Lessons in Sport as Taught by My 8 Year Old Daughter & Her Friends

Yesterday, I learned a lesson from a bunch of grade four girls.  I’m a mom to one of those grade four girls, my daughter, Caleigh.  She and her classmates have been going to cross country practice three mornings a week for the last month.  Caleigh has wanted to be on this team from the day it was announced that all grade four kids could try out.  She’s been going for runs at home and she didn’t skip one practice, even when it was cold or rainy.

Yesterday the team tryouts were held.  I was a little nervous for her because I know how much she wanted to be on the team.  Between this and gymnastics, it’s all she can talk about.  I would get daily reports on how many laps around the track she was doing.  She was learning how to stretch properly before and after working out.  We got her proper running shoes.  She has clearly found something she’s passionate about.  I also know that she, like her mother, is not very good at defeat.  We both have trouble losing in a game of Monopoly, let alone the disappointment of putting hours of work into something and not being able to compete.

Caleigh went off to the try outs yesterday morning and I followed with her brother and sister to school an hour later.  When I approached the field, all of her friends came running over with her at the helm.

Caleigh, grinning like a fool, was thrilled to announce that not only had she made the team but she placed first in her class.  Like any proud mom, I was so happy for her.  Big hugs.  High fives.  I know how hard she had worked and how much it meant to her.  But what blew me away was how all of her friends responded.

“You should have seen Caleigh!  She did so great!  She ran so fast!”

They were so happy for her and so excited that she had ran her heart out.  A lot of them made the team and there were a lot of high fives and hugs going around.  Of course, though, not everyone could, as with any sport.  But there was no jealousy and no pouting.  And I know there will be times where Caleigh won’t make a team, even though she wants it just as badly.  That’s the tough part about organized sport.  But even the girls who didn’t make it were happy for the girls that did.

Well, isn’t that a rare thing.  As an adult, I know I wouldn’t have handled it as well.  It’s TOUGH when you work hard for something and are out beat by someone who did a better, faster, or more efficient job.  And I realize that for them it won’t always be that way, but for that brief shining moment yesterday morning, it was a beautiful thing to watch.



Five EASY Tips to a Healthier You

Hey there!  We are well into September, almost into October in fact.  This time of year always makes me happy.  I love the cooler nights.  I love the leaves changing colour.  I love anything that smells of apples and cinnamon baking together.  Speaking of apples and cinnamon baking together have you seen THIS?  See, with just one quick link to a YouTube video I made your life instantly better today.  I personally can’t wait to blow my family’s minds when I make this for them this week {with one minor tweak…I’ll use coconut flour in lieu of wheat flour}.  Of course, I’ll have to trial run it a couple of times before…

Anyhow, to get to the point of my post, I want to connect in with people today who are struggling already with their health this fall.  As we get further into fall and then into winter {stay with me…I know it’s painful to accept winter is coming but stay with me….}, people tend to get sick more often.  Let’s clear something up though.  It’s not because there are an abundance of extra germs out there that suddenly decide to come out and play.  There are a number of causes to this phenomenon.  Let’s start first by stating the obvious.  I live in Canada, about an hour north of Toronto.  And it’s freakin’ cold here in winter.  It was so cold last year that we didn’t even get that much snow. With that massive shift in temperatures, I notice a few things amongst the general population of people I get to work with daily in my practice.

  • people are more sedentary and do not exercise as much in the colder months
  • people get less exposure to sunlight thus less vitamin D {for two reasons…firstly, there literally IS less daylight hours and secondly, reminding you that I live in Canada in the winter, it’s freakin’ cold so people do not venture outside nearly as much as they do in the summer}
  • people eat more crap – processed foods, comfort foods, carb laden foods – and less fresh foods

There are a few other things here and there but I would say that those are the top three reasons that individuals tend to be more likely to get sick in the colder months.  Combine that with other unhealthy habits and it’s a recipe for colds, flu, and XYZ infection.

But I am here to help YOU keep and stay healthy this year.  I am going to give you five easy tips that you can follow.  These will significantly increase your chances of staying healthier over the next six months.  Ready?

