Posts tagged fitness
The Secret To Whole Health With Wellness Expert Danny J

“I am here to show up, and help, and love, and serve people.” - Danny J

REST, REBUILD, RECONDITION: Danny J healed herself with those 3 key actions. While her words are different, it's not too far removed from the food, mindfulness, and movement that I used to heal after my injuries. 

Danny Johnson or "Danny J"  is a wellness expert with over a decade of experience and first-hand knowledge of achieving wellness herself after her body stopped working properly, she gained weight despite doing everything "right," and she had to give up and give her body what it was crying out for. She is the creator of the Find The Money Project, is the co-creator of Social Academy, and she has coached me in taking full advantage of social media so that I can better reach and help you! 

I am so excited to share her interview with you! We talk mindfulness, adrenal fatigue, money, and what really matters, so sit down and enjoy our half hour chat. I broke it into two 15 minute parts so it's easier for you to watch. Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

“I  feel like I’m constantly learning, and I’m constantly pushing myself to see more and expand more, and to be whole I just think you need to address all those sides of yourself."

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Something in the Water
I love water but it probably comes as no surprise that we don't drink as much water as we should. Here in North America, most of us have access to clean drinking water right out of the tap, but if we live in a city or a town, that water is usually treated with chemicals like chlorine and fluoride. So what do those chemicals do to our bodies and our health when we drink and bathe in it every day?

According to the Institute of Medicine, men should consume 3.7 liters (about 13 CUPS) of water through food and drink every day, and for women, it's 2.7 liters, or about 9 cups - more if you're pregnant or breastfeeding. If we work out or sweat a lot on a hot day, we need more. Even mild dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue and make you feel a little bummed out.

When I learned the volumes of water used, and contaminated by, hydraulic fracturing, and saw the documentary, Tapped, I realized how precious and rare clean, drinkable water is. Access to clean water is becoming increasingly scarce.

Ideally, we could all drink filtered water and bring it with us in use reusable bottles when we're away from home. I love my glass "Tap is Terrific" and stainless steel Klean Kanteen bottles.

Drinking clean tap water isn't an option for everyone, though.

Bottled water seems great in theory. Clean and convenient, easy to grab and go, available in pretty much every grocery or convenience store... but the bottled water industry is controlled by very few (large) companies, and they TAKE the water from nature and sell it right back to us. 

It's a booming business. We pay 2000 times the cost of tap water to buy it in a bottle. 

In Tapped, the film opens by showing how Nestle came into the small town of Fryeburg, Maine, under the name Poland Springs, and mined their water using eminent domain. Jim Wilfong, former Assistant Administrator in the Clinton Administration, lives in Maine and is interviewed in the film. He says, "Nestle and other large water barons are out trying to tie up the rights to water...It's all about control." Nestle's Chairman of the Board, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, does not think we have a right to our water.

In 2016, Nestle outbid a small Ontario town in Canada for the rights to their well, to ensure "future business growth."

"The Nestle well near Elora sits on the traditional territory of the Six Nations of the Grand River, 11,000 of whom do not have access to clean running water.''

I don't know about you, but that's not OK with me!
(Click to sign the petition)

Not to mention, the plastic bottles used for bottled water have also been shown to leach over 24,000 endocrine (hormone) disrupting chemicals into the water they contain! And we pay 2000 times the cost of tap water to drink that chemical soup.

My filter showerhead

My filter showerhead

Tap water is typically chlorinated and it has allowed most of us to rely on having drinking water that won't make us sick because the chlorine kills most waterborne bacteria that can cause disease.

But it doesn't kill all of the harmful bacteria all of the time, or remove any other contaminants. The chlorine itself isn't the best thing for us either since it can react with organic matter in the water and form trihalomethanes, or THMs. One THM we all know, actually, is chloroform.

Your know, that old-school chemical used to knock people out? Yeah, that. It's also a probable human carcinogen

You know the smell of chlorine when you're near a chlorinated pool, but did you know the allowed levels of chlorine in tap water are higher (4 ppm) than what's recommended for a pool or spa (1-3 ppm)? I grew up with a well in the country and naturally clean water, but now, like many people, the water we get comes to us chlorinated from the city water system. Necessary, I'm sure, but I don't want to drink or bathe in chlorine now that it's done it's bacteria-killing job.

So what do I do? I use these:

Since we get more exposure to THMs like chloroform through bathing and showering than we do through drinking chlorinated water, I make sure to use these every time I have a bath or shower! They don't eliminate all the bad stuff because no consumer filter can, but they help.  

