Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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Attention Living Healthy in the Real World Readers!

December 8, 2009

I’ve been having some difficulty switching the subscription over from livinghealthyintherealworld.wordpress.com to livingintherealworld.net/healthy, so I would ask you all to please head over to http://livingintherealworld.net/healthy/ and click on the SUBSCRIBE link on the top right hand side of the page if you would like to continue subscribing to this blog. Thank you! Hope to see you all over at the new site 🙂

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Living Healthy in the Real World: Makeover Edition

November 25, 2009

I’ve given my blog a makeover! Now you can access all Living in the Real World articles from one main page.

CLICK HERE to join today’s discussion over at the brand new Living Healthy in the Real World site:

http://www.livingintherealworld.net/healthy/

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A New Addition to the Family

June 17, 2009

As some of you may know, my major at university is in Rhetoric, Writing, and Communications. Writing and language are equally as important to me as health is, and it is for this reason that I have decided to begin a rhetoric blog alongside Living Healthy in the Real World. Consider this the launch party for my new blog: Living Rhetorically in the Real World!

Living Rhetorically in the Real World will be mostly kept separate from this blog except when I am writing about issues over there that are relevant to issues that we discuss here (ie. health).

Although it may (and likely will) evolve as the blog progresses, I am currently planning on posting twice weekly at Living Rhetorically in the Real World, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Because I post on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays here at Living Healthy, I figured it would be best to write on alternate days for each blog.

Rhetoric, as the study of how we communicate, convey meaning, and identify with shared symbols, is as vastly inclusive as the diverse topic that the vague term “health” is. It’s for that reason that I’ll be covering a very wide range of subjects and information and Living Rhetorically. The material that we’ll be discussing at Living Rhetorically in the Real World will fall under the following categories:

– Lifestyle Editing: a play on Life Lessons, this category will be a similar examination of how editing, the academic, and rhetoric can apply to real-world situations and scenarios, drawing upon experience for examples.

– The Practical Guide: straight-to-the-point, practical explanations and advice for how to use grammar, sentence structure, and other writing devices and editorial techniques. I’ll go into detail regarding the uses of these devices and how they can be effectively applied to different kinds of documents.

– In the Media: this blog would not be complete without reference to where you can find more information about writing and communication! I’ll share articles I’ve found, let you know if there’s anything new and exciting going on with current editorial affairs, and review relevant books (such as dictionaries and style guides).

– Analyzing Everyday Rhetoric: much like the Interpretations of Marketing Strategies articles that are posted here, these pieces will examine rhetoric that we encounter on a daily basis and how, for example, the techniques that we discuss are employed by the producers of our society, as well as the effect that it has upon us, the consumer.

I have so much to learn about rhetoric and editing so I hope that you (at least occasionally) join me on my journey at Living Rhetorically in the Real World! And not to worry, it won’t have any impact on my writing here at Living Healthy in the Real World- I’m still posting three times weekly on all the usual topics.

If you have any advice, questions, or ideas for what issues you would like me to address (on either blog), don’t hesitate to drop me a comment or send me an email. I’m open to suggestions and would love to get your feedback on what works and what doesn’t.

Still don’t really “get” what rhetoric is? I explain it all on my What is Rhetoric? page.

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Happy Birthday, Living Healthy in the Real World!

February 25, 2009

Today marks the one-year anniversary for my blog. A year ago today, I published my first post!

(Hopefully both my understanding of health and my skill in writing have improved muchly over that period of time).

To celebrate, I baked a batch of these peanut butter cookies last night. They turned out beautifully, perchance because I was being supervised by the recently-returned roommate. I can attest to them being really delicious because nine out of the very large 14 cookies I baked were gone within a couple hours, and that was just between the scarfing down of two people (okay, I admit it! I was six of those cookies. What can I say, I likes me my peanut butter).

