Travel Swellness: Staying in Paradise

in Paradise Island

In January, I had the opportunity to travel to the Bahamas (my very first visit!) to Paradise Island. It was a quick two-night trip and it included running the half-marathon (so that eats up a bunch of time given it you have to get up super early, run the race, enjoy the post-race–which is by far the best finish area I’ve ever had for a race–then shower, eat and try to stay awake given the super early wake-up!) but it was worth jetting down there:

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Warm, gorgeous beaches and lovely people (I had the awesome opportunity to dine at the home with a family and their friends so I got the ins and outs of what was going on, and hello, eat some incredible homemade Bahamian foods!).

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My only regret of the trip was being so sleepy after the half-marathon that I didn’t have much energy to shop at the Straw Market.

More about traveling to Paradise is in my article on Vitamin Daily. And here’s my race report for the Bahamas half-marathon.

I hope to explore more of the many islands in the Bahamas very soon.  Do you have a favourite island there?

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Leave a Comment May 3, 2016

Healthy Swellness: More about those three-year goals

stepping forward in China

Two months ago, we talked three-year goals. Did you have a chance to consider what yours are? I have to admit that I’m often so caught up in the right now that I don’t feel I have time or energy to consider future goals and plans. Well, that plus the fact that that can seem overwhelming, but thinking in three years versus five years makes it a bit easier to fathom.

If adding a baby to your life isn’t in your plans for the next three years, well, being the smart, safe and healthy woman that I know you are, you likely have plans as to how to live your life for the next three years and not getting pregnant. I chatted with Dr. Christine Palmay last week (she recently won the Reproductive Health Award from the Federation of Medical Women of Canada for her work in the field of women’s health ) and condoms and the pill are the most common choices when it comes to birth control. But she believes it’s often because many people only know of those choices, or possibly that they (or even their doctors) don’t pause to ask about any other options. “It’s like when you have to update an app. If the app is working fine, why do I need to update the app?” she says as an example. But as is the case, you have to update the app because there are upgrades.

Dr. Palmay believes that it’s important to know what the options are, consider your lifestyle, and give patients a choice of options so that you can make an informed decision. “We do a lot of things in our society because of habit. It’s like that adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but this isn’t necessarily true; things need to be reanalyzed,” she says.

Which makes a lot of sense. Something might be working well for you for the past several years, but there’s been many advancements made and this could be true for, well, most anything, not only your choice of birth control. I discovered brand new running shoes in my closet from several years ago, and I wore them because it seemed wasteful not to…but they felt heavy and clunky, and that’s because runners have come a long way in terms of design and technology in those years these have been sitting in my closet. But had I been wearing the same sneakers to run for the past few years and not paid attention to what’s on the market now (although I log too many kilometres for me to wear one runner for three years, but I digress, this is just an example!), I wouldn’t know how there are shoes now that are lighter and more comfy for me, and who knows how that’d affect my goal to BQ. (And, yes, my closet is that full that I can lose brand new things in it; I have yet to Marie Kondo-ize it.)

Dr. Palmay looks at learning about all of the options of birth control not only as a freedom of choice but as freedom of control. “It’s a way for women to make a choice controlling their fertility and not have to spend time in their lives worrying about it. They are aware of it, but it becomes hassle-free.” Since I knew least about IUS, we talked about those, and I was intrigued by something I’d read about it being lower hormone than other types of birth control. She explained that it’s not necessarily lower, but that it does only contain progesterone, and not estrogen (“And estrogen is often what causes side effects, such as mood level, risk of blood clots, and weight gain, for some people”). IUS also works locally in the uterus with little absorption in the stomach, “so ultimately overall, it’s less hormone exposure,” says Dr. Palmay.

In any case, when it comes down to it, we’re all looking to live our best life, and in the context of this convo here, our best three years. And those #3yeargoals should happen by making informed decisions. To learn about all of your options and help you achieve those dreams as you’ve envisioned them, visit www.birthcontrolforme.ca for more helpful health info.

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Leave a Comment May 3, 2016

Healthy Swellness: The cats are taking the Nutram Optimum Transition Challenge!

Kobe and Mya

My two cats, Kobe and Mya, are finally earning their keep around here! Kobe’s been freeloading for 14 years and Mya nearly 8 years. So it’s high time they pitched in a little. Cuteness and cuddles doesn’t pay the bills! So when Nutram asked if they’d be up for the Nutram 30-Day Optimum Transition Challenge, I said hellz yeah.

The challenge involves transitioning these two furry troublemakers onto a holistic diet that’s been tailored to suit their needs. (You’re welcome to have your cat or dog join the challenge, too; get more info on the Nutram site about the challenge, and you’ll also be able to find out which food is recommended for your pet). Nutram, a Canadian company, makes 21 premium dry cat and dog foods; there’s a wide range of choices because cats and dogs need different diets depending on their size, life stage, activity level and specific animal needs.

So over the course of the next four weeks, I’ll be slowly transitioning them both onto the holistic Nutram diet…although now that I think about it, are these cats really contribution to the household? They’re getting to eat local, tasty and nutritious food, enjoy treats like the luxe cat caves they received from Nutram, while I have to still feed them, scoop their litter box, monitor their progress and write these posts?! How’d they pull a fast one on me yet again?!

All jokes aside, I’m keen to see how this little wellness challenge affects them. Their health and wellbeing means a lot to me; I think about it often, probably because Kobe just turned 15 years old this month, and, well, I want him and his feisty little sister to live long and healthy lives.

I’ll be posting both here on the blog and on Instagram and Twitter about their progress (follow along on social media with the hashtag #nutramOTC). Not familiar with Kobe and Mya? Check out their Tinder-esque profiles on the Nutram site.

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Leave a Comment May 2, 2016

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