On the left is this stuff called Pure Bath which is essentially just ascorbic acid (Vit. C) that reacts with and neutralizes the chlorine in the water. Add a scoop to my bath water, no more chlorine.

On the right is a filter showerhead that removes most of the chlorine in the water. I could smell chlorine when I showered before I got this filter, but now, no smell at all.

And just to be sort-of scientific, I picked up chlorine test strips at Home Depot to test my bath and shower water. I used a Water Quality Test by Pro-Lab. The images have slightly different color casts due to being photographed in different light. Sorry! I had to be quick. See the images below:

The results chart and unopened test strip.

The results chart and unopened test strip.

Tap water test strip on the right next to the results chart; water treated with Pure Bath according to instructions on the left. The difference is subtle (great to discover my tap water is not heavily chlorinated!) but the Pure Bath clearly eliminates the little chlorine that was there. It also made the water slightly more acidic which makes sense because ascorbic acid was added!

Tap water test strip on the right next to the results chart; water treated with Pure Bath according to instructions on the left. The difference is subtle (great to discover my tap water is not heavily chlorinated!) but the Pure Bath clearly eliminates the little chlorine that was there. It also made the water slightly more acidic which makes sense because ascorbic acid was added!

This is the result of water collected from my shower that ran through the Culligan shower filter! Also, no more chlorine, no matter how little, and like I said, I could smell it before I got the filter and I can't smell it now. It also reduced the water hardness a touch, which the filter says it does (reduces scale).

This is the result of water collected from my shower that ran through the Culligan shower filter! Also, no more chlorine, no matter how little, and like I said, I could smell it before I got the filter and I can't smell it now. It also reduced the water hardness a touch, which the filter says it does (reduces scale).

My hair and skin thank me for using filtered water, too. They are much healthier without the dryness that plagued me before I used these products. The filter that goes in the showerhead need to be changed every six months, so I have it as part of my "subscribe and save" items (see image at right) that I order on Amazon and it's scheduled to be shipped to me every six months so I never have to remember! The images without "My Whole Healthy" on them are Amazon links if you want to investigate further or purchase.

So that takes care of bathing. What about drinking water? For several years now I've used a Cuzn undersink filter that filters out both chlorine and fluoride. I purchased it from Friends of Water.

Finally, the chlorine test for my Cuzn undersink filter! No chlorine in its filtered water. Unfortunately these tests do not test for fluoride. I will look for a way to test my water for that and update this post if I can do it!

Finally, the chlorine test for my Cuzn undersink filter! No chlorine in its filtered water. Unfortunately these tests do not test for fluoride. I will look for a way to test my water for that and update this post if I can do it!

Why filter out the fluoride you ask? Isn't it necessary for healthy teeth?

Filtered drinking water from my undersink filter. We drink and cook with this water only.

Filtered drinking water from my undersink filter. We drink and cook with this water only.

Probably not. And the fluoride that's currently added to our drinking water is industrial waste from phosphate mining. It's often contaminated with arsenic.

Studies also show that fluoride is a neurotoxin.

My brain has enough to do without having to deal with neurotoxins, so I choose to filter it out of my drinking water, and use a fluoride-free toothpaste. My dental check-ups are great and I haven't developed cavities since my water or toothpaste switch. I do make sure to floss every day though and brush thoroughly. I have a Sonicare electric toothbrush.

Despite being unhappy with the treated water I get, I shouldn't complain. There are a lot of people who don't have a well in the country, or access to a city or town water system. Did you know that, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, one in three Americans get their drinking water from streams that are vulnerable to pollution? 

Tapped lfocuses on the bottled water industry and its frightening actions and power, but if your water is polluted, maybe your only option IS bottled water! And you're stuck paying exorbitant prices for it. 

We need water to live, it's imperative to good health and we should drink more of it, but it's pretty clear to me that we need to stick with tap water, remove the chemicals, work to clean up and protect our polluted stream and rivers, and use reusable bottles to bring water with us when we leave the house. Water is just too important to be ignored or assume "ah, it will be fine." Because it won't.

Do you buy bottled water? Do you bring your own? Do you filter your tap water? Do you drink enough or do you struggle with that? I'd love to know what you do and any "water woes" you may have. Let me know in the comments below this post!

 

Tapped - Official Trailer

This post contains affiliate links. 

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So Many Gifts!

So this has been an amazing week and I have so much to share with you!

