30 January 2012

[talk: Life Without A Gallbladder.]

I really am such an idiot sometimes.

I say that - not as an insult, although I can see why someone would think that.  No.  I say that as a wake-up call.

Anyone who reads this blog knows about my journey with trying to have a healthy relationship with food and exercise.  Like most people, women especially, I do well ... then I fall hard and get down on myself ... only to get back to it, and feel good about myself.

But here I am - weighing the most I have in over a year (that's a hard thing to type) - and frustrated by what I feel is a lack of self control.  And, as someone who runs or stationary-bikerides, or does Jillian DVDS ... I wonder just how much MORE I would weigh if I stopped altogether.

This past weekend, I opened up to a few different girls as we had conversations about food and such.  I was really honest about, what I feel, is a sugar addiction.  I don't say that loosely - and again, if you read this blog I have mentioned it before.

But I truly think that it's time for me to get to the heart of the matter.  I mean - why is it that certain triggers make me scour the house for ANY type of sugary snack.  I think that I'm figuring out, it's not about self-control or even about overcoming my incessant need for sugar ... I want to figure out WHY I'm doing it, and stop it there.

This morning I woke up and weighed myself as I do every Monday morning.


I hung my head and knew exactly why the numbers were up ... after a week of skiing and carb-eating and night-time snack eating, I haven't gotten out of the habit.  Then, there was a wedding this weekend, many late nights, no fresh produce around etc.  It all makes sense.

But just before I sat to type this, my stomach was in knots and for some reason - it prompted me to check something online.

See, when I was about 27, I had my gallbladder removed.  I never received any advise on what to do afterwards, and after maybe 3 or 4 months of trying to be careful of high-fat foods, I completely forgot about it.  At 30, I had a new doctor after having Mattias and I don't think I've ever had a conversation with him about it.

For some reason, my bloated stomach and tight-water-retentive-fingers made me search and I ended up reading this online just a few minutes ago.  It was titled "Living Without a Gallbladder":  

"Digestive Enzymes - Take 3-5 capsules at least 15 minutes before each meal. You will need to take enzymes for the rest of your life in order to digest the good fats (Omega 3) which are essential for good health. Reduce chemical overload on the liver (pre-packaged food, personal care products, lawn products, perfumes, cosmetics, etc.)  Drink only filtered water - Try to drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water every day. se a Probiotic - I recommend Latero-Flora (USA) or Flora Food (Australia). Reduce animal intake (meat and dairy) - When consuming animal products make sure they are free-range, organic and hormone-free. Eliminate white sugar and white flour.  Consume a green drink or pills equal to one-two tablespoons daily. Quantum Greens is a good choice.  Activated Charcoal - Some people have found that this helps with symptoms as it helps to sequester bile acid. Chinese Bitters (Chinese Gentian with Bupleurum) in the morning and Coptis with Bupleurum at night to stimulate bile flow. Exercise daily for 30 minutes. Walking is highly suggested.

Following the above suggestions will ensure that your digestive system operates to its fullest and will help to alleviate many of the side-effects from gallbladder removal." 

 * * * * * 

Um.  WHAT??  Ok ... I knew about the enzymes - and honestly, in the last 10 years I've probably taken about 10.  Not good.

I suffer from digestion issues ... and I am a complete moron for not linking the two together.  I am now feeling like I need to treat myself like a diabetic who needs to take necessary insulin.  My body isn't doing what I want it to, because it can't.  Good grief, even the first sentence about not being able to digest Omega3???  UM.  I've been adding Omega3 oils to my morning shake for about a year now **head smack**.  

AND it says to limit dairy, sugar and flour.  And you know what?   When I did that cleanse just before Christmas and went off of everything - I lost 5lbs in one week ... and it's ALL MAKING SENSE now.  

I'm telling you ... I feel like my eyes have been opened.

If I just remind myself that I simply cannot have certain food because my body can't have them - then it becomes more than just a matter of self-control.  It becomes a rule ... and I do RELALY well with rules *grin*!!!  Seriously.  I do.

