All About Me

Hello Sweets!

My name is Jennifer, a.k.a Canuckette :)  I just want to take a moment and say thank you for checking out my foodie blog!  It's great to have you, and please feel free to leave me comments galore, I love hearing from all of you!  

I started this blog back at the beginning of October (2012) because I needed to feel like I was doing something with my brain. lol  It sounds silly, but it's the truth.  I was born and raised in Ontario, Canada, and currently work for the biggest fitness company in Canada, GoodLife Fitness!  If you had asked me when I was in high school if I wanted to work in the fitness industry, I would have said no, but I literally fell into my job and I'm glad I did, because it is a great place to work (not to mention my membership).

I had literally worked any kind of job you could think of (my grandfather always says I do what needs to be done), and while working at a retirement home I had slipped and fell at home down some hardwood stairs at home, OUCH!  I was having a hard time recovering, so my doctor told me to join a gym and do some additional rehab outside of the physio office.  I wasn't so keen on the idea to be honest.  I was out of shape, and my brain can think negatively towards me sometimes, okay a lot of the time(like most girls), but my amazing roommate at the time, Mikey, was not going to take no for an answer.  Wouldn't you know it, after a couple weeks, I was hooked, an official gym rat if you will lo,l and I was at the gym so much I was eventually offered a job, score!
Terri (regional), me, and my boss/VP Mo: CanFitPro 2010 
Head office ladies: Me, Kari, Ashley, Britney, and Tereza: Christmas Party 2011

You might be asking yourself, why did she feel like she wasn't using her brain?   I'll tell you why: Back around April/May 2010, I was working with a personal trainer, and my shoulders would pop and crack like a barbie doll as my trainer put it, and they were sore but I just brushed it off and attributed it to training a little too hard.  Well October rolls around, and unfortunately for me, it had gone from a nagging dull pain to very painful and uncomfortable.  Needless to say, I got my butt into the sports clinic ASAP.  The doctor there had done X-rays and found nothing, so she sent me to see an orthopedic surgeon so they could investigate it further.  Well many more X-rays and ultrasounds later, still nothing.  He was just as perplexed, so he sent me for an MRI for both shoulders, neck, spine, and brain (last two were just to make sure he covered all the bases). 
In April 2011, he called me back to his office because they had found what they thought was the reason for my pain.  Here I am thinking: Great, it's a torn ligament and I've already been wearing a sling, so he's going to say it's time for surgery.  Well looking back it would have been nicer to hear that, but instead he discovered I had what is called Arnold Chiari Malformation Type 1(via Mayo Clinic).  Needless to say, I looked like a deer in head lights and was really confused.  He explained to me that while my brain and skull developed as a child, there wasn't enough room in my cranium so my brain had "dropped" and is now applying pressure to my spinal cord.  Then he sent me on my way with a referral to a neurosurgeon, and wrote my diagnosis down so I could look it up online when I got home (no, he really did say that).  Well I went home and did some research and found that it wasn't life threatening, but it made the quality of life lower.  While waiting to see a neurosurgeon, the pain had been getting worse and sleep was pretty much none existent.  I became extremely ill to the point I started emailing pain management doctors for help (I had no family doctor at the time).  Thankfully one agreed to take me on, and within a couple of months I was pulled off work because of the impact the symptoms had on my life.  The malformation had started taking things that I enjoyed in life and made them feel like a chore; i.e. my baking, cooking, and everyday cleaning like making my bed :(
It feels like it has been forever having so many restrictions, and I want nothing more than to be back at work living a normal life, which is why I started a blog. :)  There is finally a light at the end of my health tunnel.  I will be having decompression surgery soon, and then I'll be on the road to recovery.  The only thing that I kept on doing, even when it was sort of painful, was my baking and cooking, because in the kitchen I am truly happy and feel free.  So I thought to myself: Why not share my passion with everyone else? :)  If I can help even one person who is struggling with something, somewhere, this is all worth while.

The one thing that this diagnosis has made realize, is that I have a wonderful support system filled with amazing people, and it also made me realize who were only in my life for "convenience".  The ones that stayed by my side all play a role, and not all play the same role, but none the less, they are all key players in my journey; 
my rock, my better half, my true love, and best friend, Nathan
the best kind of friend you can ask for Tereza
My little ham of a nephew Miguel
My family: My aunt Jan, uncle Michael, grandpa Albert, my mother Patricia, sister Asha, and grandma Gwen

Of course there are many other key people in my life, but I am sure they are all aware of what they mean for me, they even support my blog :)

Majority of the time my blog will be based around cooking and recipes, but every now and then a few of my other passions will present themselves and I may write what ever strikes my fancy.  I am a secret nerd, an honorary Texan, very silly, and a singer in the shower. lol  I also have a passion for things that are pretty, specifically shoes.....and animal print, but what girl doesn't!!
two of my pride and joys :)

I try to post everyday, but I am good at letting you guys know if I can't :)  I hope you all enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy writing it!  And please don't be a stranger, I love hearing from all of you and love the feedback!  Also check out my FaceBook Page, there I show case all of my latest creations (some even before I post the associated blog).  There you will also find more information about my services, and soon detailed price lists!  Until next time.........

Stay sweet,

Jennifer xoxoxo

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