Life happened in July, as it does. We took the pressure off by combining our favourites for the last two months (and Lil is taking a break from these for a while, as life continues to happen!).

A duotoned dark purple and beige version of the Apple two hearts emoji, in front of a blue zig zag shape across the bottom
🎧Rich RollArmchair Expert
📖The Happiness TrapFrankie
📱The Low FODMAP Diet AppBrewhound
MindfulnessSquashing self doubt

🎞️ Watching

GLOW (TV show)

GLOW (aka the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) is the kind of show you could watch all in one sitting or one-episode-every-night-while-eating-dinner, as we did in my house. The trailer for season three is like a mini movie of itself, so for a good time you could also just watch that (2m32s).
— Jess

Mindhunter (TV show)

I watched season one of Mindhunter and loved it, so I was anticipating the arrival of season two. It didn’t disappoint, though I’m not sure I enjoyed it as much as season one. It felt like there were a lot of storylines in this season, and some I feel were dropped a little throughout the series. Though I’m sure they were just setting the scene for future series. If you’re into psychological thrillers and drama then I highly recommend.
— Aimee

🎧 Listening to

Zach Bush (Rich Roll podcast episode)

I’m a fiend for gut health information but this episode still had a couple of a-ha moments for me, along with reminders of things I’d heard before. It’s 1.5hrs long so in case you don’t have that kind of time, here are a couple of the key points:

  • Inflammation is the cause of many (most?) illnesses
  • Our digestive system is home to tens of trillions of microorganisms, which can change dramatically based on what we eat
  • If our food has been grown under stress (either plant or animal), that will have a negative impact on our health when we eat it
  • Grow your own food, if you can
  • Take long, deep breaths when out in nature, as another way to replenish your digestive system with good bacteria

Listen here: Zach Bush, M.D. on GMOs, glyphosate and healing the gut
— Jess

Busy Philipps (Armchair Expert podcast episode)

If you’ve followed along with our monthly favourites you would have seen me mention that I read Busy Philips book ‘This will only hurt a little`. As an avid viewer (read: stalker) of Busy’s Instagram, I saw mention of this podcast episode she did on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert. It was over two hours long, so I listened in stages (which did mean I had to keep replaying parts as I couldn’t remember where I’d left off). It was good hearing them talk so candidly and openly about personal topics. I enjoyed listening, and having had the context of her book made it feel much more familiar and easy to follow along with the discussion.
— Aimee

📖 Reading

The Happiness Trap (book)

I was recommended The Happiness Trap by a few people before I finally got around to reading it, and now I wish I’d done so sooner. I’m only a few chapters in but have already gained some useful new strategies for dealing with anxiety when it rears its ugly head.

The book is based on the principles and techniques of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). As I understand it so far, it’s about identifying your true values (how do you really want to be spending your time?) then using your commitment to these values as a means to accept negative thoughts, rather than trying to push them away. By accepting the thoughts, they don’t hold the same power as if you’re trying to reject them. Of course, this is in perfect opposition to our instincts, “Oh, hey there scary thought… you’re scary. Go awayyy! Why are you still there? GAH! Now you’re worse…” 😳 etc.

It encourages the use of mindfulness to bring your focus back to the present, particularly when our anxious side tries to overwhelm us with visions of a future which isn’t real. There are some free worksheets (printable PDF) – best used in conjunction with the book but could be helpful on their own too.
— Jess

Frankie issue 91 (magazine)

Back in the day I used to buy every single Frankie issue. I tend to now only buy it when I want to treat myself, or if there’s something specific that tickles my fancy. Well, in the latest issue my good friend’s husband Steve had an interview written. So that was the only cue I needed to rush out and buy a copy. This issue was just the right mix of nostalgia, inspiration and joy.
— Aimee

📱 Using

The Low FODMAP Diet (app)

I was recommended to try the low FODMAP elimination diet to find out if I have any food intolerances to watch out for, so I’m using the Monash App as a guide to what’s low FODMAP and what’s not.
— Jess

Brewhound (app)

So to be fair, I was still on holidays for most of July and one of my stops was Vancouver. Which, if you’ve never been, it’s basically a playground of good food and drink (among many other great things 🌲💚). I downloaded the Brewhound app which is a happy hour app for Vancouver. So if you ever find yourself in Vancouver and if bevies, wings and burgers are your thing then I highly recommend. Though, I don’t recommend the pink grapefruit beer that I tried when trying to be adventurous.
— Aimee

➿ Practicing


I’ve mentioned the Smiling Mind app before which is still one of my favourites for short, guided meditations, but I’ve added another mindfulness technique to my toolkit which is super easy:

  • Name 5 things you can see
  • Name 4 things you can feel
  • Name 3 things you can hear
  • Name 2 things you can smell (or 2 smells you like)
  • Name 1 good thing about yourself

If I was to run through it right now, here’s what I’d get:

  • An empty mug, my laptop computer, a blue lamp, a wooden desk, and my poor neglected sewing machine
  • The keyboard on my fingertips, my wrists resting on my knitted jumper, a warmth where there’s a blanket on my lap, and furry slippers on my toes (…hey, it’s Sunday!)
  • A sizzling frypan coming through from the kitchen, the overhead fan above said frypan, and occasional steps
  • I like the smell of fresh bread, and the spring air when you get a hint of the flowers returning
  • I am excellent at making lists

Free printable PDF with the instructions, in case it’s helpful here: 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Exercise. (One day I should spin up a batch of these in business card size, or perhaps get it tattooed on the back of my hand.)
— Jess

Squashing self doubt

Thinking back to my holidays, and something that I worked on quite a bit was squashing self doubt. I did a lot of challenging hikes on this holiday, and I surprised myself on how well I did (particularly with bronchitis, oops). It didn’t come easy though, and I had to keep reminding myself that I could do it if I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. This sentiment is something that I’m trying to practice in my everyday life too.
— Aimee