DIY Candles and Bath Salts!

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Tusan Bean Soup


Some nice hearty soup to warm you up on a cold day like today!


Tuscan Bean Soup

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time : 25 minutes


  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil , (approx)1 1tbsp tbsp(15 mL) (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil, (approx)
  • 1 large leek , (white and light green parts only), diced1 1large leekleeks, (white and light green parts only), diced
  • 1 potato , peeled and diced1 1potatopotatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic , sliced2 2cloves garlic, sliced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth 4 4cups cups(1 L) (1 L) vegetable broth
  • 3 cups shredded Savoy cabbage 3 3cups cups(750 mL) (750 mL) shredded Savoy cabbage
  • 1 can (14 oz/398 mL) white kidney beans , drained1 1can (14 oz/398 mL) can (14 oz/398 mL)white kidney beanwhite kidney beans or mixed beans, drained
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh oregano , (approx)1 1tbsp tbsp(15 mL) (15 mL) minced fresh oregano or fresh parsley, (approx)
  • 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 1/4tsp tsp(1 mL) (1 mL) salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper 1/4 1/4tsp tsp(1 mL) (1 mL) pepper
  • Grated parmesan cheese Grated parmesan cheese
  • Garlic Toasts:
  • 1/2 baguette 1/2 1/2baguettebaguettes
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 2 2tbsp tbsp(25 mL) (25 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic , halved1 1large clove garliccloves of garlic, halved


In Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat; sauté leek, potato and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add broth and 2-1/2 cups (625 mL) water; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in cabbage, beans, oregano, salt and pepper; cook for 10 minutes. Transfer 1 cup (250 mL) to blender and purée; return to pot and heat through. Serve sprinkled with more of the olive oil and oregano, and Parmesan cheese.

Garlic Toasts: Meanwhile, cut baguette into 12 slices; brush with oil. Broil until golden. Rub with garlic.

Source : Canadian Living Magazine: April 2010

Learning to say “I Love Me”

Instead of mercilessly judging and criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings – after all, who ever said you were supposed to be perfect? – Kristin Neff

As most people know February is celebrated as Heart health month. Our cardiovascular health is influenced by our history but more importantly our daily actions and we have control over these.

The status of our health is affected by the foods we eat, the amount we sleep and the level of stress we experience during our day. That is why it is so important to be aware of our actions and daily routines. As simple as it seems we need to start being aware of our thoughts and feelings.


Valentine’s Day is all about sharing acts of kindness with the loved ones in our lives. Now that Valentine’s Day has come and gone it is important to show ourselves some love. This is done by being kind to ourselves to accepting ourselves for who we are. Even if a situation or event does not go as planned, we cannot beat ourselves up over it.

People always say that they don’t have time to do the things that they want. However it is important to keep in mind that self-care practices can be done throughout the day and can take very little time but still make an impact in our lives. Watch this TED TALK by Laura Vanderkam to learn about priorities and making time for what is important.

While working in health care how do you expect to help others if you don’t take the time to help yourself?


Befriending the Body & Mind

By: Teresa Young

Many of those working in helping professions, especially those in healthcare, are quick to focus on helping friends, patients, clients and coworkers manage their stress, yet take too little time to nurture and calm themselves. We often get so involved in ruminating over problems that we can’t seem to actually think about them.

“You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it” – Albert Einstein

Let’s all take a few minutes to focus on ourselves…

A body scan is a great way to relax, and has also been shown to reduce chronic and acute pain (Ussher, et al., 2014).

Body scans involve focusing on parts of the body, usually from the toes to the top of the head, and noticing sensations, thoughts and emotions without judgment.

And how do you notice these things and not judge them? For me, I like to imagine I am Jane Goodall observing the chimpanzees of my mind; taking note, but keeping my distance, so as not to disturb them.


Photo: Jane Goodall observes the jungle chimpanzees without judgement.

With practice, these scans can become second nature, and allow you to calm your busy mind any time. For now, though, to get you started, follow along with Michael Apollo as he guides you through a 15 minute exercise.


  1. Immediate effects of a brief mindfulness-based body scan on patients with chronic pain.  Ussher, Michael, et al. (2014)  Journal of Behavioral Medicine. Vol. 37, Iss. 1.


Safety in Self Care

As UHN heightens its focus on safety, and continues its journey towards making safety a major organizational focus that will eliminate preventable harm to staff and patients, I think about the significance of self-care, and the impact self-care practices can have on the overall well-being of our employees, in turn affecting their ability to provide safe, compassionate care to patients.

I can appreciate that each individual’s definition and interpretation of the term, self care, is unique.  Thus, I invite you to read on to explore resources and strategies for how you might implement, discover or revisit self care practices, that bring you joy.

To begin, imagine you’re about to be exiled to a deserted island, hypothetically of course…


In addition to the essentials, you may take someone you know, a piece or collection of music, a book, a photograph and a craft or hobby.  Please take a moment to think about what you would you take and why?

Were you able to come up with a specific item for each?  My intention and hope in sharing the exercise above with you, is that you are reminded of several self care tools and practices that you already have at your disposal.

As an aside… Several months ago, I had the privilege of leading a group of OR nurses through the exercise above.  When it came to thinking of someone to invite, one of the nurses asked if she could bring the pool boy.  My response, “If he is going to bring you joy, why not!?!”. 

So, how do we turn self-care ideas into practice?  I invite you to explore the resources below:

The folks at Homewood Health have developed an extensive Self-Care Plan with several strategies for implementing self care, into your life:  self-care-toolkit

From, a list of self care tips and resources for helpers: self-care-tips-for-helpers

Finally, for UHN employees, there are several opportunities and resources available through UHN Wellness.  For more information, visit the corporate intranet site here.

Be well.