Wow I can’t believe the day has finally arrived!  I was so excited and couldn’t wait to meet all the other incredible 55 delegates across Canada. I arrived at our host hotel Edward Village Markam Hotel, it’s a beautiful hotel and next time you are in the area check it out!

First it was registration, and I received my delegate number lucky #9! We got our room key and I was anxious to see who my roommate was going to be. I was so happy and excited that it was Roxanne from Ontario! (were both Polish!)

Once we settled in we went downstairs to the official Miss World Canada Sponsor Party. We had an amazing time chatting with all the sponsors.

I wanted to take this time to thank all the sponsors for taking the time and meeting us and for all the products and gifts we received. It was very much appreciated! Below is Christina Paruag from FemEvolve Canadian healthcare magazine.  Golden Glamour Goddesses were on hand to do spray tans.  Standard Telecom Nortel brought an eight port USB phone charger which as you can imagine was a very popular booth.

Thank you to Nina Spade Studio for her handmade jewellery.

And also thanks to Wandering Minstrel Music School for bringing the karaoke machine.

Miss British Columbia 2018

Natasha Smith

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If you were to come to BC one of the many areas I would highly recommend to take time to visit would be Rocky Point Park in Port Moody.

First, I should tell you a little bit about where I live. I live in the super, natural British Columbia situated in the western-most province in Canada, bordering the Pacific Ocean. Internationally known for its stunning natural beauty. It is home to more than 4.6 million people. While most of these residents live in the Lower Mainland area. The most populous city in the province is Vancouver, Canada’s third largest city, with a metropolitan population nearing 2.5 million.

I was born and raised in Vancouver, BC but in my earlier years I moved to the suburbs in Coquitlam known also as the Tri-Cities, located in the north-east sector of Metro Vancouver.

I thought I would write about a place I love to go that is somewhere close to home. In fact, it’s just down the road from our back yard called Rocky Point Park. Rocky Point Park, also known as Rocky Point, is situated along the Burrard Inlet in Port Moody. It is 3.8 hectares in size and is the most well-known park in Port Moody. It’s a beautiful city park and arguably one of the nicest in the Lower Mainland.

I love going to Rocky Point Park because it offers so many excellent amenities:

  1. Since I love food, probably my most favorite thing at Rocky Point is Pajo’s, which is world famous for their fish-n-chips. This place is always busy! They use fresh local ingredients, it’s BC owned and operated since 1985 and have 5 locations in the lower mainland. Pajo’s is weather permitting as most orders are basically takeout or you can enjoy sitting outdoors on one of their multiple unique picnic tables or bring a blanket and sit in the open grassy area. Next time you are at one of their locations I highly recommend the wild salmon! It is lightly battered wrapped in a newspaper cone with their delicious fries. Oh and to wash that down you have to order their homemade lemonade!

 

  1. There is nothing better to have after a good meal than having some dessert! Just around the corner is Rocky Point Ice Cream. They make their own ice cream so they can have total control over the quality of their product. You may need some extra time trying to decide which flavor of ice cream you want, they have over 25! On a nice day you might want to go there a bit early because there is always a lineup! Oh and if you are out walking with your dog at the park they have their famous K9 Doggie ice cream!

  1. A number of great events take place at the park each summer at the outdoor performance stage. One of my favorites is the Golden Spike Days festival. This is an amazing 4-day festival to commemorate the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885. This festival is during the Canada Day long weekend with lots of free entertainment, activities for the whole family and food trucks! I recently volunteered at the Golden Spike Days and you can read all about it in my previous blog “Canada Day Celebrations”. Another popular event is the Rotary Rifbest which happens in mid-July with BBQ rib competitions and outdoor concerts.

 

  1. There are also Summer Sundays with free live music on Sunday afternoons between early July and beginning of September. All you have to do is bring your own blanket/chair set it up in the large grassy field and relax and enjoy the scenery and music!

 

  1. One thing I love about Rocky Point is there are so many places you can go for a nice stroll/hike. There is a recreational pier that sets out into the water. It’s a beautiful evening walk watching the calm waters and the abundance of bird and wildlife! There is a pathway all along the waterfront and forested walking and bike trails.

  1. The children’s play facilities at Rock Point Park are exceptional. There’s a large playground, a water park area in the summer, skateboard park and a outdoor pool. I remember those hot summer days when I was younger and use to go to the outdoor pool, it was so much fun and refreshing!

  1. If you like kayaking or canoeing, or dragon boating checkout the Rocky Point Kayak located at the foot of the boat launch. Their location offers easy access to the Burrard Inlet and the Indian Arm. They offer hourly, daily, or weekly rentals, of kayaks, canoes and stand up paddleboards. In addition, they offer Paddle Canada certified lesson programs and tours, and many weekly drop-in social paddles.  For you boat lovers there is a boat launch accessible at the Rocky Point too!

