Alicia Mccarvell | @aliciamccarvell A proud member of Cira’s Soleil Squad, Alicia’s Instagram bio reads, “self-love, swear words & naps.” She’s all about setting boundaries, practicing self-love and smashing out exercises that make you feel...
We couldn’t be more excited to sit down with Kelsey Henson and ask her all the juicy questions about how she balances life, love and parenthood. Originally from a small town in Canada, Kelsey made the ambitious move to beautiful Iceland where she now owns an amazing gym in Reykjavik with her beautiful family.
As a proud member of Cira’s Soleil Squad, Kelsey was so kind to let us into her world as we asked her questions about how she does it all. Most of all, we love and appreciate how real and honest her answers are. She’s a true team player and we couldn’t be happier to have her on the Squad!
We’d love to start off with your exciting move from Canada to Iceland! When did that happen?
I moved to Iceland five days prior to the start of 2018! I had visited Iceland once the month prior and dove head first into the move.
What do you love most about the Iceland lifestyle? We hear that it’s a mecca for health and wellness enthusiasts like yourself.
This is very true! I love the mindset of the Icelandic people when it comes to their health. They are very invested in traditional methods of wellness such as traditional protein packed food items like Skyr (icelandic style yogurt) and Hardfiskar (dried fish). But they are also pioneers in understanding how to use Icelandic herbs as well as elements from the ocean. Iceland has a great history of strength as well.
In fact, Icelanders hold various strength world records and have won many international titles in strength sports, which is very impressive considering their small population. Icelandic people are also very close to nature. I love this because I grew up in rural Alberta, Canada. So, I fully understand the close relationship you can have to the outdoors and the great benefits to your body and mind that come from it!
Okay, we love your Instagram photos of your cute famjam! Do you find it difficult to find a balance between work and home life? We know digital creators tend to work so hard!
All the time! My husband is also a digital creator, actor and athlete. So he is extremely busy, travelling quite frequently. Running a house, parenting and working is A LOT. Even if you do find a great balance, family life is so liquid and always changing. You really have to be quite flexible with your plans and accepting when things change. I feel many people struggle to find a good work/home balance after children. If that’s the case for you, just know you are not alone!
What did that journey to 400k+ Instagram look like for you? Did it change the way you view the power of social media?
It was wild! I grew quite quickly after I met my husband. I went from under 1k to 150k in one year and then doubled that the year after that. Now, I’m sitting at 450k. It was actually quite an emotional journey for me. Especially by being flung under the spotlight so suddenly when news broke out of our involvement.
The first little while I had trouble sleeping. It took me about two years to be able to separate Instagram as a career from my personal life. It was quite difficult because I do like to keep things very personal and upfront on my page as I had used it personally for so many years! Internet trolls, bullies, keyboard warriors are plenty. There will always be someone who has negative things to say and you can’t be everyone's cup of tea! I used to spend hours pouring over every comment and it really had a negative impact on me.
Now I realise that many of these people are victims of their own circumstances and I have learned to totally ignore or respond to these people with humour and love. It has really turned Instagram into a much more positive environment for me. I love connecting with my followers and having all these people with me on my journey through this life!
Do you have a special morning routine? How do you like to start your day?
Waking up to my son's smiling face is the most special start to every day! Waking up with a positive mindset and positive intentions is so important. We have our morning routine together everyday: we make breakfast, eat, play and get ready to go out of the house. I love to have a big balanced breakfast high in protein, healthy fats and fibre. I use Cira to help me accomplish this!
Protein pancakes have become a staple for me and they are so yummy since I started using Bright Whey cinnamon swirl protein! I also love fresh green juice with unflavoured collagen powder and if I’m feeling like I didn’t drink enough water the day before or I have a big session planned and I know I will be losing a lot of water then I like to drink Glow Getter Hydration!
And what about the rest of the day? What does your typical day look like for you?
During the week I drop my son off at daycare after our morning routine. I usually go home and get some routine things done around the house such as dishes, laundry, tidying up, etc. I eat a good lunch at home to prepare me for my training session and plan and film any content that I’m able to at home.
