One of my favourite snacks to make are my apple peanut butter protein bites! Peanut butter is a great source of protein, while apples contain a healthy amount of fiber which will keep you feeling full for longer! 💪🏼
Not to mention, my protein bites contain absolutely no preservatives, artificial colourants or flavours like most store bought granola bars. Even energy bars marketed as “healthy” contain an unnecessary amount of sugars and “natural flavours” which aren’t always vegan friendly.
I also love that they’re no bake and only take about 10 minutes to make!
Here’s what you need:
2 cups large flake oats
1 generous tablespoon of natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
About 2 tablespoons seed mix (I used flax and chia)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serving size: makes about 12 energy bites
Start by grating the apples using a grater.
In a large bowl, combine the grated apples, large flake oats, peanut butter, maple syrup and seed mix. Mix using your hands.
Form mixture into about 12 bite sized balls and put aside on a plate.
Sprinkle with cinnamon- all done!
Store in your fridge for up to 3 days to enjoy whenever you want to snack!
You can also use other seeds such as sunflower, pumpkin or even walnuts! Make sure to just have fun with it and customize your bites to just the way you’d like! 😋
Be sure to subscribe to my blog and follow me on Instagram for more recipes & healthy lifestyle tips! ✨
Does anyone else find it alarming that the most unhealthy foods are marketed for children? With colourful packaging and cartoon characters featured on the front, it’s really hard to see past marketing and labelling sometimes!
But the sad reality is that the snacks that parents trust in the most are high in sugars, artificial colourings, flavourings and preservatives. These ingredients have a list of negative side effects in children such as hyperactivity, behavioural changes and an increased risk of childhood obesity.
So today I wanted to write a quick blog on some common marketing tactics, daily recommended intakes for children, snacks to avoid and ways to incorporate healthier eating into your lifestyle!
Common Marketing Tactics
Let’s start by looking at some common marketing tactics in food and snacks intended for children.
Primary colours such as red, yellow and blue, as well as secondary colours green, orange and purple are more appealing to children than neutral shades. As children try to make sense of their environment, objects that are bright are more stimulating and interesting. This is why food and beverage companies as well as the toy industry use bright colours on their products.
Did you know that companies spend over $12 billion dollars a year trying to convince children to consume their products? And one of the most effective strategies is to attach a popular children’s character such as Shrek to the packaging! A recent study was conducted where children were presented with food in plain packaging and packaging that contained a licensed cartoon character such as Dora. The children consistently preferred the product with the character on it than the plain packaging.
This just goes to show you that food packaging has a huge influence on children and their perception of how a product may taste.
Games and Activities on the back
Almost all cereals have a game on the back such as connect the dots, mazes, match ups and even fun facts. This attracts children and stimulates different areas in the brain associated with happiness. In turn, this conditions them to enjoy the food more because it provides entertainment.
Daily Intake Requirements
Below you will find the daily recommended intake of sugar and sodium because they are often the main culprit in making children’s snacks completely unhealthy!
So now that we’ve talked about marketing strategies and daily intake requirements, let’s look at some foods that are advertised to children that contain absolutely no nutritional value 🙅🏻♀️
Goldfish is a big one! Advertised as a snack made with real cheese that contains vitamins & minerals, Goldfish are nothing but a result of good marketing- these snacks are anything but nutritious! Just one serving contains 250 mg of sodium and over 20 synthetic ingredients. Any food item that contains a list of ingredients on the back is a big no-no!
Not to mention, diets that are high in sodium are associated with an increased risk of stroke, heart failure, high blood pressure and kidney disease. Eating a lot of salt is also associated with weight gain because it causes the body to retain more water which can show up as extra pounds on the scale.
So if you’re looking for a healthy, nutritious snack that will provide your child with energy- Goldfish are not the right choice! Be sure to read on for some much healthier alternatives for your little ones ☺️
It’s no secret that fruit roll ups, fruit gushers and gummies are unhealthy. These “fruit” snacks typically advertise that they contain real fruit juice, while failing to mention that they contain a list of other ingredients such as synthetic colouring, artificial flavouring and corn syrup. Take Welch’s fruit snacks as the perfect example, they really try to gain consumers trust by advertising that fruit is their #1 ingredient. However, as you can see, just one packet also contains 11 grams of sugars, corn syrup and even red 40– a toxic colourant that has many known adverse effects.
High amounts of sugar in your child’s diet can lead to obesity which increases the likelihood of developing high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels and type 2 diabetes later in life. Consuming too much sugar is also linked to behavioural changes such as hyperactivity or depression.
Never be fooled by “fruit” snacks, buying the real fruit is much healthier and cheaper in most cases!
A lot of parents believe that granola bars are a healthy choice because they contain ingredients such as oats, nuts and dried fruit. However, most granola bars contain ridiculous amounts of sugar and other ingredients. For example, just one Quaker Chewy S’mores Bar contains 6 grams of sugar… but that’s not even the worst part! One bar also contains 25+ ingredients! One granola bar should never contain a list of ingredients. Also, most companies add in chocolate chips, marshmallows and cookie bits which make granola bars more of a dessert bar than anything else.
Creating healthy habits early in a child’s life is so important because it’s what determines their health in the long run! You can start by limiting sugar intake by avoiding overly processed snacks and foods at the grocery store.
Juice boxes are commonly packed with lunch because they’re thought to be a healthier option than pop or soda. But juice boxes also contain high amounts of sugar, artificial colourants and very little real fruit juice. Take Minute Maid Apple Juice for example, one box (only 250 ml) contains 21 grams of sugar. So if your child has two at recess or on lunch break, they are consuming 42 grams of sugar all at once which is already 2x the recommended intake amount!
No wonder many children are thought to suffer from “behavioural” issues- they are just experiencing side effects associated with consuming high amounts of sugar, sodium and other foreign chemicals in their developing systems. Sugar crashes reduce concentration, mental focus, memory and often cause emotional outbursts or tantrums.
Developing Healthy Habits
Don’t feel bad if you buy these snacks or feel discouraged if they’re all your child is willing to eat. The cool thing about children is that they are so open minded and can have lots of fun with any activity if you make it fun! Here are three simple ways that you can encourage your child to eat healthier.