 

  1. Located along the water there is The Boathouse Restaurant which offers breathtaking views of the Burrard inlet and Seymour Mountains through its floor-to-ceiling windows. Its menu which is distinctively West Coast offering wild and sustainable seafood, CAB-certified aged steaks and BC VQA wines.

 

  1. For the adults out there a new development of family owned and operated craft breweries called Brewer’s Row are located right across Rocky Point.

 

You probably can now see why I love Rocky Point Park. It’s a place where there is something for everyone to enjoy! To top it off, the city of Port Moody provides a free summer-time shuttle bus service for residents and visitors from June 1 to September 3, 2018!   I hope the next time you visit us in the lower mainland you will get a chance to visit the many amenities Rocky Point has to offer!

Miss British Columbia World 2018

Natasha Smith

 

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Fitness and Nutrition Prep Before a Competition, FemEvolve Magazine

Is it worth it? This is the top question I’ve received during my prep journey to compete for Miss World Canada 2018.

Upon deciding to compete for Miss World Canada, I knew I was going to go through prep. What is prep? It is a lifestyle change and commitment. Prep is meal prepping by counting your macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats) and weighing them, along with daily workout plans. Prep not only challenges the individual physically but mentally as well.

This was not my first time doing prep. I first started in 2017 when I was competing for another National pageant. The reason why I decided to do prep was I was already working out every day but I was disappointed in my progress, the results were just not showing. It was very frustrating, as I don’t have a body that naturally maintains a lean physique, nor does my body allow me to indulge in those sugary cravings without having repercussions (ie: growing those love handles). I was working out 2 hours a day, trying to watch what I eat and hardly losing inches. I hit a roadblock, known to some as a plateau. At this point, I felt I needed some guidance. I did some research and came across Grace and Andrew Bukowsky from The Fitlife 24/7. The Fitlife 24/7 are committed to providing you with the complete fitness experience, using proper tools and education for a stronger, better you with customized nutrition/supplement and training plans. This was exactly what I was looking for. The reason why I wanted a coach was simple, even though I know the basics about food and “healthy eating” I didn’t know how to count my macros and I had no idea where to even begin with meal prep. Another reason is because in today’s society there are so many “crash diets” that ruin the body by restricting the body of specific food groups. I wanted to make sure I did this journey in a healthy matter. Last year, I did 9 weeks of prep and I saw amazing progress and I could not believe the results of my physical appearance.

Let’s fast-forward one year to today. I started my prep for Miss World Canada on May 4, 2018. This prep was going to be much different from the last and one of the most challenging. For starters, I was weighting the heaviest I have ever been in my life at 132 lbs (for the longest time I always maintained a weight of 120 lbs). This was a shocker for me but looking back I realized that I begun to form an unhealthy relationship with food. I had the mentality that since I knew I was going to do prep I started to indulged in more than I should have and I fell victim to late night snacking. One thing I should mention is I LOVE FOOD, I seem to always be hungry so I knew this was going to be a challenge! I also had to realize that as we grow older (as an adult) your metabolism starts changing and would not be that of a teenager (sucks I know). Even though I knew what I was getting myself into this time around I did not prepare myself for the obstacles I would encounter.

I remember the first week of prep was the hardest. Most of my diet consisted of chicken, beans, asparagus, cauliflower, yams, peppers, brown rice and peanut butter (my favorite) but absolutely no sugar and this time dairy was eliminated for this prep. I remember telling my mom that even though I was hungry I had to force myself to eat my vegetables. This fact scared me because it made me realize just how much my body was now depending on the sugar, fat, and salt that was contained in the junk food I ate. I remember promising myself that I never wanted to feel that way again, a promise I still strongly stand by. Here I was trying to fuel my body with GOOD foods and WHOLE foods and it was being stubborn. The second biggest obstacle was my weight and measurements. For whatever reason this time around my body was holding onto dear life to whatever water weight and fat it had (maybe it thought I was going into hibernation?). This was frustrating because compared to my first prep I saw a difference within the first 2 weeks and was already allowed a cheat meal (high carb) meal because I was dropping weight too quickly. This prep was also the first time I tackled the dreaded fasted cardio.

The last 5 weeks of training consisted of changing my early morning workouts to 45 minutes of fasted cardio on the Stairmaster then back up to university for school and studying, then back to the gym in the evening for an hour of weights . Coupled all this with a part time job (at a restaurant I may add), volunteering, attending events as Miss British Columbia World 2018, organizing for the pageant, fundraising, and taking an intense university summer course, it was safe to say I had my hands full. I finally had an appreciation for the term “blood sweat and tears”. There were days I wanted to quit, there were days I felt like breaking down (and did break down), but then I saw already how far I’ve come and I knew I could push through. As my dad would always say to me “mind over matter”.

