Thursday, December 31, 2009

Let's go the distance...reflections of a decade



2010! WOW, I am still just grasping that the last 10 years have been the first decade of a new millennium. Can you remember where you were 10 years ago? Oddly enough, I don't. I don't remember what I did or was doing for the month of December in 1999. If you were there with me as the dawn of a new millennium was upon us, please remind me.

However, I do know this....that the last 10 years of my life have been intense! I have had to fight for every minute of it, but the best part is, I remember it and I am grateful for it all. I have lived in a way I couldn't imagine and with a new year just around the corner, I am not about to jump off the momentum I have already set foot with. There are many great things to come in our near future. Opportunity to make steps in a positive direction and to keep going forward along the path that each of our journeys' hold.

What did the last decade hold for me? LIFE! My eyes and heart open and my choice was for life. I chose a life with God, a life shared with my husband, to risk my life to share in the life of two beautiful boys, to walk with others that have chosen a life eternal, to WORK IT OUT and change how I walk through my life with a focus on fitness, nutrition, and longevity....my path and journey is a fight for promoting living life, fully. I will gladly put on those gloves and get into the ring of my life...it's mine and I plan to go the distance.

Let's reflect on the road of success that brought us through 10 years and to the beginning of another decade that is filled with the potential of much joy, happiness, and success. Here's to the best in the New Year!



Friday, December 11, 2009

Spiced banana banana bread



This recipe is a family favorite and this is the recipe for the latest version made. I made substitutes (and additions) from the original recipe to suit our dietary requirements (gluten free, egg free, no white sugar/flour).


Makes 1 loaf

* 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan (I used 1/2 cup olive oil or sometimes 1/2 cup coconut oil)
* 1/2 cup honey
* 1 tablespoon molasses
* 2 large bananas (or 2 large eggs)
* 1 1/2 cup flour ( I used 1/2 cup chickpea flour, 1/2 cup rice/millet flour, 1/2 cup ground buckwheat and quinoa)
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
* 1/2 cup sour cream (or full fat plain yogurt...I used organic unhomogenized)
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and honey until well mixed. Add eggs (bananas), and beat to incorporate.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Add to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. Add sour cream (yogurt), and vanilla; mix to combine. Stir in nuts (optional), and pour into prepared pan.
3. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Looking back through my own eyes at the future I am living

Long title, but best description. I'm not going to go into a long, drawn-out historical recount of my childhood, but today as I was walking home from dropping my son to school, I asked myself "Would I have ever imagined as a young girl who was singled-out, bullied and harassed in school, that I would be the woman who would work with children the age I was to help them through the same difficulties I had faced? I get the chance each day to share in the struggles of children as they learn and reflect what they have learned in their social interactions. I am seen as a "safe" place to turn to many children, when growing up, I didn't have that. I can remember one teacher in particular who took care of me and looked out for me, providing me with a listening ear in my struggles and I share this name whenever I recount the experiences I had in elementary school.

Over this last week, I helped a boy, that was misunderstood by classmates and teachers, to be forgiven for past actions and allowed the chance to prove he can change for the better. It was great having the opportunity to not only give this boy a little direction, but also to let him know that I believe in him to change in the way he wanted to and to be successful at it. He has all the right tools to succeed and do well, not only in school, but in life due to the heart of willingness he possesses. He showed me respect in the best way he knew how and vulnerability that only those who choose to take risks in life are willing to share. He has been helpful, respectful, and confident in his actions so far and I am excited to see where he will go next. Even my own son has had "stuff" to deal with and I shared with him what I went through and that he does have safe places to turn to (other than me) in times of need and he needs to use them.

I, as a young girl, would love to have watched this movie of success and overcoming as I have lived and I am glad that through the trials, struggles and pains I had lived in the past have brought me to such a fruitful future as the one I am living today.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Recipe: Mashed potatoes - trial 1

Today I cooked a vegetable chili and am pairing it with mashed potatoes and mixed greens.

I haven't shared much for recipes as I tend to just through stuff in with an eyeballed measure and pray that God will help it to taste fabulous, but I am experimenting with modifying the mash potato recipe and I wanted to share my trials ;). Usually I use chicken stock and minced garlic with a few herbs, but out of chicken stock, so necessity required a solution.


Mash potatoes - Trial 1

10 medium potatoes cooked, but not peeled, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1 cup water

Mashed the potatoes in a large bowl and set aside. You can add some water to help it along and achieve a smoother texture. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients making sure to whisk to an even consistency. Pour the oil mixture in with the potatoes and mix with a hand-held mixer until smooth.

Now of course this can be adjusted according to taste, but this is just the beginning....

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Question of the day: Why am I afraid sometimes?

I am going after my fears, not only to get rid of what is hindering me in certain areas of my life, but to fully understand why I choose to be fearful.

This morning as I was talking to my son who was afraid his brother was going to do something that has not even been done yet (or was even going to be attempted....oh well) and I realized that sometimes we choose to be fearful based on our anticipation of something negative happening. Now, it hasn't happened, so in reality we are only responding to our imagination, the scenario we have created in our minds. We are fearful of what we have come up with in our minds...hmmmm...is it real? Real enough to develop into a very real response from our bodies. But is it based on truth and an actual experience? Perhaps not. Maybe we are responding based on a previous incident (very possible), but in the end, why not let the situation unfold and respond accordingly to what HAS happened. Are we afraid of how we would respond if we were in a situation? Afraid of how others are going to respond? Can we control how others will respond (maybe by our response)? Is our mind trying to prepare for that outcome? I would think that if I created a scenario in my mind (which I do a LOT), that I would like to manipulate that scenario to not only be how I would like it to turn out (since it is MY imagination), but that also provides for me options of how to respond in a way that is positive, encouraging, and helps me to grow and learn. And the best part is, in the process of gauging how I would like to respond, I can then prepare myself to be ready to experience such a situation in the future, if it is to happen or not.

So what have I pulled out of this ponder session?

I should ask myself....

Is my fear based on what is really happening to me at the moment or is it based on my imagination? If it is based on my imagination, am I developing a fearful, physical response beforehand based on an anticipated, negative reaction, or am I playing out the possibilities based on experience to respond in a more desired and positive way?

How can I make the scenario in my head work for me? In preparing my response to be a fruitful and positive one and visualizing the scenario to be different and more to how I would want it to be(whether or not it actually happens).

How can I be more equipped in a situation that I have an anticipated fearful response to now? I can be prepared and informed. If it is a performance-based action that I am fearful of, what actions can I take to be better prepared and have the scenario result in an encouraging and successful experience. Am I fearful due to a lack of knowledge and experience? Then do the research and seek the advice from those that are successful in an area that I am unsure of.

Have faith! Some things are unknown and uncertain when it comes to outcome, but if we allow the situation to unfold and see what wonderful things can come from experience, we can grow and respond according to the actual circumstance. I know that from my experiences with being fearful, a lot of my actions leading up to a scenario are affected and I may walk a road of negativity before I even reach the situation, if ever at all. It built up in me a lack of being content and enjoying the moment, fostering feelings of dislike, distrust, and a critical heart when put in a situation that "may" call on me being put into the situation I was fearfully anticipating. Most of the time, the situation never happened as I feared. And now that I am trying to respond more in the moment, I feel a whole lot lighter and less "imposed" on by my fearful thoughts. I have stopped attacking myself and allowed myself to enjoy living and being a part of life more fully.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Workout with Holly!