Bake or cook once a week together
Most young children love anything that is hands-on. Try baking together once a week to add some fun into your lifestyle while incorporating healthier eating! This can include making pasta, salads, fresh bread, sushi or even gingerbread cookies for a special occasion! If you’re not sure how to let your little one be more involved in the kitchen, ask them to measure simple ingredients or help to mix everything together. The key is to make a healthy meal to enjoy together later while creating new memories. Children are a lot more likely to eat a meal that they helped to prepare! 😉
Make fun shapes out of fruits and veggies
Okay so we now know that children are more drawn to brightly coloured objects and their favourite cartoon characters. So, try doing the same thing with fruits and veggies- make cool shapes that will draw your child in! You can make apple butterflies, a banana elephant or even go all out and create a full scene on the plate! You can really get creative here and even go a step further and ask your child to create a scene with you. The goal is to make healthy eating a positive and fun experience!
Create your own trail mix together
Instead of packing an unhealthy granola bar, make your own trail mix together and give it a cool name! You can go to a bulk store in your area and buy different kinds of nuts, seeds and dried fruits. When you get home, mix it all together and store it in a mason jar or container and pack it with lunch! Nuts and seeds contain lots of vital nutrients, vitamins and are a great way to boost brain power. You can even add in a few chocolate chips, pretzels or candied nuts to make it more tasty! ☺️
The main reason why I wanted to write this blog is to show just how unhealthy most foods are that are marketed for children. I want parents to start seeing past marketing and to start seeing foods for what they usually are- cheap, unhealthy and unnecessary in any child’s diet. The simplest foods such as nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables will always provide more nutrients than something that has been extensively processed. It’s so important to realize how much money goes into targeting children’s food choices, so the best thing you can do is create a fun experience out of healthy eating!
I really hope you got something from this blog! As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions at all.
We have all been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and rightfully so! It’s the first thing we eat after about 9 hours of resting and replenishes our body with glucose which powers our brain.
However, with such a fast paced society it’s easy to choose a quick and easy option that typically contains little nutrition or to just skip breakfast all together! So today I wanted to write a blog on why breakfast is so important, some popular breakfast foods to avoid and various healthier alternatives to fuel your day- so let’s get into it! ⚡️
Why is Breakfast Important?
As the name suggests, breakfast “breaks” the overnight fasting period. In the morning, we feel tired because our bodies lack glucose- the body’s main energy source. Without this important molecule, the body breaks down fatty acids in order to get the energy it needs. This in turn actually reduces energy levels and leads to excessive hunger later on in the day!
Research suggests that eating in the morning helps maintain a healthy weight because it prevents overeating and impulsive eating. When you skip breakfast, you’re more likely to be tempted to reach for a quick fix such as fast food or vending machine snacks.
The key is choosing a healthy, nutritious breakfast that will replenish your body and not overwhelm it ✨
Breakfast Foods to Avoid
Having an egg or two for breakfast is surprisingly not that healthy. Just two eggs contain 369 mg of cholesterol and 190.4 mg of sodium. Research suggests that consuming high amounts of cholesterol and sodium contributes to obesity, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. It’s also useful to know that the daily recommended amount of sodium per day as set out by The Dietary Guidelines for Americans is less than 2,300 mg of sodium daily. This amount can easily be exceeded in the morning by having eggs, bacon and toast.
So just by skipping out on eggs for breakfast, you also skip out on unnecessary cholesterol, sodium and saturated fats! 🥳
Bacon is by far one of the unhealthiest breakfast foods out there! With high amounts of sodium, cholesterol, fat, oils and nitrates- bacon should definitely be avoided for breakfast. In fact, The World Cancer Research Fund released a statement which advises the population to eat as little red meat or processed meats as possible. This is because there is a strong correlation between red or processed meats and colorectal cancer. There’s also evidence that eating meat and dairy causes inflammation within the body. Inflammation can manifest as pain, redness, swelling and acne.
If you’re looking to make a healthy food choice that will have immediate health benefits, leave bacon off of your plate tomorrow morning!
Cereal is one of the most common breakfast foods and the first thing that many people eat in the morning to start their day! However, cereal is actually not that healthy for you as its highly processed and contains high amounts of refined sugars, additives, preservatives and even artificial colourants. Not to mention, most cereals are advertised as healthy so it’s hard to be completely sure.
If you enjoy eating cereal in the morning, try finding a brand that doesn’t contain colorants and ingredients such as BHT. There are also much healthier and more filling options below so be sure to scroll on down! 🙌🏼
I’m sure you’re surprised that yogurt is on this list considering it’s advertised as a low-fat nutritious breakfast. But the thing is that most yogurts are actually not very healthy for you at all! And, you should also be very careful if you ever see “Low-Fat” on food packaging. In the US, foods labelled “fat free” must have less than 0.5 grams of fat per serving, while “low fat” must adhere to 3 grams of fat or less per serving. Seems simple enough right? Well most fat free/low fat foods lack taste, so to make up for that, other ingredients are added such as sugar, flour, thickeners and other artificial ingredients.
Not to mention, dairy products are not environmentally sustainable and contain unfavourable “ingredients” such as white blood cells or pus excreted from the cow during the milking process. A litre of milk can contain up to 400,000 somatic cells before it is considered unfit for people to drink! Not very appetizing!
5. Breakfast Sandwiches
And lastly, let’s talk about breakfast sandwiches! Whether you make one at home or pick one up from Tim Horton’s before work- breakfast sandwiches contain a bunch of heavy ingredients that are bound to overwhelm your body. The typical sandwich contains white bread, eggs, bacon, cheese and sometimes even sausage. Just one Bacon Breakfast Sandwich from Tim Hortons has 1000 mg of sodium, 155 mg of cholesterol and barely any fiber at just 2 grams. Fiber is what makes us feel full, so not only will you still feel unsatisfied after a breakfast sandwich, you will also feel bloated and will be more likely to eat junk food later.
So just to put that into perspective- just one of these sandwiches accounts for 50% of your sodium intake without accounting for lunch, dinner or in between snacking!
There are much more healthier, filling and satisfying breakfast options!
Healthy Breakfast Options
One of my personal favourites is oatmeal. It’s cheap, easy to make and can be made into so many different combinations! It’s also a great way to eat fewer calories and therefore lose weight. This is because oatmeal contains beta glucan which is a naturally occurring type of fiber that slows down digestion and keeps you feeling full for longer. One bowl also contains a healthy amount of vitamins and minerals such as manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, folate and B vitamins!