This prep has taught me so much more about myself mentally and physically than I could ever ask, it’s pushed me to the extremes and has allowed me to become stronger ever day. Not only have I grown so much as an individual but also I’ve met so many incredible people along the way and all because I chose to change my lifestyle for the better. I could not have done this journey without my coaches Andrew and Grace from the Fitlife 24/7 and all my teammates. My Popeye’s Coquitlam family (sports supplement store) who I am honored to be a brand ambassador for, and of course all my friends and family. All because I chose to change my lifestyle I’ve been able to meet so many inspiring people who share the same passion as me and continue to be my motivation.

Everyone starts somewhere in their fitness journey, the first step is always the hardest (believe me I know). There is no magic pill, just dedication, hard work, and commitment. It’s not easy, but in the end it’s so worth it because as soon as you start to see progress, it fuels you to go bigger and better than before. We live in a world where we want high speed and fast results. That’s why it’s so hard to stay committed to a fitness journey; we expect results over night but don’t realize it takes time. Just like the saying “good thing comes to those who wait”. It takes 21 days to make a habit, which habit will you choose?

This prep has also given me an appreciation to ditching the scale. How? When I first started my prep a year ago I was 120 lbs and when the competition started I weighed 110 lbs. For this year’s prep I started at 132 lbs and as of today, 1 week out from the pageant, I weigh 117 lbs., close to the weight I started out a year ago. The difference is now my measurements at my current weight (117 lbs) are the same as they were last year when I weighed only 110lbs. The scale is just a number, it does not measure your success or how you feel about your body. Do not let a number dictate your happiness with your body, muscle does weigh more than fat.

I also get asked a lot why I choose to do prep. The answer is simple; I want to know that when I step on stage I have given it my all; nothing held back, no regrets. I love a challenge and will always strive to be the best version of myself I can be and this journey allows me to do just that.

My fitness journey may be on the extreme but what it has taught me is even after the pageant I will continue to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Not because I have to but because I want to. I know what it feels like to fuel my body with the foods it needs and I want to feed it with whole foods that will make it stronger and energized. To anyone on the edge of wanting to try something new, I encourage you to go for it. As I mentioned, it wont be easy, but there will be so many people who will be supporting you and keeping you going and in a few months from now you can look back and say, “I did it”.

So is it worth it?

I’ll let you be the judge of that.

 

Miss British Columbia World 2018

Natasha Smith

https://thefitlife247.com/

https://www.popeyescanada.com/loc_british-columbia_coquitlam.html

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As a delegate for Miss World Canada we are given a voice to stand up for what we are passionate about. I’m choosing to use my voice for the voiceless and aligning my compassion for animals with the Wildlife Rescue Association of British Columbia. Their mission is to provide leadership in rehabilitating wildlife and in promoting the welfare of wild animals in the urban environment.

This organization is 100% non-profit and runs solely on volunteers and donations. Without funding and support none of the work they do would be possible and most of these animals would not survive. The Wildlife hospital is open 7 days a week to receive any injured wildlife, which includes a wide variety of bird species, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. This year alone, the hospital has already received over 2,270 wildlife. The cost per each patient is $410.00. Currently the hospital has been temporarily closed down due to harsh winters that have damaged the building. However, with the hospital staff and volunteers they found creative ways to temporarily convert existing ground space in outbuildings into a make shift hospital. With continuous donations they hope to one day rebuild a new and improved hospital for the animals, purchase new machines and other materials needed that would help the treatment and care for the wildlife.

Wildlife living in the urban environment face many challenges such as busy roads, loss of habitat, pollution, poisoning, unsecured garbage and direct human cruelty. Beneficial human wildlife interactions begin with education. The most effective and humane way to solve wildlife problems is to prevent them before they happen. There are simple steps to wildlife-proof your home:

– Don’t feed wildlife – secure your garbage, clean up fallen fruit. When wild animals rely on human food instead of their natural diet, their health suffers.

– Prevent entry – seal entrances and to houses, sheds, barns

– Keep clean – tidy up messes and spills, outdoor waste

The Wildlife Rescue Association has a team of professional wildlife rehabilitators and an army of volunteers who are able to provide temporary refuge to a diverse range of animals. They are not a wildlife sanctuary and once the animals in their care are healthy and ready to live in the wild, they release them back to their natural habitat. They also provide public education and outreach, which includes a wildlife helpline and hundreds of presentations and displays throughout the Lower Mainland.

Every week for the past 3 months I have been volunteering in the Animal Care Hospital. At the Wildlife Rescue we specialize in the rehabilitation of various species of birds. My job is to help the veterinarians by cleaning their cages, prepping their meals, feeding them, and any other hands on tasks they need on site. One thing I’ve learned about volunteering at the Wildlife that it’s hard work and you can’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. To me though it’s all worth it when we are able to release them back into their habitat and they can survive on their own.

