We want to share all the stuff with you - writings, musings, insights, moves, recipes, tips, hugs, etc. Stuff!

moon moves moods // october 24th full moon in taurus


Full Moon in Taurus October 24th

Full Moons bring resolution, completion and results. It is an ideal time to exercise emotional releasing & letting go. 

This Hunter Full Moon in Taurus could illuminate where and how we hold firmly to our sense of self, worth, values and beliefs. As this Moon conjuncts Uranus in Taurus, there could be sudden surprises that bring new insight to things we didn’t realize we were so unwaveringly attached to. 

As the Moon opposes the Sun, freshly in Scorpio and Venus Retrograde in Scorpio, ideas around possessing vs. sharing could also be in focus. We could either get sucked into fears of the unknown and over-take to satisfy a false sense of security or we could encourage ourselves to venture out of comfort zones. 

Self-love is so important because the way we treat ourselves extends to the way we treat others. Knowing our limits helps others to be aware of and *hopefully* respect the boundaries. And when we can forgive ourselves for not knowing better, we can forgive others too. 

This lunation, may we let go of the expectations we build around ourselves and others. May we allow ourselves to slow down, live moment to moment in full range of emotions, *knowing* we have the resiliency to get through it all. 

Charlie is a visual artist, RMMTT student and energetic practitioner. She is reiki certified and uses the aid of oracle cards and crystals.

Learn more about Charlie's practices or book a session.

For more transit-astrology forecasts and collages, follow Charlie on Instagram.

Watch for an online shop coming soon! 

Root to Bloom


photo by oh sierra

The Root to Bloom Tote // A community collaboration between people bringing their work together to raise awareness of poor living&learning conditions on the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory.

Emily and I often find ourselves stewing in settler guilt, brainstorming ways we can get loud about the need for change in our country’s treatment (and disregard) of our indigenous peoples’ well-being. A mere 40min from where we live in Hamilton, the residents of the Six Nations reserve DON’T HAVE RUNNING DRINKING WATER.

Knowing this is a giant issue that seems too big to tackle, I called the Six Nations council and asked them how I could help. They encouraged me to support an immersion school on reserve. Kawenni:io/Gawenni:yo (KGPS) is a private school (bc the gov won’t fund that shit, obviously) that teaches elementary & high school in Cayuga & Mohawk language. This school is dedicated to the resurgence and restoration of their First Nations culture through language. Language is an important key to culture and a link to history.

KGPS is currently renting rooms in a lacrosse arena where there is also no running drinking water. They are hoping to build a new school on land that has potable water service so that they don’t have to ship in bottled water everyday.

We reached out to Jacqui Oakley (who generously illustrated the image of Mama Peonies kissing their baby buds) and Presstime Designs (who prints our Giant Tote) and to our luck they were happy to jump on board. After receiving the first mini-run of totes, we reached out to Oh Sierra Creative to see if they’d help us get the word out. Before I knew it, I was in a car with Xanthe and Frank (of Oh Sierra) driving out to the school to meet them and take pictures of the tote.

It was a quick, but highly emotional trip. It took less than 2 minutes of taking to Linda, the principal, before our hearts started breaking. I dissolved into a sobbing mess, apologizing to her because it’s all so unfair. My privilege. Their generational hardship.


100% of the proceeds from the Root to Bloom Tote are being donated to Kawenni:io/Gaweni:yo Private School.

As settlers on unceded land, we are committed to responding to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action. We want to affirm that indigenous languages are a fundamental and valued element of our culture and society and that the preservation, revitalization, and strengthening of indigenous languages and cultures are best managed by indigenous people and communities.

Creating this tote / buying this tote is a small but accessible gesture, and one that is greatly appreciated by Linda and her team. This tote project is just the tip of the iceberg of the indigenous advocacy we have in the pipes.

Buy a tote. Tell everyone you know to buy a tote. Stay tuned for more: crowd funding, reparation movement classes, fundraising dinners, and who knows what else. Join us.

photos by oh sierra

moon moves moods // october 8th new moon in libra


Out of the Monkey Mind and Into Inspiration with the New Moon in Libra October 8th

Libra is a sign that strives for harmony and balance, but can struggle with indecisiveness and overwhelm because of the conflicting pros and cons to a situation. This New Moon in Libra wants to inspire us to drop our analytical intellect and to tune in and make decisions from our intuition.

With a quincunx - a 150 degree point of planet separation that suggests a need for extreme astrological multi-tasking to dreamy Neptune, there will be help to inspire our imagination. To benefit from this energy, we have to be willing to engage in the mystery of a process and have faith in our fantasy.

The challenging square to Pluto that this Moon will also be making suggests there is a risk in over-rationalizing and not being able to accept plot twists. We could be tested to stay in our centre. Silence the over-powering voices that talk you out of your feelings. Are they really valid or do they make you suppress your innate nature? 

We know the truth of ourself better than anybody else. While there are others who can help guide and influence, we are responsible for creating the internal balance we need to be able to relate. 

May this Moon bring you insight into the being you want to become so you may strive for it with honest expression.

Charlie is a visual artist, RMMTT student and energetic practitioner. She is reiki certified and uses the aid of oracle cards and crystals.

Learn more about Charlie's practices or book a session.

For more transit-astrology forecasts and collages, follow Charlie on Instagram.

Watch for an online shop coming soon! 

For the Love of Lavender by Jessica La Grassa


I have a confession to make: I adore lavender. In fact, maybe adore isn’t the right word. I LOVE it! You know how some people need to stop and say “hi” or pet a dog that they pass on the street? Well, I need to smell lavender. Every. Single. Time. I pass it. Like a magnet I gravitate towards it and don’t even realize I’m doing so until it’s too late – my head and hands are already in the shrub. I’m almost positive that if you live in Hamilton and have lavender growing in your front yard, close to the curb or sidewalk, I’ve stopped to smell it. I’ve been caught once or twice, which probably embarrasses my husband more than me, but I simply give a big a smile and holler, “it’s lovely!” I find the smell intoxicating and immediately feel calm afterwards. Why is that? Let’s explore lavender together.

Lavender has many different known species but the most widely cultivated one is Lavandula angustifolia (formerly known as Lavendula officinalis). It’s originally from France and is part of the Labiatae botanical family, which includes herbs such as basil, peppermint, thyme and rosemary. To extract the aromatic essence, the flowering tops are distilled using heat or steam. This process sees the plant cells break down and the oils release as vapour. The vapour is then cooled, so it can return to liquid form, and the oils collected.

