Category Archives: Blog

Boogie Your Way To A Healthier You

 

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If you’re like me, you love to dance. It’s one of a my all-time favorite things to do and I am so happy I married a great guy who loves to dance as much as I do. We’ll dance to almost any kind of music but we do like rock, old and new, the best. Because we love dancing so much, we never really considered the health benefits. It’s an added bonus to find out there are many. Did you know that shaking your booty can:

 

  • strengthen your cardiovascular system and heart
  • keeps our brain active
  • burns loads of calories
  • reduces stress and increases confidence
  • strengthens core muscles
  • slows agin process by keeping us moving and our joints lubricated
  • keeps bones strong, preventing osteoarthritis
  • strengthens and tones legs
  • develops poise and balance
  • And dancing makes us happy.

Dancing is also great for the brain. The intricate steps of ballroom dance create new neuron pathways, keeping the brain nimble and sharp. Dancing can make you smarter.

 

Not only are there incredible benefits to dancing the night away but when you are out for a night on the town, just being with friends can has a positive impact on your health. Laughter releases endorphins, companionship raises mood levels and shifts our state of being.

 

In our small town we now have ballroom dance classes and we recently started a women only dance night.  We all take turns creating a play list and one evening a week we all get together to dance like no one will post it on fb or Instagram.   And we all promised “no posting!”

 

There are many ways to get our exercise, shift our mood and take charge of our health. But one of the funnest ways to accomplish this goal is to get out of the house and go dancing.

5 Painless Ways To Improve Your Diet Today.

 

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Food, wonderful food. We crave it, we sacrifice for it, we wash with it, we love it and hate it.

 

Food evokes such emotion in us humans. As soon as we can’t have something, we suddenly need it more than we ever thought possible. And many times, that thing we crave is the food we really shouldn’t be indulging in. Eliminating these foods from our diet can seem like an impossible challenge. How do we change from bingeing on a bucket of ice cream to nibbling carrot sticks?

 

Well, it doesn’t have to be as drastic as that. Here a 5 easy ways to add changes to your diet today without going through withdrawal hell.

 

1. Don’t look at changing your diet all at once and don’t think of it as taking away the things you love. Look at it from the perspective of what can you add in. Add a pre-dinner salad with a light dressing. Don’t load on the high fat Ranch or Ceasar. A little olive oil and balsamic vinegar or garlic vinaigrette will do nicely. This serves to not only bring in some fresh veggies but it also takes up some room in your stomach so you don’t eat as much.

 

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2. Add yummy green smoothies to your day. I try and replace one meal with a green smoothie. I will usually try and make it my breakfast. I think it’s easy on the stomach, nice and fresh and it seems like a good way to start the day. Mind you, today it was 30 below Celsius and today my body wanted something hot and filling. So I made the smoothie for lunch. Perfect. Some days work out and some don’t.

 

I hadn’t been a fan of green smoothies until the last few months. Now I love them. If you are already a fan of fruit smoothies, that’s great. It’s simply a matter of adding in a bit of baby kale, some cilantro or parsley, a couple pieces of celery or cucumber and you won’t believe how yummy it is.

 

3. I love stirfries. My wok is one of my favorite kitchen essentials. But many recipes call for sauteing in oil. I have found that using chicken broth or a bit of water works just as well for me. Once it’s all cooked up and I add the sauce, I then add in that yummy toasted sesame oil, just a few teaspoons, and it is just delish. And a wonderful bonus…..stir fries are loaded with yummy veggies, a little bit of meat and very little fat. Good for you and yummy, too.

 

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4. Drink your water. Yes, this is something so easy that you can add into your daily diet that will make a difference throughout your body.

 

Did you know that our body is made up of at least 65% water? And did you know that roughly 95% of people are chronically dehydrated? That’s bad. Your body needs to be properly hydrated to have all systems functioning properly. You need at least 8 8oz glasses of water per day. And one lovely little “diet” trick is to drink one or two glasses of water before you eat. You won’t be nearly as hungry, you will have given a nice boost to your digestive system and your skin, brain, joints, organs and various other body parts, will thank you.

 

5. When you look at the number of diets that are out there for you to choose from and how each one will give you any number of foods that are bad for you, is it any wonder that you are so confused? I am, too.

 

So my plan has been to:

 

a) decrease the amount of gluten in my diet (although I do enjoy a slice of garlic bread or a plate of homemade pasta once in a while). Gluten really is somewhat damaging to the lining of the intestine and can cause microscopic cuts that allow larger pieces of food to be released into our system where they should not be. This is called Leaky Gut and although the pieces of food are still incredibly tiny, they can still cause damage.

