Archive for November, 2010
I know. It sounds crazy. But these blogs are not about about making scientific proclamations. It’s about documenting and sharing my personal experiences with MaxGXL® (affiliate link).
Something that surprises people about me is that I drink Coke. It’s just one of those things that I like. Maybe it’s the caffeine, maybe it’s the sugar, maybe it’s the bubbles. I’ve just always liked it. And I used to drink a can a day. When the mini cans of Coke came out, I was happy to buy them for the same price as a regular can because it helped me curb my addiction to what a lot of people call “liquid poison.”
Something happened and I don’t know what
A few weeks after starting MaxGXL® I noticed my desire for the bubbly poison completely stopped. It was so strange. It was almost overnight. I couldn’t really explain it but I didn’t crave it anymore. Then I was talking to a friend who has been taking MaxGXL for over a year now. He casually mentioned that he had this strange thing happen to him where he stopped craving coffee. My ears perked up a little.
I just got the best holiday gift catalogue in the mail. It came from Plan Canada. Let’s just say it wasn’t your typical gift guide; no smelly soaps, kitschy keepsake ornaments or plaid pyjamas.
21st century catalogue shopping
At the risk of sounding trite, it’s true what they say about giving being the best gift of all. But now you can take that to a whole new level by giving some in-need communities some basics in life that we privileged first-world dwellers take for granted, like water, warmth and nourishment. Add to this the fact that you can buy these gifts online (ahem, without facing the stooooopid Christmas rush at the mall) and suddenly catalogue shopping is looking very appealing.
Gifts you can feel good about
When I got this catalogue, I was suddenly filled with a desire to shop, spend and give! I wanted to buy mango trees ($12), re-build a home in Haiti ($2,500), install a water and sanitation system ($1,000), start a school in Rwanda ($10,000—okay this might have to wait a few years while we save up), buy a herd of goats for a community ($75 for one goat and $775 for a herd) and maybe even invest in a zambulance ($150). Starting from just $10, I could buy some much-needed ethical gifts that would change the lives of individuals, families and communites around the world. Imagine little me effecting change without even leaving my laptop.
Gifts of change closer to home
For some of us, charity starts at home and giving the gift of change to someone we know and love is just as important. If this is where you are at, here’s some more holiday gift ideas that could make a difference in the lives of your loved ones:
- A Feng Shui consultation for someone you love (or maybe you!). Anyone you know looking for a boost in a certain area of their life? Love? Money? Health? Fertility? Rachna Joshi, certified Feng Shui consultant (and best big sister ever!) is kindly offering her “Feng Shui Fix” for a single area of someone’s life for only $150 for sonakhosla.com readers (regularly $199). Or, you can go for the whole sha-bang and get a full home or office make-over for $350. Or, maybe you can stop wishing for a shot at appearing on What Not to Wear and you can just get yourself or someone you love a Feng Shui Fix for their wardrobe with some personal shopping (rates vary). You can email Rachna at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. All I can say is that within three days of having my bedroom feng-shuied, I met my future husband.
- Music from the streets of the world. Have you heard of Playing for Change? It’s a band and not-for-profit organization that brings together amazing street musicians from around the world who make music so they can build music and art schools in communities that need inspiration and hope. I have the CD but recommend the DVD because watching the musicians do their thing is truly moving.
- The gift of nutritional wisdom. Amy Bondar’s book, Sound Nutrition, is still one of my favourite books on nutrition. It addresses the many facets of nutrition, brings together some of the leading research in the field, answers some tough questions (like do eggs really increase your cholesterol?) and serves it up in digestable chapters that are informative and inspiring in equal parts. It makes a great gift for both those who are curious and serious about using the power of foods to achieve better health.
- Clean drinking water systems for the home. There’s nothing more important than the water you drink, so consider a home water filtration system from Crystal Quest. This is hands-down the best company to get a custom water filter from (including systems that take out fluoride). And guess what? They are now offering sonakhosla.com readers a 10% discount with this downloadable coupon. If you are looking for cleaner water, give these guys a call and ask for Elaine. She really knows her stuff and recently helped us put together a custom filtration system for under $350!
There’s only one month left till Christmas and if you’re not like the guy I work with who finished his shopping yesterday, then you might still be in need of some inspiration on what to give this year. Consider this blog your unorthodox guide to giving change this holiday season.
There seems to be a general theme that I am seeing with many of my clients lately and that is emotional eating, binge or compulsive eating, cravings and overall mindless eating as a result of too much stress. Undoubtedly, stress dictates how we relate with our food.
Stress and the body
In recent articles I have written how high stress affects the physical body and impedes digestion, hinders nutrient absorption and slows down the body’s ability to burn calories. Stress also profoundly affects the mental, emotional and spiritual body and that has a profound impact on our relationship with food. When stress is high, some seek food for comfort, others for renewed energy when feeling fatigued and burned out. For some it offers fulfillment when jobs are unfulfilling. Food can often have a numbing effect. It can be a distraction. When stressed, many people crave salty foods such as chips, pretzels and crackers which emotionally help ease worry and tension. The loud crunchy sensation of those foods help to quiet a busy mind.
Ahhhh, the first snow of the season. Winter is coming, it’s beautifully white everywhere, but the roads and traffic are a mess.
