Burning Limbs: The Truth About Sciatica

Burning Limbs: The Truth About Sciatica

Have you ever felt a chronic, burning pain that spreads from your lower hip running down to your foot? Is it just as painful sitting down or standing up? You might be suffering from sciatica.

Sciatica, as the name implies, affects the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the single longest nerve in the body. It originates from the lower lumber region of your spine, through the pelvis, through the hind portion of your leg down to your foot. It is mainly responsible for distributing blood to the back of our lower extremities.

The most common causes of sciatica are: a herniated disc, lumbar spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, trauma, piriformis syndrome, and spinal tumors. When one suffers from a herniated disc, there is an inflammation or bulging of the spinal disc causing it to protrude out of the annulus. The annulus is the space between the spine where the spinal discs are located. Disc herniation could exert pressure on the nearby nerve root causing a direct compression on sensitive nerve tissues such as the sciatic nerve. Lumbar spinal stenosis is almost the same as disc herniation in the sense that spinal nerves are pinched. In this case, though, the spinal canal shrinks, squeezing and applying too much pressure on the spinal nerve inside. The spinal nerve branches out of the spinal canal to the entire body through openings called as neural foramina. Once these passages are congested or narrowed, it causes nerve compression. If the blockage happens on these passageways, they’re considered foraminal stenosis. If it occurs on the opening where the sciatic nerve passes, it may cause sciatica.

Another cause can be spondylolisthesis, or more commonly known as slipped discs. It may also cause sciatica when a vertebral disc moves out of place and applies direct pressure to the spinal nerve adjacent to it, usually occuring on the lumbar or the lower portion of the spine. Blunt force trauma to the lower back region may cause severe damage to the spine and may cause sciatica as well. Accidents or external forces that may cause bone fractures like vehicular accidents, horse riding accidents, sports injuries may all lead to sciatica as bone fragments may occasionally be the cause of the nerve compression. The piriformis syndrome occurs when the piriformis muscle spasms and compresses the sciatic nerve. In this case, the sciatic nerve running beneath the piriformis muscle may sometimes get irritated by movement of the said muscle.

Lastly, spinal tumors are anomalous growths on the spine that can either be benign or malignant. Rare as sciatica cases being caused by spinal tumors may be, once a tumor develops in the lumbar region, it may cause nerve compression that may trigger sciatica.

There are a lot of treatments recommended for sciatica, some non-invasive and some involving surgery. In cases of bone fragments, spinal tumor, and severe cases of slipped or herniated disc causing the sciatica, of course surgery would be required as treatment. But for some minor instances, chiropractic treatment and acupuncture is enough to relieve the pain. Chiropractic therapy may range from ice/cold therapy, ultrasound, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), to spine adjustment or manipulation. These entail for the lumber area to be exposed to cold or heat to reduce inflammation and muscle spasms.

Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine that originated from China. Fine needles are inserted into your skin in strategic points in the body to release negative energy and restore health and well-being, and treat pain and illnesses. It has been proven effective by medical practitioners. It is highly recommended as a treatment for generic lumbar pain, even for mild sciatica, as it supposedly releases tension from the spastic muscles and relieves the pressure from the compressed nerve.

So if you have been experiencing sharp, burning pain on your lower extremities, it is best that you consult a medical practitioner at once. You might be experiencing sciatica. But like they say, prevention is better than cure. Let’s not abuse our bodies.

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Demystifying Sciatica

Demystifying Sciatica

What is sciatica? Sciatica is the official name given to a pain in the leg, foot, or buttock, brought on by a form of irritation to the sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in the entire body.

Sciatica is most commonly caused by a slipped disc in the lower back, some form of arthritis, or a pinched nerve. It begins with back pain, followed by calf or hamstring pain, and sometimes included numbness in the toes. Forms of sciatica, resulting from inflammation get better with time, healing themselves. However, bed rest is not the best way to treat sciatica. It is shown that remaining active and performing exercises that are not weight bearing can help. Given time, even herniated spinal discs can heal.

