Goals, Desires, Dreams…

We all have goals, we all have desires and call me an optimist but I hope we all have dreams. This sounds magical but let’s take it to the dark side and look a little deeper.

How long have you had these goals?

Why haven’t you attained or achieved what you desire?

How close are you to making your dreams a reality?

I am asking you because this is a HOT TOPIC in my life right now. Maybe you are like me and you have evolving dreams, desires and goals. And maybe you are also like me and aren’t always 100% sure what the path is to achieving these.

I would love to see your thoughts on these questions in the comments. It can be scary and sometimes when we tell ourselves the truth or be too honest with ourselves it can hurt a little. If you feel more comfortable to chat with me privately send me a message. In our heart of hearts we want to be great, do great and feel great but sometimes we can get in our own way. Let’s get out of the way and turn the dreaming into doing.

Maybe it’s diet, maybe it’s exercise, maybe it’s career, maybe it’s a new parenting style, maybe it’s a new relationship. Doing is doing and roadblocks can be so similar despite the goals/dreams being different.

So comment or send a message, either way I would love to hear your struggles and achievements. I’m always ready to learn something 🙂

Today's Workshop :)

I can’t thank the women enough that took time out of their Saturday to participate in my workshop at Royal Roads University! I had a great afternoon sharing my passion and knowledge. They showed up with open minds, curiosity, and their own experiences that they were willing to share with me.

I always learn something new from a workshop, maybe it’s a new doctor’s name for me to add to my research repertoire, maybe it’s a recipe hack, or maybe it’s a lifestyle challenge that I had never considered before. I will always be a life long learner and it invigorates me to engage with other interested souls!

Happy 2020

a year from now

Happy New Year!  I bet you’re excited to read yet another inspirational blog post to start the new year.  New year, new you.  Daily affirmations of positivity.  Setting goals that create results.  Loving yourself enough to make the time.  New Year resolutions.  Quotes, MEMEs, etc.   On the surface these are all a nice part of beginning a new year and with the right mindset many of them work.  But in reality, most of them are designed to get your money and often times they are playing off the disappointment you feel for not implementing these goals and changes last year.

…or the year before.

Don’t get me wrong a new year is a great time to start something new but not out of guilt, obligation or media peer pressure.  If you are starting something new that fills your bucket, checks your boxes and/or adds something to your soul then the new year,  the start of a month or middle of a week… are all great times to start 🙂

If you weren’t doing it last year then why do you want to do it this year?

What makes this a good time for change?

IT IS OK NOT TO MAKE ANY CHANGES!

Maybe you feel great about last year, maybe status quo is optimal for you and that’s great!

I genuinely extend  to you a Happy 2020… may this new decade bring you all you desire.  May you have the motivation to implement the changes you want and the strength to be realistic and not succumb to the peer pressure marketing that promises that new and improved you.  Maybe you don’t need to be new?  And if you need to be improved then it will take work, effort and the right influence and information.  So start today, start next week or just keep on keeping on. You decide what is right for you and this new decade will be what we make of it!

You’re hired!! …oh wait I forgot to ask

Imagine you have a job that needs to be done. There are multiple candidates that can do the job but as we all know they won’t do it in the same way.  So we interview.  We ask questions.

Q: Have you done this job before?

Q: Did you succeed in getting this job done?

Q: What are your strengths?

Q: What are your weaknesses?

Q: Why should I hire you over another candidate?

Q: Will you improve my company or will I have to hire someone to repair your damage?

Maybe you can see where I’m going with this…

Imagine if we thought of our food in this way.  What job do I need done?  Do I need to stay full for hours, am I bored and need something in a bowl that’s in 100 pieces so I can slowly eat one at a time, do I want to drink from a straw while I drive, something sweet, something salty, something fresh?  All of these are jobs that we require food to fulfill and we use the word “want” as a blanket statement.  “I ate that because I wanted to, because I  didn’t want to be hungry, because I want to be healthy”.  In reality it is the job that we want done.

I have to admit that this genius isn’t mine alone, I watched a video this morning about market research and how they conduct it. Considering all my thoughts around food and how we view it, this seemed relevant.