Holly has made another great resource available to help busy moms and women get the fat loss results they are looking for with the Fit Yummy Mummy workout DVD package. I have been following Holly and Fit Yummy Mummy for 2 years now and I have had some amazing results with fat loss and fitness and continue to refine my shape, stay energized, and fit with the Fit Yummy Mummy workouts. And with all the resources that Holly has provided and makes available, she really sets you up for success in achieving your fitness goals and leading an informed, healthy lifestyle.

With the Fit Yummy Mummy workout DVD package, you get the bonus of seeing the exercise done in proper form and the pace in which Holly does the workouts in to get in a full body workout in just 15 minutes. There are also added bonuses available in the Fit Yummy Mummy workout DVD package for a short time, so go and check it out.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Get the most out of the season....What are you harvesting?

I love Autumn! It is my favorite season and September is the point at which major change in my life is marked by a series of unforgettable events. Well, I must say that over the last 6 months months or so, there have been many unforgettable moments that have helped to bring on "my" season of change and growth. I have gotten a great opportunity to really search who I am and what I am really about and I am truly thankful at the revelation that had come about.

So now that there was the fruit of change, what am I going to harvest from the experiences? For one, I have dreams and they are big and being set into motion. I am grateful to be a mom and a woman that is older than she was, and I want to embrace the wisdom that God provides. I enjoy being a maturing woman and I wouldn't want it any other way. I can say that I have learned a lot from my youthful ways, but I really want to thrive in this new season and enjoy a plentiful harvest that I can share with others. I want my fruitful actions that I put into everything I do to result in a bountiful harvest of success and dreams fulfilled. With that being said, I also want to make sure that the time that I do spend in whatever I am doing is well spent and not being wasted along with valuable energy. I want my energy to be productive and my time to be well spent. That there may be purpose in everything I set out to do and that will help me to continue to move forward towards where I want to be.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Are you a slow-cooking frog?

That is the imagery that has stuck with me all day after the message at church today and the point I have been reflecting on in all areas of my life.

The reference is to the fact that if you put a frog into hot water it will jump right out, but if you put the frog into a pot of cold water on a low flame and slowly heat the water, the frog will not notice until it is too late, resulting in one cooked and rubbery frog (I am not sure if they stew well).

In what areas of my life have I been slowly cooking myself and lowering my reaction to the danger of its heat? I can see that there have been some exposures that I know brings a jaded response on my part, but that I have tolerated. If I continue to to tolerate what I know I don't like will it eventually become tolerable? Likable even? So I will put back up my standard instead of lowering and say "No more!" It's not that I don't flinch every time I am exposed, I just know that I am not comfortable with reaching the point at which the flinch is gone. Where else have I let the water slowly get warm and dropped in my reaction time. Nutrition! Am I ever thankful that my body's response to foods that are not so good for you overrides what I am willing to tolerate. I had recently lowered my standard when it comes to eating healthy foods and have taken in a portion of foods that a year ago I may have shuddered at. Why? Because I began saying "It's just one.....it's just one....ok, just one....it's not that bad.....it tastes really good" And the end result: My body got MAD and rebelled against the food and the way I was eating. My health and resistance went down and I got SICK! I took that warning that the water was getting too hot and climbed out, but sluggishly, especially after being "half-cooked".

It's almost like the Godfather when he gets shot MULTIPLE times before he finally dies. How many shots will I allow to hit me before my guard is completely gone and I start to shut down. How many crass conversations and jokes do I have to hear before I start telling them? How much spoonfuls of dirt do I have to add to my glass of water before I get mud? And do I want to find out the answers or do I consider the water too hot to even get into? If I see a pot sitting over a cooking element, I should get the hint that before long that water will be hot enough to cook something...am I going to climb in? Ephesians 5:3-7 says "...there must not be even a hint of...", so let me see the water as too hot and not even consider getting into the pot. Let me keep my response sharp and alert and keep my eye on living a life focused on the hope set before me. No slow-cooking for me thanks.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Eager for things to grow

This morning the boys ran to the kitchen to see the little creatures they put in water last night and observe how much they have grown. According to the instructions, they get to see over the next few days, how much these creatures will grow.

It made me think how in myself, I am eager to see things grow. The flowers in the garden, the kids, and myself, are all things I check for growth. I even observe the people around me to see how they have changed or move towards the goals they desire. I can say that I am eager to see things grow to where they want to be. Kids want to be bigger and taller and stronger, flowers send buds in hopes to produce a bloom, and for myself, I set goals with the intent on achieving them.

With all things that grow, time is always a factor. The boys know that over the next 3 days they get to observe the growth and they are being patient, because their goal is to see how big these creatures can grow and they know how long it's going to take. Do I wait patiently, knowing that it takes time to grow, to see the result of my goal? Have I given my goals and desires a proper time line or do I just think of the finished product and expect it done right away? Are my goals based on real time and real expectations of those around me or am I not taking into full consideration what it takes to get what I want?

So as I go into my day, I am looking forward to giving my goals more thought and time so I can see them grow into the hopes and dreams that I have. I will observe with patience and proper attention and action to help them to get to where they need to be....grown ;).

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A prayer for purity

Tonight, I was woken from my sleep by some very graphic and HORRIFYING images that have entered my head....another horror movie I "volunteered" to watch and the details of which will never be repeated in a way to promote reproduction. But it did bring up some interesting points.....I had forgotten about my prayer for pure thoughts as I head to bed. I have "struggled" with these nightmares all my life and am I ever THANKFUL that I am a disciple of Jesus, choosing to live my life following in his example of goodness. And when we are witnesses to things that are less than righteous and routed from things that are not good, we need to GUARD our hearts and pray for God's protection as well. It can be slight and subtle, but sometimes the "problem-solver" in our minds will still ponder on the events we have seen and heard looking for a solution. It is good to work through how a situation really affects you and then ponder consciously through your thoughts and actions towards the matter.

As I reflected on the life of Jesus throughout the day today, I thought about the moment at which he was baptized (2 Peter 1:17; Matt. 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35). "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." How was Jesus' life up to that point? It would have had to be very good for God to make this declaration. He was reared up in the way that he should go....with purity, righteousness, and a good heart. I decided to look out for the purity and hearts of my boys as they grow so that they may grow into being men of God. But what of my own purity and my own heart? I have not been so thoughtful of this lately and it has not been the best. Tonight's awakening has left me feeling wounded and with my hubby away on a motorcycle road trip, and not there for me to be cuddled and comforted, I felt quite vulnerable. So I prayed...for pure thoughts and heart and that these images lose strength in my mind. And of course, with some encouragement from God's word, I feel so much better. I know I am comforted and protected and that we are being looked out for.

Thank you God! Amen.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Committing myself to staying focused and positive

Well, here it goes!

This morning as I was checking in on a few details, I realized that I have not been paying attention to the details of what I have been getting into. I was so distraught to find out that I had committed myself to something unknowingly (although the information was there in plain sight) because I was hyped up on getting a good deal.

And then I decided, I am JUST going to have to make it work out for the best! I've committed to it and it's all mine to have, so why would I drop out of it, because I neglected to read the "fine print". SO I am going to go forth positively and full of action (as much as I can delegate) and get to work. I will share more of the details later, but just wanted to share that even though sometimes we get the unexpected, we can still make the most out of the situation and not get derailed by what we thought we wanted to happen (or not happen). We still have the other "stuff" in life to focus on and make work, so why not give it a go?

So here we go!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"Mom....what are you eating?"

I am asked this question on a daily basis. I have two active and hungry boys so of course, they will want to eat quite frequently and are always curious as to what I am eating. Why not...most of the time it is something I am willing to share. Lately, I have been off my usual "diet" and eating foods I would not be willing to share with my boys. Is it worth it? NO! But the lovely sugar monster has reared its head and I answered the call. Lack of sleep? Yes! Stress? Yes! Not drinking enough water? Yes! Lack of concern? Yes!

