5 Common Triggers of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS

Happy Saturday, everyone! Today’s post was inspired by a series of realizations I’ve had oven the course of the last year or so. For those of you who don’t know this about me, I used to struggle with awful IBS symptoms that impeded my life every single day. This gut-wrenching story (see what I did there?!) has a happy ending, though. I managed to figure out the sources of my discomfort, and reap the rewards that come with a calm, happy, healthy gut.

BUT…everyone who has ever suffered from a chronic health issue, knows that from time to time, there are circumstances that cause these types of conditions to rear their ugly heads.

Here are, in my opinion, the top five offenders that just LOVE to make my bowel (and perhaps yours) irritable:

Yoga for stress

  • Stress. This is seriously the number one cause of any IBS flare-up I experience, nowadays. I can eat as clean and regularly as I want, and exercise, and sleep well, but your brain doesn’t care. If you’re stressed, IBS becomes more imminent. Some ways to relieve stress, include meditation, yoga, conscious breathing, and exercise.

Dairy

  • Dairy. This “does a body good” mammal secretion (I write with pure loathing) does not do anybody good. It sucks. It’s for calves, not for adult humans. Dairy acidifies our bodies and clogs up our bowels. It sparks spontaneous allergies, and is loaded with fat and sugar. If you have IBS, please refrain.

pink slime

  • Meat and processed food. Both of these foodstuffs are so chalk full of crap that our bodies silently scream in protest, but we don’t pay attention. Unless you have IBS, and then you’re pretty much forced to. In addition to this, meat is also full of saturated fat, and acidifies our bodies like dairy. (That’s “pink slime” above, if you were wondering. You should totally Google it.)

Working Out

  • Stagnancy. That is, not exercising. Everyone needs to move their bodies every day in order for vital bodily processes to occur. (Circulation, digestion, proper respiration, muscle building, calorie burning, etc.) When you don’t move, it throws your entire body out of whack, and when you have IBS, your digestive system is beyond touchy. It’s one sensitive son of a bitch, and I can assure you, it’s in your best interest to keep it happy.

Lack of sleep

  • Lack of sleep. This might be related to stress, but lack of sleep is my worst nightmare. (Irony—and pun—intended.) In order to sleep very, very well, I would definitely advise you to take everything I’ve written above to heart. You sleep better when your stress level is down, you’re eating good, clean, whole food, and exercising your body on a regular basis.

Here’s a summary:

Stress, animal products, processed food, lack of exercise, and inadequate sleep are all BAD for IBS.

Reduced stress, whole food, lots of vegetables and water, daily exercise, and great sleep are all GOOD for IBS. 

Happy Healthy Gut

It’s all about the routine, and the lifestyle you choose to implement for yourself, but I can assure you, IBS can be tamed. For a full 272 pages on EXACTLY how this is possible, check out Happy Healthy Gut. For a recipe book full of delicious, tummy-taming concoctions, check out Vegetarian Comfort Foods.

Vegetarian Comfort Foods

Have a great rest of your weekend! xo

Look Who’s Nominated For the One Lovely Blog Award!

One Lovely Blog Award

Thanks so much to FIT FARMER for nominating me for the ONE LOVELY BLOG AWARD! I’m super excited to be part of this supportive blogging community, and I hope everyone who reads this will check out my blog recommendations.:)

The Rules
- Thank the person who nominated you for the award
– Display the banner/sticker/logo on your blog
– Share 7 facts or things about yourself
– Nominate 15 bloggers that you admire and inform nominees by commenting on their blog

7 facts about me:
1. I’m a writer. I began with my first book (Happy Healthy Gut), and then I started writing for magazines (like Vancouver’s alive Magazine), and now I just write to get reactions, make a difference, and challenge myself. I’ve always loved to write.
2. I am 33-years-old. I have three kids, one husband, zero pets, and no more apples in my apple tree. (Because I picked them all to make applesauce, which I talked about a couple of blog posts ago.)
3. I used to have IBS, but I don’t anymore. 4 years ago, I began a whole food, plant-based diet that changed my life from the inside out. You can read all about it in Happy Healthy Gut!
4. I love to sing. Even though most people who have heard me will say I definitely can’t carry a tune, it’s because I have a VERY hard time singing in from of anyone aside from my kids (even my husband). But I can sing–for real.
5. I’m obsessive-compulsive. I didn’t really know this until I was a parent, but when you start comparing things with other moms and realize that you’re the only one who tracks days you work out, have a glass of wine, or feel overly emotional, you come to understand that perhaps you’re slightly ridiculous.
6. I love to eat! I’ve always been a major foodie, and I’ve always been willing to make myself sick for that extra stuffed mushroom. (Although I have to say, now that I’m 4 years in on the whole food, plant-based bandwagon, I can eat way more without feeling sick. It’s seriously ideal.)
7. I LOVE trash TV. Particularly the Real Housewives franchise, and especially New Jersey. Yup.

