I feel like I'm all alone

The other night, I was out with some girlfriends for Thursday at the Marion. At one point I found myself all alone. All of the five girls I was with went outside for a cigarette, except of course for me. Now, I'm not going to pretend I haven't had a cigarette because I have, but I have max one a day and I usually only do have one when I'm with my friends who are all smokers. Being the one left behind made me realize I need help to quit. I don't think I can rely only on my ability to resist - I need like a nicorette or I've heard about these thrive lozenges. I need just a little something to take the edge off when I'm left feeling awkward by myself in a crowded room of people I don't know.
Does anyone have any advice about what's a good stop-smoking aid? I like to hear your opinions on effectiveness, side-effects, and price.


One week, almost, and I'm doing fine

A lot of you sound surprised that I smoke. And yeah, it's even crazier that I'm so in to health and wellness but yet I'll inhale poison into my lungs. But the truth is I'm not a heavy smoker. The amount I smoke varies like a graph of this year finances, but I do it none the less. Or should I say did it.

I found out something this week, which I wasn't all that surprised to find out, my smoking triggers are when I work and when I drink. And while I can't give up either of those I have to learn to deal. So, I won't lie. I smoked a little this weekend. But, it could have been worse. On Friday night I worked and had one then. It was a temporary lapse, but the only way I get a break is if I have a cigarette. It's almost become like a habit with another habit. If I break this cycle I'm golden.

Another time I smoked this weekend was when I was out Saturday night, but I only had two. I've got to say I was pretty proud of myself; hanging out with my friends who are smokers and not having more than that.

I'll keep posting my journey to quit.


I'm quitting smoking

It's Thursday at 9:52 p.m. and I've decided to quit smoking. Ok, I've decided that I would quit more times then I'd like to admit, but today, tonight is the time. I'm ready, at least I think I'm ready. I along with many others find it extremely difficult to quit smoking. What is it, beyond the addiction part, that makes it so hard? Is it that I think I look cool because movie make it look so freaking good? Am I afraid to gain weight? Or have I really associated reliving stress with smoking a cigarette? The latter is why I've failed so many times in the past. But this time is the right time. I'm ready. I've started to hate the things the bad things about smoking more than the excuses I make to continue smoking. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

My blogs continues to be off topic - Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert review

It’s hard to believe Christmas is only weeks away.

While Winnipegger’s bask in unusually warm weather, the only telltale sign of Christmas are the lights strung around lampposts on Main Street. But snow or not, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) put Winnipeggers in the Christmas spirit Monday night bringing the world’s biggest light show back to town.

As the temperature reached a surprising 10 C, the crowd of over 8,500 at the MTS centre got their first taste of the approaching season. After 11 years on the road performing its winter tour, TSO still rocked its enormous holiday repertoire with help from a killer light extravaganza.

Pyrotechnics heated up the place. Green lasers descended from the stage, engulfing the crowd with light. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, hundreds of coloured lights danced to the wail of instruments and voices. If Pink Floyd were there, they’d have been on their knees shouting, ‘we’re not worthy’.

For almost three hours, beer lines were empty. Not even a lineup for the bathroom. Instead the crowd stared unblinking, mouths open on the sight before them.

The show began just after 7:30 under a shroud of darkness. The only sound came from lone violinist, Roddy Chong, dressed in a black tuxedo adorned with coat tails. His white violin wailed. As he jumped around the stage hammering out Christmas tunes, like Oh Come All Ye Faithfull and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, the traditional stillness of the music was blown away.

It was easy to forget Silent Night is a holiday favorite among carolers. Instead of a group of tuque-clad singers, headbanging guitarists took their place. But behind the longhaired guitarists, a string section from Winnipeg’s own Symphony Orchestra kept the outright rock flavor from spinning out of control.

These musicians regularly pay homage to classical music. But on this night, they accompanied the erratic commotion of rock music with a peacefully soft tone creating an electrifying genre.

While the music exploded from the stage, two male vocalists occasionally took over hypnotizing the audience. Former Journey vocalist, Jeff Scott Soto’s, leaped between octaves like a kid playing hopscotch. The other, husky baritone Tommy Farese guided the crowd through the Christmas tale.

