On a personal note..

Another dream dashedI am out of words for trying to describe the emotions I feel when I throw my negative pregnancy test in the trash for what seems like the 100th time.  Heartbroken yet again. And it never gets easier.  But it can get worse. When you are pregnant and then you are not. The even more crushing is the excitement of “Finally!!” to “OMG – I just got my period, that could have been my baby!”

I don’t know why I’m writing this article aside from I know I am not the only person who feels this way. I don’t know what else to do to make myself feel better. There are days where I feel all alone in my struggle. But I know I am not alone because there are countless women on waiting lists for fertility treatment.  So many women who feel broken and empty asking for help. Every single one of us knows someone who struggles with infertility. And yet, no one talks about it.  We are embarrassed, as if there is something wrong with us.   Every time I go on FB and see a sonogram pic with a “we’re welcoming baby ….. soon” my first reaction is ” Well f** you!” out of sheer jealousy. That feeling then subsides to excitement for her.  I feel relief for her and her partner that they have escaped the desperate infertility cycle that I’ve been stuck in for almost two years.

I am relatively young. I am 31 years old.  I’ve had two endometriosis surgeries.  I’ve been with my husband for 11 years and we’ve never really used birth control.  And I have a daughter who was an absolute surprise.  No “trying” for her.   When people say “Once you have one, your system gets kick started and it is easier to have babies.” I want to choke them.  Don’t give people false hope like that!  I can say with 100% certainty that is not the case for everyone!  I’ve been asked “Can’t you just be happy with what you’ve got, at least you have one?”  And it makes me feel like shit.  I am so over the moon in love with my daughter, it is that love which fuels my want for more.  I want her to have a sibling. I have so much love to give! I feel guilty every day that I am sad. I feel like it isn’t fair to her.  And yet I trudge on.

I am a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. Meaning I know a lot about food and health and hormones etc.  I am the healthiest I’ve ever been.  My husband is a little older than I am but he’s been tested, and he’s a breeder!  So WTF??  It took a lot for me to see a fertility specialist. Food is my career and I felt like a fraud because I couldn’t fix myself. I was desperate. My natural instincts to reproduce were consuming my thoughts.   For months I’ve been seeing a fertility doctor for help despite my moral conflicts of letting things happen naturally.   Months and months of appointments and ultrasounds and blood tests and drugs. Drugs which can make you bat-shit crazy. Jacking estrogen levels sky high makes you insane. Injecting yourself with more hormones to make you ovulate. And then the second half of the month “inserting” different hormone pills up there twice a day that ooze out.  It totally messes with your sex life and your marriage. Sex becomes scheduled and work. Why do people live like this? Our natural instinct to reproduce cannot be shut off.

I’ve sacrificed my social life. I never book bar nights or weekend trips with friends because “What if I’m pregnant?”  I watch my friends drink wine while I sit there and hope I have a baby in there that will make my always being the designated driver worth it. And there never is. My husband and I skipped an all-inclusive week away in the fall because “What if”.  I don’t know how to turn that off. People say “You need to just stop trying and let it happen naturally”.  Well fuck – aren’t you fucking brilliant!  Why didn’t I think of that?

There are days where I can’t help but feel sorry for myself and cry.  Why me? Why can’t this just work?  It’s even harder when you’re being monitored and you are told things by a professional like “you have multiple perfect eggs this month”. If they are so perfect. Why did I just get my period?   Every month I get excited. And every month for far too long I am crushed again.  What I really want to know is why the fuck is no one talking about this? Why do I feel like I am the only one like this? I know I am not. Every week I sit in a waiting room full of women who feel the same way I do. Desperate and ashamed, looking at the floor waiting for their names to be called.  We need to talk about this.  I’m telling my story so someone who feels like me, hopefully won’t feel alone.

This is a new generation’s problem. Our parents rarely had these problems.  Because they didn’t suffer this fate, they don’t understand how hard it can be.  Don’t ask anyone when the baby is coming.  It’s none of your damn business! If one more insensitive person tells me to try harder I might come across the table and choke them out! (Like I have done in my head so many times!)  To the nosey people who think you should know everyone’s baby business, every time you ask someone who is struggling with infertility about their baby – you just reminded them at this moment when it wasn’t the first thing on their minds, that they can’t have a baby. Like I don’t think about that enough as it is?   So please.  Don’t ask people “When the baby is coming?”

My mom asked me why I thought this is such an epidemic.  The only thing I could think of is food supply. Genetically modified foods are designed so they cannot reproduce. So you have to buy more seeds from the company for every crop.  Those foods have their reproductive genes “turned off”.  You are what you eat.  And you are what you eat, eats. All non-organic meats we purchase were fed genetically modified food.   This is my only logical explanation (and opinion) as to why the number of people struggling with fertility is so common!  Or maybe it has always been this way and no one talked about it? I don’t know?

