It seems like just yesterday we started the 2020/2021 school year under some very different and difficult circumstances than ever before. To say that the current school year has been a challenge is an understatement. I've been teaching for 17 years, yet this year it feels like it did when I was just starting off.
I took on the role of teaching one of the blended/hybrid cohorts for my district this year. I'm spending ½ the day teaching Grade 6/7 online and students attend school for in person instruction 3 afternoons each week. The Grade 6/7 curriculum is not new to me; having to redesign it for an online version is. I was also under the impression that the blended program would expire in December and all students would return back to the classroom full-time after our winter break. It turns out this current system will now continue until June.
I'm having to maneuver so many obstacles, whether it be technology issues, recreating new ways to teach in order to meet the various needs of my learners, or keeping the students engaged and on task, especially in the virtual world. The days feel long and exhausting, yet I choose to find the positive in everything I do. No day is perfect, but the positives definitely outweigh the negatives.
I feel blessed to be able to teach a wonderful community of learners, which has been validated by their touching comments and gestures this week alone. Teaching during a pandemic is not easy, but it makes everything worth it when I think of how far my students have come this year. From my autistic student who has been come so far as to ask for help on her own, to the girl who left in tears because she was moving schools, to the young boy who's parent told me he excitedly talks about his various projects when they had to pry it out of him in the past, my heart is overcome with joy and pride. It's moments like these that I am reminded that I love what I do!
As we begin the winter break, I will definitely take the time to enjoy some much needed rest and relaxation. I'll be spending time cooking delicious treats, sharing my passion for cooking with the world, getting back into my workout routine and of course spending time with the four legged members of my family. Christmas will look much different this year, as I will be joining my family virtually, but I am at peace as I know this is not a permanent change. It's what must happen to keep the people I love safe and healthy for many years to come.
When all is said and done, we will emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever! I encourage you to embrace this challenging time and try to find the positive each and every day.
From my family to yours, we wish you a very merry Holiday season.
About a month ago, I was approached by my branch manager and was asked to answer a few questions about Thermomix and my role as an independent consultant. I was told I may be given the opportunity to be featured in an online lifestyle magazine. The more exposure I can get, the better, so I jumped on the opportunity to do so. Plus, more people need to learn about this amazing kitchen appliance that is changing lives!
Well, weeks went by and I still hadn't heard who was selected to be featured. When I inquired with my branch manager, I was informed that another consultant was selected to work with the magazine. No big deal! It's just one opportunity that didn't pan out, but that doesn't mean there won't be many more.
I'm not entirely sure what happened, but to my utter amazement and total shock, I was forwarded a link to an online article - I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that it was my interview that they had published - WHAT???????
"VITA is Canada’s premiere online lifestyle magazine, with a group of seven free, savvy, online e-newsletters in major Canadian cities that target educated, affluent women who are starved for time and hungry for information."
I still cannot believe that I was chosen as THE consultant to represent our entire company on a national level. I am proud to represent this amazing company - not only because I believe strongly in the quality and versatility that our appliance offers, but I get to share my passion for cooking with all of Canada! The TM6 really has changed my life.
As I say in the article, "In today’s ever changing world, more and more people are working from home, eating in and cooking meals with families, and looking for ways to save money and time. ...The TM6 is bringing families together once again—kids will enjoy helping in the kitchen and can even take pride in the meals they make themselves with the help of guided cooking. This amazing kitchen appliance will turn any amateur and home cook into a professional chef!"
You can check out my interview by clicking here.
So where do I go from here? My wish is for more people to discover the amazing features of the TM6! And of course, I will continue to cook delicious mouthwatering meals and share my passion with my free weekly virtual cooking classes* and cooking experiences. I'm confident that we will start to see more TM6's in kitchens across North America - it's just a matter of time!
So with that said, email me for your very own virtual cooking experience. Let's enjoy some laughter, smiles and a fun night in, and let my sous-chef Rémy do most of the work!
*Free virtual cooking classes can be found on Eventbrite. (Search for "The Magic of Thermomix").
"Chocolate is cheaper than therapy, and you don't need an appointment." ~ author unknown.
How true is that? And it gets even cheaper and better when you get the satisfaction of making the most decadent and delicious chocolate creations yourself! Thankfully, with the magic of my sous chef Rémy, making these amazing show stopper creations is a synch.
