I'm a bit late to share this with you, Day 1 has already begun! But I truly enjoyed watching the interviews and have learned so much already! The Glowing Skin Summit is FREE and running from April 27th- May 4th, bringing secrets from 35 of the top wellness, nutrition, hormone and skin experts. They will teach you the best natural (and least invasive) treatments for glowing skin and vibrant health.
Our skin is so important, it is the largest organ of our body! And it really shows outwardly what is going on the inside. I love that, because it is a great warning system. Being fully honest- this is something I have been working on for years now! My skin was fine, maybe a bit dry but clear all through my 20s and teens. I was also taking the BCP. I stopped that about 5 years ago (got totally sick of using hormones to trick my body), and ever since then my skin has been my biggest challenge. So I am so excited to listen to this summit over and over again as I learn something new each time!
10 of my favourite daily skincare routines:
1) Take care of my gut health (you will learn why when listening to the summit!)- Probiotics, Prebiotics, Digestive Enzymes, Sauerkraut (naturally fermented), Kombucha, and organic fruits and veggies
2) Wash my face with a naturally anti-bacterial facecloth (Norwex) and warm water
3) Cleanse and tone my face with my favourite "liquid vitamins" Sensé Beautiful Science Skincare
4) Moisturize with Coconut Oil blended with Lavender essential oils (LOVE so many oils!)
5) Daily antioxidants and minerals, double dose of Omega 3s and a boost of vitamin C and grape seed extract (Proflavanol C!) <3 <3
6) Lemon water, lots of greens, fresh juices and wild salmon
7) Reduce sugars! This has been the most difficult for me. But it is always a work in progress- striving for progress every day. Here is a great blog post on how to reduce sugars : https://www.deepakchopra.com/blog/article/5196
8) Meditation, acceptance, self love. Reduce stress. Yoga. SLEEP!
9) Following my true path, being authentic to myself! Creating my Freedom Design program (which I cannot wait to share with you soon!)
10) Wash my sheets and clothing with Eco-balls, and Norwex laundry soap.
11) Bonus step! Get to the summit to learn more!! Register here!
There are so many more awesome tips you will learn about on the Summit!! I cannot wait to learn more and get my GLOW on! Join me!
The fall season in Ontario is truly one of the reasons we endure winter. Summer is wonderful but fall means fireplaces, sweatshirts, apple pie, and everything pumpkin! I have created a pumpkin spice smoothie (PSS) that I just LOVE and have had so many others enjoy as well, so I wanted to share that with all of you :)
It's so easy, here's what I do:
I use a Blendtec blender but really any type will do
- 1.5 Cups of almond milk, coconut milk, or whatever type you like best! When I'm in Toronto I pick up fresh pressed almond or coconut mylk from Donna at Mylk Run (she has many other goodies too)
- 3 Scoops of USANA's plant protein powder, Nutrimeal Free which is also super full of vitamins and minerals to help power your cells!
- ½ Cup of fresh pumpkin! I roast a pumpkin in the fall and then portion it off to cupcake sized servings to freeze and use at any time for smoothies. But at this time of year I am roasting pumpkins for pie anyhow so I just save some aside in the fridge.
- Pumpkin spices: Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Ginger, Vanilla. Use as you feel- more cinnamon and less of the others I find is less "spicy" for me!
- A handful of ice cubes
- ½ Scoop of USANA's Fibergy to bring in some extra fiber
- A teaspoon of MCT oil from Upgraded Self
And BLEND! Enjoy and feel free to share any fantastic modifications you make!
Sometimes it just takes making a commitment for a specific period of time to make a long term change. I've always been one for trying new eating programs and lifestyle decisions, "biohacking" to see what works best for me. When Julie Boyer showed me the 30 Day Whole Body Detox, I was all in! The "rules" include eliminating for 30 days: White sugar, dairy, gluten, and caffeine, and adding in: Plenty of fruits and veggies, exercise, lemon water, dry skin brushing, amazing vitamins, probiotics, and real whole foods. So technically is wasn't really a detox or cleanse- more of a healthy eating program that I wanted to stick to 100% for a 30 day window. Easy enough!
Check out the website HERE to see more of the details. It was great to have such a supportive team online going through it. In the first 10 days I felt some of the withdrawal symptoms. I am a believer that good quality coffee is good for you! 1-2 cups per day. I am also happy to encourage a glass of wine here and there. And although I am "gluten-free" I have certainly found ways to have gluten-free treats and justify them. But for the 30 days I took all of those things out.
If you have never made a decision to do something like this before, it is a great idea to prep yourself- we have a recorded webinar that you can watch to help get you started. Schedule in your calendar less events that you might be tempted with, or have a game plan. I actually found it easier to resist temptation because I could just tell friends, family, serving staff, whoever, that I was "doing a cleanse" so I needed modifications.
