The Upside of Death

Yes, I know this sounds like a morbid post but I think it is due to our conditioning. But what I mean by death is really just the end of something. And while endings can be sad, they also open up endless possibilities for new beginnings.

Many faiths believe that based on how you behaved on this earth, your death could be a time of great joy or a time where you make up for all the wrong you’ve done while living here. And of course there is the state of purgatory — where you aren’t really here or there. God’s waiting room — if you will — until the grand judgment day.

In my opinion death isn’t really so bad. Considering how often it happens, you’d think people would be more used to it by now. Yes it hurts to lose someone you love and it can be hard to fill that void but I feel that is the lesson in any death…..DETACHMENT…..We as humans love to own things, we say things like…’that’s my toy,’my boy/girlfriend, my house, my car etc. But in reality the only reason we’ve been put on this earth is to share, our lives, our relationships, our experiences etc.

Things, people and circumstances are ours for as long as they are of service to use then they must go where they are most useful. Knowing when to let go, that is the art of detachment. And in a world like ours, it’s a skill set that separates the boys from the men. (or girls from the women) No, it isn’t easy but yes, it is often necessary to let go.

This is something I have been known to have a terrible time with. I want to hold on to everything, every thought, every memory. I still have a piece of paper my best friend gave me in 6th grade to remind me of the first day we met. (she used it to teach me a folding game)

I used to be the same with grudges, I would NEVER forget what you did to me, my family or my friends. I was always watching you. But carrying all that anger eventually got exhausting.

Now a days I feel a major shift happening inside me. Each day I feel completely different than the last. Sometimes I don’t know whether I’m coming or going. I find this makes people who know me uncomfortable. We like the familiar, it’s easier to know how to respond to someone when you know where they’re coming from. That has not been me recently.

I sense a death of sorts happening within. I’m not as interested in the same things and oddly enough the more I change the more I find myself reverting back to the real me, or the 12-year-old me. The me that existed before I needed to be cool or fit in. 13 is a rough age for everyone but especially for women, we suddenly go from watching kids shows about girl power to ones that glorify us for our looks more than our abilities. If you aren’t careful you’ll easily get lost in the gossip, clothing and makeup routine expected of us beyond that age.

But before my teens I was a shy, quiet bookworm, who loved to write (songs, poems, stories; you name it) and dreamed of being a world famous singer. (Like Whitney Houston) I was kind of nerdy and I was okay with that. I had these embarrassingly large plastic eye glasses and spent a good chunk of my elementary years being called “Bookworm.” Like seriously, that was my nickname.

Boys would ask me out and I’d say yes because I didn’t want to hurt their feelings. I don’t recall actually ever hanging out with too many of them. I just wanted to be left along with my books, I would’ve said yes to anything to make that happen.

I’d nearly forgotten about that girl when alas — two years ago the transformation began. For this reason I think whoever you are at 12 is the true you and everything else is bullshit. Sure I love makeup and nice clothes, who doesn’t? But whatever makes your heart sing back then probably always will. I still pretend to sing to my thousands of fans in the shower. I still try to write my own version of Beowulf. (of which I’ve recently obtained a brand new copy) I still believe that you should try your darndest to love everyone, although some people make it so hard– as do I, most times. (lets be honest here lol)

And while “teenage me” is dying, I think what’s really happening is I’m finally discovering and becoming my true self.

The real me doesn’t want to get dressed up all the time. (Stare all you want, I know I’m a hot mess) Doesn’t want to wear makeup everywhere. (Do you know how long it takes to put that stuff on?) While I prefer you liked me just as I am I’m alright with the funny faces I get at times for my subpar style. (Haven’t you ever heard of ‘sweatpants chic’?)

Honestly, I get it. I used to be you. I used to see that girl in the checkout line rocking baggy sweats and a Tee and think, “Seriously? Like why even bother leaving the house?”

So while it may sting a little (not gonna lie, wish we girls stuck together more) I just can’t be bothered to please you anymore. There are a lot of women that relate to this dilemma. And I’m so happy to be over that phase of my life. (at least for now) For me this has been a positive death. The death of my ego and the need to be the best and the brightest.

