The Subtle Art of Slow

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I have always struggled with the idea of slowing down. I run at a very high energy most days, which often tiptoes on the border of anxiety. My teaching job requires I show up to class with a certain amount of attentiveness to encourage others and hold space. My doTERRA business gets me super excited to learn, and educate others, and working on podcasts literally has my heart bursting with excitement.

The thing with running on high energy, is that if you don’t work on adding gas to the tank, eventually it will burn out. And if you haven’t been paying attention to the warning signs, you could end up suddenly crashing. High highs can also mean low lows.

This is a pattern I see in myself often, and that I’m really working on trying to break. I am often so busy dashing from place to place, and crossing things off my ‘to do’ list (aside; I feel like I cross 1 thing off, and 5 more pop up..?!) that I forget to tune in and see what my body ACTUALLY needs. Not what I *think* it needs.

This time of year (cold, grey, snowy, slushy) usually stresses me out beyond the load I already put on myself. It feels like it takes extra amounts of energy to do the same amount of work, yet that energy is nowhere to be found.

On top of energy/anxiety levels, I also worry. ALOT.

I worry that I will be late, I worry that I will be hungry, I worry that I’m not doing enough. I worry that I am letting others down, I worry that I’m letting myself down. I worry that if I don’t workout my body will change (thats a whoooole other spiral), I worry that if I do workout all my chronic pain is going to flare up and keep me awake.

It’s exhausting.

I was incredibly privileged this past weekend to participate in part 1 of a two part training with Andrea Peloso, and holy moly was it ever a reminder about the importance of rest for the body.

The systems of our body work together on such a deep, intentional level, and it’s important to remember that our bodies are SMART. If we pay attention to the alarm bells, we can possibly catch something that has gone awry before another, more serious issue presents itself.

Anxiety and worry live in our sympathetic nervous system. They are systems of the body designed to keep us alive and safe. But if we don’t take the time to honour and soothe those systems, and regulate ourselves through parasympathetic (rest/digest/restore) experiences, we end up living high up in our fight/flight/flee/freeze mode (sympathetic).

It’s like this;

  • I wake up to an aggressive alarm
  • I pass by someone yelling angrily on the phone as I quickly walk to the subway
  • I get bumped/shoved on the TTC
  • Someone is on the TTC yelling/ feels dangerous
  • I get to work and teach with high energy for 1-3 hours
  • I get pulled aside to privately learn about some personal issues a client is having
  • I go back out to the TTC
  • It is delayed because of a fire/emergency
  • I’m stuck in a dark tunnel which I don’t like #claustrophobic
  • I come home from teaching, whip up some food and look at the 80 emails in my mailbox
  • I look at all the things I have to do that day, that also impact other people (have they been waiting for my reply? Am I seemingly unprofessional?)
  • I work on making my way through that list
  • Suddenly its pitch black out, even though it’s only 430pm, I’m pooped, and still need to do my own workout
  • At the gym, the news is on, sharing all the ways the world is ending today
  • I come home from the gym, and my partner had a bad day, so he wants to unwind alone for a bit

Now don’t get me wrong, there’s lots of really great things about that list;

  • Sometimes I get woken up by a cuddle, or a forehead kiss instead of an alarm
  • I LOVE my job, and being a part of my community
  • I have tools to support me in moments when I feel stressed (#doterra4lyfe)
  • My gym is 1 minute down the road from me, which is quite a nice easy walk
  • I really love that my partner recognizes when he needs alone downtime, and I’m so happy to respect that

BUT for the sake of my point, let’s look at that first list. That’s a lot of things in a day that can spike our nervous system, and I consider my day to be pretty low intensity compared to other people I know. I am not a surgeon, nurse, lawyer, social worker, police officer, or any other immediately high stress job. I can’t even imagine what their list would look like. AND on top of that, a lot of these stressors happen daily, so we begin to regulate at a place where we get USED to them! As if all of that stress is a normal, healthy load on our systems (hint hint; its totally not!)

So how do we regulate ourselves so that our immune/hormonal/nervous systems all have a fighting chance? We slow down, we take some rest. We slowly sip that coffee, we journal. We do something we love every day that makes us feel really, really good. We do restorative work, and say no to things that really don’t need to be done. We set our schedules up for success as much as we can. We prioritize.

Although the commitment to honouring this is new to me, it actually feels like such a sigh of relief. As if I finally have permission to not do it all, or grow quickly. But rather to take my time, and be intentional. To know that when we take the time to invest in ourselves, in ALL of ourselves, that investment has returns that will take us far.

So not that you needed it from me but here it is anyway;

Permission. Permission to slow down, to take rest when you need it. Just because you want to. To take time for yourself every single day. The other beautiful thing? When we slow down, we have time to enjoy the ride..

Love, love, love

D xo

Flow Magic

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I was recently having a conversation with a client who is deeply involved in the music world. She has created many albums, worked with the stars (in fact, she is one herself!) and is in the middle of creating something special.

Knowing that I come from the arts, and that I work creatively now, she asked me for my opinion on what being in ‘flow’ or ‘connected’ feels like.

We talked about different ways this happens; in life, in energy work, in writing etc. I’ve been marinating on this question, and what it means to me for a little while. What DOES it feel like when the stars align, and I feel like I’m living my dharma? Do I even know?

This is where I’m at so far;

It feel like of all the gin joints, in all the world, I’m here with you.

It feels like every bump on the road, every hick-up, every deep dark moment had a purpose, a lesson. It hurt so bad because it was created precisely for me, to guide me here.