The first half of the show was dedicated to TSO’s holiday albums Christmas Tales and Other Stories and The Christmas Attic. A single narrator led the audience through the holiday selection by regaling the crowd with stories of angels. The story was difficult to follow because it came between songs leaving the audience struggling to remember what had happened before.

While the music reminded the listeners of the nearing holiday season, over 90 minutes of Christmas tunes left the crowd itching for something new.

After playing for an hour and a half straight, TSO took a quick break as New York vocalist Farese introduced the more than 20-member band.

Finally, without missing a beat, TSO gave the people in the stands what they came to see. They pounced into renditions of classical symphonies from their new album Night Castle. With tickets ranging from a mere $25 to $66, TSO left the audience with their hard earned money for the holiday season.



The benefits of Twitter

I'm new to twitter. So far it's a really useful tool for school; I can see what classmates are up too and follow people in the industry.

Ok, this is my attempt to write a blog in 140 characters or less, but, man, it's hard. I always have so much to say. But now that I think about, maybe it will be a way for me to practice putting what I have to say in the least amount of words possible. So far it's not going too well - 425 characters.


Elevators just aren't that fun anymore

Hey guys, has anyone noticed the take the stairs challenge at RRC Princess campus? I bet you all have, and some of you are just ignoring it – Jérèmie Wookey and Jeff Ward. You have no idea the benefits to your heart and your waist simply by taking the stairs every time you go up. I know you’re probably thinking who cares; I’d rather deal with awkward silences than walk flights of stairs. But the truth of the matter is that taking the stairs gets the blood flowing, just like we’ve been talking about, and makes you feel good that you did, at least, a little physical activity for the day.

I can hear people at home going, but Kiley if we all decide to take the stairs the stairway will get way to crowded; then taking the stairs will be like dealing with rush hour traffic in Winnipeg. Well, I really don’t know what to say, except, there are way more stairs on campus, two per building in fact, than there are elevators. So, get your butts in gear and get up those stairs because if you’re not injured, disabled, or below three and above 80 years old you can do it, I have faith in you!


Weekends are for rest and relaxation, so gosh darn it use them

After another week of CreComm the weekend has arrived. Weekends are a great way to put the past week and the week ahead into perspective. They give you a chance to relax rejuvenating your mind, body, and soul. It’s important for your mental and social health’s to use your weekend to your advantage. Clearing your mind of stress is a great way to become more productive; you can think more clearly about the work ahead, and leave you open to finding inspiration. Whether you sit at home reading or watching TV, or go out and enjoy the wonderful weather use your weekend to forget about whatever’s been stressing you out and spend time on you.

Do you know how important your mental and emotional health is for you? Check out this website at helpguide.org to find out for yourself.


Challenge yourself to eat local

Pull-up your socks Manitoban’s and challenge yourself for the month of November to eat within a 100-mile radius of your homes, or more specifically 160 kilometers. The 100-Mile Challenge encourages people to buy and eat local foods. It’s amazing how far the food in our grocery stores travel simply to end up on our plate, and while thinking about that think about the insane amount of energy that gets used to get our food from point A to point B. On average the ingredients on our plates have traveled at least 1500 kilometers.

Winter is coming meaning local food will be harder and harder to find; Peak of the Market is a good place to start, but try to do a little of your own research and find farmers close to you that can provide you with some of their foods and I’ll make it a bit easier for you just click here and go to farms and stores.

I found 11 reasons on Manitoba's 100-Mile Challenge website why you should challenge yourself with the diet.

1. Taste the difference. At a farmers’ market, most local produce has been picked inside of 24 hours. It comes to you ripe, fresh, and with its full flavor, unlike supermarket food that may have been picked weeks or months before. Close-to-home foods can also be bred for taste, rather than withstanding the abuse of shipping or industrial harvesting.

2. Know what you’re eating. Buying food today is complicated. What pesticides were used? Is that corn genetically modified? Was that chicken free range or did it grow in a box? People who eat locally find it easier to get answers. Many build relationships with farmers whom they trust. And when in doubt, they can drive out to the farms and see for themselves.

3. Meet your neighbours. Local eating is social. Studies show that people shopping at farmers’ market have ten times more conversations than their counterparts at the supermarket. Join a community garden and you’ll actually meet the people you pass on the street. Sign up with the 100-Mile Diet Society; we’ll be working to connect people in your area who care about the same things you do.