The term “aromatherapy” was coined in 1928 by a French chemist named René-Maurice Gattefossé who trained as a chemical engineer and worked in his family’s perfumery business. In the 1920s he investigated the antiseptic and therapeutic properties of essential oils and re-discovered lavender (thanks in part to a chemical accident that left a burn on his hand that he was able to eventually heal with lavender essential oil)…and for that I have a lot to thank him for. You see, even though essential oils were used for centuries before (especially by the Egyptians), Gattefossé’s research helped bring a renewal and structure to the contemporary discipline and lavender was one of his favourites, writing several articles on the subject. Thanks to his research, and many others, we now know how incredible and extremely versatile lavender can be. It can have a cooling or warming effect on the body, is cleansing and detoxifying yet soothing and calming. No other essential oil can perform such contradictory functions. It’s almost as if it adapts to what the body needs and complements the benefits of almost any other essential oil in a blend. Do you see why I love it so much?

The ways in which we can use lavender in our daily lives are endless but I’d like to highlight a couple that I’ve found useful over the past years: a dry shampoo and carpet/mattress cleaner.

Lavender Dry Shampoo

For the dry shampoo use an old spice jar that’s been sterilized (either through the dishwasher or boiled), as you’ll want something with a perforated cap to help shake the mixture into your hands without releasing too much. These will usually hold 50 ml so the following is assuming this measurement; please adjust accordingly depending on your jar size. For light coloured hair mix 3 tablespoons of arrowroot powder, 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 5 drops of lavender essential oil in a bowl. For darker coloured hair mix equal parts arrowroot powder and cocoa powder (approx. 1.5 tablespoons of each), 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 5 drops of lavender. Mix well then transfer to your spice jar. To use, just sprinkle a few shakes into your hands first or directly onto your roots and blend using your fingers, gently massaging it into the scalp. The antibacterial and antiseptic properties of lavender shine here. In conjunction with the powders, they fight the excess oils without harming the balance of your hair or the use of nasty chemicals. Perfect for post-workout drinks with friends or a little boost between washes.

Lavender Carpet/Mattress Cleaner

The carpet and mattress cleaner is quite simple but extremely effective. Simply mix 2 cups of baking soda with 20 drops of lavender essential oil. Place the mixture into a jar and sprinkle directly onto your mattress and/or carpet. Let it sit for 1-2 hours then vacuum it up (you might have to do this twice) and voila, your mattress and/or carpet are cleaned and smelling great. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer so works well here with the detoxifying properties of lavender.

In the Bath

Finally, another great and easy way to bring essential oils into your life is to add them to your bath as they have a profound effect on the body, both physiologically and psychologically. However, please note that essential oils do not naturally blend in water so you’ll need to give the water a little swish before getting in. The water shouldn’t be too hot and you should not exceed 5-7 drops for a full body bath. Here are some great combos using lavender essential oil:

  1. For cramps: Place 1 cup of Epsom salt in the tub while it’s filling up. Then, once it’s filled and the water is turned off, mix in 4 drops of lavender essential oil, 2 drops of geranium essential oil and 1 drop of cypress essential oil.

  2. For insomnia: Place 3 drops of lavender essential oil and 3 drops of chamomile (German or Roman) in a filled bath with the water turned off.

  3. For relaxation: try the Ritual Island bath soak that includes Epsom salt, lavender, ylang ylang and eucalyptus.

How do you use lavender essential oil in your life? Share your experiences with us using #RitualFlowerPower


Jessica La Grassa is a transplant Hamiltonian and a certified Aromatologist who enjoys sharing her knowledge and green living recipes with others.

Have any questions about this article or an essential oil you’d like me to discuss? Email: or reach out on social media @jessicalagrassa

moon moves moods // september 24th full moon in aries


Full Moon in Aries September 24th

Aries wants to forge ahead, no matter the cost - but as this Lunar position opposes the Sun in Libra, balancing our self-interests within our most personal relationships and other partnerships will be the key to emotional fulfilment. 

Whereas Libra strives for harmony and shies away from conflict, Aries brings intensity and confrontation. Try to think of emotionally charged exchanges as an opportunity to see parts of yourself that you are not usually conscious of. The true work however, is being able to apply what is learnt for the better.

As we set the intention to release with the Full Moon, bring attention to where you fear everything will fall apart if you are not in control. Yes, we are the masters of our lives, but we are influenced by external circumstances. Being aware of the context empowers us to be able to find our place and work toward our goals with peace and cooperation in mind. 

Persevering through emotionally turbulent times is what builds trust and intimacy - a vulnerable connection we yearn for. We could all use a little more tenderness. 

With this lunar event, may we find the heat to keep our passions burning.

Charlie is a visual artist, RMMTT student and energetic practitioner. She is reiki certified and uses the aid of oracle cards and crystals.

Learn more about Charlie's practices or book a session.

For more transit-astrology forecasts and collages, follow Charlie on Instagram.

Watch for an online shop coming soon! 

make your own: chia overnight oats


Are you ready?

This might be the simplest, fastest, most satisfying breakfast you’ll ever eat.

I’ve fallen off the chia pudding train the last couple of months because for me it’s more of a comforting cold weather meal. A meal for times when you wake up at 7am and don’t leave your bed for an hour because it’s so warm in the blankets and so cold out of them so why would you? And then you hop in for a quick shower, throw on a sweater and run out the door without time for egg scrambling or smoothie blending.


You made them the night before in a mere FIVE MINUTES and by some magic they’re perfectly set and ready to eat straight from the mason jar you made it in by morning.

I love this breakfast because it covers all your bases: protein and fibre with the chia seeds (you can add some ground flax if you’re an overachiever in the fibre department like I am), healthy mood-boosting fats and protein like nut butter, and satiating carbs from the oats. You’ll be full, get in your morning BM, and feel energized through your morning like the rockstar you are.



½ cup almond milk (store bought or homemade)

½ cup rolled oats

1 tbsp chia seeds

1-1000 tbsp nut butter of choice (I go almond or peanut)

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp honey

Optional last minute stir-ins:

Cocoa nibs



Nuts and seeds

Spirulina powder


Put all ingredients in a 500ml mason jar, stir well, twist on the lid and leave in the fridge overnight.

Wake up, add any last minute stir-ins, and head out into the world with your mason jar and spoon in hand like:


Michelle is an RMMTT student and Holistic Nutritionist (CNP) with a focus on digestive health and learning to love the body you're in through intuitive eating and self love over dieting, always. 

Michelle currently sees clients at Inland Island Wellness Centre. Contact her for more info on her practice or to book an appointment.
// @movewithguts

moon moves moods // september 9th new moon in virgo

  Original artwork by Charlie

Original artwork by Charlie

New Moon in Virgo September 9th

Earthbound with the New Moon in Virgo & Venus in Scorpio September 9th

As the Sun and Moon oppose Neptune in Pisces, this New Moon in Virgo is about synthesizing our dreams with our reality. 

