Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Colon Cancer Canada - Great Cause

Colon Cancer.

Colon Cancer: Did you know that it affects more than just the 50 years and over crowd?

I can tell you first hand that even in your 20's you could be at risk.

(visit www.coloncancercanada.ca to get more information and get involved!)



A brief history on how I got acquainted with Colon Cancer.

In November 2009, King Township’s (Ontario, Canada) Tanya Shepherd, 28, died of colon cancer, leaving behind friends, family, husband, and a young child. 
To raise awareness of the disease in memory of Tanya, Holly, her sister, Kate Shepherd, and sister-in-law, Jennifer Shepherd, are organizing a Push for Your Tush run/walk in Aurora.
In prior years, the sisters-in-law raised funds through the annual Underwear Affair in Toronto, where the team dedicated to Tanya’s memory, Tanya’s Tushies, was the top fundraising team. But when it was cancelled the year after Tanya passed, we knew we had to keep the awareness out there.


More than 22,500 Canadians were diagnosed with colon cancer in 2010 and more than 9,100 died from the disease. WOW! Surprising because early intervention avoids DEATH in most cases!
During Tanya’s fight, family members created and sold cancer bead bracelets, where each colour of bead represented a different type of cancer, something we have continued to do to raise awareness and support for other families.


 
If your interested in one of these bracelets, let me know! I will ship them to you, drive them to you, or find a way :)

This year was our second annual Push for Your Tush event in Aurora, Ontario and we raised $52,000 dollars - and counting!
Everyone walked/ Ran despite the on and off rain!

Please, find a way to support this cause. Either by donation, or awareness because Colon Cancer is CURABLE WHEN FOUND EARLY!
Enjoy some of the pictures from this years event, taken by yours truly (Raven Knights Photoshoot)

 






















Thursday, April 19, 2012

Top 5 For Your Health & Wellbeing

There is a world size amount of information out there on whats healthy now. It would be absolutely impossible to do everything that is suggested in a 24 hour period. So I have compiled a list of my Top Five Habits that seem to work for me and the people I know.

Pick some of these to incorporate into you and your families lifestyle, or all of them. As long as it works for you.

TOP FIVE Best Habits:

ONE.  Drink Lemon Water.

Everyone knows that drinking more water is better for our health. If your like me you fight to choke down one bottle a day! (Sad, I know.) But I started looking up the health benefits of drinking water with Lemon in it, and found a great information site here.  Little did I know, you should not just grab the processed lemon flavored squirt bottle and your cured. Nope, there is a serious strategy to pick out the best Lemons to squeeze yourself that give you the proper nutrients and health benefits. Check out the site listed above, but the most important is to buy Organic Lemons that are "heavy"in weight, with a star formation on the rind at the bottom of the lemon. You only need half of the juice of a lemon in a tall glass of water (for 150 lb individual and lower), or a whole lemon for people over 150 lbs. Easy!

Source
The benefits of Lemon Water are as listed:
  • It is an antiseptic, or is an agent that prevents sepsis
  • will prevent disease and assist in cleansing the system of impurities
  • bowels are aided in eliminating waste more efficiently thus controlling constipation and diarrhea
  •  stimulant to the liver and is a dissolvent of uric acid and other poisons, liquefies the bile, and is very good in cases of malaria
  • Sufferers of chronic rheumatism and gout will benefit by taking lemon juice
  • nourish the brain and nerve cells
  • calcium builds up the bony structure and makes healthy teeth
  • useful in treating asthma, biliousness, colds, coughs, sore throat, diphtheria, la grippe [flu or influenza], heartburn, liver complaint[s], scurvy, fevers and rheumatism
  • a natural strengthening agent to the liver enzymes
  • indigestion such as heartburn, bloating and belching are relieved
  • the following bullets are from quantumbalancing.com



TWO. Eat Clean.

Remove as much processed foods from your diet as possible. Not only are they full of salt, but these foods are also full of preservatives. I have gone without processed foods for the most part for a number of months now, and if I do indulge my body makes sure I remember why I was avoiding it in the first place. I have replaced my morning processed fast foods with a healthy shake (here is my recipe for Green Shakes,Think that eating clean means no treats? How about a sweet treat of Chocolate Chip Cookies? Enjoy the AMAZING benefits of nuts, fruit, veggies, legumes, and fatty omegas. Your body will thank you!




THREE. Bee Pollen.

