Warm salad recipe with brussel sprouts and green cabbage. Super simple dressing recipe included.Read More
Accupressure Mat For Pain, Stress and Circulation
A few weeks ago I got my Dosha Mat, Accupressure mat and I’ve been having a lot of fun using it.
Accupressure mats have a ton of health benefits, some claims for health are:
reducing pain and muscle soreness
stress and anxiety reduction
reduction of insomnia
creates relaxation and sense of calm
The acupressure mats have 4500 pressure points per the entire surface of the mat through the 190 lotus flowers (25 points per flower). These pressure point stimulate the area of the body and send signals to other parts of the body through meridians to help calm and relax. This is much like acupuncture, however not to specific areas and not puncturing the skin of course.
Looking at it from a yogi/massage point of view, I like using it sometimes in a manner that helps me massage a bit. This is also helping relief stress and tension through fascia releasing.
How To Use Your Dosha Accupressure Mat
You can use this mat in many different ways, in many different places. Here is a couple ways I’ve been using mine:
Simply laying on it. Sometimes I lay down on it and relax, do legs up the wall or at the end of a yoga practice in savasana.
Moving on it. I like to lay down and tuck my knees in and roll back and forth or in circles to get a bit of massaging action.
Sitting down with it. In an office chair or on the couch and leaning into it.
Standing on it. I personally have been loving having it beside my bed when I am doing laundry. I find it’s a bit to intense for me to stand on completely, but I will stand with it one foot at a time.
Want to try one out for yourself? I’ve partnered with Dosh Mat to offer you 15% off your vary own from the Canadian owned company! Offer is only good until November 4th 2018! Use the code BITCHINHOUSEWIFE15 at Dosha Mat.
Feeling Gratitude When Things Are Hard
The last couple days have been challenging for several reasons. And something I'm learning is that it seems a lot of tragic and crappy things will happen to us. As time goes on we love people and places and things. We learn to discover what it is we are passionate about and what we are not.
This can lead to heart ache when things happen, or don't happen as planned in our lives. Which can leave us feeling sad or angry or otherwise.
But all those inspirational quotes tell us to feel gratitude. "Gratitude changes everything" or "There is always something to be grateful for."
Yes. BUT. BUT it is REALLY hard to feel gratitude when you feel shadowed by a gloomy cloud. It's easy to share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #blessed when you landed the job you were after or nailed something you've been working on. So much more difficult when it seems like you are stuck in a dark room with no windows or doors.
So where do we even begin?
Name it. One of the most interesting concepts I have come across I learned from my teacher Michele Theoret and one of her peers Pamela Moskie. Emotions are not good or bad. They are simply emotions. If we can take what we are feeling and name it as sadness or anger then we can work at it from there. Once we recognize we are sad, hurt or angry and name it, we can start to find ways to deal with it.
I've named my sorrow. Now what?
Feel it. Honestly if you are sad. Be sad for a bit. Let it happen. Again no emotion is "bad". Be angry. Be happy. Feel it. I can't give you a time limit to be guided by. I don't think there is one honestly.
I've cried and felt it, where is the gratitude in that?
Let's find out why we are angry or sad or otherwise. What is the opposite? My example of a loved one passing away. I am filled with great sadness. Sadness that feels like a heavy weight on my chest. I am grateful that I was able to love. Love someone so much that I miss them. Grateful I have memories of them. Grateful I knew them. Grateful she helped make me who I am today.
Angry? Pissed off at the world? I am grateful for my passion. I am grateful for my knowledge of wrong and right. I have gratitude for the lessons in my life that have gotten me fired up.
Now I must say that my advice here is given from personal experience. I am not a therapist or psychologist. And some cases such as depression and anxiety may require the help of these professionals. I encourage seeking help if you feel you can not manage.
I hope you find peace in whatever you are managing and that you take care.
Last spring I went through a difficult time and I wrote in my journal something along the lines of "it's dark. There seems to be no windows or doors. No light. But I have to believe that there will be one again." It did come.
5 Favourite Podcasts on Self Help and Development
Are you a podcast junkie? I have my ups and downs. I like them running and driving to teach classes. Recently on my Instagram I was talking about a podcast I was listening to that sparked a curiosity, leading to me attempting a no sugar experiment. Then Of course I was asked, well what podcast was it and what am I listening to?
These podcasts are mostly about self development/improvement/help, whatever you want to call it. Depending on the mood I'm in or the title of course I will listen in.
1.The Upgrade. First of all Melissa and Alice have similar sounding voices and I find that hilarious for some reason. But they both have really pleasant voices. In the description of their show they say "Look, you're doing great but quite frankly we think you can be a little better." I love this.
