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I’m OK Meditation

Simple meditation to remind you that you are ok! Especially nice when you feel overwhelmed by life. Take a few moments to breathe and remind yourself that you are doing more than fine!

 

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Love and Kindness Meditation

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Fun day in Waterford

Waterford is a quaint town located in Norfolk County. Once the centre of economic prosperity with its railway connecting Buffalo and Detroit, Waterford is now a gem for many outdoor adventures!

Last weekend, my husband and I loaded up the kids and headed to Waterford for a fun day. 

First stop, Rowen Farms Saskatoon Berrys on Robinson Road, just off Mechanic St. This is a little piece of heaven where you can pick your own or buy some pre-picked Saskatoon berries. The season to get them is now! (end of June to mid-July). These berries grow in bushes and are quite easy to pick. They are packed full of nutrients and fiber and are delicious fresh or in any dessert recipe! 

I love teaching my kids where their food comes from. When they get to meet the farmers and pick their own food, it’s an even better experience for them. Rowen Farms Saskatoon Berrys was definitely worth the stop!

Up next, was Waterford North Conservation area. We headed back to Mechanic Street and drove a short distance over the water to the park. There we were able to find plenty of parking, lots of picnic tables to set up for the day, great water to swim in and more! We paid a small entrance fee ($12.00 for a day pass for our vehicle and occupants) and we settled into a nice shady spot for the afternoon. The beach style access to the pond made it really easy and fun for the kids to go swimming. The swimming area is shallow and cordoned off so it was easy for us to keep a watch on the kids while we relaxed and they enjoyed the water.  It’s a great place for inflatables too! The conservation area also offers kayak and canoe rentals for a fee and camping is available with advanced booking. 

A yummy picnic lunch for the gang, some splashing around, sun tanning and relaxing made for a fun summer afternoon! There were lots of people fishing around there too so if you have an angler in your family, this might just be the perfect spot for you to spend enjoyable time together. 

While in Waterford, make sure to save some time to walk around the downtown area where you can find many unique retail shops and a few restaurants. Stop by the jam-packed artisan studio, The Waterford Soap Girl on Alice Street. The smell itself it a treat! While still on Alice Street, you can also stop at Ritzy Cakes and Eatery for an ice cream, a handmade Park Street Pops Popsicle or other delicious treats which are guaranteed to put a smile on your kid’s faces.

Still have some energy? How about spending the last part of the day at the Lions Park for the kids to play and check out Deer Park across the street. Or, you can tackle the Heritage Trail and capture the amazing views from the Black Bridge. If you want to cool off, you can take a walk through the Waterford Heritage and Agricultural Museum to see and get a feel for Waterford’s interesting past. 

Waterford has lots of fun activities and history to offer, so plan to head out and discover this quaint little village!

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Client Spotlight- Meet Lara

Meet Lara, a passionate business owner, mother, wife and community leader.

I met Lara in the spring of 2018 and from our first conversation I was immediately drawn to her personality and drive.

Lara owns Blue Harvest Hair Design and Spa just east of Simcoe, in Norfolk County. This stylist extraordinaire creates a high quality and elevated salon experience for each of her clients which makes every visit to her beautiful space so special!

Her salon offers breathtaking views of her family farm where Lara is also invested in the family business, which offers plant trials for various breeders. Every summer, this farm is home to hundreds of beautiful, colorful and unique flowers. We first connected about hosting some self-care events in her outdoor space and eventually we started working together in other ways. In the summer of 2018, I had the privilege of hosting 2 yoga events on this amazing family farm.

Lara on a beautiful farm

What truly impresses me about Lara is her willingness to continually invest in herself.  Being a mother to 2 small children is not an easy task, especially when you are self-employed and married to a farmer! Long hours for her husband during his busy season means that she also has to manage the household as well, however none of this stops her from working on being the best version of herself!

In order to pursue her dreams of being an innovative salon owner and to help her manage her physical and emotional health as well as other aspects of her life, Lara is willing to align herself with professionals (like me!) to guide her and help her reach her goals.

Over the last year, Lara committed to my 3-month wellness program and my 60 Mindset Reset program to continue leveling up her life. She is interested in fitness and nutrition for her whole family as well as learning, meditation and mindfulness. These techniques are helping her stay focused on what is most important to her.

