A few of my Favourite Things

Last year around this time I picked up a book called the Tribe of Mentors by Timothy Ferris. The book is phenomenal, sharing a series of 100 interviews with high achievers (some known to me, some not). Each interviewee was asked the same questions, and a selection of answers from each person were published. One of the questions asked was “what purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)?” This question prompted me to think about my own answer to this question. Below I share some purchases that brought the most ease to my life and has had the biggest impact.

  • I mention this to many people, particularly as the days get shorter and darker. The Philips Sun Alarm Clock not only wakes you with a gentle increase of “daylight”, but the audio alarm also increases slowly as to not wake you with a startle. I found when using this for a period of time, my internal wake cycle adjusted and I found it easier to get out of bed even on those cold, dark mornings where it is much easier to stay cozy in bed.

  • Rumina Natural’s Totally Tallow. I am lucky enough to work with one of the brains behind the amazing Rumina line. One particular product produced is “Totally Tallow”, a clean multi-purpose moisturizer. I had heard great things about this product for months and it was only this past month I decided to give it a try and I quickly fell in love. The Fall and Winter months here in Calgary are very dry and I have struggled to find a product over the years that offers moisture without being waxy, greasy or too heavy. Warming the product in your hands allows it to apply smoothly and leaves skin feeling soft. It smells great too! *Apply discount code drkaren10 to receive 10% off your order!

  • Podcasts! I was trying to pick just one to put here but I couldn’t choose, so below I list my favourites at the moment. I started listening to podcasts 5 years ago when I had a long commute to work. I was tired of listening to the radio, and was lucky enough to come across “The School of Greatness”. From there I’ve listened to a variety of other uplifting podcasts offering perspective on everything from business, life, goals, relationships, health to finances. The best part? Its free. You can download them to your phone when in wifi so you can listen on-the-road and save on data. The information we feed ourselves is just as (if not more) important than the food we eat. Choose wisely, and expand what you know. Seeing the world through another point of view can be eye-opening and may just offer a simple solution to a problem you’ve been facing. Of course, sometimes I just crave entertainment and something less introspective and there are podcasts for that too! In addition to Lewis Howes’ podcast above, Some of my regularly played podcasts include: The Ed Mylett Show (growth, business, mindset), Oprah’s Masterclass (life, overcoming failure, growth), Heavyweight (life, regret, righting wrongs, undone and unsaid, revisiting the past, entertaining), Without Fail (life, reality, failure and success, entertaining).

  • I used to run as an outlet. It was my activity of choice and it had few barriers to get out the door. All I needed was a pair of shoes. Over the years, my pull to run has been replaced with a desire to swim. Sometimes my motivation to get to the pool is the hot tub soak afterward, sometimes its the meditation that comes with the swim itself. other times though (and here comes an item that was worth every penny), it is a new playlist on my underwater mp3 player. There are far more sleek versions that I see out now, but I actually purchased this a few years ago and it has been great. It holds my ipod nano and slides onto my goggles strap without being overly bulky. Music has always been a staple in my life, and has the power to change your state in tremendous ways. If you swim and struggle to stay motivated or get bored with lanes, I encourage you to order some underwater tunes.

  • Through the years I have gone back and forth between digital and good old fashioned paper planning. I think I have found my happy medium, with keeping all things needing a reminder, or simple daily tasks I need to get done and can’t forget in my phone (i.e. bills, appointments, etc) and the big goals, and long-term to-do’s in a paper daytimer (i.e. work tasks, long term plans, etc). Last year I found the daytimer to rule all daytimers (for me anyway) and even better, it was made by a local Calgary company. I’m talking about Wrinkle and Crease and their yearly planner. With ample space for weekly planning, monthly snapshots and lots of space in the back for collecting ideas and jotting down info you want to keep nearby. I have yet to pick up my planner for 2019 yet, but I will be ASAP because I love love love this one!

  • Last and certainly not least, another Calgary-based company The Gut Lab and their superfood shakers! I have only tried a couple and am so pumped to try more of their product, but I was blown away by the flavour of the Super Q shaker. Plus I loved the name…super…Q? You know, because my last name starts with Q? Anyway, this one had an amazing BBQ flavour and paired perfectly over popcorn. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a popcorn nut, and after trying this product, this will be a new staple for me. Most importantly, their products contain “sustainably sourced natural ingredients, no sweeteners, preservatives, fillers or artificial flavours”. Cheers to that!


