Breath of Joy

Breath of Joy – Prana Sukha (energy of happiness)

If you find yourself feeling down, struggling with low energy use this breathing exercise to pick yourself up and reconnect with yourself. You may also find yourself low on motivation to go to the gym, team sport, or when rolling out your yoga mat. Breath of joy uses three part rapid breathing and fast movements to find stillness and reconnect with feelings of the body. Breath of joy awakened your whole system by increasing oxygen levels trip was circulatory system and temporarily stimulating then parasympathetic nervous system leaving you calm and focused. This breathing technique can also be used to circulate more prana(energy) and gently stokes agni (digestive fire). The forceful exhalation can slightly detoxify the body and release stagnant tension. As it creates a state of homeostatic balance, breath of joy has been found effective in managing mood, releasing anxiety and inviting a feeling of being refreshed and relaxed. 



-Use of the arms with inhalation encourages deep and full breathing while infusing the body with oxygen

     – First inhalation (arms forward) encourages diaphragmatic breathing

     – Second inhalation (arms to the side) encourages thoracic breathing

     – Third inhalation (arms up) encourages clavicular breathing

-The deep and complete exhalation at the end helps to detoxify the body via the respiratory system

-Strengthen arms and shoulders

-Energizes the whole body

-Will make you smile

Try a practice with the Breath of Joy to Energize, Uplift and Cleanse

To practice breath of joy start standing in Tadasana (mountain pose) with feet parallel and hip width apart; knees slightly bent.

Start by taking three short, rapid inhales and exhales making audible sounds as oxygen fills your lungs


Rapidly inhaling 1/3 of your lung capacity, swing your arms in front you parallel to one another about shoulder width apart with your palms facing up


Follow with your second rapid inhale bringing your arms out to the side; shoulder height; Palms facing Down


The third rapid inhale brings you to your full lung capacity while inhaling float your arms above your head with your palms facing each other


Then open your mouth and exhale completely swinging your arms forward and down past your knees making an audible sound ha or a large sigh as you exhale.

Repeat approximately 10 times, once you start the breathing exercise each breath should flow  easily to the next without strain. Simply close your eyes and be taken up by this peaceful and stimulating rhythm.


On the last round, rest in forward fold knees slightly bent; Palms relaxing towards the earth. Inhaling into the lower back as you exhale feel your body relax. When ready to contract your that I’d abdominal muscles take a deep breath and slowly stack each vertebra on top of each other coming to a straight spine. Returning to mountain pose allowing yourself to observe the new energy flowing in your body. Notice your heartbeat, notice any new sensations in your arms or in your legs. Breathing through your nose feel the breath flowing to all the corners of your body bringing nursing oxygen to every cell.



This practice may not be appropriate for all. If you have a history of High blood pressure migraines glaucoma lower back problems try out a different breath exercise like Nadi Shodhana (alternative nostril breathing) 

Mulled Cider

Do you use spices in your kitchen?

They are a great way to add flavour without added sugars, salts and fillers. In the winter I can’t get enough homemade mulling spices with the cold pressed apple juice we made from our orchard. These warming spices when bought organic and not irradiated are a very beneficial to add our diet.

The Ceylon Cinnamon is loaded with vitamin K and E giving it strong anti-oxidant, antibacterial and antiviral properties. The perfect combination to help avoid the seasonal flu going around or that pesky head cold. Ceylon cinnamon is also known to help balance blood sugars and has been used since 2000BC for joint pain and digestive troubles. The adequate amounts of manganese and calcium can be beneficial to peoples with type 2 diabetes and hypertension. You can add cinnamon to oatmeal, smoothies, or roasted vegetables.

Nutmeg is another component of my mulling spices brings warmth. In Chinese and East Indian cultures it is used as an aphrodisiac. These features are due to the nutrients potassium, manganese and zinc supporting the cardiovascular system. Phytochemical’s in nutmeg also calm the mind while they can also stimulate other parts of the brain acting like an antidepressant. Nutmeg goes well with sweet vegetables or squash, also great with chicken or turkey and curry.


Star Anise is reported to yield a fair amount of Shikimic Acid, which used in medications for treatment of influenza. It is also loaded with the B vitamins; niacin(b3), pyridoxine(b6), pantothenic acid(b5)and riboflavin(b2). B vitamins help with in energy metabolism improving the way oxygen is used by he body. Star anise seed has a sweet licorice-like flavour and can be used to infused soups and stews.


Cloves in small amounts is known to have many beneficial properties. It contains eugenol having local anesthetic and antiseptic properties. Vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin K act as the  anti-inflammatory factors. The cloves properties together increase gut motility and improve gastrointestinal enzyme secretions. Cloves are used in many recipes and taste great with pork brines, seasonal winter drinks and curry’s.


                                                                    I usually make a batch of spices to last me through the season, but not more than that. Spices start to oxidate causing them to lose flavour and nutritional benefits. 

What to look for in the store!

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Though this symbol may look friendly and clean this means the product labeled has been irradiated

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Here in Canada to
avoid pesticides and herbicides grow your own or look for this symbol.

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Support fairtrade farming practice to ensure labor was done with fair pay and work conditions.

