The Problem with Religion

It’s strange, but for a girl who grew up without knowing God, why would I be writing about the problem with religion?

The Place of Brokenness

The fact is, at a later time in life I decided to become a disciple of Yeshua(Jesus). At 24, everything I had ever thought I knew or needed had suddenly and forever been changed. My eyes were truly open to the truth about life and my purpose. When I say purpose I’m not talking about my career choices or marriage, although God plays a part in that as well, I’m talking about the purpose of every creature, every human. What is that purpose? simple; to have an intimate, life-changing, peace giving relationship with the One who created you, God.

For two years after my awakening, conversion, whatever you want to call it, I started going to church, a Pentecostal church at that. If you know anything about this denomination, you know they are very charismatic as well as very black & white. It’s either their way or the highway for the most part. not all. Now I should be clear before I go on, I am not here to judge or question anybody else’ choice of where they worship God or how, this is my story and my personal views & convictions after being a part of the Pentecostal church for over 20 years. So I do have a little experience.

The Foundation of Religion

Where did religion begin? well, thats a very long answer, I would need to write a book on that but I don’t need to because there are many books out there that will tell you. The more relevant question to the title of my blog is, how many religions are there and what is the problem. You see, God is not the problem, man is, that’s it. It’s really that simple. Religion is man made.

Here’s a quick look at the top 20:

  1. Christianity (2.1 billion)
  2. Islam (1.3 billion)
  3. Nonreligious (Secular/Agnostic/Atheist) (1.1 billion)
  4. Hinduism (900 million)
  5. Chinese traditional religion (394 million)
  6. Buddhism 376 million
  7. Primal-indigenous (300 million)
  8. African traditional and Diasporic (100 million)
  9. Sikhism (23 million)
  10. Juche (19 million)
  11. Spiritism (15 million)
  12. Judaism (14 million)
  13. Bahai (7 million)
  14. Jainism (4.2 million)
  15. Shinto (4 million)
  16. Cao Dai (4 million)
  17. Zoroastrianism (2.6 million)
  18. Tenrikyo (2 million)
  19. Neo-Paganism (1 million)
  20. Unitarian-Universalism (800,000)

There’s apparently 24 other religions. Man made organizations with God or god at the centre of them have been the catalyst for many many wars of the past and today. Sadly, it is not about to stop anytime soon either. The fact that the religions listed above are all man-made religions is the foundation for problems. Wherever man is, there is pain, brokenness, anger, hate, violence, jealousy, envy, immorality & a whole lot more. Man is fallen, I think everyone can agree on that but when we bring religion into the picture it just makes us more fallen, why?, because we tell the world that all we do is in the name of God. This is the problem with religion.

God is not a Religion

When we follow any religion, we are basically giving those in authority to indoctrinate us. Most of us who start going to a church for the first time at an older age would like to believe that as adults we can make rational, thoughtful and smart decisions. However, man made religion has a way of not giving you all the answers in the “manual” right away if at all. They only tell you what benefits their organization, which can be many things; money, volunteers, popularity, increase in membership etc. I call this manipulation and deception. I’ve only recently found out the last year that most of what the western christian church has taught is wrong and is full of paganism. It sounds bright & wonderful, like Christmas bells, hymns, mangers and concerts all the in the name of Jesus, yet, none of it has anything to do with Yeshua(by the way thats his real name, Jesus is the greek/english translation). Easter is also another lie(some call tradition)and if people did research they would find out that easter ties Yeshua to paganism and witchcraft.

The other problem is that we as people just take everything the church/organizations teach us as fact, why? because if these people say they represent God, than everything they must say and do is correct right? wrong. That was my problem, being new to religion I believed everything and trusted everyone because I had my own personal encounter with God alone for two years without people or church. So when I attended a church, I expected them to be God-like, and the God I got to know was kind, loving, forgiving, compassionate, honest, gentle, and more. I was naive in believing they would be good like God. That lead me down a path of very destructive thoughts and beliefs as I followed what many so called “Christians” said “was from God”. I understand that man is so fallen from God that it doesn’t matter how close to God you say you are, you are no better. Fact is, your fallen, I’m fallen and it is only Yeshua who makes us good before God. There is no hierarchy with humans & God, only Yeshua has any hierarchy.

Religion didn’t Save Me

After nearly 25 years of being a disciple of God,(I do not label myself a Christian, as this is a man made name), I decided to call it quits from the western church. It’s been almost two years since I attended one. I do not miss it, but I do miss some of the people. The interesting thing is many others are leaving the church for whatever reasons, I like to call it “a call to truth” a complete dependance upon God. If you ask me if I believe the bible, I would say there are many truths recorded in the bible but there are also many missing, for example the Maccabees book, why did they not put it in the KJV bible? Anyways, that’s another topic.

When I prayed that prayer 25 years ago, simply asking Yeshua to come into my life and takeover, my life truly transformed. Some things changed over night and some took years & much change is still needed, either way, I knew I had found my home in Gods heart, the Creator of the Universe. I knew I had finally found my hope in this life and the truth & no man, no religion, no evil will separate me from God. God is the reason I’m here today. He is the reason I have the family I have today. God is the reason I have forgiven many people in my life and chose not to retaliate(although some days I would like too). God was and is the reason I have eternal life, hope, peace, faith, it’s not the church, if it were I would have lost everything two years ago when I decided to leave. God saves, NOT RELIGION!

Wars, Separation, Hate, Pride

Recently during lockdown I had the opportunity to begin my research on the Western church and many of my findings were very disheartening and made me quite upset. To think all these years I tithed not only monetarily but also physically to the church with my time and energy, it gives me a sense of rejection and deceit. I learned so much of the Roman Catholic influence in the Western church, including pagan traditions and idolatry and I felt sick and fed up, not to mention the corruption, deceit, spiritual abuse amongst others.