2.Lewis Howes The School Of Greatness. I love that the people he has on his show are athletes, business people, celebrities and hearing their wild stories of how they came to their greatness. Lewis is pretty down to earth which makes it easy to bridge the gap between us regular Joes and the all stars he brings onto the show!
3. Lori Harder Earn Your Happiness. Well the name says it all. She's after happiness. How we get it, how we keep it, how we find ways to detach from things that prevent us from having it.
4. Kelly Covert, In Her Voice. Kelly has a very calming tone to her voice. I love her podcasts for early morning walks and more chilled out activities. Her view is all about women finding their own authentic voice and living out your own visions of your life.
5. Jenna Kutcher, The Goal Digger. This one is certainly more business based, but I see it as more improving things about ourselves to be better at business. Like stepping outside of our comfort zones and being brave to get where we want to be in business. Her Instagram is pretty the bomb too.
I describe myself often as an “urban semi hippie”. What I mostly mean by this is that I live in the city and see myself as sort of modern but with “hippie” values. I try to take care of my body, I use a lot of holistic medicines and treatments and believe in trying to save the planet anyway I can. I’m not perfect by any means but I believe in “do what you can, when you can”.
So when I saw that Sustainaval was coming to Edmonton June 7-10 I was VERY excited. I LOVE carnivals and expos, and the fact that it’s a carnival trying to make a positive impact on the world? Well EVEN BETTER.
Sustainival is more than an amazing day at the carnival, it celebrates the power of renewable energy to fuel exhilarating rides, games, delicious carnival food and community fun! Sustainaval is powered entirely by solar, wind and biodiesel produced by vegetable oil. How cool is that?
Sustainival is a unique experiential public education platform that celebrates energy literacy, sustainability, and the latest innovations in clean-technologies, all while having a blast at the midway.
There are the usual rides like the Train, Toon Town, Swings, Ferris Wheel, kids rides and a ton more. You can check out all the rides HERE.
In addition there is an educational aspect to the carnival. There is something called the Green Beast Eco Challenge. A fun race style event finding Eco clues all over the midway.
Admission to the midway is FREE as well Come and check it out and play some games maybe? If you are a rider, you can get a Day pass to ride all the rides!buy your tickets in advance for $30 here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/edmonton-sustainival-2018-tickets-42653960143or at the door for $45.
CLEANSE /klenz/ - Verb - rid (a person, place or thing) of something seen as unpleasant, unwanted or defiling.
I think we can all agree social media is both amazing and aggravating. It's amazing how we connect with old friends, make new ones, find spouses and hear about the latest news all in a couple of websites. No matter what your "poison" you can find it all on most social media channels.
The problem is when we feel triggered, incompetent, addicted and/or just plain shitty by logging on. Actually the real problem I guess would be logging on and not being completely aware that we are having these feelings. So maybe let's start there.
How you know you need a social media cleanse:
Take some time after logging out of social media maybe once a day or once a week to "check in" with how you feel afterwards. Ask yourself a couple of questions:
- How do I actually feel? Jealous? Inspired? Angry? Annoyed? Connected?
- Was there a specific topic/post that made you feel this way?
- Was there a specific person/group of people that made you feel this way?
After answering these questions you can make a decision from there. Is how you are feeling, a way you want to feel? If the answer is no, maybe it's time to "cleanse".
Schedule Your Cleanse:
Just like you would schedule some sort of food cleanse, schedule your social media one. Especially if you work in an industry that requires you to be on social media. For those that are social media strategist, one day might be all you can plan for example.
In the scheduling of your cleanse think about taking a decent amount of time if you can though. It's interesting to pick up on what fills your time after a couple of days without. I've done anywhere from 3/4 days to over a week. Which seem like online suicide a bit from a blogger/Instagramer's stand point, engagement and all that shit. However like anything else in life. When you take a break from it you become better at and more efficient at it usually. (I actually find myself most inspired right after a social media break.)
Tell bosses/coworkers you will be taking some time away. Schedule posts if you can/need to. Ask for help from others if possible.
For those that are on social media for the fun of it: well I actually recommend NOT announcing the break. You don't need a bunch of comments and even possibly negativity about it right before you log off. Plus, it is so interesting to come back and notice that you probably haven't missed much at all!
During the Cleanse:
If you can, delete the apps from your phone and log off on your computers. This is important. The harder it is to access it, the easier it is to stay away from it. Have you seen the commercials for those snack vaults? Put your favourite snack in there and set a locked timer on it, so you have to wait the days/hours until you get it. I also remember hearing about people freezing their credit cards in blocks of ice so they had to spend so much time getting it out to buy things. These are hilarious and extreme but in reality, if it makes it harder to get at, you are less likely to use it right?
