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Owner, "MAP Wellness" - a culinary nutrition and wellness company. Writer. Passionate cook, raw food chef, reiki practitioner, yoga teacher, and LIVE WELL educator. ​do yoga. enjoy good food. run. plant food. cook. savour wine. read books. buy good food. love. grow your energy. find peace. enjoy food. have passion. skip. eat food. do yoga. listen to jazz. have presence. be present. bike. read. see. hear. be. live. love.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Superb (Salad-y) Sundays

Sunday.  This  glorious day one of the week has certainly become one of my absolute favourite, right up there with Friday.  One could argue that Sunday is merely the stepping stone into Monday, as that is how I  used to feel, especially with my zany hours for work.  It used to be that from the moment I awoke on Sunday morning, I found myself continuously counting down the hours until I needed to be in bed in order to get a good night's rest leading into my 4am wake-up call to begin the workweek.  Not anymore.  No, Sunday has become my unofficial "me" day, and I love everything that the day has come to encompass.   Oh, and I know you're probably wondering, "what's with the kale shot up there?"  Well, I thought it was pretty.

Sunday has held many different roles in my life, with different purposes,varying levels of importance, and therefore has been a rather abused 24 hours.  When I was very young, Sunday morning always involved a trip to church with my mom and sisters, a routine we were brought up in from the get-go.  Beginning at 9am, an hour was spent at the chapel, where my mother would smile at us while she sang the songs of the catholic carol book with much passion and vigor, and also gave a stern hush if we got  too rowdy in the pews.  One of my favourite memories was that of my mom sweetly running her fingers through my hair, as I lay my head on her lap idly passing the time until the the final chorus came.  If we were lucky, once the final processional hymn had been sung, it was off to the local coffee shop for a bag of day-old donuts, or if we were really blessed, a half dozen Bismarck pastries, topped with the most delectable white frosting there ever was.  Sunday afternoons were most often spent playing with Barbies, gallivanting out in the farmyard, climbing apple trees, horseback riding, or building very architecturally magnificent snow forts in the six foot snow drifts that would form out by the barn. 

As I got into my teen years, Sunday mornings turned into nothing more than a day to sleep in as late as possible, and this is when they became nothing more than the day before Monday.  A day in which I had the chance to make any last-ditch efforts to finish up homework, catch up on television, or chat on the phone for hours on end, reliving all the happenings of the weekend that was.  This was also my chance to dwell in terrible angst and dread about inevitability of having to head back to school the next morning.  Once I became a college student, Sundays were entirely wasted days spent lying in bed, on the couch, or in the bathroom, nursing horrid headaches and incurable nausea instilled by Saturday's raucous routine of partying, drinking, and late night dancing.   

Today, as a 31 year old woman, my Sunday routine is at it's peak, and I adore everything about the day.  Gone are the days of forced sleep-ins, hangovers, and (sorry mom) organized religion.  Now, I usually stir well before 7am, often with a distinct desire to get outside and go for run, a thought that invades my consciousness even before my feet hit the hardwood. Other times, the break of dawn involves nothing more than a cup of tea, the newspaper, and the sunrise, followed by hours of puttering away at household chores, crafts, and reading, the day capped off with a lunch time yoga class, nap, and then hours spent cooking in the kitchen.  Often I can go through an entire Sunday without uttering a single word out loud.  It is superbly centering.  Indeed, I have really taken to this "me" time, and am quite reluctant to ever make real plans, as I much prefer to have my few free hours of the week flexible, with the ability to progress organically, spontaneously, and therefore blissfully.

Ah yes.  Today has been one of those picture perfect Sundays.  After a quiet 6:30am breakfast over one of my favourite reads, it was off to an intense 9:30am Bikram Hot Yoga class, a brisk bike ride home, and then for the rest of the morn, I immersed myself fully in the kitchen prepping meals for the week.  This afternoon?  Well, I plan to blog, sip tea, do some more reading, and perhaps catch a flick online - will it be a sleepy romantic comedy that I can doze in and out of?  Or perhaps if I am feeling more alert, a solid documentary?

