Tune-In TUESDAY Tips // What your mind does isn't the point by Paluna Santamaria

Few weeks ago I decided to expand my meditation practice to help me get out of a procrastination rut so I started the  "7 days of focus" program using the mindfulness app "Calm"

I was pretty motivated to start so I decided to apply the principles suggested right away and blog to keep me accountable. You can read my previous posts below:  



I did great for few days. I wrote things down and I got them done but then as it can happen when trying to build new habits. I skipped a day, then another and well here I am starting again. Honestly, the fact that I wrote about it is what forced me to get back on the horse and pick up where I left. Just to show you how powerful accountability is, so here we go! 

**Disclaimer: content from the app has been edited for the purposes of this blog**

DAY 3 "Seven days of focus"  DEEPENING CONCENTRATION

"What your mind does isn't the point, your awareness of what the mind does is the point" 

Practice began by defining the following concepts: 

FOCUS- the ability to narrow down our attention on something. 

CONCENTRATION- the ability to maintain focus.

MINDFULNESS- the ability to notice when we've been swept away and bring ourselves back. Awareness of what's happening from moment to moment. 

Takeaways from today's practice: 

  • The easiest most efficient way to deepen concentration is by being aware of the breath. The more we practice bringing attention to the breath the more we'll be able to apply this principle to our daily life. 
  • A wandering mind is expected. There is no need to judge or get upset when it happens. 

Solutions to prevent distractions:

  • Create a workspace clean and orderly: each morning when you wake up, declutter your space.
  • Wear headphones or earplugs. 
  • Close the door.
  • Cater to your physical needs, i.e. make sure you have a comfortable chair, water and a snack in case you get hungry, this way you'll avoid trips to the kitchen. 
  • Turn off notifications and set a timer to focus exclusively on your task. 

Even still distractions will happen, instead of getting upset when they happen, choose to get back to your task right away. Perhaps take 3-5 full breaths as a way to bring you back into the present moment. 

Come back next week for more tips or sign-up for my monthly newsletter at the top right corner of this page oh and don't forget to stay CALM :) 


Last week I promised I'd let you in in my podcast obsession by sharing one of the many I listen in a week (or a day).  I will continue to do so but today I'm letting you in my meditation practice instead.

I've been practicing different types of meditation since I was six years old, with some on and off strikes through my teens because no teenager wants to listen to her dad telling her to meditate daily because it's good for her (yeah that was my dad). 

Last year, meditating became a little more challenging. Old anxiety issues I hadn't experienced in a few years came back. Luckily, I know meditating makes this issues manageable so in search of something to keep me accountable I did some research and discovered my favourite meditation app: "CALM" check "Mindfulness and Mindfulness Apps" for the full review

Lately I've been procrastinating more than I want to, so today I decided to replace my morning meditation with one of the many mindfulness programs offered by Calm called "7 days of focus"

Day 1 is dedicated to AWARENESS

  Here are some excerpts from today's practice: 

**Disclaimer: content from the app has been edited for the purposes of this blog**

1. Attention is a limited resource. Distractions are everywhere. 

2. Noticing when our attention has drifted away is the first step to bringing it back.

3. Don't worry when your mind wanders. This is what minds do. Just to notice when it does and use it as an opportunity to bring it back just as you do with your breath. 

4. The practice is about noticing our habits and patterns.

5. Keep returning to your breath over and over. There is no right or wrong, it's the practice what matters. 

6. The first step to CHANGE is to be AWARE. 

That is all friends. Check back next week and don't forget to stay CALM ;) 

Tune-In Tuesday Tips // things successful people do differently by Paluna Santamaria

Here's something about me: Ever since reading became difficult (long story) I listen to audiobooks and podcasts, obsessively. I get a lot of my information, inspiration, laughs and future plans from reflecting on what I listen to so I thought why not share this gems with you. 

From now on or until I get bored, I will choose a section/phrase from one of the podcasts I'm listening to and share it with you. Maybe that will inspire you to go listen to the whole thing yourself. 

