Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Films Worth Seeing

Today I'm recommending a few documentaries:

1. No Impact Man documents a family on a one year experiment of working toward having no negative impact on the environment. From eating local to creating zero waist and surviving without electricity this family does it all. After watching it I felt inspired, moved and called to action. If I value the earth and believe we should be depositing less waste, then I should take action in my day to day life to support that. I can't wait around for government officials to legistlate on these issues for things to change. I believe that was my biggest take away from it.

2. Deconstructing Supper is a very informative film on the different views on genetic engineering and the very sophisticated farming techniques used around the world, some of which are completely organic. I was left curious and hopeful about the farming practices in India. Through this story I felt the importance of a reverence for our earth and the bounty that it provides. There is something sacred about the fruits of the earth and this has helped me to understand why some people feel nutrition and spirituality go hand in hand. The documentary wasn't about spirituality at all, but observing the Indian farming drove that home in my heart.

3. Super Size Me was very popular when it first came out. I saw bits and pieces of it back then, but I never really got into it enough to watch it from end to end. This week I decided I would watch it in full. I can't even begin to describe how upset I am that McDonald's is marketed at food. This documentary made me solidify my understanding that proper nutrition is vital for a healthy and vibrant body. Over the course of my life I hadn't really understood food as fuel for my body. I didn't know much about what food and specific nutrients did for my body. I ate because I was hungry. End of story. I'm glad I have developed further understanding in this area. I'm no longer an unconscious eater just listening to the messages of mass marketing.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I attended a workshop this week on nutrition and emotional health. I was curious about it from both a nutritional perspective and a lifestyle perspective. The entire arena of nutrition and natural medicine has grabbed hold of my attention and simply will not let go! I haven't found passion for a pursuit of knowledge like this since I was in my teens. Needless to say I was very hungry for information and seeking to continue the forward momentum and inspiration that has been fueling my pursuit of healthfulness the past couple of months.
I'm sad to report that it was a very disheartening experience. I'm not sure what I expected exactly, but I know that I hoped to walk away feeling empowered and inspired. I have been looking into a few different diploma programs in pursuit of beginning a career in the nutritional consulting field with an emphasis on using food as medicine. I hoped that this workshop would give me further insight into the profession by listening to a professional that was speaking about exactly that. Unfortunately, the facilitator of the workshop was not a very encouraging or empowering speaker. She assumed everyone there ate "garbage from McDonalds" and had coffee and doughnuts for breakfast. She also assumed that everyone in attendance was there because they were clinically depressed. Neither of these things were a prerequisite for attending, I might add. She was very disrespectful to participants in front of the whole group by cutting them down and being sarcastic. Overall, she seemed like a very unhappy person and didn't appear to practice what she was preaching about.
After walking out of the classroom feeling very upset I decided that I had to find the learning in the situation. I asked myself, why was I meant to attend this workshop? what did I learn today?
Answers came to me quite quickly. I learned first hand how vulnerable people are when they are seeking knowledge and understanding about how to better care for their bodies. We only get one body, which means we really only have one shot at doing our best to take care of it. I also realized what kind of person I would like to be in the role of nutritional consultant. I want to have my clients feel excited, empowered and encouraged. I want them to feel like they have a plethora of opportunities in front of them when it comes to self care and nutrition. I want them to feel like they can make changes and that every little change makes a difference. I learned that I will not condemn certain foods when teaching about nutrition. I don't think it is helpful to simply say something is garbage and produce guilt and upset in the people I'm trying to encourage and teach. I hope to change people's understanding about what food does for their bodies and help to create positive relationships with food.
To sum it up, this woman taught me what kind of teacher I don't want to be. For that I am grateful. Clarity is always a good thing, and I guess I have to accept that sometimes it doesn't come from positive experiences.

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Shout Out

Not too much to report today other than a nice trip to the farmers market and a fridge full of glorious greens!
I thought I'd share the link to this wonderful blog I've been getting most of my recipes from. I'm finding her recipes super easy to follow and scrumptious to partake in once cooked :) Hope for Healing will make you realize the possibilities in front of you if you are eating a gluten free diet. I know I feel blessed to have come across her inspiring recipes and I hope you find inspiration too!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Growing Greener

Historically I have not had a green thumb. I've had several plants over the years that have died on me. I have never been taught how to actually take care of plants, so in my defense I don't really think it was entirely my fault.