Maybe I will watch "Food Inc." once more, and get a head start on my opinion essay that must be written as part of my upcoming "Culinary Nutrition Expert" certification!  

Two of today's colourful Sunday salads

Oh dear Sunday, your possibilities are absolutely endless, but for me these days, I desire the minimal.  You are, and I hope will remain, my one simple day.  My day to chill out, live quietly, and be unreservedly me.  No matter what, I will keep on loving you, and will continue to squeeze every last juicy, delicious second from you even as you inch away from me, towards twilight, and eventually tumble out of my grasp completely.  

I know you will only be gone for a short time, and that I can look forward to our meeting once again, when you arrive at my door, in just seven short days. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Yup, I said it.  Or I wrote it, I suppose.  It is a word that I used to be so ashamed of saying out loud.  But now I use it with ease as it is a part of who I am, was, and will become.  It has been a part of my life for more than fifteen years, and it has taken me up until this point to realize that it is nothing to apologize for.  It just is.  

I remember back when I was first "diagnosed" with my bulimia, it was a word that left waves of uncomfortable silence in it's wake.  At that time, my mother was desperate to find educational support and medical assistance, but resources were next to nil and for the most part people just didn't talk about eating disorders.  There was such a massive stigma associated with not only the word, but everything that came along with it.  Eating disorders, especially bulimia, were considered gross, silly, shallow, and easy to cure...  

Just eat, dammit!  

Ha, if it were only that simple...It is now quite well known that ED's go so much deeper than that, and as far as I am concerned, my ED might just be a lifelong affliction that I need to constantly shine awareness on.  Case in point, it was only a year ago today that ED really kicked my ass for what I hope was to be the very last time...

 If you have been reading my blog for a time, you know what I am talking about (  On January  25 2011, I had a very nasty visit from ED- my eating disorder, and for the first time in my thirty years I spent the night in the emergency room. 

Looking back to where I was at that time, I realize that I was not anywhere close to happy even though I thought I was making huge strides as far as my "positivity in times of chaos" went.  I certainly was moving in an upward trajectory in a few areas of my life, but little did I know that the worst was still to come. There was a lot more icky-ness that was waiting in the wings, and I am pleased that I did manage to get through Spring of 2011 without anymore colossal relapses, even as my universe seemed to implode around me.

My, how things change in time.  While my ultimate goal is to someday soon be able to say that I have fully kicked ED to the curb,  I am at the same time very grateful to have finally banished most of my self blame, self pity, and embarrassment about my bulimia.  I would be lying if I said I that I never have ED-inspired thoughts at times when my anxiety peaks, my stress levels soar, or when my heart is aching.  But, what is real and true, is that I also have quite a few tricks up my sleeve to combat those ideas, and have developed a slew of brilliant ways to cope, and to blot out those false perceptions before they can cause me any harm.  

So, today, one year later, I choose to renew my vow to never get to the low point ever again.   I am, after all, a hell of a lot smarter than ED, and damn stronger than my ego.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

2 weeks vegan, 7 days sober...

