My Better Life

Living My Best Life and Wanting the Same for You.

Screen Shot 2017-12-20 at 11.31.03 PM
While I was laying in a few weeks ago, I binged watched the TLC show Extreme Cheapskates. It’s an American reality tv series that profiles the lives of those who take frugality to an extreme.

Now, let’s all be real here and accept that a lot of it appears to be staged and scripted.  It may be real, and I’m offering my personal opinion.  However, there are definitely take aways … and I’m wondering how, if at all, we can incorporate some of these penny-pinching methods to our lives.  Now  I wouldn’t consider dumpster diving,  reusing/sharing dental floss with my partner, working out at a sports store with their equipment to avoid paying for a gym membership or feed my spouse cat food instead of tuna.

There are takeaways, and this comes on the heels of discussions I’ve had lately about retiring as early as I possibly can (aiming for Freedom 55). I mean do I really want to be working 5 days a week until the age of 65?  Hells no!   It also goes to the minimalistic lifestyle I’m going for and trying to be as eco-savy/friendly as I can.

Below are some of the ways that I try to be mindful and save on cash at my house:

BUY IN BULK:  Lots of money can be saved by bulk-buying items. It’s common to save more than 20% on the total cost of items if you opt for this alternative.  I stock up mainly on breads, spices, meats, baking ingredients and loose leaf teas at Bulk Barn, considered to be Canada’s largest bulk foods retailer with stores located in every province.

RE-USE TEABAGS:  I didn’t used to re-use tea bags, I just tossed them.  Then I found out that you can typically reuse teabags up to 3 times before losing its flavour. So now, I keep the tea bag .. when I’m finished with my peppermint tea, I simply rinse out the mug out and put it in the freezer. That’s right! The freezer, solves two issues: 1) it keeps the bag from spoiling and 2) it cools down the piping hot water at my next pour.

FIND FREE ENTERTAINMENT:  Find cheap ways to have fun. Entertainment often ends up costing a lot of money. The average person spends about $1,800 a year on entertainment (not including eating out). Before I head out on any vacations or excursions, I always take the time to look online to look for FREE events in the area while I’m there. I actually do this while home as well, there’s always lots of FREE entertainment posted.

GROUPON: Groupon is an an e-commerce marketplace connecting millions of subscribers with local merchants by offering activities, travel, goods and services in more than 28 countries.  It’s a Web-savvy spin on the boring old coupon.  I have cashed in on tons of deals via Groupon and have saved hundreds of dollars by doing so — on things from dining out, concerts, eyelash extensions, wine tours etc.

SELL YOUR CLUTTER:  This is not so much saving money as it is making it. I don’t like junk and I don’t like clutter.  I am constantly decluttering, so why not make a few bucks doing it. Hold a garage sale or sell it on Facebook Marketplace, eBay, Kijiji or your local online selling site. It’s amazing what some people will buy.

COUPONS:  There’s no such thing as “extreme couponing” in Canada, not like there is in the U.S anyway, and do I ever wish there was!  I get nerded out just watching the money these people save!  I just watched an episode last night where a family paid something like $130 for $2800 worth of items!  OMG!  In the States some stores allow what they call “coupon stacking”. Another difference is that in the US some stores have special days when they will double or even triple your coupons. They also sometimes have a frequent shopper card. Although there aren’t insane ways to save $$ in Canada, there are still ways to save a few dollars.

  • Remember to ask for rain checks when certain items are on sale but out of stock.
  • Price Match one store to another- bring your flyers and have the store match the best advertised price (keep distance in mind, if you’re traveling to the other end of town to save $3.00 it may not be worth it).
  • Join coupon trades and trains -this way your can get rid of coupons you would never use and gain ones that you really want.
  • Take advantage of Mail-in-Rebates. For the price of a stamp you will get the majority if not all your money back that you spent on an item.

CHECKOUT 51:  I have this app downloaded on my iPhone.  Pretty simple idea, Checkout 51 helps you save money on the brands you love.  Every Thursday morning, they update the site with a new list of offers. All you have to do is pick the ones you like, purchase them at any store, and upload a photo of your receipt through their mobile app or website. When your account reaches $20.00, they send you a cheque. Super Simple. I’ve got a $9.53 balance, on items I was purchasing anyway.

DITCH THE BANK FEES: Only a few of Canada’s banks provide a true no fee chequing account for Canadians, other banks require that you meet a minimum balance each month, or sign up for multiple products to qualify for free chequing. Banks such as Simple Financial and Tangerine offer a true free daily chequing account, whereas other major banks like RBC, CIBC, Scotia, BMO and TD Canada Trust have some requirements Canadians must meet to qualify for a no fee daily chequing accounts. Have had it for years, would never change back to a big bank.

USE REWARDS CARDS: Cards like: Air Miles, Optimum, Canadian Tire (money or card) or other credit cards/rewards cards are a great way to earn points for things you are already purchasing and places you are already shopping.  I have a few rewards cards – for example I have the PC Financial World Elite MasterCard®, the card that averages $300 a year in free groceries.  Add that to my Optimum card and I save tons of money on free groceries annually.  You can also use your card for gas purchases at their gas stations. To amplify your points: be sure to shop on 20x the points days or gap days in between flyers being posted.

UNPLUG THE POWER:   Unplug all power appliances before leaving the house.   If you’re not using it, unplug it!  Power companies still charge money for appliances that are turned on, but not necessarily used.  According to the Energy Star Web site, the average U.S. household spends more than $100 each year to power devices that are turned off.  One of the easiest ways to reduce phantom power consumption is to unplug appliances when the devices are not in use.

CUT OUT THE CABLE:  In Canada, we pay way too much for cable with all the bells and whistles. Given I watch Netflix the majority of the time or binge watch YouTube, I ditched the cable 3 years ago and don’t regret it one bit.

RAKUTEN: I have been using Rakuten (formerly EBates) for the last little bit and to date I’ve received a BIG FAT cheque back for $78.92 for things I would buy online in any event. I usually use this for Amazon, Groupon and Walmart but there are many many stores to choose from. Rakuten offers cash back for shopping at places like Amazon, Walmart, Macy’s, Bloomingdales, eBay, Target, and over 2,000 more.

DO A FISCAL FAST:  I absolutely love this idea and I do this a few times per year. A fiscal fast is when you do not spend any money for a whole week, five times per year. It is an opportunity to use up household items, like canned food that gets pushed to the back of the cupboard or those tiny shampoo bottles you get at a hotel. Because I’m a bit OCD (lol), I do this a bit more often than 5x a year, and it certainly does work.  It’s amazing the amount of stuff you buy, the one time I didn’t have to buy anything for 2 weeks, I had a stocked freezer and full cupboards.

MAKE YOUR OWN CLEANING PRODUCTS:  The key ingredients you need just might be hiding in your pantry. Simple ingredients from the pantry can be used to make cleaning products that are kinder to the environment for a fraction of the cost. I mainly do this with essential oils

GARDEN: With food prices rising and rising and more people trying to save money due to the economy, home gardening has taken off in a big way in recent years. Burpee Seed Co. estimates that for every $50 a family spends on seeds and fertilizer, they’ll reap $1,250 in produce.

Other things I do/have done are:

  1. Don’t turn on the heat/air conditioning until you just can’t take it anymore.
  2. Don’t leave the water running while brushing your teeth or washing dishes.
  3. Keep curtains drawn in the summer to keep the house cooler.
  4. Installed energy efficient light bulbs.
  5. Use your dishwasher, washing machine and dryer at non-peak hours.
  6. Use cold water when you run the washing machine.
  7. Use a slow cooker or toaster oven.
  8. Only run full loads (laundry machine, dishwasher).
  9. Don’t buy bottled water (use a filter)
  10. Reuse tissue paper, wrapping paper and tin foil
  11. Reuse scrap paper for lists and little notes
  12. Use re-chargeable batteries.
  13. Use plastic grocery bags for garbage bags (better yet, stop using plastic bags all together, and if you must, reuse them)
  14. Shop at dollar stores
  15. Stop buying cookbooks. There are tons of FREE recipes online
  16. Save all of your change.
  17. Visit scratch & dent warehouses for appliances.
  18. Install a programmable thermostat.
  19. Turn off the lights in rooms you are no longer using.
  20. Share your Netflix account (I share mine with my daughter)

Things I’d like to do this year include:

FORAGING FOR FOOD:  Chives, mint, purslane, basil, acorns, edible flowers … depending on where you live, foraging for food may be an excellent way to save a few dollars on meals.  Note: to find the edible treasures that grow in your neighbourhood, you really need to possess knowledge of what you can and can’t eat.  Do you research on food foraging before you go pick your own to be sure that what you are picking is edible and not poisonous. Not gonna lie, this one frightens me a bit, but I’ve download an app – you take a picture of the plant and it gives you all the details about it, including if it’s edible or toxic.

HANG DRY YOUR CLOTHES:  My last house used to have a clothes line and I loved it.  Not only did it save money, but I love the way hung clothes smelled when they came off the line, and your whites get brighter out in the sun!  


You’ll need:

  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt (optional)
  • 1-2 tsp peppermint extract or essential oil
  • water

Mix together baking soda, salt, and peppermint. Then, add a bit of water and stir. Gradually add more water, stirring at the same time, until the paste has reached your desired consistency. Store the paste in a glass container.


T xo

It’s been 3 months since I last posted. It feels good to be back to be posting again, thank you for being patient with me, as I worked through the new world as we know it.

If you’re a follower you know that one of my favourite pastimes is exploring abandoned buildings/relics. While in British Columbia (BC) I explored a 102 year old abandoned mining smelter in Anaconda, BC and the abandoned tipple of the No 7 mine in Greenwood, BC. I’ve explored old barns and sought out remaining relics of a wool company. This hobby of mine is referred to as urban exploration (urbex). The unspoken rule of urban exploring is “take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints”.

On my latest urban exploring trip I was up in Wellington North (off Hiway 6 North). It is quite amazing just how many abandoned places are in that area.

This place was a gem of a relic. Some of these homes have been empty for decades. I wish I had more information on this house, I’d love to go to the Land Registry Office and find out who owns it and understand why it’s been sitting abandoned and delapitating. Why did they leave? Why did they leave their possessions behind? If these walls could talk … this old house …

Exterior Photos: Barn and Silo

Interior – Kitchen

Interior – Living Room

Upstairs – staircase 


I’ve haven’t written a blog post since my last post on Houdini’s death.  I haven’t had it in me to write – to be expressive.  With the world being so heavy right now in the midst of his murder and the whole #BlackLivesMattter movement and seeing such abject ignorance by the privileged, I feel I lost my voice and the will to write.

I’m refocussing my energy and healing right now.  As an empath the world is heavy.

Thank you for bearing with me – I’ll be back to posting soon.  Be well.


T xo

Screen Shot 2020-06-22 at 5.25.43 PM


𝕄𝕪 𝕓𝕝𝕠𝕘 𝕙𝕒𝕤 𝕓𝕖𝕖𝕟 𝕓𝕝𝕠𝕨𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕦𝕡 𝕗𝕠𝕣 𝕒 𝕣𝕖𝕒𝕤𝕠𝕟 𝕀 𝕒𝕞 𝕟𝕠𝕥 𝕪𝕖𝕥 𝕨𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕥𝕠 𝕒𝕔𝕔𝕖𝕡𝕥!

In 2018 I posted a blog on an up and coming Toronto rapper – who since, has gained the love and respect of many a fan … to the tune of nearly 20,000,000 downloads on Spotify ALONE!  He was chosen as Apple Music’s Artist of the Month, Hou Woulda Thought, took the #5 spot on Apple Music and was shown a lot of love from major playlists like Northern Bars. He was collabing with the likes of Tory Lanez, Killy and co-signed with Nav, in addition to his regular crew.  He modelled for Off-White and they posted it to their Instagram earlier this month.  He just launched his latest project, a five-track EP titled underGROUND, in March 2020. He was going places.  He was the Don of the underground scene.  He was one of the top 20 artists to watch out for in 2020.  He was doing it – he was making it, getting out of Toronto – his fan base crossed international borders. Earlier this week, that blog post was quoted in an article entitled “Houdini Dies at 21: Rapper Shot & Killed in Downtown Toronto” by and it landed traffic back here, to my interview with Houdini.

