Posts tagged ‘health’


i’m a big fan of this quote by the father of medicine, and have been convicted by it for a long time.  for the last 4 years i’ve been testing this theory, and recently have been seeing some almost-miraculous results. 

for the last 2 years, i had rejected my friend trina’s offer to try kombucha. i was down to manageable levels of pain, and my need to call in sick to various activities was at a minimum. besides the fact that i couldn’t remember or say the name (koombaya? komboochoo?), it looked disgusting, and i was not going to risk it sending me back to my former levels of chronic pain.

for those of you who don’t know my backstory or what i’ve gone through for the last 4 years, here’s the basic summary:
i took antibiotics of increasing potency almost non-stop for about 6 months to fight your standard UTI. the antibiotics stripped away my ability to digest anything, and i’ve since been on a journey involving doctors, specialists, many days in bed praying for the pain to pass, many events/appointmets bailed upon.  having been burned by prescriptions in the past, i decided to decline the lifelong pain management prescription offered, and attempt to find my own way to just… deal.

as i said, after about 2 years of playing with diet, i’d reached a comfortable place that was neither ideal nor crippling: a sort of compromising balance.  i became dissatisfied with this compromise after my belly took me down this summer when i really needed it to be non-participatory.  a series of following disappointing setbacks forced me to rethink the solution that i’d thought i’d found.  so i gave trina’s crazy hippie drink a try. 

at first i had to choke it down, but after about a week, i started to aquire a taste for this strong beverage.  within 2 weeks, i actually started to like the kombucha!  even better than my tastebuds accepting this strange new drink, were the results that i was feeling in my belly.  it’s been about 6 weeks of drinking one cup each morning, and i haven’t spent one single day in the fetal position in my bed.  

i’m not functioning at 100%, but for the first time since beginning this journey, i am starting to feel a glimmer of hope. 

anyone with dietary restrictions will understand how big that little word can be: HOPE.  the idea that i can travel without reading food lables via google translator.  the crazy idea that i won’t be hangry in social settings because i forgot to bring food with me.  being able to share a meal with friends without having to “be special”.  to not fear food will be such freedom!  even just writing that paragraph makes me so thankful for the leaps in health that i’ve experienced since drinking my daily kombucha.

here are a few links for the how-to.  i won’t bother writing out my technique because there’s no need to make the internet redundant.  if you’re local and you want to try making your own though, i’d be happy to donate a scoby and help in any way you need. i don’t think that kombucha is the cure of the ages or anything, but if you’ve been struggling with gut health then you should skip the skepticism and give it a shot! i’m so glad that i finally did!

tools i use:

  • 1L mason jars
  • fabric scraps to replace lids
  • funnel
  • nylon mesh strainer
  • korken bottles from ikea
  • kettle
  • black tea

links that have helped me:

i’d love to hear if anyone else has had great success with kombucha, or advice, or flavouring combinations that win. happy fermenting!

January 7, 2017 at 22:42 1 comment

prepping for the new year, part 3

happy new year!  i’m finally ready to share with you the apps & tools that help me to invest in my physical health.  stick around, non-iFriends! there’s stuff for you here too :)

i really need to start out by acknowledging the fact that i am so incredibly flawed and aware of it — this series on new year’s resolutions is not coming from a place of “having achieved”, but from a place of recognizing that most of us are in the same situation of just wanting to do better.  if i weren’t using diet to control personal pain levels, i’d still be the lady who eats 3 buttertarts for breakfast!

i’d also like to address the “love yourself” body image movement that’s sweeping the internet.  i completely agree with being satisfied with the body that you have been given. i completely DON’T agree that “loving yourself” means neglecting your health.  do you see the difference?  loving something means caring for it, not giving it whatever it wants.  you do what is best for those that you love, and if you “love yourself”, then you should do what is best for yourself. you get one body for your whole complete entire life!

part 1: spiritual health
part 2: mental health

drink lots.