Within this job I’ve also gained a lot of knowledge and appreciation for the wildlife as well and the amount of care giving that must be needed. Some examples of this are for baby birds (known as fledglings) need to be fed and have their houses cleaned ever 30 minutes. Did you know that humming birds need to be fed every 10 minutes because of their high metabolism? As we are on the topic of food, each different species has their own acronym, which can be found in a book (basically an encyclopedia) of all the specific diets required for each wildlife. While we go out to clean their cages we also take account of the birds and their behavior. Some things we watch out for is a sign for Angel Wing on the bird which means it is being fed too much protein. This is detrimental for the bird, if it cannot fly it cannot survive in the wild life. There are also birds in our hospital that imprint. This basically means that the animal can come to recognize a human as their parent or object that they trust. An example of a species that imprints are ravens, because of this we must wear imprinting gear. This allows us to appear as a “blob” which includes a sheet and a facemask. For some of the animals you must be careful to not even talk around them because they are incredibly smart to the point they will recognize your voice.

All these precautions are done for the sole purpose that implements we are not a sanctuary but a rehabilitation center for the wildlife. What this means is that we do not treat the wildlife as our ‘pets’, we want them to continue to have a healthy fear of humans. This is because should an animal trust a human, it will begin to rely on the humans for food (like ducks and bread) and Darwin’s Theory of survival of the fittest comes into play where they will not survive. We continue to keep the ‘wild’ in ‘wildlife’ for these creatures. We want them to leave the rehabilitation center in better condition that they came in so thy can continue to thrive in the environment they were meant to live in.

My beauty with a purpose is meant to inspire others to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. Wildlife plays an important role in balancing the environment and provides the stability to different natural processes of nature. We only have one Earth, a planet we all share and depend upon. The wildlife has as much of a right to be here as we do. Together we can make our earth a more beautiful place to live, we need to help each other to better our planet.

If you wish to make a donation to the Wildlife Rescue Association, please click the following link:  https://www.wildliferescue.ca/

Miss British Columbia World 2018

Natasha

 

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Hi Everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic Canada Day long weekend and hopefully you were able to help celebrate our amazing country!

This is one weekend I made sure to get involved in my community and help celebrate Canada’s Birthday! I am proudly born and raised Canadian (with a Polish heritage background) and I am blessed to be able to live in a land of freedom. There are so many reasons why I am honored to be a Canadian. I love the way we treat each other with respect, integrity and compassion. We embrace each other for who we are no matter culture, race or religion. We are known to be a peaceful country with everlasting opportunities. It is one of the most beautiful places in the world and I am truly blessed to live in such a wonderful country!

On Canada Day I was privileged to attend the 73rd Annual Steveston Salmon Festival Parade. The people of Steveston have come together every year since 1945 to celebrate Canada’s birthday and the rich heritage of our community. Thanks to the tireless efforts of hundreds of volunteers and the generous support of sponsors, the Richmond Agricultural and Industrial Society organizes one of the largest Canada Day celebrations across the country! On average, over 80,000 people from across Richmond, Metro Vancouver and the Pacific Northwest spend Canada Day in Steveston! I had so much fun attending the parade with my pageant sister Amelia Kohan – Miss Teenage Vancouver 2018. It was also a wonderful surprise to see driving right besides us in the parade Miss Lower Mainland BC 2017 – Anne Longakit and Miss Asia Pacific Int’l Canada 2018 – Ariel J. Cao! It was such an amazing turn out, thousands of people attended the parade. It was so exciting walking and interacting with the crowds and it is times like this when I feel so proud representing my Province and wearing my British Columbia sash! http://stevestonsalmonfest.ca/

This weekend I also had the honor of being one of the judges for the Tri-Cities Got Talent at the 42nd Annual Golden Spike Days Festival. The event commemorates the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway line and its arrival at the original western terminus in Port Moody, BC where the LAST SPIKE was driven. This is an amazing 4 day festival with lots of entertainment, activities for the whole family, food trucks and of course Tri-Cities Got Talent!

Four years ago I had the pleasure of being one of the judges when I was honored with the title Miss Teenage British Columbia 2014. Fast forwarding 4 years later, I was once again very grateful for the opportunity of being one of the judges with my new title Miss British Columbia World 2018!

 

I spent two days at the Golden Spike Days judging a variety of talent from the Tri-Cities area. Wow! I was so amazed of the talent we have in our community. Congratulations to all that participated in this years Tri-Cities Got Talent. You all did amazing and should be very proud!

Thanks again for taking the time in reading and following my journey!

Miss British Columbia World 2018

Natasha

 

 

 

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From June 23-24,  I attended two events in Lethbridge, AB: the Canadian Beauties Pre-Pageant workshop and the Canadian Tire Jumpstart Carshow. Thank you to Bells & Bows Bridal CentreCanadian Beauties – Pageant Division, Mattea Henderson , Miss Teenage Lethbridge 2018- Samantha for having me the past weekend and being such wonderful hosts. 

