Stationary Drifting


Odds & Sods

Photo 2013-02-07 4 34 15 PM Photo 2013-02-26 4 38 53 PM

Photo 2013-02-27 6 10 18 PM Photo 2013-02-28 4 40 21 PMPhoto 2013-03-02 4 26 32 PM Photo 2013-03-02 4 30 45 PM Photo 2013-02-26 4 42 52 PMphotos of my everyday lately.

1. some great graffiti that totally speaks to me // 2. neighbourhood near dusk. Check out all the steeples. Montreal is the city of 1,000 churches // 3. Pumped about my lengthening ponytail. Long hair here I come! // 4. A window full of buttons at a shop devoted especially to buttons on St Hubert // 5. Components for my favourite coffee // 6. My living room has been taken over by sewing projects // 7. My favourite photo right now of vintage pop bottles in a nearby cafe window.


2013: the post in which I state my resolutions

I think I was kind of trying to avoid writing a post on new years resolutions, etc. For no particular reason other than the fact that it seemed to be required of bloggers (am I a blogger now?), and a bit cliche for this time of the year. I guess I do like to have personal time capsules though, hence the existence of this blog in the first place. After reading a few bloggers talk about looking at their resolutions from last year and comment on them I got a hankering to be able to do that myself. So here’s my plan for this year, no particular order, mostly to look back at in approximately 353 days and see how it worked out.

1. Finish my thesis

This is a really big one. I know that my thesis has made an appearance in the complaining part of this blog many a time. Its been dragging on a long time and is getting to the point of being more of a myth in my life than a reality. I’m tired of feeling embarrassed and apologetic every time someone asks me about it. I really want to have it done and over with so I can prove to myself that I am capable of such tasks and and to be able to move on with my life. The thesis is holding me back from starting other things I care about learning because I can’t really imagine, or justify to others, starting anything new with this still sitting there. So to do this I’m going to have to 9-5 this shit. No more flexible time, no more excuses, just all work all the time until I’m done. It will feel so good to move on and I’m going to use the yearning for that feeling to drive me.

2. Find a good job

Finding a job has been a helluva chore. Its been over a year that I’ve been applying, going to interviews, feeling rejected, and starting again. My goal for this year is to make the changes that need to be made in order to find work, which will include really thinking about whether Montreal is the place for this to happen. I’ve been applying to work in other places but maybe I need to make the big move to change up the formula and hopefully find something that works. This requires a lot of thinking and planning since I don’t exactly have the income to up and move to a more expensive city (thinking Toronto), and obviously this decision also affects M so its got to work for him too. Whatever it is, something is not working in my application process and I need to evaluate that. This goal is related to the above goal in a lot of ways, not the least of which because both are making me feel stuck and also probably that getting my thesis done and graduating will help the job hunt. Its also related to moving my life and my new little family’s life and goals forward. So its back to the regular job hunt for me. To do this I’m going to get back to regularly searching for and applying to jobs. I’m going to make it my begin the morning routine, over coffee and breakfast (which I will also be getting better at), before working on my thesis.

3. Drink more water

In the past I’ve gone for more of a general “get healthy” goal. I’m not ditching that because let’s be honest, I’m way too young to not take care of myself. This year though I’m going to put down a more specific goal of making sure I drink a lot more water every day. Like the full recommended daily amount. Its not a hard goal but its a habit I want to form and it will take some conscious intention to get it started. I’m going to follow the Mayo Clinic’s advice because they seem legit and are usually not too extreme in their recommendations. They say that the average woman in a temperate climate should drink 9 liters a day so I’m going to aim for that. 9-10 big glasses or my water bottle a day should do the trick. I want to start each day with water before anything else and move from there. Luckily I drink a lot of water when sitting at a desk, mostly out of fidgety boredom, so this should work perfectly with my above plans.

4. Start a Cdn political analysis blog/podcast

This one is going to be on pause until the Thesis is done because frankly I’m not sure I can handle more writing, other than blogging, on top of that but I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time. Hence the Department of Analysis blog I keep but don’t write on these days. I follow a lot of grassroots political blogs and podcasts and really enjoy the perspective. My complaint about this though is that all of them are American, and while I appreciate the updates on what’s going on there I want to publicize what’s going on here too. The idea is not to be a journalist so I won’t be going out to follow stories, that’s not my goal. What I want to do is be a pundit of sorts and do commentary on events, news and politics in Canada to try and up the conversations happening about the situation here. The US affects our politics but we have plenty of our own that needs to be discussed. I’m going to aim for a late spring launch on this. If I can get others involved then great but if not I’m still going to do it.

5. Start a small Apothecary

I’ve been into herbal and holistic healthcare for a long time now. I think my first foray into it was when I got Bell’s Palsy (8 years ago?) and doctors told me that they didn’t know anything to ease the symptoms or speed recovery but that some people had good results from acupuncture. Luckily at that time I was still covered under my dad’s awesome teacher’s insurance and I was able to get acupuncture 3x/week for months free. It worked, was relaxing and most importantly I had (what I’m told is) a remarkable recovery. I still seek out acupuncture when I need it these days, though I don’t have coverage for it so its a lot less often. From there I got myself a naturopath and started using herbal remedies to make myself healthier and my obsession has only grown. Nowadays I treat just about everything with herbs (unless I’m really sick) and have gotten into making toiletries. I know make my own deodorant, cream and lip balm and am learning to make more. I’ve been researching lots of recipes (and even classes) but for now I think I can start a small apothecary making non-internal products and selling them around town. So this winter is for learning, and when the thesis is done I will launch!