Virgo brings the analytical side to what we want to create and takes into consideration the practical, day to day responsibilities that are required to manifest.

Venus moving into Scorpio the same day speaks of what we want and how we want to feel vs. what we can have. Jupiter in Scorpio will sextile (make a harmonious aspect to) this Moon, suggesting that we can stretch beyond, manage & accept what needs to be done in the material world when we see the bigger picture/broader vision. 

As we go internally with the dark of the Moon, set the intention to soften judgement. Practice encouraging affirmations to tame the internal + external critic. Allow space and time to pivot away from pessimistic attitudes that hold back the ability to participate, show up, and work toward goals and desires.

Charlie is a visual artist, RMMTT student and energetic practitioner. She is reiki certified and uses the aid of oracle cards and crystals.

Learn more about Charlie's practices or book a session.

For more transit-astrology forecasts and collages, follow Charlie on Instagram.
// @changeable_charlie

Watch for an online shop coming soon! 

an easy way to think about meals by michelle cordeiro, cnp


As a nutritionist, I often get asked what we’re supposed to be eating amongst all the conflicting health information out there. I believe this question can stem from feeling out of control around food, so we go looking for food rules that will make it easier to ‘stay on track’. Whether on track means of a diet, lifestyle, goals, weight loss, or whatever else, it's often a tool to further restrict how we eat.

But really, I can’t, and never will, tell you exactly what to eat for each meal. Because only you truly know the answer to that, and I promise promise promise that you do know the answer. Ignoring your hunger signals or cravings means ignoring what your body needs as fuel. So listen to them!

In terms of ensuring your meals are well balanced and full of enough nutrients to make you feel ah-mazing, there is a small formula that I often pass onto clients. While I never believe in rigid rules around food, this formula helps to ensure that your meals are:

  1. Filling you up!

  2. Giving you energy!

  3. Helping you recover from movement!

  4. Satisfying cravings that arise from deficiencies!

I often stick to this when it comes to my main meals because I just feel better when I do, and it’s very very simple. Just try to incorporate each of the following onto your plate or into your smoothie:


Such as: meats, eggs, beans, legumes, tempeh, etc

Protein is a must for muscle recovery and fuelling after a sweat sesh because of its integral part in a whole wack of metabolic processes. Without it, you may find that your blood sugar is imbalanced, you’re intensely craving something sweet after a meal or you’re just realllllyyy tired. I used to make big lettuce, cucumber and tomato salads for dinner thinking I was being 'good', but then wonder why I was dying for ice cream an hour later. It was because my meals would lack protein (or any real sustenance) and my body would be screaming for sugar soon afterwards to fill in that gap. Beyond this, protein rich foods are very filling, so you’ll feel satiated for longer periods of time. Which brings me to...


Such as: oils, avocados, nuts, seeds, ghee, nut butters, etc

I could go on and on about how annoying I find low-fat products (THAT ARE JUST FULL OF SUGAR AND ARE HARDER TO DIGEST AND TASTE BLAH AND ARE DESIGNED TO KEEP US THINKING THAT FAT, ON OUR BODY OR IN OUR FOOD, IS BAD FOR US). Soooooooo let’s bring the fat back on our plate, shall we? Because fat is delicious, it’s needed by virtually every cell in our bodies, AND it keeps our brains happy and focused. By eating healthy fats daily, it can help to curb brain fog and reduce signs of depression. Have a big test coming up (hello students, it’s almost September!), then increasing your fat intake can improve memory recall and concentration. So good! So yum! Don’t omit it! Add a minimum of 1-2 tablespoons to your meal in the form of high quality fats and see how you feel.


Such as: kale, spinach, broccoli, sprouts, etc

Load em up, always. But (which is why I put protein and fat at the top of this list), don’t restrict yourself to only leafy greens. A big salad is delicious and full of mighty nutrients sure, but without the fat and protein you’re missing out on a whole lot, and your body will tell you this. But the reason you want to increase your intake is because vegetables contain lots of great nutrients and FIBRE. Fibre for pooping and expelling toxins and feeling fresh. We often don’t get nearly enough fibre (30-35g should be a daily minimum), so I try to focus on incorporating more and more in every meal, however I can.


Such as: potatoes, beans, grains, starchy veg, etc.

Carbohydrates are an important energy and fuel source, but finding carbs that are easily digested by your body is important (not everyone does well with grains, so stay mindful of this!). When you eat carbs your body turns them into simple sugars (glucose) that are used up by your cells for energy. We’ve all heard of carbo-loading by athletes before big events, so if you need some energy prior to a big R&B pilates class, go for the quick energy that carbs can provide (and trust, you’ll need that energy boost mid elevator squats, right ROBIN!?).

Maybe you feel like your meals are pretty sub-par and are tempted to follow a certain diet or cleanse to get back to your vibrant self. But sometimes the answer is much more simple, and by focusing on incorporating all the things your body needs can leave you feeling strong, focused and in control of your body.

Have questions? As always, don't hesitate to reach out with them!

Michelle is an RMMTT student and Holistic Nutritionist (CNP) with a focus on digestive health and learning to love the body you're in through intuitive eating and self love over dieting, always.

Michelle currently sees clients who wish to improve their relationship with food at Inland Island Wellness Centre. Feel free to contact her with any questions, comments, for more info on her practice or to book a free discovery appointment.

C O N N E C T:


// @movewithguts

moon moves moods // august 26th full moon in pisces

  Original artwork by Charlie

Original artwork by Charlie

Full Moon in Pisces August 26th

Gentleness is the strength behind power with the Full Moon in Pisces August 26th

When we take a leap of faith, the universe acts in mystical and mysterious ways to reward us. 

The influence from Pisces wants to direct the seeds of worth that we planted under the New Moon in Leo toward cosmic and universal consciousness. To a connection that is bigger than just ourself.

The inner saboteur is the voice that talks us out of what we dream of. The Full Moon in Pisces is an opportune time to hear this voice and venture through the fears anyway. Think of what/who needs to be confronted, forgiven and released. Where can you surrender to give more of yourself to what is trying to come into your world? 

When it’s a struggle to feel good about yourself, believe in magic. The all-loving power of compassion carries and supports us completely. Even after failing and falling, with faith, we can get back up again.  And again. And again. 

Charlie is a visual artist, RMMTT student and energetic practitioner. She is reiki certified and uses the aid of oracle cards and crystals.

Learn more about Charlie's practices or book a session.