 

b) eat lean meat. I have never been a big fatty meat eater anyway, but I am now a bit more conscious of it now. And it hasn’t really changed the way I eat. To me, the meat tastes better and, in some of my recipes, the fattier meats just wreck the recipe.

 

c) add more organic foods into my diet and increase the amount of fresh fruits and veggies. I do love a huge salad made up of different greens, purple cabbage, red pepper, carrot, cauliflower, broccoli and drizzled with my favorite balsamic; a Raspberry Chipotle Reduction. Oh my!!! ( Yes, I love George Takei’s facebook page. ) Easy Peasy!!

 

Simple things you can add to your diet can make a world of difference to your health and enjoyment of life.

Are You Eating From The Rainbow?

 

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Are you choosing foods from all the colors of the rainbow?

 

A very smart friend recommended this technique to me and I found it to be lots of fun. As I tried to add more and more color to my plate, I had more and more fun creating meals that were just downright pretty.

 

One of my favorite things to create was a big salad with yellow peppers, spring greens, purple cabbage, shaved carrots, white cauliflower and sliced organic strawberries. Then I just drizzled a bottled Raspberry & Chipotle balsamic reduction over it and it was just WOW! So good.

 

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Stir fries are another great way to add that rainbow of color to your meal.

 

We really like a pan full of peppers, asparagus, purple onion, shredded chicken, carrots and water chestnuts sauteed just till tender crisp. I don’t use oil to saute these days. I find that a bit of water or chicken broth added to the pan works just fine. I just cover with a lid and steam till they are done the way we like.

 

We have a couple sauces that we like but I think the favorite is Spicy Garlic Sauce. I jotted down the recipe for you below.

 

Spicy Garlic Stir Fry Sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 Tablespoons soya sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar – I use date sugar. It’s filled with potassium, fibre and other nutrients.
  • 1 teaspoon sambal, for spice.  If you don’t care for spicy just leave this part out.  It’s still yummy.

If you like saucier stir fries, simply adjust measurements to suit. I have made this for 10 people and just increased everything to create more sauce. I also added a couple tablespoons of cornstarch (non-GMO!!! ) to thicken it a bit.

 

Instead of using rice or noodles, I sometimes like to serve stir fries over spinach or cole slaw mix. Takes the place of noodles quite nicely.

 

Make your meals exciting, fun and deliciously healthy by eating from the rainbow today. 

5 Great Holiday Stress Busters.

 

 

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Although the holidays are a great time for enjoying time with family and friends, it has also become one of the most stressful times of the entire year for many people. The holiday season creates more stress and anxiety than any other time of the year.

 

We feel it is very important for people to pay extra attention to their health during this time. One of the best things to do is find ways to have a great holiday season while changing the way we do some of the things that can cause stress.

 

Here are 5 great tips to manage that stress, get everything done and enjoy your time with your loved ones.

 

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1. Do what you can in the weeks before Christmas.

  • Cook and freeze meals, appetizers, desserts and cookies.
  • Get your shopping done early and take advantage of online shopping as well.
  • Get gifts wrapped at the store, set aside a day to get them all done or do a few at a time throughout the days leading up to Christmas.
  • If you are one of those wonderful crafty Goddesses, do as much as you can throughout the year.

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2. Make Lists. Lots of them. Here are some ideas:

  • important appointments, parties or dates you have to remember.
  • what foods you are preparing for the Big Meal and for any entertaining you will be doing.
  • make a master grocery list so you know ahead of time what you need.
  • of course, your gift and shopping list.

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3. Simplify. There are many ways you can lighten your work load and still do all the entertaining, etc, that you normally do.

  • make your pre-Christmas party an appetizer potluck.
  • give gifts that don’t require wrapping, such as donations in your loved one’s name, homemade coupons for special treats throughout the year, gift cards.
  • shop online.

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4. Take care of yourself.

  • get plenty of rest.
  • take some time to relax.
  • remember to take your vitamins and probiotics daily.
  • get some sort of exercise every day.

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5. Take time to have fun

  • go sledding, build a snow man or hit the slopes.
  • take a hike or a walk in the woods.
  • take the kids to check out the neighbourhood Christmas lights.
  • spend time just relaxing with your family and friends.

 

Wishing you a wonderful Holiday Season. Joy to you throughout the coming year.

Are You Waiting For New Years Day To Commit To Your Best Life?

 

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New Years Day is only 2 months away. Yikes! Where did the year go?