6. Make a budget and stick to it

Classic resolution and one that I make almost every year. Its a bit comical to try and make a budget for such a small amount of money but at the same time SO necessary. This budget is going to focus on watching what we spend and paying down debt so that when we eventually have good jobs and more income we know where our money goes and hopefully have a cleaner slate to work with, and better credit. Eventually we will want to do things like buy cars and maybe a somewhere to live. Or at least travel. Money sucks when you don’t have it. So a budget has been made for this year, mapping out the real expenses we have and prioritizing the important things, including a (very small) budget line for entertainment. Now we just have to make sure we stay on track.

7. Read more books

My degree has killed my ability to sit and read for fun. I feel guilty when I’m not reading academic stuff so I haven’t really. I got a mini kobo for xmas this year and some bookstore gift certificates and I had no idea what to buy! This is so weird for me, I used to be such a big reader. This is somewhat related to the next resolution. Don’t get me wrong, I read, a lot. I have a solid 29 blogs and news agencies that I check at least once a day (thank you flipboard), not to mention the many articles, postings, rants and commentaries that also make up my daily reading. I love reading and I love learning, I acknowledge that I’ve turned more towards emerging and grassroots/popular learning in the form of new media academics and I like it. I get challenged a lot from it and it inspires a lot of discussion in my home. I miss reading for fun though, and reading fiction. Anyway, I finished reading Fun Home last week and am partway through Alison Bechdel’s new book, Are You My Mother?. Next up is Barbara Kingsolver’s, Flight Behavior on my new kobo. Then maybe something by Zadie Smith? I don’t know yet. The plan is to read at least 30 books for fun this year (idea from blackandwhiteandlovedallover). 30 is not much but it seems reasonable in the face of the stack of books I have to read to finish my damn degree.

8. Use less screens

This is another reason why I haven’t been reading enough. I have a million screens that I can look at in all places. My computer, tablet, smart phone, and (now) ereader makes is virtually (pun intended) impossible to avoid looking at a screen. I can sit in front of the computer all day, or peruse the www on my tablet in bed or while traveling (I even use it for knitting patterns!), the phone works for small spaces like the metro or bus or if I don’t have the tablet with me. The ereader for when my eyes feel like falling out of my head from starting at screens too long. So, with the health of my eyes in mind I’m going to make sure I spend a significant amount of time not looking at screens a day. Whether that’s reading (ereader doesn’t count, its nice on the eyes), knitting, hanging out with friends, cooking or whatever I’m going to make an effort.

9. Go somewhere new

Phew, this post is getting really long. Its taken me almost 2 weeks to write!

This is a fun one, a lot of these goals feel kinda heavy….I’m a wanderlust at heart. I’ve been in Montreal for 5 and a half years and its closing in on the longest I’ve lived anywhere, including places I lived as a child (Calgary was 7 years). My parents move(d) a lot, I’ve moved a LOT. There was the period of time between 19-24 I moved cities, if not countries, every 4 months. I like being nomadic, I get excited by new places. I have come to enjoy the benefits of being somewhere a while, which mostly have to do with knowing people for a long time, but I still need new places in my life to keep things fresh. So my goal for this year is to go to at least one new place. It doesn’t have to be far, it just has to be somewhere I’ve never been before.

10. “Renovate” the apartment

I’ve been living in this little apartment for almost 2 years, and now officially over 1 year with M. When I originally set up and painted the place it worked really well for me. We made a few changes to fit M in when they moved here but other than moving one or two pieces of furniture and clearing out a closet and a few drawers for them to use there haven’t really been any changes made to the place. Its in desperate need of an update and a shuffling to make ‘my’ place ‘ours’. My goal for this year is to declutter, paint, recover and buy with M to make our house ours. We’re exploring ways to cover the terrible linoleum in the kitchen & bathroom. Suggestions welcome. Changing a rental apartment is an interesting dance between wanting a good space and not investing a lot into a place we’ll move out of and leave behind.


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Small Things Project: Day 66 (oct 3)

Today I’m happy that I got up early enough to have breakfast, make coffee and get to work on time. When I manage to do that I feel good about myself, like I’m handling my life well. The key factor in being about to do that was the fact that I managed a semi-reasonable bed time last night. Which also makes me feel good because, 1. I’m getting close to enough sleep & 2. I have some will power.

I’m also happy I managed to get 3 meals into myself today. One thing that really stuck out for me in my session with Sara was just how many meals I skip. I’m trying to take her advice to worry less about what I eat in this moment and more about making sure I do eat. She thinks it will help with my general lack of energy, I think that she’s probably right. So I’m happy that happened.

What else? I had another, really good thing to talk about but I lost it when I decided to click off the page and lost my whole post. Having to re-write it made me forget….

Let’s just say that I’m happy for a short meeting tonight so I could get home at a reasonable time. And for finding $20 on the street (which I kept because I didn’t see the person it came from). I also found a fancy samsung phone, which I didn’t keep because I have a smart phone too that that shit is back karma (& not many people can afford to replace those expensive devices off contract). I called a few people in the guy’s contacts and then he called me back on his own phone. He was so relieved that he tried to give me $$ for it, which I didn’t take (see above). I think he wanted to hug me but I was late for the aforementioned meeting so I told him not to worry about it. He told me I had great karma, which I’m hoping he’s right about. I could use some good karma in my life these days. I got plans that need some karmic love. Sooooooo, happy?


