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Can we be real for a second? Some days you just don't feel like going to the grocery store (or even leaving the house in this cold weather!). It can be difficult to find healthy ingredients and space cooking and in our busy schedules. How do we take a break from conventional cooking routines without giving in to the tempting calls of fast food and take out? Well, it's 2018. And in the era of Uber, Air BnB, and Netflix there is also a quick and easy way to cook healthfully too! Check out our list of fave brands that deliver fresh, recipe-ready ingredients right to your doorstep.READ MORE >
Location: Canada-wideIf you like brands with a socially-conscious mindset, try: GoodFood Your choice of 30-minute recipes, weekly deliveries, pre-portioned raw ingredients, and the ability to skip weeks free of charge. Can you say #mealgoals? Their mission is to not only provide subscribers with a guide on great, nutritious food, but to give back to the community too. For every box purchased, GoodFood helps provide a meal for a child in need. Scroll through GoodFood's Instagram page for daily photos of delicious recipes you can try and how to include them in your next delivery. Check out the GoodFood website for more details.
Location: Canada-wideIf you like dinner on the table fast, try: Chef's Plate Chef's Plate stands out with their newest menu addition: 15-minute meals. Thanks to pre-cut veggies, the prep work is already done so it's like having a built-in sous chef. Even better, they have a blog that offers up how-to guides on cooking techniques and more. Check out the Chef's Plate website for more details
Location: Canada-wideIf you like to eat seasonally and responsibly, try: HelloFresh What makes HelloFresh different? For one, they're a global chain. They also position themselves as the premium meal-kit delivery option with seasonal farm-fresh ingredients, sustainable seafood and hormone-free Canadian meats – all packaged in state-of-the-art boxes that keep ingredients cool and fresh. Check out HelloFresh's website to find out how to get started
Location: Greater Vancouver AreaIf you're a Vancouver native and like to keep things local, try: Fuud For all you Vancouver-based Rethinkers out there, this one is really good. Since their service is native to the Vancouver area, Fuud offers local ingredients and recipes from local chefs to their subscribers. On top of that, they have an entire section of recipes and meal plan options for those with vegetarian and gluten free diets. Healthy and local? It's pretty much the best of both worlds. Check out the Fuud website to learn more
Location: Canada-wideIf you like a varied selection, try: MissFresh Besides serving up seasonal and local ingredients to their Canadian subscribers, Missfresh offers up snack plans, too. An office snack box? Yes, please! If you want to completely kick back and choose a pre-designed meal kit, you can do that. If you want to mix and match some of your favourite recipes in a custom box, you can do that too. Missfresh has got you covered. Check out the Missfresh website to get going
Most of us don’t think twice about enlisting the help of a personal trainer to work us through our fitness goals so why not take the same approach with a yoga therapist to work on your wellness goals? By helping you move better using breath, stillness and movement in all forms, not just yoga poses, the mentor/coach-style treatment aims to help combat symptoms like fatigue, pain, reduced mobility and anxiety. The goal? To take you from rehabilitation to wellness. Yoga Therapy is not restorative yoga, nor is it about bending and twisting deeply. It’s for people of all levels of mobility and experiences. It’s also empowering, and here’s why:READ MORE >
Your therapy should be as unique as you.The unique you-ness is expressed in how symptoms show up. The expertise of a yoga therapist is seeing your movement and breathing patterns, and meeting you where you are at by honouring your full context, including the kind of person you are, what’s important to you and how you are feeling that day. We typically start small and slow by focusing on one joint and one movement at a time, as small and slow movements are more open for awareness building, easier for the nervous system to learn, and progress occurs more quickly. You will be surprised how small movements can release tension. As we progress, we may increase the number of joints involved, number of reps and speed. We may also transition from sitting or lying down movements to more standing movements to build stability and strength.
It nurtures a sense of safety.When the nervous system is in the stress response mode, breath gets shallow, muscles tighten, the digestive system and sleep get thrown off, and your ability to cope suffers. Anxiety and fear exacerbate the stress response. A feeling of safety is essential for healing, and it’s important to work with someone who nurtures and encourages a safe place both in sessions and in your life.
It helps you listen to your body.Your body holds more information than you think. Stress, anxiety, and fear are as much physical symptoms as emotional ones and warning signs often show up before any symptoms become full blown. Imagine how powerful it would be to notice these cues, take care of yourself then, and avoid some symptoms all together. The more connected you are with your body, the more you will take control of your self-care and healing.
All parts of you are a catalyst for healing.Symptoms can be a result of multiple factors, including your expectations, beliefs, past experiences, and movement and breath holding patterns. Pain isn’t always where the problem is. It’s important to work with someone who includes all parts of you, and supports you in taking baby steps towards shifting how you move and how you live your life so you can experience a greater sense of freedom and decreased symptoms, stuckness and disconnection.