I wish I was blowing up for any other reason but this one 😭.


📷: Houdini’s official IG account

As you well know Houdini (Dimarjio Antonio Jenkins) was shot and killed on May 26, 2020, in an act of brazen gun violence in the Entertainment District of Downtown Toronto. According to police, the suspects were waiting in a parked car for him, before they got out and opened fire on the rapper, who collapsed and later died from injuries. 

Hou was back in the city after shooting his latest video in L.A. with Killy and from what was back due to issues renewing his artists Visa and was unable to return to L.A. due to COVID-19 and travel restrictions.  His targeted murder has been all over the local and national news. On TV, social media, paper press.  There’s no escaping it and I’m still so shook.  When I “interviewed” Hou he was living in Vancouver, BC.  I use the term “interview” lightly … truth is, I knew him.  He was dating someone in the family.

** I am not going to comment about gun violence in the city, ‘hood politics … that’s a whole bigger issue in society that I am not prepared to enter at this time. I am commenting about the person that I knew him to be.  If you didn’t know him personally, if you’re just reading the dribs and drabs that the media or your privilege allow, I implore you to look deeper – do some research and you’ll see quickly the truer version of who Houdini was … there are posts from ad execs, record labels, restauranteurs, fans, young up and comers for whom he was making a real difference.  Watch his interviews online.  Look at the man – not just the image or the circumstances.  Please do the research before you form an opinion on a life you know nothing about – that’s all I’m asking ** 

The last message I got from Hou was last July, he wished me a belated happy bday – we share the same – JULY 23

IMG_7802 3

What can I say?  In the years that I’ve known Dimarjio (I always called him by his legal name), he had an insatiable zest for life, the kid just wanted to LIVE, to make a difference.  He was strong in his convictions, strong enough that he denied repeated records deals, choosing to stay in his own lane and have control over his music 🎶I don’t need you all I need is myself, I wasn’t asking nobody for help🎶

“I stand on that because when you’re signed, people expect way more from you. Like, your numbers got to be up there, you have to make sure you maintain the way you look, maintain just your whole aura. Everything. But when you’re underground, you’re more in control. You’re still kind of in the field and making music, so you could do shit. You could drop a tape and if it flops, no one really cares. But if you’re signed and you drop an album and it flops, that’s a big deal”.


He was an enormous talent, was full of love and loved to joke around.  

At times he created lyrical genius while sitting at restaurants for breakfast or dinner. Once we were out for breakfast at Cora’s he grabbed a napkin, asked me if I had a pen in my purse and start writing lyrics to a track because something came to him.  Or, the one time we were out for dinner at one of his fave Italian places in Vancouver and he’d sit there and listen to beats that he was dropped to try and figure out his next big blow up.  When I was visiting them out in Vancouver, he’d ask me to drop him off at the studio for hours and hours on end.

The video for Late Nights with Burna Bandz was actually shot in my Land Rover (which I no longer own).  LOL, I remember, I was pissed at them because they had it for days to shoot the video and I needed it back so I could get to work – seems such small potatoes now 😦


Hou was clear that he had a target on his back.  They wouldn’t have his rise – to get out of the city, to be the superstar he was destined to be.  The city has hardly been accepting of its up and comers. There’s no need to look any further than the stats on rapper deaths in the city THIS year ALONE!  Jealousy breeds hatred.  Success breeds hatred.  They wanted take you out Hou.  And they did 😦   Crabs in the bucket!

“𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘺𝘰𝘶’𝘳𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘺𝘰𝘶’𝘳𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘴𝘵.  𝘔𝘰𝘴𝘵 𝘳𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘥𝘪𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘤𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘮𝘢𝘯, 𝘪𝘵𝘴 𝘢 𝘧𝘢𝘤𝘵.  𝘠𝘰𝘶 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘴𝘤𝘩𝘰𝘰𝘭 𝘸𝘪𝘵’ 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘮𝘢𝘥 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 3𝘳𝘥 𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘥𝘦 𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵’ 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘢𝘮𝘦 𝘩𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘭𝘦 𝘢𝘴 𝘺𝘰𝘶.  𝘠𝘰𝘶 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘩𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘯𝘰 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘰𝘯.  𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘩𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘴𝘶𝘤𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘴.  𝘐𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘭𝘰𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘳𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘥𝘪𝘥𝘯’𝘵  𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘮𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶.  𝘠𝘰𝘶 𝘥𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘱 𝘩𝘢𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘤𝘪𝘵𝘺.

~ Boosie in an interview with VLADTV

Hou was a natural and was taken from us MUCH TOO SOON! I’m ridiculously sad over this.  He did not deserve it.  No one does.  No one deserves to be stalked, targeted and taken out in the prime of his life/career.  Shit Hou, you still had so much to do fam 😭

While the majority of the coverage/social media is largely supportive and is in shock (I just saw a video of his Houligans 🎩 placing flowers and candles down at Blue Jays Way in memoriam) what’s eating me up inside (I’m an empath) is the negative press – the trolls – those who write with such conviction of what they don’t know.  As if their presumptions are facts and they spew hate with such conviction.  No matter the side of the coin you’re on, we can all agree that no one deserves to be murdered.

And then there’s this POS!IMG_7773

What the hell is this Toronto Sun? We all know you are trash media but this is flipping sick. Making fun of his death?  For headlines?  To the great peoples credit, they took to social media to backlash this outrageousness.  This shit from The Sun has to stop.  For all media outlet and from everyone – violent death is not trivial.  I posted my disgust to Instagram it was mentioned in two separate posts.  I hope our collective disgust prompts action from The Sun (and since they’re a trash paper, I will not hold my breath).

From: Director X at wwetv_worldwide

“Houdini is a 21 year old rapper from the city who got shot dead the same day as George Floyd, downtown Toronto, beautiful sunny day, a 15 year old kid was also shot, apparently it was a friend of his, and a 27 year old woman that was just a bystander.  Toronto is in a crisis of gun violence.  There are young people getting shot and dying constantly in this city and a lot of bystanders.  So I can understand Toronto Sun being the equivalent of your racist uncle at Thanksgiving.  I can understand they don’t that they don’t care about a young rapper getting shot.  But, you also don’t care about the innocent people just walking around? You don’t care about that?  You don’t care that that could have been your daughter? You don’t care that that could have been your friend? That that could have been you? You don’t care about that either?  It’s all a big funny joke to you because the person who did die was a rapper, a 21 year old?  You can’t see past your own prejudice to see that a 21 year old kid losing their life as their life is really getting on track, you don’t see the tragedy in that? ….. Toronto Sun, whoever wrote that headline, approved that headline – the staff that works there that saw that headline on the front page and thought it was ok, that is sociopathic.  You have an inability to feel compassion for people outside of your circle.  It’s a problem.  And,I wonder if I’m gonna hear something from the mayor, from the city, from the police … about a newspaper that thinks its ok to crack jokes about the gun violence crisis we have in our city”

I CHOOSE to ignore the haters – cause the haters gonna hate and post nothing but LOVE  for Hou …. this is just a small snippet of the thousands and thousands of posts on social media.


Memorial by Houligans outside the Bisha Hotel, Toronto

This is a blog I never wanted to write, and I’m not sure I would have had all that traffic had not been redirected here. 

My thoughts and prayers and deepest condolences go out to the entire Jenkins fam: his mom, dad, sisters, brother and rest of the fam for the loss of dadda. To his friends and Houligans  — #LLHou 

Rest in power Dadda 💔 Love you kid!

Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 5.09.50 PM


A couple of days ago, I posted a blog my exploration of the abandoned 102 year old smelter in Greenwood (Anaconda) BC – what a cool experience! If you haven’t had a chance to read that blog – click here.

This blog will document our journey from Big White, BC to Greenwood, BC – with stops at Beaverdell, Rock Creek and Midway.

Screen Shot 2020-05-19 at 4.03.57 PM

We headed out on Highway 33 (Kelowna Rock Creek Highway), which is the main access  road to where I’m staying up at Big White – Big White is located near the apex of the pass between West Kettle and  Kelowna.



The only other visible community on Highway 33 is Beaverdell, an unincorporated settlement in Monashee Country. It’s located midway along the West Kettle River between Kelowna and Rock Creek.

Interesting Little Tidbits on Beaverdell:

  • Beaverdell was originally called Beaverton. The post offices of Beaverton and Rendell were amalgamated and the name was changed to Beaverdell.
  • Silver was discovered here in 1897 and was mined right up until 1987.
  • 350 residents make this town their home.
  • Despite its proximity to Kelowna, Beaverdell receives about 25% more rain, due to its higher elevation.

We pulled in to fill up the tank.  They have a convenient gas station that also serves as a coffee shop/and auto repair shop – see convenient, right?  If you happen to drive an electric car – they also have electric chargers to meet your charging needs.

Once we gassed up we headed back out onto Hwy 33 and continued straight.  Other than absolutely stunning views and vistas – there aren’t any communities to stop at.


Your next point of reference will be Westbridge – you can’t miss it, it’s a bridge.  You’ll turn right onto the bridge, turning left will get you to Christian Valley.

Screen Shot 2020-05-19 at 9.46.24 PM

The bridge crosses the West Kettle River at the community of Westbridge, BC.

The remainder of the drive to Rock Creek you will see utter forestry devastation on both sides and new builds where folk lost their homes.  In 2015 an aggressive wildfire forced hundreds of people to flee the area – not to mentioned the complete devastation to plant and wildlife.  It turns out the fire appeared to be human caused and burned more than 2500 hectares.  Vegetation has since regrown and wildlife has returned and 5 years later and trees still stand bare, blackened, scorched.

We just drove through Westbridge – I’d like to check out more on the Skycliffe Humph Monastery Retreat. Apparently this centre is for spiritual awareness specializes in Buddhist Transcendental Meditation.

Rock Creek

Eventually Hwy 33 turns into BC-3 E (Highway 3, which is also known as the Crowsnest Hwy) and you’ll have arrived at Rock Creek, BC. Rock Creek is an unincorporated settlement in the Boundary Country.  It’s situated on the famous Kettle Valley Rail Trail that has stunning views of the banks of the Kettle River. 

Screen Shot 2020-05-20 at 8.21.48 PM

It’s also site of the Rock Creek Gold Rush of 1859.  I was actually excited to visit Rock Creek as I had heard about the western Canadian gold rush via the television documentary series Gold Trails and Ghost Towns, (Season 3, Episode 8).  I thought I may have had a chance to see something a bit more exciting than what I did.  I saw a very high, fast moving Kettle Creek (close to breaching its banks) and campers camping at various sites for the May 2-4 Long Weekend.  Rock Creek wasn’t super exciting for me – maybe next time I can do some panning for gold?  It’s a thing, you can!

After the initial mining boom, the residents of Rock Creek began to develop an economy in agriculture, forestry, and ranching.

Next stop …


The Village of Midway is in a tranquil valley surrounded by protective mountains between the Thompson Okanagan and Kootenay Rockies. The Village of Midway’s population is a whopping 649 people!

Honestly, I thought Midway was super cute.  Could have spent a little more time here.  Also, the museums and things I’d normally love to do were closed due to COVID-19, which is unfortunate, I love museums – so full of rich local history.

Screen Shot 2020-05-19 at 10.33.30 PM

Located at “Mile 0” of the Kettle Valley Railway, one of the Museum’s main attractions is the original Station House.

Midway is also home to the Ferry-Midway Border Crossing which connects the town of Curlew, Washington with Midway. The current US border station was built in 1936 Curlew, WA is an unincorporated community with 118 residents based on the 2010 US Census.  You can connect to Copper Bute Mountain, WA via Midway.