 

What incredible changes have comes into everyone’s lives over the last 10 months?   Are you where you thought you would be? Have you given as much as you wanted to living life on your terms? No? Me neither.

 

Life, with the ups and downs of a crab boat stuck in the perfect storm, has a way of sidetracking our best intentions and sinking them out of sight. And why do we wait till that one special day in the year to make new commitments to living our best life? Are we not worthy of making that promise to ourselves during the remaining 364 days? Yes, we certainly are.

 

I know that Christmas Crazy Time is just around the corner but there are many things you can do to now to regain and maintain your commitment to living your best life. Here are just a few:

 

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Pay a little more attention to what you eat.

 

I know, we hear that every day but remembering that your body relies on you for fuel to live, it’s a good idea to look at your diet. And choosing the ‘right’ diet is massively confusing, with options like Paleo, Eat/Fast, Raw Diet, Low Carb.

 

I think it comes down to being in tune with your body and really noticing how different foods or diet plans affect it. But one sure fire tip I got from my wise friend, Lynne, is Eat From The Rainbow. I love it. That I can do. It’s easy, it’s fun, it fits our crazy lifestyle. Oh, and it’s good for you.

 

Purple cabbage, onions and eggplant, red pomegranate, peppers and apples, green kale, kiwi and celery, yellow beans, bananas and squash, orange…well, oranges. You get the idea. Begin introducing a rainbow of color into your diet, today.

 

Molecular Thoughts

 

 

Play mind games.  No, not that kind! 

 

 

 

Nourishing your body is important, but are you nourishing your mind? Did you know your brain creates new neural pathways as you learn new skills? Yes, simply learning a new language, taking up carpentry or using your non-dominate hand for, say, brushing your teeth, moves your brain out of habitual patterning. It then has to create new paths for the new information.

 

I find that fascinating and exciting. Many people keep their brain active by doing word puzzles like cross-word or find-a-word. Others make a commitment to learn something new each year. But one of the funnest ways I can think of to keep that ol’ grey matter lively and jellin’ is dance.

 

New research has shown that pattern dancing, such as ballroom or salsa can create new neural pathways and is great for maintaining that mind/body connection. Time to get out there and jumpstart your brain today.

 

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Keep on improving.

 

Benjamin Franklin may have been one of the first self-improvement gurus in North America. He sat down one day and really took a good look at his life. He realized there was room for improvement and listed several areas on which to focus. After prioritizing the list, he then devoted one month of concentrated effort to each item on his list.

 

Do you think he ever stopped growing and improving? Probably not till the day he died. Start your list today. Self growth is good for the soul, otherwise you stagnate. Reinvent what is not working in your life.

 

As your car of life moves along, are you just a passenger in the back seat with no control over where life takes you? Or are you in the drivers seat, with the top down, music playing, wind blowing through your hair? You are the one holding the keys!

 

Don’t wait till New Years Eve. Any day can be the day you take charge. Make life-changing choices today! You can create a life that sizzles and sings. You deserve that.

A Movie To Lift The Spirit.

 

 

 

 

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Movies move us to every different emotion known to man, and then some. They make us cry and think, laugh and wonder, rage at atrocities and tremble in terror.

 

But my favorite movies are ones that lift my spirits and make me happy. Did you know that doing something that lifts your spirits and gives you that rush of feel-good endorphins is good for your health? So your Friday night movie just might be good for your health. That’s pretty good news. Just don’t forget to fit in a bit of exercise to work off that popcorn.

 

One of the best movies I have seen that brings that joyful lifting of the spirit is called Michael starring John Travolta as, believe it or not, Arch Angel Michael. It’s from 1996. And he is not your average Angel. Leave it to Travolta to take even an Arch Angel and create a character all his own that, once you experience him, you will never forget.

 

I found a trailer on youtube

 

 

I hope that you enjoy it.

The Spirit Of The Journey.

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There are many and various things that fill and feed the spirit of we humans. We may find it in our local church, mosque or temple. We may find it close to home or far away from our roots. Or it may be that we discover it in different ways through many different avenues.

 

My sweetie and I love to travel. We have been many beautiful places, some simply out in the forests of British Columbia, close to home, others far, far away. We went to Egypt a few years back. It filled us with wonder and amazement. Each temple was sacred and profound for different reasons. We have been all over North America and into the Caribbean and have felt profound connection with our spirit in each of those places in different ways.

 

This is a quote from Rev. Dave Brown. He captures the essence, I think, of travelling to distant places and how we can be more than simply a tourist. We can become a part of that place, if only for a moment in time.

 

Click the link for the rest of his wonderful article.