Treatment for sciatica is varied. It is only possible to find out what treatment is best for you by going to your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. Your doctor may order an MRI to conclude the exact cause of sciatic pain, although many physicians can determine the cause through physical examination alone.

Proper stretching and exercising, combined with over-the-counter pain medications can assist on the road to recovery. If your pain is not relieved by the milder pain medications, your doctor may prescribe a naroctic analgesic. However be advised that these medications can cause nausea, dizziness, and drowsiness, and may result in dependency if taken over long periods of time. In extreme cases, surgery may be required to remove fragment of the disc.

It is important to stay active. Do exercises that develop muscles in your back and stomach. This helps to stablilize your spine. It is also important to maintain a reasonable body weight. Ensure that you practice good posture, and sleep on a mattress that is neither too hard or too soft.
You should always discuss health matters with your physician, especially if you suffer progressive weakness, as this may constitute a medical emergency. The problem thought to be something easily treated may be a serious condition caused by the compression of the nerve roots in the lower end ofthe spinal canal, which requires immediate medical attention.

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Best Way To Relieve Sciatic Nerve Pain

Best Way To Relieve Sciatic Nerve Pain

The sciatic nerve is almost 3 feet long and it goes from the bottom of your spine down the back of your leg, right down to the tips of your toes. It is the biggest nerve in your body. Sciatica pain is most often caused by a bulging disk.

As the disk bulges it can cause irritation of the sciatic nerve, which causes the pain. People can actually have bulging disks and not experience any pain, but when there is pain, it can be quite extreme and it runs through your buttocks and down the back of your thigh. The pain only occurs on one side of your body.

People are frequently mis-diagnosed and any back pain is labeled as sciatica. In reality there are many other conditions that can cause back and leg pain. It is only sciatica if the sciatic nerve is irritated, otherwise it’s something else entirely.

Your doctor can perform tests to determine if you pain is actually sciatica or something else. It’s important to get the problem accurately diagnosed in order to provide the proper treatment.

Anyone who has ever suffered from sciatica knows how excruciatingly painful this condition can be. If you are a sufferer the only thing on your mind is to find a way to relieve sciatic nerve pain.

Prescription drugs to relieve pain are expensive, can have potentially dangerous side effects, and may even be addictive, and if you don’t relieve the underlying problem you will suffer from continual flareups. Besides you won’t be able to stay on the pills forever, and then what?

It’s always better to get the proper diagnosis and treatment for your pain, by addressing the cause and not just relieving the symptoms you will hopefully reduce any further painful flareups.

Many people would rather find natural forms of relief and prevention instead of using drugs that just mask the pain but don’t do anything to cure the problem.

Keeping your muscles flexible and strong with exercise can help prevent sciatica. Also any low impact activities such as walking, swimming, bike riding, etc, can help by increasing blood circulation.

A better option for many sciatica sufferers is to use various physical therapies to help prevent painful flareups.

Many people have had great success in keeping sciatica pain at bay by implementing stretching, yoga, pilates, or a combination of all three into their daily routine.

These stretching exercises will help keep your muscles loose and increase the amount of space in between each vertebrae. Stretching back, buttock, and leg muscles can relieve sciatica.

Many health care professionals also advise exercises to strengthen the lower back muscles. The idea is to form a ‘muscular girdle’ that will help keep your discs in proper alignment. And the exercise will provide the added benefit of improving your overall health.

The most important thing I want you to take away from this article is that there are other ways to relieve sciatic nerve pain besides resorting to prescription drugs. Find one, or more, methods that work for you. Your body will thank you!

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Chiropractor For Shoulder Pain Causes And Treatment Tips

The painful shoulder may have very diverse causes, as shoulder joint is the most mobile of the human body. Contrary to many other joints such as the hip, shoulder has a deep cup that receives the head of the bone (humeral head) and stabilized, also holds the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the head in position. If these do not fulfill their function sufficiently, the result is usually the appearance of shoulder pain. Therefore, little or weak muscles exercised and deformations can be the cause of this discomfort. Incorrect posture also constitutes a risk to suffer the pain of the shoulder.