It feels like ever star, every planet, every plant is my guide; watching me and keeping me safe.

It feels like I simultaneously have all the answers, and none of the answers, but it doesn’t matter, because I will know what I need to know in time.

It feels like the whole universe is smiling down, is sending waves of energy and light through me.

It feels like my heart is connected to the centre of all beings, and is a channel to share its wisdom.

It feels like we are all one, and all unique.

It feels like I have an exact purpose designed for me, because my unique understanding is the exact message someone needs to hear.

It feels like love.

It feels like light, and floating, and bubbles and roots.

Like laughter and sunshine, and waves on the beach.

Like everything, from the smallest organism, to the largest and wildest are all beating as one, and I can hear the current of energy flowing through us all

like a sweet hum.

It feels like a current sweeping me along, with no desire to control it. A trust that this current is designed to support me so that I can share the guidance of its truth.

It feels like all the dark, and all the light dance together. Not good or bad, evil or righteous. But soul flames, designed to ignite.

It feels like magic, and truth- even if I don’t fully understand it.

It feels like the most beautiful hug I’ve ever had.

It feels like a secret to be told, and gratitude to be shared.

Of all the possible ways souls can travel, we all here to work together, grow together, love together.

Of all the gin joints in all the world, this one, is ours.

Love,

D xo

Stop, Drop, and GLOW

Source; @wavesaftermidnight (insta)

This catchy little phrase came to me while I was delayed on the TTC (as per usual).

I was thinking of all the quick, mini things I was doing to take care of my skin, and this phrase literally popped into my mind!

I’ve shared my more in-depth ritual behind how I take care of my skin here, which really dives in to the clean details. While an everyday routine for our outsides AND insides is important, here are some quick and easy things we can do on the daily to

stop, drop and GLOOOOW

  1. Drink 👏 More 👏 Water 👏

I know we’ve heard this from our mums, aunts, and grandmothers but its truuuue! Although I know it can get boring, this is how I keep it exciting;

COLD WATER

↬ Drink out of something that feels special. ↟ I drink from my fave cute purple swell water bottle

↬ Mix it up! I thrifted a SodaStream so that I could make fun bubbly water for the days I’m feeling less than enthused about drinking regular water

↬ Flavour!

  • Slices of lemon, lime, cucumber, oranges are all faves
  • If you have doterra Essential Oils a love lime, lemon, and grapefruit!

HOT WATER

↬ Lemon slices, peppermint leaves, ginger chunks are all lovely (especially in the morning)

  • If you have these in doterra Essential Oil form is keeps it extra quick and east (and messless!)

2) Add kale/spinach 🥬 (lutein), carrots, sweet potato, and pumpkin 🥕(Betacarotene) into your diet!

↬ Carrots and dip (usually hummus or lentil based dips) are my faaave snack

↬ If you’re thinking ‘there’s no quick and easy way to add greens Dom! I gotchoo, check out THIS post with my Green Jungle Smoothie Recipe (you won’t even know it’s in there)

3) Say nice things to your skin 🥰

↬ See a blemish? That’s our skins way of trying to protect us. Instead of getting super angry, or picking at it (I’m guilty of this too) say “Hey! Are we good? Can you get you anything? Maybe some water to help flush this out?”

** other things you can say to your skin include (but are not limited to)

  • Girl, you look good
  • Hey babes, how are we doing today?
  • I love you, thank you

4) Be mindful HOW you wash/moisturise 🙆‍♀️

  • Please do not aggresively scrub your skin like you’re trying to take a layer off.
  • Gentle circles, all the way around your face
  • Moisturize by dabbing onto skin, and then massaging product into your skin with love!

5) Adapt your ritual to the changing weather ☃️

↬ For anyone heading into winter we want to think gentle exfoliation to get out any extra dirt stuck to us from the snow. Also to massage away any flakiness that has come up during the day

↬ We want to moisturize in layers, so that as our vents are pumping stale hot air (blessed for this) into our dwellings, its not also taking moisture from our skin.

  • I did a whole post on my skin care, with this exact method. You can find it here!

↬ SUNSCREEN IS STILL IMPORTANT. I know it may not feel like it, but you can still get a sunburn in the winter!

 

💖 An extra note on kindness; the holidays are all about enjoying time doing what you love, with the people you love. This may mean eating a bit differently, or if you drink alcohol, it might mean a change in consumption. If you are drinking, you will definitely need to build more water into your day to keep the glow going.

As we have a rollercoaster of visiting, eating, celebrating and joyousness, be kind to yourself. If not for your own personal sanity, then for the sanity of your skin (it feels stress too!)

What do you think?! Are you ready toooo

STOP DROP AND GLOOOOWWWW

I think you are 😉

love, love, love

D xo

 

 

My Skincare Journey

I will be the first to say as far as skin health goes, I’ve been blessed with pretty great genetics. On both my parents side, nobody has ever really struggled with the health or aesthetics of their skin.

That being said, from a young age I was OBSESSED with all things related to taking care of our body’s biggest organ. The moment I learned berries were antioxidants I was obsessed with making sure I consumed them daily. Drink half your body weight in water? Done.

But what I can now look back with hindsight and see, is that a lot of what we were told about skin care, and continue to be told about skincare isn’t the full truth.

(Ps. Not interested in the full story? No worries! Click Here to jump straight to the ritual goodness!)

Are berries antioxidants? Yes, absolutely. Does that mean we should be eating loads of fruit daily? The answer, some would argue, is no. Berries are also a natural source of sugar, and if you aren’t careful they can affect the sugar levels in your body, and play with your insulin.

