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!!!

 

 

Leave a Reply to Janet Welton Cancel reply

*

What is 12 + 9 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

A weekend scene06.01.17

As I mentioned, I have loved doing these little films and plan to capture as much as I can over the remaining time that we have in California of all the fun things that we like to do. It is pool season again (yes, there is a season without the pool here as it is too expensive to heat it and my kids won’t get in) so there will be quite a bit of video involving the pool. The water was one of my favourite places to be growing up and am so glad that my kids are getting that too…with a different spin (I grew up swimming in mountain runoff or a murky, green lake;). We will definitely miss this when we leave but are so grateful to have had the opportunity for this dream to even be a reality for a bit! Here is a scene from a water fight that took place last weekend…a much needed break from going through and beginning to pack and downsize.


 

I will get back to sharing some client work as well as I have been working on some neat projects:).

 

Leave a Reply to Janet Welton Cancel reply

*

What is 5 + 5 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

Nicaragua04.13.15

I have had a few friends ask about our trip to Nicaragua over spring break so thought I would do a blog post.

I mentioned in previous posts that I was working on teaching the kids to travel with our train trip last year. I definitely think it is an art in itself…at least the way my husband travels is. He has travelled extensively and being an engineer has got it down to an efficient science. I am not as experienced but have learned a thing or two from watching him…and I have the huge list of places that I want to see:). I feel the kids have an advantage to travel now with us to gain experience from Mike, hopefully insight that will help shape them from the experiences and give them the travel bug for the rest of their lives.

So when I began looking for locations I was basing it on “adventure”. My kids are not into looking at architecture and history right now but rather sports and animals. I began looking at Galapagos but found it might beyond Anna’s activity level and was beyond our budget this time. Friends had been to Nicaragua last year and loved it so that was when I started researching. Looked perfect for what we wanted to do this time – adventure items and very raw. We did stay at a resort (Rancho Santana) but it is difficult to truly explain this “resort”…it did not have a resort feel at all. It was certainly luxurious but not stuffy or tacky. I believe there were only 200 people staying there and that brought a really nice feeling with it…community-like. The resort also offered many of the things that I wanted to see and do – activities, monkeys, tide pools, close to smaller towns so we could get a feel for how people were living…and still had amazing amenities.

Since “adventure” was the theme for this trip, the rule was everyone got to choose an activity and everyone else has to participate in it. Mike chose surfing, Aidan chose deep sea fishing, Anna chose horseback riding and I chose hiking a volcano and ziplining down. It was the first time the the kids and I had surfed and ended up LOVING it. To the point that Mike got more than one time for his activity:). You will see that I enjoyed it so much, I did not come out of the water to take pictures:). The fishing turned into an amazing experience in that the beach house grill on the resort used our fish to grill up for a feast for our family and 2 other families we knew there. The horseback riding took us through a small local town so that we could get an appreciation for how people are living. My day trip to hike Mombacho and zipline was a bit messed up due to miscommunication (need to know more Spanish!!) so we did not get as much time strolling through Granada as I had hoped. The kids were pretty happy about that part though as it was hot and not where their interests lie. In the end the timing worked out fantastic because we were able to do the hike at the end of the day…gorgeous light!!

The other part of our “adventure” trip was that we could only bring a carry on. This was Mike’s idea as he felt that this would be a good test for future trips and packing light. So we all had to plan for a 10 day trip with a carry on. Clothing-wise this was not a huge issue but paring down the camera gear was a bit more difficult for me. In the end, I am so glad that we did it this way as it was really refreshing to travel so light. We did have to do some laundry in between (which is another story) but would definitely travel that light again. The other advantage was that it forced the kids to be responsible for their own bags.

It is difficult to go into all we saw but I think that one of the things that struck me was the people. They were so friendly and proud of their country. They were eager to show us the beauty of their land and the history behind it. I had only ever “known” Nicaragua for the revolution and am so happy to know a bit more about the place it is now.

In many ways I don’t feel we did this country justice as we did not get a chance to really delve into the culture, traditions, history,… as much as I would have liked to but then I remember it was an adventure trip. It was to have family time, stepping outside of our comfort zone and doing things that we would not necessarily do in support the other family members, realizing there are people that live very happy, simple lives and hopefully gaining a bit more of an appreciation for the world outside our bubble. I know that we will be going back there as well so hope to learn even more.

This is a really small snippet of pictures as I have not even gotten through narrowing them all done and many times I did not bring my big camera to keep it simple. I just needed to get this out as it has already been 3 weeks that we have been back:).

calgary family photographercalgary family photographercalgary family photographercalgary family photographercalgary family photographercalgary family photographercalgary family photographercalgary family photographercalgary family photographercalgary family photographercalgary family photographercalgary family photographercalgary family photographercalgary family photographercalgary family photographer
calgary family photographer

Leave a Reply to Janet Welton Cancel reply

*

What is 3 + 15 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

Hair08.01.14

So I sent this picture to my husband the other day (as an iPhone picture of my screen…cuz somehow it seems easier that way:).  He commented back “Stunning.  Could you imagine the photo if she actually brushed her hair”.  He knew full well that was exactly what I liked about the picture (not to mention her adorable profile).  Seemed like the perfect contrast to me.  I don’t worry about her hair too much as I feel that there will be enough years that she will “worry” about hair…plus I am not overly girly and don’t know what to do with it…even if she would let me:).calgary family photographer

Leave a Reply to Janet Welton Cancel reply

*

What is 12 + 7 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

Yes, a tree does make a sound if it falls in the forest07.31.14

We have just returned from a fantastic trip to Sequoia National Park.  We only went for a few days as we did not want to leave to dog for too long but we jammed a ton into those few days.  I started to ask the kids their top 5 things that we did but the list extended to 10 quickly…here is their list:

– Horseback riding – think the kids particularly liked that my husband talked up getting Silver (the Lone Ranger’s horse) and then ended up with this super slow horse that just wanted to eat.

– Trip to Crystal Cave

– Seeing the bears

– Hiking up 2.4 miles and then almost 400 steps to the “top of the world” (Moro Rock)

– Seeing the giant sequoias

– Seeing the deer

– Family time (without internet and tv) – ok, that was mine:)

– Seeing a tree fall…thus the title of this post…on one of our hikes, on a windy day, a tree fell approx 30 feet up from where my husband and son were.  They were covered in debris from it and the kids and I were a little shaken up by it.  After bolting out of the forest after my daughter (never seen her move so fast), we gathered our composure and resumed the hike.  And we were able to conclude that yes, a tree does make a sound:)

– Seeing a waterfall

– Seeing gorgeous views (again, mine:)

To also add, one of my favourites was seeing my daughter hop up on rocks to capture unique angles with her camera…I think that we may have a future Tot Shots shooter:).  Very fun few days!

Can’t believe we are less than 2 weeks from starting school here and jumping into a very busy next few months.  I have some awesome shoots coming up and am feeling refreshed and ready to go!

calgary family photographercalgary family photographer
calgary family photographer

calgary family photographercalgary family photographercalgary family photographercalgary family photographercalgary family photographercalgary family photographercalgary family photographercalgary family photographercalgary family photographer

calgary family photographer

calgary family photographer
calgary family photographer
calgary family photographercalgary family photographercalgary family photographer

calgary family photographercalgary family photographercalgary family photographercalgary family photographer

calgary family photographercalgary family photographercalgary family photographer

 

Leave a Reply to Janet Welton Cancel reply

*

What is 6 + 7 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)