5 ways to live Intentionally in 2018


Hello, 2018!  

I spent the last four days recharging, relaxing, and honouring myself. I unplugged from Instagram entirely and couldn’t quite believe the instantaneous effects it had on my focus and how I chose to spend my time (...wisely).

Admittedly, there were a few moments in which I caught myself mindlessly opening the instagram app, and I thought to myself, “Wait, what am I doing? Why did I just open that? I’m not using Instagram right now... Did I just click on this out of routine habit? (...yup).” The habit of mindlessly opening the app and scrolling my way down a rabbit hole of perusing things - without intention - was so real, and verging on unhealthy. These four days have really allowed me to be with myself without distraction. 

With Holidays in full swing, it can be difficult to sustain energy and patience. Slowing down to honour our needs and lead with self-care often seem out of the question, too. If we do it make time for our needs, however, we truly cannot show up for others - at least not without burning out or succumbing to a cold or flu. 

Here are five ways to live with more intention as the New Year unfolds. Taking these sacred steps will enrich your world with more time, increased energy, and positive vibrations.  

1. Detox from Social Media

Reflect for a moment on what social media you are scrolling through and why. Are you using it as a medium to promote your practice, business, or product? Or, is it merely a source of “entertainment”? Does the social media you look at leave you feeling inspired, recharged, defeated, or drained? How long are you spending on perusing various forms of social media? Do you find your inner dialogue comparing yourself to or judging what you see? How would you feel if you spent less time looking at social media?

The challenge:  Reduce the amount of time you spend on social media. Find a measure that is realistic for you. Maybe once a day for 10 minutes, or opt to quit cold turkey for a set amount of days. If for some reason you end up breaking your challenge, try not to be too hard on yourself. Just observe how you feel, let go, and try the challenge anew the next day. When you feel as though you are scrolling with intention, rather than using it as an aimless distraction, feel free to spend more time on social media. Notice your thoughts and goals the moment you open an app or click to share something with the world. Is this enriching and intentional?

2. Sleep More

More patience. Clearer skin. Increased cognitive function. Doesn’t that sound like reason enough to rack up the zzz’s? Sleep does wonders for our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems and it’s the one thing we all seem to skimp on - especially during the holidays! We rely heavily on“recharging” with caffeine and sweet treats to make it through the busyness, but the optimal recharge starts with rest, so we can make better informed choices during our waking hours. 

Challenge: Evaluate your sleep hygiene. What is sleep hygiene? Consider it a routine that allows you to power down; a ritual that calms you down and sets you up for restful sleep. 

  • Turn off screens (TV, Smartphone, iPad, eclectronic readera etc) a minimum of 20 minutes before sleep, as blue light interferes with reaching REM sleep cycle.  Tip: keep your charging cords for electronics out of the bedroom, and avoiding bringing electronics into the bedroom altogether. 
  • Brush teeth. Floss teeth. Oil pull. Wash face. Take a bath. Whatever is part of your pre-bedtime washing-up routine, make it a true ritual...one that you wouldn’t skip even if you had too much champagne or microbrew beer...
  • Bedroom climate. Think everything from room temperature, to bedding, to lighting, and overall environment. Ensure your room is cool to promote sleep (recommended temperature is 60-67 degrees Farenheit) and snuggle up with your favourite pillow(s) and bedding. If you want to take it a step further to avoid environmental toxins (hell, yes!) then consider organic mattress (sans springs - springs bounce the bad waves around), bedding, and air purifiers/humidifiers. (Note: The offgas from new (non organic) mattresses/sheets/pillows is toxic so make sure to air out any new furniture/area rugs etc). 
  • Reminder: those "naughty" things that you think help you fall asleep are actually impeding your REM cycle (most restful cycle) of sleep. Avoid alcohol, drugs, caffeine, and food before hitting the hay. Instead enjoy a nice cup of Golden Mylk.

Challenge: Visualize your bedtime routine, and set some healthy boundaries, such as what time you will be in bed (lights out) and what time you will wake (sans snooze). Play around with pre-sleep rituals that work best for you, and see what works best. This might look different from one season to the next. 

3. Breathe, Move, Meditate

Take 5 slow, deep breaths. How does that feel in your body? Do 100 jumping jacks. How does that feel in your body? Clear your mind of chatter, get quiet, observe and let go of thoughts. How does that feel in your body?