Is it recommended to drink half your body weight in water? Of course! Our body is 60% water! But as a teenager who already struggled with eating, that number becomes a little obsessive, and can almost become an excuse to drink water excessively.

After a couple years of travel induced parasite/ intestinal infections, stress, and anxiety my body was outraged. At 25, this came out in the form of big, welt like bumps on my face. Before heading to a big engagement in the UK no less.

This isn’t my face, I don’t have any pictures from this event, but this is the closest thing I could find.

I PANICKED.

I emailed every aesthetician I knew to see if I could get an appointment with them, to no avail. I was told told to use apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, toothpaste, but nothing worked. Approaching my skin with harsh chemicals, was only making it worse.

Eventually this particular outbreak calmed down, and I thought the worst was over.

But from that point onward I continued to have angry patches of breakouts.

I hadn’t changed anything in my diet, I hadn’t changed the products I had been using. The only thing I could thing of was that something internal was going on to have had such an extreme change in the quality of my skin.

I did some *intense* googling, and found a naturopath in Toronto that specialized in women’s hormones, skin health, and gut issues. She was pretty quick to notice that other symptoms I hadn’t noticed (thinning hair being one of them), were signs of deficiencies. We did a blood test (which my doctor was also quick to call me about), and came up with a plan of action.

My system had been so destroyed by infections and stress, that it was no longer absorbing nutrients.

There is an old saying ‘you are what you eat’

I counter with ‘you are what you absorb’

I followed her protocol, things were slightly getting better, but then I was on the road again, this time to Guatemala. The FIRST thing we were warned about was the likelihood of parasites and intestinal infection, and yup, you guessed it, I was the only one to get one.

By the time I got home I was tired and frustrated. Why did I care so much about how my skin looked? Why was it bothering me so much?

I was so upset and annoyed, because I felt like my body was asking for help, and I couldn’t figure out what it wanted.

January 2019
February 2019
March 2019

Now I know this doesn’t look that bad- but these shots were clipped from stories. I was actively avoiding taking pictures, and there is definitely makeup over these blemishes.

Finally I had had enough, which was around the same time I was REAALLLYY getting in to doterra, and researching their products beyond just essential oils. I have switched all my products over to doterra because of the CLARITY in where their products come from, how they are harvest, and the purity of what is in my bottle. I never worry about their being secret ingredients, and I can actually go online and find out where each oil is sourced.But honestly, what really started making the difference, were the supplements I take- if you want to glow on the outside, you have to start on the inside!

This is my current skincare routine, and it WORKS!

Doms’ Skin So Glow Ritual

doterra Life Long Vitality

A series of three suppliements; one for cellular health (skin/brain included!), one for gut health, and one as a multivitamin. If we want our skin to be healthy on the outside, we HAVE to start on the inside.

Bio K Probiotic – Rice (Blueberry flavour)

I’ve been taking this daily for years, and for me, I can tell the difference when I don’t take it. I’ve struggled with gut health since puberty, with the amount of infections/parasites I’ve had, it really helps support my system function. Again, if we want to glow on the outside, we have to start on the inside.

doterra Yarrow / Pom Cellular Beauty Complex

This is a very recent addition, and I’m SUPER excited about it. Most supplements available are marine collagen based, and as a vegan that doesn’t work for me. This complex is designed with;

  • Grape seed extract – antioxidants
  • Grape seed extract and Zinc Citrate – neutralize a broad range of free radicals
  • Melon extract, with its antioxidant properties, enhances skin radiance
  • Vitamin C, necessary for the growth and development of all body tissues and is essential for collagen production
  • Also includes Celery Seed, Frankincense, Palmarosa, Turmeric,and Melissa
  • Also helps with a healthy metabolic response in the body! As well as cellular, immune and nervous system function

EXTERNAL FACE

WASH:

doterra Invigorating Scrub

  • Grapefruit and peppermint oils, plus loads of other goodness, this feels so so nice on my skin. Scrubby but not aggressive, sometimes I use it on my body because it’s so lovely.

TONE:

doterra Verage

  • ylang-ylang, coriander, palm arose, cypress oils, I love putting this on post wash/pre moisturise to rebalance my skin and have it damp for moisturizer!

MOISTURISE

doterra Immortelle Anti-aging Blend

  • Francinsense, Hawaiian Sandalwood, Lavender Oil, Myrrh, Helichrysum and Rose oil
  • Restorative/anti-aging
  • Night time ritual

doterra Essential Skincare Hydrating Cream

  • Cocoa seed butter is a nutrient-rich emollient that helps keep skin hydrated
  • Lactococcus Ferment Lysate helps to reinforce the skin’s natural barrier
  • Laminaria digitata (Oarweed) extract comes from an algae rich in amino acids and polypeptides
  • Lavender, Jasmine, Geranium, and Frankincense
  • This was specifically designed for mature skin, but to be honest its my fave!

doterra Yarrow/Pom

  • Proprietary blend of Yarrow essential oil and cold-pressed Pomegranate seed oil 
  • I use ONE drop of this, it is strong! With the addition of taking it internally I need very little topically
  • Promotes healthy, glowy skin, and reduces the appearance of blemishes
  • Nighttime ritual

MY LOTION POTION;

  • Roll Immortelle onto your hand until you have a thin layer
  • Scoop a little bit of moisturizer into the Immortelle layer
  • 1 drop of Yarrow/Pom
  • Gently mix together, and then massage into your face (I scoop out and up around my eyes, into the scar on my forehead, and down my neck)

*** Since using this mix I have noticed how much more my scar has healed! It never bothered me, I never intended on healing it more, and DDAAYYMMM this potion mix has made a difference!