So.  Today.  I'm going to go to the health food store and buy the necessary digestive enzymes that I need.  I just need to start REMEMBERING to take them.  And a probiotic ... when I do that, the bloating goes, everything runs smoother ...

I actually wonder how bad my liver is ... when I read the entire article, it spoke of how the gallbladder aids the liver - and the liver can survive without it - but it does put strain on it.  Which is why there are all of the suggestions of what not to eat ... to give the liver a break.

Anyway, I am excited about being healthy according to what my body needs/doesn't need.  And we'll see what it does when I treat it the way that it needs to be treated ... 

Seriously.  I'm such an idiot.  And if I forget again, you have full permission to smack me upside the head.  Well.  Maybe not literally *grin*.

And before I go, there are a couple of things going on at my RedHanded Photography Blog.  First - the contest where you could WIN a cowl scarf from Nicole Roberts Designs HERE.  Please follow the contest rules.

Or - if you're not interested in that ... maybe you'd consider lending me your VOTE for a People's Choice award HERE.  I would be so grateful!

OR ... maybe you'd like to check out my entry for the "O So Silly" photo contest I entered with little Eli ... and the cricket in his mouth.  Seriously.  You can see that HERE.

Ok ... that's it.  Time to exercise, get dressed and GO GET SOME ENZYMES *grin*.

Have a great one!

24 January 2012

[talk: Nobody Plans on Dying.]

On Sunday night, after a God-filled church service, a few of us headed to McDonalds to let the kiddies have some fun and so we could chat and maybe have a ... sundae *grin*.  As we were chatting, one of my friends mentioned how her hubby lost both his mother and father within a couple of months - and how she couldn't believe the costs of a funeral.

Now ... my dad is in the financial industry - to which my hubby and brother are now both equal partners of the brokerage.  I say that, because I grew up in a home where I knew a lot about life insurance, disability insurance and wills.  I had my first life insurance policy when I was a pre-teen at a monthly rate of $12.13/month.   I knew about savings, about financial order ... and when I used to ask my dad what his favourite part of his job was, he would say it was when he presented a widow/widower with a much needed, unexpected cheque.  He was, and still is, the guy who brings some joy in a very hard time ... 

Now ... no one PLANS on dying.  I mean, we all know that we're going to ... but - like - later, right?  Much later??  We think that we have some sort of right to live to the age of 80 and see our children's children.

But realistically, we also know that's not true.

But the time we reach our 30's, most of us have encountered the loss of someone that was completely unexpected.   Either through an accident or illness, or perhaps through another terrible circumstance.  But we all know ... we ARE going to die.

So as I sat there, with this incredible group of people, I was literally shocked at hearing how some didn't have life insurance ... how some didn't have a will.  There is NO exaggeration when I say this ... I was literally panicked for them.

See ... what most people don't realize, is that a verbal agreement, "hey - would you take our kids if we bite the dust" - doesn't quite cut it.  Not even a little bit.  In fact, if you have children - and do not have a legal will/document stating where your children are to go, they go straight into the foster care system.  (This is for Canada, I must add ...).  This matter has nothing to do with life insurance.

And ... if you don't have life insurance and have debt of any sort - oh, please - please get some.    Just the mere cost of a funeral can put family members back for years with costs.  Life insurance is not meant to make another person rich.  It's to take care of YOUR stuff.  And a will isn't meant to be a burden - it's to RELIEVE the burden of those who are grieving after you're gone ... 

Now, you may say, "... but I don't have children" or whatever.  Again, this is simply how I was raised - but I believe that anyone who has ANY assets/debts of any kind needs to have their finances in order so at the time of their death it doesn't become a loved one's burden.  This means having both life insurance and an active will.

I know of a LOT of people who find the whole "will process" a big headache.  They can't decide what happens to their stuff, or worse - who "gets" their kids.  Sometimes the person they want to take responsibility, doesn't want to.  That just means, they need to find someone else.  Ignoring it is not going to make it better ... ignorance is not bliss.  And thinking, "oh, my kids are 12 now ... they can speak up for themselves" ... do NOT leave your most valuable assets - your kids - be left to fend for themselves.  Be a parent and make the right choices for them.

