journal 01. starting over

Today is September 19, 2018, and I am sitting in a living room that is empty, surrounded by candles that are held by brass holders that have witnessed so very much of what has occurred over these past 2 years inside of the walls of this sacred home I have built. The furniture has been moved, and the house is hauntingly similar to the very first nights that I spent here - same candle holders, same fireplace, same record player, same pooches; but a totally different life, with an enormously different path. I have bounced in and out of the healing space of my blog, I have been inconsistent with my shares and entries, and the simple reason is that I have been behind the scenes at times clinging to my own life, other times laying on the floor in desperation and utter heartache, and - over the past year - learning how to dance in the new life I have been given.

I have been tossed into the pit of grief over the past 2 years, I have experienced a loss so shattering to my soul that I had no choice but to fall to my knees in complete and total surrender; nothing has ever hurt me so badly as this loss did. Through the loss, however, a totally unexpected thing happened - the ashes of the forest fire became the fertile ground for newness to grow, the loss, the pain, it became the portal, and through it, I was spit out on the other side changed right down to my cells. My outlook is new, my attitude is different, I care less about the shit I used to stress over, my edges softened, my anger subsided, my heart opened, and my life was redirected. Today I am different, I no longer fit in the places I used to fit, and I don’t know what it is that life is wanting from me. I’m still trying to figure this all out - this new me, this new life - it’s beautiful, and yet it’s changed my heart is such cellular ways that I feel like a totally new human, and with that - I don’t know where the fuck I fit.

Tonight I sit here unsure of what is next, but with a newfound faith so deep that I feel totally confident that it is safe to sit in the authenticity of how I feel, and tonight I feel both gratitude and grief. My heart aches. My throat is pulsating with that old familiar emotional ‘lump’, and my face is wet - stained with infinite tears. Tears for what was, tears for the forest fire, and the lessons, and the sobriety I was gifted. Tears for new love, and old love, tears for the strength it took to get through this last chapter. Tears for god. Tears in awe, and tears in pain, and tears in gratitude. Cleansing tears. Grief tears. Joy tears.

I’m not sure where life is pulling me, I am not sure what it’s calling me to do, but I feel the need to reconnect with my words, and with sharing once again. This is my art. This is my voice. This is my healing modality. So much has changed, even my own blog feels like someones else’s online home - it’s going to take me some time to settle in, find my footing, and figure out what it is that I am saying and doing.

But I’m here, I’m back.

I’m taking a teeny tiny break after this chapter closes to head down the coast to Portland - a road trip is in order. The plan: drive, sing, drink coffee, play on parks, find every single hot spring we can, love the man I was gifted with all of my heart. I intend to write prayers + burn them, I plan to send wishes out to the universe, prayers for other humans, and mostly I intend to fall into the arms of Mother Earth, on the coast I love the most, in pure gratitude - because as horrifying as that last chapter was, as painfully as it hit my heart, I have learned that what truly happened in those days was life handed me a second chance. Life got big and sent her most powerful teacher, grief - and then grief took me, and I listened. And on the days I thought I wouldn’t make one-single-more-moment, I remembered to breathe, I remembered to simply take the next best step. And then one-day griefs waves crashed a little less frequent, and I could breathe a little easier, and now today the sun has come out and I can see with such clarity that the only truth for me to hold is the truth of gratitude and faith.

So as this chapter closes and the next begins, and as my heart aches tonight, and the tears seem endless, I simply want to relish in the miracle that has occurred - I never ever thought the light would be for me, and here I am - happy, sober, and free.

Thank You, Life. THANK YOU.

Only Love,

- k

journal 06. g r a t i t u d e

Something is shifting in me. 

