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I love learning!

30 Jun

The past few days have just flown by! I have been really diligent with eating gluten-free. No slip ups and I feel really good. The real test will be when I re-introduce gluten into my diet. Only 1 and 1/2 weeks to go! I am a little nervous…I have decided my first meal containing gluten will be a toasted bagel with cheese. Yummy! And then a bowl of pasta! Or maybe pizza…?

Not much to report except for the fact that I have been focusing a lot of my time on studying. I have really gotten into it! Last week, I mailed off my first exam. Crossing my fingers that I pass! You need over 80%! Pretty high if you ask me, then again, it is important to know your stuff. The course I am working on now is Nutritional Symptomatology. I have changed the way I cover the material and it seems to work much better. This course is supposed to take around 4 weeks to complete. I have been working on it for about a week now and I would have to say I am almost half done! Yeah! I would really like to get through this in less than 4 weeks to make up for all the time that I spent doing nothing!

I am enjoying this course. It is interesting so that makes easy to go through the material. It basically covers nutrition and nutritional recommendations for the general life stages (ie. childhood, adulthood) and for common situations/conditions (pregnancy, menopause, heart health, immune support). I was happy to learn that sulfur containing cruciferous vegetables have anti-cancer properties! Broccoli is one of them and we had it on our menu twice this week! Theories that I read in The China Study were also reinforced, such as diets high in protein (mainly animal protein) are taxing on the kidneys and “contribute to toxic metabolic products in the colon and body” (Staying Healthy with Nutrition, 21st Century Edition, by Elson M. Haas, MD). This was one of the reasons I had decided to try out veganism. But, if you remember my experiment, I had no energy, my mind was cloudy and I became, well, um, constipated. It wasn’t for me. Once I introduced more protein, beginning with dairy and eggs, following with meat, poultry and fish, I began to feel much better! But this is where I get confused. How do you find a balance between enough protein to give you energy and stabilize your blood sugar levels and too much protein? Perhaps the answer is in consuming a variety of proteins, including vegetable protein. I am sure as I continue to study, I will find my answer.

I have also recently discovered a blog I really like, Carrots ‘n’ Cake.  She has a lot of great things to say, plus, her blog is “dedicated to healthy balance”. I could definitely use some advice on that subject!

On another note, here are a few pics showing what else I have been up to!


Day 4 & career update

17 Jun

Day 4- Wednesday June 16


2 scrambled eggs

Bowl of oatmeal – most probably contaminated. Please see comments for explanation.


½ cup cottage cheese



Leftover homemade soup- yummy!

Celery and a couple of radishes


½ Jocalat Chocolate Coffee Larabar

Afternoon snack

Handful trail mix


Steak with mashed sweet and regular potatoes



Heavenly hash ice cream


When it comes to eating oats on a gluten-free diet, there is much controversy. This is what I read:

Position Statement on Oats

Revised August 20, 2007 Professional Advisory Board of Canadian Celiac Association

The safety of oats in individuals with celiac disease has been extensively investigated. Clinical evidence confirms that consumption of pure, uncontaminated oats is safe in the amount of 50 to 70 grams per day (1/2 – 3/4 cup dry rolled oats) by adults and 20 to 25 grams per day (1/4 cup dry rolled oats) by children with celiac disease. Studies looking at the consumption of oats over five years have confirmed their safety. However, the studies looking at safety of oats in celiac disease have involved a small number of subjects, the oats used were pure, free of gluten contamination and the amount allowed per day was also limited.

In Canada, pure and uncontaminated* oats are now being produced. Individuals with celiac disease who wish to add oats or oat products to their diet must ensure that the oats they are eating are free from gluten contamination.
A small number of individuals with celiac disease may not tolerate even pure, uncontaminated oats. To ensure that persons with celiac disease are not intolerant to pure and uncontaminated oats, proper clinical follow up with the physician is advised when introducing oats to a gluten-free diet.
The Canadian Celiac Association will continue to monitor the scientific developments in the area of oats in celiac disease and will keep its members updated.


Now, where do you find these famous uncontaminated oats? Well, I found a source right around the corner! Cream Hill Estates located in Montreal! I will definitely add this to my grocery for this week.

Now, I am sure you are dying to hear what that little spark of hope is, aren’t you? Well, if you have been reading my posts from the beginning or read the side bar about my current life focus, you will see that I am currently studying Holistic Nutrition. Well, I have actually been on hiatus for a couple of months now, trying to focus on other areas of my life. My studies have been nagging me lately. I have been having little success in the job hunt and it has gotten me quite down. It hit me suddenly yesterday afternoon that I needed to get my butt into gear and create the job that I want! I have decided to get back on track with my studies. I have thought a little about what my dream job would be and this is what I came up with.

“My dream job would be dedicated to health, fitness and nutrition. I would like to act as a nutritional/life coach to individuals looking to achieve wellness.”

