The big 4-0- A decade in review

 

When I thought of turning 40, my inner voice said “I want to be in the best shape of my life”…. And that manifested itself as looking a certain way that meant “the best” to me. What I’ve come to realize in the last 6 months is that what I SHOULD have been aiming for is to be in the best MENTAL shape of my life.

We live so much of our lives online. I do at least. I am there as a mentor, a businessperson, a private citizen, and as a voyeur. We watch others, we watch them watch us…it puts us into places mentally, physically and emotionally that 15 years ago didn’t exist. We compare ourselves, a lot.

In understanding my own struggles with being happy with whom I am, I am dedicating my online efforts to the truth – cool or not. I am dedicating this year of 40 to finding my spiritual, emotional, mental health, whatever you want to call it. Making the stuff between my ears make sense, lighten up and really LIVE.

2008 – I turned 30

October 2008 I turned 30 in Las Vegas. I was a jellyfish. I can clearly (ha ha) remember this.

I was hopeful, but jaded. I had a LOT of friends…who later turned out to be {mostly} horrible people. I was living with my fiancé in a condo in Yaletown, working my job in Commercial Real Estate, making money but working 7 days a week & all hours for people who didn’t really care about anyone really.

I had been moonlighting with my health & wellness business for about a year and was on the fence about where my heart was in terms of going all in or giving up.

My father-in-law was dying of Cancer, my fiancé was goalless, my friends were high or drunk most of the time……so I dove deeper into training & yoga to try and make some sense out of my life.

I started collecting certifications in Thai Yoga massage, Herbalism, Vegan cheffing….I needed to find my way – I was finally NOT a 20 year old anymore and to me that meant it was time to grow up.

2009 – I turned 31

This was a year of happy endings and harsh awakenings.

I was living in a great condo in Yaletown with my 2 Shiba Inu’s and my (then) boyfriend. I was working at a job I mostly hated but I was making a lot of money. And I thought that would make everything better.

I traveled to 100 Mile Ranch for our annual Thanksgiving trip, was also in Toronto Italy, New York and Hawaii to name a few.

I got married, for the second time

2010 – I turned 32

Grown up and ready to take on the world I decided I needed to have the house of my dreams. So, with a lot of searching and fighting with my husband, we found the perfect little blue house on Charles Street off Commercial Drive in East Van.  It was such a gorgeous home. Decorated with the original stained glass windows, interior renovation, yard, white picket fence and a steal at just $1.02MM.

This same year my husbands’ father died and that created a tectonic shift that we couldn’t ever recover from.

In my mourning for the lost family, the lost love I dove into things that could feed my soul. I pursued both my Permaculture & Herbalism certifications that year.

I held the first Halloween/birthday party at Charles street that year. My birthday has always been somewhat of a “thing” for me and I just love being surrounded by happy friends having a good time…with the help of some amazing witches brew that appeared on both years.

I did a great hiking trip to the Kootenays, completed an over night at Golden Ears summit, a snowy summer hike up the Lions, Cypress & the  Stawamus Chief.

I decided that in honour of my husbands father we should travel to China to see where his life began as a doctor.

2011 – I turned 33

This was a transitional year and my marriage was suffering. I thought that a fall trip to Spain & Morocco might ignite some lost feelings of the way life was when it was “good”.

This year was also a holding pattern for me. I didn’t realize that my husband would become a distant drunk. That I would grow to hate him, that everything I thought growing up was, for me, was a lie.

I didn’t have the ability to give anymore of myself to anyone. I didn’t want to work for the sexual predators I had been. I quit my “day job” and went full time into educating on plant-based nutrition and healthy living. I was so happy.

My husband was devastated by my choice to quit a 10 (plus) year career in commercial real estate. “But you used to make so much money”…was one of the last things I can remember him saying to me.  I was gutted by the lack of substance in my life.

2012 – I turned 34

The onset of  2012 was supposed to be great. A family trip to Russia & Scotland…but I knew in the fall of 2011 that my trip was shadowed with my impending split from my husband.

We had spent months living in separate bedrooms, working opposite schedules, having no days off together. Enough was enough after a year of alienation at least. I truly believe to this day I was used as a pawn to gain access to a trust fund. I think our marriage was a show of maturity to his ailing father.

