What happens in Vegas...should be shared with EVERYONE!
What began as a business growth conference and community networking trip sprouted legs into a multi-destination adventure that resulted in many outcomes & soul-rejuvenating activities.
Fady and I departed Ottawa fairly early at 7am with a quick connection in Toronto. The flight from Toronto to Vegas firmly cemented my excitement for the ensuing days as the plane was speckled with Prüvers coming in from across the country to partake in the foundation-building, belief-engendering Keto Kademy & MORE events with our leading Ketone company, Prüvit.
For those who are unfamiliar, Prüvit is a market disruptive community-based marketing company delivering quality pure therapeutic ketone products in innovative formulas and flavours. For the last 1.5-2 years, it has helped to shift the course of many lives from a health, wealth and freedom perspective. Tapping into the blue ocean strategy and CREATING a market and demand has been the driving force behind its ever-evolving product line that is passion-led and science based with a number of doctors, researchers, celebrities, thought leaders and everyday folk supporting and promoting it.
Our first day was a combination of reconnecting with many of our Prüvit family at the Red Rock Casino, exploring the surrounding Trader Joes, Lazy Dog restaurant, catch a few rays by the sun and celebrate being a COC (circle of champion) with a private bowling event filled with keto foods and business strategy.
Keto Kademy - Leaders are Learners
This is my favourite Prüvit event. As a science brain and an avid Independent Ketone researcher in my spare time, I seek to absorb this content and walk away with more understanding, knowledge and passion for the ketone conversation than before.
I was not disappointed. Oooooh baby, fill up my cup to the brim!
Kademy returnees such as Dr Angela Poff, Dr Dallas Hack and my Canadian favourite, Dr Andi, shared their insights and medical/clinical applications and research from weight loss and hormone control to DNA longevity and keto history 101.
Bring on the newcomers and heavy hitters with Dr Diamond flipping the American Heart Association dietary recommendations on their head surrounding cholesterol and fat intake and Dr Scheck about brain tumour studies that left me gape mouthed and emotional. Having had my mother pass away from a brain tumour at age 39, hearing that the presence of ketones combined with traditional radiation therapy has shown that tumour malignant cell growth slowed and stopped (even regressed) in some clinical trials with mice was astounding.
The celebrity factor and fitness performance validation was outlined and reinforced by Fit2Fat2Fit creator and trainer, Drew Manning, theough the testimonial of professional world class bodybuilder and one heck of a humble and grounded man, Mike O'Hearn (who was moved to tears by a woman who shared her personal Ketone story), and Prüvit mentors, Rob, Abigail and Bryon.
Saving my favourite moments to wrap up this incredible day were some of the biggest driving forces behind the ketone movement and who are changing the game in this market - Ryan Lowery, Dr Jacob Wilson and Dr Mary Newport.
Ryan and Jacob light up the room with their presence, but it is when they step up to the mic where we have the opportunity to witness the depth of innate passion, purpose and power they bring to the table with copious new studies and innovation that will change the way we all think about ketone technology. Ryan's heartfelt and very touching story of his family's battle with PTSD and the subsequent studies that will be coordinated in conjunction with Prüvit surrounding exogenous ketones brought most (including myself) to tears.
Dr Mary Newport. What can you say about this small framed woman with a big heart who is a pioneer, if not THE pioneer, of how to harness the power of ketones via her husbands delibitating struggle with Alzheimer's at an early age. All of her hard work to bring the benefits of coconut oil and particularly MCTs to the masses was finalized actualized with the release of 1:4:3 Virgin Coconut Oil & Enriched MCT packets to add to beverages, cooking, etc and allow for brain fuel without complication.
The all-day event was worth every riveting, science-packed moment - not to mention my tradition of dancing on the stage to start off each event!
Walking the Strip
Fady and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary (I know, it seems like EONS, right?) early September and made the executive decision prior to booking the trip for both personal and financial reasons to forgo the MORE event to spend a few days as a couple for one of our final trips for several months as we hunker down for the winter months working hard at our businesses.
"Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit."
It wouldn't be a trip to Vegas without a full scale walk of the strip. I haven't been to Vegas since my 21st birthday (a whopping 9.5 years ago) and while Fady visited just last year, there were many things we both wanted to do and explore as a couple with fresh eyes.
Our hotel was located at the end of the strip nearest downtown so it provided the perfect starting point to walk end to end with a plethora of pop-ins and sightseeing. We scoped out the casinos (without gambling), indulged in gelato (non-keto, relax it's okay sometimes!) and found our favourite coffee shop that we would frequent a handful of times over two days.
As day turned to night, we were going to go clubbing at Omnia with Calvin Harris but with the hefty cover for men at $75 USD+ we chose to stay at our hotel and found out that there was an album release party for Rockie Brown at The Sayers Club.
No idea what we were in for - we settled into the club for the show and people watched as a myriad of Vegas residents poured in to celebrate her success. The show opened with a freestyle rap performance, exotic dancing spectacle and EDM jam.
Rockie Brown has an impressive resume of celebrity back-up gigs and can be described as a gritty Lady Gaga with soulful vocals and catchy tunes. We thoroughly enjoyed the night and finished up with late night eats at a casino diner.
From A(lcohol) to Z(iplining)
Last day in Vegas & last chance to solidify a tan for the coming brisk months in Canada calls for several hours poolside.
We slept in a little longer than usual, which was lovely and needed from the time change, and set up shop at the pool early. Let me tell you, this DJ at the Foxtail was on point. The series of beats he spun let me have my own private karaoke/dance party for hours. I may have been the only one dancing, but hey - when in Vegas!
We also indulged in our first (of many) drinks that day. 32oz pineapple cocktail to be specific at a whopping $55 for 2. Yikes - at least it was potent and lasted the duration of our poolside adventure.
Shifting gears to the evening, we planned to meet up with fellow Prüvers hailing from across North America. From Alaska to Oklahoma - we gathered for a common cause and to enjoy Vegas together.
The gang met at our hotel, the SLS, before we departed to Fremont Street. Although I had visited Vegas almost a decade previously, I had never been exposed to the weird and wild of the downtore core.
Kia acted as our tour guide and brought us around town to Container Park and all throughout Fremont before we ziplined across the lit up digital skyline. Keto & vodka shaker bottles, matching corny couples shirts, a private invite to uncover some of Vegas' "Treasures" and some bizarre characters rounded off the final evening in Sin City.
Get your kicks on Route 66
With the original plan to leave at 5am to snag our car rental out the window after a 4am bedtime, we opted to pick up our Kia Rio at 9am and spend the day trekking to the Grand Canyon South Rim with ease and no expectations.
This proved to be one of my favourite days of the entire trip. What began as slightly hungover and sleep deprived gradually turned into a historic overview of some of America's oldest and most recognized landmarks.
First stop - Hoover Dam. Right off of US 93 on route to our destination, this detour to walk across the magnificent feat of engineering was incredible. Aside from the functional purpose of the Dam, learning about the rich history of its construction assimilar to modern day standards, the tribute to lives lost from the 1930s onwards during the build and maintenance and the role it plays for the region was second only to the immense beauty of the reservoir and surrounding desert.
Further down the route, we stopped in Kingman, Arizona at the iconic D's diner on old Route 66. You hear about this 2000 mile cross country route in the heart of middle America, but seeing the heritage come to life still to this day with Western bars, Native art and reminders of times passed brought about a sense of nostalgia.
The diner was what you would expect it to look like back in the 50's and 60's; covered with photographs of classic cars, celebrities of the era and the ambience right out of Grease.
We couldn't say no to their delicious array of burgers (bunless) and I went fully off keto with an Oreo Cheesecake milkshake that was rich, heavy, creamy and beyond my expectations. I felt that sugar later on, but it was worth the authentic experience!