4. Get in touch with the season. When you eat locally, you eat what’s in season. You’ll remember that cherries are the taste of summer. Even in winter, comfort foods like squash soup and pancakes just make sense – a lot more sense than flavorless cherries from the other side of the world.

5. Discover new flavors. Ever tried sunchokes? How about purslane, quail eggs, yerba mora, or tayberries? These are just a few of the new (to us) flavors we sampled over a year of local eating. Our local spot prawns, we learned, are tastier than popular tiger prawns. Even familiar foods were more interesting. Count the types of pear on offer at your supermarket. Maybe three? Small farms are keeping alive nearly 300 other varieties – while more than 2,000 more have been lost in our rush to sameness.

6. Explore your home. Visiting local farms is a way to be a tourist on your own home turf, with plenty of stops for snacks.

7. Save the world. A study in Iowa found that a regional diet consumed 17 times less oil and gas than a typical diet bases on food shipped across the country. The ingredients for a typical British meal, sourced locally, travelled 66 times fewer “food miles.” Or we can just kept burning those fossil fuels and learn to live with global climate change.

8. Support small farms. We discovered that many people from all walks of life dream of working the land – maybe you do too. In areas with strong local markets, the family farm is reviving. That’s the whole lot better than the jobs at Wal-Mart and fast-food outlets that the globalized economy offers in North American towns.

9. Give back to the local economy. A British study tracked how much of the money spent at a local food business stayed in the local economy, and how many times it was reinvested. The total value was almost twice the contribution of a dollar spent at a supermarket chain.

10. Be healthy. Everyone wants to know whether the 100-Mile Diet worked as a weight-loss program. Well, yes, we lost a few pound apiece. More importantly, though, we felt better than ever. We ate more vegetables and fewer processed products, sampled a wider variety of foods, and ate more fresh food at its nutritional peak. Eating from farmers’ markets and cooking from scratch, we never felt a need to count calories.

11. Have more fun while traveling. Once you’re addicted to local eating, you’ll want to explore it wherever you go by trying the local ingredients used by the people themselves.


What I love about blogging and why you should start one if you haven't already

Blogging has become the means for people both young and old to express themselves. Once upon a time, people were confined to whatever space the editor had available in a newspaper. Now there is an infinite amount of space to say what needs to be said, and a number of ways to get your message out there.

This year's PR assignment to create a write a blog every week was the first time I had ever thought about blogging. Unlike many people in their 20s and 30s, I am completely clueless when it comes to the internet. Sure I know how to send an e-mail, check my facebook, and search the web, but when it comes down to actually using the internet to my advantage I chose to stay away – I’m paranoid about screwing up my computer. But I was thrust right into the heat of things with this assignment; in class we set-up our blogs, and ta-da my work was officially online.

In order to write at least one interesting blog post a week I needed to find something that I’m passionate about. It was pretty hard to decide what I cared most about and what I had enough knowledge about that I could sustain over a long period of time. I really enjoyed asking myself, what do I care about and how can make other people care about it?

After days of throwing back and forth ideas, I decided I would blog about health and wellness. The topic of health and wellness comes from my love for being active and trying new things to stay healthy. But health and wellness is way more than how physically active a person is; it includes so many other facets that I feel people forget about because of the “get fit, eat healthy” rhetoric that has exploded in the media. I saw this blog as a chance to inform young people, and hopefully all sorts of people, that in order to be healthy they need to think not only about physical health, but also need to think about their health in terms of the mental and emotional health, a good blog to read on love is Kiran’s; social, spiritual, occupational, cultural and environmental healths, another good blog is Sandy’s on her struggle to be green in suburbia. I feel people have this misconception that they if work out they are healthy, when in fact there are so many areas of your life that can be unhealthy that can leave you vulnerable to disease.

I really love that every week I get to post a blog about a different health issue I feel is important. Some may feel that my blogs jump all over the place, but like I said, health and wellness includes so many aspects of our lives. My topic also leaves room to discuss other issues that I’m passionate about that I felt when setting up my blog would have been too hard to sustain. I can talk about environmental issues, different social issues and its importance in people lives, and many more things I feel are important or that my audience wants to know about.

My blog allows me to be creative and give people information they may not hear about in the world of mass media and information. In turn blogging has led me to other blogs on various different subjects and has opened my eyes to opinions and stories that I may have never seen.