So next time you go to the grocery store, grab oats instead of cereal! They’re much healthier and contain lots of healthy plant compounds and antioxidants 🌱
2. Fruit Smoothies
Fruit smoothies are surprisngly filling and will provide you with vitamins, minerals and even plant proteins! I typically use soy milk because it’s one of the healthiest plant milks and contains phytoestrogens which are greatly beneficial to our health. I also usually add 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter to add protein and to make my smoothies more thick and creamy 😋
Check out my Breakfast Smoothie blog for three different healthy and tasty smoothies that you can try tomorrow morning! 🙌🏼☀️
3. Refried Black Beans
Refried black beans are a healthy and protein packed breakfast option! Just one cup contains 15 grams of plant proteins and 15 grams of fiber which is great for weight loss. Research suggests that diets high in fiber help maintain a healthy weight, support healthy digestion and lowers cholesterol levels. Refried black beans are also so tasty and inexpensive- one can costs just under one dollar!
Try frying up some onions, garlic, soy sauce and black beans for breakfast instead of two eggs which negatively impact your cholesterol levels 🙌🏼
4. Avocado Toast
Avocado toast is a nice and quick option when you have ripened avocados around! Avocados are a healthy source of unsaturated fats, potassium, fiber and other vital nutrients such as vitamin K. In fact, many controlled studies have demonstrated that avocados can reduce total cholesterol levels significantly, reduce blood trigylcerides by 20%, lower LDL cholesterol by up to 22% and increase HDL (the good) cholesterol by up to 11%.
Try putting some sliced avocado on some whole grain toast with olive oil, pink salt and turmeric for a healthy and delicious breakfast!
5. Fruit Bowl
You can never go wrong with a fruit bowl! Fruits are a nice and light breakfast that will provide your body with the perfect fuel! Melons, berries and fruits such as bananas all contain beneficial compounds, nutrients and vitamins that aid in healthy digestion. Fruit is also high in fiber and natural sugars which prevent blood sugar fluctuations.
If you’re looking to add more fruits to your diet, check out my tips for healthy eating on a budget! There are plenty of ways to add more nutrient dense foods to your grocery list that won’t necessarily cost you much more ☺️
I hope that this post has inspired you to start making healthier breakfast choices! It’s so important to realize how much our first meal impacts our entire day. Be sure to always start your mornings with the right fuel, and you will be able to tackle just about anything! ☀️😎
Thank you so much for reading and be sure to follow me on Instagram for more healthy eating posts 🌱
I recently posted a blog on how to eat healthy on a budget, so today I wanted to share 3 healthy, delicious and affordable juice recipes that you can make at home!
Drinking fresh fruit juice has several health benefits which include boosting your immune system, promoting digestion and aiding weight loss. Many people’s concern when it comes to using a juicer is that the fiber is lost, however juicing is a great way to cleanse your body with high amounts of concentrated nutrients!
Here are three different juice recipes that not only taste great, but are amazing for your health!
1. Green Cucumber Cleanse Juice
This juice is great for detoxifying and cleansing your body 🥒🍍🍐✨
Cucumbers are a great source of antioxidants and minerals that keep you hydrated while promoting healthy digestion. Pineapple provides a tangy sweetness that combats inflammation and also aids in detoxifying the body. While the ginger provides a nice warming effect to boost immunity and neutralize the cooling effect of the other fruits. This juice will leave you feeling amazing, while nourishing your skin, hair and digestive system!
2. Ruby Red Antioxidant Beet Juice
This juice is great for your blood, cardiovascular system and liver 💪🏼🥕🍋✨
Not to be mistaken with radishes, beets are the red root vegetables responsible for the beautiful red pigment seen in this juice. Drinking beet juice has several health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and improving exercise stamina. Beets also contain betaine which support your liver by preventing fatty deposits from forming! And, this juice is perfectly sweet with the addition of carrot and lemon to neutralize the earthy flavour from the beets. Try drinking this juice in the morning to wake up your senses and promote healthy organ function!
3. Orange Carrot Carotenoid Juice
This juice benefits eye health, boosts immunity and promotes the look of healthy skin 🥕🍎 ✨
Carrot juice is amazing for your skin because it contains Vitamin C and Provitamin A which protect your skin from free radical damage. Carrots also contain carotenoids which support eye health, boost immunity and promote liver health. Whereas the apples provide a nice sweetness that also reduce oxidative damage. The turmeric is great for reducing inflammation, redness and promoting the look of healthy skin. Needless to say, this juice will give you a beautiful natural glow!
Other common fruits and veggies that you can use for juicing:
Healthy eating is one of those things that many people may assume is expensive- but the reality is that it’s actually pretty affordable! As someone who has been plant based for 5+ years, I’ve had to navigate my way through different grocery stores to find fresh fruits, vegetables and other health foods. And let me tell you- I’ve learned a lot!
I used to spend a decent amount of money on foods like veggie burgers, fruit juices or even salad mixes but was finding that I was coming home with barely any food. When I got into reading ingredients on labels, I realized that most foods advertised as healthy literally costed pennies to make which inspired me to start buying ingredients rather than pre-made foods.
So today I decided to write a blog on some tips to help you make healthier choices at the grocery store on a budget!
1. Write out a list of recipes beforehand
One of the best ways to stay on budget and preplan healthy meals is to write down a list of recipes you would like to have throughout the week! I start by writing out the days of the week and what I plan on making each day. I then break down each recipe into ingredients that I will need- it’s the perfect way to buy the exact amount of everything without being wasteful!
For example, you could have black bean burgers for lunch one day this week, which would require you to buy basic ingredients such as black beans, soy sauce, onions and garlic which don’t cost very much. And same goes for writing down a recipe such as chickpea tuna– all you really need are chickpeas, some seaweed and plant based mayo which can be found at most grocery stores. The main thing is to start being mindful of the foods you buy, what you spend and what you’re choosing to eat weekly!
2. Get familiar with your local grocery stores
Another great way to eat healthy on a budget is to become familiar with your local grocery stores. There are certain stores that I would never buy produce from because it’s much too expensive (such as Sobeys, Metro or Loblaws) unless I really needed to. And other stores that I do most of my shopping at such as Fresh Co and No Frills. It’s important to get to know which stores are near you and becoming comfortable with the idea of shopping at multiple shops to find the best deals!