Watch this video


Common Causes Of Shoulder Pain:

  • Impingement Syndrome Shoulder
  • Injury or tear of the rotator cuff called ruptured rotator cuff.
  • Inflammation of the glenohumeral joint, frozen shoulder
  • Arthrosis
  • Fractures and injuries
  • Dislocation of the glenohumeral joint (shoulder dislocation)
  • Tendinitis
  • Bursitis
  • Stiffness or muscle spasm
  • Diseases in other body parts, for example, tumors, neurological diseases, antipathy

In addition, on efforts, e.g. practicing weight training or lift too heavy objects, sometimes resulting in inflammations of the glenohumeral joint and tendon insertions, or in sprains and torn ligaments, or seizure and muscle contractures.

It is also common for pain in other body regions such as the hand, arm or neck, radiating to the shoulder.


Frozen shoulder

The stiff shoulder or inflammation of the shoulder joint is a painful condition of the tendons, joint capsules, and burse in the region of the rotate cuff of the shoulder joint. The term frozen shoulder refers to reduced or no mobility of the joint. Among the possible causes of frozen shoulder are the following:

  • Lack of movement
  • Tendinitis
  • Capsulitis or contraction of the joint capsule
  • Capsular adhesions, external influences (e.g. falls)
  • Fracture in the shoulder

Other causes of shoulder pain

The pains intensified, especially during internal and external rotation of the arm and radiated the Deltoid, a triangular muscle located on the joint of the shoulder.

Muscle Contracture

A muscle stiffness accompanied incorrect posture or stress may cause contracture. Sitting for long hours can cause severe stiffness in the shoulder girdle. Also, those who carry too much weight or do it on one side, undergoing the shoulder, back, and neck to overexertion.

Diseases In Other Body Parts

Furthermore, the possibility that diseases of other organs or structures causes pain that spread to the shoulders.


  • Pain from spinal (vertebral pain origin)
  • Neuritis (brachial neuritis)
  • Nerve injury
  • Suprascapular nerve syndrome
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Internal diseases such as heart attack, biliary colic, or lung cancer
  • Rheumatologic diseases such as arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis



Here Are Some Tips To Help Shoulder Pain Improve:

  • Apply ice to shoulder area for 15 minutes and then leave it off for 15 minutes. Do this again a few times per day for 2 to 3 days. Wrap ice in a cloth. Don’t apply directly to your skin as it can cause frostbite.
  • Let rest the shoulder for a few days.
  • Gradually resume regular activity. A chiropractor could help you on this in a safe manner.
  • Practice good posture to keep muscles and tendons of the shoulder in the correct positions.

Make an appointment with Denver Chiropractor For Shoulder Pain
Call: 303-300-0424
Website: www.Denverback.com

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How To Reverse Receding Gum Line?

Gingivitis and receding gums are gum diseases caused by an infection bacterial tissue around the teeth and gums. Sugar and starch found in foods react with bacteria within the mouth to form a film soft, sticky, colorless known as plaque bacteria.

There are two types of gingivitis:

  1. a) Acute Gingivitis is the inflammation reversible.
  2. b) Chronic gingivitis is a disease that causes inflammation, pain and swelling of the gums or may evolve into periodontitis (pyorrhea or).


Hypertrophic Gingivitis is a chronic disorder characterized by a thickening of the gingiva and bleeding. The marginal gingivitis affects only the margin. Hormonal gingivitis transient in nature occurs in women during pregnancy or menstrual cycle.

Causes of Gingivitis

The bacteria present in the mouth form a clear sticky substance on the teeth. This substance is called plaque and produces toxins that break the gingival tissues. If the plaque is not removed, cause tartar, plaque hardens ie. Tartar triggers the gum disease that causes inflammation, bleeding and swelling of the gums. If it is not cured causes loss of teeth, which is an advanced stage of periodontitis. In this condition the gums separate from the teeth and form cavities that become infected. The infection spreads to the bone, causing loss of the tooth.