Check out the top 11 reasons why to start a blog http://www.markevanstech.com/2009/07/12/11-reasons-why-blogs-still-matter/
It's better than a top ten list.


Never too late to get in shape!

This is what my dad looks like now. Can you imagine that only 15 months ago he weighted 75 pounds heavier? Now he won’t tell me how much he weighted before but you can really tell the difference from what he loving refers to as his fat photos.

For 23 years of my life, I can honestly tell you that I don’t remember my dad ever once doing any physical activity. Back when he was in high school he was frighteningly skinny weighting in at a whooping 118 pounds with 23’ waist – that was probably the last time the phrase physical activity entered his brain.

But you know, it really wasn’t that hard in the end to encourage him to change his mind about being active and eating healthy. In our family, we have a high incidence of heart attacks. My dad’s father had a few massive heart attacks during his 50s and 60s that nearly claimed his life; my dad was plagued by high blood pressure and cholesterol, so the odds weren’t looking too promising that he would elude a heart attack.

My mom tried for years to get him to change his eating and physical activity, but he really didn’t have any motivation to change. Like a lot of people, he probably felt that it wouldn’t happen to him. Luckily it didn’t. I intervened before anything could. I’m not ashamed to say I played the daughter card; I told him I really wanted him to be around for a while to see the milestones that I would one day achieve (before he got too old anyway). I told him that at the rate he was going with his health there was a very good chance that at heart attack would take him away from us before his old age could.

To my amazement he agreed. When we spoke, I came fully prepared with numbers of a gym that I felt would work really well for him. I hooked him up with Barb Cajas, who is a kinesiology professor at The University of Winnipeg and co-owner of Core Training & Therapy at 107-912 Portage Avenue. At Core they have wonderful personal trainers, and to tell you the truth if my dad didn’t have the support and motivation from his trainers and the staff I doubt he would have shed the weight he has. They’ve taught him more than just the mechanics of working out; they’ve taught him about eating healthy and the importance of incorporating physical activity into all facets of his life both in and out of the gym. And you know what else, he has less old guy pain than he did before.

The important thing about my dad’s story is that you’re never too old. Not only are you never to old, but also it’s also never too late, no matter your age or how unfit you’ve been, to change your life in a drastic way and become a healthier you.

*Check out the video on the top right hand corner of Core's Home page


Buyer beware - Halloween Safety Squad

Since my days of trick-or-treating, which was a while ago, things have changed a lot. I remember every October I would was so excited to decide what I wanted my costume to be, find the pattern, and help my mom put it all together. Sometimes in order to really bring my costumes to life I had to use face paints. From what I can remember, not a lot of thought went into choosing the right face paint for my sensitive skin. My mom and I never debated which product went on the best, which would stay on all day at school and still be on when I went out trick-or-treating, which would come off the easiest, which one wouldn’t irritate my skin, which one wouldn’t come off after sweating underneath my costume and my parka, and which one would come out of my clothes if I just so happened to get it all over.

These days, after my skin was red and raw from the ingredients and scrubbing the stuff off, consumers are beginning to look out for products that could potentially be harmful for their children. What better way to take the guess work out of choosing the “best” face paint for parents than by getting five students from Red River College to submit their skin and their dignity to rigorous testing. Stacia, Angèle, Kiran, Jeremy, and I tested the six most common face paints we found at places like Walmart, Superstore, Value Village, Dollarama, and Party Stuff.

Trusting Angèle’s purchasing abilities, the group sent her out to these five main retailers that we thought parents were most likely to purchase Halloween supplies and costumes from. She came back with six different brands: Lucky Art, Fun World, Seasons, Danson Décor, and Dollarama.

For five days we tested out different face paints. Every morning before class we met to decide what we would paint on our faces that day and who would paint our faces. After the first day we all decided that Angèle would be in charge of application because, and I’m sorry to rest of the group, she was the best. It was difficult to have my face painted everyday. People would stare and ask, “How can I get my face painted?” Unfortunately, it was just for a project so we couldn’t get many other people involved. After each day we were required to fill out a survey on each brand answering and grading each of the six criteria we were testing.