Try adding a teaspoon of Bee Pollen to your diet. **NOTE - be sure you do not have an allergy to this - always follow the directions to test for allergies.** (That being said - I am the Queen - no pun intended - of being allergic to everything, and I have had no issues at all.)
Why Bee Pollen? Here is the list of health benefits:
  • Increases resistance to stress & diseases
  • Age-retarding and rejuvenate properties
  • Energy booster **(lets just say you don't need that cup of Joe or you will be flying!) Again, no pun.
  • Appetite Suppressant
  • Weight Management
  • Helps to relieve "seasonal allergies"
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Asthma
  • Fatigue
  • Pre-menstrual & Menopause
  • Skin Conditions
  • Feeling of Well Being
  • Alertness
  • Sexual Desire & Performance
  • Athletic Endurance
Bee Pollen
Bee Pollen
BEE POLLEN is the only known food that contains every essential nutrient needed by mankind for perfect health. Source

Some things to remember about Bee Pollen. Always buy local. The reason for this is because the local bees will be collecting local pollen from the flora and fauna of your area. And buying local will help with allergies to local plants. Best way to take the Bee Pollen? Well as for taste, I am not a promoter. Half a teaspoon in some applesauce washed down with a sip of water is no problem. I have also added it to my shakes, however I usually get full before finishing my shake and I want to be sure I am ingesting the Bee Pollen, so I find the applesauce is the best route for me. You will SLOWLY increase the amounts to the recommended dosage. Always seek help from educated individuals (doctors, natural paths, homeopaths, health food store employees, etc.) before trying something new, and listen to your body.



FOUR. Get your Check Ups.

Think because your not sick you should skip out on your bi-annual check up with your Doc? HECK NO. Many times we do not show any symptoms of serious health risks until it is too late. Go and get your blood work,Colonoscopies, Mammograms, Vision, Hearing, and physical check ups done at least once a year to ensure your health is optimal.

Source


 FIVE. Mental Health Checks & Maintance.

Think because your body is working well after that check up that everything will be in working order? What about your mental health state? Spiritual well being? While your at that doctors appointment you should be aware of your mental health, and tell your doctor not only about your physical symptoms, but your mental woes as well. Stress, depression, coping with loss, anxiety, drug use, drinking habits, all of these things can attribute to your mental state and should be taken into account when thinking of your overall health. Some simple routines for your mental health to stay in the positive are here:


  • Think positive. With each negative thought you need to push forward a positive one! Keep the balance and train your brain to fight for its positive messages to be heard.
  • Exercise. Creates a wonderful amount of endorphins that last for hours!
  • Meditate. Take the time to relax and be still. A 20 minute "me session" can give you balance and create a healthy relationship with your own self.
  • Keep old and create new healthy friendships. Friends are important, especially as we age. Meaningful conversations and someone to share your life with are extremely important.
  • Take your vitamins. Think there is no link between your positive moods and your balanced vitamin enriched body? Think again! Vitamin B alone can help your moods stabilize.
Have any ideas to share? Would love to hear them!
Post a message!

~~Finding Feathers~~









Thursday, April 12, 2012

Saving $$ Around the House

I have been meaning to do this post for quite some time now and finally I ran out of laundry soap and needed to make more.
That's right..... I make my own laundry soap.   COST $8.00 for 90+ loads!



This recipe is the EASY most TIME EFFICIENT and INEXPENSIVE way I have found.

Ingredients:

1 Box of Borax
1 Bar of laundry Soap*
1 small cheese grater
2 1kg containers (or one 2kg container)
1 scoop
1 spoon for mixing product



As for the soap. I usually buy the Sunlight Lemon Scent two bars that cost about $3.00. However this shopping trip I was in Toronto at the HUGE Loblaws in the old Maple Leaf Gardens (amazing!), and they did not have any. So I purchased the only bar soap they had. It is an Italian brand Linda, not much of a scent, but double the thickness so I only needed one bar to make my regular amount and it was only $1.95. Borax is a natural deodorizer. These ingredients are safe and effective!

Some laundry soap makers spend hours boiling and mixing away, that was not for me. So I found this to be the best way. First find a grater that will grate your soap into fine pieces. I use this one





Then grate half of the soap bar (or one bar if you have bought the 2 pack of Sunlight brand). This takes a little elbow grease, and don't cut your finger open! (Sounds stupid, and it is, there has been blood shed over this before.)





