How to Love Yourself

How are you?  What’s new?

How would you answer these questions?  I used to answer them with responses like “fine, well, ok, not much, same old… etc.” but I’m aiming higher these days.  I refuse to let “good” get the best of me.  I’m in it for great.  Revolutionary.  I want to wake up every single day and have to pinch myself because surely I must be dreaming.  I want to stay up late and wake up early because I get to be me.

Life is in a constant state of change.  We’re always moving from A to B to C to wherever.  There are about a zillion ways to get from A to B but I want to get there in a flying car doing 150 at least.  I’m fully in it for the ride, wherever I go and whatever I do, I do it with joy.  I try to find acceptance in everything.  While cleaning up the kitchen for the 50 millionth time isn’t my favourite thing to do, I accept that it must be done, and I look for the joy.  It gives me an opportunity to check in with myself in a sort of moving meditation kind of way where I get to hang out with one of my favourite people: Me.

I wasn’t always this way.  There was a time when I was completely unsuccessful at loving myself.  I didn’t think I could do anything right and I disliked myself for not being smarter, thinner, and more outgoing.  I was withholding love from myself, and I was suffering for it.

I don’t know what happened in my childhood to make me think I didn’t deserve love.  Maybe I’ve been holding onto this indoctrination from a past life.  I’m actually certain of it.  Wherever I picked it up from, I am incredibly glad that I have come to know that I deserve an epic love story.  My Aha moment came during a soul shattering breakup in which I finally learned my lesson: Love yourself.  I kept ignoring the signs that told me to put myself first, but my angels were persistent with this lessen.  I couldn’t ignore them anymore.  My oxygen mask was finally on and my sole focus became making myself happy.

Your Ideal Best Friend: What Qualities do They Have?

What qualities do you look for in a best friend?  Write them down.  Here is my list: Supportive, communicative, authentic, honest, keeps in touch, inspiring, passionate, appreciative, funny, easy to talk to, good listener, not too serious, kind, loving, generous, trustworthy, adventurous, driven, joyful, understanding.  Now, look at your list and ask yourself if you’re being a good friend to your friends.  Now ask if you’re being a good friend to YOURSELF.  What areas do you need to put a little more work into?  What areas are you doing a good job in?  Journal about your successes and what you can do to improve in certain areas.  I certainly had a lot to write about after I did this exercise.


Words of Affirmation to Love Yourself

Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself: “You are worthy of great love.  You are loving.  You are loved.  Thank you, body, for being an amazing place to live.  I give you nourishing food and plenty of water so that you may keep me healthy and energetic.  I love you.”  Feel free to change this and add some personal touches.  Make it perfectly and authentically yours, and make it full of love.

Support yourself every single day.  Every time you see yourself in the mirror, give yourself love.  If you ever start getting negative toward yourself, remind yourself that you have always done the best you could do.  But now your best is better, so you can do better!

Traditional Greek Salad

I LOVE Greek salad.  What I don’t love is ordering it in a restaurant and being incredibly disappointed pretty much every time.  Greek salad doesn’t have lettuce in it.  It’s full of chunky vegetables and kalamata olives!  They should be the star of the show, and not just a garnish atop iceberg lettuce!  Rant over.  Here’s how to make a simple Greek salad that surely won’t disappoint!


Greek Salad

  • 4 tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 cucumber, cut into chunks
  • 1 green pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 red pepper, cut into chunks
  • 5 oz goat’s milk feta cheese, crumbled
  • ½ cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • ¼ cup sliced red onion
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix. Serve immediately.

If serving a large number of people, you can cut up all of the vegetables ahead of time.  Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, black pepper, and garlic in a separate bowl and set aside.  Mix in the dressing just before serving.

Salted Caramel Sauce

This happened today, and I can’t keep it to myself.  It’s probably my most favourite recipe ever.

I have always loved caramel.  I still sneak a few of those little square caramels every Halloween, even though I know they’re going to make me feel sick. Last year I even attempted making my own caramel covered candy apples – from scratch.  Don’t do it.  It’s painstakingly annoying and health destroying.

