The "Whiz-ard" That Is Dr. Oz

Following Dr. Oz's Advice For A Year


I’ve Avoided It Long Enough…


Hiking to a glacier in Norway.

I have a love hate relationship with exercise.  Some of it, I love!  I also love the way that I feel after I finish.  I HATE the guilt that I feel when I don’t want to exercise, having to get there and even thinking about it.  I tried to avoid writing about physical activity, alas, it’s part of the theme for this month.  I’ve avoided it long enough.

I am one of those annoying people that will try anything once unless I’m so totally freaked out by it that the stress on my heart would be too much for me to take.  Basically, we’ll say anything having to do with getting on a bike is not going to happen for me (unless it doesn’t move) or anything else where the threat of injury is too great.  Here’s a quick peak at just a few things I’ve tried and my yay or nay to them:

  • Indoor Rock Climbing – Nay.  It smelled like the inside of a jock strap (don’t ask me how I know this) and I got stuck in a group where one of the girls kept crying that she was scared, so she got the easier part of the wall.  My friend and I were put on a more advanced wall even though we were newbies too.  I was too short to reach most of the rocks and it just wasn’t the most fun thing I’ve ever done.  I may try it one more time, but I’d really need to be persuaded.
  • Kangoo – Yay and Nay.  If you haven’t heard of Kangoo, it’s a high-energy, interval work out.  You get to wear these fabulous boots with “bouncers” on the bottom.  You jump through an entire work out to really fun music.  You get very dew-y (my lady-like way of saying you sweat like a beast) and it’s a lot of fun.  It does, however, take a lot of practice and it was really hard for me to master.
  • Zumba – YAY!!! – I love Zumba.  It’s a really fun workout.  If you love to dance, you’ll love Zumba.  You get very dew-y, but you feel great after.  If you ever do decide to try it, you are constantly moving and it does require some form of coordination.  The first time I tried it, I never thought I’d get the hang of it, but I did it regularly for a year, and after about three sessions, I felt like I could follow along.  The place I went to closed, and I have been looking for the better part of a year and a half for a place that’s close to me.  I’ve finally found it so I may take it up again.  WARNING – the “warm up” isn’t a gentle way to ease you into the class – it’s more like “on your mark…get set…and go”.  Find a place with air conditioning.  I tried it again just a few weeks ago, and as much fun as it was, the lack of air conditioning was unbearable, and I’m a person who is almost always cold.
  • Spinning – Yay and Nay.  I like it but am not in love with it.  The pain in my tush was a bit unbearable and I had pins and needles in places that shouldn’t have them.  I’ve done it twice in my life, and would do it again…with some encouragement.
  • Hiking – Yay and Nay.  I thought I hated hiking.  After my daily 5 mile hike at the Biggest Loser Resort in Malibu, I thought I’d never willingly try it in the history of my life.  OOOPS I Did it Again in Norway and I LOVED it.  I also think I secretly liked it in Malibu too…but I can’t see doing it in Toronto.  It’s something I’ll do on holidays when I can see things like glaciers, whales, amazing vistas…
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    I hiked up this hill after an hour of walking on the beach – it was painful, but really gorgeous.

    I’ve saved the very best for last.  I’ve always loved dance and have belly danced for 10 years.  It’s a huge YAY for me and as soon as my foot heals, I’m looking for a class.  If you’ve never tried it – it’s fun and therapeutic.  It’s the one workout/hobby that I’ve ever done where I could actually turn my brain off and just focus on what I was doing in the moment.  I miss it.

According to Dr. Oz’s partner in the “You” books and Sharecare, Dr. Michael Roizen, the optimal amount of cardio is 30 minutes of walking daily and 60 minutes of sweating per week (a high intensity work out).  I definitely walk at least 30 minutes    a day, but I do need to start doing more intense cardio again – both for my physical health and to de-stress.  I’m getting into the habit of living to work again, and I need to find a way and reason to leave at a reasonable time at least twice a week.  I already go to a trainer once a week – I need to make an appointment with myself to leave another day a week and get on the Oz approved elliptical.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Today, I’m grateful for knowing how to take a day for me when I need to.  It took me years to figure out that I need this every once in awhile.

