Baby adjustments

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  There is no greater honour in my chiropractic world than to be handed over a newborn baby and be asked to check them. There is something so perfect about providing a first adjustment to such a little being.

Little ones who, when they have a clear brain to body connection, function better.  They perceive their world more clearly.  They adapt more easily.  They are healthier.  Could a parent ask for much more?

Our own three children have been adjusted from the start.  Tom had the incredible experience to check them immediately after birth.  The birth process is hard on babies.  They go from being in a fluid, dark, warm, internal environment to the outside where there are colours, lights, smells, sounds, and touches they aren’t used to.  Never mind the journey they take to get here.  It’s a lot to process!

Why do they need to get checked by a chiropractor?  The answer is easy – they have a nervous system.   The nervous system is the most vital system of the body.  It is the master communicator and co-ordinator for the body.  We perceive our outside world through our nervous system.  The stress of birth and life in general can put stress on a baby’s nervous system causing an interference in the communication from the brain to the rest of the body and consequently impact how well they are able to perceive the environment around them.   Wouldn’t they function and adapt more easily if their nervous system was clear of any interference?  Wouldn’t they be healthier?


It’s why we still check our kids on a weekly basis.  Whether or not they are experiencing challenges with their health.  Whether or not they had a fall or an injury.  Whether or not they are feverish.  Our kids can be busting at the seams with energy and expressing health and we’ll check them.  We check them because they have a nervous system.  And if there is any interference with their body’s ability to send messages from their brain to the rest of their body, we adjust.  We correct that interference, the subluxation.

It’s why I love what we do.  As chiropractors, we have the incredible ability to work with people, healthy or lacking health, and help them function better.  We can help them express greater health.  From the newly born to their great grandparents and everyone in between.  I don’t take it for granted for even a second.  And I’m so grateful to each person I have the opportunity to work with.

Especially the littlest ones, who hold within them the promise of something great.


Ignore the Critics

Some people will always be a critic.  A critic justifies their deficiencies by telling you that you’re wrong.  Regardless of what you choose to do, how well you succeed, and regardless of all the amazing things that come into your life as a result of your choices, they will be critical.  They will point out what they would have done differently.  They will claim they could have done it easier, faster, better.  And they’re not going to change.  They will always be a critic.

You’re not going to silence them.  But you can ignore them.

I hear about these critics when I practice.  Stories from people I have the opportunity to work with.  Stories from people who are making BETTER choices in their life to create a HEALTHIER lifestyle.  Stories from people who are no longer willing to live a life that is less than that that they deserve.

“My co-worker thinks eating by design is wrong.  She thinks it’s just a fad and that any ‘diet’ that eliminates food is wrong.”

“My husband doesn’t believe in chiropractic.  He says it’s a sham.”

“My best friend heard that CrossFit causes too many injuries.”

“My wife thinks it’s pointless to wake up at 5AM just to work on myself.”


All you can do is ignore these people.  Because even when you do see the success come into your life that is a direct result of all the hard work that you do to create more exceptional health for yourself, the critics won’t care.  So just ignore them.

I’m more proud of the way I feel, the way I look, and the way I function NOW more than any other time in my life.  I’m healthier.  I’m more vibrant.  I’m feeling awesome.  My body is working better than ever before.  I’m stronger.  I’m happier.  I’m all of these things because I choose to make better lifestyle choices.

I move by design.  I move every single day.  And I lift heavy stuff at the gym three days a week.

I eat by design.  I don’t eat grains.  I limit sugar and dairy.  I eat  protein, vegetables, fats, and a bit of fruit.

I think by design.  I get up for a morning power hour.  I read.  I journal.  I play.  I practice gratitude.  I serve.

I am powered by design.  I get checked, and often adjusted, weekly by a chiropractor.  My brain-body connection is optimal and my mind and body loves me for it.

So critics can be critics.  They can look at the my lifestyle and think it’s for not.  But in my own life, I see the outcome.  I see how much healthier I am.  And so to the critics who think that it’s too much work, too strict, not backed by research, and crazy….keep on with your thinking.  It’s okay.  I choose not to listen to you.

But have an awesome day.

My Inner Ninja

I love this song.  It not only makes me want to dance but the lyrics really speak to me.