The alternative?  This caramel concoction that takes about 2 minutes to make. It’s like apples were made to be dipped in it.  No more fighting with plastic to open little caramels, and no more caramel sauce filled with dairy.  I’ll be dipping apple slices in this from now on!  And obviously, it’s kid approved.


Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla powder
  • 1/4 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend!  Done.

Now cut up an apple, dip it in the caramel sauce, and eat it.

You’re welcome.

Creamy Chicken Soup

There are a lot of soups that I used to enjoy as a kid that came out of a can.  Cream of chicken soup was one of them.  I’m almost certain that I would feel ill if I tried to eat them today.  And while making soup from scratch take a little more effort, you are rewarded with amazing flavour and quality that you can feel good about feeding your family!


Creamy Chicken Soup

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil or butter
  • ½ cup gluten free flour
  • 6 cups organic chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • salt and pepper to taste (I think I used approx a tsp of sea salt)

Chop up the onion, celery, and carrots and place in a large soup pot with the coconut oil or butter over medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.

Add the flour and cook for an 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the chicken broth and thyme and bring to a boil. Chop up the raw chicken breast into bite sized pieces and add to the boiling soup. Turn down the heat to low/medium and simmer for 10 minutes, until chicken is cooked.

Transfer soup to a high-speed blender and add the coconut milk. Blend until smooth. Return soup the pot and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve.


Cranberry Orange Muffins

These muffins took a few weeks to perfect but they were worth the wait!  The recipe makes 15 muffins because each time I tried to change the amount of batter, the muffins didn’t turn out as well as this exact recipe.  I ended up just placing the 3 extra silicone muffin cups on top of the filled muffin tin (each at a joint between 4 muffins in the tin).  I hope that makes perfect sense to you…  If I overfilled the silicone cups, the muffins would cook over the edges and were impossible to remove.

I happen to have xylitol in the pantry, so if you don’t you can either skip it or use a pinch of sugar.  I love the extra hint of sweetness on top since cranberries are quite tart.


Cranberry Orange Muffins

  • 1.5 cups + 2 tbsp almond flour
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder (vanilla extract works also)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 tbsp orange zest (zest of 2 naval oranges)
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • xylitol for garnish

Line a muffin tin with silicone cups.

In a large bowl, mix together almond flour, chia seeds, baking soda, vanilla powder, and sea salt.

In a separate bowl, mash the banana, and add the orange zest, orange juice, eggs, maple syrup, and coconut oil.  Mix well and add to the dry mixture.

Mix in cranberries.

Scoop the muffin batter into the silicone muffin cups, filling them each 3/4 of the way.

Bake for 25 minutes.  Let cool completely in pan to avoid muffins falling apart!




Live, Die, Repeat

I had a moment of epiphany that struck me last night while watching “Live, Die, Repeat.”  It was such an unexpected, magical healing moment and I instantly knew that all of my relationships would improve because of it.  I realized that we have this same gift of waking up every single day with awareness.  We can wake up knowing that our actions impact the world, and we can use this awareness to show up in our lives wholeheartedly and be present in each moment.

How can we impact the world, you ask? The secret is love, and the secret to love is in opening our hearts.  In each moment we have the ability to open our hearts and act out of love.  It’s a choice.  We choose our path in every single moment. Every situation can be handled with grace or with difficulty, and we can choose to ease into love or we can choose to resist loving and resist being loved. We can hate, judge, break each other down, but we’re doing it to ourselves as well.  When we choose love we have the power to heal not only ourselves, but everyone we interact with. How amazing would this world be everyone acted out of love? If we treated each other as the best of friends rather than “the other”, sharing kindness and a positive outlook?


We are all energy and we are all connected; your vibration, high or low, interacts with the vibrations around you.  A person feeling and acting from love and happiness will vibrate at a high frequency, whereas someone feeling and acting from jealousy, resentment, or judgement will vibrate at a lower frequency.  Since our energies interact, we can pull people up or bring them down.  I’m sure you can bring someone to mind who is usually negative, a downer, and someone you don’t want to spend a lot of time around.  You can understand why it’s wise to choose friends that carry high vibrational energy.