Just an update here, as I realize it's been a while since I have posted!  I am feeling great!  I have to say, that doubling up my two massive dietary changes has proven quite successful thus far.  I woke up today feeling overall happier, more well rested than in weeks, and just simply more full of vibrant energy!  My 7am Sunday run was invigorating, and I felt stronger and more confident on my feet than ever!
(that's lentil walnut loaf there, not beef!)
As far as my new vegan diet is concerned, it has actually been a super simple switch for the most part.  I have spent countless pleasurable hours scouring the shelves and dairy cases at various markets and health food shops in the quest to find suitable, whole, and delicious substitutes for my ex-fave animal food items.  As previously mentioned, my now severed relationship with cheese leaves massive shoes to fill as far as my taste buds go.  I have found a few rice-based brick cheeses that melt surprisingly well when delivered via a grilled cheese sammy, but even with the texture all there, the taste leaves much to be desired.  I have turned to using an abundance of nutritional yeast in recipes, and as topper for cooked veggies to achieve that cheesy-creamy taste, but as predicted, the ultimate alternative I have found success with is simply making my own homemade "nut-cheese".  The silky, savory spreads derived from aggressive food processing of any type of nut, combined with herbs, spices, and flavourings of choice reign as champion in my books.  I am a sucker for cashew ricotta with chives, and am loving my pistachio lemon mash-up.  I think this weekend I will attempt to create a version that is sweeter, to be used in place of cream cheese.   Something I can top with smashed fruit on (gluten free) toast, or spread on my yummy oatmeal waffles.
My vegan top shelf!

Have I missed meat?  Hells no.  Actually, I have had no craving at all for animal flesh, I suppose reason being that I haven't had any of that since early October anyhow.  However, I have really ramped up my workouts as of late so my need for protein has grown tremendously.  I am exploring all kinds of new ways to include even more nuts, seeds, legumes, and other plant-based muscle building super-foods in my repertoire.   I am two weeks into my Booty Camp workout sessions, and I am also now back with Bikram Yoga Toronto, where I am lucky to have landed a role in their "energy exchange" program; I volunteer there for two hours, once a week, and in exchange I get unlimited free hot yoga!!  Delightful indeed!  Add to this the fact that I am lacing up my running shoes regularly again to get rallied to train for a 10K, and the need for pure and proper nourishment multiplies ten-fold.  I have to be very aware of properly fueling my body, and also of keeping fully hydrated (something I have been mediocre with at best in past).

And that brings me to my next update!  As of today, I will be seven days wine free.  Pretty neat-o!  I haven't really found myself missing my evening glass(es) either!  I will admit however, that early on in the week I was feeling quite sluggish, head-achy, and irritable.  Could this have been a bout with withdrawal symptoms?  I shudder at the thought, but I am guessing that my body is in fact going through a serious detox right now, so I suppose I should expect to feel a few ill effects.  What disappointed me though, was my slumber, or lack thereof.  I came into this challenge fully expecting to sleep a whole lot better than I am.  I always hear that sipping wine at night disrupts your sleep cycle, and so with my terrible track record when it comes to catching my forty winks, I figured I was a shoe-in for some solid shut-eye once I cut off the vino.  No such luck.  It wasn't until Thursday night, when I was so burnt out from my work and exercise regime and needed to be in bed by 7:30pm, that I actually had a fully sound and peaceful nights rest.  Fingers crossed this improves as the days go by.  Perhaps something that may assist in this, is my new practice of drinking about two full pots of herbal tea everyday.  Sipping a soothing blend of chamomile, lemon and honey both quiets my mind and comforts my soul, and is yet another nourishing way to further hydrate my body.  Not to mention, having something on the coffee table to "slurp" away on really fills the gap left by my old wine glass habit. 

So, at this point, I have learned a few great lessons about life sans-booze, and my motivation is certainly spurred on by the following: 

FACT: flavoured herbal teas can be quite a delicious pairing with organic dark chocolate. Who needs Merlot - steeped chai chocolate anyone?
FACT: getting up  at 3:45am is much nicer when you have no booze in your system
FACT: evening productivity improves exponentially when you aren't under any influence.  I have read, studied, written, and knit more over this past seven days than I ever imagined I could post-dinner!  Talk about expanding my evening hours! 
FACT: I can love my job that much more everyday when my energy levels are top-notch
FACT: it's fun being the sober girl out on the town, and I am learning a ton about myself in the process...
FACT: "Friday night dinner and a movie" is a heck of a lot more affordable when there is no wine on the restaurant bill!
FACT: I have noticed that my skin is clearer and is even starting to glow! (a combo of both my vegan eating + tee-totaling I suppose)
And, FACT: drinking is expensive.  It's a safe bet that I have saved close to $40-$50 not stocking my wine stash. Ouch. 


