It’s the holidays. Some people are going to be idiots and drive drunk. Since 1977, police across Ontario have been trying to stop them by running spot checks as part of the Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere, or RIDE, program—which aims to not only catch drunk drivers, but deter them altogether….
One of the biggest changes that I have made in 2011 has been to what I eat. This was prompted by finding out this summer that I have Lupus (and probably also fibromyalgia - but that’s a story for a different day, and the jury is still out on my official final diagnosis).
People keep telling my new diet is so restrictive. To be honest I don’t feel restricted, I feel liberated. After 2 years of feeling like utter crap almost every single day, I am starting to seeing improvements. Sure, it’s difficult trying to describe to family, and even friends why I have had to do this, and fielding the question 'WHAT CAN YOU EAT?' hundreds of times but my personal experience and anecdotal evidence is enough to make me a believer in a plant-based diet.
I’ve been lacto-ovo vegetarian for 13 years now (since I was 11 years old), but finally took the plunge and cut out dairy several months ago for health reasons. I have occasionally had egg since this shift (mostly as an ingredient in baking , but soon it will also be entirely gone from my diet. I have also cut out all gluten, and cane sugar.
When I look at recipes and in my pantry, I see hundreds of amazing ingredients that I can use: all fruit and vegetables, herbs and spices, nuts and seeds, legumes, sea vegetables, TVP, soy/tofu, alternative grain flours, rice, quinoa, soy, miso, tamari, agave, olive and healthy other cooking oil - the list goes on and on.
I don’t care what anyone else thinks, moving to a mostly-vegan*, g/f, low-glycemic diet is best thing I’ve ever done. (*I do eat honey and will continue to do so, maybe that makes me a bee-gan?) Sure, what I can eat may not conform to the North American standard diet, but I choose to highlight what I can eat, and when you think of all the foods in existence I still can eat tons of things, and for that I am grateful.
Since I have switched to this diet, four out of five of my key Lupus markers have reversed, my energy levels and my sleep cycle have improved, my inflammation and joint pain has been reduced, the frequency and severity of my migraines has decreased. My rheumatologist didn’t believe my blood work when she saw it, but told me to keep doing whatever I’ve been doing.
I have also suffered from chronic insomnia and an EEG sleep disorder for the past 12 years, and I really believe that changing my diet is the only thing that has helped the quality and length of my sleep to improve.
I’m not saying switching my diet is a ‘miracle cure’, my Lupus isn’t remission yet (my goal) and I still have bad days when I feel really crappy, but overall I have seen drastic improvements. I’m a believer, and if continuing to eat like this is what it takes to make me feel my personal best, I will continue to do it.
This past few weeks have been a flurry of activity. I’ve been working a lot, it was my birthday, my coven’s Yule celebration and preparing for all of the holiday insanity that the next week has in store, and finishing the last of my MA course work/submitting my thesis project proposal. That being said, the insanity is only going to continue for the new week or so, so I probably will be a little MIA until 2012 begins.
I lead the Rosa Mystica Yule ritual on Sunday night, but I saw so tired I forgot to take photos - sorry darlings. It was an intimate affair, but we had a fantastic time.
My own Yule altar is very stripped down and minimalist right now, but perhaps I’ll post a photo later.
I just wanted to wish you all a very blessed Yule, and wonderful solstice. Wishing you joy, abundance, good cheer and good health this holiday season & into the new calendar year.
2011 has been a challenging year for me personally, I’ve had a lot of health issues - I was diagnosed with Lupus over the summer and my financial situation has been a bit turbulent (largely due to medical expenses, and also not being able to work as much as I would like to be). Then again, it’s also been filled with many wonderful things (e.g. learning lots in school, doing many burlesque shows, meeting and connecting with new friends, moving into my dream apartment, adopting Serafinacat, my new gig at WonderWorks, formalizing of the coven etc.).
2011 has also been a huge year for magical and spiritual development, I feel like my practice grew in leaps and bounds. I’ve been practicing for about a decade now, about half of that time being seriously practicing but this year I managed to push myself into a new and exciting space, when previously I’ve felt like I had really plateaued.
It may sounds cheesy to say, but I feel this development has largely been because of finding such a fantastic pagan community both here on Tumblr and in my offline life. You are all inspirations to me and push me to better myself, and my learn more. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I really feel this was a year transition, I have high hopes for 2012 - onwards and upwards.
