We reflect. We evolve. We thrive.

This post is very different than what you’ve seen me share here. The biproduct of what you are about to read has humbled me and has taught me. Bringing this group of women together to share and hopefully empower others has turned out to be bigger than I realized. It turns out, we are all very similar. It turns out that we have all stumbled – and for that, we remember the many times we got back up. This piece focuses on a group of women who are very special to me. Just like I stated on Instagram, collectively I have know then for almost 200 years. You will find a collection of their thoughts, experiences and lessons. And though I had every intention to publish this piece so that it moves one soul or many young girls out there, I had no idea the impact they all had on me. For that, I am grateful and I remain inspired.

Now, please enjoy these beautiful words by these incredible women.

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Corinne
@corinnekarjama

I must have been in grade 3 or 4 when I first made friends with Ashleigh. She was shorter than I was, with blonde straight hair and had a cool mom who chauffeured her around in a red sports car. She wore fashionable clothes, was quite popular and my 8 year-old-self wanted to be just like her.

Nearly 30 years later I still vividly recall one specific outfit Ashleigh would wear. A simple white t-shirt with rainbow studded letters dotted along the chest reading “Levi’s Blue Jeans”. I remember I used to feel like there was nothing I wanted more than to have that exact same t-shirt.

For weeks I searched through shopping malls and department stores trying to find an identical top that I could start wearing.

Of course, no addition to my wardrobe was going to make me like Ashleigh, or convince my mom to start chauffeuring me around in a sports car for that matter.

In my adolescence I often found myself envious of other girls around me. We all did. I think in a way, we all look to others to get a sense of who we should be.

For me, I would always fixate on a thing someone seemed to have that I didn’t – and it would claw at me with envy – if only I had that same pair of shoes, or watch, or Levi’s t-shirt, I could be like them.

But looking back now, I realize no amount of fashionable clothing or a sports car diving mom would have changed who I have grown up to be – no more than it changed who those girls have grown up to be. They weren’t better than me, and I no better than them. I was my own person then just as I am now. I just hadn’t grown to realized it yet.

Today, the most important thing for me is finding things that I’m authentically interested in, and fashion that I genuinely like. I no longer piggy-back off of someone else’s interests or fashion sense. I make decisions for me, and my well-being. And it feels good to recognize this. Having confidence in myself and my own desires is something I wish I’d discovered sooner.



KRYSTEN
@krystenskitchen

Dear younger Krysten, if I could tell you anything, give you advice or give comfort for your future it would be to get out of your head and go for your dreams. Know that what you might have in mind or planned may not always be what actually happens but it’s okay because all things will work out for good. You need to listen to your heart and know that the ups and downs will work together to show you the right path and shape your future.

You may not understand what’s happening in the immediate moment but you will know what’s happening and why it’s happening later down the road. Not only will it then make sense but it will become part of your testimony.

Think outside the box a bit (remember being different is cool!) and don’t be afraid to ask for help and guidance along the way. There are always people who are willing and eager to help others. In turn, don’t forget to give others advice and share information that will help someone else’s journey, too. A little bit can go a long way to make someone’s day. 

You may be scared to take a leap of faith or jump into something new but remember you can start now and perfect later. Don’t let the littlest things stop you from going for your dreams. It’s the overall picture and goal and sometimes you have to get scrappy to get there but guess what? You will! You got this!

Love, (much older, wiser but still eager to learn) Krysten

I wish I could read this letter to my younger self not because I would change anything about my journey but perhaps I might worry less or not sweat the small stuff so easily. I know we can all be our own worst critic and get in our own way. I think once we can figure that out and get the ball rolling faster it’s like unlocking a big secret to adulting and our life’s adventure.

NATALIE
@our.rebba.roses

One of the beautiful things about growing older is gaining wisdom and a broader perspective on life. I have a few nuggets of wisdom to share from my journey thus far.

First, I would say, don’t underestimate the power of a smile! It can brighten your whole day and those around you too!

Secondly, some of the best times of my life, where I am most happy and mentally healthy, is when I am thinking of and serving others. Ghandi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” I truly believe this and I am always working on cultivating this mindset in my own life. Nothing good ever comes from completely focusing on ourselves.

I would also tell my younger self to be the person who you desire to be today. We are not guaranteed tomorrow and like is fleeting. Don’t wait to BE that person someday. Be her today! Finally, something else that changed my life is when I gave my heart to Jesus in 8th grade. My relationship with Him has been the rock of my life. His death and Resurrection give me freedom. If I can tell my children one thing, it would be to surrender their lives to the creator of life and let Him fill the spaces of your heart. He will change your life for the better, guaranteed!

MJ
@mj.made.that

From the journey of trying to conceive, to the moment we found out we were pregnant, to growing a baby inside me for 9 months, to the experience of child birth; these moments have come and gone but will forever leave an imprint in my mind, body and soul.

The day my first born made it into this world, beautiful and healthy, I held her in my arms and we looked at each other; just like that our journey starts the next chapter together as Mother and Daughter.