By March I had filed for divorce. It was all too much. We agreed to separate amicably; I’d take less than my share in cash and our dogs. Nothing else. I slept on couches at friends houses on weekends to clear my head.

While the separation was happening I reconnected with my (now) husband Jeff. It was just good to talk to someone who actually gave a shit.. We had known each other for 10 years and though he was in Calgary and I was in Vancouver, we always stayed in touch.

I went to visit him at the start of April, with no expectations at all. We were both getting divorced at the same time and needed company we could trust and be ourselves with.

In July, after returning from Russia & Scotland, I moved to Calgary to get out of the sad place that Vancouver had become for me then. We spent my 34thbirthday in Waterton lakes at a cabin, played cards and hung out and hiked with the Sheebs.

2013 – I turned 35

We bought a house, together in Bragg Creek., the Canadian Rockies. We were part of a 100 year flood that devastated the rural Rockies and Calgary. I became a stepmother to Anastacia who was battling Cancer and finished chemo that year. We threw her a big party at an Equestrian Center that I planned.

We took an amazing family trip to Disneyland and California theme park.

We spent my 35thbirthday in the most incredible place – The Resort at Pedregal. We talked about life and goals and I decided on that trip that I definitely would NOT be having children.

We brought Frieda Montgomery Jane our beloved German Shepherd home from up north. My sweet angel Tetsuo was taken by something wild in December of this year.

I felt like a princess in a dream this year – we had everything we wanted.

2014 – I turned 36

We made a LOT of money this year in our business. We spent HEAPS of it on child custody wars. We were busy in business, in court, just really fucking busy and times were going by so fast.

We traveled a bit through Nicaragua, bought a few nice things but mostly worked SUPER hard and tried to spend time together as a family hiking , camping, snowboarding and quadding. Things felt STABLE and I just kind of leaned in and took on that life.

We spent my birthday at Capella resort in Ixtapa, Mexico.

2015 – I turned 37

This was the year I became fired up about bodybuilding contests. We traveled to San Franciso, made our first trip to Pittsburgh for work and we made a final trip down to Cabo to The Resort at Pedregal for my birthday, we spent Christmas in Panama as a family.

This was also the year that we arrived home on December 24th to -25 temperatures and started to let the reality of an economic collapse sink in. Our people were being laid off, we were bailing on an office lease, still embroiled in lawsuits and child custody woes, we were overwhelmed.

I’m still shocked we didn’t implode.

2016 – I turned 38

We really dug deep this year. January we spent 3 weeks traveling through India by motorcycle while trying to cling to what was left of the clients who were surviving the blows being dealt by the oil and gas industry.

We got engaged in Philly that year after a second recon trip to Pittsburgh. We were married in August at home in Bragg Creek  and let everyone know we’d made the decision to move to Pittsburgh Sept 30th.

We spent our Honeymoon driving from Las Vegas to Denver…hitting the “four corners”, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe bend, Aspen…SO many beautiful sites.

There were a lot of lawyers this year, for immigration and child custody. We had been fighting and swimming up hill for going on 5 years.

We drove across Canada. We saw friends along the way, parts of the country we’d never seen and parts we’d not want to see again any time soon. We spent a week in Montreal on an immigration delay that was intensely stressful and costly but, by October 17thwe were crossing the border at Niagara Falls to Pittsburgh.  I celebrated my birthday with no running water in a run down house we rented in the Hill District.

We traveled to Orlando and had a great time being kids at Disneyworld, sat by the sea and got really excited for the future of our business.

2017 – I turned 39

2017 turned out to be a pretty so-so year for business, which is always worrisome but we really pulled through alright.

We still had some major legal battles with custody but those were getting sort of stale and really poisonous and covered in lies. Anastacia contracted another Cancer during the winter of that year.

We traveled to Georgia and Vancouver for bodybuilding contests and to visit friends and family. I spent 7 entire months out of Canada – the longest ever in my life. We ran off to Cozumel for a week to recharge our batteries.

I decided to take a year off from competing that spring and aimed to enjoy my family and all the sights of the tri-state area.  I felt I was coming into my own…and I blogged all about it – which I’m grateful to have to look back on.

We drove my motorcycle 3000 miles from Calgary to Pittsburgh stopping in some pretty amazing places and some really gross places too.  In my opinion, Mt. Rushmore and Deadwood were the best part of that trip.