So while I’ve got a long way to go, I feel I’ve also come a long way. And hell, life isn’t about where you’re going, it’s about who you’re becoming. I want to go to sleep each night feeling comfortable with who that is and, these days, I truly feel I can. I know I don’t have it all figured out (anyone who tells you they do is lying or delusional) and that’s okay too. It’s all going to happen as it’s supposed to happen, when it’s supposed to happen.

And that’s that really.

Top 10 Food Myths: Part 2

Do you think the food pyramid is the nutrition Bible? Think again! We here at Road to Vitality are busting some of the BIGGEST food myths of all time. Debunking information that many health-concious consumers have believed to be FACT for years, maybe even most our lives.hg-julie-small_719fe46c6712c71ac4ade2b458337b2b

Julie Daniluk – nutritionist, bestselling author and TV host – unearths some of the largest culinary calamities ever.

Finally, figure out why foods you thought were healthy are still causing you to gain weight and why your lethargy may have more to do with your diet than with aging.

For those of you just joining us, this is a two-part mini-series so please, feel free to catch up by reading the previous post below. It covers myths 1-5.

Myth #6: Artificial Sweeteners Help You Lose Weight
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Your brain is a lot like the engine of a Porsche, give it the wrong type of fuel and it just won’t work well. This is why aspartame, saccharine and other artificial sweeteners are so bad for your body. It gives your brain a false signal of fullness but your body burns through it’s calories leading to a spike in hunger throughout the day.

“Artificial sweeteners actually cause more cravings leading to a higher calorie consumption than natural sweeteners like Stevia and honey,” says Daniluk.

Myth #7: Low Carb Diets Work

Daniluk says low-carb initiatives may work in the moment but  cause yo-yo dieting in the long run. Why? Because once you get back into your regular food routine you’ll put those pounds right back on. She suggests eating all- natural, high fibre carbohydrates such as fruits (berries, apples, pears) and vegetables (sweet potato, squash). There is mounting evidence that part of the effect of the low carb success is avoidance of gluten grains such as wheat, spelt, kamut, rye and barely. Daniluk recommends avoiding gluten as 1 in 10 people are intolerant and may find weight loss success.

Myth #8: It is Expensive to Eat Healthy Food
IMG_0065A stroll through the produce section of your supermarket will prove this to be fiction. At the local No Frills grocery store I found a pound of peaches for $1.75 an entire watermelon for only $2.49 and 200 grams of snow peas for only $97. Buy it fresh, eat it fast (before it goes bad) and you’ll be sure to save more cash.

“Eating seven veggies and three fruits a day is actually cheap,” says Daniluk. “What is really more expensive is getting sick. If you avoid frozen and convenience foods and shop in the bulk department, your sure to save lots of money.

Myth #9: Banish Cellulite By Eating Grapefruit
No need to explain this. It’s just plain wrong. Daniluk suggests getting regular lymphatic massages if you want to get rid of or reduce the appearance of cellulite. Otherwise, just embrace it like the rest of us.

Myth #10: Fat Makes You Fat
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“Certain fats help you lose weight dramatically,” says Daniluk. “Omega 3 helps you burn fat faster and prevent fat storage. You can fight inflammation with 3000 mg a day of fish oil. Make sure to stick to sustainable fish like Sardines, Anchovy and Mackerel.”

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Learn more about healthy cuisine that eliminates pain with Julie’s book Meals That Heal Inflammation 

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Top 10 Food Myths part 1: Some of the Biggest Lies of All Time

Wellness is a billion dollar industry in the Western world, supplying the masses with a means to feel and look younger than our counterparts of earlier decades. It gives us hope of a better tomorrow by making the proper changes today. But the road on our pilgrimage to the fountain of youth is one blocked with barricades in the form of false information.