  1.  Get adjusted by a Chiropractor.  Wait, what?  Hold the phone.  What does a Chiropractor have to do with keeping me healthy.  In a nutshell: Chiropractors ensure your nervous system is working properly.  Your nervous system controls every single part of your body including your immune system.  Your immune system is what keeps you from getting sick.  rethink_chiropractic_infographic-600x464
  2. Improve your gut health.  Did you know that your gut has 10x more bacteria than your entire body has cells?  Think about that for a moment – you are more bacterial than you are cellular.  Your gut comprises over 75% of your immune system so if you don’t eat a healthy diet, you’re directly impacting how well your immune system works.  I can tell you to stop eating processed foods but you already know this.  I am definitely going to tell you to cut the wheat and other inflammatory grains out of your diet. If you really want to get some amazing actionable steps on how to improve your gut health, go to http://www.chriskresser.com and download his Gut Health ebook.  He talks about the benefits of fermented foods and he’s really REALLY smart when it comes to this stuff.
  3. Use Essential Oils.  Exceptional quality ones (email me at drandrearyan@gmail.com for info on the essential oils I choose and ONLY use for my family’s health).  There are so many different essential oils out there that can support your immunity and give you that extra boost when you need it.  I diffuse them into the rooms we frequent and I massage them topically into my skin {and my kids’ skin too!} so that we’ve got an all-natural, non-toxic and EFFECTIVE way to keep our bodies protected. essential_oils2-530x350
  4. Get active.  I can hear the excuses rumbling already….”I don’t have the time.” It can take as little as twenty minutes a day.  Everyone has twenty minutes a day.   “I don’t like exercise.” Too bad.  Suck it up.  You’re an adult and adults have to exercise.  Period.   “It’s too expensive to join a gym.”  You know what’s expensive?  Taking a day or a week off work or away from your family because you can hardly get out of bed.  But here’s the best part….you don’t need a gym!  You can get a workout in your own home.  You can walk around your neighbourhood.  I used to put a lot more emphasis on the type of activity people got.  I believe strongly that more emphasis should be put on building strength than on cardio {and I still believe that 100%}.  But here’s the thing…any activity is good activity if you’re not doing anything right now.  Just get up and get moving.
  5. Get Rest.  Not everyone needs the same amount of sleep a night.  Some people do well on 7 hours, some people do well on 9.  The point though is to make sure you get rest.  Your body heals when you sleep.  Think about it…when you’re sick, your body naturally wants to sleep more.  It innately knows that it needs to rest and so you do just that.  Why would you think when you’re healthy that you don’t need sleep?  Shut off your computer.  Turn off the TV.  Put down the book.

So, there you go.  Five easy tips that anyone can implement into their life today.  And while tips are great, they are nothing without action.  Just knowing them isn’t enough.  You actually have to implement these into your life.  🙂  Here’s to a healthier YOU this winter.

Enough with the Excuses!

This morning I woke up and went for a walk.  Just a twenty minute walk.  Then I followed up that walk with 50 squats and 50 lunges at the base of my driveway.  In the dark with just the hint of a sunrise peeking out from behind the homes in my neighbourhood.

Why am I telling you this?

Because I’m owning up and admitting that I have been lazy this summer.  Seven weeks ago I injured my wrist at the gym.  I’m still not 100% sure what is wrong with it but it hurts like crazy and clearly I’ve had some type of tendinous tear or ligament injury.  The injury isn’t the important part of this story though, it just became my excuse.

I’ve been an avid CrossFitter for about three years now.  I worked out through my last pregnancy up until about 37 weeks where the sheer discomfort of carrying my third child impeded my ability to do what I wanted in the gym.  I did everything I could to heal from other smaller injuries so that I could get back to the gym as soon as possible.  I went when I was tired.  I went when I had lots on my plate.  I was hooked.

So when this wrist injury sidelined any hopes of doing any body weight exercises, let alone anything involving a bar, I chose to stop going to CrossFit.  And that really frustrated me.  So I’ve been using that excuse of not going to CrossFit to not really do anything physical all summer.

I’ve done a little…I’ve swam at the cottage.  I’ve gone for a few walks.  I’ve done some squats, sit ups and lunges here and there but in reality, it was nothing compared to what I was used to nor was it at all consistent. I just got lazy.

Two days ago I was complaining whining to my husband about how much I miss going to the gym and how “I can’t work out”.  And he called me on it.  To my face he looked at me and he called me on my excuse. {thanks honey}  Because that’s exactly what it was…an excuse.

I can work out.  I can still move. I can walk, run, do jumping jacks, jump, lunge, squat, do sit ups, sprint, and more.  Just because I can’t throw a lot of heavy weights around, do a push up, do a burpee, or pull up {allright, in all honesty, I can only do one pull up without help even before the injury but you get the point…}, it doesn’t mean I can’t be active.

So, this morning, I got up at 4:55AM.  I rolled out of bed and threw on my workout gear.  I was out the door before I could convince myself that getting back into bed would be the better decision.

And it felt awesome.  Just getting the blood pumping and actually moving felt awesome. I felt like me again.  I didn’t feel lazy, flabby, bored, frustrated, angry, or any of the other emotions that have quite frankly been far too repetitive in my brain lately.

It also set the tone for the rest of the morning.  I got back, made some tea, listened to an hour-long webinar, responded to emails, made breakfast {eggs & salsa, yum!}, had a shower, got the kids up, made dinner {crock pot jambalaya}, made lunches for the kids at day camp, fed the kids breakfast, got the kids to daycare and day camp, and then to work all before 9AM.

So no more excuses.  Just because I’m choosing to hold off on Crossfit doesn’t mean I can’t be active.  I’m embarrassed that I’m sharing my laziness with you because it sounds so silly.  But it’s true and real and I was inspired by two amazing women in my life {Thanks Karen & Ann} who have shared their some of their realness with me in the last few days and weeks.

