March Madness

Basketball?  No way.  March Madness should truly be described as the feeling any mom has with three kids at home over March Break.  I can’t imagine what it will feel like after all three of them are at school and then at home for the week (or summer) but right now to have three at home during the week is crazy hectic.  I go between loving it and getting overwhelmed.  Loving the opportunities to be with all three of them, going on adventures each day, and spending quality time together.  Feeling overwhelmed at the insane energy of the two older ones (Maggie is pretty chill for the most part) who are off-the-wall excited over March Break.  I don’t even think Blake knows what March Break is but many a time I’ve heard the chant of “March Break!  March Break!  March Break!” wafting up from the basement as the two are playing tag.  Yikes.

So, for dinner tonight (because it’s Wednesday), I had this:

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Just kidding.  Kind of.  I did have a glass as I prepared dinner (after taking 45 minutes to put Maggie down…totally unlike her but likely due to two 5 minute naps today).  And now I’m enjoying a second glass as I am writing this post.  🙂

But in all honesty, what was for dinner was something much more filling.  An incredible grilled steak (with a dry rub of salt, pepper, parsley, cumin, cayenne pepper, chill pepper, & tumeric – Tom’s amazing concoction that we use regularly), sweet potato fries (tossed in olive oil, salt, & fresh garlic), and a fresh salad topped with avocado, red onion, tomato, and roasted slivered almonds.  I made a really light homemade salad dressing of 2 parts olive oil and 1 part rice vinegar with a sprinkling of spices – oregano and basil.  Really simple because the steak was unbelievable and I didn’t want to take anything away from it.  This is the final dish and it was awesome!

Love BBQing in the winter.

Love BBQing in the winter.

This week had some amazing plusses.  I was back at CrossFit on Monday for the first time in three weeks.  I’ve had some really angry trap muscles that were overworked 3 weeks ago.  As a result, spasm.  And lots of them which kept me out of the gym and working on strictly mobility and restoring the brain body connection with chiropractic.  Adjust, adjust, adjust.  🙂

Being back at the gym on Monday and Tuesday was hands down awesome.  I MISSED feeling strong.  This is something I’m not willing to compromise on with my health, up there with all of Life by Design.  I find that if I drop out of my routine of working out, eating well, my morning power hour, or getting adjusted – the rest of it all unravels.  I truly do have to do all the right things at the same time in order to see the benefits.  My psyche just tanks.  And for the last three weeks, even though I’ve been uber careful with how I eat and how I think, my physical health was making me frustrated.

If you remember from a previous post, I am not a lover of sit ups.  I think it’s probably because my basic core strength is building back up after having Maggie.  She was born as a gentle cesarean but being it my third cesarean birth, it did take a toll on my body.  I’m happy to have that toll – it’s an amazing reminder of the incredible kids I have.  And while I can sometimes feel anxious of the lack of core strength I have NOW, I realize that it will build back up and I need to be patient and supportive of my body in getting back into shape.  Tuesday’s workout included 100 sit-ups (between double unders – jumping once but bringing the skipping rope over your head twice- and push jerks – basically taking a 40 lb bar and lift it over your head multiple, multiple times) and when I sneezed earlier this afternoon,  I winced from the strain on my abs.  Grrrrrr.  Must.  Work.  On.  Sit-Ups.

Prior to those bloody sit-ups, we had some walking lunges to get through.  Have baby?  Must train.

Me & Mags.  Working the "walking lunge".

Me & Mags. Working the “walking lunge”.

To all the moms and dads out there who think that their health isn’t a priority.  Please think again.  You are enough of a reason to put a priority on working out, eating well, and focusing on your purpose in life.  I love this picture.  It’s a picture of a strong mom who is doing her absolute best to be healthy for not just herself but also her kids.  I’m proud of this picture.  Because it represents the vision of a mom I want my kids to be proud of.  A healthy, energetic, fun, inspired, and awesome mom.  And each day I make choices to create that vision I have for myself.  It’s coming along….slowly but surely.  But that’s the fun part of goals.  It’s a constant, never-ending process that will always be in a state of evolution.

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Sausages, Onions & Apples…oh my!

It’s Wednesday.  And other than you knowing what I feed my family each Wednesday night, I thought I’d let you in on why it’s my most favourite day of the week.