And, this may also be brand-new news to you - but if your child goes on a missions trip at 17 to a 3rd world country (like Uganda or Zambia), without life insurance - it can potentially be detrimental to their future eligibility for life insurance.  Many 3rd world illnesses can lay dormant for many, many years - and Life Insurance companies simply don't want to take that risk.  

Please check into that with your financial advisor or person who handles those matters.  Again, I am NOT a professional in this matter, but I am hoping to spark some conversation with you and your loved ones ... to go and have your questions answered by a reputable financial planner.

I really, really hope that everyone who reads this takes is seriously.  I only say it because I care ... truly.

I ALSO want to add that this is a very common thing - that is, people that are not prepared.  Most, actually, are not.  If you are NOT prepared, please-please know that this is not an insult to you or your situation in any way.  You are the norm.  But, as I said, I hope that this at least sparks conversation and that you and your loved one will find a solution that works for you.

Have a great one ... don't go dyin' on me *grin*.

20 January 2012

[cool products: Things I'm Loving. Now.]

** this was written on Thursday, January 20 2012 ... and as a little update, after last night's worship practice and the kids tucked into bed, I watched "The Biggest Loser" and circuit trained with the stationary bike, free weights, floor-ab exercises and jumping jacks.  Felt MUCH better after some sweat.   But, my sugar addiction is calling me ... **

A few things to start off ... 

I am, once again, addicted to sugar.  I actually had a mind-blowing headache this morning, and popped (literally) 8 halloween-sized chocolate bars in my mouth.  One after the other.  And now my headache is gone.

How sick is that??

The cold weather isn't helping (it's -6Cdegrees here).  It makes me want to eat carbs and do nothing.  Well ... nothing, in a form of exercise.  So annoying since I was just starting to get back into running last week.

Why is it such a battle?  Some days I have such control ... only to lose it, along with all dignity, the next day.  One moment I feel wise, the next ... a fool.

Ah yes ... life.  Just keepin' it real here ... and I'm going to start again.  Right now ... and I'm going to brave the sugar-headache.  I think.

ANYway ... onto what I really wanted to write about ... 

FUN things *grin*.

Now ... I'm far from a beauty, far from a style-diva.  But there are things that I've found as of late that I'm really loving and thought maybe, just maybe, you'd like 'em too.

Skin Tint FX:  This is a mineral-based makeup that has literally change my perspective on makeup.  See ... I've been using a moisturizing SPF tint for years now ... and within a couple of hours, I was shiny and icky.  I was told about this product from the girl at Shoppers Drug Mart and WOW.  I bought it just before the Christmas Production and was AMAZED at how I never had to retouch ... even between shows.  My make stays, matte, all.day.long.  And it's SPF 30.  TRUE.  (Mine is in colour "E" ... light.)

Conceal FX:  Why.  Of course, the perfect match to my new skin-tint-mineral-makeup.  And seriously.  This stuff actually CHANGES colour to match your own.  No lie.  I'm amazed every time I put it on ...

L'Oreal Infallible Lipgloss:  This winter I had a "look" *blush*.  I know, it sounds silly.  But I loved the ruby-red lips and gold-glitter eyes for the Christmas season.  This lipgloss is fantastic.  It doesn't move.  Not even after singing for 2 hours in the Christmas production *grin*.  It can feel "sticky" and isn't really a moisturizing balm, but hey - it stays.  I like #315 in "Rebel Red".

TippyThai Handmade Bags:  I found this shop on Etsy and ordered this amazing bag!!  I love it, love it, love it.  It's made out of "wipeabe" material, it's grey and red ... lots of zippers.  Oh, it's so great.  It was lovely to toss out my ripped-fake-leather-icky-bag.

Slumdog Millionaire:  Ok.  I just might be the only person in the world that hadn't seen this movie, but last Saturday night my hubby and I put on NetFlix and watched this incredible film in amazement.  Wow.  If you haven't seen it - it's disturbing and wonderful all at the same time.  I really enjoyed it ...


That's it for now ... and if you haven't already - head over to my RedHanded Photography blog HERE for a chance to WIN a coveted cowl scarf by the amazing Nicole Roberts Designs.

