naturopathic medicine

A Valentine’s To Reflect

I'm honoured to break my long hiatus with this post. A dear friend to me, Nicole, asked me if I would be willing to be featured as a guest author write something for her website. I was extremely excited to do so, and wrote an article on why I'm giving myself a Valentine card this year. There are many reasons why I value her, and one reason is the way she is able to translate thoughts into beautiful words. I had to feature her on here, and she agreed to be a guest author for my site. Please enjoy and make sure you visit her at Break Into Change

The following is a post I wrote about Valentine’s Day last year. At that point I had never spent the holiday of romance with a romantic partner. This year, I do have a partner, and we are in the midst of planning our V-day celebrations. Today, February 12th, I was scrolling through my blog and came across this post, deciding to get a quick read over, because hey, it’s almost Valentine’s Day, and honestly I was interested in what “sad single me” said about the holiday just a year ago. As it turns out, “sad single me” could teach coupled-up me a few lessons….

Post-read of this article, I feel more grateful for what I have and will apologize to my partner for hassling him over dinner reservations, because in the end, that is not what it’s all about. Thanks old me, for offering a little perspective.


Yesterday was Valentine’s Day.  The holiday we love to hate, or hate to love, or maybe even love to love, depending on our current romantic situation (…or lack there of).  We’ve all heard the “endearing” terms given to this day – Single’s Awareness Day, Chocolate & Flowers Day, Concocted Hallmark Day, etc. Perhaps, in some ways, these terms are apt to be used, for they are true.

Valentine’s Day certainly can be commercial.  It can be a day of overpriced dyed flowers, sugary boxed chocolate and excessive numbers of reservations in expensive restaurants…and sure, we can be cynical about that. We can be cynical and say that love should be celebrated everyday of the year, not simply one day in mid-February, and we’d be right.  But believing in love every day of the year EXCEPT Valentine’s day is both counter-intuitive and counterproductive.  Everyday life is busy, that is hard to deny, and small tokens of love and appreciation can fall by the wayside, or simply be forgotten in all innocence.  The fact that we as humans have set aside an entire holiday in the name of love is beautiful, in my opinion, and not something to be disparaged.  It reminds us about romance, and it cheesy importance in our lives, hopefully spurring onwards to give a little more and ignore love a little less throughout the rest of the year. It reminds us about the people in our lives, partners or not, that love us unconditionally each and every day, and we get a day that encourages us to get in contact with each and every one of them.

It is hard to say the words “I love you” as often as we feel them. Sometimes we assume people know how we feel and thus we let ourselves off the hook when it comes to expressing our love. Valentine’s Day reminds us that demonstrating our love and our vulnerability is special, and most importantly, possible.

I’ve never spent Valentine’s Day romantically. Not once in my life. However, the day has always held a special place in my heart.  From chocolate-dipped strawberries laid out for me at home upon returning from school by my father long ago, to spending the day reconnecting with old friends this year, V-Day has never been a day to bemoan being single, unless I purposefully made it so. It has always been a celebration of love, though sometimes you have to fight through the veil of superficial concerns to reconnect with that meaning.

If you spend your Valentine’s Day stressed about making it to the florist, or angry at your partner’s dropping of the ball when it came to making reservations, perhaps your perception of V-day needs an adjustment. February 14th is a beautiful day, as are many others, and failing to recognize it’s wonderful celebration of love, in all forms, does it a disservice.

Happy (Belated) Valentine’s Day ❤


photo from here

Not-so-basic Pumpkin Pie Bean Blondies – Gluten/Sugar/Dairy Free

Somehow, it is October. With the fall comes everything pumpkin, so I thought I would follow suit by making something pumpkin and delicious. This recipe developed from an interesting origin – it started off with my desire for something akin to cookie dough and remembered a video I saw on youtube of a chickpea-based s’mores dip. After pulling out the ingredients and making the dip, I realized I didn’t like the flavour. Making hummus was out of the question since I had added sweetener to it, but I remembered that making brownies and blondies out of beans is really common. I threw in some ingredients, popped the mix in the oven and prayed for a miracle. A lot of the recipe was eye-balled so these quantities are basically an approximation. This recipe can also be used to make mug cakes!
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LoseIT Tea Detox – Days 8 & 9

