Category Archives: HEALTH

Backfit Style

Are you a fitness person with an injury? I am. 🙁 I never had a major event but over the years with slip and falls, consistent long-distance running and really not taking the time to stretch, I am now one of those people who deal with chronic low back pain. I love fitness and can’t live without it but I also can’t do the same things I once did, especially running, without pain. I still consider myself young but my body lets me know I’m not. After having problems just getting out of bed in the morning and it being a process to get my underwear on, I finally said enough is enough. I left the best running clinic, Westcoast Running with Jason Ball (I hope to be back someday with this amazing group of people) changed my fitness routine to include a lot of spin and I did a program with Dr. Craig Bentham at Backfit Spinal Health and Fitness Clinic.

What Backfit did for me that other health providers couldn’t or didn’t do was to give me the ability to see what was going on with my back. It wasn’t just an explanation that I didn’t really understand but they took the time to show me. Being a visual learner, I never had a clear image in my mind of what my spinal health looked like and I never understood what it should look like until after my consultation/evaluation at Backfit. I had X-rays to look at and with other tools, like a plastic spinal cord, I finally got it. I understood why my injuries were happening and I could compare my spinal health to what healthy looks like. For me, this information was invaluable.

I may not have been the best at doing my foam rolling 😉 but I am a huge believer in the pain relief from Chiropractic care and the programs for back/neck health that Backfit provides to clients. I also know the owners and many of the doctors at Backfit – they don’t just “talk the talk,” they are true believers in Health and Wellness. I know they work hard to give the best to their clients and that they love seeing people feel better. And WOW their new facility is top notch. I just did an early morning HIT class at Backfit’s fitness facility Livfit and it was great! High Intensity Interval Training with the knowledge and care from instructors who understand injury and modifications for everyone to have a safe and intense workout. I look forward to doing more with this fantastic posse. Can’t wait to check out their yoga too!

Here’s a little more about Backfit and Livfit on their website:

Backfit Assessment

What’s your BackScore?

BackScore Assessment:facility (43 of 46)

Before we can tell you exactly what is happening with your spine, we need all the information. That’s why we have designed such a thorough exam. We need to know about your Lifestyle:

  • Activity habits
  • Nutrition habits
  • Mental/Emotional habits

We also need to know about your physical state:

  • Nerve health
  • Posture
  • Joint health
  • Muscular strength and endurance
  • Disc health

You may also receive Xray’s if required.

facility (21 of 46)

BackScore Review:

We believe in empowering you regarding your spinal health. To us, that means giving you all of the information regarding the health of your spine. When you come back to the clinic for your BackScore review, you will be given a comprehensive report to take home. It is a spinal health report card!

score report 4 pages

BackScore Solutions Workshop:

Have you ever wondered how you can ensure your best quality of life well into your 80’s? During the BackScore Solutions workshop you will be given information and concrete tips to keep your spine functioning at its best. For more info contact us.

The $149 initial visit fee includes the complete BackScore exam
(BackScore assessment,  BackScore review and Backscore Solutions workshop)
and x-rays (if recommended).


Getting started

Getting started is simple.  Give us a call, set up a time and meet with a Backfit chiropractor. We are good listeners and experienced clinicians. Learn what we can do to help you. Simply contact us to give us a call or send us an email to find out more.

Is Chiropractic care safe?

Research has shown time and time again that Chiropractic care is not only safe, but also effective at relieving pain, correcting spinal misalignments and increasing the health of your nervous system. If you have further concerns please consult our chiropractors.

Will treatment begin during the first visit?

Your spine is completely unique.  Therefore, your chiropractor will be as thorough as possible in determining what exactly is going on, before commencing treatment. Treatment will begin once you have seen your chiropractor and the BackScore review is complete. During this time your doctor will be able to provide you with diagnoses and recommendations for treatment. Once that is done it is up to you to decide what treatment frequency will work. It is important to know exactly what your spinal health status is, before commencing treatment.

What time should I arrive?

We recommend that patients arrive at least 5 minutes early to read new patient documents.

Who will be treating me?

The Backfit team is comprised of experienced Chiropractic Doctors, Kinesiologists, and Exercise Therapists. We’d love for you to meet our Doctors and our team.

What’s Your Stim?