The Bucket List

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Lovely Winnipeg


Dr. Oz’s goal is to keep people healthy for as long as possible.  Although I am taking his advice as much as possible, sometimes, I ponder the things that I want to do in life which then drives me to write probably one of the overdone blog posts ever – the very popular bucket list.  If you aren’t familiar, it’s your list of things that you want to accomplish before you kick the bucket, drop off the face of the planet forever, head off to the happy hunting ground, go to the great beyond, meet your dog at the Rainbow Bridge…I guess you get the point?  My list is large and things get added as I think of them or a brilliant idea pops into my head.  A bucket list is awesome for me – I’m very goal oriented.  Last year, I got to cross four items off the list – pretty impressive.  I’m not doing quite as well this year.  I only got to tick one item off.   For your inspiration (well, maybe not), here are ten items from my huge list:

  1. Go to all ten Canadian provinces and two out of the three territories.  Sorry Nunavut – you don’t make the cut!  I’ve been to all provinces except for Saskatchewan whose almost rectangular shape has always been a draw for me AND Newfoundland.  I’ve never been to either the Northwest Territories or the Yukon, but I’m guessing it will happen.

British Columbia – isn’t it pretty?



2.  Go to all 50 US States – even the bad ones (I won’t name them – I don’t want to insult anyone).  Here are the States that  I’ve already visited: 1) New York, 2) New Jersey, 3) Pennsylvania, 4) Massachusetts, 5) Ohio, 6) Florida, 7) Tennessee, 8) Texas, 9) California, 10) Nevada, 11) Alaska, 12) Hawaii, 13) Minnesota, 14) Arizona, 15) Illinois, 16) Arkansas…and that’s it!  I have 34 States to go!  This is all so stressful!


You know where this is! And yes, I tried the King’s favourite peanut butter and banana sandwich.


The Mary Tyler Moore statue in Minneapolis.














3.  See every country in Europe except the one or two where I may get killed.  So far, I’ve visited Ireland, Scotland, Iceland, Norway, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Malta and the Netherlands.  The stupid Baltic States are really ruining it for me.  Why are there so many?

Edinburgh – home of Harry Potter! Continue reading

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Harley and Me


Image courtesy of my niece…

I’m a dog lover.  I always have been and I always will be.  If you’ve ever walked with me and a dog patters by, I always get distracted and ignore the people next to me.  It’s all about the dog.  Dr. Oz has a few pets, including a Black Lab named Rosie – how cute is that!  He offers the following advice on owning a pet (from his blog on “Owning a pet can have positive effects on your cholesterol and help fight depression. Petting your animal has been clinically proven to reduce blood pressure and increase serotonin, a hormone that helps to elevate your mood.”  I can tell you, that in general, I am much happier when there is a dog around.  The only problem is, that like many people, my heart has been shattered by the loss of a pet.  I grew up with a beautiful black and tan American Cocker Spaniel named Rascal.  I’ve written about him in passing once before, in an article about depression, that I’ve already re-posted once.  I had Rascal from the time that I was 7 until I was 21.  He was my best friend, constant companion, faithful confidante and all around best dog in the world.  He had a joy in life that was infectious, a sweet disposition, the patience of a saint (I’ll write more on my boy later – but really, I deserved a few more bites than I ever got), and the compassion that only dogs can show.  Here is where it gets depressing…

I went home to Nova Scotia, many years ago to get my wisdom teeth out.  My dog was a senior at that point, but still stayed by my side as I was recovering.  He always stayed with me when I was sick or suffering – it’s that compassion that dogs have that people could use a little of.  He was sick himself at that point with cancer, but as anyone with a dog can tell you, their people come first.  I knew that this would be the last time that I would see my beloved dog, and it broke my heart.  My last night at home (I was living in Toronto), he was trying to sleep on the cool tile in the hallway.  I had to be with him, so that he would know that he would always be my best boy, my sweet prince and my beloved booboo forever.  I lay on the floor next to him crying all night.  I pet his velvety nose, his soft ears, held each of his paws in my hand and hugged him.  My patient boy knew that I needed this and even though he wanted to sleep and he probably would rather have escaped, he let me complete my ritual.  I was trying, I guess, to memorize my dog.  He sighed, and instead of getting up, licked my hand as if to say, “I know that you need this, and even though I’m tired and I’d rather dream about my dog cookies and running through the grass the way I used to, I’ll let you.”  Dogs sacrifice for us…and when they get older we need to sacrifice for them…