Enjoy your time. Note when you typically grab for your phone to fill your time with social media. Red lights, line ups, bored on the couch, at the park with your kids, at a socially awkward party (see the irony there? lol). Make mental note of when you grab for you phone and how else you spend your time.
After the Cleanse:
Like a bad diet or juice cleanse, after the discomfort, you may actually feel better, but once it's over you can easily go back to your old ways. So here are some tips for mindful social media consumption post cleanse.
- Turn off notifications on apps. This may give you some sort of anxiety, but honestly I haven't had notifications on any of my apps for months. Maybe even closer to a year. Seeing the notifications and messages and all that's going on every second it comes in can be overwhelming.
- Log on with purpose. You purpose might be to kill some time, avoid that socially awkward party, check the latest news, promote something or so on. But log on trying to acknowledge and be mindful of what you are doing.
- Check your emotional state before, during and after. Notice if you log on to kill time and end up feelin inadequate afterwards. Do you log on to you favourite youtube channel to be inspired but end up feeling shitty afterward? Do you log on to Facebook and into a private group of people who uplift you? Make you feel better? Checking in with all these feeling can help us guide us to the last step.
Delete/Unfollow anyone or anything that makes you feel shitty:
Pretty straightforward I think. Forcing ourselves to follow people or look at their shit even though it makes us feel shitty serves nobody. Even the person you are following. Maybe I'm a bit more cut throat but I regularly unfollow friends on Facebook. We are still friends but have so I don't see their updates. I do this when I'm noticing I'm feeling triggered by them. Whatever they are up to or posting about. Then turn back on maybe when you've sorted your own feelings.
This one can be tough especially is it's family or a co-worker you see every day. Facebook easier then other platforms of course. If your business includes following people/business that make you feel this way, be conscious. Mindful of how you are reacting. This alone will help you work through the feelings so much faster.
Personally I log on and feel angry let's say, I seek attention from my husband, connect with loving my children or workout if I'm especially irritated. I know I don't have to like everyone and they don't have to like me, so I connect with those I do. And that's okay.
How do you take care of yourself in regard to social media? What do you struggle with? Let's chat it out.
Anti Inflammatory Tumeric Mylk Recipe
If you follow along on Instagram you'll know I'm totally into studying Ayurveda. It's basically a very old traditional Indian style of medicine, using herbs and food and oils and practices to heal. I've been studying holistic nutrition methods for years as well. One of the big things I noticed as a cross over between the two is that they are both big on anti-inflammatories AND they both love ginger and tumeric as a key anti-inflammatory.
I've been playing around with making Chai and even this yummy Digestive Tea for a long time, and I stepped up the game with this yummy Tumeric Mylk Recipe.
Why "Mylk"? Well because its just a way of identifying that is milk from a non animal source. I used coconut milk, but almond milk, soy milk or even regular milk would work here.
Additionally, don't worry about the spices being fresh or already ground in your cupboard. I like to have the whole spice and grind them myself, it's like a little ritual for me.
- 1 cup of chosen milk or mylk.
- tsp nutmeg
- tsp tumeric
- tsp cardamom (this is what makes a good chai for me personally!)
- 1 stick of cinnamon (or 1 tsp cinnamon)
- 2-3 pieces of star anise (or 1 tsp)
- 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger (or powdered)
- Put everything into a pot and let simmer 5-8 minutes.
- Strain in to a mug with a fine mesh strainer.
Seriously it is THAT simple.
Enough is Enough Lululemon - I’m calling you out.
Yesterday was International Women’s Day. A day to celebrate us Women. All women. Powerful CEO’s, nurses, artists, truck drivers, welders, teachers, stay at home moms, 17 year old high school students, 100 year old great grandmothers. Women of different sizes, shapes, backgrounds, colors, personalities, incomes and sexualities.
And Lulu just had to do it. Just had to abuse their reach and use OUR day to do it.
Let me back up a bit here. I am a white, female, 32 year old yoga teacher, who is in “works out but likes pizza” shape. I spend about an hour to hour and a half each day exercising 5-6 times a week. I have two kids, loving husband and run some boss ass businesses if I may say so myself.
I wear Lululemon clothes to workout and teach, among other lines. I have friends who work for Lulu and some that are ambassadors. They are lovely humans who are totally inspiring and bad ass.
You just had to go and do it didn’t you Lulu?
Lulu created a campaign that launched yesterday named “Enough is Enough”. A campaign where they sell you t shirts that send funds to empowering women through various charities. Seem noble? Sort of is. Sort of.
The charities picked are Yoga Outreach (trauma informed yoga), Red Clay Yoga (Focus on yoga for youth and marginalized communities), Exhale to Inhale (Yoga for violence and sexual assault survivors) and Our Mala, (Yoga for survivors of Violence and Cruelty). These charities are amazing. Yoga is a beautiful way to help with these processes and I don’t want to take away at ALL from these organizations.
