By: Joe Cardoso
Where did the summer go? The point of these Q&A’s is to inspire those looking to get healthy and showcase new and upcoming names in the industry. The spotlight on fitness ends its summer run with a trip back to our neighbors up north. Proving you can have your cake and eat it too hailing from Fort McMurray, Alberta we get to know Mckenzie Brake!
Joe Cardoso: Being stiff as a 2X4, I am always curious about people who practice yoga, how did you start and what led you to it?
Mckenzie Brake: I became intrigued by yoga through Instagram. I participated in a challenge where you had to do a specific pose each day, take a picture and post it. That inspired me to take my first class, and after that first class, I immediately fell in love. I remember feeling completely in awe of the instructor when she did a crazy arm balance, so I set out on a journey to learn all the cool poses, but as I got deeper into it, I realized it was so much more than crazy poses. Yoga helps me relieve stress, feel at peace, and become more aware of my everyday thoughts.
JC: Take us through your journey with fitness and healthy living how it began, early struggles.
MB: My fitness journey first began back in 2012, about a year after my high school graduation. After high school, I packed on quite a few pounds, my eating was terrible, and I did no form of exercise. As someone who is only 5 ft tall, I had nowhere to grow but out. I woke up one morning and weighed myself, and that same morning, my dad did as well. He had lost quite a bit of weight, and I was weighing only 4 lbs lighter than him. That was my wake up call. Later that morning I purchased the insanity workouts, and that’s where it began. Those workouts sparked my love for fitness. After I completed insanity, I worked with a personal trainer for about a year, with my weight loss, I gained more self-confidence and bit the bullet to try out my first yoga class. All of this sparked a passion for wanting to share my love for fitness and yoga, so I pursued both as a career for about five years.
JC: We ALL have a hard time with balance. How do you manage it all?
MB: Honestly, I just try my best! I try to have some healthy food prepped at all times, and I take snacks wherever I go. I suffer from severe hanger, so snacks are essential.
JC: You are coached by Monique Kabel, who is a ROCKSTAR, how did you find her, and how has the experience been?
MB: I found Monique through a friend who was working out with her, and she was seeing incredible results, so I signed up for myself! I also participated in the Bikini Bliss Challenge that Monique puts off, which was an incredible experience! It’s a 12-week transformation challenge with amazing prizes!!! I actually won the last one, in which I received a trip to Hawaii, a photoshoot with a professional photographer, and a custom made bikini. It truly was the experience of a lifetime. I absolutely love being coached by Monique; she always keeps me accountable and gives me the most killer workouts.
JC: Did you grow up playing any sports?
MB: I dabbled in quite a few growing up. I started in gymnastics, moved into some taekwondo, I played basketball and volleyball, I was part of a ski team, and I danced for a while as well.
JC: With five months left in 2019, what goals do you have?
MB: Ultimately, my goals for the next five months would be just to continue growing my business as best as I can, and I am striving to lose another 10 lbs. I also want to get back into teaching some yoga and fitness classes part-time.
JC: No way we can have this Q&A and not talk about your dog!
MB: Right! I think she is absolutely adorable and full of personality, I swear she’s part human. Her name is Prudence; she is a french bulldog. I call her Pru for short. She will be three on September 1st. Pru truly adds so much joy to my life, and I am grateful for her every single day.
JC: How do you approach supplements and nutrition?
MB: I don’t take any supplements. I personally try to stick to a low carb diet as that’s where I feel like I have the most energy, my skin stays clear, and overall I just feel better.
JC: Let’s talk baking!! Can’t help but almost drool on the screen when on your Instagram, when did you start baking, and what is your go-to sweet? Any plans to open a bakery?
MB: I grew up baking with my mom and have always loved it. About four years ago, I started making more cakes and desserts for family functions. I started to get better at cake decorating, which resulted in friends, and friends of friends wanting me to make them cakes. Last year I decided to go to school so I could learn as much about baking as I possibly could. My dream and the ultimate goal is to own my own bakery. As for my go-to sweet, I definitely love a good macaron or cinnamon roll fresh out of the oven smothered in cream cheese icing.
JC: When not whipping up a cake or in the gym, what do you do during the downtime?
MB: I like to try and travel when I can. However, on a day to day basis, my spare time consists of experimenting with recipes, spending time with friends and family, and of course, my dog Prudence. I like relaxing with a good book or binge-watching shows on Netflix.
JC: You have some fantastic tattoos. How many do you have and which is your favorite?
MB: I have 20 plus a full sleeve on my left arm. I have two favorites which is the portrait of my dog Prudence, and a slice of pizza on my left ankle.
Great way to end the summer talking with someone on the fitness come up and doing it her way. Big shoutout to Mckenzie for making the time to share her journey with me, how much does it cost to have a cake shipped? Find out more about Mckenzie by following her social media channels:
You never know where the spotlight will shine next, keep up with us for more stories from athletes and fitness pro’s sharing their story.