We went to Chicago for Riot Fest and my parents came to visit us in PGH.

By October we had to wrap up our next pack of legal plans to cross back into Toronto to apply for another Visa – this time for 5 years. Of course, it was a bungle and we were stuck in Toronto with our fur kids for nearly 3 weeks.

I celebrated my birthday in Toronto, downed a bottle of champagne at George restaurant. We got our Visa approval on November 1stor 2ndand were right back in the jeep heading home to Pittsburgh.

2018 – I turned 40

 Ahhh, this year.

This year we gave up the fighting. We had conceded to the child custody war, our legal tangles with the government for Visas was on pause for almost 5 years and there was some breathing room created.

Our renters moved out of the house in the spring and we decided to sell our house to cut down on liability and free up our cash. It was such an emotional undertaking but needed to happen.

We got in the jeep and did a two week family trip down to Hilton Head, SC and the Outer banks in NC while work had died down. We really fell in love with the countryside we were getting to explore. America is so vast and multi-dimensional I’m sure you’d never see it all in one lifetime.

In the spring my Granny died and we raced down to New Mexico via El Paso Tx, to try and sort out her affairs. It was sudden and she planned for nothing. That made for five days of sheer confusion. But New Mexico is absolutely stunning and we were happy to see a new side of life – the full time RV community. Wow what a shocking eye opener. You see, my Granny had been living in an RV for nearly 10 years I think – at first we were appalled, but then intrigued.

We went to Maui for a couple of weeks to meet up with my parents for a get away.

We headed back to PGH, put the pedal to the metal and started to win US clients over, not as quickly or as many as we would have liked, but there was real progress that we could measure.

Our friends came to visit in the Spring which was exciting. We went boating, sent a container of all our things across the border from Canada, sold our house, sold our things in Canada and started the importation process of our Jeep.

My parents came again in the summer and we went to D.C. to check out the city and catch the Stanley Cup parade.

After a summer trip back to Calgary and Vancouver we talked a lot about what our future was going to be. We felt locked down in PGH as a lot of our potential clients offices were located in Texas, Kansas, etc…we knew the cost of doing business development by plane was going to be far too costly to commit to.

We had to make some clear business and life decisions with the 4 years we had left on our visa as there are benchmarks we need to meet in order to be eligible for another 5 years.

After a few months of research, planning, consideration and dreaming, we decided to move into an RV. Since we had stopped the insanity of child custody we were free to travel full time to see clients, staff, complete field trips and adventure when we weren’t working.

In August we purchased an RV, we headed to Lisbon for our anniversary to celebrate and when we came back we headed down to Maryland (more than we wanted to) to pick up “Evgeny” our new home.

Now, here I sit,  on my 40thbirthday on the beaches of  the Dominican Republic reflecting on all that I’ve done over the last decade.

A LOT. By anyone’s standards, even my own. I’m totally uncertain how everything in life will roll out. I’m not entirely sure I haven’t lost my mind. But as death creeps closer every year I AM sure that I am living my life, balls to the wall and (mostly) loving every minute of it.

 

 

The art of the juice cleanse

Many times have I committed to a juice cleanse and never have I managed to document any of the experience for clientele or the general public. Because I have embarked on yet another cleanse I feel that I had the time and space to do this – because I’m not leading a group cleanse or making juices myself.

This time, I decided to go with a commercially purchased cleanse. I looked at several options before taking the plunge and took several items into consideration:

– what was the company selling the cleanse all about

– where were they located

– price & value

– ease of starting/receiving juice

I had initially chosen a company out of Calgary as this would be a place to pick up from that was easily accessible and had nearly 0 carbon footprint. Unfortunately, they took more than forever to return emails (terrible, spoiled Albertan vendors with no idea of the rest of the worlds customer service initiatives *steam*, this province is so alienated by the oil and gas industry) and when then did, they were not helpful, or cheery, with getting a cleanse to me outside of their prescribed days and times – even though I said I would pick up.

So, as it has been going lately, I decided to look out of province. Why? Well, their markets aren’t as inflated and their vendors generally care about having paying customers.

Enter “Raw Raw” Cleanse: http://www.rawrawcleanse.com.

It took me just 2 days and $200 per person for a 6 day cleanse to arrive via courier to my office. Tina, the proprietor was very helpful. We had a bit of a hiccup with juice types and after sending an email, I was assured the additional juice would arrive next-day (today hopefully) to get the sequencing of juices done right. Wow.