In each moment we are either healing humanity with our outpouring of love or destroying it with a lack of love. We can choose to open our hearts or close them. When we choose to open our hearts we are promoting love, happiness, and joy. We are telling the universe “more of this, please.” When we close our hearts we are giving in to fear and cutting off the love energy that our world truly needs to heal itself. When we close our hearts, we hurt.

Open up. Choose love. Let go of fear.

Each day when you awake, take a moment to be grateful for all that has been given to you: your life, your breathe, your body, friends, family, lovers, etc. Even take a moment of gratitude for the hurdles that have catapulted your growth. Be grateful for the things that didn’t work out as planned, for those failures likely created the possibility for something even better than you imagined. If you happen to find yourself in a moment of darkness and change, find comfort in knowing that the light is just around the corner. Open your heart to send and to receive. Smile. Be happy.

If you start your day in this way you are choosing love. You are opening your heart to receive all of the good the universe has in store for you.

Affirmation: “I open my heart to love and to receive all of the good the universe has for me now. I release all fears to the Universe and take great comfort in knowing that I am loved. I am loving. It feels so good to know that I am worthy of giving and receiving great love.”


Candied Walnuts

A quick easy snack to cure the hangry monster in those “I’m starving and can’t wait for dinner” moments.  If you don’t like cayenne, just leave it out!


Candied Walnuts

  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

In a very small bowl, combine sea salt, cayenne, and cinnamon.

In a frying pan, lightly roast walnuts over medium heat until they become fragrant – just a few minutes.

Add butter and mix well.

Sprinkle spice mixture over top and mix well.

Add maple syrup and stir well once again until syrup candies (about 30 seconds).

Remove from heat and dump the mixture on a non-stick surface and let cool.

Roasted Tomato Salmon

On a day when I thought I had no food in the house, this recipe was born.  I’d never attempted a fish recipe before because admittedly, I am NOT a fish person.  Historically, the only fish I’ve ever really liked is smoked salmon, and even then it had to be accompanied with loads of cream cheese, capers, red onion, dill, and lemon juice.

SO, when I came up with this recipe it was a pretty big shock at how amazing it is.  I think it’s probably the new house favourite.  It was so good that I had seconds.  Everyone had seconds – even the kids.  I would go so far as to say that this is probably my new favourite dinner recipe, so if you’re reading these words I kindly ask you to make it asap and report back here!


Roasted Tomato Salmon

  • 2 lbs salmon (3 fillets)
  • 1 14 oz can organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, milled (or powdered coriander)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, milled (or powdered fennel)
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper

Heat oven to 400F.

Place two large pieces of tin foil side by side on a baking sheet and fold them together accordion style so they make one large piece of tin foil.

Chop up the onion and garlic and toss it in a large bowl along with the diced tomatoes (including the juice).

If you have coriander and fennel seeds, place them in a coffee grinder and grind until fine.  I like to grind my seeds myself so they are fresh and aromatic. I find buying seeds in their powdered form don’t have quite as much flavour.  Add the fennel, coriander, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper to the tomato mixture and stir well.

Spoon 1/4 of the tomato mixture onto the middle of the tin foil and place the salmon on top, pink side up.

Spoon the rest of the tomato mixture over the salmon and then fold the foil together on top followed by the sides so that it is airtight.

Place in the oven and cook for 25 minutes at 400 F.

When you take the salmon out of the oven, the salmon should be slightly pink/raw in the middle. This is exactly what you want. Let it sit and rest for 5-10 minutes so it can rest/finish cooking and then enjoy!

Take Massive Action

I overheard some ladies the other day talking about the law of attraction.  Afterward, I kept thinking about “The Secret” movie and how they basically forgot to mention that taking massive action is probably the most important part of manifestation.  You can sit and meditate and ask your angels for help all you want, but if you don’t put their guidance into action, you’re not going to make it very far.

