Why driven people feel guilty and what to do about it

Why driven people feel guilty and what to do about it

It’s 7:09am and I’m pressing snooze on my iPhone.

People describe me as driven and motivated but if they could see me at home they might think differently. I love sleeping. I can go to bed at 10pm and sleep until 7:30 am, no problem. I also enjoy tinkering around the house  – tidying, watering my houseplants, organizing the pantry, cooking, cuddling with my dog or my man, rearranging papers, vacuuming. I easily get lost in the day to day tasks of life.  

And then I feel guilty about it.

Why?

Because I run out of time to do the *important* tasks on my to-do list. Another day, week, month has passed and what has been accomplished?

You’re probably like me.

You have big goals.

You have big dreams.

And it feels like they are slipping away while you fold laundry or water your garden.

While these mundane tasks bring us a brief feeling of satisfaction, a sense of order and control over our lives, we know deep down that we are procrastinating from the important work we could be doing.

Maybe we do it to be normal.

Maybe to let our mind rest and unwind.

Because we like organization and a clean space.

{We need clean clothes to wear, right?!}

Or maybe we’re scared of the chaos and uncertainty that comes with actually accomplishing something of substance. We’re terrified of being immersed so deeply in our work {our mission} that the laundry, the bills, and the dog hair pile up.

We want to achieve massive things, yet we want our lives to be organized, clean, and uncluttered.

Can both desires coexist? {I’ll keep you posted 😉 }

One thing that never changes for us – whether we are in a state of motivation and production or guilt and procrastination – is our drive to build/create/achieve. It’s innately a part of us and never goes away (in my experience).

This brings me to a recent reading I received from my intuitive and talented aunt Kara. She has studied astrology and numerology, as well as intuitive metaphysical practices and tarot reading for many years. She confirmed what deep down I already knew: my life path and my soul urge are in alignment and have to do with building something. In numerology this is represented by the number 8.

#8: influence, manifestation, personal power, material freedom, independence, leadership, construction of systems, organization, management, entrepreneurship…

[Sigh. It makes sense. That’s why I have trouble sitting around and doing nothing all weekend.]

Knowing that my drive is innately part of me means I can exhale and carry on. And I can also enjoy my downtime, because I know that I can’t work hard 24/7, it wouldn’t be sustainable.

Another pivotal moment in my reading was when I pulled the tarot card “postponement” {I had been asking for guidance as to why I was procrastinating}. Duh. The literal meaning of this card was very fitting, obviously, but the deeper meaning was multi-faceted. The place where I feel stuck is actually right where I’m supposed to be. It’s part of my learning, my process of getting where I want to be; without the so-called ‘struggle’, I wouldn’t grow and become who I need to be to get where I want to go.

How to move past the guilt

I believe having a deeper knowing of ourselves can help us move past guilt and into joyful creation and productivity. It starts with asking ourselves why we are avoiding the things we say we want.

Is it fear?

Lack of clarity?

Laziness?

Resistance?

For me, I have this burning desire for freedom, and yet I am becoming more and more certain that the path to freedom lies within structure. My inner freedom junkie rebels and resists against my wiser instincts which tell me I have to create systems, timelines, and structures in order to be free. I know that without structure I will never be able to deliver the value I hope to bring to the world. Without deadlines and deliverables I won’t create anything of substance.

Without providing value and creating something meaningful I won’t have a successful business and my business is the key to my long term freedom (at least the financial and fulfillment parts of freedom, for me).

Along with recognizing my own patterns of behaviour, my self-knowledge was deepened by understanding my astrology and numerology. It is not an exact science, however the insights were so uncannily accurate that I can’t disregard them. I feel a sense of calm clarity since discovering these aspects of myself and my life path. {Connect with Kara if you want to learn more,}

As much as I love learning from others… an even bigger lesson for me is to TRUST my intuition. Habitually, I turn to experts for answers and guidance. There’s nothing wrong with this approach, but what is right for them may not be quite right for me or you. Exploring my intuition is a semi-new passion for me and I look forward to sharing my discoveries in future blog posts. I am realizing how very important it is to listen to my inner knowing and to understand how my intuition expresses itself.  I am also cultivating a level of trust in the timing of the universe.

