5.21.2015

10 Day Whole Food Detox Recap

For the past week and a half I have been doing the 10 Day Whole Food Detox from Vanessa at Our Natural Connection.  So now that its all said and done I'd thought I would share my thoughts and experiences with you.

What I really enjoyed about the program was it's simplicity.  There were no weird foods that were hard to find, no challenging recipes and the food prep was quick and easy.  I love the fact that every part of the 10 Day Whole Food Detox was about getting back to basics and using real, natural foods to reset and retrain your body.

This is not some crazy lettuce diet or liquid fast.  The 10 Day Whole Food Detox is just that - whole food.  The emphasis on foods that are nutrient dense, easy to digest and aid in the detox process.  I also like that near the end, good clean proteins were reintroduced.

Of course, with any of the cleanses or detoxes I have done in the past, the hardest part for me is kicking the caffeine.  It's not so tricky skipping coffee, but the withdrawal headache usually around day 2 or 3 is less than pleasant.  At least that only last about a day and then after that I start to feel much better.

So how did I do with the detox? Well, I wasn't hungry or starving and the meals were simple and delicious.  And oh my....the smoothies....AHHH-MAZING!!  I totally felt like I was doing something bad every morning as I indulged in their decadence.

After 10 days, I felt lighter, calmer and more energized.  And I even lost 3 pounds! The 10 Day Whole Food Detox was a great way to get back on track, clear out some old gunk from my body and feel alive again.

If you're looking for an easy to follow, natural and effective detox, I highly recommend Vanessa's 10 Day Whole Food Detox.  Not only does she help you with continuous support through the process, she also provide loads of valuable information on various forms of self-care, from tips to de-stress to how to start meditating.  It's the whole package!

Wanna try it for yourself?  Well...you're in luck, the next 10 Day Whole Food Detox starts June 1st!!  What a great way to kick off the summer and feel alive!  You'd better hurry though, registration closes May 29!  Register HERE.

Have you tried a whole foods detox? What was the best/worst part for you?



 




Disclaimer: A huge thank you to Vanessa from Our Natural Connection  for allowing me to try this  program free of charge.  I did not receive compensation for this post and as always, all opinions expressed are my own.

5.20.2015

10 Reasons Why You Should Get Dirty

The past couple weeks have been a fury of raking, shovelling, digging and planting around here.  I LOVE Spring and all the outdoor work that comes with it.  Cleaning up the yard and gardens, getting rid of all the winter messes and prepping for all the growing and blooming makes me happy!

Did you know that there's actually some pretty good reasons to get outside and get dirty? Yup, all those days as a kid making mud pies weren't for nothing!  Check out these amazing and healthy reasons why you should get your dirt on!


10 Reasons Why You Should Get Dirty
  1. Fresh Air - after months of being cooped up over the winter, nothing feels nicer that that clean, crisp air in your lungs.  A few deep breaths and you can already start to feel energized.
  2. Sunshine - gotta love some natural Vitamin D!  Just be careful as your skin is probably not used to those rays and can burn quickly.
  3. Physical Activity - playing in the dirt can be a great work out.  Whether is digging holes for new plants, weeding or cutting the grass you can work up a good sweat with some yard work.
  4. Immune Building - yup, playing in the dirt is great for your immune system.  See... kids knew it all along.  Ditch the antibacterial soaps and sterile environment and make mud pies instead.  Kids who play in the dirt are less likely to develop allergies and develop stronger immune systems from exposure to all those little microbes and bacteria compared to those kids who aren't allowed to play in the mud and dirt.
  5. Stress Relief - playing in the yard is a simple way to de-stress.  Combine a little exercise, fresh air and stepping away from whatever is bugging you and you'll start to relax in no time.
  6. Self-Esteem Boost - talk about feeling good...how about that feeling of pride and accomplishment from nurturing a plant from a little seed to your very own fruit or vegetable?!
  7. Connect with the Earth - digging in the dirt is a wonderful way for adults and kids to connect with Mother Earth.  It reminds us how interconnected we are and that in order for us to live and flourish we need to love and respect our planet.
  8. Grow Your Own Food - one of my favourite parts about gardening is that I can actually provide nourishing foods that I selected, planted and nurtured to my family.  I know exactly what went into them and what we will then be eating.  It's all about planting love!
  9. Get Happier - did you know that getting dirty makes you happy? For real! Mycobacterium vaccae is a beneficial bacterial naturally found in soil.  And it's been found to trigger the release of Serotonin which boosts your mood!
  10. Why not?!
Do you love playing in your yard or garden?  Hands up if you have dirt under your fingernails!