As I've mentioned before, my husband and I are working on eating all organic foods, and local as much as possible. How much more local can we get than eating right out of our own yard? I've decided to plant a herb garden. We are currently living in a condo which limits our space to our patio, but I figure I should do the best that i can with the space that we've got! I know a herb garden isn't a huge deal, but I would really like to take baby steps in learning how to garden and grow foods myself. We are listing our condo very soon and if all goes as planned will be in a house by the fall. I'd love to get a greenhouse and plant a garden in our yard. I've got a ton of learning to do, but luckily I have someone close to me that just completed an agriculture and gardening diploma that will be happy to help me out :)

I feel like I'm starting to take hold of my heart song and letting the music play everyday!
Blessings to you!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Good-bye Gluten

I'm having mixed feelings about going gluten free. I'm worried about social situations that will become more difficult, but I'm also worried that I don't have the will power to do this. I guess the thing that is different this time is I'm changing my eating habits for better health, not to get skinny. I'm guilty of yo yo dieting over the years and I'd like to put an end to that once and for all. I'm starting to change my entire attitude toward food and starting to see it as fuel and medicine. I'm not even sure what I thought food was before. All I do know is that I wasn't understanding how what I was eating effected my body and now that I'm beginning to understand it more, I absolutely want to change the way I eat.
Along with gluten I'm also not eating any refined sugar. That may end up being harder than the gluten, or not I guess. I use to love the occasional cupcake...mmm so good! I was thinking a couple of days ago that maybe I could have one last cupcake before I make this change. I immediately shot down that idea. How often do I say, just one last time...and then it ends up being about a dozen or more times before I actually stop the behavior. I'm not waiting for my health anymore. I am choosing health today, and everyday of my life.
I deserve to live a healthy and vibrant life!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I had a fairly successful day on the food front. It is going to take us a while to know where to go to find what we want at the best prices. I didn't pick up everything I wanted to get today, but it just leaves another adventure to have with my son over the next couple of days.
Today I tried two new recipes and I was thrilled with the results. One of the difficulties with a toddler is making sure they eat enough greens. Today I made Kale Chips and my son LOVED them! He couldn't get enough of them. (My husband and I really enjoyed them as well, which is another win!). They were slightly too salty so I think I will use half as much salt next time I make them, but seriously these are delicious!

The other recipe I tried today was to make frozen fudge banana bites. I used carob instead of cocoa and coconut milk, coconut oil, peanut butter and maple syrup. There are definitely a sweet treat, but don't contain any dairy, sugar or gluten so yay! These are a perfect bite sized snack for when those ice cream cravings pop up, as we know they will.

Overall, it was a yummy day! :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

So Delicious

This past week has been an information gathering week for me. I'm realizing how much I still have to learn about health and nutrition. I've decided to work toward eating gluten free. I've been reading a lot of recipes for gluten free goods and I'm realizing that the alternatives to wheat flour may actually contain more nutrients and healing properties than simply using wheat flour. I'm going to try to make some quinoa coconut blueberry muffins this week, and perhaps also a banana pound cake. I would like to go gluten and dairy free, but for now I'm just focussing on the gluten. I don't actually consume much dairy aside from yogurt anyway as I currently use so delicious coconut milk alternatives. So Delicious Coconut Milk can be found at Thrifty Foods, Planet Organic and Red Barn here in Victoria. If you are curious, I would encourage you to give it a try. (It is approx $4 for 2L depending on where you purchase from)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