Whenever you have an “aha” moment in your life you of course want to share it with everyone, BUT, warning….be careful who you share with because the responses you get back just might backfire in your face. You see, one thing I’ve learned these last several months is that you can’t make people see what they are not ready to see. Many people will never be ready because they are too tied up in man made doctrine and traditions. I have had a few close relationships become estranged simply for sharing what I’ve been learning or not agreeing to their traditional beliefs. And this is sadly what religion can do, it can cause separation of the closet of relationships, why? two reasons, pride(admitting deception) and the indoctrination of man using God and causing people to fear of believing anything else. It almost seems taboo to have a mind of your own and do your research. That’s where religious people lose their control and makes them quite uncomfortable. It means that we can no longer spiritualize every situation that happens and manipulate our way through life.

The Middle East is the biggest example of how religions cause wars, hate and separation. It’s the melting pot of religion. Depending what God you believe in, there is also much evidence that much of what’s happening in the Middle East is actually prophetic.

Keeping your Faith

In light of all I’ve learned recently, there were times I felt like giving up on God. I somehow tied Him to all the deception and problems with religion. But I realized quickly that God had absolutely nothing to do with all the circumstances I faced in the church nor does he have anything to do with the evil of humanity. God wanted me to see the truth, only because I was ready to hear it. So why would I separate myself from the One who has lead me to truth. God is good, religion is not. For many it is an escape, for some its an innocent desire to learn who God is and become better people, for others it’s a place to intimidate & control others birthed from their own insecurities. Like those who think they are on a higher or special spiritual hierarchy. For me it was honestly a place I hoped to grow closer to God & find purpose, yet I already had found my purpose without even stepping foot in a church. Those who encounter God in church do find him, don’t get me wrong, God is everywhere, and that’s my whole point, you don’t need religion or church to find God but if that’s where you do find God, than great, finding God is the best thing that can ever happen to someone, just do your own research in the bible & learn the truth through God first and the Holy Spirit, then men that you can trust.

Humanity needs God not Religion

Man is a sinner. Man is broken. Man is selfish. Man is not good without God.

There is not one, no. not one who is righteous, this is what the Word of God declares, a simple truth that doesn’t need much interpretation. You just have to look around you BUT you also need to look inside yourself. If we are all honest with ourselves we would admit we are far from good. Jealousy, anger, gossip, hate, drunkenness, lust, idolatry are just a few things we all battle everyday of our lives. Not one of us is free from sin, that is why we need Yeshua, the Son of God. That is why He died on a Cross, sound too simple? thats really the foundation for our salvation, Yeshua is salvation. It’s not how many times you attend church, it’s not believing what every teacher or person tells you, it’s not confession to a priest, it’s NOT BEING PERFECT! and it’s especially not belonging to a religion.

If we want to have an intimate relationship with the One who created us, we need to have Yeshua (Jesus) a part of that. Yeshua is not separate from God and God is not separate from Yeshua. The two are one along with the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit we cannot do good things, it’s impossible. I tried for years in the beginning of my life as a disciple of God and it doesn’t work. You and I are corrupt, it’s that simple. Only God can help you get through this life. Only He can transform you. Only He can give you the hope you need.

It is time we left religion behind and seek the heart of God through Yeshua not our good works or a religion.

Keeping your Peace

When Seasons Change

Like most people in the world today, I feel like life has become a bad Hollywood script that I wish would end sooner than later. Changing times are inevitable and if we don’t learn how to adjust and maneuver through it, we risk all that we have fought so hard for, our peace.

It seems since covid hit the scene that so much has not only changed already but everyday things continue to change. It’s hard to know from day to day what the new “rules” are & how to navigate them. One day we’re told masks are useless to now where were told we will get a $500 fine if we don’t wear one.

Proper Perspective vs Media

Pre-covid (did I even just type that?), I watched CNN, HNN, and read many news articles from local newspapers, but after observing and doing some research during the recent lockdown, I came to learn that the mainstream media is nothing but a pawn for politics & those with power & a whole lot of money. Now, bear with me here before you start calling me a “conspiracy theorist”, trust me, I’m one of those, avoid conflict at all costs, kind of people BUT one thing I am, is a woman of justice, and after some long over tired nights of research I began to see that some things just didn’t add up with covid and there were many other shady things that just didn’t make sense. And so my digging began & life became disheartening.

Conspiracy Theorist vs Critical Thinker

It’s strange to say that covid had any kind of valuable purpose with all the trauma, anxiety, depression, financial turmoil, sickness and other traumatic effects, but truth is, it did for me. In a strange kind of way.

When covid first started I was worried for my mother and I believe that this was a very deadly disease and that many people I knew would die. That’s what media does, they blow up the “story” 100x bigger to not only control & manipulate their audience but to get the ratings they so desperately need.

So for obvious reasons, when I heard about the healthcare workers who took care of my mom weren’t wearing any masks and jumping from patient to patient, I left work for a period of time so that I would become her full time caregiver.

When I wasn’t with my mom I had time to start doing some research on statistics with covid cases and numbers and well, things just didn’t add up. Then, things went deeper as I began to research the political world in the US and I began to come across some very disturbing details that were linked to many politicians (Canadian & American),and actors. It wasn’t information I wanted to think or hear about, but I’m glad I did and THAT was one of the purposes covid served me.

The Rabbit Hole

Needless to say, I started going down a rabbit hole that almost 9 months later I haven’t crawled out of and I don’t suppose I will anytime soon, as evidence and research just keeps building a stronger case for some really crazy things that will eventually start to unfold. Anyways, I want to stay on point and stick to the subject of this blog.

Truth can be a hard pill to swallow for many of us, it’s easier to stay comforted by the old and familiar rather than think critically, I know, I was one of those people. If I had to choose a movie character of my personality, it would have to be two, Joan of Arc & Pocahontas. I can vibe with the hippy flower child & I can battle with the patriots. It depends on the circumstances to be honest and with recent events I weigh way more on the Joan of Arc side.