These are, at least, certainly one of the healthiest peanut butter recipes I’ve come across, and they have a delightfully very rich buttery taste even though there’s no butter in them besides the peanut butter (that’s such a misleading statement for me to have written, isn’t it? By which I mean, the butter is replaced with olive oil. And here I’ve gone and made you think that there’s no other fats in the recipe besides the peanut butter. I hate it when I come across sneaky statements like that. How annoying is it to come across a recipe that proclaims to be sugar-free but is then loaded with artificial sweetener or similar? Anyways. Back to the rant-free birthday celebrations!).

These cookies are super easy and they use maple syrup instead of sugar, so you can be all Canadian-esque when you’re making them. They’re also vegan-friendly! I made a half batch and used 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 all purpose flour in place of the whole wheat pastry flour, but other than that I didn’t change any other ingredient. A defining moment in my kitchen’s history, I’m sure.

And now to subject you all to a somewhat sappy Academy Awards-style gushing, minus the awesome fashion show:

I adore blogging and the whole community involved. But I didn’t really know what blogging was until a little over a year ago. I have to thank Leslie of Never Say Diet and Locker Room Diaries for being super sweet and letting me pester her over a year ago to ask questions about how she got into the health writing business. If it hadn’t been for her passing comment that a good way to get started with it would be to begin my own health blog, Living Healthy in the Real World would never have been born!

Also a big thank you to MizFit for being my first ever commenter. Getting comments really makes my day. I still get giddy that you all actually take the time to read, ponder, and discuss.

Looking back to when this blog first started up, I wasn’t sure exactly how the blog would pan out, what kind of writing style I’d want to use, or how personal I wanted to get. “Health” is a rather vague term and encompasses an enormous range of possibilities. It’s through trial and error that we determine what we want to say, how we want to say it, and how much feedback we want (around here? Lots. Feedback. Discussion. Comments queries critiques. All are welcome and encouraged).

At first this was mostly a blog to address some of the health issues circulating in the media, and also to rant. And, let’s face it, we’re still a blog that like to address current health issues and we’re always up for a good rant or two. I like to think there’s been some evolution as well, with involving recipes and fitness challenges and product reviews and personal experiences/thoughts as well as addressing health issues in the media and in research studies. We’ve come along way in just a year.

And now I’m curious: for those of you who do blog, why did you start blogging? What inspired you to do so and is there a line you draw for how personal you’re willing to go? How has your blog evolved over time? Where do you see yourself going with it? Also, the opportunity is always open for you to voice your thoughts on how this blog is run- anything you want more of? Less of? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!

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The Tag Game: Share!

November 14, 2008

I have been tagged by Stevia ‘n Spice! I’m pretty sure everyone in blogland has seen this before but the idea is to share 7 random/weird facts about yourself:

1. I LOVE pearls and cameo jewelry
2. One year on St. Patrick’s Day, the pub that I was at ran out of regular beer glasses. So they gave me a glass that held 1/2 litre of beer, and the people at the next table over began making bets with each other over whether or not I could chug the whole thing. It took me a couple tries, but I managed to do it! Made a whole bunch of money for it too:)

3. My hair went down to my waist until I chopped it off for cancer in grade 9
4. I adore traveling; I’ve lived in Canada, the Netherlands, and Spain. I’ve also done a whole range of different kinds of traveling: stayed with a family and helped to build a church with Canada World Youth in Costa Rica, went to an all-inclusive in the Dominican, and did the regular kind of traveling all over Western Europe with my family.
5. I’m not afraid of heights or snakes or walking around at night by myself and such, but I am a complete wimp when it comes to the cold (and that is really very frustrating when I live in a city nicknamed Winterpeg!)
6. For a really long time now I’ve wanted to be a police officer with the RCMP- it doesn’t quite fit in with my plans anymore but a part of me would still like to do it. The ultimate fitness goal for me would be to successfully complete the Superior Male Benchmark for the PARE test.
7. The best writing I do is when I’m out walking.