This also allows you to compare pricing. You’ll get used to to seeing the price point of foods you typically buy and allows you to spend more consciously!
3. Do the majority of your shopping in the fresh fruits and vegetables section
The reality is that the grocery store is full of processed foods and health items that claim to be good for you when you don’t need them to stay healthy. If you’re really looking to adapt to a healthy lifestyle, 80% of your grocery shopping should be done in the fresh fruits and vegetables section where most things are only a few dollars a pound. You can get a decent amount of bananas for $2.00 or a bag of carrots for less than $3.00!
I typically buy vegetables such as eggplants, onion, garlic, tomatoes, avocados, mushrooms and others, and it doesn’t cost very much. I also buy fresh fruits such as apples, bananas and oranges because they’re always in season and generally affordable! But as I mentioned, get familiar with your local grocery stores and check around for deals. You never know- maybe the bananas are cheaper at one store but the apples are cheaper at another!
4. Buy more beans and lentils
I’ve talked about the health benefits of black beans, lentils and even chickpeas in recent blogs but they’re also a great way to save money- they’re such a cheap health food! Packed with plant proteins and vital nutrients, beans are an amazing addition to your diet. There are two varieties: dried or canned. Dried beans are much cheaper but take longer to cook if you don’t have a pressure cooker. Whereas canned beans cost a little bit more, but still very affordable and are ready to use in recipes right away!
Whatever variety you choose, beans are a great addition to your diet and are affordable either way. I personally love dried lentils because they don’t take nearly as long to make as dried beans but are just as nutritious!
5. Check the price tab to compare pricing
A lot of people don’t know this (or maybe I just learned this late 😅) but the price tabs at the grocery story actually have a breakdown of price per weight. If you look closely under the price, you will see how many grams or millilitres an item is, plus how much it costs per weight/volume.
I find this particularly useful for bulk items to see if it’s actually worth it! A lot of the time when bulk items are on sale, it’s not much cheaper to buy more or the bigger size. And the little fine print under the price is the perfect way to find out!
I know this seems like pennies, but it’s honestly a great way to reduce your grocery bill and cut costs. We all know that things add up but taking the time to read pricing is a great way to make sure you’re putting your money to good use.
And above all: read ingredients
This one is important- if you’re looking to make healthier choices, always read the labels of anything you buy! I typically only buy items such as natural peanut butter, baking items and cooking seasonings but I always check the ingredients first. Knowing what you put into your body is a huge step to better health and allows you to be a more conscious consumer.
If you feel lost, keep in mind that most foods shouldn’t contain a list of ingredients and preservatives! You can also check out my blog on reading ingredients here.
Other helpful tips:
Avoid shopping when you’re hungry. I know this sounds ridiculously simple but it’s the best way to avoid impulse buys.
Avoid buying soft drinks, juices or pop. Making your own juice at home is much cheaper and healthier!
Don’t be afraid to buy ahead: if the avocados aren’t ripe yet but they’re a good price, buy them and ripen them by your window. Chances are the price will increase once they’re ready to use.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog on healthy eating! I hope that I inspired you to make some healthier choices this week because all it really takes is a bit of will power ☺️
Be sure to follow my Instagram page for updates and check out my other blog posts here. ☀️
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is such an interesting system! A lot of people don’t know this, but I have actually been studying Chinese Medicine since 2016, and am just finishing my final clinical hours to graduate (I’m actually super excited)! 🥳
I always found nutrition to be the most interesting aspect of TCM because it takes things such as taste, colour and temperature of foods in mind. As you may know, in our society most dieticians typically only take nutrient content and calorie amount in mind when constructing diet plans. Which is great, because it’s so important that we meet the dietary guidelines, however food can do so much more for us if we consider all aspects and qualities!
So today I decided to write a quick blog on Traditional Chinese Medicine nutrition, how it works and how I personally use it to help my clients balance their diets!
Yin and Yang
In Chinese Medicine, the concept of yin and yang is really important.
Yin is considered the light and is attributed to cold and deficiency. Whereas yang is considered the darkness and is more excess and hot.
Individuals who have a more yin constitution typically feel cold and tired most of the time, crave warmer foods and may have more specific symptoms such as night sweats or a pale tongue.
Individuals who have a more yang constitution typically feel hot, have trouble falling asleep, crave colder foods and have a red tongue which signifies heat within the body.
The interesting thing is that the tongue actually says so much about someone’s health and diet! A pale tongue means that there is cold within the body, and the patient should eat warmer foods such as cinnamon, soups or vegetable broths.
Whereas a red tongue means there is too much heat in the body, and the patient should eat colder foods such as cucumbers, salads or smoothies.
Chinese Medicine practitioners use this very basis to come up with personalized diet plans. Yin and yang is huge and in my opinion, not mainstream enough!
From there, we can start using the temperature of foods to restore balance within the body. For example, as someone who has been vegan for 5+ years, I eat a lot of foods that are cold in nature. I used to always have cold hands and feet, I always felt tired and had pale dry skin.
Using moisturizer didn’t seem to make a difference and no matter how many sweaters I wore- I was still cold!
It wasn’t until I started studying Chinese Medicine when I learned about the concept of warming or cooling the interior. Which basically means to eat more foods based on temperature so that your organs have an optimal environment!
Because I balance my diet using temperature in addition to my dietary needs, I no longer have any negative symptoms and my digestive system has never been healthier.
This can be applied to people who experience pain as well! People who have pain typically have poor circulation, commonly known as blood stasis in TCM. Blood stasis results in a purplish tongue, pain and sometimes inflammation. Foods that move the blood (improve circulation) such as mung beans, black beans or green lentils would be greatly beneficial in this case!
Taste and colour
Taste is another interesting aspect that we look at! The five element theory attributes each organ to a taste, colour, season and element. The five element theory is mainly used when selecting an acupuncture treatment plan, but it can also come in handy when creating a personalized diet plan as well!
As you can see, each organ has a different colour. Meaning, we benefit from eating all of the colours that nature has to offer!
