Last month I ran my first trail race since I took up running in November and 4 years after I got diagnosed with CFS. It's been an interesting and very challenging journey and my only goal for the race was to finish it! I had chosen a trail race of 8.5km with very little elevation in Squamish and no cut off's, so even if I had to walk, I could make it around.
We took the early morning ferry over and it was absolutely pouring down with rain and I wasn't feeling very motivated to run anywhere but back to bed! As we got closer to Squamish, the rain calmed down and the sun was trying to peep out. There was hardly any traffic which was in my favour as I don't like cutting it close, and I knew we had a 2.5km walk from parking to the start line. We made it in plenty of time, and I got my bib number and we had time to cheer on the kids in their race and browse the various booths.
It was a first for Mike going to a race and not actually racing. I think he felt a bit out of sorts lol - at least he didn't have to wait around for 12+ (well hopefully not). It did give him a great opportunity to mingle and chat with some of the vendors there and get some contacts for our own race next month.
The course started on pavement and up a hill - have I told you I don't like running on pavement and I'm not a fan of uphills?? So this was not what I liked to start with. But as soon as I hit the trails, things got a lot easier. The marshals out on the course were just amazing and cheering us all on.
The course was 9km and despite walking all uphills and some flat parts, I still managed a great time for me. I really enjoyed the course and running with so many people was fun too. I love the trail running community and how supportive they are of everyone, no matter how fast or slow you run.
I think there was only one point where I felt; "Wow what did I sign up for! Where's the finish line!" But shortly after I got to an awesome downhill and things got a lot more fun! Mud and puddles make it all more fun especially for me when it's also downhill.
The official time was 1:16:58 and I finished 130 overall - not bad for this #slowtortoise🐢
Thank you to the race organizers and volunteers for making my first race fun and encouraging.
My recovery is probably slower than most other runners due to my CFS but I did feel pretty good afterwards. It was mostly achy muscles and a bit of pain in my one groin. I did a lot of foam rolling for my leg muscles and a nice warm bath with Epsom Salt and my favourite essential oil combo of Frankincense and Deep Blue helped wonders for my aches. And lots of rest afterwards to allow my body to recover. I have since done lots of walking and a few short runs and this weekend I will venture out on a longer run as I'm running a virtual race for M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis - also know as CFS) where the profit goes to Action for M.E.
I often get asked what my favourite essential oil or doTERRA product is and it's a very tough one to answer because I don't just have one favourite but several. Each essential oil can be used for a range of things from mood support, digestive support to pain relief. Peppermint might work for one person's headache but for another person Frankincense is the oil that gives them relief. Our bodies are different that way but the great thing with essential oils is that one oil doesn't just help with one element but can help with several, so if the first one you try doesn't work for you, move on to the next one.
Back to my favourite product and if I really had to chose, I'd chose Deep Blue and no it's not because it's on this month's promo :) It's truly been a life saver on days where my legs just wanted to give in and not let me stand tall or the tension in my back or neck would interfere with my day to day life.
Deep Blue is a blend with the following oils in it: Wintergreen, Camphor, Peppermint, Ylang Ylang, Helichrysum, Blue Tansy, Blue Chamomile and Osmanthus.
It comes as a 5ml oil, a diluted roller bottle, a roller bottle part of the Touch oils and as a rub. The rub comes in a 4oz tube and is infused with the Deep Blue blend and as a little goes a long way, it lasts a long time. The first year one tube lasted an entire year and I used it frequently. But then Mike discovered the incredible rub and started using it before and after his runs and well now we have a tube each.
So what can you use it for? Here are a few suggestions:
The Deep Blue rub is used by massage therapists as well as athletes before and after workouts. It's a great addition to your gym bag and to have on hand whether you are an elite athlete or just enjoy working out as well as if you suffer from any kinds of pain or tension.