I’m now a Mother and all of sudden nothing else mattered but My Family and their well being. It’s funny, because so many little things that used to bother me before I was a parent are almost non-existent in my mind now. It’s either I have no time to worry about them between making meals and changing diapers or that motherhood has simply brought a new perspective in my life. Parenthood changes everyone in different ways. Although one commonalty we all share is that our children’s happiness is the end all and be all to our own happiness. Motherhood is the most tiring and rewarding full-time job. There are no dos and donts, rights and wrongs to this job opportunity, it’s something I learn along the way, especially with the help and support of my partner. It’s an exciting adventure that helps me learn about myself and my growth as a person. I am truly blessed.

RECHIE
@rechie.valdez

There are so many experiences in my life that have shaped me and the person I’ve become today. There isn’t one particular moment in time that defines me or that has shaped me; instead, it is a series of choices and decisions that have led me to here and now. 

I grew up feeling like I was a caged bird that was anchored down by both legs, and had both wings clipped. My creativity, and everything I loved was rejected and oppressed. I grew up with negative energy, anger, abuse, and trauma. I was broken, I was bruised, I was unloved and unrecognizable. 

As I went off to University, I made the decision to leave the comfort of staying local and ventured off to a school that was three and half hours away so that I could gain independence, live sanely, and start to hear my own voice again. I experienced a lot in University. I experienced my first love. I survived student life. I also had to face my deepest fears and some of the darkest moments in my life. I broke once, I broke twice, I began to see a glimmer of light in me. 

I went through a few years of deep healing, self-reflection, and I took the time needed to understand my values and what mattered to me. The next phase of life was all about building a family and career. I met my amazing husband, and my son Kyle was born. I healed, I grew, I loved, I forgave, I started to become recognizable. 

As I gained confidence in who I was, I started to experiment and explore different creative outlets. My daughter Cassidy was born. I uncovered my first form of creativity and art, through baking my daughter’s first birthday cake. I awoke. I uncovered my true self. I created. I loved. 

I dove into one entrepreneurial adventure after another, to explore and express my creativity even further. I left the comfort of a full-time job and ended my 15 year Corporate career to pursue entrepreneurship full time. I became fearless. I created. I trusted. I loved. I thrived. 

Today I am grateful for waking up every morning knowing that I get to define each day, and create the adventures that I want to experience. I in turn support and celebrate Kyle’s and Cassidy’s individuality, and appreciate their unique characteristics and personalities. Together, we create a world where we share joy, we accept the gifts that the universe brings us, we are free to be who we want to be, and we are open to new possibilities. I accept and love every part of me – all of it. I see the scars and bruises. I feel the spectrum of emotions that life has brought me. I see beauty. I feel peace. I am human. I am complete. I will never stop creating. I will always be free.

KERRY
@kerrylaifatt

You deserve to be here. If I had a time machine and could go back to a few key moments of my life, this is what I’d tell myself. I remember landing my first role as a series regular on a television show. I put on my bravest face for my first day on set, but inside I was withering. It felt as if I was the most green of all of my cast mates and I was terrified that I’d be exposed as second-rate. 

This has been a recurring feeling with work — this fear, this insecurity every time I embarked on something new or did something outside of my comfort zone. And with the twists and turns of my career, I felt it often.

My first time doing theatre in Europe. My first team meeting managing a staff of 15 as Director of Sales (which also involved purging all my belongings and living at sea). My first day launching the Canadian office of an international company.

To be honest, sometimes, I still have the urge to cry when I feel overwhelmed with new challenges. But now I tell myself four things.

  1. The things I’ve felt most emotional about were the things that pushed me to grow the most.
  2. I remind myself that everyone faces their firsts — Olympians have their first races and losses, pop stars grace their first stages. And every one of those firsts takes you to a new place.
  3. When fear draws away your power, great friendships, genuine relationships can energize you. You don’t have to accomplish everything yourself. You can ask for help, advice, wisdom. You can call on other women and people who have walked ahead of you.
  4. Finally, I remind myself that it’s never been more important to believe that I am worthy of my seat at the table. The world still tells me that as a woman, and a woman of colour, I don’t always deserve to be here. I don’t want my daughter to doubt her place. I don’t want her to shrink from opportunities because she’s afraid she’s not good enough. I don’t want her to skip the first day, first job, first step because it’s not safe. I don’t want her to silence herself when someone talks over her.

I can’t go back in time. But I can share these lessons with my daughter. 

I tell her that she’ll have to work hard. People won’t always believe in her and she won’t always believe in herself. But do the work. And you’re not doing it to impress your boss, to quell your critics, to please the masses. You do the work for yourself — to stretch yourself, to grow confidence, to live a life of authenticity and courage. You do it to fully occupy your space, to have your voice heard and your soul seen.

You deserve to be here. From day one to day 1001 and beyond, you are always enough.

KUNTAL
@inara.yoga.wellness

Things you wish you knew as a young girl.
That I alone was enough to create the life of my dreams.