Keeping my Peace

In saying all this, it brings me to the fact that through everything, I have lost a lot of my peace that I once had. Anxiety has come back with a vengeance & some days I wish I didn’t do all that research. I guess there’s some truth behind that old saying, “what you don’t know won’t kill you”. My peace has always been my priority in life. I’ve faced & gone through worse stuff than what’s happening in the world right now, but the truths of humanity has really got me low.

Gods Peace, not the worlds

That’s why I’ve decided to start writing again. It’s a therapy for me along with exercise and therefore I won’t put it off any longer. Everyone has something to say and it’s not that one blog is better than another, it’s a matter of who the reader is & what they can relate too. So if you don’t relate or agree with my thoughts, that’s ok, but if you want to get to know me, or wonder where I’m at, hang on, cause it’s been a crazy ride.

Stay Strong!

As I navigate life during this time, I hope my blogs can bring you a little hope, some inspiration and maybe even some laughs.

Whatever path you find yourself on right now, I pray you choose to allow it to bring restoration, resolve, hope and more love in your life. You can be a warrior & a lover at the same time. It’s absolutely necessary that we never allow our circumstances to harden our hearts & to take our peace.

Blessings!😊

From Darkness to Light…

In Times of Isolation

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over two months since the emergency “stay at home” orders were put in place during this global pandemic. I’ve been thinking a lot about writing again, a book I started 5 years ago, but I got busy baking instead. I learned how to make pretzels, Challah, carrot cake and chickpea vegan burgers (I’ll post the recipes eventually:). In these recent days of isolation however, something strange started happening,  a feeling of familiarity started to hit me. I encouraged myself to go back to my book (the whole 2 chapters, sigh)and share a bit wth you. Maybe someone can relate & if anything it will remind you that there is a light in the darkness.

littlegirl

The Joy in the Shadows

Life seemed somewhat normal to me growing up, at least in my own world, I really didn’t have much to compare it to as I spent much of my time alone as a child. I had an older sister but we were not your typical sisterhood sisters, we were very different in many ways and our up bringing didn’t make it easy for us to connect. The truth was my parents were too wrapped up in their own conflict to even notice we were there most of the time. My dad was a workaholic & my mom sadly suffered from mental illness. Being grounded was also a common punishment in our home, and it wasn’t like todays grounding, it was solitary confinement. I learned at a young age to be very selective with friendships as I would need very understanding friends who would still be there weeks or months after being grounded, it made it difficult to build healthy social skills. For the most part, I enjoyed the world I had created for myself, it was quiet, comforting and had no drama or bullying; just me, my cat, my colouring books & my barbies. I made it work & I was content.

The In-Between

By the age of 12, things took a dramatic turn in my family’s life, I had lost my big sister who left home to try and figure out life as young vulernable teenage girl. Despite the lack of a deep rooted sisterhood, I was very devastated. I remember crying & feeling so unsure of the future & what I would do without her there. When push came to shove, my big sister always had my back, I felt sorry for Karen(a bully), my sister fixed her up real quick.

About a year later after my sister leaving, my dad and mom had decided to get a divorce after many years of conflict. I was in the middle of grade 7 and it didn’t take long before I found myself spiralling down a long dark tube. I had never felt more alone and insecure about life. Looking back now, this feeling of uncertainty was the beginning of a long road of depression and anxiety.divorce

None of my friends at this time had experienced divorce with their parents, it was still fairly rare in the early 80’s and so confiding in anyone seemed pointless in my eyes and I didn’t want to be judged or looked at differently.  Without any control anymore, my quiet, content little world I had created during isolation growing up suddenly turned upside down and things were never the same again.

Pushing Through

By the mid term of grade 8 my home room teacher contacted my mom and told her she was concerned for me. My grades went from average to very below average within weeks. The teacher explained if I didn’t get help I would not pass grade 8 and move on to High school. So with the amazing love and support from Mr.Childs, (EA), I started the awful battle uphill to pass grade 8 and thankfully got to graduate with my long time friends. A special thank you to all those teachers that make such a huge difference in the lives of children.

My emotions though with the separation of my parents and the struggle to fit in were beginning to seep through the surface and very few were able to see it.  There was still very much unknown about depression and anxiety and if a doctor showed any concern, the answer was short and simple; “it’s just stress”. In the meantime, things at home went from bad too worse with my mom. The pressures of High school started and my heart was becoming a hardened piece of rock,  and rebellion seemed the only path to take. I remember being locked out many nights and sleeping in a park or having my best friend sneak me into their house.  My  mom was moving on with her new life.  As far as I was concerned, I didn’t want to be there anymore and school wasn’t for me. By fourteen, I decided to go stay with my sister and found myself on a bus all the way to  Penetanguishene.

A Father’s Rescue

darkgirl

It was only one day I would spend at my sisters after running away from home. My dad drove over 300 km to come and take me home. His disappointment was blatantly obvious and I thought for sure I was gonna get a beating, but to my surprise, my dad had become a very different dad in the last several months during the separation. He simply asked why I ran away & then proceeded to tell me he was going to fight to get custody of me. Within one year I moved to a new small town with my dad in a tiny house and started a new life. What I didn’t know was this small town would be the beginning of a very dark path.

One day strolling in the house drunk on a weekday morning at 5am, my father told me that if I don’t stop drinking  I would become a “piss pot”, as hard as those words were to hear, they were very timely and I began to think of where my life was headed at nineteen years old.  I was a high school drop out, depressed and an angry young girl who escaped death on a few occasions by making foolish decisions and I knew this was my wake up call! It was time to leave this small town and head for the big city and find new hope.

The Light in the Isolation

Many years later I did find that NEW hope, I opened up my heart to Yeshua(Jesus) and asked Him to be the Lord of my life. My life was never the same again. I am still on that journey today and I still have that little world I built as a young girl, however, now God lives there with me too. He is the light whenever the darkness comes.

