Monday, January 19, 2015

Face Off

First of all I would like to thank all of you that are supporting me.  You sent me well wishes and words of encouragement.  THANK YOU!!!!

In my last post I told you about Rosacea, the skin disorder that is attacking my face.  I was prescribed a topical gel for my face and the results...not good.  My face got red, hot, itchy, tight, dry and swollen...anything else???...ummm...oh yeah and numb.  The skin on my cheeks felt like a waxy banana box. If you have never seen and/or felt a box that bananas come in(I don't even know if they make them anymore),then you won't know what I am referring to...but that is what they feel like.

I have never had Botox or any other treatment like that, but from what they show in movies or on T.V. in making fun of it, that's what my face felt like.  The first movie that came to mind was Christmas with the Cranks with Tim Allen.  Remember the scene where he is at lunch after coming back from getting Botox.
That is what I felt my face looked like, only my eyebrows were normal. LOL

Anyway, the prescribed medicated topic gel may have been the answer to calm the redness of the Rosacea, but I ended up with some very uncomfortable and embarrassing side effects.  I stopped using the topical gel and went back to see the doctor.  I was prescribed some tablets to soothe the inflammation of my skin.  She was treating it as a burn now.  I am not big on taking prescription drugs, but in this case, something was definitely needed.  The swelling has finally gone down, the itchiness has subsided a bit, I am not longer as red faced.  However, I am still dealing with tight, dry skin.  Imagine you have one of those cucumber peel-off masks on your face...that is how I feel all day long.  It's not a very nice feeling.  Yes, we all long for tight skin, but when your tight skin has skin-clogged pores, it's not so nice.  The only areas of my face that can actually breathe are near my hair line and around my eyes.  Because of that, I have been waking up each morning with puffy eyes.

I tried riding my spin bike last Thursday and it was not a pretty sight.  No, you will not be seeing any pictures.  My face was huge!  I said to myself, "just get through 20 minutes", and that is what I did.  Exercise will have to come slow.

Today I did Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred Level 1.  It was tough because I felt like my face was going to explode...1) due to the Rosacea and 2)because I am out of shape.  I will get through this.  I am feeling a little more hopeful and inspired this week.

Last week I found a recipe online for a Veggie Roulade.  Well, I made it today.  Only I change things up a bit as I normally do.

Here is the link to the recipe...

Here is the Veggie Roulade that I made...

It was delicious!

I used purple sweet potato, orange sweet potato, broccoli stems, zucchini, egg plant, Italian egg plant and carrots.  The recipe calls for creme fraiche and Dijon mustard to spread over the pastry before adding the vegetables.  I used a store bought Baba Ghanouj instead.  So good!

Well I will try and write again soon.  Once I get my into my fitness regime, I will have more to say.  I could have lots of things to say now, but they would not be very inspiring to you.

Until then...

Stay Strong!


P.S.  I did try to order Jillian's new 60 Day workout Body Shred, but something didn't workout right so I will try again another day. I want to make sure the order did not go through before placing another order.  Or I may see if it is offered through iTunes.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

I'm Facing Up To the Facts

It will be a year near the end of February since I wrote my last post.  Last year, 2014, flew by.  I can't believe how fast it went.  I did try to write a new post in July, but I never got around to completing it.  As the time went on and on, I felt as if I had let my friends/readers/followers down, and I didn't know what to write to you about.  This is probably the hardest post that I will write.

My blog is titled...A Healthier Version of Me and You...Over the last year and a half, I have felt like this was not true, well the ME part of it.  I know YOU have kept on becoming the Healthier version of yourself.  Good job!

Many things have gone on in my life over the time that has past.  Some I have wanted to write about, others, I have not.  I won't go into all of that because A) I don't want to bore you and B) Some things I don't want to think about again.  The past is in the past, and that's where it shall remain.  However, the things that happen in the past are great learning tools.  You don't realize it at the time, but eventually you realize that what happened, happened for a reason and you NEED to learn from it and use it for something good.  Use it to change your life for the better.