Experiences that shaped you: Heartbreaks and disappointments. They are a part of life. When I was younger, I saw every heartbreak and disappointment as painful. Now I see every heartbreak as a golden opportunity to I form a better relationship with myself.

Advice for younger generation.
Don’t be in a hurry to grow up. Take your time. Enjoy all the experiences.

Believe in yourself. You have nothing to prove to anyone except yourself.

Dream often.
Know that you are more than capable to achieve anything you put your mind to.

Everything you need to be happy is already within you.


CHRISSI
@chrissivella

One thing I have learned in my 30’s and first year of my 40’s, is that people care a lot less about what you do than you think. I have come to realize that trying to please everyone is fruitless, and not being your authentic self is a waste of energy. Your people will find you. They will love you. They will support you. They will lift you up, and when necessary, they will bring you back down to reality.

Do what makes YOU happy, what fulfills YOU, what satisfies YOU. But never tear someone else down in order to do that.

Be with the people who make you smile and forget that the world can be a scary place. Use that energy to spread joy and positivity to everyone around you…its so contagious.

Always leave the space you’re in better than it was before you arrived, and people happier than they were before they met you.

MICHELLE
@msrocknsoul

When I was in high school I thought I knew everything, that I knew better.  So when my parents told me no, I dramatically swore that it was because they were determined to ruin my life.  

My priorities back then were hanging out with my friends and having a whirlwind romance with my first ever boyfriend.  Spending time with my family was at the bottom of my list.  Looking back, I would have told the younger version of myself to spend time with my parents and now that they are gone I only wish I had more time.

You know sometimes when it feels like you are walking around with a storm cloud over your head?  Well it felt like I had a full on typhoon just causing pure havoc in my life for a span of 10 years.  It felt like I could never catch a break at times life just seemed so unfair.

In 2005 my mom was diagnosed with slight dementia and early Alzheimer’s.

In 2009 my dad got into a really bad car accident, he suffered a c5 injury to his spine that left him paralyzed from the chest down.

In 2012 my dad passed away succumbing to his injuries and in 2013 not even a year after my dad passed my mom passed away, I know it was because of the Alzheimer’s but I like to believe it was because she missed him so much that she wanted to be with him.

These monumental losses would shatter anyone, so I’m often asked how did I get through it?  

Truthfully…I don’t know.  Sometimes I think maybe I didn’t grieve enough or process it fully, but if I’m being honest, I cried a lot.   Until I couldn’t cry anymore.  And then I just kept moving forward.  Knowing what my parents went through, that they were free from their sufferings and that they were together…it gave me peace.  I know that they would want me to keep going because when someone dies, it doesn’t mean we die too.  If given the chance to be back here with the people they love they would.  Losing them opened my eyes to truly see what’s in front of me, to tell the ones you love you love them and living, I will never take it for granted.   In 2016, I gave birth to the greatest joy in my life, my son.  That profound love that everyone talks about, it’s real.  He is everything, every reason, my soul purpose.  I live for him, but I also live for me.  Every moment, every breath, every chance I get I’m going to live.  

JAMIE
@jamiengrose

If I could tell my younger self something, it would be to take premarital classes. I know these are requirements for certain faiths, but I am not religious so I wish I knew that this is a thing, and that I had the resources to find these classes. I’m sure there must be someone out there who offers this type of relationship course! After 14 years of marriage, I know now that marriage is hard and I think being prepared for a lifelong commitment and getting a dose of reality when you are soon to be a newlywed couple is extremely important.

TSZ
@tsztime

I confess I’m a perfectionist. When I’m left unchecked, I get into my own head and become a big ball of anxiety. This carries over from my work as a graphic designer and extends to every aspect of my life. Taking risks are simply the opposite of my being but I’ve learned from creating @eatbolo that getting out of my comfort zone is the cure. 

Cooking for friends and family has been my passion ever since I was old enough to cook. Even though friends have encouraged me to start my own food business, I’ve always talked myself out of it as I didn’t have any formal training or extensive restaurant experience. While I had been working on my ultimate fried chicken sandwich recipe for a year, I hadn’t done anything with it until my friend and business partner @Joeyngoy signed us up for @smorgasburg tryouts.

With an actual deadline, I hunkered down and worked day and night on it but if I am completely honest, the sandwiches I made for the interview are nowhere close to the current iteration served at our first location @glendorapublic market. 

However, good enough and done is better than perfect. We got into Smorgasburg despite the fact and even opened our first location last year! It brings me such joy to see people’s expression of food bliss when they have their first bite of Bolo and it hit me, none of this would be here if I had continued to work on the recipes till it was “perfect.” 

If you want to express yourself, just take the first step! Perfection is unachievable but you owe it to yourself to cultivate your passions. You never know where it may take you.

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Thank you for reading. We hope you have taken something with you from these amazing stories.

xx Leigh

Spring Rolls aka Filipino Lumpia

Who doesn’t love a crunchy spring roll? There are hundreds of versions and from around the globe. The Filipino version is called Lumpia Shanghai. Since I was a baby, I’ve watched my Grandmother, my Mom and my Aunts assemble such a delicious staple in our culture. Usually it is made with pork, or beef but since I have cut down on my meat intake, I will also include a vegetable option that is really yummy. If your try them, let me know!