Nourish yourself with breath, movement, and mindfulness so you can be better aware of the choices you make. Slow down to speed up is a mantra that I find myself replying in my mind when things start going a little too fast. Allow yourself the indulgence of self-care. Busy doesn't always mean you're killing it... Think about it. 

Challenge: Set a clear intention (word or mantra) for your day/week/year. It should be something simple and achievable that serves as a reminder to be mindful of how you show up. Here are some ideas:

Breathe.   Let it go.   Be kind.   Balance.   Spread love.   Patience.


4. Say “No” 

In saying no to things that we know will drain us versus recharge us, we are taking a stand for our innate needs. Respecting and honouring ourselves rather than succumbing to the expectations that others may have of us socially or otherwise, allows us to sustainably give in our everyday life. Listening to that inner voice and knowing when enough outside stimulation is enough is a true art. Being able to voice our need to decline yet another invitation or social obligation is an even higher art form. Listen to your gut, and communicate clearly to your outside world. 

Challenge: If you’re feeling run down, and out of alignment with upcoming plans, communicate without guilt and reschedule. Or, offer another activity that will help you to recharge. Maybe meet for a yoga class versus drinks, and see how that works out!  

5. Drink Water  

Do you know anyone that drinks enough water every single day? I cannot name one person that is consistent in this practice. Hydration is key for survival and plays and important role in cognitive function and detoxification. Living with intention relies heavily on the ability to make strong, conscientious decisions and letting go of the shit that blocks us from doing so. Drinking water is therefore the simplest, yet immensely challenging act that can support us lead a more intentional day to day life.

Challenge: Next time you reach for a sugary juice, coffee, caffeinated tea or beverage, swap it out for a glass of filtered water and see how that changes you one sip at a time.  

These are practices that I have come to use to slow down, get centred, and act more intentionally ... rather than unraveling when I've let my cup empty out entirely. I hope they work well for you too in 2018!

be good to you,

W xo


Expectations and Attitudes.

Generally, I hold high expectations of myself and others. Mom has always taught me to manage expectations and my attitude surrounding them (for my own good but mostly for the good of those around me!). The difference between an expectation and reality is often experienced as  "disappointment", but with the right lens, or attitude it can be laughed off, or let go of, or turned around. In holistic living there is happiness and sadness, darkness and lightness. You cannot have one without the other for it to be full, whole living. I strive to find as much happiness as I can each day knowing that there is an emotional "stickiness" at times. This emotional "stickiness" is not unlike physical tightness that you might feel during a yoga practice or a workout - a funk of sorts that you need to work through before you can progress. It's the obstacle that is preventing your expectation from being a reality. How do you recover gracefully from your unmet expectations? Do you panic? Freak out? Or say, "it is what it is...now it is time to move on!"? (If you're the one that is reasonable - congratulations to you...I am working hard to have that same reaction CONSISTENTLY! There are moments (sometimes days) in which getting out of my head and moving beyond my anxiety is seemingly impossible as I swim in a sea of unreasonable thoughts and expectations. I am human and have lots to work through - especially as someone that wears her heart on her sleeve.


During our drive across Canada, Lake Louise was one of many things we were keen to see. As we approached the Lake on the mild, sunny, late-April day through the wooded area surrounding the grounds of the Lake Louise Fairmont Hotel, much to our surprise, the famously green lake was not green as we had seen in countless photos since childhood! The lake was frozen over. This was the mere reality. Our expectation was that it would just be picturesque and perfectly represented as we had imagined. Instead of growing disgruntled by the obvious work of Mother Nature, we simultaneously laughed out loud. We were dumbfounded by the fact that it had not even occurred to us that the lake could have and would have been frozen over. This was a small reminder to me to just continue to be in the moment and not get lost in worry or upset of things not going as planned. I admittedly strive for control in certain areas of my life that give me the sense of safety and security. This upcoming adventure to Bali to complete my 200hr yoga teacher certification is an opportunity to grow and learn especially with regard to mindfulness and attitude. I look forward to meeting new people; gaining new skills; and evolving my practice of being in the moment with reasonable expectations of myself and others.


Here is to expectations, disappointment, and making the best of any situation even when it is tricky to dig deep.