I’m not imagining that we will interview each piece of food we eat but if we just thought to ourselves for a moment before choosing something.

Q: What problem am I trying to solve with food?

Q: What problems will I create based on the choices I make?

Q: Will my choice provide positive or negative side effects?

Q: Are those effects worth this moment?

Don’t hire an electrician to install your bathroom sink, don’t hire a banana for a child’s birthday party, and don’t hire a bag of chips and a coke to nourish your body for the remaining work day hours.

Conduct thoughtful interviews when it comes to the workforce you hire to nourish your body. 

80/20 …not the Pareto Principle

 Perfection is not attainable, nobody is perfect nor should we even try to be.

In case you are not familiar with the Pareto Principle it states that 80% of the results you get come from %20 of the work that you do.  This is NOT the case with food.  %100 of the food you eat creates %100 of the results you get.  But that’s just not practical, that’s not real life.  So we look for balance to give us the strength and longevity that we deserve.

Finding balance in life is definitely one of life’s great challenges. Work/family balance, romance/friendship balance, spending/saving balance, healthy food/junk food balance… it is all part of the journey.   And when we aren’t talking about food I’ll let you decide the balance that is right for you.  But when we are talking food I hope to become hard to ignore.

80-20sm

Keeping the 80/20 mindset gives you the edge that let’s you actually enjoy life… 80% of your choices that help you thrive and 20% indulgence.  We need that release time.  Eating what we want regardless of consequence 20% of the time gives our bodies 80% great nutrition and tons of time to heal and thrive.

This means that 80% of the time we are making choices that are fighting inflammation and disease and it makes that 20% even sweeter.  We know it’s a rare occasion and our bodies are strong enough to handle it.  The beauty of this is that we also get that 80/20 health span.  Life span doesn’t interest me as much as health span.  I mean of course I don’t expect to be running marathons at 80 but that’s only because I have yet to run a single marathon.  I do however expect to be able to walk my dog and chase after my grandkids (if that happens), climb the stairs… you get it.  I wanna live then die.  Not live a little then die for a long time because modern medicine knows how to support my shitty habits.

Healthy food and junk food in scales of a balanced scale. 3D illustration.So obviously I borrowed this picture, but when it comes to food balance this is what it looks like.  Because FOOD IS FUEL and without fuel this machine just doesn’t run!

I like to get what I want probably as much as the rest of you and if you ask my husband or parents probably more! (I don’t do “NO” well)  When I aligned my momentary “wants” with my long term “wants” I found my 80/20 balance.     GOOD LUCK!

 

Resilience, our tragic flaw

monkey-hamlet-skull-holding-wallpaper

Remember back when you had to read Shakespeare and were thinking the whole time… “REALLY?! Don’t believe him, or c’mon he/she isn’t worth dying for, or buddy your need to be ‘special’ is going to get you killed!”

…and sure enough they died!  They all died!

Othello: cause of death = jealousy

Juliet: cause of death = loyalty

Brutus needed to be noble and Cesar was arrogant!

Well as I learn more and more about what is preventing people from taking action when it comes to not dying of preventable lifestyle disease, this concept of our tragic Shakespearean flaw seemed suddenly current.

I have decided that it’s our body’s resilience that is what actually leads to our demise.  I mean, of course it’s our direct choices and actions that cause the disease, but our bodies are so amazing at healing themselves that we can basically cover the entire wall in shit before any of it starts to stick.

You could argue that greed is our flaw or indulgence or the need to be powerful, but if we felt the effects of our actions immediately we would immediately make different choices.  Instead we can beat ourselves up on the inside for 20, 30 or 40 years before most of us start to feel the effects.  So I maintain that it’s our resilience that leads to our demise.  Imagine if, like an allergy, every time you ate or drank something that fed disease instead of fighting it you felt crappy, weak or in pain.  The vast majority of us would be making very different daily choices.

Some people rely on popular media, some on science and some on tradition to guide the choices that we make, but what if we had the ability to use our instincts and feel cause and effect immediately.

