January Reset

I am so so happy to introduce the newest addition to programs at Standing Strong Wellness!

When I was coming up with the Reset program, the motto I kept in mind was “health for everyone”. Years ago I would have loved to work with someone educated in nutrition, but I could never afford it.

I was determined to come up with a practical solution that worked for everyone, no matter what their budget or personal diet preferences (vegan, celiac, etc…).

Thus, the Reset Program was born! It’s affordable, practical, easy to follow, and effective! Health – for everyone.

I’m so proud of this program, and I’m excited to start January alongside all my fellow Strong Babes!

Sad you missed it? Don’t worry, we’ll be doing this program quarterly! Every 3 months we’re going to reevaluate, reassess, and reset!

It’s gonna be a great way to start off 2019!

Want to follow my January Reset journey? Follow me on Instagram @standingstrongwellness !

Later babes!

Acute Fasting: Good for Anxiety?

While everyone else enjoys their down time in the outdoors, or out shopping with friends, or even just lazing about watching tv, I can usually be found on my laptop looking up new and interesting facts about anxiety. Don’t worry – I do know how to have fun. But I also enjoy finding cool new research and ideas related to mental health, and this is one of them.

Today’s post is about an article I came across stating that acute fasting may be beneficial for anxiety. I have to say, on my list of things that help anxiety, I did not suspect I would see fasting on there.

 

The authors of the article I read (cited below) concluded that acute fasting inhibits central caspase-1 (associated with neuroinflammation) activity, thereby reducing anxiety-like behaviors in rats. The acute fast was essentially a 24 hour fast, with only water being provided. Put simply, acute fasting reduces neuroinflammation, and the that decrease in inflammation seems to have an effect on anxiety behaviors.

Of course, as mentioned, this study was done on rats – not humans – so we can’t jump to too many conclusions here.

But it’s an interesting idea. In my search for more, I came across a lot of sites that supported this idea, and even people who have claimed that it’s worked for them. So what’s the connection between fasting, inflammation, and anxiety?

Fasting, when coupled with drinking enough water, may help the body detoxify by freeing up the organs from their usual digestion-related responsibilities, allowing them the time to get rid of any built up toxins. This could account for a reduction in inflammation. The reduced inflammation may also be in part because certain foods eliminated from the consumer’s diet are typically pro-inflammatory (refined, processed, sugar-laden food). In this way, the fact that these foods aren’t introduced to the body contributes to a reduction in inflammation.

Although I’m interested in seeing where the literature goes on this, I’m not sure it’s something  I would recommend. I know for myself, a central theme in my anxiety is this idea of wanting to control things, and of wanting to reach perfection in everything. Although acute fasting could be used to reduce anxiety, it could also be an outlet for it to come out as well.

What I took the most out of this was less the link between fasting and anxiety, and more the fact that reduced neuroinflammation seems to reduce anxiety symptoms.
What do you guys think? Have you or would you ever try this?

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Continue reading “Acute Fasting: Good for Anxiety?”

July Update 

Damn, it feels good to be back!

I know, I know – I only took like, a one week hiatus from blogging. But Standing Strong Wellness is my baby, and not being able to focus on it was rough.

I had a great reason though, and those of you who follow me on Instagram already know: I was working on completing final assignments and studying for my final exam for CSNN!


I wrote the exam two days ago. The intensity leading up to it was such that it took me almost a full 24 hours to come back down from it all. Perhaps it’s an anxiety thing. But I felt so wound up, and I couldn’t unwind myself. I’m happy to report I feel like I’m getting there today.

My plans for the next couple of days include catching up on my house chores, steaming through some Netflix shows, and being outside – as the summers tend to disappear quickly here in Calgary! I’m also getting back into my regular gym routine, which already feels amazing.


And although I am looking forward to some much deserved downtime, I am also eager to jump into the next thing(s). As much as I would love to get my future consulting business up and running, regrettably I do have to wait until after I walk across the stage in September to practice. When I first heard this, I was a little bummed. Then, I realized it is a blessing.

I’ve been working on a couple of projects that could use my full attention for the next couple of months.

The first thing is updating this blog. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been going back into the archives and doing some major house cleaning. I’m also working on adding a few new pages. Being that I am so not a tech-savvy person, I’m glad to have have some extra time to work on it!

I will also be releasing two products in the coming weeks – one sooner rather than later! Stay tuned on it because I don’t want you to miss out, aight?


In sum, exciting upcoming things include: creative projects and more gym sessions. It sounds boring to some, but this is what I live for. Plus, I need time to establish a new routine that will suit me over the coming months, now that I won’t be having so many 12 hour long days away from home anymore!


This next little bit of the adventure is going to be all about passion. Waking up with it. Following it. Living it.

Have you guys had any major routine changes lately? How do you deal with them?

 

Plant Based Bars Review

Hello everyone!

How are you guys today?

To be honest, it’s been a whirlwind of a weekend. I’m jumping from one thing to the next without much time to take a breath. But it’s alright – today, the sun is shining and the day is young!

I just wanted to drop in and let you guys know that I just put together a video reviewing some plant-based bars – I would appreciate it so much if you checked it out!