**Disclaimer: content has been edited for the purposes of this blog**

PODCAST "Increase your Impact with Justin Su'a"   

Episode 193: 9 Things Successful People Do Differently   

Episode length: 6min 

1. GET SPECIFIC: when you have general goals you are a lot less likely to achieve them because they are not measurable so you want to get as specific as you can. 

2. SEIZE THE MOMENT: to act on your goals. People set goals but never take that opportunity or use excuses; "I didn't have time to workout", "I didn't have time to go to that meeting."  My question to you is: did you really not have time? Or did you just choose to not have that time? 

3. KNOW EXACTLY HOW FAR YOU HAVE LEFT TO GO: the things that you measure you will be able to achieve when you measure them better. Not only how much progress you are making but how much far do you have to go. 

4.  BE A REALISTIC OPTIMIST: look at the hard facts. Difficult is not bad. Difficult is not impossible. Difficult is just difficult and you CAN DO difficult things. 

5. FOCUS ON GETTING BETTER RATHER THAN BEING GOOD: don't be so arrogant that it clouds your desire to improve. We can all get better. 

6. HAVE GRIT: a willingness to commit to long term goals and to persist in the face of difficulty. 

7. BUILD YOUR WILLPOWER MUSCLE: identify things you know that will be beneficial for you and when you don't wanna do it, do it. 

8. DON'T TEMPT FATE: no matter how strong your willpower muscle comes it's important to always respect the fact that it is limited and if you overtax it you are going to temporarily run out of steam so don't try to take on two challenging tasks at once. 

9. FOCUS ON WHAT YOU WILL DO, NOT WHAT YOU WON'T DO: plan how you are going to replace bad habits with good ones rather than focusing on only getting rid of the bad ones. Say to yourself: "Instead of doing this, Im doing this"

Say No To Chips: The Desire To Stress Eat. by Paluna Santamaria

Photo By Dahlia Katz of Patricia Allison in  IMissYou

Photo By Dahlia Katz of Patricia Allison in IMissYou

Me again. The girl who can’t get enough Tune-In.

I’m 2 days away from my show IMissYou opening in Toronto. It’s a piece that I’ve been working on for over a year now. To say I’m stressed out would be an under statement. You can read a full post about my show anxiety here.

For the sake of this being a Tune-In Blog, let's stick to the topic of eating- Every time an email comes in, my anxiety spikes. It’s not all bad news, but it could be. Producing and starring in my own show and creation is stressful. All I want to do is shove bags and bags of chips in my mouth. That would make it all better, right? Salty salty chips. Crunchy chiiiiiips. Mmmmmmmm….  BUT no.

In times like this, when I’ve put weeks and weeks of work into a single moment like going into a weightlifting competition or a show, I need my self confidence to be high. And by this, I don’t mean that I need to be skinny or lean. It’s more than that. I need to feel FULL OF ENERGY and know that as I stand there ready to go on that I made the healthy choice. That I stood up for my body and I fuelled it correctly. When I’m eating clean and my macros are well fitted to my lifestyle, I find that strawberries CAN be a rewarding snack and that I don’t need the chips. Strawberries leave me feeling happy and good while chips sabotage me not only on a physical level (leaving me feeling bloated and crappy) but also on a psychological level. On a self confidence level. I know that while there is a time and place for chips, standing up for myself and my over all health IS the most rewarding. 

Tune- In Tuesday Tips // Nutrition on the road by Paluna Santamaria

Busy busy busy- Just because you have to travel for work, doesn’t mean that you should be throwing your nutrition out the window. Buckle in with these quick tips on how to Tune-In and travel….

Do your research- Local restaurants, grocery stories, hotel menus. Find where and how to find food ahead of time. 