Back to Lulu. They launched the Enough is Enough campaign and gave their ambassadors shirts and mega phones. Mega phones so they can be heard. Heard speaking rights for women.
However the flaw here is the women given these microphones (who again I know many and they are amazing) lack diversity.
Beautiful (by society’s standards)
In the 30 “ish” range of age
And oddly enough also mostly Yoga teachers.
Basically they are “Ocean”. If you haven’t heard of Ocean, she is the ideal customer created by Lululemon. Chip Wilson the founder of Lululemon describes Ocean as “32 year old single professional that makes $100,00 a year, is fashionable and has an hour and a half to workout every day.” and goes on to say “if you’re 20 years old or you’re graduating from university, you can’t wait to be that woman. If you’re 42 years old a couple of children, you wish you had that time back.”
Sooooooo what you are saying there Chip is that you are “Empowering” women through your Enough is Enough campaign, however these women are not good enough.
You want them TO WANT to be more than they already are.
YOU GAVE MEGA PHONES TO WOMEN WHO ARE LIKE OCEAN TO SPEAK FOR THE WOMEN WHO ARE NOT.
Browsing through your Instagram feed, you have Oceans and Dukes (their ideal man) and no other diversity.
So what really is your Enough is Enough campaign about? Selling more clothes.
We all know this isn’t the first time you’ve alienated people with an interview a long time ago, claiming you wouldn’t make sizes for women above a size 12. We won’t even go there.
I AM calling you out on your fake campaign.
I AM telling readers, friends, yoga teachers, personal trainers, weekend warriors to make informed choices.
Stick to selling clothes and leave your nose out of the women's empowerment movement.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE AN OCEAN.
YOU ARE ALREADY ENOUGH.
Update: This went a tad viral and we created an exclusivity photoshoot event in Edmonton to celebrate our beauty of uniqueness and amazingness.
A while ago(wow 2.5 years ago!) I wrote this post about how I got rid of my adult acne. After I switched to natural face wash and toothpaste it basically cleared up and went away. It was kind of amazing. I still use natural toothpaste to this day.
Brushing wasn't enough for me though. And since I despise seeing the dentist I figured I should take better care of my mouth. Especially since oral health is actually a HUGE factor in general health and wellness. But that's a whole other blog post.
Anyways, I started flossing more. I've done oil pulling but I feel like it takes a lot more effort then I'm into. I bought mouthwash and it was WAY to harsh and left a yucky chemical taste in my mouth.
Solution: this awesome Brushing Rinse by Essential Oxygen! It's made with fair trade and organic ingredients too!
How you use it: Shake the bottle, put a small amount in your mouth and swish around. Instead of spitting out, like you would with traditional washes you keep it in while you brush your teeth. DON'T WORRY your mouth will not be on fire. It honestly just feels really fresh! You brush your teeth as normal with the rinse and ta-da! Fresh clean mouth.
Essential Oxygen says it's good for anti-cavity, teeth whitening, fresh breath, canker sores and sensitive teeth!
To top it off it's non toxic, organic and biodegradable...... so yeah, good for you, good for the planet, win win.
Get 15% off your own bottle using the code 15BRUSHRINSE.
It's funny, because up until a few-ish years ago I never thought of myself as am athletic person. Looking back I realized that maybe I always was. I loved playing sports, skipping rope and even was part of the running club in elementary. Maybe I wasn't so much in Junior High and High School but afterwards I would have spurts on and off with the gym and sports. I tried yoga for the first time 12 years ago and was a maniac about going for years. 5 years ago I completed a half marathon while 7 weeks pregnant with my second child. After she was born I was heavy into weightlifting and did a bikini competition. I think I have loved exercise, sports and working out my whole life. As long as I'm enjoying myself.
Two years ago our lives changed dramatically. My husband was laid off from a job that we never saw coming. In the middle of a terrible recession, just 6 months after buying a new house. We of course went into scramble mode. We were both exhausted from working our tails off. I was teaching lots of yoga and tons of hard on my body fitness classes. Yes I was still keep active, but at this point it was about survival, not fun.
Forward to a little more steady life a year later, I had surgery for my Endometriosis. A disease that causes awful and random pain in my abdomen, low back and pelvis. Working out hurt. And on top of that during my surgery, my tubes were removed, causing crazy hormone changes. I was a hot mess mentally and physically.
I have felt in a slump. For the better part of two years. Which is super frustrating as someone who loves fitness. As someone who's body has done and once was capable of great things.
I've spent some time sitting in thought about why I'm missing the pleasure from exercise. And here are the questions I've asked myself in order to arrive at where I am now.