 

 

Until next time!

Grounding Cauliflower Apple Soup 

My instructor was talking just the other day about how she defines foods in two separate categories: “noisy” (inflammatory, irritating, disruptive) and “quiet” (peaceful, nourishing, easy to digest). I love that concept. When life is crazy (often) , I am drawn to the quiet foods. The foods that nourish and give, and hardly ask for anything back. The foods that are easy on my gut, and make my soul feel good.

If that’s what you need today, then this recipe is for you. This Cauliflower Apple Soup is earthy, smooth, and mellow. It also requires very little work to throw together, perfect for those low-energy days.


Ingredients: 

  • 1 Large Head of Cauliflower, cut into like-size pieces
  • 1 Apple, diced (I leave the skin on)
  • 1 Yellow Onion, diced
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 TBSP organic coconut oil
  • 1/4 TSP turmeric
  • 1 container organic chicken broth
  • 1/2 TSP himilayan salt

Optional toppings

  • Chives
  • Sour Coconut Cream – plain coconut yogurt mixed with a squeeze of lemon

Directions:

Warm a large pot on medium-low heat and melt coconut oil. Add onion and stir occasionally as they soften. Once they begin to turn translucent, add garlic and stir for about two minutes. Then add the apple, cauliflower, coconut milk, and chicken broth. Mix in the 1/4 tsp of turmeric and 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt. Allow all the ingredients to slowly simmer as long as you can, ideally an hour or more. When you just cant wait any longer, blend all the ingredients using a hand blender. Top with an easy sour coconut cream (see above) or chives. Green onion or chickpea croutons would also work well.

 

This recipe is great for a couple reasons – one being that your stomach doesn’t have to work too hard to mechanically break it down. The coconut milk supports increased mucus lining in the stomach, and given the stars of the show (cauliflower and apple) there is a generous serving of fiber here as well. From a more mind-body-soul aspect, a hot soup has a way of forcing you to slow down and eat more mindfully. Warm, soft food is especially comforting when you feel the need to be nurtured, or vulnerable.

I hope you guys enjoyed this recipe! If you just can’t get enough of me you can always find me on Instagram (standingstrongwellness) or Youtube (Standing Strong Wellness)

Have a great weekend everyone.

 

Why are you Depressed? 

Like many other things in mental health, depression is multifaceted – there are many signs, symptoms, explanations, and origins behind depression. It cannot be explained simply. It can’t be encompassed simply, and it shouldn’t be treated simply.

So why are you depressed? A lot of the stigma that still has a stronghold on mental health reiterates the narrative that people who struggle with depression are just “mentally weak”. Another common misconception is that it only affects the “have-nots” of society, that is, those of lower economic status. (because what could people with money possibly be sad about?)

What’s interesting is that as a society we still haven’t full acknowledged and absorbed just how prevalent depression is. It’s simply not talked about. Well, let’s put a little dent in that today shall we, and talk about it.

So, what is it? Are depressed people weak? Ungrateful? Poor? Messed up? Under difficult circumstances? Negative? Let’s unravel it a little.

There is no one factor that has been indicated in “causing” depression, in fact, there are several things that could be linked between you and your depression.

For example:

  • Food intolerances or allergies
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Traumatizing experiences/ Grief/ Difficult life circumstances
  • Neurotransmitter malfunctions
  • Hormones

Any single factor or combination thereof could be contributing to your depression. I realize this is a small, albiet generalized list – but the point I’m trying to drive home is that there are any number of reasons why you might be depressed.  

This is why I have such an issue with the fact that we treat depression in such a blanketed way: by suggesting antidepressants to treat depression – for everyone. First and foremost: did you know studies have never definitively found a link between serotonin and depression? Yet SSRI’s , which increase serotonin in the body, are the most often prescribed antidepressant.

So, in essence, people with depression are encouraged to take a drug that has not actually been scientifically supported to work. Some studies do say that SSRI’s do show small improvements in some people; other studies chalk that up to a placebo affect.

I know some people personally who take SSRI’s for depression, and they really feel that these drugs work for them. I can’t argue with another person’s experience. And without definitive answers, it is plausible that these drugs could very well improve symptoms for some. I am not anti-drug , I’m just pro-whatever works. What I worry about treating depression with such a “one-size-fits-all” approach is that people might ignore the other factors that could be contributing.

For example, did you know that depression is a symptom of low testosterone in men? Or that hypothyroidism can look like depression? Or that low dopamine correlates with a decrease in motivation, which is a symptom of depression? Or that untreated food allergies and sensitivities can lead to chronic inflammation, leading to fatigue and a host of other symptoms, all of which could contribute to depression? Or that magnesium deficiency has been linked to depression?

Some depression is also circumstantial, you can be optimally healthy and still struggle with depression (you can also be rich and depressed – myth busted). 

So why are you depressed? If you’re not sure, I encourage you to dig deeper. Emotionally and physically. Get whatever test you need to get done. Get in tune with your body. Talk to your doctor, spiritual adviser, your chiropractor, and figure out what’s getting you. And as always, advocate for yourself.