So, stand tall like a tree even when the ground beneath is shifting and the wind is blowing. These psycho-emotional aspects are so integral and important to our overall health on a cellular level. We can eat all of the antioxidants and locally-sourced, organically produced foods in the world but a bad attitude will have adverse affects on the whole picture.


Be good to you,


W xo.

 Lake Louise, Alberta  April 26, 2016

Lake Louise, Alberta

April 26, 2016

Essential Oils for Wellbeing

Saje Wellness, a Vancouver based company, strives to "[connect] people to the healing power of plants." The rich, earthy scent of diffusing oils will draw you into their boutiques. Even if you're not a self-proclaimed bohemian, hippy type, trust me, there is something for everyone in this store! 

My neighbour recently gifted me with  a roller-ball oil diffuser specifically for head colds called HEAD COLD. Its aromatics relaxed me and eased a pounding headache when I was sick. There was something so soothing and luxurious coming from this little measure of self-love!

Yesterday I visited their Ottawa Store at Rideau centre and my dad selected a nebulizer with three different oils for his office. He wants to create a stress-less environment, and Saje Wellness had just what he needed for the energy overhaul!  The diffusers are easy to use and budget friendly.

I picked up up another roller-ball diffuser called "MOON CYCLE" given my obsession with the moon and how its push and pull impacts us all (okay, some of us more than others... ahem...). MOON CYCLE  is a PMS relief remedy. Oh, how convenient. 

Next time, I might consider grabbing the EATER'S DIGEST. Roll this oil onto your belly (or 6-pack abs) and rub your palm over your stomach in a circle toward the left (i.e. clockwise) to stimulate and ease digestion. EATER'S DIGEST is one of the only oils in store that you can actually ingest. It acts as a breath freshener if you just lick a little bit off the back/palm of your hand. If you like "licoricey fennel", this is for you. 

Saje Wellness has soap, lotions, natural perfumes and teas in addition to its multitude of potions. You'll be sure to find the perfect host/hostess gift, birthday gift, of just-for-nothing gift to yourself or someone you love. The in-store staff is knowledgeable & informative about the various proudcts - if somehow the plethora of information slips your mind, visit their website for comprehensive lists of ingredients and usages of all products. 

And, guess what? Saje Wellness will be opening a boutique in Westboro in the New Year! I'm thrilled and welcome Saje Wellness to my neighbourhood with open arms.

Be good to you.

W xo

P.S. I plucked these photos from saga.ca ...


Whole Foods are Super Foods (Part IV)

Whole foods. What does this mean?

"Whole foods" refers to food that has been minimally processed or refined and free from additives and things that we cannot pronounce (i.e. artificial substances).

Super foods. What does this mean?

"Super foods" refers to food that is nutrient-dense and beneficial to our health and well-being.

Generally speaking, whole foods are super foods.

When we fuel our bodies with whole foods and super foods our body will thank us. Here is a quick-guide list of whole foods and super foods: 

  • healthy fats - example: Omega 3's
  • non GMO/hormone free poultry and meat
  • vegetables - think greens.
  • fruits - berries especially.
  • fibre - soluble and insoluble fibre.
  • colourful foods - antioxidant-rich.

Eating whole foods and super foods is a fantastic preventative measure for prolonged and bountiful health. However, if we are too rushed in our eating practices the nutrients may not have the same "promised" nutritive impact on our overall health. You see, when we rush the ritual of eating, or choose to eat on the go, our digestion is adversely affected. This is why the practice of slow, mindful eating has proven benefits to overall wellness.

The nutritional aspect of eating begins well before eating. We get a signal that we are hungry. Then, our salivary glands being to get to work. Our body is now ready to accept food. If for some reason we are rushed and not entirely present as we eat, we tend to chew inadequately which puts a heavy workload on the digestive system... Rather than breaking down small, easily digestible morsels of food, the digestive system faces big hunks of food that slow the digestive process down and stress the digestive system as a whole. 

The better approach is to eat mindfully and properly chew food and think about the nourishing benefits of what we are eating for optimal digestion and overall nourishment. Ease the pressure on your digestive system with the following mindful eating practices when fuelling your body with whole foods and super foods.