Here’s a quick breakdown of each colour, the connected organ and foods that are beneficial:
Green (liver): kale, bok choy, collards, cabbage, green lentils
Red (heart): tomatoes, cherries, red pepper, strawberries
Yellow (spleen): corn, potatoes, squash
White (lungs): onions, garlic, green tea
Black (kidneys): black beans, dark fruits, blueberries
Interestingly enough, green foods are high in antioxidants which help detoxify the liver and improves the quality of blood. Red fruits & veggies contain a compound called Lycopene which is what produces red pigmentation, and is also beneficial to our heart and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Yellow foods such as corn and potatoes contain starches that are beneficial to our gut microbe and white foods such as garlic or herbal teas can vent pathogens out of the lungs.
And lastly, dark foods such as black beans, blueberries and dark berries are high in antioxidants that are beneficial to our kidneys and water metabolism.
As you can see there are many overlapping theories and modern day nutritional facts that do support each other!
Check out the rest of the chart and try to incorporate more colourful foods into your diet this week!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog on modern day nutrition and Chinese Medicine diet. I really hope I did a good job explaining certain concepts and didn’t lose you half way through haha!
The main thing I want you to takeaway is that there are plenty of ways to balance our bodies with food and nutrition! The earth has over 80,000 edible plants and herbs that aid our health and fight against disease. Start choosing fruits and veggies that are colourful, nutritious and always keep your health in mind above anything else!
“The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison”.
For personalized nutrition advice/health coaching, please click here to check out my services!
A few of my clients have asked me how I balance my worklife, schooling and staying healthy while still having time for my hobbies (like blogging)! I will admit, at first I felt like I was juggling a million things.
The main thing I struggled with was time. I felt like the days were flying by and I didn’t have time to cook, workout or do anything for leisure. There were days when I wouldn’t eat to have more time to blog, and times when I would skip a workout because I hadn’t eaten earlier. It became a cycle and it’s so easy to fall into it!
That’s why it’s so important to keep your goals and best interests in mind! Having an organized and balanced lifestyle means having time to eat healthy meals, exercise regularly and still have time for your daily tasks & hobbies!
So today I wanted to give you some tips to help you balance and organize your lifestyle this 2021:
1. Buy a daily planner or agenda
Having a place to write down all of your tasks, goals and daily activities will really help you add organization to your life. I recently bought an agenda from the dollar store and it honestly works wonders! I use it to plan my blog posts, instagram posts, write down my goals, appointments and even leave reminders for myself. It’s a great way to start organizing your life in a way that makes you happy.
Start by writing down 3 goals every morning that you would like to accomplish. Whether it’s a hobby like practicing guitar or a chore such as going grocery shopping, setting goals for yourself is crucial for a productive lifestyle. Just think of where you could be six months from now if you started setting goals for yourself and working hard to achieve them! 💫
2. Develop a regular sleeping schedule
Developing a regular sleeping schedule benefits both our mental and physical wellbeing. Research has linked getting proper sleep to improved concentration, better moods, increased productivity and better overall health! Even if you have an extremely busy lifestyle, you owe it to yourself to get enough rest and genuinely feel good throughout the day.
Having a regular sleeping schedule means going to bed around the same time every night and waking up at a set time each morning. You should be getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night for your brain to properly function the following day!
To regulate your sleeping schedule, set a time that you would like to wake up at and start your day. If waking up at 7:00 am is ideal, make sure you’re in bed by 10:00 pm latest to ensure you get at least 8 hours. This will give your body a full 8 hours to rest and you will wake up feeling replenished! If you have trouble falling asleep at a set time, try exercising throughout the day or taking a hot bath before bed.
Creating a set eating schedule is just as important as getting enough rest per night! Our bodies work on a circadian rhythm which is basically a fancy word for our own internal clock. Our sleep schedule, our eating schedule and daily routines all depend on our circadian rhythm. So that’s why it’s important to eat around the same time everyday- if you eat at around 12:00 pm daily, your digestive system will be expecting food. But if you decide to skip a meal, you will throw off your bodies natural cycle and you will leave your digestive system feeling depleted. This results in feeling even more hungry later on which increases the likelihood of weight gain.
To create a healthy eating pattern, set three times a day that you would like to eat and actually have time to enjoy your food. If you have work or school, it’s best to plan meals during break times. Make sure you pack a healthy lunch and bring some fruit like bananas! When I was in school full time, I would bring 3 bananas with me to eat throughout the day and they’re such a nice source of energy!
If you have more time at home, plan your meals and create grocery lists to reduce wasting money and time. Each time I go grocery shopping, I write down some foods I would like to eat and then break them down into ingredients that are needed. It makes things so much easier and ensures that you will have everything you need for the week!
4. Do your grocery shopping and laundry at least once a week
Which brings me to my next tip, make sure you do your grocery shopping and laundry at least once a week otherwise you will fall behind! I used to just let my laundry gather in my hamper until I had 2 loads to do at a time and it became overwhelming. So now, I make sure to do my laundry on Sunday’s and my grocery shopping on Monday’s. But you can choose the days that work best with your schedule!
Setting a day for tasks that (let’s be honest) no one really wants to do, allows you to spend the other 5 days a week focusing on things you’d like to focus on like your hobbies, family or personal relationship. Not to mention, having clean clothes and a stocked kitchen feels really nice! So set two days of the week where you really aim to get stuff done!
5. Make sure you get enough physical activity
I recently wrote a blog on the importance of physical activity and some statistics based on the dietary guidelines. Getting enough physical activity is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight and sweating out toxins. Working out is also a great way to relieve stress! But with gyms being closed, I can understand why it can be hard to stick to a schedule.
However, just think of how good working out makes you feel and look! You can still maintain that feeling in the comfort of your home! You don’t even need much equipment. I stay fit by using resistance bands, a kettlebell and a yoga mat! I also workout every other day of the week, so on Sunday’s, Tuesdays, Thursdays and sometimes Saturdays.
Start by working out twice this week for at least 30 minutes and watch how amazing you’ll feel! Your skin will feel revitalized and your muscles will feel nice and tight. Then you can gradually increase the amount of time that you workout, as well as the amount of days! Always go at your own pace and have fun with it!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog! I really hope that you gained something from it that will help you become healthier this 2021! If you’re interested in personalized advice or meal plans, please check out my services page!