Veggie Spring Rolls Ingredients

  • Handfull of bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup of minced carrot or you can julienne them
  • 1/2 cup og chopped green onion
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup of minced white onion
  • 1/4 cup of chopped mushrooms (optional)
  • Himalayan salt
  • Cracked Black Pepper
  • Spring Roll wrappers cut into squares
  • On the side: 1 beaten egg to act as an adhesive after it’s been filled

Meat filled Spring Rolls Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ground pork or beef (you can also add deveined shrimp, but since my husband is allergic to seafood, I’ve never tried)
  • 1/2 cup of minced carrot
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup of minced white onion
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • Himalayan salt
  • Cracked Black Pepper
  • Spring Roll wrappers cut into squares
  • On the side: 1 beaten egg to act as an adhesive after it’s been filled

Blend well and wrap, roll and fold like a tight envelope. My Instagram reel has demonstrated this process. Fry over medium to high heat and occassionally rotate to cook evenly. Once they come out of the fryer, they must drip-dry on a paper towel to release any excess oil. Plum sauce, hot sauce and even soy sauce are popular condiments for spring rolls, but you can enjoy them anyway you’d like.

My Quick Butternut Squash Deliciousness

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve had (okay gulped) a bowl of Butternut Squash soup, I would probably have a ten hundred horses named Millie and each Millie would have their own horsey-water slide. I included it in my weding reception and I have fond memories of devouring bowls and heaps of this puree while I was pregnant with my three children. Three separate times, they’re not triplets lol. But you get it, right? Have I ever made it like this before? Never! It’s completely delicious – coming from me, that’s huge – I’m my worse critic when it comes to food… and hair. Onthese cold days and nights, it was perfect timing. And it all unfolded by fluke I have to say.

I literally stood at the market one masked evening and created my recipe right then and there. I went with my hunrgy-gut and it is something I will make more often.

Here is what you’ll need and the steps I took to get to this mound of personal yet edible piece of success.

Ingredients:

1 whole Butternut Squash
1 whole Fennel Bulb (without the stems)
4 Carrots
10 white Shallots
3-4 Garlic Cloves
3/4 Cup of Chickpeas
1 Cup Vegetable Stock
Thyme (how much of it you’d like)
Couple of pinches of Himalayan Salt
Cracked Black Pepper to taste
Pinch of Nutmeg
Pinch of Paprika

Roast your chopped Butternut Squash with olive oil, thyme and pepper. This one took the longest, so I did two separate roasting-rounds. That roasted for about 35 minutes on high heat. The second roast pan was filled with the sliced shallots, garlic, carrots and fennel. And again with olive oil and pepper. In a small pot, bring your chickpeas to a boil until tender. This took about 8 minutes. I then tossed everything in a blender with some stock once everything had time to cool down. I transfered this puree to a pot and placed on medium heat. Stir, Stir, Stir. I added the himalyan salt and cracked black pepper at this point, as well as the nutmeg and paprika. Place in bowl and top with sour cream and thyme or whatever your heart calls for. For a reel/video of how it came about, check out @SeedsOfThree on Instagram. Enjoy!

If you try this out, let me know! You can tag my Instagram at @Seedsofthree

Pink Brownies

I’ve never been a baker you might say, but when they turn out like this, I get motivated. I recently discovered a brand who I now kinda think of as a family member. Their line is endless, yet each product is so versatile. I am talking about Garden of Life. There has to be something said for products you can trust. For this recipe, I used their Coconut oil. Coconut oil has the ability to burn fat, and they provide quick energy to your body and brain. It also protects our skin and hair. Coconut oil also raise HDL (good) cholesterol in your blood, which may help reduce the risk of heart disease. It’s a great time to swap what is in your cupboards for items that promotes healthy living. I mean, why not? Take care of ourselves is not what it use to be. It’s a choice we all have. Do it in increments and do it with intention.

Below are the details on you can achieve these yummy treats.


For the bottom brownie section:

  • 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups of quinoa flour or all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon of Garden of Life’s Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Dark chocolate chips (optional)

For the top brownie section:

  • 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups of quinoa flour or all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon of Garden of Life’s Coconut Oil
  • 1 tablespoon of red Organic Food colouring
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • Combine each of the ingredients separately. Lightly butter the pan. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Pour your chocolate batter first, which is the bottom layer and them place your now pink batter on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until a screwer comes out clean.
  • For many of your cooking and baking needs, check out #gardenoflife and #gardenoflifecanada they are now a staple in my home.

xx Leigh

Easy Holiday Sugar Cookies

You know, I grew up with amazing food, always around me. My Mom is such an amazing cook. I swear she can make anything delicious. She baked a lot when we were kids. She made everything looked so easy. We try and keep the tradition going by having all her grandkids bake with her. Though I’ve done some baking here and there, it’s not an interest I naturally gravitate to.