- WHY? Why do you want to exercise? This is a very personal question. It can be for improvement of health issues, weight loss, time to yourself or anything really. Know that the answer to this is NOT wrong. It's okay to want what you want.
- WHAT? What do I want to achieve? For me I thrive on a end goal challenge. Something that scares me a little. This year I have decided I want to do the Spartan Trifecta. You may have a weight loss goal number, a certain amount of hours a week you want to yourself, learning how to do a pull up, reducing or eliminating medications (please work with your doctor). A specific goal is helpful to "keep your eyes on the prize".
- HOW DO I FEEL? Ahhhhh the one question I feel that is skirted a lot in the fitness industry. Take some time to journal or think about this one. And often. How do you feel about exercise? How do I want to feel? How do I feel about myself/my body? How does the answer to that positively or negatively impact you? How do you feel in the process? Maybe take some time to notice if some goal are motivated by shame or someone else's expectation of you. This alone is likely not a good motivator. It has to come from a place of you wanting to do good for yourself.
- WHEN? When will you start? When do you want to complete your goal? Remember to be realistic and allow for set backs. They happen. Trust ME!
- WHO? Who do I need to support me? Let spouses, friends and family know of some of your plans. More often then not I find most are ready to cheer us on. Sometimes there are those that aren't. That's okay. I find journaling helpful. Writing down accomplishments along the way. "Jen you are a badass! You finally were able to do......." Be your own cheerleader!
After all of these questions. I leap.
It doesn't have to be perfect.
It doesn't have to exactly as you planned.
It CAN be fun. It SHOULD be fun. Try different things. Different classes, studios, music, friends, trainers and so on. Rather then it being this awful thing you MUST do, it can be a fun thing you LOVE to do.
This is my motivation. I have goal. Because personally I do very well with scary goals. Just thinking of the Spartan Beast gives me a little butterfly in my stomach. The workouts aren't what I've done the past 4 years. It's new and different and fun. And I've now told the world (okay just my readers and close friends at least) that I'm doing it and need their support. This all makes the 5:45 am alarm clock not AS grueling. I look forward to the next time I run. I compete with myself to jump higher and be even better then yesterday.
Because it's about me. Not anyone else.
And that's how I got my fitness motivation back.
Healthy Holiday Recipe!
Don't get me wrong I LOVE indulging in the Holiday yumminess, but I like to balance it out with some of the healthier things too. So I thought I would put together some of my Organic Box ingredients for a lovely Rosemary Goat Cheese Quiche.
I love quiches because they are relatively easy to make and are a pretty balanced meal nutritionally. The eggs give it a great source of protein, cheese adding healthy fats, pis crust for energy from the carbohydrates and of course you get your veggies thrown in too!
They taste delicious fresh from the oven or the next day cold or warmed up! Perfect for Holiday potluck parties or lunch for work!
Ingredients (makes 2 quiches):
- 2 pie crusts. I buy them premade but you can also make them yourself!
- 12 eggs
- 2 handfuls of spinach.
- 1 handful of grape tomatoes
- half an onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp rosemary
- 2 tbsp goat cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
Lets make Quiche!
- Preheat he oven to 350 degrees.
- Pre bake the pie shells for 5-8 minutes. This helps the bottom be crispy under the egg mixture.
- Turn on a pan to medium heat with olive oil. saute onions and garlic until onions are soft.
- Chop up rosemary, spinach and tomato.
- Toss veggies, eggs, onion and garlic into a bowl. Mix really well.
- Add egg mixture into two pie shells.
- Add crumbled goat cheese into the pies.
- Bake 30-35 minutes. You may need longer, a good way to tell is the center doesn't jiggle when moved a bit and there is some browning on top.
TIP: If you want to take down the fat content a bit you can replace half the eggs with egg whites! for every egg replaced, use to egg whites.
Also get $20 off your first order at The Organic Box using the code "OrganicBunch20"
A little while ago I was working with Ford Canada on their Bliss Behind The Wheel, Ford Wellness campaign here in Edmonton. Helping drivers de-stress and find a bit of wellness behind the wheel.
I love this initiative, because in our busy every day lives it can seem daunting to add ANOTHER thing to our to do lists. Of course I'm all for going to a yoga or meditation class, but sometimes there aren't enough hours in the day.
Additionally we live in a world that has so many demands on us. We are constantly being pulled in a million directions and this adds stress to our minds and bodies like never before. Unfortunately our bodies haven't caught up to technology advances yet and don't really recognize the difference between stress of a job, friend or traffic in comparison to life threatening situations like a bear chasing us. All this stress, all the time can have a toll on our health.
So, I came up with a few tips you can use in the car to help a bit. You are already in the car, so it;s not adding to your schedule any! Some of them are light stretches and the main one is calming the body with breath. This breath can help our bodies relax and send signals to the brain to calm down.
