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,


What kind of vibes are you feeling today?

A great article by the amazing Dr. Bruce Lipton. What kind of vibes are you feeling today?

the biology of belief

Have you ever visited someone’s house and thought—“Wow, it’s so beautiful, it feels so peaceful, I love this house.” That’s a house that resonates well with the energy of its occupants and with your energy as well. Or you visited someone else’s house and thought, “What’s up with that flocked wall paper? Oh my god, how could they have put that on the wall?” That house does not match your energy and its occupants no doubt don’t either.

Or if I suggest that you go home and read a book, I bet you’ll go home and curl up in your special chair, the one you feel most comfortable in, even though there may be an identical matching partner parked right next to it. It is the energy field that surrounds your special chair that makes you feel good!

Or a final example. Have you ever driven your partner crazy by…

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To the Awesome Ladies In My Life (You Know Who You Are)

I am really really grateful.  So grateful I could burst.  I have managed, through no coincidence I assure you, to surround myself with some incredibly amazing women in my life.  When I think of these women, I remember this meme.


First and foremost, I have my mom.  She’s been there since day one.  She’s the one who knows me better than anyone else (save for my husband, who might tie her in that category.  But since this post is about women, he doesn’t take top honours).  She can call me on my bull crap when I need to be called on it.  She knows when I’m taxed.  She even knew when I was pregnant with my third child before anyone else (again, save Tom) knew.  She raised me, for a good part of that time as a single parent.  I think of the days when I’m exhausted with three kids running me ragged, coming home late from work, hungry, and all I want to do is escape into my bed with a glass of wine.  I look at Tom and think, “damn…she did this on her own”.  You did good, Mom.  (I know that’s grammatically incorrect…she’s also the one who will call me within twenty minutes of any blog post and tactfully point out to me the grammatical errors I’ve made).  I’m proud of you.   I don’t tell you enough but I want you to know that I love you.

Mom & me in 1979.

Mom & me in 1979.

Then I have these amazing groups of women who I get to hang out with or chat with on a regular basis.

I have my accountability girls every other Wednesday morning.  Karen and Amy and I have been talking weekly or biweekly for over two years now.  We met at a seminar a few weeks after Maggie was born and bonded.  We share our wins, our challenges, our frustrations, our fears, our good days, and more with one another in complete confidence that we will listen – without judgement – and love one another for every strength and weakness we have.  We offer advice, give virtual high fives over Skype, and learn from one another.  We all started in a similar place – practicing chiropractic – and over time we started to embark on different professional adventures which has taken our accountability call in a different direction.  I want to see these women succeed both personally and professionally…but most importantly I want them to be happy in doing so.

I have my long-term friends from grade one.  Yes, grade one.  Maybe two.  I can’t really remember when they all entered into my life but certainly it was early on in grade school.  We don’t talk as often.  But I know my day brightens when my cell phone lights up or an email appears in my inbox from one of them.  We’re in different parts of the country and we can go weeks or months without being in touch but we can pick up from wherever we left off.  There’s no shaming or frustration for lack of communication…it’s just understood that we’ll be there for one another until we’re well into our senior years.  Even if our memories aren’t well enough to remember who is lighting up our cell phones at that time (will we even have cell phones at that time??).

I have my chiropractic girls.  The girls who I went through school with or met after graduation at a seminar or in passing.  Or we may have just gotten to know one another over Facebook.  Either way, they are there to connect with at seminars.  And to refer to when one of my most favourite patients moves away and I need to get them another amazing chiropractor in their new town.  They are there in so many ways that can’t be counted and yet are so appreciated.

My next group of amazing women is my CrossFit ladies.  This group isn’t a specific group…it changes day to day, week to week.  But often it’s the morning group that have bonded over the last few months and in some cases years.  What I love is that regardless of our physical capabilities, size, marital status, children status, work status, etc. we all support one another at doing better in the gym.  I can be in the middle of a really heavy lift, about to fail, and have one of them look me in the eye and say “You’ve got this” and it gives me the extra bit of strength to lift that weight over my head.  They’ve got my back.  They are there to support me.  And I’ve got their back and I’m there to support them.  One of the coaches calls it a “female wolf pack” and it’s true.  I can walk into the gym and see one of them and instantly I know it’s going to be a more fun workout because they are there.