As chiropractors, we are definitely against the mainstream.  We are not your run of the mill health office.  Heck, at Anderson Chiropractic Group, we are not even what most people think chiropractors should traditionally be about – back pain and headaches.  We’re all about life.  Increasing life potential.  Inspiring people to create better health for themselves.  People want what we have –  we know that.  We get to work with the most amazing group of people – individuals and families – all who want exceptional health and an exceptional life.

But I sometimes feel that I need an Inner Ninja to help me break down walls and keep my energy high.  It can get tiring sometimes to keep telling my truth.  Regardless of how many times I’m told that I’m crazy, that I’m a quack, that I’m playing against the rules, that I’m different, that I’m not needed…I keep going.  Because I know how awesome it is to live subluxation free.  I know how awesome it is to live with my power turned on.  And I know the people we work with know how awesome it is to live with their power turned on.  Because I see it in my office, day after day, week after week, month after month.  The miracles.  The every day miracles that as a chiropractor I get to play a small part in.

So bring it.  Bring on the people that think I’m crazy.   My Inner Ninja and I are ready.

P.S.  The only words I don’t agree with in this song are:

“I’m overdue, I don’t do what I’m supposed to do 
Cause you can think about it man, we’re supposed to lose”

Wrong.  We’re not supposed to lose.  We’re born to be extraordinary.  We’re destined to have abundant health.  We’re meant to have an amazing life.  But only if you want to and if you’re willing to put the work in to achieve it.  It doesn’t come by happenstance.  It comes because I will work my butt off to make that happen.  I choose health.  I choose an extraordinary life.  I hope you do too.

A long week…and it’s only Wednesday

It’s been a long week.  I realize we’re only 3 days in so far but a REALLY long three days.  Have you ever had one of those days when at the end of it, you think “Really? Only Wednesday?”

It started off Monday morning when about 20 minutes after Tom getting out of the shower, we lost water pressure.  At first just a trickle, but then we had nothing.  Turns out that the pipe burst across the road and then backed up with mud and guck in the pipe that draws water into our home.  What started off as what we assumed to be a quick fix turned into almost 36 hours without water.  In the true sense of it, no big deal.  But I was amazed at how much it upheaved our lifestyle.  No water to drink, flush toilets with, have showers with, do laundry with, clean dishes with, clean floors with, cook with, brush teeth with, etc. etc.  The silver lining?  We live in Canada and in the middle of February we have a lot of snow on the ground.  So my stove top was filled with pots that spent their day melting snow in order to at least flush toilets.



Blake loving the backhoe in the front driveway as they fixed the pipe!

Blake loving the backhoe in the front driveway as they fixed the pipe!

The one kicker on Tuesday morning was when Maggie decided to fill a diaper with about two days of poop she had stored up for.  It was one of those explosive diapers that not only went up her back but also down her legs and soaked her socks.  Oh yeah, it was that gross.  And usually I’d stick her under the faucet and literally hose her down.  But without water, I went through about 47 wipes to clean her up.  If it wasn’t so gross, I would have thought it was funny.

The good news came Tuesday evening when I heard that our water had been restored.  I was elated.  When I got home,  I was shocked at how 36 hours can add up with stuff to do.  7 loads of laundry, dirty dishes, and messy floors needed a lot of work.  But what a great feeling to get my home back!

Some GREAT things that happened this week so far:

  • Finished Killing Sacred Cows by Garrett Gunderson and have moved onto my 5th book of the year, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey
  • Spent an hour at my daughter’s Sparks troop on Tuesday evening to help with International Night.  Had a fun time teaching 5 and 6 year olds how to use chopsticks as we had chosen China as the country to present.
  • Maggie back to sleeping through the night after our weekend away proved to throw her out of her routine (she kept me up for a good portion of both nights away!).  And when I say “sleeping through the night”, I mean going to bed at 5:30PM and waking up sometime between 6:30 and 7.
  • Got out for two great walks around our neighbourhood.  I haven’t been at the gym for almost two weeks because my trapezius muscles (the big diamond shaped muscle that goes from the top of your spine to your shoulders to the bottom of my rib cage) seized 10 days ago.  It is driving me crazy that I haven’t been able to be there so my focus has instead been on walking and mobility.
  • Lots of adjustments!  Because of my traps being angry with me, I have been subluxated more than I ever have before.  I’ve been checked and adjusted about once a day to help my body adapt to the stress its under right now.

