About me


My name is Karen Kwan, and I write this blog.

And I confess: I’m not a health or fitness nut. What I do believe in is having healthy overall balance to one’s life. That’s where the “swellness” comes into play.

See, not that long ago, my exercise regime added up to zilch. I’d grown up in Montreal taking dance for many years but since moving to Toronto about a  decade ago and working full-time—I became a couch potato. Sure, I took the occasional yoga class but that was about it. Being naturally thin was enough for me, as much as I’m embarrassed to admit that. Nowadays, though, I run several times a week, do a yoga class at least weekly and, yes, have this blog, which focuses in part on fitness.

What brought about this turnaround?

Up until Fall 2009, I was working as the health and lifestyle editor at Flare. When I got the gig, I figured I should at least attempt to practice what I preach. So I took the Nike+ iPod system I’d received to test out and registered for a Learn to Run clinic. And what they say about running is true: it is addictive. I’ve run several half-marathons since that very first clinic, during which I huffed and puffed my way through running one minute straight.

That said, fitness is something I work at; I don’t generally love the actual “doing”, but I do appreciate certain elements of it (say, for example, being outdoors). And I think a lot of us have this love-hate relationship when it comes to staying fit. And if you can relate, well, then this blog is hopefully something you’ll learn from and love.

As for my eating habits, I am lucky as I am blessed with having inherited good metabolism. I do cook from scratch most nights and consider my diet fairly well balanced. As you’ll soon learn, I love eating and enjoying food way too much to deny myself certain pleasures, whether it’s devouring a poutine every two months or so, or a McDonald’s Sausage McMuffin breakfast. And I don’t really think of them as guilty pleasures, because I don’t feel guilty about them–they’re the occasional treat and I don’t overindulge. That said, lately I do find myself making an effort to eat more veggies and to get some essential fatty acids by more frequently having salmon for dinner, for example.

So my goal is to share everything from interesting health news and fun workouts to healthy (but yummy) dishes and new high-tech gear to help you live a healthier lifestyle.

But more than just tidbits on how to get more antioxidants into your diet, I think it’s important to seek out things that make you happy. Whether it’s a pretty new lip gloss, a fantastic movie or discovering great little brunch spots and boutiques while visiting another city. And so I share the swellness I come across as a writer and editor (and, of course, as a regular girl about town) and I hope it will make your life more swell, too.

If you’d like to send me an email, my address is healthandswellness@gmail.com.

 Thanks so much for stopping by!

 Karen xo

17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. g  |  December 10, 2009 at 3:39 PM

    omg, I love your blog and everything about this site. It’s about time someone finally came up with something fun and funky that is lifestyle focused . I hope your site goes big time! Thanks Karen!

  • 2. Miss Jane  |  January 8, 2010 at 7:46 PM

    I am so excited about your site. Balance is the key to life and you have it figured out. I look forward to your chipper writing and Toronto references. Way to go girl. May 2010 be your best year of your life.

  • 3. Shauna  |  January 12, 2010 at 12:12 AM

    I’m so looking forward to your words of wisdom. I can totally relate to the “couch potato syndrome” and find myself in a similar slump…and it’s only the beginning of the year…Yikes! Perhaps I will find inspiration and motivation through your blog to get moving. Blog on sister, blog on !

  • 5. Janine  |  January 14, 2010 at 1:37 PM

    Welcome to an exciting world, Karen! Congrats on jumping in! I’m looking forward to more! xo

    • 6. healthandswellness  |  January 14, 2010 at 1:40 PM

      Thanks Janine! I always had in the back of my mind you telling me at Starbucks “Just go launch it already!”

  • 7. Tracy  |  January 14, 2010 at 1:52 PM

    Love your content, love the name! Big congrats!

    • 8. healthandswellness  |  January 14, 2010 at 1:56 PM

      Thanks, Tracy! I’d love to take credit for the name, but alas, it was one lovely Misty Harris who riffed off of another name I was toying with and came up with Health & Swellness!

  • 9. Ellen Mirza  |  January 14, 2010 at 2:06 PM

    I was just thinking about you today!
    Congrats on the site. I love the name.

  • 10. Tara  |  January 14, 2010 at 6:26 PM

    What a great idea! What you’ve said is all so true. It’s totally about balance and finding something that makes you happy. It’s the best way to stay active and continue to take care of yourself forever! Good luck!

  • 11. Switching to whole-grain pasta « Health & Swellness  |  February 10, 2010 at 12:13 PM

    […] About […]

  • 12. Ftiness4Looks  |  March 5, 2010 at 2:51 PM

    I love your outlook on life. Thats exactly how it should be, a complete balance of what makes you happy and exercise. Have a great weekend!

    • 13. healthandswellness  |  March 5, 2010 at 2:57 PM

      Thanks! To be honest, I’ve been slacking on the exercise part lately but I will get back on track with the spring weather we have in Toronto this weekend. P.S. Your pug is adorable! k

  • 14. davis68  |  January 26, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    I don’t know where to send my information

  • 16. EJ  |  July 9, 2012 at 1:34 AM

    Hi – I’ve nominated you for a ‘versatile blogger’ award – come and have a look if you get a chance (week 47)
    EJ :-)

    • 17. healthandswellness  |  July 9, 2012 at 10:41 AM

      Thanks, EJ! I love that I’m your destination for “girly stuff”!


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