Sunday, February 08, 2009

Lululemon Photo Shoot with Bruce Zinger

For my work as ambassador with the Bloor St. lululemon athletica, I was treated to a photoshoot back with award-winning Toronto photographer, Bruce Zinger. We choose the ROM for the setting as it's really representative of the unique qualities of the neighbourhood. It was a real pleasure working with Bruce - he was so professional and quick! (Which was ideal, given that it was December and nippy outside. )

Watch for these photos to appear soon on my revamped website, Lightfooted.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Tweet Tweet

At first I resisted: what's this new Twitter thing? Another time-waster? Best wikie it. Okay, so now people can find out what I'm doing at every moment. Why should I join it?

Then I forgot about Twitter for a couple of months, and just last week, it dawned on me: I could use Twitter to promote Lightfooted. Specifically, to share my daily nutritional choices and fitness routines. I had just completed a 6-week Elimination Diet, losing 10lbs, gaining clear skin and consistent energy. I found that my clients and friends were asking how I did it and what I was eating now and I was spending a lot of time talking about my nutrition.

Twitterland is a great place to share my knowledge and routines in little, bit-sized bit of info. Okay, so I joined.

You can find me at Lightfooted.

Now that I'm on, I'm hooked. Last night, I was able to pull out three or four nuggets of current event trivia at a dinner party just from reading 2-second tweets from the likes of Blog TO and CBC World News and Lance Armstrong. It's seriously fun reading the small snippets of news from all these various sources.

Hope to see you there. Tweet tweet!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I've anabashedly copied the following straight from Nicholas' email. For a more elloquent and humourous account, please visit Jeremy's blog. Nicholas Handcock

For the month of the month of November I've been taking part in a fundraiser called Movember. It's pretty simple really, for the month I've been growing and grooming a moustache (Mo) while raising money for prostate cancer. This is my first Mo and I have to say I'm pretty happy with the results at this point. I was going for Chuck Norris but I've been told that it's really more West Side Story or creepy french guy... well, you be the judge. So if you like the Mo and you'd like to support the Canadian Prostate Cancer Research Foundation click on the link below to donate a few dollars and who knows, if I raise enough maybe it will stay on until Christmas. [God, no, please! <-- my addition]

To donate, click this link and donate online using your credit card or PayPal account.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Just a small-time renegade vigilante

I just recieved a $1,839.02 adjustment to my VISA bill today for simply writing the following letter.

You too may want check if you been paying for this optional service.


C/O Lisa P.
Canada Life Insurance
Balance Protector Department
Fax: (416) 552-6633

Dear Lisa, September 4, 2008

I am writing to you to request a full refund of my Balance Protector Insurance on my RBC Visa card. Without my clear understanding of what this insurance is, or that is was optional, I have been paying for it since my very first statement from my very first Visa card in 2001. Since the insurance charge shows up alongside the interest charges on my monthly bill, I had no reason to question it, or to consider it a hidden charge.

It wasn’t until after a self-imposed Visa ban last month that I noticed a continuing charge to my Visa. The Balance Protector Insurance. I phoned Visa today, to find out what it was. To my horror, I was told it is an optional service that apparently I verbally agreed to sign up for seven years ago. There is, however, no signed contract and I have no recollection of verbally agreeing to this insurance.

In 2007 alone, I paid $424.47 toward the Balance Protector Insurance. To think of how much it has cost me since its instigation– with no return on this ‘investment’ – I can’t help but feel betrayed by my bank, which has otherwise treated me wonderfully. By my estimation, I have been charged over $2,000 for services I do not want on account of this misunderstanding.

I therefore request that this hidden charge be retroactively revoked in its entirety.

Thank you very much for your consideration and attention to my request. I look forward to your response and encourage you to contact me if you have any further questions.



Ms. Jody O. Lightfoot

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Our Common Grounds: Toronto Parks & Recreation Strategic Plan

I found this a very interesting read...