I’m all about living a healthy lifestyle and I honestly think that the best way to start is by switching to healthier alternatives of your favourite foods. I recently started reading the Dietary Guidelines for Americans: 2015-2020 and was shocked by some of the current health statistics which inspired me to write this blog!
When I say “food is medicine” I really do mean it! Did you know that eating the right foods and getting enough physical activity can reduce conditions such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and osteoporosis?
Eating the right foods is so crucial when it comes to achieving optimal health and genuinely feeling amazing everyday!
Here are some quick facts about Nutrition and Physical Activity Related Health Conditions in the US:
For more than 25 years, half of the adult population has been overweight or obese.
In 2009-2012, 65% of adult females and 73% of adult males were overweight or obese.
Obesity is most prevalent in individuals aged 40 or over and least prevalent in adults with the highest incomes.
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD):
In 2010, cardiovascular disease affected about 84 million men & women ages 20 years and older (35% of the population).
In 2009-2012, almost 56% of adults ages 18 years and older had either prehypertension (27%) or hypertension (29%).
In 2009-2012, 100 million adults ages 20 years or older (53%) had total cholesterol levels >200mg/dL.
In 2012, the prevalence of diabetes (type 1 and type 2) was 14% for men and 11% for women ages 20 years or older. (90% of total diabetes in adults is type 2).
Among children with type 2 diabetes, about 80% were obese.
The harsh reality is that there are so many diseases and conditions that stem from years of eating an improper diet and not getting enough physical activity. But don’t lose hope!
All you have to do is follow these simple steps to boost your nutrient profile and your overall health 🙂
1. Make sure you’re getting enough exercise
Only 20% of adults meet the Physical Activity Guidelines. These guidelines establish how much exercise we should be doing daily/weekly in order to reduce the risk of the conditions mentioned above. Establishing and maintaining a regular physical activity schedule into your lifestyle can provide so many health benefits! Strong evidence shows that working out regularly helps individuals maintain a healthy weight, as well as lowers the risk of early death, stroke and high blood pressure.
Youth ages 6 to 17 years of age need at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day which should include aerobic, muscle-strengthening and bone strengthening activities.
Adults need a little over 2 hours of physical activity of moderate intensity and should do muscle-strengthening exercises on 2 or more days of the week.
Incorporating physical activity into your lifestyle can be easy and really fun! Try taking the stairs instead of taking the elevator, or even go for a nice family walk after dinner. Simple switches can really make a huge difference in your health a few years down the road!
Stay tuned for my next blog post which will have some fitness tips and workouts that you can do at home during the pandemic! 😉💪🏼
2. Follow a healthy eating pattern
A healthy eating pattern includes eating at an appropriate calorie level to support a healthy body weight and including a variety of nutrient rich foods in your diet to prevent deficiencies.
Individual calorie needs vary based on age, sex, height, weight and level of physical activity, however there are a few guidelines to take in mind when developing a healthy eating pattern:
Consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from added sugars.
Consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from saturated fats.
Consume less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day.
Following these general guidelines is really important, but I don’t want you to start doing math and calculating your calories. I don’t even count my calories! The main thing to takeaway is to reduce your intake of foods that contain added sugars, saturated fats, trans fats and sodium.
3. Make simple switches
Which brings me to my next tip- make simple switches! This doesn’t mean that you will never get to eat fettuccine alfredo again, it just means adding veggies or maybe even using a plant based milk for the sauce instead! It’s so much fun to experiment with different foods and making swaps while cooking at home.
An easy way to start getting more nutrient rich vegetables into your diet is to make a salad with your dinner. Buy some iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and apples for a fresh inexpensive salad. Using olive oil, salt and lemon juice is also much healthier than using store bought salad dressings which contain GMO ingredients such as canola oil.
A great way to incorporate more fruits into your diet is to make a fruit smoothie in the morning or for lunch. Fruit smoothies contain high amounts of antioxidants and other vital nutrients! So many of us live busy lifestyles where eating 5 fruits a day may be time consuming and hard to keep up with. But making a smoothie combines ingredients like berries, bananas and mangos that contain nutrients that you otherwise wouldn’t get!
Check out my smoothie recipes for 3 inexpensive and healthy smoothies that you can make tomorrow morning☀️
4. Increase your intake of fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds
The average intake of fruits and vegetables in the US is largely below average which demonstrates the need for us to all start eating more foods from these food groups! I’m sure I’ve mentioned this already but fruits and vegetables are amazing for us and you can never eat too many! It’s really important to make sure that you’re eating a variety of fruits and veggies as they all contain different vital nutrients that are useful to our bodies in their own ways.
Here are some vegetable subgroups and examples, the goal is to increase your intake from each subgroup and make sure choosing different kinds from each category.
Even just choosing 3 additional items to add to your grocery list will make a positive impact on your health! Try grabbing some dark green vegetables next time you go grocery shopping, or even some red & orange vegetables. Have fun with it and always nourish your body.
5. Set Goals
Setting goals is important because it keeps you motivated, on top of things and sets a standard. I personally set 3 goals each morning which revolve around reading something new, meditating for at least 10 minutes and making a smoothie. Because of my routine, I am constantly improving my daily habits and lifestyle, while staying entertained!
I also set health related goals for myself- I make sure to get enough physical activity, I follow a healthy eating pattern and I try my best to incorporate fruits and vegetables into my diet whenever possible.
These goals are what keeps me healthy and feeling great every single day! I highly suggest developing some health oriented goals based on the guidelines that we discussed.
Doing more physical activity, eating more plant based foods and limiting your intake of added sugars, saturated fats, trans fats & sodium have all been proven to reduce nutrition related health conditions.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog! If you have any questions at all, feel free to reach out to me through email: NaturalGlowellness@gmail.com or through my Instagram page. I love working with individuals to better their eating habits!⚡️
I also wanted to mention that all of the information in this blog is from the Dietary Guidelines For Americans: 2015-2020 Eighth Edition. A 2020-2025 Edition was just released on their website and has a free download. If you’re as interested in health and wellness as I am, I highly suggest it! It’s a great read and has some great facts about healthy eating! Just click the above highlighted link 😁
Okay so a few weeks ago, I posted a blog on my life and some of the struggles that I went through to become who I am today. I didn’t get the chance to talk about modelling and my personal experiences in the industry. From doing photoshoots to working big events, it was honestly fun for a bit but over time I learned that it wasn’t for me. An industry that is solely based on your looks and not your skills or personality pushes unhealthy habits on young women and I eventually learned that the hard way.