For the month of March, you can receive a FREE Deep Blue rub and a Deep Blue Touch with any single order of 200PV or more - that's $86.57 worth of free products! This offer is valid for most markets with a few variations, so please contact me if you are interested in taking advantage of this offer or go order here. It's available for new members too as well as retail customers and current members. Being a member does not require you to sell the products. It's just a cheaper way for you to get these products into your home.
Disclaimer: The info in this post are for educational purposes and provided only as information. The information and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases and the use of essential oils are not to be replaced with medical care. Readers are advised to discus essential oil use with their medical advisor.
February thank you for being over and thank you for being a short month so it was over faster! At least that's how I feel this time around. And I know I'm not the only one who has been in a funk or so it seems at least.
So what to do when you are in a funk, lost your motivation and just want to move to a deserted island?! Heck what do you do when all of the above happens? After realizing I don't have enough money to buy a deserted island I put that on the back burner and did something crazy! Like really crazy! I asked for freaking help!!!!! Can you believe it?! And who did I ask for help? My family? My friends? No, I asked the universe! And before you think, man what's she been drinking now, keep reading. I got a not so subtle hint to get off Facebook. Take a break from any drama/negativity that sometimes seems to fill Facebook. Take a break from not always being there for everyone else. I needed to take care of ME! So I did! And it was so so good that I almost extended my "vacation" but I also missed my friends and my mum was like where have you been?? No posts for a whole weekend; she was starting to get concerned as Facebook is the way she can follow our lives abroad.
Below is my top 10 of different ways to get out of your funk but I wanted to elaborate on a few of them.
Staying hydrated is key to a range of health benefits such as fatigue, headaches, trouble concentrating but has also been linked to anxiety. So if you feel scattered or anxious, try opting up your fluid intake.
Smell/apply essential oils:
It's amazing how these bottles of essential oils can change your frame of mind. I'm not saying it's as simple as smelling some Lavender and the world suddenly becomes a better place. The oils don't do the work for us but will help us look within and foster the right environment for healing. My favourite book to help me is "Emotions & Essential Oils - A Modern Resource for Healing".
Essential oils can help uplift and/or ground you but also bring out the adventurous you, the fun you, the spontaneous you and we all need to find that person when stuck in a funk.
If you want to learn more about essential oils, head over to our Essential Oil page or contact me here.
Top 10 ways to get out of your funk:
1) Have a soak in the bath
2) Dance/listen to happy music
3) Smell/apply essential oils
4) Watch a funny movie
5) Write in your journal/gratitude journal
6) Go outside
7) Spend time with people who inspire and support you
8) Stay hydrated
9) Doodle or colour in your colouring book
10) Play games with friends
What's your favourite ways to get out of your funk? Share in the comments and give me some more ideas.
Mattresses?! Foam? Latex? Spring? Size? Lining and the list goes on. No wonder it's hard to find the right mattress for you and sometimes you and your parnter don't like the same firmness and what do you do then?
We had decided we wanted a new mattress for our new home as the current one was not very comfortable and over the years, you could see where we each had been lying. Mike's side was slightly lower than mine and the middle was where the mattress used to be.
Over the years I have tried out a lot of mattresses and didn't think much of the difference except some were way too hard to lie on. I mean I don't want to go to sleep on something that feels like the floor. So when I started looking again, this one specific mattress kept popping up: Casper - I started looking into them and really loved the idea of the mattress. Plus they have a 100 night trial, so if it's not for you, they pick it up free of charge and you get your money back!
The mattress is a combination of latex, memory and support foams. The open-cell latex foam helps you keep cool and adds the right bounce. The responsive memory foam provides pressure relief. The transisition foam layer provides deep comfort through consistent weight distribution. The durable support form strengthes the comfort layers and adds long-lasting durability. Lastly the woven cover is breathable, flexible and resiliant. This all sounds pretty neat right?! But I'm sure you want to know what we really think of it.
Casper's customer service is amazing! I had the pleasure to talk to Logan who was ever so helpful as my bank apparently didn't really like this a bit bigger than usual transaction. It eventually got sorted and the mattress was ordered.