My itty bitty baby bump! I'm 6'1" tall and it's still early yet ;)

My itty bitty baby bump! I'm 6'1" tall and it's still early yet ;)

First off, I would like to officially, publicly, announce that I am PREGNANT!!! and my husband and I are over the moon with happiness! Honestly, after my accident I was scared that I might not be able to have children and even after I was told I still could, I feared there was some injury or damage that had gone unnoticed that would still cause problems. But thankfully, joyfully, we got pregnant pretty easily once we started trying!

I feel so blessed and grateful, and appreciative of the amazing healing my body has accomplished! Yes, I still have scars - physical and emotional - but my body is healthily and happily carrying a little person now! I am in awe.

Learning to walk again in the hospital after  the accident . Head shaved, arm still in a cast with pins in my wrist, and I remember my left leg (that had been broken in 5 places) felt heavy and numb, like dead wood. I was 23 years old at the time.

Learning to walk again in the hospital after the accident. Head shaved, arm still in a cast with pins in my wrist, and I remember my left leg (that had been broken in 5 places) felt heavy and numb, like dead wood. I was 23 years old at the time.

 


Secondly, if you follow me on social media you probably saw that I wrote my exam on Thursday to earn my personal trainer certification with the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and passed with flying colors! I am so excited to have the qualifications necessary to work with and help people (you?!) one-on-one! I plan to start training later in the New Year and when I open the doors to accept new clients, I will let you know in my newsletter so make sure you sign up (top right of this page!) to make sure you're in the know! 

And now, with Christmas right around the corner, I wanted to give you some gift ideas with products and companies that I have, use and LOVE! Some of the links are affiliate links, so I would get a teeny commission if you use the link to buy something, but all the items are meant to help you! Anything I would make goes to helping me support this site but I hope you love and enjoy these things as much as i do! 

The next three companies make the most comfortable, stylish and functional organic clothing I've found yet! I don't like wearing synthetics made from petroleum (nylon, polyester, etc.) next to my skin when I work out and sweat, and the same goes for non-organic cotton which is sprayed with nasty pesticides, because I know there are cleaner, healthier options. I found these companies and since wearing their clothing regularly for months, I love them! They seem to have some killer pre-Christmas sales happening too, so check them out!

PACT apparel  - This company makes the MOST comfortable undies I have ever owned (ladies, no panty lines!) and everything they make is ORGANIC and Fair Trade, and they hold a ton of other awesome certifications!

Plus You can feel good when you buy their products! So if you need stocking stuffers, head over to their website to pick up CUTE socks, COMFY undies and the softest, most comfortable leggings and tees (plus camisoles, hoodies, tights and long johns!) Besides, who wants to wear pesticide-soaked cotton next to your most precious parts?! Every pattern they release is a limited edition so grab it while you can, and if your size is sold out, unfortunately it's gone. But every spring and fall brings new looks!

YOGIIZA - Organic yoga wear. This company is a recent discovery but I have two of their yoga/sports bras and three tank tops and I love them all! I know more Yogiiza apparel is in my future. It's is so soft and stretchy and comfy, yet supportive. Really well made and I love how it looks on! 

Here, I am working out (side lunges with a shoulder raise!) wearing a chocolate and turquoise color Yogiiza tank, Yogiiza sports bra and Gramicci leggings.

Here, I am working out (side lunges with a shoulder raise!) wearing a chocolate and turquoise color Yogiiza tank, Yogiiza sports bra and Gramicci leggings.

Gramicci - I discovered this company earlier this year while searching high and low for organic workout wear. Their NPT Athletic organic cotton and hemp line was the first thing I tried when making the switch to organic workout wear. And I keep looking with excitement every time they come out with a new line or new pieces! The hemp is naturally antibacterial so you don't smell all gross and sweaty even after an intense workout and the cuts and seaming of the clothes make easy movement a breeze. One feature I love is the little pocket in the waistband of the leggings where i can stick small things like my rings when they start to chafe during a workout! They are also committed to greener manufacturing.

 

Now for other things that have improved my life, and I hope they do the same for you!

Want to decorate your Christmas cookies without using the typical artificial (petroleum) food dye that's linked to hyperactivity in children? India Tree makes natural food dyes from vegetable colorants, and colored sprinkles made with the same. Seems like a great stocking stuffer to me!


I mentioned this film in last week's post and it's one of my favorite documentaries now. Released over the summer, I saw it in the theater and found it shocking, infuriating but also really inspirational because it shows what can be done. Our "food system" is broken and our nation is sick but there is a way through. This would be an awesome gift for anyone who cares about their health and is ready to make a change, or just become more informed.