5.15.2015

Why I'm Not Running

So you may (or maybe not) have noticed I haven't been posting much about running or being active the past couple weeks.  In fact, I haven't really done anything, aside from some gardening since running my first half marathon at the end of April.  And it's not from lack of desire or motivation, it's from something much worse...an injury.

I'll try to keep this short, but here it goes.  So hindsight's 20/20 right? I couldn't agree more!  After running the half, I was significantly sore which was to be expected.  But after a couple days I noticed my left leg was still bugging me, while my right seemed to bounce right back to normal.  And that's when I started going back through the past few weeks.

My left quad had been tight for about a month but I didn't think anything of it.  I remember sitting on a stool at work and asking the RMT "why does my quad hurt when I sit down?"  And then there was the trail run I did leading up to the race and my left quad just felt shredded.  I chalked it up to the hills and sand which I'm not accustomed to running on.  I think what finally got me thinking something wasn't right was when I had my leg dangling off the edge of the couch and I got this deep burning pain in my quad.

Thank goodness for the Interweb.  I started googling like a maniac.  Now granted, you can put any symptom into Google and it will tell you you're dying.  I remember searching something like leg pain when dangling or something close to that.  After scanning pages of suggestions I saw something that mentioned stress fracture.

Ahhh....2 words a runner doesn't want to hear.  And certainly not femoral stress fracture! So after discussing the possibility with some good runner friends, they convinced me to get it checked out.  We're lucky here to have the Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic nearby so I called and booked an appointment for May 6th.

At my appointment I was first met by a lovely resident.  She was very friendly and pleasant and simply asked "so why are you here today?"  I told her I thought I might have a stress fracture in my femur.  She was a little surprised and then just asked me to tell her why I thought that.  After recounting the story of the past month with her, she did a short physical exam and then went to discuss with the doctor.

A few minutes later, he came in with the resident and did a more thorough exam and listened to my version of events again.  At that point I had really thought he was going to say I just had a strain or something and to do a little physio or massage and stop wasting their time and resources.  But to my surprise he immediately said he was sending me for a bone scan because of the odd location of the fracture and then he wrote me a prescription for crutches!

Crutches?! WTF! 

Essentially he told me it was a fairly serious injury and to stop all activity and to use crutches for my regular activity until we had results of the scan.  I was shocked, devastated and more than a little angry.  I knew it was all for the best, but I have a half marathon in less than a month and a handful of other races coming up.  And I certainly wasn't gonna use crutches when I could walk perfectly fine.  Oh man...what have I done?!

So fast forward to this week....I had my bone scan on May 12 (now that was a pretty interesting experience in itself) and my follow up for test results yesterday.  I sat in the waiting room anxiously waiting for my name to be called.  I brought a book to read but I couldn't  focus as I was just too nervous to find out my results.  See, the thing with the bone scan is it can detect all kinds of not good stuff - stress fractures, arthritis and even cancer.  But then part of my mind would switch over to - maybe I'm fine, it's all in my head and their just going to yell at me for wasting their time.  Oh, please, please please let me be faking it!

Once my name is called, I'm taken into a small office to wait again.  I paced that room for what seemed to be an eternity.  Then the doctor enters.  He sits at his desk and matter-of-factly says "you have a stress fracture."  After picking my jaw up off the floor I ask him what's next.  Essentially, nothing.  I have to rest and let my leg heal.
I then spend the next few minutes asking him what activities I can do.  I think he was getting annoyed with replying NO to each one.  Finally he tells me if I don't rest and let it heal properly it will continue to get worse an could even fracture.  His words were "and then I'll be putting a rod in your femur and you may never run again." Gulp.