The mattress is received rolled up in a box! Because of the high quality and resiliant foams which they use for the mattress, they are able to compress it without damaging it. It makes it both easier for us to get it home if you aren't home for delivery AND it saves on shipping costs for Casper. Because you don't pay anything for delivery!!
I posted the above photo on Instagram and Facebook, and I had a lot of people asking what it was and how on earth that could be a mattress! We got it unpacked and rolled it out on our bed frame and cut the plastic off. The mattress came to life and within 5min it was in it's orginal size and ready to use!
It's been 2 months since we had Casper join our family, and we can say it's been a very good addition. The mattress is so comfortable; it's like lying on a cloud! At least I think that's how lying on a cloud would feel like. It's not too firm, nor too soft. When Mike gets up, I don't feel it as I did with our previous mattresses which is a win-win.
Mike did mention neck ache after the first night but since then there has been no pain. They also do say to give it at least 2 weeks so you get used to a new mattress.
The unboxing was so easy and straight forward and a whole lot easier than manouvering a mattress through your house. Free delivery, free return and a great customer service! Casper has thought of it all and it's been happy dreams for us since!
In my workbooks (if you didn't read the post about them, you can do that here) there's a page about ritual days. Every week you have things you'd like to do or needs to be done, so the point is to turn each week into ritul days. Some suggestions could be: Adventure Saturdays, Switch off Sundays, go-to-bed-early Wednesday, creative Tuesday etc. I came up with the following for my week:
Social Media Monday: prepare photos and text for the week's various social medias, edit any needed text in about sections, explore new accounts etc
Blog Post Tuesday: The title kind of gives it away :) Writing blog posts.
Webinar Wednesday: Catch up on webinars from the last week.
Study Thursday: most of the day will be spent studying for my course.
Reading Friday: Get some readnig done - anything from personal development to fun books.
Run/Date Saturday: Time with Mike which let's be honest, almost only happens if I go on a run with him ;)
Self-care Sunday: Time to take care of me; bath, face mask etc.
This obviously doesn't mean I can't do anything else on those days. It's a help to actually get stuff done whether business or pleasure and whether it's watching 1 or 2 webinars, write 1 or 3 blog posts, it's a way to get stuff done and not have 10 projects going at once and not finsihing any of them.
I'm loving my self-care Sunday as I often forget to take care of myself and we all know that we need to fill our own cup before being able to help others. So every Sunday I have a bath with Epsom salt and some yummy essential oils. I love the combo Frankincense and Deep Blue, especially after taking up running. It's a great combo to help with aches and pains. I then use doTERRA's Body Butter which has Wild Orange, Douglas Fir, Frankincense, Shea butter, Cocoa butter, Jojoba seed oil and Avocado oil in it. It's a thick moisturizer which absorbs quickly into the skin. It's especially great for elbows, hands and kness who may need a bit more moisturization. Both Wild Orange and Douglas Fir are purifying benefits to the skin and Frankincense is rejuvenating to the skin.
Sunday evening I also use a mud mask which it's just fabulous! It's a natural earth clay mask which provides purifying and detoxifying benefits helping reduce wrinkles, fine lines and appearances of pores. You only leave it on for max 10min (start with a couple of minutes your first time and work up to 5-10min). It leaves my skin so soft and clean and a friend told me it also works great for detoxing your armpits!
I have also started dry skin brushing. I have done it before but with moving etc, it got put on hold but with Self-Care Sunday, I thought perfect time to add it in again.
The skin is our largest organ and 1/3 of your body's toxins are excreted through the skin, and this is where dry brushing comes in as a great help to unclog the pores and help the toxins excrete and not get trapped in the skin.
