Lifechat + Friday Faves

*thinking chill, relaxing thoughts*

Hiyah gang! How was your week? I hope it was a good one! Admittedly, mine has been hectic, stressful and I feel like I might be dying of stress-induced heart failure. 😀 How does that ol’ saying go? “Put on some gangsta rap and handle it?” That’s what I’ve been trying to do.  I have so much on my plate right now that I’m having a hard time relaxing and unwinding. I’ll share more details as they come, but one of my major stressors is my living situation. The urge to nest and create a home with my love is out of control. And, although Nick and I are in the process of taking that next step together, we were waiting to make some concrete career decisions first.

Over the winter, I was interviewing for a few positions in both Oahu and Kauai. Doing a lot of soul-searching in terms of what I want:  not only for my career, but my life with Nick.  The more we researched living in Hawaii, we quickly realized  it would be awesome to live in the tropics (No winter! Acai bowls and surfing all day, everyday), buuuuuut we’d still be in the same middle-class financial situation that we face here in the Rockies.  Living in paradise comes with trade-offs and it can definitely work… but if you’re average  folks like us (who want to buy our own home and start a family), it’s difficult to get ahead financially. I’m not 25 and my ovaries are going to expire sooner rather than later.  The career options and opportunities are limited. Especially for Nick, who wants to get back into sport and fitness.

We love Canmore, but it’s become ridiculously expensive to live like “normal people”. Like why is bread $10 and vacant homes 10 million dollars. Arnold Schwarzenegger is my seasonal neighbor.  Unless we win the lottery, we’ll never have a home to call our own. So it looks like we’ll be moving to Calgary sooner rather than later. Or maybe Cochrane. <– that little town is so cute!  While Nick is working this weekend, I’ll be viewing a handful of condos and hopefully signing a lease.

There’s more to the story and I promise to keep fill you in and share it in it’s entirety soon.  I want to talk to you guys about being afraid of making ‘the wrong decision’, trying to figure out ‘the best option’ and how that all ties into this. Life feels like a giant cluster fuck of clarity, messiness, excitement, terror… but at the same time, as though everything is falling into place.

That being said, I’m not sad about leaving “Never never land” as I’ve come to call it. We’ve grown to really love Calgary and it’s close proximity to the Rockies. We’re both ready for a fresh start and I know our free time will still be spent exploring the mountain parks.

All that aside, a few things that have brought some extra joy into my life lately…

Woman Code

Five years ago I discontinued hormonal birth control and I’ve experienced EVERYTHING from amenorrhea, constant spotting, 6 week cycles, stretches of normal periods, missed periods, painful periods and extreme PMS (mood swings, terrible cramping, exhaustion, etc) After years of feeling confused about my body and how the female endocrine system works – particularly  how it’s SUPPOSED to work, then feeling frustrated that mine seemed so… broken.   I can’t tell you how many times I’ve left my family Dr’s office enraged because the solution they always offer is birth control pills and anti-depressants to mask the symptoms. “How is that a solution?” I’d ask. “Well it’s not” they’d say.

I feel like Western medicine is excellent for diagnostic imaging, fixing gunshot wounds and broken bones, but when it comes to anything complex –  particularly endocrinology  they’re all, “We have no idea! But here’s some drugs.”

Based on tidbits of information I’ve picked up here and there from endocrinologists, naturopaths and my Traditional Chinese Medicine Dr, I feel like Woman Code brings EVERYTHING together in an easy-to-digest way. The book is like one major ah-ha!

It explains genetics, epigenetics (how lifestyle can turn our genes off and on), honouring the four phases of our cycle, syncing our cycles for better health, nutrition, estrogen management and physical activity.  “Cycle syncing means selecting behaviors that nurture you and engaging in activities that you can excel at based on what’s going on biochemically and physiologically at the same time. This includes choosing foods that provide nourishment you need at each point in your cycle. Choosing exercise that honors and maximizes your physical capabilities…” Ever notice how the first couple weeks of your cycle you feel energized and craving harder workouts vs. the last couple weeks where you gravitate towards gentler movement – like walking, yoga, stretching, cycling, etc.? Yeah!

