Saturday, March 31, 2012

Windows of My Soul

Yesterday I got an Iridology reading from Rachelle! She is a Registered Iridologist and is one of the few practicing in the entire Maritimes. A while back she said that we would book me in to get a reading done but we're both so busy at work every single day that squeezing in that hour to do a reading was getting more and more tricky. I have been having some problems with my health for a while now and have been putting off going to a doctor for way too long, but last week I finally went and they decided to do some blood work and a couple tests on me (like getting a lactose intolerance test and test for Celiac Disease, vitamin deficiencies, bacterial infections and all that fun stuff). When I told Rachelle that I was going in for tests she wanted to get me in for a reading before the tests so that she could predict that they would say. Plus she wanted to get to the bottom of what's been going on with me and knew that she could give me some "insight" into my health.

First I want to give a quick explanation as to what Iridology is. A trained Iridologist can look into your iris, the coloured part of your eye, and literally see any problems that you are having internally. Each section of the iris is directly linked to a specific organ and any abnormalities in that part of the iris can tell an Iridologist if that organ is toxic, inflamed, damaged..etc.  What is super cool about this science is that the iris is known to change BEFORE any physical symptoms appear meaning that they can predict future health issues or diseases . This can be helpful to prevent and avoid any diseases which may occur without the proper treatment or intervention.  I also learned that the left eye is linked with the left side of our body, which is our
feminine, creative, conceptual and intuitive side while the right eye links to the right side of our body, which is our masculine, analytical, linear and practical side. The masculine/feminine eyes also correlate to our parents. Any genetic problems passed down from our fathers will show up on the right eye while ones from dear mom show in the left eye.

So ever since Rachelle said she wanted to do a reading on me, which was about 2 months ago, I have kept my personal health issues, both past and present, quite hush hush cause I wanted her to go into it without knowing anything about what's been going in my body. I wanted to hear what she had to say without any bias or previous knowledge. And I'll admit, I am hugely impressed with that she had to say. She knew things about me that I would never think to tell even a doctor because it would seem too trivial to discuss.

- Trauma in the throat area as a child (tonsils removed)
- Damage to the ears (chronic ear infections as a kid caused massive scarring in my ears)
- Skin issues (I have keratosis pilaris)
- Knots and tension in the left shoulder (oh yeah, most definitely)
- Neck issues and pain (fell when I was a little kid, busted out a bunch of teeth, wrecked my neck and have had problems ever since)
- Upper back problems (possibly a connection to my neck injury but I couldn't be sure about this one specifically. I do carry a lot of tension on my upper back though.)
- Inflammation in the GI track (ya think? Only since I was 10)
- One leg longer than the other causing hip tension and tightening (yep)
- Problems in my descending colon (uh oh)
- Gall bladder issues. She asked me if I ever had problems with my gall bladder. I said no. She said that if I don't fix whatever my GI problem is then in the next 10 years or so I will likely have major gall bladder issues and am susceptible to this problem genetically. And guess what? My mom is getting her gall bladder removed soon. Coincidence?
- Possible essential fatty acid deficiency
- Inflammation in the sinuses on the left side (not sure why this would be but she said it could be due a dairy allergy or intolerance)
- Plus more personal issues that I really don't want to put on my blog...but really specific things that blew my mind that she could pick up on from looking into my eyes. There were a couple that were so accurate that I just sat back and laughed.

So that's the gist of my experience being read by an Iridologist. Pretty cool for sure. If you've ever been interested to get something like this done out of pure interest or to try to figure out what's going on inside your body, I say go for it! It's quick, painless and a whole lot easier than all the tests that doctors put you through to diagnose you. Obviously this is by no means a way to get a medical diagnosis but it might give you some insight as to where to tell the doctors to look for clues as to what's going on.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Cause sometimes you just need some inspiration and beauty to believe what is to come...

Flower Gardens!

Happy Tulips!




Big Blue Skies!




Vibrant Colours!


Baby Deer!

Baby Cows!!!


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hungry for Change (and sunshine)

When you go to the, the first headline that comes up is "Another storm for Atlantic Canada." Sigh. I definitely spoke too soon on my last blog post. Spring is suffocating out there under the thick blanket of powdery snow and is shivering against the 60km/hr winds. 20-30cm of snow in less than 24 hours is not how I pictured the first week of Spring. Where are my flowers and chirping birds? I now understand why the majority of Islanders go south during March. You need the trip to remind yourself that temperatures above freezing do exist out there and will find their way in this direction sometime in the near future. The trip to Florida, Mexico or Cuba is that little boost to get them through the winter and give them that little extra oomph of warmth and relief from the relentless cold.