Toronto is the largest city in the country, and the wealthiest. Our economy produces 20 per cent of Ontario’s GDP. More than 89 per cent of Toronto’s children under 12 say they prefer swimming to any other form of activity. Youth aged 13 to 24 (the same youth we’re trying to lure back to physical activity) place swimming at number three on their preferred list. Yet Toronto has only one public, competitive 50 metre pool. We have only one indoor diving tower.

Skateboard parks have been the coolest thing in male youth recreation for a decade, yet we have only four. BMX, a special kind of bike track, is the latest thing. We have only one BMX park.

And what about women? We have worked hard to break down gender barriers: many more girls now play ice hockey, but we haven’t built a new arena in 20 years. There is no prime ice time available in the city. We can’t pull youth into our programs if we don’t offer them facilities they want to use. And we are inhospitable to top athletes, the kind of people we want to train, and hold on to.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Saw this abandoned horsey on my way into my apartment yesterday snapped a photo of it with my iPhone. Only now did I realise it's an apt little metaphor for my Travelling Broad blog...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

'There's Mommy, riding a bike'

This article appeared in the Toronto Star on Monday and I just had to share it. Tatiana Kachira, a good friend of mine, is one of the best CAN-BIKE cycling instructors in Toronto.

Interested in learning how to ride? Contact her at

'There's Mommy, riding a bike'

Class for adults helps ease woman onto the seat of a bicycle and into fulfilment of a long-held dream
May 26, 2008 04:30 AM
Daniel Dale
Staff Reporter

Thirty-seven years after this race started, Grace Ramos stood, holding a video camera, at what her mother called "the finish line."

In Ecuador, men told a teenage Enma Ramos in the 1960s, girls couldn't ride bicycles: they'd lose their virginity. So Ramos didn't – until, one day at 16, she waited until her brother left the house, then hustled his bike onto the street.

She ended up in a ditch. Her father sold the bike. That was that.

Until Saturday.

After Ramos, 53, immigrated to Toronto in 1985, she "cried day and night." But she learned English, got a George Brown diploma and then a job as a food-service supervisor at a hospital, and raised four children as a single mother.

"Now," she said at Trinity Bellwoods Park, her perpetual half-smile fading for a moment, "it's my time." A few years ago, she said, she decided she wanted to do two things before she died: learn to swim and learn to ride a bicycle.

"She's my inspiration," said Grace, 20. "I look to her for everything. It's like, if she can do it, I can do it."

Ramos looked attentively at Tatiana Kachira, the instructor of the city's CAN-BIKE adult class, who stood beside her atop a small grassy incline. Kachira straddled her bike, hopped on, and rolled easily down the slope.

Ramos tried to do the same. She careened left, straight toward a tree. "Oh my God," Grace gasped.

Ramos stopped two metres before impact. Then she turned around, laughing uncontrollably, and smacked herself in the head. "Imagine me! Boom!"

Ramos tried again. This time, she nearly hit two barking dogs.

More attempts: a slight improvement; another near miss of the tree and another "Oh my God"; a slight improvement; the tree once more – and, after Kachira asked her to pedal instead of merely rolling, a near collision with a second tree. "Definitely, I like trees," Ramos said. "I have to live in a treehouse."

Then, finally, progress. Ramos pedalled for 10 seconds, then 15. Grace and her brother Bryan, 17, applauded. But, on her next attempts, Ramos again faltered quickly – after yet another encounter with her nemesis-tree, she gave it a hug – and when Kachira moved her from the slope onto a flat cement path, she lost her balance within seconds.
Ramos smiled. "I believe in myself."

Kachira walked her to the top of a second path, this one sloping. Grace stood at the bottom, near the bend Ramos called the finish line, holding the camera. And, after several more failures, something clicked.

Ramos's pedalling, so uncertain minutes earlier, became confident. She gained speed. Sure enough, 53-year-old Enma Ramos passed her beaming daughter, turned left, and continued around the bend.

She stopped at the end of the path. Grace ran, almost skipping, to give her a hug. Ramos smiled. She raised her arms in triumph – for a moment. Then, slowly but steadily, she headed back up the hill.