Candy-canes, sugarplums and (vegan) [non-]eggnog kisses,
So I should have been more productive today, but I handed in my thesis project proposal, had an intense/difficult long heart-to-heart with a very close friend, and my brain has been feeling really mushy since I got home, so I’ve been totally vegging out.
I think I really needed a night of playing Skyrim, watching bad t.v. with Lady Sweet (aka the Bo to my Kenzi), soaking in the tub, and cuddling my kittens.
Tomorrow’s epic to do list:
-clean the loft [no small feat]
-triple birthday party prep
-prepare & plan Yule ritual for Sunday eve
-attend party #1
-attend party #2
-possibly cocktails with an old friend before both of the parties that I am obligated to show up at
I can totally pull this all off, right? Lupus Schmupus! I’m determined, this is going to my best birthday weekend EVER.
Facing an event or circumstance, feelings and emotions arise within us, triggering some reaction, sometimes positive, sometime negative. To bring consciousness to how we react, awareness is key. Awareness is witnessing the emotions within us. It opens the space for us to realize and acknowledge what is going within us and to make a conscious choice about the way we truly want to react.
Today, I remain aware of my feelings and emotions. I’ll acknowledge them kindly. Then I’ll choose how I want to respond.
(via) This post in particular is addressed to men, not because women don’t rape and women don’t make/laugh at rape jokes and not because men can’t be raped, but because, by nature of the existing gender disparity, men are in a unique position to be taken seriously when they raise objections to…
Just a quick update to say I received my lovely Yuletide Witch Exchange gifts from witchnymph, and wanted to share them with you all.
She sent me some wooden mala beads, a beautiful handmade poppet (and pouch to store her in), and the stunning Deviant Moon tarot deck. I also received a beautiful postcard with a carousel on it, I like the postcard image so much that I think that I want to frame it. :)
I am planning on blessing/concentrating the deck under the full moon, before I start fully using them. I have been leafing through the book that came with the deck, and choosing a few cards at random and really like the art. I can already tell it is a good fit for me.
The beads and poppet are both meditation tools. Apparently the doll is stuffed with amethyst, feathers and lavender (all things that I adore!)
Thank you so much again, witchnymph for your thoughtful and generous gifts! I hope that you are happy with your goodies as well once the reach you. xoxo
Apologies for the crappy Photobooth images, I’d dead tired and on my way to bed, but wanted to post this before retiring for the evening.
Hey :), I was just wondering (after seeing your witch shop post) what your favourite witch shop in Toronto was?
Hey, thanks for your question! :)
Unfortunately, Toronto lacks a wide selection of occult shops. There used to be the very excellent Wicca Shoppe on Queen East (in the Beach), but they closed many moons ago. I still miss their fantastic incense selection. The owners were a lovely family, who were always charming, kind & never condescending to me as fledgling witch at the tender age of 12. They sold me a copy of The Spiral Dance, and sent me on my way out into the world. Everyone has got to start somewhere, and that store was very much a gateway into my spiritual journey.
I know The Occult Shop is popular, but last time I went in there, I wasn’t a huge fan of the vibe. I’ve been told that they’ve made some changes though, and recently moved locations. I still need to go check out their new (and hopefully improved) digs.
As for my favourite magic store - I’m a bit biased, because I happen to work at WonderWorks, part-time. :) I think we have a pretty decent selection of various witchy wares. Check us out on Tumblr too.
In terms of other witchy/magical type places, I’m also a fan of:
-The Rock Store - has an excellent selection of crystals, good vibes, friendly staff
-International Herbs (in Kensington Market, corner of Kensington/St. Andrew) - sadly they have no website, but cheap loose herbs, and crazy carved candles and incense. If you need a giant candle in the shape of a cat, intertwined lover, or a phallus, this is the place to go.
-Gifts from the Earth, at Carrot Common (Chester/Danforth), another excellent rock store. I think they are affiliated somehow with the new “boutique” rock store at Queen/Spadina, but the one on Danforth has much better prices.
-BMV Books also has one of the best selections of magical books in the city and because they’re over-stock and used, you get really good prices. Check out all three locations (Annex, Queen West, and Elm St. - though arguably, the Annex location has the best selection)
If you know of any others that I should be checking out, please do send them my way!
my rules for life - some things I've learned along the way
1) Like attracts like
2) If you let something happen twice, it will probably happen thrice
3) You are responsible for making your own happiness
4) If someone says they are “pretty certain it’s gluten free”, skip it because it almost definitely has gluten in it and you’ll get a giant tummy ache*
* #4 also applies to “pretty certain it’s vegan” / and almost definitely contains dairy