On Judging Other Women

We are die-hard Dancing With The Stars Fans at my house. On Monday nights we excitedly retire to the basement with drinks and popcorn in hand to revel in two solid hours of ballroom bliss. We love the incredible dancing, the relationships that form between partners, the personal stories that unfold and the fun of watching the pros work their magic on novice celebrity dancers.

Recently we were enjoying a DWTS episode when I made a flippant comment about the way plastic surgery has altered the face of one of my favourite childhood actresses. My daughter immediately took me to task: “What do you mean mom? I don’t see anything wrong with her face. She’s pretty.”

I immediately regretted my words. I work hard to practice acceptance and kindness (with varying degrees of success apparently) and here I was mouthing off about another woman. How can I expect my daughter to be non-judgemental with her peers if I am so darn quick to jump in to comment on the private decisions that another woman has made about her appearance?

I quickly apologized for my thoughtless words and admitted that my daughter was absolutely correct – the actress is pretty….and she is also fully entitled to do whatever the heck she wants to her own face and body. Because the truth of the matter is that it is only out of the insecurities I have about my own aging face and body that I would dare to pass such critical judgement on another woman.

This incident reminded me of a powerful blog post written by one of my favourite authors in the world- Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love). I have this post printed out and I have read it and reread it and reread it again. And I will keep on re-reading it until the message is fully embedded in my far-from-perfect, sometimes-judgemental and often insecure brain. It is an incredibly powerful piece and reminds me that as women we need to embrace our differences and accept each other just as we are. And that goes for our friends, our family, strangers,  celebrities and every single one of the actresses on Dancing With The Stars.

**(follow the link below to read Elizabeth Gilbert’s piece. Email subscribers – you may need to go to my site at http://www.lorileighwilson.com to click the link)

 

 

Summer Family Fun & Learning

Over the years as I’ve learned, read and taken courses on a variety of wellness related topics, I have often thought about how much I would love bring my children along to these classes or find age-appropriate ways to impart the valuable information I’ve received. I believe in general kids are much more open-minded when it comes to learning new things and although I appreciate the education they are getting at school, it would be awesome if they could also take courses in subjects like mindfulness, kindness, manifesting, self-acceptance, gratitude and health eating.

meditation

Since no such program exists in my area (although my friend Leslie is working on something for the fall- woohoo!), I decided that I would take it upon myself to dream up a fun learning experience to undertake with my kids during some of my time with them this summer. I know, I know – “no more pencils, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks!” I’ve already promised them that this won’t be like school and we will still have lots of time for chillin’ by the pool, playing crazy 8’s and hanging with friends. I’ll only list a theme for the week and together we will brainstorm ideas for a couple of things we can do to explore that topic (and yes, I am prepared for some sighing and eye rolling as we get started).
Continue reading

My First Blog Award!

Woohoo and holy cow! I was just nominated for a Liebster Award from fellow blogger Lindsay Gray at The Leaking Boob. Lindsay is a new mom who shares her stories, recipes and insights as she navigates the choppy waters of new motherhood. Thank you so much Lindsay! I am honoured.

Liebster Awards go to “up and coming” bloggers with less than 200 followers.  The origins of this award are unclear and are simply given by fellow award nominees to blogs that inspire them and that they enjoy reading.  “Liebster” means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome in German.

When you receive a Liebster Award, you have to give 11 random facts about yourself, answer 11 questions posed by the nominator, nominate 11 other blogs, and pose 11 questions for your nominees.  Here we go…..

Liebster award

11 Random Facts about Myself:

1.  I once won an award for being the first person in my breakdancing class to do the worm.

2.  When I was little I wanted to be an singer….and maybe secretly I still do.

3.  I have a racy sense of humour and I love to play practical jokes.

4.  My maternal grandfather was a gold miner in northern Ontario.

5.  My lucky number is 3 and my 3 kids are my greatest joy in life.

6.  My husband and I were prom king and queen at Gananoque Secondary School.

7.  Potato chips are my kryptonite.

8.  My parents told my sister and I that if we ate candy before noon we would get worms. And I believed them until I was 19!

9.  I have an Honours degree from the University of Western Ontario in english and drama.

10.  In grade 5 I went all the way to the Ontario finals in public speaking with my speech on Bob & Doug McKenzie.

11.  I wear yoga pants at some point pretty much every day.

11 Questions from Lindsay:

1.  Favorite book: A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

2.  Favorite online shopping site: Saffron Rouge

3.  Happiest childhood memory: Christmas in Virginiatown

4.  Biggest goal on your bucket list: Spending a month in Italy with my family

5.  One place you’re dying to travel: Australia

6.  Biggest inspiration: People who remain open to change, to keeping an open mind and to seeing things from a different perspective at any age and stage of life

7.  Favorite season: Spring

8.  Biggest pet peeve: Negative people

9.  One person you would like to meet: Louise Hay

10.  Age when you got your first cell phone: 32

11.  3 words to describe yourself: curious, creative and determined

11 Nominees:

1. The Imperfect Nutritarian

2. 365 Cups of Kindness

3. Leanin’ Vegan, Going Green and Staying Sane

4. Top of the Guac

5. Sister Bakers

6. Hope and Company

7. Mommy Laughs

8. The Do-Gooder Mama

9. Fried Tofu

10. Selah Koile RHN

11. Om Girls Guide

11 Questions From Me:

1. If you could have one superpower – what would it be?

2. What is your favourite thing about blogging?

3. What are your top 3 books of all time?

4. What are your top 3 movies of all time?

5. Which celebrity would you most like to have dinner with?

6. What makes you laugh the most?

7. What is the best joke you’ve ever heard?

8. Who inspires you?

9. What did you want to be when you were a child?

10. What is the most interesting place you’ve ever travelled to?

11. What are you most grateful for?

Thanks again Lindsay! And I appreciate the opportunity to pay it forward.

