Day 1: grocery challenge

Inside of fridge
Stocked up on food for the week

Today I felt good as the fridge had most of our necessities. I knew from the get-go what would be on our plates for the day and minimal creativity was required.

Just a few words on lingo… “Existing” means we already had these items in the house; “new” means I bought this during Friday’s grocery


A smoothie consisting of:

  • Banana (new), frozen mango (new) and goji berries (existing)
  • Kale (existing), parsley (new) and cucumber (new)
  • Hemp seeds (existing), protein powder (existing), holy basil (existing)
  • Water

Hard-boiled eggs (existing)

Coffee / Matcha green tea (existing)

(The smoothie was gross, btw. I never do them for taste, I always do them to pack nutrients. Usually, adding a date makes them more palatable)


Our favourite – antipasto (although, we had less antipasto goodies than usual):

  • Dry pork sausage (new)
  • Cashews (existing)
  • Olives (existing)
  • Rice crackers (existing)
  • Hummus (existing)
  • Salad – kale (existing), celery (new) and carrots (new)

Americano / Cappucino (existing)


Homemade vegan brownies (existing)


Mom and dad took us out to restaurant and paid 🙂

I’m guessing it won’t be this easy as the days go on… stay tuned!



All-organic grocery challenge

List of organic grocery items
My first all-organic grocery shopping excursion since my change in financial situation. Total cost = $122.71.

I’m undergoing a significant change in my financial situation. One of my first thoughts was that I was going to have to stop buying organic from my favourite little shop down the street because we all know organic is wayyyyy more expensive. Right?

Well, before I wallow in self-pity, I am going to test out that theory. My challenge: see how well I do with tonight’s groceries until next Friday while also using any existing food we have in the house. I can report in advance that my parents are taking us out for supper Saturday evening and I budgeted to order in this Sunday for Peter’s birthday. Keep that in mind… I will also disclose any “extras” that may be bought during the week.

My first win was tonight’s supper. Leftover balsamic chicken, mashed potatoes, salad including existing kale, carrot plus homemade dressing with some celery I bought today.

However, my first fail was that I was planning on only spending $100 in groceries for the week. That didn’t work out… I overspent by $22.71. We’ll see how that works out…



Bye, bye ear ache

Stuffed animal and bottles of peppermint, tea tree, lavender and basil essential oils.
This magic potion helped ease ear pain: a combo of peppermint, tea tree, lavender and basil essential oils.

Recently, we encountered a situation where a 7-year old boy in our home experienced terrible ear pain. The fun of the day quickly vanished and tears started to shed. This had been a common occurrence and so I didn’t panic but I definitely wanted to ease the discomfort as soon as possible until it was possible to see a health care professional.

I immediately reached for the following three essential oils and diluted them in fractionated coconut oil. I then applied them around and behind the ear with a cotton ball – never put essential oils directly in the ear!

  • Basil: This oil is great for anything related to the ear. Ear aches, ears popping in an airplane, etc.
  • Lavender: This is a wonderful calming oil – whether it be for calming the skin, body or mind.
  • Tea tree: This is one of the most antiseptic of all essential oils. Great support to address infections.

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Along with the pain came a burning sensation around the ear so I also grabbed my peppermint essential oil roller-bottle. Peppermint offers a soothing, cooling sensation plus helps “drive” the other essential oils into the skin (this practice is called “layering”). This oil is also great for pain.

Within less than 10 minutes, the boy felt relief and there was a significant reduction in pain. The tears disappeared… mommy win!

I hope this helps. There are also nutritional steps you can take to support this type of issue and I encourage you to also explore them…


End of the pillow

No pillow
Move over pillows… I might not need you after all.

About 3 weeks ago, I woke up with the worst neck pain I ever experienced. I must have been fighting off dragons in my sleep and the kink in my neck was my battle scar. Normally, a trip to the chiropractor and massage therapist would be enough to set everything back into place but not this time.

The oddest thing about my jammed neck is the following night I was unable to sleep on my pillow. It made my pain unbearable. My pillow is actually quite new so I couldn’t equate it to being old and shapeless. I had recently invested in a pricey, ergonomically-correct one to avoid this exact situation.

