Thank you for visiting! Walking the Walk is meant to be a source to assist you in your quest for a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Through my own lifestyle, I hope to give you creative ideas that make adopting a healthier, more holistic lifestyle as enjoyable and easy for you as possible!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Things I Love (Part deux)

 Inspirational quotes, written on paper towel

 At-home spa treatments with friends

 Trips to the Royal Ontario Museum

The vegan chocolate cake at Fresh (Sorry, not GF) 

 My Art Gallery of Ontario membership (students get a special discount)

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

T'is the season....

It's almost Christmas and everyone is pretty jolly.  99% of the time, this "jolly" is alcohol induced, so I felt it appropriate to mention some natural ways to deal with the perils of overindulging in mulled wine and spiked eggnog over the Christmas break.

***Please remember that this blog is informative only and is not meant to diagnose medical conditions.  Please contact your holistic health care provider if you would like to try some of the suggested supplements so that they can guide you on their correct dosing and whether the product is right for you***  

How to Naturally Avoid a Hang-over

I didn't have Nux Vomica on hand for a photo op, so Arnica has to do...

1. Take a homeopathic remedy. The homeopathic remedy Nux Vomica is an excellent way to ward off a hangover.  To do this, take a dose of 30CH  Nux vomica after the big Christmas party, right before bed.  You may need to re-dose in the morning, or you may not.  I find the most effective way to take a homeopathic is to either dissolve the tablets in about a tablespoon of filtered water in a glass shot glass, or to put the tablets directly under your tongue from the container, taking care not to touch them with your hands.  Give it a try and see if it works for you.

2. Detox your liver. C'mon, you know you're going to be drinking and I know you're going to be drinking.  You may as well be proactive and begin helping your liver a few days before the Christmas party.  A great product for this is the Livdetox from Douglas Labs (click here for the complete product info).  This product can be taken a few days before the party and also the day after in order to stave off the hangover by supporting your liver's ability to clear the alcohol from your system.  Douglas Labs is a professional line that is not normally sold in regular health food stores, so you may need to consult with your Naturopathic Doctor to get your hands on some of this.

3. Focus on bitters instead of sweet alcohols.  It's unavoidable that you are going to drink during this time of year, so why not try to make it the healthiest choice possible?  Instead of choosing a suger-filled, calorie-laden beverage, try opting for the more bitter drinks.  Gin and Campari are both bitters and can help with digestion.  Mix either with some Perrier and you have a lovely, refreshing drink that will help your body by being somewhat medicinal as well as lower in calories.  Kind of like a homemade tincture...also, red wine is always a great choice, since it has so many health benefits!

I hope some of these suggestions will work for you.  I rarely drink alcohol and felt for the longest time that I was missing out on the fantastic health properties that red wine in particular had to offer-most importantly the Resveratrol, a plant phenol that is a fantastic anti-inflammatory and touted to be responsible for "The French Paradox".   Recently, I found a fantastic product from Pure Encapsulations that provides this phenol in an easy to take form; Resveratrol Extra (pictured below) has been suggested by my colleague to be taken everyday, along with omega-3 fish oils, as a preventative to discourage inflammation in your body.  Since inflammation is responsible for nearly all diseases, I'd say this is some pretty sound advice.

The superhero for fighting inflammation.

Happy Holidays! Enjoy the time with your family and friends and be sure to let them know just how important they are to you.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's that time of year again...

That's right...FINAL EXAMS! And also Christmas, I guess :)

I may not be posting for the next week, but I leave you with the following site:


I am listening to a playlist right now called "Songs for an Overwhelmed Student".  It's quite relaxing :)

Wish me luck!

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Miraculous Chia Seed, Revisited

I made an earlier post that mentioned chia seeds (you can find it by clicking here) but lately I am so impressed by them that I have to mention them again, this time in a post that is entirely their own.

The Facts
Chia seeds contain a form of protein that is very easy for your body to both digest and assimilate. It has also been said to be the richest vegetable source of omega-3 fatty acids (more commonly found in fish oils, these fats help decrease inflammation and make your skin and hair look lovely).  It is also incredibly rich in calcium and it contains boron, another mineral that helps the body absorb that calcium (great for all you people who want to build up strong, healthy bones).