Having a child with autism is always interesting around the Holidays. Along with all the excitement of Christmas coming, we also see increased anxiety, stress and more situations where everyone is expected to be on – looking fabulous and being present. These social pressures are difficult enough for most typical people and even more stressful for people like my daughter, Victoria, who has Autism Spectrum Disorder. When I get nervous or anxiety ridden (especially flying) I start counting as that helps me to focus on something else besides what I am doing. My husband twiddles his hair and my son chews on his shirt. We all have our little stims to help us cope but for Victoria her stimming behaviours increase in consistency and become much more noticeable to everyone around her during these exciting times.

(Self-stimulatory behavior, also known as stimming[1] and self-stimulation,[2] is the repetition of physical movements, sounds, or repetitive movement of objects common in individuals with developmental disabilities, but most prevalent in people with autism spectrum disorders.[2][3] It is considered a way in which people with autism and others calm and stimulate themselves.[2] Therapists view this behavior as a protective response to being overly sensitive to stimuli, with which the individual blocks less predictable environmental stimuli.[4] Sensory processing disorder is also given as a reason by some therapists for the condition.[4] Another theory is that stimming is a way to relieve anxiety, and other emotions.[5]Stimming exists on a Spectrum. Autism, Aspergers and SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) become diagnosable when symptoms impair one or more domains of function.)

Most of my daughter’s stimming behaviours are in her hands, she is constantly cracking her knuckles, and holding her hands in a clenched position for hours. Her hands are often swollen and you can feel the knots in her joints. To alleviate some of this stress we do hand massages and she seems to love them and find them relaxing. 🙂 I use Beautycounter ( product, of course, because I know that they have been screened for 1500 toxic ingredients  – anything that is a known allergen, that is linked to cancer or that is a hormone disrupter. My 3 favourite products for a quick massage is the nourishing cream exfoliator, then I wash it off with the nourishing cream cleanser and finally I use the beautiful, citrus mimosa hand cream.

Nourishing Cream Exfoliator – This gentle yet super-effective exfoliating cleanser sweeps away impurities to uncover fresh, radiant skin. Non-abrasive jojoba beads help slough off dry skin, while organic coconut oil and aloe soothe and hydrate. Price: $41

Nourishing Cream Cleanser – Sooth and nourish skin as you wash away makeup and other impurities with this ultra-gentle daily cleanser. Lightweight yet deeply moisturizing, the creamy formula contains witch hazel to tone skin, and coconut oil and aloe to help hydrate. Price:$32

Hand Cream in Citrus Mimosa (Pump) –  A lightweight moisturizing cream that hydrates and softens skin. Formulated with shea butter, vitamin E, aloe and chamomile, it absorbs quickly and leaves a subtle, refreshing citrus scent. Hand Cream in Citrus Mimosa does not contain synthetic fragrance ingredients, many of which are linked to health issues like allergies, asthma, and hormone disruption. Price:$38

Our Ingredient Selection Process ensures safer and cleaner products that work beautifully. This rigorous process handpicks the best ingredients, such as coconut—a tropical fruit with powerful moisturizing properties. What’s not included? Approximately 1,500 questionable or harmful chemicals on our “Never List” that we never use to formulate our products.

Here is a great article on Stimming BY KAREN WANG


The Cause of Stimming: What’s your stim?

Everyone has a stim

I play with my hair while chatting with a friend.

Maybe you bite your nails when you’re nervous or bored.

You may tap your fingers or pencil on a desk while you’re thinking.

I once knew someone who chewed on sticks of cinnamon bark, and I’ve noticed some who move their eyes in an unusual way.

I can recognize certain people from far away just by their distinctive movements.  We all know someone who has an annoying stim like cracking their knuckles every 5 minutes or repeating a phrase over and over; or a socially unacceptable stim such as nose-picking or biting oneself.

The Definition of Stim

The word stim is short for self-stimulation.  It is associated with several conditions such as deafblindness and intellectual disability, but most commonly with autism.  My son’s neurologist calls it “autistic stereopathy.”  It is also sometimes called “stereotypy.”

The DSM-5 includes stimming as part of the diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder: “Stereotyped or repetitive speech, motor movements, or use of objects…symptoms together limit and impair everyday functioning.”  That right there is the difference between autistic stimming and typical stimming: when the stimming interferes with everyday activities and prevents learning, it is often a symptom of autism.

The Wrong Question

The right question to ask for stimming“How do I stop the stim?”  That’s usually the first question parents ask when a young child discovers stimming.  But it’s the wrong question.

First of all, no one can stop self-stimulatory behavior completely, because everyone does it anyway!  Secondly, even if one stim can be removed, it will be replaced by another — and the next stim may be less preferable that the current one.

The most important reason not to eradicate stimming is that you may cause your loved one to withdraw more and more, and lose your opportunity to encourage healthy interactions.