Lara is a community minded person who loves to connect people. She has a strong faith and often gets involved in various groups and fundraisers. The family business donates to the local hospital each year and her salon offers various incentives to help local people in need. Lara is truly a salon owner with a big heart!

It wasn’t a hard decision for me to decide to become one of her clients also.  I love going to see her, she makes me feel so comfortable and I trust her suggestions regarding my hair. Each time I enter her salon, I feel confident that I will leave feeling amazing! She cares about my experience and is always willing to elevate it!

Congratulations Lara on being an inspiration for many other entrepreneurs, you rock!

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Forest Bathing

*Written and published for Norfolk County Tourism www.norfolktourism.ca

We all know that spending time outside is good for us. Connecting with nature is a powerful way to manage stress, increase our energy level and help to find clarity.

Have you ever heard the term: “Forest Bathing” or “Shinrin-yoku”? It is a Japanese practice which means: “bathing in the forest atmosphere, or taking in the forest through our senses.” I have been hearing about this concept lately and wanted to experience it for myself!

Last Thursday, the beautiful fall weather in Norfolk County inspired me to get outside and explore Backus Woods in the Port Rowan area. I simply wanted to be in the forest by myself to connect with nature through my senses of sight, hearing, smell and touch.

I set the intention to be in the present moment and take time for myself to relax and de-stress.

The idea behind forest bathing is that you are not hiking to a particular destination but rather tuning into your intuition to guide you as you walk through the woods. It was a bit challenging to let go of covering a certain distance. It also felt very different to be alone in the woods.

I most often hike with my husband and my kids so the quiet time in the forest was a nice change from our usual chit chats.

I took the time to listen to the birds and the sounds of the leaves dancing in the wind. I focused on the different colors and shapes of trees and plants and took time to breath in the various aromas. In many ways this process is similar to meditation. It was a profound way to experience the local forest and I certainly enjoyed the process. I felt the tension of the busy week slide down from my neck and shoulders.

In Norfolk County, 25% of the landscape is forest covered. This provides much opportunity for that special time in nature that many crave. Backus Woods in particular is a spectacular spot to explore. You can find some of the oldest trees living in Ontario in this Carolinian forest. Backus Woods offers 7 main trails which total around 25 km in length. Consider accessing the trails on the 3rd or 4rd concessions in Port Rowan.

Spending more time in nature is scientifically linked to reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol, lower heart rate, reduced risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and reduced risk of type II diabetes. If that is not a good enough reason to spend time outside, I don’t know that is! 🙂  I invite you to get out and spend some time outside this fall. If forest bathing interest you, get ready to open your senses and breathe in some fresh air and harvest a sense of relaxation and well-being.

Get off the couch and explore what Norfolk County has to offer. Explore the trails and spend time outdoors connecting to nature and with yourself!

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Active Back to School

*Written and published for Norfolk County Tourism www.norfolktourism.ca

When it comes to learning, good health is a very important factor for success in school.

As you and your kids return to the routine this week, it is time to plan for a healthy fall for the whole family!

This month, I will address various aspects of health and hope to empower you to make some small changes into your routine to promote a healthy life for you and your family.

First, let’s focus on fitness!

I am a mom of two and I totally get that between the extra-curricular activities and helping with homework it is challenging to make fitness a priority for your family. Here are 3 tips to help you navigate active living.

 

PLAN AHEAD

As we start the month of September, I suggest that you make a plan. Planning goes a long way when you are trying to focus on wellness.  Norfolk County has loads of resources to offer you alternatives. One of the tools I love to use is Norfolk’s Recreation Guide http://www.norfolkcounty.ca/living/parks-and-recreation/. There are so many groups and activities offered locally that you will certainly find something that suits your family. Get the list of parks, arenas and other facilities and make some plans for fun activities with your kids. Walks, hikes, skating and swimming are inexpensive activities that will make everybody smile! Write these activities in your monthly calendar to hold yourself accountable.

 

DON’T OVERSCHEDULE

While I invite you to make plans for your family, I encourage you not to over schedule yourself. It is so easy to try to do it all and forget space for downtime. As your kids get started with their new routine, they will be tired and will also cherish time to lay low and cozy up with you. It’s all about balance! It’s about creating a schedule that fits your life. It’s ok to say no and it’s ok to leave some blank spaces in the calendar for family time.