So let's start with before we drive:
- Sit up nice and tall in your seat. imagine reaching the crown of your head to the roof. Put your hands on the steering wheel. Take a big inhale as you push your chest toward the front of the car and then as you exhale round your back, tuck your chin and look to your belly button. Repeat 2-4 times.
- Next sit up tall again. Take a big inhale and as you exhale twist to your left. Look over your left shoulder and hold for 2-4 breaths. Repeat on the other side.
No only do these two stretches help you connect with your body and de-stress through breathing, but it's also stretching lightly to help you shoulder check and see better.
Next, during the drive, while stopped at red lights:
- Put your hands on you stomach. Take a big inhale, let the belly expand with the air, and as you exhale actively pull the belly button in. Repeat 2-4 breaths.
- This breath uses the diaphragm to breathe, which massages a nerve that connects to the "restore and calming" center of the brain.
- Keep eyes open for safety and keep the breath slow so not to get dizzy. Safety is of course number 1 priority.
This breath can be done as driving to, with the hands remaining on the streering wheel. When you feel overwhelmed by traffic possibly, find a breath or two, allowing the exhale to come from the mouth, maybe even a sigh sound. This is very soothing an calming.
Once you've arrived at your destination:
- Sit up tall. Inhale as you draw your shoulder towards your ears, exhale as you push your shoulders back and down away from the ears. Repeat 2-4 times. Notice the softening sensation in the neck and shoulders.
- Sitting up tall, take your left ear to your left shoulder and hold for the stretch 1-3 breaths. Repeat on the other side.
During the drive tension can be created in the neck and shoulders. Whether it be from traffic, road conditions or anything happening in the car. allow a few breaths here to release the tension before going on to your destination to start from a place of calm.
Leave a little bit of time in your travels. Rushing will only create more tension and stress.
- Take advantage of the car features to help you out. Use the Ford sync for hands free control of music, destinations and phone calls and my personal favourite... heated seats... ha ha
What is floating you ask? This recent trend is gaining popularity and for good reason. It is suuuuper relaxing and in my opinion, one of the ultimate self care "me" times.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to go check out the Float House Edmonton. It was basically pure bliss. But before we get into my review of the Float House, first let's chat about what floating is.
What is a float tank?
Basically it's a tank you lie in with a high salt water content so that you actually float in the water without effort. The tank is enclosed to block out noise, light and basically most sensory stimulation. It's sometimes called a sensory deprivation tank.
What's the point?
By removing the stimulus of noise, light, draft etc the body can go into a deeper state of relaxation and/or meditation.
What if I'm claustrophobic?
This is a REAL question. I 100% have claustrophobia issues. about 5/6 years ago I had my first experience in a tank and it wasn't too bad (I had already done lots of work on my claustrophobia), but I was able to keep the door of the tank open to ease my anxiety. That said the tank I was in was on the smaller side so I found myself not completely relaxed. Personally at Float House Edmonton in particular their tanks are so big that I was completely comfortable and even closed the door all the way .
What do you in there the whole time?
Well, whatever you want to do I guess. Dominic did a great job of explaining some things about being in the tank. He suggested some things like playing in the space a bit, ways to find comfort, doing a body scan or meditation. I personally found it comforting to play around with my positioning a bit, make waves in the water and feel around the walls a bit before coming into a settled position. The great part is that whenever you feel ready you can leave. The tank is in it's pwn room and you can get out and shower whenever you feel you are ready too.
What are the benefits of floating?
There are tons! I go for the relaxation and meditation. But check out the Float Houses #WhyWeFloat page for the best resource on this subject.
So about Float House.
I love the vibe in there. Located just off Whyte Ave it's amazing to come off a busy street into the chill setting. The space is very clean, relaxed and inviting. Sitting down with Dominic, he helped put me at ease about the process, giving me a lot of good tips.
The room itself is beautiful. A private shower in the room, just outside the tank. It makes it easier to have a cleansing shower before the float and a nice warm shower upon stepping out. There is a few lighting options. You can choose total darkness, which sets on a timer. You set it to total dark and it gives you time to get into the tank and settle before it goes all dark. Additionally you can choose more light or a little bit of light. There are a couple of small holes in the ceiling of the tank that let in the smallest amount of the room light. I chose this option to help keep me oriented.
The tank itself is really large. I'm 5'2" and had lots of space to bounce back and forth from foot to head. Additionally height wise I'm pretty sure I could actually stand up in the tank. So It felt more like floating in a room then a tub.
One of the best parts however is the post float. There is this beautiful room where they encourage you to sit and have some tea, or maybe read, write or reflect. I had a beautiful conversation with Dominic and another floater afterwards. It was like hanging out with long time friends.