The Right Question

“Why does my child engage in this behavior?”  Seeking to understand the motivation for a behavior is always a great place to start.  There are several hypotheses and known causes for stimming:

1. Overstimulation
stimming can help block out excess sensory input.

2. Understimulation
stimming helps provide extra sensory input when needed.

3. Pain reduction
repeated banging of the head or body actually reduces the overall sensation of pain.  One hypothesis is that stimming causes the release of beta-endorphins in the body, which then causes a feeling of anesthesia or pleasure.

4. Management of emotions
both positive and negative emotions may trigger a burst of stimming.  We’ve all seen physical reactions to joy or excitement, such as jumping or hand-flapping.  Frustration or anger may intensify a stim to the point that it becomes destructive.

5. Self-regulation
Some stims serve the purpose of soothing or comforting.  Many infants learn to suck their thumbs to relax themselves.

I recently read a blog in which a parent asked why her son covered his ears in his sleep.  He had learned to cover his ears when his environment was too noisy, and that was soothing to him.  So he started covering his ears whenever he needed to comfort himself, especially when falling asleep.

Reasons To Reduce Stimming

Self-stimulation can interfere with learning, interpersonal relationships and social situations.  Some types of self-stimulation are self-harming and may lead to infections or require surgical repair.

Self-stimulation may also be a symptom of an ongoing medical problem such as migraines which a person with a disability may be unable to verbalize.

How To Reduce Stimming

Here are some ideas for increasing relationship skills while reducing time spent stimming:

1.  Get a medical exam to eliminate the possibility of physical causes for stims, such as ear infections, chronic pain, migraines and retinal detachment.

2. Manage the sensory environment and emotional environment to maximize personal comfort.

3. Vigorous exercise reduces the need to stim, probably because exercise is associated with beta-endorphins just like stimming.

4. Continue interacting while stimming occurs.  In his book Communicating Partners, author James MacDonald suggests that individuals with autism tend to perceive the world through sensation and action, while most neurotypicals perceive through thought and language.

Once this difference is understood, self-stimulatory behaviors make sense. MacDonald recommends turn-taking activities to engage a child without trying to stop stimming during the activity; the activity will gradually become increasingly comfortable and attractive, naturally reducing the stim.

5. Create a positive association between stimming and relationship-building.  One way to use stimming as a productive part of the learning process is to allow stimming as a reinforcer or reward after a period of playful interaction or work.

Julia Moor writes in her book Playing, Laughing and Learning With Children On The Autism Spectrum that making time for stimming will allow the child the comfort of being himself, encourage more interactions and actually reduce the total number of hours per day spent stimming.

6. Join the stim!  Some treatment programs, including Son-Rise and Floortime, propose joining in the self-stimulatory behaviors as a way to initiate interaction.  If a person is spinning plates, then start spinning plates.  If a person is rocking back and forth, then rock back and forth right next to the person.

My son’s preferred stim is to hold up his hand and talk to it, as if looking in a mirror. He thinks it’s hilarious when I do that with him!

Stanley Greenspan, author of Engaging Autism and developer of the Floortime method, explains, “Some children become intrigued – they now have a partner in crime, so to speak – and we get some shared attention and relating. join in the child’s activity to create a relationship, and then begin to use gestures so the child, in order to get what she wants, has to gesture purposefully back to you and maybe begin using some words…

the overall principle is to offer the child experiences that produce the same sort of sensations as the self-stimulatory activity but lead up the developmental ladder of regulation, engagement, and interaction.

To work on regulation, start off with basic sensory experiences.  In this first stage, begin with the sensation but try to vary it, to expand the child’s world of sensory input.”  In other words, to reduce the stimming, offer a replacement that is more alluring than the stim!

My Favourite Mornings

Setting goals are so important when we want to start making (or maintain) healthy habits in our lives. When we don’t have something to work towards it can be much more difficult to get where we want to be if we haven’t even really figured out where that is.

In September before I started reset:breathe and I had publicly committed to getting up Monday – Friday and streaming live workouts at 5:30 am, I was a bit terrified. I used to think any number that started with a 5 and came with “am” at the end was ungodly and torturous and I had zero understanding how people would get up then by choice. I have 4 kids who don’t sleep well and have kept me up most hours of the night for a number of years, so actually choosing to get up in that five time zone was just crazy to me. I guess you could say I had no idea what I was in for.