Once you have clear goals mapped out in your mind, it’s time to take little steps toward their fulfillment every day.  Notice the synchronicities that are trying to help you along the way, and act on any opportunities that arise.  If it’s a business you want to start, you can start laying the groundwork while at your present job.  Maybe all you need are 30 minutes each evening to make it happen.  Maybe you need more time, or maybe you don’t need any time at all – once you have a clear goal and the timing is right, your angels can move mountains and you can find yourself on the fast track.  This can happen in any area of your life – you just have to be ready to work and know exactly what you want to make happen.

If it’s a fitness goal that you wish to reach, you can break down your action steps into daily activities that will get your body moving.  If it’s important enough, you’ll find the time.  I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but it’s going to be worth it.


You know those little gut feelings that you have?  Start following them.  Set your intentions for your life and then follow the guidance that is offered.  Align yourself with your Higher Self by following those hunches that want you to act integrally.  I always get an uneasy feeling if I’m about to eat something that isn’t in line with my health and fitness goals.  I’m getting better at listening to those feelings, but it’s definitely not easy!  We have habits that are comfortable for us, but if they haven’t gotten us to where we want to go in the past, they’re worth the discomfort that arises when we choose differently.  That discomfort starts to feel really really good once you start blazing that new trail.

If you’ve got a fitness goal you want to reach, I highly recommend a heart rate monitor – especially if you’re competitive like me.  It helps me challenge myself every time I wear it.  I’m always the last person on the ice at shinny these days because I’ve always got a challenge for myself.  Today I had to burn 800 calories before I could get off the ice.  I’m hardcore, I know.  At the end of 80 minutes, I had burned exactly 800 calories.  The point is that I have a fitness goal for myself and I intend to reach it.  It doesn’t matter when exactly, but I make sure to take action steps each day that take me toward my goal!

Next time you get a gut feeling that something is off, take a moment and listen to your body.  Start asking yourself questions and listen to what comes up.  I guarantee you that you’ll start to notice things that you previously maneuvered while on autopilot.



Crockpot Chicken

It doesn’t get much easier than this peeps, or more delicious. Ten minutes and done!

This was Crockpots are pretty much my favourite thing ever at the moment.  I’m fairly certain I could throw anything in there and it would turn out delicious.  This chicken recipe is something I always used to make in the oven but the timing was always horrible.  It would cook quickly, so it was always done too early or late based on when I could get it in the oven.

With the crockpot I just throw everything in and pot the timer on high or low depending on when I need it and it always comes out perfectly!  And I mean perfectly.  I didn’t even bother getting out the big camera – these are all iphone pics because it smelled so good no one wanted to wait for mommy to take photos!


Crockpot Chicken

  • 1 4.5 lb chicken
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 4 ribs celery
  • 1 onion
  • 6 medium carrots
  • 1 head garlic
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper

Chop the onion, fennel, carrots, and celery and place in the bottom of a 6 quart crockpot. Crush the garlic cloves to get the skin off and toss in with the vegetables, and add the thyme.

Wash and dry the chicken, season with salt and pepper, and toss the lemon half inside.

Place chicken on top of the vegetables and toss the butter on top.

Put on the lid and cook on high for 5 hours. (A little shorter or longer depending on the size of your chicken.  Guesstimate!)

When ready, take the chicken out of the crockpot and pour the juices into a saucepan. Boil down the juices to make the most delicious gravy ever. There is no need to add anything at all – it will naturally thicken as the water evaporates. Stir occasionally for about 10 minutes until desired thickness is reached.

No pics of the gravy as my kids were already pulling chicken off the platter and stuffing it into their mouths by this point!



I even placed a bit of everything in the blender with a bit of water to make crockpot chicken baby food purée which was AMAZING. I seriously considered tossing the whole enchilada into the blender to make soup out of it! Arlo also enjoyed gumming all of the delicious tender veggies. Yummy!