Today I thought, this isolation has brought so many realizations to the surface. Trying another new thing could be a lot of fun. And it was, especially since my daughter got so involved. She had a blast. Here is a simple recipe that we created. Simple, healthy and fun was pretty much the goal for us. We knew that there was a chance that the cookies wouldn’t turn out the way we anticipated – and that would’ve been ok. We tried our best. Trying something outside of the norm was a win already, we agreed.

For this recipe you will need the following ingredients:
– 1 Cup of Coconut flour
– 1 1/4 Cup of All purpose flour
– 1/4 tsp fine Himalayan pink salt
– 1/2 tsp Baking powder
– 3/4 Cup of grassfed butter
– 2 Eggs
– 3/4 Coconut sugar
– 1 tsp organic vanilla extract
– 2 tsp natural food colouring

Preparation Steps:
1. Sift the flours, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
2. In a larger (separate) bowl, mix the sugar and butter with an hand mixer. Add the eggs.
3. Add the vanilla and mix until smooth.
4. Gradually include the dry ingredients. Combine and scrape the sides.
5. Add your desired food colouring.
6. Knead the dough into a ball until all the colour is evenly distributed. Cover with saran wrap.
7. Chill in the refriderator for 2 hours, (it can be chilled over night too.)
8. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and lightly butter a baking sheet pan.
9. After the 2 hours. Roll out and place light amount of flour on surface to prevent sticking. Cut out your shapes and place on the greased baking sheet.
10. Cook for 8-10 minutes and let stand for 20 minutes.
11. Make it fun!

10 ways to cope with Anxiety, attain Peace and Perspective

I remember feeling anxious as a child from time to time without really understanding what it was. I didn’t know how common it was back then. Did any of us? There were definitely less answers during that time. But it is a common thing to go through and slowly accept, TODAY. I find that it’s only been in the last 5-10 years where more people are talking about it. Less people will label you crazy. It’s sad, but we are evolving, which means there never was any crazy to begin with. There are even numerous ways to identify anxiety. It’s not crystal clear, but more and more progress is graining traction. It’s not so unknown and there are more resources to help people, all people, including children.

Before I lay out my list of ways you can cope with these abundant emotions, the first thing I had to learn is that we have to embrace what we feel and never resist it. When you’re in this spinning tornado, it can really feel like the begining of the end. It’s not the end. We are human. We have a lot going on. And you must validate where you are and every thing you are feeling.

Your body is trying to tell you something, though you may not know how to truly heal at that particular moment, brushing it off can be harmful. Brushing it off can almost mean that you’re saying ‘this is hard, I give up on you.’ And when you do that, things intensify and can escalate into a difficult snowball of a situation. Breathe. Sit down. Close your eyes even. Tell youself, you’re ok. Nothing is wrong with you. Having big feelings or mixed emotions right now only means that we need to take a step back and simplify things – that we can’t control everything, AND we don’t need to control everything. And that we are OKAY where we are. You’re ok.

Here are some of the things that have helped me over the years. It’s a growing list, because we all live and learn. Items on this list may or may not help you. Just like me, I’ve tried many things before getting a good grasp of my responses and my progress. Always, listen to you gut and continue to do what works for you.


  1. Sleep – I think we’ve become less accountable for things that we already know. Brining things back to basics and regrouping can be very helpful. We know that, without sleep our brains fail to function – which also tie into cognition, concentration, productivity and performance. Finding the core of acceptance and prioritizing this is key. Set a time for bedtime and set one for your phone to remain at a distance. Document how you feel after 4 hours of sleep, after 6 hours of sleep and after 8 hours. Sleep keeps up balance, rest and maintains a boosting immune system.

