Monday, May 31, 2010

Lobster Birthday BBQ

I've always loved my birthday. I still remember when I was little, from January 1st, I would mark down the days remaining until my birthday...even though my birthday is at the end of MAY! 150, 149, get the picture...

Anyhow, I was spoiled this year, as my dear wife hosted a Mexican bash at our house for my birthday. She served amazing Mexican food with organic meat, lots of toppings and healthy sides of guacamole, hummus and salsa. (Thank you, Aileen!).

My friends are very generous with gifts and one of the most unique, amazing and delicious gifts I got this year, was from my good friends, Chris and Lisa. They contacted Aileen ahead of time and surprised me with a dinner of lobster freshly flown in with them from the East Coast (they are pilots and Lisa's home is on the East Coast).

May is Mindful Money Month - Wrap up

Today is the last day of May...and it's been a faaaaaaantastic month!

We've realized the biggest lesson we have learned is how excessive our spending can become...and how easily we can normalize this.  I'm notorious for always having to buy something from the impulse section of any retail store and Makoto can't go into any hardware store without picking up a new gadget for the house....we've cold-turkeyed this behavior.  It's refreshing to not have little piles of gum, magazines and random treats and knick knacks that we've bought during the week.  Our recycling bin is no longer overflowing with the take-out coffee cups from our fave coffee shops.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Weird Health Fads Review #3: Drinking Urine

I had heard of this therapy years ago, as it is not that unusual in Japan - mind you, a lot of strange things are not considered unusual by my peeps in Japan. It also has roots in Ayurvedic medicine, the Aztec civilization, China and Egypt.

Lyoto Machida, a UFC all-star hailing from Brazil was recently interviewed about his participation in this self-imposed treatment. He matter-of-factly discusses this with a very curious reporter in this hilarious interview.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Confessions of a Naturopath

Oh my goodness. As a naturopath, I feel that I should make a few confessions. Warning: the following confessions may be even more shocking than my Juicy Ammonia Burger confession.

Confession #1 - I strongly dislike camping. I seriously thought that 'portaging' was a made up thing that only crazy people would actually volunteer to do.

Confession #2 - I am not a Yogi. Oh....the shame.

Confession #3 - I will not ever wear Birkenstocks. Ever.

Friday, May 14, 2010

May is Mindful Money Month - Halfway Check In

I can't believe it's already the middle of May! So far, Makoto and I have been pretty darn good with cooking at home. The cooler weather has helped since we've been making some seriously awesome soups using organic chickens and veggies. We made everything from good old chicken (rice) noodle to our very own Pho Ga!!

Coffee - eek. This one was harder than we thought. The first week we made it through with a few deelish $2 (including tax!) soy lattes at Jet Fuel Cafe on Parliament Street. God Bless Johnny at Jet Fuel!! This was followed by a busy week at the clinic and we didn't have time to leave for coffee so we reaquainted ourselves with our French Press. Now we're actually loving our cup of black Swiss water decaf coffee. We have it with a piece of dark chocolate.

I've learned that a little planning goes a long way - it's amazing what spending 15min roughly planning our meals will do for our savings! We usually just wander the isles of the grocery store and grab whatever strikes our fancy but now we stick to our list and don't have wasted food at the end of the week. This also helps us from filling up our shelves with random items that we never eat.....seriously, why do we have Disney Princess Alphagettis in the pantry?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Weird Health Fads Review #2: The Cookie Diet

I literally burst out laughing when I first heard about this new diet some of the celebrities are on. Gotta admit, great marketing. Who wouldn't want to subsist on cookies to lose weight?

I realized I shouldn't knock this diet until I investigated further. Obviously it's a great name for a diet, but what did the meal plan consist of? What are these "cookies" all about? Did Cookie Monster come up with this?

Friday, May 7, 2010

C'mon.....just try it!

Add another 10min to your cardio routine and/or another 10lbs to your weights routine.