And finally I have my new Desire Map book club girls.  They are all crossovers from CrossFit, which tends to be a thread that has weaved through many of my relationships.  But these book club girls are tremendous.  I feel like I’m diminishing it by calling it a book club…it’s so much more…we’ve nicknamed ourselves something that can’t be posted here but I assure you it perfectly describes this group of ebullient women.  I can be honest, open, raw, authentic and real with them in person.  They don’t make fun if I cry.  I like that.  Because the first time we got together, I recounted one of the most difficult times in practice for me, and they didn’t even blink when it caused me to tear up.  We only get together in person monthly but we’re there for one another through text and online as need be.

So so grateful.  Each of these women play an important role in my life.  I’d be less without them.  I wouldn’t be where I am without them.  You know who you are, and I appreciate you for who you are.  Thanks for being in my life.

Much love, andrea

Why Being Selfish is Good

I think we’ve likely all been there.  The feeling of suddenly realizing its February 12th when if someone had told you it was only February 5th, you would have believed them.  I feel like the last week has been an absolute blur.  Or maybe it’s that each day feels like the one before lately and so I’m losing sense of what day is what.

My oldest daughter has been home for two weeks from school because of a nasty cough that at one point had escalated into fever, vomiting and ear pain.  For most of these two weeks though, it’s been alternating between a dry hacking cough and a wet congestive cough.  She has great energy.  She is eating well.  She sleeps through the night.  She’s happy.  But she spends half of her day sounding like she’s about to cough up a lung.

So we’ve been laying low.  And by laying low it means that we’ve been cooped up inside the house for basically two weeks.  When the other two are home from daycare and school, life gets a little batty.  The three altogether in the same house become like caged wild animals.   It’s been extremely cold outside so playing out in the snow hasn’t been a priority.  And even kids get tired of board games, books, movies & hide and seek.  Tension levels rise, including mine.

We need to get out.  And I am craving a little freedom.

Here’s what I’ve discovered.  Not just as a mom, but as a human being.  I need to respect and put a priority on my values and feelings.  When my life is feeling a little like it’s overloaded, I need to get back to the basics of what makes me tick.

*my morning power hour is crucial.  Even if that morning power hour is 5 minutes long.

*my workouts at the gym.  I set some pretty substantial goals for myself at the gym at the beginning of the year.  I’m a few more workouts away from being able to do my first pull up.  I’m looking forward to posting that video for you.

*quiet time.  I am an introvert at heart.  I feel much happier if I have been able to carve out just ten minutes of quiet time each day.

*chiropractic adjustments.  I’ve been checked more often in the last two weeks for numerous reasons.  I know that I adapt to stress much better when my nervous system is clear and with zero interference.

*essential oils.  There is something so beautiful about diffusing serenity, balance, onGuard and Breathe at different times throughout the day.  Add in some Elevation, Citrus Bliss, eucalyptus, Wild Orange, and Lavender and I’m pretty much covering all of my bases between supporting my immune system, adapting to stress at a better level, and making my soul happy.

Making my soul happy.  Deliciously happy.

And making my soul deliciously happy is at least a step in the right direction towards freedom.  I may not be hopping a plane to paradise anytime soon (although knowing that our temperature is dipping to -31C with the wind chill this afternoon is making me second guess our choice of a ski trip this weekend instead of sitting on a beach somewhere) but creating inner freedom is good too.

The more intention I choose to place on my happiness and state of peace, I feel like the perceived monotony of life right now is more tolerable.  I make no excuses for being selfish with my personal time.  Caleigh may have had a cough but taking her to the gym with me on Tuesday morning meant that I could still get my own health and well-being taken care of.  Waking up an extra 30 minutes early in the morning, even though I could easily use some more sleep, means that I get to breathe a little deeper and plan my day before it begins.


Before applying the oxygen mask to the people who depend on you, attach your own oxygen mask first.  Sound advice.  And advice that I choose to follow in times where people are needing me to take care of them more than usual.  I’m choosing to also take care of myself.