The Hard-To-Buy-For…

I know it’s early, but it’s that time of year when I start to wonder what to get some of the people on my list. For example, our parents are retired and I’m pretty sure both our dads have more pairs of slippers than they will ever use. Soooo, I make it a point to try to find unique and (hopefully) useful items for Christmas.

In this year’s search, I’ve discovered a couple of websites that sell really interesting items and I thought I would share them for those in the same boat I am. Enjoy!

If you know of any other sites not mentioned here, please leave me a comment so I can add it to the list (and check it out:)




Replacing iGoogle…

Those who know me well, know I’m a BIIIIIG Googler. In fact, I’ve often thanked the heavens that I was born in the age of the internet as I’m a pretty curious person and LOVE being able to ‘Google-it’. Several years ago, I happened upon Google’s iGoogle homepage and have relied on it daily to provide me with information on new email, the Daily Puppy, my favourite hockey team, my favourite recipe sites, news and weather.

Last year, I was stunned when Google decided to remove it and, what I was dreading has come down to days (it’s all over November 1st). So, I decided that, if my virtual drug of choice was going to disappear, I was going to do my absolute damndest to find another…and I have! With a very similar look and feel to it’s design, igHome has duplicated the ‘grand central’ GUI of iGoogle, allowing me instant access to [most of] my beloved links.

A warning though: igHome is still in beta, so it’s a little slower than iGoogle and has less available gadgets. However, since new users are signing up by the boatloads, I’m sure this is only temporary.

So, should you be like me and are dreading the end of iGoogle, give it a try…won’t hurt a bit 😀

A few tech articles on igHome:




The Best Yoga Routine for Women

I really love yoga but I’m no expert. Frankly, going to any class where I would be grunting and sweating is not for me. Apparently, passing gas is a regular occurrence too – this doesn’t make me any more keen 🙂

So, after researching a few sites on it, I put together a PowerPoint Show of 10 exercises that take about 20 minutes to do and stretch all of your muscles. Practice these 10 yoga exercises at least three times a week and you will feel extraordinarily better and more flexible.  And, while I’m sure these exercises would be just as good for men, I specifically searched for ones for women because, well, I AM a woman, after all!

You can download the PowerPoint program here: The Best Yoga for Women. I’ve added page transitions and sounds so that you don’t have to stop to advance the slides. For those who can’t run it on their computer, I’ve posted the exercises below as well:











Feel better? Have a great day!

Are you taking enough Vitamin D?


Several years ago, my mother mentioned that my father had read a book on the history of Vitamin D and how the dosages were drastically reduced in the past because the hospitals were going out of business. While I’ve never read the book myself (I’ve been trying to track it down for years), it’s piqued my curiosity a great deal, so I’ve read a lot about it.

The information available online is tremendous and, like any other supplement, the war of words between the medical profession and the proponents of natural health cannot agree. While those supporting Vitamin D insist that everyone take at least 1000 mg a day, medical experts recommend less than half of that as a daily dosage. My father’s book (I WISH I could get a hold of it!) indicated that people were taking 5000 mg tablets at the time. Wha????

According to Dr. James Dowd, author of The Vitamin D Cure, adequate supplement of vitamin D will not only provide you with strong bones, but “…also decreases our risk of getting overweight and developing high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, cancer, and other health problems….”

Okay. Sold.

Further, Dr. Soram Khalsh, writes the following in the Vitamin D Revolution:

“Breast tissue has Vitamin D receptors so if there is sufficient Vitamin D available, it can be activated in the breast. This activation sets up a series of events in the breast. The presence of activated Vitamin D is believed to help protect cells from cancer, help repair cells that may be mutating with cancer, and help slow the proliferation of cancer cells that may be present. Cancer cells can be more prone to die when Vitamin D helps to maintain the cells’ function of apoptosis. Activated Vitamin D is believed also to interfere with tumors building blood vessels to feed themselves, thus starving the tumors.”

Fights breast cancer. Well, I’ll be….