 

“Yet, the spirituality of travel is about more than going to sacred places. It is about the way we travel, the way we present to the places where we travel, being more than a sightseer but someone who engages and interacts with the places they visit. Traveling with openness in our heart, mind and soul we may find ourselves nourished and engaged in ways expected and in ways that may surprise us. “

 

Read more here:  https://www.bellinghamherald.com/opinion/article22218498.html

How To Find The Best Probiotic Supplement For You

 

 

 

 

 

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Probiotics have made the news and judging from recent research, there is good reason. Studies are now showing the importance of having a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria in your digestive tract. Your overall health, physically, emotionally and mentally depends on it.

 

But how do you choose between all the new brands that are popping up everywhere? How many billions of good bacteria should you look for? How many different strains should be listed on the label? Does it really matter where they are manufactured? 

 

You want to be sure your probiotic supplement is by a reputable company, created with the best ingredients available under strict quality guidelines..  Many corporations have taken their business overseas and the quality is, oftentimes, doubtful. 

 

Experts recommend at least 5 billion CFU (colony forming units) as a minimum but 10 billion per day or more is preferable. It may take a few days or a few weeks for these amazing little bugs to colonize and restore balance to your gut. Once you notice a positive difference in how your feel, how regular you become and how the bathroom smells when you are done, you will know that those friendly bacteria have done their work.

 

When looking for a probiotic, how do you decide which one to choose? Some have 20 strains, some have 1 strain and there seems to be a huge range in between. Think of it this way. If you are building a house, do you want your framer to do the electrical? Or would you like your plumber to also do your tile work or build your kitchen cabinets? No. Each contractor has an area they specialize in. It is the same with probiotic supplements.

 

There are different strains and they have different jobs in different areas of the digestive tract. It is recommended to look for a probiotic with at least 5 strains that number in the billions for each one. L. Acidolphilus works to adjust the PH level in your body, destroying pathogenic microbes. L. Casei promotes the growth of L. Acidophilus and helps with protection against pathogens Bacillcus Subtillus activates the human defence systems, fighting off viruses, yeast overgrowth and pathogens L. Plantarum protects against yeast overgrowth from antibiotics, both prescribed and from the meat we eat. Other probiotic strains to look for are L. Rhamnosus and B. Breve

How Important Are Probiotics To Your Unborn Baby?

 

 

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Bringing a new child into your family is exciting.  You have so much to think about…the nursery, a changing lifestyle, who will your new little one look like?  Hopefully not Great-Uncle Herbie. 

 

Chances are, you haven’t really thought about adding a probiotic supplement to your maternity supplement routine.  It’s not usually something your doctor recommends but it may be something to inquire about.   

 

And why would they be important?  Here are 5 things to consider:

 

1. Your overall wellbeing is important not only to you but to your baby, as well. If you are in your best physical health your pregnancy will be much more enjoyable. You will experience less stress, which, new studies show, can transfer to your growing baby. A well balanced bacterial environment throughout the body can reduce inflammation, increase brain function and fatigue and support your hormones during pregnancy.

 

2. Digestive issues are a common complaint during pregnancy. We can suffer from gas, bloating, constipation, heartburn and cramping. Not much fun when you should be at your happiest. Probiotics are known to help combat all of these and make being pregnant just that much more enjoyable.

 

3. Emotional upheaval is one of the many issues pregnant women have. The hormones are going every which direction and some days you don’t know whether you are Jekyll or Hyde. If you begin taking probiotics today, this will go a long way in regulating your hormones on a day to day basis, even if you are not pregnant. And while mood swings are very common during pregnancy, you will at least know that you have done everything you can do to prevent them from being over the top.

 

4. infections are uncomfortable at the best of times. If you suffer from chronic yeast infections or any type of urogenital infections, this is a common sign that your digestive system has been overrun by bad yeasts and bacteria. If this is the case, taking probiotics becomes very important for you. Probiotics contain billions of friendly bacteria. As they colonize in your gut, they begin to eliminate the bad bugs, (leaving some, as they do have their uses), re-establishing a healthy, supportive environment that will help you keep those infections at bay.

 

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5. Most importantly is that your bacterial balance can have an effect on your child’s health all through its life. Although new research is showing that the baby may contract some bacteria in utero, it mostly relies on your bacteria to begin colonizing on its skin and within the intestinal tract. If the bacteria in your birth canal, where baby picks up the micro-organisms, is overgrown with unfriendly bacteria and yeasts, it may have an effect on your baby’s health. 

 

So start your probiotic supplement today and make your pregnancy one of joy, happiness & wonderful health.