One thing is true, no matter how dark your life may seem right now, there is HOPE. There is a Light that waits to bring you peace & strength in the struggle, that LIGHT is Yeshua, (Jesus Christ).

In my darkest lowliest hour, God sent His love to rescue me, he didn’t force a religion on me, he didn’t threaten me with hell,  he simply said, “here I AM, I was with you all those years you thought you were alone, I was the contentment in the storms of your childhood, I was the peace in your midst when all hell was breaking loose.” BUT, I had to wait for you to stop being self sufficient, I needed you to open up the protected world you built & let me show you that TRUE love exists, that your life has a purpose and plan. I needed you to make me Lord, Yehovah, over your life, if you didn’t choose too, I would let you be, for I do not force anyone to invite me into their life.

Yehovah says, “I do long to be there with you, to love you, to support you AND to be the LIGHT in your darkness all I ask in return is to spend time with me, commune with me, keep my commandments, study my Word to know who I AM and NOT who “man” says I am and finally, desire those things that are holy, righteous and true.”

John 1:5 The LIGHT shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

light

 

The Hydroxychloriquine (Plaquenil) & Covid-19 Dilemma

One month ago a precious woman I follow on IG Young Beauty shared some interesting scientific research she did on a drug called “hydroxychloriquine” otherwise known as Plaquenil. (look it up on IG for detailed explanation under her stories-COVID-19).

She was on to something before many had even heard of this drug.
She did a detailed illustration of the cellular structure & how it works in conjunction with zinc to penetrate the nuclear wall & how the US government was in talks about using it as a COVID-19 treatment.

Surprisingly a week later the FDA pushes through clinical trials by way of an “emergency approval”
in the US & Canada. (Week of March 15th).

The day I watched her explanation about the combination of zinc and hydroxychloriquine by prescription and the benefits of zinc, I went to my natural health food store and ordered 4 bottles of the zinc I take regularly for my plant based diet. (Been taking this supplement for over a year).

By no surprise, my zinc has not come in yet and it’s been four weeks-the customer service rep even told me that was unusual. Well not really, because the world has caught on that clinical trials have already started in many parts of the world with success. (I’ve already researched it and it’s out there, do your research).

You will not find zinc anywhere right now, in fact even two weeks ago I checked amazon and NOTHING!

So I tweeted our government today to give us some feedback on what’s happening with hydroxychloriquine in Canada as I personally have not heard anything. So of course I did some digging myself tonight and came across an interesting article in the National Post.

It turns out that out of four of the manufacturers that make the medicine in Canada, three have no stock & the one has “very limited” stock. How could that be when were not even hearing about clinical trials in Canada except for Alberta which is just underway as of recently.

It also happens to turn out that, well, I’ll let you read the article National Post Here’s just a couple paragraphs that seem a little disturbing;

The Alberta College of Pharmacists, another regulator, said it has received reports of physicians prescribing hydroxychloroquine for ” ‘office use’ to themselves, to family members and when there is no accepted indication (i.e., treatment of COVID-19 infection).”

Pharmacists in Ontario also received prescriptions “for office use.” It was unclear whether those physicians wanted a supply to dispense to patients — when many clinics were closed — or for themselves and family, said Allan Malek, chief pharmacy officer with the Ontario Pharmacists Association.

This is absolutely disgusting to think this could even be a possibility. So now it is no longer a question of giving us some feedback on clinical trials BUT, accountability and proper management of prescription drugs in the hands of those with power.

One more disturbing fact, people with Lupus and Rheumatoid arthritis are in need of this drug and are having a hard time getting it now.

Jesus is Beautiful

It’s 12:45am on a Saturday night and as I lie in my bed to shut down for night, I take that one last glimpse at Facebook to see if by chance I’ve missed any messages from a client. I do not have the messenger app so I go through my FB newsfeed and I come across a post from a beloved sister, Hazel. It’s a song, I thought to myself this will be the perfect night cap. I didn’t even get to my messages, once I placed in my headphones and pressed play, that was it, I slowly entered into a renewed awareness of my Heavenly Father and my sweet Jesus & all that He has seen me through over the years.

Recently I watched an old DVD of my oldest sons first four years.(he’s 18 now). As I watched the video something deep down inside began to shift inside of my soul, I realized I had been an amazing mom & that I still am years later.

Challenges couldn’t stop me

Despite many obstacles I faced during those child rearing days, the loss of a father, loss of an aunt, two premature births, loss of a career, financial hardship, moving in with an aging parent with a disability…..there was something I remembered as I watched these videos, the GRACE of God was showering all over me those days.

Because of my blessed & tender relationship with Jesus, He gave me the ability to RISE above all the obstacles. He taught me to love my precious babies with such a full heart of LOVE that I forgot I had over all these years. My children, my boys were my life and they are my life now, but I am learning to slowly release them back to Jesus so that they can walk their own path with Him now. It’s one of the most difficult seasons in life, letting your babies develop into the man God is calling them to be & you know what? There’s no better person than Jesus to entrust them too.

Dear mommas with little ones, lean on Jesus for everything, your motherhood, your relationships, your short comings, your storms, your marital relationship, ALL that you are. Many of these days will be a blur and they will speedily pass by, learn to let go of the small stuff, TRUST Him even when it doesn’t make sense. He is there with you precious momma and He loves your babies even more than we can, yes, it”s true, even more than us. Know this, you are doing a great job! No one else was entrusted without your babies, ONLY you.

Tonight, the words in that song echoed to me, BEAUTIFUL JESUS! Holy Spirt won’t you come & cover me in LIGHT…..like the stars coming out & filling my night…the glory of your promises YOU make wrong things RIGHT….BEAUTIFUL JESUS…my glorious friend, the One who never grows weary & stay to the end, OH HOW I LOVE YOU!