We’ve arrived!  Greenwood, BC!  I really took a liking to this history little city.  That’s right, city not town.  It’s the smallest incorporated city in Canada Pop: 665 as of 2016 and has retained its “city” status despite declination in population and business/industry.  Although it’s the size of a hamlet, it was incorporated in 1897 as a booming city, the epicentre of the mining and smelting industry in Boundary country with a boisterous population of 3500.


On your approach to Greenwood (just outside the city) you’ll note a historic stop point or two, worth the quick stops.

Per my last blog on the BC Copper Company Smelter ruins as you enter Anaconda, BC – the unincorporated township just outside of Greenwood – where the smelter is located, you cannot miss the 100 ft mound of dark black slag and imposing 215 ft smoke stack.   Deciding to “save the best for last” we first went to explore Copper Street and the Nikkei Memorial Site.

Snow Falling on Cedars

Did you know that in 1998, several scenes of the Oscar nominated movie Snow Falling On Cedars (featuring Ethan Hawk) were filmed Greenwood?  A lot of the Japanese extras were Japanese-Canadians who were interned during there war. Some of the phantom signs and shops remain.  The phantom signs and revamped store fronts helped transform their little mining town into the Puget Sound fishing village of Amity Harbor. The signs have faded over the years and unfortunately have not been up-kept.

These phantom signs and shops are still visible and are located on historic Copper Street.


Nikkei Legacy Park


Next we head over to The Nikkei Legacy Park which is located just on the outskirts of downtown Greenwood.

In 1942, internment of Japanese Canadians occurred when over 22,000 Japanese Canadians, comprising over 90 percent of the total Japanese Canadian population, from British Columbia were evacuated and interned in the name of “national security”. The majority were Canadian citizens by birth. This decision followed the events of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and the subsequent Canadian declaration of war on Japan during World War II. This forced relocation subjected many Japanese Canadians to government-enforced curfews and interrogations, job and property losses, and forced repatriation to Japan.

Beginning after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and lasting until 1949, Japanese Canadians were stripped of their homes and businesses and sent to internment camps and farms in the B.C. interior and across Canada. The internment and relocation program was funded in part by the sale of property belonging to this forcefully displaced population, which included fishing boats, motor vehicles, houses, and personal belongings.

On September 22, 1988, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney delivered an apology, and the Canadian government announced a compensation package, one month after President Ronald Reagan made similar gestures in the United States. The package for interned Japanese Canadians included $21,000 to each surviving internee, and the reinstatement of Canadian citizenship to those who were deported to Japan.

Among those interned at Greenwood were Isamu and Fumiko Kariya and their son Yasi, the grandparents and uncle of NHL star and Hockey Hall of Fame member Paul Kariya; his father Tetsuhiko was born in internment.

Odds and Ends, Out and About Town

BC Copper Smelter Ruins

I wrote a specific blog about this, here’s the link, again.  It was super cool and I would strongly recommend exploring this!  Here are some awesome pics of that adventure. DO IT!


Next we went on the hunt for the abandoned ghost town of Deadwood, BC. We drove down Deadwood Rd. looking for some relics – some semblance that there once was a town here. Deadwood existed in 1897 and was located several miles west of Greenwood. A number of copper claims in the area gave rise to Deadwood. The Mother Lode Mine became a great mine although Deadwood disappeared within a few years. Deadwood contained two hotels, a store, a post office and a school.

There’s nothing is left of the town, although there’s a large field where it once stood and two small shed like structures which were half falling town toward the other side of the road. However, they could have nothing to do with the former town. The name survives in Deadwood Road and Greenwood’s Deadwood Junction Small Town Coffee Shop.

Screen Shot 2020-05-20 at 10.11.42 PM

Screen Shot 2020-05-20 at 9.56.22 PM

Well folks, that just about wraps up our day trip from Big White to Greenwood. It’s definitely worth spending a day exploring this route.

Hope this blog has helped you decide if this is a route worth exploring and what points of interest may be in each hamlet on the route from Big White to Greenwood.


DID THE COOLEST THING YESTERDAY!!! I explored the BC Copper Company Smelter Ruins in Greenwood, British Columbia (BC). IT’S BEEN ABANDONED FOR 102 YEARS!


The weather on Big White (Mountain) called for rain all day, that was the perfect opportunity for a day trip! Initially planned to head to Penticton, BC and the weather was equally sucky there, so opted to head in the opposite direction and head down toward Beaverdell, Rock Greek, Midway and Greenwood.  I’ll post a separate blog on Greenwood, BC because I think it’s worth having a separate blog, it’s a super cute “city” with a colourful past and history. Today, I’m specially going to focus on the BC Copper Company Smelter ruins.

Visible to passersby just off Highway 3, travelling East (left hand side) is the HUGE black slag ridge and imposing  215 foot smokestack.

In searching for the entrance to the smelter, we came across this kind gentleman.  He owned a house near the Welcome to Greenwood sign. He wore a ball cap, had thin transition glasses on, which were in sunglass mode because he was outside gardening. IMG_7353He dawned a greyish/black moustache and had lightly greyed hair sticking out from his ball cap.  He described his little town, where he’d come from to settle there, and the inexpensive price of land.  He offered to take us to another abandoned mining town (City of Paris).  We rain checked and definitely will take him up on it some time in the future. He guided us to turn left at the road before you get to the Cango gas station to get up to the smelter (then turn left). 10 minutes or so into the conversation and, just as we were departing, I introduced myself,  he replied – “my name is Pat”. This man not only looked like my dad, had some of his mannerisms … to boot his name was Pat. Ironically (or not) this weekend marked 5 years that we spread my dad’s ashes at the trailer (came up in my Facebook memories). Dad was undoubtedly saying “hi”.

The smelter was built by the British Columbia Copper Company, a new York-based organization that bought the Mother Lode mine in 1898. All of the material that was processed at the smelter came from the Mother Lode mine, which was about 8 kms away my rail. The smelter was erected on a 22-hectare site at the mouth of Copper Creek in Anaconda (just south of Greenwood), the smelter’s own little community.

The smelter operated 24 hours a day and during its 1st year in operation, 106,200 tonnes of ore were smelted.  January 18, 1902 marked a record day …. 416 tonnes (about 9 tonnes for every man employed), were smelted!

Throughout World War I the smelter operated at a reduced rate and on November 26, 1918 it closed its doors, forever. The plant was apparently sold to a Mr. Leon Lotzkar who then disposed of the machinery and gave the site to the City of Greenwood as a park.  Nothing has been done with the park other than erecting the gazebo type structure below, by no means it is a “memorial park”.


As instructed by our local friend Pat, we turned left just prior to the Cango gas station and parked at the entrance … gates are closed for driving access and there’s a sign that says suggests you enter at your own risk.  Contrary to the sign at the entrance, the mine is not active – nothing has been mined here in over 102 years.


When you first enter you’ll see the a house on the left hand side, I didn’t take photos of that (and I should have).  I assume this was the house of the person who operated and oversaw the smelter.

This must have been a very impressive operation, the ruins are massive!  Walking past the house, you immediately come to the large, and I mean large,  black mountain of slag. The smelter ruins mostly sit on the heavy ridge of slag. Very cool to see up close and walk on. Slag is the glass-like by-product left over after a desired metal has been separated (smelted) from its raw ore. Slag is usually a mixture of metal oxides and silicon dioxide.   It was light (maybe a couple of ounces) “rock”, looked like glass and was very dark black/grey.  Every so often you come across slag in the shape of bells.

Screen Shot 2020-05-19 at 3.21.48 PM

The ‘bells’ are huge black slag cones which are referred to as “hell’s bells”.  They were a by-product of the smelter operation. Transported by bell-shaped rail cars (see last photo above – remnants of an old rail line), they were dumped onto the ground, red hot and glowing.  What a sight that must have been at night time – similar to molten lava from a volcano!

Walked up a bit further to find the entrance of what appeared to be a draft shaft and a side shaft.

Further up the trail appeared the smelter stack —- tada!  The original stack was built with sheet steel and was replaced by the present brick stack when the works were expanded in 1904. The brick stack is 36 meters tall, the highest in the province, and contains nearly 250,000 bricks.

Other building ruins have been graffitied – although not in keeping with the historical were pretty cool and created awesome photos.

A little further down from the building ruins, I came across remnants of mining materials which were not sold off.  These artifacts have been sitting and exposed to the elements for 102 years!  102 YEARS!  One looks like to could be some type of boiler or air compressor, the other large piece looks like it could have been part of something that belonged in the Blower Room.

Abandoned SINCE THAT TIME, the smelter’s huge slag pile and tall brick stack has become a landmark along Highway 3, with the site possessing a very appealing mystique. From the last I saw, the City was writing grants and looking for funds to develop the BC Copper Company Ruins into a tourist destination – that was in 2016, nothing yet.

I could have spent way more time at the smelter, really taking in the historical significance of where I was.  Getting really present to what an awesome piece of history I was standing on. I think it’s absolutely fascinating.

This is a must see/do in my books if you’re in/near Greenwood, BC.

Now researching other abandoned mine/ghost towns to check out.  I think City of Paris, BC may be next on the list.


We always seek evidence on knowing something the way we want it to be rather than the way it is.

We see things as we want them to be, which is a reflection

of who we are

Our version of the truth or a situation/scenario is typically based on our personal perspective, our view of life based on our past – on what we know – then we go out and find and collect evidence to support our view, our opinion, our notion.  Not typically considering how something actually is.

There’s always three sides to a story/a view:

  1. Your side/opinion
  2. The other person’s side/opinion
  3. The truth

Screen Shot 2020-05-13 at 6.23.27 PM

In matters of interpreting things, we are subconsciously trying to rationalize things rather than being rational. This is on account of our inherent bias towards what the outcome should be or our belief system or an inability to reason things properly.

Consider how you can alter your mindset.  How you can change the way you see and show up on the world?


T xo

PS:  In a tiny bit of irony; the book I’m currently reading (Critical Vulnerability), it talks about precisely this

Screen Shot 2020-05-22 at 3.43.34 PM

Photo taken from my Kobo – from the book Critical Vulnerability




In constant remind … “I used to be 121.3 lbs” “How did I allow myself to gain 35 lbs?”  “What happened to my willpower?”  “I used to be so pretty”  

How many of you have some semblance of those thoughts running through your mind on the daily?  When you look at old photos, try on clothes or even just get ready to go out? Or how about “Please retake that picture, I look fat!” “Please don’t post that pic”.  I did and I still do, AND, I’m getting better at not living in that destructive, unproductive mindset.  It doesn’t serve me.

I’m writing this blog entry – raw, no edits, no redos – just what’s on my mind and the realizations that I’ve come to over the last little while.  

This specific blog was brought on largely by the recent release of the misogynistic comments in a private group chat that were released about Nicole Zaajac and how demeaning the men in that chat were toward her body image.  Before this story broke, I had no idea who Nicole was and, I really liked her attitude on how she handled the situation and herself.  Turning their gross words into something to be benefited and learned from, a growth opportunity.  Nicole has been posting body-positive messages online for two years – I clicked the follow button on Insta.

“Everything I post, I post online because I feel beautiful. I feel great. I feel worthy.  I just don’t think it’s worth it to let a few comments from people who clearly don’t respect women get to you.” ~ Nicole Zaajac

The last little while, I’ve been following Ashley Graham and Jenna Kutcher – both amazing, inspirational, successful, glorious, gorgeous women who are full figured and preach body positivity (PREACH GIRLS, PREACH!).  

I AM committed to loving my body, for what it is and what it isn’t.  I’m committed to taking on ways to make it healthy and happy – weight loss is a mere added BONUS, not the objective.

Last year I had written a blog on gratitude about my body and all that it does for me, and I lost sight of that.   I lost sight of my OWN WORDS!

” … this is to my body – it’s enabled me to birth my two beautiful children, to walk along the beach, to see beautiful sunsets, to smell the yumminess of coffee, to kiss my dog Ellie, to love, to be creative, to taste food and to write this post.”