Where you are in any given moment is exactly where you need to be. Reminds of Eckhart Tolle:

“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment.”

Ultimately, in my case it also comes down to some pure discipline. This morning I DID NOT hit snooze. Instead, I popped out of bed at 6:15am, did a quick meditation and sat down to finish this blog post.

A confession…. and five tips for more spaciousness

A confession…. and five tips for more spaciousness

I have a confession to make.

I have hoarding tendencies.

Don’t we all?

(At least a little bit?)

 

So, what do I hoard?

Trinkets… No.

Clothing… not really.

Shoes… surprisingly, no.

Photos and memorabilia… a bit.

Journals and workshop/seminar notes… 100%. Nailed it.

 

I’m an information junkie and I always have at least one notebook on the go (usually 2-3) for different things. So what the heck do you do with a notebook that’s filled with random musings, to-do lists, moments of inspiration, and potentially useful notes from meetings or conference calls?

 

Last month was a big month for transitions. After house sitting for four months we hunted down a dog-friendly rental home to hold us over until we find the right property to buy. The place we found is super cute, and by cute I mean small. Really small. I don’t know the exact square footage but I do know we have minimal space for storing anything that isn’t absolutely necessary to our lives.

Have you noticed how no matter where you are, your life expands or contracts to fill the available space?

It’s a bit like how most of us manage our finances. When your income increases, so do your expenses until everything is right on pace and there’s no extra ‘space’ in your budget.  

Knowing we were moving into a much smaller space, I finally picked up (and devoured) the book, The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, which I had heard about numerous times. Her suggestions for tidying were super helpful.

 

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What I realized throughout the process is how incredibly FREEING it is to let go of unneeded things.

In Feng Shui it is highly recommended to declutter your space so that energy can flow freely and I had been wanting to do this properly for a long time.

Using the process outlined in Marie’s book, I was able to downsize drastically. I recycled multiple boxes of papers, gave away my filing cabinet, donated several bags of books and clothing and disposed of several garbage bags worth of unneeded items. What about those boxes full of journals and seminar notes? I flipped through many of the journals briefly and if a page caught my attention as being valuable I snapped a quick photo of it on my phone. Then most of it went in the recycling.

The key realization for me in understanding this hoarding tendency was that me holding on to old journals and notes was done out of fear, fear that I would need to refer to these documents in the future and would regret throwing them out. The truth is, the information I’ve used and assimilated into my life is part of me now, and if I haven’t internalized the information, then I likely don’t need it at this time and it’s okay to let it go.

If you’re anything like me, you probably have some clutter lurking in your space and maybe, like me, you are daunted with the idea of dealing with it. I suggest picking up Marie’s book and reading it all the way through… but in the meantime, here are my key takeaways from the book:

 

1. “Marathon tidying” is the only way to effectively de-clutter, for good

In Marie’s words, until you have completed the once-in-a-lifetime event of putting your house in order, any attempt to tidy on a daily basis is doomed to failure.  You have to actually go through all your belongings within a small time frame in order to make real lasting progress towards a simpler life. For me, moving was the perfect time to do this. Since we had been house-sitting, most of our belongings were already boxed up. As we moved and began to unpack, I could fairly easily tell which things I was excited to unpack and which things I had a sinking feeling about: Oh, that thing… hmm what should I do with that thing?!

 

2. There’s a specific order in which de-cluttering & discarding should occur

It’s really hard to throw out photos and other items that have a memorable or sentimental quality to them, even if you never use or look at them. Marie recommends starting with clothes, then books, papers, miscellaneous items, and finally things with sentimental value. I followed her suggestions and it worked like magic. That doesn’t mean it was easy-peasy, it just means I actually managed to get through everything.