My world, it is a a-changing.  And I kind of feel like a whole new person these days.   It's pretty cool.  I am that much more pumped about all the great plans I have for this year, and I know I can, and will, accomplish all that I place in my cross-hairs from this day forward.  I am also meeting and connecting with a brand new slew of like-minded people, and am happy to be able to build on my already strong support network as I continue to wiggle outside of my comfort zone.  And I will stay the course.  Whether it's a series of baby steps or a few massive long jumps that lay ahead, I am committed to this, and I'm in it for the long haul!   

Onward we go!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

30 Days.

I drink too much wine.  I have officially come to this decision.  On nights when I am at home, I always take the time to prepare myself a delicious, healthy, balanced, sit-down meal.  As I begin to develop my often improvised recipe, therapeutically washing, chopping, slicing, and creating, I put on some smooth jazz music, and I almost always pour myself a glass of white (Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling….).  By the time dinner is ready to be plated, a refill is often required, as a meal without wine to match is like…well, it’s just not as enjoyable, I am convinced.  Post meal, I do the dishes, tidy up, and settle in for the evening.  Sporting my flannel PJs, I might pour a glass of Merlot, break off a piece of 70% dark chocolate, and cozy up on the couch with a book, my knitting, or the latest Mad Men episode on Netflix.  Some nights, a second glass of red is what lulls me into my relaxed, albeit sometimes foggy, sleepy-time state, just in time for my 9pm curfew. (To qualify, I do not stumble into bed inebriated every night.  I do have to get up at 3:45am for work after all!!)

So that’s standard, two glasses at minimum.  But sometimes three or four?  Already, I know that is far too much alcohol for any women in an average sitting.  And I am sure I need not clarify that my wine glasses are rather large, and my pours quite generous.  Six ounces?  Are you kidding?  So, yeah.  That’s a lot of boozing. 

It has occurred to me many times that it is a tad silly that I commit myself so wholly to eating a nutritious diet, delve so deeply into the process of planning my meals and recipes, and expend so much time and energy maintaining an active and well-intentioned lifestyle, only to turn around and gulp down copious amounts of a toxic substance.  Don’t get me wrong, I know that there are some benefits to a glass of red here and there…but that’s one glass!  I haven’t had just one glass in a long time.  Not to mention the fact that I am very frugal in most areas of my life these days, but still find myself strolling through the Summerhill LCBO like a kid that's been handed $20 to spend  in a candy store.

I can recall many conversations I have had in past years, mainly with girlfriends, about our own personal alcohol usage.  I know that I am not the only one concerned about their consumption level.  Heck, I even remember doing an actual “Are You a Functional Alcoholic” quiz with one pal, and BOTH of us coming out affirmed.  Flip through my photos on Facebook and you'll find even more proof that I need to take it down a notch; shot after shot of me with a wine glass in my hand...pretty eye opening, indeed.  And even this past week, I chatted with a co-worker about it, and she seemed quite astounded by my everyday habit.

But, my habit goes deep.  I think I got pass-out drunk for the first time when I was in grade nine.  By mid-high school I was getting hammered every weekend.  These were almost always “get-so-drunk-you-barf” binges, and it was a massive problem in my family, and an embarrassment to my folks.  I recall one night being so smashed at a local hockey game that I was sick right in the stands, the mickey of vodka I'd consumed ending up all over the people sitting in front of me.  At that point, my friends decided it was time for me to go, dragged me out to the parking lot, and called my mom to come and pick up her slurring, sloppy, shameful daughter.  When she arrived, as she always did, God bless her, I was lying face down on the concrete barely conscious.  And then there was the night my sisters found me passed out in a ditch on the side of the highway….