Once half the bar is grated empty half of the box of Borax into a large mixing bowl. Put the soap in and mix well. Transfer into container. Do the same with the rest of the soap and Borax, and your done. If you have a small piece of soap left (because you were afraid to cut your fingers by going to the end of the soap) you can use this for stain removal! Just rub the soap bar with some water onto the stain before washing.


The scoop that I use is 30ml. Very small, and I only use one scoop per load. If your washing clothes that require more soap (greased, or strong smell) then feel free to double up.
You can always add essential oils to each load if you want a scent in your laundry, and best of all NO STATIC! Even without dryer sheets!

Price comparison: Tide powder 80 loads $11.97+ tax @ Walmart.

Hope this helps your family save some money and your skin will thank you!

~~ Saving Feathers~~

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Running

I ran today. Not a good run, not at all. It has been over a week since I did any running and boy was this a tough one.

Nope, my legs did not hurt or feel super heavy....


No, it was not my lungs that felt like no air could get into my body...




Source


It was a sharp pain in my guts! Ouch. So painful that even when I walked I was feeling the pain. So my run was not my best.


Here are my stats:



Here is some MUCH needed Motivation!

Race Day - Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon May 6th, 2012 @8am
I really want to run a 5 km race. I know I can, so I have picked this race off my Map My Run program.
There are others that I will look into but for now I need something to work towards.

Pictures of Motivation:

source


source


Source

Well that should teach me to get going!

After my run I had the other half of my shake, 1 hard boiled egg, and cashew butter on a PC thin bagel. YUM I am stuffed.

~~ "Painfully" shaking my tail feathers~~

What do you wear in the Kitchen?

I have been spending more time in the kitchen so I thought that I would ask the question... What are your favorite things? What do you wear while cooking? Whats the one tool you cant cook without?

So with a little embarrassment here is what I cook in....



The story behind the apron. My husbands good friend Ty decided to send us a care package one day. We open it up and bam! Blue boobs .... right there!  I do believe that it is meant to be used as a artists smock, but in the kitchen I AM an artist! So this is what I am cooking in the kitchen each day...

My other item I must have in the kitchen are my snakeskin Birkenstock (Papillio brand).

source
Being on your feet in the kitchen all day requires a good amount of support under your feet, and if your flat as a duck like me, then invest in some great shoes like Birkenstock.

What are you wearing in the kitchen???

~~ Fashion Feathers~~

Vegan Cookies

Vegan Cookies?


YES PLEASE.


I found a delicious cookie recipe and had no idea that you could substute out eggs and oil - hello newbie!I made a batch (around 20 cookies) and my husband and I devoured them in 2.5 days!
We both loved them.


Here is the cookie journey!


Step ONE - Find your kitchen Buddy.   Check

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W. the kitchen guru (aka floor cleaner)

Step TWO - Get your ingredients list.    Check

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cup sugar
1 cup vegan margarine
1 teaspoon + of vanilla
1/2 cup applesauce
pinch of cinnamon
12 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips (buy organic if possible)

Cook @ 375 for 10-12 minutes



Step THREE - combine like so....




Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine your 2 cups of flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl and set it aside.


In a new bowl add the following

not mixed yet
sugar, vegan margarine, and vanilla - mix together.

Mixed
add applesauce & Cinnamon & mix
Slowly add in the dry content, while mixing. Fold in your chocolate chips, dollop onto cookie sheet and bake in oven @ 375 degrees for 10 - 14 minutes depending on your preference.

uncooked in the oven...
After 10-12 minutes time to take them out and let sit on a cooling rack...and ENJOY



yum.
Enjoy these delicious cookies, I know we did, we ate them in 2.5 days! Makes about 20 cookies.
Reciepe found at vegweb (but their site seems to be hacked at the moment??)

~Finding Feathers~~

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring Updates For the Home

My husband and I have lived in our home for 2 years now.
After much upgrading (bathroom, hardwood floors, new carpet upstairs, finish the basement, laundry room, build a new BIG deck, rip down a mini wall....and the list continues) I am looking to refresh our look for spring!

Photo by Finding Feathers



On a budget? YOU BET.
I am looking for simple and inexpensive ways to wake up our home. Plus doing the much needed small "repairs" and paint.


