There were a lot of lessons learned in this one..mainly because I’m afraid of falling from high surfaces and I’m scared of heights. Many thanks to my friend Christine who decided to come with me on this adventure.
Some things we learned about climbing and life:
We had a blast. Our arms were sore, I couldn’t even grip the steering wheel of my car when driving home, but I felt great! Remember to keep trying new things! If you think rock climbing or bouldering could be for you, http://www.verticalreal.com/home/index_e.php
This year, our office has seen an increase in people getting bitten by ticks in the Ottawa and surrounding area. Here is a guest blog by Dr. Marie Matheson, a Lyme Literate Doctor on what to do if you or someone you know, gets bitten.
Spring of 2015 has brought an avalanche of new patients into my clinic who are being diagnosed with Lyme disease. This isn’t great surprise to me, as I’ve been seeing yearly increases in new tick-borne illness cases for the past several years. What’s really demoralizing, however, is that people seem to be no better prepared after they discover a tick bite than they were years ago when this was an even quieter disease. So I thought that it was time to dust off the “facts” sheet and re-issue it so that as many of you as possible could be more literate about Lyme facts, to better protect yourself.
Dr. Marie Matheson, N.D. and Lyme disease Specialist
I often have patients who have allergies and/or intolerances to certain foods. Sometimes, it’s even me that suggests that they eliminate specific foods from their diet. In either case, people tend to have challenges because they feel as if they are giving something up. For those with gluten intolerances, they often miss bread. But it does not have to be this way! You can have food intolerances and still have your cake and eat it too!
This week, I visited Strawberry Blonde Bakery in Ottawa and they are gluten-free, vegan and nut-free. I interviewed Jacqui, one of the owners, for tips on business, specialized diets, etc.
Q: What are some of your biggest business challenges?
A: We had quick growth and with that comes the challenges of maintaining good quality control, staying on budget and proper staffing.
Q: How do you come up with different recipe ideas?
A: Our best ideas come from our customers. We ask customers what they miss most since going vegan or gluten-free. If one of our staff eats out and finds something delicious, then they try to re-create it allergy free.
Q: Do you have any allergies/dietary restrictions?
A:I first started eating a vegetarian diet and has now transitioned into a vegan diet. 5 years ago, we started getting lots of request for gluten-free baking so we decided to go allergy free throughout the bakery.
Q: What is the best part of your job?
A: I love working with my best friend everyday! Being my own boss is nice. My favourite part is the looks on kids faces when they come in and their parents tell them they can eat whatever they want to eat. Side note: it can be quite a challenge for parents who have kids with food intolerances, to find alternatives that kids will eat.
Q: What advice do you have for people just starting out with an allergy free diet?
A: Shop at natural food stores, substitute for the foods that you already know (i.e. veggie burger instead of meat) and as you become more familiar, you can explore more. Try the bread made here...haha. There are gluten-free options of bread that taste great!
Q: What are your goals/visions for your business?
A: Our goals change however, we would like to eventually open up a second location and perhaps add a cafe component to serve sandwiches.
Q: Last question, what advice would you give to your younger self?
A: Be patient with yourself, things will happen when they happen and you don’t have to force it. When I was younger, I wanted to know how everything would work out before I began. Eventually, I had to take a leap and found out that the net would follow. Learn to let go of things. Trust others and delegate.
Thank you so much Jacqui (& Claire) for the interview. For yummy gluten-free, vegan, nut-free treats, visit http://www.strawberryblondebakery.com/
This week's guest blog comes from Michael Lifshitz. Thanks for being an inspiration!
When I speak to audiences about overcoming challenges, I always use the photo above as an example of perseverance. Many networking events used to be held in the restaurant in this office building in my home town of Montreal. While it may be difficult to tell from the photo, there is no railing for people to hold onto when climbing the stairs. For most people, they would not think anything of that, easily managing to run up the 4-5 steps in front of the building. However, for people like me, who have a physical disability, it is not quite so easy.
The nature of my disability is the result of a congenital defect referred to as Multiple Congenital Musculoskeletal Abnormalities, which for those of you who do not speak Latin is actually the medical term for extremely messed up. I wear an artificial leg and walk with a cane, and use an electric wheelchair for longer distances.
As I am able to get out of the wheelchair, I can do some stairs, but would need a railing to hold onto. The first time I was invited to an event at this restaurant, I pulled into the parking lot in front of the building, got out of my car, and stood at the foot of the stairs trying to think what to do next. It was then that I happened to notice that there was a piece of paper on the door. I stopped one of the people who were coming out of the building and asked them if they could please tell me what the paper on the door said. It turned out the paper was a notice saying that the event had been moved to another location, which was accessible, so the problem was solved. Until the next time I was invited to attend an event at this restaurant. I pulled in the parking lot, got out of my car, and said to myself “Oh yeah…the stairs”. That is when I paused and thought to myself that maybe there is another way. I got back into my car, drove around to the back of the building, and lo and behold, there was parking for people with disabilities, complete with an accessible entrance to the building with an elevator to get up to the restaurant.
So here is my question for you – what is your stairs? What is keeping you from going where you want to go, and most importantly, do you need to go there? Or is there a sign telling you that you can walk away and go somewhere else? If you do need to get there, find a way to get where you need to go. Go behind the building and find that alternate entrance. DISCLAIMER – This is a metaphor. Hanging out in your backyard (assuming you are reading this at home) or behind your office building will not get you closer to your goals. What will get you closer to your goals is having the perseverance to find a way to do what you need to do to make your goals reality.
Here is to you finding your way up your stairs.
Originally from Montreal, Michael now calls Ottawa home. Despite having a disability since birth, Michael defied what many would believe possible, becoming a chartered accountant and obtaining a MBA from Edinburgh Business School. He has built and sold a successful accounting and financial planning practices.
Today, in addition to continuing a successful career in finance and accounting as co-founder and CFO of Breakaway Experiences, an online directory of unique and memorable experiences people can purchase as gifts for their friends and loved ones, or to use for themselves, Michael uses speaking, comedy and writing to not only educate people as to what people with disabilities can do, but to also inspire them to overcome their own challenges and live their life to the fullest of their abilities. For more details about Michael, feel free to visit www.illumabilities.com.
Dr. Amanda is a non-traditional chiropractor who focuses on Neuro-Optimization Chiropractic in Ottawa, Canada.