Gracie Carroll - Working Out with James Van Riemsdyk and Wonderful Pistachios

Although I grew up in a very physically active household (my dad is an Aikido master and my brother is a professional ballet dancer), we were never a family that was big on team sports. Skiing, snowboarding, gymnastics, dance, martial arts… these were the types of sports that we participated in (and cared about) in the Carroll household. Team sports like hockey or baseball were most certainly not. That is until I met my boyfriend Josh – probably one of the biggest fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs on the planet – who comes from the ultimate ‘Hockey Family’ and converted me, and my parents, into hockey fans.

Despite living a good 25 years of my life without hockey being a part of it, I have come to love the sport and, although I don’t often admit this to Josh, do enjoy watching Hockey Night in Canada together when we hang out at home on a Saturday night.

Gracie Carroll - Working Out with James Van Riemsdyk and Wonderful Pistachios

Recently I had the incredible opportunity to join in on a private workout with Toronto Maple Leaf’s player James Van Riemsdyk, courtesy of my friends at Wonderful Pistachios and their #WPHockeyAcademy program. A small group of influencers and media were transported from downtown Toronto for a morning of training like a professional hockey player at SWAT Health in Mississauga.

I’m a huge fan of workouts like bootcamp and METCON3 at Equinox so I was super excited to experience how a professional athlete trains in the gym and discover that it’s very similar to my favourite ways to workout.

Gracie Carroll - Working Out with James Van Riemsdyk and Wonderful Pistachios

Training like an athlete is not your average workout. It challenges your body from top to bottom, and incorporates high cardio with plyometrics and conditioning with weights. You’ve got to be ready for repetition that challenges your muscles, followed by bursts of high cardio movements in between. As you can see from the photos above and below, there were many times during the workout when all I could think was: “Are you serious!?”.

Some of the moves that we were challenged to during our workout included skater jumps, side lunges with a shoulder press, squats with what my personal trainer Jess likes to call “Booty Bands” (the elastic bands around our ankles seen in the photo above, ladder drills and a whole lot more.

Gracie Carroll - Working Out with James Van Riemsdyk and Wonderful Pistachios

Now, if you’re anything like me, you spend most of your workout thinking about what you’re going to eat afterwards. I’m always starving after an intense workout, and find it really important to have healthy snacks on hand to ensure I make the right food choices to benefit my body after a sweat session, rather than give into any naughty cravings.

Nuts are always a smart snack to choose and Wonderful Pistachios are not only delicious, but one of the lowest-calorie and lowest fat nuts to eat – perfect for pre or post workout fuel! To give you an idea, a handful of pistachios (approx 30 of them), is a tasty snack of about 100 calories and provides you with protein and fibre.

Gracie Carroll - Working Out with James Van Riemsdyk and Wonderful Pistachios

After our pro workout, we were treated to delicious power smoothies made with pistachios. Even though making a smoothie is quick, I know that sometimes I don’t have time to make one before I run out the door, but thankfully there’s always time to grab a bag of Wonderful Pistachios when you’ve got them on your counter!

By the way, did you know that Wonderful Pistachios are considered to be a more ‘mindful‘ snack because they help slow you down while you crack them open, making you more conscious of the amount you’ve eaten? It’s basically the polar opposite of what happens when there’s a big of chips open near me!

If you’re interested in incorporating Wonderful Pistachios into your diet and healthy lifestyle, they are available across Canada at select grocery stores including Loblaws, Metro and Sobeys, Walmart, Overwaitea, Costco and more.

Thank you for having me at the #WPHockeyAcademy, Wonderful Pistachios!



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