This weekend I had the pleasure of hosting a virtual cooking experience and I showed my guests how easy it is to make Chocolate Coconut Caramel Custard and Chocolate Syrup. Would you believe me if I said that both desserts were made in under an hour? That includes the clean up at the end. I particularly enjoy eating both the custard and the syrup on top of goat's milk yogurt. I also shared some tried and true tips for making these dishes low carb and some of my favourite ways to enjoy them as well.
Check out some other mouth watering desserts made using my Thermomix TM6!
I'd love to share the magic that is Thermomix and host a virtual cooking class for as many of you as possible. We can customize the menu to you and your party's needs and desires. With the holidays coming up, we need more reasons for social interactions. So, let's get together virtually and have some fun, laughs and share a glass of wine or two together.
Even if we're not in the same room, we can still make the most of it. You can message me for more info! And feel free to share with all of your friends as well.
You can also click here for more information about Thermomix.
I still remember the day I wrote this:
"Sometimes, things don't go as planned. You may be aiming for two birds in a bush, and end up with not even one in your hand. There will always be times when things don't go your way. You toil hard, give it your best and end up crying. In the end you think maybe it was just because you didn't pray. But after all is said and done, and you grow older, and you find yourself in a place that is happier, you realize the universe never gave you a cold shoulder!" (Despicable Me).
I had just spent 5 weeks suffering through the most excruciating time of my life ~ Kidney Stones! Don't let those itty bitty little stones fool you. Think of them as little pebbles covered in minuscule razor blades, sitting comfortably in your kidney(s) until the day they decide to dislodge and take an unwelcome trip down your ureter and to your bladder, and then out! I have no idea how long my little mining operation of 10 stones had been forming, but the day they dislodged themselves will never be forgotten!
I will spare you the details, but it started with pee the colour of coca cola and lower back pain that was so debilitating, it felt like I tried to lift a 1 ton truck without success.
The next 10 days were spent in and out of the local ER and 2 emergency trips to the OR to blast those suckers out. It turns out I had about 10 stones in my left kidney that were ranging in size from 2 mm to 10 mm. Unfortunately the back pain would continue to linger for several months and my energy was non existant.
The year 2020 was going so well and I had plans to go on several hiking adventures this summer. I guess it's true when they say that you don't realize how much you miss things until they get taken away from you. Not being able to work out let alone being more or less housebound all summer is not what I had in mind. I love being active! Thankfully, by the time school started back in September, I was starting to feel somewhat back to normal in terms of my energy, minus the lingering back pain. Things were starting to look up! I was back to coaching and training Flying Trapeze and I eased back into my workouts.
Then came mid-September and another scare - my back pain was back with a vengeance. After spending another day at the ER and third trip through the CT Scanner, I was happy to hear I was clear of stones. It appears the back pain was more muscular and most likely residual from the stones. Just my luck! And so the next month was spent taking it slow, following up with my massage and physio therapists, and going on gentle walks with the pups.
I also had to revamp my diet and limit foods that I love, which was the hard part. People can form a variety of types of stones, the most common being what I had, calcium oxalate stones. I have since learned that oxalate is made daily by your liver or can also be absorbed from the foods you eat; foods such as spinach, nuts, rhubarb, sweet potatoes and even chocolate (not happening). My urologist also told me I need to drink at least 3 L of water a day, which has not been an easy feat for me and took some bladder training. Not only that, I am at a very high risk of developing more stones in my future, so I really do need to make sure to follow doctor's orders. We will find out in March sometime if my kidneys have decided to cooperate (fingers crossed).
Happy to report that I am finally feeling back to my old self. My next challenge is to get back into my old routines of working out almost daily so that I can get back to working on my strength and fitness goals. Through all of this, I do feel like I've done a pretty good job at sticking to my nutrition goals - sticking to a LCHF and moderate protein lifestyle has been great for my gut health. In addition, the scale hasn't budged and my clothes are still fitting great. Sure, my abs are not where they were at the beginning of summer, but I know they will come back.
For me, the most important aspect is getting my health back to normal levels so that I can come back stronger and better than ever!
It's a good thing that I'm such an optimistic person because when life throws me curveballs, I'm definitely one to throw them back and prevail!
This is me
Just a simple gal living on the West Coast of Canada, sharing her love and passion for food and fitness... and her puppy dogs.