Overall, I really love this place. Personally every Sunday I have a morning bath and I think I will be replacing that time once a month with a float.
Have you ever floated?
Last week and the week before my friend and I hosted a screening of the Embrace movie. A movie centered around the body positivity movement. Every time I watch this movie I leave feeling more love then ever for my body and the fellow women of the world.
Then each morning I wake up to reality I feel like.
A friend tagged me on Instagram to win a free 3 week pass to a fitness studio. Awesome. Don't mind at all. HOWEVER. The imagery used in this contest was of a women in a tiny bikini in the water from the back side with "perfect" skin and a very small waist and legs. Followed by an image of a women with her legs in the water, again very slender legs, followed by the last image of a woman in another small bikini, thigh gap and abs. Not even showing any of their faces. Literally just their young "perfect" bodies. Like they aren't even people or something.
The anger begins to build inside me.
We have so far to go. We aren't going to change traditional media anytime soon. (That doesn't mean to stop trying). BUT fitness studios and trainers and teachers and instructors and gyms have the choice. Especially these small studios. They have a choice to embrace the women they are advertising to, rather then telling them they are not good enough through imagery.
To further my frustrations, I go to Facebook to see someone selling their fitness equipment saying "get those legs summer ready".
You have legs. They are fucking summer ready.
We have choices. We can choose to change the world by saying things like "invest in yourself" and "workout for you" and "exercise for your health", rather then "get abs" or "grow your booty".
Abs do NOT equal happiness. That shit comes from the inside. Workout because you feel strong or empowered. Workout to feel and be healthy.
The language of the fitness industry needs to change.
It starts with us as consumers. We can put our dollars into businesses that support positive body statements and images.
"Language Matters" as Mayim Bialik talks about in one of her videos regarding how we talk about women. Same rules apply how we talk about our bodies. If we keep sharing and buying products telling us to "get summer bodies" the cycle continues. BUT we have a chance to take notice of this language and advertising and fight with our wallets.
I am currently obsessed with the Pure Living Enthusiast Root Down Muscle Balm. Think a way better and more natural version of the traditional chemical filled (and smelly) muscle creams. You may love your grams, but that stuff can smell yucky.
This Root Down Muscle Balm was originally designed for use in the yoga room. Developed to bring in some mobility during practice and body awareness, it was realized just how good it was for soreness and inflammation.
I've used this on people in my yoga classes to rub on their neck and shoulders in savasana to help them relax and ease the tension, as well as on my own neck and shoulders after a night of sleeping funny and waking up with a stiff and sore neck. The tingle gives some of that immediate relief and then it lingers allowing time to relax the muscles.
A few weeks ago I did a really heavy leg day workout and was sore for days after and I was able to use this muscle balm to help ease some of the soreness from DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness.
I have yet myself to need it for the purposes of a cold, but I'm told it's also a great replacement for Vick's when you have a cough or cold. Rub a little on your chest to help ease congestion.
So basically this balm is a household catch all. Use it for stiff necks, sore muscles, coughs and colds. And the pleasant smell of frankincence and peppermint wont leave you smelling like grams! (No offence grandma).
This weekend is the Edmonton Woman's Show and I have a 4 pack of tickets to giveaway!
This year they are focusing a bit more on self care, and well if you follow my Instagram or any of my Self Care Sunday posts, you know that's my jam!
They have some interesting demos like Qigong, therapy workshops and FREE massages!!!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE celebrating us as women so enter to win a 4 pack of tickets to take your friends for some connection time. Enter below by sharing your favourite way to connect with your friends!
Jen The Bitchin' Housewife
As Mothers we say all the time that we are never alone. We can't pee without children knocking on the door or rest on the couch without someone needing something from us. We forever seem to have other humans calling to us or crawling all over us. We can't catch any time to ourselves.
We crave to be alone. The moment we are alone however, we realize how lonely we are. How is it that we are always surrounded by other people and constantly in conversation and busy, but so lonely all the time? How can we stand in a room full or friends or coworkers and be so isolated?
Because what I think it is that we really crave is the honest human connection with another person about things of our interests. We don't NEED girls nights outs because we necessarily need to "let loose" (although that can certainly sometimes help), but because we want to talk to other adults about stuff we are actually interested in.
We talk about potty training, our children's education, work and our spouses daily to other people. But poop and work life isn't that human connection we crave and need. Ever notice some of the best conversations you've had with someone randomly happen? Like you stop by for coffee and then a whole night has passed and it's 2 a.m? Those conversations that somehow feed some part of you we forget about. These conversations are the ones that help us feel connected to others.