Part of the rules of this game is that you’re supposed to tag another 7 people. But many bloggers have been tagged before, and I don’t want to be limited to only learning random/weird facts from a select few… so here’s the deal: I want you to leave a comment with some little tidbit of information all about you! Engaging in some thoughtful introspection is very healthy:) If you don’t usually have much time to think about you, then put everything on hold for a moment and think of something you’d like to share and leave a comment about it- it will be good for your mental health. Have a great weekend!

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Today I turn 20!

September 24, 2008

There’s no better way to start off your birthday than with some grueling workouts at boot camp. And as an added bonus it was too cold for the mosquitoes this morning!

I celebrated my birthday last Saturday in conjunction with my housewarming party. It was a great time; about 30 people were there in total between my sisters friends and my friends, and there was much eating and drinking and catching up. Devin made me 2 kinds of cupcakes! White cakes with chocolate frosting and chocolate cakes with icing sugar sprinkled on top:

And because my sister works at a fine dining restaurant, her boss (the owner and chef of the restaurant) stopped by with 3 pizzas he had made and he also made creme brulee in our apartment. So that was very cool! At one point we had a little fireworks display outside as well that some of the guys put on for us- all around good times.

One of my friends brought me homemade wine- a fruity sangria wine! Normally I like classic reds but this wine was amazing. I love it. And my parents gift to me was boot camp for the next month (happiness!).

Last night my sister gave me an assortment of fancy teas (20 of them, of course!), and she also made me dinner using some spices I’d brought back for her from Italy. Unfortunately the spices were so darn spicy that no amount of water, milk, or wine could comfort our burning mouths so instead we put it away in the fridge with the hopes that we’ll come up with an idea over the next couple days of how to dilute the spiciness. It’s really delicious; just too hot for our taste buds! Luckily I was making a big batch of my special split pea soup so we had some of that instead (after eating a cupcake each, that is). If you have any ideas at all about how we can fix our penne arrabiata it would be very much appreciated!

This afternoon I’m picking my parents up from the airport- now that the father’s retired he can accompany my mum on her business trips and read Plato/go hiking while she goes to seminars- so I expect we’ll have a nice family dinner tonight.

Hope you all have a wonderful day and have some fun for me:)

*Update: Just read this wonderful post about blogging over at a great blog which I think we’re all very familiar with, Cranky Fitness. Anyhow, I’m feeling the love today and so you should take a break from your workday, click on the link and enjoy a good read!

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Goodbye for now!

August 14, 2008

This is it! Tomorrow I leave early in the morning for Ontario to visit my grandparents. On Wednesday, August 20th my plane departs for Rome (!!!); we’ll be heading straight to Palermo, Sicily for 3 days. Then we’ll take the train back to Rome for 5 days before staying in Florence for another 3 days. After that, its 3 days in Venice and then back to Rome for just one night. I’ll be returning home to Canada late on Friday September 5th.

All of this traveling around means that I likely won’t be on the computer at all until I return in September, so I unfortunately won’t be blogging myself or reading your blogs during this time. However, my dad has very kindly agreed to write up some guest posts! And he will be responding to any comments you leave (providing, of course, that the Internet doesn’t try to mess with him or anything).

Have a wonderful next few weeks everyone, and I’ll be back in early September to tell you about my adventures and return to regular health blogging! I will likely return with several extra pounds around my middle (hello delicious Italian food!), excessive amounts of photographs, a considerably lighter bank account, extreme excitement about the trip as well as moving out as soon as I get home (we get possession on September 1st!), and much anticipation regarding what all of you have been up to while I’m gone. Have fun and stay healthy:)

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The Blackberry! (Phone. Not fruit. Although some blackberries would be tasty if you’ve got some and would like to share).

August 8, 2008

At the moment I am the proud owner of an ancient pay-as-you-go cell phone. It does the necessary functions that a phone should do- that is, it rings, I answer, we talk, and hang up. And it’s even got the awesome futuristic feature of having text messaging!

Excuse my sarcasm. I am grateful for my cell phone. It has served me well. The problem? It doesn’t work overseas. Or outside of the country, for that matter.