Main Level Spring Updates Wish List:


1. New Curtains.
 We have these sliding doors that lead to the patio. I have had the same brown curtains for 2 years, but I am looking for something more light and airy. I love the light look of lace, but I dont think it would block the sun enough on those hot days. So I have found these for inspiration:



Home Depot Curtain Insulated!


This item above is also on sale! Yay.

But after a trip to Ikea, I was able to purchase these fresh curtains:

Hedda Blad for $19.99 Ikea


Now, yes the price is low, and for one reason - they are difficult to trim to the right length. After ironing them and measuring, etc etc, they finally were put up -- hours later. (My husband usually does all the house hold jobs as I tend to screw it up every time).

This is the before shot & after shot -
BEFORE

AFTER

                    


The after photo is a bit off as the sun was gone, but you get the idea :)


Also Needed this Spring: 


New Outdoor Patio Umbrella
In the last big wind storm blew over our beloved BBQ (he survived the crash off the deck),however the umbrella did not weather the storm and we needed a new one. It was a hand-me-down, so we figure its time to buy new.

A few to consider:

Ikea - Extra LONG

Home Depot - 9 Ft.

But since I was already at Ikea (trying to stay true to my budget) I picked up this one:

Karlso 300cm @ $49.00

I bought this one in Black, and its huge! Good thing I did'nt buy the larger one. Its very sturdy, so we just need to purchase a base and it should last the year without issues.
 Spring is around the corner, what are you changing for the season?


~~ Finding Feathers~~





Wednesday, March 14, 2012

SUPER FOODS

First of all....WHY did I not know about this before now????
As I push myself to eat a more healthy animal free diet, I am perturbed that I did not know about all the amazing super healthy food options that taste great!




I grew up eating the Canadian staples in a bland food family (sorry mom).
The Regulars:
- Pasta night (spaghetti with ground beef)
- Meat loaf (which I never liked)
- Pot roast (usually overcooked), with potatoes, vegetables and salad
- Chicken & Fish (which I rarely ate)


FYI, my Mother and Father have come leaps and bounds from this meal plan 20 years ago, and their meals are much more delicious. (They are taking notes from my foodie Brother and Sister in law).


So on my health quest I have found some of the most amazing foods that do the most amazing transformations to my body! Here is my new list of great tasting healthy foods:

1. Kale.
Kale *source

Some of you may have seen my Green Shake recipe here .
    But Kale is one of the leafy plants that I am still fairly new to. You can read information about this super green plant, and its health benefits just about anywhere online and in food magazines. The Longo's nutritional magazine it featured Kale as one of its Nutritional Punch vegetables for fighting disease. I found further evidence that this food is super rich in the nutritional department on the site Worlds Healthiest Foods , here it states "...This research focus makes perfect sense. Kale's nutrient richness stands out in three particular areas: (1) antioxidant nutrients, (2) anti-inflammatory nutrients, and (3) anti-cancer nutrients in the form of glucosinolates." Try my shake recipe, add it to your stir fry, or try making Kale Chips! Yum.


2. Quinoa.

Cooked *photo by F.F.
Raw *Photo by F.F
Pronounced Keen-Wah.
    I cooked it for the first time today, and yes it can be bland, however add it to a stir fry or put a favorite sauce on it and its delicious!



Healthy power house facts:
- A complete protein
- Gluten-free
- Contains all eight essential amino acids
- Rich in vitamins E, B2 and B6, folic acid, biotin, calcium, potassium, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese and chloride
- Free of cholesterol and trans fat
- Contains high levels of natural antioxidants, mainly
vitamin E
This list was taken from the site Canada.com Story by Laura Brehaut and has a ton of great information on this neat little grain-fruit. (See my recipe soon to follow in the next few days).

3. Nutritional Yeast.

Nutritional Yeast *photo by F.F.
It actually tastes amazing sprinkled on popcorn!
"It is a great source of 18 amino acids, protein, folic acid, biotin and other vitamins. It is also rich in 15 minerals including iron, magnesium, phorphorus, zinc, and chromium, and selenium." Justgoodenergy.com

I have started to add it to many dishes and the more I read about this great yeast (not to be confused with cooking yeast) the more ways I am able to use it. Add it to your favorite dishes to reap the benefits! I buy mine from the Bulk Food Store, however I have read that it should be kept out of light.

I hope this short list of super foods has given you some ideas on how to incorporate healthy eating choices into your home. I will be posting some new recipes soon.

Stay tuned!

~~ Finding Feathers~~