For the next few nights, I was completely pillow-less. It was the only way I could get a full, pain-free night’s sleep. I later re-introduced a pillow but the thinnest one I had. It gave me what I needed and craved – which was the softness around my face – but still allowed the back of my head to be flat against the bed. It’s a $1 pillow from IKEA…

I was curious to find out what the world wide web thought about this. Turns out my pillow aversion is a bit of a thing. Similar to the “low-poo” / “no-poo” shampoo movement, I found some information about “low-pillow” / “no-pillow”. Some argue that no pillow is better for your neck and posture, and compare pillows to shoe insoles. Both just lead to weakness in the arches…

The verdict is still out as to whether or not I keep going with the “low-pillow” / “no-pillow” approach but for now it’s what my body seems to want.

Any other pillow-less peeps out there?



Pine needle camping tea

Red pine needles
Red pine needles

The May long weekend officially launched camping season for us. Other than the stillness, fresh air and nature, my favourite part of camping is making pine needle tea!

We found out about pine needle tea in a wilderness survival book. Being a tea lover, I decided to give it a try. Plus, it has some amazing health properties:

  • More than 4 – 5 times the vitamin C content of lemons
  • High in the fat-soluble antioxidant Vitamin A
  • Anticatarrhal (reduces mucous) and antiseptic properties

This site has a great top 10 list of benefits. Apparently, “Taoist priests drank pine needle tea as they believed it made them live longer.” I’ll have a second cup, please!!

Making the tea is as easy as boiling a generous handful of pine needles in some water for about 20 minutes. I let it sit and cool for a while with the needles still in, to keep drawing out all of the good stuff.

Pine needles in pot

Some pine needles can be toxic so avoid the Ponderosa, Norfolk Island and Yew variety of needles. I use red pine.

Also, avoid pine needles that could have come in contact with pollution and waste materials. The further out in nature, the better!

Enjoy 🙂



Healing body through mind

Picture of the evening sky, overlooking the lake, on an island in the forest
My favourite place to meditate and reset the mind – in the middle of nature…

I knew our minds played a role in our health and overcoming illness but I admit I didn’t pay much attention to it until my friend shared this video. This women beat stage 4 ovarian cancer using a combination of conventional and alternative therapies and she placed a large focus on improving her emotional state. Amazing! You can read more about her story here.

According to this website:

“Although it is still often overlooked, emotional health is absolutely essential to your physical health and healing – no matter how devoted you are to the proper diet and lifestyle, you will not achieve your body’s ideal healing and preventative powers if emotional barriers stand in your way.”

Lately, I can’t say I’ve been taking good care of my emotional self. I’ve been burying myself in work and side projects, to the point where I’ve been feeling numb and completely void of healthy emotions. The video is a good reminder that this aspect of our health should not be ignored.

I’m still working on nailing down my morning routine, which was a New Year’s resolution of mine. I’ve been implementing a few rituals but now I’m definitely going to add some mind work! A good first step for me will be to re-implement a 10 minute yoga and meditation practice before starting the day.

Also, the Emotional Freedom Technique keeps popping up whenever I’m online or meeting new people and I’m starting to wonder if it’s a hint! Anyone tried it?


My first ever detox

Hol-Fit 30 day cleanse image
Photo credit:

I’m finally going to make good on my New Year’s Resolution and will be starting a detox tomorrow: the HOL:FIT Essential 30 Cleanse. Can’t wait!

Since this is my first ever detox, I’m going easy on myself… This detox/cleanse places a greater emphasis on supplementation and is extended over a 30-day period. I figure it will be a good, gentle introduction to detoxing and I’m looking forward to moving towards more intense cleanses someday.

The supplements used for this detox are from doTERRA’s cleanse + restore kit, which includes a multi-vitamin, land+sea oils, probiotics, digestive enzymes, etc. I have already been using many of these supplements with amazing results! My energy levels, mood and ability to manage stress have never been so great. I’m super excited to try the rest of them.

It also includes a series of self-care rituals to help the detoxifying process. I’ll be making good use of my tongue scraper and dry-skin brush!

I’ll be posting about my progress along with any improvements I may be experiencing. The process hasn’t even started yet but, as part of the prep work, I discovered I likely have candida overgrowth. That could explain some annoying and lingering health concerns I can’t seem to shake off…

Wish me luck 😉