I’ve never needed anything super crazy and intense. I never saw the point in having all of those fancy features like cameras and goodness knows what else (yes, having a camera on your phone IS fancy to me!). All I wanted was a basic cell phone with caller ID, voice mail, and text messaging. And that’s exactly what I got. And its all I’ve needed for the past few years. But this week I went to the store to find out if it would work while I’m in Italy (for emergencies, because it looks as though I’ll be going to Pompeii by myself. Can you believe that the people I’m going with aren’t incredibly excited to go and see Pompeii?! It’s only one of the most remarkable historical sites ever. I can’t wait to go there and swoon over the architecture and the history. Anyways. Tangent over), and it turns out that it will not work outside of Canada. Actually, the salespeople also gave me about 3 different answers as to whether it’ll even work outside of province, so I guess I’ll find out.

I’m getting tired of this phone and its lack of abilities when compared to other, much cooler, phones. It’s time for a new one, and I said as much in exasperation to my dad as we walked out of the store. “Why don’t you get yourself a Blackberry?” He suggested.

That was possibly the last thing I ever expected to hear him say.

A Blackberry is one of the most ridiculous/awesome/useful gadgets that have been invented. It’s got just about everything, all in one device. Perfect for the supremely important CEO etc etc. All in all kind of silly for the average person.

But. I do plan on doing lots of traveling over the next few years, and I’d like to have a phone “just in case” while I’m overseas. It would also be really nice to be able to check emails from my phone and not have to pay the 2 Euros it costs to go to an Internet Cafe. Plus, it would save me the trouble from writing down important notes/plans/events on little scraps of paper which then wind up somewhere between my room, purse, work, and the car- instead, it would all be organized neatly on my Blackberry!

Can you tell that I’m smitten by the idea of getting a Blackberry?

This would just be so much fun! And useful. Highly useful. After all, I’m sure I’m every bit as busy and important as that CEO (tehe). Anyway, ever since the idea was planted in my head I’ve been having visions of Blackberry phones dancing in my head. But I want to do some quality research before I go off whimsically and buy one of these beauties. I need to figure out exactly which one is best for me and if the price is reasonable and what the contracts are like and such.

It turns out that there’s a lot of different “series” of them. I think they do that for the sole purpose of confusing us regular people who know nothing about phones. But when I get back from Italy, I think that I will buckle down and start investigating as to which one would suit me best/if I can even afford one because I imagine that they’re waaaay beyond my price range. Until then, does anyone else have a Blackberry? Or used one? Or know of someone who has one? Let me know if you’ve got any tips/suggestions regarding these things! Any info you’ve got on the Blackberry would be mega helpful right about now.

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Happy Earth Day!

April 22, 2008

The past couple days, for some reason my left knee was starting to bother me. It was feeling rather sore and was just irritating me to no end. After complaining about it to my mum yesterday, she sat me down, brought out her infra-red laser, and performed laser acupuncture on me.

A couple hours later, my knee felt great. The soreness was relieved, I trotted off to hot yoga class, and did very well at holding all of the poses steady.

I’ve had acupuncture done on me before, and I think that I like the needle-less laser type the best. Some people really enjoy the sensation of acupuncture needles, and most of the animals that we deal with certainly seem to just love it, but I don’t really like the feeling of having needles stuck in me for 20 minutes. It’s not that I have anything against needles, but if I can get away without needing them, then I’ll happily opt for the needle-less version of acupuncture!

There’s other forms of acupuncture, too: moxabustion, aquapuncture, acupressure, and electro-acupuncture are all other techniques. Most people are amazed with the miraculous results accompanying acupuncture treatments, but when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense: the Chinese have been using it for thousands of years with great success.

Considering this, and then considering how many of the modern drugs that we’ve designed are actually incredibly harmful to our bodies (such as ritalin), it is worth thinking about going back to our roots. People hundreds of years ago did not have the same health problems that we have today because of their diet and lifestyle. True, advances in modern medicine have been wonderful in helping to treat diseases once we get them, but the drawback to that is that there isn’t much effort being put into preventing us from getting diseases in the first place. Diabetes is now a commonplace condition, whereas it was far more rare hundreds of years ago and you likely wouldn’t have been able to live for very long with it.

