Scrap New Year’s Resolutions: Do This Instead

The festive season is upon us, and as we near the end of December, the thought of resolutions begin to dance in our heads. We take stock of the past year, and we dream into the future about what could be. Collectively, we use January as a time to wipe the slate clean and to start fresh.

While creating your own New Year’s resolutions may seem tempting, you might be interested to know that only 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions end up sticking to them.[1] Given this statistic, I’d like to offer you an alternative solution – one that inspires positive change in your life and is more easily attained.

This year, instead of writing out a list of resolutions, I’d like you to identify a simple word or a phrase that inspires you and lights you up. You’ll know you’ve found the right one if it energizes you, opens your heart and stirs something deep inside of you that may have been asleep for a very long time.

In 2015, I felt like I had no time for what was important to me. Despite getting engaged and married, I was also in school, running the business full-time, and had moved to a new home. I was in a rat race and constantly on the go. While there were so many wonderful things taking place, I felt like I wasn’t present to joy. I was simply “doing my life” and meeting my obligations, and as a result, my spirit felt bruised.

I did some contemplating, and discovered that what I needed more of in my life, was “JOY.” So, I wrote, it out on a piece of paper, and then I framed it and displayed it in my office. I looked at it every day. Each time I glanced at it, I was reminded of its importance in my life. I contemplated whether joy had been present in my life, and if it hadn’t, I let my intuition guide me to what I needed to do or let go of in order for it to be fully alive for me again. Focusing on joy in 2015 helped me to feel more whole and complete. It was the missing link that helped me grow into the person I aspired to be.

In 2016 my phrase was “honour the sacred.” It came to me when I was shovelling the snow (I love snow – I know, I’m one of the weird ones). In the peace and quiet of the snowfall, I realized that I hadn’t allowed myself time to contemplate the magic of life. Honouring what was sacred, helped me to feel more connected and contributed to me feeling more centred and fulfilled.

Finding a word or a phrase that inspires me, rather than creating resolutions, has become a beautiful ritual that I delight in at the closing out of each year. This morning at the gym, my 2017 word came to me. It’s timely and perfect and I can already sense the difference it will make in my life. This year my word is “LIGHT.” As the world faces so many challenges and as humanity walks forward into uncertain times, I notice how easy it is for me to take on the heaviness that I feel all around me (from the news, what is being shared on social media, and in conversations I have and overhear). The word “light” reminds me to remain light-hearted (no matter what), to bring light to every situation (even the challenging ones), and to tread lightly upon the Earth (reducing my environmental impact where possible). It gives me a solid place to stand in a world where so many changes are taking place. I can sense deep inside, that focusing on “light” will help keep me centred and level as I navigate all of life’s twists and turns.

What could you use more of in the coming year? Here are some guidelines to help you create your New Year’s intension.

7 Steps to creating your New Year’s resolution intension:

  1. Find a quiet space where you will not be interrupted
  2. Sit in your favourite chair, or spot on the couch (be comfortable)
  3. Close your eyes and begin to focus on your breath
  4. Feel into your body; notice your mental/emotional state
  5. Listen to your inner guidance – what does your current mental/emotional state crave or need
  6. Identify a world or state of being that will nourish the most neglected part of your spirit
  7. Open your eyes, write your word down and place it somewhere you will see it often

What are you creating for yourself this New Year? I’d love to hear what your world or phrase is! Please leave a comment in the section below.

 Here’s to your best year yet!

What is Iridology – Part 2 (Constitutions)

What is Iridology Part 2 – “Analyzing Your Constitution” (By Rhea Baluyut, C.IR.)

It’s important to keep in mind that a “strong” vs. “weak” constitution is not equivalent to the difference between “good” or “bad”. It simply provides insight on how the body endures stressors that one is exposed to, whether it is physical, nutritional, environmental or emotional.

eyeConstitutions are inherent and remain the same throughout someone’s lifetime. Gaining insight of our constitution enables us to better understand what we can do to support the body and our wellbeing. Regardless of constitution, the goal is the same for both types: to build and maintain a strong immunity and minimize negative impacts to our body from exposures to stress.

Strong Constitution appearance

brown eyeTight fibres with very little to no fibre splits within the biliary zone, beyond the exterior lining of the collarette.

 

  • Strong immunity
  • Strong ability to assimilate nutrients very well from foods digested
  • Less sensitive to what is happening to body. Ensures stress, but has challenges balancing well. Tendency to abuse body
  • Benefits from regular cleanses
  • Endures a lot, but does not handle stress well
  • Healing from chronic to sub-acute to chronic usually takes 1 year of healing. Weaker constitutions is less than a year healing
  • Tendency to love longer

Medium-weak constitution appearance

blue eyeEvident and/or loose fibres and splits within the ciliary zone, beyond the exterior lining of the collarette.