Grace followed, smiling, camera on "Record." "There's Mommy," she said quietly. "Riding a bike."

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Lightfooted Launches

Lightfooted is blazing along now that my boot camps are 13 days away from starting. I just picked up my brochures on Friday and will be hitting the streets this to hand them out. I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out (see above.)

Website update: It's finished!

Thank you to the many few who let me know the Sign-up for my Newsletter wasn't working, and that the site had a few spelling errors. My web designer, Nicholas (check out his other work here) spent his holiday weekend finishing it all up and I won't lie... it looks fantastic (in all internet browsers!)

I also sent out my Press Release to various individuals, local newspapers and magazines.

Things are falling into place now. Still so much to do, but it's all manageable now. Yip, yip!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Preemptive Indeed

After about the fourth email from my mother with yet another spelling correction on my business website, I started to regret announcing it before it was tweaked, tweezed and beautified.

So I set aside a whole evening yesterday to edit, just edit. And boy - there weren't just spelling mistakes, but a whole lotta of stuff to adjust. I had a field day, being the chronic perfectionist that I am. Spelling aside, the major fault is that if it's viewed on Internet Explorer (as opposed to Mozilla or Firefox or Safari) the layout is all messed up! I don't have a clue how to fix that (beyond googling "Why does my website look different in IE than Firefox?", so luckily our resident website builder, Nicholas, is on the case.

The forms all work now, so that's great! The first five people to sign up for my monthly newsletter will get a big, squeezy, joyful hug from me. So sign up now as hugs are going fast!

Monday, April 28, 2008


I'm a little preemptive with this, but my website is live! Click on the image/text above to get there. It's got a few kinks, and I've got to edit a whole bunch of text and finalise the layout (esp. on the homepage), but Nicholas stuck it up online to check out which forms works (most do) and which still need to be tweaked (like the registration page) and while it's up, I couldn't help but want to share it!

Check it out, and let me know what you think of it at first-glance: the flow, the ease of navigation, the content - does it make sense? I'll be working on it this week and by next, it will be up and running for business.

Weeeeeee! Lightfooted begins.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Juvenile Past-times

Last night while creating my Lightfooted flyers online, I came across one of the funnest things you can do with the internet: collect fonts!

While this may not be revolutionary to others, the elementary school teacher in me thought this was the ultimate in fun. And simplicity. Including new fonts into Microsoft Office is as simple as downloading the font to your desktop and then dragging the .ttf file into your fonts folder (Start --> Control Panel --> Fonts)

What fun!

Monday, April 21, 2008

When life gives you lemons...

...shove them down your bra and make your breasts look bigger. (So says artist Melia Dawn)

But in my case, I was making the good ol' fashioned lemonade. Alas, mine had no sugar.

Since Sunday, I've consumed the juice of 16 lemons in a brutal attempt at detoxifying. Although the 'lemon and cayenne pepper detox program' is supposed to go on for a minimum of 8 days, today I've happily downgraded to simply including a lot of lemonade in my clean eating diet, while severely restricting the amount and type of food I consume. I found after one day of no real food I was depressed, unable to concentrate and experiencing flu-like symptoms. But boy - was I clean.

It was interesting that I didn't lust after junk food; after 16 hrs of fasting, I would have done nearly anything for a serving of pan-seared salmon on brown rice with a side of broccoli.

Apparently, the symptoms are my body's attempt to rid itself of the sugar-craving parasites and candida (yeast) that live in us all, as well as the toxins (environmental, chemical and natural - think: pollution, artificial sweeteners and caffeine) that I have un/knowingly ingested and have accumulated in my body. A friend of mine once told me that before a dirty pan becomes clean, it actually appears to get dirtier as you scrub at the grease and fried bits with soap and water. It's a nice little analogy for what's happening in my body.

