Sunday, 17 February 2013

Derek Van Diest: A day in the life of an NHL Sports Writer

NHL Sports Writer for the Edmonton Sun, Derek Van Diest 

By: Candice Marshall

“I like the anonymity. You can walk down the street and no one knows who you are. When you write for a newspaper, your profile is a little more discreet,” said Derek Van Diest, NHL Sports Reporter for the Sun Newspaper in Edmonton, Alberta.

He’s right.

I am sitting at a downtown restaurant waiting for the reporter of the Edmonton Oilers NHL hockey team when I see a tall figure crossing the street. It’s Van Diest. He slips into the restaurant quietly, and walks towards me, arms outstretched for a hug. “So good to see you!” he smiles, sitting across from me. Local patrons seem undisturbed around us, and it isn’t until the interview is underway that they begin to listen in to our conversation. Van Diest’s caliber is not to be dismissed simply because he is a quiet man at the onset of meeting. In fact, with over 1900 Twitter followers, and constant updates throughout each NHL game he covers, Van Diest has earned his spot in the limelight. This man knows what he’s talking about when it comes to the game of hockey.

Van Diest got his break covering the Oilers in San Jose in the 2006 playoff game after a lock out. Prior to that, he had logged in 15-hour days at the Sun freelance writing and web editing. “The reporter at the time had to turn the trip down so I volunteered to go. Over the next few games, Terry Jones, Robin Brownlee, and I worked together. The newspaper loved the synergy between us and kept me on to cover throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs that year. We made it to game seven before losing the Stanley cup final. I loved it!” he said. The following 2006-2007 season, Van Diest became the second NHL Sports Writer for the Edmonton Sun specifically focusing on the Edmonton Oilers. (Coverage is also done by Sun reporter, Rob Tychkowski and columnist Terry Jones)

However, we aren’t talking about the Oilers or covering the latest NHL stats today at our meeting; we are discussing the challenges that Van Diest faces while on the road (and at home) and how he manages his hectic schedule. We wanted a glimpse into “a day in the life” and healthy lifestyle obstacles a sports writer faces for our fans on Weigh to Goal and Van Diest gave me the full guts and glory. “I never feel pressure when I’m writing (and tweeting updates). I love my job. I have the freedom to make the decisions as to what to write about and what to say about the game and the players. I like to be the decision maker. It’s the media’s job to sell the game and report the facts as accurately as we can,” he said.

This doesn’t mean that Van Diest escapes media scrutiny now and then: “People tweet their opinions on my posts all the time and not always are they in agreement to what I’ve put out there. The beauty of sports is that it is subjective; there is no right or wrong. You can’t take it personally. You need to be confident in what you’ve put out there because once you’ve put it out there, it’s out there and you can’t take it back,” he said.

A typical day on the road starts off with a 6am flight (Diest is up by 4am to get to the airport in time) to follow the team (Oilers) to their next game destination. Then it’s from the airport to the arena in time to catch the pre-game practice for both teams. There’s a short 4 hour break (time to write the pre-game stories and send off to the editor), and then it’s back to the arena for 6:30pm for the game. “I’m writing throughout the game, following up with interviews in the dressing room after the game, and then wrapping up a second or third version of the same article to send off to the paper after that. I usually don’t get out of the arena until midnight and it’s up and at it again the next day,” said Van Diest.

So where does he fit in a few Zzz’s when the average night’s sleep is four hours while on the road? “That’s about it. I catch up when I get back home as I don’t have to get up as early. Also, on days where there isn’t a game, getting up at 9am is way too early. I catch up then. I usually exercise in the time frame between the practice and the game. I have to exercise or else I won’t have the energy to do what I do,” he said.

Currently, Van Diest is training for a triathlon that he has competed in for the last few years with his mother Myriam. “I hate the running part!” he laughs, “I can cycle and swim all day long, but running? I just don’t like that part.” His training process will become more intense over the next few months but that hasn’t deterred him in any way, “It’s a nice way to spend some time with my mother and I enjoy doing it,” he said. He added, “Eating on the road also has its ups and downs. You’re always eating on the run so grabbing something quick and convenient is something I have to really watch out for; I try to eat as healthy as possible but sometimes it’s not always easy. I do my best.”

