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Showing posts from August, 2016

Fulfilled!: Book Review

Have you ever wondered why, as North Americans, we have such high rates of stress-related illnesses, anxiety and depression, despite being among the wealthiest nations in the world?

The reality is, though we may have food to eat, clothes on our backs, shelter and a peaceful society, privileges many folks around the world do not have, a lot of us feel extremely unfulfilled.

What about you, are you fulfilled? If not, do you know why? Maybe its because you were pushed into a career by your parents that you never wanted.  Or maybe you married someone who doesn't make you happy because you were together a long time and everyone expected you to.  Or perhaps you decided to pursue a career to make a lot of money because you thought material wealth is the key to happiness, and yet you realize you were wrong.  All of us end up in places we didn't expect, and often aren't ideal for us, but what can you do about it? Often we feel stuck and assume there is no way out, unfortunately, t…

Reno Challenge Week 1

Wow, so we have almost made it through the first week of our renos.  So far...well, we're surviving.

I feel like I'm living in a grad residence again.  I am basically eating, exercising, working and sleeping in the master bedroom. 

My meal plan is much paired down compared to normal.  No real cooking or baking for a while.  Breakfasts are overnight oats, lunches are simple salads and sandwiches, muffins and hardboiled eggs or Explore Cuisine bean-based prepared noodles tossed with veggies and heated in the microwave.

Dinners have been shirataki noodle stir fries, and veggie burgers or grilled cheese with steamed veggies.  All in all, not too shabby, but we still had access to our stove.  Once that's gone, I'll have to bring out all the small appliances, but we're so well stocked, I am not too concerned.

For Adam, who is working super long hours right now, we ordered a healthy breakfast and lunch meal plan from Fuel Foods. See, there really is no reason to ever ha…

Mixit.ca: Product Review

North Americans love cereal, whether its practically pure sugar (Corn Pops, Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops, etc.) or colon blow (you know, the crazy high fibre ones that go in one end and out the other almost instantly), we can't get enough of it.

Most of the ones on store shelves are more on the junky side of things, unfortunately.  Even if they're organic and free of icky chemicals, they are often just chock full of sugar.

A lot of cereal lovers customize their breakfast bowl by mixing different boxed cereals together and adding in fruit, nuts or other items.  Now Canada has a company that allows you to design a customized cereal blend, with options you may never have though of before, and packages it up pretty and delivers it to your door (for free!).  How about that?

Mixit.ca is a straightforward website where you can choose your base and add in everything from nuts, to dried fruit, to cocao nibs, to protein powder!

They allowed me to try it out so I designed a custom blend f…

Reno Health Challenge

Soooo, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, we are starting home renos soon.  Monday, to be exact.  Its going to be mayhem here!

I thought they would do one floor at a time but we found out just this week they are doing both the basement and entire main floor simultaneously. So we are losing our gym, Adam's study, the kitchen, dining room and living room all at once! OMG folks, this is going to be challenging, 'cause all this family does is cook, eat, exercise and watch television! Now what??

And no, moving elsewhere isn't an option, thank you very much.

After her kitchen reno last year, a friend of mine warned me that we do ours I would have to throw away my healthy eating and cooking habits and just embrace take out and prepared foods like everyone else does. Really? I think not! I am pretty stubborn. Or so I'm told. Between the microwave, an induction hot plate burner, our toaster oven, indoor grill and electric wok. I am going to make it work.  I also think I can some …

The Compassionate Chick's Guide to DIY Beauty: Book Review

Consumers are increasingly concerned about what's in the products they buy, whether its food, household cleaners, or cosmetics.  We have become far more aware of the many harmful ingredients that can be found in many conventional products and are looking for ones that are less toxic for our health and for the environment.  The problem is, most of the brands on the market that fit the bill in that regard are super expensive. Often way above our budget.  So what to do?  DIY!

Now, you know I'm not much of a DIYer, but if its simple and there are big payoffs, hey, I am all over it!

I was thrilled to review The Compassionate Chick's Guide to DIY Beauty, because (1) The recipes are simple, (2) They are affordable, and definitely way cheaper than purchasing similar products, and (3) I have 2 girls, already interested in makeup, who I thought would enjoy getting their hands dirty with this stuff - and I am not ready to buy them make up yet, they're too young!

Boy was I right…

CANFITPRO Conference 2016

This year I did just 1 day of the conference and squashed it all in so I could work Saturday and Sunday have my usual Sunday.  I was there from 7:30am to 6pm and it was a long day!

I was so excited to see that Shaun T was coming this year, and Yoni Freedhoff, too, but unfortunately, neither of them were there on Friday.

I did see Jillian Michaels, who was speaking!