All you need is a natural bristle brush preferable with a long handle, so you can reach all over your body. Start with your feet and work up towards your heart with small strokes or in a circular motion. Avoid sensitive areas including your face. It's recommended to do 1-2 times a day but I do just the one time. After brushing, jump in the shower and afterwards add your favourite body lotion/oil. You should do dry brushing either in the shower/bathtub or on tiles, so it's easy to clean up the falling skin.
Benefits of dry brushing:
So that's my Self-Care Sunday! How do you take time out for yourself and your body? I'd love to hear from you and get more ideas.
Happy New Year!! 2017 is here and a new year for some people means new beginnings, new habits to be formed or maybe even New Year resolutions. As posted last week in a post you can find here, I stopped doing New Year's resolutions and was introduced to choosing a word for the year for the first time in 2016. It worked better for me than resolutions, so this year I'm choosing a new word.
Last year I went over a few words because I decided FOCUS was the right word for 2016 but I didn't find it difficult to choose my word. This year was the same. It didn't take me long before I was sure I had found the right word. Not everyone finds their word that fast and some have a struggle finding their word which is when the Facebook group, my two friends set up is a great place to throw ideas around and get help to narrow it down.
This year I wanted a word that would help me reach new goals in all areas of life, be confident in my choices and words, try out new things - I thought of "possible", "fearless" and "courage" but I didn't feel they were quite the right word. Then one day the word BELIEVE popped up and I was like; "That's it! The perfect match!"
Believe that I can do this!
Believe that I can kick CFS' ass!
Believe that I deserve success!
Believe that I am enough!
Believe that it's okay to speak up!
Believe that it's okay not knowing it all!
Believe that I'm not like others!
Believe that I can run again!
Believe that I don't need to be perfect!
Believe that everything will be okay!
I think you get the point now! The word is written in my workbooks and I got a bracelet to be my constant reminder when things get tough.
I'm already embracing my word as I have started running already and I signed up for 3 races in 2017! One of which is today! I got a lot of projects and ideas which I'd love to see through this year, so I'm very excited to see what the year will bring. I believe it will be an amazing year!
Are you doing New Year resolutions? Choosing a word like me? Changing habits or something else. I'd love to hear from you in the comments.
Here's to an awesome 2017!
A new year is approaching and it's often a time where everyone is thinking back on the previous year: what went wrong; what went well; what can I change; how can I improve etc. It's also time to think ahead on the new year and what we are looking for the new year to bring.
When I was younger, I had New Year's resolutions and they lasted about a week or so and in the end I just gave up because what was the point?! Then I was introduced to two lovely ladies on Facebook, who formed a group for everyone who were interested in having a word for the year.
I wasn't sure what to expect but thought it was worth a try. Nothing to lose right? In December in the run up to January 1st., Michelle and Nicole were posting videos and tips for us on how to choose a word. Some people find their word straight away and for others, it takes a little bit longer. Some even change their word during the year. Either life changes or the word just doesn't serve them in the right way.
I chose the word FOCUS and it kind of sprung in my face when I started thinking through what I wanted 2016 to be. I did go over a few words before I decided on Focus but it just kept calling me. I had gentle reminders such as a bracelet with the word focus on it, my laptop screensaver and my Facebook cover was a photo with the word, my vision board had the word on it. (See here how to make a vision board).
I chose the word Focus because I wanted to be better at focusing on one thing/project at a time in stead of trying to start several projects at once and not finishing them all if any of them. The word kept reminding me throughout the year to do exactly that and not get distracted.
We got a business name sorted (Thanks Diann for your help!), our website and blog went online, I started a course in holistic nutrition - it's like it all came together on the path I have been trynig to find the last 4 years, since I got ill. Did the word help with this? Absolutely! What helped even more was the Facebook group where we could share our stories and struggles. We had all the support, we needed and most important of all: accountability.
Nicole and Michelle wrote an e-book about how to choose your word, and you will also find a few case studies with people who chose a word for the year, including my story. You can get the book free for your kindle here.
