Friday, 20 February 2015

Ok, so maybe the bride didn't wear vintage...

I thought I should post a follow-up to one of my most popular article from back in September of 2013 when I wrote about whether or not a bride should consider wearing a vintage dress. Back when I was planning my summer 2014 wedding, my goal was to incorporate as much vintage - real and faux - as I possibly could without pushing my husbands modern taste over the edge. I wrote this article because I was on the look out for a vintage dress and figured there had to be other ladies out there in the same boat that I was in - turns out there were! 

In the end however, I was unsuccessful in my search. I just could not find a vintage dress that really made me go 'wow, this is it!'. I decided at that point to shift my search. I started looking for a modern dress that was designed with a vintage feel - it would be soft and romantic, with lace and a full skirt. Every store I went into, that is the description that I gave. If I thought finding a real vintage dress was hard, well, finding a look-a-like is not a walk in the park either. I visited many shops that had beautiful dresses, but - alas - they just didn't have what I was looking for. I don't think I even knew what I was looking for, I just knew that it would find me and it would be my gown. I was beginning to lose hope however...

After months of searching and quite honestly coming very close to not getting a dress in time, I finally found it! A wedding dress that checked all of the boxes. I chose an ivory, off the shoulder, lace Tara Keely gown (it also came in blush, but that just seemed like a stretch to me)

This dress stole the show! It is all I heard about for days and weeks following my wedding. Friends and family still comment on the day and always go back to that dress. I think what made this dress so memorable (besides how great I wore it) was that it was unique. It wasn't anything like other brides we wearing and it really stood out - and that is exactly what I wanted. I didn't want to look like every other bride - I really wanted the dress to be 'me' and to look like it was made just for me. I think I succeeded :) 

In the end, the bride did not wear vintage, but she did live happily ever after...

Photos thanks to Alyssa Alkema

Sunday, 1 February 2015

My New Year Cleanse

After the holidays, I always feel the need to detox! All of the overeating and indulging finally seems to catch up with me in January - my pants no longer fit and I find myself pulling my sweaters a little lower over my newly forming 'muffin top' - that's when I say, enough is enough. 

I always get back to the same detox program. It is one that was introduced to me by my wonderfully brilliant Naturopath. When I tell most people that I am doing a detox, they often assume that I'm going on a juice only or no carbs, no fat type of 'diet'. Oh, they could not be more wrong. I often get criticized because many people simply don't believe in detoxes and quite frankly, I don't blame them. There are some seriously crazy detox programs out there. When I talk about a detox, I'm talking about a clean eating blitz - I'm not robbing myself of food or only letting myself eat liquids or smoothies. This is real food, real eating, no starving or crazy supplements.

                                                              IT'S NOT A DIET...

                                                            IT'S NOT A PHASE...

                                               IT'S A PERMANENT LIFESTYLE CHANGE

Here are the basics that I follow:

Foods that I avoid or limit:
1. red meat or pork: I simply don't digest these foods very well
2. cow's milk dairy products: I am dairy intolerant, but removing this is something that everyone should try!! Don't get me started on why everyone should cut out cow's milk!

3. wheat/gluten: I also gluten intolerant, but here is another item which I think everyone should take a break from - permanently if they can handle it!
4. alcohol: now, I don't drink as it is, so this one is easy for me. 
5. sugar/sweeteners: now this one I find the most challenging because I do often have a sweet tooth. I do allow myself organic honey, organic maple syrup, and coconut sugar. Allowing these seem to get me through
6. coffee: I remove it all together, but you could reduce yourself to one cup a day, but remember - no sugar and no milk added!
7. artificially processed foods: pretty much most things that come from a box or can. If it doesn't have natural ingredients, I stay away from it. Fresh is key!

So, you might be saying... 'what is left to eat?!?!'. Trust me, there is a lot left to enjoy!

Foods that I indulge in:
1. Fruit: strawberries, apples, raspberries, blueberries... these are just some of my favorites. Eat as many as you'd like! 
2. Dark leafy greens and other vegetables: this time of year, enjoy beets, sweet potatoes, squash. I love cucumbers, kale, radicchio, peppers, carrots. The list goes on! Cook them up or eat them raw - I prefer mine cooked as much as possible as they are easier to digest
3.  Lean proteins: chicken, turkey, fish or eggs.
4. Gluten-free whole grains: millet, amaranth, quinoa, brown rice.
5. Beans, lentils and legumes
6. Raw, unsalted nuts and seeds
7. Healthy fats: avocados, coconut oil, olive oil

I do this cleanse probably 2-3 times a year. What I love about it is that it has really taught me a lot about food, why I crave certain foods and just how amazing I can feel when I'm eating right. While I am not 'detoxing', to be honest, I usually follow the same rules. I cheat from time to time only because I can, but for the large majority of the time, I eat clean. From the first time I tried this cleanse, it has completely turned my life around - it has changed how I see food, how I eat and how I manage my feelings around food. I don't eat 'emotionally' like I used to. 

If 3 weeks sounds like an eternity to you, then just start with 1 week, or even just a few days if you can do it. Start there and work your way up. Change doesn't take place overnight - do what you can in your own time. It has taken me a few years to finally figure out what my body needs to feel its best. This cleanse allows your body:
- to reduce inflammation
- to heal the digestive tract
- to reduce bloating
- to promote a healthy body weight
- to develop a healthier relationship with your food!

Well, my detox starts tomorrow! I will try to post some updates throughout the cleanse as well as share some of my favorite recipes. My body is so excited for this healthy change!