By now, Van Diest is receiving messages for another interview and informs me that he has to leave. Before doing so, he looks out the window for a brief pause, and then turns his gaze to me. “It’s not always glamour and glory. Sometimes the days just blend into each other and I’m so focused on who is playing who and the details that I don’t pay attention if it’s Tuesday or Wednesday. I have my phone with me even on my days off so it’s not always easy taking a weekend to head out on a trip somewhere.” With that said, he maintains that the perks of the job far outweigh the challenges, “I get paid to watch hockey. I get to travel all the time. Like really, it doesn’t get any better than that.”

True enough!

Keep on Keeping on Derek!

Van Diest (pictured here) competes in the
"Coronation " triathlon in Edmonton, AB, in 2013
*Watch for our follow-up on Van Diest in May 2013 as he prepares for a Triathlon with his Mother, Myriam.


Derek Van Diest - was born in Santiago, Chile and moved to Canada with his family when he was six years old. He chose a career in Journalism at Grant MacEwan College at the age of 22 and following graduation spent seven years in Medicine Hat, AB, working for the Medicine Hat News. He returned to Edmonton to take a one year contract freelancing with the Edmonton Journal. After that, he began working for the Edmonton Sun and the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Alberta running their website. It wasn’t long before he began working for the Sun full-time as their Web Editor and Freelance Writer. Soon after, he assumed the position he is in today as the Sun’s NHL Sports Writer. Van Diest has been with the Edmonton Sun for seven and half years now and plans on continuing for many years to come.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Miracle Healer Herbert R. Rosa

Can stumbling across a Holistic Lifestyle approach cure an STD?  

By: Candice Marshall

“I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t heard it, but he went back to his clinic for a check-up and found out he was clear!”

These are the words of two-year certified Holistic Health Consultant/Coach Herbert R. Rosa of New York, USA. He is speaking of a friend who had contracted a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) and upon visiting Rosa in New York, began adopting his daily routine of drinking Lemon water with natural salt (as well as consuming Black Seed Oil) simply out of natural curiosity. What Rosa and his friend did not bank on, was that by adopting this Holistic lifestyle, his friend became cured. This was a regular routine for Rosa, but not so much for his friend. In fact, he hadn’t considered a Holistic approach or lifestyle until he spent the time in New York visiting with Rosa. Upon returning home and visiting his clinic, his friend found out he was clear of the disease. (*for confidentiality reasons, we can not specify what disease or whom, however, Herbert can be contacted for further information - see credentials below) “He was shocked, and so was I,” said Rosa, after learning of the miraculous recovery.

But this isn’t something entirely new to the New Yorker who has always had a curiosity for “what works” when it comes to natural healing. In fact, he became interested in Holistic healing (after contracting an allergic skin reaction to an unknown substance) when he was 13 years old. “I became like a detective wanting to know what would work and what wouldn’t for this reaction. I concocted a formula of all natural products (an Aloe based lotion and Vitamin E Oil) to alleviate the reaction and within a week it went away. I didn’t want to be co-dependent on my doctor (not that Rosa has anything against doctors or western medicine), I just wanted to be able to take the (healing) power back into my own hands by discovering where imbalances occur through what I was consuming. This method helped me discover what to use to balance out the reaction,” he said.

Rosa has also worked with a close family member’s child affected with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). According to him, the diagnosis stems from childhood vaccinations. He spoke very succinctly (and highly!) of these children when he said, “I see these children as very special. They are talented and each one has a gift. What needs to be monitored in their diet is the amount of sugar consumption they are taking on a daily basis. The metal mercury in sugar builds up to create imbalances. I have recommended shots of cilantro mixed with orange and carrot juice to make it tastier. It has helped these children become more focused.”

Rosa has helped many people in this method, in fact, on average; he mentors five clients per week. When a client consults with Rosa, they can expect a thorough diagnosis: they begin with an assessment of pinpointing their eating habits (from 5 days prior to their first appointment), what medications they are consuming, stress levels, and (for women) menstrual cycles and how regular they are. From there (and during a three to six month contract), Rosa works with his client to discover where the imbalance has occurred by “pin-pointing what the client was consuming to bring about the undesired result (such as stress, lethargy, etc.)”. In addition, he will go with his clients to the supermarket and recommend healthier options or alternatives. “For example, if people like Italian Cuisine, I will try to help them find other alternatives at restaurants and/or supermarkets with the taste and texture of that type of food to fool their mind (senses) with a healthier option,” said Rosa.

