Above all else, my primary goal in life is to feel GOOD because that’s what I think life is all about. For me that means eating clean (healthy REAL food), working up a sweat every day, following my passions, learning, laughing and of course, shopping.
Here are 10 more things you might want to know about me.
One – I’m a REAL FOOD Advocate
My proclivity to REAL foods started when I was young. I was lucky to grow up with parents who believed in growing their own food; we always had a garden, greenhouse and hydroponic beds. My earliest memory with food, other than standing in front of the popcorn maker trying to jump in time with the pops, is when I was in kindergarten and convinced my mom I was a big-enough girl to pack my own lunch. I filled my entire plastic lunch pail with lettuce – just lettuce. In my mid 20’s I decided to study nutrition and took courses in Applied and Advanced Holistic Nutrition through the Canadian Nutrition Institute, now the Edison Institute of Nutrition. Later I worked as a Nutritional Consultant in health clubs and my own private practice – not that I think that qualifies me to give advice; it doesn’t. Any advice or information I give comes from a place of simple common sense. Eating well isn’t rocket science, it’s the most basic, natural thing in the world. Pass everything you hear, including stuff I say, through your own internal bullsh!t detector. We’re all unique and what’s right for you will resonate as truth. My current diet is clean-eating, unprocessed, REAL food with lots of protein, vegetables and healthy fats. You could say it’s paleo-esque and but like me, it’s continually evolving .
Two – I’m a Personal Trainer but not a natural athlete
I was the first girl in my school to have boobs. Of course they’re the same size as they were in 6th grade, but I tell you this to set up the image of a tall and gangly girl who decided gym class was just about the worst place to be with a body you weren’t comfortable in. I managed to avoid sports all through school and I only really embraced at the age of 18, when I met a woman teaching a fitness class at a local community center. She later became my mentor, friend and boss. The first aerobics class ever taught was word-for-word, step-by-step reiteration of The Firm 2 with Janet Jones Gretzky. Since then I’ve been in and out of the fitness industry, working as a personal trainer, in sales and in management. In my mid 20’s I finally decided to face my fears of organized sports and joined to two roughest ones on the planet: rugby and hockey. I sorta sucked at both, but learned to have fun, fostered “team spirit” and played two seasons on the lousiest teams of both sports. Today I get my athletic fix following BodyRock.tv workouts 5 to 6 days a week.
Three – I’m a Pill Popper
Yup, it’s true. I know it’s controversial, but I take supplements and I’ll tell you why. I believe even the healthiest diet is hard-pressed to deliver the nutrients our bodies need for optimal health – and it starts with the soil. Once upon a time, all farmers were “organic”; they rotated crops and returned essential nutrients to the soil with manure, compost and mulch. According to Dr. Michael Colgan, that all changed after the second world war, when large drug companies were left with huge stockpiles of phosphates and nitrates and no buyers. When researchers discovered a mixture of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium grew large, healthy-looking plants quickly, NPK fertilizers were born. They targeted farmers with their new product and soon made the old way of farming so unprofitable, farmers had no choice but to switch to NPK. The trouble is, humans aren’t plants. Our bodies need far more than these three elements and the soil used in commercial farming today is so depleted it simply can’t grow vegetables that have any nutritional value. Alright, now add to that the fact that most people don’t eat nearly enough fresh fruits and vegetables and far too many processed foods. Then add the added stress of living in a polluted environment and under tremendous stress. We ask so much of our bodies and give them so little to work with. Perhaps if you were able to eat 100% organic, knew where all your food was coming from and lived a low-stress life in a pristine environment, maybe – just maybe you could get everything you need from your food – but I doubt it. Me, I eat a healthy diet and buy organic when I can, but I see my supplements as a little bit of extra “nutritional insurance” I’m not willing to go without.
Four – My “Love Your Body” attitude stems from an eating disorder as a teenager
I was never really overweight, but had what you might call “baby fat” until I was 15. That’s when I found my mom’s calorie book and started dieting for the first time. I started to trim my calories back little by little and as the pounds came off, the compliments rolled in. Since no one really knew what I was doing, no one told me when to stop. Before long I was eating a carefully planned 300 calories a day and managed to get my 5’6” frame down to 90 lbs. Luckily, my parents moved provinces around that time and with moving to a new city and new school, it was just too hard to maintain the regime. I started to eat normally and gain some weight back but then met a girl at my new school who was bulimic and shared her “secret” to staying slim with me. That phase lasted another two years. Even when I stopped those nasty habits though, there were still years of failed diets and self-loathing in front of me. Through it all I learned that any program of self-improvement begun from a place of unworthiness is doomed to fail. We have to approach everything we do, including the foods we choose and the activities we participate in, from a place of self-respect and honor. When we do that, we bring a totally different energy to our efforts and only then can we sustain positive changes. Whenever I see or meet someone struggling to eat well or lose weight, I always start with how they feel about themselves. Nothing is more important than our “mental diet”.