If you are interested in the juices I have been drinking you can find them HERE. 

 

DAY 1

The juice arrived at 10 am to our offices. It came packaged in a styrofoam cooler with cooling gel packs above and below the juice. The package also contained a juicing reusable bag, a note on the expiry, a 25% off coupon and a quick reference card for consuming the juices in the right order.

 

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The "how to"

Because I was ravenous, I opened up the cooler and immediately (took pics for all of you) then shook and guzzled my first “Clean Greens”. I’ll just put it out there, green smoothies are NOT my favourite, never will be. I understand their vital importance in balancing our vitamins and minerals, but they are sour, and so was this one.

Next, on my way to a meeting I grabbed the ginger berry. WAY more my style and super easy to drink with a lovely ginger taste – can’t complain.

I did a couple random circles around the office looking at trail mix and bananas, but I did not partake. Win. Next, Cool melon. This is where I learned I didn’t have any cool melon but double the almond milk variety. So I drank an almond milk one…it was great – a little extra nut fiber in there, but it was good. Cool melon – for real – on the way home I snaked a cool melon out of my boyfriends order. Simple, sweet and minty – I actually use the same recipe for watermelon martinis in the summer.

On the way home, I was feeling like I needed a nap. By the time I got home, I completely thought I would have one – except work got in the way a bit. I felt SUPER agro for about 1 hour, so I ate a handful of cashew nuts – raw ones. By the time I walked the dogs and puttered around with small chores, I realized I might as well just get on with it and do my day 8 of 21 Day HIIT challenge. During this 20 minute super workout I felt like I had OK energy and could cope with all the exercises without utter exhaustion.

I then used the next Clean Greens as a post-workout drink – it still tasted bad. I was in bed reading by 8:30pm and sipped away at the final Citrus beverage until I fell asleep. I LOVE this one. Spicy, citrus-y, deliciousness. At this point, I was feeling full and so far haven’t felt starving. I don’t think Jeff can say the same.

I fell asleep and was probably up around 3am. Not sure if the lack of sleep ability was the dogs or what, but it was a tough night.

DAY 2

Waking up was a bit hellish. I managed to get back to sleep by 6 am and slept until about 7:45.

Got out of bed, guzzled some water and had my first Clean Greens. I didn’t feel hungry at all, and I still don’t.

As I sit and write this I miss coffee. The smell, the taste and the buzz. Hoping that getting through my errands and a big dog walk will pull me into the land of the living by 11 am.

Stay tuned……………………….

I headed out of the house just after 10 am with my second (and favourite) juice in-hand to have a scoot through the country with my pups.  I took the dogs out for a walk in the woods and nearly left them there – woah nelly, settle down. A little bit more easily aggravated these days I have to admit. Hangry. By 1130 am I was still tired and now annoyed at my dogs.  Again, I drove home and thought I was going to crash heavily, and didn’t. Instead, I had a handful of cashews, brewed up an herbal peppermint tea and hunkered down to watch a very disturbing movie on Netflix. I hopped up for one of the many million pee’s during the movie and grabbed by third juice of the day for “lunch”. I have just taken the dogs out for another walk, wrote a letter and am now going to attempt my HIIT for the day: WORK OUT .

It is currently 7 pm. I made it through a HIIT and 12 minutes of a 20 minute spin – legs were far too tired – I also managed a bit of Yoga without issue.

I lapped up half a clean green for a recovery drink, with a small handful of cashews.

Literally a handful of cashews.
Literally a handful of cashews.

Let me tell you , my stomach was grumbling, so I had another cup of herbal mint tea and did some laundry. I think I may pay heed to the recommendation of “moderate” exercise. I don’t even listen to my own good advice.

I currently have two juices left and am feeling quite alert. Not aggravated, that was definitely a morning thing. Though, I have been fantasizing about food for the last couple of hours. Poor Jeff, went to his grandmas and she ordered a pizza. Ruthless day for him.

I would call day 2 a success……nighty night until tomorrow!

DAY 3 

Day three arrived. My sleep wasn’t nearly as interrupted as last night however, I still woke up a little tired. Getting the ball rolling on the day seemed a little less painless and I had no desire to eat or any hunger.