BEAUTIFUL JESUS❤️

What’s Your WORD for 2020?

Can you believe it?

Tonight as I sat on my couch binging Netflix documentaries, I realized it was pay day(been a little drugged the last 24 hours lol)and I hadn’t paid the bills yet!oops! Then I checked the date AND I was like Wow! January is OVER!!!!

What the heck I thought to myself! I can’t it’s over and we’re headed into February; the month of LOVE ❤️

So the good news is I got my bills paid for another week.

MY WORD for 2020

So, a month ago I was sitting at home chilling with the hubby & I remember the word; ACCEPTANCE rang so loud in my mind. I knew right away it was my WORD for 2020!

Acceptance is not often a good word in my vocabulary simply for the fact that I don’t like accepting many things unless of course they are good and beneficial for me.

However, it did make sense that that word would come to mind as I reflected over 2019 and realized that there were things I had to accept deep down in my personal life like never before. I had to accept the fact looking back that my marriage was not the “fairy tale story” I had anticipated as a little girl.

I also had to accept that at 47 my body and mind were going through some crazy hormonal changes as I entered into perimenopause.

I think the biggest battle in my mind was accepting the fact that my three sons were growing up and not needing me as much as they used too, especially the oldest my 18 year old. 

These things may sound trivial but until you reach your late 40’s your still pretty naive about life, it’s the monumental landslide of 50 just around the corner that makes you reflect more than ever as you realize and “accept” that you have already lived more than half your life.

Looking back and reflecting made me realize that I actually should be proud of myself to be in this place of ACCEPTANCE now, it took a year for me to get there and I’m finally here.

I’ve accepted with an open heart that LIFE no matter good or bad times cause us to grow & develop into who we are today and on January 31st, 2019 I celebrated the fact that I had overcome a lot of self doubt, sentimental, sometimes depressing days of wishing my sons were little children again who ran to hug me and give me kisses, questioning if I’ve been the best mom I could be, etc etc and the acceptance of aging with grace.

And lo and behold I ACCEPTED that life has seasons and life goes on and that I am a better person each year, so yes as hard as acceptance can be of certain circumstances in our lives, in the end, when we take a long look at what surrounds us and lives in our hearts, we realize that acceptance isn’t a bad word, it’s word of growth, learning, maturity and a whole lot of GRACE!

How to Lose the Weight of Losing Weight

Hold on! Before you close the tab on this blog let me explain what I mean.

Do you ever get tired of hearing,”want to lose weight?” “How to lose weight”, “weightloss secrets”, “eat this and lose 20 pounds”….I could go on forever about all the ads and posts about losing weight. To be honest I’m tired of it!

Does anybody want to be HEALTHY?! Why does society and media put so much emphasis on LOSING WEIGHT? Yes, losing weight can sometimes be a life and death situation as obesity contributes to stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and many other ailments BUT, what if we were to approach people in a way that would focus on their health in every aspect; mind, body and spirit.

Get off the Scale!

The first thing I tell people is to get rid of their scale for at least 2-3 months, I tell them to give it to a friend or give it to your significant other and have them hide it.

Have you ever heard a watched pot of water never boils? It’s sort of the same concept with jumping on the scale every week to see if you’ve lost weight, it can bring more discouragement then inspiration. If you want to have a true reflection of your results then get a measuring tape and track the following body parts on a weekly basis; bicep, chest, waist, hips, and calves.

You see, any workout program you start should have some type of resistance training which means toning & muscle strength depending on the amount of resistance/weight you use, you will either gain weight or stay the same and you will see no results on the scale. What will happen is you will begin to lose inches and usually your clothes will fit better.

Enough about that, I’ll leave that for a training blog.

Health & Vitality is the Bottom Line

For years weight loss has been the consistent marketing giant making millions of dollars off innocent people looking for an answer to their “weight” problems.

When I meet people for the first time or even those I’ve known a longtime, I don’t look at what’s in front of me. I don’t see the extra weight people carry, I don’t start thinking of what diet I could put them on & I certainly don’t sell or promote any weight loss programs. The first thing I want to do is to get to know you-YOUR story.

This is where true “coaching” comes in. If you care about people, you care about them, who are they? where do they come from? are they going through something difficult? Have they gone though trauma in their life? How do THEY see themselves? What are their favourite hobbies, what’s their favourite food? It’s seeing people as human, frail, insecure, scared of change, you know? Exactly like us.

It Starts in the MIND

The mind is a wonderful thing, God created our brains to think and to be creative. It also can serve as a limitless trail of unwanted thoughts & sadness. We have been given power over our minds and we do not need to let every little thought that pops itself in there to stay there, and we don’t have to allow every word or advertisement about weight loss deposit itself in our mind either.

When I met with my first client we met once a week for a month and I didn’t recommend a diet of any kind, I didn’t create a workout program, and I even didn’t take her weight or measurements. We simply met over tea & I got to learn about her more, who she is, where she comes from-HER story. I listened and didn’t say much, she had my complete attention. This is how coaching should be done.

“If you want people to value your leadership, you MUST values people”-John Maxwell. How true is this quote!

Giving people diet programs & even strict workout programs to lose weight before you even truly know them to me is not integrity, it’s strictly just a business to make money from people.

I don’t need to tell anyone who needs to lose weight that they need to lose weight, yes or no? We both know that is the case, however, no matter what program I put someone on, if the heart is broken & the spirit is crushed it will all be a TEMPORARY experience of heightened optimism that eventually will slow down & then eventually finish once a coach or personal trainer is out of the picture. A real goal is setting them up for success even after you are gone.

A great example is the gym, when a Personal Trainer meets with a client the first time (because it’s free)they get the client pumped up and excited after giving them the basics of using the gym and equipment. BUT if you want anymore advice or training it’s gonna cost you & BIG! So the client gets all excited makes themselves all these promises to get in shape and lose weight, and then one day, goes by, they miss , then 3 days, then 10 days and you get the point.