Onwards….to once again committing to whole health. 🙂


Taking time to enjoy life.

Hey there.  Happy Wednesday.  Happy sunny and hot Wednesday if you’re in my part of the world.  Because it’s summer.


Two weeks ago we got back from Paris.  Do you remember how I wrote about how it was on my life list to eat French toast with the one that I love in Paris?  Funny thing about that…French toast doesn’t exist in France.  Or at least in Paris.  But you know what does?  Delicious, flaky, buttery, decadent, fresh-baked croissants.  So I modified my life list and crossed off “Eat Fresh Croissants with the one that I love in Paris”.

And eat them we did.

Here is another thing I learned about Paris, specifically about the wonderful people who live there (this may also apply to other European countries but I can only speak to France).  They relax a lot more than their North American counterparts.  One of my favourite memories of Paris was taking a cruise on the Seine at 9 o’clock at night, only to watch hundreds of Parisians line the river banks and enjoying life.  They danced, sang, played games, talked, drank, and ate.  On a Tuesday night.

It was awesome.

With intention, I have been working on slowing down myself and taking time to enjoy life.  Without sounding cliché, it’s the little things I’m focusing on.  Time with my husband.  Time with my kids.  Reading a good book outside under a tree.  Watching the clouds pass by.  Gardening.  Making homemade popsicles.  Eating good chocolate.  Drinking good wine.  Taking time to do nothing.  I’m trying to not over schedule things this summer for my family.  I want my kids to experience boredom so that they can discover the small things that they love.  We’re playing card games.  We’re going for lazy walks in the forest.  We’re swimming in the lake.  We’re staying up later.  We’re taking naps.

And it’s feeling pretty awesome.

Hoping this inspires you to do less of the busy stuff.

Hi, again.

Hi.  It’s been a while.  I know.  I’m sorry.

I’ve been in a blogging depression.  Have you ever felt that way?  I’ve written blog post after blog post after blog post.  I then read them over, I am dissatisfied, and I start deleting it…letter by letter, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph.   Hitting the delete button until the entire thing evaporated before my eyes.  Poof.  Like it never existed.   I would close up my computer and walk away leaving a blog post unfinished and a chance to connect with people left alone.  “It’s just one blog post…one more day…” I would tell myself.

And then another day would go by…then two…then a whole week without anything written that was worth publishing.  I’m kind of particular about my blog posts.  I have so many ideas swimming around in my head and I feel like I have so much to share.  And yet it just didn’t feel real.  It didn’t feel honest.  So I clearly put this blog on the back burner for seven weeks.  SEVEN WEEKS.

So today I’m back.  And I’m not even really sure what I’m writing about other than to say I’m back.  I feel like I have to rip off the band-aid and just throw myself back into blogging.  Even though this so far as been nothing but rambling.  I feel as if I just write – and publish! – this post that it will bring me back into the blogosphere like my hiatus never existed.

And it will.  I have so much to be excited about.  My new website is being created as we speak.  It’s a departure from a traditional blog although there will still be entries updated weekly, if not more often.  I do recognize the irony of this considering it’s been seven weeks since I’ve posted.  But with this new format, I’m excited to share with you my ideas on motherhood, health, nourishment, essential oils, life and most importantly the relevance of taking care of myself first.  And I really hope it connects with you and your life.

I beg your patience.  I will be back long before this website is launched.  I do promise that.  Thanks for checking back in.

be well.



Another Baby For Me

Let me first clear one thing up.  I’m not pregnant.  (Promise, Tom!).  But I am in the middle of creating something that I am really loving and really excited to share with the you.  I have had this idea bubbling around in my brain for a few years.  A little spark that has kept me focused when I’m not sure what I want in my future professionally.  I tinkered with it.  Played with it.  Let it sit.  But I always came back to this idea.  Knowing that one day would be the right day for it to take form, to come into fruition.

And that day is inching closer.

My highest value is my family which is why this idea sat for so long.  I knew that I didn’t conceivably have time to put creative energy into an idea – a project – that would take any time away from them.  And there are moments I still think “wow, this isn’t at all the time to be going forward” but I’m feeling more and more secure with it as I go.

My second highest value is connection.  Being connected with friends, patients, blogging, social media and more.  I’v been craving a way to further connect with people and share my love of health and lifestyle to a different level.  And now it’s here.

I’m excited to share with you that I’ll be launching my own health and lifestyle website in the coming weeks.  An exact date has yet to thought out but before my birthday (early June) would be awesome.  It’s there where I look forward to sharing how I (attempt to) live life authentically as a mom and Chiropractor – trying to somewhat balance those – but also share recipes (food, cleaning products, laundry, & self care), essential oil goodness, and the importance of taking care of ourselves.


I beg your patience while it unfolds.  But I really look forward to being more connected and creative with you in the coming months.

Much appreciation,