It took something for me to find a recent full body pic of myself and I realized, I didn’t have any  – interesting!  I’m changing that effective immediately 

So what, I’m not 121.3 lbs any more (yes, I used to weigh myself every single morning) and that’s ok.  The excess weight doesn’t take away from my huge generous heart, my kick ass persistence and sticktoitiveness nor my massive LOVE for life.  It DOES NOT detract from who I am.

Thank you @NicoleZaajac et al for reminding me of this 👏🏻







T xo


COVID-19 social distancing walk and I’m out and about in the great city of Kelowna, British Columbia (BC). Whilst living up on Big White, a trip down to Kelowna would not be complete without taking the time to search for the legendary Ogopogo who reputedly resides in Okanagan Lake.

Lake Okanagan is about 250 miles (400 kms) east of Vancouver. The lake is 84 miles (135 kms) long and between 2.5 and 3 miles (4 kms and 5 kms) wide, with an average depth of 249 ft (76 m).

Screen Shot 2020-05-07 at 10.43.16 AM

I’ve long been fascinated by cryptozoology … intrigued with folkloric creatures with the likes of Loch Ness, Sasquatch, Chupacabra, Abominable Snowman, Kraken, Sea Serpents, The Mothman, Thunderbirds and Jersey Devil, just to name a few.  And since I’m here, I definitely could not pass up the opportunity to search out Ogopogo.  A few years ago I visited Toutes Aides, Manitoba (while I lived in Manitoba) in search of Manipogo (check out that blog here).

It’s not really a monster, it’s a spirit of the lake and it protects this valley from one end to the other,~ Pat Raphael of the Westbank First Nation

What is Ogopogo?

Claimed to be a distant cousin of the Loch Ness Monster and is said to reside in Lake Okanagan, near Kelowna, BC.  Ogopogo is to Kelowna what Nessie is to Loch Ness: a yet-to-be-identified cryptid that reputedly resides in the lake’s depths and surfaces just often enough to keep the legend alive.

Per the Kelowna Tourism BoardStories date back thousands of years where the Interior Salish First Nation people spoke of N’ha-a-itk, the spirit of the lake. Stories of N’ha-a-itk changed over the years as European settlers transformed the stories they heard into a creature, which later became known as Ogopogo, and the purported sightings over the years continue to strengthen the legend.”


(photo taken at the top of Knox Mountain)

What am I searching for?

Descriptions vary, and certain characteristics have been consistent through the reports.

What are eyewitnesses seeing?

  • Dark and multi-humped, with green, black, brown or gray skin.
  • The head is said to look like that of a snake, sheep, horse, seal or even an alligator Some eyewitnesses say it has ears or horns; others don’t.
  • About 25 meters long.
  • Many sightings simply describe a featureless log that came alive.

Oddly enough, quite the similar description to when I posted about Manipogo!

Not to be confused with:

  • A giant sturgeon
  • An aquatic serpent
  • A wave
  • A floating log

It was 17° and partially sunny in Kelowna a couple of days ago when I was out and about, the weather was perfect!  To scope out Ogopogo, I decided to take a walk down by Kelowna City Park and the Waterfront Boardwalk. The park/waterfront/marina area is a beautiful location to go for a walk and enjoy the scenery of Lake Okanagan.  I loved breathing in the fresh air and soaking in the moments.  People were out today and maintaining/respecting the social distancing measures of COVID-19.

Around town, Oggy takes the form of a cartoonish 15-foot-long green and cream coloured statue placed along Kelowna’s waterfront walk.  I also spotted another Oggy down at the Parkinson Recreation Centre at the kids water park (not open due to coronovirus).

I’m not going to get into all of the reported “sightings” in this blog.  You can easily search online and find all that you’re looking for there with one click.  My blog is to capture MY experience around Lake Okanagan, on searching out Oggy, and to capture the beautiful sights.

Here are a few shots of my walk about around Lake Okanagan down by the marina and Kelowna City Park.

I had about as much luck finding Ogopogo as I did Manipogo.  None.

That aside, Kelowna and the lakefront itself are absolutely stunning and 100% worth the visit.


If the Okanagan is on your places to visit list … make sure to keep your camera/phone ready, your eyes peeled, and your minds open …. you may be the one to spot Ogopogo!

Happy searching!

T xo

Thankful. Grateful. Happy. Proud. Awesome. Pumped.

All words to describe how happy I am that my little bitty blog, much ado about my personal life, interests and passions has reached over 25,000 views!

thank you text

Photo by on

I write about things that matter to me.  I have no “niche” per se.  My niche is my life, my experiences, me (with a main focus on life coaching).

Thank you to each and every single one of you who’ve read, liked, commented and/or messaged.

Many of you who read my blogs have followed me through my different life experiences. In a sense, you’ve watched me grow up in front of you. You’ve witnessed me through my mistakes, ever-evolving perspectives, transforation, accomplishments and passions.

I want to take a moment and say deep and sincere ‘thank you’. I would have never had the courage to share my personal stories and vulnerabilities if it weren’t for you.

𝒜 𝒮𝒰𝒫𝐸𝑅 𝐵𝐼𝒢 𝓉𝒽𝒶𝓃𝓀𝓈 𝓉𝑜 𝒶𝓁𝓁 𝟣6𝟫 𝒻𝑜𝓁𝓁𝑜𝓌𝑒𝓇𝓈, 𝓁𝑒𝓉’𝓈 𝓀𝑒𝑒𝓅 𝑔𝓇𝑜𝓌𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝑜𝓊𝓇 𝒸𝑜𝓂𝓂𝓊𝓃𝒾𝓉𝓎!


T xo

I have spent the last 12+ months deeply immersed in personal development, for 2 reasons:

  1. So that I can be contributed to in a way that allows me to make significant changes in the quality of my life
  2. And, so that I can pass all of this development onto you – coaching my clients, my followers, and my viewers. Of course,  the real gold nugget is in the coaching!

What I want to focus on today is INTEGRITY vs MORALITY and the collapsibility thereof.  What I invite you to consider as we work through this, IS which areas in your life lack integrity?  Listen, I get it’s hard to be confronted with this – when I dug deep – I realized that the mass majority of my life was out of integrity and I do this for a living! My sleep lacked integrity, my health lacked integrity, my commitment to my 9-5 lacked integrity, my gym habits lacked integrity, my relationship with friends and family lacked integrity.  So, I say this to you … there is NO make wrong here – IN FACT, congratulations on doing what most people don’t dare to do, what most human beings avoid at all cost and hate to admit.  Bravo you beautiful beings for taking on your life POWERFULLY!

Prior to delving into this – let’s start by visiting how Mirriam-Webster defines the 2:

  • mo·ral·i·ty beliefs about what is right behaviour and what is wrong behaviour  the degree to which something is right and good : the moral goodness or badness of something.
  • in·teg·ri·ty the quality or state of being complete or undivided : COMPLETENESS

One of the most significant things I got present to over the last 12 months is the old adage “we are our word”.  I get …. like I get it, no kidding, 100%!  It’s no longer just an old adage to me.  It’s smack dab what’s so — if there’s one thing we are in this world, regardless of means or possessions, it’s our WORD!  We literally are only as good as our WORD.  How we occur to people in life is solely based on our WORD and that comes from another one of my favourites … INTEGRITY.

(as an aside, have you ever considered how your “mess” becomes your message to people?) 

Screen Shot 2020-05-06 at 10.51.43 AM

Integrity is NOT morality, nor is it ethics, nor the truth.  As human beings, we tend to collapse them, and until I really got this distinction, I did it. all. the. time!  Oh and of course I thought I was right (of course I did, we so often do).  Integrity is about leaving the other person feeling whole and complete.  Integrity is also being a matter of your word.

Keeping Your Word vs. Honouring Your Word

Do you know the difference?  Have an idea maybe?

There’s a definite difference between keeping your word and honouring your word.

I’m going to get into some of this below and I’m also going to be tapping into my friend, Jacques Berge (fellow Life Coach and founder of Success Club Canada) for some additional thoughts. The reason I’m tapping into Jacques is to revisit and reinforce what I’ve learned and what I know I already know.  Also, living life on the “skinny branch” really does take something and it’s impossible to absorb everything all at once.  So, tapping into Jacques for additional insight allows me to see what may be off my radar – because we don’t know what we don’t know!

     Keeping Your Word

Keeping your word is quite easy to explain – you keep the agreement given between you an another party/parties.

E.G:  You have an agreement to meet with Sally at 6:30 PM for dinner at Casa Bud.  You arrive at 6:20 PM and are on time for your dinner date.  All is well.  You’ve kept your word to Sally.

     Honouring Your Word

E.G: You have an agreement to meet with Sally at 6:30 PM for dinner at Casa Bud.  You haven’t considered the traffic of leaving at rush hour and your GPS says you won’t arrive to Casa Bud until at least 6:45 PM.

You call Sally immediately, when you realize you won’t be on time for your dinner reservation and say something like ” 𝘏𝘦𝘺 𝘚𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺, 𝘸𝘦 𝘢𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘯𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘵 6:30 𝘗𝘔, 𝘐 𝘥𝘪𝘥𝘯’𝘵 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘤 𝘵𝘰 𝘨𝘦𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘐 𝘢𝘮 𝘨𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 15 𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘶𝘵𝘦𝘴 𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘦. 𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦’𝘴 𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘢𝘤𝘵 𝘰𝘯 𝘺𝘰𝘶 … 𝘺𝘰𝘶’𝘳𝘦 𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘣𝘺 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧 𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘭 𝘐 𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘥𝘪𝘥 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘩𝘢𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘥𝘰 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦.  𝘖𝘯 𝘮𝘺 𝘴𝘪𝘥𝘦, 𝘐 𝘥𝘪𝘥𝘯’𝘵 𝘨𝘦𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘬𝘦𝘦𝘱 𝘮𝘺 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘐 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭 𝘴𝘮𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘪𝘵.  𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘢𝘴 𝘮𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘰𝘨𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘢𝘵 8:30 𝘗𝘔. 𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘮 𝘨𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘥𝘰 𝘨𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘥 𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘦𝘵 𝘮𝘺 𝘢𝘭𝘢𝘳𝘮 𝘵𝘰 𝘨𝘰 𝘰𝘧𝘧 𝘢𝘯 𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘤𝘬 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘤 𝘣𝘦𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘰 𝘐 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘐’𝘮 𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘹𝘵 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦”.

What you’ve done right there, without even knowing it – is restore integrity with Sally and you honoured your word, even though you weren’t able to keep it. The thing about restoring integrity is that it has NOTHING to do with you.  It’s about getting into the shoes of the other person and recognizing the impact ON THEM.

Note: ꜱᴛʀɪᴠɪɴɢ ᴛᴏ ᴋᴇᴇᴘ ʏᴏᴜʀ ᴡᴏʀᴅ ꜱʜᴏᴜʟᴅ ᴀʟᴡᴀʏꜱ ʙᴇ ᴛʜᴇ ɢᴏᴀʟ. ᴄᴏɴꜱɪᴅᴇʀ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ʜᴀᴠɪɴɢ ᴛᴏ ʀᴇꜱᴛᴏʀᴇ ᴏᴠᴇʀ ᴀɴᴅ ᴏᴠᴇʀ ᴀɢᴀɪɴ ɪꜱɴ’ᴛ ᴋᴇᴇᴘɪɴɢ ʏᴏᴜʀ ᴡᴏʀᴅ ᴀɴᴅ ᴡɪʟʟ ʟᴏꜱᴇ ɪᴛꜱ ᴇꜰꜰᴇᴄᴛ ᴀꜰᴛᴇʀ ᴀ ᴡʜɪʟᴇ – ɪᴛ’ꜱ ᴛʜᴇ ᴠɪᴇᴡ ᴏꜰ ʏᴏᴜʀꜱᴇʟꜰ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ʏᴏᴜ ᴀʀᴇ ᴄʀᴇᴀᴛɪɴɢ ꜰᴏʀ ᴏᴛʜᴇʀꜱ.