How to reverse receding gum line

This disease occurs because of:

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Smoking and chewing tobacco
  • Rubbish diet
  • High levels of stress
  • Family history of dental problems
  • Leukemia, gingivitis can be a symptom of cancer
  • A few visits to the dentist.

In children can occur child gingivitis especially if children suffering from type I diabetes or by poor oral hygiene. Hormonal changes may also be responsible for gingivitis during pregnancy. Other factors that may contribute to gingivitis are malnutrition and side effects of medications. The first signs of the disease are not painful, but over time the gums can do much harm. Bacterial gingivitis is not contagious with a kiss and is not a sexually transmitted disease.

Watch this video


Symptoms of gingivitis

Bacteria growing in tartar irritate the gums at the base of the teeth causing a series of annoying symptoms. Gingivitis is also known as bleeding gums. Therefore, it is one of the most visible signs the gums begin to bleed easily. It is particularly frequent during brushing or flossing.

Red and swollen gums are another obvious sign of gingivitis. If the gums are severely inflamed, they become tender and swollen. Occasionally, the gums may become extremely sensitive and painful.


When the gums are healthy, they have to pale pink, and the fabric is compact. If it’s infected, the color changes to bright red or red-violet.

People who suffer from gingivitis facing one another problem called gingival recession. Sometimes they may develop ulcers on the surface of the gums.

All the above symptoms may be accompanied by halitosis (bad breath) or a bad taste in the mouth due to the growth of bacteria in the oral cavity. Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis is a very serious variant of this disease and also causes fever, swelling of the swollen neck lymph nodes and severe pain.

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Vacation Preparation Series: Makeup

On Monday mornings, I bring a big old makeup bag to work with me in my gym bag, and I leave it here through the week so that I can do my makeup at work in the morning after the gym. On Fridays, I pack it all up and lug it home again. Over the last few weeks I’ve been trying to pare down my collection to figure out what I want to bring to Florida with me. Obviously, this has been a feat – my face is fairly oily on a cold winter day here in Ottawa, so in 35+ degrees and humidity, I’m at risk of blinding Mickey and Minnie if the sun catches with my forehead. I’m pretty happy with the final makeup roster, so I thought I’d share the winning products with you all. Bear in mind that I have combination skin, so my forehead and nose tend to get quite oily.


Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer with SPF 15. The makeup artist at Sephora told me that this product turns your makeup waterproof and is a great mattifyer, so I picked up a sample size for $19.50 and I’m really liking it so far.

I mix it with:

Bioderma – Sebium Mat Anti-shine Cream-gel

I’ve been using this for a couple of months and it does a great job of keeping my face matte during the day. I do still have to blot my nose once during the day, but overall I’m happy with this purchase.


Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer

I use this stuff before my foundation and I find it helps to brighten up my undereyes. The pink tone also helps to correct my dark circles.

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer

I apply this over my foundation and undereye corrector, just so my undereyes don’t look glaringly lighter than the rest of my face. It’s so smooth and creamy and it lasts FOREVER.


I’ve designed a bit of a cocktail for my foundation, designed to have as many benefits as possible for my skin while not sweating off my face. For the foundation I’m bringing to Florida, I mixed the following foundations in a little tub I found in the craft section of the Dollar Store:

Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream (#23)

Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm SPF 20

Urban Decay Urban Defense Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20

MAC Face & Body Foundation

Together, these products give me good sun protection (The Missha BB Cream has an SPF of 45) and match my skin well. They also last on my face pretty well without being totally matte – I like to look a little dewy!


NARS Laguna Bronzer


NARS Orgasm


MAC Strobe Liquid


Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow (in Sambadi Loves Me)

Maybelline Eyeshadow (Champagne)

Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow (in Tattle Tale)


MAC Black Track Fluid Line

Prestige Liquid Liner (Azure)

I actually don’t plan to wear much eyeliner on my trip, since I find it can be a dead giveaway that you have makeup on. I’ll still bring these, in case!


L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara – Waterproof (Black brown)

I used to use waterproof mascara religiously, but have moved away from it recently since it’s such a pain to remove. For the heat, though, it’s a no brainer – waterproof or bust!


Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue

Not that perfume counts as makeup, but I’ve filled a little travel perfume dispenser with this scent. This screams ‘summer’ to me!

So that’s it! Maybe I’ll check back in when I get back and let you know how this stuff held up for me!

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Vacation Preparation Series: Skin care

I’ve been counting down to my Florida vacation on a little calendar in my cubicle since January, and the wait is almost over. On Friday, Matt and I will be meeting up with my parents in Orlando for 5 days and then we’ll all be heading to the beach for 9 days. I’m looking forward to beach running, shopping, and spending time with my family.

Being mildly obsessive, I’ve been making lists of stuff I want to bring on my vacation for about 2 weeks now – I’ve already got a list taped to my bathroom mirror so that I don’t forget anything. I thought that I may as well share my vacation ‘must-haves’ with you, since many of these things could also be considered my summer must-haves. I’m planning to do a post on my vacation necessities as far as skin care, makeup, diet/fitness, and books. So without further ado…

I’ve been on a bit of a mission for the last month to get my skin clear enough to be able to go without foundation during the summer – at least on weekends. Growing up I always had very clear skin, and while I definitely wouldn’t call my skin ‘acne prone’ nowadays, in recent years I’ve been finding that when Ido get breakouts, they leave scars that either take forever to fade, or don’t fade at all. This has proven to be incredibly frustrating and leaves me feeling really self conscious when I go out without foundation on. After extensive research, I’ve picked up a few products that have really been doing wonders for my skin as far as fading existing scars, prevent new breakouts from scarring, and preventing breakouts all around.  I’ll list them here in the order that I use them, and explain a little bit about the frequency of which I use them.


Dr. Bronner’s Organic Baby Mild Liquid Soap

From the Dr. Bronner Website:

Our unscented baby contains no fragrance so is great for people who have allergies or sensitive skin. Of course it is great for babies as well. All oils and essential oils are certified organic to the National Organic Standards Program. Packaged in 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles.

Water, Organic Coconut Oil*, Potassium Hydroxide**, Organic Olive Oil*, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Citric Acid, Tocopherol

I have combination skin, meaning that my forehead and nose gets quite oily, while my cheeks and chin tend to be normal (not too oily, not too dry). A friend of mine with a similar ‘affliction’ was telling me about research suggesting that for those with oily skin, washing the skin with oils (which seems counterintuitive, I know) can be highly effective at preventing the overproduction of sebum (oil – how many times can I say ‘oil’ in one paragraph?). Since I’ve been using it, I’ve found my number of breakouts have drastically reduced, and my skin isn’t as oily during the day. Bonus tip: Use this stuff to wash makeup brushes! The best part: this stuff is CHEAP! Depending on the size, I’ve seen these retail for between $2.99 and $10 at American Apparel.

Dermaglow 10% Glycolic Acid

From Dermaglow:

Dull skin got you down? Reveal a fresher, brighter complexion with this toning and exfoliating solution.

Bring back your skin’s vitality! This two-in-one exfoliating toner lifts away dulling surface debris to uncover younger, more radiant skin. Suitable for all ages and skin types, the complex visibly diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, enlarged pores and scarring left by acne. Skin looks smoother, softer and more even.

Clinically Proven
• Significantly improves skins condition for younger, more radiant looking skin
• Improves appearance of sun damaged skin and age spots
• Minimizes appearance of wrinkles and fine lines
• Instantly smoothes and softens the texture of skin
• Non-Drying, Non-irritating
• For all skin types

This stuff has changed my complexion. After using it, my skin looks radiant and feels so so smooth. I’ve only been using it for a couple of weeks and I’ve seen differences in my acne scars. The directions say to use it 4-7 days a week, and I’ve been using it 4-5 times a week since I bought it, and my skin hasn’t been irritated at all. I got this for $50 at Shopper’s Drug Mart (I bought it at a 20x the points event!)

