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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.

Friday, February 24, 2012


4:30am, Friday.  I am at work. I hop on my email and read my daily astrological prediction delivered to my inbox via Mr. Phil Booth.  It reads as follows:

Scorpio- Friday, February 24, 2012
You’ve expanded your level of wisdom as a result of your many mistakes. The universe has taught you that the key to happiness is the ability to smile in the face of trouble. Get these in the right balance and you will grow braver, stronger and luckier. Your strong sense of purpose will attract the good fortune you now need.

Jeepers, tell me something I DON'T know.  Upon deeper evaluation, I can suppose that the universe is simply saying that I need to seek even more balance in my life; strive for more of the greatness I have been gravitating towards; push myself even harder to succeed.

I can do that.  With a smile.  OR several.  :)


Monday, February 20, 2012

Bullets, Butterflies & Italy

Meg Donkers.  Has a nice ring to it, huh?  Do you know her?  I do!  Intimately...

You see, "Meg Donkers" is a Dutch foreign exchange student, existing in character, and forever immortalized in print, as part of the fabulous new novel entitled "Bullets, Butterflies, & Italy" by author John Meyer.   

And since you are probably wondering, Meg is named after moi.  And Donkers?  Well that glorious surname comes courtesy my mother's family, whom immigrated to Canada back in 1953.  She and her six siblings traveled here from Holland via a massive vessel named "The Waterman", all bearing the Donkers name.  My Opa and Oma (who was 6 months pregnant at the time of the journey!) were the cutest and sweetest old couple there ever was, and the greatest grandfolk a gal could ever want (although, I couldn't understand a lick of what they said to me most of the time!).  I will be eternally grateful to them for making the trek to this great country, and allowing my mother all of the opportunities she was blessed with, making it possible for my parents to eventually find one another, and fall in deeply and madly in love...together creating the new "Pearson-Donkers" collective.  My family.

Anyway, back to the book.  You should read it.  And just how did I manage to finagle my family names into the published work?  Well you'll have to check out this video for the answer!  (John was a guest on my TV show to promote his novel, and we shot this post-visit)  Enjoy!

For more information on "Bullets, Butterflies and Italy, check out John's website:

Friday, February 17, 2012

I miss

I miss my dad.  Today was just one of those hard days.  I thought of him often.  I was witness to many reminders that he is gone, reflected on all the moments we have lost.  Vivid memories of times past flooded my mind with excitement, convincing me that all was well; surreal images of a healthy man, teaching, talking, being.

It is so easy to forget the sadness when enthralled in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  But eventually it arrives, shoring up like a tsunami, its massive waves thundering onto land, destroying all that gets in harms way.  Next comes the numbing pain that simply punches you in the stomach so hard you can't breathe.  And then it's pure anger, the final thrusting of a massive dagger into the heart, the final hit that takes you down, if only for a second.

It just doesn't seem fair.  

I love my pops, and dammit I miss having him around.  

Sometimes all that can heal is a real good cry.  So tonight I say, thank you tears.  I will sleep better now that we have had our time to grieve together.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Day 31

I did it!  Yup, today marks the official end to my 30 day challenge.  Day 31.  I have managed to stay “dry” for over 4 weeks, and I have to say, it was much easier than I had ever anticipated.

A month ago, I went into this personal challenge feeling both determined and fearful.  If you read my previous post that introduced my reasons for taking this trip into teetotaling, I think you will understand why.  I was terrified that I was going to embark down a very bumpy road, unaware of what lie ahead as I moved through loose and uneven gravel.  I suspected that while on this sober straight, I might discover that I did indeed have issues around alcohol; that my having to abstain would be next to impossible.  I was so scared that I would learn some more dark personal secrets and be forced to live within my addictive self for a time…

But, happily, that is not how things played out.  Nope!  It was super easy!  As each day passed, and I got more and more used to my life sans wine, I began feeling better, brighter, and even more inspired to keep it up.   I drank a TON of tea, had a lot of time to reflect, read, and rejoice, and have come through this challenge a stronger woman for it. 

