Be your own advocate!12.31.17

This is an aside from usual posts here…but may become a bit more regular if there is interest. I think anything that promotes increased energy for moms is relevant here;). As an aside, it has been quiet here as my website is about to go through a migration to a new server…not completely certain how this will affect everything.

I have been meaning to post about this for awhile now but today seems like a great day as many will be considering goals and improvements beginning tomorrow. I know I will be starting again after a week or so of deviation from my standards.

I will start this post with saying, I am not a nutritionist or at all medically trained. My info comes from my own experimentation and interest in my own well being. The only real take away from this is should be that we need to be our own advocates for our health!

With heart disease in my family and my mum passing away way to early of breast cancer, health is on my mind a lot! Although it began before some of those factors were on my mind, here is a story I am sure I have mentioned before. During trips to the grocery store with my mum when I was little, I would spend “candy” money that we were given on new and exotic fruits and vegetables. By the age of 12, I already had a great love for avocados, artichokes, and pomegranates…in the 80’s these were not common items in people’s carts;). This love and curiosity has never changed and it has spread to my children;).

Despite this love for great, fresh food, I have always dealt with high cholesterol…I was cautioned in my 20’s about my high cholesterol. At that time, I was a 20 yr old thinking more about my weight than nutrition though. I was eating low fat or no fat at all which actually seemed to lead to some issues with my HDL (the good cholesterol) and it not being high enough to offset some of the LDL (bad cholesterol). I was able to get that under control by taking in more good fats…yeah, avocados and essential oils! I did a lot of reading and attended classes to broaden my knowledge around fats. This definitely furthered my interest in food and sparked my “food heals” thoughts.

Then my mum got cancer…despite eating healthy. My mum made everything from scratch but we were a fairly typical British meat and potatoes family with a few other veggies on the side. When my mum passed in 2007, it rocked my world. Also being a new mom, it freaked me right out! What if I was not going to be there for my kids? Anyway, this lead to a lot more reading about nutrition and disease. Reading Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet opened up a lot more topics that were so interesting to me…not only about nutrition but ph balance of the body, the effects of stress on the body, the lymph system,… Although this book is 10 years old now, I still find the concepts in it to be very relevant…and she is just entertaining to read, I think;).

It was a lot to take in and I have slowly over 10 years been working to incorporate portions into my life and have continued to read numerous books on the subject…in some cases too many. The more you read, the more things start to contradict each other. It is definitely a balance of figuring out what works for your body!

Fast forward to this Feb, after an annual trip to the doctor  to check my cholesterol, I was told that my numbers were at levels where I should be considering taking medication to lower my cholesterol. At 43, this did not sit well with me. Taking drugs for the rest of my life…BS! To clarify, I am not against medication (most of my family is part of the medical profession), but I could not fathom that there was not a better way to change my numbers. And the doctor’s statement that there was nothing I could do as it is genetics, lit a bit of a fire under me. Yes, it plays a part but I needed to see for myself if I made drastic changes, could I change my numbers? (I am a bit stubborn like that:) And I knew, that if I was being honest, there were areas that I could make changes. So for 6 months, I significantly reduced my dairy intake (cheese was a problem), I reduced the amount of meat I was eating (this continues to dwindle even more as I find I feel even better without it), lowered my intake of nuts (even though these are healthy fats, I was eating them in excess) and I have significantly reduced my vice…Miss Vickie’s chips;). I will add that I had already made a lot of changes over 10 years making these last few changes even easier and I had significant fire under me this time.

So the results…drum roll please…I have been able to reduce my total cholesterol from 5.3 in Feb to 4.3! CRAZY!!! I will add a disclaimer that it was not my doctor in Canada that thought medication was necessary and the rules may be different in the U.S.

The most amazing part, besides the numbers which I am clearly very happy about, is that I feel AMAZING. I have even more energy…which may seem incomprehensible if you have witnessed me chasing your 2 year olds around;). I have some pretty extreme dreams for myself and my health…surfing with my grandkids one day;) being one of them…so ENERGY is a necessity!!

