A Skeptical Dose of Health

I did something yesterday that I didn’t think I would ever do again – I attended a presentation for a network marketing presentation.

Mary and RandiAbout 7 or 8 years ago, I was in network marketing up to my eyeballs. I was part of more than one company. I sold children’s books, beauty products, nutritional supplements, food, household items, an online auction, and I don’t even remember what else.

I was attending a lot of personal development conferences, and of course, everyone had their own product that they were pushing. The conferences also promoted MLM as a way to become financially free. Top names in the financial field like Robert Kiyosaki were advocating network marketing as a viable means to get rich.

All of the companies sell the same features – that it is easy, anyone can be successful, it’s not really selling, it’s sharing.

And there’s a part of me that honestly believes it is a viable vehicle toward financial and time freedom.

For extroverts.

As an introvert, it is not in my nature to throw parties for products, or to push my friends and family to support me in my venture by spending lots of money on this or that miracle thing.

So I gave it all up, every single one. And I’ve been extremely gun-shy about any network marketing company ever since.

However, I’ve been seeing the posts of a friend of mine, and I’ve seen the remarkable change that she has experienced over the last year and a half. To be honest, for a very long time, every time I saw her post about her product experience, I scrolled past it.

And then I watched one of her videos. And chatted with her – she didn’t push anything at me at all, and I’m super grateful for that. If she had, I would have run the other way. Because we hadn’t seen each other for a long time, she told me about the low point to which her health had dropped, and how she had come to feel healthier, lose quite a bit of weight, and have a ton of energy once again.

I’ll admit, it got me curious. Not enough to buy the product, just enough to keep watching.

So when she asked for friends to allow her to post on their wall, I said sure. I’m happy to see her happy, healthy and successful. She sent me a trial of the product, and invited me to a presentation. And I went.

I’m still extremely skeptical. Part of me wants to believe all the testimonials that I heard at the presentation. I want to believe that it can be that simple to feel better, to have more energy, release toxins and even shed some extra weight. I want to believe that it could be that easy to earn extra money. And I’m still skeptical.

I’m willing to test this product and see if it will make a difference for me. If you are at all curious, and would like to learn more, or maybe test it out with me, click here to learn about Thrive. For full disclosure, if you order anything, I will benefit.

UPDATE: When I wrote this after attending the presentation, I didn’t really feel any different. I had sat through the presentation yawning (because I was still tired) and holding tightly to my skepticism. I stayed up until 1 am this morning. I’m usually exhausted by 10 pm. I was up to get the boys up for school at the normal time, without too much effort. I did yoga and felt more energy than normal. I’m yawning again now, probably because of the shorter night’s rest, however it’s not the “Can I hibernate, please?” kind of yawning. I’m starting to think there might be something to Thrive. Maybe.

Oh, and I promise that I won’t let this blog become one of those “buy my product” blogs.



On the Road to Health(ier)

Quite often, I take my health for granted. Sure, I deal with pain on a fairly regular basis. Some days are worse than others. And for the most part, I’m able to live my life and do the things that I want to do. I rarely let pain stop me.

green smoothieI don’t often get sick. At least, I would have said that a year ago. Since a gallbladder attack took me to the emergency room last fall, suddenly I’ve been giving a lot more attention to my health! (I’m being very intentional with my language here: I’m not claiming the gallbladder attack as “mine”, and I am giving attention rather than paying attention.)

After the attack, I was told that I would need surgery to have my gallbladder removed. That just didn’t sit right with me. I did some research, and got a second opinion. I’ve been seeing an ND, a Naturopath. We found several other issues we’ve been addressing, which affirmed for me that the gallbladder issue wasn’t the core of the problem.

We’ve addressed thyroid challenges, and low iron. Each time we find something, and improve on it, my energy improves. For a while. Then it dips again. I’m just starting to come out of another such dip.

What does that look like? Well, for me, it means having a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. More than just a “five more minutes, please” kind of hard time. It’s full on conversations in my head about how it’s time to get up. Now. Move body. No, really. Move. Get up. Get up. GET UP!

It’s wanting to take a nap. Frequently. 10 am and 2 pm would be a good start. And 5 pm. Do I have to get up?

It’s falling asleep during my meditation. Every. Day.

