Jill Of Some Trades

And Master Of At Least One

Leave a comment

The Stress Questionnaire


If you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ve seen this diagram before.  It’s all about inflammation.  One of the root causes of inflammation is stress.  I stumbled across a little something on doctoroz.com – it’s a stress checklist so that you can see what the major causes of stress in your life are.  There are about 40+ items – http://www.doctoroz.com/article/stress-questionnaire – try the test yourself to see what’s inflaming you!  Here are my items:

  • Change in health of an immediate family member – always stressful
  • Work more than 40+ hours in a week – some weeks it’s 60+
  • Business or work role change – my role has been changing since April of this year
  • Sleep less than 8 hours – the quality of my sleep has increased, but the quantity has stayed between 5-6 hours – somedays it’s close to 6.5 but no where near the perfection of 8 hours
  • Change in responsibilities at work
  • Vacation – I love travel, but I guess getting ready to go away can be stressful and my next vacation is coming up quickly
  • Change in personal habits (diet, exercise, etc.) – I’m always trying something a little different with this blog and I’m doing the Dr. Oz 2 Week Rapid Weight Loss Plan again more to help myself feel better
  • Change in work hours or conditions
  • Presently pre-menstrual – I know TMI – but it’s a fact of life.  Yes, once a month, I like many women are aware that the whole world is out to get me

Nine out of about 44  – not terrible…but it is evident to me, that work causes the majority of my stress.  Some of the stress factors will be eliminated as time goes on.  Some, I’ll have to learn to cope with. Getting better sleep and more of it, has to continue to be a priority.  I’m not giving up travel though, just because it causes a little bit of stress.  It’s my top favourite thing!

One thing that has alleviated some stress has been my decluttering project.  This week, I began the process of Kijiji-ing/Craigslisting some of my items and I’ve sold a purse today.  So far, I’ve posted 6 items, and as I sell one, I’ll post more.  I’ve also started another pile of things to throw away.  Seeing my progress has been very satisfying, but I can’t wait to finish this little project even though I still have a lot of things left to do.

Today, I’m grateful for the stress questionnaire.  It’s a good little check list to see where your stress lives and it will help me address my own issues and for that, I’m…

Gratefully yours,



Cuckoo for Coconut Oil? No way!


Image courtesy of oliveoylloves.com

I was very proud of myself for buying coconut oil.  This Dr. Oz recommended fat is supposed to be the cure all for everything from weight gain to oral health to lowering cholesterol.  Good for me for jumping on this bandwagon – right?  WRONG!  I should have done my homework before I invested $15 in this not so healthy addition to my kitchen cupboard.  My health advisor (who is also my financial advisor, seamstress and sometime executive Chef), let’s call her Mommy, asked me yesterday if I’d listen to a little advice from her.  I, like every know-it-all-daughter, wouldn’t hear it, until she just came out and offered it anyway.  She said that coconut oil is very high in saturated fat (I knew this but was in denial because of the miraculous findings that I saw on doctoroz.com).  She also said that it is very bad for your cholesterol levels and not only can she not use the oil, she also cannot even eat coconut even though she loves it.  I didn’t admit it to her yesterday, because what self-respecting kid will ever say that Mom is right, but I knew in my heart of hearts that she was correct.  That woman has seen more dieticians than anyone I know and she has her once high cholesterol under control and guess what isn’t part of her diet?

Still hoping against hope that coconut oil could be a cure all, I took to the web.  Let’s just say, it didn’t support anything that I had seen on Dr. Oz’s site.  In fact, even sharecare.com, a site that Dr. Oz contributes to (and I think is a partner in), doesn’t flat out recommend it.  I read information from registered dieticians about how unhealthy it can be.  I checked reputable sites, everything from the Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical to the Cleveland Clinic even WebMD.  Amazingly, all of these experts recommend Olive Oil – it is scientifically proven to be heart healthy.  In fact when the Cleveland Clinic compared Olive Oil to Coconut Oil, the winner was clear:



I also checked in with another source that I admire – frequent Dr. Oz guest, Dr. Andrew Weil also does not recommend it.  Dr. Weil is not only heavily into natural health and wellness, he is also a medical doctor.  I thought he was someone who would be an advocate for Coconut Oil and guess what?  He is not, in fact, he says the following:

 “Coconut oil is a highly saturated fat, and one of the few of these fats that doesn’t come from animals. Like other saturated fats, coconut oil has been viewed in the past as unhealthy because it is capable of raising cholesterol levels. For that reason, I have recommended that it should play only a very limited role, if any, in your diet. Evolving scientific thinking about the role of saturated fats in heart disease may lead to new recommendations about them, but we’re not there yet….All told, I think the jury is still out on coconut oil, and without stronger evidence for it, I hesitate to recommend eating it in quantity.” http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA401284/New-View-of-Coconut-Oil.html