It's been a crazy busy week for me so I've neglected my blogging. Physically I am feeling stronger than I have felt in years and I am very grateful for that!
I had another visit with my acupuncturist today and she is quite impressed with my progress and I'm able to reduce my visits to once every few weeks now, so yay!
We did notice that I have a "C" curve in my back and my hips are out of alignment so she has prescribed yoga and possibly a couple of visits with a chiropractor (which I'm not sure about yet). I've been wanting to get into yoga for quite some time now so this seems like the perfect opportunity to actually pursue my interest in it. She noticed that I have quite a few muscles in my back that are very toned but some that are quite weak, so I need to strengthen the weak ones so things don't get all out of whack. Looks like I have another area to focus on to bring myself into inner balance and harmony in pursuit of healthfulness.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I had a really big "ah ha" moment today. It was big for me anyway. I realized that every time I say something to someone else out of feeling obligated I'm diminishing my trust in myself.
Over and over again I continue with friendships that I feel hurt or beat down by. I feel a sense of obligation to be kind, polite and friendly even if it means sacrificing my own happiness and well being. This is something I have struggled with for a greater part of my life. I've been working on it this past year and I've walked away from some people that have eroded my self-esteem and be down right mean to me. It hasn't felt good, but I know it's important. I want to find my voice. I want to find my power and in order to do that  I have to stand up for myself, because nobody else will.
I love myself enough to surround myself with people who actually love and accept me for who I am. That want me, not what I can do or be for them.


I want more LOVE in my life :)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Burt's Bees

This week I started to use organic and natural skin care products. I've used Burt's Bees in the past, but only their lip balm and chap stick. So, although I was familiar with the brand, I hadn't ventured into their body washes, facial scrubs or shampoo. I decided to try two different body washes.

First I tried the citrus and ginger root body wash. I have very sensitive skin and an even more sensitive nose. I try to avoid fragrances as much as I can but this wash has a lovely aroma. It is slightly energizing as the name of it suggests. My skin also felt fresh and clean after using it with no itching (I typically get itching and or a rash from most generic washes). Overall I'd give it a 10/10.

Next I tried the nourishing wash with milk and shea butter. it too was quite lovely. Left my skin feeling really soft and refreshed. Once again I would give this product a 10/10.

I will continue to try other products from Burt's Bees and pick out my favorites, but for now I'd say the brand is a great option for sensitive skin! (I'm also going to switch my son's baby wash out for their baby wash and see how that goes).

Friday, May 6, 2011

Deeper Love

Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
Robert Fulgham
I'm starting to really take this quote to heart. I want to have more play in my life as well as tenderness and even deeper love. I imagine a world filled with blissful people offering each other compassion and love. I believe me becoming more of those qualities will bring greater peace and abundance to my life and to the lives of the people I love. I intend to truly deeply work to become more of these qualities and dedicate my life to being an example for my children.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Today I had a swirly emotional day so all I've got to share is this...

Walks in nature do wonders for soothing the soul and finding a sense of groundedness :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Prologue to Aunt Flow

We all know how lovely PMS can be...well us women folk do anyway. For me it has become worse over time. Lately it feels to me like I run smack into a brick wall over and over again for about 5 days. Not fun! I've been going to acupuncture for a couple of weeks now and it turns out that this is a sign of depletion in the body and my acupuncturist can help me to minimize and most likely eliminate my PMS!
I am VERY happy about the prospect. I've said in the past, it sucks because it feels like almost half the time I don't feel very energetic or content. Around that "time of the month" I'm always more easily agitated and on edge. If we can work on eliminating that, it would make a world of difference in my life.
I bring this up because along with my PMS comes major cravings. It's like a voice is shouting bring on the sugar and the fat. I don't think I've ever lasted on a "diet" more than three weeks. I would hit the PMS point and it was like I just lost control. Now I'm realizing I still do have a choice how I satisfy those cravings. Today I was cravings sweets and I just kept thinking about chocolate and cupcakes, but today I made a different choice. I took my son for a walk to the grocery store and bought some sugar free shredded coconut and then came home and made sugar free macaroons. My craving was satisfied and my body was content. No after sugar coma over here!

Monday, May 2, 2011


I was raised to believe hard work pays off and success requires persistence and dedication. For years I pushed myself mentally and physically to achieve excellence in academics, music and sports. I threw myself into political activism and student leadership activities for most of my academic life. I would sleep about 5 hours a night. I had numerous well meaning teachers over the years tell me I was burning my candle at both ends, but I was on a mission to achieve success and to work hard for this "pay off" I had been told would come. I don't believe my parents meant for me to interpret their support this way, but that is how I heard it. Sacrifice everything for excellence.
The thing is, on top of all of this outward "stress" and achievement I was also dealing with family breakdown, isolation and abandonment by my mother. My body was under extreme stress and it is really only now at age 26 that I have taken a moment to pause and take this all into consideration. I have not yet achieved the success I desire, but now my definition of success includes contentment, confidence and vitality. I want to live a long healthy and happy life. The bottom line is, the way I had been taught to live my life didn't not produce that type of result. So here I am, at age 26 teaching myself that there is another way. Self-care is not an option, it is a necessity. In order to experience balance mentally, emotionally and physically we need to be sure we reduce stress, exercise, get adequate sleep and proper nutrition as well as spend some time pampering ourselves. Life is meant to be enjoyed and to do that we need to live in joy. I am making a commitment to go for a spa day, as it's something I have desired to do for a very long time!
Take a little time to pamper you :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