EXTERNAL BODY

doterra Spa Hydrating Beautiful Blend Body Mist

  • UMM SO DELICIOUS.  Plus the nourishing properties of coconut, sunflower, avocado, and passion fruit

doterra Yarrow/Pom Body Renewal Serum

  • Jojoba, Sunflower, Avocado, Grape Seed and Argan Kernel oils increase hydration and help prevent normal signs of aging
  • Coffee Seed Extract is a skin conditioning agent that helps increase the appearance of smooth skin, improves skin texture, and rejuvenates the skin
  • Yarrow essential oil reduces the appearance of aging skin and promotes the look of young and healthy skin

BODY POTION;

  • Spray Body Mist into your hand or onto your body
  • Add a few pumps of Yarrow/Pom Serum

Literally watch your body glow

I know, I know. Who actually has time for all of this? I do. I make the time for it. I love the ritual of washing my face, massaging my skin, smelling AMAZING. I always make time for it, because it ACTUALLY works.

Honestly.

I’m SO grateful I’ve found something that works, because the feeling I get, looking in the mirror and seeing glowing skin back at me is such a beautiful way to start the day.

love, love, love

D xo

PS. Do you want your own person Skin So Glow ritual?! CLICK HERE to redeem your free 1-1 planning date so you can say hello to your best skin xo

(why buy products and hope they work, when you can buy products and KNOW they will work?!)

The *witchy* truth

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It has been joked in my friends circle for years that I’m ‘witchy’.

I’m always concocting creations, I deeply believe in plant and plant medicine. I have had weird ‘abilities’ since childhood, I even used to get visions.

I’ve had a very funny relationship with this side of myself, BECAUSE it has always been brought up jokingly.

Oh Dom probably has a potion for that

Dom, just come visit me in your dreams

Dom, can you just ask the spirits?!

Up until now I haven’t minded all the joking, in fact, I’ve kind of enjoyed it (I even have a friend that sometimes refers to me as Bruja Blanca.. white witch).

But as I get older, and as I do more and more work on my version of my truth, the more I recognize that this isn’t a joke to me. That there’s a lot that has gone on in my life that isn’t, in fact, normal. I’m very lucky to have a small group of friends who also experience things a bit differently than the average, so I forget to step outside of my comfort zone and explain to others exactly how it’s been throughout my life.

When I was little, my friends and I used to play imaginary games (I have always had a strong creative side/imagination). We used to have magical cats (sort of like our version of Salem), and would have to solve imaginary problems in an imaginary world. Except I would imagine so hard that I would actually see them.

I now recognize that when kids play *imaginary* games, they aren’t actually seeing anything, rather make believing. I have always been a very literal person, so if we were going to play with magical cats in a magical world, you better believe I was working overtime to conjure them up. And I did.

As I got older, around 12/14, I recognized that I had really vivid, clear dreams. And that sometimes months, sometimes days later those dreams would actually come to fruition.

I also dreamed a LOT about babies. Not in a way where I was a mother, but rather they would talk to me and give me messages. Not always directly, it usually comes as a bit of a riddle in dream form, but still. I was honestly frightened for years that I would wake up pregnant (even though I knew that was impossible) because of how intense these dreams were.

When I was 16/17 I had a full on vision that my best friend (who I actually wasn’t speaking to at the time) was going to be in a car accident where her car would roll over under a bridge. I woke up that day and ran upstairs to call her (good old house line days) and my mum was already on the phone with her mum about an accident that had happened within a couple of hours of what I saw.

For my entire teens I was overwhelmed, sick, and confused. All the energy I was reading from others and myself was being held in my body and manifesting as chronic vomitting, strep throat, colds, anxiety, and stress.

Do you remember The Green Mile? How Michael Clarke Duncan played a man who could absorb pain from others? That was what I wanted to do, what I felt like was my duty to do. I felt like if I could absorb everybody else’s pain, then it would mean everybody in my life would be okay.

Now if you’re also like that, let me take a quick moment to remind you (lovingly) that is it NOT our jobs to do that for people. It is not on you, or any other individual to absorb someone else’s story, or pain and take it on as our own. We can provide support, and we can provide tools, but there HAS to be an energetic boundary.

Through this time of illness I met an energy healer in my community. Within minutes of our first session she told me I come from a long line of healers (I had been told this many times before, and many times since). She told me that I have the potential to slip in to medium hood if I wanted to, and that I had been using my potential power against myself. She was the first to introduced tangible intuitive training, and taught me how to use sage as a way to cleanse myself and my boundaries. She is also the reason that you may hear me muttering “this energy doesn’t belong to me, you must leave if you are not here for my highest good” as I fan myself down in a bathroom stall.

She is also how I began to awaken to my potential.

A year or so after working with her, a lifetime mentor of mine passed away. She was young, and her passing was sudden. It happened right in the middle of the winter performance season in my second year of professional dance training. I had reconnected with her, and was planning on going home the following day to see her and catch up. The night before we had planned to meet a friend texted me asking what had happened, and how she had died so suddenly.

Her death affected me deeply. She had been such an important person throughout my life, and it was the first time someone who had influenced me outside of my family had passed away. It took me a fair few weeks to get myself together in class and be able to keep moving forward through school.

The night before our final spring performance I had a dream. I dreamed I was walking to class, and she was stood outside talking to my ballet teacher. As I got closer, she turned towards me, waved and smiled.

