Positive Changes

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Where do I begin?

I guess I should start where it all began, which in reality is kind of hard to establish. For most of my life I can’t remember not experiencing stomach pain when I finished eating a meal, or a snack. Now it didn’t happen every time I ate, but when it did, it was this piercing pain that would have me doubled over in pain, bloated and very uncomfortable, the only thing giving me relief was peppermint tea, which helped with muscle relaxation, reduction of pain and inflammation.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, I should go see someone about this, well I did, and I was told that I had IBS (otherwise known as irritable bowel syndrome). Now, this is something that has been known to negatively impact quality of life (which I was not going to let happen). The crazy thing is – the causes of IBS are unknown – which makes it that much more difficult to understand.

When I was told my diagnosis, I felt like I was caught between a rock and a hard place, I didn’t know what I could eat and what I couldn’t without wondering if it was going to trigger the pain. Recently, after having lived with IBS and just accepting what I had, I did some research, and looked into a low FODMAP diet. Surprisingly, there were a lot of restrictions that I didn’t know about – and that is when I decided to try a vegan and gluten-free diet.

It’s something I have been trying for about 3 months, and I can’t say it is easy by any means, but I’ve noticed that I feel better – no more stomach pains. I feel full regularly, and I cook for myself – which I didn’t do before, and I’m proud of myself. 

Now, as I go through this journey, I want to bring you guys with me, I will be posting What I Eat in a Day, recipes that I have tried and loved, and updating you all where I am in my journey in order to keep me accountable.

If any of you have struggled with a similar experience, or have any great vegan recipes, comment below!!

Letting Go

The concept of letting go has never been easy for me, in every aspect of the concept. I keep clothes I’ve had for years yet have only wore once or twice, and I keep momentos of every small event. When I do in fact realize that I have to let something go, sometimes someone, it isn’t easy – and I don’t say that lightheartedly. Something you should know about me, my friends mean the world to me. I have had the same best friends since the first year of high school and we have stuck by each other’s side since. No matter what has come between us – and believe me, we have definitely had our fights, we have gotten through them, some easier than others. But I wouldn’t change any of them for the world.

Change has always scared me, I like having a routine, I like having lists, and plans – without them I would most likely self-combust. This past year I made a promise to myself. I was going to take more risks, make less plans, and see what I could accomplish. And I did do that, although I have to admit I still have a planner so that my brain doesn’t get overly confused, but throughout the self-discovery I realized that I needed to let go, specifically of a friend.

And although it was difficult to accept, it’s something I knew I needed to do. And I think that’s something important to understand, you don’t need to stay friends with someone because you have a history with them. You can a have history with someone, yet still go separate ways if you’ve grown apart or just don’t make sense anymore. That happens, and it’s no one’s fault, you just need to accept the inevitable, and go with the flow, the best that you can.

But change is good, it keeps you on your toes, and you just need to trust that the change is good, that something good can come out of it, and if nothing else, just know that you will feel lighter and happier. Because in the end, your happiness is what matters most – so make yourself happy, and ignore the people who bring you down, because they won’t be your true friends, but that’s okay – you will be okay, trust me.

Suede Moto

American Eagle sweater, jeans and bag (similar), Forever 21 jacket (similar here, and here), Nike running shoes

This jacket has literally become everything to me, and basically want to wear it with everything I own. Because it’s so light I can still wear it during those summer nights, all the way through to fall – if I just layer it with a plaid shirt, or a light sweater. The camel colour makes it appropriate to wear with a LBD or a pair of ripped up jeans. The other day, Alecs and I drove downtown to grab a smoothie, and we just hung out. We hadn’t done that in forever, and it was so nice. These past couple months the two of us have been so busy, we really haven’t had the time to truly spend time together, so any chance we get we try to take advantage of, even just for a couple hours.

Anyone else feel the same way?

 

Used up Stuff

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I think reading about products bloggers have used up are some of my favourite posts to read, they are ridiculously informative and I love learning about new products. Over the past couple months I’ve been finishing some things, collecting them all, and it is now time to delve into my favourites.

Okay, getting into the skincare, I’m going to just say, I do have combination skin, which is important to note when I’m explaining what products I loved and why.

The Sephora Collection micellar water has got to be one of my favourite makeup removing products I have used to-date. I use it on a cotton round after I’ve massaged some Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Butter all over my face. That is my makeup removing routine, and they are two products I cannot rave enough about – seriously obsessed, and I need the two always.

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Another product I tried was a Vitamin C Facial Cleansing Polish. I was using this as a morning facial wash, it’s nice, it is a polish, so it is a very light exfoliant and did help refresh my skin and give some brightness to the complexion.

Although I was using a polish, I still liked to use an exfoliant once a week, this one is by Burt’s Bees, the peach and willow bark deep pore scrub. This, not the biggest fan of; the smell wasn’t my favourite, although an affordable price, not worth it for me.

I tried a Vichy toner – PuretĂ© Thermale Toner, it was not bad, it’s a normal to combination product, and it does a good job of getting rid of any dirt that may have been left behind by my cleanser, and balancing my pH levels.

I tried this NeoStrata AquaYouth eye cream, it wasn’t bad, but nothing that made me overly impressed. I found it to be a bit too greasy for my skin, or what I like to use for an eye cream. I don’t think it would be something I would buy again.

I bought these Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads, I was using this at night time, after cleansing, and I definitely enjoyed it. It’s such an easy product, already pre-soaked with the product, and it helps to remove any extra dirt that was left behind, and also lightly exfoliates the skin. While they were great in helping cleanse, I didn’t notice any exfoliation happening – maybe that was just me.

Another product I went through, which I actually really enjoyed was the Biotherm Aquasource! Okay, this is a great daytime moisturizer, it isn’t oily, but makes it perfect for oily and combination skin, which means it’s great to use under makeup. It’s definitely one I would repurchase again!

The last product to talk about is the Mary Cohr eye makeup remover. It definitely did the job, but I still have a pretty strong attachment to my Sephora Collection Micellar water – it’s just that awesome. So although it did its job, I don’t think it’s something I would repurchase again.

If there are any products that you love, comment and recommend them! I would love to give them a try!!
Also, if anyone has natural products that they love, make sure to leave a comment, I’m definitely trying to get into more natural based products!

Chocolate Overnight Oats

I have been wanting to try making overnight oats for awhile now, but hadn’t found a recipe that I was in love with. The other day, knowing I would be rushing to work in the morning, with little time to make breakfast (and not wanting to buy a breakfast sandwich), I thought it would be the perfect time to try my own recipe, I definitely took some inspiration from the Oh She Glows cookbook, but I knew I needed something with chocolate. They are easy to make, filling, and hello…chocolate, need I say more?

Chocolate Overnight Oats

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1 1/2 cups almond milk
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 large banana, mashed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons raw cacao powder

For serving:
Fresh mixed berries
Hemp seeds
Pure maple syrup (optional)
Coconut flakes

Directions:
In a small bowl, whisk together the oats, almond milk, chia seeds, banana, and cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate to thicken.

In the morning, stir the mixture to combine. Add the toppings of your choice. I added mixed berries, and maple syrup.