I spent some time this morning before work hiding from the storm and decided to watch Hungry For Change. This is a documentary that exposes the weight-loss and diet industry and focuses on how to create life-long weight loss (and maintenance) and how to make the right choices to live an optimally healthy life. Basically, everything that is white and processed is evil whereas fresh fruits, veggies, lean meats, good fats and whole grains are superb. It also goes into pretty good detail about how we are biologically programmed to love things that are full of fat and sugar and how our genetics are working against us when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the world we have created for ourselves. You know, the over-stressed, over-worked, under-slept, under-exercised, food-on-the-go society we see all around us. Yeah that one.

Although I am quite familiar with all of the topics discussed in the film, I really enjoyed it because it is a great message to share with the world and helps me to reaffirm what I believe in health and hate in the Big Food industry. I think one of the best lines in the film is being able to say to yourself  "I can have it, but I don't want it," instead of "I can't have it so I want it." It's so true! As soon as we deny ourselves something then it is all we can think about! Learning to not deny yourself of foods but to truly not want them or need them is the key to successful eating.  I really liked the part on diet pop and artificial sweeteners. Pretty scary stuff.  If you go to the website and go through the steps they lay out for you, you can watch the documentary FOR FREE for another 4 days, so I highly recommend getting on there so you can watch the film and learn some super important stuff about what you're using to fuel your body with.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring In My Step

As I get older, I have started to notice little things that I do/say/feel that never were a problem before and have suddenly come to my attention. For example, I now get really cranky when I am hungry. This just came on in the past year and I don't know what has changed in my body to account for the sudden disgruntlement when I have an empty stomach, but it it a strange and unkind phenomenon for me.

This picture pretty much sums it up perfectly
Another example of something that has been tweaked in me over the past couple of years is that I now can barely wait for Winter to end and Spring to begin. I used to LOVE winter and would cherish every snow flake and toque embracing day, but now I just want the warmth and the sun to envelope every part of me. Of course I have always loved Spring for so many reasons (reasons which are to come later on) but Winter was by far always my favourite season. I remember listening to my dad grumble on about how much he wished Winter would just be over and how as you get older you just want the cold months to be over as quickly as possible. And I'd be thinking, "What??? Why?" But now a part of me is starting to feel like that and it's a bit sad. Now I'm all about Spring Spring Spring Spring Spring!

Why do I love Spring? (in no particular order)
- The sun! It's so warm and comforting and just makes you say, "Ahhhh...that feels gooooood."
- Easter. I love Easter for many reasons...most of them kind of silly. Like I love the colours of Easter. Pastel pinks, blues, greens and yellows. They only come out this time of the year and they're just so cute! Easter is such a cute holiday. Plus there is always lots of chocolate around which I will never complain about.
- Shoes. Today I wore my flats (with no socks!) for the first time this year and it just felt great to bring out the nice shoes. All of us girls finally get to pull out all of those cute and fancy shoes that have been hiding in boxes in the back of the closet for so many months just waiting to be worn again for the world to appreciate. I can't wait to bust out my red Hush Puppies.
- Flowers. Pussy willows, daffodils, crocuses, tulips...they're just so pretty and fresh and new. They brighten up our flowerbeds and kitchen tables and give colour to the brown end-of-winter dullness.
- Opening windows in the house. I hate a stagnant smell in the house and hate air fresheners even more, so I generally always have a window open no matter the time of year. But in the Spring I can open multiple windows and now worry about freezing the place out.
- People's moods get better. When the sun is out and the heavy clothes come off, everyone gets a whole lot more chipper. Every person you talk to will compliment the temperature with a big smile which is always enjoyable.
- That guy who underdresses with optimism. Everyone knows someone like this; the guy who busts out the shorts and t-shirt as soon as the temperature gets over the freezing mark. This guy is determined the put Winter behind him and move on with the fast approaching Summer. No doubt he shakes and shivers for a good month before the temperature meets up with his wardrobe choices, but he is one optimistic son-of-a-gun.
- The way the air smells. Fresh. Mmmmm.
- That dread of waiting for the car to warm up is gone. There's always that lurking dread that you feel right before you leave the house and are about the head out to the car to get it started in the cold Winter morning. You know you're going to have to sit there an extra couple of minutes to let the engine warm up while you sit there rubbing your hands together and debating what is worse, a) turning on the heat full blast knowing full well that cold air will attack you head on, or b) keeping the heat off and allowing the car to warm up for a few minutes, then turn the dial up. What is great about Spring is that you go down to the car, it starts easily and it's no big deal if the heat is even on because the sun has already pre-warmed the interior of the car.
- Clothes shopping. Sure there are plenty of pieces in your closet that you are stoked to put on again and wear with pride, but it's near impossible to not go out and buy new clothes for celebrating the new season.
- Finding stuff in your spring coat pocket. Your hand reaches in and feels something foreign. It's bigger than lint and stiffer than an old piece of Kleenez. Maybe it's money!! 99% of the time it's an old receipt but dang, it was exciting knowing that it could have been an old $20 bill you forgot about.
- Motorbikes come back on the road. Even though I don't own one, I know just how excited these guys are to finally be able to start up their bikes and get back out there. So I guess I am excited for them. It also reminds me that I get to bust out my bike (pedal bike of course) soon as well. Whooot whoooo!