Get a Fridge- Did you know that most hotel rooms offer a fridge in your room IF you ask for one? It might only be a mini fridge, but that will be enough to help store some fresh veggies and fruit and help you to stay on track with meal prep. If you’re super keen you can even pack some tupperware. This will help you pack your food for the day, just like at home. If you worry about the tupperware taking up space in your bag, you can always pack your clothes, socks etc INSIDE them.  

Protein- This macronutrient is one is the hardest to keep up while travelling. Pack your protein to go: beef jerky, tuna cans, protein powder, greek yogurt. If you’re once again worried about space pack ziplock bags, or disposable containers you can throw as you consume (ideally biodegradable).

You can even measure out your protein in advance in separate baggies and skip the guess work. The best part of travelling with your protein powder is that you already know how much protein it has and you’re already used to incorporating it in your day!

Tracking- If you track your macros, don't stop tracking now, or at least track your protein. Carbs and fats will be easily available. This way you'll have a rough idea how balance your intake is. 

Photos- As with ANY time you’re eating out or on the go, take photos of your food! You'll want to try and find out where you're going to eat in advance and plan what you're going to order and how you'll modify it. And then when the plate hits the table- Snap before you bite! At the end of the day you can guesstimate portions. While this isn't an exact science, it is the best solution (short of carrying a pocket scale) when eating out! 

Don't show up hungry- if you can, eat a whole balanced meal before heading to the airport, if you are in a short flight chances are you won't need to eat plane food. If your flight is long have some snacks with you or enjoy what the place offers without the unnecessary extras: peanuts, pretzels, etc

Same goes for meetings or conferences. You never know what will be offered as snacks so try to show up full so when the treats show up you can either avoid them or enjoy them without devouring a tray of chips because you were too hungry. 

Don't panic- Chances are if you are travelling for work you already have enough things to worry about. Do your best. Choose whole foods as often as possible, drink water, and practice moderation. Nothing terrible is going to happen if you have a slice of pizza. Get some nutritious items in you as soon as you can. Remember the higher quality your food is the more efficiently your body and brain functions. You don't want to be the one falling asleep in a meeting because you ate half a pizza right? And if that ends up happening, you have the rest of the day to make better choices :) 

What other tips do you have when you travel? Add them in the comments below!

If you stay calm and plan ahead- you'll Tune- In and travel with success!

Using Community for Success: A note from Tune-In Member Patricia Allison by Paluna Santamaria

Hi Tune-In Team! A little note about my experience on Tune-In and sharing a little love…


I’m currently on my second 12 week cycle of Tune-In. The last round I did was when I needed to cut weight for a weight class during my weight lifting competitions in the Fall and now this round one I’m maximizing my energy and efficiency as prep for the upcoming show I’m dancing in.


Oh boy, do I ever love these people and this community! While the journey hasn’t always been easy, it’s been worth it. I’ve seen some great success and felt amazing. But, I wouldn’t be able to do it without this kick ass community of support. Big thanks to the brilliant Paluna and LoveDeep who are informative and clear and always available to answer questions.  I went into this thinking that I knew everything I needed to about my body and eating, but have learnt so so much and I’m excited to learn more.


But you know what else makes Tune-In super great? Every single one of you! The Facebook and community support is amazing. It would be impossible without all of you. It helps that I work with and work out next to folks that are on a similar path to me. I always say “surround yourself with greatness and good things will happen” and I really do here! It makes the world of difference to me to be able to look over and ask advice or share my experience with a buddy who knows what I’m going through. In my darkest moments when I’m on a low-fat week or craving for some carbs, I love that I’m able to reach out and hear other personal stories and get first hand advice. I hope you all know that if you need recipe ideas or just an ear to listen- I’ll be there for you too.


Anyone that knows me, knows that I’m a community junkie- I believe it takes a whole village of support to make goals come true and that’s why I love Tune-In Nutrition. 


It goes like this: life happens, stress appears. The more stressed we become the more we stop taking care of ourselves so we become more stressed. 

I have an idea. Let's not do that anymore.