After the first 10 days passed- which were not totally difficult but definitely showed some challenges, the next 10 days were a breeze. I was in a routine, feeling good, and really enjoying the recipes in the provided guidebook. The last 10 days was where I really noticed things though, this is where I actually felt lighter, I was sleeping significantly better, and I could feel my digestive system saying "thank you" for not giving it things difficult to digest. I was using digestive enzymes as often as possible too- just to allow my system to have that little oomph of help.
Have you considered trying a detox? I highly recommend this one as a great way to start! It is easy to modify and adjust for different eating preferences, and doesn't require the elimination of many foods. Sugar, alcohol, dairy, and gluten are all very inflammatory which is why they are to be restricted in this program, and taking your omega 3 supplements, lemon water, and green smoothies will help reduce inflammation. Some side effects you may find- reduced pain, better digestion, better sleep, weight loss, softer skin, reduced anxiety, better breathing, or stronger nails to name a few. And if you can- aim to continue on after the 30 days! I picked a few habits that I had started and have kept up with them- lemon water with cayenne to start my day, a smoothie for breakfast, and staying gluten free!
I 100% believe there is a different food program for every single person on this planet, why not try something new, see how you feel and make tweaks based on that. Let me know if you want to try this program, I can coach you through it!
Join me on Instagram for some more photos!
We are aware that high stress can cause us to make poor nutritional choices, but there is an element to the opposite being true as well. Poor nutritional choices cause our body to be in a subconscious, low level of chronic whole body stress.
Stress is especially increased in a busy lifestyle.
This world IS a busy lifestyle. It is in a constant go-go-go state. Standing still leaves you behind. Relaxation is fleeting and often non-existent. Often an attempt at relaxation is even misinterpreted, for example watching a movie or TV does not relax the mind. Often it can make it even more stressed, from the images portrayed and the shock and violence on many popular shows.
By being in the continual state of busy-ness, what is happening is our body is in a constant fight or flight mode. This is a part of the nervous system in the body named the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)- specifically the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS). The complimentary side is the system that allows for rest and digest. This is the ParaSympathetic Nervous System (PSNS).
ANS- Muscles, heart, sweat glands. Fight or Flight.
PSNS- Salivation, tears, bowel, digestion, sleep, fertility organs. Rest and Digest.
So you might be wondering, how is nutrition related to this chronic body stress? It may be easier to understand how outside influences can cause our body to be in a constant stress state (think ambulances screaming by your house frequently if you live near the hospital), but how is this related to food and nutrition?
There are two ways that this occurs, these being: LACK & TOXINS
You body wants to repair and recover. Each cell in your body has literally millions of reactions going on each and every day. These reactions are required to function. If your cells are not properly nourished daily, they will be in a state of lack. Think of how you feel when you might be in a financial state of lack- a need, a worry, a stress- so what do you do? Sell things from your house. Ask a friend for money. Go bankrupt maybe. Your cells are just like you. If you do not provide them with what they need, they stress out and steal from other sources (for example this occurs in your bones which causes osteoporosis). Your cells may go bankrupt and eventually they die. The more that this happens the more problems you will have with your entire body. Every cell matters. Every cell is a small part of a greater being. Essentially your body and your health is one and the same with each and every cell in your body.
When you take in toxins, and if you take in plenty of inflammatory foods, again your body is in a stress mode. The liver as a whole and each individual cell in the body is constantly going through a detoxification phase which doesn't allow it to fight anything else. These chronic toxins cause body inflammation. This inflammation is a perfect environment to harbour and grow disease.
Ok so it's bad right? But I won't leave you with only bad news, here are some suggestions on how to fix the lack state and reduce and eliminate toxins:
1) Eat nutrient dense foods. Choose foods based on how nutritious they are. Ask yourself the question- What nutrients am I taking in with this food I am about to eat? This is vitally important when making food for children. They truly need nutrients to build new and stronger cells. Foods that are nearly entirely carbohydrates (which are just sugar) will not provide nutrition. Think about the rest of the story, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and hormones.
2) Avoid toxins. Easy enough right?! This is a real challenge. I recommend the book The Healthy Home to learn some fantastic ways to reduce toxins all throughout your home. You can also use natural cleaning products, or my favourite- Norwex which is literally cleaning with water! When it comes to skin and hair care, choose items that are as close to natural as possible. The Sense Beautiful Science line really fits that category, and I love Miessence also! Anything you can do to avoid the unnatural is a step in the right direction.