First of all, I wake up at 5:00 for my regular power hour.  Which I write a lot about but I cannot overemphasize how important this power hour is to my day.  Essential to my life.  And if your’e still unsure, I just ask you to try it out.  It is worth the commitment, I promise.  This morning my focus was on finishing up some plans for our Team Training Weekend for our office as well as making a list of daily action steps (a morning MUST for my routine).

Maggie gets up sometime between 6:30 and 7;30.  On Wednesday mornings I wake her up no later than 6:30 to feed her. It’s one on one time before anyone else wakes up and I love it. I just soak it up – I talk to her, tell her about my day, ask her what she dreamed about and what she thinks about her family so far.  🙂

Off to the office at 6:50 to get there for 6:53.  I love my commute.

Wednesday mornings I have my Accountability Call with two amazing women, Dr. Amy Robinson and Dr. Karen Osburn.  We are committed to our own personal growth and development and being held accountable to the goals we set out for ourselves each Wednesday at 7AM.  We each run a Life by Design  chiropractic office and therefore  not only live our lifestyles in a similar fashion but we are also moms to amazing children.  To go back to back with a power hour and then our accountability call sets the tone for an exceptional day.

I adjust from 8AM-11AM.  This is half of my purpose (my family is my other half).  I love the time I have in my office to adjust, connect with people and inspire people to live healthier lives.

I do the trade-off with Tom and 11:30.  He goes from being Dad to being the Chiropractor.  I go from being the Chiropractor to being Mom.  And thus begins what Blake calls “Mommy, Blake & Maggie Day”, which essentially boils down to a trip to Starbucks and a trip to our local library.  We get a tea and an apple juice at Starbucks and then we go to get some new books and play with the foam blocks in the Peacock Family Room.  🙂  I’m really proud of the Peacock Family Room.  I had the extraordinary experience to be on the fundraising team for the Painswick branch and the Chidlren’s Activity room was named after my family due to a donation by my dad and my stepmom.  To be able to take my own kids to enjoy books, computers, educational games, and play makes my heart sing…especially when I see so many other kids enjoying the same things my kids do.  I’m super proud of having played a small part in making it a reality.

Blake "The Bestest Block Builder in the Whole World".  Self-proclaimed but I totally agree.

Blake “The Bestest Block Builder in the Whole World”. Self-proclaimed but I totally agree.

When Caleigh gets off the bus after school, its me & kids time.  Playing games, reading stories, going for a walk, baking by design muffins, or whatever we want.  Today was an inside day with games and stories.

Then dinner.  Here’s the deal.  I make our family meals a priority.  I want our kids to be healthy and I know that a huge part of that is what foods go into their mouths.  I rarely compromise on home meals because I can totally control what they are.  I, with three kids under the age of 6, don’t have a lot of time but I still make it a priority.  Dinner doesn’t take a huge time investment on my part but I am able to keep them healthy and for the most part from scratch.  It’s all about the planning.  Tonight it’s Sauteed Sausage with Onion & Apple with a side of baked Kale & Carrots.

Sausages w/ onion & apple.  A side of baked kale & carrots.  YUM!

Sausages w/ onion & apple. A side of baked kale & carrots. YUM!

Ingredients

2 packages all-natural sausages, chopped into 1/2″ pieces

1 large red onion, chopped

2 large gala apples, chopped

1 tbsp rendered bacon fat (yup – sub in butter or coconut oil if necessary)

1 tbsp bbq sauce

s&p to taste

1 c baby carrots, cut lengthwise in half

1 large bunch of kale, chopped into large pieces

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp olive oil

Details

Preheat oven to 400F.  Mix carrots, kale, olive oil, garlic and s&p in mixing bowl until kale and carrots are coated with oil.  Put into baking dish, cover with foil, and place in oven to bake for 20 minutes.

Sautee chopped onions and sausages in bacon fat. Add bbq sauce.  With an estimated 5 minutes to cook, add in chopped apples os that they soften in last few minutes of cooking.  Flavour with s&p.

Serve.

How simple is that?  Soooo delicious.  Ryan Family four thumbs up!  It’s What’s For Dinner Wednesday at our home.