My 15 nominees:
1) Kitchen, Uncorked
2) Just January’s Jargon
3) Oh She Glows
4) Love Food
5) Love.Peace.Hapiness.Cooking
6) Taste of Colours
7) Bucket List Publications 
8) My VanCity 
9) Forks and Beans
10) Pickles & Honey
11) The Kind Life
12) Living Food Love
13) The Garum Factory
14) Fiona Grows Food
15) Good Girl Gone Green

Happy blog perusing! xo

Happy Healthy Vegan Recipes: IBS-Friendly

Vegan kitchen

With the kids finally back in school (British Columbia experienced a lengthy teacher’s strike throughout the late spring and entire summer this year), I’ve found myself scoring way more time to cook and bake and experiment in the kitchen. And with the vegetarian cookbook I have coming out next summer, I find myself wanting to perfect the recipes that will be featured.

Last weekend, I managed to make chocolate-pumpkin muffins, my version of grown-up oatmeal, and spicy applesauce. (I actually made more, but these are the ones I remembered to take pictures of.) I can’t divulge the exact recipes, but perhaps these will inspire you to mess around in the kitchen and create something similar!

Each recipe below is vegan, and kind to your digestive tract (IBS-friendly).

Vegan Chocolate-Pumpkin Muffins

Vegan Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

These dense, completely vegan muffins are made with applesauce in place of oil, and pumpkin puree in place of egg. My kids LOVED them (always the ultimate test of taste), and they were very simple to make.

Grown-Up Oats with Coconut

Vegan Oatmeal

You can make this hearty breakfast in advance by layering ingredients, and then simply adding boiling water when you’re ready to eat. Line them up on the counter before bed, and then it’s a quick, easy, and healthy breakfast for the next morning.

Homemade Spicy Applesauce

Vegan applesauce

I love making applesauce, because it makes the house smell incredible, and is truly SO much better than the store-bought variety. The hint of spice comes from freshly grated ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and then a dash of chai spice.

So there you have it! A weekend of yummy smells, tastes, and healthy meal planning. Happy Meatless Monday, and have a fabulous week!

5 Homeopathic Remedies Every Parent Should Know About

Echinacea Flowers homeopathic remedy

I’ve been a mom for almost 15 years. Actually, let’s just call it 15 years, because you begin taking care of somebody the second you find out you’re expecting. Right? So 15 years of motherhood so far, and three kids. And a husband that I sometimes call my fourth.

(Jk, Dave.)

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been way more interested in natural remedies for the various childhood ailments that seem to repeat themselves, rather than simply throwing an acetaminophen tablet at my kid and calling it a day. (Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done that, and sometimes you have to do that, but I just prefer not to.)

Here are my top five homeopathic remedies that I believe any parent who is interested in natural cures should have at his or her disposal. It’s taken me a long time to find ones that really work, but these suckers have proven they do, and they’re also proven both safe and effective for children.

Since we’re approaching cold and flu season (groan), I thought I’d share.

Essential liquid homeopathic remedy

To relieve an ear ache:

  1. If you think your child might have an ear ache due to pressure in the ear (usually due to a build-up of wax), then olive oil and a hot water bottle is your child’s best friend. Warm some olive oil slightly (barely above room temperature over the stove—make SURE it’s not hot, or you could burn your child), and then have your child lay on his side, with the offending ear up. Insert two drops of oil in the ear, then gently massage to encourage it in. Leaving your child in this position, place a warm hot water bottle over that side of his face and ask him to stay in that position for 10 minutes. Repeat two times a day until pain subsides and you see ear wax begin to make its way out of the ear.
  2. If you believe your child has an ear infection, then cutting a small onion in half and placing the cut side down over his ear and holding it there for 10 minutes, four times a day helps to kill the infection. Use the hot water bottle to help relieve pain.
  3. To further reduce inflammation, try peppermint and ginger tea (recipe below, step four).