So far it’s looking like our own habits will be the death of us.  Oh Shakespeare how did you peg the human race so accurately, then show us multiple times and still our ignorance remains stronger than our survival instinct.

 

#kidsatittoo

#kidsateittoo is one of my favourite hashtags…full disclosure I am still figuring out the full power of the hashtag but I know that people read them and they connect people with similar interests and ideas.  

Screen Shot 2019-11-17 at 12.21.20 PM

I post a lot of whole food plant based recipes and family dinners on my Facebook and Instagram (@plantbsedjenny) …food my whole family eats, KIDS TOO. 

My kids are growing so fast, their brains are amazing little sponges building new connections every day and their nutrition is so important.  Kids are also sassy and bossy and so manipulative that there are days when you are like, “oh you’re tired and you lost your toy at school and you didn’t get picked first during gym…FINE just eat the plain noodles with ketchup!”  You know you’ve been played but you also know that eating a whole food plant based diet means that all we eat is plants. So we play the 80/20 game around here, 80% of what they eat is great for them and the healthy habits and healthy relationship with food they are forming will carry them through to create their own 80% household someday 🙂  

I’m not here to give parenting advice, I’m figuring it out on the daily, but it seems around my house, that my kids will eat what I make available to them. They have preferences, of course, but I have seen those preferences grow and change (sometimes weekly).  Kids are so smart that a little bit of simple information about why we eat the food we eat gives them the power to make great choices.

The Information Diet!

Guess what the single most effective weight loss study in the history of medicine was?!?!?

Scientists didn’t give anyone any food

Scientists didn’t take any food away from anyone

Scientists didn’t mandate exercise

In fact… scientists didn’t mandate anything

For 3 months the test group met twice a week where scientists presented evidence based information on a plant-based diet. The group was presented with information regarding prevention and reversal of lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, diabetes mellitus, stroke, obesity, etc.  The group was given information on the power of plants as food in our bodies. Anti-inflammatory benefits, the lack of cholesterol, anti-cancer polyphenols and bioavailable nutrients were all taught during this study.

At the end of 3 months the group that was receiving the information on a plant-based diet lost an average of 19 lbs! AMAZING!

Remember, these people were not being told or instructed to do anything different or make any different choices during this time.  They went home and lived their lives as they chose to.   …and their choices were reflected in their waistline!

It gets better…

Out of curiosity the scientists followed up with the group 6 months later to see if they had gained any or all of the weight back since the information nights had stopped.  Remarkably they had not gained it back as most diet study groups do.  As a group, they had now lost an average of 27 lbs!  This is unheard of.  For the group to have continued to have lost weight after the study closed shows that these people weren’t on a diet. They made choices that made them feel great and when you feel great you WANT to make every choice that you are making!

The Information Diet! 

So my point is read this blog, maybe read another one, check out that 2 or 3 minute video even if you have no intention of changing anything in this moment. Your life is full of so many moments and so many choices and the information that you have will define the choices that you make in those moments.

Are you ready for some new information?  Click this link to a short survey.

Halloween…part 1

Ok so this is kind of a follow up post about my sugar post only with less facts and more attitude!  I called it part 1 because Halloween is still over a month away and due to my passionate outlook I’m sure there will be a follow up to this post at some point 😉

trickortreat

I am in a few “mom groups” on facebook as I’m sure many mom’s out there are. One in my community recently posted about Trick-or-Treating and Halloween Candy… the topic lead to many moms admitting that they throw out most of the candy and some have the Switch Witch come and trade out the candy for gifts or money – depending on the kids age.

Obviously I was happy to read that other moms are taking action against letting their kids have a free for all with all that sugar, red #40 and yellow #5…etc.  What shocked and angered me was the moms that were pissed off that people were throwing out the candy that they had bought for the kids with their hard earned money! … Their solution was to turn off the lights and not participate in Halloween!!!

SERIOUSLY PEOPLE???   Is it really candy or nothing???

This one lady wrote, what is this world coming to? Now people are trying to take candy away from children? What will they take away next?”