I woke up really early. Was going to have a productive morning but was too tired

I am my own worst enemy on this. I don’t know when I started being the type of person who needed to go to bed early, which is fine and all but it hasn’t been matched with with an ability to wake up early (some people would disagree with my definition of early). I’ve been trying to wake up at a reasonable time lately and it is doing basically nothing for me except making me excessively sleepy throughout the day.

Take today for example. I had to take some brownies I made yesterday over to my friend’s house before she left said house at 8:45. I got up with just enough time to put on some wildly inappropriate clothing for interacting with the business folks on the metro at 8am, pushing my hair into what I can best approximate as a pony tail, and stalked off to her place promising myself, as I always do when I have to get up much earlier than usual, that I could crawl back into bed upon returning home. The morning got the best of me though and after leaving her place I decided to walk home and enjoy the morning light/air/feeling of being productive like those working people on the metro, and got it into my head that I would make good use of this early started day. A feeling that stuck around in all its glory for the rest of the morning while I made myself coffee and settled in to ‘read the news’ and drink coffee before ‘getting to work’. As soon as I was installed in my chair the glory faded and I ended up sleepily reading my newest blog obsession until it was way past the time I normally get my shit together. ///Sidebar: Kings & Cosmics is a hilarious blog by a stay at home mom with no intentions of crafting her way to blog fame, plus she is unendingly (not a word) witty which always gets my good graces///

This is not an isolated incident. And is not terrible in and of itself except that I’m watching my window of productivity be horribly shortened to the point that I’m worried that I have literally no productive times. I mean, I’m blogging right now aren’t I? I suppose that’s mildly productive, moreso than being catatonic on the couch, but not enough to make me feel good about myself. If I can’t get working early, I feel ready to ‘relax’ by 5/6pm and my brain checks out entirely by midnight at the latest then when the fuck am I supposed to be a useful person to myself or anyone else?

Sad state of affairs I’m complaining about sleeping and self-directed work time but whatever this is my corner of the www and I can do what I want with it.


Small Things Project: Day 43 to 49

[warning: this post is a little disjointed because it happens over a 5 month span. There are no pictures and frankly I’m just posting it so I can start anew]

Day 43: (april 8)

Today I’m happy for my easter gift to myself, fancy new nail polish in spring colours, and M’s gift of lunch. And Sil’s gift of a few hours doing laundry by myself in her quiet apartment with her lovely and loving cat.

I’m happy that I came home to a tidied up apartment and dinner on the stove. My fiance is so great.

I’m happy for the grey, spring Sunday light that made everything feel in slow motion. I love slow motion sundays.

I’m happy that I got to sleep in, and that I took the weekend off from the gym but that I’m excited to get back to it tomorrow. Operation get healthy is still in effect. I was too hungover yesterday from Friday night to start my cleanse but I’m getting to it tomorrow. And I’m excited for that too.

Day 44: (april 9)

Today I’m happy that M & I got our health nut lifestyle on and went to the gym for a spinning class. I’m happy that we are really on the same page about this. We even worked out for another 45mins after spinning for an hour. The best part was when I was slowing down in class and sweating my life away and M looked over at me and told me that I could do it. Having a gym buddy is really great.

I’m happy that we got a bunch of good foods at the market and now, as I drink my cleanse tea (which is so far going great), M is preparing us a really good smelling lunch. I’m telling ya, spring is the time for resolutions. M is even quitting smoking!

Today I’m also very excited about my writing more for my brother’s magazine. Check out my Field of View post or the website to see more.

Day 45: (may 10)

Phew, a whole month went by, I don’t know what happened…But I’m back at it! So today I’m happy for not beating myself up about small things and for not giving up. I’m happy for allowing myself to enjoy my routines in their own time and to allow myself to prioritize as needed.

I’m still glowing from my long walk with Josie yesterday and for knocking a bunch of chores off my list of things to do. Today I’m happy for my coffee, the fact that I’m still working towards feeling healthier, and a full day of work ahead of me. I’m also really really grateful for all the great friends and family who have offered so many ways of helping with this wedding planning. I’m so lucky to have these amazing people in my life.

Day 45: (may 15)

Today I’m happy for all the love and support we enjoyed at last night’s fundraiser. I’m grateful to Mars for cooking up a storm and for everyone that came and ate soul food, enjoyed the beautiful evening with us and donated towards our marriage.

I’m happy for the quiet train ride to snooze and reflect. I’m excited to be in the states again an am looking forward to eating a cheesesteak!

I’m looking forward to being done traveling for the day and for getting shit done tomorrow.

Day 46: (aug 9)

Today I am happy to get back to my blog. Too long, WAY too long since my last post.