“There are so many healthier alternatives to balance out one’s health through a Holistic approach, “said Rosa, “Did you know that a juice made with Hemp Seed is the closest thing to a mother’s breast milk? Even natural salt is what the body needs to function as it acts as a cleanser and is a main ingredient in our body (PH-sweat). I knew it was a good substance to be consuming, but if I had not heard what it what it did for my friend (help cure his STD), I would never have known its awesome healing properties. It was something that I was already taking and my friend just decided he would try it. As a bonus, he is no longer fatigued and has more energy too!”

In addition to being a Holistic Health Consultant/Coach (Rosa has studied the Holistic approach for 10 years), he has experience leading motivational speeches, Health Workshops, Education with the fundamentals of Meditation (and how it can enhance a better state of mind), AND teaches Yoga!

Keep on keeping on Herbert!


Those interested in knowing more about Rosa’s practice and programs that he offers may contact him at:




Holistic Health Consultant

​ PH: (917) 328.7158





10/10- Present Holistic Health Consultant Bronx, New York
(in addition to what is mentioned in the above article, and in his own words):

Instruct Yoga & meditation classes for

Adults, seniors, and teach classes to children in which some participants where

Diagnosed with Autism and ADHD starting from the ages 6-12

Marketed, and Sign up Clients to a Six Month Contract as their

Life Extension Consultant which includes Yoga Classes, Meal Planning,

Shopping tours, Food storage cabinet clearing out and Education about better

Dietary Requirements





3/10 - 6/10 Om Wellness New York, New York


Holistic Nutrition Certification

Intensive Training Program

Core focuses of studies included the following:

Teaching and Counseling Techniques, Public speaking, Anatomy and

Physiology, Nutrition Models and Theories, Common Health Disorders &

Natural Treatments, Energy of Food, Intuitive Cooking & Eating, Mind/Body

Philosophy, Yoga and Business Management

Awarded Certification from Om Wellness and the American Association

For Drugless Practitioners





Literate in the physiological expression of the body and mind on how it can be Enhanced or Affected with Food, Meditation, Ionized water, Ionic Minerals Kinesiology, Crystals, Herbs and Ecological stress and complimentary circumstances in one’s environment due to harmful Electro-magnetic frequencies and helpful Negative Ions. Vegan and Raw food Chef Fluent in alkaline and acidic food groups, on how an Acidic environment in the body can cause dis-ease and how an alkaline one can offset many physical ailments. Instrumental in conducting Group, Corporate, Adult, senior and children Yoga, Meditation, Crystal healing, chakra healing and Health counseling Workshops

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Massage Therapy Insurance Claim nightmare?

What to know for 2013

By: Candice Marshall     

Her belief system is a spiritual one, and she practice’s her professional massage technique based on the same principle under the name, Transforming HU Massage (HU being Sanskrit for: Universal God =YOU). She is Michelle Lorimer and she is an independent Certified Therapeutic Massage Therapist from Edmonton, AB and at the time of this interview, we are cozied up in a small corner of a local coffee shop discussing the importance of her therapy techniques, and more importantly, what clients need to educate themselves on as far as insurance claims.

Most people aren’t aware that by the end of this year, not all insurance companies will accept receipts from your "Massage Therapist" for reimbursement. In fact, there may be none! Lorimer educated me as to what is up and coming for 2013: “Many insurance companies registered with one of the three designated associations: National Health Practitioners of Canada (NHPC), Massage Therapy Association of Alberta (NTAA), and Remedial Massage Therapists of Alberta (RMTA) WILL REQUIRE that a massage therapist be regulated. This means that all Certified Massage Therapists will require “2200 hours of massage therapy practicum (hands on practice)” during their two year course study in order to be certified and registered with one of these associations. They will then be 2200 hour Regulated (recognized) and clients will be able to submit receipts and be refunded their money through their perspective insurance companies” said Lorimer.  