  2. Gratitude Attitude – Eckhart Tolle once said this, ‘Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.’ It is so simple. I keep this quote very close because I relate to it and I am living it. What we feel, how we speak to ourselves and how we perceive ourselves in any given situation speaks volumes. In order to have peace, to fully relax and to fully accept your potential, and the gifts headed your way, you must be grateful. You must acknowledge what you have more than what you want. In order to dream and achieve what you picture on this journey, you must recognize what already exists – and what has been given to you. The life I have today is only possible because of my parents and grandparents who sacrificed it all to give their family and their future familes a better life. Their hard work, challenges and achievements are pieces I keep in the forefront of my mind every day. With a grateful mindset, all things are possible. Ever since I’ve made it a priority, I’ve truly felt much calmer. Centered.
  1. Nutrition – I don’t believe in cheat-days, I don’t think hiding food is a brilliant idea and I don’t think it’s wise to punish ourselves. In our home, all food matter. ALL. My daily goal is all about ratios. All day and every day. At young ages, I made sure to expose my kids to the colours in food, the textures, the tastes and of course the fun. Every day is different, it’s meant to be and that’s ok. The secret is not to put emphasis on what you are serving. Present it without pressure or expectations. Let them play with the green stuff. And don’t be hard on yourself. Don’t! It’s a process. Defining nutrition and what treats are doesn’t have to be boring lectures. It could be enjoyable experiments day after day. And this goes for people of all ages. We’re not born knowing everything. Give yourself time and credit for wanting to make better choices. When you feel good and make small changes, you are opening yourself to the gife of nutrition and self-love. After getting great advice and help, I’ve learned that foods with high levels of magnesium such as leafy greens, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains promotes a calmer state.
  2. Laugh – I had plan to write about something else for this part, but I had to share a direct example that lead to a joyful day. On the weekend, the whole family and I took a hike. The cold air woke us up. It was a earlier. As we walked through the trails, around a beautiful pond and then back up the open fields, our eyes landed on a large patch of sand that connected to a narrow concrete path. It was for long-jumping. It looked like it was made twenty plus years ago. All three kids took turns and did it over and over again. It was a fun idea and it kept us all warm. It was challenging and it pushed us. Well, it was my turn. I wanted to try and somehow prove to myself that age is in fact energy. I think I read that on a ‘quote-of-the-day’ Instaram post last week. I took a glance to my left and all eyes were on me. As if there was some huge mystery between the women that birthed us and partcipating into something they’ve labelled as ‘cool.’ I wanted to show them, you gotta just go for things. I start to run, keeping my elbows up. I run. I can some sort of speed. I jump. I literally thought I was flying. I wasn’t flying. I was falling. I landed at a pretty good length but I fumbled and fell on my knees and then my face, like a baby turtle emerging from the Pacfic Ocean sands. I opened my eyes and just saw my hair in the grains. Next thing you know, my husband comes over in concern, he turns me over and I am laughing. I am fully in this hilarious state. It was a completely freeing. As my 6-year old wiped the sand off my coat, I continued to giggle. With all the uncertainty in the air, with all the shifts in our normalcy, we must find joy. We must give this to ourselves. Laughing reminded me of the greatest feeling in the world, happiness.
  3. Yours – I think a lot of people and parents can relate to this one. In October, mere weeks ago, I felt my head explode. It was a month that I lost track of myself. Between meals, snacks, homework, zooming, tests, quizzes, pop-quizzes, work, assignments, baths, play, the juggling and the crying, I got lost. Once I was up, I was off. And I didn’t stop until bedtime. It wasn’t good. It wasn’t healthy. I was telling myself, you come later… soon, soon… just after this one more thing. WELL, if that doesn’t cause anxiety, what does? Carving out quality time is essential. You begin to believe you’re a robot, but you’re anything but a robot. We tend to take on what’s on our plate, and add on to that plate again and again, don’t we – until the plate strains and breaks. Supporting each other and reminding each other that it’s ok to say NO – it’s ok to say ‘Mom is going for a walk,’ or ‘Mom is taking a 45-minute shower‘ or ‘I need an EF-ING BREAK!‘ It’s all necessary and you are just as important. Speak up and put yourself where everyone can see you.
  4. Speak and not bury – Don’t bottle things in… they say. Sound familiar? We hear it all the time. This can cause anxiety because this allows us to run – to not face things. Refraining from expressing your thoughts and what’s going on inside can be really damaging. It’s mentally cleansing to share your feelings. It’s healing and you can move forward without any barriers. One tip that is great, if you are not comfortable with speaking to someone, if you rather get blood work done or crawl into a coyote hole – writing someone a letter and allowing them to respond is a positive way is a great start and alternative. This can help alleviate the pressures, assumptions and panic-monsters we create. The expectations drop and you’re still helping yourself.Try it, it will be so refreshing and healing.
  5. Self-Care Treats – We all have our favorite scents, foods, places, clothing, shows etc. Those little special items are special to you for a reason. Keep them close and honour yourself. This is something my Mom has told me all my life and continues to – I just have to finally listen. In the last year and a half I have been drawn to the scents of Eucalyptus and Bergomot. I can’t explain why, but it calms me and it makes me smile. I read somewhere that eucalyptus can promote relaxation. Without even knowing that below, it was just something I immediately loved. Jot down a list of your favourites and be intentional about keeping them present and around. They little items bring energy. And positive energy will give off the same time of vibes. Maybe keeping a journal of your favorite things would be a good first step.
  6. Movement – This is the one that I struggle with the most, yet I do feel and see the correlation in great ways when I become active. We know that when we are active, there in an increase of blood flow and oxygen that goes to the brain. And the more energy to the brain, the more of an increase in brain functionality. You will be able to concentrate better, you will have a stronger memory and it will be much easier for you to retain information. After doing at least 30 minutes a day for 5 days, can improve depression and anxiety symptoms. I believe it’s also very important to find ways of movement you like. For me, I love dance. There are a millions of classes and tutorials on YouTube. I have started to skip more. And I love long nature walks. These little things do add up. I’ve seen the changes; committing to it daily will only bring you peace.