Avene Triacneal

From Avene:

A clinically-proven trio of acne-fighting ingredients, including patented Retinaldehyde® with proven anti-aging benefits, Glycolic Acid and the new patented Efectiose®, formulated with soothing thermal spring water to help eliminate breakouts, abnormal keratinization, acne-related redness and irritation and residual scarring.

I realized just now that I forgot to put this in my little banner above! Oops. Given that this has a little glycolic acid, I only use it on nights that I don’t use the Dermaglow (except maybe 1 or 2 nights, when I use both). I haven’t noticed anything dramatic since using this, except that my breakouts are less frequent and tend to clear up faster. Still, I do enjoy its properties (lightening acne scars, eliminating acne-related redness, etc.) so I’ll keep using this. I got this at Shopper’s as well, for about $30.

I should add here that I will not be taking this product to Florida as it contains retinaldehydes (like a retinol but stronger, apparently) which increases your skin’s sensitivity to the sun.

Avene Cicalfate

From Avene:

A technologically advanced restorative skin cream that helps speed the recovery process by maintaining an optimal healing environment for the skin.


  • Cuts, scrapes, scratches
  • Burns
  • Cracked skin
  • Stitches
  • Hair removal
  • Diaper rash
  • Post-treatment


  • Helps speed the skin recovery process
  • Provides a healthy skin environment to minimize a potential infection
  • Prevents signs of scarring
  • Fragrance-free, preservative-free, colorant-free
  • Avène Thermal Spring Water to soothe and soften the skin
  • Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic

Basically, this stuff is zinc oxide diaper cream (that thick white cream people wipe on babies’ butts so they don’t get a rash) but made to be a bit more malleable (improper use of that word, I know). This stuff has been miraculous at clearing up pimples so that they don’t leave scars, and my skin feels indescribably soft after I use it. I did a fair amount of research on this before I bought it (since it was around $30 at Shopper’s Drug Mart), and people raved about its ability to clear up scars as if they were never there. Love it. This is a must have for my trip to Florida, since I think it will be great to apply to my skin after a day in the sun.

Sibu Sea Buckthorn OIl

From their website:

Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil

Sea buckthorn seed oil has long been used as a topical treatment to aid in the relief of skin conditions such as eczema, acne, rosacea, burns, and wounds AND as a traditional beauty treatment to preserve youthful skin tone and texture. It is a secret remedy to fight wrinkles and age spots so you may (or may not) want to share it with your friends.

Our therapeutic grade organic seed oil will help restore damaged skin to its natural beautiful state.

  • Quick acting/readily absorbed
  • For all skin-types
  • Helps relieve Rosacea, Acne, Eczema
  • Helps diminish wrinkles/age-spots
  • Use to treat burns/wounds
  • Promotes skin recovery and healing

I ordered this from a website called Well.ca, which I love love love. It was 16.99 with free shipping, and I should mention that the bottle is teeny tiny (but you only need a very small amount for each use). I saw some reviews of this product on Youtube, and was on the hunt for a good oil to use at night (I usually use 100% Argan Oil – I buy the President’s Choice version for $15.99. Bargain!). The most noticeable effect of this bag is that it makes my skin super soft. Disclaimer: it stinks.

Neutrogena – Ultra Sheer Face Sunscreen SPF 60 with Helioplex

Not much to say about this. It’s sunscreen! I use this on my face regularly since I use retinol products (the Triacneal). I like it well enough – it’s not too greasy and doesn’t make me particularly oily.


Lush Lovely Jubblies

From the Lush website:

Take care of your finest features with Mother Nature’s finest ingredients. Inspiring men and women alike, our rather brilliant breast cream is packed full of tightening meadowsweet infusion and firming tiger lily petals to help fight the forces of gravity. We add heaps of beeswax and organic oils of almond and avocado to soften your melons and keep them supple, (and to make it even harder to keep your fans at bay!) Smooth a generous amount over your décolletage area and leave your cleavage smelling like a fresh floral bouquet of orange blossom, rose, jasmine and ylang ylang.

This stuff was pretty pricey (around $26) but I’ve noticed a big difference in my…ladies…since I started using it. Perfect for preparing to bare it all in a swimsuit!