I was so taken aback, I couldn’t even register it was her

“I am so so happy to see you”, I said, “But you shouldn’t be here, don’t you know you’re dead?”

She laughed

“Oh Dom! No, don’t worry about that. That’s just a thing I do. You may think I’ve died, but I’ve actually been here the whole time. You have so so much ahead of you! You’re doing amazing. Have a great last night of shows, I’ll be watching”

When I woke up, it took me many heartbeats to calm down and remember she had died.

I have never ever forgotten that dream, the realness of that dream. That was the dream that really helped me understand just how possible it is to be connected beyond our physical world.

The older I get, the more I learn and turn to this side of myself. The side that is so much harder to explain to people, but feels right to me. Sometimes I have spirits following me, but they’re usually children, and often here for good. Sometimes I receive messages, and if I’m quick to write them down I can decipher them.

Being initiated into the world of Reiki has helped me beyond what I imagined. It offered me a system to balance what I feel and what I know. It has offered my the skills to protect myself so that I CAN explore and be open to messages for other people.

I have guides that talk to me and share with me. I use pure essential oils as a way to connect with mother nature, and also keep myself as clear as possible. I use them for emotional and spiritual support. I read cards as a way to channel messages for myself and for others.

And one day, I may be ready to step in to mediumship.

But mostly I’m ready to honour my truth, to speak my truth.

So yes, I am witchy. I am weird and unusual and so so bright.

But we ALL are, in our own unique way.

Love, love, love

D xo

Machu Picchu and the Oils

My mum is constantly inspiring me.

She moved to Canada alone at 18 to experience a new life. She went back to school in her 30s once my sister and I were both in full-time school. She can throw a killer party, and she has always been supportive of mine and my sisters choices, not matter how unconventional (ummmm, I went to Colombia when I was 18 and spoke no Spanish.. and she said ‘have fun’….)

So it came as now surprise to me when my mum announced that completing Machu Picchu was on her bucket list.

She trained for MONTHS, taking day long hikes in our local green spaces to adjust to the feeling of climbing for hours.

Not only was climbing a huge task, but my mum had never travelled to a country in South America, or done any sort of backpacking before. So like any well prepared explorer, she did her research.

She learned pretty quickly that there were a few big hurdles (despite the actual climbing) with going on this adventure.

  • At some point, it was going to become hard to breath.
  • There were no real accommodations to bathe after days of long hiking, which meant sitting in your own sweat (and sweat wicking clothing) for most of the trip
  • New country = New food. And although she has an iron stomach, you really never know

Now, although Doterra is a part of my passion and business, it was really my mum who introduced me to essential oils and natural solutions. She has been making her own house cleaner, stain removers, and essential oil potions my whole life. In fact, when I had my accident, my mum was quick to make sure I had nontoxic solutions close by, such as a bag of pine needles to smell (I find the aroma very soothing) when I had insomnia from PTSD.

I digress.

SO it came as no surprise to me when my mum started asking me about which essential oils would be most helpful on her trip.

She narrowed it down to three.

  • Peppermint (Doterra) so that she could use it to help breathing, pop into hot water for tea, and pop a drop in her mouth should it start to feel dry/breath management
  • Lemon (Doterra) which GENIUS that she is, my mum used as a shower wash! She discovered that the bathing system was a bucket of water and a washcloth to wipe yourself down with. So she added a couple of drops to the water bucket and used it as an antibacterial to clean herself ANNNDD it happens to smell amazing. AND because Doterra essential oils aren’t filled with any synthetics, its non harmful to the environment once the water was dumped (honestly, this woman never ceases to amaze me)
  • Plus also it can be used as a tummy tamer tea!
  • Ginger (Doterra) to take drops of in her mouth, or in her tea, OR rub on her stomach should things start to go arie

Word on the long path to Machu Picchu is that every time she got the peppermint out the sherpa cracker a huge smile because he LOVED it. She was also the camper everyone wanted to sleep next to because she smelled amaze. AND she was the only one who didn’t have any tummy trouble while she was away.

When I talk about empowered living, about having REAL tools to help you through the tough stuff, tools that are sourced with the highest possibly ethos, and are of the highest possible quality, I’m not kidding.

It may sound silly, but having those three little bottles helped my mum feel like she could. Yes, she could breath. Yes, she could camp. Yes, she could bathe out of a bucket. Yes, she can climb any mountain, because she knew she had tools that went beyond just believing they would work- they actually did.

My mum proves to me every day that we can do anything we set our minds too. But sometimes, its nice to have some help, some comfort. These bottles continue to amaze me in just how deep the effects go.

And when I climb Machu Picchu, which I know I will, you better believe I’ll be bringing my oils with me too (and quite honestly, probably also my mum!)

What mountain are you climbing today?!

D xo

PS. If you’re curious to invite these gifts of the earth in to your life, send me an email or schedule a time to chat!

The time I ran a half marathon

I CANNOT believe I get to write the sentence “I ran a half marathon”

Never in my entire life did I think that was something I would ever think of doing, train to do, and then actually complete.

I have never been a fan of cardio. In all my years of professional dance training, I dreaded our conditioning classes. I don’t like the feeling of my heart pounding in my chest, I don’t like the feeling of my muscles being worked to their max, and I don’t like feeling sore the next day.

I know, BOLD statements from someone who works in wellness, but I think it’s really important to know that even though I feel this way, I still push myself. I might complain about it, and make sassy jokes, but the feeling I LOVE is finishing something I didn’t think I could do.

