Word Nerd

Welcome to my website! Please feel free to browse around and familiarize yourself with what I do and how I do it. To sum up, I’m a total word nerd who writes a lot of content for a variety of reasons, people, and platforms. I also provide social media management services to help those words get spread around and seen by those who find them useful.

Being active both in print and online, I truly believe that the written word is something that we use to share, inform, and inspire, whether we think about it or not. People innately seek to learn, connect with others, and affirm their core beliefs in themselves–and reading and writing is our most relevant medium for that!

Enjoy. xo

 

Content Writing for Health + Wellness in Vancouver

FreshFit-Logo-05

Happy Earth Day, everyone! I hope you’ve all done something miniscule or little or big or enormous to lend a hand to Mother Earth, today! Today’s blog is exciting for me, because I’m introducing a new business that won’t be formally launched for a few more months, but I’m taking on some amazing clients early, so I thought I’d share!

Fresh + Fit Vancouver is my latest and greatest project, spawned from the relentless requests I was receiving to write bios and ‘about’ pages and content for local businesses. I figured if there was a market for this kind of thing, then I’m in! Since my passion lies within the health and wellness industry, I decided to make it niche and remain in that realm.

Jennifer Browne

Fresh + Fit serves two purposes in Vancouver: 

1- To be a place of reference for Vancouverites who may be looking for a new juice bar, spin class, or place to receive a fabulous pedicure, and

2- To provide a blogging service to Vancouver’s health and wellness businesses that highlights originality and individual strengths. Most people don’t like writing their own blogs, but I love writing, and I LOVE a great kale juice, yoga class, and collagen fascial. I will help you post original, fun, interesting content, while also providing link building and social media shout-outs.

“If your goal is to remain visible to Vancouver’s savvy health and wellness consumers, you should still be hosting original content on a consistent basis. Blogging is a fantastic way of providing current and potential clients with new and exciting information that is relevant to what they’re searching for.”

Interested? Visit freshandfitvancouver.com for more details. xo

3 PopSugar Workout Videos that Will Kick Your Ass

PopSugar Fitness Videos

Hey, everyone! TGIF, am I right?! I feel bad, because I haven’t written anything here in a couple of weeks, but it’s only because I’ve been inundated with writing for other things! Stuff has happened lately. Good stuff. But I’ll announce that later…

In the meantime, because I haven’t had much time to hit the gym or go for a hike (a real one, not a metaphorical one), I’ve been doing these awesome PopSugar Fitness videos in my bedroom, in front of my laptop. I want to share three really amazing videos with you, and if you love the burn, then you need to try them out. This writer needs to work her butt, which sits for an awfully long time each and every day.

These videos save me.

They’re under 10 minutes, require no equipment, and will genuinely make you wish you’d gone to boot camp, instead.

You’re welcome.

8-Minute Full Body Tabata Workout

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1JutfnQ-Lg]

5-Minute Arm Toning Workout Without Weights

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCrGCSMYiSY]

10-Minute No-Equipment Home Workout, Full Body Exercise

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6t0quh8Ick]

If you enjoyed these and want more, check out this Fresh + Fit post HERE. Happy Friday! xo

Food Photography: Vegetarian Comfort Foods

Menu Background. Vegetables On Table With Cook Book. Cooking Wit

I haven’t blogged for two weeks, which is very unlike me, but I have a good reason: I’ve been running around like a MAD person. Literally running, too…you know you’re busy when you find yourself literally running everywhere–to the car, to the garage, from upstairs to down…I haven’t worked out in a week, but my butt and quads have not stopped moving.

One of the reasons (yes–just one) that I’ve been so busy, is that a lovely food photographer has been shooting images of my recipes for a new book I have coming out in August 2015 (Vegetarian Comfort Foods). This has required me to make over 20 recipes today, 12 yesterday, 10 the day before, etc. After shooting about 65 images, I am thrilled to announce that we are finished! (Well, I’m finished. She’ll be entering Edit Land pretty quick, here.)

This is what my kitchen sink looked like after making all that food (I had already cleaned it out once):

Compost

The experience has definitely made me acutely aware of just how lazy I am when I don’t want to cook dinner. That’s only one recipe! One. (While I’m typing this, I’m realizing that my keyboard is sticking, which means I spilled food on it while reading my recipes and cooking. Awesome.)