Food, Inc. is THE film that inspired my husband and I to completely change how we eat. It wasn't a drastic change so don't feel intimidated but armed with the information in this film, it was easy for us to make smarter, better choices. The film is extremely well done, engrossing and inspiring. Shocking, too, in parts. It would be a great gift for anyone! It's kind of amazing :)


 

I recently found a toothbrush with a bamboo handle and I love it! Have you ever thought about how much plastic goes into the landfills because of all the toothbrushes we throw away? I'm using a different brand than this (the brand I found in my local store wasn't available on Amazon) but it looks pretty much the same as these and the bamboo is a sustainable resource (it grows back, fast) that will decompose when you throw the toothbrush away. Seems like a great gift for anyone who cares about the environment, and their teeth!


This book. Oh my god, THIS BOOK. I can't even begin to tell you how incredible it is and why everyone needs to read it. This book finally made me understand meditation and its benefits, and if you're like me and you need to know WHY something works, this book has it. The author is a science journalist who writes extremely well and who has faced more in her life than most of us, yet is still able to help thousands with her writing. It's so good. Just buy it for everyone you know who needs a little healing in their life.

 

I read this book right after I got out of the rehab hospital and it gave me SO. MUCH. HOPE! For anyone who has suffered a brain injury and is lucid and focused enough to read it, or the family or friends of anyone with a brain injury, this book is incredible. It's full of case studies that show the remarkable healing power of our brains and despite the scientific content, it's EXTREMELY well written and hard to put down. Highly recommended!!! 

 

I love these spices! All organic, never sprayed with pesticides and no GMO ingredients. These spices are not certified gluten free but I've never reacted to them, and they have many spice and seasoning mixes that are gluten free. And the little glass bottles are so cute to look at and re-use!

I know many of you are reading from Canada and the Amazon links are to the U.S. site, but hopefully you can get them on Amazon.ca, or in a store near you!

You can also purchase photographic prints, cards and keepsakes for the art lover in your life from m.y. photography!

What are your stories of healing? Has your body ever amazed you with its ability to heal? Has healing been hard and left you wondering how you'll ever feel like yourself again? I'd love to hear from you in the comments! 
And I hope this helps you with your last minute Christmas shopping! If you have any gift ideas of your own you want to share, leave them in the comments below! And what's on your wish list? I hope Santa brings you exactly what you're hoping for!

xo Maggie


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All In.

You are amazing. Do you know that? Because it's true. You are a whole, perfect being who deserves to feel amazing all of the time. But these days, you don't feel amazing... and maybe you never have. If you can relate, I hear you! And I'm here to help you.

One night back in November 2007, I had dinner with my roommate in Montreal, laughing and talking  over Thai food, before I grabbed a cab to the airport to catch a flight home for the weekend. 

I was on track to have a successful journalism career, with dreams of being a top news reporter for a big newspaper dancing in my head. I was excited, the semester was almost over and I had plans to move to California after Christmas, I was newly engaged... everything seemed pretty perfect.

My plane was delayed a bit out of Montreal but I still arrived in time to rent a car before the rental counter closed. I threw my suitcase in the trunk, got settled in my car and called my dad, as is our ritual, to let him know I had landed safely and was on my way home. I pulled out of the rental lot and hit the road. 

And I almost made it home. Traffic was light, as it typically is late at night where I grew up, the road was clear... just a couple more exits and a few miles to go. I was really looking forward to that big bear hug from Dad! 

Until suddenly my peaceful drive was violently interrupted by a pickup truck suddenly swerving into my lane and colliding with my car head-on. You can read more about that, and how that led to this blog, right here.

- self portrait -  Me in my Montreal apartment while studying journalism at university. And yes, the little pic on the wall behind me of the person with a mohawk, that was me when I was 17. I have loved punk rock since I was 15, And despite the image it maybe projects, I did not party much and I got mostly As in school. Don't judge a book by its cover ;)

- self portrait - Me in my Montreal apartment while studying journalism at university. And yes, the little pic on the wall behind me of the person with a mohawk, that was me when I was 17. I have loved punk rock since I was 15, And despite the image it maybe projects, I did not party much and I got mostly As in school. Don't judge a book by its cover ;)

That accident changed the course of everything in my life. But even before my accident, I dealt with constant colds and flu growing up. I wasn't "sick" and I felt "good enough" to get through the day so I didn't know anything was wrong! I just figured I was exposed to millions of germs at school and it couldn't really be avoided. Except I was sick way more often than a lot of my classmates, but I didn't think anything of it.