Monday, March 19, 2012

It's All Working Out

I've successfully survived my first full week of working with Rachelle and I've been truly enjoying my work so far. I'm loving all of the writing and researching that I get to do, plus I am learning more and more every day on how to run a successful business. Something that Rachelle has been wanting to do for years is to create and send out a monthly online newsletter to all of her clients and comrades promoting her services, products she loves, healthy and delicious recipes, nutrition topics and everything else under the sun that may be of particular interest. Unfortunately for her, she has never had the time to put something like that together since she's always been a one-man-show. Fortunately for me, I got to be the one to produce the newsletter and she's given me full power and full charge of its creation and distribution. So if you would like to receive a copy of this bi-monthly newsletter and learn all types of interesting stuff, then please go to this link and "subscribe to list". I would love to get your feedback on what's being created and the information that I'm putting in each newsletter.

Now I get to be a bit selfish and add to the conversation the fact that I love my new job because it works excellently with Dynamic Fitness's hot yoga schedule. Rachelle has been working really hard to get herself into shape for the upcoming biking season. She injured herself last summer and has just been given the thumbs up to get back to spin class to get that leg back in shape. She's great to work with for the reason alone that she's always encouraging me to hit as many classes as Dynamic as possible since she's always heading there herself. Working all of the time at Outriders put a major damper on getting to any hot yoga classes but I was able to get to several classes last week and am pumped to be able to continue giving my business to the studio. As disgusting as it is, hot yoga is amazing and makes me feel amazing when I'm doing it.

To all of you who enjoy doing strength training as much as I do, I want to recommend If you're already a hardcore gym-goer and super into weight training then I am sure that you've already searched every corner of this info-packed website. If you're not familiar with it then I recommend looking into it for some great exercises to work any part of your body. The reason I bring this up today is because I have been following one of their work-out routines for the past 4 weeks now and I am loving the results that I am getting from it. If you go into the Training tab, you can create the workout you want based on your gender, age and the type of physique that you're wanting to build for yourself.

I chose Jamie Eason's LIVEFIT 12-week Trainer work-out for myself. I watched the videos, learned how to do all of the exercises properly by watching the example videos and stick fairly close to the outlined routine. The gym I go to doesn't have a couple of the machines they want me to use so I have to improvise every now and then, but overall it's a great workout and I'm not bored yet. What is the most surprising part about it for me is that every week I go to do that day's routine and find that for a huge number of exercises that I have to up my weight from last week. And I'm like, "What? Already I have to increase my weight?" That's nuts! I recommend the site for anyone who wants to challenge their body and their regular gym routine by picking a new workout and seeing how awesome you can look in that bathing suit (just a few months away!)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

One More Reason to Get Your 8 Hours

There's lot of research out there saying that less sleep can lead to weight gain and/or make it difficult to lost weight. It's been in the news for years that having inadequate sleep affects not only our energy levels, but certain hormones (leptin and ghrelin) which control our hunger and satiety cues. Also, the less sleep you have, the more weight gain there appears to be (meaning that someone who sleeps 5 hours will gain more than someone who sleeps 6 hours a night).

A while back I bookmarked an article that I read that I kept meaning to blog about but just never got around to, so today is that day. It was a Swedish Study from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism which looked at how the brains of sleep deprived people find food more rewarding than those who get a regular good nights rest. They kept a group of volunteers awake all night then with attached sensors to measure brain activity, showed them images of food to see what kind of response was created. What they found interesting is that the part of the brain that reacts to getting a reward lit up like a Christmas tree and it was close to the same activity that results when shown food images to people who are obese. Obese people have higher brain activity suggesting they find food more rewarding that those within a more normal weight range.

So here are my thoughts on this study. It makes sense. You go without proper sleep for a while and your energy levels drop. Your energy levels drop so you don't want to do anything but stay home or go to a friends house and watch a movie. You don't want to do anything - you get bored - you eat. You're not burning off the calories as you would if you were sticking to your normal active routine. Plus your hormone levels are going to be out of whack as well! Your leptin levels are down meaning you're not being satisfied when you eat and your ghrelin levels increase which causes you to feel hunger. It's an evil cycle! It's like being trapped in a hamster wheel - no matter how hard you run, you're just not going to get anywhere.