But most importantly, chia seeds can do this:



So, what's so great about the fact it becomes a gel in liquid? Chia is actually really really high in mucilage, a soluble fiber that is gel-like when combined with water.  This ability for fiber to trap water is fantastic because it allows it to pass through our body easily without sucking up water from our bodies to do so.  Basically, this form of fiber keeps you regular and hydrated.  If that doesn't impress you, perhaps this recipe will:

Vanilla Chai Chia:

1 part chia seeds (2 tbsp)
3 parts almond milk (6 tbsp)
about 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (or more, depending how much milk and chia you use)
about 1/2 tsp cinnamon (or more, again depending on how much you use)

Beat all the ingredients together in a glass bowl so that none of the chia seeds are clumped together.  Cover with a lid and place in the fridge overnight, or leave on the counter for 30 minutes.  After waiting patiently, give the mixture one last stir to smooth things out and enjoy your Chia pudding.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Acupuncture is A-OK!

Acupuncture points along the Conception Vessel meridian. Notice the thumbs up, indicating how A-Ok it is :)

I'm always a bit shocked when people say they are frightened of receiving acupuncture.  After a few inquiries, I discovered that most people are not frightened of the needles (they are, after all, very tiny--you can hardly see them in the above photograph!) but they are actually just not sure what to expect.  

Having received quite a few acupuncture treatments in my time, I have come up with some common sensations that should occur as well as some sensations that should not.

What you will feel:

Patients are divided on whether or not they feel the needle go into their skin--this depends on the area being treated as well as the person, but generally it is a light tap or a pinch that is felt for only a second.

Once the needle is in, most patients report feeling the following sensations either for the duration of the treatment or just at the beginning, when the needle is being inserted:
  • aching
  • pressure
  • heaviness
  • warmth
The above sensations are good and mean that the Qi is being stimulated and healing has commenced. 

Under no circumstances should you experience the following:
  • intense pain
  • radiating pain

After receiving an acupuncture treatment, it is advisable to rest/take it easy and forgo vigorous exercise, consumption of alcohol or drugs as well as any sexual activity.  To get the most out of your treatment, you should go home, relax and be sure to get a fantastic sleep so that treatment can be further enhanced.

So, look up some acupuncture schools in your community and stop into their Student Clinic to receive an effective and affordable treatment!


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Give me SOMA that: SOMA Chocolatemaker Rocks!

In Denmark, there is a special word to describe nearly everything cozy.  Hygge (pronounced "hoogga", if we try saying it while forming our mouth to say "ee" instead of "oo") originally meant "well-being" but it has since been used to describe anything comfortable and warm, from something literal like physically sitting by the fire to something more abstract, like a state of mind.  As you know, J was recently in Denmark and she taught me this lovely word when she was describing her new, oversized wool coat:

Very hygge, no?  

Keeping with the hygge theme, on Friday evening M took me somewhere special.  It started out as a little walk around the block but we got closer and closer to King Street West and soon we were peering into the most adorable little chocolate shop I've ever encountered.  SOMA Chocolatemaker just opened their King West location, and I couldn't be more thrilled!  We sat for hours on the bench, letting the glorious smell of fresh chocolate waft over us as we sipped our Mayan Hot Chocolates and shared silly secrets in hushed tones.  Totally hygge!

Mayan Hot Chocolate (veganize by asking for soymilk)

The hot chocolate here is the real deal, being made from a shot of molten dark chocolate that is then mixed with the milk and fresh spices (powder? puh-leez!).  Honestly the best hot chocolate I have had in my life (and I grew up in the mountains where hot chocolate is something of a staple).

But aren't they also a chocolate maker, you ask? SOMA has the most interesting flavour combinations I had ever heard of (8 year old balsamic vinegar, douglas fir, 'Pop rocks'--to name a few) but I have to go all Johnny Depp in Chocolat and claim that I'll take the hot chocolate any day.  

 Les chocolats

Close up of the various gems.  Quit drooling all over your keyboard.

Whether you go alone or with someone special, SOMA Chocolatemaker is a fantastically cozy place that you want to visit at least once, in the name of hygge.

SOMA Chocolatemaker
443 King Street West
Toronto, Ontario
(416) 599-7662