Why? because there was no emotional, or mindful connection with the staff at the gym and likely because they couldn’t afford the costs of a Personal Trainer. More than that though, it’s more likely the mindset of the person. No one has given them coaching on how they should change their mindset or the “how to.”

Speaking into someone’s life is an honour, if someone lets you in their world, consider yourself blessed, especially in the world we live in today. So many people are broken and do not trust anybody. Be careful with the things people share with you, it’s a huge responsibility. -just had to say that .

Size does NOT Measure someone’s Health

I have met unhealthy thin people and I have met unhealthy overweight people. I have also met healthy curvaceous women and healthy thin women. Yes, the two can coexist. Thanks to the breakdown of Body types we can learn that you can have curves and be healthy, you can be thin and healthy, and you can be tall without curves and be healthy. Bone structure, genes and your Biochemistry all have a part of how you look and respond to losing weight or getting into top shape as well what you eat and how many workouts you do, it’s a package deal. More on that another blog).

The key thing is, we need to STOP body shaming and putting pressure on people, especially women to “lose weight”, the ONLY weight a woman needs to lose in the beginning stages of getting healthy is the weight of society and they’re often times uneducated suggestions.

Getting healthy is a”one day at a time” experience. It’s about evolving as you age, as you go through life stages ie, pregnancy, menopause, health changes, unexpected/expected. It’s making small changes each week, each month and each year. It’s about making the changes necessary in your life in order that you may age strong and live with vitality while your here in this earth. It’s respecting the temple you’ve been given to live in temporarily. It’s teaching your children by example.

So let’s PUT OFF society’s standards when it come to our health & what we look like OR “should look like” and let’s start with self reflection, self appreciation right where we are, self love, education and understanding, compassion, and most of let’s start looking past the external and seek for deeper meaning of the internal to have longer lasting transformations.

Disclaimer: I do not encourage or support obesity. Obesity can lead to very dangerous sickness and disease and therefore can harm or even cause death.

If you are concerned about your health or feel you could be at risk for heart disease PLEASE speak to a General Practitioner as your first steps to wellness.

Me and my Olde English Bulldogge Tawnie

Stress, Sickness, Bloodwork & Miracles!

The Mind & Body Connection

Have you ever wondered why so many people today in our society suffer from so many digestive disorders with symptoms like bloating, nausea, abdominal pain, depression, anxiety& other ailments that leave people feeling frustrated with unanswered questions & diagnosis. Stomach and gastrointestinal issues if not taken care of sooner than later can show up later down the road as more serious conditions. Well, I consider myself to have just experienced and walked through some similar experiences and the end result has been interesting to say the least.

Personal Experience

The last 6-8 months I haven’t felt myself. My energy levels dropped significantly & in late September i started getting bloating that made me look six months pregnant. I was more irritable, anxious and more symptoms started to come and by the last three weeks I knew something was off, this wasn’t just perimenopause starting, this was something to do with my digestive system & stomach. Headaches, stomach pains, depression, anxiety, constipation, bloating, loss of appetite, fatigue & flatulence became a daily thing. This affected my energy so much that my workouts had taken a back seat. I just simply didn’t have the energy or “get up and go” I’ve had the last several years. Something was wrong.

Up until 3 weeks ago I had blocked out these symptoms and wrote it off as hormonal disturbances (which it still could be a part of it)and just lived with it until one of the symptoms raised concern; nausea. This nausea would come and go three times a day. I also had a cold just before Christmas Eve & I had the inability to also chew on the right side to recently find out it was a “failed” (cracked) root canal due to inappropriate treatment. This of course lead to infection.

All of this combined just sucked the life out of me. I wonder if you can relate at all?

The Connection

So, after forty eight years you get to learn your body and you begin to pick up on things so much faster & know when things aren’t right. You also should know by now that getting the proper tests and seeking medical care & holistic care are more important than your pride.

After the nausea hit that was the final straw, I decided to seek out professional guidance, not google😉, which I’m guilty of too.

I’m in the process as I write this to getting some answers and one of them turns out to be STRESS….back in October I had a significant loss, my fur baby Max had passed away under what seemed to be sudden circumstances(congestive heart failure). It was more traumatic than what I ever thought it could be, he was my first dog and I was the one who had to make a last minute decision under pressure(which I am glad I did as it turns out).

Your Brain on Drugs…..remember that Commercial?

There is something lurking in today’s society and can be just a dangerous as taking drugs if left unchecked for too long, it’s the effect of stress on our bodies, especially our organs and digestive system. Don’t get me wrong, our bodies need stress from time to time, and there is a good stress it’s the “eustress” like when your on a rollercoaster or performing in a play in front of hundreds of people. It’s when your pulse quickens and your hormones surge but there is no real threat or fear of danger. This stress is good because it affirms we are alive & we feel excitement about that.

Emotional stress that stays around for weeks or months, eg, the loss of a loved one, divorce, abuse or neglect, these types of stressors can weaken the immune system.

So as I did some personal research (which the doctor told me to do 😉) I‘m almost 100% sure this is where all my symptoms have come from-Stress & poor eating as I share later in the blog.

Check out this list of symptoms from emotional stress;

Low energy.

Headaches.

Upset stomach, including diarrhea, constipation, and nausea.

Aches, pains, and tense muscles.

Chest pain and rapid heartbeat.

Insomnia.

Frequent colds and infections.

Loss of sexual desire and/or ability

Now keep in mind, you don’t have to have all these symptoms to have stress. Depending on the “stressor” different people have different abilities to cope with stress, and typically those who have consistent good health habits like daily meditation, good nutrition, daily exercise & healthy relationships tend to recover better.

Elimination Process

Last week I made the decision to get help and my first appointment was some in depth blood work and a bacteria(H-Pylori) breathe urea test.