Here’s a brief but concise career plan:

Step 1– continue blogging and writing about health, fitness and nutrition

Step 2– finish CSNN RHN program

Step 3– start my own business (nutritional coaching, writing, speaking/teaching, cooking classes, etc)

I will definitely have to do some better planning, but you get the point.

June 2010- September 2010

Look for a job that allows me more time to blog, write, study and participate in activities that are important to me. Ideally in the health, wellness or fitness industry.

September 2010-February 2012

Work at said job. In my spare time, blog, write, study, etc. Oh, and maybe have another baby 😉

February 2012

Complete my RHN degree and be certified. Start practice “on the side”. If needed, reduce hours at work in order to allow for more time to see clients and get business going.


5 Jun


Problem: Not as organized as I would like to be
Solution: Organize my life!
When I say organize my life, I am not talking about organizing my closet. I am talking about organizing my head. A clear head and mind will automatically result in a happier you! Ok, this is a big one and I have been thinking about it for some time. My life is notworking! My life is NOT what I want it to be. Ok, this is not entirely true.
Let’s look at what is working and what I am happy with.

a) My son

b) Where I live (ie. Neighborhood) and my house (in general. Note: please see ACTION PLAN II)

c) My husband (well, most of the time)

d) Our financial situation

Now let’s look at what I am not happy with (some topics already covered with action plans will not be repeated)

.a) Our inactive lifestyle

b) My job

c) I don’t spend time on things that are important to me

d) I am in a constant battle between what I really want to do and be and what I actually do and am.


Inactive lifestyle

This problem is related to ACTION PLAN III, lacking motivation. It is also related to point d); I feel as though I have no drive or willpower. I feel as though I am lazy. In my fantasy world, I workout 6 times a week, I try to incorporate exerciseand fitness into my life as much as possible, and I have tons of energy. This isn’t the case. This is not how I am currently living my life and I hate it! I admit it; I am disappointed with myself on a daily basis. I don’t do what I say I will, I never follow through…and I don’t practice what I preach. The truth is, I don’t know how to change. I need a life coach, someone to guide me on the way to my dreams. Any volunteers? I read blogs, magazines, recipes, webpages…you name it. But I can’t seem to figure out WHY!? I need to have a breakthrough. Some sort of breakdown. ButI already had my breakdown; I am just recovering from post-partum depression! I just weaned myself off my depression meds….all I have left to do is to stop my sleeping pills. All the issues I had about being a new mom, loving my son, etc…. have been dealt with. Is it possible there are more issues? I truly think there are. While I was in the midst of suffering from post-partum depression, I remember the first moment that I saw a spark of hope. We were on our way out the door, going somewhere. I really can’t remember where we were going but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that at the last minute I had to go to the washroom, so Frank waited with Sasha in the car while I went. As I sat there, I remember smiling. At this point in my life, it was very rare for me to smile sincerely. There Iwas, sitting on the toilet, smiling all by myself and thinking “I love my life”. What a great feeling it was! This realization made me smile even more! Now this is not to say I don’t smile anymore, because I do. I also laugh and have fun. I am nowhere near where I was back then, but perhaps I am on my way there. I have to nip it in the bud and get back on track to create the life I love and want. I just might need a little professional help. So my problem of my inactive lifestyle is a little more complicated than just lack of motivation.

My Job

It’s no secret that I don’t really like my job. My entire life plan prior to having my son was to get pregnant, go on maternity leave and never go back to my job. I was to change careers, find another job and live happily ever after. Everything was going according to plan. I got pregnant, went on mat leave and lined up a job working in a daycare after my mat leave ended. Well, after the short stint working in a daycare, my old boss called me and asked me to come back. I was unhappy at the daycare, so I gave in. Now, 6 months later, I am back to where Iwas before my mat leave, unhappy and bored! So, a few weeks ago, I began looking for a new job. Well, I quickly discovered that it wasn’t as easy as said and done. Currently, I work in the finance industry and I don’t like it. But when I started looking at jobs in other domains, I realized I don’t have any experience or training. Since I love writing, I decided applying for jobs in communications would be a natural progression. We will see how this pans out. This still leaves me with another dilemma, what about Holistic Nutrition!? If you read the small blurb about me, you probably noticed that I mentioned that I am working towards my degree in Holistic Nutrition. Well, I started but haven’t continued. It wasn’t because I didn’t enjoy it, it is because I lost track of my priorities (and perhaps I was also trying to juggle too many things at a time!) This is classic Bianca. I get really intense about something, be-it nutrition, scrapbooking, photography or working out….I go 130% and then all of a sudden stop! I am not good at balance. Maybe this is where Susan and Tina can help me out? This brings me to the next thing that is not working…..

I don’t spend time on things that are important to me

I spend way toooo much time on things that are meaningless and not enough time on things that are truly important to me. I am going to commit to spending more time (or shall I say, finding time) on the following things.

I deem the following things worthy of my time:

-spending time with my family

-exercising & eating well

-studying Holistic Nutrition


After all that, it’s really not as complicated as it seemed.