Almost three months later, and 56 workouts in to reset:breathe (still can’t believe that) I have to say I’m in awe how this routine has become one of the absolute best parts of my day. I set my alarm for 5:00 am and go and nurse my youngest in hopes he will stay sleeping a little longer. Then I get dressed and head downstairs to the kitchen where I check to make sure my coffee is ready to brew, I fill up my water bottle, add two drop of doTERRA lemon and drink most or all of it in a few minutes. I add a swipe of peppermint to my temples and head downstairs for the workout.

When I turn the lights on in my studio, I start to feel alive. Okay maybe “alive” is a stretch but you could say I start to feel human. I add two drops of peppermint and wild orange to my diffuser and let that fill the air as I set up the camera, write the workout on my white board and lace up my sneakers (or set up my mat).

I press “live” at 5:30 am and then we are off. It takes about 30 seconds for the morning team to join but when I see those numbers pop up on the camera screen, my motivation sores (for real). The thirty minutes flies by, I say that with full sincerity and when we are finished, the perspective, positivity and pride I feel is indescribable. Then, my favorite part, it going upstairs and making my bulletproof, butter coffee and sipping it while I read the comments back from those who were on with me live. Sometimes I get a few minutes of quiet before my kids wake up and other days I drink coffee over their warm little bodies and have a good morning cuddle on the couch. I never thought I would say this, but I love my mornings more then I ever thought a person could. I get asked all the time if I’ll always do the workouts myself at 5:30 am and all I can say to that right now is, I hope so. As long as I can, I hope so.


To find out more about doTERRA essential oils and where you can purchase my morning staples, you can visit here:




November is the New January

November is the new January (starting today)

First of all, before I get in to the November talk, I have to say that I really love Canada. I love my home, I am proud of where I come from, and I will always stand behind the red and white. Now that I have that out of the way, I don’t feel as guilty when I say I don’t really love winter. I kind of hate it. Yes experiencing winter is a big part of being Canadian, but if you live in this country you may have heard or used this line a few times between November and March- “I’m not a big fan of the cold.” Ugh, I just shivered.

So there is that and then there is the fact we are engulfed in darkness by 4:46 pm in the evening. Ouch. Cold and dark are not great contributors when you are trying to lead a life full of vitality. So to all those out there that are starting to feel that pull to the couch by 6:00 pm- I get it…but stop… don’t do it. Don’t sit down and get your cozy pants and slippers on.  It sounds so inviting to cozy up and maybe even turn the fire on and make a hot chocolate, but letting yourself fall victim to the fleece blanket that’s calling your name will soon start to affect you in other ways. I am hugely affected by winter. I will be the first to admit it and sometimes the first one to the couch but I know how it starts a domino affect on the rest of my life. My laundry starts to pile up even more then it usually does, kids toys start becoming more mountainous in places they shouldn’t be, the counters get cluttered, my car gets messy and my to do list grows. So then my stress levels increase, my patience diminishes and everyone in my house starts to feel it. Anybody with me or am I the only one with kids pictures from school all over the kitchen??

Yesterday was a really hard parenting day for me. It was one of those days where no matter what I did, someone was fighting or crying, then water got spilled on homework, there were Cheerios all over the floor and all my sick baby wanted to do was be held. I felt like a referee that needed a hair elastic and a shower. When my husband got home from work my mood mirrored that of that big monster in the old Rudolph movie (I think I was making noises like he did too) and I wanted to go hide with a fleece blanket in the closet. I knew the answer to lowering my shoulders away from my ears was to go for a run. It’s always my solution and it always gives me fresh perspective…. but yesterday I let that voice in my head talk me out of it- “it’s too cold,” “do it tomorrow,” “have wine instead,” etc. etc. Not good. I went to bed feeling on edge, stressed and discouraged. So this morning was this beautiful, brand new day which us lucky ones get every 24 hours and I knew what I had to do. As soon as everyone was out the door and even though I had a mountain load of work to do, I put on my running clothes and off I went like a bat out of hell (not really but it kind of felt like that)… I ran, I conquered and I was renewed. It was exactly what I needed and I came back feeling strong and proud and ready to tackle the day.

Sometimes when things we normally can do with ease (or somewhat with ease) become difficult- its when our body and mind need it the most. When life is stressful and moving your body seems like another thing on your endless to do list- put it at the top. Seriously, it belongs there. Yes some things might get left out or become last minute, but you will tick off the items on that list a lighter human being, a calmer human being, and a healthier human being. No one is ever going to make you put yourself first- but every being around you will get more from you if you do.

