Merry Christmas!!!

 

Apartment Christmas Tree

Christmas is my favourite time of year!!! I love listening to Christmas music as soon as November 1st hits and I had the apartment completely decked out in Christmas decorations by December 1st (The two pictures in this post are my two beautiful trees 🙂 one at our apartment and one at my parent’s house!).It is just such a happy time of year! There is so much love and appreciation in the air and I can’t help but feel in good spirits!

This year, we have had an eventful and unexpected start to the holiday season with the insane Toronto ice storm! We were without power for about 24 hours and I was starting to worry it was going to be a Christmas without power! At first, I was really disappointed and frustrated that this was ruining all my pre-Christmas plans and could potentially even ruin my Christmas! But then I started to think about how lucky I am to even be upset about all these things. And how selfish I was being. I may not have been able to do my Christmas baking, watch a Christmas movie, or make it to my family Christmas dinner in Waterloo, but I was still in a house with a gas fireplace to keep us warm, a gas stove to keep us well fed, and I was surrounded by people I love. I can’t really consider this a “ruined” Christmas! It was also incredibly beautiful outside with everything covered in a layer of sparkling ice! 🙂 I hope that all of you have made it through the ice storm without too much trouble!

Home Christmas Tree

Christmastime always makes me reflect about my past year and this one has been a great one! I started 2013 by beginning a new and exciting part of my life – becoming a student at CCNM and starting on my journey to becoming a naturopathic doctor!!! There have definitely been some challenging times, but I love all the people that I have met this past year and I love the feeling of knowing I have found the right path for me.

I also made huge improvements to my health in 2013. I started by finding great benefits from taking probiotics and L-glutamine powder. The probiotics helped re-populate my gut with healthier bacteria that improved my digestion immensely. The L-glutamine powder also helped by healing the lining of my GI tract and decreasing any “leaky gut” issues (which can be a reason for a lot of digestive discomfort). Both of these helped make my digestive system stronger and helped me have better bowel movements, and less bloating and cramping. Then, I found even more added benefit from the FODMAP diet (as you already know!), which further decreased by bloating, cramping and issues with gas. My next step, for 2014, is to work on my anxiety. It has become very clear to me that when my stress or worry levels are higher, my digestion is worse and my stomach feels more upset. I want to work on finding tools I can use to keep my anxiety under control and to spend less time worrying. I think it is important to realize that sometimes this is a challenging step to make all on your own. I have started entertaining the idea of seeing a therapist who can help me figure out when I’m struggling with anxiety and how to manage it better! Also, I have been learning so much about the benefits of mindfulness and meditation and I think a goal of mine for 2014 may be to work on improving these skills (and hopefully sharing some of my experiences with you so you can use them too!).

Another huge accomplishment of 2013 was starting this blog!!!! It has been such a fun experience for me so far and I really appreciate all the love and support I’m getting from all of you guys!! I hope that 2014 brings lots of new and exciting posts and that I can keep improving my blog for all of you!

Finally, I hope that all of you have had wonderful years and that this holiday season is the perfect end to a perfect year!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!

Gingerbread house

p.s. I also discovered that El Peto makes a gluten free gingerbread house kit!! So obviously I had to buy it and test it out! I made the icing a bit too runny so it was a bit challenging to put together….but it ended up looking like melting snow! And it was delicious, which is really the most important part 🙂 so this just proves that, even if you have to eat gluten free, there really isn’t anything you have to miss out on at Christmas!

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