For more transit-astrology forecasts and collages, follow Charlie on Instagram.
// @changeable_charlie

Watch for an online shop coming soon! 

ditching diet culture by michelle cordeiro, cnp


There was a period of my life where the words “21 Day Fix” or “Two Day Cleanse” felt like the answer to all my problems (I’ve done both). And why wouldn’t they be? These programs had all the makings of what I wanted in a diet: a quick timeline and a reassuring word.


Because I’m broken? Because without weight loss I am something that needs to be changed, reworked or made better? NO. Absolutely not. But it’s hard not to let your mind spiral with the diet industry being the monumentally convincing soul sucker it is.

I recently revisited the website of a program whose workouts I used to do, and found it interesting the things I never picked up on when I assumed this program had my best interests in mind. Workouts where words like ‘tank top arms’, ‘girl weights’ and ‘muffin top’ were thrown around in mockery. And they do this because in order to sell you their programs, they have to ensure you feel like your body has at least one thing to change. One thing that absolutely has nothing (nothing!) to do with your happiness and worth. If this sounds familiar, and you’re thinking of starting a workout regime or online program, ask yourself some questions first:

Is weight loss the main goal of this program?

Does this program express an importance in restricting certain foods?

Does this program dictate the amount of food I eat?

Is there a schedule outlined for when I should be eating (ex. No food after 7pm)?

Are diverse body types represented in their advertising?

In answering these questions focus on how it makes you feel. If you’re feeling shamed, punished, restricted or uncomfortable from a programs choice of words, images or rules, this is a sign that the program is not in your best interest. And, just like when it comes to the foods we eat, there’s no one form of exercise that is best for everyone.

Diet culture will often use pictures of young, thin, beautiful people to showcase the workouts, meal plans and testimonials as a tactic to keep you thinking that thin is a valuable goal. The milestones and tracking sheets will pertain to measurements and weight loss rather than emotions and body feels.

BODY FEELS! Because it's far more important to feel good in your body over looking a certain way in your body.

So get angry! If you’ve found yourself buying into these tactics you should not feel ashamed but betrayed. How dare companies use their wide reach and large marketing budgets to bully us into feeling less worthy because of the size of our jeans, only to sell us diets created to make us feel worse.

And truly, rejecting diet culture is the first step to moving on from feeling out of control and guilty around food. The first step to adopting a more intuitive eating lifestyle where you create the rules. A lifestyle where you eat when you’re hungry and eat what you’re hungry for without the guilt. Never again will a summer BBQ be wasted or day at the beach rained on by poor body image fuelled from diet culture bullshit.

And because I realize this post was a bit ranty (this stuff fires me up!)’s a little feel good food I've been in love with lately: Organic Medjool Dates (worth the price, promise) + Nut Butter + Almonds. 

Michelle is an RMMTT student and Holistic Nutritionist (CNP) with a focus on digestive health and learning to love the body you're in through intuitive eating and self love over dieting, always.

Michelle currently sees clients who wish to improve their relationship with food at Inland Island Wellness Centre. Feel free to contact her with any questions, comments, for more info on her practice or to book a free discovery appointment.

C O N N E C T:


// @movewithguts

finding mindful movement during rigid training by michelle cordeiro, cnp


Marathon training is funny.

I spend a lot of focus on exploring movement practices that my body craves, yet I’ve jumped into something that has an intense schedule of pinpointing how (and how long) I move each day. It might be a little hypocritical.

Let’s look at last week for example: Missing two of my three training runs and therefore setting myself up for a gruelling week this week is not where I wanted to be. And while I have a million excuses it comes down to the fact that I don’t always want to run for a couple hours. It’s hot, recovery can take time and my knees don’t always love it. And normally this would be totally fine and I simply wouldn’t run that much.

But I have a goal, I’ve signed up, and if I want to feel strong throughout the 42km race in November there’s a lot more commitment needed over here.

But it does make me think: where does mindful movement end and goal crushing begin? Can simply focusing on my end goal be enough to make my body crave longs runs?

So throughout this (less than perfect) training I’m working through, I’ve been trying to steer my focus towards the end goal, the ‘why’, rather than solely on what I feel like doing in the moment. Do you feel me?

We’ve all felt the magical afterglow from pushing ourselves off the couch and out the door to do something - whether it’s a run, a walk, a class or a ride - the afterglow that just feels so good. Which is a testament to the fact that mindful movement is beyond just what you mentally feel like doing in the moment, and instead can include looking into how you’ll feel during and after it. Sometimes we might need the push, even though it’s not what we’re feeling in the moment, to allow ourselves to move forward and become the goal crushers we were born to be.

And I’ve realized that there can still be mindful movement in an intense training schedule. The mindful movement never fully ends because I’m constantly faced with tuning into my body to see where I’m at. How are my energy levels? What did I fuel my body with today? How much sleep did I get? What other kind of movement have I done this week? All these questions, whose answers I find in the really rough runs or days where I recognize I need rest, keep the mindfulness in my movement.

Because training schedule or no training schedule, race or no race, if you don’t tune into what’s up with your body during everything you do, injury and burnout are much more likely.

So find your ‘why’ and use that as a push. Pre marathon training Michelle used the mental boost found through outdoor movement or flowing with community as her why. Right now, however, it’s more strength, endurance and not peeing myself during the race focused. Not bad goals.

Michelle is an RMMTT student and Holistic Nutritionist (CNP) with a focus on digestive health and learning to love the body you're in through intuitive eating and self love over dieting, always.

Michelle currently sees clients at Inland Island Wellness Centre. Contact her for more info on her practice or to book an appointment.


// @movewithguts

Reclaiming My Health with Help by Morgan MacDonald


When I read Michelle Cordeiro's piece Shifting Body Perspective: Strong is Not a Look, I was reminded of the struggles many of us face with food and our bodies. I felt validated in the serious self-work I have been doing this year. In 2018, I took the plunge and dedicated all of my energy towards recovering from an eating disorder that I’ve been struggling with for 14 years.

With the help of medical professionals, I have been working towards normalizing my eating, learning healthier strategies to cope with stress/anxiety/depression and accepting my body as it is. Easy enough, right?

After spending years in a constant cycle, restricting-binging, striving to look a certain way to feel love for myself, my body said no more. I was unable to keep up with the demands of life because of my illness and with the support of my family, sought out professional help.

The first step was getting a referral to an outpatient program for adults. In Hamilton, the nearest option is St. Joseph’s Eating Disorder Program. The wait-list can take as long as six months, but I was fortunate enough to get a call after two months.

In February, I entered a 25-week long group called “Making Changes,” offering Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to adults with Eating Disorders. The group is run by a team of professionals who have devoted their careers to the research and treatment of Eating Disorders. This team includes a psychiatrist, psychologists, nurse practitioner and dieticians. We met with the team weekly and learned how to introduce change into our lives - that would support our recovery. Words cannot describe the growth that took place over those 25 weeks.