Breaking up with my all-seasons
After a lifelong commitment to all-season tires, a few years ago my husband convinced me to try a set of winter tires on my Mazda Protege5. So I did. And they completely changed my winter driving life. I couldn’t believe how much safer, steadier and calmer I felt on the road. Just the reduction in stress was worth the cost and hassle of changing my tires twice a year.
Last Winter I bought a new VW. I couldn’t get the all-seasons off fast enough, so I started shopping around for new winter tires. Three of my co-workers (two of them women) suggested I try the Nokian “All-Weather” tire. They said I wouldn’t need to change them and that I could get them down the street from our office. So, I did. That’s the beginning of this love story.
The perennial flu clinics are cropping up all over the city just in time for cold season to arrive. It won’t be long before we see long lines of people winding around blocks and across streets waiting to get their vaccine. This year I intend to do the same thing I have in previous years. Avoid it.
Vaccination is undoubtedly one of the most controversial topics when it comes to public health. There are those who are radically opposed stating the correlation between vaccines and the onset of Autism Spectrum Disorders (including Asperger’s Syndrome), auto-immune disorders, neurological disorders, heavy metal toxicity, etc. And there are those who state the case that had we not used vaccinations, we would still be battling now non-existent diseases like polio. In the end, it really doesn’t matter what our opionions are. We’re just all trying not to get sick.
So many other ways to increase your immunity
Whether or not you choose to get the flu shot this year, consider some of these natural ways to boost your immune system and keep colds at bay this Winter.
There are two kinds of weight—natural and unnatural. Natural weight will fluctuate throughout life with seasonal transitions, as a response to stress and with inconsistent exercise and nutrition. Unnatural weight is the weight that accumulates over time and no matter what you do to try to lose it, it won’t budge. This is the weight that is so much more complex than calories in, calories out; what you should eat, what you shouldn’t eat. This is the weight that holds opportunity for growth.
Unnatural weight, which I will now refer to as Purposeful Weight, is a symptom of something bigger going on in our lives. This weight holds a message. There is a reason for it being there. It is trying to teach us something, reveal to us a life lesson. Once you embrace that and you reveal the lesson your weight is trying to teach you, it is only then that you can work on letting it go.
Sona: This article was written by my friend and colleague, Tara Scott. She is hands-down the only person I fully trust for TV, movie and book recommendations. And she’s an insightful and talented writer. You can read more of her stuff at Versus Boredom. I’m especially pleased to have Tara write for my blog because she held my hand and guided me through building it. I’m forever grateful.
I’ve always taken my car to the dealership to be serviced. I don’t know anything about cars and my husband doesn’t know much more than I do, so when I told him that I just follow the service schedule and don’t take my car to an independent mechanic, he was fine with that.
Since moving out to Calgary in May 2005, I’ve been taking my car to Crowfoot Village Honda. It’s the Honda dealership closest to where I lived when I first got here and it’s still the closest to me now. And I’ve always been satisfied with the service there, until recently.
I’m talking about Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss. The first time I heard about this product was at my friend’s birthday party about two months ago. A bunch of us were out for Chinese food and when it was time to go home, one of the gals flashed me a guilty smile, raised her eyebrows, tensed up her throat and whispered “Coconut Bliss time!” I was like “What the hell is that and why are you making that face?”
She proceeded to tell me about the most awesome non-dairy, non-soy ice cream that she had been indulging in every night while watching some vampire show. I’ve never been an eat-ice-cream-out-of-the-carton-in-front-of-the-tv kind of person so I didn’t think too much of it. But after hearing about this product from nutritionists, friends and nutritionist friends like Amy Bondar, I was intrigued. So the next time I was at Community Natural Foods, I casually stalked the freezer section. I spotted the teeny tiny carton of ice cream that looked like it was made for trolls and experienced a big wave of sticker shock come right over me and nearly knock me down. $9. Holy crap. What the hell is in this stuff?
Anyone who knows me, knows I’ve always had a funny thing about kids. I love ‘em, but I don’t want ‘em. If I’m totally honest, freaked is the most accurate way of describing my personal feeling about having a baby.
But somehow when a few pregnant friends recently suggested we watch a documentary called Babies that had no dialogue, I was intrigued. “I’m in,” I said, which is the most affirmative statement I’ve made about children in my life thus far. My husband looked at me with a scowly face. He did not want to watch the babies, but the tape was already rolling.
80 minutes of Babies
An 80-minute documentary about four infants raised in four different parts of the world, Babies by French director Thomas Balmès, is a pure joy to watch (especially with pregnant women). You will laugh, you will be horrified, you will be surprised, you will be confused, you will coo, you will say “ew.”
For years when friends asked me what Diwali is, I would proudly answer ”the festival of lights.” This simple translation seemed to appease them and made me feel like I was a good Hindu. Even Wikipedia could confirm this fact. But this year, I think I learned the true meaning of Diwali.
The usual story: Good triumphs over evil
As a child I remember my parents telling me Diwali was a celebration that came out of a mythological story about Ravana (bad guy) who stole Rama’s (good guy’s) woman named Sita. A 14-year battle ensued and of course, Rama won and brought his lady home. The path home was lit by families of worshippers who left little earthenware candle holders that had the equivalent of tea lights burning. This is why we call it the “festival of lights”. And this is why we leave our lights on at home and light candles on Diwali.* Good enough for a kid. But as an adult, there’s so much more to it.