My edges are becoming softer, the compassion I have in my heart is becoming larger - it's appearing in places I never expected to. I am witnessing myself experiencing the desire to apologize for my role in dynamics I thought I had no role in. It's becoming clearer + clearer that the world does not, in fact, revolve around me - a humbling, freeing, and ego kicking truth. Resentments are lifting and anger ceases to be my number one 'go-to'. Old memories are surfacing, and with that has come a slew of old belief systems (and awareness around those belief systems) that truthfully are no longer serving me, nor did I even know they were running my life. Clarity around the pain I have experienced in this lifetime has arisen, and suddenly it seems to have loosened its death grip on me. The dark story is getting old - old as fuck - and in its place seems to be bolts of bright light. It's like the old ways are slipping out of my grips, and this new 'me' is emerging; it's fucked up - its brilliant, and frightening; exhilarating, and humbling, it's foreign and alien all at once. 

It's got me crying. 

And laughing. 

It's got me in a sort of daze - but not a 'lost-in-la-la-land' sort of daze, more of a 'holy-shit-this-life-is-WOW' kind of daze. I'm speechless a-lot more, colours are more dimensional, I see what I have never seen before. I feel a lot less productive in terms of creating content for work, and I am being deeply drawn to sitting with spirit through 12 step meetings, prayer, journaling, and unnamed tears that come from deep unknown places. It's strange. The yearnings are shifting, the thoughts are starting to appear in ways that I have never ever experienced. 

Mostly, this strange shift has got me sort of sitting on the sidelines watching in total awe. What the F is happening to Kori? Where is she? Who has taken her place? It's a good thing, don't get me wrong, it just feels so enormous. 

A year ago I have a journal entry in which I described my pure fear about how the day would unfold; I was ready that day to say a farewell to this world; I was in such despair. I was in early, early sobriety, and my life had quite literally turned directly inside out right before my eyes. It imploded, it exploded, it blew the fuck up. It was enormous in its pain, the heartache was absolutely physical. I was unsure I could summon the strength to make it through and to be honest, I was unsure I wanted to. I had been accustomed to this sort of darkness while drinking, but a sober need to end it all was frightening to me. I leaned in deeply to the pain in those days, I worked my 12 steps, I reached out to my best friend and my Mum on an every-day basis. I cried. And I prayed. And I took it all one moment at a time, one breath and then the next. I moved slow. I felt it all. I vowed to grief that I would be a teachable and willing student, and I learned to shut my mouth and listen. 

That was only a year ago. 

I remember clearly having a deep urge a year ago to walk the El Camino de Santiago in Spain, I have never been religious, but I had an unexplainable need to be with Spirit. To this day, I have not shaken that need - it is still very much a part of me. I knew then that I was on a path that would alchemize my heart, and while I did not travel to Spain and sleep on church floors, I have found deep base music, trance parties, and love that has defiantly connected me to my version of a higher power. I have no doubt that I have found faith, no doubt at all.

There was no pink cloud on my journey, it was hard and then it got harder.

But today it's all so different. 

Today I am really feeling connected to the mystery of it all. Today the gratitude I feel stings my heart; for the first time in my life, the light side of life has become a very real, and very physical sensation. Joy feels intense, compassion takes my breath away, faith leaves my belly feeling full, in an actual physical sense. 

It's so strange, I cannot explain it, but hot damn am I ever grateful for this sneaky and mysterious path. 

One foot at the next. 

All of the Love, 

-k 

journal 05. k e t o | d a y 2 2 + some truth bombs on the Standard American Diet

Today is day 22 of a keto protocol I embarked on with the intention of a) reducing inflammation in my body, b) rebalancing my out-of-whack digestive system, and c) hopefully to encourage some positive change in the pain I am getting with my monthly period.

I am a healthy human; I take exuberantly good care of my mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional wellbeing - there is no reason that I should be having the issues that I am having around food, and yet, I am. I've tried a lot of modalities around eating in my lifetime; everything from vegetarianism, low-fat, paleo, elimination diets, master cleanses, juice cleanses, mostly raw diets, all cooked diets, candidiasis protocol, and the list goes on. Part of me is curious, as a holistic nutrition coach, to see how different ideologies reacts within my body, and the other part of me is seeking for the 'thing' that works well for me.  