Hello dear friends,

I must be honest and say that the last few days have been a bit rough… not because I’m tempted by food, but rather the opposite. I’ve had very little appetite and forgot to eat a few meals. Tuesday I had to consciously buy food because I wasn’t hungry but noticed my blood sugar was getting low because I felt like headed and donuts were starting to sound too tempting. This coupled with some mysteriously originating GI disturbances has made the last few days rather annoying. However, I’ve been trudging along and I the one thing that has made my journey easier is my support system.

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Easy Homemade Leavened Probiotic Pickles

In lieu of a typical detox post, I’d like to share my grandmother’s recipe for homemade pickles! I forgot to upload this yesterday (terrible, I know) however you will not be disappointed with this easy recipe that will turn those sad cucumbers to tiny morsels of probiotic joy!

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LoseIT Tea Detox – Days 5 & 6

What a crazy weekend it’s been! Conquering the Warrior Dash was one of the hardest things I’ve done in a long time, and really made me appreciate two things: 1) my body can really endure much more than I give it credit for, and 2) I seriously need to honour myself by doing some intense cardio (For those who don’t know, I really dislike cardio). Nonetheless, I did every single obstacle and finished the race in 90 minutes, which is great considering the last time I ran 5k was about a year ago. I will definitely include running in my training regiment from now on as it’s obvious my heart really needs it! I also made it a point to stay consistent on my diet that day too, which meant my lucky boyfriend got my free beer ticket and my treat was a good ol’ turkey leg. 

Another success is that I’ve lost 2 lbs! Indirectly, my goal is to shed some weight (who’s isn’t, let’s be honest here!) but my main goal is definitely getting to a true place of health. A good friend of mine and I sat in Ikea one day and discussed everything under the sun, and one thing he engrained in my head is that my focus should be health and that weight loss will follow naturally. I really feel this is true – this week has been so hard, but I made it a point to eat when I was hungry and modify my diet to support me through the detox. He also mentioned that eating certain foods, especially things with sugar, release dopamine in the brain which makes you happy and addicted, just like drugs. He said my goal will have to be finding new ways to replace that dopamine desire, such as with healthy foods. I’m slowly finding this to be true, and I find that I now find satisfaction just by staying consistent!

I must acknowledge the continual support I receive from my friends and family – doing a detox or engaging in a healthy lifestyle with a support system is essential, and while you can manage without it, having it makes it that much easier. 

Monday starts day 7, and a new week. I’m excited to share my experiences and challenges of this week so stay tuned!

 

In health,

R.

LoseIT Tea Detox – Day 5

It’s amazing how fast the body can adapt. I’m noticing that now I’m more sensitive to my thirst and I’m craving vegetables over sugary things. Today I made a smoothie with a vegan rice protein powder and I added a packet of PGX to it and I’m amazed at how efficiently PGX keeps me full!!
A good friend of mine and I also met up for dinner today and we went to Live, a vegan and raw restaurant in Toronto (Dupont and Spadina). It was easy making healthy food choices as most of my food intolerances aren’t present in raw cuisine anyways. Recently they’ve added cooked food to the menu which is great for those who are weary of raw food. We even got “shots” in tiny mason jars which were a super food/herb concoction.
Tomorrow is my warrior dash and I’m really excited as this is the first race I’ve ever run! All runners get a free beer at the end, so I will have to donate that to my boyfriend but I’ve heard the turkey legs are to die for so that will be my end-of-race treat 🙂

Wishing you all a relaxing weekend!

R

LoseIT Tea Detox – Day 3

I feel more confident as each day passes. Today has been interesting, since I went out for lunch for a friend’s birthday with my classmates. We went to this great French restaurant on McCaul street, MiDi, and ate from the summerlicious menu. I gave away my cheese, fries, and dessert, and surprisingly felt okay with it – emotionally, that is. (more…)