As much as I was annoyed have having to stay home and wait for the Internet guy today (it’s been out for 2days) I was happy to spend some time in the kitchen. It’s been such a hot summer and I’ve been so distracted that I haven’t really cooked in ages. I made bread (from this recipe), banana bread (from here), an extremely spicy fried rice and some extremely spicy spiced tea. M said I was a spicy lady today, which was probably my inadvertent desire to burn the exhaustion out of me (I suspect it’s due to germs). On a side note: I experienced my first chili on skin burn today and yow did it hurt. After trying a few Internet suggestions I finally succumbed to M’s suggestion and sat for almost an hour with my hand in a bowl of iced milk. It still stings under my thumb nail but its so much better than it was I’m not complaining. The burn set in just as the Internet guy arrived, I think he probably thought I was insane as I kept disappearing to the bathroom to wash my hands, and at one point cut a lime in half and took it to the bathroom (where I squeezed it on my hand).

I’m happy for the cooler day today. It’s been a really hot summer, consistently hovering at 30 so that only my heartiest plants (the chilies and the Mediterranean rosemary and lavender) are still doing okay. I’m sad for my lost strawberries just as they were strawb’ing. The cool-ish weather and rain today was most appreciated.

I’m happy that my grant proposal is written and ready to be sent, and that my summer internship is drawing to a close. I am once again redoubling my thesis efforts. I really want to be done before I’m 30 but would settle for before the end of 2012 if I must, either way that requires writing though so I’m going to be off to the library and other quiet places lots in the next weeks.

Day 47: (aug 10)

Today I am glad for rainy, cool, grey, quiet afternoons. I’m happy for some solid perspective in the form of a presentation by a fierce lady named Kim Pate about Prisoner Justice for women. I’m happy for a new blog to read (hey there the stork and the beanstalk, you’re very cute). I’m happy for some quiet dinner and reading and for the fact that M is throwing a really great party tonight for 2-qtpoc.

Day 48: (aug 11)

Today I’m happy for a successful and SO full Transformative Justice workshop. Everyone was so inspiring and awesome. We worked through some really heavy things and although we didn’t come to any definitive conclusions I certainly came away with a sense of community interest and support.

I’m happy for tea with a sweet friend post workshop where we talked about life stuff. I feel like I should have taken a different path and become a counselor….

I’m happy for a job interview at an interesting organization. I’ve been to SO many job interviews in the past while that I don’t have my hopes up but I was happy to have gotten a call back, I wasn’t expecting one.

I’m thankful for a quiet night at home. This week has been epic. To say the least.

Day 49: (aug 13)

Today I’m happy for it being the last day of work so I can focus on writing for the rest of the month.

I’m happy that my best buddy is home and available for hang outs again. It’s been a minute too long that he was away.

Mostly I’m proud of myself for mcguyvering the bathtub with a ton of baking soda, vinegar and a plunger and finally getting it to drain properly. It look me a while and spot a small amount of frustration but I didn’t break and go get drano, which makes me super happy! No harsh chemicals for me or M!!


spring cleanse: days 4-6

Day 4:

Feeling better but still not awesome. Not cleanse awesome anyway. I’m still waiting for that “glow” that everyone talks about where they feel amazing and all that good stuff. I miss eating regular food. I went to a restaurant and ate a salad, hardly worth going to a restaurant for. I don’t miss sugar and caffeine as much, which is good.

Day 5:

I drank last night. Alcohol is not explicitly banned from my cleanse but I think it would kind of make sense that I don’t drink. I made sure I had booze that wasn’t wheat/yeast based and drank it with tonic so that I didn’t have sugar. Basically I had gin&tonics. I know it sounds like I’m justifying but whatever, I had a bad day yesterday (not cleanse related) and I wanted a drink. In case you’re wondering, yes, sometimes I do reward myself with alcohol for bad days. Anyway, I felt okay getting up today. I really didn’t drink that much though I feel like it hit me harder. In the quitting smoking world I had one drag last night, didn’t like it and wasn’t tempted again. Feeling pretty proud of myself for that!

I did break some rules today though. I had some bread at lunch. I had ordered a sandwich that I thought I could take apart and just eat the inside. Turned out that that would prove difficult so I gave up and ate the bread. I got full really really fast and have been low energy the rest of the day. Seems like I can’t shock my body like that… I also had a coffee today, I was out with Silvie and didn’t like the tea selection! I had a long pull americano with soy milk. It was no latte. I think I will hold out on the coffee from now on.

I’m feeling more spritely today though. Definitely not amazing (probably because of the bread consumed) but definitely not crappy. Sugar and other food cravings are mostly gone, and I feel like I can avoid foods without too much trouble now (minus the bread and coffee rule breaking). I miss being able to eat whatever I want whenever I want but I’m less angry about it.

I do wish I was doing this with someone though, I could use some commiseration. Though I am also pumped a bit about relying on my own will power.

9 more days.

Day 6:

Blew my cleanse all to hell today. Mood and Marseau decided to have a soul food night and for a while I was thinking that I was going to just eat the stuff that’s okay and suffer through but I woke up today on a mission to break it. And break it I did. I ate tons of mac n’ cheese, cheddar buttermilk biscuits, breaded and fried chicken and asparagus, and beer, and ice cream for desert.

It was delicious and I don’t feel bad about it at all.


spring cleanse: days 1-3

I’m just going to do this like my small things project because frankly I can’t think of another way to do it right now. All I want is chocolate.

Day 1:

I started the cleanse today. I was doing really good too, drinking my teas, avoiding bread and dairy. I went to the gym. I talked it out with Marseau, we made a late (late) lunch and as soon as we were done BAM I wanted sugar really really badly. I rarely crave sugar anymore, mostly because I have been baking a lot, but I  really think that this will be the hardest part.