Which brings me to my furry nephew Harley.  I dog sat this weekend.  Harley is also a senior, having celebrated his “Bark Mitzvah” (13 years for a dog).  Harley is also an American Cocker Spaniel.  A beautiful blond, unlike the dark handsomeness of Rascal.  Like Rascal, Harley has a merry disposition.  He was that silly goof that was always into everything and getting into trouble.  You can never stay mad at Harley – he’s a cutie.  He cares about only 3 things in life – 1) food, 2) love and 3) sleep and yes, it’s in that order.  When I read the book “Marley and Me”, their trouble-making Yellow Lab reminded me of Harley.  Harley is not the smartest dog in the world (sorry Donna), but he was always an adorable love sponge.  He used to get so excited when I’d visit that he pee all over my leg.  I couldn’t be that upset – who else has that much emotion over a Jill sighting?  He had a ready smile – really – he was a smiling dog and loved nothing better than to sit in your lap and have you pat him, for hours.  His poor sister Snickers (now in doggy heaven) always got shoved out of love’s way by Harley – but she knew he needed the attention more.

When Snickers died, Harley had a shock. He’d never been alone, and within the last year, the merry little boy had changed so much.  When I came to take care of him, he initially was afraid of me.  It lasted about 3 seconds, but he just leaned his little body against me, in relief.  I had to carry the former bounciest dog around, down the stairs to take him for a walk.  My shock was when he couldn’t find his way back into the house.  Little Harley had aged, and the happiest dog ever was tentative in a way that I had never seen before.  He was fairly calm as the day wore on, even taking a nap, but seeing him so fragile has hurt my heart.  This morning, I woke him up at 9 for a walk, and again, he had trouble getting started and finding his water bowl.  I was going to take him out again, but once we got to the living room, Harley decided that he needed a nap more than a call to nature.  I sat with him on the floor, so that he could lean against me, like he used to, and I gently patted the sweet little boy.  As he tried to get comfortable, I kept my hand on him, so he’d know that I was there (he has some vision problems) and to help keep him calm.  I needed this just as much as he did and once again, I started crying because even though it may not be Harley’s time, I know that once day, this joyful little dog will go on to heaven to be with my sweet furry niece Snickers and my Rascal.  It hurt that this love sponge, needed affection so much less than he used to.

I always wondered why dogs live such a short life compared to humans.  The best answer that I’ve ever heard came from an article on courtesy of vet Linda Bobo.  She was putting down a family dog and after, she and the family wondered about the very same thing.  The family’s four year old son came up with the following: “Everybody is born so that they can learn how to live a good life – like loving everybody and being nice, right? Well, animals already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”  As much as a dog breaks my heart, I will have one of my own one day because the unconditional love that they provide is worth the pain.  I hope that anyone who has or plans to get a dog knows that they grow up and grow older.  They need the same love and patience as a senior that they did when they were a puppy.  Don’t abandon them in their time of need – they would never do that to you.  

Today, I am grateful for the love that dogs like Rascal, Snickers and Harley have given me.  I’m grateful that I was able to give Harley a bit of comfort.  I’m grateful that I know so many people who have or have had dogs that love them even when they are no longer the fun, cute puppy that they grew to love.  A senior dog may be slower, and greyer but they need as much love, or more than a puppy…

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Some House Keeping – Literally ; Accepting the New And Ice Bucket Challenges

The death of a laptop is never an easy thing to digest.  Like grief, there are 7 steps:

  • Denial – how can it completely die?  If I press the button ten times in a row, surely it will come on…
  • Pain and guilt – Wow, this is going to hurt my wallet – what a pain.  I feel such guilt over the clothes that I bought after just investing in a laptop.
  • Anger and bargaining – Stupid laptop – why did you have to die on me?  I’ll never leave you uncharged again if you come back to life.
  • Depression, reflection and loneliness – I’m so sad I had to pay for a new lap top.  It’s so expensive.  Reflecting on it made me realize that my iPad just isn’t enough.  I feel so lonely for my old computer – knowing how to copy and paste was so nice!
  • The upward turn – but wait – this isn’t so bad – the MacBook Pro has so many great features, and it’s really user friendly and I feel cooler saying that I use a Mac instead of an HP.  Really, how many people do you hear saying “I’m an HP girl…I love my HP…”
  • Reconstruction and working through – wait – oh that’s where my pictures went…the data transfer wasn’t a big fail.  
  • Acceptance and hope – I accept that this lap top is a step up – and so pretty!  I hope that it lasts for at least 5 years1