I have already choosen my word for 2017 but I'm waiting until January 1st to reveal it both here and in the Facebook group. Will you be choosing a word for 2017? Have you already chosen one? Let me know in the comments. If you want to join the Facebook group, message me on Facebook or comment here, and I will invite you to the group.
Life happens to all of us! The year didn't go as planned. We didn't achieve all the things on our bucket/to-do-list and that's okay! The last 4 years have been the most disorganized years of my entire life - it got a little better this year but still no where, where I would prefer to be. I stayed focused on my tasks at hand but I missed a little more organization and guidance in my life. Last year I purchased Leonie Dawson's planner for the first time, and her colourful planner helped me along my way to keep up on appointments, my 3 top to do things for the week (personal and business), set goals for the month as well as evaluate the previous month.
For 2017 I needed more! When I got the e-mail for the pre-order, I ordered the full kit! The planner, a life workbook, a biz workbook, wall calender and a to do list pad. My package arrived a couple of weeks ago, and I have started filling out my life workbook. Both the life and biz workbook starts with a closing for 2016 followed by your goals and dreams for 2017. They go into great detail for every area of your life and business.
The life book looks at your relationships, living space, creativity, gratitudes, your community, travels etc. Where do you need to improve/need help and what do you want to achieve in these areas in 2017.
The work book works the same way but looks at your expenses, income, your relationship with customers, contractors/business partners etc. Not everything might fit to your business but you can adapt - that's what I'm doing. It's just so great to write all your goals, dreams etc down. Did you know that only about 4% write down their goals and only 1% write them down and review them regularly!! The 1% is where you will find the highest achievers! It's time to join that 1% and make your goals and dreams a reality!
As you can see on the photos the books are colourful, have lots of illustrations and enough space for doodeling. They are not for everyone but anyone with a creative mind and/or business would love these.
And if you need more help and accountability, there's a Facebook group for anyone using the workbooks. Great place for support, inspiration and accountability.
The workbooks and planner can be bought here.
It's almost 3 weeks since we moved into our new home and we are down to 4 boxes left which haven't been unpacked! As soon as the carport is up, it will create a little more room around the house and we will be able to have the last boxes unpacked.
But for now we are enjoying our new home despite a little mess while trying to figure out how to decorate and make it more homely.
The kitchen was the first place I focused on, so we would be able to cook dinners and not resort to easier and not so healthy options. In our last place we had a very tiny kitchen and there was hardly any counter space, so this kitchen is a treat! We have so much counter space that I can actually bake and cook again without having to use the floor! Okay I never did that I promise!
There are a lot of things that I love about our kitchen and yes counter space is one of them, but I also enjoy having lots of cabinet space for our things including a little display shelving unit by the sink, the lazy Susan not to talk about the Super Susan! Our things are stored much better in this place and I can easily get hold of any of my things. We got a lovely tall pantry cabinet with space on both sides for storage so the space is being utilized really well.
The open concept is great for socializing as well and it's nice to not be locked up in the kitchen while the conversation is going on in the living area. Our living area is split into a dinning area and the sitting/TV area. We got our beautiful dinning table from Willow & Wallflower in Port Moody. The table is made by a local artist called Jeff Dennis who does beautiful work with old furniture.
When we started to look for a new sofa as ours wouldn't fit and was also on it's last leg; figuratively speaking; we had an idea in mind but couldn't find the right sofa. Then IKEA came out with their new catalogue, and we found the Vallentuna design just perfect. A modular sofa for a modular home! That's like the perfect match. You can choose the different sections you want, add backrest and armrests as you please and customize it to your style. We decided on two seat modules with a bed, so we can use them as guest bed too. One is in the spare room and the other is next to a seat module and then we have a storage module which we use as to put our legs up on. It's perfect for the two of us and when we have guests, we can separate them out and have more seating available.
The original design for the house was to have a washroom and a powder room but I'm so glad they went away from that design. One washroom is plenty and dropping the powder room makes it bigger. We upgraded to have underfloor heating as well as tiling around the bathtub.