The truth is I have chosen to not care enough to opt for the healthier option. And better yet, since there are foods in the house that are....well, plain-out junk food, I have decided to "treat" myself to the junk food. Well, one treat lead to another and another and I am now on a 12 step program to get myself off the "stuff". As I go through this process (and set an example for my children), I find myself thinking about diets all together.

I left my good nutrition plan for a "decided" quick trott to the candy store and I can see how people get derailed from their plans or even develop unhealthy haits when it come to how they eat or how their family eats. So the equation is......if I won't give it to my kids, then why am I eating it? The other side of the equation is, "If I feed it to my kids, but I won't eat it, what message am I sending to my kids?" Would I buy my kids the "treats" and snacks that are full of stuff I wouldn't want to eat? What it is doing to their little bodies that I don't want it doing to mine? Would I bring "treats" into the house that I think I will only have on occasion and stash it somewhere out of reach of children so I can enjoy it after they go to bed? Why would I need to sneak around with a treat for myself? Why am I hourding food off to myself to not share or share grudgingly with others? It just sounds like a vicious cycle of eating alone and to yourself and differently from the rest of your family whether you are in "treat" mode or in "diet" mode.

My question is, why not just stick to a healthy nutrition plan that when my kids ask me what I am eating, I can (a) tell them what it is, (b) share some of what I am eating with them, knowing it is good for them and good for me, and (c) model good and healthy behaviours and attititudes towards eating, sharing, nutrition and, food.

Now to go and chew on some of these thoughts (and get a big glass of water).



Sunday, June 14, 2009

WOOHOO! Love what you find when renovating!



Time has come to update the main floor and my task was to remove the faux wood panelling from the front door and prepare the wall for a coat of paint. I removed the corner moulding and then began to pry the panelling away from the wall and I discover some FUNKY red wallpaper with seashells and stuff strung together. I HAD to remove all the panelling and fully expose this gem of a find for my husband to see when he got home. As we finished pulling the nails out of the wall (my sister-in-law and I), my husband walks through the door and says "UGH! Put the panelling back on!" HAHAHA What a priceless moment. I just love this surprise that was left for us (some other surprises, I have not enjoyed so much) and if anyone wants to buy a salvaged piece of the paper let me know ;D. I'll keep you updated on the other exciting moments we experience during this renovation.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

The BUSINESS of being me

At this moment I am in the process of learning more in all the areas that I have become involved in. Real estate investment, weight loss, spirituality, wealth building, being on the internet, and making the most of what I am learning so I can share it with others. There are many things in my life that overlap in the time schedule of attending to my self-care and self-improvement and that includes taking care of the needs of the children in my care and of course, meeting the needs of my family as a whole. I have goals and dreams and currently I am aiming at having them stay within the time line I have set out. I spent a lot of time in the past "delaying" my needs, and dreams to "meet" the needs of others. In the end, no one was served from what I thought was giving of myself, and the product was not as fruitful as intended. Much was learned from the experience, and the feedback that I gained was that people are better served by those that make sure to serve their needs in conjunction with meeting the needs of others. Boundaries is the common expression used, but the word doesn't click well in my mind, even though I understand it's meaning. I have found that I need to choose to being loving and respectful to myself in order for it to grow and spread to others.

This morning the competition is that I am the only adult that wakes before the sun rises and I aim to use that time to get stuff done to take care of my needs (hygiene, feeding myself, praying, and taking care of a few chores as well). My boys have finally adjusted back to their "on the edge of dawn" awakening and with renovations on the go, stuff still packed and not quite accessible, and things coming up and breaking down all over the place, I am letting my personal business suffer. I am eager in delegation and lacking in cooperation. My profits are minimal, because I have not invested the time to maintain the productivity of my business. In short, if I (meaning me as the business) want to see it to the next quarter without having to close my doors and shut down, I need to put the focus back into making my business succeed. The recession should not affect how I brush my teeth in the morning and providing myself with a healthy breakfast or even proper food to eat throughout the day. I am able to stay active physically, but in other areas the investment has not been that strong and I need to reevaluate and diversify in order to sustain a complete, thriving system. It is my choice to have a successful business and have the respect of others around me to have it succeed as well. I am always on my "to do" list as I am the one performing the tasks, so neglecting my needs is not beneficial or helpful to anyone else. I need to remember to love and respect myself daily as I do for my family (or so that I think I am doing) so that I can love them more in the way that works for us all.

Off to take care of business.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Are you an independent eater?

Yesterday I was informed that my son had decided that he would eat the same as the rest of his classmates during snack time. I can understand wanting to share socially in a meal with those you are with. I have seen how even those who have just eaten and declared they are full, would gladly sit down and put more food in to share in the company of family and friends.

This has recently been a learning process in our household with 3 boys who do not all eat the same. My 2 boys have inherited food intolerances/allergies and it has expanded our culinary knowledge and palette in order to meet their nutritional needs. Not that I was not already eating a gluten-free diet and have cut most all refined sugar (chocolate is still my vice.....and yes I can get some made without refined sugar) and preservatives from my diet, but to see how doing the same for the way my children eat and how DRASTICALLY different their moods, sleeping patterns, behaviours, and bowel movements have changed because of it has convinced me that I will do for my kids as I do for me. I will look to meet their needs nutritionally as best I can and help them to develop the habits of healthy and mindful eating in the process. That also includes making social choices that are still beneficial when it comes to eating.

As I arrived at my son's class to pick him up I was informed that he had some of the snack that was on his allergy list. He seemed relatively okay for the rest and the other affects involve the change in bowel movements and his stomach being upset for the next day or so. I will aim to balance that out with foods that support his body to function well and helps his body to get rid of what is not beneficial. My other son is pretty good about accepting what it is that he can't eat, but I think it is because his symptoms come on a lot stronger and quicker with higher intensity of pain and immediate consequences. He is quite happy with eating similar to what others are eating instead of having the same as everyone else. And for the most part he is not so eager to join in and eat when and how others are eating just because they are. It's more because he is hungry and sees food available that he would join in and it has really helped me to be more independent when it comes to eating.

DO you find that you are compromising your nutritional plan or intentions due to social gathering or influence? With the summer season upon us with all the outdoor activities, and social gatherings, how are you going to choose to maintain a healthy approach to eating and still encourage your friends and family. Engage in conversation more (and not while standing next to the snack table or at the bar), carry a bottle of water with you when you head to a barbeque, or even bring a healthy option with you to a picnic so you have it available when the other dishes may not be so supportive to how you eat. I am going to pack more than one snack option in my son's school bag today so that he will be more encouraged to go for the healthy option instead of choosing to compromise and eating food that is not beneficial to his growing needs. I want to encourage his healthy choices and help him to make those choices the best he can. I can't always be there to stand over him and say "don't eat this or that" and I don't want to. I want him to feel the encouragement of making a good choice for himself. And that, for me, is socially acceptable, responsible, and on the road to independent eating.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I have found the missing link! ME!

As I am up early in the morning, before the break of dawn, listening to the birds sing and answeing the questions I have on my mind, I have come to realize something. There has been a breakdown in communication between me and my husband.

Currently, as we are engaged in renovating in a new capacity (bigger job than our condo was), I have been requested to find out information regarding many things. Electrical, plumbing, window size requirements, differences between certain materials used in insulation, flooring, sound barrier, etc. I then relay the information back to my husband. It has taken many attempts at trying to "pass on" the information I gained and came to understand to my husband. Now it's not that he is slow in learning. He is quite the opposite, having taught himself many things from computers to construction, but there was something in the way that I was passing on the information that wasn't working for him. It's not that he wasn't getting it, it was that I wasn't really giving the information to him.