So – I’m loving the transition and learning a new operating system.  Plus, the meditation that I’ve been doing on Dr. Oz’s advice has helped me accept the inevitability of computer death.  I’m so happy that I only have 3 meditations left and my 21 day experience is over.  Meditation is wrought with pressure for me as much as I love Doprah.  I’ll do the next one when it comes up, but I don’t think I’ll ever get the hang of turning my brain off and I’m ok with that.

The next order of business is a report on my decluttering.  Here is the tally from last weekend:


  • 1 set of sheets (is that one item or two?)
  • 1 pair of shoes – beyond repair


  • 4 pairs of shoes
  • 2 skirts
  • 1 blouse
  • 1 robe
  • 1 dress
  • 2 pairs of pants
  • 1 top
  • 4 sweaters
  • 1 faux fur shrug
  • GRAND TOTAL – 19 items

I still have half of a closet and 7 drawers to go through before I finish my clothing.  Two more weeks and hopefully, I can continue on with other decluttering.

Last, but not least, inspired by Dr. Oz’s fearlessness and the value of a worthy cause, I did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  Check out the link below.  Before you naysayers say how ridiculous the whole challenge is, please remember that ALS was not on the tip of everyone’s tongue before this social media phenomena.  It gives the spotlight to a really terrible disease that is badly in need of some help.  If it takes dumping a bucket of water on my head to help, I’m game.  Remember, cancer, heart disease and diabetes affect millions more people, but you can survive and live a long life if you, heaven forbid, are diagnosed with one of these diseases.  ALS is another story and I’m happy that this viral campaign made it top of mind for a moment in time.  

Today, like many people, I’m deeply saddened by the death of Joan Rivers.  I grew up watching her and was a fan of “The Fashion Police”.  She had chutzpah – having the guts to say what many of us thought.  I really thought she was going to live forever.  I’m grateful, today, for the laughs that she gave me over the years.  

Gratefully and a bit mistily yours,



The New Arrival – September 2

I am pleased to announce a new addition to my cyber family.  Weighing in at 2.06 kilos, “Mac” (short for MacBook Pro) is welcomed by his smaller sister iPad and even smaller brother iPod.  

I’ve never used a Mac before, but so far, so good.  I just have to learn how to copy and paste photos to make this blog pretty!  I wonder if Dr. Oz has any tips?  I’ll write more tomorrow, but the new topic for this month is perspiration.  Exercising the mind and body, the Dr. Oz way.  You’ll still get regular updates on my decluttering project (21 pieces cleared out yesterday and still more to go).  August went by so quickly and my computer died the last week, so I didn’t get to really concentrate on revisiting everything that I’ve worked on, so to be continued…in December.  

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Decluttering – An Oath to Myself

In pursuit of decluttering for my emotional and physical well-being, I promise myself the following:

-I will no longer be a cardigan collector – I’m not Mr. Rogers – may he rest in peace.

-I will not become a hoodie hoarder – I think I’m pretty safe since I only have 3.  

-I will stop being a sweater sweetheart – how many merino wool v-necks does someone really need?

-I will quit being a top tart cold turkey – unless a really super cute one catches my eye…

-I will not be a skirt chaser.  I have plenty – too much of a good thing is just…well, too much of a good thing.

-I will stop panting after yoga pants.  They aren’t a fashion statement.

-I will not be a purse pusher.  I’m on a major moratorium and haven’t shelled out for a handbag in one year, two months and 13 days – but who is keeping track?  

-I will quit being a shoe sherpa.  I will remember that I only have two feet and  that I can only wear one pair at a time.

Thank you to Amforte66 for all of the kind words and for inspiring this post through a simple comment.  Check out her fabulous blog at 


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