3) Take a good quality multivitamin and multi-mineral supplement, omega 3s and probiotics. I've mentioned this in the past, but you really get what you pay for in vitamins. Be sure you choose premium quality. Taking a multivitamin/multimineral will help keep your body out of that lack state. Combine this with nutrient dense foods and you are really moving toward optimal cellular health. The omega 3s are great to help reduce that body inflammation that occurs, just be sure it is pure and comes from small fish to avoid the mercury toxicity concern. Probiotics help your digestive system and immune system. By doing what you can to maintain those healthy gut bacteria, your body can produce certain nutrients, it can detoxify, and help prevent illness. You can take a health assessment here to see what is recommended for your specific concerns: The True Health Assessment.
4) Sleep more. Only you know how much sleep you really need, but sleep is a time when plenty of repair and restoration occurs in the body. If you are stressed, it may be difficult to sleep initially, but look into improving your sleep patterns and really make sleep a priority. This is especially important for babies and if you are having trouble getting baby to sleep you may find some help here: Sleep Wise
5) Meditate. I highly recommend Gabby Bernstein to get started, and then move on from there to whatever feels right. Meditation is not about "not thinking" so much as it is about calming the mind to allow greater things to flow in. This may be the most important step in changing your stress levels. Once you are not constantly buzzing in your head, other things are easier to change and improve. Let me know how it goes if you give it a try!
6) Spend time outside. Nature is healing. Spend time in the grass, or under a tree. Swim in the water, play in the snow. Truly the energy of the environment is something we have greatly disconnected from. I personally have challenged myself to a 30 minute walk each day just to be outside and feel the day.
7) Spend time with family and friends. Connections with others is really all that matters. I tend to look at it this way, when you are very old and in your final days, will you wish you had more things? Will you wish you travelled more? Will you wish you accomplished more awards and achievements? Or will you wish you had spent more time with your parents, your children, your husband or wife, your best friend, and your pet? The connections we feel with others are what is most important. All the rest is amazing and wonderful but making time with loved ones a priority is essential. And yes that includes our pets, of course! (meow)
8) Focus on loving your life and the rest will follow- "When you change the way you look at things, the way you look at things change" Wayne Dyer.
I know these aren't all easy. Take one step at a time. I admit I am not there either! But it is a process and if we encourage each other and believe in each other, we can truly change the energy of the world.
My Thoughts and Feelings After One Year of Eating a "Real Food" Diet.
If you followed my blog previously, you would remember me switching to a vegan "plant based" diet January of 2012. After 3 months of doing this and realizing that my heath was suffering, I found a whole new type of nutrition and in April of 2012 I focused on a real food diet (sometimes called Just Eat Real Food or JERF). I spoke about following a Bulletproof Diet, and eating foods for their nutrient density. This meant, after 17 years vegetarian, I started eating meat. I haven't posted in awhile, and I wanted to share with you all what it has been like through the past year my new way of looking at food.
What was I eating before? Vegan/vegetarian. High in carbohydrates through breads, cereals, fruits, and veggies. High in soy through meat alternatives. Cliff bars, oatmeal, ezekial bread with almond butter and honey. Previous to the 3 months of veganism I would eat cheese and fish, but in those three months I stuck with soy cheeses and tofu. Lots of fruit, plenty of vegetables. Avocado, olives, cooking with olive oil. Sounds fairly healthy right? I felt awful about one month in.
What am I eating now? Bacon, eggs, butter, steaks, roasts, coffee, plenty of veggies, berries, coconut oil, nuts, avocados, olives, fish, seafood, dark chocolate and coconut milk. Sounds delicious eh?! Those of you who know me, know why I put bacon first :)
And how does that make you feel? (Asked in a very professional psychologist type of way). I feel better than I have ever felt in my whole life! It is absolutely amazing to me how great I feel with eating so many things that I believed were bad for me for so many years. But belief is the key word. Much of our health and nutrition information is based on a belief that what the medial and the government tells us is well researched and correct. Better to "biohack" yourself. Try out different diets and see what works for you. For me, this is the solution at this time in my life.
So what exactly am I feeling? Plenty more energy, all day long. I can go many hours without eating and not feel any blood sugar drops at all, and this was a huge problem for me a year ago. I think I would have been considered pre-diabetic if I had told my M.D my symptoms.. maybe I should just ask my sister! I can concentrate and think more clear than I ever have before. I continue to avoid most colds and flus- I used to get sick nearly every month and now I rarely do (that began with taking my Usana vitamins though), but now even my allergies are greatly reduced.