The First Day: Leaving at 1:30 p.m from the City of Prince George, we were flying into a tropical storm in Calgary, Alberta. My flight was slightly delayed and I arrived at the Lethbridge airport around 9:30 p.m. From June 22 – 25, I stayed at Enid’s Bed and Breakfast. Enid and Herman made me feel like family and the beautiful house feels like home. Enid and Herman are very pleasant hosts with lots of interesting family stories.

Enid’s Bed and Breakfast

Canadian Beauties Work Shop: Wake up around 7:00 a.m. Enid made me some delicious breakfast. We had a great conversation about family history, literature, astronomy, and arts..etc. Around 8:30 a.m, I called a taxi and arrived at the Perfect Storm Athletics Lethbridge at 9:00 a.m. Ms. Lisa Harrigan Joseph, the founder of the Canadian Beauties has arranged for us to be at an amazing cheer location and the facility was ours from 9:00 am to 4:30 p.m.

There are six titleholders (mostly teens) that made the trip to Lethbridge. We had a wonderful day going over poses, interviews, fundraising, sponsorship, evening gowns and runway walk…etc.  At 12:30 p.m, Ms. Angeline Mcdonald delivered our lunch. In the afternoon, we had some great speakers coming in. Ashley who was Miss Earth Canada 2011 and Ms. Angeline Mcdonald, the owner of Bells & Bows Bridal. Ashley spoke about her pageant experiences and the advice for titleholders. Ms. Mcdonald brought in two beautiful gowns – a gold one and a black one. Ms. Mcdonald wanted all the girls to remember that they are the “masterpieces of themselves”.

Canadian Beauties Workshop

Around 4:30 p.m, the workshop was over. All girls received a beautiful pink gift bag from the Canadian Beauties and the Bells & Bows. Later, Miss Teenage Lethbridge drove me to the Bells & Bows to pick up my gown for the Nationals. Thank you to Ms. Mcdonald and Ms. Pincombe for keeping the boutique open after hours exclusively for us.

Gift bag from Bells & Bows and the Canadian Beauties

Canadian Tire Jumpstart Car Show: On the third day, I attended the 3rd Annual Jumpstart Car Show with Miss Teenage Lethbridge 2018- Samantha, Miss South Calgary World 2018 & Mattea Henderson.

Canadian Tire Jumpstart Car Show

The event took place on Sunday, June 24th in the parking lot of Canadian Tire north. There were BBQ, car smashing, car modeling, public voting and other fun activities to raise funds for Jump Start. All proceed raised goes to help kids participate in sport and play.  

Jumpstart is more than just about getting kids active. It’s about giving kids from families in financial need the same chance to participate as their neighbors, their classmates, and their friends. Whether it’s the chance to try a new sport or to continue with a favorite one, no kid should be left out.  

A big thank you to Bells & Bows Bridal, Mattea Henderson and the Canadian Tire for giving us the opportunity to attend such a meaningful event in the Lethbridge community.

A Beautiful Tour in Lethbridge: From 5:00 p.m to 10:00 p.m, Sam (Miss Teenage Lethbridge 2018) and Val took me on a tour in Lethbridge. We were at the Henderson Lake Park, the Japanese Garden, the Galt Museum and the Helen Schuler Nature Centre.

Thank you, Sam & Val, for the beautiful tour! I had a wonderful weekend and I miss Lethbridge already!

Cheers,

Miss Northern British Columbia World 2018: Angela Han

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Hi everyone! As promised this is my recap of all my volunteer work for the month of June:

On June 2, I had the honour of being one of the judges for this year’s Pacific All Canadian Pageants -Tropical Pineapple Pageant. All the girls did absolutely amazing and should be so proud of themselves for even stepping foot on the stage. They all had poise, grace, and confidence. Thank you so much to the director April Geres for having me, it was a neat experience to be on the other side of the judging table for a change. Since volunteering it’s amazing how many people you meet and make connections. I met April at the Rotary May Day Parade and through our introduction she reached out asking if I would like to be a judge at one of her pageants. https://allcanadianpageants.com/

 

On June 3, I volunteered for the 22nd Annual Run Up for Down Syndrome. Met so many inspiring people that day. I got to meet the 1984 Bronze Olympic Medalist Dale Walters who won Canada’s first Boxing Medal in 52 years (I even got to hold it too)! Learned a little bit of soccer history at Willies Corner and the goal that he is known for when he played on the Whitecaps! Thank you Barry Walker for sharing your love of the game with me! Got proposed to by a monkey, and got a shift on the dunk tank! It may have been freezing cold both outside and in the water but it was all worth it in the end as record-breaking of $207,000 was raised to empower individuals with down syndrome. https://www.dsrf.org/

Bronze Olympic Medalist Dale Walters

Myself with Bronze Olympic Medalist Dale Walters and Barry Walker of Willies Corner

 

That same day in the afternoon, I attended the Phil Bagong Pag-Asa Society of BC, Fiesta Ng Nayon 2018 Filipinas – Canada Celebration. I was given the honour in crowning the new Bb Filipinas-Canada 2018 – Esterlita Pacana. I am always so amazed with how respectful, welcoming, and thoughtful the Filipino community is and it was such a pleasure to be surrounded by them last night. The support they are giving me during my reign has meant the world to me.