I really do think that Western medicine is very beneficial (and in conjunction with Chinese medicine, it’s especially good! If you’re going to an acupuncturist, though, make sure that they’re reputable and certified and all that jazz. Unfortunately there are some people out there practicing it who aren’t licensed to do so.), but it seems that we rely too much on it to save us once we’re already very ill, and we don’t pay attention to our health until it falls by the wayside and is in desperate need of some healing.

What do you think? Should we be shifting our thought away from “it’s okay if I get ill/diseased because it can be treated” to “let’s work on preventing getting any health problems, even though medicine could treat it if need be”? I think we’re better off taking care of our bodies as though there aren’t ways to treat illnesses… we might pay them a little more attention that way and improve our heatlh.

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What’s in a Name?

March 15, 2008

Being an English major, I’m taking a History of Greek Literature class at university, and right now we’re studying Sophocles’ Antigone. Yesterday my prof posed an interesting question to us: how would your reaction be to this play if it were called Creon instead of Antigone?

For those of you who don’t know the story of Antigone, here’s a quick condensed version of it: Antigone’s brothers were on opposing sides in a battle, and both died. Her uncle, King Creon, declared that one of them should get the proper burial rites, but that the other brother’s body should be left out in the open in disgrace. Antigone, being a strong and capable woman, is infuriated and she gives her brother the proper burial rites against Creon’s will. When he finds out what she’s done, he banishes her to a cave. Because it’s a Greek tragedy, naturally, she kills herself, and then Creon’s son (who is also Antigone’s fiance) kills himself, and then Creon’s wife kills herself, and then Creon is the fallen king.

Goodness. Those ancient Greeks really liked their excessive tragedies. For what it’s worth, it’s actually a really great story and very enjoyable to read (even though I’ve just made it sound depressing as hell- which I guess it kind of is). At any rate, the whole idea behind the play is that Antigone supports the side of kinship and the gods’ law, whereas Creon stands for the good of the community and human law. And when you read the story with the title in mind, you naturally sympathize with Antigone. However! If it were instead titled Creon, it’s a lot more likely that the natural tendency would be to sympathize with him instead. It’s an interesting concept because often we don’t pay much attention to these other perspectives and ideas.

Now, you might be saying to yourself, “this is all well and good, but isn’t this a health blog?” No worries, those cookies and yummy indulgences fit in very nicely with this concept of titles! (See, in university we learn all sorts of useful skills, such as the ability to relate anything we study in class to tasty foods).

There are two wonderful dessert places here in Winnipeg that I go to from time to time to enjoy a nice thick slab of cake: Baked Expectations and Dessert Sinsations. Just drink in those words for a moment. Don’t they sound delicious? And they most certainly are. I love love love the oreo cheesecake at Baked, and the “chocolate chocolate chocolate torte” from Dessert Sinsations is delectable (and made with real Belgian chocolate!… the woman behind the counter could REALLY sell that cake).

Going to either of these places is always a splurge and a special treat. I think if I went there on a regular basis the novelty would wear off and I might get sick of eating so much cake (I’m assuming that it is in fact possible to get sick of cake? What a curious notion!). But you know, if these places didn’t have such scintillating names like “Baked Expectations” and “Dessert Sinsations”, I don’t know if they would be as enjoyable to go to. It’s always a bit exciting to go to one of those places and know that I’m having a large portion of something sugary and delicious that I normally would not be eating; it’s such a delightfully guilty pleasure! And who can resist something with the word “chocolate” three times in it’s name?

If the name of something can effect everything from your reaction to a play to the rate of enjoyment that you get from eating at a certain restaurant and ordering particular foods, then it’s got to be pretty damn powerful. I think the next time I bake something I’ll have to come up with some outrageous name for it to make it appear that much more classy and entice people to try it. Who knows, maybe it’ll appear even tastier!