So far I’m not feeling anything else that’s all that different or hard. I feel surprisingly pretty energized given that I haven’t had any coffee today, everything else is going pretty well. I’m hungry but I don’t know if that’s because I worked out or because I haven’t had my usual filling wheat flour. 2 weeks feels like a really really long time from here. I hope that I get some good results to keep me going.

Day 2:

I woke up feeling crappy. I don’t know if its because I’ve been sleeping badly or because of the cleanse but I feel like I have a cold coming on. I think its because of the cleanse though, I’ve heard that people generally feel shitty the first few days. If that’s true I’m definitely on schedule. Could possibly be from the fact that I quit smoking cold turkey too.

Also, I’m hungry. I gotta do some research of what I can eat because I need some good snacks that fit within these stupid restrictions.

I miss coffee and I miss sweet things. A lot. I still think about it all the time. Which is weird because I don’t think I ate really all that much sugar in my daily life but for some reason the fact that I can’t succumb to a craving is making me want it very intensely.

Nothing all that great to report today. I went to the gym and did my workout, but I didn’t feel energized like I usually do. I just feel tired, cranky, and a shitty. Things better look up soon or I’m going to go back to sugar. This is no trade.

Day 3:

I still feel shitty but definitely less shitty than yesterday. The cold symptoms are still gone and I’m not craving sugar quite so much. I’m just missing caffeine and am feeling a bit slow.

I’m starting to get angry at the cleanse though and how its blocking me from having all the delicious foods that I like eating. I considered quitting it this coming weekend when Marseau and Mood started planning a soul food night (how can I live without the cheese

smoothie for my sugar cravings, tea for my herbal stuff (I think that this is the dandelion root one)

biscuits and breaded chicken?). I’m still planning on seeing it through but I’m annoyed.

I’m less hungry though, or at least I’m starting to fill satisfied with the food I am eating and can feel decent after a big meal, not still hungry. I think that this means that usually I eat a lot of carbs to fill me up. I know that I’m not supposed to have gluten but I’ve kind of cut out most carbs (minus granola) for the moment. I’m going to look for rice crackers and maybe corn chips soon though for snacking. Must also get apples


spring cleanse

(warning: I am not a herbalist or a medical professional of any kind. I’m sharing my cleanse plan because I want to write about it, not because I know that it will be healthy for everyone. Please don’t take this as advice and if you plan on doing this or something like this make sure its okay for you.)

teas

Today is the day that I start my first ever cleanse!! Holy crap this is going to be hard. 2 weeks of a restricted diet, drinking tons of tea and being strong willed. NO CHOCOLATE! I’m still trying to decide if I’m going to drink coffee, I’m not allowed to have cow milk in it though. Deeeeeeep sigh.

I’m kind of constructing my own plan, not without advice though. I went to the see the herbalists at the health food place in the market (Alfalfa) and got a couple of teas, the Flor Essense herbal tea blend, dandelion root and ‘aubier de tilleul’ which translates to limewood (and might be the same as linden? unsure). Anyway, the herbalist recommended this in combination with eating lots of green veggies, avoiding processed foods, sugars, dairy and heavy meats (like red meat) for 2-3 weeks. Both of them said that they are doing this exact thing right now and also eating only green veggies for a week. Apparently spring is a really good time to do this kind of cleanse. I don’t know why exactly but it makes sense anyway.

I’ve also been doing some research online and am planning on having a restricted diet for the next 2 weeks. I’m not going to cut out a large amount of food, just particular types (dairy, wheat flour, junk food and sugars – but not fruits) for a while to give my body a little boost. I’ve been feeling pretty tired lately, and might be getting a cold from my crappy sleep pattern these days so I’m hoping this helps. This on top of my new workout schedule and quitting smoking, I have high hopes to be feeling good this spring.

Maybe I’ll blog about it in particular to see how it goes over time and share what’s going on. I’ve been planning this all week but didn’t start because I wanted to make sure my body wasn’t too stressed by my new workout lifestyle and lack of nicotine first, and I had to finish that pan of brownies I made for Corrie Sunday night! Can’t waste baked goods!

SO here is a bit of an outline of my plan.

– Herbal Teas (2-3 times daily)

Flor-Essence is taken in warm water 30mins before meals for 2-3 weeks

I’ve been doing a bunch of reading about this stuff before I start taking it, to make sure its safe and will do what they say it will do and also because I’m a herb nerd and like to know these things. Here’s what I know about it so far. Its a blend of a bunch of herbs that have an immuno-boosting & detoxifying effect. A lot of websites like it for a lot of reasons, including some traditional medicine ones because it is looking like it might be useful in fighting some forms of cancer, or at least treating it. Here is the information I got from a website called National Nutrition:

Burdock Root (Arctium lappa) contains inulin, flavonoids (including quercetin), lignans, tannins, volatile oils, vitamins and minerals. A strong antioxidant, it is also anti-inflammatory and immune-stimulating, and can reduce cell mutations while cleansing and strengthening. Antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral; increases lymph drainage. This burdock root is North American and certified organic.

Sheep Sorrel (Rumex acetosella) is an astringent, diuretic and laxative; it also oxygenates tissues and provides immune system support. All aerial parts are used as they contain several effective antioxidants including flavonoids, vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Sheep sorrel is a bile stimulant with phytoestrogenic and anti-inflammatory qualities. North American-grown and certified organic.

Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra) is noted for soothing inflammatory irritation, especially of the digestive tract, due to its mucilage content. Alkalizes by balancing pH in the GI tract; also absorbs toxins from the bowel and reduces bowel transit time. Contains high concentrations of antioxidants including beta-sitosterol, beta-carotene and proanthocyanidins. Certified organic when available.

Watercress (Nasturtium officinale) is a heavy metal detoxifier, a rich source of chlorophyll for blood cleansing, and increases the flow of bile for improved digestion. Excellent protection against xenoestrogens and many hormone-related diseases, it contains indoles (also present in cruciferous vegetables), which deactivate excess estrogen and eliminate it from the body.

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) is an antioxidant and blood purifier, and facilitates elimination of toxins through the skin, kidneys and colon. Shown to combat bacterial, viral and fungal infections, it has been used for lung, liver and digestive ailments. This legume contains isoflavones that help balance hormones and protect against xenoestrogens. The leaf and blossom are harvested from certified organic plants grown in North America.

Blessed Thistle (Cnicus benedictus) contains a bitter-tasting compound called ‘cnicin’, which increases the flow of gastric juices, thereby relieving indigestion and headaches associated with liver congestion. Blessed thistle is an anti-inflammatory and contains lignans that have proven antimicrobial activity. The flower top is harvested from plants grown in North America. Certified organic.

Kelp (Laminaria digitata) contains alginates, which soothe and cleanse the intestines, and help to neutralize heavy metals and radiation (including electromagnetic fields from TV’s, computers etc.) in the body. Kelp stimulates the immune system and supplies minerals including iodine for healthy thyroid function and metabolism, and to help control pre-cancerous breast lumps. Harvested near Iceland and certified organic.

Turkish Rhubarb root (Rheum palmatum) helps to safely normalize bowel movements, cleanse the liver and detoxify the colon. A safe and effective laxative, Turkish rhubarb also exhibits anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antioxidant and antiviral activity. Increases the flow of saliva and gastric juices for improved digestion. Certified organic when available.

kidney, liver, digestion, blood, thyroid, metabolism, colon, intestines, skin, lung, bowel, lymph nodes, immune system, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antioxidant, antiviral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial.

I can use all these things.

Dandelion root, 1/2 – 2 teaspoons, boiled in water for 5-10 mins, strained. 2-3 times per day for 2-3 weeks.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Centre dandelion root is rich in vitamins A, B, C & D, minerals like iron, potassium and zinc, is good for the liver, kidney, swelling, skin, heartburn, stomach upset, high blood pressure and digestion. Its a diuretic.

From the above website:

Traditionally, dandelion roots and leaves were used to treat liver problems. Native Americans also boiled dandelion in water and took it to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and upset stomach. In traditional Chinese medicine, dandelion has been used to treat stomach problems, appendicitis, and breast problems, such as inflammation or lack of milk flow. In Europe, it was used in remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea.

Linden/sapwood of lime tree, 1/2 – 2 teaspoons, boiled and strained, 2-3 times per day for 2-3 weeks.

This one was a little harder to look up because I only had the french name for it. It translates to sapwood of lime tree, which some places say is another name for linden (sapwood not flowers). From what I can figure out this is good for calming anxiety, promoting relaxation and calmness, sleep aid, liver, gallbladder, soothing an upset stomach, fighting infection, promotes blood flow, and boosting immune system.  (from WebMD & Livestrong Foundation)

I was told the I could take the dandelion root and linden together or separately but in total I should have having some combination of those teas 3 times per day. Not 2-3 times each.

– Food Plan

The herbalist told me to avoid processed foods, dairy, heavy meats, sugar and fat; and eat a lot of green veggies. Which all make sense to me. I’ve been reading up about other cleanses online though, particularly the wild rose cleanse which I’ve heard good things about and I’m going to add this.

Avoid:

  • processed foods
  • wheat flour (gluten)
  • dairy (except butter – I don’t know why butter is okay but I’ll take it)
  • tropical fruits (apparently they have a lot of allergens that the body can react to in the absence of all these other things)
  • alcohol
  • sugar

Eat:

  • lots of green veggies
  • soups and broths
  • beans, nuts and grains
  • almonds, fruit, millet, buckwheat, and brown rice
  • neutral foods like most veggies

So here it goes! Crossing my fingers that I won’t have too many side effects and am able to keep it up. If anyone has cleanse strategies they would like to share I’d love to hear them. Including how to motivate yourself to stay at it, what you ate or didn’t eat, recipes, how to deal with side effects. I’m curious to be testing this out and how my body will react!


April is for resolutions

January is not a good month for resolutions. I feel like the world is ending in January. Its so dark and cold and all I want to do is curl up under the blankets, watch a movie and eat baked goods. Basically winter is like one long pms cycle for me. The beginning of January is the last possible time I ever want to do anything active or motivate myself to do stuff I really really don’t want to do. Besides, everyone knows that the new year starts Sept 1 with the start of a new school semester. I don’t care how long you’ve been out of school, the beginning of fall is when its time to start the calendar over again.

A great time for resolutions is the beginning of spring though. When the snow finally leaves, the air starts to get warmer, hope and enjoyment of life returns, and I have all sorts of new energy. Its the time of the year that I want to clean out all my cupboards and drawers, air out the house and start planting a garden. This is the time of year that I want to make life changes, to make resolutions and really feel like I have a chance of keeping them.