The winner will be announced on Wednesday, February 1 2012.  Thanks for entering, and be sure to follow the contest RULES to be eligible to WIN!

Have a great one!!

19 January 2012

[redhandedphotography: Who Wants to Win?]


Ok friends ... I have something VERY cool brewing over at my RedHanded Photography Blog.  A contest with a cool prize, no matter WHERE you live *grin*.

Interested??  Oh, I hope you are!!  It's taken a whack-load of time to get it up and running ...

So, here's the link:  Redhanded Photography Blog: contest: Who Wants to Win?

Follow the directions, and YOU could win!!

Have a great one!

17 January 2012

[talk: My 2012 "Word".]

For the last few years, I've asked the Lord for a "word" for the year.  One word ... a word that would keep me focused on His plan for my life.  Two years ago, it was "perspective".  And I can tell you truthfully that it was a powerful year for me in growth.  Last year, it was "intention".  I believe many things happened in my marriage, in my friendships, and in my role as a mother because of this word.  I found myself asking, "why am I doing this?  what's my motive?" so many times.  It was good ... Some days I was proud of myself and some days ... well.  I failed *smile*.  Glad He picks me up over and over again.

This year?  Well ... it's a strange thing.  Why?  Because I actually told a friend a couple of months ago what my "word" was.  And now?  I'm not sure if it's the same one *blush*.  Oh brother.  But this word that I've chosen now has been confirmed to me over and over and over as of late.

It is:  "generous".

We all know that having a generous heart is not really a money-thing.  It's not even a tangible gift-giving thing.  Having a generous spirit, to me, is seeing a need and meeting it with the resources that I have.  Whether it be financial, relational or hospitable ... whether through prayer, time or effort.


I find myself, as I do every year, challenged in more ways than one by my "word".  I'm a saver ... so giving money away when I would, perhaps, rather see it go elsewhere ... it's a challenge.   And being generous, to me, doesn't mean that it's easy ... for example, my hubby and I really like to host.  We like to be generous with those in our home ... but what about being generous to those outside of our circle.  What is God calling us, calling me, to do?  What does being generous really mean?

I think about my day-to-day.  My time is sacred ... I'm organized and have things set to the minute.  What about being generous with my time ... even if it's not convenient?

Oh, I'm thinking it's going to be a year of stretching for me, if I allow Him to do what He's planning.  But I believe that it's going to be a great year too.  I have many dreams of being better at who I am, of increasing the depths of wonderful relationships, of setting goals and meeting them with His help.  I want to stretch myself ... be wiser, healthier, friendlier.  I want to look at myself this time next year and see growth.  See change ... see fruit.

Last night I was reading the Word and this verse leapt off the page, without any plan on my part.  Again, it was such a confirmation to me:  

1John 3:17 ... "... if anyone has material possessions and sees a 
brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, 
how can the love of God be in that person?  Dear Children, 
let us not love with words or speech, 
but with actions and in truth."

Being generous.

And I guess now that you've read this, being accountable too *smile*.

Have a great one.

16 January 2012

[vacations: Sun Peaks 2012.]

It's an annual thing ... 

Every year we head up to Sun Peaks, just outside of Kamloops BC, with my folks.  It's been a little family tradition for many years - back when my nieces were able to miss a few days of school, and long before we had our own kids.

But now, it's our turn to enjoy the slopes with our little family and it truly, truly is one of the highlights of our year.  After a very busy Christmas and New Years (we have 4 family birthdays in 7 days from the 25th to the 1st!) ... we look forward to some "forced" quiet time.

Mattias has been skiing for ... two years?  I think?  Last year both boys were in ski schools and such ... so we weren't sure what to expect for this year - but they were both really excited.

Our first day was on the Bunny Hill, "Gentle Giant".  Tias zoomed down after a couple of goes, and weaved onto the off-trails just a bit (as much as you can on a bunny hill *grin*.  Siah?  Cried.  Hated it. 


For day two, we decided to get Siah a 1hour lesson with Teresa.  She was his ski-school teacher last year, and he was SO excited to see her again.

Honestly ... it was amazing what one hour with her did for him.