I could go home tonight and pour myself a big glass of Bordeaux.  Or, not.  I don’t think I will need that "well-deserved" drink.  I never did, and never will.  I was fully planning on cracking open a bottle of bubbly to celebrate my success, but now that idea does seem a tad contradictory, huh?  So I will most likely just go home, grab some dinner, and pour my ritual cup of chocolaty chai, and toast my achievement with a big old piece of dark chocolate. 

From now on when it comes to imbibing simply to enjoy it, I will.  After all, it is the simple pleasures in life that are most sublime, and I think that I have officially developed a new relationship with my old crutch.  And this relationship is going to be a healthy one.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Falling in, being in, feeling  Is there anything better in life, really?  I don't think so.

I have decided to write about this topic for various reasons, the most obvious being that Valentine’s Day is almost upon us; that one special day each year that we as human beings, are hard-wired to display our appreciation for the one that we love in standard or old stand-by, over-the-top, expensive, silly, and sometimes completely outlandish ways.  I am writing this post at a time when I am also preparing to face said holiday in a very new and special relationship.  At its best, this new courtship has filled me with fervor, wrapped me in warmth, and supplied me with plenty of the strength and stability I've been longing for.  At its worst, it has left me yearning, feeling vulnerable, and has at times been explosive, raw, and sometimes abusive.  You see, I have only just recently fallen in love.  I have spent the better part of the last year developing and nurturing every aspect of this bond, as it is, and will always be the most important relationship I will ever have.  And the object of my affection this time, is me.

It has been a long road, but I think I have finally found the respect, love, and compassion for myself that my ego has held captive for many, many years.  I have, over the course of this past year, allowed myself the chance to enjoy my own company, really feel my body and all it can do for me, and finally figured out how to simply honour me for me.  I am finally learning what it feels like to be complete.  Whole.  Happy.  And in love.  

Now, this is not to say that this new love I have discovered in any way overshadows the all knowing love that transpires between two people who meet and meld their lives together in the romantic type of way.  No, these are two vastly different affairs.  But I have finally discovered the important truth that one needs to first love oneself fully before they can completely give themselves to another.  In relationships, both parties need to be quite evolved as individuals, and then and only then, can their love blossom into the most beautiful, healthy, and everlasting union there ever was.     

I know what it feels like to be totally and completely in love with a man, enamored to the point where the world-stops-turning.  Oh yes, it is divine.  First with the butterflies, the newness of it all so thrilling and unpredictable.  Then there’s the infatuation; pure lust, ecstasy, the inability to think of anyone or anything thing else.  Pure euphoria.  The constant desire to touch, smell, see, hear, and be with that person...ah, the honeymoon stage.  Then later come the little notes, actions, and words that have the power to make me smile regardless of my state of mind.  The sharing of ideas, supporting of dreams, and the fueling of forward momentum as a team.  The purely romantic gestures from the heart that mean oh so much, and continually change life for the better.  Not needing to always be "right", unwavering acceptance, taking pleasure in the "quirks".  The laughter, tears, silliness, drama, and pointed connection deeper and more true than any other. The simple day to day interactions, the comfort, the quiet, the stillness.  All of it so perfect and a part of the glorious package that is true and lasting love...
Love needs to be cared for.  You need to actively participate one hundred percent, one hundred percent of the time, lest the flame will inevitably begin to smolder on at least one side of the fire.  I know this to be true.  Love needs to be fanned, fueled, and felt fully, lest it be taken for granted and forgotten. 

Like I said at the top of this post, there really is nothing better than being in love.  And now that I am happily in relationship with my own self, I am excited to see what happens when I am able to again dip into my heart's stores of affection, share my joy, and feel that rapture with another.  I look forward to being able to crack open my core, and expose that energy, a pulse of passion just waiting for the opportunity to flow from my heart and into the arms of another once again.

So there you have it.  Just my thoughts, unedited, spontaneous, and true.  I am by no means any type of expert in this arena, so if you don't agree with my musings, that is well and good.  This is simply what I believe I have learned, and what I believe to be true at this moment.  Does it all sound just too mushy?  Well I don't care if it does.  Because as it turns out, I like mush.   

Happy Valentine's Day!

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."
- Lao Tzu

"Immature love says: 'I love you because I need you.' Mature love says 'I need you because I love you.'
- Erich Fromm  

"True self-love requires radical self-reflection."
- Gabrielle Bernstein

Sunday, February 5, 2012

February Fabs!

