Blog posts : "health"

Celiac Disease and Gluten Free...

A few people in my husband's family have recently been diagnosed with Celiac disease and/or an associated gluten intolerance. If you visit the stores nowadays, you'll notice that there are  a lot of options for going gluten free... It's actually pretty amazing. Growing up, I didn't even know there was an option to go gluten free. Heck, growing up I didn't even know what the heck gluten was. 

Cutting a lot of favourites out of your diet can be really hard to do, especially if you live with others whom are not adapting to the same diet as you.. Uhg, reminds me of the time I tried to go vegan and no one in my family supported me. 

Back to the point, if you are trying to go Free From Gluten, it is pretty darn hard to do it without planning ahead. A great way to plan is to simply google for "gluten free" recipes and then write a list of items you'll need. It'll take time to revamp your cupboards, but it's amazing how good you will feel after it's all said and done. 

A new store has opened up based online which will make the transition that much easier. I'm an online shopping junky... It's a good thing I don't know where my mastercard is! (easy to remember, no?) has such a huge array of foods that you'll barely even notice that you've gone gluten free, aside from the massive health benefits. They have cookies, chips, snacks, cereals, pasta, and other very important staples ;) 

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Goji Berries - Wolf Berries: What's the Big Deal

For the past year or so, I've been hearing all about goji berries and how good they are for our health. I knew they were high in antioxidants and decided that I'd try eating a handful each day. Mostly, I was motivated by the idea of possibly having something new to help me in the fight against nodular acne. I started eating them at the same time as I started a bunch of changes in my diet and supplementation, so it's hard to say whether or not they've been extraordinarily helpful or not.

I have had one nodule show up since I started eating the berries. Let's take a quick look at Goji berries per 1/4 cup serving; percentages based on recommended intake per a 2,000 calorie diet:

  • High in Vitamin A (20%), Vitamin C (10%), beta carotene, and Vitamin E, Vitamins B (1, 2, & 6)
  • 9% Calcium, 8% iron, and other trace minerals
  • Contains 5 grams of protein and 32 grams of carbohydrates with 150 calories per serving
  • Amino acids, polysaccharides, and antioxidants
  • One of the highest ranked foods on the oxygen radical absorbent capacity ranking system, created by the USDA, surpassing other berries (take that, you snobby blueberries!)

Blah, blah, blah... We always hear about antioxidants. Is it just a buzz word in your vocabulary that you don't have a definition for? Let me help you out:

" Antioxidants: A group of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes called antioxidants that help protect our body from the formation of free radicals. Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms that can cause damage to our cells, impairing our immune system and leading to infections and various degenerative diseases. Antioxidants work together with the body's natural free radical scavangers to eat up these free radical particles. " - Acid Reflux Information Website (didn't really have a proper title, heh)

Are they worth the insane price per Kg? Heck yes. In my book, they are! Even if it's just for the placebo effect :P  Do yourself a favor, though, and avoid reading up on the health benefits. Most of the websites you will find out there on google are pushing you to buy the berries while providing unclaimed benefits. Unfortunately for us, these amazing, nutrition-packed berries have not had studies performed on them outside of the animal testing world. There are plenty of false claims out there ranging from "better legs" to curing cancer.

I eat them in three main ways:

  1. Sprinkled in my oatmeal before cooking the oatmeal. Add in some agave nectar or some apple sauce for sweetening. Yum!
  2. Blended up into a smoothie. I recently found they don't mix well with the taste of blackberries... Yeck.
  3. Trail mix: raw almonds, goji berries, and cranberries.


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adjective  "(of a disease) prevalent throughout an entire country, continent, or the whole world; epidemic over a large area."

Are you surprised it doesn't mean wide spread death? h1n1 is currently wide-spread across the globe, so by definition it is a pandemic. It doesn't mean we're all going to die. Whether you want to vaccinate or not is completely up to you. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise :)

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A Glass of Red Wine a Day

A glass of red wine each day can dramatically decrease your risk of stroke! That said, don't be left without a means of opening your bottle of wine...


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H1N1 Virus and Me

If you think you are sick, STAY HOME.

So the other week, my boyfriend's coworker was diagnosed with h1n1 (confirmed case). Friday, my daughter gets a cough and a very sudden fever, stuffy nose, sneezing, lethargic, etc. Two days after that, my boyfriend gets a very sudden cough and fever onset as well. He ended up calling 811 - the magical hotline we have here in BC which is manned by nurses -- at 3:00 AM while I was sleeping :P  He waited on the line for one hour before being able to get through. The nurse on the line said that he was one of the first person to call in with a probable cause of concern and said that it was almost definitely the h1n1 virus.

Sudden cough and sudden onset of fever is how the h1n1 usually begins. Other symptoms include fatigue, muscle ache, sore throat, headache, decreased eppetite, and a runny nose. Only sometimes will someone with the h1n1 virus get nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

If you have h1n1, some things to watch out for include shortness of breath, chest pain, bluish or grey skin colour, bloody (or other coloured) mucus, sudden diziness or confusion, severe vomiting, high fever that lasts more than 3 days, low blood pressure, and relapsing symptoms after a day or so of being symptom-free.

People at risk of developing complications include children under 5, pregnant women, sufferers of heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, asthma or other chronic lung diseases, liver disease, blood disorders, severe obesity, immunosuppressed persons, and those with neurological disorders.

