drive-thrus are for lazy people.

Living my healthiest and most holistic life, without a drive-thru !


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Why I’ve tossed out the Jergens Moisutrizer in favour of Coconut Oil

Your integumentary system.

It keeps the outside world OUT; and the inside world IN

This organ system has many functions (regulates body temperature, provides cushioning to the body, excretes waste, etc.) —     you want this system to be functioning optimally!

Your skin should be treated like a piece of expensive artwork – not a test canvas, do you get where I’m coming from?

Your bathroom is likely FULL of harmful skincare products, all of which claim to make you “age less” and “look younger” – but I have a feeling that they’re all lying. Last time I checked, our skin wasn’t meant to take on all of these foreign chemical-like substances that provide a ‘temporary’ fix.

Your next detox doesn’t have to start in the kitchen, it can start in the bathroom – and yes, you’ll still notice big benefits!

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Since I began my program studying holistic nutrition, my eyes have opened up to how complicated we have made our world. Food doesn’t have to be difficult, you can eat things grown in your backyard or a chicken raised in the town next to you. Beauty shouldn’t be so difficult either – if you won’t eat your products, why put them on your skin? It all ends up inside of you, leaving your body to detox the bad and eliminate it before it causes harm!

This also goes for those of you with children— their little bodies are sensitive, so choose products that are as pure + natural as possible!

Worried about aging and wondering how to get rid of those black lines under your eyes? Why not start with prevention through a whole foods diet… You eat food all day every day, and what you put down the hatch is going to have an effect on your outside appearance, not just the internal stuff! Just think of how rotten a smokers lungs would be after 50 years of 2 packs per day – and they usually don’t look so hot on the outside (even with a few botox injections)! Same goes for food + internal/external appearance…

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Take yourself back to basics.

1. Read the book Ecoholic Bodyby Adria Vasil. [I’m part way through; it’s great as a reference to flip through whenever you have questions. No need to read start to finish]

2. Check out this chart from MindBodyGreen.com

3. Slowly clear out your bathroom cabinets, and replace with natural shampoo/cleanser/soaps/mascara/moisturizer/etc. I am in the process of doing this right now– it’s unrealistic to think that it will happen overnight, so take it slow. One. thing. at. a. time… The financial burden will be lessened and you can slowly adapt to your new products.

Dump this…

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4. Use what’s in your fridge to make cleaning products, face masks, and moisturizers! An example of something I’ve done for a while now is to make a hair mask out of a mashed avocado + olive oil.

Put it on before bed// tie your hair into a bun// sleep on an old towel (it stains!) // wash it out in the a.m. – MAKE SURE YOU SET YOUR ALARM WITH TIME FOR THIS, or you’ll look extra greasy all day 😉

Now this makes for healthy hair!

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5. Do some of your own research! I’m not the expert on all of this (not yet anyway) so be an informed consumer! Check out the Environmental Working Group [EWG] website, especially their consumer guides!

Never look back.

Start reversing your aging process.

Make smarter choices =)

Feel and look fabulous!

Have a happy weekend, friends.

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Snack Attack

How do you feel about this photo…

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Are you immediately drawn to the cookie, or to the leafy greens?

Most of us are eyeing that delicious chocolate chip cookie… let’s be real!!… But, how come we can’t all crave the leafy greens? We know they are much healthier than the cookie that’s most likely filled with processed and refined ingredients with a hint of shortening!

Cravings are a complicated subject – and I really wish that I had the answer to why we get them.

For me, it’s cravings for sweets after dinner – and I’m in the process of trying to figure out WHY I get this persistent craving on a daily basis. Using my daily food log, I’ve been writing down everything that I’ve eaten over the past couple of weeks, in hopes that after analyzing it I can tell if there’s any deficiencies that are potentially leading me to crave sugar later in the day.

Here are a few other reasons why you might be getting hit with these super-cravings…

  • You’re not feeding your body properly – and you are lacking nutrients. This can lead to cravings of all sorts… Pickles, anyone?!
  • Seasonal/Weather Changes. Can you relate to this? In the Winter you want comforting, warm and possibly not-so-healthy things – whereas come Spring and Summer you are much more inclined to choose detoxifying fruits and vegetables that sit a little bit lighter in your stomach

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  • Stress/Lack of Interest in what you’re eating
  • Dehydration! If you don’t drink enough water throughout the day, your dehydration might actually come across as mild hunger/cravings – so drink your h20 friends!
  • For the women out there, hormones can certainly play a part. Again, you need to first focus on a potential nutrient imbalances as well…

Instead of seeing cravings as a simple ‘weakness’ – try and look a little deeper into the root cause of what may be causing them.

In the meantime – you can satisfy your sweet tooth at night with this light snack that is guaranteed to satisfy !