My Vow

April 2011 was probably up there with the worst months of my life. I'm not trying to be dramatic, but I could have lost my life. I did lose something that I will never be able to replace but I'm trying to look for what little good can come from all of it. I am making a vow to make my physical health a priority in my life. Most of my life I have used and abused my body without offering it much support and nourishment. Today I am making a vow to change that behaviour, and to change that legacy in my family. I want my children to know how important it is to take care of themselves and to pay attention to their bodies.
Just one week of eating very healthy and taking a whack of supplements prescribed by my medicinal support team has made a big difference for me. Going from feeling incredibly weak and on bed rest to feeling the most alive and energetic I've felt in a long time has been a welcome surprise.
Whenever we have a tragedy or an experience we feel just might break us, we have to persevere and remember that Life is Good.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dancing With Delight

For quite some time, I've had a vision of my family going on regular bike rides to the local farmers market. We bought a bike seat for my son to ride in, but unfortunately it didn't fit on my bike. Several months have passed and we finally decided to purchase a new bike that will accommodate an infant seat. It is an early Mother's Day gift to me, and a gift I will cherish.
Today we had the wonderful experience of our first family bike ride. The sun was shining, birds were chirping and the trail was gently populated with people celebrating the arrival of spring. My vision for our family is on it's way to becoming a reality and my heart is dancing with delight.
My body also feels REALLY good after getting out and about for exercise. After several weeks of inactivity due to bed rest my body was aching to get outside and get moving. I feel much more energetic and mentally alert than I have for weeks now. Exercise, in a form that is enjoyable, is a great addition to any day!

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Tasty Treat

My husband's birthday is coming up so I've been searching for a sugar free, yet delicious, cake or cup cake recipe. I found this chocolate pecan muffin recipe and I must say it is definitely a contender! I gave it a try last night and my husband described it as a moist brownie without being too sweet like a typical brownie. I agree with him completely. It was more on the cake like side than a fudge brownie would be, but that's fine by me as I'm looking to use it as a cupcake.

Now I just need to find the perfect topping for them. That may be a tad more difficult to find, but I'm confident I will figure something out :)

Here is the recipe:

 Dark Chocolate Pecan Avocado Muffins

  • 1/2 cup organic dark chocolate chips, melted (I'm going to try substituting with carob chips next time)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup organic soy milk (or almond milk works well)
  • 1 ripe organic avocado
  • 1 cup Agave syrup
  • 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup Pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. In a blender combine melted chocolate, vanilla, oil, milk, avocado and agave; puree until smooth. In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, pecans, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir avocado puree into dry ingredients; mix well. Spoon into 12 muffin cups and bake for 30-35 minutes or until done.

All I can say is YUM!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Garbage In Garbage Out

I must admit, I thought buying organic was just a fad much like a fad diet. I would buy organic when it was on sale because I did want to be healthier. I had no idea just how bad the pesticides used on commercial farms are for my physical health, the health of my children as well as the health of our planet. I've been reading a lot of information on the endocrine system and how our hormones getting all out of whack can impact our metabolism. Guess what...pesticides are poison to our body (and our planet)...plain and simple.

This reminds me of that saying "garbage in, garbage out". I'm pretty sure I learned that in a computer science class but I believe it is equally accurate when it comes to our health and nutrition. If we put pesticides into our body, among other poisons, we will get garbage out in the form of low energy and ailments that may take years to show up.

Realizing that I have been feeding my child poisons that can cause cancer in his body later in life was a real wake up call for me. I want my child to be healthy and have a long and wonderful life. Heck, I want that for my husband and I as well. I am ready to take a stand for health and vitality in my family, are you?

If you want to read a great, to the point, article check it out here.