The work day was 10 hours long with no breaks, a few times I had to run to Jeff’s office to scarf down some almonds & cashews. Probably ate at least 3/4 of a cup of each throughout the day.

I thought about food all day. When I wasn’t stressing about something, I literally only thought about food. I had to plan a luncheon for tomorrow and ordered about twice as much pizza for 15 people as I should have. I could taste it.

I think today was the hardest day by far. Knowing it’s nearly over and hearing a little voice inside your head say “c’mon, just have a snack”……I’ve been beating that voice back all day.

There is one more drink to go before bed. I know I can make it, I think Jeff has at least 5 meals prepared for us to eat tomorrow – which is SUCH a bad idea when you’re coming off of a cleanse. Honestly – ease into it with soup and salads….or suffer the wrath.

The dirty bits: bowel movements still occurring however, not at the mass and frequency expected. I didn’t go at all yesterday, no urge either. Jeff wont let me talk about his poops in public. Sissy.

Overall, today I felt the most spacey I have and the most weak. I opted for a longer walk with the dogs instead of exercising at full out capacity.

Ok, I lied. I'm a workout addict.
Ok, I lied. I’m a workout addict.

I will say that removing meals does remove a sense of community and that is one part of the human culture that I quite enjoy. There is a certain void left in a day where there is no communion with others, a sharp empty space that only cooking and enjoying a meal can fill. That, is what I truly craved most in this cleanse.

Beat the winter blues before they get to you – lets move!

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Every fall, without fail, a slow trickle of sadness comes over me. At first, it’s a tiny leak only the keenest ear could hear. When ignored, sad evolves into a tornado. A formidable monster of frustration, resentment and loathing for pretty much nothing in particular.

Sound familiar? Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit. However much like the winter blues, stress, inactivity and the busyness of life can take over who you REALLY need to be and before you know it, you’re someone barely recognizable in the mirror.

While we all need to learn to love ourselves for who we are, there is no excuse for neglecting our basic human needs when the weather turns or, as in the case of so many of us Canadians, when the good weather never quite arrived!

Whether it be the deep bags, new wrinkles or extra 10 pounds, the sure-fire way to get a great sleep, have wonderful relationships and keep a smile on your face this winter is by incorporating movement, nutrition and self care into every day. These are the basic fundamentals of “Food Medicine Life”.

Medicine

There are a TONNE of activities that are perfect for this time of year if you are NOT a gym junkie:

– hiking
– biking
– jogging
– canoeing
– rollerblading
– soccer
– racquetball, tennis, badminton

Now, you’re going to say “but these take up so much TIME”. Well, yes, they do but then so do countless episodes of “Netflix and chill”.

If you are ready to bite the bullet but are time conscious, go with an equipment free HIIT workout. You can find them on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and plain old Google. High intensity, low investment, amazing results.

You can also try a 30 minute circuit at your gym in the weight training section or join a fun new spin, surf or rowing class. Group fitness is a great way to stay amped and bring some friends along for the high intensity fun.

Food

Once you’re done burning off the stress, make sure to replenish your mind and body with some great snacks such as bananas, blueberries, lentils or beans.  Protein isn’t everything guys, but it is important to your diet and building muscle.

If you’re looking for cruelty-free protein options that don’t support industrialized farming…try this link:

http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/top-10-vegetarian-sources-of-protein

Water is essential for flushing toxins and fat as well as keeping us hydrated and radiant – drink a minimum of 8 large glasses per day. Start each morning with a warm glass of lemon water before all else.

Sugar cravings getting you down? Try some seasonally fabulous fall treats to keep around the house for you or your family, try this quick easy Vegan Pumpkin Ginger cookie recipe that tastes lovely with or without sugar….but we all need a treat every now and then, it’s all about balance!

CLICK HERE TO LINK TO RECIPE. 

If you’re still suffering from stress related issues, it’s time to try on a bit of herbalism to treat your symptoms.

My top picks are:

  • Chamomile
  • Ashwaganda
  • Passionflower
  • Magnesium
  • Green/Black tea
  • Lavendar
  • Kava

These herbs can be taken in a capsule, pressed pill, tea, essential oil (aromatherapy)or tincture. The easiest to get ahold of being Magnesium which can be taken each night before bed. All of these natural anti-anxiety herbs will aid you in your stress reduction efforts as part of your daily health ritual.