 

3. When deciding whether to keep or discard something, ask yourself if an item ‘sparks joy;’ if the answer is no, in almost every case, get rid of that item

Oh. That seems pretty easy, right? It is, IF you can really tune in and trust your instincts. When it came to clothes I had to ignore the voice of others, who might have complimented an article of clothing or an outfit, and really ask myself if it was something I enjoyed wearing. You know when you are packing for a trip and you only bring your favourite items? Imagine if getting dressed everyday was like that. You only had to choose between things that you love and never compromise with something that you only kinda like. This part really is life-changing.

In other cases the whole ‘spark joy’ idea was really challenging. I had a few sentimental items that bring joy, but I never use or look at them so I decided it was time to let them go. And then there’s the things you have to keep, like old tax documents, which may or may not spark joy but are a necessary fact of life.

 

4. After you’ve discarded all the items you don’t need/want, then you must find a place for everything to live

The organizing part of tidying becomes much easier when you have way less stuff. This seems like a no brainer, but the funny thing is, when most people (including myself) set off to organize a certain part of our home it usually means going and buying baskets or bins or additional closet organizers; which just end up being filled with stuff they (I) never use. Marie has a fun approach to organizing and it is to tune into each object and your home because items know where they want to live. Intuitively, you’ll be able to find a place for everything, and it usually does not require any additional storage.

Another significant takeaway was folding my clothes differently so that I can now see everything that lives in a drawer. I don’t know if I mastered Marie’s folding technique but what I did seems to be working! And the best part is, I’m actually putting my clothes away every day.

 

5. Treat your objects with the same love, care, and gratitude that you would your loved ones

This one caught me a bit by surprise, but now that I think about it, I love the idea of it. I really am so grateful to the objects that bring me joy and allow me to live my life the way I choose to. Just saying a few kind words to your items as you put them away {thanks for doing such a great job!} seems a bit wacky at first, but feels really good when you start doing it. And I can already see how it will be easier to manifest the objects I want when they’ve got such a lovely environment to come into.

 

I hope these tips make it easier for you to dive into the process of tidying, it really is worth it!

I’d love to hear your thoughts, ideas or strategies that have helped you create more space in your space. Please share in the comments below.

 

Ask for what you want

Ask for what you want

line in sandThis is it.

It’s time to get real.

I’m drawing a line in the sand.

 

I’m 30 years old, soon to be 31 and it’s time to grab life by the balls and do what I’ve been saying I want to do for YEARS.

 

Here’s the thing: over five years ago I set a goal to be financially free by age 30 so that I could live life by my own design, raise a family as a present parent, travel the world, help people, make choices for the good of the planet, and leave a legacy of love and meaningful work behind me. Over the last five years or so, I have invested significantly in personal growth, invested in my physical well being, learned from incredible mentors, read lots of books, attended conferences, trainings, seminars, done all the personality profiles and strengths assessments that have come my way and have started dabbling in meditation, pendulum and other intuitive modalities. I have intentionally formed new habits, rebelliously quit those habits, and continue to strive towards my ideal daily routine. I have achieved successes and then sat back complacently and watched things crumble. 

The long and short of it is, I haven’t yet reached my goal. I guess you could say I failed. But, more importantly, this is what I’ve learned…

 

I will never give up.

I can’t live a life of complacency.

Now that I know what’s possible.

Now that I’ve seen the results of others on this path.

Now that I have tasted freedom…

 

I can’t go back to life as it is for many people. As challenging as it may be to forge a different path and as much confusion/judgement/rejection as I may have to face – I just don’t see any other way of living my life.

 

I’ve wondered many times whether I’m cut out for this journey, or whether I’m spinning my tires, wasting my time. Am I meant to be an entrepreneur or should I just content myself with being the best damn employee someone could ask for?