 
Here is what I know for sure:

The Standard American Diet (SAD) is a poisonous and heavily addictive diet that is making us fat, sick, and brain dead. The SAD is a pathway paved directly into the arms of dis-ease. It is a diet that is filled with 'food-like-substances', and void of whole-foods. The diet we eat in the developed world is high in refined sugars, way too many carbohydrates (both good qualities ones + poor qualities ones), poor quality inflammatory fats, food additives, pesticides, food colourings and artificial sweeteners. Most of the shit we eat, we can not even pronounce, let alone do we know what it is, where it comes from, or what impact it has on our bodies. We are so used to eating "food" that is not recognizable by mother earth (aka: it's not food), that we do not even know it's unnatural and it's literally killing us. 

 

A small disclaimer before I tell you my experience:

I work as Holistic Nutrition Coach, I see many, many humans who come from many, many walks of life. We have different goals, genes, preferences. We live in different climates, have different values, and are at different stages of life. What works for one will not work for all. While I do believe that the SAD is a bullshit, die-ease promoting diet for all of us, I do not believe that the path to wellness is a single path. So what I share in this blog is simply my own experience, based on my own body. We must cultivate curiously and rely on a combo of self-knowledge, intuition, and professional help (doctors, naturopaths, psychologists, nutrition coaches etc.) to find the path that works the best for self. 


 

The keto protocol has been an eye-opener for me:

I grew up in a health-conscious family, and from my earliest memories, I adored wellness; I have always been interested in food, the mind, and the potential we hold to our own health. And with all of that being said, I was still a full-blown sugar addict all.of.my.life. This had not really become clear to me until these past 22 days when I have given myself a true break from all sugar (including honey, maple, fruits, and even too many veggies). 

My reflections, memories + experiences around sugar:

As a child I loved candy; I could not get enough bags of 5 cent candies, I remember being an ice-cream-aholic, and a Slurpee addict. Yes, I ate my veggies. Yes, I was more healthy than the 'average person'. Yes, I had good parents who had the education, passion, and access to good quality foods. Yes, I have good genes that make most people wonder why I care about these matters. And YES, I still craved, needed, had to have... sugar.

As an adult, I studied Nutrition in post-secondary schooling, and so I began to have a much more clear idea about the science behind why sugar is so bad for us. Naturally, at that time I gave up refined sugar, mostly (I went from weekly bouts of candy binges, too weekend only candy binges).

I must not fail to mention that there was a small habit being formed as a young adult that turned into a full-blown addiction: alcoholism. For anyone reading this that does not know, alcohol is the most refined sugar we can put into our bodies; I was drinking every.single.weekend (if not more).

In my late 20's I went back to school to study Holistic Nutrition, and it was there that I discovered why I had suffered from a horrible stomach ache and extraordinary mood swings all of my life: food allergens. In 2013 I discovered that gluten, dairy, and egg were culprits. The candy had to go, the ice cream and Slurpees were eliminated. And for the 1st time, I was truly "refined sugar-free", (note: not at all alcohol free), by this point I was a super clean eater, I was consuming lots of good quality fats, I was busy working on rebalancing my gut, and eating lots (and lots, and LOTS) of veggies. I had more knowledge and experience in wellness than ever before. I was drinking fresh juice, crafting delightful elixirs, learning all about fungi and ferments. I had rekindled my relationship with cooking, I was in love with my human body, and I was beginning to truly understand what wellness meant. 

And yet, I still had symptoms. 

I was having blood sugar crashed all day every day. I would leave my house with my bag packed full of snacks - always - because I would have a drop in blood sugar and become 'hangry', irritable, anxious and shakey. But.... 'Small Frequent Meals', that's what we have been taught; I mean that's even what I have been taught as a Nutrition Coach to teach.

On some level, it seemed 'normal' to have to feed myself numerous times throughout the day. 