During the months that I was waiting to hear from St. Joe’s, I decided I needed to reach out to other resources in the city that may be supportive. I came across Body Brave, a non-profit founded by Sonia Seguin, a strong woman who recovered from an eating disorder, and her mother, Dr. Karen Trollope. Body Brave offers affordable services and workshops for individuals struggling with eating disorders and body image issues. The atmosphere is warm and comforting and their approach to helping others is sensitive and compassionate.

If you think you or someone you know is struggling but are not ready to take the outpatient approach, I highly recommend checking out Body Brave! You can chat with Sonia and find out how they may suit your needs; check out a workshop or sign up for a body-positive yoga class. Body Brave offers workshops on topics ranging from mindfulness, to beginning the stages of recovery, to maintaining recovery, body image, etc. Service fees are very accessible (either OHIP-covered, PWYC, or minimal to cover basic costs). Through Body Brave, I have met some beautiful souls who I now think of as dear friends (one of whom is now my lovable new roommate).

Another aspect of my recovery was finding exercise that is meaningful and not punishing. After years of over-exercising, I developed joint issues and coupled with years of restriction, I developed osteoporosis (that’s right - osteoporosis at 29 years old…). I realized that I needed to change the way I approached exercise to protect my body from further harm. That’s when I discovered the Ritual Movement Method. I came to one of Robin’s R&B Pilates classes at Sous Bas and was hooked. With a sexy playlist, a challenging-yet-playful practice and Robin’s sense of humour, I felt like I finally found a sustainable and fun form of exercise (who knew such a thing existed?!). ‘Sayonara’ Stairmaster, ‘hellooo’ Elevator Clammies...

I am forever grateful for my family, St. Joe’s, Body Brave, and R&B Pilates for helping me through a difficult point in my journey and I definitely feel like there is still more work for me. Recovery is long road and right now, I am especially feeling the icky feelings of poor body image with the weight restoration (in my case, weight gain) that came with normalized eating. These feelings, of course, are magnified in these hot summer months, during wedding and vacation season, in the age of social media, in a Western culture that is becoming more and more “health” conscious…

I am about to begin the next chapter with St. Joe’s, a group titled “Body Image” for these exact feelings so stay tuned…

If you or anyone you know is suffering from disordered eating, feel free to check out the resources that I found helpful.  The process of recovery is not a “one-size fits all” method (no pun intended) and what helped me may not help everyone, but I can confidently say that recovery requires making changes and change helps with the support of others.

Check out:

St. Joseph’s Eating Disorder Program:

Body Brave Website:

National Eating Disorder Recovery Centre:

About Morgan MacDonald:

Morgan works in administration at McMaster University. Taking a leave of absence to focus on recovery, she has been focussed on connecting with people in the community to help with the healing process. She is currently developing a clothing line with her mother, Carol Davies, an experienced fashion designer. Their brand, Metta Made in Hamilton, creates high-quality, comfortable “wellness wear” made from sustainable fabrics. Keep your eyes peeled for Metta Made in Hamilton’s launch of a new line this Fall which will focus on creating size-inclusive, age-inclusive capsule pieces that aims to make everybody look good and feel good.

If you have visions of what you would hope to see in a size-inclusive clothing line/any challenges you experience shopping for clothing, please reach out because we would love to hear your input!



IG: @mettamadehamont


Embracing Essential Oils, starting with Sweet Orange by Jessica La Grassa


Hello there! I want to talk essential oils with you. My name is Jessica La Grassa; I’m a transplant Hamiltonian and a certified Aromatologist. I do not perform bodywork, such as massages and facials, but I have a deep understanding of the theory and practical use of aromatherapy. About 5 years ago, after reading No More Dirty Looks, I became obsessed with purging my house of products that were filled with chemicals. I had never noticed before how many synthetic ingredients were in EVERYTHING. “What’s diethanolamine and formaldehyde?” I’d yell to no one in particular. “Those don’t sound natural!” Shortly after being horrified by the traditional beauty industry I turned to essential oils and, with my husband as my guinea pig, I was determined to change the way that we lived. That’s when I decided to learn more. I wanted to concentrate on the healing properties of the oils and how best to use them in my life, not just what smelled nice. I found Jan Benham and The Institute of Aromatherapy by chance and never looked back. She gave me a strong foundation and understanding of how powerful and healing Mother Nature can be.

Originally, my intent was simply to help safeguard my family. But now, as my passion has grown, I’d like to share this knowledge with all of you! Each month I’ll be talking about a specific essential oil, providing some info and easy recipes for how you can incorporate them into your everyday life. By providing this, I hope to help you make educated choices for you and your loved ones too.

Before we start, please note the following:

  • Essential oils should never be applied directly to the skin. Always use a carrier oil for this.

  • Essential oils are powerful concentrates of the oils found in flowers, herbs, resins or spices so a little goes a long way.

  • I do not agree with ingesting essential oils and will strictly be providing topical recipes.

  • I will point out if any of the recipes are unsafe for expectant mothers and/or those who are breastfeeding.

  • I’ll be looking at ways we can use essential oils not just on ourselves but also in our homes.

  • I’m not affiliated with any company or brand but do recommend using 100% pure (not blended) and organic essential oils whenever possible.

I thought we could start with something that most of us have around the house, especially this time of year, and enjoy eating: oranges.

Sweet orange, with the Latin name citrus sinensisis, is part of the Rutaceae Citrus family. This botanical family includes other citrus fruit such as lime, lemon, bergamot, grapefruit, mandarin and neroli. The general therapeutic properties include: detoxifying, cleansing (especially for the digestive system) and stimulating (both uplifting and rejuvenating). The oils are taken from the peel or zest of the fruit and the extraction method typically used is called expression. This involves pressing the peels between two pieces of wood, one of which would have a sponge that catches the released oils. The oils are then collected from the sponge by wringing it out. Sounds like a lot of work, right? That’s why essential oils can vary in price. The quality of the raw materials and the method used will dictate how much the oil is worth.