I feel like so many people are fed this illusion through social media and advertisements that models live a perfect life where they always feel confident and everyone adores them. But the reality is that there is a lot that goes on behind closed doors which is why I decided to write this blog.
Let me start by saying this- I’ve stopped doing professional photoshoots and attending castings and I’ve never felt more confident! The modelling industry made me feel like I had to always care about the way I looked and I am so happy that I finally feel free to be myself.
The Harsh Reality
I started modelling when I was about 19 and my first photoshoot was for the Toronto Sun Newspaper. I didn’t take it too seriously at first, but as my following began to grow and as I started to get more opportunities, I naturally put more time into it.
If you scroll all the way back on my instagram feed to my first posts before modelling, I would post things I was interested in like crystals, nature and healthy food. But as I started working with more people, I stopped posting the things I liked because I felt like I needed to fit in. I started uploading photos of me in my bikini and selfies because those are the photos that got the highest engagement amongst photographers and brands. I was also copying what I saw a lot of other models doing.
I completely lost my sense of individuality. I was smart, enrolled in Pre Health Sciences and had a passion for natural health but I didn’t feel like that was valuable. I put all of my self worth in my appearance and started to disregard the things that made me unique. And the interesting thing is that you still see this playing out on a lot of models feeds.
The reality is that the industry is extremely competitive and puts a lot of pressure on young girls. You have to basically fit yourself into a box and follow today’s beauty standards to attend castings. If you’re too short, too tall, overweight or underweight- you won’t get called back and they’ll make it apparent why.
I remember being told so many times that I was too short because I’m only 5’2 and look too young multiple times. It eventually got to me and became an insecurity which is something I don’t even care about now.
The sad thing is that after attending multiple castings and not getting called back, you can only really attribute it to your looks since that’s all the industry cares about. This is exactly why there is such a high prevalence of eating disorders in the modelling industry. Approximately 40% of models have eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder.
What we are doing to young girls in exchange for photos is extremely detrimental to their health and our societies beauty standards. Women are literally starving themselves and getting cosmetic surgery to sustain an industry by men, for men.
We are trusting an industry that is run by men to tell us what women should look like.
I personally think that the whole industry is flawed. Sure, there are plenty of good agencies and photographers, but that’s not the problem. The problem is the image the industry is selling to young girls. We should be teaching young girls to strive for more than just looking good in a photo.
I never thought of the fact that younger girls may be looking up to me until recently and that’s what made me really want to change.
Because it would have only taken one model or influencer to open up about these things to make me feel okay with being myself at 19.
I’m so happy that throughout my modelling experience, I was in school. But many young girls don’t pursue schooling and just get right into modelling just because of what they’ve seen on Instagram or on billboards.
But don’t let that fool you, so much more happens than the public sees.
Hey guys! I have been having so much fun creating content, researching nutrition and writing blogs on various health topics that I’m interested in. But I thought now would be a great time to tell you about my life and my story. This is my first time really opening up about certain things in my life on social media and I hope that I can inspire someone who may be going through something similar. Because honestly, if I overcame depression in some of the darkest points of my life, I know that you can too!
The interesting thing is when you go on someone’s social media profile, it’s easy to assume their life is perfect because social media only shows the happy (and edited) moments of peoples lives. Most people don’t openly talk about their struggles or what they’ve had to go through to get to where they are today. But I want to change that, about myself at least. I am going to share my experiences and what led me to become who I am today. Because the tough times that I went through really helped me learn, grow and have hope that everything does in fact happen for a reason.
Unhealthy family relationships and grieving…
When I was 15, my father passed away very suddenly. It was extremely scary because he did not have any health complications, and it all happened in the span of one morning. My mom, my sisters and I were all devastated and in a state of shock for months. During that time, my sisters and I had to plan my dads funeral which to this day was the hardest thing that I have ever done. We didn’t have time to grieve, or be upset, we only had time to try and plan things the way that my dad would have liked.
My dad owned his own construction company and worked so hard. He woke up every single weekday at 5:00 AM to do jobs and sometimes wouldn’t be home until 10 at night. He made sure to provide my mom, my sisters and I with everything we could have ever imagined. Money was never a problem, and I strive to work as hard as he did. I am going to make him so proud.
I can honestly say that in that time, I lost a part of myself that I know I will never get back. Even looking back as a 24 year old now, I really wonder how I did it at 15. I was only in grade 10, and within a few weeks I started failing more and more classes. I barely made any friends in high school because I was so depressed. So many people spread rumours about me while I was away and I had teachers commenting on my situation while I was in class.
Luckily, I had my boyfriend and he was a nice distraction from everything going on in my life. My boyfriend and I met one year before my dad passed away, and he was really there for me throughout the whole funeral process. He made sure to always provide me with comfort and support, and to this day I love that he helped me through such a tough time. We were both only 15 when this happened, and he took it upon himself to make sure I was okay.
In terms of getting support from my mom and my two older sisters, I felt almost embarrassed to talk to them about how I felt. My father passing away really affected them and they refused to get any sort of help. They spiraled down a really bad path and became very toxic towards me. I had my mom tell me that my dad never loved me and that I didn’t even know him, which really hurt me. At the time, I let them emotionally abuse me because I knew they were acting out of a place of hurt. I’m also the youngest in my family, and speaking up was definitely not an option.
About a year after my dad passed away, my mom and sisters ended up kicking me out of my house. I was blamed for their depression and anxiety and I was told that they would be better off without me. I was sent out in the middle of the night while it was pouring rain, and my boyfriend ended up meeting me at a McDonald’s. It really was a life defining night. I ended up at my best friends house, and stayed there for a few weeks. I still tried my best to go to school everyday but had no motivation to really do anything. I missed my dad, and I missed the way that my family used to be.
After about a month of living at my friends house, I ended up having to go back home. When I went home, I asked my family if they wanted to do counselling with me, but was told that my relationship with them wasn’t worth it. Me going back home gave my mom and sisters every bit of power that they wanted over me. I didn’t have privacy and was put down on a daily basis.