Getting Inspired

Sometimes I wonder if chiropractors are living in our own little microcosm of spizz (spizz: Short for spizzerinctum. Chutzpah, guts, nerve, or backbone; Determination, ardor, or zeal.)  I don’t know many people who get ridiculously excited about “continuing education” as chiropractors do.  Maybe they exist.  Until, however, I meet people who are so stoked about what they do that they go as far as having Facebook groups devoted to pursuing the inspiration, education, empowerment, and excellence in their profession, I will continue to believe that chiropractic is the best profession in the entire world.

This weekend was the perfect example of just how awesome my profession is.  Thirty individuals (chiropractors, chiropractic teams, chiropractic students all who live their Life by Design) gathered at Western University in London, Ontario at LifeCon 2012.  It was essentially a big love fest for Life by Design.

Let’s start with a concept that rocked my world.

WE BELIEVE EVERY HUMAN BEING WAS BORN TO BE EXTRAORDINARY.

Can you argue with that?  I think not.  Do you deserve to be extraordinary?  Do your kids deserve to be extraordinary?  Do the people you work with, the people you play with, the people you love, the people that inspire you, the people that drive you crazy, the people you don’t know all deserve to be extraordinary?  Of course so.  When people are extraordinary, they live extraordinary lives and express extraordinary health.  And to me that should be a rite we are all born with.  Imagine the state of the world if we all lived extraordinary lives.  Me thinks the world would be a better place.

This is the WHY behind Life by Design.  This is the WHY behind what we do each and every day in our office.  Because I KNOW that every single person that walks into our office to get checked by their chiropractor, deserves to be extraordinary.  My job is to help them be extraordinary by clearing their brain-body connection (power) and inspiring them with the concepts of Life by Design (eat, move & think).  Because an extraordinary life is driven by extraordinary health.

What also got me spizzed was meeting the other chiropractors and students who have Life by Design offices, or are working towards having offices, across Canada and the United States.  Talk about an inspired group of people!  These chiropractors are making a real difference in their communities – creating a movement that is re-shaping how people look at health.  What I love so much about these people is that they are all so engaged in the process of creating the Life by Design movement in their community that they are active (like us) on Facebook, Twitter, and through blogs.  When you have some time, please check these amazing people out ~  Jamie & Joel in London, Kreso & Rachelle in London, Karen in Edmonton, Amy in Woodbridge, and Mike, Ryan & John in Kanata.

This weekend I walked away with a renewed sense of excitement about chiropractic and what we do in our office.  If you’ve been following my blog, you know I’m on maternity leave right now.  I’m three weeks into a six week mat leave and loving every moment I have with my three incredible kids.  I also, however, love what I do as a chiropractor.  I’ll be back in the office mid-December and I can’t wait to once again adjust people.  I can’t wait for 2013.  I can’t wait to take the Life by Design movement in Barrie to a whole new level.  Because Barrie deserves to be extraordinary, filled with extraordinary people.  And it starts with what we have to offer at our office.  Get your spine and nervous system checked.  You deserve a brain body connection that is clear, and you deserve to know what will support an extraordinary life.  I’m here and I’m ready.  I hope you are too.

Day Two & A Little Reminder of Why I’m a Mom

In a nutshell, here was my “by design” day.

Power by Design – got adjusted.  Had my power turned on, my brain-body connection restored.

Move by Design – mobility and stretching.  I spent 10 minutes working with my foam roller, rolling out muscles in my upper and lower body as well as my back.  I find that with carrying around eight pounds of a cute baby as well as breastfeeding at night (the later the breastfeeding session, the less focus I have on my posture while feeding).  By the time each morning rolls around , my upper back is achy and I’m not moving around too well.  Spending time on my mobility is key.

Eat by Design – delicious.  Breakfast was an omelette packed with mushrooms, onions, spinach, basil, and red pepper with three strips of bacon on the side.  Mid morning snack was raspberries and almonds, tea with stevia and heavy cream.  For lunch I enjoyed slices of roast beef with a little mustard and green beans.  Dinner was leftovers, a meat sauce that was a topper for spaghetti squash the other night but tonight was perfect on it’s own.  And as I write this now, I’m enjoying a glass of red wine.  It was a healthy, filling and delicious menu throughout the day.  I wasn’t overly hungry.  Other than a mild craving for something chocolaty mid-afternoon, I didn’t have any crazy crashes that I expected considering we just came off Hallowe’en and those mini chocolate bars occasionally would find their way into a pre-dinner snack for me.