Here are three simple things to do ideally everyday but specially when stress piles up:


1. Eat well: this is how we function and rebuild from our day. Prep your food in advance with things that satisfy you. You need balanced meals often and consistently to compete against the stress your body is experiencing from training, life or both. 


2. Find down time: relax, breathe, walk, meditate. Apps like Calm (my fave) or Headspace (very popular but I can't stand the guy's voice, sorry dude) are a great altrenative, you can choose anything from 2-30min meditations. Nothing super hippie (nothing wrong if you are into it)  simple mindfullness. ALWAYS make time for this, it will go a long way to support recovery and rebalance stress


3. Move: Try not to take up an all or nothing approach with training. Make it a goal to do something that makes you sweat and brings your heart rate up each day. Sometimes a brisk walk listening to your favourite music is all you need. 


Now let's be honest. You will forget this list exists because well, life happens and stress happens so how about you print it out or write this down somewhere visible, perhaps in the kitchen or by the bathroom mirror? Just an idea.

Have a chill Tuesday and check back next week :) 



If you find yourself needing to "get back on track" after each holiday. This is the retreat for you. 

If you are taking care of your health and fitness and need a get away that won't derail your training/nutrition goals, this is also for you. 

Join us for 5 days in paradise and get the tools you need to succeed in fitness and nutrition. Transform more than your body by learning how to apply the information we provide you with to your lifestyle. 

Make this the "train-cation" that will allow you to never have to "get back on track" because you will have the tools to stay lean, strong, flexible and stress free even while not on vacation. 

What you will learn: 

  • Nutrition: No stress approach to nutrition. A mindset, not a diet. Learn how and why having no stress surround your nutrition is the best you can do for your health and performance.
  • Bodyweight Strength Training: No time to hit the gym? No problem. Learn the secrets to developing an incredible body with or without equipment.
  • 6 foundational principles that you must have in order to get strong, stay strong and avoid common injuries.
  • Hand balancing for beginners and intermediate levels.
  • Mobility and flexibility for back pain, tight shoulders & hips. Training should heal and not hurt. Let us show you how to avoid common training mistakes in yoga, gymnastics and weightlifting that can lead to injuries and plateaus.
  • Mediation & recovery: In our busy world relaxing is quickly becoming a lost art. Learn meditation and breathing techniques that will support stress management and help you recover fasters and move effectively from your work and training.


  • Guided tour to Havana & it’s rich culture
  • Daily classes led by Paluna Santamaria and Sara-Clare Lajeunesse from Agatsu
  • Organic gardening; visit and learn about sustainability, the organic movement and agriculture in farming for yourself.
  • Kite surfing (weather permitting) 3 classes/2hrs each over 3 days (after that you get 2hrs included with the kites for free time and practice).
  • Optional 1 Hour rejuvenation facial extra $30
  • Review of your fitness and nutrition goals/concerns as well as assessment of one full week of your current nutritional habits to provide you with a starting point. **Provided by Tune-In Nutrition Team: Paluna Santamaria and Lovedeep Dhunna**
  • 6 week bodyweight training program. NO GYM REQUIRED. 


You will be staying in Harmony Villa (Villa Armonia in Spanish) in Playa del Este where you will have access to:

  • Three freshly prepared organic meals from the local gardens in Havana **100% vegetarian option available**
  • Unlimited coffee, tea, smoothies
  • 2 Swimming pools
  • Grocery store
  • Juice & coffee bar open 24/7
  • Main house contains:
  • Meditation room
  • Small library
  • Main lounge
  •  Main dining hall
  • Kitchen
  • Guest villas include:
  • 2-3 bedrooms
  • Each bedroom has its own private en suite bathroom
  • Full kitchen
  • Dinning room/living room
  • Green space
  • Outdoor lounging terrace
  • Steps away from the beach
  • Laundry available at an extra cost
  • Electric supply 110 volts

WHEN? February 13th-17th 2017 Playa del Este Cuba