As his wife, friend, partner-in-life, I have been given a special toolbox. And the toolbox was being equipped from our first encounter. He communicates to me in a different way than he does with others. He has provided information about how he thinks, and what things he is interested in and in those interests are the links for me to use to relay information about almost anything to him. Many people may not understand the flow of a conversation between the two of us, but in the end, we can both learn from a simple conversation spoken in our special language. Even better still, I can use those tools (wisely) to help him to better understand me. How can I describe my passions and interests in a way that links it to his own?

We don't have to live seperately or have interests that are not shared with one another. If we can relate and learn about each other in a way that connects what we know and are passionate about to the interests and passion of the other, than we can grow joyfully together in our knowledge and experiences. Now to go and sort through the toolbox.



Sunday, June 7, 2009

ROAD TRIP!! Reflections on encouragement and success.


This is the morning after our road trip to Hinton, Alberta which sits on the edge of the Rocky Mountains. Not a whole lot of attractions were seen as it's not a big town and we were in a bit of a rush, but the experience was great. We drove out with the full family (2 cars, 3 kids and 4 adults) and made our way there through many bathroom breaks and breaks in communication (we were using radios to communicate between the 2 cars.) The forecast called for rain and snow and since my hubby was going to be riding the bike home, we tried our best to beat the clouds and their release of precipitation (HAHA but he still got rained on). I packed a bag of healthy snacks (so much easier to grab and go) and we made a stop for lunch as well. I learned a lot about perspective and I got to see how our lives (that of myself, my hubby and my children) really help to change how others view the things around them. I am grateful for such a gift of influence in just the way God had made us different and unique. I celebrated in the joy that my hubby got to experience on the ride back home with his new bike and got to spend some time with my sister-in-law as well.

Now the question that popped up many times...."why Hinton?" Well, my hubby saw a motorbike posted online for sale, one that he has been interested in for some time and it was at a good price. But of course, the bike was in Hinton. His current motorbike is a cruiser and requires some serious TLC and probably would not survive a road trip through the mountains that he has wanted to go on since last year. SO he needed a new bike.

Now for the other question...."Why is he buying a motorbike?" Now after what I just explained it may be obvious, but at the current moment, after buying a house and being in the midst of renovations, it seems like a bit of a stretch. Even my hubby was asking why (especially since I am pushing for new cabinets in the kitchen) and I said to him, that when he is happy and he fuels his passion, more stuff comes his way, his focus is where it needs to be, and stuff gets done. I am not a fan of doing anything grudgingly and with half-effort, and so I find encouragement very important. Nothing worse than having a longing for something and not meeting it. Nothing like knowing that if you could just hop on a bike and go for a ride to think and clear your head and get encouraged that you could feel much better. I have seen that in him last summer and I wasn't going to through this summer without seeing that encouragement in him again. There are a LOT of things on our plate right now as the renovations have taken a bit of a turn and we are gutting more than we intended, but in the end we will know that our house is in good standing and condition and will be a good home for our family to live in.

Finances get tight from time to time and this is one of those times, but we are resourceful and I have seen how my hubby has found a way to get what he wants no matter what it is. If we can stay positive and take action in the direction that we want to go, then that is the road I want to be on as long as it is right with God. We are called to have faith and if we don't act faithfully, then how will we know what it is that we can achieve? I am excited for my husband and us to see what lies ahead as we continue on in the work we are doing and how we will be blessed as we continue to have faith in the God that provides for our needs.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Life happens!! ....my interview with Holly Rigsby

This morning I woke up early and got to work. I organized the garage and made it back inside in time for my boys to wake up, requesting breakfast. The plan for today....hit the grocery store for 15% off Tuesday, get a spare key cut, and make it back in time to pick up my son from school, and be on a call with Holly Rigsby.
Breakfast was served and eaten, boys were dressed, and bags were collected and we were out the door with time to spare. We made it to the grocery store and got what we needed. As we arrived back at the house to unload the groceries, I noticed something a little out of sorts. It lead to an awkward moment and left me disjointed and late for picking up my son from school. As I arrived, I was glad to see that one of the other moms was looking out for him and was going to keep an eye on him for me. I had 20 minutes until the interview was to start and I made my way over to the splash pad park where my other son, nephew and sister-in-law were waiting. My sister-in-law was not looking so well, so I sent her home, leaving me with 3 boys 5 minutes before my interview. Also my youngest son wet himself as I arrived and wanted to go home and change his clothes. He started whining and I started dialing.....the number to connect with Holly on the call. I had it all planned out and I can say, that how things were playing out were not as I imagined hehe. The call went pretty well considering I was watching 3 boys and my youngest was pulling his pants down the whole time.
The key to making it all work out was to stay positive, not to get discouraged, and pick my battles. The kids were having their challenges right along side mine and in the end we had a good time and accomplished both a successful and messy time at the park, but also a completed call with Holly.
Here is a link to the replay.


http://instantteleseminar.com/?eventid=7717845



Sunday, May 31, 2009

Renovating from the inside out

We are a month into living in a new house and well into the renovation process as well. With our stuff still mostly packed away and sharing the space with my sister-in-law and father-in-law, I am finding it difficult to get settled. After experiencing a bit of a bump with my hubby this week (renovations can bring out the best in us hehe) I have come to realize that defining what is "home" for me is very important and in that definition is the environment that my family will thrive in.

I cried out for "home" and the answer came in a song."......Oh Lord you know, I have no friend like you, if Heaven's not my home, then Lord what will I do....." My heart sang out to Heaven and to God to bring that feeling of home to my heart. Peace, love, unity....these bring the comfort of home to my mind and that is the environment I will seek to encourage here in the house we live in. My focus was renewed as my priority was set on nurturing my family with the love that God blesses me with day in and day out. I do get comforted when I am distressed or discouraged, and I am surrounded by encouragement always as I go throughout my day. My needs are taken care of and even when I am fearful, I look to God and proceed with faith as I know he has put me in the life I am living to bring glory to him. Even in the heart of opposition, I know that God will not only help me to survive, but to thrive. That all my dreams will come through as I share them and present them in prayer. I am growing as I persevere, I am strengthened through adversity, and I am encouraged as my prayers are answered.

As the work continues in the house to get it complete, the work in my character and heart goes on as well.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow?

I cuddled under the blankets a lot longer this morning until my brain woke up and started its daily work of planning and so I decided to join in on the wake up flex with my body. I silently made my way out of the bedroom, walked into the kitchen and looked out the big window to see that there was a blanket of snow cover over everything. At first I slapped myself mentally for not having covered the garden as now the flowers and plants are likely to suffer a bit of damage, and then I felt a sinking feeling. At this time of year I really enjoy the separation of the season and this long weekend in May usually marks that line. Waking up to the green of the grass and the colours in the flowers in so encouraging and uplifting, especially to my gardening heart and this year I have really felt that experienced shortened. The trees have barely let open their buds to encourage their leaves to grow. Growth seems to be slowly and maturity stunted in the plant department, but I must say, the dragging on the snow can either crush the spirit or strengthen the character. And of course, I am going to choose for character building whenever possible.

Now, how to put a positive spin on a cold and snowy day in the middle of spring with a full schedule. First of all, our heat is turned off for the season, or at least until we finish the repairs and renovations that are currently underway. Bundling up the children will be the first priority. My friend was eager to come over with the three girls in her care today, but with the house currently at 12 degrees Celcius, that won't work too well. The option would be to get out and head to the mall, however I have a service call with a technician coming to the house today, so I need to be present. Today would best be served in the throws of hard labour, working up a sweat while doing some demolition :D. And the food? Something that offers warmth and "comfort"......CURRY CHICKEN!!