I know every one of you knows someone who has struggled and it’s heartbreaking. I want you to know that it’s hard, and you’re so, so strong for keeping a brave face! You are not alone.   Don’t be afraid to talk about it. My hope is that talking about it, and comforting someone going through the same battle in return eases my pain.  This stuff is more common than you think.  We are all in this together and need each other’s support.


Tips to save money on groceries – Series

How to eat well on a budgetI realize that we spent a lot of money on groceries.  I can justify it by wasting almost nothing we buy.  We also buy our meat in bulk, buy produce on sale in season and freeze, dry and dehydrate our own spices and green powders for extra servings of nutrition on smoothies.  As well we preserve and can food naturally, and I don’t throw away our produce scraps which go into soup stocks.  I also love and support our local organic farmers and farmers’ markets.

My laundry room has a massive freezer which currently holds half a cow, a dozen chickens, two ducks, two turkeys, and a goose (and a partridge in a pear tree).  In there as well are all the frozen veggies I hoarded throughout the summer and fall months.  Next to that freezer are some rickety old shelves full of mason jars with pickles, beets, tomatoes, jam, BBQ sauce, tomato paste, and other goodies we canned last fall.  This cold, dark, concrete floored room (which is also a haven for spiders) is my warm and fuzzy place.

It makes me happy because:

  • I know where it all came from
  • I understand and agree with how the animals were raised
  • I know there are no nasty ingredients hiding in my child’s food
  • And best of all, it’s cheaper!

Okay, it’s not cheaper than buying conventionally farmed, antibiotic ridden meats from animals fed GMO feed, living heart-breaking lives; or frozen veggies from China full of preservatives; or processed foods filled with non-food fillers.

It is cheaper and smarter to invest in your family’s health through good quality foods.  Otherwise you and your family are not living life to the fullest because you lack energy, can’t focus, suffer from headaches, “tummy troubles” and may other ailments that cost you your time and enjoyment.  Every parent wants the very best for their kids.  Learning how to navigate the seas of nutrition is a valuable lesson your kids will take with them forever. That to me is value enough for the money spent on good food.

You are what you eat, so don’t be cheap, fast or fake!  
– I wish I made that up – it’s so smart!

Over the next few weeks I will share my tips how I feed my family the best nutrition we can afford, within our budget.

I can tell you that the moral of the story here is:

  • buy in bulk,
  • buy in season,
  • hoard,
  • freeze,
  • get a vacuum baggings machine if you can afford it,
  • get ziplock bags (in bulk) and mason jars
  • dehydrate
  • do it yourself!

Heck yes, it’s more work, but the nutritional benefits are absolutely worth it!  Stay tuned!

Fermenting Tools

Fermenting Blogs:

Fermenting Recipes:

If you were in attendance for my fermenting classes, you heard me mention some equipment that would make your fermenting game strong.

ferment-pot-vegiesFermenting Crock – I have this one.  Patrick Yeung is a Toronto based ceramic artist that my mom met at the Toronto One of a Kind show.  I love the masculine look of his work.  This crock is a German style fermenting crock.  It has a lip on the top where you add water so gasses produced by the fermenting process can escape, but nothing can get in.  It actually makes me happy when you hear a little pop of air escaping, like a little fermenting toot. His crock also came with weights! Which is very important when buying a crock. You want to buy your weights from the same place that made the crock, otherwise you may never find weights that fit just right.

If you don’t have a fermenting crock, or you ferment so much that one fermenting vessel isn’t enough, you have options.

Mason Jars – I use these ones because they hold about one head of cabbage for a kimchi or sauerkraut.  These mason jars are “wide mouth” as well.   I walked into Canadian Tire and bought them (no shipping needed).  The issue with mason jars is the weights needed to hold the veggies under the juices produced. I jerry-rigged a small mason jar with my kids blocks. You have to get creative as the fermenting food must be covered in liquid. Some places say to use the core of the cabbage, but I worry about dirt getting into my delicate healthy bacteria. OR if your obsessed with kitchen tools, there are Pickling Pebbles!

fermenting-pebbles-handPickling Pebbles – My brother just got me these for my birthday and they are so cool!  They are handmade glass weights made of non-iridized soda glass and will never leach chemicals into your food. Use one or more weights to keep your food under the brine and free of oxygen exposure.  They come in two sizes (as do Mason jars) regular and wide mouth and are easy to clean.


largetulip-jarsWeck Jars – for pressurized storage are great.  I mentioned Weck jars for storing your flavoured kombucha.  I love these because they are easy to clean, and to remove your fermented fruit.  They pressure seal, which helps make your kombucha fizzy.  I got mine at Hendrix Restaurant Equipment.  They ship from Toronto.  I know that Crate and Barrel sells them, but you have to call them and place the order if you want to pick up in store.  (Because their Canadian website sucks I didn’t buy from them.)

This is a bit of an investment out of the gate, but if you’re going to be using these tools for years, it’s worth the money.