Luckily for us, I want to extract the oil from the peels a different way and use it to make a wonderful surface cleaner that’s great for disinfecting countertops and yoga mats. Simply save up all your citrus peels (from oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, pomelos, etc.) until you have a jar’s worth. Any jar with a sealable lid can be used; Mason jars are the easiest and cheapest option. You can leave the peels in a paper bag in the freezer until you’ve collected enough. Once you have enough to fill the jar, pack them in as tightly as possible and cover them with white vinegar, apple vinegar or a combo of the two. Place a piece of parchment paper over the top before placing the lid on and sealing it shut. The parchment paper will stop the vinegar from eroding the lid’s rubber seal (especially if you’re using a typical Mason jar) so you can use it again. Let the peels sit in the vinegar for a few weeks (1-4 weeks). Over time the oils from the peels with infuse the vinegar. This type of extraction, known as maceration, is typically done with either water or oil, but for our purposes here (to create a cleaning solution) works perfectly as we’re not putting it on our bodies. After the peels have soaked for 1-4 weeks, drain the liquid into a glass spray bottle and top it off with equal parts water (we’re using a 1:1 ratio here). The soaked peels can go into the compost, although if you have a backyard one it’s best to send them to the city as they will change the acidy balance of your soil mix. You can use the mixture as is or put a few more drop of essential oils in. Some of my favourites to include are: 5-6 drops lemongrass, rosemary, sweet basil or peppermint, all of which are antiseptic, antibacterial, and nicely complement the oils and benefits extracted from the peels. Feel free to use more than one of the essential oils but not more than 2 or 4 drops each. That’s it!

Have a diffuser? Why not try these sweet orange combos:

  1. 6 drops of sweet orange essential oil and 4 drops of cinnamon essential oil to create a warm and calming environment, perfect for colder weather (dare I say winter?).

  2. 5 drops of sweet orange essential oil, 3 drops of peppermint essential oil and 2 drops of lemon essential oil to create a refreshing and uplifting environment, perfect for summer.

Have any questions about this article or an essential oil you’d like me to discuss? Email me:


Share your experiences using sweet orange essential oil with us using #RitualFlowerPower


Ritualize Attention by Lisa Gayhart

time is precious

I was supposed to write this blog post a couple weeks ago. I had it on my to do list, I was thinking about the content, and I really wanted to get started. And yet, even with a week of vacation, I didn’t complete it by my self imposed deadline. Why?

We’re not prioritizing the work that matters to us. We’re lost in shallow work. Shallow work: emails, scrolling, messaging, tidying, making appointments, laundry. All the administrative stuff of life and work that must get done but will never be totally complete. Shallow work not only eats away at your productive hours, but also dilutes our attention and focus leaving us spent but probably not fulfilled.

We all know the feeling of getting lost in work we really love: time flies by, hours lost to the task. We come out the other side energized, excited, and accomplished. This is deep work. (I can’t do the concept of deep work justice in one blog post. Go read Cal Newport’s book Deep Work for the full story.) Even without much discussion, I bet hearing the term triggers thoughts of the work that gives you life, that lights you up. This work doesn’t have to be a solely an individual pursuit or relegated to office/study hours. Community building, parenting, training for a race, planning a trip: these things all take the full care and attention of your focused, thinking mind.

How can we combat shallow work and carve out more time for the work that matters to us: ritualize.

Setting one intention and making space for it daily fosters focus as a habit, setting us up for sustainable success. Some ideas to ritualize attention:

  • Do the most important task first, while attention and creativity are high
  • Make tomorrow’s to do list at the end of each day in order to start the next day smoothly and offer opportunity for reflection
  • Complete creative work in an uninterrupted block of time, ideally the same time slot each day
  • Use the pomodoro technique of breaking work into 25 minute chunks
  • Set aside time at the beginning of the week for planning and time at the end of the week for review
  • Determine and enact your “do not disturb” mode: e.g. a specific place like a quiet office or a buzzing coffee shop; music or white noise; no wifi or notifications off; etc.
  • Schedule specific, time-limited, blocks for email, Insta scrolling, and internet browsing

For me, my deep work is research and writing. It’s hard work to dive into: I have to be in the right state of mind, in the right location, with the right tools or it just doesn’t flow. Or maybe that’s just a story I tell myself to obtain permission to slide into my Instagram feed on the train instead of tapping out 50 words in the Notes app? Most likely the latter.

During August I’m ritualizing my focus by scheduling creative time in the morning before I get distracted and exhausted by the day. Whether it’s 50 words or 500, I’m calling it a win. How about you?

Let’s share our thoughts and experiences on Instagram at #ritualattention, through this site, or in class. But not in real time - enjoy the moments. xoxo


Lisa Gayhart works in higher ed technology as a UX researcher, academic librarian, and instructor. She’s currently researching digital wellness, in hopes of helping university students cultivate healthier relationships with technology and devices. Lisa is also a Ritual Movement Method Teacher Training student with Ritual Island. She’ll be moving you away from your devices and into your bodies SOON.


moon moves moods // august 11th new moon in leo

  Original artwork by Charlie

Original artwork by Charlie

New Moon in Leo August 11th

The World is Yours with the New Moon and Total Solar Eclipse in Leo August 11

When you come from a place of pure inspired action, you are connecting with your heart space. It is intimidating to show up and fully be yourself because it can leave you vulnerable to circumstances outside of your control. But there is also great reward in dropping inhibitions and going for what you want. 

Thankfully, Leo’s energy brings us courage, strength, persistence and creativity to search our souls, honour our feelings, and take the necessary actions to implement more of it. 

In the dark of the moon, we can’t fully see what seeds of intention we are planting. If we take this time to listen to our internal dialogue, we will discover that whatever is in focus now will be a point of lift off in which we will be working with until next eclipse season in January, 2019. 

This means we will have time to experiment, create, explore, research, try, fail, and try again. We are all children of the universe, always growing, learning and evolving. 

Keep things light


Charlie is a visual artist, RMMTT student and energetic practitioner. She is reiki certified and uses the aid of oracle cards and crystals.

Learn more about Charlie's practices or book a session.

For more transit-astrology forecasts and collages, follow Charlie on Instagram.
// @changeable_charlie

Watch for an online shop coming soon! 

mindful ways to boost your energy by michelle cordeiro, cnp


I've been going through a slump of feeling quite lethargic lately. I always find that this kind of thing sneaks up on me gradually until I eventually realize that I've been purposely planning my day so I can sneak in an afternoon nap. DO YOU FEEL ME!?

And while I LOVE a good nap sesh, what I don't love is having to rely on it to get through my day without snapping like a sleepy child. But when this happens, it's often a good clue that I need to change things up and figure out how to boost my energy levels back up. And this often isn't hard, as just stepping back and looking into my lifestyle is enough to figure out why I've been so tired and what I can do differently.

Maybe you can relate? And if so, ask yourself these questions:


This is an important one, and something that took me way too long to realize about myself: I'm an introvert.

What I didn't realize (especially in my early 20's) is that being introverted doesn't mean that you don't like being around people, or that you're not a social human. The distinction comes from where you get your energy from:

Do you feel refreshed and energized from socializing or spending a day surrounded by people?


Does time spent by yourself leave you feeling renewed and back to normal.

For me, it's the latter.