 

I’m sure I’m not alone in this thought…

Its easier to get things done when someone else is expecting you to. Its easier to meet a deadline when it’s someone else’s deadline rather than your own. Its easier to show up when you know you have to, versus just because you want to. (I know it sounds weird, but it’s actually true). I am a people pleaser by nature – so what I’m really asking myself these days is how can I untrain this part of myself, or transmute my desire to please other people into a desire to please myself.

 

What if I worked as hard for myself as I do for others?

 

This is what I’ve realized and decided: I don’t need more courses, coaching or guidance. I already know everything I need to know to commence my journey. Yes, there may be technical questions or details here and there that I need help with but when I’m really honest with myself – I know enough about my strengths and weaknesses, enough about the theory of what I’m trying to do (create freedom) and enough about what needs to get done.

 

All that remains is to do it.

 

So I’m going within and asking my inner mentor/spirit/the universe for guidance and for help:

“I get it. Thank you. I am enough. I have enough knowledge, resources and time to get this job done. I don’t need to wait for anyone’s approval to move forward. The time is whenever I decide it to be. The time is right now. I am as competent as I need to be.  I have the resourcefulness inside me to overcome any challenge. If I come across a block, I trust my ability to solve it or ask for help.”

 

Now that I am ready – here is what I am asking for from you, Universe:

I am asking for the 3-4 people who are ready to go on this journey with me NOW.

I recognize that I need accountability and I need the power of a mastermind. There is nothing that holds more power than minds that are on the same wavelength and working with synergy. If I can’t show up purely for myself than maybe I can show up for others who will hold me to my word.

This is exactly who I am looking for, and who I promise to BE (we can’t ask from others what we are unwilling to do/be ourselves).

a person who:

  • craves freedom; time freedom, financial freedom, and the well being to enjoy it, and is COMMITTED to achieving these things in the next year
  • understands the mechanisms of creating freedom or is OPEN to quickly learning it (residual and passive income, not being in a time-money exchange model, leveraging money and people to get work done, not having to do it all yourself, empowering others with the same level of opportunity, outsourcing where appropriate)
  • keeps their word; if they ever break integrity with their word they acknowledge and rectify it
  • is willing to show up and do the work; willing to do whatever it takes
  • is ready to go NOW
  • is able to take care of themselves so they don’t burn out
  • is communicative and willing to share ideas, collaborate, mastermind and contribute
  • wants to build a high tech, high touch business utilizing principles of online business with the essence of a real human-connection community
  • wants to build/add a relationship marketing business to their financial portfolio because they want to help other people create freedom too
  • is a creative problem solver
  • takes responsibility for themselves and their actions
  • is willing to invest time and money in the growth and development of their business
  • is a lifelong learner
  • is honest
  • is heart-centered
  • is intuitive, or interested in developing their intuition
  • has read or is willing to read the following books:
    • Napolean Hill – Think and Grow Rich
    • Don Miguel Ruiz – The Four Agreements
    • Eckhart Tolle – A New Earth
    • Tara Mohr – Playing Big

 

My vision for this Freedom Circle Mastermind

  • weekly or bi-weekly meetings by phone or in person depending on our respective locations
  • targets/goals that are set with time frames
  • celebration of achievements
  • masterminding of problems/obstacles
  • an introductory session where we map out the next year of strategies and milestones

 

If you feel you would be a good fit, please send me an email with “Freedom Circle Mastermind” in the subject line to aimee at befreetribe.com.

 

I can’t wait to chat!

 

What I learned about scarcity and abundance from chocolate

What I learned about scarcity and abundance from chocolate

Have you ever examined your thought patterns and habits and gotten really curious about where they come from? I’ve recently become aware of one of my habits that comes from a scarcity mindset and I am now *consciously* shifting towards the opposite, abundance-based approach instead.

But let me back up and start at the beginning.