Over the course of the five days, I had lots of fun working on this project. Our group worked really well together to complete our designated sections, which I find is often difficult because some people end up doing more than others. I found that our work was pretty evenly divided. Angèle was in charge of purchasing and summarizing what our research would entail; Stacia made the template so that at the end of each day we could grade each category and make observations, and she also wrote the intro for the project. Kiran took on one of the biggest jobs; she took all the data we had collected and found the common results to decided which product was the best and the worst. Jeremy G. spoke with our experts’ dermatologist Dr. Minuk and face paint specialist Simbo the clown. It was Jeremy’s idea to talk to a clown and I think this was an interesting angle to include. Lastly, I was in charge of washing clothes. It was my job to see how well the paints come out of clothing. I had two cotton samples for each brand. I sprayed one with Spray ‘n Wash and the other I left as is, and after the first and second wash I recorded what happened.

After a week of walking around with our faces’ painted, a winner was finally declared: Lucky Brand from Party Stuff come out on top with a rating of 8.9 out of ten. We choose this one because it scored the best out of all our six criteria, but it also stood out in one criteria we hadn’t expected, which the ability of the paint to stand out on darker skin. I felt so bad for Kiran because every other product we tried looked absolutely horrible on her skin. The colours did not go on well, or even last till the end of the day.

We had nothing bad to say about the Lucky Art brand. The only thing was that we needed to be really careful about touching our face or putting objects near the painted area. The day we used Lucky Art I was talking on my phone and when I hung up I noticed that the face paints had gotten all over it. Fortunately all I needed to do was wipe it off. The whole day I remember being worried that I was smearing the paint and that I would look even more ridiculous than how I started, but the little bit of paint that came of didn’t affect the drawing the was one my face.

We believe this is the best product for parents who are looking for a good product for their kids, but are not looking to spend too much money. Halloween can become quite expensive for families once you’ve bought costumes and candies, so we know that some people don’t want to spend tons of money on something their child will use only once. For $1.99 parents can be sure that their buying their kids’ a quality product that will last, will go on easily and brightly, will not bug their skin, will come out of their clothes, and can hold up after a night of running from house to house with their parkas on.


I think you should take Provencher, Wookey

Recently my mornings have been a lot better. I’ve been laughing my butt off and having a great time before I get to school with my carpool mates. For the first couple of weeks I had a car to drive to school because my parents were away for a month. But that month is up and I won’t have too many chances to get a car. I could get rides to school with my brother, Ian, but he’s there a lot earlier then me except when I start early.

So needless to say I was a little worried that I was going to have to start taking the bus at some insanely ridiculous time before sunrise when it’s -40˚. I have no idea why but after living in Winnipeg all my life I’m still not cut out for winter.

I was wondering what in the world I could do to avoid taking the bus, to save some money, and ease my conscious about unnecessarily wasting fossil fuels. A brilliant idea struck me as I was walking alone to my car one day; I thought I should see if anyone from class who lives in my area wants to carpool. I knew whom to ask. Since the first day I knew basic background info on all the people in my class.

I ended up getting a really awesome group of people to carpool. With the phenomenal Jérémie Wookey as our driver, Alexa, Angèle, and I get safely to school every morning. Carpooling is a great way to socialized in the morning when I feel the most angry and irritated – I’m not a great morning person. I have such a good laugh with these people that I quickly snap out of my bitterness. Also, I think it’s a great way to keep my mind active and sharp all the while being happy and positive. I wonder if anyone else thinks this way?

Although we haven’t worked it out quite yet, I think carpooling will end up being cheaper than getting a monthly bus pass, which costs $58.30 a month. I think if we end up getting this parking spot we want it might cost $40 each a month including gas. This works a lot better because taking the bus in this city is painful.

Even better then saving some extra cash, though, is the fact that we took single-person vehicles off the road, which reduces emissions. I think more people should consider carpooling, and I challenge anyone to not notice a difference in their mornings, a difference in their pocketbooks, and a difference in the amount of cars on the road. But not enough people consider this an option, and the city presents no incentives to even try it. If you’re like me, I like to make the most of my time in the morning and sometimes carpooling can end up taking awhile, but if the city installed carpool lanes traffic could go at a much quicker pace. I think it’s great that the city is encouraging people to leave their cars at home and take their bikes with all the new bike lanes and pathways, but really not that many people ride their bikes’ to work in the winter. As a winter town, god I hate saying that, the city needs generate interest in carpooling and make it appealing to people to do so. Unfortunately people need to know what’s in for them before they even consider making a change. But I can tell you that your mental, social, physical, and environmental healths’ will improve all because carpooling creates an environment where there is less stress, more fun and interaction with others, and less wasted fossil fuels.