Over the last year and a half I have tried to keep up with my workouts and clean eating, but I guess LIFE had another plan for me.  I tried and tried, but I just got bored of the workouts and fell into a rut.  A rut that I am only just starting to come out of now.  NOW, because I am forcing myself to come out of it.  And because I HAVE to.  Things have changed, some good, and some not so good.  I am grateful for all the GOOD things, and have learned from the not-so-good.  With all that said, I will face up to the facts.  I have gained weight back and feel like I am starting from the beginning again. And that is why I have felt that I let you down. And more importantly, let myself down.  Don't get me wrong, YOU are important to me, but as I have said in the past, we must change and be healthy for ourselves.  You can only do it for YOU. After my Dad died, I started putting everybody and everything before ME.  I was starting to lose myself and becoming unhappy with that.  I love my family and would do anything for them, but that can't happen if I'm not here, present in their lives.  So with renewing that vow, I am back.  And even though I feel like I am starting over again, the big difference is that I know what I need to do and HOW to do it.  And I will!  Because I am worth it!

Something that did happen in the past, I want to share with you now.  It was happening while I was writing to you, but I kept it out of my posts because I didn't think it was a big deal at the time.  Now it's time for you to know so that maybe it may help you too...

For about the past 3 years(I think), I have gotten spots on my face some of them red, some of them itchy and some that resembled pimples.  I thought I was way beyond the pimple stage.  They would come and go and then come back again.  I didn't think much when it first started, I just lived with it.  I was eating clean and working out and feeling great.  Most of the time.  Some days my face would get so itchy it drove me crazy, and the spots were very red and embarrassing.  I don't wear foundation so I only had a powder that I could cover them with, and that actually made them feel worse.  So on I went with a red, itchy spotted face.  I thought maybe I was allergic to something, I was wrong.  I searched around the Internet and found out that it may be Rosacea.  But the spots I had at the time didn't really look the same, so I forgot about it.  Until NOW.  Rosacea is what I have.  Insert sad-itchy-red-face here---->_____.

Rosacea (pronounced roh-ZAY-sha) is a common but poorly understood disorder of the facial skin that is estimated to affect well over 16 million Americans -- and most of them don't know it. In fact, while rosacea is becoming increasingly widespread as the populous baby boom generation enters the most susceptible ages, a Gallup survey found that 78 percent of Americans have no knowledge of this condition, including how to recognize it or what to do about it.  <<This was taken from the website

As most of you may know, I don't really drink alcohol.  I used to, but not much any more.  Well over the Christmas holidays I had a few drinks here and there.  That was a BIG mistake!  My face broke out once again.  And for the time time in 10 years, that's right 10 YEARS, my husband and I went out with friends for New Year's Eve.  I had a blast!  BUT, my face is now paying for all the alcohol that I drank.  Not that I was stumbling and not knowing who or where I was, but I had a number of drinks.  Well that won't be happening again.  My face was so itchy again. Then instead of spots, my face got red blotches on my cheeks, forehead, nose and chin.  That is when I looked back at the Rosacea site and I confirmed it with myself that that must be what I have.  I went to a clinic to see what the doctor would say.  He confirmed it as well.  He prescribed a topical gel to use.  So let's hope it clears up and I can keep it controlled.

Some of the triggers that can cause this(remember everyone is different) are:

-alcohol consumption
-extreme heat
-spicy foods
-emotional stress
-cold temperatures
-certain skin care products
- heavy exercise
-sun exposure

and the list goes on...

The list does go on and it appears that I can't do anything, BUT as I said everyone is different and one must find out the things that trigger the symptoms in themselves.  The one thing on the list above that made me sad (I bet you can guess which one) is heavy exercise.  And yes, I didn't notice irritation after my workouts but that didn't stop me until I got into the rut.  And even though I have been slacking in this area lately, it does make me sad.  But now that I know what exactly I have, I know what to do to control it.  I just won't drink alcohol while working out in the hot sun or the cold windy winter...LOL...I'm joking of course, I never did that anyway.