Honesty and integrity are absolutely essential for success in life – all areas of life. The really good news is that anyone can develop both honesty and integrity ~ Zig Ziglar

Let’s a Quick Chat With Jacques …

So,  we’ve gone over the difference between keeping and honouring our word … I’m going to tap into Jacques for his brief, personal thoughts on the matter.

1- Question: So, tell me how would you personally describe the difference between integrity vs morality? In your words, what’s the main distinction between the two?


“There’s two basic emotions – love and fear.  

Fear based judgment is morality – good, bad, right, wrong, pretty, ugly … and we do this to protect ourselves.  

Love based integrity is looking at being in the other person’s world, respecting them and looking for a win-win.”

2- Question:  Why Do Think People Collapse Morality and Integrity?


“Because it’s easier to blame somebody else than to look at the truth.  We’re conditioned since childhood to find negative evidence to prove that we’re right”

3- Question:  What do you feel restoring integrity allows?  What Do You Feel is the Most Important Piece of Restoring Integrity? 


“Getting complete with the old way of being and creating a new way that serves both people.  

Having the courage to be vulnerable – that’s the only way it’ll happen – if you have the courage to be VULNERABLE and have established trust you can create any new possibility.”


Jacques and I will actually be creating a more detailed video surrounding this and will posted on my Facebook page —> click here to go to my Facebook page and follow.

This week I invite you to consider taking on what it is to be responsible for every promise you commit to, to the people in your life/work/relationships AND YOURSELF.  If you want better results in life, raise your level of integrity.  Quit being loosy goosy with your words.

What difference would that make for you?  For them?


T xo

Tina Cassidy is a Life Coach having completed her Life Coach certification and having completed the Curriculum for Living.  She has been coaching in some way, shape or form for the last 20 years mainly in the area of life and disability management.  
If you’re interested in scheduling a FREE 30 minute session with her to see what may be available for you – please send her a message with the best 3 available times for her to connect with you and she will respond within 24 hours.  
If you have any questions, please feel free to message.

COVID-19 Week 8 Update.

Never one to stay down, always one to turn a breakdown into a breakthrough.

This time is no different!

If you’re a regular to my blog, you’ll know that my 12 month adventure of a lifetime all over South East Asia (SEAsia) has been “postponed” due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.  Everything changed literally overnight for me, I was set to depart on March 18, 2020 and the Friday prior our Prime Minister had halted all non-essential travel outside of Canada and Vietnam (the country I was starting my adventure in) had closed its entry to Visa On Arrival, which I had.  So, 4 days before I was set to take off and start a year of sightseeing, exploring, soul searching came to a screeching halt.

I had resigned from my job, rented out my condo and sold my car! See that blog here.  Ummm, what the actual heck was I going to do?

I was able to find temporary accommodations until the end of April and then … I was back it again, looking for a place to stay.  It’s difficult during COVID-19 …. not a lot of landlords have openings, folks are not moving as they usually would (due to fear of contamination or lack of money due to losing their jobs due to COVID-19) additionally, there’s not a lot of interest in short term rentals.  ENTER MY CORONAVIRUS MOVE to British Columbia (BC)!

At the end of every break down there’s always an opportunity for a break through, the key differentiator is … DO YOU SEIZE IT?  I’m usually one to not stay “down” for too long – I stay  in that moment for a short time (I don’t live there), and then plot on.  It’s MY life to create.  

WE can create opportunity and happiness just as easily as we can create misfortune and misery.  Use that super power you have … CHOICE! 

And I did just that!

Opportunity Knocked

I’ve always wanted to live in BC, even if for a just a short stint.  I’ve been three times and fell in love each time. I can see why folk decide to make this their home base.

  1. I spent my first time on Vancouver Island, traveling through Courtney/Comox, Uclulet, Tofino visiting my cousin and her family.
  2. I also spent some time in Windermere and Invermere at the radium hot springs and at friends trailer on the Lake Windermere – mixed that in on a trip to Calgary as they are on the Alberta border.
  3. My last time in Beautiful BC, I spent in Richmond, Vancouver and Squamish – see my adventures from that trip by clicking here.

Opportunity created!  Now to seize it! I rented a chalet on Big White!

I initially had the intention of driving, I had a whole week long adventure planned to drive out West with my pooch and then changed my mind and booked a flight (pooch is staying with an awesome friend).  The thought of driving was daunting, I just bought a new (new to me) vehicle and didn’t want to take it on its first real trip across the country in case something happened. However, the biggest thing is that I’d have to cross 4 provinces to get to my destination and the COVID-19 pandemic brings the unusual presence of police and government checkpoints to several of Canada’s inter-provincial borders, adding to restrictions on movement in a bid to slow the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus. So far, 8 provinces and territories have set up such checkpoints and travel restrictions.

Screen Shot 2020-04-20 at 10.56.28 PM

ENTER BIG WHITE MOUNTAIN …. tucked on the west side of Canada’s Rocky Mountains in the heart of the British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley lies Big White Ski Resort and I am fortunate enough to have rented a chalet on it for the next 2 months! YAY BABY! I imagine a lot of what I’d love to do while in the Okanagan Valley will be limited due to coronavirus, and I’ll still be able to take advantage of nature, secluded trails, the outdoors, and hiking – which are all free and do not require close proximity to others.

I’m Off … 

Screen Shot 2020-04-20 at 10.32.16 PM

Nothing really to mention about the 1st leg of the flight, smooth, no turbulence — I mean other than each passenger and crew member HAD to wear face masks at ALL times during the flight (unless you were eating or drinking, obvi!).  There was no food service – when you got to your seat it was pre-prepped with your food and two bottles of water.  Upon boarding you were provided with a disinfectant wipe, so that you could wipe down your seat – and we were practicing physical distancing in the plane – passengers were not sitting side by each.  Confused though, as that was all thwarted the minute we all got up and stood in the aisle waiting to deplane.

Arriving in Kelowna … 

Flying over the Rocky Mountains at night sucks – you miss the awesome view – and it is spectacular.  Major turbulence and air pockets on approach to Kelowna (we were flying into rain),  the last 10 mins were arm rest gripping!  Even the Flight Attendant said the to the Captain once the doors were open “Whew, that was a bumpy ride!”.

BC is on of the few provinces in Canada that are not mandating mandatory interprovincial quarantine – they only ask that you respect the standard COVID-19 rules – stay 6 feet apart and practice social distancing.

I’m starting my 2nd full day here on Big White – it’s sunny and there’s still snow!   The panoramic views are stunning. Today I plan on taking a hike around Big White (with a mask and not surrounded by people) and do my first real trek for the month of May.  Earlier this month, I created and launched My Better Life May 2020 Fitness Challenge.  Whereby participants set, crush and supersede any fitness goals they have set for themselves during this COVID-19 pandemic — over the whole 31 days in the month of May 👏🏻.

With the Prime Minister and Premiers starting to talk about reopening the economy – some of the COVID-19 restrictions may be lifted in the upcoming weeks.  Sure, this is not 12 month adventure of lifetime all over SEAsia AND it’s still awesome … opportunity seized — where I had no home, I now have a place to call mine for the next couple of months. I embraced the uncertainty.  Uncertainty is where new happens!  

Uncertainty is your personal pathway to opportunity. It’s the environment in which you grow, experience new things and produce new, unprecedented results. Uncertainty is where new happens ~ Gary John Bishop – UnF*ck Yourself

Photo:  views from my terrace at Big White 😍

Tell me, I’d love to know … what’s something uncertain you embraced recently?  


T xo




How are you fairing during the COVID-19 pandemic?  Have you ever seen anything like this? We’ve gone through SARS (2002-2003), the Swine Flu (2009-2010), Ebola (2014-2016), MERS (2012 – present) AND nothing of this proportion, this magnatude.

Have we ever witnessed anything quite like what we’re living through with this pandemic?

I’m now at day 19 of physical distancing and 24 days since I haven’t been able to leave for my year long adventure to South East Asia.  I’ve been fortunate that I was able to rescind my resignation from my employment and stay with my daughter for a short period (until the end of this month). Things are still feeling topsy turvy, no real stability and what I am able to do is roll with the punches — it’s just what’s so and I’m unable to control what’s happening nor the outcome. All I can do (like all of you) is make the best of the current situation.

As we all know by now, Novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease which causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing. I found myself with a sore throat and a cough a few days ago my mind quickly went to “is that you Rona?” –  nope just seasonal allergies – it’s amazing that my mind immediately jumped to coronavirus though – it’s been top of mind for weeks and it’s pretty much all we see plastered all over the news and social media outlets.  

These are most certainly unprecedented times. Things we have not experienced in our lifetime.  I’m a huge documentary nerd.  I’ve been watching docs on The Spanish Flu (which actually did not originate in Spain), the SARS outbreak and other really interesting pandemics. What I got present to, is that just as I am watching documentaries on the Third Plague and the Smallpox epidemic, some day future generations will be looking back on the COVID-19 pandemic and watching documentaries on precisely what we’re living – present day!

Screen Shot 2020-04-10 at 10.31.25 PM

In Canada and local communities these are some of the things that are making headlines.  This is not my list in totality, I added to and amended some.

-Gas prices are down to $0.64 in Kitchener, Ontario!
-All schools are cancelled until May 4 2020.   I don’t see kids going back till September
-Social distancing measures in place – STAY HOME!
-Tape on the floors at grocery stores and other essential service stores to help distance shoppers 6 ft from each other.  Cashiers are working with gloves, masks and behind plastic barriers.
-Limited number of people allowed inside stores, causing huge lineups outside the store.
-Non-essential stores and businesses mandated to be closed.
-Parks, trails, entire cities locked down. Children’s outdoor play parks are closed.  City of Kitchener is implementing $750 fines for those not obeying the laws.
-Entire sports seasons cancelled.
-Concerts, tours, festivals, entertainment events – cancelled.
-Weddings, family celebrations, holiday gatherings – cancelled.
-No church services.  Pope delivered Good Friday service to an empty church.
-No gatherings of 50 or more, then 20 or more, now 5 or more.
-Mandate to not socialize with anyone outside of your home or let others in your home.
-Shortage of masks, gowns and gloves for our front-line workers.
-Shortage of ventilators for the critically ill.
-Panic buying sets in – people hoarding toilet paper, disinfecting supplies, paper towel, laundry soap, and hand sanitizer.
-Grocery shelves are bare when it comes to certain products.
-Manufacturers, distilleries and other businesses retool so as to make visors, masks, hand sanitizer and PPE for front line staff and essential workers.
-Government closes borders to all non-essential travel, calls Canadians home.  Makes it mandatory to self isolate for 14 days under the Quarantine Act.
-Fines are enforced for breaking the rules.
-Stadiums and recreation facilities open up for the overflow of COVID-19 patients.
-Daily press conferences from Prime Minister Trudeau.  Says this is our new norm for the foreseeable future or until a vaccine is found!
-Chief Medical Officer, Dr Hinshaw, gives regular updates on new cases, recoveries, and death tolls
-Government incentives to stay home – emergency employment benefits for those who’ve lost their jobs or are asked to stay at home due to COVID-19.  Currently 5.08M people are receiving the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).
-Barely anyone in the street or on the roads.
-People wearing masks and gloves as if it’s our new norm
-Essential service workers are terrified to go to work.
-Medical field workers are afraid to go home to their families.

This is the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic, declared March 11th, 2020 (and started in December 2019 in Wuhan, China).

In the words of sexy hotness, Matthew McConaughey, “alright alright alright”.

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted … so I just want to bring you all up to date on the current lay of the land – my year long adventure to South East Asia, COVID-19 and social distancing.