Ginger Tea homeopathic remedy

To calm a cough:

  1. For a dry cough, try giving your child one tsp. of pure, raw honey every two-four hours, and definitely before bed. For older children, that amount can be adjusted up to one tbsp.
  2. Get your child to gargle with salt water. If there’s a bacterial infection that is causing the cough, then the salt will help kill it. It also reduces swelling, and for a productive cough, it will help to expel mucous.
  3. If your child can’t seem to stop coughing (for instance, for croup), then a few drops of eucalyptus in a very warm bath or shower can help. Steam helps to loosen mucous, and the essential oil has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties.
  4. Peppermint and ginger tea. This tea is usually pretty tasty for kids, and while the ginger is anti-inflammatory, the peppermint can calm that irritating throat tickle that prevents your child from sleeping. Try chopping up one tsp. of fresh ginger, and adding it to a cup of hot peppermint tea. Let it steep for five minutes, and then remove the ginger and the tea bag. Sweeten with honey if you think it will make it more palatable for your child.

pure water is emptied into a glass of water from a pitcher. fres

To relieve occasional constipation within 24 hours:

  1. Begin with fluids. Your child should be drinking lots of water, because without it, stool will be hard and compact, which will be painful for him (let’s pretend we’re talking about a boy) when it finally passes.
  2. While water is on the go, examine his diet, and take charge. I like to make smoothies that consist of water or coconut water, berries (high fibre), ground flax (more fibre), and if they’ll drink a green smoothie, then kale (more fibre). Coconut milk (full-fat, from a can) is also a proven laxative.
  3. Speaking of fat, try adding healthy fat to his food. Avocado, a tsp. of olive oil, fatty fish. These foods help to grease the pipes, so to speak.
  4. Get your child moving. Go for a walk. Exercise helps to kick-start digestion, and it’s good for you in other ways, too.
  5. Eliminate added sugar, processed foods, wheat products, dairy, and red meats until a bowel movement is achieved. All of these items are difficult to digest and/or confusing for the digestive tract.
  6. Begin a regimen of probiotics. These good bacteria are necessary for proper digestive function.
  7. Try a tummy massage. Rub his stomach in a clock-wise direction for a few minutes—it might be enough to get gas moving around and stimulate a bowel movement.
  8. If all else fails, break out the no-sugar-added prune juice. Just half a cup every four hours until he moves his bowels. (Often, all it takes is that first half-cup.)
  9. For more tips on how to achieve a tummy, healthy gut, see HERE.

sea salt electrolytes homeopathic remedy

To stop diarrhea:

  1. One word: BRAT. It’s an acronym for bananas, (brown) rice, applesauce and (whole grain) toast. Eaten in this combination, it works to slow the bowel and bind stool.
  2. Avoid dairy and anything spicy or acidic to reduce unwanted bowel reactions and pain due to acidic stool.
  3. Also, have your child drink lots of water or herbal tea. This may seem counter-productive, but diarrhea equals dehydration. You can further electrolyte absorption by adding a pinch of sea salt to his water, or providing him with pure, unsweetened coconut water.

turmeric homeopathic remedy

To reduce general pain:

  1. Turmeric is a powerful natural pain reliever that is safe. You can buy empty capsules from your local health food store, and fill them with organic, powdered turmeric. (You may find them already pre-filled with turmeric if you’re lucky.) Have your child (who’s old enough to swallow a capsule; otherwise mix the powder in warm water and sweeten with raw honey) take 4-6 capsules a day.
  2. To relieve inflammation, which is often associated with pain, try ginger. You can also make a tea with these spices, and sweeten it with raw, organic honey.

For more information on the following ailments, click on the one that interests you:

Reduce a fever

Relieve a sunburn

Soothe eczema

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 http://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

This is Why Photographers are Expensive (or, Book Cover Photoshoot)

Book cover photshoot

An amazing photographer and I shot the cover image for my new cookbook yesterday. (Well, okay, she shot it, but I’m lumping myself in there since I made the food.) The fact that this bucket list item was being crossed off was extremely exciting for me, and despite only standing there staring at her while she photographed four of my recipes, I was exhausted.

Remind me never to do anything strenuous, because apparently, I tire easily.

The new book is (currently) called Vegetarian Comfort Foods: The Happy Healthy Gut Guide to Delicious Plant-Based Cooking. It’s somewhat of a supplement to Happy Healthy Gut: The Natural Diet Solution to Curing Your IBS and Other Digestive Disorders. Upwards of 100 whole, plant-based recipes designed to kick-start your body into kick-ass mode. (AKA: lose some weight, eradicate your digestive problems, strengthen your immune system, and increase your intake of phytonutrients that fight free radicals.)