Find out how many people that you work or go to school with live near you? You might be surprised at what you find.


I wish I had more time...

It’s the fifth week of school and already my activity level has dropped like 50 percent. I’m still trying to run so I can drop everything from school, work, and life for an hour so I can think about absolutely nothing. I don’t know about the rest of you, but my brain actually hurts when I get home from school everyday. All I want to do is sit on the couch and read the paper or just watch TV. I feel frustrated and down on myself that I haven’t been hitting the gym and doing weights, but after a few hours of doing work the last thing I want to do is grab my gym-bag. And it’s not like I have so much to do that I’m overwhelmed, I just miss my old routine and now I’m struggling to find one that will work better for me. But I guess this is the best time to figure it out. This is the kind of schedule my life will take from now on, and I have to get use to fitting my priorities around a busy work schedule.

This program is nothing like university where I could pick and choose my class times and have spares throughout the day that would accommodate my need to go to the gym. It’s become a whole different ball game and I realize certain things may need to be pushed aside, moved, or forgotten about until I do the work that needs to be done. I need to overcome this mentality that if I can’t do something when I want to do it I just won’t do it at all. I need to schedule and make a list of my priorities outside of school that I want to accomplish every day or every other day and stick with it – this will be my personal challenge.

Here's some advice from the experts about using time wisely.


To supplement, or not to supplement that is the question

Now I’m not a dietician and I’m not going to pretend I have all this fabulous knowledge about food and its multiple benefits. However, I did take Nutrition for Health and Wellness, KIN. 2501/3, at the University of Winnipeg with the wonderful, educated, registered dietician Mrs. Rennie Benedict, which I feel leaves me qualified to give my opinion – Rennie’s notes are really great and informative and if anyone wants to look over them let me know.

Recently, a fellow blogger and classmate was curious to know my opinion about taking vitamin and mineral supplements. Now this person is taking supplements because her mother, which I totally get because our mothers only want us to be healthy, suggested it to her. But unfortunately taking supplements when we don’t need them can actual harm us and prevent our body from absorbing other vitamins and minerals, which are also called nutrients, that are important to staying healthy. Rennie, and the rest of the science community, refer to the ability of our body to absorb a nutrient through diet as bioavailability. In her class notes, Rennie says Bioavailability depends on several factors: our physiological need for the nutrient when it’s consumed, vitamin-mineral interactions, interactions between some plant compounds and minerals, like a compound found in spinach and rhubarb called oxalic acid renders the calcium these plants contain unable to be absorbed, and last but not least mineral-mineral interactions. Now mineral-mineral interactions refer to the interaction between the nutrients we get from eating and the nutrients we get from supplementing.

Several minerals are constantly competing with each other to absorb into the body. Rennie says that when our bodies have too much of one it can steamroll another, which limits our body’s ability to absorb that mineral. She also says this usually happens when people self-prescribe large quantities of individual minerals. And that is one of the problems; because supplements do not need to be prescribed by a doctor people often take them thinking vitamins and minerals are good for me so it can only be awesome for my body if I take more of them. But here are some questions to think about when considering taking supplements:

1. Does my diet give me all the nutrients I need to be healthy?

2. Do I have any food allergies to wheat, milk, protein, or fruit?

3. Have I been diagnosed with a disease, deficiencies, or malabsorption syndromes?

4. Am I planning to become pregnant, am I pregnant, or breastfeeding?

5. Am I over 50?

6. Am I at risk of developing osteoporosis?

7. Am I vegetarian or vegan?

If you’ve answered no to these questions chances are you don’t need to supplement your diet because the food you eat is enough to cover all your body’s vitamin and mineral needs. So watch out when considering taking a supplement. If you feel you need to supplement because your diet is poor think about taking a multi-vitamin. Multi-vitamins are constructed in a harmonious balance of nutrients so that none compete for a place in the body. If you’re still not convinced go check out NIH Office of Dietary Supplements for more info and here's another list from Rennie about the hazards of supplements:

1. Taken in megadoses supplements can be harmful.

2. More is not always better. Extra amounts either serve no purpose and just end up in your pee or are harmful, so why waste all those good nutrients?

