(Thank you to Kelly from Little Blue Canoe for sending me this quote)
ICYMI – Around 10 days ago, my engagement ended. As did my relationship. It’s been heart breaking, overwhelming, shocking and sad. But, in the short time I have had to digest this life-altering change, there are a number of lessons I have learned. Some I already knew, but this unfortunate decision made my belief in them stronger. Others, wow — Never did I think they would be a part of my story. Most, I can relate to my battle with chronic illness for I always knew it was making me a more resilient, loving and grateful person.
Mine was: I am not worthy.
It was the “Why me?”, “Please make it stop.”, “I can’t handle this” feelings that had me stuck in cycles of grief every time I had a migraine. A year ago, I would still be going through these ups and downs every. single. migraine. Not now.
Now, I have looked beyond the migraine, journal-ed my way through each stage of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally made it through to the final stage — acceptance.
I thought I was making myself a lovely elixir to help me fall asleep. Instead I’m sitting here awake at 5 am writing this to you because I completely forgot cacao could act as a stimulant. Oops!
In the end, what was a happy accident it was!
This creamy, hot chocolate-esque elixir is:
Having a high-quality vegan protein powder on hand is very important to me. It's a way for me to get protein into my diet when I may not feel super hungry (aka migraine time). Why vegan? Whey-based protein powders are a no-no for those of us with lactose intolerance!
After scanning the grocery store and health food store shelves, I would always walk disappointed and frustrated there wasn't an option that would work for me and my nutritional needs (Dairy-free and unsweetened). Especially when new yogurt brands and flavours seemed to be popping up on the daily.
Then Yoso came into my life and my yogurt game has been forever changed! Their products are a person with specific nutritional requirements dream. They are: GMO free, vegan, gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, egg free, peanut free, free from preservatives, carrageenan free and casein free.
What began with me lusting over their brightly-coloured, fun Instagram feed turned into a full-blown love affair when I tasted their probiotic cold-pressed juices and bars.
1) They come in flavours I absolutely ADORE.
2) They list the potassium content on their labels which is crucial for a #migrainewarrior.
I think of this quote every time I'm cooking with Drizzle Honey or popping by their offices to say hi.
Drizzle honey is raw, sophisticated, sustainable and oozing with the love of founder, Aja Horsley.
Since becoming a Manitoba Harvest Hemp Ambassador, hemp hearts have become a part of my daily routine. I make breakfasts, lunches, dinners and treats with them because of their amazing nutritional benefits.
Each 30g serving of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts contains:
Warm water, peacefulness, a good book and a Bare Skin Bar complete the picture!
Since discovering Bare Skin Bars last year, there hasn't been a bath bomb since that I love as much. Made in British Columbia, these bars are sustainably-made in small batches from amazing ingredients that vary according to the flavour of your bar (Find the ingredient list here). What I love is that they're all free from preservatives, parabens/phthalates (commonly found in fragrance oils), and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)/sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS).
Living with chronic illness, I don't drink alcohol often nor do I sip on sugar-laden beverages. Luckily, the world of kombucha has exploded and I have a local favourite who has supported A Lush Life since it's earliest beginnings — Wild Tea Kombucha!
LocalBoom is a full-circle, sustainable shopping website. When you buy online through LocalBoom, you not only support the local entrepreneur, but the community as well. A portion of each sale is donated back into the community, whether that’s through donating bars of soap to a homeless shelters or monetary contributions to local charities supported by LocalBoom customers.
I can still remember the day and night before the site and my first blog post went live on Jan. 13, 2017. I was nervous wreck, barely slept and was SO excited to start sharing my recipes and skin care/beauty reviews with you. Only nine months in and I made a big change to the blog — I started talking about my chronic illnesses. I had no idea what the response would be but I knew it would make the blog more authentic. And, let me say, I am BLOWN AWAY by the love, support and encouragement you have shown me. I couldn't ask for a better community that is growing by the day!
You know the saying “Keep your friends close but your enemies closer?” Well, my health invaders, migraines, anxiety and depression, and I have become uncomfortably close again this fall. You may have noticed my blogs in November have been less frequent and the posts a little shorter. This is simply because fall is my worst time of year for migraines.
For the past three years, I’ve lived in a constant state of migraine for most of October, November and December. The first year I coined, “Death December” and last year became “Fuck All Fall”. This year’s theme? “Why didn’t I see this coming?”
Adding to the clichés, it was easy for me to think “third times the charm” and this #migraineseason would be smooth sailing.
#migraineseason has hit and I’ve been in and out of bed for the past few weeks. With this, my anxiety has also risen so I’ve focused on health and self-care rather than my blog. But, you’re the most understanding group out there and have supported me nonetheless! So, for that, I thank you!
Now on to my new favourite recipe — one that has helped me because migraines definitely give me chocolate cravings! Luckily, I’ve added some protein and the recipe is low sugar so I don’t feel bad indulging one bit!
As a chronic illness sufferer, you are bound to have bad days.
To cope, I’ve learned acceptance, found ways to reduce anxiety and taken time out for my health.
In essence, I’ve learned to be kinder to myself — to show myself love in the moments when I feel like I don’t deserve it.
But, it’s on those “bad days” that it takes extra effort. Today, on World Kindness Day, I wanted to take the time to say it’s just as important to be kind to yourself as it is to be kind to others.
Kindness starts with YOU.
What isn’t fair game though is winter skin care. If you haven’t hit the day when it feels like all the moisture has been sucked out your skin, then I applaud you for living in a humid climate — you’ve already won half the battle!
For the rest us, or those traveling to different climates, winter can wreak havoc on our skin. It can feel tight, dry, flaky, red, irritated, and the cold can worsen blemishes.
When the seasons change, it’s a good time to re-evaluate your skin care routine and make a few tweaks. It can be as simple as changing a product or stepping up your regime to get your glow back. If you don’t already have a skin care routine, it’s a good time to start!
I have five tips and tricks that I like to review every winter to make sure my skin is prepped for freezing temperatures, blizzards and even warm fires and increased indoor temperatures. And now, I’m ready to reveal my secrets to you!
Three years ago, almost exactly, I made a radical decision in my life.
It was time to focus on my health.
The decision didn’t come easily. I had a dream job, loved the people I worked with, was using the skills I attended university for and had just started a wonderful new relationship. Yet, my health was robbing me from the joy of experiencing it all.
I was in a constant cycle of migraines and anxiety. I wasn’t being a fair co-worker — my sick leaves put other people under more pressure. Adding on additional responsibility at work made me feel unworthy and useless instead of valued and respected because I was constantly worried I wasn’t doing a good enough job due to my health.