Although I can’t show you the pics that will be in the book, I can show you pics that I took of my food being photographed today, so take a peek! (PS- the pics she took look way better than the food itself. Ha. Funny.)

Wild Honey Art House

Wild Honey Art House

Wild Honey Art House

Wild Honey Art House

Happy Meatless Monday! xo

*Photographer is Tanya R. Loewen of Wild Honey Art House, Vancouver, BC

Welcome Back: The Surrey International Writers' Conference

SiWC2014

Calling all writers!

While the end of summer is often a melancholy time of year for Vancouverites (here comes the rain!), it also means that fall is just around the corner, and that the 22nd Annual Surrey International Writers’ Conference will be in full swing!

“The SiWC Society prides itself in creating an atmosphere of writers helping writers. The conference is run as a not-for-profit society by a volunteer Board of Directors, a few staff, and a team of amazing volunteers. We have over 700 presenters and attendees who come here from around the world: Japan, Ireland, Switzerland, Scotland, England, and all over the US and every province in Canada, to learn, share and connect with other writers.”

I cannot state enough how incredible it is to experience this writers’ conference. My first year attending, I came with a fully finished manuscript in hand, and no other direction. Six weeks later, I had an agent, a book deal, and had begun writing for Vancouver’s own alive Magazine.

I can personally attest to the pricelessness of this event.

If you’ve ever wanted to become a professional writer, this conference is for you. Even if you’ve already been published and need some new inspiration, the sessions that this conference provides are unreal, from the presenters and the timely topics that are discussed, to the other attendees, participants, and volunteers that you’ll meet there.

“No matter what level your writing is at, this is your chance to attend over 70 workshops and meet one-on-one with well-known authors, agents and editors.”

Last year, over 700 presenters, board members, and attendees congregated at the Sheraton Guildford Hotel in Surrey, where the event takes place. Workshops go all day from Friday October 24th, until Sunday the 26th. There are even master classes on the Thursday for those who can’t wait to get started. You know, for the keeners.

(I was a keener my first year attending, and I loved it.)

Jack and Diana SiWC

Aside from the workshops, there are meet-and-greet lunches, dinner banquets, author Michael Slade’s Shock Theatre performance (this is a goodie), and Jack Whyte’s rendition of The Hippopotamus Song. (Hint: everyone sings the chorus.)

Hang out at the hotel bar with agents, editors, publishers, authors, and other attendees. Who knows? You may just end up having a conversation with authors Diana Gabaldon and kc dyer, or local social media guru Sean Cranbury.

Anything could happen.   

Not interested in attending, but want to be part of this awesome conference, anyway?

“One of the ways we raise funds to be able to continue providing this amazing opportunity for our writers is through our Silent Auction that runs throughout the conference. We love the opportunity to showcase local venues and attractions to those that attend. SiWC can provide donor recognition on our website (with a link to your site) as well as print and verbal recognition at our conference. If you are interested in an even greater involvement as one of our conference principle partners, we will be happy to provide more details.”

Siwc pic

Need I say more? Get inspired, get motivated, get registered. View the website at www.siwc.ca for more information.

Additional Details:

Conference Dates: October 23rd-26th, 2014

Conference Location: Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel in Surrey, British Columbia

Contact person for Silent Auction/Door Prize donations is Jennifer Browne at jenbrowne.pc@gmail.com.

Not-for profit Society registration #S57858

*Shared from www.myvancity.ca

10 Reasons Why You Should Grow Your Own Food this Summer

 Garden

Hey, y’all! Spring is quickly coming to an end, and I’m staring out into my backyard where my weird, kinda-messed-up-looking garden grows. I’m not a natural gardener; I don’t have a “green thumb.” (Actually, I do have a green thumb, but only because I recently decided to paint my fingernails green.)

Green Thumb

The way I plant my veggies every year is the same: rake out the moss from my above-ground bed, till in some compost, and throw a bunch of seeds around. This makes for an interesting June, because I have no idea what I planted, and my kids think it’s fun to guess what’s growing. I pretend I do this to be a “fun mom,” but I actually do this because I’m lazy.

(Sshhh…don’t tell.)