So, for the next 8 days, I will:
  • Eliminate, or severely limit my sugar intake, including sucrose, fructose (fruit sugar), syrup, brown sugar, honey and artificial sweeteners - basically anything sweet-tasting. Wah!
  • Eliminate pop, alcohol, coffee, fermented beverages, milk and cheese products and processed foods from my diet.
I will eat 6 times a day at 2-hr intervals (8am - 6pm) and include:
  • Copious amounts of water, lemon juice and detox tea (8 glasses minimum)
  • Yogurt, lots and lots of plain yogurt on everything
  • Raw nuts and seeds (bought a pound of almonds) and essential fatty acids (flax, and fish oil)
  • Eggs, chicken, turkey and cooked fish (no raw fish or shellfish)
  • And, of course, all the veggies I can handle.
I'm looking forward to seeing the benefits of my disciplined diet. This will include:
  • Clearer skin, disappearance of the dark circles under my eyes
  • Better quality sleep
  • More energy, better digestion and an increased metabolism
  • Greater mental alertness and memory-retention
  • Increased immunity against colds and flu viruses
This morning, I awoke excitedly at 4am to the cravings of oatmeal porridge with Golgi berries topped with plain yogurt. I had to hold off, but when that steaming hot bowl of porridge hit my empty stomach at 8 o'clock, I swear it was the best-tasting dish I've have ever consumed.

Here's to good health!

Thursday, April 17, 2008


After a month hiatus, I'm happy to be back to blogging. I missed it! Not that it was a planned break, just kind of happened amidst the spring's chaotic and bumpy awakening. Now that I'm back, there's so much I want to talk about: how getting back on my bike was at first scary but now completely second-nature; how building my business Lightfooted has taken over much of my life, but is immensely satisfying; how making the habit of going to the gym with my boyfriend has increased our satisfaction tenfold.

Spring is really the time of change and metamorphosis. It's a great time to turn one's thoughts to transformations. Even our lovely city is on board, as this appeared in my inbox this morning:

City staff to join in the 20-Minute Toronto Makeover 2008
Mayor David Miller and Shirley Hoy are asking all City of Toronto staff to take 20 minutes off work at 2 p.m. on Friday, April 18 and do a 20-minute clean-up blitz around your office.

Bags and gloves can be picked up from information desks or security desks in civic centre lobbies.

It's just 20 minutes, but it makes all the difference.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wouldcha touch this!?

Things have picked up around here since Nicholas came home. I don't seem to have so much free time any more to hang around my computer (and that's a good thing!)

That said, I miss blogging! ...and sharing the silly stuff I find online with you ...and knowing you still check my site out once in a while.

So here's a little teaser from a BBC study I recently stumbled upon that made me laugh. Try it for yourself to gauge your disgusted quota.

How would you feel about touching this?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Leisurely thoughts

Tucking into bed last night, after arriving home from a most relaxing holiday with Nicholas and his family, I picked up from my bedside table Patricia Lovett-Reid's latest book, Get Real: 26 Canadian Women share The Secret to AUTHENTIC SUCCESS. (I happen to have an autographed copy from when I volunteered at the Woman's Post Courage to Lead Seminar last week, where Patricia, a senior VP of TD Waterhouse and host of MoneyTalk, was the guest speaker.)

I was thisclose to buying her book, so that volunteer opportunity saved me $24.95 and earned me the chance to slip Patricia a CD of my Financial Independence Workbook while she was signing my copy. She gave away three copies that night, one to me when, responding to her question of, "Who would like a copy?" I jumped up and down and waving my hand, squealed "Ooh, me! Oh, me!" Sometimes making a fool of yourself pays off.

She said she'd email me her comments on my Workbook, so finger's crossed that happens soon. If it doesn't, I'll be sure to email her.

But back to my cozy bedtime read.

Not 30 pages in did I come across a fact that made me sit up and pay attention.

According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, women making more than $100,000 per year spend 19.6% percent of their time on passive leisure, compared to 33.5% for women making less than $20,000. (Leisure activities were defined as socializing or watching television.)

Do I take too many holidays? Does my lust for leisure activities hold me back? Keep me poor? Shall I throw the TV remot out the window? Something to ponder, that's for sure...