What about my cholesterol though? If you can believe this, when I was in chiropractic college, we did a cholesterol blood test on ourselves. Myself and the other vegetarian, had the highest total cholesterol!! It was shocking. I now understand that total cholesterol is not a good marker of health, but regardless it seemed strange. I have had my blood work done a couple of times now, the first one was about 3 months into my new diet. For a life insurance policy. I was slightly worried hahaha... But in fact it turned out to be great with all of my levels being within normal, including my total triglycerides. This was great to hear since about 40-60% of my calories per day come from fat. I had my blood work done again a few months ago and my numbers had all gone down, except my HDL which is what you want to be up! It was really awesome to see. I also tested my vitamin D, since I take 3000-5000 I.U/day and wanted to be sure I am not too high. I was within normal and even on the low end. Considering my vitamins follow pharmaceutical standards, I knew it wasn't the product. I really can and need to supplement with that much or more! I will continue to test though, and you should as well, to be sure you are doing what is best for your own body.
Weight changes? Yes and no. I don't have a scale. It causes stress and I advocate that how your clothes fit is much more important. But my clothes still fit and I have switched to bacon and eggs and butter. Now the problem, I think, is that I eat 80/20 real food. I definitely have "cheat days" and my worst ones involve sugar. I will forever have to watch my sugar cravings, I can imagine many people understand this feeling. My plan for the next year of this is to really work on my sugar intake. Maybe that will be my post next year! It's a tough one, and will keep your body in a sugar burning mode (as opposed to fat burning) and can really halt fat loss. So basically I feel amazing, even significantly better in my own skin regardless of what has or hasn't changed. Oh did I mention I don't have to count calories or portion control? That is a huge bonus also. I eat until I am full, which is so easy to do with delicious fats and proteins and butter soaked veggies!
In my previous posts you can learn details on what I eat specifically and why, and resources to do this for yourself if you want to also! Feel free to email me with any questions or thoughts, I am happy to help!
Until next time,
You may have noticed over time that I have become pretty attached to supplementation. Initially I thought there was no need, just eat food that is good for you. But as time went on and I did experimental trials on myself I began to see how that isn’t the way to be optimal. Here is just one example: my ideal daily vitamin D may be 3000 I.U. I could sit outside each afternoon with skin exposed for about 30 minutes and then I would be able to achieve optimal absorption. My cells could function with the exact amount that they need to do all of the processes they want to do (which is literally hundreds of thousands). But unfortunately, I have to work indoors. All day. Then what? There is also research to show that when over weight or obese, your absorption of vitamin D from the sunshine is much reduced, and not to mention it's not always warm enough in Canada to sit outside in your swimmers each day! Vitamin D is a special case because it is near impossible to obtain from food, but if I supplement with my optimal dose I can at least ensure that my body has received what it needs to processes as much as possible until my next chance to go outside. Same story for all of the ESSENTIAL (which means necessary to ingest) vitamins and minerals. Sadly vitamins are becoming more difficult to extract from food, partially because the mass production of food is becoming more and more deficient compared to what it was even in the 50’s and partially because the pesticides and toxins are preventing our bodies from absorbing them. It is also important to consider that our food is so clean that there are hardly any of the essential minerals and good bacteria left on them (but of course we need to clean them thoroughly because we don't know where most of our food has been, and who's hands have touched it). If you have your own organic garden I highly recommend rinsing your fruits and veggies (spiders are not essential) but no need to scrub them down with harsh soaps or chemicals! So why supplement? To ensure you reach minimum standards. No, it’s not necessary, you CAN live without. A tree can also live on pavement. But it does so much better in lush nutrient rich soil. Humans have the same story. Give your body what it needs to be optimal and that’s what you will be. Give it what it needs to survive and that’s what will happen, you will survive. You may not sleep well, you may not feel energetic daily, and you will eventually be faced with illness- whether it be a cold, or a real disease. I will not say that disease is 100% preventable, but there is surely a role that our nutrition plays in it. Really, it’s up to you. You can decide how you want to live and feel. You can use the best of food, or the ultimate in supplements, but when you blend both you see optimal results. If you believe that food is the answer, I love that you feel that way, and I am sad that I feel it isn’t completely that way any more. But you CAN attempt that with proper meats, veggies, fruits, and nuts & seeds. You need to be sure you eat liver from healthy animals and fats from both plant and animals sources frequently, and you should make sure you are eating plenty of food each day to cover your minimum requirements. Otherwise grab your high quality independently assessed vitamins and at least feel some assurance that you have taken one step closer to being optimal.
I have linked here my page for Usana Health Sciences. I know and trust their products and am comfortable offering them to you. I do make a commission so you should know that, and I appreciate your purchase greatly! I also have access to Douglas Labs and Thorne Research which I use for more specific things at times and we can look at what you might need in an in-office visit if interested.
Of course this topic is controversial and some believe strongly one way or the other! This is just my knowledge of the subject and everyone has the right to their opinion. Thank you for listening and I hope I have helped in some way :)
I love to share health information, wealth building tips, entrepreneurial ideas, and travel experiences! Talk about a range! But doing what I love has truly paid off and I hope to help inspire you to do the same!