I was a weird child. I didn’t like chocolate and I could make my halloween candy last until Easter if not longer. My friends couldn’t understand it; their candy lasted maybe a week. It might have been partially because I didn’t have a sweet tooth or the fact that my dad became diabetic in my childhood and I became more aware of sugar, but the fact is… I would save things, and not just candy. I would find myself holding onto gift certificates for a really long time, almost to the point where they would expire.

fudge

I now recognize this pattern as coming from a place of scarcity: my thinking: “I better hold on to this {candy, gift certificate, bottle of wine, box of chocolates, special olive oil, whatever…} and save it for a special occasion because it may not easily come into my life again.” Woah! Talk about not sending the right message to the universe.

The other interesting thing about this discovery is that my feeling of needing to save and hold onto things was adding to the amount of clutter in my life. From what I’ve learned about feng shui (thanks Kate Northrup) clutter blocks the flow of abundance. When we hold onto things for a long time they become clutter both physically and mentally. Not only do they sometimes take up physical space, but we also need to use a small part of our brain to remember them and keep them on the back burner, until the time is ‘just right.’

Getting rid of clutter creates space for energy and abundance to flow.

 

So what am I doing differently now? What does abundance look like?

 

The chocolate that arrived in our stockings on Christmas got devoured in January. It looks like using up all the bath salts that I got for Christmas by the end of January, yeah! It means that I went and picked out some new lingerie and used up the gift certificate I got from my bestie (high five, bestie!). It means that we lit our new beeswax candles immediately after bringing them home a few weeks ago. It means that I am contacting the people who have offered me things (complimentary sessions, etc) and taking them up on their offer, with thanks!

 

My attitude now is that I might as well enjoy the nice things that have arrived in my life and show the universe that I appreciate them and trust there’s plenty more to come!

 

New Beginnings and Diet Overhauls – my food journey part 3

New Beginnings and Diet Overhauls – my food journey part 3

We all have a different definition of what ‘healthy eating’ means. In this three-part blog post I am sharing my food story and the lessons I’ve learned along the way. If you missed part 1 and 2, you may enjoy catching up first. 

Two and a half years ago, I started dating my current boyfriend and my diet underwent the most recent and drastic set of changes. He doesn’t eat gluten, so I started becoming hyper aware of the gluten in my diet, and cutting back whenever possible. It wasn’t too difficult because I was already reducing my bread and pasta intake after watching many people around me successfully lose weight; I was learning that we consume WAY too many simple carbs.

After a couple months of reducing gluten and continuing to be carb-savvy, something happened to upset my progress. I went traveling for two months in South America. If you’ve never been to Peru, I’ll let yIMG_4359ou in on the secret of Peruvian cuisine: they grow over 4,000 different types of potatoes there. For real. Also, free hostel breakfasts in South America usually consist of white bread and jam. So basically we could call that trip “Carb Fest 2013.” When I got home to Canada (and my full wardrobe) I noticed my pants were fitting a bit snug. For the first time in my life I became aware of what many people struggle with. As a naturally thin person, I’ve been able to eat pretty much whatever I want without much effect on my weight. {I should qualify this by saying that I rarely eat fast food and I don’t have a sweet tooth, so its not like I was eating ice cream every day, but I do love my carbs and dairy.}

I learned from Stephen Cherniske (a nutritional biochemist and health educator) that,

about 20% of people are naturally thin, meaning their body just knows how to burn fat as energy and they have no trouble maintaining a healthy weight. About 80% of the population is the opposite.

Weight can be a struggle for the 80% because their fat-burning genetic pathways have been turned down so low that their body uses sugar/carbs as a primary fuel source. Luckily I was aware of the effect carbs have on people, so I knew what to do to drop the extra 8-10 lbs I had gained on my trip. 

Lesson #6: The most effective way to drop a few pounds (for me and many others) is to limit carb intake putting the body into ketosis

{ketosis = fat-burning}

After my trip I moved in with my boyfriend and made one more adjustment to my diet. If you read part 1 and 2, you may remember from my picky eater days and carb obsession days that my favourite food groups were bread and cheese… well, my amazing health-savvy man also avoids most dairy.