 

 

 

June 10, I was invited to the 7th Annual Princess & Superhero Tea Party, all to benefit the Children’s Wish Foundation which will directly fund wish granting for children diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. I was dressed up as a princess and in charge of the “wish corner”. You can read all about this in my “Wishes Come True” blog. http://www.childrenswish.ca/

 

 

 

June 13, we finished our spring 9 week Sole Girl program.   All the girls did amazing and we all completed our goal of running the 5km run!  You can read more about Sole Girls in my previous blog “Sole Girls Sole Awesome”. http://www.solegirls.org/

 

 

 

On June 16, I volunteered at the SOS Children’s Village of British Columbia. Children’s Village supports foster children and vulnerable youth because they believe every child should belong to a family and grow with love, respect, and security. Thank you so much Anne (Miss Lower Mainland BC 2017) for allowing me to come and volunteer alongside you, it was a pleasure to see a pageant sister again (p.s. it was Hawaiian theme thus the hula skirts). http://www.sosbc.org/

 

On Jun 23, I attended the Whitecaps Viewing Party hosted by Barry Walker of Willie’s Corner. I met Barry at the Run Up for Down Syndrome event earlier this month. This day I temporarily traded my crown for a Whitecaps toque. Check out Willie’s Corner (Sec 236) at BC Place next time you are at a Whitecaps event! https://www.facebook.com/weewilliescorner/.

 

Every Thursday I volunteer for the Wildlife Rescue Association of BC (which is my beauty with a purpose for Miss World Canada).  I  finally completed all my training as a volunteer for Animal Hospital Care where I help clean, feed, and check on all the wildlife within the rescue center. Stay tuned for my upcoming blog on more information about why I chose wildlife and more about the non-profit organization. https://www.wildliferescue.ca/

Thank you for taking the time in reading and following my journey!

Miss British Columbia 2018

Natasha

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Hi everyone! I hope everyone has been enjoying their first couple days of summer! I thought I would recap what I have been up to these last few months since I received my crown. I have been so busy finishing up my 3rd year of University and decided this year to also take a class in the summer semester. So needless to say I’m spending a lot of my summer hitting the books. I have also been working part-time, and going to the gym almost everyday as I want to be in my most top physical shape for the competition. Thanks to the Fit Life 24/7 (https://thefitlife247.com/) who have been my coaches for the last 8 weeks and only 4 more weeks to go! As the title holder of Miss British Columbia World 2018 I have been honored to attend many volunteer events in my community. There have been quite a few so I’m going to break them down by months. So here is a recap for the month of April/May:

 

I recently completed the winter 9 week session with Sole Girls and now started the spring session in April. I dedicated a whole blog for this called “Sole Girls Sole Awesome” since I have been volunteering as a mentor with Sole Girls for the past 5 years. If you haven’t had the chance to read it yet you can still check it out in my previous blogs. For those that don’t know, Sole Girls is empowerment through physical activity and mentorship for girls ages 6 through 12. (http://www.solegirls.org/)

On May 3, I attend the 25th Annual Mike Cassidy Legacy Cystic Fibrosis Golf Classic. It was so heart-warming to see the turn out and overwhelming support for causes such as this. Met so many wonderful people and learned so many stories. This year they set a record and $380,000 was raised towards the goal of one day soon changing the meaning of cystic fibrosis to Cure Found. I’m looking forward to next year’s event and hopefully we can set another record! http://www.michaelcassidylegacy.org/

May 5, I attended the 26th Annual Fingerling Festival. This iconic environmental festival is the largest of its kind in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, providing an opportunity for children to release thousands of young chum salmon into Noons Creek to help these fish begin their four-year journey at sea, and to visit the hatchery with its fish-rearing pond and restored wetland. I remember volunteering for the festival when I was Miss Teenage British Columbia 2014, four years later and it was such a pleasure to once again attend and see the community support each other. A huge thank you to Sandra and the Port Moody Ecological Society for having me! (Ironic part about this event was I saw Sandra at the Cystic Fibrosis Golf Classic fundraiser and she remembered me from 2014 and asked if I wanted to volunteer for the Fingerling again, what a small world right!?) http://noonscreek.org 

After the Fingerling Festival I had to quickly go home and change as it was the night that I was hosting my dinner fundraiser for the Children’s Wish Foundation. You can read all about this event in my previous blog “Wishes Come True”. If you don’t get a chance that’s ok, as a recap it was a huge success and grateful for all the support I received.