Here's another question though. Let's say you go to bed habitually late but get up habitually early to make time to work out in the morning. Does this mean that having chronic sleep deprivation is completely messing with your system? Cause you're exercising to keep the weight off but your hormones are fighting against you constantly which are making you feel hungry and less satisfied. I wonder if there is a study about that predicament or if it is even something worth looking into

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Blogging and Birthdays!

I might have surpassed my all-time personal record of the number of hours I have worked in 7 days, and even though I have come out the other side a little more sleep deprived than usual, I can say that I survived it and am glad knowing that I will resume a semi-normal work schedule starting tomorrow. Today was my finish line; the day I had to get to to get through the week. I have fulfilled my 2 weeks notice at Outriders and am now able to begin working regular work hours for Rachelle. As I mentioned before, I will continue to work at Outriders a couple shifts a week because I enjoy the job and the people I have gotten to know over the past several months. But I am excited to start this new part of my life and see what happens in the upcoming months.

One of the duties of the new job is that I am responsible for a lot of the research and writing of Rachelle's blog and upcoming monthly online newsletter. I am super stoked about this because I love to write and research about the nutrition world and I get to be creative and come up with ideas of what to write about. She's basically said that she has full faith in what I have to say so I get to take the reins on these projects and just go with it. I now carry around a notebook with me so that I can jot down notes and ideas as I go about my day because some of the greatest ideas come at times you just don't expect them to. Also, if there comes a time in the near future in which I begin to crap out on keeping up on my personal blog here, take at look at postings such as Cuckoo for Coconut on the Rachelle Wood Nutrition website because I wrote it!

I would like to take a minute now to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my good friend Jo who is celebrating a rather big birthday tonight. Her actual birthday was on Monday but Monday is a silly day to have a birthday if you really want to celebrate it with true gusto. Obviously I will not tell the world how old she is turning but I will say that her time in the 20's is dwindling fast. Kind of like mine. Ugh. Why did I have to bring this depressing piece of information up like that? Anyway, this picture is of me and Jo at her 40's/50's themed birthday 2 years ago (I was going for a Rosie the Riveter look) Happy Birthday Jo!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Good News (x2)

I've been a bit of a crazy person the past few days due to the large amount of hours I have been working and I am not sure how many days of accumulating writing it will take to get this one post written, but I'm going to try my darndest to get something out there to remind my readers that I am alive and kicking.

The day I left for the Moncton interview (so last Friday), I was offered a job with Rachelle Wood, a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who works out of Charlottetown. I have been volunteering with her since October and her business is booming which means that she needs an extra pair of hands to help her out around the office with admin duties, as well as one-on-one counseling with her clients while she is away on business in other provinces. Of course I jumped at the chance at being able to work with her and also be able to actually use some of my education. I am very excited at this new opportunity as well as the skills I will be learning in the next few months and the events I will get to attend. Plus Rachelle is such a great inspiration and a great ball of energy which is a positive force to be in constant contact with. I hope that our diverse educational backgrounds will mesh well together and compliment each other in a way that will be beneficial to her clients and her practice.

Unfortunately this means that I did have to give my notice at Outriders which does make me sad. Everyone there was very welcoming and kind to me which I greatly appreciated. For now, I am going to try to keep one or two shifts a week and see how that goes. Since I am also still employed at the Culinary Institute as a banquet serving, trying to juggle 3 jobs might prove to be quite difficult as time goes on. Avoiding working at the CI was easy up to this point since they have had very few events happening the past couple of months, but things are picking up fast there and they are needing to get us in there several days a week. I never thought I would ever say this, but it sucks having jobs that I actually like! I feel that I will have to quit either Outriders or the CI just to keep my sanity and have a day off every now and then, but it's so hard to choose which! Only time shall tell I suppose.

I think you know who Chris and I are in this
picture vs. Bevans 
With the good news of my new job comes even more good news! Remember way back in November when we had that court date since our previous landlords appealed the decision of them having to pay for the extermination of the bedbugs that were in our apartment? Well finally, 3 months later, we heard back and they were denied their appeal which means that we are officially off the hook! Horray! I was only about 3% worried about getting negative news from this whole thing since they really had no case against us, so it was a nice relief to get the letter saying basically that the landlords are greedy jerks who try to take advantage of their sweet innocent tenants by trying to make them pay for their bad decisions of renting out their apartment to people who treated it like a shanty. I'm sure the letter was bit more professional and had a few more fancy terms than that, but you get the gist of it.