Anyway, the point of my post today is this: it’s really easy to grow your own veggies over the summer months, and there are a million reasons to do so—but here are my top ten:

  1. Avoid chemical spray on your food. If you grow your own, you don’t have to spray herbicides or pesticides all over them. There are plenty of natural solutions to keep pests away, and they’re easy to implement when your garden is small and manageable.
  2. You have fresh produce at your fingertips. Hungry for a salad? Go pick some lettuce and snap off a couple of tomatoes. Making a mojito? Go grab a handful of mint. It’s seriously that simple.
  3. It saves you money. Organic produce is pricey (but worth it), so save yourself a few bucks and grow your own. WAY cheaper, amigos.
  4. It’s fun and interesting. It’s educational to see which bugs like which plants and it’s exciting to figure out what the hell that is that you planted in the corner. (True story.)
  5. Your neighbours think it’s cool, and they occasionally borrow an onion, so now they owe you. So when you need a bottle of wine, you can say, “Well last week, you grabbed an onion…” Hehehe…
  6. Your kids will LOVE it. My kids are generally okay with carrots as a snack, but when they’re growing in the garden, they attack them 24/7. Picking a carrot out of the earth, wiping the dirt off on your bare leg, and eating a fresh, soil-warmed carrot IS. THE. BEST.
  7. It teaches kids responsibility. If you don’t have a pet (my family doesn’t), then growing a garden can be a great way to get your kids involved in something other than themselves and each other. You need to water, weed, and pick. Not hard, but enough to instill some summertime responsibility.
  8. It forces you to get outside. Gardening is calming—and watering is even more calming. We all have WAY too much stress in our lives. Why not take up a relaxing activity?
  9. You have somewhere to throw compost in the off-season. Now listen: great gardeners have no off-season—but I’m not one of those. I get to throw compost into an empty bed from November until May. (I mix it in, of course.) But what a great way to recycle waste that might otherwise be tossed in the garbage can! Right?
  10. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and self-reliance. If you can grow your own food, it adds security to your future. Because with the way food is being produced nowadays, who knows what will be available for us to eat in 20 years?

So whether you have a true green thumb or you just paint yours green, growing your own food this summer is a fun activity to try, and it might end up being something to look forward to next year, too.

Happy trails!

Top 5 Reasons to Attend a Book Signing This Weekend

Book Signing

Okay…I fully admit that I have a vested interest in people attending book signings. But I actually do have valid reasons why this activity should be on your weekend to-do list, which I’ll specify right now:

1- When’s the last time you set foot into a bookstore? Do you even know that they’re still around? Amazon and other sites like it have made online book buying super easy (which is great), but remember the feeling of actually being in a bookstore? I mean, call me a total nerd, but bookstores ROCK. They’re like a vortex of awesomeness. You can get lost for hours and won’t even feel guilty about it after. (As opposed to getting lost for hours on a Vegas casino floor.)

2- There’s something special about picking up a book because it’s got a rocking cover, flipping through the pages to find out what they feel like, checking out the author pic and/or bio, and collecting a bunch until you can weed out the ones you really want to read, while ditching the few you won’t on a random table somewhere. Doesn’t sound familiar? Yeah…I don’t do that, either. :/ An electronic reader has nothing on an actual book, and I will argue that until the day I die. We all spend so much of our time staring mindlessly at our computers, and laptops, and iPads and iPhones. How about just open an actual book. Seriously.

Reading Books Makes You Better

3- Authors are excited to have people talk to them. (We’ve spent far too much time talking to ourselves about our own book.) Even if you don’t want to talk about their book or you don’t plan on buying one, it’s fun to have a conversation with someone different. You can bet that a year of that author’s life was spent writing their book, it took an addition x-amount of months or years to sell it to a publisher, and another year for the publishing process to be complete. There is definitely something to talk about, even if it’s “have you ever written at 3:00am?” (The answer to which will always be a resounding YES.)

4- It makes for good conversation with your friends at dinner on Saturday night:

“So, what did you do today?”

“I attended a book signing. You?”

“Uh…I played Dragon City.”

See? You’re already looking smarter and cooler than John Smith over there. You’re welcome.

5- You’ll end up finding that perfect Father’s Day gift for your dad. It may not even be a book, but bookstores have other stuff, too, and it’s all awesome. ALL OF IT.

Happy Healthy Gut Cover Design

So, here’s the deal: I have a book signing this weekend for my new book, Happy Healthy Gut. It’s at the Chapters in Langley, BC from 2-5pm. If you live in the area, and you come see me there, and you sign up for my website, and you mention this blog post, I will not only sign it for you, I’ll buy it for you as well. You will get it FOR FREE. And we’ll both be happy and live happily ever after, too. (But not together. Because that might be weird.)

