Healthy Living

Lavender Soy Candles

For the love of lavender – I am in heaven! This weekend’s market haul included some amazing dried bunches and sachets of lavender + some essential oils (lavender included of course!).Lavender

I am always on the hunt for beautiful all-natural soy candles and am often floored by the cost of one single candle. Soy candles are non-toxic, made up of natural vegetables, generally burn longer and cleaner – releasing very little soot and no carcinogens.Lavender Soy CandlesThe lovely lavender man at the Guelph Farmer’s Market, inspired me to finally make my own soy candles. Off I went to collect supplies and give it a shot.  And let me tell you it couldn’t have been any easier! Do note: supplies aren’t on the cheap side but I also didn’t bargain shop (bought wax, wicks and twine at Michaels). However, supplies are much cheaper than buying 6 soy candles at your local retailer.

For 5-6 candles (depending on size) here is what you need:

  • 4 lbs of soy wax flakes
  • glass measuring cup
  • essential oils
  • 6 candle wicks
  • 6 jars (I used mason jars)
  • 6 wood skewers
  • glue gun
  • dried lavender (in this particular case)
  • ribbon or twine to decorate jar

Candle Supplies

  1. Centre and glue the wick to the bottom of the jar. (Minimal glue is needed but if you wanted to keep these all-natural, you could secure the wick with melted wax and letting it dry. I thought of this after the fact and was trying to be as quick as possible with this project).
  2. Microwave wax flakes on high in for 8-10 minutes, keep an eye on them and give them a stir if needed. Add an extra minute or two if needed. (Timing will vary on the size of measuring cup + amount of wax used).
  3. While wax is melting, wrap the wick around a wood skewer to help keep it centred and straight.
  4. Once the wax is completely melted, add 20-40 drops of essential oil and stir. (add more or less depending on how strong you like your scents)
  5. Stir in dried lavender.
  6. Pour into jars, keeping wick straight.
  7. Once partially cooled, top with additional dried lavender.
  8. Let cool for 10-12 hours, before use.

Soy Candle Making

Soy Candle MakingLavender Soy Candles

Heavenly. xx

Float Therapy

Complete solitude, exploration of the mind, therapy of the body and soul.

Float Therapy was invented by John Lily to isolate your senses. ~900 lbs of Epsom salt added to body temperature water in a dark tank. Allowing for no distractions – objectively, just your mind to meditate and explore.

If you have yet to try Float therapy, it’s time for you to give it a go. Take the moment to fall into a blissful state of awareness; I promise you it’ll be the best decision you’ve made in a while. 🙂

Life can become overly distracting with a constant input coming in, which takes away the resources of our minds. This quietness and weightless feeling of floating is the perfect way to shut off. I’ve yet to find another outlet that gives this type of relaxation.

Don’t be discouraged on your first go, as it can take a few times to get comfortable with the experience and really appreciate the state of being in a pod of darkness. It’s hard for us as humans to completely shut off with no input, which can be hard for the mind to manage. However, once you do it a few times you will get used to it and that 1-2 hours  of solitude will be life changing.

I remember my first time was relaxing but also a bit distracting, trying to get it all right. However, every time since has been complete solitude, drifting in and out of consciousness. It is an other worldly experience, as if you are floating through space. When you have no signals coming in from the body, no sensory input – your mind really becomes superpower.

Floating is great for stress relief, clearing the mind to gain objective thinking, reasoning and creativity.  It’s known for it’s benefits with athletic performance and recovery. Which I can personally confirm that a post-race float is favourable in recovery and I try to take advantage of a float after combating those longer distances whenever I can.

Float Tank

In addition, floating supports healing, strengthens our immune system, increases the body’s ability to detoxify and reduces inflammation. Not to mention evoking a feeling of overall well-being. It really is complete bliss! (For more information – check out Float Toronto).

Float On. xx

 

 

Race Recap – Becel Run for Heart 10K

A run of heart. A run of fun.