It’s wanting to exercise, knowing that exercise is necessary and helpful, and I actually enjoy doing yoga, and not being able to actually move my body to do it. The extra hour of sleep is vitally more important than the yoga. Or even a walk. Mostly because I can’t nap.

It’s being in more pain than is usual. My body aches. It hurts to stay in bed, and it hurts to get up and move.

It’s falling back on caffeine and sugar to get me through the day.

None of this is what I would consider “normal” for me. When I’m feeling good, I have energy. I wake up before my alarm goes off. I don’t really have a problem getting out of bed. (Maybe one snooze.) I am able to meditate without falling asleep. I have a lull in energy mid-afternoon, maybe, and I get through it pretty easily. My pain levels are manageable.

I’m working on reducing my stress levels, both mentally and physically. I started making green smoothies for my lunch at work, and I have to say I’ve definitely had more energy this week. My pain levels are going down. I know I’m getting WAY more vegetable servings than I normally would. Along with following the recommendations of my ND, I feel that I am on the road to becoming healthier once again. And I love that it is not due to pharmaceuticals. (Oh, and my kids like it, too! Who knew?)

What are some of the things that you do to maintain your health?



Getting Crunchier All the Time

I don’t consider myself a health nut. I don’t exercise religiously (or even regularly, if I’m being honest). I’m a sugar addict. I enjoy chocolate. A lot. I don’t get enough sleep. I push myself pretty hard to achieve.

I’ve written about being a little bit crunchy – not quite a hippy environmentalist, though I have my moments. I think I’ve gotten a little crunchier lately.

I do my best to be aware of my health, and what I put into, and onto, my body. And when something enters my consciousness repeatedly, I give it my attention.

Oil Pulling

Not the best selfie ever…

The latest thing that has surfaced several times is oil pulling. It’s an Ayurvedic method of cleaning your teeth, and it’s supposed to have some pretty amazing secondary benefits, from whiter teeth to improved heart health.

I first read about it a year ago, and I thought it sounded interesting. I wasn’t sure I could handle swishing oil in my mouth for 20 minutes every day, though. Several of my friends have done it in the past, and a few swear by it. Another friend just started doing it, so I thought I would give it a try.

After about 2 weeks, I’ve noticed that my mouth is definitely clean. I think my teeth are whiter – I didn’t take “before” pictures to compare. My allergies have dramatically decreased. I was at the “I’m ready to stab my eyes with a fork because the itching is driving me crazy” stage before I started. Right away, the itchy eyes disappeared. They are starting to come back a bit, but nowhere near the levels they had been. I’m getting used to the taste, and 20 minutes doesn’t seem quite as long as it used to.

The other thing I’m trying is oil cleansing. When I was looking (again) for the information on oil pulling, I also read about oil cleansing. Since I have the Costco size jar of coconut oil, I thought, “what the heck!” I mixed up some coconut oil and olive oil and gave it a try.

After about a week and a half, I haven’t noticed a huge difference. I didn’t get any major breakouts when I started. I also haven’t been completely acne-free. To be fair, it’s only been a week and a half! I haven’t used a chemical moisturizer at all during this time, and my face is super soft. It removes makeup really well. Now, if only I could figure out how to get my eyelids to stop overproducing oil…

I’m going to give it an honest shot – at least a month. It will be interesting to see if my dentist notices any difference in a few weeks. (I’m still brushing before bed. I’ve always been horrible about flossing, though.)

Next challenge: green smoothies. Am I up for this? I have to get myself a blender…



Wake Up Call

Today is Thanksgiving here in Canada. And I definitely have cause to give thanks.

ThanksgivingI spent most of the last week in bed recuperating, in between trips to the doctor and the hospital trying to figure out what exactly was causing the pain that put me in the emergency room. It turns out it was gall stones. Not deadly on their own, they certainly caused me plenty of pain just over a week ago.

There is a lot of contradictory information about gall stones out there. The mainstream medical solution to gall stones is to remove the gall bladder completely. Other information says the attacks can be controlled through diet. And other information says that there are often other underlying causes that contribute to gall stones.

I also received tons of contradictory advice from many of my friends and connections through Facebook. Many have had personal experiences with gall stones, and they run the gamut from wishing they had the surgery sooner to having completely healed themselves with this or that food or supplement.

