The Hatha Yoga Journey~ Katie’s Story

Today I have the pleasure of presenting one of my good friends Katie; who is one of the smartest, kindness and warmest people that I know. Katie radiates light from her entire being- effortlessly it would seem; and today she shares her journey to become a Hatha yoga teacher and the lessons she learned along the way.

I sincerely hope you enjoy!

hatha yoga

Katie’s Hatha Yoga Journey

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Guest Post~ 3 Steps To Make Visualization Work For You

While I’m off gallivanting and taking in the CHFA West in the beautiful city that is Vancouver; I thought I would be remiss to leave you with nothing to whet your natural health appetites. So I’ve lined up some guest posts, to keep you entertained.

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Visualization has long been proven as an effective tool in achieving one’s goals and aspirations in life. In fact, many successful individuals use varied visualization techniques and they are living proof that it really works.

Many people find it easy to do since there is no difference in visualizing and daydreaming. However, visualization is more than just thinking and drawing pictures in one’s mind. It takes more than that since it also involves emotions and desires. You can daydream about having a high paying job but if you lack the drive to go after that dream, you’ll never be able to attain it. With visualization, you don’t only see yourself in a high paying position but you also feel what it’s like and think of ways to reach that goal.

In order for visualization to be effective, you have to follow some techniques that will help you manifest your visions into a reality. However, you have to bear in mind that there are techniques that will work on others but won’t work for you. This is why it’s important that you find the best and most appropriate visualization techniques and tailor them to your needs. Here are some success tips for visualization:

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Self Love For Valentine’s Day

Today is Valentine’s Day; and I, like many, take this day to reflect on love. As a single girl, this year I do not have an object to direct my affection; so instead I will reflect on loving thyself.

I’d like to tell you a story…

I used to be incredibly cruel to myself; when I was younger, I hated the reflection staring back at me. I blamed the chubby girl in the mirror for everything; I called her fat, stupid, ugly, worthless- anything an enemy could imagine saying to me, I had already said to myself.

I grew up thinking I didn’t deserve success, love, or the body I wanted; as a result, I sabotaged myself in many of my youthful endeavors. Convinced that love and happiness were joys reserved for others. I managed to hide these demons inside with a humorists approach to life; I’d laugh and crack jokes, hoping that while others laughed they wouldn’t be able to see my sadness. I managed to fool everyone; but it became increasingly hard for me to run from my own truth. I lived like this for years; and although I lost weight and began to date in my post secondary days, I still felt worthless. The reflection in the mirror had changed but what I saw remained the same.

2010 was the year that something dramatic changed. I decided that I really wanted to like Bianca. I wanted her to be happy; I wanted to be able to look into the mirror and love the reflection staring back at me, regardless of waist size or mood. This also happened to coincide with the realization that I wanted to use my skills to empower myself, and others- my skill was what I could do with food!

I’d lived for years with a love/hate relationship with food; although I loved it, I felt like it hated me. I blamed food for making me fat, and unlovable. When I decided to quit catering, and focus on what food meant to me and how I wanted to use my skills to improve my life, I immediately felt empowered. Over the last two years, I have helped others transform their lives and in the process completely changed my own.

I had an AHA moment recently, I was looking the mirror, naked, and for the first time in almost EVER I liked what I saw; I didn’t feel gross, hatred for the reflection or the desire to change anything- I genuinely liked the girl in the mirror. I get weepy thinking about it, because I had never felt that way before. I will never forget that moment.

For a very long time, I had never realized the importance of self love; but from the moment I decided to take charge of the love I had for myself, my career took off and my relationships improved, because I genuinely believe that I deserve love, success and happiness. This isn’t to say that I don’t have days where I feel like crap- I do; I’m not perfect and I will never profess to be. However, being imperfect and having flaws doesn’t, for one second, mean that I am undeserving of love.

Love- SELF LOVE, changed everything!

So this Valentine’s Day, the object of my affection is me. I ask every woman to take today, the day of love, to reaffirm the love she has for herself. Say it LOUD and be proud; shout it from the highest rooftop “I LOVE ME!”

I wish to you, my lovely readers and friends, a happy and love filled Valentine’s Day.

You are loved!


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The Experts Series~ Joy McCarthy On Holistic Health

Holistic health with superfoods

As a natural foods chef, nutrition is so important to my everyday life- from my career to my health; which is why I was instantly drawn to Toronto based nutritionist Joy McCarthy. Joy is an expert in holistic health including Super Foods and natural beauty. Through her workshops she empowers people to harness the goodness of food for health and vitality- it’s not called Eat Well, Feel Well for nothing! Her down to earth delivery of nutritional information makes it easy to digest and implement for those starting their journey to health.