On May 18, I attended my first orientation for the Wildlife Rescue Association of BC. The Wildlife Rescue Association of BC is to provide leadership in rehabilitating wildlife in promoting the welfare of wild animals in the urban environment. The minimum requirement for this volunteer position is a 100 hours so I will be dedicating a lot of my time for this organization this year. I’m going to dedicate another blog for this as this will be my Beauty with a Purpose project. So stay tuned! https://www.wildliferescue.ca/

On May 12, it was my first parade! It was the 95th Annual Rotary May Day Parade which is one of the longest running community parades on the Lower Mainland. I was also accompanied by the beautiful Miss Teenage Vancouver – Amelia Kohan. We had so much fun as it was such a beautiful day and wonderful turn out! https://rotarymayday.ca/

On May 26, I attended another parade which was the Hyack International Parade. The Hyack Festival Association has been enriching the hearts of its surrounding community for over 45 years. It is British Columbia’s largest parade with over 120 entries from throughout BC and the Pacific Northwest. It was wonderful seeing the community come together in participating this year’s parade and festival! https://www.hyackfestival.com/

So that about wraps up April/May. Stay tuned of what I have been up to in June!

Miss British Columbia World 2018

Natasha

 

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I have always been health-conscious and pretty physically active, which I have my parents to thank for. I have vivid memories of my mom juicing fresh carrots in the morning and making my sister and I drink them with breakfast (I will forever hate carrot juice because of this). She would put vegetables, or a salad, in front of us before dinner, and I wouldn’t be allowed to touch my spaghetti (literally my favourite food until today) before finishing it.

Processed food, junk food, pop, were not a thing in our household.

And I am so grateful for it today.

Fitness

My parents encouraged us to live active lifestyles, with bike rides and swimming on the weekends, hikes while on vacation. I was in dance classes and started at the gym at an early age. And living in Vancouver makes it impossible to not want to do hikes, water sports in the summer, or winter sports on the mountains.

I’m nowhere near being an expert, but I have been lucky to have so many great influences around me. I worked at a gym for two years, and was surrounded by advice from personal trainers, nutritionists and experts. I’ve had my own trainers, and my closest friends have been trainers themselves and bodybuilding competitors. (Which is insane, I admire so much the self-discipline and work you have to put into competitions!)

And I do a lot of research. Mainly watching YouTube videos on healthy diets and different workouts, which honestly made the whole process a lot more fun. If you ever see me in the gym, you’ll see me google-ing an exercise and watching videos when I have no idea what to do.

Besides all the encouragement, I personally just really care about being healthy and fit. And I think that’s the first step. You’ve probably heard something like this hundreds of times in your life, but you get one body and one life, so why not treat yourself with the most care and love you can? It’s hard to make any progress, or see and feel changes if you aren’t passionate about it in the first place!

After being passionate, being motivated and self-discipline come next. I don’t think you can make changes or progress, with anything really, if you don’t have those three. And it’s easier said than done!

That’s why I try to keep things fun. Working out with friends (especially ones who know what they’re doing) was one of the ways I make exercise into hanging out. I started taking dance lessons again, got back into hot yoga, and started circuit boxing. Being healthy, feeling amazing, and building the body you want doesn’t need to feel like work!

 

So I can’t say I follow a strict exercise routine, but I made it a goal to try to do something physically active every day. I try new things (keep up that muscle confusion!) I listen to my body too, and take days off when I feel it is needed. And coming up to the MWC week, I really did see changes in my physical health and fitness.

 

Diet & Nutrition

A huge component of those changes were changes in my diet. I already try to eat decently healthy, but before my prep I was probably eating McDonald’s, Tim Horton’s and A&W a few too many times a week (busy student life!) I don’t believe in crazy diets or going cold turkey, and I think diets and nutrition can be a hard subject to talk about because every person’s body is different.

I am already a picky eater, I don’t like avocados or seafood (the basic staples of a Vancouver diet), along with being lactose intolerant. I try to not eat pork for personal reasons, and really believe in plant-based diets. I do eat meat! But I love choosing meat-alternatives when I can, like soy, or veggie burgers, or eating at vegan restaurants.

I again, did a lot of research, being the Communication grad I am, and really saw people making a difference with their health, bodies and energy on Keto diets. It’s a lot to get into, but basically, Keto is a very low-carb diet, high protein and high fat. By removing the extra carbohydrates, your body starts burning fat for energy. I don’t follow a strict Keto diet, and I wouldn’t pass up pasta if it’s a special occasion, but I slowly began to restrict refined carbs to breakfast, and then eventually cut it out completely.

I don’t think it’s healthy to cut out any component of a balanced diet indefinitely, and I try to get enough carbs from vegetables and some fruit. I also cut out alcohol, besides a few special occasions, and I started drinking way more water. I started taking multi-vitamins and probiotics, and eating intuitively.

A month into my prep I already felt a huge difference. I had more energy, would wake up earlier, felt clear-minded, and felt lighter – not just in a weight sense.

