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Monday, January 2, 2017

Two Cowboys: Getting in Shape and Living More Healthy with TONIQ Juice and Health Bar in Canmore, Alberta

Good Intentions

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There are certain times of the year that are just more ripe for evaluating and re-evaluate one's life choices. It usually happens at milestones such as birthdays, arrivals, moves and unfortunately also at departures.

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We are at the beginning of a new year, and the matters of choice, intention and aspirations are top of mind for us too. It is the best and most favourite time for most people to reflect on what was, and to decide on what is to come. At this period, many people usually have good intentions. It may include body, mind or behaviour altering goals.

For example, there are lofty goals such as losing weight. Activity goals about exercising more, travel or spending more time outdoors. Then there are the all common dietary goals which may include eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, less chocolate, cutting down on alcohol or coffee. Lastly, and these are the really hard ones, there are the mind-altering goals of thinking more positively, having more patience, or if you are completely off the road, "living more in the moment".

No matter what change you contemplate for this year, I recommend you follow a simple piece of advice I received from my Mother. I hold on to it as a golden rule by which I live. It is something we all should keep in mind to succeed with any good intention. "Small changes have big effects over time. Big changes, usually end up breaking something".

Make small changes. Be patient. See your goals unfold. Adjust where and when necessary and enjoy the journey.

Having Patience

This is exactly what one of Canmore's newest beverage providers is advocating. Gillian Shepherd, the founder of TONIQ, instructed the Two Cowboys on the virtues of freshly pressed vegetable and fruit juices and the mystical powers of wheatgrass shots. We keep reminding ourselves that these are baby steps towards good health. We should try all things. Hold on to the good. At TONIQ, there is a lot of good for us to get.

TONIQ evolved from a need Gillian identified in the market to provide an easy but nutritious option for a workout energy boost or a meal alternative for a busy mother. When Gillian moved to Canmore in 2014 with her husband and young family she was immediately intimidated by the fitness levels of all the people she met and the health focussed attitude prevalent in the Canmore community.

She also discovered a new-found passion for the health benefits of raw, plant-based food. She embarked upon a 30-day juice focussed diet to lose weight, and as a stepping stone to changing to a healthier diet. A month later, she confirmed her results at 30lbs lighter with more energy. She could not help but share her joy, and her juices with friends, family and anyone willing to listen.

During the Summer of 2015, Gillian certified as a raw food chef. She launched the TONIQ Food and Drink venue in downtown Canmore in the Fall of 2016, after testing the market's reactions at Canmore's Farmer's market. She now crafts delicious and nutritious juices in Canmore's first and only Micro-Juicery where you can step in for a shot or stock up for your hike or ski trip.


Wheatgrass doesn't taste like Tequila. No matter how hard you tell yourself that it is good for you. It has a tendency to revisit you in your green nightmares. Even more so if you are plagued by the guilt of not paying enough attention to your diet. With TONIQ and Gillian's help, we are taking baby steps. Small, positive, more plant based changes in our diet should give us the benefits of more health, energy, vitality and peace of mind.

We enquired about the health benefits of our other plant-based staple of barley, hops, yeast, and water. Unfortunately, according to Gillian, our commitment to beer doesn't count towards our daily recommended dietary requirement for healthy living. It has value for one's mental state, but apart from a Vitamin B boost (which is new information for us), it lacks in the essential nutritional health benefits. It will have to be supplemented with a TONIQ juice.

Our plan is to work on a secret TONIQ Wheatgrass Beer recipe that should revolutionalize the health industry. It will make you happy, beautiful, and famous (we're told) and keep you healthy.

Bottoms up! Cheers!

Hendrik van Wyk
Healthy Cowboy 2017

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Good Intentions

What's Left

Happy Place

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