The outside space isn't done but as it's been raining the last 50 days except 1 day, it's all good. The driveway was done over the last week and the building of the carport started this morning. It will be nice to have it so we can start putting things out there which will leave more space inside. Our garden will be done at a later point so for now, we have the most beautiful fence, a bit of grass and a muddy area :) When spring comes, it will be exciting to start working on the outside too.
doTERRA has their convention every year in September. It's 3 days filled with science, research, guest speakers, new products being revealed and experiencing the doTERRA culture. I went for the first time this year and it was an amazing experience.
There has already been a lot of recaps about the new products and changes and if you want to read about it, check out doTERRA's recap of it here - it will give you a little update about the new resources which have come out, the new products, factual updates as well as updates on the charity work doTERRA does. There is new exciting research being published soon which we will be sharing when it's available.
But I instead wanted to share my thoughts on the experience of going to such a big event, how it went, what I experienced and how I feel afterwards. Not only am I an introvert but I also live with an invisible illness that sometimes gets in the way of life, so I was a little nervous about how this week would go. With that said though, I don't let it be an excuse and I try to do things despite the fear of going outside of my comfort zone while of course still taking care of myself.
The event itself was spectacular! There were guest speakers from various professions and companies. The keynote presenter was Immaculée Ilibagiza who is a survivor of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. She shared her story on how she survived in a tiny bathroom for 91 days where she taught herself English and committed herself to a life of peace, hope and forgiveness. Truly inspiring story.
We also heard from all the owners on various subjects as well as wellness advocates. I especially enjoyed Laura Jacobs' presentation about emotions and how they are such an important part of our health and wellness. She presented some food for thoughts and how emotional and physical health are closely linked together. When real life happens, we respond emotionally which is normal and necessary! "The primary function of emotions is to get us to take action and make decisions!" So how do we get better at responding?! With a little help of changing habits and the use of essential oils can be a great help too. The new Emotional Aromatherapy Touch Kit is just perfect for it. Already diluted and ready to use, you can have them with you everywhere and use as situations arise.
One of the reasons I joined doTERRA was because I heard of the Healing Hands Foundation which is their non-profit organization, and is one way doTERRA has committed themselves to improve lives and offer hope around the world. It's through the HH we have the co-impact sourcing which helps growers in developing countries earn a decent living and developing their skills. If you want to learn more about co-impact sourcing, click here. But there is so much more to it than that. They are also able to help by building schools, health centres, wells etc to help the community. We had an update about Nepal after the devastating earthquake. As doTERRA and HH were already on the ground, they were able to help out the locals and they have since built the first 2 earthquake safe schools there.
A new partnership was announced with Operation Underground Railroad to bring healing and hope to the world. O.U.R. Rescue rescues children from sex trafficking around the world. When the children have been rescued, they are rehabilitated by O.U.R. Rescue aftercare program. You can read more about them here.
doTERRA has also created a blend called "Hope" which can be given out to children who might be in trouble. When they peel the label, they will find info on how to get help.
I mention these because it shows how much doTERRA cares and wants to help wherever possible. It's not about profit for them and seeing this in so many ways at the convention, just confirms again and again that I made the right choice by joining this amazing company. Experiencing the culture and the kindness of the staff, the executives, the leaders and all the wellness advocates are truly amazing. It was also great to finally meet some of my own leaders, who I have had countless calls and messages with over the last year.
I won't lie. The week was exhausting but in a good way. So much knowledge, socializing and interacting does drain my battery but I got through it, and I can't wait to do it again next year! Ticket is already bought! I took time out for myself whether it was for a little walk, quiet time as well as trying to go to bed not too late. The fact that I got through the week without crashing, also shows how far I have come. This would not have been possible 2 years ago so I'm very pleased with myself.
In 2013 I was diagnosed with CFS after having symptoms for a year beforehand. It's been a long struggle and sometimes it still is.