Supplements – Vitamin D (10,000 IU) and Fish Oils.  I need to restock on my probiotics.

Think by Design – picked up my book to read this month but haven’t yet had a chance to start it.  I spent time playing with my kids, colouring, doing puzzles, and reading.  I would also chalk writing this blog up to part of Think by Design.  It can be cathartic, helps me stay focused on my goals, and as one of my loves is to write, this brings some joy at the end of my day.

Speaking of bringing joy into my day, I had the opportunity to meet with my daughter and her teacher today for a parent/teacher interview.  I’m so proud of how my daughter is doing in school – she’s engaged, helpful, trusted, and learning her ABCs and 123s like every good grade one student will.  Before going in to meet with her teacher, we sat in the hallway and went through some of the work she had been doing over the last two months.  A large cardboard cutout of a fish with patterns on it, exercise sheets where she counts by 2s, 5s, and 10s using Fruit Loops, and a drawing showing how the sun affects the earth during the different seasons.  She was so excited to show it to me, to share with me what she does during her day.  Then we got to the best part.  Up on the wall, in the school hallway, was a line of stories and pictures all answering the same question, “What is Your Favourite Body Part?”.  When we found my daughter’s, she had taken a picture of her hands and the attached story literally made me melt into a puddle of mom on the floor.

“I love my hands because I can hug my mom.”

Image

Could I ask for anything more?

Growing My Own Organic Food

There is something incredibly satisfying and rewarding about growing my own food.  Back in May I planted these tiny seeds in neat rows.  And with water, sun, soil, minerals and love (the genetic requirements for these seeds), they sprouted and grew into these unbelievable plants.  Plants that flower and then fruit the most luscious, delicious, outstanding vegetables.  Heads of greens growing in perfect bunches – spinach, kale, and lettuces – with my favourite being the aptly named Drunken Woman Frizzy Headed lettuce, a stout 8 inch mint green bunch of leaves that are tinged red at the ends.  Huge stalks of zucchini, cucumbers, and tomatoes that are growing so wildly this hot summer that they are hard to keep up with.

What I love so much about gardening is it teaches me patience.  These tiny seeds need 45 to 90 days to be ready to be picked and consumed.  It starts off slowly and at first you wonder if any of the seeds will take.  But then quietly one morning a small sprout emerges and over the following days and weeks the sprout continues to grow and flourish as long as the requirements are met.  Each day I tend as necessary – water when dry, cut back the shoots that aren’t taking, ensure good sunlight, cover them if the weather dips and risk of frost is imminent, mulch to protect young plants, and check pH and nutrient levels of the soil – and then I sit back and try to be patient.  If I miss any of these requirements (no water, for example) then the vegetables will fail to thrive and the likelihood of a good crop is pretty low.  When the fruits do come, it’s hard to resist temptation.  While some tomatoes may have turned a yellow, orange, pink, or even red colour, if I pick one too early,  it’s hard and sour.  It needs that few extra days to ripen beautifully and be perfect in flavour and texture.

As a chiropractor, it reminds me of how I take care of myself.  I’m no different than that tomato in that I have specific genetic requirements.  I need clear communication between my brain and body (chiropractic adjustments), good nutrition, physical activity, rest, play, and a clearly defined purpose so I stay on track in life.  If I lack in any of these, my health fails.  I haven’t taken proper care of myself.

The second thing I love most about gardening is that it helps me fulfill a couple of my genetic requirements.  Firstly it gives me exceptional organic vegetables or my nutrition.  Secondly it gives me time to play.  Time to play, toil, putter, and enjoy my garden.  Each day I take 15 minutes to tend to it and those 15 minutes are just for me.  My patience is rewarded when I go to the garden one fine Monday morning and the fruits of my labour have paid off.  Fresh, delicious vegetables ready for the picking.

A cucumber ready to be pickled!

Cherry Tomatoes at different stages.

My one and only sweet pepper that took.

Strawberry spinach – leaves have a slight strawberry taste to them and the fruit is great for smoothies and added to salads!

The last of my green zucchinis.  The first of my black zucchinis are just starting to fruit.

English cucumber ready to be sliced for dinner tonight.