Figure out where your energy comes from (I'm sure there's an online quiz for this if Buzzfeed’s your thing), and use that to your advantage. I no longer feel guilty about planning nights alone or  telling my friends that I need to recharge for the day. They get it, and yours will too. Because there's no point in further depleting your energy by showing up to something when you're only really half there and half wishing you were at home with your dog.

Own your introvert/extrovert label. Go out and eat up all the energy from those around you if that's what you need to do OR stay home and go for a solo run. Which brings me to the next question...


Sometimes I get copious amounts of energy from a nice long trail run, and other times it completely wipes me out. Finding what movement you gain energy from is a valuable tool to use towards boosting yourself up. And this movement will often change from day to day, even moment to moment, so exploring all the different ways to move and seeing where you end up is a great tool.

Sometimes a quick walk in the sunshine works wonders, sometimes you need to sweat everything out in a class, sometimes you want gooey yin yoga stretches to reset...explore, journal about it and be open to changing up your movement routine. Aside from keeping it fresh and interesting, this can also help you to gain insight into what really gets your energy levels up, or what absolutely drains you.

In Hamilton? My favourite energy boosting movements right now are:

  • Runs in the Bruce Trail: I recommend starting on the trail at Main and Wilson, running a good out and back using the trail markers and then finishing up at Fairweather Brewery, just East of the trail's start (trail runs and beer are a match made in heaven, I swear by it).

  • R&B Pilates at SousBas: I will never stop recommending this class, because it GIVES ME THE MOST ENERGY. EVER. Which is sometimes problematic when it ends at 9pm but I love it all the same.

  • Yoga in the Park: In Fine Feather Yoga Studio does a PWYC yoga class in Gage park on Sundays during the summer and it's the best community feels. 10am on a Sunday in the park is where to be!

Find what moves you (literally and figuratively) and go do it. Walk, run, jump, swim, bike, wiggle, whatever!


Follow up question: what foods make you feel bleh? It's nice to think about the foods we eat not in terms of 'good' or 'bad' but rather little acts of self lovin'. Like: "I love myself so I'm going to make sure to find Muskoka Mocha ice cream at the Parry Sound grocery store this weekend", or "I love myself so I'm going to eat more than just Roma Pizza today". Ya know? Food choices that are based on how the food makes your body feel and your mind feel is a great way to gain energy.

And the goods news is that the foods your body needs are often the foods you crave. Thinking mindfully about your cravings rather than labelling them as a weakness or lack of self control can help to bring this into light. Maybe you finish a sweaty workout and are craving a big bag of chips? Your body is probably looking for electrolytes to replenish the salt that you've lost through your sweat, so go for something salty! Craving sugar after you run? You've probably burned through your glycogen stores and need sugars and carbs to replenish what you've lost in energy.

Properly fuelling your body with foods that give you what you need can be the difference between feeling wiped out or energized after meals.

P.S. If anyone knows where I can find Muskoka Mocha closer to Hamilton PLEASE advise.

Michelle is an RMMTT student and Holistic Nutritionist (CNP) with a focus on digestive health and learning to love the body you're in through intuitive eating and self love over dieting, always. 

Michelle currently sees clients at Inland Island Wellness Centre. Contact her for more info on her practice or to book an appointment.
// @movewithguts

a s t r o f o r e c a s t // august 2018

original artwork by stylo starr. prints available for purchase h e r e .

This is the final instalment of the Astroforecasts with Michalina of Attuned Practices. It was super fun while it lasted and we're so grateful for her generous insights. Make sure to follow Attuned Practices on social media or even book readings with Michalina! Stylo will continue to sell the ASTRO prints. If you purchase all five at once, use ASTRO18 to get 20% off. 

August 2018 is a massive shift month, as there is a huge interplay between upheaval energies and maintenance energies. 

First of all, when the month begun, we were all still reverberating from the shockwaves sent by late July’s Eclipse-Full Moon in Aquarius, which challenged us hardcore on our beliefs and what we were willing to do about them. And as opposed to Cancer Season, which we just exited, this particular Leo Season has virtually none of the watery emotional swimming, instead it brings not only passionate Fire, but also the intellectual curiosity of Air and most of all, lots and lots of Earth, symbolizing our foundations, our values, home, and the everyday experience.

This combination of elements makes August an ideal time for making big boy and girl steps. This month is for the bold. August has more Fixed Signs than others, more Retrograde planets than Direct, so there is no escaping how deep and real we get with ourselves about our old and tired patterns, our old stories we tell ourselves and others. We are over it.

In Leo Season, we are brought to address our personal greatness, whether acknowledged or suppressed. And by addressing it, we must act, bravely, from our lion hearts.

Dive in and unpack with Attuned Practices, offering readings, reiki and yoga.
Support Hamilton's own Stylo Starr's art.

moon moves moods // july 27th full moon total eclipse

  Original artwork by Charlie

Original artwork by Charlie

Full Moon Total Eclipse in Aquarius July 27th

Full Moon is illumination time. Total Lunar Eclipse says we can find the light in the darkness. 

Even if you realize you still have a ways to go. Be honest about where you are, right now. Forgive shortcomings as you move forward. 
Don’t accept your limitations as your fate. You can change. You can grow. You can evolve. You can shine. 

The Full Moon lands in the sign of revolutionary Aquarius, opposing the Sun in expressive Leo. The Aquarius polarity dreams of ways to be of service to the collective and the Leo polarity takes the necessary action. They are in balance when they approach with both knowledge and faith. 

In this moment of transition, experiment a little bit. What does it feel like to be uninhibited, unbothered, unashamed? Where, what and with whom do you feel most radiant?  What does your bold self bring to others? This Full Moon will permeate and have ripple effects for several weeks, months even. It is jam packed with adrenaline and energy, so find your outlets. 

The airy element of this Moon brings attention to the realm of our thoughts, hopes and wishes.  Watch your mental process- do not get stuck in worrying about what you lack. Everything is always working out in its own time, but prepare for the unexpected. 

Love. Big time. All around. All the time. 

Charlie is a visual artist, RMMTT student and energetic practitioner. She is reiki certified and uses the aid of oracle cards and crystals.

Learn more about Charlie's practices or book a session.

For more transit-astrology forecasts and collages, follow Charlie on Instagram.
// @changeable_charlie

Watch for an online shop coming soon! 

make your own: sauerkraut by michelle cordeiro, cnp


I'm all about the DIY, especially when it comes to fermented foods that are normally crazy expensive to buy, but crazy delicious to eat. 

We've talked kombucha on this blog before, and if you're interested in making your own check out that post here. But maybe kombucha isn't your thing or you're looking to branch out? Great! Because the feel-good bacteria don't stop there, and can be found in the best sandwich, salad or breakfast topper ever: sauerkraut. 