‘Til tomorrow, peeps. Peace.

What to Eat for IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)

Happy Healthy Gut

“The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine, or the slowest form of poison.” Ann Wigmore

Knowing what foods are safe to eat when you suffer from chronic digestive angst is really hard, but there are definitely a few core ideas (and rules) to keep in mind when searching for answers. The following recommendations are ones that have certainly helped me, and I continue to eat this way because I can’t imagine going back to feeling the way I did before. Here are my top suggestions:

EAT YOUR VEGGIES!

Nobody ever said to you, “don’t eat your vegetables!” Most of what we eat throughout the day, every day, should be vegetables. They are completely necessary for proper digestive function, and yet most of us don’t consume nearly the amount we should. Not only should we be focusing on increasing our overall intake, but we should also be experimenting with variety, and become aware of what is in season. Our bodies naturally process food that is whole and in season much better than foods that are processed and from thousands of miles away. (For example, living in the pacific northwest, my body wouldn’t process a pineapple in January the same way it would kale.)

LIMIT ANIMAL PRODUCTS

Let’s get real: animal products are not that great for your body. Despite the fact that various meat and dairy industry representatives swear up and down that animal products are a necessity for your health, we all know that can’t be true. Animal meat is very high in saturated fat, which isn’t at all good for us; especially ground beef. Unless purchased from an organic, grass-fed only farm, almost all meat (99% of what is out there), comes from factory farms, and it’s not healthy. The thing is, factory farms are a cesspool of nutrient-deficent meat due to too many growth hormones in the feed, routine antibiotics, and largely diseased animals due to the inevitable overcrowding that occurs. It is also the number one contributor of crazy environmental pollutants.

Dairy is bad, too. Cow milk is meant for calves, not humans. We don’t feed cows human milk, right? Dairy causes allergies and intolerances, which can contribute to ear infections, sinus problems, constipation, and other digestive issues.

Good Food

STOP EATING PROCESSED FOOD

We are living in a new age of food. Or “food.” The nation’s rates of chronic disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, digestive disease, etc, are skyrocketing at a pace never seen before. This is largely due to two things: increased consumption of animal meat, and increased production/consumption of highly processed food. In developing countries, where processed food is nil, these diseases are not present. It’s yucky, and needs to go. This type of food is “dead” because there is nothing nutritionally valuable left for it to offer. A good rule of thumb is to take a look at the list of ingredients, and rule out anything that contains un-pronouncables, and over 6-8 ingredients in total.

STEER CLEAR FROM GMOS

Genetically modified food is lab-created, nutrient-void, and poses considerable risk to your health. It is currently under investigation to prove its role in increased cancer, gastrointestinal disorders, autism, and among other things, decreased immune system function. Download the iPhone app ShopNoGMO to learn which food companies are GMO-free, and which ones aren’t. You can also visit www.gmoshoppingguide.com.

EAT WHOLE FOODS

Whole foods are exactly what they sound like. They’re still in their whole form, and haven’t been processed. These foods are nutritionally dense, and our bodies thrive on them. They’re super simple for our digestive systems to process, which lends more energy (that would have been diverted to heavy, unclean digestions attempts) to other parts of your body. Foods in this category are whole fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, whole grains, (preferably sprouted!), dried fruit, etc, If your digestive system is giving you trouble, try eating this way: completely eliminate dead food, and switch to a diet rich in whole foods.

Green smoothie

NEW FOODS TO INTRODUCE

Once you eliminate the yucky foods, you can introduce an awesome assortment of foods that heal. These include such wonder items as digestive enzymes, probiotics, whole grains, sprouted grains, sprouts, wheatgrass, fresh veggie juices, sea vegetables, fermented goodies, tofu, tempeh and seitan, organic lovelies, and more! Food is our best ally against digestive unease and good health: we need to use it properly!

The right food nourishes your body, mind, and soul.

Those who know me, know that I am VERY into healthy eating and consuming food that I believe lends to more usable energy. I don’t want to feel good- I want to feel AMAZING! Ask me how, buy the book, or visit www.facebook.com/happyhealthylife.org.

Be Food Forward!