What a crazy time we are living in at the moment! COVID-19 has turned our world into 4 walls and a ceiling.  Hundreds of thousands are infected, thousands have died and the whole world is living in a circle of physical distancing and a certain degree of fear. We’ve started hoarding hand sanitizer and toilet paper!  Some of us are following the rules established by government and others continue to act like this is not the global pandemic that it is – in complete disregard for human lives – thinking they’re invincible and not worrying about others they could put at risk.

I live in Canada, the province of Ontario – I live in a community in South Western Ontario called the Region of Waterloo – which is comprised of cities of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge and the townships of North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich.  Region of Waterloo Public Health has reported another 26 cases of COVID-19 in the region, bringing the total to 58.

Screen Shot 2020-03-26 at 10.31.03 PM

Canada is making unprecedented use of the federal Quarantine Act in a bid to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting on tonight at midnight, all travellers returning to Canada are now legally required to go into self-isolation for 14 days rather than simply urged to do so.


Emergency alert from the government sent to our phones

I’m currently held up at my youngest daughter’s house while I wait for coronavirus to become a thing of the past.  I was supposed to leave on my year long epic adventure all over South East Asia last Wednesday.  Not gonna lie, I was crushed.  I spent the better part of 12 months prepping, planning, plotting and organizing.  I had plans to travel to 12-13 different countries in 12 months — Vietnam – Phu Quoc and climbing Mount Bà Đen, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia – climbing Mount Bromo volcano (in Java) and relaxing with both of my kids in Bali.  I was going to spend the month of July in Japan and had plans to attend the Summer Olympics with my friends Linda and Mark (and their kids) – I was going to climb Mount Fuji – the Olympics have now been postponed. Northern Thailand was on my list prior to heading over the New Delhi and meeting up with my friend who is supposed to be flying over from Canada – we’re supposed to spend 4 days in New Delhi and then fly up to Nepal to climb Mount Everest Base Camp – from there I had more plans to spend time in India, head down to Sri Lanka and then I wasn’t quite sure.  I am hoping that I’m still able to do the last part of my adventure.  

I sold my car, rented out my condo, resigned from my job and put all of my worldly possessions in storage, ready to take off and live a year of a lifetime – only to have that all change 5 days before my departure date!  I was CRUSHED!   I went with it, I allowed myself to feel whatever it was I was feeling – upset, anger, fear, disappointment. I lived with it for a bit, didn’t make myself wrong about it and then I was ok.  It took 6 days.  I am able to stay with my youngest in her townhouse. I was able to rescind my resignation from my job and I was able to postpone my flight for a $69.00 fee and get reimbursed for my travel insurance.  

After I got complete with that,  I decided that if this was happening and it is out of my control, I’m going to come out the other side ready to set my world on fire.  I don’t have to sit here and mope.  I can do all of the things that I’ve been wanting to do – here, now.   My new favourite saying is a Buddhist saying, “Relax, everything is out of control”   

Screen Shot 2020-03-28 at 11.41.22 AM

SO ….. 

I enrolled into two courses 1) The Science of Well Being through Yale and 2) Leadership in 21st Century Organizations via the Copenhagen Business School.  If you’re looking to take some continuing education courses to further your career, your life, your well being – consider taking some courses, here’s the link to a bunch of Ivy League Schools Edx courses which are FREE!

I also decided to face one of my biggest phobias head on … finances, stocks, investments. Ask my financial planner how much the word “taxes” sends me into a downward spiral.  I never file my taxes on time, ever.  I’m decent with money, and that’s thanks to the trust and faith I put into my planner.  So, just like I’ve been tackling all of my fears head on this past year (remember when I jumped out of a plane in September? Or when I did the Polar Dip in January?).  Last November I took Phil Town’s Rule One Investing Course.  What’s Rule #1?  DON’T LOSE MONEY. The best investors in the world use this rule to invest with certainty. I learned how to not just invest in stocks, and rather invest in a wonderful business at an attractive price to generate consistent returns.

What did I do after I was so gung-ho post-course?  Nothing, I did nothing with it!  I did what I always did when something is out of my wheelhouse and frightens me, I ignored it.  Enter the novel coronavirus and event-driven investing – now is the time – markets are low, so I decided to tackle it once and for all (I mean I have nothing else to do than catch up on 5 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy – which is getting really awesome btw – I’m at Season 11 ep 10).  I called Phil Town’s crew, set up my brokerage account and talked to a couple of friends who invest and trade and off I went.  I’m trying to remember 2 things — 1) I don’t need to be an expert to invest like one and 2) Don’t lose money.  

black and white business chart computer

Photo by Lorenzo on

I’ve popped into some free concerts that musicians are hosting.  I’ve joined a Being In Communication: Time With a Landmark Forum leader call with Forum Leaders who are keeping the community connected.  I’ve had daily Facebook Messenger calls with my oldest (who lives in Vietnam) – she wakes me every morning with a new song she’s learned on the ukulele, I love this!  I take extra long walks with the dog and binge watch my fave shows that I’ve long ignored.


While we’ve been sequestered, the world continues to spin, people are living and sadly dying (this breaks my heart) and no matter, the sun comes up and the sun goes down. The earth is starting to heal itself – the canals in Venice are again running clear and there are minnows, dolphins have returned. Forrests and plants are regenerating. COVID-19 has decreased air pollution. The ozone layer is starting to repair itself. There’s an unlikely beneficiary of coronavirus: The planet.  Is this the earth’s way of dealing with what we’ve chosen to ignore?  

Many are binging pandemic like movies: Contagion, Steven Soderbergh’s strikingly realistic portrayal of the modern world scrambling to contain the fictional virus MEV-1. Outbreak, inspired in part by the AIDS epidemic.  Stephen King’s “The Stand,” Michael Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain and Max Brooks’s World War Z, have proliferated on social media as of late. In a time of real crisis, many of us are spending our time watching fake crises.  Why?  We’re living in ONE RIGHT NOW.  I’m a documentary nerd. I prefer fact over fiction any day.  I’ve been watching documentaries on past pandemics, the plague, the Spanish Flu (which contrary to popular belief did not originate in Spain). The 1956-58 Influenza Pandemic, the 1968 Flu Pandemic, SARS, H1N1.  What really lands for me is that as I’m researching these past pandemics – what we are living through right now, at this very moment, will form part of the future generations history.  Just as I’m watching and reading about pandemics in the last 100 years, future generations are going to be watching, reading and learning about the 2019-2020 novel coronavirus COVID-19 global pandemic.  


Photo by cottonbro on

I tell you bizarre times …

Where in the world are you and practicing social distancing?  How are you occupying your time? 

Keep safe and stay well.


T xo







Screen Shot 2020-02-15 at 1.11.59 PM

I love this quote, it’s simple and it’s truth.  Don’t think about it, just BE IT.  Most of us spend too much time thinking and not enough time doing.  We spend more time being bystanders in our own lives and not enough time on the COURT making a difference in our lives or the lives of others.  

Just to clarify, I did mean “sell yourself” in the title – not tell yourself.  If you’re telling yourself a “reason” an “excuse” or your rationalizing something – you’re selling yourself on it.

(ADDENDUM: I’m going to add this little caveat here.  I received feedback from 1 reader who felt it wasn’t enough for me to omit that this wouldn’t apply if you have a health (physical or mental) condition. She felt I needed to state it up front, and that without doing this my blog message is, “thus, ableist by omission”. So, I’m stating it …. upfront).

I started today’s blog with the particular quote above because mental toughness played a large part of something I participated in this past weekend – a 65 kms marathon trek in the dead of winter.  Insane, right?

I started passively hobby “hiking” this past Fall.  I say passively because I would hike 10 kms, leisurely with my dog, at no particular pace with no particular goal or destination.  I just wanted to be in the great wide open. I used quotes around the word hiking because I’m not sure my strolls would be considered hikes.

Mid-January, I came across a post on Facebook.  It was seeking participants to trek 1 of 3 different distances — The Pioneer (10 kms), The Optimist (28 kms) and The Full Trek — trekking 𝙽𝙾𝙽 𝚂𝚃𝙾𝙿 𝚏𝚛𝚘𝚖 𝙲𝚊𝚖𝚋𝚛𝚒𝚍𝚐𝚎 (Ontario) 𝚝𝚘 𝚆𝚎𝚜𝚝 𝙼𝚘𝚗𝚝𝚛𝚘𝚜𝚎 (Ontario). 65 kms of non-stop trekking during the most unforgiving of seasons to explore the impacts of rapid development on our community and on each other.

The organizer was Waterloo Region Crossing.  In 2018, three members of a female-founded clean technology company trekked for 20 hours non-stop in the dead of winter with the intent of raising awareness of the risks of exposure for homeless citizens, while raising funds for The Working Centre. In 2019, the event was scaled to 100 participants. They completed the journey as a group in 19.5 hours of non-stop trekking and collectively fundraised over $45,000. EVERY DOLLAR went to The Working Centre, and is being used to build a first-of-its-kind transitional housing and medical facility to serve the most vulnerable members of the Waterloo Region community.  This year 111 of us participated.  I’m not certain the amount raised this year – those stats will be available in the next couple of weeks.

Now, this is an organization I can get behind – these are my kind of people – people who see a need in the community, find a way to contribute and ACT on it.  Not sit there and think about it – they ACTED.  And, because they saw what was possible, people around Waterloo Region are better for it and people like me have the opportunity to know themselves as someone they weren’t before.  Tessa and Ashley, I have such a huge respect for you, thank you for all you do for our community. For your passion to make our community a better one.

…. so, now I have the option of 3 hike lengths – 10k, 28k or 65k, which one do you think I chose?  If you chose the 65k, you chose correctly.  

Now, before signing my friend Miranda and I up for this adventure – remember, I hadn’t walked more than 10 kms at a leisurely pace.  This was really me showing up as someone who is playing big at life!

A few days before the trek, I started having a bunch of different thoughts flooding my mind:

❓ What did I sign myself up for?
❓ Should I have opted for the shorter distance?
❓ What if I’m not able to complete it?

And while I let those thoughts float in, I didn’t let them sit there – they had no place holding space in my mind AND they didn’t jive with what I was out to accomplish ❌❌❌

My challenge this past year has been to be a BIG, STRONG, BOLD YES to life – in so many respects.  I’m no longer holding myself back for fear of looking bad, or of not succeeding or afraid of just being who I was born on this earth to be – ME!

This was no exception❗️I could have chosen a shorter distance, one that I likely could have completed and been proud of , and then … I dug deep and went one bit further. As humans we’ll take the “easy out”, the path of least resistance – if we give ourselves the choice (burn your boats, people 🚢 ). So, I opted not to, I really wanted see what I was made of.  AND, what I know about me – who I know myself to be, is that I always achieve everything I set my mind to. 🆘  I’m not just a yes to life, I’m a HELL YES to life 🆘

Before the trek, I do 2 practice hikes – 1 was 14 kms and the other 19 kms  – my schedule did not permit me to squeeze anymore in.

(fast forward)

…. I tell you those last few kilometres really mess with your head. The sound bit in my head was something like “𝙾𝙼𝙶 𝙸’𝚖 𝚜𝚘 𝚜𝚘𝚛𝚎, 𝙾𝙼𝙶 𝙸’𝚖 𝚜𝚘 𝚝𝚒𝚛𝚎𝚍, 𝙾𝙼𝙶 𝚖𝚢 𝚏𝚎𝚎𝚝 𝚊𝚛𝚎 𝚋𝚊𝚛𝚔𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊𝚝 𝚖𝚎, 𝚌𝚛𝚊𝚙 𝚜𝚝𝚒𝚕𝚕 𝟷𝟶 𝚔𝚖𝚜 𝚝𝚘 𝚐𝚘” AND the more powerful voice in my head said “𝕐𝕠𝕦 𝕘𝕠𝕥 𝕥𝕙𝕚𝕤 𝕝𝕒𝕕𝕪, 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕖𝕗𝕗𝕚𝕟 𝕘𝕠𝕥 𝕥𝕙𝕚𝕤!”.