Before I sign off, I am totally going to share with you what we ate tonight because “It’s What’s For Dinner Wednesday” at the Ryan home.

When eating by design, I revolve all of our meals around animal protein.  My default is always beef because it’s so versatile and we have a big freezer chest in the basement full of local, grass-fed, all-natural beef.  Yum.  I branch out to other proteins but usually chicken, veal, buffalo, or pork.  I tend to forget about fish.

Mmmmm. On tonight’s menu, Salmon with Dijon Cream.  The props do not go to me, although I did manage to follow the recipe well.  All the inspiration goes to these two amazing chiropractors-to-be in New Zealand.  Check out their blog and all the incredible By Design recipes they have written about.  The recipe comes right from their site.

Pan Seared Salmon with Dijon Cream

Pan Seared Salmon with Dijon Cream


  • 2 wild salmon filets 
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • 2 tbsp freshly sage, chopped
  • 1/2 cup full fat cream
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dijon mustard


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-heat. Season the salmon with salt and pepper, then place in the pan (skin side up).
  2. Cook until for 5-6 minutes. Peel the skin off, flip and cook until both sides are golden brown. Remove salmon from pan and set aside.
  3. In the pan, add butter, shallot, garlic, and sage. Stir well and cook for 1-2 minutes until sizzling. Whisk in cream and mustard. Continue to whisk while cream bubbles and thickens. Stir for two minutes.
  4. Serve salmon, drizzled with dijon cream.
  5. I put it on top of a salad with red onion & grape tomatoes.  Homemade salad dressing was made of olive oil, rice vinegar, and dijon mustard.  Really simple and I let the salmon be the star of the plate.  Kids won’t touch salad but they do love peas.  So, served it up for them with their little green buddies.  It went over really well:
Kid tested & approved.

Kid tested & approved.

Changing Routine on Day 8

When life gives you lemons…

It only took me 27 days to figure it out.  Actually 27 nights.  Long nights that were interrupted by feedings.  Those lovely feedings where I get to gaze at my youngest daughter and think random thoughts.  Some of those thoughts kept me awake even more than the feedings.  It’s amazing where you mind can go during the early hours of the morning.  I have trouble getting back to bed because of all the thoughts swirling around in my head.  Those thoughts I used to write down (hard to do when holding a baby) or work through in my morning power hour.

And then on the 27th night it hit me.  Maggie’s routine is different from that of my other two kids.  All three of my kids have been early risers but Maggie takes the definition of early to a whole new level.  For her, 5:00 is a wake up call.  I fought that 5:00 wake up call for the first 26 nights.  I would lie her in bed between my husband and I, then get up with her when I couldn’t get her to fall back asleep.  I’d rock her in my arms, try to nurse a full belly, check a dry diaper, gently bounce her up and down, try putting her down again…only to, in sheer exhaustion, look down at her and see wide eyes.  And yet at 6:00, when my other two early birds are ready to rise, she would fall back asleep.  The textbook “return to sleep after being awake for the first hour” of a newborn’s routine.  The difference with my first two kids is that this phenomenon happened between 6 and 7, not before 5AM.

So, a change in routine was instituted last night and damn, what a change in our lives!  I made the change  in my routine to go to sleep an hour earlier than normal and then I’m good to get up at 5AM instead of wanting to head back to bed.  Yes, still two nighttime feedings but when I can wake up feeling rested with 6 hours sleep in the early morning, it’s a whole different story.

And the best part?  The 5 AM wake up call means I get my morning power hour back.  I make a cup of tea, I nurse Maggie, and the two of read from an assortment of books.  Or maybe tomorrow morning, we’ll do some yoga.  Or I could spend time re-working my goals for when I return to adjusting in a couple of weeks.  Whatever I choose to do, the coolest part is that I get my morning power hour back and it feels great!

So, my Life by Design 30 Day Challenge DAY 8 was really fantastic.

Think by Design – Morning Power Hour spent reading from The Greatness Guide by Robin Sharma.  Nursed Maggie.  Spent quality time with all three of my kids today.  Laughed with my husband.

Eat by Design – Veggie omelette, bacon, tea w/ stevia & heavy cream, almonds, meat sticks, apple, carrot sticks, shrimp & sausage gumbo w/ veggies, lots of water & LBD supplements (fish oils & vitamin D…still need to get probiotics at house!)