Last Sunday, I took part in the first ever Run for Heart along the Gardiner Expressway. This was the 29th year of the Becel Heart & Stroke Ride for Heart in Toronto and for the first time ever they opened it up to walkers and runners. 20,000 people took to the street to ride, walk or run and the vibes were running high!Becel Run for Heart

Bike routes varied from 25, 50 & 75 kilometres, along the Gardiner and up the Don Valley Parkway and those without wheels, were able to opt in for a 5 or 10 kilometre run or 5 kilometre walk along the Gardiner. Chris biked the 25K and I opted in for the 10K run. The rainy weather held out and the spirits were high as we trekked along one of our busiest roadways. It’s amazing how silent the downtown area was early Sunday morning without all the traffic zooming by. I loved this route!Starting LinePost Run

I didn’t set out on this run for a PB (in fact I finished in 1:05:16 – however clocked 11K vs. 10K, haha), but I had set out to have fun and celebrate the prevention of heart disease, saving of lives and recovery of survivors. We were running in support of these reasons + many more! It was a chance to enjoy a part of the city that we all know so well from the inside of our car and take it all in with each stride. Laughter, joy, heartache, love….seriously, all the feels! It’s always so incredible seeing survivors take to the streets and ones who are running for those who they have lost. It definitely makes you count your blessings and run your little heart out!548

Run with Heart. xx

 

 

Race Recap – GoodLife Toronto Half Marathon

Not a PB but a Feelings PB  and I’m SO into running again! 🙂

Sunday’s GoodLife Fitness Toronto Half Marathon may not have brought a PB in time but it was definitely a Feelings PB. Although… I will give myself credit that it was the fastest 21.1KM I’ve run in over 18 months (finishing at 1:59:18) – so that’s pretty darn awesome!

When I say it was a Feelings PB, it’s because I felt joy, strength and motivation throughout the whole race. Running alongside 14,000 runners in some unfavourable weather and the vibes were still so high. The crew love was absolutely incredible and carried me through most of the race (Huge Thanks Morgan & Lauren!) And even though I grew a tad tired towards the end, I really did enjoy every minute of those 21.1KM! I had no crazy pains, no hoping for it to be over soon, and no question on whether I would finish strong or whether I might die of pain the day after.

Today, my heart is full, my body feels energized and while there will always be some slight disappointment in not beating a previous time, I’m thankful to have been able to run. With coming back from some time off, not fully recovered from an eye illness and running with only one contact in, the fact that I was able to get out and run for 2 hours is something to REALLY appreciate.

We all run our own races for different reasons and it’s not always about the distance or time. For me, running this race was about celebrating the achievements that surrounded me pre, during and post-race. It was about celebrating the end of 16 amazing training weeks with Academy of Lions RunCrew  and its success in helping me grow stronger, faster and find my love for running again (as I had set out to do with joining RunLAB) + I made friends with some pretty rad people along the way! This race was about meeting challenges, putting the last 4 months of ups/downs into perspective and enjoying the final victory lap of  RunLAB; running with our community all set out to smash their own goals.

It may have been dreary, cold, windy and rainy, but we killed it and we did it together! Congrats fellow runners! 🙂5813

Inthis2gether! xx

Week 14 – RunLab

Week 14’s a wrap!

With two weeks to go until we hit the GoodLife Marathon, many are excited and eager to hit their goal that was set 14 weeks ago and I think equally as thrilled that it’s time to taper and training is almost over! That is until the runners high sets in post race and we all start training for the next. 😉

I, on the other hand am excited to be back training with the Academy of Lions RunCrew after being off ill for almost a month. I had a severe eye infection that left me living as a hermit. No social outings, no work, little screen time, and the darker the space the better. My lungs were aching for the taste of air, my skin to feel that warm spring sun and my sanity to socialize and catch up with friends!

Coming back after 4 weeks off didn’t make for the easiest of runs but my heart is happy and it’s great to be back running with the Crew! With my first full week of training and Sunday’s long run of 16.5km, I’m  happy to say that my body hadn’t lost all of the great training it had gone through and I feel as though I’ve bounced back pretty well! I’m pretty happy of where I am at physically and yes, I may be a tad sore but it’s a good sore. A soreness that I’m thankful for because I’m back at it and still able to work towards running GoodLife on May 1.

Unfortunately with being off for so long, I missed the peak weeks of training and am falling short of being able to complete a full marathon, which I finally had set my heart on (I think haha). However, I have high hopes that I’ll be able to finish the half feeling great and ready to cheer on the rest of the Crew as they finish the 42.2!

It’s been incredible to see how far everyone has come in their training and see how they crush kilometre after kilometre after kilometre! I love that social media was able to connect us when I was down and out and allow me to follow their triumphs as each week passed. After all, we are #inthis2gether! I will admit I did have serious RunCrew envy when the sun grew brighter, the days warmer and they were all out crushing 30+ km’s each Sunday, but it made me even more excited to get back at it.

The solidarity this group has and the support they give is outstanding. They were able to connect with me while I was off, advise on what my next move should be and encourage me not to fret and that there will always be another race! It was humbling to know that people I’d met only 10 weeks ago were so genuine, concerned and supportive through my whole ordeal. Major crew love here and I’m super grateful!

RunCrew

Get Running. xx