So how do we create this connection? It can be difficult in our busy lives, but connecting with people is a two way street. I am guilty of assuming maybe should just check on me. Assuming they aren't busy doing their own thing apparently! Reach out. Pick up the phone and ask for a coffee date. Rally some girls (or even just one) and head out for a drink. Try a paint night or a sign making class.
How do you seek the connection?
Jen The Bitchin' Housewife
Feel Good Syrup is a locally brewed elderberry syrup for immunity and good overall health. I use the Feel Good Syrup in the fall to help boost the immunity as we start to go inside and germs are everywhere! Anyone with kids knows, September and October is when everyone seems to get sick!
The main ingredient in the Feel Good Syrup is Elderberry. Elderberry is a powerful immune booster. But not as well known, this berry also relieves congestion and is great for Spring time to help with congestion in the sinuses and chest from allergies!
So I've teamed up with Feel Good Syrup to help you get some relief this Spring. Enter here on the blog to win a bottle of this amazingness by telling me which spring time irritants do you suffer the most from?
Winner must live in Edmonton and Area to pick up from St. Albert. Good Luck!
Jen The Bitchin' Housewife
I am a straight up advocate for all things loving yourself. Last night I even had the pleasure of speaking at the Xtend Barre screening of the Embrace movie. Which is a powerful movie about loving and embracing the body you have. I, along with my friend Kaye are also screening this movie in June!
Anyways. I preach and practice self love. Key word PRACTICE. I'll get to that point in a moment though. But as a self love advocate, I have my moments of not loving myself so much.
Last week was Spring Break and on the Monday I decided to take my kids to the mall Waterpark. (Don't do that by the way. Spring break I mean). That morning I had a total melt down. I put on my bathing suit and just couldn't handle it.
I admit it. I couldn't. I'm human.
BUT I wasn't going to let it stop me from making memories with my kids.
So after teaching that morning we headed to the Waterpark. I put on my bathing suit and had a moment in the change room. BUT. BUT then I said to myself.
"You are going to wear that damn bathing suit anyways. You have two choices. You can hate every moment and try to cover and scower, OR you can rock the shit out of it."
I chose to hold my head in high regard and walk out there like Queen Bee herself.
In reality, we are going to go to the event, head to the beach, or whatever else it is anyways, so we may as well just love ourselves and keep going. Own our bodies like we actually love them.
Back to my point on the practice of self love though. So I head out and I have my head held high. Minutes later I maybe see someone that has a body I don't. I go to my "negative place". But I take a moment (and a breath) and realize I'm still the EXACT SAME person and body I was 5 minutes ago when I loved myself. I can CHOOSE to love myself still. This process happened maybe 20 times that day. It's a PRACTICE. A practice to CHOOSE to love ourselves.
I can CHOOSE to feel defeated or I can choose LOVE.
Let me tell you a little secret. Love feels WAAAAAAY better.
And you know what ladies? Each time we do this we are basically super heros saving the world. Each time we choose to love ourselves and express it in the world, we send that message out. We can feel it from each other. Encourage each other to love ourselves, in turn helping more women enjoy their bodies. The more "real" bodies we see and women loving them it send that message to other women telling them to EMBRACE theirs! Then it catches like WILDFIRE and the world changes.
YOU CAN BE A SUPER HERO!
Just WEAR THE DAMN BATHING SUIT ANYWAYS.
As my mom's friend gave her the advice. Choose the memory you want your child to have. Of you watching them play in the water or of you playing with them.
Jen The Bitchin' Housewife
Spring has arrived and we are all wanting to get outside. It's too early for sports and splash parks, so what do we do?
There is something to be said for connecting with nature. There is even THIS blog post telling us there is certain bacteria in the dirt that makes us happier! Fresh air, birds chirping and some quality family time.
I take my girls to this secret spot a lot and every time I post videos and pictures of us feeding the birds everyone wonder where we are. The secret? Smack in the middle of Edmonton. Whitemud Ravine Park. It starts just off Fox Drive but we take the Snow Valley Exit down to the first parking lot. Walk a few feet into the trees and the birds are chirping. Squirrels are following you. It's basically like you're Snow White.
The birds are so used to people coming and going and feeding them, you find a spot where they are chirping and hold out your hands with seeds and they come within minutes. My 6 year old is the official Snow White of our family, with in one 15 minute span over 20 times birds feeding from her hands.
You can buy birds seed at a local hardware store. Look for ones with black sunflower seeds in them. They seem to be the favourite. And if you walk far enough (maybe 10 minutes) there is a look out you can sit down at and feed the birds, or if you bring shelled peanuts (be careful if you have allergies) the squirrels come right up and eat them!
So get outside this spring and go for a stroll. Walking is known to help reduce stress and doing it in nature is just that much better.
Jen The Bitchin' Housewife