there are many options on the app store for water-drinking reminders, but they’re all basically timers.  your phone comes with a timer (even if you don’t have a smart phone, i’m sure you have a timer!)  get yourself a great water bottle, and set your timer for one hour.  when the reminder sounds, drink your water, refill your bottle, and restart the timer.  if the taste of water is your hang up, then infuse your water with fruit, or do what i like to do when i need variety:  throw in a bag of fruit tea.   also, take your water with you wherever you go. these are my current favourite water bottles because they fit in a purse, are made of glass, and are so wonderfully colourful. (local tip: they’re $5 cheaper at Sail)


sleep lots.

imagei might actually consider myself gifted in this area of life.  for all of my preamble up top about “not having yet achieved”–  in this regard, i am boss.  where i fail in the sleep category, is in the waking up part.  when i’m trying to be responsible, i use the basalt wakeup alarm clock.  i may be the only person i know who just can’t get up in the morning, but this alarm clock alerts when i’m in a lighter sleep cycle.  it’s a bit helpful, or maybe it’s all in my head. i’ve heard tales of people who can wake up to an average alarm clock, but i’m not convinced that those people actually exist.

anyway, sleep more.  my trick:  get way super-comfortable in bed.  make your limbs relax, slow your breathing, and count each breath backwards from 100. do not give up! when you get all the way back to zero, start again. i tell myself that i won’t give up until i’ve tried it for 400 seconds, which is not too much time to invest in trying to fall asleep.  i’ve only made it to zero twice in my life, and never ever through the second hundred. i use this trick to fall asleep at night, to force myself to nap, or to stay sleeping in when i’m really not wanting to get up yet in the morning.  i’m pretty curious for someone else to try it and let me know if it works for them, or if i just excel at sleep.

work out daily.

actually every day! we had years of gym memberships before letting it go over the summer, and not renewing again this fall.  i thought that i wouldn’t be able to handle life without all of those machines, but i’m actually really loving home workouts!

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 23.44.52pinterest is making a double-appearance in this series, but google or any other search engine works well also.  just search for equipment-free 20 minute workouts, and you’ll find tons!

the big hurdle with working out daily is not gym memberships, equipment, fancy fitbit gadgets, or lack of information online.  the biggest problem to overcome to meet your goal of working out, is believing the lie that you don’t have time.  how is it that wasting 20 minutes on facebook is so effortless, but taking 20 whole minutes to exercise is a gigantic effort?

the reason that i say “every day”, is because skipping a day is enough to break a habit.  it doesn’t have to be a HIIT workout each day, but you could go for a walk with your husband or dog if you want a break or need variety.

i know i’m not the only girl who has a pinterest board full of workouts that never get done.  here is the app that i use to make sure that they get done:

imagepaper 53 is a drawing/journal app.  i use it to upload my pinterest saves, and make a journal of workouts.  i have one journal for pieces in progress workouts (which i love), and an actual  “fitness journal” with before pics, motivational pins, logs of different workouts.  why do i bother with putting the workouts into another app? because paper 53 allows me to organize the workouts and to check things off as i complete them. for example:



i love that i can quickly check items off as i accomplish them, then erase it all again for the next workout.  i   can also add notes to existing workouts, as seen above with “add chin ups & jumping jacks”.  also, please note how EASY the last example is!  NINE full minutes of rest incorporated in this level one 30 minute workout.  you can do it! (find this workout and the next two levels here).

if you cringe at the idea of doing before pictures, consider doing before measurements.  i’ll say over and over that being healthy isn’t about how you look, but that’s not what the pics or measurements are for.  nobody likes to work without seeing results. having measurements or pics allows you to see that your daily efforts are making a difference.  also, regarding taking before pics: obviously you don’t want anyone to see them!  you pass your phone to your uncle to show him pictures of your kids, and he scrolls a little too far…. awkward. *chirp* *chirp*.  paper 53 lets you load your pictures into your journal, and then you can delete them off of your phone.  want to see my before pictures?


if i want to see them, i open my journal, open the page, and erase the doodling covering the pic.  no embarrassing accidentally showing anyone my befores.

done! i hope that the information on these pages is helpful to you! again, let me know if there are any great apps that you use to keep you accountable to your health- i’d love to hear about them.

wishing all of you a 2016 that you’re proud to have used wisely! thanks for reading!

January 1, 2016 at 15:18 2 comments

my life in pics