Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter weekend round-up

Happy belated Easter weekend to all! We spent the better part of the weekend in Georgetown, Guelph and Acton, Ontario visiting great friends and family. What a better way to spend the holiday! I got to spend lots of time with my newest little cousin, Kaden, who is now a whopping 9 months old and so much fun. Thanks to all who made my weekend spectacular. Love to all xoxo.

We also made a little side trip to Oakville because I wanted to visit their Whole Foods Market. What a beautiful store. We're getting on here in Ottawa in a few years. My review: Gorgeous and delicious food. The prepared food was so unbelievably appetizing it was hard to pick. Their cheese selection was superb as well. Lots of taste testing of products. However, you can find just about everything they sell already in Ottawa, you just may have to visit several stores to get it! Their dry goods could be mostly found at Loblaws in their Natural Value section. Good organic meats can be found at Farm Boy or Sasloves. And all the rest, including supplements, health and body care, and other dry goods can be found at great natural foods stores including Rainbow Foods and Natural Food Pantry. I will also note that their prices were more expensive than Loblaws pricing for the items that are carried there. Still a fun trip!

Today back to studying as my first course in my holistic nutrition program is wrapping up this week and I have two tests to study for. Back at it...

P.S. sorry for the lack of photos. I've got to get better at taking them. I've never been much of a photographer, but blogs without photos are boring, I know...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mini-goal attained: Halfway there

It's official. I've lost 20 pounds. It seems somewhat insignificant, because it is only a mini goal and I still have about 20-30 more pounds to go to reach my ideal weight. However, think about what 20 pounds represents. I'm thinking right now of two 10-pound bags of potatoes and that's significant.

I'm constantly smiling when I get up in the morning and get dressed and realize all my pants (no matter what size I have in the closet – the used-to-fit-perfect or used-to-fit-tight) are all too big. In fact I've started to make a donation bag with clothes that just plain look awful and frumpy because of their size.

I can also see the difference in my face, see below. The photo on the left was taken last summer, and the one on the right at my brother's wedding this past February (I've since lost another five pounds).

I'm pretty happy with the progress and to be totally honest, it hasn't been hard at all. I know I'll have to work extra hard for the next 20. But I'll get there!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Chewing: The dilemma

My friends and family know all too well about what I call "my jaw issues". It's a condition I can't remember my life without. Painful, lock-open, lock-shut, side-to-side movement – generally speaking not what your jaw is supposed to do or how it is supposed to move.

The latter part of my university days and the first few years of living in Ottawa were especially bad. I've sought treatment for my pain and discomfort a few times. However, I've since come to figure out that unfortunately fixing a TMJ disorder isn't as easy as one might think. In fact I've come to realize that my jaw will never be the way I want it to be – and all I want is for it to open and close with out moving laterally and making all kinds of cracking/scratching/grating noises.
As an aside, consider yourself schooled that jaw problems are not called TMJ. TMJ is just the physical joint where your skull, specifically the temporal bone, and the jaw, also called the mandible, are joined. TMD, or temporomandibular (joint) disorders, are the "issues".

Here are a few things that have brought me to a point where my jaw doesn't rule my life:
  • I've had a few mouth guards, but the one I have now (and for the last 5 or more years) I wear on my lower teeth. When I first I got wore it all the time (because it's on the lower teeth it doesn't really interfere with talking, etc) to teach my facial muscles to relax and not let my teeth touch when in a relaxed state
  • Infrared treatments - not sure why this was recommended, it was so long ago now, but it was part of my treatment plan
  • Physiotherapy, which also included acupuncture treatments and ultrasound treatments - this was the turning point in moving forward
  • Chiropractic adjustments on my jaw - this is part of my ongoing maintenance
  • Massage therapy, and this week I'm trying acupuncture treatments via my massage therapist - again part of my ongoing maintenance
I also have to be careful about what I eat. Basically no excess chewing (i.e.,gum or bagels that require serious jaw power). Also, I have to be careful with apples, I'm not supposed to bite into them, but rather cut them. That's not always an option so I try to only take little bites instead of trying to bite off half the apple. Oh and ever try to yawn with your mouth closed?

It's an ongoing battle. I've managed to see a vast improvement. I'm no longer always in pain and my jaw rarely locks open/closed any more. And to me that's significant relief. However, my jaw still makes about six different crack/scratch/grating noises upon opening and about the same when closing – lovely, eh?
So what brought on this post? I want to win gum! Yes I know, I'm not supposed to chew it. But I'm always on the look out for good breath fresheners and they are a hard thing to come by if you don't want them packed with crazy chemicals. Enter Pur Gum,which is aspartame-free! So even the want-to-be-nutritionist in me loves it! So my friends should I win some Pur Gum, perhaps I'll share with you! And wouldn't you like that?

In the meantime you must take a peek at Meghan Telpner's blog, who is the one giving away the gum, I read it everyday. Very fun, nourishing mind/body/soul stuff.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Headlines catching my attention recently

A few things showed up in my twitter feed and on the front page of a couple online news sites today that caught my eye.

It would seem that super foods and whole body (holistic) nutrition is becoming more and more mainstream, as is the desire for wholesome local food.

First Huffington Post: Why Holistic Nutrition is the Best Approach, an interesting article on needing to treat the whole body and not individual symptoms with individual nutrients/foods. Exactly what we are learning in school after only two sessions.

Second, a new super food! And a yummy one too. Now I wouldn't suggest you go out and pour a jug of maple syrup on everything. In my opinion it still should be used sparingly. It's still a sugar, just a pure, unrefined one. I also read a follow up article that was quite negative regarding this story, but that's OK, because it gets people talking about good, natural, unrefined yummy food. As long as people stop buying the "syrup," aka corn-sugar and the even worse the "sugar-free syrup," which is simply jar of chemicals, and support our local producers, life will be grand.

Finally, is a story straight out of my home province and close to my heart. Local free range eggs. The story kind of "blew up" a few weeks ago when a local B&B owner who fed his visitors eggs from his own chickens was told to cease the practice because the eggs were not inspected. If you know anything about the food system you'll know that food safety issues do not arise from small local farmers, but from large-scale unnatural operations.

A great deal of resistance has risen out of this story, which quite frankly is amazing. Watching it from a distance and from a friend and local foodie on PEI, it's quite fascinating how it's becoming an issue that's been brought to the forefront of islanders' minds and perhaps might make people think twice when they pick up their next carton of eggs or other items at the grocery store.