire and I packed up my gear into the Carryall and headed home (way before I’d typically even by up on a weekday), that post-plunge high lasted all day. I immediately texted a few friends again to say I think they’d love it (they still don’t believe me!). And while I know the health benefits that Wim Hoff promotes aren’t proven, the mere rush you feel and the confidence boost it gives you (well, it gave me a confidence boost because it’s not something I ever thought I could do!), I can see how it is addictive.

I no longer scoff at people I see doing cold plunges; in fact, you might see me out there too! Thanks to Yeti for the sunrise cold-plunge adventure and all of the gear I’ll be using all year long!

Photos courtesy of Yeti. I did take a time-lapse that morning, but the phone I recorded it on didn’t save it properly (doh!) – but you can view the IG Reel I made of that morning here.


Leave a Comment May 15, 2022

Travel Swellness: The Car Features You Need for Your Dog’s Safety and Comfort During Road Trips


May is National Pet Month and the first long weekend is coming up—which, if you’ve got a pet, you’ve got road trips on the brain, I know I do! My cat tends to stay at home (although her big brother used to come to the cottage), but Billie Jean always comes along on road trips (as long as the accommodations allow dogs).

I’ve written about pet safety in the car in the past for the Toronto Star, and it is always top of mind whenever I’ve got Billie Jean with me. And I’m not alone. A recent study conducted by GMC Canada found that 70% of Canadian pet owner’s take vehicle safety seriously, ranking their pet’s safety as very important during travelling.

I’ve had the opportunity to test drive GMC vehicles a few times, and I’ve loved driving them, and I appreciate the pet accessories and tips GMC offers. check out their tips and tricks before setting off on your next road trip with your four-legged pal:

  • Buy safety accessories such as seatbelts and harnesses. Seatbelts/harnesses for your pet, along with hammocks or booster seats will make the road trip safer and more enjoyable for your pup. GMC’s study found that 43% of Canadians are very concerned with their pet’s safety and protecting them during accidents.
  • Make use of the surround view camera/rear cross traffic alert. This safety control in GMC vehicles helps prevent accidents by giving the driver the opportunity to view the car from all aspects. This includes any rear collisions with pets when running from behind.
  • Use OnStar. The In-Vehicle Safety and Security System has the ability to help unlock vehicles in the case that pets are stuck inside and can track them down if a vehicle has been stolen. This is a precautionary and safety measure that helps pet owners travel with their pets in ease. I know I stress whenever I have to leave Billie Jean alone in the car when I stop for a bathroom break; having this feature gives some peace of mind.
  • Subscribe to Sirius XM for your pup. Studies found that classical music helps calm dogs down in stressful environments. Although I’m partial to the 80s and 90s and 00s, and hip hop stations, I think it may be worth checking out channels like Symphony Hall, The Joint and The Bridge for Billie Jean!
  • Take advantage of the cargo space/flat-fold seats. I usually have so much gear when on road trips (it’s impossible to travel light for camping!), I love that I’m never lacking for space in a GMC. Billie Jean gets plenty of room even with all of the sleeping bags, and cooler and camping gear! You don’t want your puppers to be cramped!
  • Pet-friendly seat covers and floor mats. If you’ve got a pet that sheds a fair bit, you’ll want seat covers that resist their fur! GMC has rear bench seat covers are water resistant. The covers also feature thermoplastic rubber that grips the seat, which provides added comfort and safety for your dog.
  • Use that hands-free liftgate. When you’re holding onto your pet’s leash, while also loading tons of gear into the GMC, that jands-free liftgate is the most handy feature ever. No need to put things down and fumble for keys. Just kick your foot below the rear bumper. The GMC study found that 68% of Canadians are looking for easier ways to pack their pets and their belongings in the car without any fuss or extra steps–and well, the hands-free liftgate is your wishes granted!

Now, where is your next road trip with your doggo in tow? I’d love to go back to Meech Lake and Tobermory! But after mosquito season! Billie Jean and I can’t wait to hit the road again!



Leave a Comment May 12, 2022

Giveaway Swellness: Win a One-Year Subscription to Babbel!


I’m so excited to be learning a new language with Babbel–last time I took a language course was some beginner Spanish in CEGEP! I chose Italian as I’ve been pretty wistful lately of my trips there to Rome, Parma, Milan and Florence, and it feels good to be preparing for future travels.

There are 14 languages on Babbel to choose from, and it provides conversational practice. The classes are presented in a fun way, so it feels playful! They’ve also Babbel Live, Podcasts, Games, Culture Bites, Short Stories and Videos–a ton of resources to enrich your learning experience!

For one lucky Health & Swellness follower, I’m giving away a year-long subscription to Babbel. You can enter via my Instagram post, and for five extra entries, just comment on this blog post about which language you’d like to learn!

Giveaway ends 11:59PM, March 22, 2022 and is open to Canadian residents. Winner will be announced on my IG Stories on March 23rd.

Buona fortuna! Look, I’m speaking Italian already!

Leave a Comment March 16, 2022

Previous page

Recent Posts


Recent Comments