Almost all spices on the market, unless specifically stated as “nonirradiated” have undergone a process of ionized radiation in order to increase shelf life and kill any possible bacteria existing on the herb or spice. 


Where they take one of three types of radiation; gamma, x-ray or electron beam and blast away bacteria or insects to extend self life. Except not all bacteria are bad for us, we have now proven that bacteria that there is more bacteria DNA in our Bodies than our own. The radiation also damages the nutrient value of the food rendering somethings useless for our health.

We sourced out a local juice company to cold press 140 pounds of apples and 10 pounds of pears into a rich textured nectar that has been oh so hard to moderate until next harvest. We ended up with about 70 litres of cold press juice full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Once pressed and bottled we froze it to preserve it.



Mulled spices will work in store purchased apple juice if fresh cold pressed juice is not an option. Many also like to make mulled wine for special occasions with a similar recipe of spices. 


                                                  Mulling Spice Recipe 


Yield 15 servings

Total Time: 15 minutes  Prep Time: 5 mintes


8 ceylon cinnamon sticks

6 whole nutmeg

1/3 cup dried orange peel

1/3 cup dried lemon peel

1/3 cup star anise seed

1/4 cup whole clove 

1/4 cup all spice berries

Diced ginger


With a mortar and pestle or ziplock and rolling pin grind up the cinnamon sticks and put into a bowl. After crush and grind up the whole nutmeg, add it to the same bowl. Chop the orange and lemon peel into small pieces. All other spices can remain whole and be mixed in. I store in glass mason jars in my spice cupboard.

Mulling spices are so flexible and can easily be changed by adding and removing other herbs and spices. Don’t be afraid to add in cayenne or peppercorns to your mulling spices for more depth. 




Soil is more than just dirt…the state of our soil impacts everything from human health to climate change.

It’s a New Year

As 2018 has come to an end and we all take a look back on the last year, let’s try to also think of the positive events. It’s a good habit not only to list the things we want to resolve or change in the new year but also list the things and experiences that we are grateful for. 


My immediate thoughts about New Years resolutions are that I don’t like the focus on “I failed last year, here’s to a new start” surrounding the goals we seem to make. I don’t like to focus on the negative; what I did not achieve. I’d like to think that I have only learned how to better succeed the next time I try. And in most cases I will try again.


So this year I changed my mind and tried something new compared to last year while carrying over the things I am still working on. If I had followed suit after looking at my resolutions written for 2018 I would have seen that though I tried for a few weeks to train I did not complete in a triathlon, nor did I run a 10km event race. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great year. 

What I accomplished in 2018!


-I graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition as I Registered Holistic Nutritionist!

-I hiked 30 km of Manning Parks incredible Heather Trail opening weekend with my husband where I injured my Achilles tendon then had to hike 17km with a 35lbs pack and a limp.

-Due to my injury I was able to focus in on my career goals where I planned and launched my new business – Athyrium Wellness, as a health and wellness consultant.

-I got better with communicating in my relationship (still a work in progress)


It was a big year for me, with many stumbles along the way but I learned how to create a business plan and proposal. I learned about some financial planning and projections (which I cannot say is a strong suit of mine). I have learned that it takes lots of self encouragement and organization to stay on track. I have learned that things don’t usually turn out the way you plan but if you don’t plan it will never be anything but a dream. 


This next year is going to be a year for rebuilding my boundaries and self confidence. After a rough few years dealing with grief I am ready to turn inward and step out of my comfort zone.


2019! Another year for growth, change and learning 🙂

 I have chosen a few things that are most important to me and a feeling that I wanted as a result of those most important. Previous to this year I always had relationship or financial goals that ended up at the top of my list but this year I wanted to try something different


Self-care was at the top of my list this year and the feeling I wanted to come out with is acceptance. 2018 was a year with anxiety, shame and feelings of self doubt. To change that I am going to work on being present with the moment without disturbing my inner peace or trying changing the outcome. I want to wake up earlier, eat a colourful breakfast, and spend more time brushing my hair. I am going to work on being more organized with plans while not struggling to accept what is handed to me. Failing to accept reality has a way of creating additional suffering where there is already pain and that is something I have been to familiar with. I am going to work on my physical activity and keep involved with my yoga and meditation practices to find grounding in my always active mind.  


Relationship resolutions were second on my list for 2019 and the feeling I am wanting to work on is Vibrance. When I think of my relationships I feel strength and balance. When thinking of family and friends I see a vibrant love. I want to inspire those in my life and leave them feeling energized and empowered. This year was hard on my husband and I with our busy schedules and stressful lifestyle which made it hard for time together without distractions. When there is so much going on balance slowly took the back seat and by the end of the year I think we have both realized the discomfort we placed on each other when we weren’t putting energy into our own self care. I am going to change the words I am using when in confrontations to be more positive and constructive rather than negative and pointing fingers. I am wanting to reduce my anxiety and put more effort and time into those who love and support me.