I did it. I pushed myself to the Covered Bridge in West Montrose and completed what I had set myself out to accomplish (with the help of some super awesome trekkers chatting me up along the way, motivating me).  Were there times I wanted to quit?  Yep.  Were there times when the pain in my hip flexor would have been enough for me to stop?  Yep. Could I have stopped at kilometre 50? Yep.  And,  I kept doing.  I did it anyway.

Without detailing every ache, pain, sore muscle/joint, cold limb and lower extremity stiffness — I’ll just say that I completed 68.79 kms in roughly 17 hours and 20 minutes (as per my UnderArmour App).

I woke up feeling super pumped for having crushed my goal earlier in the morning – and super sore – my muscles totally seized and it felt great – that’s the price of hard work 😓

Listen, when I registered I truly didn’t know if I was going to physically and/or mentally accomplish my goal. I had NEVER trekked this far in all of my life, not even close and I’m not physically active, nor fit.  I just said I was going to do it, and I did.  I literally did COUCH TO 65 KMS in 2 practice treks. And, what I do know for certain is I would never have accomplished it had “I” chosen any other distance other than the 65k.

That brings me full circle to the quote I started my blog off with.  The intent of this post isn’t for me to be all braggadocios (although I am proud of myself).  This entry is to highlight that you can always be your word, even to yourself.  I gave my word to myself that I would get to the finish line (unless I had a medical event stop me).  Mental toughness and grit got me there.

𝗦𝘁𝗼𝗽 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗮𝗻’𝘁 𝗱𝗼 𝘀𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴. 𝗦𝘁𝗼𝗽 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗯𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗮 𝗯𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗽𝗼𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝘂𝗿𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗹𝘆 𝗮𝗿𝗲. 𝗦𝘁𝗼𝗽 𝗯𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂’𝗿𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝘂𝗰𝗸 — 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲’𝘀 𝗮 𝘄𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝗼𝗽𝗲𝗻 𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗹𝗲𝗳𝘁 𝗔𝗡𝗗 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗷𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗱𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗶𝘁.  𝗕𝗘 𝗔 𝗬𝗘𝗦 𝗧𝗢 𝗟𝗜𝗙𝗘!

Consider what that may look like for you? What kind of things would move that have never moved before? What kinds of opportunities would that create for yourself?

Screen Shot 2020-02-12 at 9.51.38 PM

My Superpower in this instance was sticktuitiveness.  EVERYONE’S superpower is CHOICE!    

I’ll leave you with this quote from one of the participants, Jim – who was this year’s Maple Flask Winner – the person throughout the trek who shows leadership and motivates other trekkers. It’s so true, I have now caught a (another) glimpse of the capability within myself.

The people who made it possible are back to their normal lives. Pretty sure they are not the same. I salute Sydney, Tim, Miranda, Amy, Alina, Tina, Marie and the others who came out for the training hikes. You made the trek better for everyone else. 𝒴𝑜𝓊 𝒽𝒶𝓋𝑒 𝒹𝑒𝓂𝑜𝓃𝓈𝓉𝓇𝒶𝓉𝑒𝒹 𝒶 𝓁𝑒𝓋𝑒𝓁 𝑜𝒻 𝓉𝑜𝓊𝑔𝒽𝓃𝑒𝓈𝓈 𝓉𝒽𝒶𝓉 𝓂𝒶𝓃𝓎 𝓌𝒾𝓁𝓁 𝓃𝑒𝓋𝑒𝓇 𝓀𝓃𝑜𝓌. 𝒴𝑜𝓊𝓇 𝓅𝑒𝓇𝒻𝑜𝓇𝓂𝒶𝓃𝒸𝑒 𝒽𝒶𝓈 𝓇𝒶𝒾𝓈𝑒𝒹 𝓎𝑜𝓊𝓇 𝑒𝓍𝓅𝑒𝒸𝓉𝒶𝓉𝒾𝑜𝓃𝓈 𝑜𝒻 𝓎𝑜𝓊𝓇𝓈𝑒𝓁𝒻 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝒽𝒶𝓋𝑒 𝒸𝒶𝓊𝑔𝒽𝓉 𝒶 𝑔𝓁𝒾𝓂𝓅𝓈𝑒 𝑜𝒻 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒸𝒶𝓅𝒶𝒷𝒾𝓁𝒾𝓉𝓎 𝓌𝒾𝓉𝒽𝒾𝓃. 𝒪𝓃𝑒 𝒹𝒶𝓎 𝓎𝑜𝓊’𝓁𝓁 𝓇𝑒𝒶𝓁𝒾𝓏𝑒 𝒾𝓉 𝓌𝒶𝓈 𝑜𝓃𝓁𝓎 𝟦𝟢% 𝑜𝒻 𝓌𝒽𝒶𝓉 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝒸𝒶𝓃 𝓇𝑒𝒶𝓁𝓁𝓎 𝒹𝑜”.

~ Jim Goetz


T xo

What is “baggage”, even?

You mean the stuff from our past that keeps polluting our future?

The stuff that we “think” we’ve left “back there” and yet it shows up repeatedly as a way of being or a limiting belief  …. repeating the same thing over and over and over again?

Oooohhhh …… you mean baaaagggaaaaaage????

We all have it ….. what matters is how we’re “dealing with it” or what I like to say “healing with it” 💥


What are some of the things that are back THERE in your past that are affecting your future?

Yes, I mean FUTURE? The truth of the matter is, things left undealt with from your past don’t affect your NOW, they actually affect you over there 👉 your future self.

One of the many things that I’ve taken on powerfully the last little while, is really getting clear with MY past, how it has affected me and really getting complete with them so they don’t find there way into what I’m up to creating and being in the world.  I don’t want it  —- over there, in MY future 💫

It’s been one of my most powerful distinctions. And I have to say it’s pretty darn awesome to be free to be and free to act with nothing incomplete for me!


How awesome and freeing does that sound, right?  What if you could have that too?  You can, 100%.

So, what are some of the things that are back THERE in your past that are affecting your future?


T xo

There are people in the world who are not as fortunate as we are. They are plagued with instability, mental health issues and deserve to be treated with respect . They’re human.

I’m not sharing this story to highlight myself, just to show that one little thing can mean the world to someone.

I was at Shopper’s Drug Mart (a pharmacy) downtown in the city that I live. There was this man, he was struggling and talking to himself and was loud and screeching … people were staring at him and made faces when they walked by him. The lady who worked at the store wasn’t sure what to do, she was going to call security.

The gentleman walked up to me and asked me if I knew him to which I replied I didn’t. He went on to talk about how he had lost his muscles and he can’t find them and was quite upset about this. I didn’t ridicule or tell him to go away. I talked to him as I would anyone else.

Screen Shot 2020-01-14 at 10.42.54 PM

I was in the milk section (looking for almond milk) and asked him if he wanted a chocolate milk as I heard it was good for muscles and he’d have his muscles back. He said “yeah, yeah that might help right?”. They were 2 for $5.00 I offered to buy him 2. He then said “is it ok if I have 1 of these instead miss?” I told him “of course” and we went to the register and I paid for his drink.

I asked him if he was going to be ok for the rest of the night and he said he would cause he could find his muscles 💪🏼  now.

It’s really that simple. We just need to be kind. He just needed to be heard and respected.

When we went up to the register to pay. I said to the lady “I’m going to buy this gentleman his drink”. He thanked me and left.

As he left, she said “that’s very kind of you to do that”, to which I replied “we should all be kinder and gentler to one another”.

Can we all make a deal to be kinder and gentler?  Kindness counts.


T xo

“Be kind, don’t judge, and have respect for others. If we can all do this, the world would be a better place”.
~ Jasmine Guinness

I’ve been nursing a flu/cold since last Thursday. And, while I feel much better than I did at the onset, I leave on my 12 month adventure in 2.5 months and my health is one of the only things that matter to me at the moment.  I need to be in top health before I start this adventure of a lifetime.  This weekend my goals are fairly simple:  

1) complete this blog

2) rest and

3) binge watch Season 7 of Blacklist.

I met with Dr. Binning (functional medicine) earlier this week to go over my urine (Organic Acids Test) results. I was excited to go over these results, as this is the final piece required to determine move forward steps on my treatment – on my way to better health – mainly increased energy, not feeling so fatigued and the sense of having to nap 2x per day – like I don’t have one foot half in the grave.


Western Medicine

In this blog, we’ll go over my results – as best as I can recall them from my appointment with Dr. Binning.  I find the way the body works – ridiculously fascinating – it’s a marvel! I’m always eager to get to my appointments so I can really get to the root cause of what’s going on with my body and better understand what I need to do to feel like the old Tina again!

Let’s begin shall we?   This gets very technical and medically – just a heads up.

This first page of my results talks about energy production – that is – how do I get energy from carbohydrates, fats and the actual energy producing cycle (citric acid cycle or krebs cycle)?


The pattern that I have is that of someone who is losing sensitivity to insulin, so I’m not making energy from my carbohydrates anymore – the reason is that lactate has right shifted.  Whereas,  Pyruvate, which should be higher than Lactate, isn’t even showing up! How close am I to becoming diabetic?

“Medicine’s a funny business. After all, dispensing chemicals is considered mainstream and diet and nutrition is considered alternative.”
Charles F. Glassman, Brain Drain The Breakthrough That Will Change Your Life

Pyruvate feeds into your citric acid cycle which makes a lot of energy.  Lactate doesn’t feed into this cycle, it goes into something called your Cori cycle and your Cori cycle is a stress induced cycle.  It makes energy (not that much). It makes it very quickly and the net yield is actually lower than the output is, so we’re not meant to use it for a long period of time.  I’m (clearly) using it for a long period of time – I mean have you seen my life – it’s not a wonder LOL.

Screen Shot 2020-01-11 at 2.24.48 PM

B-Hydroxybutyrate  – when this molecule is present it is signalling for my cells to burn fat as fuel.  Good thing – this signal is being sent.  We have to improve this to assist my body in creating more energy.


Now (above) we’re looking at how well my cells make energy – and what we can see is that my results are all right shifted and Fumerate doesn’t even show up!  The best way I can describe this (and how I understood it) is that if we think about this as an 8 cylinder engine in a car (because there are 8 markers)  4 of them may be misfiring (or on the verge of having problems) and 1 isn’t firing at all – it’s not even getting fuel in that cylinder.  All in all, it seems I’m lacking in amino acids, coenzyme Q10 and some minerals like magnesium and manganese.  So, we have to address these deficiencies to help improve the output of energy in my cells.


Now, when we look here at B vitamin deficiency, the a-keto 8 — this deficit is for B1, B2, B3 and B5 – which is close enough to being low for me.  It means I need some.  The rest of them seem like they’re in decent ranges.

With methylation – this is the process by which my body can activate things – B12 is bordering on low.

IMG_4675Now we look at the brain here – neurotransmitters – not a lot of brain inflammation, and, the one marker shows a lack of amino acids.  My dopamine is right on the limit of being low.  Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that gives you more drive, makes you feel great, your get up and go, your motivation chemical.  I’m not burning through ANY – so that means I’m likely not making any – wow!  It may be that I lack tyrosine OR that I’m lacking iron, B6 – any of the co-factors that lead to the production of dopamine.  What the results show is that I’m not using any of it – and if I’m not using any of it – I probably don’t have any.  

IMG_4676Detox — upper results are pretty good which shows low exposures to chemicals and that I’m able to clear them because they’re not building up. Pyroglutamate is ok. Sulfate is pretty low which shows a low ability to make Glutathione – because I am lacking the resources (the demand is high).  It is your body’s most powerful antioxidant and it’s used to neutralize the damage created by toxins and stress.  What is creating the demand?


Yeast/Fungal – when we look here we see 3 different things that indicate there’s an overgrowth.  What I found interesting that that everyone pushes probiotics this – probiotics that — when in fact you only NEED them when your body is deficient – any mine is NOT.  Taking probiotics would in fact create an imbalance in my body.  It’s not going to help me to take more of something I have a lot of.