It’s being published by Skyhorse Publishing, and is slated for release in spring 2015. I’m STOKED. While I don’t have any images that will be in the book to show you yet, I can show you some of the pics I took with my iPhone while the real photographer did all the work.

‘Cuz I’m helpful like that–and this is why I’m not an actual photographer. I promise the professional images will look a lot better. Like…a lot.

I wonder if professional photgraphers are also good at taking selfies…

Also, this isn’t my kitchen.

Tanya R Loewen

Tanya R Loewen

Tanya R Loewen

Thanks, Tanya! xo

Why You Should Be Cooking with Beans

*Disclaimer: I will use the word “farty” in this blog post. I apologize ahead of time.

Beans

Beans, beans, the musical fruit, the more you eat, the more you toot. Right? NOOO! It doesn’t have to be that way. Don’t let beans have their way with you. You’re the boss, and they need to be put in their place.

Boss those beans around!

Why bother, you ask? Because beans are tiny gems of awesomeness that are high in fibre, protein, and a variety of other goodies. They’re a main staple in countries like Mexico–and others in South America–because they’re inexpensive, readily available, and super high in nutrients. They’re superstars, really.

Unfortunately, they get a bum rap. (Get it?) Beans can make some people feel bloated and gassy, so a lot of us choose to just ignore their amazingness altogether to avoid a potentially embarrassing situation in yoga class. Also, those suffering from digestive issues like IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or Crohn’s disease may find that beans make their gut situations worse. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

There is actually a correct way to both prepare and cook beans. Beans have indigestible carbohydrates that need to be broken down by soaking. If you’re using beans from a can, then the trick is to rinse them very well, until all the bubbles are gone. Those bubbles are gas, and they make you farty. (See? Told you I’d use it.) No one wants to be farty. If you plan on cooking them after you rinse them, then your best bet is to add a bay leaf to whatever you’re cooking, whether it’s soup, stew, chili, or whatever. Bay absorbs the acid in the beans that add to the gas. Just don’t eat the leaf.

(Although I must admit that the thought of this makes me smile.)

If you’re cooking dried beans, then rinse them very well first, and soak them in a lot of water overnight. (The general rule is one cup of beans to three cups of water.) In the morning, strain them and rinse really well again. When you go to cook them, cook with a bay leaf for the reason explained above, but also skim off the bubbles that will form off the top after about an hour. Remember, those are farty bubbles. Also, make sure you cook the beans very well. Don’t leave them half-cooked.

So, in conclusion of Cooking with Beans 101 (because now you’ve now graduated Bean University), you rinse, you skim bubbles, and you cook with a bay leaf. Other gas-reducing spices include ginger, fennel, and cumin, so you could cook with those, too.

Local Food Products that are Rocking My World

Save-On-foods Vendors

This past weekend, I took part in an event at Save-On-Foods that was promoting local products. I signed Happy Healthy Gut books, and the other vendors were Happy Water, NutraCleanse, and Everyday Superfoods.

It is SO much fun to hang out with people who are like-minded when it comes to health. While the Happy Water reps kept the rest of us hydrated and genuinely happy (they literally danced and hoola-hooped the WHOLE time while playing Top 40), I was fortunate enough to chat for an extended period of time with Tony from NutraCleanse and Gordon from Everyday Superfoods about their products. I decided that this week’s blog should inform consumers of these fairly brand-new products, and perhaps you’ll all fall in love with them as I did.

Happy Water

Happy Water: This product is an award-winning, naturally alkaline lithia water. The water originates from Canada (Kootenay region), and is produced in Vancouver, BC. It contains “naturally occurring lithia, calcium, magnesium, potassium and fluoride.”[1]

For community events such as the one last weekend, Happy Water will send their “Smile Squad,” and the energy and positivity is definitely in the air. For information on how to request the Smile Squad to attend your event, visit http://livehappywater.ca/contact.

The product goes for about the same amount as other bottled waters.

Nutricleanse

NutraCleanse:  Although I’ve seen this natural health product around for awhile, I’d never before tried it, which is VERY unlike me. I’m a sucker for new health products (especially foodstuffs), and I’m surprised at myself.

This product is manufactured in Mission, BC, and the ingredients are organic, gluten-free, and limited to ground flax seed, psyllium husks, dandelion root powder, burdock root powder, and fenugreek seed powder.

That’s it.

The purpose behind adding this product to your daily smoothie or yogurt or whatever is to increase your overall fibre—and it sure works! If you’re someone who feels as though you could benefit from increased fibre consumption (ahem—EVERYONE), then you should give this product a try. I am a huge promoter of gut health, and this particular product is a goodie!