Lesson #7: Gluten and dairy are inflammatory foods that are best eaten in moderation, or not at all


Cheese, my beloved cheese. I didn’t quit cold-turkey, but I stopped buying the giant blocks of cheddar and now save my cheese indulgences for nice chunks of brie, smoked gouda, gruyere etc, during special occasions. Yogurt is something that has been a staple in my diet for most of my life; I only ever buy plain yogurt (there’s that sugar phobia again), usually organic, never low fat. I know that the probiotics in yogurt are helpful and I’ve never had a reason to cut yogurt out of my diet.

Today, I’m not 100% gluten or dairy free, but in the last two years I’ve reduced my intake of these inflammatory foods by about 85%. We don’t have any gluten at home and usually the only dairy is yogurt and butter, but I still have the odd meal out that contains gluten, I still occasionally drink beer, and sometimes you just gotta hit up trivia night at the pub and eat a big plate of nachos, right?!

When it comes to food, I like to focus on what I DO EAT, rather than what I don’t eat.

If I were to give you a list of things to avoid, it might feel restrictive and depressing. I prefer to focus on the positive, which is all the delicious things that I keep in my home and enjoy on a regular basis.

So what kind of food will you typically find in our fridge?

REAL FOOD.

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  • TONS OF VEGETABLES
  • lean, healthy cuts of meat raised locally without hormones/antibiotics
  • fish and occasionally other types of seafood
  • organic tofu, sprouted lentils/chickpeas
  • goat cheese, almond milk, plain yogurt, and butter {for popcorn, mostly}
  • nut butters
  • superfoods like hemp hearts, greens powder, pure aloe vera juice, etc
  • a few condiments: dijon mustard, Frank’s hot sauce (it doesn’t have any added sugar, so it passes my test), apple cider vinegar, braggs, horseradish puree, thai curry paste…
  • hummus, salsa, miso, kimchi or pickled something

What about the pantry?

FRUIT and AVOCADOS

I adore my collection of mason jars. You’ll typically find on our shelves:

quinoa, brown rice, lentils, oats  (flake and steelcut, never quick oats), gluten free flours – brown rice, chickpea, masa corn flour, millet, a variety of seeds and nuts, coconut oil, cacao powder and nibs, raw cane sugar (one bag has lasted me 1.5 years so far), honey, coconut milk, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, herbs and spices, protein powder and other superfood-y things.

and what kind of meals can you create with these things?

So many delicious things!

Like tonight for example, we had a veggie stir-fry with tofu and homemade peanut sauce.

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I think its important to mention that we are human and we all have our guilty pleasures.’ these are the things we enjoy now and then (hopefully in moderation, but usually we devour them when they are in the house – notice how they are all carbs?!)

  • corn chips {with salsa or hummus}
  • granola
  • gluten free bread
  • crackers
  • chocolate
  • gluten free pasta
Let’s recap the lessons I have personally learned during my journey with food.

Foundations for a healthy diet

LESSON #1: if your diet is lacking in key nutrients, find a supplement to fill in the gaps

LESSON #2: minimize sugar

LESSON #3: be conscious of carb intake; we usually eat way more carbs than we actually need

LESSON #4: a highly varied natural foods diet is best for health

LESSON #5: humans evolved as hunter-gatherers and for thousands of years ate primarily plants (leaves, shoots, roots, fruit) and meat

LESSON #6: the most effective way to drop a few pounds (for me and many others) is to limit carb intake putting the body into ketosis

Lesson #7: Gluten and dairy are inflammatory foods and should be minimized or avoided

The next phase of my journey is to integrate way more fermented foods into my diet. I’ve already been enjoying drinking water kefir and eating kimchi and sauerkraut, but I know that I can take this further and start making my own fermented creation!

Now it’s your turn:

Which foods, superfoods, and supplements have you integrated into your diet?

Are there any foods in your fridge/pantry that are not supporting you to achieve your highest and best health?

Have you discovered which foods you personally need to avoid to feel your best?