Might I suggest if you having any health concerns that you start with a doctors visit for requisition for blood work….CBC(complete blood count), B12, Vit D, Bilirubin(jaundice), alkaline testing, blood protein testing, etc etc.

Ignoring symptoms will not have them go away, remember, serious disease and illness’ do not happen over night, many(not all) of them CAN be prevented if detected and treated in time.

Well, I am happy to say that ALL the bloodwork in my results can back amazing! Even my B12 and blood protein(for the nay sayers of plant based😉❤️). All my counts are smack dab in the middle. So for transparency I thought I would share my resorts without you below.

So all the blood work so far is good as I wait on the breathe test which can take up to a month as it is shipped out to British Columbia.

The next step would have been an endoscopy but this is where the miracle from my title of this blog comes in.

After Max had passed away, my eating habits changed a lot. I’ve never had that many fries as I had in the last three months than I did the last 20 years! Potato chips, donuts & white bread made a home in my belly for the first time in years.

After getting a cold, a root canal infection, and horrible gastritis issues for the last few weeks I knew I had to take responsibility for my part and that was changing my eating habits back to where I left off.

So within only one week of going on an anti-inflammatory diet, adding a probiotic daily, Betaine Hydrochloride acid that aids in digestion after taking the Home stomach acid test (I realized that I also do not have a high enough acidity in my stomach for proper digestion) my symptoms have all but gone away!

Now that I am eating healthy again those acid levels could change I will perform the test again in four weeks.

Prayer & Gods faithfulness

As a woman of faith you would think the first thing I would do is pray, well, I didn’t, I have a habit of taking matters into my own hands. And of course it can bite us in the butt after a while. It’s so much easier I know to put our trust in God and pray for results, but God has also given us the wisdom and free will to make the changes we need to in our lives to help ourselves, He is the coach in the corner cheering us on.

BUT never think He is not in the healing business still. God does heal & I can’t answer why sometimes prayer doesn’t work or the healing doesn’t come, I’ve been there too, I just know He is loving & has our best interests at heart 100% of the time. The other thing I do know is that when we make bad choices we have to live by the consequences, for me that meant my health.

I have no doubt though that when I reached out in prayer last week while having nausea, I haven’t had any symptoms since then. True story!

You see, God works with us when we work with Him. God did not create us as robots, how much love can I get from a robot? No, it’s like a dance with a partner, you take one step then the other takes the next step, HOWEVER, there has to always be a “lead”, and that’s God. So I did my part and He did His.

Compassionate Advice

I’ll leave this here and you can take it or leave it.

When it comes to your health only YOU, are in charge. Nobody else, not even your closet companion can yell you what’s wrong with you, you probably wouldn’t listen anyways, right?

You only get once chance to make the right decisions and putting off any health concerns you may have out of fear or pride, will only hurt you in the end, and potentially others.

If you are suffering from any ailments or symptoms you’ve never had before, NEVER, underestimate them or slough it off. The first thing I suggest is to make an appointment “in person” with a professional, whether a GP, a Registered Nutritionist or Holistic Practitioner(not you-tubers unless they are registered or certified).

Ask for bloodwork, this also goes for people who are changing their nutritional diet, ALWAYS make sure whatever diet you are choosing that YOU are getting the correct amount of nutrients for your body. Feeling good is not always an accurate “marker”. We are not all the same. My B12 and blood protein is perfect on a plant based diet but yours may not be.

Also, make the decisions according to your personal make up; exercise levels, genetics, body type, allergies, age gender, and doctors advice. Then empower yourself to make personal choices, try out different foods & workouts, know that one type doesn’t fit all, again, I can’t stress this enough but what works for one person may not work for everyone!

Final Words……

Alright, back to stress, please please include some self care in your life no matter what age you are. Self care is not just for us older folks, the earlier you start, the more you are prone to stick with it throughout your life, and listen your gonna need to know healthy coping mechanisms.

Meditate and exercise either cardiovascular activity for 30 minutes daily every day or resistance training 3-5 days a week, eat whole foods from the earth as much as possible. Build healthy relationships & deal with the toxic ones in a healthy and respectful way; cutting people off or not talking to them is NOT healthy(I’m changing that too). Whether relationships are bad or good, talking things out and practicing forgiveness ALWAYS does us better. It doesn’t mean we have to be a part of their lives, it simply is about putting boundaries. (Still learning here 💁🏼‍♀️).

I pray you have a blessed 2020 my friend and may your dreams and visions come to pass, if not this year, keep working on it!

Warm Carrot & Ginger Soup

Cold Rainy Days call for Earthy Warming Soup!

It was one of those, throw on your snuggly warm slippers and sweats & watch TV, be lazy and of course, make homemade soup kind of days.

I ran some errands like shopping (it’s all I do with three teenage boys & my husband in the house), at one of my favourite new health food stores, aka Healthy Planet, No Frills was also on the list, and then I checked the mailbox for the first time in a week, it’s mostly junk anyways, agree?

After being outside in the awful wet cold rain I decided it’s a great day for soup, and so the journey began.

Detoxing, Gut issues

After the holidays how many of you do a detox?💁🏼‍♀️ that’s me, only this year I didn’t eat much because of a cold I somehow caught on Christmas Eve…great timing right? Anyways, it’s always something I do right before the New Year, you know some cleaning up of loose ends (lol did you catch that?).

Alright let’s move on, so I shared in a previous blog of some newly discovered sensitivities to certain foods & decided that this soup recipe had to be gluten friendly & anti-inflammatory, so after a little research, I found one (recipe)Anti-Inflammatory Carrot, Turmeric & Ginger Soup , thank you Simply Quinoa!

I knew that if I were going to ease the bloat and gas 🥴, this soup had all the winning ingredients, and speaking of ingredients, have you ever done your research on the benefits of Turmeric ?, if not, it’s time you have. It’s a root plant from the ginger family with some pretty incredible claims from treating cancer to preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease. Check it out!