A Happiness Challenge

Thank you so much to fellow blogger Cathy Laws who wrote to let me know she had also just completed a 21-day challenge and she is feeling amazing. Not a food cleanse however – but a Happiness Challenge! How cool is that?! She found this challenge courtesy of Shawn Achor- founder and CEO of Good Think Inc. Check out his TedX talk below and get ready to laugh and be inspired.

You can learn more about Shawn at his website (www.shawnachor.com) and by reading his book The Happiness Advantage.

This is one challenge I am definitely going to try. Thanks for the tip Cathy!

Cleanse Day #5 – How Am I Doing? What Am I Doing? And 2 Recipes!

So here I am on Day #5 of my Kathy Freston Jump Start Cleanse and I can feel the fog finally lifting. The sluggishness of days 2-3 is gone and the constant urge to jump into bed with a big bag of Easter chocolates is starting to fade. I’m feeling quite nervous as I head into the weekend because I have a couple of social events planned and I know it is going to be super tempting to have just one glass of wine or a huge handful of nachos. I’m resolved to stay strong but this is going to be a big test!

I made a list for myself at the start of my cleanse of a few things I want to do over the next 21 days to try out some new things and to see if I can initiate a healthy habit or two. Here is what I wrote down:

  1. Meditate – at least once a day but preferably twice. I downloaded a Kathy Freston guided meditation from iTunes and I’ve been listening to it on my ipod at night before I fall asleep. I’ve also been using a Louise Hay meditation CD, some guided meditations I found on YouTube and simply stopping to do some deep breathing a few times each day.
  2. Floss – my dentist is always after me to make flossing a priority but I’ve never been able to make it stick. I read some stats recently about the direct link between oral hygiene and overall health and it was enough to make me rethink this nighttime ritual (did you know that according to Dr. Roizen in his RealAge Makeover book-  daily flossing can add 6.4 years to your life?)
  3. Visualize – I have been taking the time when I have a quite moment to visualize how I want my life to unfold in terms of family, career, vacations, etc. and to practice gratitude for the many wonderful things in my life. I try to really picture in my mind the things I want to manifest and to feel the emotion that I would feel in those situations. (Sound too woo woo for you? Just stick to the deep breathing if one is too weird).
  4. Dry Brush – another great pre-shower ritual that has many benefits including improved circulation, immune system boosting and reduced cellulite. Check out this video on dry brushing for tips. I bought my skin brush at Whole Foods but you can also order one online at Upaya Naturals.
  5. Oil Pulling – I read about this one online from a fellow health and nutrition blogger and I was intrigued. It basically involves swishing coconut oil in my mouth for 20 minutes a day for a myriad of health benefits including whiter teeth, better skin and clear sinuses. You can check out the post on it here.
  6. Exercise – at least once per day even if it’s just dancing around to Old MacDonald 10 times with my toddler. So far so good.
  7. Organize my Pantry and Fridge – time to toss the plastic and make good use of my mason jars for storing flours, nuts, seeds, etc. I also want to get rid of condiments that I don’t use and old Halloween candy that is luring me with its stale but sugary goodness.
  8. Massage – enough said. Got one booked on Saturday afternoon.
  9. Kindness – one of my favourite bloggers is Patience Salgado over at Kindnessgirl.com. She inspires me with her “Guerilla Goodness” acts and I decided to incorporate a few of my favourites into my 3 weeks. I’ll keep you posted on the ones I try.

Here are a couple of easy new recipes for you that I’ve had this week and they are goodies:

Homemade Almond Butter

almond butter 1

2 cups raw almonds
Pinch of vanilla bean powder
Pinch of sea salt
1 tsp of agave nectar (or 1 tbsp. maple syrup)

This recipe takes some patience but it is worth it! Basically you pop the nuts into your food processor and start whirring.

almond butter 2

It will take about 20 minutes for those little babies to turn into creamy and delicious nut butter so don’t get discouraged. Just keep processing and scraping down the sides until you are convinced that nothing will ever happen and then like magic – you will have beautiful almond butter. Add a pinch of vanilla bean powder, sea salt and a hint of sweetener at the end of processing to kick up the flavor and there you have it! Spread on a rice cake or cracker or simply eat it straight out of the bowl.

Raw Tomato Sauce

raw tom sauce

7 sun-dried tomatoes (soaked in water until soft)
2 large ripe tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1 big bunch of fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp. gluten-free tamari sauce
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast

Toss everything into your blender and whir until smooth. I ate this cold over kelp noodles but I warmed it gently on the stove and served it over regular noodles for Mark and the kids. It is also great over rice and quinoa.

raw tom sauce kelp noodles

Enjoy!