Anyway, those days are certainly long gone, and I can't recall the last time I was fall over drunk, it has been so long.  But I do know that my habit is just that; a habit.  One that I need to break for a bit just to prove to myself that I can.  So a week ago, I made the decision that I was going to do this, and today marks my last day in relationship with my liquid lover.  Starting tomorrow, Monday January sixteenth, I will be booze free for thirty days.  I look forward to the final outcome, but also the process;  I am eager to see how I deal with all the negative feelings and resentments that are sure to rise up within me, and I am pumped to rock the "sober girl" stance out in the social world!  This shall be a fulfilling and clarifying learning experience, as well as a wicked physical detox.  I find myself pretty darn excited to get started.

So, with what vintage shall I bid farewell to tippling, and pair alongside my "last supper" this evening?  Well the obvious choice would be my personal fave; the juicy, sweet goodness of Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. 

Cheers, Salut, Proost, Sláinte!  Au revoir.   

Monday, January 9, 2012

Kale, Beets, Carrots, Avocados, Quinoa, Seeds, Chickpeas, Goji Berries...

Today I embark on something new.  I figure no time better than the present to “up the ante”, so to speak, when it comes to my personal health.  And, my decision to undertake this new challenge , just so happens to coincide with the on-air folk on my TV show stepping up to their very own health related mission.  Yes, today, the hosts of “The Morning Show” begin their week long raw food cleanse, and I venture into the vegan world.  Timing is certainly everything.
Host, Kris Reyes's Raw menu for today! (

By now, you all know that I have long been into the science behind eating healthily, and to that end I have learned a few things that have helped sort out some personal digestive needs, and also what it takes to feel like my optimal self.  Since 2009 I have adopted a virtually wheat free diet, spent a time eating “in the raw”, and have dedicated much of my downtime to learning all I can about nutrition and fueling my body in the best ways possible.   While in college I spent a big chunk of time living a vegetarian lifestyle, but back then was not armed with all the necessary information to do so in a balanced way and was just not getting the protein I needed to function properly.  It wasn’t long before my body gave out a bit, and I decided to go back to meat in order to quickly and easily regain my strength and energy.  Over the last few years, I have found myself again inadvertently leaning towards veggie-like eating habits, and have really directed my focus into that realm of foodie culture.  Earlier in the fall, I was lucky to meet Neal Barnard, M.D., author of “21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart: Boost Metabolism, Lower Cholesterol, and Dramatically Improve Your Health”, when he appeared as a guest on our show.  I have gotten about halfway through my copy of the book, and am quite inspired by many of the ideas, studies, and recipes it includes (to be clear, I am NOT in this for weight loss; the book is actually a blueprint for eating vegan, and is a definitive resource for those interested).  As a further push, I am super stoked about my upcoming “Culinary Nutrition Expert” course, with Meg Telpner, as I know the foods we prepare, the knowledge we acquire, and the overall outlook I walk away with upon completing the course, will fully support my decision to go vegan.  My commitment to fully exploring a plant based diet is totally personal, and I am choosing to do so for my pleasure, vitality, and overall health.  Don't get me wrong; I have seen "Food Inc." and the others, and I am fully aware and educated as to what goes on in factory farms, and the brutality that unfolds in the meat, poultry and dairy industries in our nation.  It truly is a disgust.  Because of this, I am also very pleased to be doing my part to help alleviate some of that suffering, knowing that my contribution, albeit small, can help in the big picture.  But I am not here to preach, just to eat the way I want to eat, and if I happen to convince a few others to try it out along that way, all the better!