Designer Skin Angel Daily Moisturizer

I can’t find a website for this stuff, so here’s some information from another site:

Silky-soft, sensuous skin. Velvety to the touch. Angel Daily Moisturizer is indeed heaven-sent. Unlike other moisturizers, this Guardian of Your Skin also protects, firms, and nourishes your most precious asset…your skin. Potent anti-aging and firming ingredients visibly improve skin’s firmness and texture. Hemp Seed Oil provides the ultimate moisturization. So spread your wings and get ready to fly. This Angel is going to nourish your body and soul.

I have only seen this stuff sold alongside tanning lotions. I’m not really sure why, since it clearly has broader applications than tanning; it smells amazing and absorbs beautifully into the skin. I can’t attest to its firming properties since I’ve only been using it for a week, but it’s among the best moisturizers I’ve found, as far as, you know…moisturizing goes. Plus I got it on sale (around $12 – I think it’s usually around $20 which is robbery for a body lotion, if you ask me).

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Vacation Preparation Series: Fitness/Diet

Welcome to Part II of my pre-vacation series of posts! I thought today I’d talk a little about the diet and fitness regimen I’ve been following for the last month leading up to my trip to Florida. I should preface this post by saying that I’m nowhere near where I ultimately want to be with my body; I’d actually like to lose about 30lbs and build some additional muscle. With that said, I’ve noticed an improvement in muscle tone (I’m hesitant to say that I’ve gained muscle since I’m not too sure how possible that is while eating in a deficit) and have been losing weight steadily since I implemented this ‘plan.” Off we go…


My diet for the last month has followed a cyle like this:

Monday: 1250 calories | Tuesday: 1250 calories | Wednesday: 1250 calories | Thursday: 1250 calories | Friday: 1600 calories | Saturday: 2200 calories | Sunday: 1200 calories | Weekly Average Intake: 1430 calories

Macronutrient wise, I aim for 35% protein/35% carbs and 30% fat during the week. On weekends, my carb intake is quite a bit higher. Although I think that my intake is in the healthy range (especially given my activity level), I’m not thrilled with waking up in a carb coma on Sunday morning, so this is something I’ll be trying to reign in going into summer.

I’ve been using my fitbit as a guide to help me assess my caloric burn, and on most days I burn around 2500 calories; however, there are a few outliers (days when I’m particularly active I can burn up to 2900 calories and days when I’m completely sedentary it’s closer to 1800-1900 calories). I have to say that I’m a bit wary of the numbers that the fitbit gives me – I think that for many people it would be accurate, but they issue a disclaimer stating that the fitbit can have a 10-15% margin of error. Now, 10-15% is a lot of calories – it means that if the fitbit tells me I burn 2500 calories, it’s possible that I really only burn between 2125 and 2250 calories. Bummer. I’ll need to experiment a bit more to compare the fitbit readings with my actual results, but I will be taking the fitbit to Florida so that I can track how many steps I’m taking/day.


Those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile will remember that I used to do BodyPump a couple times a week. After working with the trainer who guided me through my metabolic repair, I stopped doing BodyPump, and instead started doing an upper/lower body split. This means that I work my upper body one day, and my lower body on another, but not on the same day (pretty basic!). Sometimes when I’m feeling crazy I do a 4 day split like this:

Monday: Chest & Triceps | Tuesday: Back & Biceps | Wednesday: Lower Body | Thursday: Shoulders & Abs | Friday: Yoga and walking (just around for errands and such) | Saturday: Swimming or light cardio | Sunday: Run

When I do my upper/lower body split, it looks like this:

Monday: Upper body & abs | Tuesday: Lower Body | Wednesday: Cardio | Thursday: Upper body & abs | Friday: Yoga and walking (just around for errands and such) | Saturday: Swimming or light cardio | Sunday: Run

You’ll notice that when I only work my lower body once a week. This is because that as I head into marathon training, I’ll be running 3 times a week and I don’t want to overwork my legs.