So that said, here are my new season life plans:

1. Be Healthier

This one is a 3 part-er some more immediate term and some longer term, as all get healthy plans are.

– Join a gym

Marseau bought a damn scale this week and now I know how much I weigh. I hate knowing how much I weigh, it makes me so self conscious about my weight. I know that I’ve been gaining weight as I get older (I am constantly reminded of this fact whenever I go home ~ why do people insist on commenting on other people’s weight by the way?). I’m trying to learn to be okay with this fact, and okay with not being the skinny ideal in general. My height, frame, genetics, love of good foods all keep me from looking like a supermodel. I have accepted that and frankly sometimes I think that models kinda look unhealthily skinny. Trying not to comment or judge other peoples’ weight either here. The truth is that ever since I stopped biking because I was too scared/in pain after my accident I haven’t really been getting any exercise. Even if climbing the stairs to my 3rd floor apartment with a load of groceries feels that way. I found a gym that’s 3 blocks away from me that has pilates, and I like pilates (waaaaaaay more than yoga, but that’s a different story), it also has spinning and I don’t know if I like spinning but I want to like it. It has a steam room and a regular gym part (that I’m less excited about) I think that if I like some of the classes I would go frequently and start feeling like I’m getting some exercise and get energy from that. My goal is to get healthy enough to join a boxing gym, I really want to learn how to fight. In the meantime though I just want to drop some weight and feel healthier. I don’t have any particular goal weight and I’m not going to diet/deprive myself. I just want to feel better in general.

Which leads me to my second point:

– Quit smoking

I’ve been a smoker for a long time now, and I’ve been quitting smoking about as long as I have been a smoker. I’ve never been particularly successful at it, in that I don’t think I ever have truly stopped. But its my goal to not smoke anymore by the time I’m 30. This gives me 6months of quitting, possible relapses and learning to be able to see people smoke or go to parties without wanting to smoke myself. Even more difficult will be watching Marseau smoke in front of me and not want one myself too. So, as of today I have a rule that I’m not going to smoke before 6pm. No more daytime smoking. Once that becomes easier I want to go down to no more than one smoke a day. My mid-term goal is to only smoke when I’m drinking by the end of April. Long term is to stop once and for all in 6months. I’ve never felt like I was exactly addicted to smoking, I mean I can stop for days or weeks without feeling shitty or getting cranky. I never have felt like I NEED a smoke. Its just very much a habit for me. Waiting for the bus, after eating a big meal, feeling socially awkward, needing to go outside for a bit, social times with smoker friends, writing a paper or grading and needing a short break, are all reasons to smoke for me. Its been the time filler or self care or stress reliever for me for going on…..8 years now. I can’t believe its been that long! I want to have pink lungs again (or whatever colour they are supposed to be). Plus smoking weakens my immune system and I don’t need more ways to be able to get sick.

Finally:

– Do a cleanse

I’ve never done one of these before. I used to be really disdainful of cleanses (quelle surprise, me being disdainful), maybe its because the people I knew who did cleanses just stopped eating and drank a lot of chili, maple syrup and lemon juice mixes. That always seemed (and still seems) ridiculous to me, and I don’t get how that can be healthy at all. I do get how going back to basics and cleaning out my body make sense though, and I like the kinds of cleanses that people I know now do, which include cutting out a lot of food things that are rough on the system, letting my body relax a bit and slowly reintroducing more complex foods one by one. I’m all into herbs and alt health care so this seems like less of a crazy thing to do than it did year ago. Even if this is the shortest term ‘get healthy’ goal of mine, I think it might be the hardest. Particularly not drinking coffee but also I’m bad at monitoring my food. It will be a good exercise in self-discipline. Which I really need because, life plan #2 is going to require a lot of it.

2. Finish my thesis

This shit is for real. I’ve been letting this large and scary amount of work paralyze me into inaction for way too long (just ask Marseau and my mom ~ the 2 most invested in me finishing). I sit in front of my computer every day and just look at it, and then I get up and tell myself that I need to get groceries, do the dishes, make dinner, finish someone’s bday present, whatever seems more manageable and less terrifying at the moment. The problem is that even if I’m not sitting here looking at it, its looking at me, from inside my head. I wake up early in the morning thinking about it, I feel guilty as soon as I wake up, and every time a friend asks me to do something my brain says that I can’t I should be working. Most people’s reaction to this kind of thing would be to just do it. My response is to ask first if you’ve ever written an academic book that you feel totally unprepared and unqualified to write and then when you do finally finish it you must sit in front of a panel of experts while they tear it apart? Sounds like a stress nightmare to me but its actually my life. Many of you may answer yes to that question, and kudos to you but this shit terrifies me. Which is not to say that I’m not going to do it. I am. Starting today I’m going to work at this like its my job, which of course, it is.

I should probably write something about getting a job and saving money, or being better about calling my family, or sleeping but I already feel like I’ve got a lot down there. The road to self-discipline can’t all be traveled in one day right? I don’t know, probably not, maybe I’ll look into it tomorrow or something….