Taking a moment to reflect on how to make the most of a situation that you weren't aware of or to stay positive in the unexpected or unprepared days makes such a difference and really helps in keeping focused on the priorities and achieving your goals. My daily goal is to stay positive and productive and living my life out in the best way I can. If I can maintain and thrive in this it makes doing everything else much easier.

Now, to get down to work!



Monday, May 18, 2009

I LOST something! I need to find it!

Of course, since we have moved, things have been turned on its ear. I would LOVE to find the time where I get to sit down with my thoughts and have them out in a complete stream. I had this routine, and it was recognized by all, but now the lines and boundaries have been left at our former address and I need to go back, pack them, and bring them to our new home.

Why is it important to me? Because it helps define who I am and I do not get dismembered into a piece of me all over the house meeting other people's needs. I need to define ME! An individual among the family. A woman that has a desire to help and share her life with others. A woman that love to encourage others with the life God has blessed me to live and the talents he has put in my heart to have. Many mothers get lost in the to-do lists and needs to be met, becoming chaulk boards written by their family members, and not identified as the women that contribute to the running of the family on a day-to-day basis.

I know that there are a lot of things that need to get done in our lives at this moment and we all need to work together in doing the work, but our individual needs to be respected, encouraged, honoured, engaged in and recognized by all. Cooperation will help to get it all done and all needs met as they are voiced and heard...especially in our newly expanded family.



Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bring on the LONG weekend!!

Here it is! The first long weekend enjoyed in the midst of warmer weather. The activities that usually come to mind are barbeques, picnics in the park, camping, and getting together with family and friends. For our family it is all about the moving and renovations. We have been fully blessed with the opportunity to move into a new home in a neighbourhood that we were hoping to live in. Our condo will be rented within the week and the repairs and deficiencies in the neighbouring condo will be given the due attention required. Balance, love, respect, and attention have been given and in that peace has been gained.

In addition to the move to a new home, my sister-in-law, her son, and my father-in-law made the drive across country and are now here as well. It will be a great experience for all of us as we all have our strengths for each other to learn from.

For use the long weekend is finished off with a cold, snowy forecast, and we will be "chillin" out inside. I am going to keep a list of tasks handy so that I can stay productive and focused and work on getting back into a routine. Colder weather inspires a desire for warm, comfort foods and this is not the time of year to be turning to comfort foods with all the potential of fresh produce and new seasonal tasties around. The BBQ is out and fueled up ready for the next grilled entree. Veggies have been the bulk of our meals and soups will be the warmth we turn to.

Off to share in the fun!


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Can you say OUCH!

I had a wonderful day planned....after picking up my son from school, we were to head back to the condo to finish cleaning after a quick trip to the grocery store. It was 15% off Tuesday! My favorite grocery shop of the month. I was at the customer service counter getting a quarter and as I turned around I felt a sharp pain in my gut. OUCH! I couldn't walk without the sharp pain jabbing me....it felt like labour pains and severe hemorrhoids at the same time. I made my way to the bench to sit it out, hoping the pain would pass and after 15 minutes it was time to call for help. I hobbled back to customer service to call my mom....no answer. I then decided to call my hubby as it was close to him being off work and I was in no condition to look out for my kids...their care was compromised at this point. When he arrived, he walked me to the car and we headed to the hospital. I was crying when the pain would surge through my body. I was doing the breathing I learned in the prenatal classes. As we waited almost 3 or so hours in the waiting room, the pain had gotten better, but was still enough to hinder how I walk. They ran tests and at the end of an 8 hour stay in the hospital, they said I would need to return tomorrow for ultrasound, but it seems as though it may be my gall bladder.

I woke up early the next day feeling better and decided to look up natural ways to clear gallstones. The doctor did mention surgery and my goal is to avoid removing anything functional from my body. The gall bladder is where the body stores extra bile that is used to aid in the digestion of fats. The body is usually secreting bile as we are digesting, but if we happen to eat more fat, the stored bile is then released in a gush for when it is needed. Sometimes we can get gallstones that block the release of bile and can cause a gall bladder attack, which is quite painful. In my research I found two methods (of course there were more) that caught my interest. The first gall bladder cleanse I read about from Natural Cure alternatives involved a 4 day fast of apple juice and beet juice that ends with consuming olive oil and grapefruit juice. Very simple to apply, BUT being a mother of 2 active boys this process would leave me drained, but also I don't do well with grapefruit juice. The second cleanse at Health, Wealth, and Happiness involved 2 days and no grapefruit juice. Again a simple process to go through, involving a quick fast, consuming some more olive oil and then of course passing the stones with your stool. By consuming the olive oil you are triggering the release of bile in mass and it's such a simple idea of helping your body to clear the gallstone. I LOVE it! And all without the complications of surgery.

I went back to the hospital for the ultrasound and the doctor said that there were no gallstones to be found, but the experience helped me to really look into an uncommonly thought-of organ, the gall bladder, and how to keep it healthy. Got a pint of olive oil?


Thursday, April 16, 2009

It's time to vote Fit Yummy Mummy style!!



The FYM New Year's Transformation Challenge has come to a close and the finalists have been chosen. I have read through each one of the essays submitted by the fit yummy mummy group over ClubFYM and so many of them gleaned such great successes with fat loss, inches removed, confidence gained, and wisdom gleaned from the experiences they have had over the last 12 weeks. I was INSPIRED by these women and their successes as they transformed inside and out. A few days remain for you to cast your vote.....I have already! Who will you vote for? Go and find out NYTC Vote.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Don't get fat from a bunny bearing chocolate!


It's that time of year again. Can you smell it? The fresh scent of cocoa in the air. It's on all the stacks outs and ends of the aisles in all your favorite stores. CHOCOLATE!!!

I went down the main aisle of the grocery store with my boys and I had to PEEL their attention away from the huge display that ran up the middle of the store. Easter time is here again and a new level of holiday gift-giving has arrived. I'm sure you may have noticed it over the last year, but for EVERY "holiday" or occasion they have come out with all the goodies that you can stuff baskets full of and give as gifts. Excellent marketing idea for those who spent ages trying to get people on board giving gift baskets, but NOW it involves every possible thing being tossed in. Toys, books, cards, crayons, but most of all candy! Sugary treats with their packaging changed for the season (like costumes) and to entice the eyes (at all sight levels) of those who like to buy for the occasion.

At some point, I am thinking that when people think of giving to children, that their first instinct is not always going to be laden with sugar. That the "treat" they think they are giving is a "present" left by the Easter bunny as "it" secretly hopped around all night long leaving these gifts of colourfully foil-wrapped chocolate balls and other goodies for kids to gorge on. And of course, as we think these gifts of chocolate will ONLY be eaten by the kids, then we fool ourselves as we may all be familiar with the taste of the tail of the chocolate bunny and a nibble of the tip of its ear (the easy to snap parts) as our children share with us as they have been taught to do with their toys. Those little nibbles and bites add up to a lot of sugar and a lot of unwanted and unsupportive calories. They also leave you hungry, and craving for more with your thoughts all obscured and your children running around in hyperactive circles till they drop from fatigue and exhaustion. About 25 chocolate chips (not even a handful for me) is easily 100 calories or more. That means an average-sized, well-meaning, chocolate easter bunny's appendages can amount to over 500 calories (2 ears, 1 foot, 1 tail, and the paw....flat chocolate bunny), about 1/3 of required calories for an average woman (doing average exercise). That equals almost a full lunch and snack.....2 MEALS worth of calories.