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1/2 Banana, 2 Tablespoons of Nut Butter, Sprinkled with Cinnamon and Unsweetened Coconut Flakes

It’s a snack FAVOURITE of mine!


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Lost and Not Found…

Is it possible that I can STILL be super-full from the holidays?

I’ve lost my usual hungry appetite, and cannot find it (along with my iPod… R.I.P 3 year old baby with all of my spin music – heartbreaking…)

My meals may seem small and weak, but I just haven’t felt really hungry since January 1st!

Dinner last night was mm mmm goood. You can’t go wrong with sweet potato fries (these ones were sprinkled with cinnamon and avocado oil).

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Side of quinoa + kale… Bland, but I still ate it all

Breakfast this morning was fruity… Banana, almond butter, coconut, berries

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Now I’m in hibernation mode getting my study on! I’m making good progress so I can’t complain!

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The opportunity to do these “case studies” for my program is proving to be really beneficial – because you treat your subjects as actual clients. Recommendations must be practical, realistic, and within the clients comfort zone. Right now, I’m doing a case study on my amazing 80 year old Grandma who has Type II Diabetes and Osteoarthritis.

Though I thought these 2 diseases would pose a serious challenge, I’m really enjoying the added research that I get to do while trying to understand them better and make proper recommendations.

It’s pretty amazing how many natural remedies there are for diseases like this that get so often overlooked. Sure, they may not work for everyone – but reading about them makes me a sure believer in trying them out on patients.

If you know anyone suffering from either of these diseases, 2 books I recommend reading…

  1. Diabetes & Hypoglycemia: Your natural guide to healing with diet, vitamins, minerals, herbs, exercise and other natural methods – by Michael T Murray

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  2. Healing Arthritis: Complementary Naturopathic, Orthopedic and Drug Treatments by Penny Kendall-Reed and Stephen Reed

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case study.

I feel like I can breathe again!

Done my Preventive Nutrition exam, done working at Krudar until January 3rd, and done working at CYKL until December 30th – that means I’ve got ten days to accomplish my Christas to-do list RELAX.

I hate to sit still, so between relaxing I will try and get my list accomplished. Other than that, my time off will be spent catching up on sleep – and spending time with my favourite people.

My to do list is small – but mighty.

Where I say “blog” – I mean I want to make some SERIOUS improvements to this site. Goals include; buy out the domain, get some guest bloggers, guest blog for someone else, make the look of it more personalized, GET MORE READERSHIP, etc.

That’s a task that won’t be accomplished in a week, but I will steadily work on it throughout the next 6 months – whenever I have time!

With regards to my case study, I need someone to volunteer as my participant. As a reward, you get a big writeup about yourself and which of your body systems can be improved (through food, supplementation and mind/body/spirit stuff – crazy talk as some think) – as well as a 3 day sample meal plan. If you want to volunteer (and have a real “reason” that you would consider seeing a Holistic Nutritionist) then let me know, ASAP!

Another goal for the New Year, is to teach my first class at CYKL. I’m ready, I just need to book a time – so that one should be easily accomplished.

Some photographic relief for you now;

1) Reasons why roommates are wonderful…

When I say “Please don’t let me come out of my room all afternoon – I need to study” – I open the door to this. Thanks Greg!

2) This pineapple mug appears in a lot of photos apparently…

My Mom, last time she was here, said “Hey, did you know that your coffee mug and the plant match“. Oddly enough, NO I tend not to notice strange things like that!

3) Saying it and doing it works. Being held accountable for my workouts is all I need as that added motivation! Plan “sweat everyday” has been mostly a success! I hope I can hang on for another 4 days, but with the holiday officially here for me – I’m making no promises!

4) Apples with pumpkin pie spice are my absolute favourite morning snack – I eat it at least once per day. In this particular instance, I threw in some almonds and a sweet potato cookie that I took from class the other night. What’s your favourite thing to eat if you get hungry mid-morning?

6) Lemon water every day!

It’s the best start to your morning, have you tried it yet? I would recommend it to everyone as a gentle way to detox your liver each morning. Just prepare it the night before, by squeezing a lemon wedge into water and then when you wake up thirsty it’s easy to drink!

People often think of the word “DETOX” as some sort of extreme diet where you consume nothing but liquids or whatever else – but the truth is that a DETOX can be any small change that you make to your diet/lifestyle that will make you feel better and improve your quality of life. If you’re putting 2 teaspoons of sugar in your coffee each day, a detox for you might be to cut back to 1/2 of a teaspoon for 1 month, and then down to zero sugar eventually.

My easiest suggestion for a light detox is to drink warm lemon water in the mornings in order to stimulate my liver to process any toxins, allowing for a fresher start to my day!

And finally, 5 of my tips for better digestion this holiday season.