I’ve actually been learning that it is really common for anyone who has faced a physical/mental/emotional trauma to struggle with the feeling of ‘working hard’. It basically comes down to the fact that our bodies have associated the feeling of hard work with struggle and pain. I think this makes complete sense.

When I first started rebuilding my muscles I was working with muscle mass that had deteriorated down to almost nothing. It was really hard for me to look at my legs, and see that one was muscular and strong, while the other looked like it had withered away (because it had). Now please know, this is not a judgement on the aesthetic of body types and choices. This was my process going from a full time athlete, to a person in full time rehabilitation.

What it did do, was force me to be humble, and kind to my body. I was grateful for the days I could walk without assistance. I was grateful for the days when I didn’t feel like I had been hit by a truck. I was grateful for finding pilates, because I could build muscle strength without weight bearing. I was grateful for being on my yoga mat, even though my practice was MILES different from what it had been when I was an athlete. Gosh, I was grateful when I could put on pretty shoes, and walk in something that wasn’t sized to my swollen foot.

When my mum started training for her first running race, I had been over the major hump of strength building, and was working on maintenance. I was so relieved to have made it through the toughest part of any journey (the start), that I had no interest in challenging myself again.

I watched my mum train for a 5km race, a 10km race, and eventually SELF train for a half marathon (HONESTLY, after going through the process with a clinic, I am in awe she trained by herself).

I watched her meal prep, put parts of her social life aside so that she could go for multiple runs a week. I watched her work on strength in a way I had never seen before, and I listened to her gush about how much she enjoyed the challenge.

I cheered my Mama on for her first race, absolutely beaming with pride that she had done it all for herself.

My Mum has continued running since that point, and has completed hundreds of different run challenges, plus her second half marathon where she set a new personal record.

After two years of watching my mum push herself in a whole new way, I decided it would be a nice bonding activity to run together. I had actually very little interest in running, but mostly wanted to do one of these fun races my mum had been glowing over, with her.

We signed up to do a 10km race on Mothers Day 2019. I trained on an app, in the gym, and when I got home from that race collapsed on the couch.

I had worried about all the typical new runner things;

  • Do I need to carb load before hand (the answer is objectively yes, and I absolutely did)
  • Do I need specific gear? (I would recommend investing in quality items if you’re going to run regularly)
  • Will I need to poop during the run? And if yes, will there be washrooms (they recommend you carry toilet paper for a reason!)

While I was collapsed on the couch, enjoy a few peanut butter cups (the best part about training/finishing a run is recouping the calories haha) I started to feel the curiosity bug my mum had been talking about all this time.

“10km wasn’t so bad, and a half marathon is just that.. twice.. in a row. I bet that wouldn’t be so bad”

Was my actual thought process

So on the advice of my (very excited) mother, I signed up with my local Running Room for the clinic that would lead us right in to the Toronto Scotiabank Half Marathon.

I’m going to be really, really honest here. I honestly didn’t think I would make it all the way through. Trainings were Tuesday pm (easy enough), Wednesday pm (hard- I taught all day on Wednesdays and was always super tired), and Sunday 830am (LOL WAT).

The first couple weeks I had a very playful approach to training. The weather got very hot very quickly, and those first few Sunday runs we fuelled by chips, Saturday night drinks, and the promise of jumping back in to bed when I got home.

But once we started hitting those 12km and above marks I felt a very clear, very beyond my control shift. I realized I actually really cared, and wanted to do well. I was actually really enjoying these runs, and the people I had met through the training program. I was, dare I say, looking forwards to those early morning Sunday runs.

So, I stopped drinking. I spend most of the summer sober, including the weddings, bridal showers, and birthday parties I attended (except maybe my own, but even then it was pretty minimal). I invested in some good gear, and I got really serious about eating enough- a behaviour I didn’t even realize I was still carrying.

As August rolled in to September, and my training mates began registering for the race, I had a moment where I realized I could still possibly back out. I hadn’t paid anything, I hadn’t committed in any other way than showing up to train. As this doubt danced across my mind, I sat with it as I signed up.

The energy of race day, is just as electric and exciting as people say. Knowing you are participating in an athletic event that ANYONE can sign up to do, is really really cool. It feels both totally special, and absolutely ordinary. Seeing the many of hundreds of different kinds of bodies and abilities that show up to these races is inspiring. I used to think running was reserved for the elite. That I could only run if I had a certain body type, and certain aesthetic.

ANY body can do these races. It takes training, and commitment, and absolute honesty with yourself. It means exchanging your timetable to include more movement. It means telling yourself every day that YES. YOU CAN.

I was afraid of the competition, but what I have learned most of all.The lesson I have learned with absolute clarity through this whole process, is that we are only EVER competing with ourselves.

It is up to you if you want that competition to be a friendly one or not. Personally, I like to keep it kind.

As I’m typing this, my race pictures have come through. I stopped to take a cheeky peek, expecting my face to look hilarious and miserable.

But it’s not, it’s beaming.

I’m beaming.

Your thing might not be running. Maybe your thing is a sport you want to try, or a course you want to take. Maybe it’s a conversation with a friend, or making a career pivot.

If nothing else, please know that you CAN do the thing. You can do ANYTHING you put your mind to, and prepare for.

Time is going to pass anyway, so just do it!

Besides, you’re only competing against yourself.

Love, love, love

D xo

Top Tips for Veganism

This photo captured one of the most magical moments of my life.

If you’ve ever seen the movie Stand By Me, you’ll remember the scene where Gordie sees a deer in the woods.