A 1 Kg. bag goes for roughly $29.99, but you can get it for $20.99 if you keep your eyes peeled.

Everyday Superfoods

Everyday Superfoods: Again, I’ve seen this product around (the rep told me it’s been around for a couple of years, but they only recently have become very mainstream and distributed), but hadn’t tried it yet. The main ingredients in their mixes are chia seeds, hemp hearts, and buckwheat.

The blends are great on oatmeal, in yogurt, or added to baking, and there are at least four different mixtures. The one I’m trying right now is called Cocoa Wow, and I also took home a bag called Trim.

They go for about $6.99 per bag (the weight isn’t disclosed, but it looks like it’s just over a cup’s worth), and the product is mostly organic, gluten-free, and vegan. It’s manufactured in Richmond, BC.

So there you have it! My newly acquired fun foods! Give them a try, and let me know what you think. Ciao, peeps!

 

[1] http://livehappywater.ca/our-water/

 

5 Signs of Good Health: what “healthy” truly looks like

Healthy woman

The definition of “healthy” is different for many of us. Some people believe health is what is attained once you’ve cut out carbs, and others feel that they’re healthy if they’re abstaining from processed sugar. But health is a broad term. Are you healthy if you aren’t currently diagnosed with a chronic disease? Does veganism equal health?

What exactly does is mean to be truly healthy?

Happy children sitting on green grass outdoors in summer park

The following points are what I’ve come up with, both during my own observations and experiences, as well as asking others this question. Here are what I consider to be five signs that you are really healthy:

  1. You consistently get 7-8 hours of sleep every night, and wake up feeling refreshed. Great, consistent sleep is a fabulous indicator of good health. It means your body is regulated, your cortisol levels and core body temperature are normal, and you have the ability to let your mind rest peacefully, which indicates low stress. If you can achieve amazing sleep, congratulations! If you fall into the category of those who can’t sleep, I can assure you, I’ve definitely been there. For me, there are 3 things that I’ve identified as being culprits here: alcohol consumption (if I have more than one glass of wine, sleep is up in the air), stress (overthinking things), and excitement (not calming down enough for your body to rest). Other things that can lead to bad sleep include eating right before bed (your body will buzz with the energy t takes to digest that snack), sleeping in a warm room, and too much light.
  2. You have energy throughout the entire day. No 3pm slump for you! How does one obtain this? Aside from having a decent sleep, it’s with food. Good food. Food that contains proper energy sources and the correct balance of nutrients to assist your body in lasting happily throughout the entire day. Real food—not a chocolate bar. A good tip: eat a light, healthy lunch (lettuce wraps or salad with wild salmon), and then grab a snack around 3 o’clock. A smoothie, homemade granola bar, or boiled egg with salsa and avocado are great examples.
  3. You’re moving your bowels in a healthy way at least once a day. Now, when I specify “healthy” here, I mean that your movements are effortless, quick, significant, and normal-looking. (Not loose.) If you’re feeling empty after visiting the washroom, that’s good. To achieve better bowel movements, try tracking how much insoluble fibre you ingest (you need this to sweep your colon clean), and make sure you’re drinking enough water. Foods that can make BMs subpar are dairy, too much heavy meat, heavy breads (especially if you’re sensitive to wheat or gluten), and too much sugar. For more information on how to obtain better digestive health, check out Happy Healthy Gut.
  4. Your skin is clear, and your hair and nails look good. Your skin is your largest organ, and what it looks like says a lot about your health. Same goes for your hair and nails. Dry, brittle nails and hair can signify dehydration, and peeling problems can represent vitamin deficiencies. For better skin, hair, and nails, try drinking more water and eating more vegetables. Cut down on processed sugar, and begin to look at your food as fuel for your body.
  5. You’re happy. Honestly, consistently, truly happy. Happiness is directly correlated with good health, and people who can honestly call themselves happy are typically healthy, too. The mind and body are completely connected, and a clear, calm mind will usually be accompanied by a healthy body. To achieve better happiness, try and make a list of everything that is in your life that makes you upset and stressed out. Either let it go (meaning get out of that unhappy relationship or find a better job), or make clear strides to improve the situation. Do it NOW—don’t wait.

Beautiful healthy Young Woman lying on the green grass

What I am trying to get at it this: you don’t have to weigh 120 pounds or love the Paleo diet or declare veganism as your new diet of choice to be healthy. Health is a complicated thing, but the points above will hopefully lead you in the right direction.

 

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.