Any movement is therapy when done with ease.Yoga therapy often considers components of yoga poses or other activities you do or want to do, such as tennis, running, typing at the computer, kneading bread and even walking. It can also help deepen the awareness of how you move. Think ease vs. force, easy vs. tight breathing, and feeling the body vs. thinking through the movement. Awareness is key to shifting the movement and breathing habits that contribute to symptoms. With awareness, symptoms can change. Mina Arakawa is a Yoga Therapist based in Toronto. She offers movement education and lifestyle coaching through one-on-one and small group workshops and classes. *Note: Always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Photography courtesy of Melanie Gordon Photography
DECEMBER 16 2009, 1:07 PM Apologies about that mysterious reference to “developments in development” – I was waiting to speak to my doctor, and now that I know what is going on and have shared it with family, I can finally blog about it. Basically, the nodules in my lungs have turned out to be metastasized breast cancer. This means that somehow, in spite of the lymph nodes shrinking and stabilizing, the spots in my lungs managed to multiply and grow larger. Those very same spots I saw on the CT scan in the solar system of my lungs – those tiny little flecks indistinguishable from all the other tiny little “normal” flecks – are in fact gigantically evil. We were devastated and enraged when we heard the news, especially after having felt so buoyed by the stabilization and shrinkage of my lymph nodes. I did a lot of crying, and a lot of raging this past weekend; a lot of fantasizing about smashing things (windows, pieces of furniture, cancer cells…) and a lot of asking the universe if it couldn’t have just cut me a little slack for once? Really, how much hope-bashing is allowed? How many bounce-backs do I have to make? But, after having to gone to some very dark and scary places, I was surprised to find that I could come back from them again. I resurfaced. Once again, the will to live my life and beat this thing has prevailed over the fear that it will beat me and take my life. Or prevailed for now; it’s a bumpy ride, I’m bound to fall off the hope wagon from time to time. What helped enormously was having a long talk with my oncologist yesterday. Apparently it is unusual that some areas would respond to treatment while others do not (of course I have to be special.) However, it is not at all unusual that the cancer would affect multiple organs. It is also not unusual for people live years and years and years just firing at the moving target of metastasis. Years and years and years. So, looks like I should continue to look both ways when I cross the street and keep wearing my bike helmet. My oncologist’s recommendation is that we change course of treatment immediately to something that might be more effective in hitting ALL areas of activity, because she is especially concerned that I don’t become too symptomatic in the lungs, since it’s not fun to be gasping for breath and this cough is already super-annoying. So my new treatment is a combination of drugs called gemcitabine and cisplatin, administered through IV in the chemo clinic, starting tomorrow. Off the pills and back into the veins! Actually, I’m kind of ready to abandon my current side effects and try out some new ones. I’ve been told to expect nausea and tingling hands, but with any luck my bad dream about losing my hair won’t come true — my oncologist says there could be “some mild hair thinning or loss.” Sounds a bit patchy to me, but we’ll see. In the mean time, onward.READ MORE >
On Friday my friend Chris wrote me an e-mail and in it he said “The universe loves you.” I really need to believe he’s right. I just wish it wasn’t such tough love.
It's common for cancer patients to experience sleep problems. In fact, between 30 to 70 percent of people going through cancer treatment have some sleep difficulty. These difficulties sometimes continue even into post-treatment, with about 25 percent of cancer survivors experiencing sleep issues. Breast cancer patients are often affected by sleep problems during and after treatment, and many report struggling with insomnia and discomfort caused by hot flashes at night.READ MORE >
Sleep disorders are common among cancer patients.Extensive treatment, increased anxiety and depression, pain, and other discomforts during cancer treatment can make it difficult to get a good night's sleep. Cancer patients may be affected by sleep struggles including insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness, and restless legs syndrome. Insomnia may be caused by medications used to treat cancer, including steroids. Chemotherapy drugs can cause fatigue. Many cancer patients nap during the day, but this can lead to insomnia at night.
Not getting enough sleep can have especially negative effects for cancer patients.Sleep deprivation is always difficult, but it is especially tough for cancer patients. Not getting enough sleep can weaken the immune system and make symptoms or negative side effects worse. Sleep deprived cancer patients may also experience weight loss or weight gain, poorer memory and cognitive processing skills, increased irritability and higher risk for depression, and poorer judgement. Not getting enough sleep can make it more difficult to recover.
You may experience night sweats and hot flashes during chemotherapy.Some cancer patients experience night sweats or hot flashes at night. Overheating can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. It's a good idea to lower your bedroom temperature and use breathable bedding and clothing at night. Consider a mattress with buckling column gel if you're experiencing hot flashes or night sweats. This mattress material is more cooling than memory foam and latex and can help avoid retaining heat.
You can get better sleep with good sleep hygiene.Good sleep starts with good sleep hygiene. You can train your brain and body to become tired at the same time each night by maintaining a regular sleep schedule. You should go to bed and wake up about the same time every day, and keep up a consistent bedtime routine in which you do the same few things before bed each night. This can signal to your brain that it's bedtime and help induce feelings of sleepiness that can help you drift off comfortably. It's also a good idea to keep your bedroom dark and quiet. Be careful about what you do in the hours before sleep. You should avoid caffeine, alcohol, exercise, heavy meals, and screen time just before bed, as these can interfere with your ability to get to sleep and stay asleep all night.
Sleep therapy can be helpful.If you're experiencing serious sleep disorders that can't be resolved with better sleep hygiene, sleep therapy may be necessary. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be used to improve sleep and treat insomnia by addressing your sleep behavior and identifying actions you can take to improve your sleep habits. Some sleep therapies include sleep restriction therapy with a particular sleep and wake schedule and light therapy with light exposure to reset your circadian rhythm. Sarah Johnson, Tuck Sleep Foundation
Good ol' Canadian winter. You head to work: it's dark outside. You head home from work: it's dark outside. And without the holiday lights and festivities to brighten up the cold weather and short days... let's just say, it's not exactly easy to start (or end) your day in any kind of merry mood. So here's a little #inspo. Whether you find yourself on a packed subway or alone in your car, these podcasts can help keep you calm and carrying on this winter.READ MORE >