There you have it! A snapshot to some of my favourite things that keep me moving, motivated and organized. Here’s to a strong end to 2018 and a fresh start to continue the momentum!

Lifestyle Hack

I was listening to a podcast this morning (Lewis Howes "The School of Greatness"...HIGHLY recommend it!), and one of the points discussed was how often we have habits that make us feel good, show up at a higher level, and assist us in executing our desired results in life, and then, out of nowhere, we stop. Not only do we stop, but our momentum slows down, we feel more lethargic and we just feel "off"...all the while wondering why. Of all the personal development I have participated in through seminars, books, and coaching, there are definitely common themes around creating healthy habits in life and sticking with them. Life is, of course, a process with many layers, ups & downs and experiences to be had. Nothing though, will replace the importance of daily action steps that nurture your core foundation and set the tone for living the great life we all aspire to lead.

That being said, I have observed my habits and results through the years and there is an undeniable correlation between when I am eating well, exercising regularly and feeding my soul with positive, happy thoughts, with those times when I am happy, less stressed, decisive, in-tune to wants and needs and overall at my best physically and emotionally. It is easy to say "I am busy and stressed thus don't have time for xyz (insert healthy behaviour here)", but what I have experienced is, it is during those times where it is MOST important to engage in healthy, nurturing action steps. As a result, we actually free up more time (because we are more efficient), reduce stress (because we can clearly see through rational eyes and heart what we need to do to move forward), and feel a greater sense of control over our experience.

The podcast today made me stop to reflect what behaviours move me towards my ideal life. I encourage you to look at your own life and see what is working and what isnt, what has worked in the past that you may no longer be doing (and start doing it!), and eliminate what is bringing you down. Here are some of my essentials:

  • Yoga- I have found that starting my day with an early morning yoga session clears my head and sets a positive tone for my day. I am not a morning person, but ALWAYS feel better after class. If I can't make it to class, even a few sun salutations help to get my body moving and blood flowing.
  • Physical Activity- yoga can fit into this category too obviously, but although there are obvious physical benefits, I am attracted to yoga for the mental/ emotional aspect. Physical activity for me, is anything that gets my heart rate elevated and causes a good sweat. Running, swimming, spin/ road biking (yay for spring!), hiking, you name it. Having a number of activities I enjoy keeps it motivating for me, because it no longer becomes a question of if I'm going to do something or not, but more WHAT I'm going to do.
  • Water! I feel SO much better, especially in our dry climate, when I'm consuming water throughout the day. Seems simple, and I recommend it to my practice members, but it's easy to forget...I now ensure I have a full water bottle when I leave home and work and bring one with me when I have to drive anywhere.
  • Words with impact- I always feel more grounded and centered when I am feeding my brain with healthy perspectives, either in books I'm reading, conversations I have (friends, practice members, colleagues, family), or audio books and podcasts. I am far less-stressed driving place to place, when I am listening to a great message.
  • Eating well- Don't you find that the worse you eat, the worse you eat? I find my cravings as a symptom to how kind I have been to myself in the previously weeks. Unhealthy behaviours breed more unhealthy behaviours, but the opposite is true too. Healthy habits, be it exercising or eating more vegetables, are truly a reflection of how much respect you have for yourself. You are afterall, more valuable than a freaking mazaratti...so treat yourself that way!
  • Keeping my body "in tune" with regular Chiropractic adjustments. The adjustment keeps my nervous system working at its prime, allowing all of my other behaviours to integrate optimally. 
  • One of the biggest lessons I learned at a personal development event, was the importance of keeping agreements...not only with other people, but most importantly with yourself. If I set an intent for my day or week, it is more likely I will adhere to it (vs. winging it, hoping for the best, and complaining when it doesn't work out). 

We all know what we need to do, so find that anchor that links the daily habits with your greater purpose and intended outcomes, and get started! We are all works in progress, the question is if we are progressing in a direction toward health and vitality or one of illness and dis-ease.