Investigate Magazine journalist, Ian Wishart, attributes the low levels of Vitamin D in New Zealand to the increased usage of sunscreen.  Interestingly enough,  the NZ Cancer Society has made millions of dollars from sunscreens through its subsidiary, Daffodil Enterprises Ltd. There is a financial statement for Daffodil Enterprises and a video interview with a cancer society representative on the link at the bottom of the page, if you are interested.

Ian further states that: “…New Zealand’s high rates of cancer, heart disease and other major illnesses may be directly linked to low vitamin D levels. Autism has rocketed up, allergies can be found in every second house, mental illness and depression have escalated hugely, and our rates of deadly melanoma…International studies have shown people who use sunscreens regularly are three times more likely to develop melanoma than people who don’t use sunscreens at all….”

While Macleans Magazine sloughs off these results based on medical authorities opinions like the Maine Medical Center Research Institute, a WebMD article cites examples from the Institute of Medicine’s recommended dosage chart which are in direct contradiction to the body’s requirement:

“Assuming that a person gets virtually no vitamin D from sunshine — and that this person gets adequate amounts of calcium — the IOM committee recommends getting the following amounts of vitamin D from diet or supplements (Note that the IOM’s upper limit is not a recommended intake, but what the IOM considers the highest safe level):

Infants age 0 to 6 months: adequate intake, 400 IU/day; maximum safe upper level of intake, 1,000 IU/day
Infants age 6 to 12 months: adequate intake, 400 IU/day; maximum safe upper level of intake, 1,500 IU/day
Age 1-3 years: adequate intake, 600 IU/day; maximum safe upper level of intake, 2,500 IU/day
Age 4-8 years: adequate intake, 600 IU/day; maximum safe upper level of intake, 3,000 IU/day
Age 9-70: adequate intake, 600 IU/day; maximum safe upper level of intake, 4,000 IU/day
Age 71+ years: adequate intake, 800 IU/day; maximum safe upper level of intake, 4,000 IU/day

That’s not enough, says Boston University vitamin D expert Michael Holick, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, physiology, and biophysics, Boston University Medical Center. Holick recommends a dose of 1,000 IU a day of vitamin D for both infants and adults — unless they’re getting plenty of safe sun exposure.

In 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that breastfed infants receive 400 IU of vitamin D every day until they are weaned. This doubled the AAP’s previous recommendation.

Dr. Holick, who has made his name evangelizing the need for Vitamin D, posts the following evidence on the website of The Vitamin D Society:

A summary of the health benefits and disease incidence prevention that could be achieved by raising the public’s vitamin D levels to 125 nmol/L:

  • Rickets, reduced by 100%
  • Osteomalacia, reduced by 100%
  • Cancers, all combined, reduced by 75%
  • Breast Cancer, reduced by 50%
  • Ovarian Cancer, reduced by 25%
  • Colon Cancer, reduced by 67%
  • Non-Hodgkins, reduced by 30%
  • Kidney Cancer, reduced by 67%
  • Endometrial Cancer, reduced by 35%
  • Type 1 Diabetes, reduced by 80%
  • Type 2 Diabetes, reduced by 50%
  • Fractures, all combined, reduced by 50%
  • Falls, women reduced by 72%
  • Multiple Sclerosis, reduced by 50%
  • Heart Attack, men, reduced by 50%
  • Peripheral Vascular Disease, reduced by 80%
  • preeclampsia reduced by 50%
  • Cesarean Section, reduced by 75%

Imagine that? What more can I say? I take 2000 mg a day. While you can overdose on Vitamin D, the WebMD article indicates that recent studies suggest that healthy adults can tolerate more than 10,000 IU of vitamin D per day. John Jacob Cannell, MD, executive director of The Vitamin D Council, notes that the skin makes 10,000 IU of vitamin D after 30 minutes of full-body sun exposure. He suggests that 10,000 IU of vitamin D is not toxic.”

In the end, you are your own vitamin control board. This is merely my opinion and not the law (but it should be:) All the articles I’ve referenced are linked below, in case you want to read more about it.

Finally, I will leave you with some vitamin D humour I found. Enjoy!!!