These last two weeks leading up to MWC I added in intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting allows your body to burn fat by giving yourself long enough resting periods between eating periods. I am still eating the same amount of food, but choosing an 8 hour period when I eat, instead of just eating any time during the day!

It sounds like a lot, but they were really small adjustments I made over a long period of time. I feel so much healthier, that even after MWC I will probably continue to eat the same way, besides being more lenient about enjoying meals out and treats (it was really hard for me to give up muffins and pastries!)

Mentality

The last, but I think most important, part of my health and fitness journey going into Miss World Canada was a change in mindset. Not that I was a negative person to begin with, but I decided I would make a conscious effort to think positively, be grateful, and have loving thoughts. I stop myself if I find myself being negative. I take time to stop and look at the sky and just be thankful, whether you’re thanking a higher being, the universe, or Mother Nature. Whether the sky is grey and rainy, or if it’s a summer sunset.

I find myself grateful for all my experiences, and even when life throws something crazy at me and I don’t think I can be more stressed out, or more behind, or more upset. I find myself being nicer to people and reaching out to do things for others or talking to people around me.

And this makes the biggest difference in the world! Life is so much more enjoyable with positivity and optimism, and I completely believe that like attracts like. Energy is so important, so begin with yours inwardly and you’ll see all the amazing things that come into your world!

Laying it all out here, my journey to Miss World Canada has already left me at a better place than I started out, and it really drove me to turn my motivations into action and self-discipline.

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I just want to give everyone an update on the charity the delegates are supporting during the journey to nationals.  Since the Beauty with a Purpose ethos was incorporated into Miss World, millions of dollars have been raised and countless hours of hard work have been carried out across the globe.  Miss World Canada is committed to giving back to the community .  They believe that every child should be empowered to be the best they can be.  Each year, Miss World Canada is proud to support different charities across Canada.  The main focus and fundraising efforts for all Miss World Canada national delegates is the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada.

Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada is the largest and only all Canadian wish granting charity dedicated to granting wishes to Canadian children between the ages of 3 and 17 who are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. For more than 30 years, Children’s Wish has worked tirelessly to grant heartfelt wishes to nearly 25,000 children and their families – that’s three wishes each and every day, all year long!

As part of my fundraising efforts, I hosted a dinner fundraiser event where all proceeds were donated to the Children’s Wish Foundation. This event took months to prepare, as I needed to find a desired location with a private setting and a place where family and friends would have a great time, enjoy delicious food and be entertained. I decided to hold he event at a local Greek restaurant that was well known for its delicious food, ambiance and belly dancing performances.

Throughout the following weeks I was busy doing a lot of research and sending out dozens of emails and letters to companies and organizations requesting donations and raffle prizes for the fundraiser.  This also included a number of  cold calls throughout my community. I was pleasantly surprised with the overall donations I received, most organizations were happy to donate for such a great cause.

I was thrilled the event was a huge success and everyone had a fabulous time! I felt very blessed and fortunate to have so many wonderful supporters. Without every ones contributions the event would not have been such a huge success. It was a wonderful feeling knowing all the money raised will be able to help children with life-threatening illnesses the opportunity to realize their most heartfelt wish.

Wonderful seeing my pageant sister Miss Teenage Vancouver – Amelia Kohan

A huge thank you to my family and friends for their support and to the following sponsors for their generous donations toward my dinner fundraiser for the Children’s Wish Foundation:

Popeye’s Supplements Coquitlam

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

VIP Cinemas, Silvercity Cineplex (Coquitlam)

Cactus Club Café

BC lions

Taverna Greka Restaurant

Me & Ed’s Pizza Parlor Ltd (Coquitlam)

Cloverdale Rodeo

The Old Spaghetti Factory

Boston Pizza Maillardville

Vancouver Canadians

Vancouver TheatreSports

Zone Bowling Coquitlam

Mr. Winston Mew DVC Ventures: Vancouver Gun Range

This month I was also honored to be invited to the 7th Annual Princess & Superhero Tea Party, all to benefit the Children’s Wish Foundation, BC & Yukon Chapter. I was thrilled to be in charge of the “Wish Corner”. I was dressed like a princess wearing my sash and crown and helped children write down their most heart felt wish. I then helped them place it on the wall of the “Wish Corner” in hopes of their dream come true!

My wonderful helpers at the “Wish Corner”

It was a fabulous afternoon where all the families enjoyed delicious treats and high tea, meet and greets with their favorite princesses and superheroes, get a royal makeover and of course make a wish!

Wonderful seeing all the Disney characters at the event! I was even surprised to see my best friend there, she is the beautiful Ariel!

This year’s Princess & Superhero Tea Party was able to raise over $18,000. The money raised will be able to grant Ezra’s wish to go to Disney World.

Until next time,

Miss British Columbia World 2018

Natasha

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