So while Siah had his lesson - Lu, Tias and I followed along.  Tias would race down, catch the t-bar up, and catch up to wherever we were on the Bunny Hill.

By the end ... they were exhausted.

And SO proud of themselves.

I was in charge of all of the meals and our evenings were spent in the hot-tub, playing games and watching movies ... 

Josiah won the "Sorry" game.  Fair and square.  He just about lost his mind, he was so happy *grin*. 

And Katia?  Well ... next year she'll be joining us on the slopes.  But right now, she isn't potty trained  - so we decided to wait one more year. 

By day three, Siah was already going on the chair lift to the TOP.  We did "Rambler", the boy's favourite green run ... over and over and over.  It was the perfect run for us ... lots of trails and small jumps for Tias (and Lu *wink*) and smooth sailing down for Josiah.

Can you see the boys in front of Lu on the hill?

This was SO funny.  Lu was showing Tias a trail, put his pole down for some grip and the pole sank down into the snow - and Lu leaned and fell over.  It was impossible to get up - and the boys and I were laughing SO hard.  And so was Lu.

Tias had two 1hr lessons as well ... best thing we could've done for both boys.  I'm a big fan of teachers who teach well.  Teresa is one of those people (and she's finished up her education degree back east ... you can sure tell).

Then, we had to say good-bye to my parents.  Tias cried (he always does).  He loves SO much.  

But, everyone was really excited for our friends the V's to come join us for a few nights.  Their three kids were awesome ... and it was like a brand-new time away.

Mattias and Owen ... Now.  Let me tell you ... this kid  can ski BLACK runs, straight down - no fear.  He's incredible.  And was such a great little friend to Tias.  It was positive peer pressure at its best, and Tias did his best to keep up.  Owen was kind enough to do blue runs with us - and then he went off with the dads to the black runs later *grin*.

I love how the dads were on one side of the lift ... tiiiiiiiiilt.

Debbie and I hung out with the girls and Josiah.  It was sunny, pretty warm and so much fun. At least for the first day of skiing with them ... the second?  Snow ... like icing sugar.

The kids (dads!) built a slide into the hottub out of snow.  I didn't try it ... no thank you.  But they loved it.

The nights were full of family time ...

And they even built a toboggan run in the back too ...

It was a fantastic way to spend the first week of 2012.  A massive "thanks" to my parents for bringing us up, once again, and for blessing our friends with a little weekend get-away too.  It was just what we needed to regroup and slow down  ... 

Can't wait for next year!!

08 January 2012

[talk: Drowning.]

HELLO 2012!

Guess what?  It's PURGE week *grin*!!!

Oh yes, my friends ... I purge the house a lot - but after the Christmas hustle and bustle, I get itchy to get the extra stuff out.

We are blessed to have so many in our lives who's "love language" is gift giving.  Oh my goodness, the little things - the big things ... Christmas can be overwhelming with two families like ours.  Overwhelming in a truly fantastic way.

So ... January is purge month.  Out with the old, making room for the new. I will be going through closets (yes, it feels like I JUST did this ... but with growing kids, it needs to happen often); I'll be going through toy bins (eek ... broken toys, bits-of-toys, no longer-played-with-toys);  I'll be getting rid of things that we no longer need, things that will bless others, things that just take up room.

I know ... you hear this a lot from me.

But I find that as soon as I begin to feel like I'm drowning in extra-stuff, everything goes downhill for me. I start to eat more, and move less.  I start to feel down on myself.  I stop getting into the Word and feel a distance in my spiritual life.  And when I'm unhappy with myself, my home feels it.

The good thing is that I recognize it now - before I feel like I can't get up for air.  And I had a fanTAStic week with my family last week (more to post on that later) ... and now I have come home feeling behind, overwhelmed and ... drowning.

So - how am I going to beat it?

Well ... I'm going to look at the things that clutter up my home and clutter up my life and say, "you're not welcome here" and it's going feel like fresh air.


And I signed up for my first 10km race for next month.


That'll help *wink* ... 

And over on my RHP site ... another "I Heart Faces" challenge.  You can check it out HERE.

Have a great one ... and happy 2012!!