The results show SIBO – (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), a (serious) condition affecting the small intestine. It occurs when bacteria that normally grow in other parts of the gut start growing in the small intestine.

AND ….

here’s an answer I have been searching for …. for YEARS … since I was diagnosed with anemia — my small intestine IS NOT not be able to absorb nutrients, causing my anemia!!!  My GP did not investigate this far – he queried as to what the root cause of my anemia was — but did not dig.  They went up the heavy menses route – which I believe was the correct route to investigate and when it yielded no results – it fell off the radar and I was left with uncontrolled, chronic anemia.  Take iron tabs – anemia improves  — stop iron tabs — anemia eventually returns.  Not to mention how hard iron tabs are on your system/intestinal tract and taking that much iron throw the rest of your levels off.  Here it is — what I have been asking for YEARS, what is causing my anemia?  SIBO – malabsorption.

On this result we also see that there is a positive – I have no invasive yeast – and there was not invasive yeast in my stool results either.  So, we need to prioritize the SIBO stat.

I’ll be meeting with Dr. Binning to go over prioritizing what I need implement.  The first thing we are introducing is Grass Fed Beef Organs (Liver, Heart, Kidney, Pancreas, Spleen) supplements – which is a more naturally sourced iron (traditional peoples, Native Americans and early ancestral healers believed that eating the organs from a healthy animal would strengthen and support the health of the corresponding organ of the individual).

I am so happy that I finally have some answers. I don’t look at these results as what’s wrong with me.  I look at them as an opportunity, an opportunity for improvement, to get my health back – to get back to me … you have NO idea how happy this makes me!

As you struggling with a chronic condition?  Are you not getting the answers your looking for?  Have you considered functional medicine?

Stay tuned for Part 4 … coming soon!


T xo


So, picture this …. something happens in your life … immediately, you assign it meaning, categorize it into some level of importance, you make/draw conclusions and form some kind of opinion about it.  We all do it, it’s how we’re conditioned and … it doesn’t serve us.

In doing this what we’re doing is collapsing WHAT HAPPENED and the MEANING we assign to it.

I was on Facebook last night and saw this post by Scott Barry Kaufman.  I loved it and it got me to thinking how absolutely true that is – that we don’t have time for that  — and it also got me to thinking about the gains I’ve personally made in this area.

Screen Shot 2019-12-20 at 1.12.50 PM.png

photo: SBK Facebook Page

What happened is factual, it’s just what’s so.  The meaning we assign to it is just that as – well, it’s what we’re making it mean to us AND it’s not REAL!

How many times has this happened in your life?  EVERY DAY to be honest.

Pause, take a moment to really get present to what is being communicated …. as human beings we assign meaning to everything that happens to US in LIFE!  Crazy right?  And true!

It applies to the simplest things – such as the way someone says something to you, how it occurs for you and what you make of it TO much bigger things in life … why you were cheated on, why your wife left you, why you didn’t get that job.

Screen Shot 2019-12-20 at 12.39.01 PM
I’ll use myself as a real life example (this is a super abbreviated version for explanation and privacy sake):

I received 4 really amazing positive feedback emails at work (my 9-5 job) in the last 2 weeks and forwarded them along to my higher ups for my personnel file.  The one didn’t respond for the first few emails and I felt like the hard work that I was putting in wasn’t being appreciated.  Why do I bother working so hard to do such a good job if it wasn’t being recognized.  I felt hurt and annoyed.   

What Happened?  I sent positive feedback emails to my leadership team and one did not respond.

What Did I Make It Mean?  I made it mean that I was unappreciated for the work I do, and that I was not valued as an employee.

What’s disempowering here is that in collapsing what happened and what I made it mean is that I was creating a false reality for myself — I was living into something that wasn’t true because I made it mean that.  Do you get that, what I’m trying to communicate here?  What’s so IS NOT what we make it mean ….  all that happened is that one person did not respond and I started creating this whole story that I wasn’t valued or appreciated …. when in fact, nothing is further from the truth. I actually received 2 Applause Recognitions because of those emails re: my commitment to the people I assist and I did receive a response from other other upline a couple of days later (they were busy and responded when they had time — hmmm funny how we don’t consider that stuff either isn’t it?  What’s over there with them?  99.9% of the time it has nothing to do with you).

Now for me I was able to get out of that mindset in about 5-7  minutes … that’s it!  I didn’t give it any further thought because I’ve been trained and coached on how to look at things differently. And because of that, the quality of my life is different – better – I no longer live in the stories that I create around things – and the best part – I can look back at my life and see where I’ve made meaning out of soooo many things … I’ve mended strained relationships, I’ve changed the trajectory of my life and I’m committed to not making meaning out of things any longer.

Guys, when we start living the things we interpret as being TRUTH we start living into a false reality based on what we made something mean and not what actually happened – so we’re living into a story (our interpretation) of we created about what happened — and IT DOESN’T SERVE US! 

Breaking down the things that occur in your life into WHAT HAPPENED vs WHAT’S THE STORY I’M CREATING AROUND IT is a great way to start transforming the quality of your life.

Now get on out there and start not making meaning out of everything!

T xo

PS: If you’re interested in receiving some coaching, I am a certified Life Coach and currently have availability to take on 2 new clients.  Message me for deets and pkg details.

Screen Shot 2019-12-08 at 11.42.33 AM

Today we venture into part deux of my journey to restoring good health. Since I last updated you, I’ve received the results of two things:

  1. the blood work that my medical doctor requested to investigate my level of fatigue i.e. I have had significant anemia in the past and he queried my thyroid function.  
  2. the results of my fecal test – my urinalysis results should be back next week.

I met with Dr. Binning earlier this week and I’ll update you on that in a moment.  

First, what I want to acknowledge first and foremost is that I genuinely believe that medical doctors all enter the profession with good intentions (to help people) and end up battling a system that doesn’t set them up for success. It’s not their fault that the system only allows for 11 minute appointments or that they only get paid for one concern so they only want to treat one concern per visit – which prevents a wholistic medicine approach.  1 issue per appointment isn’t conducive to treating someones HEALTH (in my humble, non medical opinion).  

I’m not against conventional forms of medicine – at all – I feel that there are things we absolutely need medical doctors – like acute/trauma care – that naturopathic or functional medicine cannot begin to address.  In this instance I’m addressing my non-acute, non trauma CHRONIC conditions.  

Ok, so now that I’ve addressed that, let’s delve into the results of my stool test shall we?   It feels rather personal sharing these results with you – and in doing so what I accomplishing is sharing not only the results – but also the information – because what I learned from these results essentially presents us with an opportunity – when we have information that we didn’t have previously we can create change – everything that I learn here is actually a positive (even if the results aren’t great) because that’s an opportunity for better health.

Results Of GI-MAP DNA Stool Analysis

Pathogens = none (yay!)

8 virulence factors for H Pylori = none (yay!)

Bacterial Flora:


Most are low, one is high – indicating dysbiosis = so, there’s an imbalance in my gut.  So we want to look at can be driving that imbalance – which could be as simple as poor dietary diversity (vegetable fibre – which is odd because until last week I was vegetarian) or not enough or something can be suppressing the growth of healthy bacteria – these bugs all all live off these fibres and if they’re not getting them they can’t grow.  

Overview: insufficient levels of good bacteria and poor mucosal health – these bacteria are all there to protect us, they all serve a purpose, so important that these levels are improved — all of this leads to a healthy gut and healthy immune system.  My AKK MUCI (abbr) is just above the acceptable range.  Phyla Microbiota essentially again saying “Hello! Not bacterial enough growth!”  Is something suppressing that growth?  Is another bug coming in and screwing everything up and taking all the resources or are there really no resources to begin with?

Opportunistic Bacteria: 


Streptococcus – remember that HUGE rash on my face that my MD diagnosed as peri-oral dermatitis and gave me an antibacterial cream and antibiotics for?  If you missed it – you can check out part 1 of this series here.  This makes a lot of sense!  This is something generally on skin and mouth – if there’s an overgrowth we need to start balancing this out.  

** I’ve left out some of the other results – which are within the normal range **

Intestinal Health:

These levels are look normal – and nothing can be further from the truth.  That’s where the benefit of knowing your patient inside and out, and basing it solely on them and not a “range” comes into play.  This I find interesting.

By way of background until last week, I ate a 95% vegetarian diet. So my steatocrit is at a 7 – the limit <15% – if someone is eating a lower fat diet – that number is high then – why would this be so elevated?  If they’re on a high fat diet that number might be ok – ideally we don’t want to see a number here – we want it as close to 0 as possible.  So what this is saying is that fat is leaking out of my digestive system, I’m not absorbing it and it’s showing up in my stool.  

Screen Shot 2019-12-14 at 11.15.27 AM

Elastase-1 – is at 261 – results show “normal” however it should be in the 400-500 range – even higher.  What this is telling us is that my pancreas isn’t making the things it should and releasing them well (insulin and digestive enzymes).  

B-gluconatodase level is at a 2042 – which indicates normal here – and this can’t be further from the truth.  When your body is exposed to toxins, even the waste of the bacteria that live within you or event the waste of the byproducts of my own metabolism (of every cell) creates waste – my body has to detoxify these things through the liver – not going to lie here – I need to revisit that Dr. Binning sent me on this — something about binding, neutralizing and that that enzyme cutting those two things from each other and frees that toxin to go back into circulation and cause more havoc.  We’ll talk more about this at my follow up appt once I get the results back from my urine test. 

Secretory IgA – 90% of your immune system exists in your gut — this # should ideally be at around 1000 – not high enough – the decrease in this number can be caused by chronic infections or chronic stress – they will just deplete this.  The anti-gliadine is at 55 showing some insensitivity to gluten.  
Screen Shot 2019-12-14 at 12.03.04 PM
Zonulin – marker for leaky gut — so I’m pretty close at 99.1 – definitely don’t want this number going up and higher that’s for sure!  
So, that’s a really great first step with Dr. Binning – I’m super happy about getting these results – because now I know where we can move forward in the betterment of my health.  We have an appt scheduled for December 27, 2019 to go over my urine results and then we can overlap all of the results to come up with a treatment plan that’ll be aimed at getting me back to good health and function.

Results Of Anemia and Thyroid Testing

My interim GP had requested blood work at my request last month as I had asked him to refer me because I was dragging my butt.  I have those results and my Hemoglobin and Hematocrit levels are low and my ferritin is at a 5 (which his the low end of normal reference range (5-272 — how is that even a realistic range??). My Thyroxine Free is at a 10 – and the “normal” reference range is from 9-19 – which again is at the low end of norm.  
Screen Shot 2019-12-14 at 11.29.27 AM

I have an follow up appointment scheduled with my interim GP to go over the results – he’ll likely recommend that I recommence iron tabs.  As an aside, have you ever taken iron pills?  When I was severely anemic a couple of years ago, I had to take 4 at a time and it wreaks havoc on your GI tract, if you know what I mean 😉  


As an aside, I had a brief conversation with a medical doctor I know, last week about these results, and his response was “you’re barely anemic!”.  This is what frustrates me about the medical profession at times.  That statement hit me in the gut.  I’m barely anemic?  That may well be based on these results – however, why am I dragging my arse?  Why can I hardly function?  Why can I hardly make it though a day without napping?  I know my body, I know what normal for me, I know how I’m feeling and I know where I’m struggling – I wish MDs would put more emphasis on their patients words (I know this is not true of all MDs, I’m just pointing out that this is a common theme I hear regularly throughout the course of my job as a disability claims specialist).  


I won’t be commencing anything until I get my final results back from Dr. Binning and together we come up with an appropriate plan.  My body is clearly deficient of other nutrients so I want to balance out my who body and gut biome.
All of these tests are starting to come together to give me a clearer picture of what’s going on in my body and why I’m feeling how I am.  
I can already start noticing little changes in how I feel just by eliminating gluten and dairy and reintroducing meat to my diet (organic).  Some days I don’t have the need to nap (although it is a bit of a struggle still).