Out with the old and in with the new…

The Christmas season is the season of magic, the season of celebration, and the season of indulgence. Every year I find myself eating cookies and chocolate and all sorts of delicious holiday delights with not much worry about the consequences. January inevitably rolls around, and I scale back on my indulgences (though there is a “weaning period” the first week or so of January) until I am back into my regular eating style. I don’t tend to stay “off the rails” for very long nor do I seem to suffer too many consequences of my indulgences. Some would say this is luck, but I say this is method. I know many people who binge the month of December and then flip and have a clean and dry January. In some cases, this serves as a “reset” but I often see how this dramatic feast and then famine approach sends people into a downward spiral for the remainder of the winter. While I do set goals every new year, I don’t do anything extreme. For me, I like to take the mindset of indulgence and switch it from sugar and alcohol to the indulgence of antioxidants and nutrients. The idea is to continue the feast, but make it one that replenishes the body of nutrients while eliminating some of the unhealthy by-products of too many anti-nutrients.

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Stay well my friends!

Start growing

Spring is by far the most invigorating and refreshing season for me. My senses go into overdrive with the the smell of the earth warming up and the lakes melting away, the sounds of the birds coming home with a song to sing, the way the pale light of spring colours everything in yellows and greens, and of course the bitter taste of the first spring greens.

The change in seasons brings about changes in the body too. It is my favourite time of the year to detox as it coincides with new growth and new beginnings. There is something about the air and the light of the season that makes me want to tap into that growing energy and make changes within myself.

Much disease comes from congestion and stagnation in the body, specifically the organs, tissues, circulation, lymph, and cells. The change in seasons signals the body to detox naturally. By completing a liver detox protocol in the spring you are maximizing your body’s ability to clear congestion and stagnation from the body after a winter season of being indoors in recycled air, reduced movement, and heavier meals.

Follow the natural rhythms of spring and check out my detox program.

February made me shiver…

The days are getting cold here in Ontario and this year, instead of getting outside and in the snow, I am feeling like hiding out in my cozy clothes with massive mugs of hot tea and coffee. January’s New Beginnings Program was a great way to start the year and I am ready to face 2021 feeling fresh, light, and healthy….but I’m still cold. Sometimes this is our body’s way of telling us to focus on warming foods. With all the red and orange colours of Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day, February could be seen as a spiritually warming month even if the temperatures outside are sub zero. I’m going to be spending the next few weeks enjoying some of my favourite warming meals, getting quality sleep, and spending more time looking inward. Focussing on my inner self gives me a sense of wellbeing. It ignites my thoughts and passion and radiates warmth during the dark days of February.

Happy New Year 2021!!

I think everyone agrees 2020 was a special year. The overall impression I have from other people is they are happy to be over 2020 and onto 2021. I feel like this every year, but not because the year past has been terrible, simply that I love a new beginning. For me 2020 was wonderful because my second son was born in 2020 and I am forever grateful to have been blessed with children.

As you have probably seen, I am offering my 30-day New Beginnings Program for the month of January. You can sign-up and start any day this month. The program includes dietary changes based on your unique nutritional requirements, menu and recipe ideas, supplementation recommendation (if required), and a variety of change challenges to get you motivated and inspired to move through new beginnings to growing into your best self.

What does this New Beginnings Program look like for me? I have Celiac Disease and Psoriasis, along with food intolerances, so my digestive tract is almost always top priority. I normally control these autoimmune disorders successfully with a clean diet, exercise, and mindful practices; however, this year has been especially trying on my system. After giving birth and then being home alone with a newborn and a 5 year old during COVID left me with very little time for food prep, elevated stress levels, and sleep depravation… you can just imagine.

When our bodies are mentally or physically stressed, our digestive system takes a hit. Cortisol – the body’s main stress hormone – helps the body respond to stress when we are in danger, so we can fight or flight our predators. While cortisol is signalling the body to release stored sugars into our bloodstream for extra energy, it is also signalling our body to slow down or stop digestion because we need all the energy we can get to fight or run for our lives – digestion can wait while we fight to survive.

Everyone’s body responds a little bit differently to stress. For me, I crave sugar and dry, starchy food like nacho chips, toast, and cereal. I also cycle through feeling wired and tired. The ups and downs of blood sugar create cravings, which in turn make me crash and reach for a cup of coffee or more sugar and starch. It is a bit of a roller coaster and can be tough to get off the ride, especially because when my cortisol is pumping and I am on a sugar high, I get an amazing amount of work done and I feel GREAT. For those of you who know me personally, you know I like to make “to do” lists and cross things off. When I am wired, I am even more of a doer and get a ton of things accomplished, so I like the feeling of being wired and become tempted to have another sugar or caffeine hit to continue the momentum. The problem of course is that this type of lifestyle is super damaging to the body and longterm it can create a whole host of issues…probably why I have Celiac Disease!

So while I have been indulging more in holiday treats, I haven’t gone overboard and have no regrets. I do know I need to hit the reset button though, so for my personal version of the New Beginnings Program, I am cutting out refined sugar products that I do indulge in, and dairy has always given me a bit of trouble, so I am going to completely abstain from all dairy (except butter as this doesn’t bother me) to give my immune system a break. That is what I am cutting out, but there are so many things I am adding into my diet and to my daily routine to nourish my body, but also my mind and spirit.

Stay tuned for more updates about my 30-Day New Beginnings Program.