 

 

  • Weaker immunity
  • Inability to assimilate what is happening to the body
  • Takes on a lot, but tires quickly
  • Benefits from building minerals vs. cleanses
  • Emotional, passionate, Charismatic
  • Healing from chronic to acute / sub-acute usually takes 3-10 years
  • Tendency to not live as long at strong constitution
  • Immunity on the weaker end
  • Difficulty assimilating nutrients from foods digested

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is Iridology – Part 1

Introduction to Iridology (By Rhea Baluyut, C.IR.)

History of Iridology

1303837475micIridology is an ancient practice that can be traced back over thousands of years ago. From clay tablets Chaldeans left behind, hieroglyphs from Ancient Egyptians, to Hippocratic writings from the Classical Greeks on signs within the eye indicating internal health and state of the body. In 1670, Philippus Meyens published “Chromatica Medica” in Dresden in which he shared his studies of the eye and how it relates to the body. In 1786 Christian Haertels published “De Oculo et Signo (The eye and it’s signs).

Modern Iridology

The birth of modern iridology as it is known today, really began in the 1800’s, by a Hungarian scientist, physician and homeopath named Ignatz von Peczely whom after decades of comparative studies determined that there is a direct correlation between the state/changes to our health and how that appears in our eyes. This led Dr. Peczely to create a chart in which he utilized throughout his examinations with patients. Overtime as the practice progressed, various scientists and physicians have revised the chart and improved the medical marijuana card with Meadow upon it.

Today, there are various different forms of iridology practiced. The European practice of iridology provides a quick and fairly accurate assessment based on the European constitutions. Australian iridology focuses on emotional states and there is also the practice of Sclerology, focusing on analyzing the white part of the eye surrounding the iris. North America practices traditional iridology and was pioneered by a physician in the 1900’s named Bernard Jensen. Dr. Jensen specialized in various areas of health including homeopathy and nutrition and created the original North American iridology chart. Although revised by practitioners, still today the foundation of the chart remains similar to that of what was initially created by Dr. Jensen (below). The chart represents two eyes (the right and left) and within each eye are organs and areas of the body. Around the periphery of the eye are numbers similar to that of a clock

Taking into consideration hundreds and thousands of nerve endings and blood vessels that come from the back of our eyes and connect to various areas of our body, these connections provide a communication highway, communicating changes in our body systems through our eyes. Changes are observed through splitting of fibers, colour changes within the iris or blood vessels laid out within the sclera.

What Iridology can reveal

  • Primary nutritional needs of the body
  • Inherent strengths or weaknesses of organs, glands and tissues
  • Constitutional strengths and weaknesses
  • Toxic settlement in organs, glands and tissues
  • Inflammation within body and tissue health
  • Colon health and condition
  • Pressure on heart
  • Circulation / skin health
  • Nerve depletion
  • Hyper/Hypo activity within organs, glands, tissues
  • Lymphatic system congestion
  • Assimilation of nutrients and minerals
  • Physical or mental fatigue on body
  • Inherent or acquired weaknesses
  • Preclinical stages of diabetes, cardiovascular conditions and other autoimmune diseases
  • Healing signs indicating increased strength in organs, tissues and glands
  • Probable allergies to wheat
  • Adrenal Exhaustion
  • Sources of infection
  • Nerve energy in body

What to expect in an iridology assessment

An iridology assessment is considered non-invasive. A common tool utilized is a hand held scope, held up to the eye during an examination to provide a closer look. If you know what is HIIT and how to do it right then you are on a good lane with starting the practice. Some practitioners will take a picture of their patient’s eyes with a high-resolution still camera. An assessment can focus on the top three observations noticed within the eyes, or an extensive examination can provide insight on everything observed during analysis. Nutritional recommendations and/or protocol will typically follow to work towards improvement of health.

 

Meditation for Non-Meditators

medMany of us living in urban centres long for a simpler time. Surrounded the the chaos of the city, the hum of technology and the constant stimuli of billboards, racing cars and crowds of people, finding our way back to ourselves seems tough.

I offer you these words by Deepak Chopra (February 20, 2012).

The Mind-Body Connection 

“Only a few decades ago, medical students were taught to view the body as a machine whose parts would inevitably break down until it could no longer be repaired. Today science is arriving at a radically different understanding: While the body appears to be material, it is really a field of energy and intelligence that is inextricably connected to the mind. All of the thoughts, perceptions, memories, emotions, and feelings in our mind influence every cell of our body. When we have a loving thought or focus on a happy memory or feeling, our brain triggers a cascade of molecules that promote wellbeing in our physiology. On the other hand, when we hold onto emotions such as anger, fear, and doubt, this creates stress and damage in the body.