I thought I’d break down the exercises that I do for each body part, in case anyone is looking for some ideas. I’m by no means an expert (yet!) and I’m definitely not ‘jacked’, but I’m told that I’m pretty lean for someone my size (I hope to drop the last half of that sentence in the near future ;) ) so…

Chest & Triceps

Wide Grip Push-Up

Incline Dumbbell Press

Tricep Dip

Tricep Dumbbell Extension

Tricep Rope Pulldown

Back & Biceps

Dumbbell Bench Row

The first two exercises here (kind of shoulder exercises, too)

Wide Grip Lat Pulldown

Seated Cable Row

T-Bar Row

Stability Ball Back Extension

Barbell Curl

Alternate Hammer Curl

Lower Body

Dumbbell Walking Lunge

Step Ups

Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlifts

Wide-Grip Deadlift

Barbell Glute Bridge

Bulgarian Split Squat

Donkey Kicks

Goblet Squat

Shoulders & Abs

Seated Dumbbell Press

Dumbbell Front Raise

Side Lat Raise

Upright Barbell Row

BOSU Sit Ups (see middle of the page)

Stability Ball Pass Crunch


Every day, I take:

Probiotics/Digestive Enzymes (green pills)

Glucosamine/Chondroitin + MSM (2 pills/day)

Omega 3 supplements (2 pills/day)

Calcium supplements (2 pills/day)

B12/Iron Supplement (1 pill/day – it’s the red one in the picture)

Pre-natal vitamin (for skin and hair – 1 pill/day)

It seems like a lot but I’m so used to it now that it doesn’t bother me at all. Depending on the day, I sometimes take Grapeseed (resveratrol) as well.

Just let me know if you have any questions on anything here. Have a great night!

Posted in Health & News | Comments Off on Vacation Preparation Series: Fitness/Diet


I’m a vegetarian. I’ve never really enjoyed the taste of red meat (despite coming from somewhat of a hunter-gatherer family), save for the occasional taco or hamburger, so I stopped eating it when I was about 14. Chicken was a staple in my house growing up, so I continued to eat it until I was 19, at which point I was no longer living at home and was too lazy and repulsed by raw meat to cook it for myself.

I’m not bothered by people eating meat, and don’t fall on one side of the fence or the other as far as whether humans “should” eat meat. I do think that the way that animals are treated in the meat industry is abysmal and I wish that all meat-eaters could afford to eat humanely-raised, organic meat, for both their health and the animals’. For me, I just don’t enjoy eating something knowing that it was once alive, pretty cute, and smarter than a dog (and probably some people I know)…so I don’t.

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Ad Lib: Post Vacation ______

I’ve got a case of the post-vacation somethings. I say ‘somethings’ because I’m not really sure what ‘they’ are. I can say that I’m not shocked, since I started to feel a bit off before my vacation was even over. Am I making you want to take a vacation with me yet? Yeah, I thought so.

Oddly, I’m usually one of those people who is ready to go home when my vacation is over.  Maybe this is because I usually don’t take vacations with my significant other; in the past couple of years I’ve gone to Florida, Chicago, and Las Vegas but none of those trips were with Matt. And on those vacations, I slept on a futon, in a hostel, and in a room with 7 other girls, respectively. April’s trip to Florida was pretty much my first vacation with a significant other and where I slept in an actual bedroom in an actual hotel (well, resort)…without 6 other people. All of my vacations have been a blast, but I think it goes without saying that this one was particularly awesome.

I won’t do one of those boring 4 piece vacation recap posts that I always skim over on other blogs, but I will say that my vacation has given me lots of stuff to think about. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the Maritimes (yes, I know that Newfoundland isn’t technically one of the Maritimes) but I always feel happier when I’m near the water and I’m a totally different person when I’m in a sunny climate. So if anyone out there living in Florida wants to sponsor a feisty Canadian, I’d love to make myself a permanent fixture there ;)

Note: Biceps are smaller than they appear in Dr. Seuss land.

I’ll be back in a few days with an update on marathon training. Hope you had a great weekend!

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