My Top 12 Observations of Highly Successful People

Successful People

First of all, I’ll admit that the inspiration for writing this post came from the book Hero, which I’m halfway through. When my mother-in-law gave this book to me for my birthday a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t know how much I’d be taking from it, and how motivating it would be! She’s amazing at giving gifts.

Aaaaaanyway…

Because I’m currently in the throes of marketing my first book, I’ve been paying attention to both the words of wisdom and inspiration from that book (Hero; not my own), and also my husband’s podcasts. Or, to be more specific, the podcasts he listens to while he showers every morning. Once you get over how annoyingly loud they need to be in order for him to be able to hear clearly while being fully immersed in running water, you find that the content is actually pretty good.

And by “you” and mean “I.”

The podcasts are always presented by people who have achieved great success in their businesses, and since both my husband and I are in business for self (he’s a mortgage broker; I’m a freelance health and wellness writer), we both spend a lot of time trying to learn from other peoples’ failures and successes and overall experiences.

Let’s quickly define my current definition of “successful people,” in regards to business: I’m referring to those who manage to create something, and then flourish…people who not only do what they love, and what ignites fire within them, but are able to make a pretty decent living doing it. This is what I deem to be a successful business person.

Your definition might be different.

be good

This is what I have learned thus far; my top twelve observations of highly successful people:

1-      They believe in themselves. People who achieve success in their business know they have something to offer, and they don’t let other people’s opinions deter them from achieving what they know they’re capable of. They visualize themselves being successful, thereby never creating an excuse for failure. In order for others to believe in your product, you need to believe in it yourself.

2-      They’re passionate. I’m not talking about in the bedroom, though numerous studies have shown that more fulfilling sex coincides with higher career accomplishments.[1] Successful people are passionate about their product. They’re excited, and they convey that excitement to others thereby building a buzz.

3-      They have a willingness to work hard. Let’s face it: in order for your business to be preferred against someone else’s you’ve got to put in the effort. You get what you put into it, right? This handy little rule of thumb goes for almost everything: relationships, health, happiness, and…business.

4-      They dream BIG. Dreams of any size are great, but successful people aren’t afraid to dream bigger than the average Joe. Whereas most people might get deterred at the very thought of doing something scary, there are a small percentage of people who love a challenge, and possess the desire to do something that others won’t.

5-      They’re focused—and I’m talking unwavering focus. Success comes with sticking your nose to the grindstone—and leaving it there. Being dissuaded or distracted or becoming bored are not options.

6-      They set specific goals. This is an incredibly common practice for highly successful people. They know what they want, they give themselves a timeline, and they make sure they follow it to the end. Setting specific goals means that you can cross them off once they’re achieved—and this creates a powerful sense of accomplishment and fulfillment when that time arrives.

7-      They surround themselves with like-minded people. Hang with who you want to emulate. Right? If you’re in med school, hang out with doctors. If you’re patenting a product, make friends with people who have been there, done that. By surrounding yourself with people that have or have had similar dreams, you become instantly motivated and encouraged to follow through. There’s a writer’s conference that I go to every year, and I leave that function PUMPED UP. This is important.

8-      They’re open to criticism—and they can handle it. This is HUGE. Nobody and nothing is perfect, and sometimes we need to hear it. Being open to other people’s criticism means that you have an edge on your competition—you’re able to understand that not everyone thinks and feels the same way, and that knowledge can help you produce a better product or service. Which brings me to…

9-      They’re not afraid to tweak. People who do well in their endeavors aren’t afraid to edit their work for the better. Quality first, right?

10-  They love a challenge. I touched on this a bit already, but those who don’t like challenges quit pretty quickly, and determination seems to be a fairly common trait of successful people. Nobody’s handed their OWN success. They have to create it—and that can be challenging.

We Are What We Think

11-  They don’t try and BE other people—they realize that their uniqueness is what makes their ideas special and one-of-a-kind, and they use that to their advantage. The realization that you’ll never please everybody, and that there will always be haters is a big one. But it’s instrumental in your acceptance of yourself and your ideas. You don’t have to prove yourself to everyone—just be YOU.

12-  They pay attention to detail. This one may seem like a no-brainer, but details really matter. Details are what make your plan or vision or dream or product different from other people’s. It’s all in the details—and highly successful people know this.

Bonus observance? They take care of themselves. Highly successful people tend to eat better, exercise, consciously attempt to de-stress, and forgo smoking.

Maya Angelou has been quoted as saying “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”[2]

Amen, sister.