Shortly after, we ended up losing our house and our car because we were failing to make payments on things that my dad got us. We moved into this small, old house in a lower class neighbourhood and things really did get progressively worse.
The emotional abuse was starting to turn into physical abuse. All of my birthdays started getting ignored and I was treated as if I wasn’t apart of my family anymore. A lot of it was because my mom and sisters assumed that I had my boyfriend, and I didn’t need them which is just ridiculous. Of course I needed them, and I tried my absolute hardest to include them in my life.
I continued living each day, but never felt genuinely happy. I was depressed, anxious and constantly on the verge of crying. I felt so lost and like nothing I did was ever good enough. If I did something wrong, I would have my mom and sisters behind me to harshly judge me and then give me the silent treatment for weeks. It took a huge emotional toll on me and I always felt left out. This sense of “not belonging” followed me every day and I felt so uncomfortable in social situations because of it. I started to judge myself the same way that they were judging me, and really started to dislike who I was as a person. I assumed the things they were saying about me were right.
Maybe me being interested in things like diet and nutrition was pointless. And maybe social media was a waste of my time. And what if everyone does think I’m stupid? I began emotionally abusing myself more than anything.
Getting kicked out
Like I said, things were getting worse and worse. My older sister had physically attacked me on multiple occasions and my stuff was getting stolen while I was at school. I accepted everything because I didn’t know that many people and felt trapped more than anything.
It wasn’t until the day that my mom decided to physically attack me that I decided it was time to go.
After getting in another dumb argument, I had my mom grab me by my arms and try to throw me out of my house in front of my sisters. I was so embarrassed and still remember my mom trying to provoke me to fight her back. It was really shocking because I watched her go from a loving mom, to someone who was overcome with depression and hate for me. It hurt. I locked myself in my room and had my two sisters banging on my door threatening that they would call the police on me if I didn’t leave.
I was only 20, I had no idea how to move out or really how to do anything. It was also my final week of exams at George Brown College and if I failed, I could lose everything. I was so scared but I knew that it was time.
Moving on from my family
I moved into my boyfriends house because I had no other choice at the time. It was so difficult for both of us because it was still exam week, and we could not afford to fail any classes. Luckily, our hard work paid off and we ended up passing everything, but it was not easy. I was literally crying every night, I even tried going back “home” a few times to try and apologize, only to be turned away. I brought my mom pink roses, because that was her favourite colour but none of my efforts were noticed.
At that age, I was only apologizing because I was deeply depressed, I had just lost my dad to a sudden death and I could not emotionally deal with losing my family as well. It’s crazy to think that my older sisters actually looked me in the eyes and turned me away now that I think of it. I would personally never treat any family of mine in such away, but to each their own.
After about three months, my boyfriends parents ended up helping me get a nice studio apartment. We rented a moving truck and drove to my old house to pick everything up. I wasn’t surprised to find all of my belongings on my old street including my mattress on the pavement with my sheets still on it with my clothes and shoes scattered everywhere. All of my old neighbours watched as I grabbed my things and I knew that they were told a different version of the story, but I had to just move on. Now wasn’t the time to worry about what people thought of me, I had to just move on.
I got into my new place and I honestly loved it. I finally had a safe space, privacy and somewhere that I could call my own. My boyfriend and I decorated it nicely with what we had, but we honestly had no money. We owed his family money for the apartment, and I also had to pay some stuff off from when I lived at home.
Luckily, I am First Nations which means that I can receive a three year sponsorship for any program I choose. I chose the Traditional Chinese Medicine program because I always loved natural health and nutrition, and I was also greatly inspired by my dad. I knew that I would be able to make a difference in the world and also help people get back on track in terms of health.
The sponsorship is really what allowed me to study what I loved. At that time, there was no way that I could afford a college education. It really motivated me and helped me gain the knowledge that I currently have.
I started the Traditional Chinese Medicine program in 2016 and at the time I had no family, no friends and no idea of what I wanted my future to be. I travelled to campus every single day which was a 2 hour commute, and tried my hardest to stay on top of things. But I was depressed, anxious and confused. I was falling apart inside and worrying about my grades didn’t make it any better.
What I gained from my experience…
Looking back now, I am shocked by what my own family put me through in my teen years and early adulthood, but I am so thankful that I didn’t give up!
I graduated from my program this year and I even started my own business to inspire people. It definitely was a long and emotionally difficult journey, but it was so worth it.
Honestly, it sounds cliche but the best lessons in life are free: the tough times, the heartbreaks, losing everything, feeling broken. Because in those times it’s then that you have to pick yourself back up. You realize that it’s you and only you. And although that thought may seem scary, it’s actually quite liberating!
I no longer care nearly as much about what people think of me because no one will ever be able to hurt me the way my family did, and from that I now have strength.
I started meditating, becoming more spiritual and reflecting inwards. If I felt anxious, upset or depressed, I started finding the root for my emotions. Of course, the majority of them stemmed from my past but knowing this allowed me to properly confront them and heal. Knowing my weaknesses, allowed me to also know my strengths.
I started liking who I was again. I know that I am smart, I know that I am heard and I know that the way that my family treated me was because they were hurt. I don’t have to let any of those times define me, because they don’t. If anything they make me stronger.
We all hold so much power inside of us. And I know that the school system or good times in life will never teach us or define us the way that the bad times can. I have learned that when you go through something difficult, you should take a step back and ask yourself what the situation is teaching you instead of letting it emotionally affect you.
Don’t become the emotion, observe it.
Every single thing we go through is teaching us something whether we see it or not.
We have to go through certain events to become the people that we are today. These events are what shapes us and makes us more empathetic, less judgemental and more understanding.
If you erase the pain and difficulty of your past, you also erase all of the knowledge that you gained from it. My life events shaped me into who I am today.
I have found what it’s like to be happy and most importantly I have found myself. I would never let anyone treat me the way that I was treated before, and I would never treat others the way that I was treated!
It’s been about 5 years and my family has still not reached out to me after kicking me out of their lives. For a while, I spent every day hoping that one of them would contact me. But I have moved on. I no longer need people like that in my life and I am better off without them. I’ve met so many amazing people since then who actually respect me as a person.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read about my life story and my personal experiences. It took me quite some time to write this blog because it has a lot of emotion in it, but I really hope it inspired you in some way!