You've already made it to the gym and are burning calories, boosting circulation and building muscle.....the extra 10min or 10lbs will just be a bonus!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Surviving the ‘Free’ Drinks and All You Can Eat Buffet at An All-Inclusive Vacation

One day this February, after *lovingly* telling Makoto that he was breathing too loudly, I determined that I was either majorly deficient in B-vitamins or completely lacking from the happy rays of sunlight. Since I religiously take my B-vitamins, I knew that the lack of sun, warmth and all the wonderful glowing things that pure sunshine can do for someone had finally taken its toll. My very understanding and patient husband immediately booked an all-inclusive trip to Mexico.

We usually try to stay away from all-inclusives since we live for travelling, exploring new territory and trying all sorts of different cuisine but in the middle of our gloomy Canadian winter, 7days on a beach without having to think about your next meal or accomodations was veeeeeeeeeery appealing.

We welcomed the wave of humidity and brightness of the sun rays with open arms. The overflowing taps of ice-cold Corona and endless bottles of champagne at our all-inclusive resort also helped. After downing our third cerveza (beer) /glass of bubbly within the first twenty minutes of our arrival, we realized that we were going to that dark place…..we call it the “starving student” mode. A combination of being on a restricted post-secondary student’s budget for over eight years tied in with our greediness for anything that tastes delicious turns us into these scary consumption monsters. So after giving each other a pep talk and reminding each other that we must not embarrass one another, we came up with these rules to enjoy our holiday while keeping our good health in mind:

Weird Health Fads Review #1: Breatharianism

A brief primer on why I decided to review Weird Health Fads:
As a naturopathic doctor, I practice what is still considered complementary and alternative medicine. Our training provides us with an education in laboratory diagnosis, physical clinical diagnosis and evidence-based treatments; however, we focus on treatments that include clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, acupuncture, homeopathy and lifestyle counselling.

Depending on who you ask, these may still be perceived as falling into the "weird health" realm, but really any treatment, either conventional or alternative can be criticized in some way or another.

I have an open-mind to many complementary treatments that I do not practice, but that my patients may be receiving or seeking out on their own. I will not discourage (and sometimes encourage) my patients to continue these treatments if they meet the following criteria:
a) they are safe
b) they are receiving health benefits
c) there is some logical sense to the treatment plan and treatment itself (even in a metaphysical, emotional or energetic sense)

I think these criteria can and should apply when assessing conventional allopathic treatments as well as any alternative treatment.

I am rating weird health fads on the basis of these criteria: Safety, plausible Health Benefits and Weird Factor.

On to the review...

Breatharianism = Living on Air. Yes, eating and drinking air.

The concept of breatharianism was touted by an Australian woman named Ellen Greves, (otherwise known as Jasmuheen), who promoted the idea of surviving solely on breathing air, without fluid or food. This was described as "pranic nourishment." She had a cult following based on her teachings, and having others try to live off of the "physical and spiritual crystals in the air."

Unfortunately, between 1997-1999, there were three deaths associated with followers of breatharianism who perished as a result of dehydration and malnourishment. This seems like a tragic but obvious conclusion to depriving your body with its basic needs.

Breatharianism may sound like an interesting concept, but should remain only as a fictional idea, and not as a treatment that should be implemented by anyone.

REVIEW (out of 10)
Weird Factor: 10
Safety Rating: 0
Health Benefit: 0

Monday, May 3, 2010

May is Mindful Money Month

After surviving taxing tax month in April, Makoto and I decided that May should be Mindful Money Month.

We’re extremely blessed to be Canadians and will happily fork over our share in taxes but we still have a little cry fest when our accountant gives us our final bill.

After reviewing some figures, we were surprised and embarrassed by how much we spend on food. One of the few things we agree on when it comes to spending is that our food budget should be very flexible since we both have dietary restrictions and try to eat fresh produce and organic/free range meats only. But then we realized that this has led us to believe that the daily $5+ soy/rice milk lattes are a must, and not a luxury.
Here are some ground rules that we've devised to help us be more aware of what we are spending our money on without having to compromise on the quality of our food:
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