As for the food recommendations, don’t worry – it’s pretty straightforward and doesn’t have you guzzling Bulletproof coffee and turmeric lattes or collecting moss, algae and medicinal mushrooms from the woods to brew some sort of weird elixir. Think lots of fresh vegetables and fruit, healthy fats – like avocado, egg yolks, butter, fish, meat and whole grains – rice, oats, quinoa, etc. Food combining tips to keep blood sugar levels stabilized.  Avoiding refined sugar, alcohol, dairy and excessive caffeine – particularly when you’re getting close to the P’s arrival.

The biggest takeaway I got from the book is this:  us ladies seem terribly confused about how our bodies work and although common, hormonal disruption ISN’T normal, nor do we have to accept ‘that’s just the way it is’.  With some sustainable lifestyle adjustments and understanding, we can learn to work with our bodies instead of against them. Highly recommend this book! Even if you don’t have PCOS, fertility issues or irregular cycles, you’ll get something out of it. I LOVED the week to week food and exercise recommendations most. These days I’m feeling “almost normal”. I’ve been on a supplement protocol and have made a few dietary tweaks. I’m not perfect with my eating and have treats here and there, but I’m more mindful of my daily choices.

Rumble Boxing (with friends!)

Kris, her mom, Nick and I enjoyed another awesome boxing class together last weekend. It was a lot harder than the first class we tried – it was more cardio-based and I’m not even exaggerating when I say I had to WRING my clothes out after. You can read my first recap of Rumble HERE

Jerusalem Shawarma 

Nick and I are obsessed with this place. We often have grand plans of checking out new-to-us restaurants in Calgary, but more often than not, we go back to Jerusalem Shawarma because it never lets us down. I’m literally sad when I’m done eating – GAH I love it so much! If you know of any other bomb middle eastern restaurants I should check out, lemme know. 🙂

Finding big, beautiful, juicy limes on sale.

And using the ingredients in my basket to make fresh spring salads like this:

A mid-week dinner at Table Food + Drink with Nick. We won dinner for two that included a giant spread of chicken, roasted and picked veggies, fries, mashed potatoes and a bottle of wine. 😀

Over to you:

I have a question! Have you tried these Nourish bowls yet? I’m so tempted to try one, but are they worth the $4? Which one is the best?

What is your go-to never let you down restaurant? What do you order?

Weekend plans?

25 thoughts on “Lifechat + Friday Faves

  1. Gooooood morning sunshine. I feel like I go through waves of that “AM I DOING THIS LIFE THING RIGHT?” to being like, “Whatever happens happens.” I am really excited for you and Nick to take this next step….. wait, your condo is going to have a guest room right? 😉 I’ll have to check out that book – my family doctor has forever and always been USELESS when it comes to female endocrinology. I definitely find myself craving different forms of movement and nourishment depending on the time of month – how interesting! Have a wonderful Friday – we should find a weekend for our first spring mountain adventure!

    • I go through waves too. Constant questioning is part of life and the ‘hardest’ part seems to come down to NOT over thinking things and ALLOWING shit to happen.
      I have this annoying tendency to try and micro manage everything that’s happening in my life but it ends up creating roadblocks and anxiety.
      Once I loosen the reigns, that’s when things actually starts happening. Funny how that works, eh?!

      • Hi! I’ve tried the nourish bowl.. the curry one with cauliflower… I would pay the four dollars again, especially for a busy week night or lunch when meal prep time is minimal:) it was delicious.

        • I also enjoyed reading your comments about cycles. I’ve been struggling with managing mine since trying to prepare my body for having children. I have been off the pill for over a year and have noticed how my mood and body can feel almost unbearable throughout my cycle. Thanks for the book that you recommended. I will definitely be giving it a whirl.