So, I have not eaten meat or poultry since Thanksgiving 2011.  I have, however, developed a knack for creating super yummy meals that include an array of meat alternatives such as tofu, tempeh, nuts, legumes, and seeds, and have also whipped up a plethora of  grain and vegetable based dishes that would have even the meatiest of meat eaters salivating.  Perhaps the hardest part for me will be giving up on dairy, a point my sister brought up when she found out about my vegan plan (via Twitter!).  It is true, I am totally a cheese gal; goat, Manchego, old cheddar, you name it.  I do love my cultured milk products, especially with a nice glass of wine…(more on THAT later).   However, as strange as it sounds,  I think the toughest one for me to give up will be my daily cottage cheese fix.  It has been my quick and delish go-to  breakfast choice for ages, but as of this past Saturday, it too has officially been replaced by almond milk or coconut beverage fruit smoothies.   As for the rest of it, well, I have also learned a great bunch of recipes for creating various types of “nut-cheeses”; creamy concoctions consisting of soaked and softened nuts and seasonings, pureed into ricotta like textures. With the addition of a little nutritional yeast, they really do taste pretty darn convincing as a dairy replacement, and the yeast supplies a one-two punch, as it contains much needed vitamin B12, something vegetarians and vegans alike are oft deficient in. 
One of my tempeh veggie meals.
So, as I move into this next phase, making substitutions, altering recipes, and exploring the unknown, I am thrilled.  I know I won’t have the full support of a few people in my life who think all my food adventuring is silly, but I am up for trying anything that may better me physically, offer me more youth, and prevent illness in my body.  And you know what?  I am doing this for me, and it doesn’t really have to affect anyone else! 

Although, I do know full well that this may just earn me the title of “hardest-to-go-out-to-dinner-with friend”.

I am going to give it my all, but I am not going to make myself crazy.  If the feeling really hits me, say, when I am out at dinner, and I decide I REALLY feel like having a touch of cheese, then I will.  If I want a coffee and there is only cow’s milk available to lighten up my cup of joe, so be it.  When I am at my mom’s and she forgets and puts eggs in a meal meant for me, I will smile and graciously dig in.  I will plan to do whatever I can within my own personal power to make this work, but if there are a few slides along the way then “c’est la vie” shall be my motto.  And I also go into all of this knowing that I can decide to re-introduce any food I want, at any time. 

Vegan…hmm.  I am excited!  I can’t wait to see how I feel after a week, month, (year?).  I bet things will really feel a whole lot different. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Listening to my stars, and my gut.

Booth Stars: Scorpio- Saturday, January 7, 2012
Say goodbye to a nightmare and hello to a new era of happiness. An irreversible event has taken place. It’s partly of your doing, although it did come from a deep unconscious source. The abruptness of it has forced you to make friends with your intuition. Trust it. It will guide you to great heights. 

Oh, okay. I can do that.  Once again, I awoke today to another inspired horoscope by astrologer Phil Booth.  Since seeing him for a personalized reading last fall, I have been taking his predictions a little more seriously, and have to say that they have been pretty accurate and motivating.  

I try not to be one of those willy-nilly people when it comes to astrological forecasts.  You know, the ones who only believe what is written when it is positive, and deny and make small any suggestions of negative outcomes for the day.  But, I do try and not to let those bad ones get me down. If I do happen to come across a dodgy prediction, than I simply do what is within my power to ensure that my day unfolds in a better way, and heed any hints of doom as signs that I need to switch things up.   

So, today I WILL fully bid farewell to the nightmares of my past, and usher in a new era of happiness, indeed.  I know I have more than just a little to do with getting to this point, so thanks for the extra support Phil (and the stars for the matter!).  Time to rise to brilliant heights indeed!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Gratitude, ya'll

Wow, everybody. I have well surpassed the page hits that I EVER thought I would get on this blog.  What started as a simple online journal to express my thoughts and work through my anxieties, has become an exercise that I feel ignited to work on as often as possible.  This is a real project of passion, one that I have found to be both fulfilling spiritually and rewarding emotionally, in every way.  From what I am hearing from you all, with your tweets, emails, and notes, you appreciate my taking the time to share as well.  So thank you everyone.  I am grateful for all of your support, love, and interest.  This really is a life-changing venture, and I love imparting my real story to you.  I am plunging, head first into happiness, and will continue to do so full throttle for as long as it takes to find my bliss.  