3. An excess of fat-soluble vitamins, like A and D, and many minerals, like iron, zinc, copper, and selenium, are stored in body tissue and can reach toxic levels.

4. An excess of one nutrient can affect another creating a nutrient deficiency, and they you’ll really need to take supplements.


Holy Plastic!

Sorting the recycling can be a daunting task. There are plastic bottles, plastic containers and plastic packing en masse not including all the different plastic that goes in the garbage. I

put plastic in the recycling each week because I believe that something is being done about it. And while there is a lot being done to recycle these products there is just so much of it that it’s difficult to control.

But I had no idea how much is out there.

The other evening I was given a shocking dose of reality when I watched documentary filmmaker, Ian Connacher, unfold an eye-opening story about plastic.

His film, Addicted to Plastic, is one man’s journey discover what happens beyond the recycle box. Connacher travels around the w

orld in search of answers to what can be done for this epidemic of plastic that is filling our world’s landfills, cities, and waters. The filmmaker from Toronto created a fantastic documentary that is both staggering and very insightful. Connacher’s playful way of presenting the facts along with amazing alternatives that are out there gives a jolt of reality with an optimistic sting.

You may be curious as to why this is any way relevant to my blog. Health and wellness is not just about eating right and being active. It has become an umbrella term that also implies mental and emotional, social, spiritual, occupational, cultural, and environmental health.

Environmental health is such a huge aspect in our overall achievement of health and wellness, because it pollutes our water, and gets ingested by animals we may eat. These factors leave us vulnerable to an attack on our overall health and well-being.

Do you know what happens to the plastic you throw out?


The Great Outdoors - One Great Workout

Health and wellness has quickly become the buzz phrase on the minds and on the tips of tongues of people throughout North American. Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done to begin incorporating these aspects into everyday life. Everyone has good intentions. You join a gym and start including healthier foods into your daily lives, but then life starts getting crazy and all your good intentions fall by the wayside, and you end-up paying for a gym membership that never gets used. The thing is, and this is my own personal feeling, that many people who want to start living a healthy lifestyle become so overwhelmed with the idea of using the gym and changing eating habits. But it doesn’t have to be; it can be really easy if little steps are taken and you work on solidly changing one negative aspect in your life at a time.

For my first ever blog, l'd like to address this issue of physical activity. If anyone is like me I feel I get a better burn at the gym than say going outside and running. I feel like I can challenge myself more in a gym setting by increasing the tension or incline, because god knows you can’t find too many hills to run-up in Winnipeg. But I was completely foolish and blind to the bulk of outdoor activities there is to do in and out of Winnipeg. Just this past Labour Day weekend two friends and I decided to load the canoe onto my friend’s Rav 4 and head toward Caddy Lake in Manitoba’s Whiteshell Provincial Park for an amazing three-day canoe trip.

Now the great thing about heading towards Caddy and its surrounding lakes is one, there is no fee to get into any federal or provincial park for the next two years, in case you didn’t know. Two, even though at times you feel like you’re the only one on the lake your really not, so if anything were to happen there are people around to help. And last, but not least, canoeing these lakes is totally, and completely easy, but please make sure you have at least one person that knows how to steer a canoe. So off my friends’ and I went with our GPS in hand, which by the way I really recommend, paddling across Caddy Lake through two tunnels to reach our destination of North Cross Lake.

The paddling wasn’t crazy intense. But it got us working hard increasing our heart rate, which makes our bodies work harder in order to pump blood quickly to the muscles being used to give them energy. The more energy our muscles use means burning down more of our bodies food stores, which leaves us with less unwanted body weight and a healthier heart.

The amazing thing about going on this canoe trip was not only that we got to be physically active, and really we worked our butts off, but also we had a great time doing and that is the most important thing about being physically active. Canoeing is a great way to have fun and be active with the whole family, or with a girlfriend or boyfriend, or with friends. Please remember that you need to be prepared. Plan your trip; bring a GPS, tell conservation where you plan to paddle, and bring the right equipment because you still need to remember your on the water and in the wilderness so you do need to be prepared. On top of being prepared for anything please, please remember to take your garbage with you because it’s important to leave nature beautiful and free of garbage not only for us, but also for our kids and their kids.