With looking at the full list I know that many of those triggers may have been what made my Rosacea flare up.  Chocolate is another one.  You know that that one is NOT good.  I am a Chocoholic.  I guess now I have to become a recovering Chocoholic.  Stress was probably one of the biggest triggers over the past year and a half. The time has come to CHANGE things up again.

I have missed writing to you, and hopefully I will get back to a regular regime and continue to share my journey with you.

Until then...Stay Strong!


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Catching Fire 30 Day Challenge

As mentioned in my last post, I have started a new challenge.  Since I workout at home all the time, unless I'm out running, I like to find challenging workouts that are easily done from home.

I came across this 30 Day Challenge that was posted on YouTube during the month of January.  I wasn't ready to start the challenge then, so I subscribe to the channel and decided I would start it when I was ready.  Well this past Saturday I was ready, and I began.  The great thing about this workout challenge is that each session is ONLY 12 minutes long.  Who can't fit in 12 minutes into their day. 

Below is the challenge...Catching Fire 30 Day Challenge Day 1

I have done Day 2 & 3 so far.  Today was to be Day 4, but after feeling really rough with this cold I have, I took today off and will resume tomorrow.  Day 5 is REST DAY, but I will switch it up.  I am feeling much better and with another good sleep tonight I will ROCK Day 4 on Day 5.

Now there is some equipment that Melissa and Rita use in these workouts and it can be purchased from the online store, but I have been improvising with what I have at home.  If I can't actually do the same thing that they are doing, I will do something else just to keep moving.  I don't have the extra money kicking around at this time to purchase the same equipment they use, so I will do what I can, with what I have.  They also have a Nutrition Guide that can be purchased as well.

I am combining this 30 Day Challenge with some spinning here at home and I feel great, I could do without this cold but as I said, I should be much better tomorrow.

Be sure to check out this workout.

I have been fueling my body with my ENERGYbits and they are keeping me going.  I have lost my appetite these past few days while feeling ill, so my #bits are keeping me going.  I am really in need of some RECOVERYbits.  They would kick this cold to the curb.

The RECOVERYbits are 100% Chlorella algae with over 60% protein and over 40 nutrients with only 1 calorie per tab.  It's a great way to help build your immune system and detox your body, plus all the other great things that these little tabs can do for you.  Check out the website for more information, or send me an email to and I will send you some information.

If you want to fuel your runs, or your spins or any other type of workout, or you just need some extra energy then you must try ENERGYbits.  They are organically grown, sugar free, caffeine free and chemical free.  A great product that your body deserves.

If you are going to check out at the site, make sure to use the promo code PHATSOSLIM for a great discount.

There are two things I would like you to check out...

1. The Catching Fire 30 Day Challenge
2. ENERGYbits

Now I wish you a good night as I am going to bed now.  Early to bed, early to rise to workout.

Good night


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Believe...Week 3 of the Move Nourish Believe Challenge

This week was all about Believing.

I Believe.  I believe in myself.  I believe I am worth it.  I believe in love. 

Day 1 - Spoil Yourself

When I think of spoiling yourself or pampering, my mind shoots right to the spa.  But on Monday of this past week I could not go to the spa because it was Family Day here in Ontario, Canada, so I was pampered by having the day off of work and enjoyed the day with my family.

We took the kids ice skating where my son was practicing his speed skating skills.  After watching some of the winter Olympic games he decided he would like to be a speed skater.  But as the week went on, he and some of the daycare children wanted to do Skeleton.  Eeek!  That could be nerve racking.  I was also spoiled by getting to snuggle with my son while watching movies and laughing together.