Through meditation, we can reverse the effects of accumulated stress and toxicity.  Meditation takes us into inner silence, allowing the body to restore balance and repair itself.”

THE WORKINGWELL PROMISE:

Every participant will successfully meditate.

LEARN TO MEDITATE (CORPORATE CLASSES)

WorkingWell offers a 6-part series for the corporate audience. Participants are given a step-by-step approach for building a successful meditation practice. Each class builds on the one before. Students examine their own beliefs and perceptions about meditation and learn that the practice can take many forms.

Our program introduces employees to three vastly different meditation techniques, which allows them to find which avenue is most comfortable and accessible to them.

WorkingWell’s Learn to Meditate  program has been designed be memorable and to deliver a visceral experience.

The program is delivered either two-times per week for 3 weeks, or once per week for 6 weeks. Each class is 45 minutes.

BOOK YOUR COMPANY’S SESSION NOW:

Contact WorkingWell and ask for Michelle (416) 365-WELL (9355) or michelle@workingwell.ca to get a copy of this buying guide by Rob Simpson

Do the impossible. Learn to meditate

 

Optical Illusions – Cycling Eye Gear

This video explains why protective eye gear is important when you cycle and demonstrates a brand of glasses I use. They are extremely, affordable, versatile and allow you to see better while cycling through various conditions. Read more at http://www.uvuperformance.com.

 

Do This Every time You Ride a Bike

Give your bike a good once-over before each ride in 5 easy steps.

Check your bike, check your kids’ bikes, check your mother’s bike – just check and then go have fun!

The ABCD Quick Check 

A = Air

Air: Make sure you have ample air in your tires. It’s dangerous to ride with low tire pressure and really bad for your rims. Also… the more air you have in your tires, the faster you go!

B = Breaks, Bell & (handle) Bars

Breaks: To check your breaks, apply pressure to one break first and then drag your bicycle forward. If your bike skids along the pavement, your breaks work. Do the same for the other break. If either of your breaks don’t cause your bike to skid when you push it forward, DO NOT RIDE!

Bell: It’s the law to have a bell on your bike here in Ontario (or a horn or a gong – exactly… a gong? It’s true, check the Highway Traffic Act). Make sure your bell is working, easy to reach in a riding position and fastened tightly.

Bars: I didn’t mention this in the video but you want to make sure your handle bars are in good working ordering and not loose.

C = Chain, Cogs and Cranks

Chain: Check to see if your chain is on properly. Look to see if it’s rusty and almost falling off. If it looks good, go ride your bike.

Cogs: These are the spiky discs that your chain moves around. You have 2 sets of cogs – check them both. Make sure everything looks good. No funny business.

Crank: The cranks attaches to your pedals. Grab the cranks and try to wiggle them back and forth. There should be no play in the crank, meaning, it’s solid and doesn’t wiggle.

D = Drop Test

Drop: Pick your bicycle up about 1 foot off the ground and drop/bounce the wheels down. Listen and watch to see if anything shakes, rattles or rolls off your bike. With the drop test you should only hear a really solid sound when the wheels hit the ground. If anything sounds like it’s about to fall off, go in for closer inspection and tighten what’s loose, or get your bike in for repair.

Quick Check

Quick Check: Inspect your quick release levers to make sure they are on tight and that they are pointed up and are flush with your front forks. This helps prevent stuff from getting collected in there and loosening your levers (like tall grass or other weird stuff you could be cycling through).

I hope you’ve enjoyed this lesson in bike safety and you’ll put it to good use. Please help share this message wide and far. These 5 simple steps could save you from injury!

Happy Cycling!

Eggcellent Beginnings

Poached Egg atop Sautéed Kale

Poached Egg atop Sautéed Kale

What you have for breakfast has an important impact on how your blood sugar levels will behave for the rest of that day! Starting your morning off with a healthy protein and veggies is an incredible way to give your body and brain what it needs to see you through thick and thin. If you start off with a sugary breakfast, your body will crave sugar all day long and send you on a wild ride of sugar crashes and cravings.

This morning I made a poached egg and placed it atop a bed of sautéed kale, along with chopped sun-dried tomatoes and yellow bell pepper. For added fun I squeezed fresh lemon juice over the kale to bring out its delicious flavour and help my body absorb the maximum amount of iron from the dark leafy greens as possible. If you’re someone who is low in iron, this little trick with help you get the maximum amount of iron out of veggies like kale and spinach.