Then came the day that I found myself in a 12 step meeting (December 27, 2016) and I gave up booze; I was blown away to see what happened to the sugar cravings for me. I ceased having mere cravings (which were never so 'mere', and always so intense), I started to need it. I had to have treats and kombucha daily, I was eating copious amounts of fruits. I had become a slave to sugar, and I was oblivious to it (or in denial). At the time, however, it was better than booze and drugs, and so I left it unaddressed (and I'm glad I did - one thing at a time is really important when we make big life changes!).

Meanwhile, symptoms are worsening for me:

My periods are out-of-control-painful. 

I am not lessening the number of food sensitivities, but rather, they are increasing. 

My digestion is always a mess, my tummy hurts, I am bloated.

The doc suspects potentially MTFHR (look it up, too much for this blog post), or potentially an auto-immune response.... either way, it's not radiant wellness, and that is my goal. 

And so, this was where the keto came in. 

22 days into this protocol, with a net Carb allowance of around 19-25 carbs/day, means that I have had zero sugar. No raw treats. No kombucha. No dates, or fruits, or high sugar veggies. I have spent my time focusing on enormous amounts of fat, moderate amounts of protein, and good quality veggies with low net-carbohydrate count (net carbs mean total carbs minus fibre).

This break from sugar has given me the ability to see the hold it had over me - all of my life.

 

I am experiencing positive effects from keto:

- My blood sugar is stable -- not one time in 22 days have I crashed, felt physical symptoms of anxiety (from a lack of food), experienced hanger, or got the "I need a snack shakes".

- I am not having enormous food cravings; yes, the start of this protocol I had some odd stuff come up - like the need for a fillet-o-fish (I have not had one of those since I was a wee kid), but mostly the cravings are disappearing. And when a craving does show up, it does not yank me into a place of choiceless-have-to-scratch-the-itch-demand, instead, it's sorta like thoughts attached to a helium balloon that comes into my vision and then floats away. It's weird. It's quite freeing.

- I do not have crashes that make me 'need.to.get.food.now.or.someone.will.die'; instead, I eat a well balanced, high fat, healthy meal and I am full for hours at a time. Once hunger does appear, it's a slight alert system to my body and it gives me ample time to respond, there is no panic. 

- The anxiety is lessening substantially - this was one of the 1st things I noticed. 

- I am intermittent fasting, something I could not have done on my 6 meals/day higher carb lifestyle.

- I am loving eating this way. I love consuming this much fat (I am currently on about 167g fat/day which is about 1500 cals just in fat) and I am getting in from all sorts of great places: Avocado, MCT oil, coconut cream, coconut butter, high-fat meats, duck fat, cacao butter, and ghee. 

- I have to track all food's and be careful to eat enough, as fat loss and weight loss is not at all my goal. 

That's the super sparkly side of keto, for me. 

 

The 'dark side' of keto: 

For whatever reason, I have had a shit storm of a fight to get into the rhythm of this; I suspect the reasons why has to do with the ideas that this protocol is doing what it should be, and I am detoxing - which is a good thing because according to my doc and, my blood work, I am super high in histamine and my detox pathways are not working well. The 1st week on this new way of eating I had the "keto-flu", and it hit me hard. I had what felt like a migraine headache for days upon days. I was aching, enormously tired, and I could barely see straight.

I was thirsty af, and still am. I am combatting this with so-many-electrolytes (homemade blends, lemon + sea salt, vega electrolytes, bone broth, etc)

I struggled to get into ketosis, even though I was tracking my macros and eating exactly as I should. I combatted this by lowering the amount of protein I am consuming and upping the amount of fat. It worked, and I have been in ketosis for a few weeks now.

About 4 days ago I discovered a rash all across my breasts and on my back -- low and behold, there is a thing called the "keto-rash", and although they say it's rare, I am one of the luckies who get to experience it. Basically, its s symmetrical rash all over my back, chest, and armpits, and its red, and itchy, and not-that-attractive. Some speculate that it is caused by ketones, or candidiasis die-off, or histamine, Some say it's simply a side-effect for some of us who go into ketosis. I'm not too sure, but I am waiting it out, taking black cumin oil internally as well as rubbing it on the rash.