Lord knows – I’m not saying it’s easy. Having had my own mental health struggles for over ten years, I know it takes a lot of work – sometimes years – to get to a good place. All I want for you is to channel that energy into productive ways of figuring it out – when you’re feeling up to it.

Any comments or questions? Please leave them down below, I would be interested to hear about your experience with depression!

 

Continue reading “Why are you Depressed? “

Favourites Giveaway ! 

I’ll show you mine if you show me yours…

Favourites, that is!

To celebrate reaching 500 followers I’ve decided to do my very FIRST giveaway! When I first started this blog, I had no idea how much I would fall in love with it – and how much I would enjoy connecting with all of you.

I would have to say that the community built with my readers and other bloggers is easily my favourite part of the entire process. So I want to celebrate each and every one of you and YOUR favourites too!

To enter the giveaway, here are the rules: 

First and foremost, follow me! If you do already, awesome. If not, just press the follow button on the side bar and subscribe either through email or through wordpress!

Then in the comments below, send me the link to one of your favourite bloggers, and tell me why you love reading their posts! I will be visiting each and every one – and I can’t wait to be inspired and enlightened by the bloggers that you absolutely love!

And for sharing your favourites, I’ll share my favourites with you:


Included:

  • Iron Vegan Sprouted Protein – Chocolate and Vanilla 
  • Praire Naturals Coconut Seed Snacks
  • Smart Sweets Gummy Bears
  • Lara Bars – Blueberry and Chocolate PB
  • “Dreams are Worth Chasing” mug
  • “Noteworthy” notebook
  • WOW Peppermint Relief Roll-on

I am not associated with or sponsored by any of the pictured companies – these are just items I enjoy day to day, and I wanted to share them with you!

This giveaway is open to Canadian and US Residents. The winner will be drawn on Sunday, April 23rd. One entry per person, but if you want to share more than one blog that you love, please do.

I look forward to seeing your favourites!

 

April Update 

Hey you, how have you been?

Oh me? Oh you know, I’ve just been hanging out here on my beautiful white chair, in this room this pristine decor, hanging out in a body suit. I’m pretty sure that’s what bloggers do.

Jokes aside, it was a pleasure to have my sister take these shots the other day. I am in awe of how well she captured me. I think there is something to be said about being able to be vulnerable around someone. During this shoot, I was able to be and embrace myself,; I felt completely comfortable. And isn’t it interesting how that can come across in a photo? It reminds me that energy transcends everything.

I have been feeling so comfortable in my own skin lately. They say that is something that comes with age, and now at 28 years old I can say I believe it is true. Even when my skin was fresher, or I was smaller, or my eyes were brighter – I never appreciated all that I was. But now I look at myself with the audacity to say “I’m cute” ( I am though).

I wish I could go back and shake the younger me – I wish I could just say STOP! You are beautiful! Stop criticizing yourself! But I guess that it’s all a part of growing up.


So I will do my usual fitness update but first I want to say: even if my cutting season didn’t go very well, I would still rock a swimsuit with pride. My eyes are nice and my butt is round and my stomach is cute… so take that, society!

I’ve been cutting for the last couple months, but only last week since Brittany left have I actually kicked it into high gear. You know how it is #fitfam – less carbs , more cardio. I’ve been doing at least 30 minutes of cardio with each workout – sweater on and sweating up a storm.

I’m trying to keep my carbs under 100g daily for my cut, with refeeds when I really feel I need them. And before you begin to believe that this means I am restricting myself, please remember that I eat in abundance. Ask anyone who has the pleasure of eating near me about the size of my meals. It’s ridiculous…ly awesome. At the same time, in this lifestyle, sacrifices must be made – I know this game. And I love to play it.

Although this is an important part of my lifestyle, I want you guys to know that I do this for me. I’m happy with who I am. No number on a scale can ever change that. And restricting carbs will never make you happy. Being skinny will never make you happy. So I urge you to be at a good place before you put any additional stress on your body. And as always: love yourself first (the rest will follow anyway).

 

 

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If you are wondering what has been on the menu lately, a day in the life of me eating looks something like this…

  • Meal 1 – Breakfast shake (fruit, veg, Iron Vegan protein powder)
  • Meal 2 – A banana and a handful of almonds
  • Meal 3 – A large salad with greens, vegetables, and nuts
  • Meal 4 – A bit of protein and greens (usually tofu or chicken)
  • Meal 5 – Raw fruits or veg with almond butter or a piece of choc, etc…

Does anyone else get mad sweet cravings before bed? I’ve been making my own chocolate with melted coconut oil, raw cacao, nuts and stevia. Then I just pop it in the freezer for a couple minutes – voila!

Oh one more thing – only 3ish months of school left! I can’t wait to begin taking on clients. I’ve learned so much and my passion for health is a fire burning hotter than ever before. We can all be healthy. We can all be happy. And we all deserve it.

 

Stay tuned for my next post – it’s coming up tomorrow and it’s going to be a good one!

I hope everyone’s April is off to a great start, and onto an even better end!

Catch ya later

 

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog on your way out, if you haven’t already!

Find me on Instagram: www.instagram.com/standingstrongwellness

Watch me on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9XftlyYl711lf0o7MMt8MA/videos