Life

Quick fix junkie? Look no further. Just 5 minutes of meditation each day can restore and invigorate your spirit. If you’re a beginner the easiest time to get this done is upon rising or just before bed.

Set your alarm clock or phone timer for 5-7 minutes.

Next, sit cross legged, in a chair or upright in bed ~ lying down is also an option~ with your hands in a relaxed place in your lap. Get all of your fidgeting out by gently squeezing together all your muscles from head to toe for a couple of seconds, then releasing. Once you have done this a couple of times, you are ready to begin.

You can start to increase the length of your inhales and exhales by counting 1-2-3 as you complete both. You can even add a “Mississippi” in between if you are into a challenge. Fill up your lungs and let your belly expand on the inhale, squeeze all the air out that you can on the exhale.

If your mind tends to wander, that’s ok! It happens to the best of us. Sometimes it can help to picture a soft glowing light in your minds eye that expands and contracts with each inhale and exhale. Just return to your breath/glowing light each time you start to panic about the day that lays ahead.

When your alarm goes off, gently allow yourself to return to the moment and start/end your day.

Give yourself the treatment your mind and body crave. Yes, you do have time. Work can wait, the kids can wait. Start devoting just 15 minutes a day to yourself. Your world will change, promise.

Continue reading “Beat the winter blues before they get to you – lets move!”

Sunless tanners – good for you & our animal friends.

 

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I think Jeff took this picture to make me look like a beer drinking cigarette smoking lunatic. Be warned: these are not mine AND I don’t recommend you smoke either. <3

Summertime is here and I bet it’s travel season for most of you. You’re getting ready to hit the road AND be #Fitontheroad, right? Being “healthy” also  includes keeping your skin safe from the elements while trying your best to keep your abs safe from over indulgence. Keeping your skin safe could mean opting out of sun bathing entirely and going straight to a beachy bronzed glow without the hours spent roasting on the shoreline.

This quick post is in response to many requests from clients and friends for an outline of my favourite and highly recommended self-tanners.

I am a sun baby, worship that thing like it’s going out of style BUT I rarely (if ever) use a tanning bed. I use spray tan for bodybuilding competition & slather on a minimum of 6 on my body once I’ve built a decent base and 30 on my face to combat sun spots, wrinkles and obviously, skin cancer.

The tanners I’ve used for competition are NOT friendly for your body or the environment (never mind your bed sheets) and are of course ridiculously expensive. They are also not the most natural looking once applied and eventually showered off. The spray tan booths that I have had experience with also provide a tan that makes you look like a penny for a week and then you peel off a la “Magda” from the film “Something about Mary”.

If you don’t know Magda, here she is: 

 

MAGDA
This is Magda. Don’t be Magda.

While I don’t usually use sunless tanner regularly from home (because regardless of how they are applied I suck at it) there are a few brands that seem to actually deliver on the non-orange front. These ones also have the highest quality ingredients you can find in a sunless tanner. As always, you need to moisturize at least once per day and try to exfoliate at least once per day as well to keep tans looking fresh while attempting to slough them off evenly.

The last brand I used purchased from Sephora is called “Vita Liberata”. It’s a tinted mousse that worked out really well for a photo shoot I did in the winter. It didn’t do the classic spray tan melt off either.

Other items that I know are hard to find in Canada but cover all your bases (purchase online) are:

True Natural – organic product

Vita Tanz – these guys boast free radical protection.

Chocolate Sun – if you hate the smell of spray tans, these guys found the magical chocolate code to expel that.

As always, make sure you’re applying sun screen regularly when you’re out in the tropics but especially North of 49 where the sun is far more harmful to us than down south. The sun up here in Canada is far more cancer-causing, getting burned is never fun but the effects of our Northern summers on our skin can be devastating.

Another option is to protect your skin via the foods you’re eating. We can use food as sunscreen and as a sunburn cure ~ health is wealth so check out these nutrition-based tips:

Foods that help as sunscreen are loaded with anti-oxidants and protect against UV. Bye bye premature aging. 