Not only is homemade sauerkraut much less expensive than store-bought, but in many cases it's also much healthier to eat. 

An easy rule of thumb is to never buy the sauerkraut you find on the shelf if you're looking for the gut-healing benefits. The ones on the shelf are often pasteurized, meaning heat is applied to allow the cabbage to stay fresher for longer. But when we pasteurize fermented foods, we're also killing off the good bacteria that is beneficial for gut health, and therefore removing the health benefits. 

The good bacteria found in properly fermented 'kraut help to keep our BM's regular, our immune system thriving and boosts our energy levels. It does this by taking up space that can otherwise by occupied by the harmful bacteria that suck nutrients away from us and create the perfect environment for illness to arise. 

To ensure you're making a safe batch, clean everything prior to use including your hands. Always try to use a mild, scent free soap to avoid any chemical contamination or contaminants from scented oils (I recommend Dr. Bronner's unscented baby soap for cleaning jars and tools). 

If you DO see mould, discard the entire batch, clean the jar really well, and start the whole process over. It's unfortunate, but it's always better to be on the safe side when fermenting! 


1) BUBBLES: we love bubbles! They show us that there is active fermentation happening and are a sign of a healthy batch. 

2) FILM/FOAM: it's normal to get a thin film collecting at the top of the jar, or to have a collection of foam as well. 

3) VINEGAR-Y SMELL: that's the acetic acid forming, and is 100% normal and welcomed (this is also what makes kombucha smell like old gym socks...), as it is great for our digestion and keeping the ferment free of bad bacteria. 

Now let's get to it: 


1 head of cabbage (you can experiment with different kinds) 

1 tbsp. sea salt 

Mason jar 

1 fermentation weight (or something heavy that fits in the mouth of the jar) 


Slice the cabbage thinly by hand or using a mandoline, and place in a large bowl. Add salt and begin massaging the cabbage with your hands, until you can squeeze out enough of the cabbage juice to cover up the sliced pieces (takes about 10-15 minutes). Slowly, the cabbage will begin to soften and the juices will be pulled out by the salt. 

Once enough juice is extracted to cover, tightly pack the cabbage into your mason jar as firmly as possible. Really pack it in there! Cover completely with the extracted liquid (if there is not enough liquid to cover, you can add a bit of water as necessary). 

Use the fermentation weight, or heavy (clean!!) object to weigh down the cabbage in the jar, keeping it below the liquid. Avoid anything plastic for the weight since it could leach into the jar as the fermentation process creates organic acids that can break down plastic over time. 

Cover the jar with a cloth and secure it with an elastic band. Leave the jar for 2-3 weeks, out of direct sunlight and in an area that stays close to room temperature. 

Keep tasting your batch between the 2-3 week mark until your desired flavour is reached: 

Not strong enough? Let it sit for a few more days. 

Too vinegar-y? Reduce the fermentation time on the next batch. 

Cabbage has just started it's season here in Ontario, so go grab some fresh from the farmer's market and try it for yourself! Get creative with added spices and ingredients based off of this basic recipe and be amazed (or maybe disgusted, some combos just don't work out...) at the unique flavour this ferment can create. 

E N J O Y.

Michelle is an RMMTT student and Holistic Nutritionist (CNP) with a focus on digestive health and learning to love the body you're in through intuition and self love over dieting, always. 

Michelle currently sees clients at Inland Island Wellness Centre. Contact her for more info on her practice or to book an appointment.
// @movewithguts

shifting body perspective: strong is not a look by michelle cordeiro, cnp


I don't know how I could write about anything other than tidbits from the past weekend of Ritual Movement Method Teacher Training. So many lessons. So many feels. This is becoming a common theme with this training month to month I tell ya. 

Something that has stuck with me since, was Jo Gale's message of STRONG IS NOT A LOOK because well, you know, it's not. 

Last week I wrote a post about the damage that restricting certain foods in your diet can do, and I was so moved by the response. Many of you reached out and expressed your support of the message by sharing your own struggles with food. It was really heartwarming to hear how much that post resonated with you, because that means we're slowly starting to shift our minds on what it really means to feel and be well. Let's get rid of the before and after picture #fitspo stuff, and instead make room for more compassion to others AND to ourselves. 

Because we all have our issues with body image or food anxiety to some degree, don't we? So let's speak up about it! 

In my early 20's I started to have some pretty concerning digestive issues that lead me to cut out certain foods from my diet that were doing harm to my body. But even just cutting out those foods, I still felt awful, and would often skip meals in order to ensure that I could get through a shift at work, or a hangout with friends without having to deal with any stomach pain until I was home. 

And I'm the kind of person who gets real hangry when I'm hungry, so it sucked for both me and those around me... 

And as a result of this restriction and elimination I started to lose weight in a very unhealthy way. I felt awful in my body: crampy, bloated and had such little energy to do anything I wanted to. Yet, on the outside, I was told I looked great, fit and thin. Because for some misguided reason, weight loss is almost always seen as a good thing, to be celebrated, to praise someone for. 

And you know what that's saying to that person? That they look great NOW. That before, prior to this weight loss, they didn't look as great. It tells that person that whatever they're doing to lose weight, no matter if it's restricting their food intake, working out excessively or obsessing over their body, they should stick to it, because it's working. 

I had a coworker ask me what my secret was, and when I half-joked that I had cut out most foods from my diet, he told me to stick to it... WHAT!? 


How your body looks does NOT define how you show up. It does not define how many elevator squats you can do at R&B pilates, or how long you can hold plank. It does not define how or when or where you choose to move (or not move) your body or how you TREAT other people, what you mean to other people or how important you are to this beauty planet we're all a part of. 

We are so much more than something as trivial as our looks, which is sometimes clouded by things like the world of social media. So this is a call to stand up and be okay with kindly asking others to shift their observations from the mere shape of your flesh to more important things. It is so inconsequential to who you ARE, so let's shift that focus to what really matters when talking about others and when talking about ourselves. 

I'm gonna end with this quote from Rupi Kaur, because she is SPOT ON with her words: 

“I want to apologize to all the women I have called beautiful
before I’ve called them intelligent or brave
I am sorry I made it sound as though
something as simple as what you’re born with
is all you have to be proud of
when you have broken mountains with your wit
from now on I will say things like
you are resilient, or you are extraordinary
not because I don’t think you’re beautiful
but because I need you to know
you are more than that” 


Michelle is an RMMTT student and Holistic Nutritionist (CNP) with a focus on digestive health and learning to love the body you're in through intuition and self love over dieting, always. 

Michelle currently sees clients at Inland Island Wellness Centre. Contact her for more info on her practice or to book an appointment.
// @movewithguts