  1. The more relaxed you are around meal times, the better your digestion will work. You can’t be in a “fight or flight” mode, and expect that your body will somehow properly digest the food you eat.
  2. The more you chew, the less strain there will be on your pancreaschew everything to the point of liquid form as a gift to your stomach
  3. Limit the amount of liquids that you drink during and after a meal because it interferes with digestive juices
  4. Don’t over eat, or your digestive system will be over worked – leaving YOU with less energy (I might fall guilty to this several times over the holiday…)
  5. Don’t under eat the healthy stuff that your body needs to fuel itself – sure you may have had 5 cookies for breakfast, but make sure that at lunch – you make yourself a super nutritious meal!

Happy Holiday’s!


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personality

Hey All!

Normally I’m not as inspired to write posts later into the night, but there are a million and one things on my mind tonight! The weekend went by so quickly, as always – and I’m prepared to tackle my last week of school and work before my holiday begins!

Come Thursday, I’m basically off the hook! Until then though, assignments – exams – work – Christmas shopping – and catching up with some people before I go home to Kitchener for the break.

Here is my workout calendar update (for any of those following). My goal for the tenth of December to the 24th is to sweat everyday. Not that I need to remind myself to keep active, but it’s good to have a visual.

When I made my weekly plan for last week – I decided to TRY 14 days of “sweat everyday” before the holidays, but naturally there were a couple of short comings. I make these goals for myself in order to keep organized and motivated (I used to give challenges like this when I taught aerobic classes at Western, so I think it has rubbed off on my everyday life) – and as crazy as they seem, it tends to work!

I did end up taking Wednesday and Saturday off – one by choice, and the other because of an over-booked spin class.

This just reminded me though, that it’s GOOD to give your body a rest – no matter what exercise you do on a regular basis. Sometimes we can be too hard on ourselves, but the fact is that life goes on even when you don’t follow a plan or schedule…

As for this weeks plan,

  • Monday – abs (home DVD’s)
  • Tuesday – spin
  • Wednesday – spin
  • Thursday – spin
  • Friday – run or DVD workout
  • Saturday – leaning towards no workout
  • Sunday – Yoga, perhaps ?! Anyone want to go in KW?

Here is the fast recap of my weekend.

  1. Christmas chocolate and a holiday card from my managers @ CYKL – Awesome surprise to see at work on a rainy Sunday morning
  2. Snacks, smoothies and a HEALTHY homemade banana bread (no sugar, no butter, no prprocessed flours) – I’ll be sharing this recipe soon.
  3. Reading/studying about Diabetes and Hypoglycemia
  4. Visiting with the cutest little kitties in town
  5. Getting festive with a gingerbread house + gingerbread people!

Have a great week everyone.

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P.S…

Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been doing more “personal” posts as opposed to strictly informative blog posts lately. I had a comment that I should incorporate more everyday life into my blog, in order to make it more interesting and easy to relate to. Fair enough, I think that I really tried to avoid that at first – being someone who doesn’t life to share every detail of my days –  but I think that the personal touches are what might keep people coming back to read more and more? I’m afraid that by being too factual and just blogging about odd topics, readers become too disengaged with who I am and what I’m trying to accomplish.


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breakfast

This weather is so GLOOMY!

As depressing as it is getting up early and biking in the dark, I know that getting an early start to the day always makes me feel good. Especially when I finally arrive back home and can look forward to a hot shower and a good breakfast and coffee.

Something that looks like this normally,

Steel cut oats, banana, almond milk, blueberries, pumpkin pie spice.

This normally fills me up for HOURS. It can be made the night before too and kept a few days in the fridge – genius!

The pumpkin pie spice has become a staple in my diet – it’s a combo of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and a couple other things. Definitely worth buying, who said this could only be used at Thanksgiving anyways!!?

That was a breakfast from last week… but here’s what I’m actually eating right now

Not so picturesque I guess, but it’s tasty!

Banana, apple, almonds (protein and essential fatty acids), pumpkin puree (get some veggies into my day since they are your most important food group and most of us don’t get enough), pumpkin pie spice, chia seeds (omega 3’s), almond butter.

Some call it slop, I call it delicious!

As for my workout plan... I’ve stuck to it so far! Last night I did my ab workout, and today I did spin – so far so good !

2 songs to leave you with.. (before I have to spend the rest of my day studying)

This one is old, but every time I put it in a fitness class/spin routine – people always love it!

Another song someone mentioned I should listen to, so I did when I got home today. I had heard it before, it’s strangely catchy!

Random thought to leave you with. “The malfunctioning digestive system may result in almost every disease known to mankind” – John Matsen N.D

Your digestive functioning can be improved by treating your body well and eating a natural, alive and good quality diet…..  simple, right ?