My Business resolutions are connected with my self care resolutions but the feeling that I have chosen to work on is courageous. While working on being my most authentic self living in the moment without self-doubt or fear. I will be capturing moments along the way to inspire growth in others in their own journey. With more self confidence and with new learning opportunities Athyrium Wellness will be taken to a whole new level of mental health and self-care with new Yoga and Meditation services being offered starting summer 19’. I can’t wait to be working with and supporting so many loving, alive with spirit, bad ass women back to optimal health so we can all check off our goals for 2019!


7 Ways to De-bloat After The Holidays

7 Ways to Reduce Bloat After the Holidays

By Georgina Hendsbee

Drinking a cup of warm water and fresh lemon juice. The acids in the lemon combined with warm water will kickstart your digestive system ensuring ideal production of digestive enzymes and HCL. This can be done half an hour prior to every meal to assist in digestion and assimilation of ingested foods. You can also have a warm green tea or ginger tea and lemon to also add in other beneficial factors. Ginger will calm upset stomach and enforce enzyme production.  Green tea will add antioxidants to reduce free radical damage caused by disbiosis and an acidic environment. 


Skip the sugar and also “sugar free” products – sugar lowers metabolism and disturbs the immune system. Sugar alcohols not quite the same as some of the zero calorie sweetners out there but it has a lower calories per gram. On food labels sugar alcohol looks like Xylitol, Erythritol, Sorbitol, and Mannitol, these are known to cause stomach upset and acid reflux. Artificial sweeteners like sucrose, sucralose, and aspartame in particular have been associated with mood changes, diarrhea, painful gas and bloating, inflammation, and exacerbate IBS symptoms.


Reduce dairy and simple carbs – cheese, milk, yogurt, breads, and pastas, as these processed foods have many additives and fillers. Dairy and wheat are the two most common foods people in western society are intolerant for. Dairy is an inflammatory food causing systemic inflammation throughout the body even in people who are able to tolerate it.  Wheat naturally has a chemical in it called zonulin which opens the tight junctions within the intestinal tract letting undigested proteins into the blood stream. Once an undigested protein comes across our bodies immune system it tends to create an antibody to fight that particular external protein. The next time that protein gets past the tight junctions and the antibody is activated our body sends out little chemical messengers called which initiate a physical reaction. Some of these messengers will create a physical reaction where the allergen makes contact the second time this can look like a rash, swelling, inflammation, redness, pain or itching. Internally this can cause gas, bloating, acidic environment, diarrhea, constipation, bacteria overgrowth, chronic infection, weight gain or if it is significant enough it can become anaphylactic. The Government of Canada recognizes the most common food allergens as: peanuts, tree nuts, seafood (fish, shellfish, crustaceans), egg, milk, sesame, soy, mustard, and wheat. Sulphite, an additive, is also recognized by the Government of Canada



Make the basis of your diet dark leafy greens and vegetables, healthy fats, proteins, and other complex carbohydrates. Vegetables will be full of vitamins and minerals to promote good health, good fats are important for your brain function and structure of all your cells, protein from plants and animals both carry vital amino acids required for cell growth and repair. You are what you eat may just be a saying but it is right on the dot. If you have goals for 2019 that include growth and health, take a look at your food. When you are choosing your meals think further than… “will this taste good?”. Look at the make up of each piece of food, think about what it took that plant to grow, animal to flourish and how that growth will improve your health. This is called ‘The Food Story’. It’s the energy, time, location, and the people who where involved in creating that product and how they all affect the final story. 

Don’t believe me? Look up food energetics. It is the study of how the energy put on the food effects the energy we take in as we consume it then how that energy effects how we assimilate that piece of food. Sooo cool. 


Reduce added salts and processed foods. Processed foods not only are loaded with chemicals and fillers, they are full of salt. These added salts can create an imbalance of electrolytes causing your body to retain water, raising your blood pressure. When your body has high blood pressure for an extended amount of time if puts strain on your heart and arteries. When your heart and muscles are working harder they then to build muscle. In the case of your arms and leg getting larger muscles may be a good thing but with the cardiovascular system the heart muscles getting bigger reduces space for blood. This increases the change of heart attack, stroke, dementia and kidney disease.  


Take a probiotic supplement – humans carry about 5-10lbs of bacteria in our football field size intestinal tract.  A diet high in sugars, rancid fats (canola & palm oils in cooking oil & processed foods), and alcohol paired with overeating and stress makes for the perfect environment for disbiosis (bad bacteria). The thing with good intestinal bacteria is that is passes through us easily and quickly, which is why it is so important that we create the best environment for the good bacteria to flourish. We have already discussed the importance of vegetables and they have more of a benefit than being the carrier for vitamins and minerals. Vegetables also act as prebiotics. A prebiotic is a food that is high in insoluble fibre, fibre that doesn’t get digested by stomach acids. These fibres feed good bacteria which improve our digestion and our immune system.


Make time to move – take a fitness class or get a yoga membership, the benefits of movement are endless and equally important as nutrition to achieve optimal health. With no bad side effects exercise lowers blood pressure, controls blood sugar, helps control weight, improves balance, lowers cholesterol, relieves pain and stress, and improves sex life. There are no negatives to movement, at all. 



Even the smallest changes can make a difference