Please, become a follower, and leave your comments!  I love reading them. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

DO-ing it!

I have had a GREAT start to 2012!

Yesterday marked the official kick-off off to a couple of my “TO LIVES” for 2012.  I suppose you would call them “ confirmations of soon-to-be kick-offs", but either way, I am moving forward with some great things.

After work on Tuesday, I hopped on the 501 in the bitter cold sunlight, and made the trip back to my old stomping grounds in Parkdale to finally meet Meghan Telpner.  She is a real inspiration in the kitchen, and is also my soon-to-be instructor when I certify as a “Culinary Nutrition Expert”  at her cooking academy!  Yes, yesterday I handed over my tuition, chatted up my new mentor, and briefly explored the amazing loft where I will be spending  two evenings a week as a student of all things culinary.  Over the course of three months, myself and a small group of other passionate healthy foodie types will explore how to plan, prep, and create menus that focus on highest quality ingredients, the best in nutrition and balance, all with a holistic approach to diet and eating.  Together, we will  create an abundance of deliciousness, and it is in my hope that we will also develop some strong bonds and friendships while we’re at it.  See you in March Meg Telpner!
 My homemade rockin' Raw Lasagna
Another regular veggie-licious meal of mine: grilled veg & tofu with homemade nut sauce

Also on Tuesday, I received word that I am fully booked in to start an 8 week boot-camp style fitness regime with the well known Toronto based company “Booty Camp Fitness".  Recently I re-engaged with founder and CEO, Sammie Kennedy when she was a guest on my TV show, and my interest in pursuing my fitness instructor certification was piqued once again.  Sammie is an amazing woman, with super energy and great drive.  I really admire what she has built for both herself, and all the women out there that are able to take part in her camps.  Over the holidays, I took advantage of many of her at-home DVD workouts (alongside my niece and nephews who decided it was fun to workout with me; it's just like dancing!).  The videos really took the edge off of any guilt surrounding all that Christmas-time indulgence, and the workouts made me feel GREAT!  Back in 2009 I did do a certification course with the CanFitPro organization to become a fitness instructor myself, but that was around the same time all the icky stuff began unfolding in my life, and the steps in the process sort of fell by the wayside.  I didn't get around to properly preparing for my written exam, nor did I even schedule my practical one.  So, the plan now is to study my butt off for the next two months, write my CanFitPro exam in February, finish my 8 week "Booty Camp", conduct my practical test so I can be certified once and for all, and then hopefully become a superstar "Licensed Booty Camp Instructor" as well!

That's a whole lot of goodness right there.  The next few months are going to be busy ones, as I live my list, and still continue to work away on all the other little things that fill my life daily; friends, family, books, yoga, knitting, breathing, and more.  I will also have to sort out how to squeeze it all in around my wonky hours I work on my TV show (which I must mention was super great to come back to after the holiday break.  I LOVE my job!).  But, being able to call myself "Meghan Pearson, certified Culinary Nutrition Expert, CanFitPro Group Fitness Instructor AND Booty Camp Licensee" in the end will make it all so worthwhile.  Besides, this is all yummy stuff that I love, that makes me excited, and gets me hopping out of bed in the morning.  Up next in this department of my life...Yoga Teacher Training.  That I aim to pursue come Autumn...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Renewal. Renew. 2012's word to LIVE by.

Oddly, I had decided on the title for this blog a few days ago, knowing that I wanted to write a page dedicated to the dismissal of 2011, and the celebration of twelve new months of opportunity laid before us.  I had chosen to simply call it "Renewal".  That was until I received a "tweet" from my big sis Steph early on New Year's Eve that forced me to revise.  Her tweet? 

"2012's word to live by: Renew. Love it, @mediamegannep?"