While there has been some definite side effects, the benefits, for me, are far outweighing the pain-in-the-ass pieces of this protocol. 

 

Of all of this, the thing I am loving the most is the blissful reconnection I am feeling to food + nutrition. I am diving deep into this - reading all I can, researching, listening to podcasts, checking in with my body, having deep nutrition talks with my holistic nutrition coach friends + clients alike. This is the work I love more than anything - the work of wellness, the work of combining knowledge of the body, to the innate wisdom of intuition, to the magical world of Mother Earth into a customized personal ritual of self-care. 

THANK YOU for being here, for sharing your journey with me + allowing me to share mine with you. 

Below are a few resources that I have really loved for you to check out. 

 

Bullet Proof Coffee:

has been a staple in my morning routine. I drink one of these when I wake up, and then I do not normally eat my 1st meal until about 10am. The bullet proof I have been making has been with coconut butter (although you could use grass fed butter or ghee) + XCT oil (although MCT oil or coconut oil will do fine!). I made my coffee using a chaga tea base (although regular water for regular coffee it 100% a-ok!)

IMG_6314.JPG
CRAFTING INGREDIENTS:

1-2 cups coffee 

1 tablespoon XCT oil 

1 tablespoon coconut butter 

Add all ingredients into the blender

CRAFTING INSTRUCTIONS

Add all ingredients to a blender & blend until smooth + creamy.


RESOURCES

- The Castaway Kitchen - the most amazing Vanilla Tahini Keto Fudge - (plus this woman is pretty rad!) 

- The Keto Diet Podcast by Leanne Vogel of Healthful Pursuit has some sweet, easy to understand interviews

- Dr. Jockers is pretty rad, he is well educated in functional medicine and nutrition, and his webpage is informative. Leanne Vogel interviewed him on her podcast, click here to listen. 

- Joe Rogan interviews Dr. Dom D'Agostino - it's episode #994 (download it or listen on youtube here). 

- David Asprey ( I love this man! How work is wonderful. I love his books, his podcast and all of his products! Big fan) click here to hear him interview Dr. Dom D'Agostino on youtube, or you can download episode #85. 

- KETO NUTRITION is Dr. Dom D'Agostino's website, this man is seriously a genius. 


journal 0. | faith without works is dead |

I have spent my whole life waiting for the 'grande scroll' to fall from the sky; the one that boldly lets me know my life plan and all of the steps I will need to make in order to create an exuberant life of meaning. My prayers have always been a dialogue asking (or rather, demanding) the creator for what I think I need, asking for my dreams to come true, begging and pleading for circumstances to change or morph in a way that I feel is more fitting for my secret agenda on my life. 

As I wait for the 'grande scroll', the 'holy grail of kori's magical to-do's', I miss the right-here-and-right-now-next-best-step. I wait for the ah-ha, and I miss the fact that my registration is due. I stare at the sky waiting for the heavens to part and the choir to come down, and as I am lost in la-la land, I forget to pay a bill or be unwaveringly faithful to my word. My life gets a little sloppy when I am busy waiting for the magic of tomorrow's and missing the divine communication of the here-and-now.

Each time I miss the 'thing' that is right in front of me, my faith in life cracks deeper, and my trust falters. Why the fuck are the cosmos not answering my prayers, giving me what I think I need? Why do I not receive guidance? How come I can't hear it?

It has become obviously clear to me lately that I am receiving guidance; I am constantly being shown what the next best step is, it's just that I'm busy looking out for a 'more enlightened next best step', that the seemingly 'mundane next-best-step' feels un-godlike, easy to ignore, and impossible to relate to faith. 