Top 10 Mindful Eating Practices for Optimal Digestion of Whole Foods & Super Foods:

  1. Take time to prepare your super food with people you love  - This simple activity is nourishing in itself for relationships with others and with yourself. As you prepare your food, your body is made aware of the imminent meal. The digestive process begins with olfactory and visual sensory stimulation of food which stimulates the salivary glands. If it is not possible to make meal time a cooking extravaganza, at least visualize that you will be eating in the near future and consider the smells and colours of the food - this will stimulate your body to prepare your digestive system for an incoming meal.
  2. Take your seat - Make sitting down for your meal a sacred ritual. In our busy lives, eating on the go has become so prominent that the art of gathering around table is lost in the hustle and bustle. Find a tidy area, set your table, and sit up with good posture to approach your mealtime.
  3. Take a moment - Some may say Grace, others may give Thanks. Often times, these rituals are reserved for special occasions only given the fast-paced lives we lead. Even if it is in your mind, look at your colourful plate of food and acknowledge the beauty of what this food has in store for you and your well-being. Believe it or not, this also has a huge impact on the digestive process.
  4. Turn it off - Yes, I occasionally take pictures of my food. And, like most of the world, I aim to set my cell phone aside but sometimes, it just doesn't happen. The norm is to widely accept cell phone and electronic usage virtually at any time. The ideal scenario is to eat - alone or in the company of others - without distractions of phones bleeping or the television blaring. The occasional TV dinner is the ultimate luxury, don't get me wrong! (I remember that being such a treat as a child, and now I can see from my parents perspective it was likely a treat for them to have some peace and quiet at meal time i.e. no siblings bickering). For now, forgo multitasking at mealtime. Be present and consider how the food you are eating is nourishing every cell in your body. This contributes highly to the benefits of eating nourishing foods.
  5. Listen up - Are you eating mindlessly? Are you full? Are you continuing to eat because others around you are still eating? What is your body saying to you? Okinawa, Japan is famous for its practice of hara hachi bun me, which refers to eating until you are 80 percent full. This practice is popularized as this population is specifically shown to lead lives of rich health and longevity. Take a note from the Okinawans and listen to your gut when it tells you you're nearly full!
  6. Don't drink up -  Avoid drinking too much water with meals as it tends to dilute digestive juices.
  7. Chit chat - Eating with others is far more interesting and enjoyable that eating on your own (in most cases). In fact, eating with others has been shown to be more beneficial for your health especially in aging populations. Take time to converse with the people around the table. Discuss the days events, upcoming plans, or centre the conversation around the food and recipes on today's menu. 
  8. Chew, chew, chew, and then chew some more - Do you have that one friend that is the last one to finish his/her meal? That one friend that takes F-O-R-E-V-E-R to eat and it is so annoying  that it incites a small fire of rage within you? Here's the deal: aspire to be more like this friend. Eating slowly and chewing thoroughly is the key to complete digestion. By adequately chewing, we send a readily digestible bolus (ball of chewed up food) to our stomach where is broken down some more before traveling onward to the small intestine for further digestion (I won't get into the specifics of what is digested where etc.). Put simply, the less we chew our food, the more work our digestive systems has. If we continuously stress our digestive system we may face adverse health consequences. 
  9. Take a walk...the dishes can wait! - Taking a short walk after a meal stimulates the digestive system. Committing to a walk after your meal is also a great incentive to not overeat to the point of discomfort which leads many of us to the couch for a sedentary couch session. Try to avoid this as it is not conducive to good digestive functioning and it is a poor lifestyle habit. If a walk isn't available to you or your loved ones, try a kitchen-clean-up-dance-party. Blast the music and get upright for a few minutes before retiring to the couch. You've got this!
  10. Cleanup -  Brush your teeth following a meal with a toothpaste that signifies the end of a meal to you, such as peppermint. This is a great habit to get into for you... and for others! If you do this step before kitchen cleanup, you'll be less inclined to eat a second meal. In the kitchen, cleanup is a perfect occasion to pack meal-size portioned leftovers away in  containers (preferably the non-plastic variety). It's also clever to take inventory of what you need to rid of or replenish in your kitchen inventory for healthy, nutrient-dense, mindful meals in the coming days. This task is often easiest on a full stomach!

Eat whole foods and super foods - these foods are closest to their natural state and contain the most nutritive value for our body, mind, and spirit. Prepare these foods with love. Eat mindfully. Eat well. Eat until you feel appropriately satiated. 

Be good to you.

W xo