Perhaps the never-ending winter has played a role, but it seems that fellow young professionals (YPs) are stressed out, burned out and have removed the term relaxation from their vocabularies. As for those health-conscious New Year’s resolutions, those flew out the door come February. Can you blame us? Our cities and the accompanying fast-paced, over-stimulated lifestyle they offer can consume even the most disciplined YP. We work crazy hard, play harder, and routinely regret it in the morning (along with the late-night poutine).
Toronto native Rachelle Wintzen knows a lot about consuming cities. She lived and worked in New York City for 10 years, submerged in the nightlife scene in an admittedly glamourous, A-list-filled fast life, but one that left her mentally and physically drained. Disenchanted, Wintzen embarked on a radical one-year detox, which included a wellness trip to Belize and resulted in a new outlook and better quality of living. Upon returning to Toronto, she decided to share this with others, and in January Chi Junky officially opened its doors.
Offering an urban sanctuary in Toronto’s Leslieville neighbourhood, Chi Junky is a wellness concierge and private yoga studio that offers a long list of enticing services, from both group and private yoga and holistic nutrition to grocery shopping support, meal delivery, kitchen cleanses and massage, in addition to many others. Specifically designed for busy people who are looking to make healthy lifestyle choices, it is a one-stop shop for clean living. We caught up with Wintzen to hear a little more about her experience and advice on how other YPs can live better…
What was the most eye-opening part of leaving the fast-paced, glamourous NYC lifestyle and re-establishing your new lifestyle back in Toronto?
I am the biggest fan of New York City, but coming home to Toronto after 10 years in Manhattan was a gift. I was really surprised to see how much Toronto has changed – it was like moving to a brand new city, with so much to discover and experience. Unlike New York, Toronto has a great balance of city life and nature. I live by the Toronto beaches, so I get to come home to the peaceful beach after a crazy day! I really appreciate what Toronto has to offer in terms of quality of life and opportunity. It’s a great place for YPs and entrepreneurs to pursue their career dreams.
How can busy YPs find mental serenity in the middle of the crazy, often consuming city?
Disconnect! This can mean different things to different people; it might mean turning off your computer and phone and completely hibernating from technology for a day, or going for a walk to clear your mind and connect with nature, or taking 30 minutes for a quick neck and shoulder massage. One of my favourite ways to disconnect is a visit to an infrared sauna. There are even amazing infrared yoga classes!
What are five tips for time-strapped YPs who want to make healthier lifestyle changes?
1. Find time to do something you love daily. Even if it is only for five minutes, it is critical to your mental and physical health to find moments of joy and happiness each day. Young professionals are so eager to work hard, please others and prove themselves that they are often at risk for adrenal fatigue and burnout.
2. Save time by drinking your greens. With juice bars popping up everywhere, it’s becoming easier to get your daily dose of vegetables in a fresh pressed veggie juice, which starts your day with a boost of nutrients and live enzymes to improve your immune system, increase energy and decrease inflammation. Try swapping your morning coffee for a fresh fruit and veggie juice two or three days a week. You may be surprised how quickly you’ll stop craving coffee and carbs in the morning.
3. Many YPs are at risk for adrenal fatigue, whereby the body stops producing enough of the stress-managing hormone called cortisol. Consider taking an adaptogen, an herbal supplement to help the body cope with long-term stress. I recommend Rhodiola or the Chi Junky Serenity Blend. Adaptogens also help you gain mental focus, decrease anxiety and wake up feeling more positive.
4. Fill your plate with more greens and brightly coloured foods. This will boost antioxidants in the body, helping you fight free radical cell damage, which weakens the immune system and promotes aging. City life, pollution, heavy metals, cigarette smoke and stress all contribute to free radical damage.
5. Make hydrating more interesting with naturally flavoured water. Just add lemon, mint, cucumber, orange or lime to your H2O! A hydrated body is essential to health but too many of us don’t drink enough. Woman should drink a minimum of two litres daily and men three to four litres. Note: Green tea does not count as water because it contains caffeine. Drink an additional cup of water for every caffeinated beverage you consume.
What are your top five products right now?
I take a lot of pride in sourcing the best of the best organic and natural products for my clients, like these five things I can’t live without right now:
1. Serenity Blend: This herbal tincture is a lifesaver and was created exclusively for Chi Junky by the amazing local Naturopath Dr. Alexandra Hurtado. Managing stress is one of the most important aspects of preventative medicine, and this tincture works to help clients relax, cope with stress more easily and achieve mental clarity. It also promotes a good night’s sleep when you can’t turn your mind off.
2. Leaves of Trees Deodorant: Not to be confused with an anti-perspirant, this 100% organic and non-toxic deodorant prevents odor and kills bacteria without pushing toxins back into the lymphatic system. It’s even strong enough for men! My favourite scent is Eucalyptus Mint, which leaves me smelling great and feeling fresh after a long day.
3. Leaves of Trees – Lavander Argan Oil 5ml: I carry this small vile of lavender-infused Argan oil in my handbag and put a few drops on my pulse points when I need some instant aromatherapy and relaxation. I love that the owner and creator of the company travelled to Morocco to source the best Argan oil in the world.
4. Doug McNish Chocolate Granola: Containing only seven ingredients, this guilt-free chocolate granola is amazing. I eat it as an energizing snack, dessert or any time I have a sweet craving. It’s vegan and gluten-free, great for kids and even the packaging is biodegradable!
5. Shoosha Rescue Nipple Butter: Originally created to soothe breastfeeding mothers’ nipples, this 100% organic balm comes in a super cute jar and works wonders as a lip balm, healing aid for burns, soothing balm for inflamed skin and a solution for dry winter hands. It contains chamomile, calendula, sea buckthorn berry oil, cocoa butter, vitamins A, E, and C, beta-carotene, amino acids and phytosterols – all highly therapeutic for tender skin. It is also doctor recommended and a USDA certified food grade product, meaning it is literally safe enough to eat!
What have been your most popular services?
Iridology, private yoga, custom detox programs and comprehensive Chi Junky Wellness Sessions, where we really get to know you, your goals and make a plan to achieve your ideal state of health.
After a chat with Wintzen, becoming a chi junky yourself seems a little more in reach. Admittedly, Chi Junky is not for the YP on a tight budget. If you think about it, though, the cost of a 30-minute meal planning session (at $65) is less than that final round of drinks you bought within the past week.
#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)