Craigslist Joe Review

Product Review, Wellbeing

So, I saw this documentary not too long ago. Craigslist Joe is about the eponymous Joe, a man who decides to live completely off of Craigslist for a whole month. Everything, from food to shelter to entertainment, must come from Craigslist. And so, starting out in California, he makes this journey across America (twice!) living off of the kindness and generosity of his fellow human beings. As you can probably imagine, this journey is not an easy one. The troubles that come up during Joe’s travels are very real, like not knowing where you are going to spend the night or not having food to eat. 

Joe offers to do odd jobs around the house in exchange for a place to stay, and indiscriminately gets involved in new experiences like partaking in a crystal healing session, and visiting a tutoring centre for impoverished children. Some of these experiences are incredibly touching. For example, one of the tutors at the tutoring centre is a young Iraqi man. He invites Joe to his home to have dinner with his family, and they have this really cool conversation comparing the family’s relationship with America to their relationship with their home country, and how their lives have changed since 9-11.

There is so much fodder for inspiration in this documentary, whether it be from how genuinely kind and compassionate your fellow human beings can be (like how there are people who will invite a complete stranger into their home to feed and shelter them, tell them their stories, and give them the gift of their time), or how if you are itching for adventure and new experiences, all you need to do is put yourself out there and the adventure will come.

He meets all sorts of interesting people including fellow travellers, a guy trying to start his own fitness biz, a super sweet dominatrix, a cancer survivor and hoarder. I loved seeing how Joe’s adventure had affected him: how moved he was by all the people he met, “the stories they shared, and the connections they made” and the gaining the knowledge “that we can take care of each other”.

I’m definitely not a risk taker by any stretch of the imagination but it was lovely to see situations in which, when you do put yourself out there, you don’t have to experience those situations from a place of fear, but from a place of hope and trust. I definitely recommend you giving this doc a shot if you’re looking for something uplifting and sweet to brighten up your day.

Joyous Health: A Cookbook Review

Joyous Health Review

Product Review, Wellbeing

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a bit of a bibliophile and thus, I can never be found without a book in hand. For a while now, that book has been my go-to cookbook, Joyous Health: Eat and Live Well without Dieting by Joy McCarthy. I just can’t seem to keep my nose out of it. Whenever I’m feeling like I need some recipe inspiration, or even a little cheering up, it has definitely proven helpful to look through this vibrant and beautifully designed book.

Fun fact: Joy was one of my instructors at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition where she taught one of our social media classes. She was so energetic and awesome as a result of which, I’ve been following her blog ever since. 

“Joyous health is more than the absence of disease or the avoidance of the occasional cold or flu. It is an optimal state of wellness not just physically but mentally and socially, characterized by: a positive mindset, feeling and looking fabulous, good digestion and elimination, restorative sleep, healthy relationships, having energy for exercise and sex, [and] feeling joyous!”

As much as I love a good cookbook, I like a good lifestyle guide even more. Over half of “Joyous Health” is a lifestyle and wellness directory. It’s the perfect book for individuals who are just beginning their wellness journey, and aren’t sure where to start. In the lifestyle guide section of the book, Joy provides her 6-week program to “Joyous Health”, including tips for improving your digestion, improving your emotional health, and a 10-day meal plan complete with easy-to-follow recipes and simple ingredients. It was quite a struggle to keep myself from highlighting the whole book. 

It's not always about food. It's also about choosing to have a joyous attitude.

The book is all-encompassing and approaches health from a truly holistic perspective, featuring everything from food elimination for optimal digestion; how to clean up your beauty regimen; a list of her favourite superfoods; how to give your kitchen a makeover; and how to improve your mental health though activities like yoga, meditation and pursing healthy and positive relationships. 

You always have the power of choice and the power to heal your body. You have choice over your thoughts, actions, words and every morsel you eat.

 The photography and design of the book is stunning. It is bright and colourful, and truly puts you in an atmosphere of joy, hopefulness, and positivity while reading it. I also tend to have a bit of a thing for lists, which there is no shortage of in these pages. 

I made quite a few of the recipes in the book, but one of my favourites was the Curry Lentil Loaf on page 234. It is so filling and delicious, and it makes a huge batch of the stuff. I ended up recently finding a few squares that I froze a couple of months ago and I am so happy to be re-enjoying this recipe. It’s fabulous on its own, or crumbled over a salad (and is especially tasty saturated in balsamic vinaigrette with some goat cheese and sundried tomato). 

“Joyous Health” is definitely a must-have on my health and wellness shelf. Though it actually doesn’t spend very much time on said shelf since I’m so often riffling through it! 

The newest addition to my holistic toolbox: colloidal silver

How To: Treat Eye Infections Naturally

Product Review, Wellbeing

I am currently recovering from a pretty nasty eye infection. I woke up one morning, about a month and a half ago, to a big, puffy, painful, red, and itchy masterpiece of a right eye. After a few days of swabbing it with coconut oil (I use coconut oil for a wide variety of physical ailments; it is antibacterial, after all), it kept getting bigger, puffier, redder, and more painful; it was at the point where I could barely open it. At this point, I began to feel a bit panicky. This is my eye, after all. I only have two of them; you don’t want to eff around with eye health. I visited my local walk-in clinic, and was promptly put on 10 days of apo-cephalex, an antibiotic.