This virus is a little more harsh than the normal flu since a seemingly healthy person can go from mild symptoms to quite severe symptoms in a matter of hours or days. It is also more harsh because it is spread through the air as respiratory precautions (simple breathing can spread it) rather than droplet (sneezing, coughing, etc.) like the normal flu(s). Of course, it still has the same rules -- wash your hands, cough and sneeze into your sleeve, stay home if you are sick, stay home if you are sick, and... Stay home if you are sick!  Stay home until you have been symptom-free for 48 hours.

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Oil Cleansing Method Day 2

I've only washed my face with oil once, but this is technically day two. Last night, I did the oil cleansing method for the first time. It was definitely not what I expected. My face was not oily at all at the end of it, which was just a complete shock to me even though I read about how that is expected. It's just weird to think that you're putting oil on your face and yet your face doesn't get oily.

This morning, I woke up and splashed some cool water on my face and patted it dry. That's a bit of a step up from the 30 minutes I used to spend washing, waiting 10 minutes, applying benzoyl peroxide, drying for 10 minutes, then applying moisturizer.

My face doesn't feel that bad today. I thought it would be greasy feeling, but it's not much different than normal for me... It still gets oily/greasy near the end of the day. This is just the second day, so the nature of my skin has not yet changed to accommodate this new style of cleansing.

I'm really antsy to see how this will work out!

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The Oil Cleansing Method

Today marks the first day of the oil cleansing method. What is the Oil Cleansing Method? It's not to be confused with "Oil Pulling," which is a very strange act I've come across today while researching the OCM.  The OCM is a method of cleaning your face without using harsh chemicals, soaps, or other things of such.

I'll give you a little background on myself. I had relatively clear skin all through high school. I'd have a single break-out each month for obvious reasons (hi. I'm a woman, have you met my endocrine system?) But other than that, flawless skin. Fast forward to my 22nd birthday, I'm greeted with a nodule. The next day, two more nodules. The next day, a few more. It got to the point where my entire jaw line and down my neck were filled with incredibly painful nodules.

Nodules are kind of like pimples/white-heads, but they never make it to the surface. They stay under the surface and are very painful. If you accidentally bump one, it will continue to give you a sharp, stabbing pain for a few minutes after the impact. This kind of acne is either rare or is understood. It took me a while to find the name nodular acne on Google. It is ranked underneath cystic acne and is considered mild-moderate acne. Some websites show it as a mild cystic acne form.

This is a self diagnosis, if you couldn't tell.

I ended up getting a prescription for Clindoxyl gel, which dried the heck out of my face and made me break out intensely for the first few weeks, but I stuck with it. I told my doctor I would use it for the full 3 months before I gave it up. As luck would have it, I started seeing noticeable improvement 2.5 months into it. I weaned myself off of that prescription and started using Benzoyl Peroxide from I should mention that I use Cetaphil cleansing face bars with this.

A year or so later, after enjoying clear skin, my face slowly started breaking out again. For the past 4 months, I've been using Clearasil's pads with salicylic acid in them. This didn't seem to improve my skin at all. I'm fed up with harsh chemicals that bleach my EYEBROWS and my pillow cases. Enough is enough.

I've spent the past week research the Oil Cleansing Method and today... Today we dine in glory *evil cackle* Not really. Today, I start the "OCM". Here's what I do:

  1. Have a blend of 30% castor oil, 70% olive oil (or any other oil you may want to try... Google it first!)
  2. Massage the oil into your dry skin for a few minutes
  3. Take a STEAMING hot cloth (don't burn yourself) and place it on your face.
  4. Relax. Let it sit there for a while. Let the cloth cool down to room temperature.
  5. Rinse the cloth like heck, massage your face again.
  6. Make the cloth hot again and put it back onto your face and relax.
  7. Gently wipe the oils off of your face with the cloth.
  8. Repeat steps 6 and 7.
  9. Splash your face with cool water.
  10. Pat dry
Tada! I'll post before and after pictures in about 3 weeks... If the results are positive. Ha!


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Colds For the Lose

I had the worst sleep I've had in a long time last night. My nose woke me up quite a bit - sneezing, sniffling, one heck of a sore throat, and the inability to breathe through my nostrils. I'd like to send out a thank you to my baby sister for this cold. I'm honored. Actually, it's my daughter's inexperienced hand washing while she and I were at my mom's house on Monday.

fish hat - almost doneI hope this cold does not last very long... Not only is it incredibly uncomfortable and sore (ow! I can't eat!) I have practicum on Sunday again. I actually ended up missing practicum yesterday because my daughter was so sick and half-way through the day is when I got slammed with the illness. My daughter seems to be doing better than me, thank goodness! Poor girl.


On the brighter side, I was able to work on that fish hat a bunch yesterday. I'm at least 80% done now. I'm just doing the tail, then have to work on the details such as the fins and the eyes. I'm quite pleased with how it's coming along. I can't wait to be done it so that I can move on to making hats for my two nephews... Their hats will be a bit of a challenge, since I'll be creating a pattern just for them. I have to incorporate mighty machines into their hats, otherwise they simply won't wear them (of course!)  They truly are their father's sons hehe

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Eye Doctor Visit and a Little Joke For You

My 3-year-old had her very first ye doctor appointment today. She was very good for the doctor. I was quite surprised and very pleased! Her eyesight seems to be very good. Score!

I'm going to take down the rest of the wallpaper in the living room today then slap up some paint samples on the already prepared wall. Meanwhile, you all can check this website out: I found it hilarious, though it might only be funny to us gym regulars.

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