Please don’t say to yourself in January you will change. Take care of yourself right now. Stop that domino before it falls and feel energized and proud as you finish 2017. Believe me, I KNOW it can be really, really hard but those little daily obstacles (like sick kids and messy homework) won’t seem so bad if you are looked after. You are worth it. You are SO awesome! You have got this.

Here are a few little things that can help you fight off the winter blahs:

1- Decorate early for Christmas. Why not?!  Start the excitement early and enjoy the beauty as long as you can.

2- Play music. There is nothing like relaxing tunes or a random dance party in the kitchen to make you feel a little lighter. I love Michael Buble’s Christmas album as a compliment to early Christmas decor.

3- Use essential oils daily. I rely heavily on doTERRA essential oils this time of year both to help boost the immunity in our home and to lift our mood and spirits. When you walk into a room that smells delicious, it’s an instant mood booster. My current fave is Holiday Joy. Sooooo good! To find out more, you can visit here:

4- Leave notes around the house as reminders to move and that you really are awesome. Maybe a note by the TV that says “wait until later,” and another by the couch that says “we will visit after 8:00 pm.” The most important in your kitchen that says- “you are amazing and you are loved.”

5- Brighten someones day. It feels good to make others feel good, so buy a friend a coffee, send a note to an old friend and smile at a stranger. Your mood will feel it.

6- Don’t take your phone to bed with you. There are so many reasons why you shouldn’t take your phone to bed with you so try not to. If you need it for an alarm, put it at the other side of the room. Let your mind relax and read a book instead.

7- Move your body daily. Even if it’s for one minute at a time, it’s so important.  Here is a 1 minute video you can do anywhere when you are short on time but need a reset. Visit @resetbreathe.


PS – and are teaming up the end of the month to do a one week Health Challenge from Nov 23-29. Exercise, no refined sugar & greens everyday for a week. Come join the healthy FUN! For more info click below 🙂



Beautycounter & Natural Deodorant Style

I was on Prince Edward Island a few weeks ago to visit my parents and sisters and I was telling them how much I loved my new career with Beautycounter ( I truly love the Beautycounter products, not only because they are safe (with an extensive never list of toxic and harmful ingredients to avoid) but they are also very high performing, amazing feeling and the packaging is outstanding. Everything that I look for when I am buying skincare and cosmetics wrapped into one beautiful package.

jodebcPhotos – Me and Beautycounter

However, at my last Beautycounter social I was getting a lot of women asking me if Beautycounter has a safe deodorant. Currently they do not and that is why I was so excited to be introduced to Nicole’s (from PEI) natural deodorant. My sister had been using it for a month and says it works well. She said she smells good even after a workout and had no reaction when trying it out. I have been using it for a few weeks and I have to say – thumbs up! This is a great product, now I am trying to convince Nicole to ship her natural deodorant out-west to Victoria.

nicole2Middle photo – Nicole Johnson and side photos – her deodorant and making the product

A little note from Nicole about her Natural Deodorant…

I’m Nicole Johnston owner of Nicole’s Natural Deodorant and Scrub. A few years ago I had a friend that was interested in using a more natural deodorant. It got me thinking about the deodorant I use and what my two young girls were going to have to use when they were older. I bought a few other natural deodorant brands but it just didn’t work with my bodies. I workout five days a week and teach classes at my local gym so I needed something that was going to work with me. I started making this all natural deodorant for just myself and my friend. Word of mouth took it from there. It took my husband 6 months to finally try it and he loves it. No more deodorant build up on his shirts they now wash up 100% clean. Some people buy two jars – one they use as deodorant and the other as a body scrub. The organic coconut oil leaves your skin feeling wonderful. I have a BSc in Human Nutrition and have worked in the food industry for years. I now have a small scale production line in my kitchen some days. I sell my product for $6 a jar. Having a natural product is a great selling point but having a deodorant that works this well sells itself!

The ingredients in my deodorant are Organic Coconut Oil, Starch, Sodium Bicarbonate and essential oils.

nlistNicole’s natural deodorant and Beautycounter’s never list

Unlimited Women Awards

Wow – I am so surprised and honoured to be nominated for the Unlimited Women Award 2016 under Women of Health and Wellness. I have been doing Health Challenges through my blog because I wanted to share with others how much fun health and fitness can be, no matter where we are in life. It is amazing what we can accomplish and how motivating we can be when we work together with other women and have a common goal. Health is not about perfection but about enjoying a healthy lifestyle by trying to do a little better everyday…and that is something we can all work towards.

Come Join in the Fun on June 6th!

Unlimited Woman Awards