Active kids will likely be more successful at school. It is time to look into Norfolk County’s many amazing programs and register. Hockey (including the first shift for first time players), skating, swimming, gymnastics, basketball, dance, martial arts and many other programs will make sure your kids get their sweat on! Search through the guide or other publications to see what peaks your child’s interest.

 

TIME IN NATURE

Research shows that there are so many health benefits from spending time out in nature.  A walk on a local trail or visit to the beach is a great de-stressor. Remember that the weather is usually wonderful in September.  Don’t call it quits on summer yet, keep going outside! The Lynn Valley Trail has awesome spots for a family hike. Long Point is also a really good spot to get some steps in. Kids will love to walk along the water’s edge. They won’t even know that they are exercising! Biking gets everybody moving, plan a little outing around Norfolk this month to stay active.

 

I invite you to join me this Thursday at 1pm live on the Norfolk Tourism FB page as I chat about another aspect of healthy living for families.

Amelie Chanda - Wellness Coach

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Oral Health

My friend Karyn Moore is a Registered Dental Hygienist and the owner of Norfolk Dental Hygiene. She and her team have a whole-body approach to oral health care which is unique to our small lake side community. I asked to to be a guest on my blog as I believe that oral health is key to your overall health. Karyn provides easy tips that you can use in your everyday life to improve your oral health.

Read on….

Ready to take your oral health care into the 21st century? Here are some quick tips on new and trendy ways to help reduce those awful oral bacteria and prevent yourself and family from becoming ill during cold & flu season.

 

 

Essential Oils: Clove Bud, Peppermint, Melaleuca (tea tree oil)
  • Place a small drop into a small 1oz glass and swish vigorously for 1 minute.
  • Add 1 drop to coconut oil and apply directly to inflamed or bleeding tissue.
  • Add to your toothpaste in enhance the benefits of your regular routine.

 

Himalayan Pink Salt
  • Add a ½ teaspoon of salt to a 1oz glass of water, swish and rinse to neutralize the oral pH and kill harmful bacteria.
  • Add a ¼ teaspoon to your toothpaste to kill oral bacteria, remove stains or reduce inflammation.

 

Xylitol
  • Sourced from birch wood or NON-GMO Corn cobs.
  • Kills harmful oral bacteria, reduces inflammation, neutralizes oral pH, promotes saliva production, enhances mineral and vitamin absorption.
  • Can be found in gum, mints, toothpastes and oral rinses.
 

 

Vitamins & Minerals
  • Found in many food sources and protein or powdered additives.
  • Aids in creating strong, healthy tooth enamel.
  • Provides saliva with a balance of nutrients to maintain good oral tissues.

 

Yoga & Mediation
  • Enhances the circulation, allowing immune cells to fight oral bacteria
  • Reduces oral inflammation and bacteria
  • Limits chances of developing gum related problems associated with stress & anxiety
  • Boosts confidence with a healthy smile
For more information on oral health techniques, advancements, and procedures contact Norfolk Dental Hygiene.

After all health begins with the mouth!

Norfolk Dental Hygiene,
185 Robinson Street, Suite 220
Simcoe, Ontario  N3Y 5L6
https://www.norfolkdh.rocks/
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Summer Adventure #1- Yoga in the Garden

To kick start our 3 part Summer Adventure Series, we started with a gentle yoga practice in the Garden at the Combine Restaurant in Simcoe. We set up right in the middle of the crops for a unique experience. The practice focus on connecting to our roots, nature and the element. The, chef Rivard and his team brought out an outstanding board with various appetizers. They were all incredible!

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Summer Adventure #2- Mountain Biking

The 2nd Summer Adventure was a super fun intro to Mountain Biking with Elevation Mountain bike Camps and Clinics  in Turkey Point. We rode a small part of the over 80km of single track trails maintained by the Turkey Point Mountain Bike Club. We finished the night at Burning Kiln Winery enjoying local wine and a huge cheese platter.

Fantastic night being active with a group of hilarious people from Norfolk.

 

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Summer Adventure #3- Paddleboarding

To conclude our Summer Adventures, Paul from Elevation and I hosted a Paddleboarding night in Port Dover. The night started with some rain but after a short delay, the weather cleared up enough for our group of ladies to venture out on the river. Paddleboarding is an awesome activity to be active during the summer. Great exercise for your balance, to strengthen your core and your arms.

After 75 minutes of paddleding it was time to wind down at 211 Main street, a local gastro pub.

 

Super fun night!