If you’re in the Toronto area, be sure to register for her newest workshop is Super Foods For Beauty or her 6 week Eat Well, Feel Well course at the lovely Ritz Carlton! And if you aren’t in Toronto, Joy also offers nutrition coaching via Skype!

I genuine look up to people like Joy; she has improved her health holistically and enthusiastically teaches people to do the same for themselves. She is a champion for holistic health; and I am honored to have her as a part of this series.

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Vitality Guide For Women: What’s your favorite super food, and how would you prepare it?

Joy McCarthy: I have so many it’s so hard to choose! A food that I eat on an everyday basis that keeps me energized and stimulates my liver’s detoxifying properties, plus tastes delicious is leafy greens. Kale and arugula being my absolute favorite! I eat them raw and cooked. My fave way to cook kale is to lightly sautee it in organic butter or coconut oil, sprinkle some sea salt and pepper and eat it as a side dish. As for arugula, I love making pestos by tossing in a handful of arugula with some walnuts, garlic, sea salt and extra virgin olive oil or hemp oil into my food processor and putting it on top of brown rice pasta – deeeeelicious!

Vitality Guide For Women: You are an advocate for natural beauty products; if my readers could replace only one item in their beauty cabinet which one do you think is the most important; and why?

Joy McCarthy: Body Moisturizer! Many products are chock-full of chemicals and preservatives that can be hormone disrupting, immune-lowering and even promote the growth of cancer. It is extremely important to do your research on your beauty products because what you put ON you, get’s IN you. Your skin is your largest organ, so make sure what you slather on yourself is clean. I love organic coconut oil for a moisturizer or Dessert Essence brand of moisturizers. 

Vitality Guide For Women: What one thing do you do every day that contributes to your health?

Joy McCarthy: I drink lemon and water every single morning on an empty stomach. Not only is it incredible refreshing, but it is detoxifying and excellent for stimulating good digestion. Many people notice their skin improves in just a couple of weeks of drinking lemon and water every morning. Oh and if I could pick one other thing that contributes to my health, it’s giving and receiving a nice warm hug!


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The Experts Series~ Sarah Wilson On Quitting Sugar

I quit sugar

If you follow me on Twitter, then you know very well that I quit sugar this year- for good. It was something I had been thinking about for months; and what finally made me take the leap was reading the ebook by Sarah Wilson called “I Quit Sugar”, which lead me to the book “Sweet Poison” by David Gillespie. Both books changed the way I felt about what I put into my body.

So when I decided to create the Experts Series, I knew it wouldn’t be complete without Sarah; she is a walking example of what it means to be sugar free and she shares her wisdom on her website and through her newsletter- both information and inspiration rich, for those who seek to kick the white stuff for good.

So without further ado, Ms. Sarah Wilson!

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Vitality Guide For Women: You’re currently pioneering the “I Quit Sugar” movement; what was the most challenging part of quitting sugar for you?

Sarah Wilson: Oh definitely dealing with the 3pm tug. I have an autoimmune disease which means my blood sugars are a bit messy – as are a lot of people living Western lives. It took quite some time to “tame” my system to resist the need for an instant insulin spike in the afternoon when I was feeling flat and tired and sad. It was like dealing with any other addiction – I had to push through until my body became used to more sustained energy releases.

Vitality Guide For Women: How long have you been sugar free?

Sarah Wilson: Exactly a year!

Vitality Guide For Women: If you could give those quitting sugar a nugget of wisdom, what would it be?

Sarah Wilson:  To make fat your friend. A hard part of the withdrawal process is letting go of “treats”. My argument is that we don’t have to fight that part of the process – simply switch to (good) fat and protein-based treats, like cheese and coconut cream and homemade nut balls made with butter and coconut oil. I write about this a lot – it’s a complete misnomer that fat makes you fat. We are designed to eat fat. We process it. We get full from it. Fat cures cravings…AND it makes you lose weight. I know, I know…hard to believe, but thousands of people who’ve followed my program can attest to it. 

Vitality Guide For Women: What’s one thing that you do every day that contributes to your health?

Sarah Wilson: I meditate. Actually, I do it twice a day. I practice the vedic style – 20 minutes in the morning and afternoon. 

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To keep up with my “I Quit Sugar” journey; and for my tried and tested tips, follow me on Facebook!


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