So that's it.  That's why I'm not running.  When I left the clinic I sat in my car and cried for a few moments.  I know that sounds over dramatic and there's far worse prognoses out there, but in that instant my world, my lifestyle, my identity as a runner was crushed.

I guess for now I'll be posting about trying to stay sane while not running and how big my arms are getting as that's the only part of my body I can exercise.  So far the only silver lining I can see is I do have some mad bragging rights as I ran my fastest 10k and first half marathon on a busted leg!

Have you been sidelined from your favourite activity? How did you deal with it and what did you do to keep busy instead? Please, I need some suggestions!

5.11.2015

Living Fully for Celiac Awareness Month & Glutino Giveaway!

You may or may not know that May is Celiac Awareness month and I wanted to spread the gluten-free word.  I'm sure most of you know someone (or are someone) with Celiac or a gluten allergy or intolerance, which is actually pretty frightening.

Now in our household, we don't have any Celiac disease, but there are gluten allergies and sensitivities and a just plain love/hate relationship with wheat.  For myself, I have been avoiding wheat for the past 2 years.  I  don't have Celiac, but my body doesn't care for the stuff.  From aches and pains, to digestive disturbances and the bloat and weigh gain, there's more than enough reasons for me (and my family) to be gluten-free.  And don't even get me started on the condition of wheat these days!
I'm still surprised at the looks and comments from relatives when we tell them we are gluten-free.  For some reason they think that we don't eat anything except for salad.  I'm not sure where this notion came from that we can't eat anything.  And yes, there is lots to avoid and be careful with, but oh man...there's lots to enjoy!

Some of our favourite foods are from Glutino.  Glutino started way back in 1983 and now includes Gluten Free Pantry and Udi's Gluten Free Bread and they're now a part of Boulder Brands. Needless to say, they know a thing or two about gluten-free!

What my family loves the most about Glutino is their wide variety of delicious products.  Whether it's toast or pancakes for a weekend breakfast or crackers and pretzels for entertaining, they line of delicious wheat-less products seems never ending. 
I love serving their stuff to our wheat-eating friends and family.  Yeah, I will admit I can't wait to see the looks on their faces after devouring some tasty treats and then discovering they were gluten-free.  They're always so surprised.

 "Really?! THAT was gluten-free??"

Gone are the days of terrible, tasteless, wheat-less products! Embrace your gluten-free lifestyle and live fully with Glutino!   In honour of Celiac Awareness month I am giving away 4 coupons for FREE Glutino products! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: I was provided these products for free from Glutino for the purposes of this review/giveaway.  As always, the opinions expressed are my own. 

5.05.2015

Spring Cleaning For Your Body with Our Natural Connection

It looks like Spring has officially sprung!  Everyone is busy working on gardens and cleaning out cobwebs and closets.  But what about you? Are you doing a little Spring cleaning on your body?

Well, I am...and so should you! I'm so excited to have partnered with Our Natural Connection to try out the 10 Day Whole Food Detox!

I'm sure most of you (myself included) are feeling less than perky heading into this nice weather.  From lack of exercise and fresh air during our never-ending winter, to eating too much comfort food and getting stuck in hibernation mode, it's clear that I need a good-old fashioned Spring cleaning.


What does that mean? Well, the 10 Day Whole Food Detox is a simple, natural program that promotes detoxification through whole foods and nutrition.  It's clearing out all that sluggishness that's built up from too much sugar, caffeine and processed foods.  But the the one thing it's not, is a diet! It's simply retraining your body to do what it's meant to do:

  • utilize essential vitamins and nutrients from whole foods
  • detoxify and eliminate toxins and wastes quickly and efficiently
  • fill you with loads of energy
  • happily digest foods and live free from cravings
  • glow from the inside out

You will get so many awesome things with this program from menu plans & shopping lists to support and supervision from Vanessa Case, Registered Holistic Nutritionist. Sign up today and join me as I clean out those cobwebs and get ready for the summer! There's just a couple days left to register.   What have you got to lose? Other than a few pounds and some bloat!

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