9. The Child in You – Though I am probably the more disciplinary parent between the both of us, I am also a big kid. The biggest! Both my parents are the same way. There was always dancing, there was always music, we laughed until we peed all the time and there was always muddy fun. Last month as all the leaves were falling from the trees, I was taking a walk. It felt amazing to have that time on my own and have the autumn winds in my hair and lungs. Some breaks can make you feel alive again. I try to find childlike things in my day to break up the mood and the seriousness. It also can help you get to your children’s level and eliminate any guards. So that same day I decided to jump in the different piles of crunchy leaves. I loved the sound and I loved stepping out of this adult-mold. Were there people around me? Were they staring? Yes and Yes. Were they judging? Maybe. Did I care? Absolutely not. Will I ever care? Never! I don’t put limits in all the possible and wonderful things that can happen within each day. These little moments make up the peace or lack of peace we carry. Do things things that make you feel like a child again. I dare you to try one thing the day after you read this. I’d love to hear about it.

10. Connect – The pandemic has really allowed the waves of technology to sore when it comes to many things, (how much have you spent on Amazon lol) including the connection we need with family and friends. Girl-time was such a huge thing (it will always be) and I thought that with these lockdowns, that would quickly diminish. And for awhile it did, didn’t it? This crazy time have forced us to be creative and patient. I realized that there are so many ways to connect with people. And sometimes it’s just the break you need, even if it’s with a total stranger. Let’s be honest, sometimes it’s necessary to escape your home-walls, take a breath and escape for a bit. Cleanse your mind and reconnect with yourself. That could mean doing some deep breathing for an hour. It could mean painting in solitude. It could mean taking nice brisk run. Whatever it is, make the time. The most important thing I’ve learned is that. we must take charge in how our priorities are defined. Connecting to ourselves and what we need to nourish our whole being, shouldn’t be replaced with a to-do list. Honour who you are, the amazing things you have, the amazing things you’ll do next – and take pride in taking good GOOD care of yourself.

xx Leigh

You make me melt.

With all the crazy things happening in our world today, I must say, it’s been so refreshing to meet people who have amazing things going on. It is truly the best part of what I do. I’ve been pretty candid about my journey here on my social media platform. I’ve been open about my concerns and revelations when it comes to healthier options – and that covers the way I cook, what my family and I consume, the physical things that we do and most importantly how I feel about myself. I want my kids to understand their minds and bodies – and what it takes to nurture themselves.

I’ve always considered myself pretty lucky. My parents were very upfront about the importance of produce and having them consistently. So naturally, I grew up loving veggies. I still do. But something changed when I was pregnant for the first time, and second and third time – I had to up the ante. My game and intake of veggies didn’t seem good enough. I threw myself into the knowledge of nutrition, while wanting each meal to taste good. It’s a journey and I feel like I’ve come a long way. I do however see how things have progressed in the last decade – that the options is not like what we have today. A lot of these frozen treats had to be made yourself – I’ve been there. They took up so much time, freezer-space and energy. At the end of the day, I felt happy when my little tots ate well and enjoyed it – but in the back of my head, I knew there could be better ways to save time and fit in a nap or two, (it’s never two, right?)

Courtesy of Fressy Bessie

Earlier in the summer, I discovered a product that has become such a time-saver and staple in my home. I don’t know any kid that would refuse a popsicle, no matter what the season. The truth is, many mainstream products that are widely available, are filled with high levels of sugar and chemicals – because marketing is so key, kids get trapped in all these flashy ads. And to be totally honest, parents get trapped too. But let’s face it, the bad sugars and numerous chemicals that you and I cannot pronounce, can taste good to our kids. It’s almost like they’re under a trance, while looking for more. What we need to focus on, are the long term affects and benefits. We need to put it out there and illustrate it for our children, that certain types of foods (and what is in them) have consequences.

“Fressy Bessie began in 2014 when I was looking for a new path. Inspired by my love of food and commitment to feeding my daughter healthy, home-prepared fruits and vegetables (all of which she loved), I started making baby food and selling it at local farmer’s markets.  One warm summer day, I got the bright idea to freeze some of my leftover purees in small baggies, pop sticks into them, and sell them as (very rudimentary!) popsicles. People LOVED them and, just like that, our flagship product was born” says Founder Jackie Kwitko.

My favorite thing about Fressy Bessie is how they are so transparent about who they are. Not only does this add value to this company, but I trust them. Who needs any more anxiety? Fressy Bessie has been very clear about who their target markets are, and this is why they stand out. They zone into parents with small children, individuals who have diabetic concerns, people on keto diets and for the growing group of consumers who simply turn their backs on processed sugars. It is fact that the health-conscious people have spoken and this focus is on the rise.

When you support a Toronto-based company like Fressy Bessie, you are supporting small businesses. The main factor to consider, for obvious reasons, is that when you put your money into a local business, it means that your community is important to you. It gives that company the chance to thrive, but it also gives your community a chance to thrive.

Fressy Bessie is available in grocers near you. Their delicious flavours come in individual boxes and they recently released a multi-pack. Visit http://www.fressybessie.com for more information.