Suddenly being thrust into mega-recovery mode after suffering severe traumatic injuries quickly made it crystal clear to me that Medicine and doctors could only get me so far. If I wanted to get 100% better, I had to take control of my health and I couldn't settle for "good enough". 

We are surrounded by toxins every day and most of us don't even realize it. I know I didn't until I started doing the research! We're stressed out with stress hormones coursing through our bodies and wreaking havoc; we eat processed/fast/junk food because we feel it's all we have the time or energy for; we don't feel that we can or need to exercise; we eat and drink out of containers that are leaching toxic and hormone-disrupting chemicals into our food; we breathe polluted air. I was even eating "good" food that is actually making me sick until I realized that I'm gluten intolerant! This is not an imaginary thing as has been sometimes reported and I will blog about it more in a future post.

You've probably dealt with some kind of illness or injury in your life, too, (even if it's just a broken heart) but despite all that, there is still a way to feel amazing every day. Really and truly.

I don't mean to minimize the experience anyone may be having if they have a terminal illness. At all. I know some things cannot be cured. One of my most dear friends and teachers passed away due to ovarian cancer and I have no illusions about the toll illnesses like cancer, and severe traumatic injury, can take. I will also never minimize your experience of what you've been through. Whatever you feel is the reality of your experience; that's what's true for you. And I will honor that. I've had people tell me that my injuries were worse than, and conversely not as bad as, someone else who experienced a similar injury... which just strikes me as a weird comparison to make. All I know is that it was the worst and most terrifying thing I have ever experienced in my life, but that doesn't change your experience of whatever you've faced, does it?

What I mean is, despite all the challenges thrown our way that can throw us off the tracks, there is always something we can do to feel more centered, happy in our skin and healthy in our bodies. I am so excited to be writing this post and launching this website for you, finally! My Whole Healthy has honestly been years in the making and I didn't even know it. I had to gain some major life experience before this vision for helping YOU became clear but I am over the moon with happiness to be able to share it with you now! Welcome, and thanks so much for being one of the first to be here with me.

I titled this post All In. So what do I mean? Hint - it has nothing to do with poker or gambling.

Photos by Jasmine   of   Let's Frolic Together

Photos by Jasmine of Let's Frolic Together

When it comes to achieving optimal wellness, you've just got to be all in, all of the time. Healthy can't be something you decide to be only on weekends. We have this one life to be here now and do whatever this life holds in store for us. Even if you believe in reincarnation, THIS life will never be replicated. It's special. Even if life right now seems particularly horrible (I've been there!), I stand by that. It's SPECIAL and offers us incredible opportunities to learn and grow and even those awful moments (or days/months years) are proof that we are alive. We are here on this planet, getting to experience all of what's beautiful... AND all of what's ugly and hard. To me, that's pretty miraculous.

Still, I know, what's familiar feels safe. Even if it sucks. Change can be scary! But the steps you need to take towards achieving whole health are actually really easy. I know I just said that if we want to be healthy, we have to be all in - all of the time. Doing something with 100% effort, 100% of the time, sounds kind of daunting, eh? But think about it - the lifestyle and habits you have now are already being done the same way. Whatever your life is now, it's already your 100%, as healthy or unhealthy as it may be. The scary part is thinking about change and the unknowns it brings.

For me at least, the idea of change is much scarier than the actual act.

So I'm here to guide you, to help you, to educate you, and hopefully be of service to you. I want to take away a lot of that scary unknown stuff. Ideally, I'll help you replace the fear with excitement and self-empowerment, because like I said, you are AMAZING and you deserve to feel that way! I have so much to share with you... I'm so excited! But I have SO much I want to say, it's hard to know where to start! So... please tell me if YOU have a particular health/food/fitness/meditation/wellness question, or anything else that's on your mind that you want me to tackle in the next post! I would be so happy to start this blog by writing something that's specifically useful to you right away.

I'm here to serve you, so tell me what you're wondering about!

Please read My Story so you'll know why I created My Whole Healthy, and you can Take Action with five EASY steps towards YOUR Whole Healthy right now, and I'd be honored if you signed up for my monthly newsletter (top right in the sidebar of this page) to get Whole Healthy gifts and guidance delivered to your inbox! Check out the site, visit and follow me on social media... this is going to be AWESOME.

Don't forget to tell me in the comments below if you have any questions or stuff I can help you with! Can't wait to talk to you!

xoxo Maggie


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