As I head into the New Year, I am back to focussing on my list of Standards…I have never been one to do Resolutions… So if this is of interest, here are some of my standards:

  • essential oils 5 days a week – fish or plant based oils
  • 70% plant-based days – for me a lot of these plants are raw because it is easy and I really like salads
  • workout 5 days a week (for me this is anyway that I can move my body over and above what I already do in a day…skiing, hiking, biking, yoga, pilates, elliptical,…)
  • half my body weight in ounces of water

Again, take this with a grain of salt and I would love to hear if there are things that you are doing that have made major changes in your life. I am also hoping to re-start my Social Series events this winter and I expect that topics will revolve around this. If you know of small businesses, that would like to come and do a talk about nutrition or fitness or well-being, please have them send me a note.

Happy New Year!! I am so excited for all that is to come in 2018!!!

 

 

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Baby, it’s cold outside!11.06.17

calgary newborn photographer

Let’s warm up the studio with some cozy, squishy newborns!! I am so excited to be back in Calgary and be able to accommodate newborns again! Let’s celebrate that with a special! From November through April 2018, I will be offering newborn clients a session for just the cost of the 8×12 digital files (which they typically purchase anyway). I will be waiving the session fee for the studio sessions and will only charge $100 plus tax for a location session (within Calgary). Also, I will further the incentive for you to come during the week!

Here are the details:

$750 + tax for a weekday studio session

$950 + tax for a weekend studio session

Add $100 + tax if you would prefer to remain in the comfort of your own home and have me come to you.

You will receive a consultation, up to a 2 hour photo session and a digital download of all of the edited images in an 8×12 format within 2-3 weeks of your session (typically 80 images).

I am happy to extend this to clients who are not ready within the first 2 weeks for “newborn pictures” and will allow babies up to 6 months as some are pictured here:). There are way to many fun things to capture in this first year:).

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Today looks a bit different…10.02.17

…with a layer of snow on the ground;). We have been having a beautiful fall though and it has been so awesome to see so many families for updates. The fall colours have been spectacular!! It has been a few years since I last saw this family and the girls had grown up so much. They are beautiful girls with fantastic energy. I loved how the older daughter would come up with ideas for images and then the little one wanted to do the same…so cute! More soon!

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Thank you to this family and others!09.29.17

I have been thinking a lot lately about how lucky I am. I am not going to lie…the move back to Calgary has been a transition with some challenges…although for the large part has been smooth. We had made a life in Redlands and it is tough to get re-established again. Thank goodness for the wide open arms and familiar faces of friends, family and clients (which really just fall in the friend category:).

To this client and so many more of you…thank you so much for welcoming me back and supporting me all the way through the last 5.5 years while I commuted from Southern California. Capturing your family memories, is a huge part of me and I love every second of it! I am so thankful for the trust and support that I have received over the last 13 years that I have been working with so many of you. I really can’t express this enough. Being invited into your lives to capture these memories for you, is not one that I take lightly and I very much recognize you have choice. The words that I have heard over the last few weeks have filled me with absolute joy and even more energy (if that is possible:) for what I do. I will continue to work hard to deliver amazing service / a super fun experience / exceptional product!

I am so lucky to get to see this family each year. They are a joy and their love for each other just pours through the images. I love that I get to document this each year! Here is a just a little sneak peek for them!

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Fall is here!09.14.17

The fall season has begun! It is such a gorgeous time of year and it was so fun to begin with this adorable little 2 year old and his family…dogs and all:). Although 2 is a busy age, it is absolutely one of my favourites. There are so many things to capture! We even got a little video to capture his giggle…it is still in the works with the rest of the images but I wanted to get a sneak peek out to mom as I know she is excited to see them:).

I still have a couple of spots remaining for fall pictures…it is so nice to be back and able to be more flexible for everyone!

More soon!

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