About once a week I have some appointments planned for my skin health and/or beauty treatments! We are very fortunate to own our family ran Thor's Power Gym in Reykjavik! Generally, I either head to the gym for my workouts and content creation or if I’ve been very busy during the day, I will pick my son up from daycare and our family will watch him while I train and work!
After we are done at the gym, we do our shopping, head home, have dinner, play and then start our bedtime routine. After my son is asleep, I usually have about an hour of time to myself before I head to bed. Weekends are ever changing and very much go with the flow!
Let’s talk about workouts. What’s your favourite part of your body you like to train? Why?
Back is definitely my favourite day! My body has always responded very well to upper body training and I can see strength and muscle gains quite quickly. I love seeing the muscles working in my back and I always feel so strong and motivated before and after a back day!
Do you have any specific workouts or activities you love doing outside of the gym?
I love going for daily walks if the weather allows. Fresh air is amazing for your body. I think walking is great for active recovery after training and also helps to aid in digestion! I also love adrenaline rushes, am super competitive and a kid at heart. I love playing laser tag, going to trampoline parks, indoor bouldering, mini golf, I’ve tried Archery, yoga, etc. I just love moving my body and trying new things, especially when there is friendly competition involved!
We absolutely love that you’re such a fan of Cira! What is your current go-to, holy-grail product(s)?
How do you like to incorporate nutritional supplements into your daily routine? Why do you think that’s important?
As I said above, I love incorporating supplements into my breakfast routine! It's so important to start your day with a well rounded, nutritious breakfast. Also having the proper nutrition to get the most out of your workouts before, during and after is so important! Getting enough protein, staying hydrated and supporting muscle growth is essential. I also include supplements from Cira into my routine to help with my gym recovery and to support both my mental and physical health.
Talk more about what health and wellness means to you. Do you have any tips for our readers on how to manage balancing rest and recovery but also maintain a consistent workout routine?
Health and wellness for me begins with inner peace and happiness. If I miss a few days here or there with training or eat awful, I don’t beat myself up for it! I listen to my body and mind and do what makes me happy and brings me peace. That may mean a vicious training session or it may mean a burger and fries. My top tip? If your goal is to consistently show up for a healthy workout routine (which should include solid rest and recovery) I recommend either getting a training partner to help you keep motivated or consider joining a program or challenge. This helps to keep things fun!
My only other tip is not to beat yourself up if some days aren’t what you wanted them to be. You are not alone in this, everyone has good and bad days. Life is a wild ride and some days you just have to roll with the punches!
What’s your favourite self-love or body positivity quote?
Be unapologetically you.
Why does that resonate with you so much?
I am a people pleaser. I want people to be happy. While this is great it also can become a negative thing as you might bend to things you normally wouldn’t or start to become someone you aren’t.
Being unapologetically me means standing up for myself, saying, “NO” and being firm in my beliefs and decisions. It also means ignoring internet trolls and negativity. It means to accept myself as I am today, tomorrow and everyday, no matter what I may look like or feel like. And breaking away from standards that society has set for me as a woman, mother and wife.
We love that you’re levelling-up your fitness skills. What do you think the best qualities of a personal trainer are?
Inclusiveness, honesty, commitment, positive energy and education.
We’re so honoured to have you as a member of our Cira Family! What has your experience as a Soleil Squad member aka ambassador been like for you?
Being part of the Cira family has been wonderful! I’ve discovered so many other like-minded strong women who have been wonderful to follow. I’m proud to be part of this woman-led community that is focused on the health and wellness both inside and outside, of all women!
What would you say to someone who’s considering joining the Soleil Squad at Cira?
I would say, DO IT NOW! Cira is an amazing, all inclusive, supportive community designed for every woman.
Okay, how amazing is Kelsey?! We cannot thank her enough for taking the time to take us behind the scenes. Super inspiring, girl. Want some more of Kelsey? You can follow her on Instagram here!
By the way, do you love Cira and want to join the Soleil Squad fam? Click here for all the details and we’ll see you on the brighter side.