Food and fitness myths have saturated this market so much that many newbies aren’t sure what to accept as fact. Many of these lies have been dispersed through press releases by companies who find it in their best interest to serve you their sub par snacks. Other falsities are found out through trial and error.

hg-julie-small_719fe46c6712c71ac4ade2b458337b2bJulie Daniluk – nutritionist, bestselling author and TV host – weighs in on some of the biggest food myths of all time. Grab your swords of truth and join us as she diminishes dietary deceit.

This is a two-part mini-series. So keep your eyes peeled for part two on Monday.

Myth #1: Only Eat When You are Hungry
IMG_0063“By that time you are already experiencing low blood sugar,” says Daniluk “And your brain refuses to work without sugar. This is when you’ll notice that you start to get cravings for things like chocolate bars and gummy bears.”

Tip: Daniluk stresses the importance of maintaining blood sugar and says the best way to do this is to always use natural sugars such as fruits and honey with a protein and/or fat (e.g. raw nuts) and seed. (e.g. hemp hearts, sunflower butter) She recommends always having on hand a portable healthy snacks such as a raw nut and seed bar.

Myth #2: ALL Carbs are Evil:

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“There seems to be a trend in the wellness industry to demonize certain food groups,” she explains. “If you are on a diet and want to drop a few pounds fast, avoid grains but don’t avoid all carbs all together.”

Carbohydrates come from a couple of sources, one of them being vegetables and fruits both are a very important part of a balanced diet. She says pseudograins such as quinoa and amaranth are also great alternatives that can be used in place of  grains. Both of these seeds are high in protein and provide essential nutrients and antioxidants. Because they take longer to digest they keep you full longer and burn more calories during the digestion process than refined sugars and simple carbs.

Myth #3: Grains are Good for Everyone

Daniluk explains that some people have “Wheat Belly” and have a hard time digesting grains. If Cheerios makes your stomach churn she suggests you opt for a gluten-free diet.

http://www.wheatbellyblog.com
http://www.glutenfreediet.ca

Myth #4: A High-Protein Paleo Diet

Daniluk’s motto is “7 billion diets for 7 billion people.” There is no cookie cutter food plan because all of our bodies are somewhat unique. Therefore, our diets should reflect our individual needs. But for those of you on the Paleo Diet, Daniluk suggests authenticity. Keep in mind their lifestyle as hunters and gatherers and realize that they would have had a much easier time picking an apple off of a tree than hunting for game. With that in mind try to eat mostly plant-based foods and small quantities of meat.

“The amount of meat that some paleo dieters eat is not realistic or healthy,” says Daniluk. “And when eating meat it is best to use grass-fed meats like Bison.”

Myth #5: Everything In Moderation

If it doesn’t come from Mother Nature, Daniluk says keep it away from your lips. She says, many weight loss initiatives will offer you low-calorie snacks with artificial flavours, refined oils and sweeteners that spike your insulin and cause low blood sugar.

“Everything natural in moderation,” Daniluk says. “Everything artificial comes at a sacrifice to the human body.”

Be sure to check back on Monday for part two.

Lose Five Pounds in One Week: 3 tips for detoxing

As many of you know I did a three-week detox. This short video is a fun way to share my experiences with you in the form of three very helpful tips. Things I wish I was better prepared for going in.

I did however lose five pounds the first week. While that wasn’t really the goal it might be for some of my readers.

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My microphone broke in the middle of shooting. I apologize about the volume issues. Replacing the little bugger tomorrow.

Mid-Day Snack

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The great wellness wizard Dr. Oz says that most people need a sweet pick me up around 2pm everyday. A lot of people grab a coffee around this time but Oz suggests snacking on some natural sugar.

There is absolutely nothing healthier than organic, raw honey. Raw honey is unfiltered so all the vitamins and minerals remain within it and its twice as sweet as refined sugar or cane sugar. I pick up the one pictured at a local farmers market every Thursday. The beekeeper has a variety of flavors to chose from and even uses different types of pollen for different hives to create honey with differing health benefits.

I enjoy a heaping teaspoon of some of this delicious delight daily as a part of my afternoon sweet treat and while I like the flavor, I love the healthy energy boost that goes along with it.

Tip: slowly lick the honey off your spoon and you’ve got an all-natural homemade lollipop.