It took all of my willpower to not respond and instead open up a blog post…

My answer to her is “hot dogs, ham, pepperoni… oh and CANCER and DIABETES!” That is what we will take away from your children next.

Instead of looking at what we are taking away, how about look at the health and longevity that these moms who are playing Switch Witch are giving their kids.

Parents are constantly juggling keeping their kids healthy and still be able to have treats, parties, holidays and see those smiles that we get when we give them something special!  Yes we love to make our kids smile! All us crunchy granola no sugar serving, candy tossing moms love to treat our kids too and make them smile.

So to all you moms that really want to give candy take a look at why you want to give the candy… because I’m betting it’s like 10% tradition and 90% for the smile.   Keeping kids healthy is going to get you a lot more smiles in the long run 🙂

This year for Halloween I bought:

  • glow sticks
  • bouncy balls that look like eyeballs
  • spider rings
  • small sticky skeletons
  • tiny Halloween themed yo-yo’s

So my point is spend your hard earned money, if you want to, to give those little trick-or-treating kids all the smiles without the disease 🙂

Sugar the FDA Approved Cocaine

cagehumansugar

Now just that title alone will get some eye rolls and maybe even prevent some people from clicking to ready the full post.  But you know what… be critical! Be critical of everything I write and everything you see and hear.  Critical doesn’t mean cynical… we need give intentional thought to our source of information and only then, deem it either important to us, or not.

I have gotten my information from multiple clinical trials done on both humans and rats in laboratories all over Canada and the United States… too many to list them all, but here is a short list.

I bought my kids their Halloween costumes over the weekend and thus the anxiety of the sugar onslaught of this holiday has begun.  I explain the harmful effects year after year, I negotiate with them as to how much “poison” I will let them eat and even buy their candy from them (which is getting $$$ as they age) …because trick-or-treating is seriously FUN!

But we have the research; we have the information; we know that refined sugar is addictive and creates harmful chemical reactions within our bodies… and yet it is still very much the norm to give it to children at parties, special events and holidays.

sugarhascaus

I get the “everything in moderation” idea. 80/20!  But is our level of moderation enough when it comes to this addictive stimulant? Mainstream media is marketing sugary treats with artificial dyes (that’s another post) to our kids. Schools are rewarding kids with ring pops, suckers and skittles. It’s our job as parents to take the information that we now have and apply it to our kid(s) and demand that influential institutions like daycares and schools do the same!

Let’s explore a little of that research…

sugar-cocaine

This graphic shows the area of the brain stimulated by cocaine and sugar is the same… the deal is that both substances increase the release of dopamine (the happy chemical) in the brain. Now I’m not saying that I don’t want kids to be happy but this release is an unnatural amount. An amount that comes with consequences…namely addiction.  Now it might not sound too bad to be addicted to being happy, but unfortunately that is not the only consequence. Refined sugar creates oxidative damage among your cells, increases cell mutation and creates instability in your blood glucose levels (leading to diabetes).

Our kids deserve better… we know better, so let’s do better! 

How much added sugar should we eat?

(these numbers are based on a diet of 2000 calories)

As Canadians we eat an estimated 110 grams of added sugar per day (26 teaspoons)

As Canadians we should be eating no more than 48 grams (12 teaspoons) of added sugar per day…but this comes with negative health effects (so why is this the top limit recommendation?)

To avoid adverse health effects caused by sugar we should be eating no more than 25 grams (6 teaspoons)

FRUIT DOES NOT COUNT! EAT FRUIT 🙂

Now you know!  Happy Halloween 🙂   Honestly have a great time dressing up, going to a party where there are spooky gross things! Have fun trick-or-treating!  I bought cute Halloween rings and bouncy balls and squishy toys (all .99 cents/pack) to give the kids in my neighbourhood.  My kids will be going door to door and they will be selling me their candy for pennies on the dollar, and it will be 100% worth it for me. My kids will also appreciate ANY and EVERY house that doesn’t give them candy because then they get to keep the cool stuff that their mom didn’t think to buy!

We can start the change at home and hope that schools and other institutes alike follow suite.

Artificial sugar creates artificial happiness…

Keep it real 😉