6 years ago when I was visiting my super-star Nutritional Therapy Practitioner friend Margaret Floyd of Eat Naked I was wowed by the amazing breakfasts she would create. Many a morning we enjoyed poached eggs with greens (and homemade kimchi for an added digestive boost) and I couldn’t believe how INCREDIBLE I felt eating these tasty meals. I’ve you’ve never tried anything like this, I’m sure it will be love at first bite. There’s something special and delicious about egg yolks and dark leafy greens that just go so well together. Here is a review i have done on the Lasik Eye Surgery NYC last year.

Now, when I’m looking to fuel my body well and start off my day with a truly healthy boost, this is a breakfast I go to often. To help you get started, I’m posting the recipe below. Try it out and let me know how it goes!

Poached Egg atop a Bed of Kale

Yield: 1 serving             Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 leaves of Lacinato (Dinosaur) Kale, washed and sliced into strips
  • 3 sun-dried tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 of yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp of olive oil or butter
  • 1 lemon slice
  • 1 egg poached – watch how to poach an egg

Directions:

  1. Bring a small pot of water to boil, add 1 TBSP of white or apple cider vinegar to water.
  2. While waiting for water to boil, chop pepper, slice kale and sun-dried tomato.
  3. Sauté bell pepper in frying pan over medium-low heat with oil/butter for approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Add sun-dried tomato and kale. Mix occasionally. When kale turns bright green, remove from heat
  5. When water reaches a boil, crack an egg into the water (the vinegar will keep the whites together).
  6. Remove when your egg is cooked to your liking. The yolk will cook/harden fast in boiling water, so use a slotted spoon to lift it to the surface every 2 minutes to check on it’s progress.
  7. Remove egg from water when cooked. Remove excess water with paper towel.
  8. Plate the veggies and a squeeze lemon over them.
  9. Place egg on top.
  10. Enjoy immediately!
  11. Visit YunnanBaiyaoStore.com for more information.

4 Minute Ice Cream That Will Melt Your Heart

Dairy and sugar-free ice cream!

Dairy and sugar-free ice cream!

Tonight I was craving something a little sweet after dinner and because I don’t eat a lot of refined sugar, I needed something healthy. It was a HOT evening so I decided to make my own version of a healthy “ice cream” treat.

I’ve seen a ton of bloggers post recipes about their homemade ice cream concoctions using frozen bananas as the base, so I took a peek in my freezer to see what kinds of ingredients I could pull together to test out this home made “ice cream” thing.

What I created was so delicious that I wanted to share the recipe with you STAT so you could benefit too!

4 Minute Ice Cream

Yeild: 2 servings          Time: 2 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen banana (peel and chop before freezing)
  • 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries (I used blackberry, blueberry and raspberry)

Directions: 

  1. Place ingredients into food processor.
  2. Process on high until ingredients look smooth and “creamy”.
  3. OPTIONAL: 2 TBPS of cocoa powder.
  4. Enjoy immediately.

Here are some photos of how the ingredients looked at the beginning and at the end:

Frozen fruit in food processor.

Frozen fruit in food processor.

What it looks like when it's ready

What it looks like when it’s ready

Chocolate Coconut Power Balls

Chocolate Coconut Power BallsThe mid-morning snack attack! We’ve all been there, and this morning I was working outside at my home office when I suddenly got a massive craving for something chocolatey and coconutty and sweet. Knowing I had to be smart about what I would be putting into my body, and really wanting my treat to be delicious yet healthy, I created these these tasty little DELICIOUS treats with the ingredients I had at home.

Behold the Chocolate Coconut Power Balls! 

Yield: 10 pieces       Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (plus an extra 3/4 cup to coat balls with)
  • 1/2 cup almond butter (the kind that’s just almonds)
  • 7 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 tsp of sea salt
  • 2 TBSP of cocoa powder
  • 1 Tsp of pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Place all ingredients into food processor.
  • Mix on low or high until the mixture is nicely blended together in a slightly chunky dough.
  • Roll dough into little tim-bit sized balls and place aside on a plate or sheet of wax paper.
  • Roll balls into the extra 3/4 cup of shredded coconut.
  • Eat 1 immediately to enjoy the fruits of your labour and put the rest in the fridge for an hour to firm-up.

* Store in fridge or freezer ( see the ).

If you do end up making these tasty little treats, please leave a comment below to let me know how they turned out! I

Get your promo code iherb and more by following the link.

 

Bicycle Helmet Safety

Now that the warm weather is here, many people are hopping on their bikes for leisure, to run errands, to commute to work or for some good old fashion fun with the family.

As a certified CAN-BIKE Instructor, I’ve put together a great corporate lunch and learn called Commuting by Bike. In this video, I share 1 tip from that session about proper helmet fit.

Knowing how to properly wear a bicycle helmet could quite literally save your life! Watch this video to learn about the easy 2-4-1 rule to bike helmet safety.

Enjoy and happy cycling!