I am in a constant battle between what I really want to do and be and what I actually do and am

So it’s pretty simple. I want to be and do lots of things. But the reality is, I am not superwoman. I can’t DO everything. I have to pick a few key things to focus on and actually focus on them.
Simple concept….is that all it takes to turn your life around?
I have learned from previous experience that trying to change everything all at once doesn’t work. You need to take baby steps, small changes. Build on one new habit at a time. And, at a one point or another, you just need to get off your butt and JUST DO IT!
So that is exactly what I am going to do right now. Get off my butt, and JUST DO IT! Well, starting tomorrow that is.

slowing down…

23 Feb

I have been binging on cow’s milk ice cream and cereal with cow’s milk. Despite getting a very adequate amount of sleep, I feel sluggish and sleepy. The past few days have not been my best. I am torn between the world of perfect veganism and the imperfect world of lacto-vegetarianism. When I am not eating and drinking cow’s milk products, I feel good. When I do eat those products, even if it begins in small amounts, somehow it snowballs into cravings and more indulgence. Is there really an addictive compound in cow’s milk products? How can I find a happy medium? I want to allow myself the occasional product containing cow’s milk without it snowballing into a daily habit. I feel the need to return to veganism because I did enjoy the experience and my body felt great. But, on the other hand I don’t want to return because the thought of not being allowed to consume cow’s milk products feels constricting. It’s a true catch-22 and I have not found a solution.

On another note, I received my materials from the AMCC and I did not like what I saw. The material was boring and not well supported. It was simply a binded collection of their notes on the subject of the first course that I registered for. There was quite a bit of info, but not many references to actual textbooks, articles or research studies. I felt as though I could not trust the info without the proper references. So, I have requested a refund and move on to the next school offereing a similar program; Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. They have sent me quite a bit of info by email. I have seen their book list, and among the provided books are actual textbooks. The program is longer, almost twice as long, but I think I will be much happier. It appears to be more academic and scientific, but it is from a holistic perspective.

Well, maybe I should explain.

17 Feb

So I have been thinking a lot lately about holistic health and wellness. It all began last week when I had the epiphany to start studying holistic nutrition. Like with every else in my life, I consumed myself with everything having to do with alternative health and wellness. I am now saturated.

This is not the first time that I decide on a new possible career. I studied Religion at Concordia University, and got my BA. I then studied Nursing for one semester, but that didn’t feel right. So I quit. After stopping my studies, I worked for a couple of years and then took a course in journalism through Concordia’s continuing education program. After one course, I stopped. I then decided Early Childhood Education felt right for me, so I began taking courses to complete a certificate. That went on for 2 years until I got a job in a daycare and discovered that I hated taking care of a bunch of kids. So here I am once again, trying something new. You have to give my husband credit, he has stuck by me and has always kept his patience. Normally, he is not a patient guy. But the good guy that he is, has always loved and supported me and my wacky ideas.

So basically no promises. Maybe the idea to study Holistic Nutrition and to become a Holistic Nutritional consultant will work out. Maybe I will love it or maybe I will hate it. Only time will tell. All I can say,and it is what I say each and every time I start something new, for now, it just feels right.

A new career perhaps?

15 Feb

The decision was quickly made yesterday. It just suddenly came to me. I have decided to register for the Alternative Medicine College of Canada’s program “Living Food Practitioner”. Today I sent off my application. I will hopefully hear back from them very soon so that I can start my studies. This feels right for me. It is as if all my passions are coming together. Food, nutrition, wellness, helping others, holistic practices, etc. I have big dreams for myself. I can see it now! Running a holistic nutrition practice. Helping people make informed decisions about what the put in their mouth, help them understand the consequences on their health, the environment, the animals and on world hunger. I hope to continue to write about everything I learn. Writing keeps me sane. It keeps me in-touch with myself. My journey has just begun and I am really looking forward to it. I look forward to learning more about how our bodies function, how they react to certain foods and how certain foods can heal us. It is fascinating.

This morning I did some yoga when I woke up. It felt good. I have recently realized how weak my abdominal muscles are after having a baby. That is probably the reason my abdominal area is so mushy! During my yoga sessions, I plan to focus on strength. I want to feel stronger and more toned.

New Adventure

11 Feb

Ok, ok, ok, I am sorry for being away for so long. I have been immersing myself in my new idea. I have been thinking about taking on a new project (not like I don’t already have too much on my plate!) My new adventure is that I would like to pursue a career in Holistic Nutrition. I have been looking into taking courses and completing a diploma in Holistic Nutritional Consulting. I have been interested in food an nutrition for quite some time. This just seems to me as a logical road to take. I am currently looking into 3 different schools:

Alive Academy of Natural Health

Canadian School of Natural Nutrition
Alternative Medicine College of Canada

There are pros and cons to each program and school, so I haven’t made my official decision. My husband doesn’t yet know that I am interested in pursuing this interest. I have started and stopped many different classes and courses. It will be hard to convince him that this is the real thing. I don’t even know if this is the real thing. I just follow my interests. I figure that one day, I will find something that I enjoy enough to stick with it.