  2. So those are some big ole freaking news bulletins. HOW CAN BREAD BE $10??
    I’m just digesting everything right now for you. It explains a lot of your wanderlust and exploration, both mentally and physically.
    All I am going to say is this: keep following your heart and let it talk to your head. They’ve gotten you pretty far up to this point. Sure, you’ve “made some mistakes” but we all have. You’ve found your egg with Nick. Cradle that and nurture it.

  3. Ha, I never know if I’m doing life right. Ever. Excited about your future plans, I want to know the rest of the details!!

    I may have to check out that book. I’ve been feeling for years that my hormones are out of whack but I haven’t had the funds to invest in naturopathic treatment and refuse to go see a regular doctor because I don’t want to go on hormonal birth control again either.

    My coworkers had those Nourish bowls this week and were raving about them.

    • I think you’ll love the book. It’s such a handy tool for us ladies and explains SO MUCH. Put it on hold at the library!

  4. I just ordered Woman Code from Amazon earlier this week! I’ve been hearing tons of positive reviews about it. Right now I’m suffering from what my endocrinologist has diagnosed as hypothalamic amenorrhea. Missed periods or no periods at all have been something I’ve struggled with for years…since my adolescence. I think taking our health into our own hands is so important, especially as women! I’ve learned a ton from reading about other women’s experience with similar symptoms to mine as well as educating myself on how I can best nourish my body for it’s best performance. As someone who is physically active and otherwise healthy it can feel like I’ve let my body down when it doesn’t function as it should. I’m hoping that once I dive into Woman Code it will reveal some helpful solutions and resourceful lessons that I can put into everyday practice.

    • Samantha! You hit the nail on the head. It’s OUR job to manage our health, not our Doctors. Just like how we have to manage our finances and everything else in life.

      I hope you get some answers soon. In my discovery, I’ve learned that certain foods I eat (and when) seem to trigger inflammation/hormonal imbalance in my body. It’s just the hand of shitty genetics I was dealt BUT it’s totally manageable and I feel empowered and educated now. Let me know how what you think of the book once you read it!

  5. I hope everything works out for your moving situation. Hawaii sounds amazing but I can totally see the downside of not being able to save a bunch of money because you’re paying such a high price to live somewhere so beautiful. I really do enjoy Calgary and it’s close proximity to the mountains, I would totally move there if I needed to. I have a friend who just moved to Airdrie for her husband’s pilot job and they seem to love it.

    I should rent that book from the library! I see an acupuncturist to help prepare my body for us starting a family soon and a lot of the stuff she told me seems to also be the same guidelines as that book, thanks for sharing!

  6. MOVE TO CALGARY AND BE MY BEST FRIEND FOREVER!

    I mean- ya Calgary is cool, come live here permanently.

  7. The book sounds great so I’m really looking forward to checking it out. I love your photos, especially the one in boxing class looks so funny.

  8. Oh my goodness. My husband and I moved away from Jasper once we realized we could never afford our own home there. (300k for a trailer…ouch). We picked Lethbridge mainly because it was more affordable at that time (height of the housing boom), plus relatives here. I miss the mountains but LOOOVE my home, my yard, my garden…all the things I value in a nest. 🙂 I don’t think you’ll regret moving. Also, I’ve had the curry cauliflower Nourish bowl and thought it was fabulous.

    • That’s so funny – Lethbridge is my hometown. 😀 I don’t think I’ll regret moving either. I mean, we can always go back if we want to, right?! Although, I think Vancouver is where we will ultimately end up setting forever.

      I’ll be sure to try the cauli bowl – that’s the one I’m most curious about!

  9. I had a hard time moving from Canmore to Calgary initially- so much traffic, so much noise! But I realized it’s so easy to get out to the mountains anyways that it’s OK. As for food, check out Little Lebanon on 17th Ave! I have tried tons of donair restaurants here and that one is always the one we go back to!

    • Thanks Melissa!

      We might come to Winnipeg this summer – it would be so nice to finally meet you if the stars align!

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