  • Omega rich fish like Salmon, flax seed oil or chia seeds
  • Red & orange fruit and veggies
  • Dark chocolate or ground cacao beans/nibs
  • Cruciferous veggies (like cauliflower and brussels sprouts)
  • Leafy greens (like spinach, kale and chard)

Foods that help to soothe your skin after a sunburn: 

  • Cucumber sliced/mashed and applied topically
  • A dab of white vinegar (on non-blistered skin) is a pain reducer
  • Calendula – make or purchase a poultice and apply liberally throughout the day
  • Boiled lettuce water – boil, cool and then apply cool mixture to burned skin with a cotton ball
  • Aloe vera gel – directly from the plant un-died, unprocessed applied directly to the effected area

All of these tips don’t go very far if you’re not prepared. Wear a hat, use sunscreen and always remember to take care of the skin you’re in!

Enjoy your summer & be sure to pop by Believe Fit Calgary to chat if you have more to ask on this or any other health related topics.

XX – S

Is it the end of the road, or just a pit stop for a funnel cake?

Aaaaah, the final hours until the last adventure of my spring set of competitions.
Silent woods, steaming black coffee and a mind full of reflection, possibility, excitement and relief.
The end of the road ~ how does that feel for you? For me, it’s like approaching the top of the last peak on a roller coaster. It’s one final swift plunge into all kinds of “feels” then…..the train pulls into the station. Le Sigh. 
 
You could look at it all in a number of ways BUT if you look at the end of one ride {in life} like you would an amusement park, maybe life would be just one continuous day at the park.
 
Fitness can be summed up the same way. You either take a few rides and leave the park or bounce from ride to ride {challenge to challenge} ever looking forward to the next one. A grasper of rings, a seeker of adventure ~ that sounds far more delicious. 
 
In that way even in your fit life, you’re constantly seeking out the next thrill & never succumbing to an all out stop to the fun. After all, isn’t that what we are on this earth for? To live and experience and touch and have all the feels? 
 
Sure, you might stop at the midway to try your hand at ski ball or even sneak a funnel cake or {dare I say} 2….yet all the while your eyes are feasting on the groundwork laid out in front of you that takes you along pointing and sprinting, laughing and a little queasy. The paths that lead to every next big adventure are all there in front of you and by day or night, winter frost or summer heat,  they remain.
 
The roads we travel, the rides we buckle in for all bring us to literal highs and lows. All commanding that we don’t stop moving, exploring, learning, adventuring or eating funnel cakes. 

Becoming Little Miss Bikini – Episode 9 – Peak Week

I’ve finally made peace with this whole thing I’ve decided…sitting here covered in haemorrhoid ointment, festooned in my luxurious Jacques Cousteau leggings, clutching my morning coffee mug like a life raft.

Peak week is upon me and I’ve thrown out all my preconceived notions about anything I thought I knew.

Salt baths, more cardio, less cardio, more weights – but less, this supplement, that herb….I’m just following orders at this point.

It has been significantly harder to drag my ass out of bed the last two days. I’m pretty much a morning person so it isn’t that I am completely unable to open my eyes or function, it’s that my body has finally reached the point where it no longer takes its prime directives from my brain. This results in me finding it emphatically challenging to roll over in bed to actually get up, lift up my feet, peel off my Jacques Cousteaus for a pee (or seven) in the night etc etc…

My body has become especially au courant of any minor shifts in my diet plan. I’ve significantly increased my asparagus intake and I think this is making me more effervescent than usual….could be that I’ve dropped Tofu and increased Tempeh? I’ll have to pay particular attention to the feeling and timing today.

Soon, as in tomorrow (5 sleeps out), I’ll be obliged to drop all powders from my regime, eventually kissing even vitamins goodbye and slowly abdicating from my daily 6 litre water guzzling tournament.

As luck, or timing, would have it, my workouts will begin to taper off starting tomorrow. After this brief but vexatious weekend of increased fasted cardio for which I am not grateful – sorry coach.

I’d like to note here that I have been instructed to avoid casting my gaze on other competitors who will be guzzling red wine (presumably to appear more vascular) and eating copious amounts of decadent chocolate (in an effort to punch my feelings in the face) while I am back stage in all probability sucking on a shoestring and sniffing the food essence of a piece of tofu.

Ok, I’m being extreme here BUT my prescription for backstage nutrition management is far less alcohol and sugarific.

My nail girl went MIA and my new suit is currently in parts unknown….also known as the great void of the Canada Post system. I don’t have the stress muscle available to me to feel worried about it.