I hadn't been planning to hear her talk, but it was in the trade show, so for a few minutes I couldn't help myself.  In that time, I was surprisingly impressed with her.  A woman in the audience told her she'd lost a ton of weight and it was due to her inspiration and workouts, and she told Michaels that she'd changed her life. Michaels responded by telling her never to give anyone else so much power, that they'd never met before today, so the person solely responsible for changing her life was the woman herself. I like that! Most people would have just said something like, "Thank you, that's wh…

Nerium Firming Body Contour Cream, OptimeraTM Formula: Product Review

Butts are in.

I can't believe I just wrote that.

What I mean is, our society seems to have developed a weird fetish about women's butts. We don't tend to fetishize men's bodies the same way.  Besides, hairy butts are just...

Personally, I find the whole thing incredibly weird. Especially the extremes it can go to, whether its getting butt implants (yes really!) or women just flashing their butts all over instagram, supposedly as "fitspiration". 

I don't know, maybe we should blame Kim Kardashian who seems to have popularized the bubble butt.  You know, the massive, but jiggle free butt that emphasizes a women's ridiculously small waist, which is below, of course, huge (most likely fake) boobs.  Just another unattainable beauty ideal for us women to live up to.

Even before Kim, however, there was mass hatred of butts among women.  Its probably one of the body parts most women would say they dislike about themselves.  I don't get why.  You can (an…

Listen - Hand in Hand Parenting: Book Review

I don't post much about parenting anymore because aside from all the funny stories I could share with you about what the girls do and say, I don't have much new to report.  Not much wisdom, anyhow. I think parenting an area where my skills are lacking, to be honest.

I must be doing something right because both kids are doing very well. 

Little A got straight As on her final report card this year, which blew us away, she is super social, and really the only negative feedback we get from teachers is that she can be bossy. No, she doesn't get that from me ;)

Big A does well in school, is extremely self-confident, is a very independent thinker, and she shows compassion and a remarkable interest in social justice (this summer she has become determined to help the homeless woman who has taken residence in our neighbourhood, bringing her food and ice water whenever she can, and even asking if she can give the woman her allowance). Teachers generally rave about her.

At home is a…

Inspiration not Outspiration

I am really disappointed in the world. But if you read my rants regularly than you already know that.

The issue I am bitching about today pertains to standards of beauty for women. There has never been a point in my lifetime where thin wasn't in.

Growing up, I read all the critiques around the cult of beauty and thinness by the day's feminist writers: Naomi Wolf, Susie Orbach, Susan Bordo, etc.  It was exciting because if felt we were on the cusp on a breakthrough. We weren't.

In contrast, it feels like things have actually gotten worse for women in this regard.  I wrote about this in the Huffington Post a while back.  In the late 1990s, there was a dramatic shrinking that took place among women in Hollywood.  Already lean actresses, even at the time became known as popsicle sticks, because they were so thin, their heads looked disproportionately large (i.e. Calista Flockart and the whole cast of Ally McBeal, and Courtney Cox and Jennifer Aniston from friends, for example…

African Groundnut Noodle Stew

Okay, this recipe isn't as weird or fusion as it sounds! Well maybe it is.  But I don't care because its delicious! Besides, there actually are some noodle dishes eaten in Africa.

I decided to recreate my African Groundnut Stew, and then at the last minute decided to throw in Kanten noodles (made from agar agar, and carb/calorie free).  Really it was just because I had the noodles and had forgotten about them and was really curious to give them a try.  To be honest, they have no taste and in a hearty dish like this, not much of a discernable texture either, so you can leave them out.  This stew is yummy on its own or served over rice, quinoa or millet.

I love the sweet, savoury, salty notes of this dish, and the different textures from the onion, collards, beans, and sweet potato.  So good! And it gets bonus marks for being packed with nutrition, protein, good fats and fibre.  Not to mention its free of sugar, gluten and completely vegan. 

African Groundnut Stew II

1 onion, d…

8 Steps to Reverse Your PCOS: Book Review

Many of my infertility patients have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). It is a hormonal condition that affects around 15% of women across the world. Aside from infertility, it also causes weight gain, irregular menstrual cycles and anovulation, hair growth on face, back and chest, and increased risk of Type II diabetes.

Because of the prevalence, and emotional suffering caused by PCOS, I was happy to agree to review, Naturopathic Doctor, Fiona McCulloch's new book, 8 Steps to Reverse Your PCOS.

McCulloch is an ND located in North Toronto.  Given my work, I am surprised I hadn't previously heard of her!

The book's introduction gives a brief description of the 8 steps and includes a number of quizzes so readers can determine if they likely have PCOS.

Her 8 steps to reversing PCOS are:

1. Addressing inflammation
2. Treating insulin resistance
3. Balancing Adrenals
4. Treat excess androgens
5. Addressing hormonal imbalances
6. Balancing the thyroid
7. Creating a healthy env…