So pray that your generous, gift-basket-bearing-tonnes-of-sugary-treats friends are heavy on the chocolate giving this year (especially if you have more than one child too). And if you like to stock up a basket for your kids at this time, opt for options like coloring books, fancy parkers, pens, and pencils, fruit, carrots, flowers, seeds to plant in the garden (carrot seeds), gardening tools...the options are endless. Or celebrate this time in a way that does not shove unnecessary, and unsupportive foods into their faces and establishing an expected tradition (habit) of celebrating with sugar, gifts, and treats. Focus on the WHY of what you are celbrating this time of year and share it with your friends and family. We can also celebrate by getting together with family, doing something fun and active together, and enjoying quality time. What better time in our economy to up the standard on quality, instead of showering with quantity.

Have a great weekend and enjoyable holiday!



Stay focused on the road

Ever get caught driving and missed your intended exit? What did you do? Did you keep on driving in the direction you were not intending on, hoping that you would be able to take an alternative route to get to where you are going? Or did you slow down, look for somewhere to turn around; and then get back on track in the direction you wanted to head in?

Well yesterday I learned a valuable lesson about being in a positive mindset, and focusing on your goal. Many distractions come into our lives for one reason or another and I believe that how we handle each encounter gives us the opportunity to either be strengthened and encouraged or weakened and discouraged. I was in a situation that took a negative turn and it lead to being distracted from what I was in the process of doing, getting from point A to point B. Instead of regaining focus and getting back on track, it lead into a lengthy"drive" to the edge of where we could go before we found the "road" to get back on again and get to where we wanted to be. Although we "knew" the map of where we were, we were still lost since we were not actively driving to where we wanted to go. More missed exits, and still proceeded on in the wrong direction, further and further away from the desired destination.

Each exit was a choice and opportunity. And each time the choice was made to not take that opportunity it lead to further discouragement, frustration, and distraction. Eventually when we arrived at where we were going, the residue of the "road trip to the edge" still lingered and it took a while for us to warm up to others and share in the celebratory experience. We were driving to a party after all! But it was as if we walked in wounded, limping and in pain. The drive from where we were at would have taken about 7 minutes......we arrived half an hour later with gained wisdom and experience of what not to do. It is important to focus on the tasks at hand and to keep your thoughts positive as it helps to maintain the focus.

So as we drive through the rest of our lives, I am going to keep my eye on where I am driving, with a smile on my face and my destination in mind. But when I get off track, I will make sure to get back on again and share my experiences with others so that they may be helped with that wisdom to walk a straighter path.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The finale of another FYM challenge




Here it is!! The end of another challenging 12 weeks and the excitement is building over at ClubFYM as the New Year's Transformation Challenge comes to an end. Myself and hundreds of others began this journey at the start of the year, applying the Fit Yummy Mummy workouts and setting goals to achieve amazing results from the inside out. As the fit yummy mummies shared their progress over the last 12 weeks I was astonished and overjoyed at how quickly they were seeing results! Many simply applied the workouts, the fundamentals of supportive nutrition along with focus and hard work and they were shedding pounds and inches in weeks!

As a finalist in the Summer Transformation Challenge, it made me realize that the concept of time and the expectation of getting quick results has been skewed by media, and by scams when in reality 4 weeks, 6 weeks, and even 12 weeks is not really a long time at all. The time has FLOWN by again and it leaves me wanting more. Well, there is more to come as another challenge is soon underway at the beginning of May. If you want in on the e.xcitement, and the opportunity to get fit inside and out, pick up your copy of Fit Yummy Mummy and stay posted for the sign up of the next challenge!




Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Having a mommy moment and enjoying it!

You may be familiar with the saying "kids say the darndest things", but I am realizing that they get some of that interesting material from their beloved parents. I share some pretty crazy thoughts with my kids and I know that I will probably NOT be sharing the content of those conversations with others. We have developed a special club, my boys and I, and we have special hand shakes and greetings that only we share.

I'll give you a little taste of what goes on in our club house (the rest is "privileged" and "classified" information). Some of the things that they are "exploring" right now....gas and its various volume levels, what makes boys special, putting together outfits on their own and reviewing their trendsetter strengths, and knowing that people make their own choices and to respect their needs.

Being "mom" in the club has it's privileges and as I help to keep my boys healthy in their minds as well as physically in some creative ways. There are things that moms (and dads) have to check on to make sure that their children are healthy, functioning, and growing (not always the most glamourous job) and also have to help train so that as they grow into adults they can function optimally among other "clubs" out there. It's good stuff and fosters an environment that is without judgement and full of feedback about how to do things different and ways to improve the democracy within the club's governing decisions.

With spring break in full swing, I get to spend that extra time with my club members and offer support and fun ideas and activities to engage in......full of options so that everyone can cast a vote and share their opinion. I am truly enjoying their company and what we get to share together. My youngest is a little out of commision this week (having had surgery yesterday) and has been ordered to being a couch potato for a couple days....SUPER challenging for a boys that does laps around the house at least twice each day. So we are having some movie time, story time, a dance performance, and eating our snacks outside of the dining room (oooooooh exciting!). There are a few more activities, but again listed as "classified".

Have a fun week (especially for those "spring breakers") and enjoy the presents of the present.


A man races a pizza....NO JOKE!

My friend Craig Ballantyne of Turbulence Training has decided to race a pizza (I'm not kidding) to prove a valuable fat loss lesson.

See who wins at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQbuzsY_34Q

Make sure to post your comments. I would love to hear what you think about the race.

Stay tuned for tips on how you can be the winner in your very own race for fat loss.

Stay healthful!


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour 2009



- March 28, 8:30 pm marks the start of an hour with the lights off, promoting our decision to take action on Global warming. What other ways can I take action now and beyond the hour marked out for tonight? How can I minimize my impact on the environment and make it safer for me to live in and those around me? What good habits can I live now that will leave a positive impact on my children and the generations to come?

I can check around my home to see if I have any extra lights (equipped with energy saving light bulbs) on that I am not in need of using. I can maximize the daylight that streams into our home and turn off all the lights as soon as the sun comes out. I can turn down the heat in my home (although it is already at 18 degrees Celsius) and put on a sweater and slippers. I just put a load of dishes through the dishwasher (energy star rated) and when it hits the dry cycle, I turn it off and leave it open to dry. I can also hand dry the dishes with my dish towel and put them away. I am also doing laundry and I just hung up a load to dry and loaded the washer (front load) again with the water temperature set to cold.

We can all make a difference in the little, positive things we do. Many little steps lead to one great journey. Keep on steppin'.



Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Time to kick it up a notch



Have you ever caught yourself wishing and hoping for results and wonder why nothing was happening?

I caught myself doing just that and realized it was time to start thinking about what I was really doing and then do what it is I need to in order to get the results I want. I was just letting things happen and not taking control of the situation that I had the ability to change.

I had signed up for the Fit Yummy Mummy New Year's Transformation Challenge in January. You get 12 weeks to do your best at achieving the goals you set out to accomplish. I put down my goals and then I got to work. For the first 4 weeks I would say that I was focused on getting the results I wanted to achieve. I could see more definition and my shape was changing in a good way and I was pleased to know the work I put into it was evident. Then I got sick. And being in rest mode got to my head. I stopped focusing on my goals I set at the beginning of the challenge and put my focus somewhere else. Granted, that there are many things going on in our lives at this time, when being sick was over I didn't pick back up with the intensity that I had before. For just a total of 90 minutes a week, 30 minute workout 3 times a week or even 15 minutes a day I could have had a full workout. I was working out but not with that UMPH that makes it fun for me.