I’ve procured myself a set of the latest 2015 version of “Lee Press On Nails” and hope that this will suffice. If they knock off points for my fingernails…I’ll have to show them a title-holding finger or two in my possession.

I’ve managed to survive two nights of Epsom salt baths in our 3rd and very forlorn bathroom in the basement. I call it the cat pee bathroom because it’s a full (and updated/decent) three piece however, I’ve employed the bathtub as the bowels for the cat box for at least a year.

It was an absolute delight to expurgate all of the bits of excrement and kitty litter from. There is a covered cat box in the tub, I’m not a total dreggy bastard, but the damn cat misses from time-to-time ok? Sheesh, get off myback.

I then made an uneducated choice and got my hands on some scented epsom salts – never do this – which made the whole house, myself included, retain the malodorous stench of Mr. Clean married with old women. Needless to say I went to bed feeling a little sickened.

I’m craving fats violently. All of the deprivation and timing of foods has really illustrated cravings clearly for me. I was quite the dullard when it came to those things before.

All of this stuff is going on while we have 2 dogs, a cat, an 8 year old, work, a complete house renovation, a Mexican vacation and a visit from my folks on our docket. I’ve also been petitioned to instruct a  monthly health class at our daughter Anastacia’s school which I need to prepare for and oh yes, I’ve volunteered to rent out a friends home and need to deal with a move-in inspection for this next week as well.

Fornicate my life.

There is really no more to update on – not much in particular unless you have questions of me – if so please ask. I’m about as open a person as you will ever hope to meet!

Here’s a confession: I had to ask Jeff to hide the peanut butter while I locked myself away in the bathroom with the fan whirring so that I wouldn’t attempt to consume all of it in a fit of starved lunacy.

There are at least 2 more posts coming that will close off and tie this story all together by mid-November. I’m  looking forward intensely to cooking again and ushering some easy, fun and relatively adventurous recipes back into my home and yours.

Adventure – 27 reasons why you need it.

A little Cabo.
A little Cabo.

Thank you to Elephant Journal for posting some top notch bloggers from time to time. While I don’t love ALL their stuff, amazing quotes that inspire are always welcome in my life.

1. “No, no! The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time.” ~ Lewis Carroll

2. “Never say ‘no’ to adventures. Always say ‘yes’, otherwise you’ll lead a very dull life.” ~ Ian Fleming

3. “Every dreamer knows that it is entirely possible to be homesick for a place you’ve never been to, perhaps more homesick than for familiar ground.” ~ Judith Thurman

4. “I’m restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again.” ~ Anaïs Nin

5. “Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.” ~ J.K. Rowling

6. “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” ~ Harriet Tubman

7. “Anything that gets your blood racing is probably worth doing.” ~ Hunter S. Thompson

8. “If you don’t take risks, you’ll have a wasted soul.” ~ Drew Barrymore

9. “Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.” ~ Barry Finlay

10. “Life is either a great adventure or nothing.” ~ Helen Keller

11. “Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.” ~ Jack Kerouac

12. “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” ~ C.S. Lewis

13. “Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall.” ~ Ray Bradbury

14. “Not all those who wander are lost.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

15. “Life is for deep kisses, strange adventures, midnight swims and rambling conversations.” ~ Author Unknown

16. “You belong among the wildflowers, you belong in a boat out at sea…You belong with your love on your arm, you belong somewhere you feel free.” ~ Tom Petty

17. “Life is a journey that must be traveled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations.” ~ Oliver Goldsmith

18. “If you don’t imagine, nothing ever happens at all.” ~ John Green

19. “Never did the world make a queen of a girl who hides in houses and dreams without traveling.” ~ Roman Payne

20. “I think people spend too much time staring into screens and not enough time drinking wine, tongue kissing, and dancing under the moon.” ~ Rachel Wolchin

21. “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal.” ~ Paulo Coelho

22. “There is your car and the open road, the fabled lure of random adventure. You stand at the verge, and you could become anything.” ~ Dan Chaon

23. “The best thing you could do is master the chaos in you. You are not thrown into the fire, you are the fire.” ~ Mama Indigo

24. “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.”~ Roald Dahl

25. “Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

26. “And at the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling.” ~ Shanti

27. “Stop contemplating and start celebrating…Yeah, you gotta live before you die.” ~ Mike Ness