For me, this is an opportunity to explore my overall health with a naturopath, something I have been considering for a long time. I’m still going to have a consultation with the surgeon, because I am not ruling out that option. And I also want to examine all my options. If changes to my diet can alleviate the problems with my gall bladder, and also improve my health in other areas, then I will make those changes. If I still end up needing surgery, so be it, I will have made changes that contribute to my healing.

I am grateful that my body is so adaptive, and that it has such a wonderful ability to heal itself.

I am grateful to my gall bladder for signaling that there was an imbalance in my body.

I am grateful that I have been given an opportunity to examine and reevaluate my food choices in order to allow my body to operate more efficiently.

And then, of course, there is also my family, my wonderful circle of friends, the support of my spiritual community, and all the other ways abundance manifests in my life.

What are you grateful for right now?



Listen to Your Body…And Then Do What It Says!

Wow! It’s been quite the week! Thanks to everyone who commented in all the various spaces and places about my last blog post. Kali is definitely a controversial teacher!

I’ve made a lot of choices this week, mostly surrounding my health and my physical body.  Overall, I’m pretty healthy. A little overweight, as are most North Americans, and, being a woman, I have some body issues (thank you, modern media).

Listen To Your BodyEarlier this year I made a goal to do some sort of physical exercise daily.  I did really well for about three and a half months.  Then I started feeling stressed, and like I had more to do than time to do it in.  And my good habits fell by the wayside.

This week the urge to be more physically active has been extremely powerful. And suddenly, without consciously making the effort, I have been active every day this week.  The strongest desire has been to dance, and I feel that Kali is the one urging me in that direction.

Moving your body is an excellent way to release stuck energy in your system, and not just physical energy. Relating this to Kali, the stuck or stagnant energy is my demons.  Kali was created to destroy a demon that none of the other Gods could rout. Yet she is also known as the One that gives birth to All. To make room for new things to come into your life, you must get rid of what no longer serves you.

Which brings me back to listening to my body.  The extra weight I have been carrying around no longer serves me. To have the energy to do all the things I want to do in the near future, I need to stop carrying extra around with me, mentally and physically.

Besides exercising more, I knew that I need to be more conscious of what I eat.  My biggest food demons are sugar and potato chips. I’ve said for a long time that my one addiction was sugar, and of all the addictions I could choose from, it’s really not that bad. Well, my body has been telling me differently lately. If I really want to be honest, it’s been telling me for a long time, and I haven’t been ignoring it.

So I read a little about overcoming sugar addiction on the net.  One of the sites I visited said that saying I am addicted to sugar is a way of giving up my power.  It says that sugar has power over me. Well, that was just the thing to motivate me to substantially cut back on the amount of sugar I consume (to clarify, I am talking about refined sugars, not natural sugars like raw fruit).

I haven’t given it up completely. There is sugar in the salad dressing I have on my lunch. And I have had dessert (other than fruit) once or twice this week. And I have managed to completely cut out my mid-afternoon candy fix.  All in just one week.

It’s amazing the tricks my mind will play to try to get me to stumble. For example, on Saturday I started thinking that it would be nice to have some chips with my lunch. Mmmmm, Miss Vickie’s Sea Salt and Malt Vinegar… I thought about how good I had been all week – no chips and no candy, and surely having chips this one day wouldn’t hurt.

I sat in my car before heading in to work, and checked in with my body. Chips? NO! Fresh veggies? Yes! Fruit? Yes! Chips? NO! Tea with stevia? Yes. Salt and vinegar chips? NO! I really tried to trick my body into wanting the chips. It didn’t work.

And that’s when I remembered a friend’s advice. “Listen to your body. And then do what it says!” I had to repeat that over in my head a few times. That “do what it says” part is really the more challenging part of that advice. I did go straight into work, though, without going to the store to buy chips.

I was really proud of myself! Each time I decided that I was more powerful than my cravings was a win that I celebrated inside, and made it that much easier to ride out the next craving. And I feel that as I let go of old habits and create the new habit of really tuning in to my body, I am also opening up to receive Divine guidance in other areas of my life.

Here’s some inspiration for you to listen to your body:

And more from my latest favorite artist to get up and dance!