I was recently inspired by the advice of Vince Delmonte of No Nonsense Muscle Building and being that he has competed in fitness competitions I can say that he knows what he is talking about (taking the advice of a fitness model champion never hurt). I have followed his info for over a year now and I saw the before photos. What he has to offer works. And now with his advice, I can apply it to my Fit Yummy Mummy workouts and I have already noticed a difference in my tone and strength. Some tips I had already been doing from before and in the Summer Transformation challenge, but it is always good to be reminded of what works. And now I feel like I am back at where I want to be with my fitness journey. I am excited to see what the next notch will look like.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Looking for fast results?........But wait!




You could miss out on the "meat" of the journey. WHEN you finally reach the result of all your efforts and succeed in achieving your goals, look BACK at the journey that you went through and ALL that you have gained through persevering THROUGH the struggles, trials, and pain. Be grateful that you not only received your reward for the work you have consistently and passionately put in, but you became RICH with knowledge, wisdom, and experience. The wealth of what you gained through the time it took to achieve what you sought after is wonderful refinement that will last.

Today was the pinnacle of what I have been working towards for almost a year. In a matter of 5 minutes, the heart of neglect and disdain have met it's match with love and concern. I look back and see that everything has been set in place for this beautiful (frosty), winter day to be remembered as one that brought a family united, an injustice righted, and hopefully a hurting situation healed.

It has been very painful....spiritually, emotionally, and definitely physically, but I know that it will not remain undone, but the work that NEEDS to get done will get done. Even when others figured I had given up, I kept going. I don't want others to have to go through the pain I have gone through and suffer quite in the way I have. SO I say to you, fight for what you believe in, keep going after your goals and dreams, do what is right, love your neighbours as you would love yourself, and NEVER give up.



Friday, February 27, 2009

All or nothing?



What you give may be what you get.

I have been rolling this over in my mind this morning as I was kicking myself in the butt. Why was I kicking myself? Because I found myself in a situation of having to do something when it could have been done already. Months ago as we finished off projects around our condo before we listed, I was told to not paint the basement....there was so much other things to do. I knew there was lots to do,but the way the basement looked was a HUGE turn off for me being left in such an unfinished state SO close to being done......especially in contrast to the rest of the space. I went through many sleepless nights pondering the things we needed to get done and I decided to get out of bed and head to the basement and paint. I finished off the mudding and sanding in the stairwell and primed and painted the walls and the stairs as I thought about the other things I had to get done in other areas of the house and my life. I couldn't do much else while others were sleeping and in the end, it turned out well. But one thing lingered on my mind...."I really should finish off the walls in the living space as well.....it just needs a little sanding and I could prime and paint it while I have the stuff out. WELL.....I didn't. I didn't give it the couple hours of attention to just finish it off. I know I did something, but I didn't do it all and now I am back at having to finish it anyhow. It's taking more time as it is now a furnished instead of an empty room and I have to shuffle around and move furniture in order to get at the walls.

In all this I thought about applying myself to anything I want to do it life. I shuddered at the fact of doing anything with a half-attempt, not really caring how I do it or not or doing the work grudgingly. Where is the satisfaction in that? If I am going to do anything, I am going to give my all (or whole heart) to it....regardless if it is something I think I won't like. Because I realized, that regardless of liking what I do or not, it the getting it done and done well that I get a KICK out of. Every clean up dog doodoo in the spring time......not fun. However, after cleaning it all up off your lawn,you know that you can enjoy taking care of your lawn and going onto it without worrying about rolling in a dog's leftovers.

I also thought about wanting to get something out of what I put into it. If I am all or nothing, and I put nothing into it, what am I going to get out of it? NOTHING! If I put my half-effort into doing something, how much do I expect to get in return? I should expect half. But if I put my ALL and full effort into doing something, then I can hope to expect a whole lot in return. As I did my workout this morning I gave it my ALL. I didn't finish it all, but for what I did do, I got the most out of it. I did do something as opposed to nothing, but in the SOMETHING I did, I gave it my all! I have muscle awareness all over the place HAHA and it is soooo satisfying. I know that my example of giving my full effort to whatever it is I do, will be seen and hopefully lived out in my children, in my friends and family too. I AM going for ALL as half or nothing doesn't sit well with me. =D



Thursday, February 26, 2009

Allergies! Aren't they a pain? .....or are they?

"What alergies do you have again?" Yes, I do have a list of allergies and intolerances. It affects going out in public places, dinner dates, staying at the homes of family and friends, inviting people into our home, and going out for dinner. People feel as though they need to be walking on egg shells when someone has allergies, but if I live with it well, then it's not so bad.

I was asked a couple days ago if I would be going to a get together at a Thai restaurant. In my past experiences I know that with my peanut allergy I would be wise to not go back into a Thai restaurant (not fun to interrupt a meal with gasping for air and being rushed to the hospital.....ahhh the memories). I did suggest to my friend that we get together in another way, and in a setting that is encouraging for the both of us.

I am thankful for my allergies and intolerances and it has made me a well-informed and knowledgable person and aware of how many people are living ignorant to what they may be exposing themselves to and causing themselves pain and suffering with. My gluten intolerance (discovered at 25) has helped me to come away from a lot of processed and junk foods and eat more healthfully. I may have an allergy to peanuts (realized at 25), but I am able to eat almonds, cashews, hazelnuts and a few other tree nuts. I have been allergic to eggs since I was a baby, but didn't find out until I was 19. I have eaten eggs in almost every preparation and I don't feel I am missing out on anything, because I did have the experience of enjoying them. It has also helped to motivate me to find alternate protein sources and experiment with ways of modifying baking recipes. I inherited an intolerance to pork and glad for it (nuff said!). But the one allergy that is the most difficult to live with is my fragrance allergy. I am thinking that it may be more of a chemical sensitivity (i.e. phthalates), but it is quite dibilitating and painful, causing sharp pain throughout my body, and triggering my asthma. It has also caused issues in my relationships with my family and friends as it is literally a physical barrier that is difficult to get around. Over the last week, after having friends through our home, I was left in pain and struggling with my asthma as the residue of fragrance lingered long after their departure. It affected how I would take care of myself and my family and I have been really fatigued in all I am doing. After every fragrance encounter, it is the same thing, the same pattern of symptoms that I experience. I resigned from my last workplace for the reason of over exposure to fragrance and that was after helping to implement a change in arrangement of desk assignments to accomadate those with similar needs.

Many have asked if there is anything I can take to help with the symptoms and the answer is no. Not only because I choose to live as naturally as I can, but even from the advice of doctors based on my medical history, I am unable to take drugs without putting myself at risk for triggering another condition (again, the question of what is in the drugs in the first place and if it is REALLY necessary to be taking certain perscriptions or not). I know that through being mindful of what I expose myself to and being observant to how my body responds in its environment, I have improved my standard of living as well as my tolerance to my exposure to allergens. I don't walk around in constant pain, continually medicated, and swollen and bloated from not thinking of what I put into my body.

Starting next week, I will be starting on Dax Moy's Elimination Diet as it is the one year anniversary of when I first did the diet. It's an easy 30 day detox and the information you gain about what you can and probably shouldn't eat is really helpful, whether you are trying to lose weight, tired of being sick and bloated all the time, or looking to live a cleaner, healthier lifestyle.

Here's to living a conscious, healthy lifestyle catered to your body's specific needs.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Heaven on Earth - What does that mean for you?

I was asked about a month ago to think about what Heaven on Earth would be like for me and how I could enjoy more Heaven on Earth.