Other great ingredients like Ginger and garlic have amazing benefits as well and are good for digestive concerns. One of my top favourite soups is Butternut squash so of course this recipe HAD to have some in it and besides that’s what makes this soup earthy.

Have you ever tried Fennel? Believe it or not this recipe is the very first time I cooked with it. I love it, I think of licorice when I smell it. Not even sure if I could taste it in the soup but it has to be in there for some flavour.

Chopping, Blending & Stolen Bread

One thing I used to hate about cooking was all the chopping involved, but lately I’m not sure if it’s a part of aging but I actually enjoy chopping up veggies & slicing and dicing. Crazy right? I thought so too.:)

Be aware there is a lot of rough chopping in this recipe between the 3 cups of carrots and the 1 cup of butternut squash, you’ve got your work cut out for you(I did it again, puns are fun🙃), I suppose if you have a really good knifec, it won’t be as hard. I need some Heinkel knives(next Christmas present).

If you do not own a Vitamix blender I don’t know what to say except that if you ever have the money to invest in one, I highly suggest it. I’ve had mine now over 8 years and it still works like a charm! Not all green drinks are the same, trust me, you would like how a vitamix blends green drinks, but what I love is the option for making soup, yep, it cooks soup! pretty cool eh? It’s takes only 5-7 minutes and you have fresh piping hot soup.

So, what goes with fresh homemade soup? That’s right! BREAD! So of course when I was out picking up some groceries I picked up two fresh baked sticks of bread(sourdough preferably, but whatever your heart desires). Well, after I finished the soup to the point of simmering I went to set the table and the bread was no where to be found!! Two loaves -GONE!!

How can anyone have soup without fresh bread?!?! The culprits, it tunes out was two teenage boys living in my house. Side note: Quick question for y’all, do any of you hide food from your teenagers or is it just us? Well, having the bread 🥖 disappear and no dipping for the soup, it may start to happen more often.

A Win for the Soup!

Well, Soup was a success, for my husband and I that is. The boys, not so much. I guess the bread was enough or perhaps it was the colour🤷🏼‍♀️ but for us it was delicious! Seriously, if your looking for a great soup (30 minutes from start to finish)that is hearty & healthy and gentle on the belly, this is for you. If your detoxing it’s safe and great for your digestive system.

As you celebrate New Years Eve tomorrow with friends & family…

BE safe & Enjoy!

May 2020 be a great year of blessings, physically, spiritually and emotionally!

Adapting & Balancing Personal Nutritional Needs

The Freedom to Choose

As some may know, three years ago I decided to stop eating meat and dairy. My choices were primarily health reasons and animal welfare & our planet. I knew that I would get kickback from people and that’s ok because one thing we need to realize sooner than later is that food choices are exactly that, a choice. If people disagree based on their passion, the great thing is you can write your own blog about your beliefs or choices.

Nutritional choices are also not about being right or wrong, it’s about a journey of learning about our bodies and what works for us, and not necessarily will it always work for others, it’s freedom of choice and respecting each other’s choices.

Media & Persuasion

Now, if you have Netflix or access to the internet you will see an argument for every diet out there today, from Keto to Vegan to Paleo. I will be the first to say that many documentaries will glorify their cause & hammer the opponent that doesn’t agree, and they ALL do it.

This is where we as the consumer and people should make our own personal decisions based on either experience or scientific knowledge that’s been proven, which many diets have not been around long enough or studied enough to backup their claims.

Chemistry & Hormones

As we all know, age is a process that has no bias and with it comes many many transformations, especially for women. For me, this past year and half I started perimenopause: still getting your period but all the symptoms of menopause: when you stop getting your period. Up until 47 (a year ago), I felt like a vibrant, energetic & healthy thirty-something year old. Seriously, I wish I had of bottled it all back then so I could take it now.

It turns out hormones can change everything from the hair growing on your chin & falling out in your head, to your biochemistry and digestive system issues.

Back to the Drawing Board

Lo and behold after recent systemic issues like bloating, stomach pain, nausea and headaches I’ve come to realize after research and personal trial and error my body can no longer digest lentils, beans or legumes, the sad truth is that that’s where a lot of my protein has come from over the years since going plant based. It’s the oligosaccharides, sugars(complex carbs)that don’t digest anymore.

I had a naturopath suggest I take a probiotic or other digestive enzyme to help aid in digestion but I can’t reason eating one thing to support another, although I do think taking a daily probiotic is great for you.

I will be getting some bloodwork done & urine tests to rule out any other possible health concerns but besides coffee and gluten being a huge problem for my digestive system, some things I used to eat just can’t be digested anymore.

After much thought and trial and error the last 3-4 months, especially after experiencing recently horrible systemic issues I’ve decided to include wild salt water seafood(tuna,wild salmon, trout) to my nutrition. 

Labels…blah blah blah

One thing I decided from the get go was that I would never get caught up in the “label trap”, you know, vegan, plant based, keto, paleo, vegetarian, pescatarian, etc etc . One way of eating for the rest of your life is impossible! Don’t believe me, wait till you approach 50! You’ll see, your biochemistry will change and so therefore your nutritional requirements will too.

Labels are like religions, it separates people & causes a lot of useless arguments. Hey! If what your eating is working for you, fantastic! my hope for everyone is that they will be healthy & live a life of vitality and if what your eating is doing that for you….why wouldn’t you eat it?

Moving Forward

I’m so excited to find my balance at this age now as I approach my 50’s it’s more important to me to find that balance and to enjoy those golden years with VITALITY!

I encourage you to talk with naturopaths, holistic specialists and have tests done periodically as you go through different stages of life to make sure your getting optimal nutrition.

Optimal Nutrition;

It’s the difference between “being” and “living”.