Five – I’m a Kickback Chick
I am proud to be part of iKickback, my hubby Dave’s Self-Defense Movement. A martial artist, natural teacher, and lover of women his entire life, Dave’s had a burning passion to teach women everywhere how easy it is to protect themselves. I have to admit, because I believe in the law of attraction, I didn’t want anything to do with it at first. But once I started learning more – and I realized just how many women walk around feeling fearful and vulnerable – and how predatory types seek out those that seem like easy targets; when I realized that with very little training or physical strength, any woman can stop any many trying to attack or rape her with as little as one well-placed finger, I realized that every woman NEEDS to have this knowledge – and I promptly and proudly through myself behind the cause. We’re in the process of re-building the site and re-shooting the videos, but mark my words and stay tuned, because a paradigm shift by the name of iKickback – Kickass Self Defense is on its way and women everywhere are going to love it!
Six – I’m an Abraham Hicks Follower
It might sound cultish, but don’t worry, it’s not. If you have a closed mind however, or are rigid in thinking your faith is the only “right” faith, then you might want to scroll past this one. Still here? Ok, Abraham is a group of non-physical entities channeled through the beautiful Ester Hicks. My mom was pretty esoteric growing up and I was always a bit skeptical, so I can appreciate it might seem like hokus-pokus to a lot of people. All I have to say is for me, the truth of their message resonates so deeply, it’s undeniable. In a nutshell it is this: we are all more than clumps of flesh; we are powerful creators, molding the lives we experience through the thoughts we think, life is supposed to be good and we are supposed to be joyful, we are free to align or pinch ourselves off from our source (or god, or universal intelligence, whatever you want to call it) and Law of Attraction brings us things in line with our predominant manner of thinking (which is why it’s worth the effort to master your mind). It’s non-denominational, empowering approach to life I embrace fully, not because someone told me and I believed them but because it resonates as truth in the core of my being. I don’t preach or push my beliefs on anyone – but if you’re wondering why I’m always so upbeat and optimistic, now you know!
If you’re interested there are plenty of videos on Youtube from their workshops or you can check out their site.
Seven – I have 4 ½ tattoos
As painful as getting a tattoo is, having one removed is infinitely worse. I could do PSA’s for being sure about your tattoos before going under the needle. After five torturous treatments, the sporty Canadian flag symbol is almost off my shoulder. Damn impetuous 20’s! It’s not that I don’t love my country, but the truth is, it was the same symbol used by a snowboard and skate shop and I just got tired of being asked if I was a skate-boarder. No, I’m not. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)
Eight – I was named by an angel
Or my Grandma – which is basically the same thing. So, as the story goes, my grandma was in her bed, yelling at my angels the night I was born (ballsy, I know). You see, I was supposed to be a boy. My Dad has three sisters, my mom has three sisters, they already had two daughters and everyone was convinced I would be the boy everyone wanted. So when she found out I wasn’t, my Grandma took it up with my angels, who she knew would still be close since I had just popped out. As she would tell the story, she said demanded of them “Who is this girl you send in place of the boy we all ordered?!” And the answer came in bright neon glowing letters in the dark of her bedroom D H E A N A. Did my grandma drink? Occasionally, but she swears she was sober as a judge that night.
Nine – Fennel is my favorite vegetable
I love it so much I have to dance when I eat it. It’s a bit of a problem. Other things I love include vintage Carmen Ghia’s, organizing things, trail running, my shmusband Dave and taking off in airplanes.
Ten – I’m just getting started
In many ways I feel the same as I did when I was a kid, like the whole world is in front of me and I can do anything. I want to thrive, to get stronger, smarter, funnier and faster. I want to move and shake and help the world be a better place. I’ve done a lot in life, but I still want to do more. I’ll never pretend to know it all because the more I learn and more I realize I know so little. The world is a vast, exciting and fascinating place and I may be in my 40’s but as the Buddha said in old age “I am always at the beginning”.