As we continued to leisurely make our way to the South Rim, the landscape of Nevada to Arizona went from barren to increasingly more lush entering the Kaibab National Forest. The mountain crests grew and fell in the horizon and my anticipation to view one of the natural wonders of the world in person mounted.
Ignite the Fire
We made it to the Grand Canyon National Park about an hour before sunset and began to walk near Mather Point to find the optimal view for the spectacle. At first, my vertigo kicked in something fierce! Even approaching the railings and my palms would clam up and knees began to buckle.
Fady, my little fearless daredevil, told me he wanted to climb to the rock cliff. He reminded me what I preach frequently, which is that "the only way to get over your fear is to step into it." Begrudgingly, I made it clear that I would traverse down the mountainside only to the point where I felt comfortable.
Well, what do you know. With each quivering step, my comfort zone expanded. I kept grounded, practiced deep breathing and firmly grasped my lovers hand as security as I inched closer and closer to the overhanging cliff. Then suddenly, we were there. Both of us, together, no barriers and no boundaries. Was I scared? Of course. But I was also liberated and let go of my perceptions of what my fear meant. I started to look up and around at the immense views before me.
We found a ledge to hang our feet in time for the ravishing reds of the parting sun rays to set ablaze the Canyon ridges. It was like nothing I've seen before, and the tranquility and energy of the millions of years of sediment created a peaceful evening calm. Hand in hand, we slowly made our way back up to the pathway and parted to town to unload for the evening, have a hearty meal in town and prepare for our strenuous morning hike on the South Rim Trailhead the next morning.
The Grand Finale
This was it, the final full day of our multi-destination trip, and by far the one I was most eager to arrive.
We awake around 4:30am and piled up our bags in the Kia, filled up our Camelbacks with litres of water, stocked up on nuts, jerky, avocado and ketones and set out for a morning sunrise hike.
With only half a day to spare, we opted out of the full descent into the Canyon (although we decided to come back one day to camp), and instead chose to scale down the mountains to three checkpoints.
Commencing just after the sun began to rise at 6:30am, our downhill hike went fairly seamlessly to Ooh Aah Point - marker 1. The name is quite literally named for the reaction and gasps of awe as you round the sheer cliff for breathtaking views further south down the Canyon.
Thirty minutes later downhill and we reached Cedar Ridge, the only stop for restrooms and a nice shaded flatbed to have some snacks and take photos. As the ascent would take twice as long as going down, our breaks were sparse and brief to have a chance to relax at our final stop before making the way back up.
A total of two hours down and we hit Skeleton Point - our last stop for a day hike. This 3 mile downward trek may sound easy, but rough and steep terrain made it challenging and varied. Skeleton Point is a series of perilous rock formations spanning great distances as far as the eye can see and we stopped here to have our first handful of nuts and jerky - doing the first half fasted on MAX ketones and water solely.
At this point, it was roughly 8:30am but the sun in Arizona was beating down on us strong already. From the reviews, I knew that my body would be taxed from the upward climb but we packed back up and started off strong.
Phew - let me tell you, the sweat and grit into that uphill walk was real! It was eye opening to see how a few days of sugar consumption when I am regularly strict ketogenic lifestyle had caused systemic inflammation, particularly around my right knee.
Nevertheless, we powered on with our ketones, water and heart to make it back up each checkpoint with a final sprint and sing along to "Aint No Mountain High Enough", the Rocky theme song, and Destinys Child's "Survivor" to cap off the wicked accomplishment.
Nearly 4.5hrs of hiking done, we celebrated by heading to Williams, Arizona on the way back to Las Vegas for our final big lunch and Route 66 experience.
This town was Fady's favourite and had a great old Western feel. We browsed the Harley and Route 66 memorabilia shops and had a smoked pulled pork burger while being serenaded live by a guitar wheeling local with a f