The missed 'mundane steps' ( filling the tank with gas, picking up pooch poop, renewing registration, breathing, getting to a 12 step meeting, hanging my clothes up at the end of the day etc.) creates havoc + chaos in my life, and this creates a deep sense of alone-ness. It separates me from my spiritual practice, and it pushes me further away from my version of God, and from self. 

However, when I spend my time totally engaged in what is directly in front of me - the seemingly mundane - my life begins to work a little better; I cease being at war with the 'rules of life', and I find myself living life on life's terms. Honouring the 'mundane' and living life on life's terms is changing everything for me, It seems simple and really .... un-magical, but real miracles are happening for me as I practice living like this. 

Each time I engage in the next-best-step, I cultivate a deeper sense of self-loyalty, I feel proud of myself, I feel more deeply connected to self, which turns into self-worth. Each time I complete the next-best-step, the 'mundane-right-in-front-of-me-next-best-step', life works a little better. (example: I do not get pulled over by a cop to get fined for out-of-date-registration, and then head to the registry to find $1200 of unpaid parking tickets - true story, that amazingly enough has been a pattern in my adult life as I stubbornly continued to say 'fuck it to the rules'... amazingly that attitude doesn't work - go figure!)

The next-best-step is creating a smoother life-ride for me, and the smoother it is, the more trust I seem to be building back up in this existence.

At the base of my character defects is an enormous mistrust in life, I know where it came from - dad died suddenly on summer holidays - I also know that this is a piece that cannot continue to rule my life. The chapter of my life touched my heart, but it should not haunt my every moment. That one event is not a predictor of all events, but my mistrusting reaction and my rebellion against life perpetuates this self-fulfilling prophecy that "life doesn't have my back"

It's just so obvious to me from this standpoint; if I rebel against the simple next-best-steps as I wait for the big glamours ah-ha moments, life doesn't work well and life ceases to flow with any sense of ease. Once life ceases to flow, my ego proudly feasts on that stinky + untrue belief system that 'life doesn't have my back'. However, if I do the "un-glamorous-next-best-step" life flows with ease, and I feel supported.

When I feel supported, I feel deeper faith. When life is smooth, I do not feel alone. 

And the miracle begins,

the wound starts a healing journey;

faith blossoms;

self-worth elevates; 

and life + I appear to co-exist, and further... co-create. 

The simple next-best-step, the seemingly 'un-magical' and 'un-heavenly' next-best-thing that presents itself is God (or whatever you want to call it) saying this.is.it.

Do it.

Do the thing in front of you.

Stop analyzing it and making it so fucking complicated. Just do what presents itself; once we do it (whatever it is) life flows a teeny tiny bit better, and the flow leads us to the 'mundane-next-best-step'.

All these mundane moments add up to a vast and beautiful treck through the mystery of this life.

And you know what else?

Often these 'un-heavenly-next-best-steps' seem totally unrelated to the prayers and demands that we are making on the cosmos;

and sometimes they are - but I am telling you -  if you just do whats in front of you, you will be in AWE at where it leads you. Sometimes it leads us directly to the hopes we have, other times it leads us far past our hopes, into a realm we could have never dreamed up ourselves. And other times, life gets dark and stormy and we find ourselves asking "WHY???", and still the next-best-step-philosophy remains true. One moment at a time, one foot and then the next. 

We do not know what we need. We do not have the true wisdom to pray for 'our own agenda'; us humans do not have that sort of insight. So, we must surrender.

The best thing we can do is pray that our lives become of service, that the will of the cosmo's works through us, and for the strength to be able to do the thing that presents itself, however big and bold and magical, or however... mundane. 

This is the work that builds faith. 

Stop waiting for the bolt of lighting to come into your life to reveal the why's and the how's and the big ol' future predictions, and start to practice listening to the fact that the cosmo are in fact speaking to you. The question simply becomes, 'are you willing to do what it presents itself; are you willing to listen no-matter-what?'. 

Today I am renewing my car registration before it expires; and today, I know that is one small piece of God's will for me.

It's alot more simple than I even thought it was.