Aging and your Life Checklist

I’m finally understanding what older people mean when they say, ‘where does the time go?’ When I was younger, I would hear this and think, ‘You’ve lived for X number of decades, don’t you remember?’ Now that I’ve seen more of these decade markers myself, I realize that it’s not that they/we don’t remember what happened, it’s where we are in our lives that makes you look back and wonder. What I mean by this is that we all have our own life checklist, despite what the years tell us. In the past, when I thought about being the age I am now, I would think: kids are almost grown up, I’d be thinking more about retirement (my financial situation would be way more comfortable than it is), I’d be driving this kind of car, I’d be here in my career, I’d weigh that, etc, etc….check, check, check….

Nope. Not even close. Although several of these items are where I thought they would be, for instance my kids’ ages, I haven’t caught up to my own projected expectations. I think that’s why, in my heart, I’ll always be 30ish. In my head, I’m not comfortable being older than that. I resent the fact that my hair needs to be coloured now, that those fine lines don’t disappear when I stop smiling, or that I have no intention (nor interest) in staying out all night. I guess you can call it aging with extreme prejudice.

So, what to do? Being who I am, I can’t see myself ever ‘settling’ and making my life suit my age. I have every intention of fighting it all the way. As a subconscious result of this choice, I know I dress younger and act more spontaneously, than what’s on my checklist for this age. On a positive note, people have been shocked to find out my true age (I love that :D). But is this the fountain of youth? Nah, not even close. Am I fooling myself? Well, maybe.

One good thing I can say about being this age is, I’m more comfortable with myself, my opinions and choices. I have my own style so I pick and choose from the current fashion; I’m no longer a slave to the latest thing. I no longer pursue people I think should like me. Now, if they don’t, it’s their loss. I will now stand up for myself if I feel the need, no longer walking away saying, ‘I should have said something!’.

Knowing this, you’d think I’d be comfortable with the number. Nu-huh. I have no idea when or if that will ever happen. And that is something Im comfortable with.

Check? Check.


Healthy Alternatives for Pain and Inflammation Relief

Anti-inflammatory is the new buzz word.  It’s amazing how the pharmaceutical industry let this leak out! Their answer? Ibuprofen and Naproxen  which are NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). They’ve been flying off the shelves recently because pain relief, together with reduced inflammation, works faster and lasts much longer than just a standard pain reliever (i.e. acetaminophen). Turns out, inflammation is the leading cause of pain and suffering, specifically headaches, back pain, muscle pain, and joint pain.

Touted by most practitioners of natural healing, is the use of anti-inflammatory spices…imagine that? These include ginger, turmeric,  capsaicin (hot chili pepper), devil’s claw, willow bark, pomegranate, bromelain (found in pineapple), green tea and St. John’s Wort to name a few.  Most of these can be purchased at grocery or health food stores. There is a great deal of interest and proof that these herbs, supplements and spices are incredibly effective in the reduction of inflammation. Even better, most of the contraindications resulting from NSAID use are absent. Further, capsaicin has been found to have analgesic (pain relief) properties, similar to that of Ibuprofen.

As the latest promotion and popularity of Vitamin D gains momentum (I’ll discuss that in a future post), so is the ‘new spice revolution’, Want to get in on the action? It’s absolutely simple. Go to your health food store (or order online for $12 for 1000), and pick up some empty pill capsules, Buy your bulk spices (where you can) and mix them together in a bowl. Use the larger part of the capsule as a scoop and make your very own anti-inflammatory meds. If you lack the time, most places do have these supplements already in capsule form. Doing it yourself, however, will save you mucho dinero $$$.

Cheers amigos,

About me…


A proud Canadian, Evelyn loves her family (both human & furry), her friends and laptop (in that order). A closet computer nerd, she’s finally decided to unleash her quirky opinions for all the world (or just you) to see.

My personal truth:
From the time I was a little girl, I wanted to be a princess – loved, adored and protected for who I was. It’s taken many years, but I’ve accepted the fact that I am now too old to be a princess.  I’ve realized, however, that I make damn good queen.
It’s a lot more hard work, but you get a lot more life out of it AND you get to pick out your own clothes.