1ST Wellness Book Club

Wellness BookClubFeb2019

If you’re reading this than you might be excited to join the WELLNESS BOOK CLUB. The purpose of this group is to empower our mental state, our physical health and our spirit together. I know that often times, a little motivation aka kick in the butt can really push us to further our goals. But ultimately, I just want us to feel good about where we are, where we are going and what we have been given,

Club Guidelines:

  • Choose ONE book that you would like to dive into
  • You will find all the book-links below
  • No pressure, but you can read it within 6 weeks
  • DM @SeedsOfThree a photo of you with your book and you will be included on my feed as a THANK YOU for joining.
  • Enjoy this process and the joy of trying something new

 

Here are the books, click on link to your corresponding selection:

1. EDUCATED By Tara Westover
https://amzn.to/2EbB0kO

2. THE LIVING CLEARLY METHOD By Hilaria Baldwin
https://amzn.to/2X5ReTW

3. PURPOSE IN PARALYSIS By Jaisa Sulit
https://amzn.to/2BB28bi

4. WISHES FULFILLED By Dr. Wayne Dyer
https://amzn.to/2EbZH0i

5. THE POWER OF NOW By Eckhart Tolle
https://amzn.to/2UYyFz9

6. RESILIENT By Rick Hanson, PH.D.
https://amzn.to/2X7NTUz

7. JUDGEMENT DETOX By Gabrielle Bernstein
https://amzn.to/2BGO53P

8. THE CLARITY CLEANSE By Habib Sadeghi, Do
https://amzn.to/2EaVJ88

9. BIG POTENTIAL By Shawn Achor
https://amzn.to/2EbTrpg

10. THE MAGIC OF THINKING BIG By David J. Schwartz, PH.D.
https://amzn.to/2UZpkaf

11. THE HEALING SELF By Deepak Chopra, M.D. & Rudolph E. Tanzi PH.D.
https://amzn.to/2X7nZjt

12. THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP By Marie Kondo
https://amzn.to/2Ip0H5E

Our Kids Book Club!

Hey guys! Many of you have requested some children’s book options and I thought that that was an amazing idea! Here are the options that align with joy and wellness! Let’s get the whole family reading!! See below for links!

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  1. LOVE By Eric Carle
    https://amzn.to/2V77QsC
  2. How to Catch a Star By Oliver Jeffers
    https://amzn.to/2U13hjC
  3. The 7 Habits of Happy Kids By Sean Covey
    https://amzn.to/2Io1ofs
  4. Ada Twist Scientist By Andrea Beaty
    https://amzn.to/2XaJOPk
  5. The World is Awake By Linsey Davis
    https://amzn.to/2TWephr
  6. The Wonderful Things You Will Be By Emily Winfield Martin
    https://amzn.to/2TXmQJi

 

 

Quick Avocado Tempura

It’s no secret that it took me awhile to incorporate avocados in my diet. For some reason I couldn’t get over the mushiness, the lack of flavour or all of that combined with the colour. But as you grow and you seek information, the nutritional benefits were something that I couldn’t ignore. And quite frankly, I needed it.  I realized, that this hasn’t been the easiest thing to feed my kids, because they have similar feelings and reactions the way I use to. One of the biggest things in our home is to NOT pressure the kids and each other into eating foods that they’re not too sure of initially. If they squirm and complain, it is their right. It’s my job to be creative, lay-off and of course keep trying.

Here are the ingredients and directions of these quick and delicious Avocado Tempura. It can be used as an appetizer or as a side or even as a snack! I hope you give them a try and let me know. And spoiler-alert: the best part of this treat is the crunch-factor!!

What you will need:

2 ripe avocados, panko, sea salt, flax-meal, 2 beaten eggs, fresh cracked black pepper  and olive oil.

Directions:

• preheat your oven to 350 degrees

• combine the panko, sea salt and flax-meal in one container

• beat the two eggs with a sprinkle of sea salt in another pan

• slice the avocado, 1/2 inch in width

• let them sit in the wash for about 4-5 minutes

• bread the slices with your dry mixture and lay flat on a baking sheet

• drizzle a little olive oil and bake for 14-18 minutes until they’re golden brown

Enjoy!!

xx Leigh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank You, Next… year is ours!!

It’s a busy time of the year and of the week; I wanted to make sure most of you guys see this post because I want to thank you. Thank you for making this year incredible in regards to this space we’ve created together. This community has brought joy and insight. You didn’t have to share your life and lessons with me or your laughs, but many many, many of you guys have and continue to do so. I truly didn’t expect the outpour and love after that initial time I opened up and decided that being REAL is all I can ever be. And so here I am. Here we are. And also, I want to wish you and your loved ones a Happy Holiday and a safe one. May it bring perspective and more of the good stuff that this season is meant for. This time might not be Merry or bright for many people and for that, I will be thinking of you and praying for you. It is a time to share and a really good time to reach out to those who need us. Let’s continue to listen, to understand, to motivate ourselves and our children – and let us remember our strength and our intentions. Being mindful will help us attain our goals, let 2019 be YOUR year!! With Love, Leigh