She added, “At current, there are a few insurance companies that already have jumped on board and require the 2200 hour Regulated certification for claims." According to Lorimer, these insurance companies are: Manulife, Sun Life financial, and come April 2013, Blue Cross will be jumping on board also.” This may not mean much to others outside of Alberta, but it certainly is informative for those in other areas throughout Canada or the globe. You may want to look into this if you are one of those people on a budget and expecting a refund from your claim through your perspective insurance company!

“The difference between an ‘Unregulated’ and ‘Regulated’ Massage Therapist are those vital hours put into practicum: 1000 is required in the first year and 1200 in the second year of schooling. This is to avoid the everyday person from going to the typical ‘rub and tug’ massage parlors and submitting claims to their insurance companies, which (scarily!) is happening. By becoming a 2200 hour Regulated Certified Massage Therapist, these practitioners can avoid the cliché of being associated with the uncertified establishments and become a more quality care resource for clients requiring reimbursement through their insurance companies” said Lorimer.

In addition to educating her clients on the financial aspects of insurance claims, Lorimer helps clients gain knowledge through three different Hydrotherapy techniques in her Massage Practice: Moist heat therapy (to relax muscle tissue), Ice therapy (for inflammation of muscles), and Contrast therapy (a combination of heat and cold to help circulation & to flush out toxins). “These techniques help with range of motion during the massage and are used a lot for people who participate in sports and have sports related injuries. It also helps to avoid pain and bruising during the massage.” Her massage technique (also referred to as Cross-Fiber Frictioning) focuses on “waking up the muscle by massaging out knots and adhesions”, a common occurrence in today’s society with stress being on the forefront for most everyone.

Lorimer is in her second and final year of schooling at MH Vicars School of Massage Therapy in Edmonton, AB and already has practicum experience through the Wellness Centre in Leduc, AB. She has 1000 hours of first year practicum under her belt and is working towards her 1200 remaining hours through professional massage services out of her home as well as the Welllness Centre. She will be graduating in June of 2013. You may contact her @ 780-953-4168 or through email at: to book an appointment (her one hour massages are only $40!) or to find out more information pertaining to this article. After graduation, rates will be subject to change.  
Weigh to Goal Michelle! Keep on Keeping on!

Michelle Lorimer (above),
Certified Massage Therapist
of Transforming HU Massage



*To be eligible for this contest, we require active VISI Trimma Weight Loss participants (reference our "Weigh to Goal" Facebook Page and see contest details) who send us their Before & After photos along with their Success Story. We will post it to our VISI Trimma Weight Loss Success Stories BLOG throughout the month of February. (link to our most current success story, Michelle Wilson is: . At the end of this month, those entered will be eligible for a free ONE HOUR THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE from certified Massage Therapist, Michelle Lorimer. This is just one of the many wonderful surprises we will have for YOU, our fans and clients in the upcoming months! To send in your stories, please email and you will be contacted to let you know when your story will be featured on our Facebook Page and Blog!
*Please note: This is a contest *EXCLUSIVE* to our Weigh to Goal Page and through Independant VISI Distributors Candice Marshall and Craig Leibel. and their VISI team of distributors! If you want to find a distributor in your area, please feel free to contact Candice or Craig through this blog  (phone numbers below) or on our Weigh to Goal Page on Facebook (see link below)and we will connect you to a VISI Distributor right away! This is not affiliated with any other independant VISI Distributor or Facebook Page:) Thank you!

About VISI Trimma Weight Loss

**Not sure what VISI Trimma Weight Loss is all about? Well if you are wanting to lose some weight and gain energy, we have the perfect solution for you with the VISI Trimma Weight Loss product. It is an all-natural supplement that you take once daily and is a perfect low-maintenance weight loss system with guaranteed results! Please contact your "Weigh to Goal" Facebook Page Administrators Craig Leibel (780-569-4466) or Candice Marshall (780-782-7399) and we will aim to get back to you in a timely manner. In addition, if you know anyone who wants to lose weight and gain energy, refer them to our Facebook page and this blog and we will be happy to help! We have a great team working with us and we look forward to hearing from YOU!

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