For anyone who has forgotten or maybe hasn’t seen the movie (stop everything you’re doing and go watch it right now!) Here’s the quick and dirty;

Gordie has been adventuring with three of his best friends in the woods. He wakes up early in the morning, and finds a quiet place to sit all by himself and read. A deer comes out from the trees, and they have a peaceful moment holding space for each other, and then the deer runs off.

My version is a little less dramatic, but absolutely just as magical.

I was meditating, when this baby cow found its way onto the platform my classmates and I were working. Cows are sacred in India- they are not killed, or eaten. They are allowed to wander wherever they want, and it is common to be stuck in traffic because a herd is taking a stroll in the street.

You can feel the sacred energy of these animals physically- even if you don’t know this tradition. This energy of sacredness, this is how I feel about all animals. I cannot bear the thought of an animal suffering, or being neglected.

However it may come as a surprise for you to learn, that this is actually not why I became vegan.

Although I love animals, I had never once connected the dots of the animals I see in nature, and the animal that ended up on my plate.

I became vegan because I was chronically, and frustratingly sick. All.The.Time

I was in and out of doctors offices for tests from 14-18, and the best they could come up with was ‘IBS’

To be completely honest, I believe the diagnosis ‘IBS’ is a heaping pile of ‘BS’.

IBS (irritable bowl syndrome) means that your body is reacting to, or having a hard time processing substances being ingested.

The BEST they can do, is give you medication (I was prescribed Buscopan- it didn’t always work), and the worst is no help at all.

At my lowest point I would go for days without eating , because my system was inflamed from food.

After zero help from these 4 years of testing, I decided to do it myself (a pattern I can see now throughout my life).

I decided to eat a clean, vegan diet for 8 weeks and see how I felt.

I looked up recipes (Pinterest is the best! Check out my fave recipes here!)

I read books

I found supplements

I bought foods I had never worked with before, and spent time meal planning and cooking

And guess what?

It worked.

I felt HAPPY.

So, so happy. I felt strong, I felt capable.

I felt healthy.

For the first 1.5 years I was about 90% vegan. If I was in a situation where I had no other option, or I wanted to try a certain dish I would make an acception.

For the past 3.5 years I have been 100% vegan, plant based thriving.

I have learned to love cooking, because I love knowing I have agency over my health.

Bonus, being vegan is the most sustainable option for the planet as it exists today. So if cutting out your meat and cheese feels impossible on a full time basis, consider cutting down.

Down to help save the planet, but not sure where to start?!

No worries!

I’ve got my top tips for bringing plant based solutions into your life!

I’ve attached a PDF version so you can print it out and put it on your fridge!

Easily accesible = easily implementable!

Have any questions about veganism/my lifestyle?!

Shoot me an email dcheshiremovement@gmail.com!

Happy eating!

D xo

Pick up your PDF of my top tips HERE

Top Tips for Veganism! 

  1. Pick one meal a day, and commit to making that your daily vegan experiment

Breakfast smoothies are the EASIEST way to do this! Not sure what to put in it? Check out my jungle green smoothie recipe!

2. Pick one day of the week, and commit to making that your earth health day

Breakfast; Smoothie, nut butter on toast with hemp seeds, Overnight oats,  veggie stir fry

Lunch; Avocado smash on toast, soup, salads, grains/noodle bowls

Dinner; Veggie pastas, stew, spaghetti squash, simple  daahl, tacos, lasagna (YES! You can make this vegan)

3. Try a local vegan restaurant

Most major cities have at least a couple of good vegan options. But keep an open mind. I don’t care how close it might be, the vegan version of an omnivore treat will never taste the same. Go for something plant based, that’s not pretending to be something else.

4. Look at vegan recipes/cookbooks

You may see something in there that just tickles your fancy (or curiosity). I HIGHLY recommend Pinterest for this. All the resources are free, and you can keep them in one folder for easy recall later on.  My favourite recipes and recipe books can be found HERE

5. Know YOUR health

Check in with the stats of your last blood test. Did you have any deficiencies? If so- what were they. Chances are you are low in something on your current diet. Make sure you supplement accordingly, and pay attention to eating foods high in what you might need.

I personally supplement with Doterras Life Long Vitality pack, pre/probiotics, and B12 when needed.

6. Check in with how you’re feeling post vegan meal

We are quick to sense when we’re feeling crappy, but not as much when we’re feeling good. If you’re prone to IBS flare ups check in with how you’re feeling after a meal. If not amazing- assess what you ate, it’s information on what your body has a hard time with (for me, nuts and seeds). If you feel great, you’ve just added a risk free meal to your list!

7. Be kind to yourself- a step forward is a step forward, no matter the size.

Baby steps can lead to giant progress, especially with our bodies. When we think about how much our bodies do for us all day every day- down to the nanocells, it cannot all change in a day. However, giving ourselves time and kindness to learn and adapt is not only going to benefit you as it pertains to your diet, but also physical, mental, emotional health.

YOU CAN DO IT!

Hodge Podge Noodle Pot

Hellooooo fall!

While I am a summer girl until the end, I have to admit I love fall for all things warm and cozy. Big sweaters, fuzzy socks, and delish soups and stews.

I like to keep things quick, simple and chunky when it comes to stews. You can catch me making my fave noodle pot stew almost every week from October-April. What I love so much about this recipe is that you can alter it however you’d like.

Obviously being vegan I keep to that in the recipe, but you can swap out whatever you would like. I stick with a base of mushrooms and onions, but after that the world is your oyster! You could literally add oysters if you wanted to!

So please, cozy up and enjoy my fave recipe, and don’t forget to email me your pics when you make it!

Happy stewing!