As I went over the question today and began to ponder, I received a knock at the door. I opened the door to see a lady and her friend who go around sharing their faith and the good news God called them to share and I welcomed them in. You see, as she has continued to come to my door on a more consistent basis, we have shared in a bible study each time. I challenge her and she shares with me and we both come away more encouraged and more convicted of what we hold to. Today the study turned to Heaven on Earth. And as we shared and studied and read through the scripture, I had these images in my head of what we were talking about and how that would look like.

God promises me that if I hold to his teachings, and obey his commands that I may share in eternity and that for me is my Heaven on Earth. (John 8:31- )

I am overwhelmed by how God is conversing with me, encouraging me, connecting me to his word, and urging me to continue on to the end sharing his good news of salvation and a life to the full through him. How AWEsome!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Quote of the day

"you need a valley to reach a peak" - Annik

Thank you Annik! This made me think of all the contrasts we live in life and how we need one to help define the other for us.

What "valleys" have you been through to help you reach (or aim for) the "peaks" in your life?


Elisa

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"Wall-E"....reflections part 1....use it or lose it



"Wall-E"....reflections part 1....use it or lose it

* Posted by Elisa on February 18, 2009 at 2:30pm



I can't share enough about this movie so I am doing it in parts.

First point: Use it or lose it!

What do we have to use? Our bodies, our minds, personal interactions, our choices. If we don't keep moving we will not be as mobile. If we don't keep thinking and challenging our mind and grow in what we know...well, we won't grow in what we know and everything changes and evolves around us, so better to keep up than get left behind. If we don't keep social and interact with others, we will not only miss out on challenging our senses, but lose on important feedback as well. AND if we leave our choices to be made by others, we will lose the experience, knowledge and wisdom gained from making our own choices.

DISCLAIMER - If you haven't seen the movie, try and get the opportunity to do so and then come back and read this beyond this point as I may spoil the movie for you =D.



Currently I am feeling like one of those people floating around on the hover thingys as I am experiencing joint pain (could be gout) and cramping. I haven't been very mindful of my eating amidst the stress either. I know I'm not going to stay that way, but as I am watching the movie with my boys, I am reminded to keep at it in the best way I can.

We are provided with a lot of information from the media and multiple sources telling us one way or another to do this or eat that. I would like to think that I question enough to want to check out the info for myself and make my own decision based on the information I sought out and was given. Of course, I wouldn't have sought out the information if it wasn't presented to me in the first place, but I can always expand on what I was exposed to. (Instead of letting a company tell me what to think, do, eat, wear, etc).

Our personal interaction helps us to learn and gain feedback and experience the fullness of life. Let it be with our environment, nature, the sun, the moon, the stars, flowers, plants and how things grow, we are a part of it and it influences us. Being involved in a community that offers support or being out and about and encouraging others and your environment gives encouragement in return.

And last but not least, the continual use, nourishment, and challenge of our bodies will help us to better interact mentally and physically with what is around us. If you want the change, choose to make the commitment in your mind and follow through with continual actions. Every little step counts. Put one foot in front of the other and start walking, jogging, running and skipping and enjoy life! (use that jogging track and help your muscles encourage your bones to stay strong and useful)


Keep on steppin'!


Elisa

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Carrot banana muffins

This is one of my favorite recipes I make. I modified it from Martha Stewart's Carrot cupcake recipe as I am gluten intolerant, allergic to eggs, and use natural sweeteners as often as I can. I switch it up all the time and it's quick and easy.

Spiced Carrot Banana Muffins

Ingredients (Makes 12)

  • 1/3 cup honey (or 1/2 cup maple syrup) and some stevia (...original recipe called for 1 cup sugar...can also use 1/2 cup coconut sugar)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (I use olive oil and/or coconut oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs (2 large ripe bananas or 1 banana and a tbsp of plain yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup flour (I use a mix of what I have available...chickpea flour, bean flour, gluten free flour, coconut or almond flour)
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 2 cups shredded carrots (could mix it up and use some shredded zucchini too)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional....I don't use them)
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a standard 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper liners. In a bowl, combine honey, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and eggs (or mashed bananas).
  2. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, stevia, allspice, cinnamon, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix.
  3. Stir in carrots, walnuts, and coconut.
  4. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 25 minutes.
Enjoy!


Saturday, February 14, 2009

From the heart - living passionately

Over the last week I have been in a living and learning experience of being loving,passionate,and fruitful. I was very encouraged last weekend by the time I got to share with friends and in being encouraged through scripture to not only use my talents to the full extent as they were given, with our fear or laziness, but to also have a heart fully devoted to loving up on God in the midst of prosperity or trial.

As King Solomon was a man that was granted a discerning heart, wisdom and wealth, he lacked the heart for God that his father David had. Even with having full knowledge and wisdom, he still chose to not love and honour God fully. Since sharing in this lesson, I have realized not only to use my talents fully, but to dig up any talents I may have buried and put them to use as well. Let me not be lazy or lacking in passion and heart for God.

I met with a group on Wednesday and after discussing connecting with God, we were also challenged on what our motive is for wanting to connect with God. What is our "Why" for being a Christian? This week has been encouraging and challenging and at the end of it, I have concluded that in the end, all that matters for me is to glorify God. Why? I am thankful for the life he has given me, I am thankful for the life he has saved me from. He holds me when I am alone, there for me to talk to, comforts me in my pain and struggles, encourages me to grow, and provides for me what I need. A life outside of God is without love, dark, and without comfort. If I long to be loved and wanted, I am going to go where that is at, in God's grace. Out of my overwhelming gratitude and desire, I will be devoted to do what it takes to remain in the grace of God.

I sang love songs and songs of praise to God yesterday and it was a beautiful time of peace, of love, and of encouragement. My boys were smiling and hugging me and it encouraged me to act in a righteous way =D. To love up on my neighbours and strangers, to be patient and nurturing....I was living out my life as I wanted to.... according to the vow I had made. As others are celebrating Valentines day, I will focus on loving passionately my God, my husband, and others that are in my life. I will express genuine interest and concern for them. I will look for ways to meet their needs. I will look for ways to encourage them and their dreams. And I will look for ways to bring glory to God through what I do.

Have a loving, encouraging,and passionate day.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

On the road again.....the ease of meal planning

I just finished my breakfast at my friends house a few hours south from where we live and I was satisfied with not only the meal, but with how easy it was for me to plan out our meals for the weekend while at our friends house. It's funny how I have been struggling with meal planning at home on a day to day basis being that last year it seemed to be simple enough to do. It took me, at most, 5 minutes to write down in my planner easy snacks and breakfast, lunch, and dinner options for 3 days. Let me share what I brought with us:

Cooked quinoa
Trail mix bags I put together (almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, goji berries, raisins)
Sliced zucchini and red pepper
Apples
Hummus
precooked chicken
Organic plain, unhomogenized yogurt
Carrot muffins I baked
Rice milk
Hemp Granola
Multigrain tortilla chips
Juice

I packed the trail mix in little snack bags at the beginning of the week and set them aside. Then the morning before we left I cooked the quinoa as we had breakfast, sliced the veggies and mixed up the muffin batter before I walked my son to the bus stop and then baked the muffins as he was in school and in between packing up our stuff.

With just a little time spent planning at the top of the week, I had 3 days of fun options for the kids and myself, and we can spend our time having fun and enjoying the company of our friends instead of worrying about what to eat and if we can eat it or not. As it is not just me with food sensitives, but my kids as well, I wanted to make sure that my options were better than the tasty temptations we may encounter, but also simple to prepare. It also took up very little room and that is always a good thing when you are bringing food that needs to be refrigerated (and the fact that we were packed into the back seat of the car).

I have given myself a little peace of mind that one of our fundamental needs are met and not left in the control of those that may not know how best to meet that need. It's all up to me.