And I do LOVE it.  I am all for living a life of renewal and regeneration this coming year...2011 was a toughie for sure, but damn did I learn a lot.  I am grateful to have been able to take all the tumultuous times and chaotic events that transpired in my life this past year, and turn them into real learning experiences.  Each misfortune a part of the grand process.  Every dire moment, every crash and burn, every triumph, success, and liberation, just another step towards my becoming the best me I can be.  However, I will be more than welcoming to a calmer sea this 2012, and plan to spend the entirety of this year rebuilding what was lost, and also renewing my resolve to really improve many of my relationships, including the all important love relationship with myself.  So, I welcome 2012 with open arms, and humbly bid adieu to the rocky road of 2011.
Now, that said, I am by no means an advocate of the "new year's resolution".  I think the idea is a titch silly, really.  And the pressures involved are just as nutty!  No, I try to keep various purposeful projects going all year long, and to me the new year merely represents yet another checkpoint.  It is an opportunity to take a step back, take a deep breath, and then take stock of where you have been, where you are, and where you would like to eventually be.  This is something I have been trying to do consistently as of late, and it has been a great motivator, and a chance to really re-connect with myself.  I suppose that with this being New Year's Day, I do feel a little excitement about what the coming year may bring...I do have plans after all, and am super keen to see how they play out!

But, no pressure.  I am not setting myself up for failure, and I refuse to make any kooky commitments that are unsustainable in the long term.  I know I can't expect to make a complete 180 overnight, especially when it comes to the vices and bad habits I have battled for, I am using this new year as an opportunity to reset my focus, and to devise a plan on how I want to live my life moving forward.  As part of said plan, I am creating a "To LIVE" list.  No resolutions, no to-do list, just a bunch of stuff I think will be fun to live at some point in my life.  So here goes:

My To LIVE list (in no particular order)
1. Learn Spanish
2. Complete my "Culinary Nutrition Expert" course (Spring 2012!)
3. Travel: Italy, Brazil, Bali, Egypt, Greece, Manchu Picchu
4. Complete my Yoga Teacher Certification
5. Visit NYC at Christmastime
6. Start my own company in the health & wellness industry
7. Open a "Nourishment Centre"- with a focus on eating disorder recovery
8. Snorkel
9. Learn to Salsa dance
10. Get published
11. Tour the Niagara On the Lake wineries via bicycle
12. Stay at a yoga ashram (long term, and short term)
13. Learn to sail a boat
14. Run a 1/2 marathon
15. Knit socks, mittens and eventually a sweater
16. Mail 20 love letters
17. Complete a Hot Yoga "30 Day Challenge"

Those are the ideas that come to mind as I sit here on the first day of 2012, a thirty-one year old woman, with intention.  I will not be able to complete this list over the course of the coming year obviously (imagine I could travel to all those places in one year? wowzers!), but I am positive I can and will scratch quite a few off the list before 2013 rolls around.  I have already gotten the ball rolling on a few after all.  I also realize that this list is bound to evolve and change as I do, and am prepared to make alterations as required. 

There are also a few things I hope for when it comes to growing my spiritual self as well, and some ideas I aspire to further explore when it comes to matters of the heart. Plus, there are more than a few emotional hurdles I am focused on leaping masterfully past.  

So, I will set those intentions, and then let them be.  Just like blowing the seeds of a dandelion flower into the wind, I will send my seeds of intention out into the universe, and will not follow.  I will trust that they will land, sow, and grow into what is true and right.  No expectations. 
And guess what?  As I sit and write this post, I realize that I do have one resolution after all.  I hereby resolve to live my 2012 with all the passion, love, awareness, courage, and integrity that I can, and I will try not to be too let down when things don't seem to go my way.  I will take life as it comes, every relationship, challenge and success, a teacher.  It is a time of renewal indeed, and I plan to enjoy every single second, in the here and now.

Happy New Year everyone!!  Light & Love to you all!