D xo

PS. As you will be able to see in the pictures below, I use tinfoil. I’m not super pleased with this, but as I live with and share cooking supplies with carnivores its necessary. I haven’t found any good replacements (yet) but I’m super open to any earth friendly suggestions you may have!

Hodge Podge Noodle Pot

INGREDIENTS;

  • Vegetable broth (or bouillon cubes)
  • 1 tbsp Vegeta seasoning
  • 1 tbsp White Miso paste
  • Noodles (Tofu  Shiritake Noodles)
  • Tofu chunks (Ying Yang Soy food in Sweet & Spicy or Black Bean)
  • 1 medium-large sweet white onion
  • 2-3 cups sliced Mushrooms (Shiitake)
  • 2 cups Brussel Sprouts
  • Avocado Oil
  • Dash of garlic powder, onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  •  2 tbsp Low sodium soy sauce

TO MAKE;

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 400*F. If using brussel sprouts I recommend washing and steaming before continuing to the next step.
  • 2. Wash all veggies! Slice mushroom tops and chop onion to your preferred thickness (I like them chunky!)
  • 3. Toss all veggies into a bowl (including brussel sprouts if using) Mix with dollup of avocado oil, salt/pepper to taste, and a light sprinkle of onion & garlic powder.
  • 4. Lay veggies on a lined or greased baking tray, and leave in oven for 20-25 minutes- until they start to look towards browning
  • 5.While veggies are in the oven,  add 2.5-3 cups (however much you have space for) vegetable broth into your crock pot
  • 6. Add the miso paste, soy sauce, salt and pepper,  and vegeta to the broth. Lid and let simmer
  • 7. Once the veggies are ready, take them out of the oven and slide them into the crockpot. Add the tofu and noodles.
  • 8. Cook on medium heat settings for about an hour, and then voila!

TIPS;

  • I have used all kinds of different sauces for this. I play with different asian inspired flavours to mix it up
  • Play with the seasonings you cook your veggies in!
  • This is a dish I make weekly, but change it up with different vegetables. 
  • Try potatoes, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach (add at the end), broccoli, whatever tickles your fancy!
  • Enjoy in a cozy blanket, with people you love ❤

Extra top tip! To bring out a little bit more flavour in your brussel sprouts mix them in a bowl (post steaming) with two drops of doterra lemon oil and salt

Click here to get a pdf version of your soon to be new fave recipe!

Happily, thrifty, after

I LOVE getting dressed up. I spend most of my days in leggings and sports bras, so I relish an opportunity to put on something fancier and do my makeup.

However, I am most definitely deep into the phase of my life where fancy events come up quicker than I can find an outfit to wear.

As much as I love dressing up, I also deeply believe in sustainability in all areas of my life- including fashion. While browsing the isles of a thrift store can be fun when you’re just looking casually, it can become a wee bit stressful when you have something particular in mind.

I have had some GOLD finds thus far in my hunting days;

Chloe wedges, a Chloe blouse, Levi’s that fit perfectly!

But none has served me as well as my little coral dress.

I bought this dress for $8 from a second hand store in Oakville. It didn’t fit my perfectly well, but it had the makings of a decent silhouette.I paid $20 to get it altered so that although it isn’t snug, it had a much cleaner line to it.

I have worn this dress to no less than FOUR weddings.

FOUR.

And counting.

This year I attended five weddings and one bridal shower and did not buy a single new thing.

Not one.

Now I will also say that I am very lucky to have a friend who shares many of the same physical measurements as me, so I was fortunate enough to borrow some things from her. SOO I recommend if thrifting is not your fave, go friend hunting instead to see if you can find someone with clothes you like, in the size you wear.

If you’re curious to explore what this life is like, here are some of my top tips;

  • Buy something that physically feels good on your skin, that you know you will want to wear again (no irritating fabric/tags)
  • Stay open to mixing and matching- its amazing how changing up accessories/shoes can give an outfit an entirely different vibe
  • If you love the thing that doesn’t fit quite right- get it anyway, and get it altered
  • *And get it altered immediately. Don’t let it hangout in your closet
  • How do you feel in this piece?! If even a penny less than a million bucks, don’t even bother. You’ll probably end up leaving it in your closet for a year, and then donating it back (I have done this)
  • If you know you have an event coming up, start looking for something months before, not weeks. Thrifting is exciting when you find something good, but thats not guaranteed to happen every time.

These are a few of my fave thrifting finds, and where they initially came from!

Coral Tank – Top Shop

Jean Skirt- Zara

Shoes- Call It Spring (Old, not thrifted)

Tank- H&M (Old, Not Thrifted)

Jean Shorts- Unknown

Jeans- Levi (Mile High Super Stretch Skinny)

Vest – Dynamite

Shoes – Charity shop in Scotland

  • FOR SALE! email if interested

Blazer- H&M

Shoes-(Call It Spring, not thrifted)

Shirt – H&M

Shoes- Steve Madden (not thrifted)

  • FOR SALE (email if interested

Shirt- Zara

Overalls- Hollister

Wedges- Chloe

  • FOR SALE (email if interested)

Dress- Wilfred Free

Shoes- Fluevog (gifted)

Dress- Wilfred

THE CORAL DRESS LOOK ONE

Dress- Rebellion

Shoes- Aldo (old, not thrifted)

THE CORAL DRESS LOOK TWO

Shoes- Madden Girl (old, not thrifted)

Thank you so much for making it all the way through! And just in case you started thinking I walk around looking put together all the time, this is how you can find me most days..

love, love, love

D xo