Now, I don’t want to alarm you guys, but I have to say, after everything that I learned at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition, antibiotics scare the shit out of me. Not only do they wipe out whatever debilitating harmful bacteria you are dealing with, they also decimate your beneficial gut flora. The same gut flora that is responsible for some extremely important functions in your body including healthy digestion, synthesizing B vitamins, immunity, and keeping the body’s population of harmful bacteria under control. I also believe that there is a time and place for antibiotics, in particularly desperate situations. I can understand how if you’re scared and panicky, as I was when I feared that my eyeball would have to be surgically removed if it it didn’t fall out of my face, you might feel forced to turn antibiotics lest you lose a body part or your life or something like that. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and so, I took my apo-cephalex, and polished off the whole pill bottle, as prescribed by the doctor at the walk-in clinic. Within 72 hours, the swelling had gone down significantly. But while I was on vacation last week, the bump appeared to be coming back with a vengeance, becoming puffy and sore again.

Enter, colloidal silver, a healing elixir of epic proportions.

Luckily, Erik’s dad and stepmom, who we were travelling with, always come prepared with a whole holistic pharmacy of natural remedies. Lauri, Erik’s stepmom, had an eye infection a few months ago, and her eye specialist secretly steered her away from the antibiotic route, and recommended that she give colloidal silver a try.

What is colloidal silver?

Colloidal silver is a suspension of silver particles in purified water. But the cool thing about it is that it has long been used for its awesome antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Colloidal silver has been used to boost immunity (so it’s great for cold and flu season!), and to treat skin and tissue damage (burns, cuts, rashes, acne, insect bites, etc).

How To & Results

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first tried it. Erik put one drop in my eye, and one on top of my eyelid, and I carefully rubbed it in with a tissue. The next morning, I was like a changed woman. The swelling was almost gone. I wish I had a picture to show you the before and after, because it truly was like magic. I’ve been applying it about 3 times a day for the past couple days and it definitely appears to be on it’s way away. To counter the effects of antibiotic use, I’ve also been taking theraputic quantities of probiotics. Gotta get that beneficial bacteria back up to snuff! 

I can’t speak for it’s uses as long-term immune support from personal experience, but if you are in need of a quick short-term fix for an eye infection, irritation, or a stye, I definitely recommend colloidal silver. You can find it at your local health food store, and I believe it’s on sale on National Nutrition’s site at the moment.

Anywho, I think I’ll bundle up and go for a walk. I know it isn’t quite autumn yet, but it certainly feels like it. It feels like excitement and possibility. xx 

A nice tall glass of cucumber water, garnished with a cucumber slice, featuring my glass straw

My Favourite Summer Health Products

Monthly Favourites, Product Review

Bonjour, lovely people! If, like me, you live in the GTA, you may have been subject to some wet and chilly weather over the past weekend. Oddly, I quite enjoy a nice rainy weekend, during which I enjoy putting my feet up, drinking a butt ton of tea, and binge reading. Here’s to hoping you all spent your weekend enjoying similar comfort! I’m off to work for the rest of the afternoon and before I depart, I want to leave you with my Summer Favourites, a list of the health related tidbits that I’ve been enjoying over the past couple months. I haven’t done one since last November! You may notice that all of my favourite things are food related. I guess it’s pretty clear where my priorities lie.

1) Joyous Health: Eat and Live Well Without Dieting

I am in love with this book. About the first two-thirds of the book is dedicated to advice for improving your digestion and lifestyle over the course of several weeks. The final third is full of amazing recipes complete with a 10-day meal plan to help get you started on your wellness journey. I’m planning on posting a full review within the next week or two, so stay tuned for that!

Cover shot of the "Joyous Health" cookbook by Joy McCarthy

2) Chai Rooibos Organic Tea by Yogi

I can never stay faithful to any one kind of tea for very long, but this tea is the one I am loving right now. It is spicy, sweet, and feels a bit like dessert when you get smacked with late night cravings. I enjoy mine with a splash of almond milk. My kitty, Sonny Wa, was desperate to be in every shot I took of this tea, so I decided to just leave him to it.

Chai Rooibos tea by Yogi (my tabby cat is lounging in the background)

3) Genuine Health Proteins+ vanilla whey protein powder

So, this is my favourite protein powder ever. It makes EVERYTHING I put it in taste like a vanilla milkshake! My dear friend Saar hooked me up with a container for my birthday at the end of June, and I probably only have half a serving left, if I’m lucky. My only advice would be, if you add this protein powder to your smoothies, to drink it right away (which you should do anyway for maximum nutrient density) as I find it becomes weirdly sweet if left for too long.

Genuine Health Proteins+ Vanilla Whey Protein Powder

4) My glass straw

Every morning, I have a cup of warm water with half a lemon squeezed into it. This amazing practice aids in detoxifying the liver, and cleansing the digestive tract. All that acid, however, can be quite harsh on the teeth, so I picked up a glass straw to help out with that. I wouldn’t advise using a glass straw for a smoothie unless you have a straw cleaning brush (which I don’t) because I imagine all those little berry seeds and fibres can get stuck to the inside of the straw. But it is super fun for drinking everything else!

A nice tall glass of cucumber water, garnished with a cucumber slice, featuring my glass straw

5) Styrian Gold Austrian pumpkin seed oil

I first discovered this oil at the Raw Vegan Festival last summer. I tried it at their stall and right away, I knew I had to take home a bottle. It was gone SO fast. It has such a lovely nutty flavour and tastes good drizzled on all things savoury (I have yet to try it on sweet things, so I’ll have to give that a shot soon). I don’t know where you can find it in stores, but if you come across it in your travels, be sure to sample!

Beautiful dark green glass bottle of Styrian Gold Austrian pumpkin seed oil