 


Small Things Project: Day 22 through 27

Day 22: (Feb 28)

Today I am happy for a reason to wake up early. Most days I feel like it doesn’t matter what time I get up to anyone but me. But today I had work to do in the morning before some school meetings. I feel a helluva lot better when I get up and out of bed at a reasonable time. I managed to make coffee, a delicious smoothie and bake bread on top of getting some work done. How’s that for productive? Eat that winter blues.

I’m also happy that I have a thesis related meeting today. I’ve been feeling bad about how little I’ve been getting done on it recently, what with my natural procrastination, TA’ing and the work contract I had. Its good to feel like I’m getting it back in motion.

I’m happy that its sunny out and the snow is melting again.

I’m excited to work on this photo project that Jared and I have, 52 Themes. I will be posting our new week’s worth of photos every Monday.

I’m excited that people are still reading the blog! I check the stats so much and it makes me really happy. Thanks anonymous people!

Day23: (feb 29)

Happy leap day!

I’m happy today that I’m continuing my trend of getting up early and that I managed to get so much done this morning. I’m pushing through the winter blues that make me want to stay in bed forever and forcing myself out of it in order to be productive. Painful tax related call, out of the way, possible fridge purchase on the horizon. I cannot wait to have a full sized fridge again. 8 months with a bar sized fridge isn’t fun, even if I pretend that trying to put groceries away is a game I call Fridge Tetris.

I’m happy that I have friends, like Marty that have such good perspectives on life and that they (she) are willing to have me sprawl out on their (her) couch dramatically in order to detail my latest conundrums. I’m really very lucky that I have friends that like me enough to put up with my “little black cloud” moods and try and help me figure out the mysteries of life.

I’m happy I’m on a project finishing spree and I really hope that it extends over to my thesis. Spring 2012 is going to be all about finishing what I started. I just decided that now.

Day 24: (march 3)

Oh man, I missed a couple of days. I guess that means I was out living life instead of writing. Which is a good thing.

Today, though, I’m spending a quiet night at home and I’m happy for that. For the internet, my knitting and a bed all to myself.

lace shawl for my mom

I’m also happy I got to spend some time with my friends’ tiny dogs, they are loud mouths but they are also cuddly and loving. I’m also glad that I was able to help them out, I feel like my friends give so much to me I like the chance to give back whenever I can.

I’m happy that M is taking a couple of days to go meet up with some friends in Toronto. He has given so much up to come to be here with me that I’m happy he got this opportunity. I know my friends are so important to me, I want to be able to support him in seeing his friends whenever possible. Even though he’s going to be gone for almost 3 days and I’m going to miss him so much.

I’m happy that I got to have a fun night out dancing last night. Its funny how I crave that less and less. Its also funny to see how my body reacts to it. Having a good night out makes my spirits so much higher but my body can’t handle it that often anymore. I’m so tired today the idea of going out again is not even an option.

Day 25: (march 5)

Phew I’ve been slack this week. And this time its not because I’ve been busy. Well, not out of the house busy, my hands have just been otherwise occupied since I’ve been knitting away at my mom’s lace shawl.

Today I’m happy that my boyfriend is coming home from TO finally. I’ve missed his cute face.

I’m happy that I had a productive day. Though I am tired and wish I didn’t have a meeting tonight on top of it all, I’m glad that I had a lot to do.

I’m looking forward to some promising job opportunities that will hopefully clear up this money drought of ours and give us a chance to make some real plans. I’m terrible at living in limbo, unable to make any kinds of decisions so here’s hoping that a job pulls through and will make it possible to make some dreams reality.

I’m excited about my new plants. The tulips are opening and they are red! And the tiny wishing tree,  or “Tree of Enchantment” as the tag says, is just waiting for wishes to be tied into its branches. Wishes that will hopefully turn into reality soon! I think I might get a money tree too. I need all the help I can get!

Day 26: (March 7)

Today I’m happy that it feels like spring finally, I went outside and got some kitcheny things to make cooking that much better! (including a small pot like the one that I said I wanted the other week. What? I got it at a good price!)

I’m excited that I feel motivation to do my research again. This is partially because I just applied for a job I think I have a chance at and am now freaking out a bit about how I’ll work full time and write. Whatever the reason though, I’m glad I’m feeling the burn a bit.

I’m happy that my new tulip plant is flowering and that its still (kinda) light out after 6pm. Spring is coming! I can’t waaaaait.

Day 27: (March 12)

The past week of small things was really up and down. I was not feeling committed to my blog apparently. Oh well, I refuse to beat myself up about a project that is really just for me so here is day 27, 5 days after day 26.

Today I am so so grateful for the spring weather. For making it through the shittiest time of the year, when its so grey and there are far too many layers of clothing to be worn. I’m happy that I can sit at my desk in a tshirt with the windows open and the sweet spring air coming in. I’m happy to be wearing canvas sneakers and my jean jacket. I love the looks on peoples’ faces as they shake off the months of grey slush and how we meet eyes on the street, everyone smiling at each other.

I’m happy for the cheque that came in the mail today, and how that signals the end of a very stressful contract. Also, how it provided M and I the chance to buy a couple of luxury items, new shoes, new jeans. I’m happy to be wearing a pair of unpatched pants. My first in almost a year. It feels good to have a moment of not counting pennies. Along the same lines, I’m happy for the work that has come into our lives and the potential for more. I’m really looking forward to the day that we can move from this very uncertain limbo and start to make real future plans. Plans that we can do more than dream about.

But mostly I’m just happy for spring.