Wow, I can't believe it is February 5th already!  Where the heck did January go?  I suppose I can sum it up with the age old adage of time does fly when you are having fun!

Yup, I feel like I have been going at mach 10 for the last few weeks, running around 24-7, just trying to live and love life to the max.  I have been keeping busy with my show, busting my butt with my Booty Camp sessions, squeezing in runs, yoga and reading at every free moment, and have also taken on a few little side projects with some pals in need of some support and love. 

So what else did January bring? Well for starters, a nasty cold!  I have been pretty much sidelined with a bad virus for the most of this past week, and today is probably one of the worst I've had with it so far.  I can't help but wonder if this little bug of mine is just my body's way of telling me to take things down a notch, even if just for a moment.  I bet that my dear old immune system is likely going through some major shifts right now, as my vegan diet is still somewhat new, and my thirty day detox from booze (and coffee!) is still going strong.  I will also admit that I have not been banking optimal hours in the sack in recent days either, and we all know that sleep is key in keeping things running tickity-boo as far as health and wellness goes!  It's just that my mind has been spinning and whirling with such amazing thoughts and ideas, and when I finally lay down at night, I just can't seem to shut myself off!  This month I plan to give myself ample unwind time in the evening, and will also take a moment to write down my thoughts and inspirations before hopping under the covers. 

So. January.  What else?  Well, I completed the first four weeks of Booty Camp, and this week I start into my final eight sessions.  However, instead of doing the standard two classes per week, I will be doing three for the next two weeks!  I need to make up for a few camps that I will be missing due to my upcoming Florida vacation, so I will be getting booty-blasted on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights!  Can anyone say ouch?!  The benefits far outweigh the pain however, and not only have I muscled up an inch on both my biceps and quads and am feeling totally energized, but now there is an additional motivation to get my adrenaline pumping; Sammie Kennedy and the good folks at Booty Camp Fitness are offering recruits like me a chance to tag along on their next workout DVD shoot, and this year it's happening in November in gorgeous Panama.  It just so happens that I will be due for some time off from work by that point, plus my 32nd birthday falls in that same month.  So what better way to celebrate?  I have registered for my audition at the end of March, and I am bound and determined to be my strongest, healthiest, and most confident self when it's time to step it up in front of those judges!

I have also added another neat-o thing to my list of "to-lives" for 2012: I am going to ride in the Toronto 50km "Becel Ride for Heart" with my company's corporate team.  And get this; it sounds like I am going to be "the face" promoting Shaw Media and The Morning Show's push for donations.  I hear that there may be a few personalized TV promos running, so watch for the PSA's on GlobalTV starring yours truly!  The plan is to get me some proper training as I have never done any real endurance riding before, and if all goes well I am hoping to knock my ride up to the 75km route before game day.  Stay tuned for lots more details on this one folks!

Yes, January has been fruitful, and I can definitely say I managed to gain a lot of perspective and personal power, and partook in plenty of pleasure.  I also had a few small successes that are just as important, like being able to round up a food dehydrator (thanks mom!) and a veggie and rice steamer (both must-haves for my upcoming Culinary Nutrition Course), and I have buzzed through a few books on my reading list.  I am back doing Bikram Yoga, a practice that I have missed sorely since I stopped going last Spring, and will plan to complete a 30 Day challenge there sometime this year as well!  This month also brought me a few great introductions to some very talented people, all of whom I hope to further develop meaningful relationships with as time goes by.  

A couple of other notes:

Happy news!  A dear friend is expecting a baby!  I found out in January that I'm soon to be Tita Meg!  

And some sad news.  My mother recently put down our dear old dog Jake, as he was just too old and frail to keep around any longer.  Jake was my Dad's buddy for close to 14 years, and after a full life keeping watch over our family, it was finally his time to go too.  Now Man and Man's Best Friend have been reunited in the afterlife, and I am sure that they have already spent many hours hiking outdoorsy trails in the forests of heaven.  Now that's a happy thought. (I love you dad!)

Yes, overall I think it's fair to say that January pretty much rocked, and even though it seemed to whiz by at warp speed, I am super stoked to carry on from where the January Jazz left off, and fluidly flow into the February Fabs with all the passion and pizazz Pearson-ly possible.  

Here we go!