Remember, this now buzzy “health” product was once the devil…just a few years ago, people were terrified of movie theatre popcorn – that high calorie/high fat treat.  You want to know what it was cooked in?  Coconut Oil!  If you are a Coconut Oil lover, it is completely your decision if you choose to continue to make it a daily part of your diet.  I, for one, will eat my investment (and maybe use it on my skin), but once that jar is finished, it’s heigh ho heigh ho, back to Olive Oil I go.  I will not take chances when the whole point of this experiment is to make me take my health more seriously.  Sorry Dr. Oz, you know I love you, but we are going to have to agree to disagree on this one. 

Today, I am grateful that I did my research and admitted to my mother that I was wrong.  It’s never bad to come clean when you’ve made a mistake – she didn’t even gloat!  I wish she had – I would have : )  Until next time, I am not just an Olive Oil supporter, I am…

Gratefully yours,


Leave a comment

A DASH of Goop



Today, I must begin with what I am grateful for.  It is Gwyneth Paltrow.  Yes, the pretentious princess of all things Goop-y is what I am grateful for.  She allowed me to embrace my inner (and outer) pretention and will be my muse for this entry.  It happened with just a short title – Conscious Uncoupling.  Don’t get me wrong, I hate when a marriage ends, but who expects celebrity marriages to last and at ten years, Gwyneth and Chris Martin have practically been together forever.  What better way to announce the demise of their union with those words – I could not have written it better myself.  So today, I will be writing the entry with Paltrow poise.   I am also writing it with a fake British accent in case you were wondering.  I am listening to Shake Senora by Pitbull (I’m at the “My girl got a big old booty” part) – does that ruin my image? So catchy!   

It is with a heart full of sadness that I have decided to separate from overly processed food. I have been working hard for well over a dozen years, some of it with Lean Cuisines, some of it separated from frozen entrees, to see what might have been possible for dinner, and I have come to the conclusion that while I love frozen food, and yes even some canned soups very much we will remain separate. I am, however, and always will be fond of Diet Coke, and in many ways other artificial sweetners (although I cannot separate from Splenda). I am an eater, foremost, of incredibly wonderful vegetables and fruit and I ask for time and space and privacy to be respected at this difficult time. I have always eaten Lean Cusine and Healthy Gourmet privately, and I hope that as I consciously uncouple from all things frozen or not in season, I will be able to continue in the same manner.

As a curator of Dr. Oz’s advice, I have chosen to reveal more of DASH to you, dear reader in the hopes that you too may learn the fabulosity that is eating all of the main food groups.  As I scribed in my blog-eth, you eat from all of the main food groups for this plan of wonderous abandonment.  The plan also is said to have many benefits including, “… preventing the onset of high blood pressure…reduces the occurence of heart attacks and strokes (by 18 and 24 percent respectively)…it reduces the risk of developing heart failure by 37 percent…it reduces the development of kidney stones by 45%…it reduces the risk of developing colon cancer by 20 percent…it reduces the risk of developing diabetes…it even helps people think more clearly (The DASH Diet for Weight Loss, pages 5-6).  I am thinking much more clearly now, and have not had any of the fuzziness that I had on the Oz plan and another plus is that it reduces the risk of developing diabetes.

The basic premise of DASH is Hi-Lo-Slo: High volume, Low Calorie, Slow to Eat.  Basically, healthy foods that are low in calories, yet with enough bulk to make you feel full and take you awhile to eat so that your fullness signal can be activated.  I wrote more specifics in Tuesday’s blog, but eating fresh fruit and vegetables is important, as well as whole grains and other healthy carbohydrates.  There is a lot of fibre in this diet, therefore you should satiate your thirst with a delightful glass of aqua (water).  You should also not hoover your food.  Oops – forgot my Goopiness for a minute!  Eat slowly, chewing eat bite 35 times (ok just slow down).  They also discuss CICO – calories in, calories out – this is how people gain, regulate or lose weight.  Sound familiar?   It’s because I was on a rant yesterday about how simple this all can be for the average person – there are always exceptions. 

There is a lot of content in this book.  Here is a link that explains the food plan very succinctly http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/dash-diet-explained.  I’ll provide some more details over the weekend, but as always, kindly check with your health care practioner (Gwyneth speak for doctor) before trying any new eating plan. 

Until later, I am Goopily Yours,