Move by Design – 2 km walk with kids.  Practiced push ups.  20 knee-down push ups…ready to jump into regular push ups tomorrow (I think…)

Power by Design – heck yeah.  Adjusted by my hubby.

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.


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.


We’ve all been brainwashed over the years.  Brainwashed into thinking that our health was our of our control.  We “get sick” because of bad germs, bad genetics, or by chance.  We’ve been taught to give up responsibility for our health and rely on medication or surgery to “get us better”.  It starts at a young age – my six year old daughter comes home from school with handouts and pictures of “big bad bugs” that can attack us at anytime and cause us to get a cold.  It’s no wonder that if from the time you were in grade one, you have been taught that germs are out to get you, you accept this as the truth.

Guess what?  You’ve been taught wrong.

Your body is intelligent.  It is self-regulating, self-healing, and self-organizing.  It is run by this innate intelligence, which is manifested physically through your nervous system.  Your brain sends messages down your spinal cord, out the nerves that run to every cell, tissue, and organ in your body.  There is not one part of your body that does not have control from your nervous system.

Your nervous system is protected by your spinal column.  The stack of vertebrae which line up beautifully on top of one another not only protect your nervous system from insult or injury but they also provide dynamic movement of your pelvis, back, and neck.  It’s a perfectly designed system that was present long before you were born.  The nervous system is so vital to your development, survival, and thrival that it was the first system to develop in utero.  From it, all other organs and tissues developed…once they had the communication available to them from the nervous system.  Chiropractic adjustments provide one thing – reestablishing the proper brain to body connection that your body thrives on.

One of my favourite quotes from an incredible chiropractor, Dr. Arno Burnier, is as follows “Within every cell of your being resides the intelligence to build an entire human body.  From one cell, to forty trillion, in nine months.  Creating the most complex system on the planet was only the beginning.  That same intelligence that made you, guides you, every day in every way.”

Think about it.  Your body was created from just one cell.  One cell started this process and here you are, at whatever age now, still living an incredible life.  It’s an amazing process that should be honoured and respected.

But we don’t.

When we “get sick”, we get angry and frustrated at our bodies.  ”Why is this happening to me now?”  ”I can’t believe this…I don’t deserve to be sick.”  Watch your words, my friend.  Everything happens for a reason.

Most people live their lives not the way they were designed to be lived.  They are overfed yet malnourished, they don’t move enough, they are under high levels of stress, they don’t sleep enough, and they don’t take care of the most vital component of their body – their nervous system – by receiving regular chiropractic care.  And yet, they wonder why their bodies “break down” and “get sick”.

It has nothing to do with bad germs, bad genetics, or chance.   It has to do with bad choices. We need to take responsibility for the physical, emotional, and biochemical health  state our bodies are in.

Get adjusted.  Regularly, not just “when you hurt”.  Your body, your health, and your vitality depends on it.  If this doesn’t make sense to you, go back and re-read the paragraphs on the nervous system.

Eat by design.  Eat a diet that is stock full of nutrient-dense foods.  Animal proteins, vegetables, fruits, and fats – foods that sustain you and supply you with abundant energy and give you the building blocks to create new cells that are healthy.  Cut out the sugar, dairy, and grains…they are making you sick.

Move by design.  Recognize that mobility is vital.  You need to move every day.  Run fast.  Walk slow.  Stretch.  Lift heavy things.  Mimic movements you do in everyday life – functional movements that you do throughout your day.  Squatting, lifting, pulling, pushing, lunging…your training sessions at home or in a gym need to incorporate these movements.  Hamstring curls won’t cut it.

Think by design.  Enrich your brain.  Read.  Not the newspapers and magazines that promote negativity and gossip.  Read things that make your smarter.  (Refer to my previous post on Life by Design resources if you feel stuck).  Work on your relationships.  Play with your kids, spend quality time with your significant other, call your parents, write a letter to a friend.  Rest regularly.  Get 7-9 hours of quality sleep at night and wake up feeling refreshed and energized, ready to take on the day.

Does that not sound great?  Who would not want a life full of energy, abundance, laughter, and fun?  It’s available to each and every person…you just have to make it your priority.  No one is stopping you but yourself.