I do have a spa gift card for a Thai Treatment from Gina's Spa here in Waterloo, ON and I am looking forward to using this.  I have had this treatment twice before and it is LOVELY. 
Day 2 - 5 Mindful Minutes
This day was about finding or taking the some time for yourself.  At least 5 minutes, and I found it.
Once my family was fast asleep, I went down to our living room and lit a few candles and sat by the fire and RELAXED.  Something I don't seem to do enough of.  Well except for these past 16 days while the Olympics have been on, I did spend a lot more time watching TV than I normally do.  I just love watching the Olympics though, they are very inspiring. 
A quiet 5 minutes turned into a beautiful 15 minutes.
I am always go, go, go and I need to take more time like this for myself.
Because in the end, it helps everyone.
Day 3 - Be Happy
This day was a day to be happy.  Not just this day, but everyday.  I was looking through some pictures and I came across a picture of my back garden from last spring...that made me happy.
So beautiful.
Yes right now it looks like the bottom picture, but soon it will return to a beautiful green colour, mixed with hints of other colours from the spring flowers.
I have heard and seen so many people complain about the snow or how long the winter is...well I'm loving it!  That is why I love living in Canada.  Here we have 4 distinct seasons...Winter, spring, summer and fall.  Each one with their own colours and beauty. 
Something else that made me happy on this day was when I went down to the post box and my ENERGYbits order arrived.  AWESOME!!!!
This picture also contains more of the Olympics, that makes me happy. 
Canadian girls winning the GOLD in Bobsled.  
Plus it also shows my little girl and I on own spin bikes.  My daughter was not feeling well the last week, so on this day I kept her home from school and by the afternoon, she was up for a spin.  Her bike is just a plastic toy stationary bike, but at least she wants to participate and that makes me very happy.  I am happy that I am setting a good example for her and my son.  Soon my son should be able to ride the other spin bike I have here.  It will be great to build his leg muscles for speed skating.  My future Olympians. 
A Mum can dream.

Day 4 - Thankful Thursday
I am thankful for many things, but most of all I am thankful for my husband and together we have our two wonderful children.  The three of them are very supportive of me and my health and fitness goals.  Last week was a tough week because my daughter wasn't feeling well, some of the daycare children were out sick with a cold and I too was still suffering with cold symptoms.  As I write this to you now, I am sneezing and blowing my nose...blah.  I know that it's from not getting enough sleep last night(I will explain this in a bit).
My husband and I...well sort of.
This was the cake topper on our Halloween Wedding cake.
And beside us are our lovely offspring.
Yes they drive me crazy some days, but I like crazy.
On this day, I was also thankful that the Canadian Women's Curling team and Hockey team, both won GOLD at the Olympics.

Canadian girls ROCK!!!!
Day 5- Share the Love
This day was all about sharing the love.  Well I got to do this unexpectedly, as my kids had a snow day from school.  All the school buses were cancelled due to freezing rain.  It was also the day that the Men's Hockey semi-final game was playing...Canada vs USA. 
Over the course of the last 16 days I have been watching and then sharing results and pictures from the Winter Games through social media.  As I was sharing my love of the games, I received some love in return.  AWESOME!
The love was being shared right across Canada with the Men's hockey team winning the semi-final game and moving forward to the GOLD medal game.  Plus, the Men's curling team won the GOLD on this day too.  Way to go Team Canada!!!
So this past week was all about Believing and I truly believe in this wonderful country that I live in.  I am a proud Canadian.
This brings me to why I am not feeling so well today.  I went to bed too late last night and this morning, Sunday morning, was a morning that I was getting up to an alarm.  WHY???  Well I'm sure you know why already.  Me and the rest of Canada were all watching the GOLD medal hockey game between Canada and Sweden.  I have no problem with waking up early, but I didn't get a very good sleep because I thought I would sleep through my alarm.  I know that it's silly, but this was for the GOLD.  It was worth it, because as you probably already know, we won!!!!  So proud! 
This picture below is fantastic...
The top picture shows our Canadian boys just after the all received their medals.
The bottom picture is our Canadian boys coming together shoulder to shoulder for the Canadian National anthem.
I know that Sunday is the start of a new week, but with this being the wrap up of my week 3 in the Move Nourish Believe Challenge...I do BELIEVE in our Canadian athletes.
I enjoyed participating in the MNB Challenge these past three weeks.  Another challenge that I began yesterday is a 30 Day Challenge which I will talk about tomorrow.  I need to get to bed now and rest.
Good night and Stay Strong!