“The Carb Obsession” – my food journey part 2

“The Carb Obsession” – my food journey part 2

 

We all have a different definition of what ‘healthy eating’ means. In this three-part blog post I am sharing my food story and the lessons I’ve learned along the way. If you missed part 1 (“Picky Eaters Unite”) you can catch up here.

 

We moved to the city when I was in my early teens and shared a home with my mom’s sister and brother in law. My two cousins were picky eaters (like my brother and I) but the major difference was that they had things in the house like frozen chicken fingers, fries, and tater tots. Foods that had never been available in my home previously. Around the same time, my childhood love of pasta and cheese turned into bagel and cheese sandwiches for school lunches almost every day.

When I moved out oIMG_0371n my own for the first time, my roommates and I bought fruits and vegetables, but we also ate a lot of cheese quesadillas, sandwich meats, kraft dinner and sushi. Around this time, I also got my first job in the food industry at a bakery (muffins and sandwiches galore) and shortly after at Boston Pizza.  As you can imagine, pasta, pizza, sandwiches and french fries were readily accessible.

I should probably pause here and explain that I was blessed with the kind of metabolism that meant I never put on weight as a child or teen. I’m sure my small town upbringing, active lifestyle and the healthy foods my parents did manage to get me to eat played a role in my weight as well…

So if you’re waiting for me to share my dramatic story of weIMG_0887ight gain and loss, it’s not coming…

In the third post of this series I will share what I’ve learned about ‘naturally thin people.’

LESSON #3: We eat way more carbs than we actually need; even if you feel invincible when you’re young, eventually your body will store those excess carbs

 

IMG_6661Six years ago, I was living in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. In case you aren’t up to date on your Canadian geography, Yellowknife is a 16 hour drive north of Edmonton in the middle of the tundra. There are no farmers’ markets & no local produce (I think that’s changing now, butback then, nadda). My boyfriend at the time waIMG_6056s really into cooking and baking, which meant lots of made-from-scratch meals: healthy, right? Well, when you have British heritage there’s a tendency towards meat and potatoes, meat pies, roasts, potato scones, fresh bread.. I think you get the idea. We ate veggies too, and fruit, but lots of cheese (dairy in general), bread and meat. Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious and very lovely to have fresh baked bread at home; however I was starting to wonder if this was the way I wanted to be eating for the long term.

 

 

A significant event happened while I was living in Yellowknife that would change my food choices in a big way: I was introduced to the community of Univera, and more specifically to Stephen Cherniske, who has become one of my biggest health resources to this day.

Around the time I started introducing high quality Univera superfoods into my diet I also started to rediscover and remember all the healthy foods I had been exposed to as a child. Brown rice, quinoa, kale, and tofu gradually started to reappear in my kitchen. I remember distinctly suggesting to my boyfriend that we should eat more kale. He wasn’t a huge fan.

A few months later, he told me we should eat more kale. Why? He had seen it on Dr. Oz.

Eyeroll…Okay, so we started eating more kale.

I read a book called the Metabolic Plan, by Stephen Cherniske and learned many valuable lessons about humans and food.

 

LESSON #4: a highly varied natural foods diet is best for health (Metabolic Plan)

 

The biggest takeaway for me was VARIETY; broccoli is great, but we don’t necessarily need to eat it with every meal. We need to eat a wide variety of foods to get a wide variety of nutrients. Duh.

 

LESSON #5: humans evolved as hunter-gatherers and for thousands of years ate primarily plants (leaves, shoots, roots, fruit) and meat

 

Hmm.. so two of my major food groups (bread and cheese) were not recommended by Stephen. I love cheese so I definitely did not immediately stop eating it. But I did increase my intake of a wider variety of veggies, fruits, and whole grains (ie quinoa, brown rice) nuts and seeds. We were already believers in avoiding buying processed foods, so that was helpful. At this point, it was easier to introduce new foods than to stop eating things I loved. 

 

Stay tuned for part 3 of this post to hear the most recent information I have learned and implemented to get off the carb train and establish healthy eating habits for wellness and longevity.