Community Gardens

Welcome to Eden aka the community garden.

This little green haven has become an incredibly important place to me. It’s where I meditate, play with the dogs, do yoga, jumping jacks, earthing, reading, reiki and plant admiring a few times a week.

I’m so grateful for the peaceful green spaces that give us a beautiful respite from an ever more distressing world. And, because of this, I’ve recently signed up to be a volunteer at the neighboring City Farmer.

I’m excited to be part of the Permaculture movement and have so much to learn about growing things sustainably and organically.

Earth Day 2020

Thinking about global warming this morning and what it would be like if global warming had covid’s PR team.

Global warming is still the biggest threat to the planet. Imagine if we had PSA’s from our PM regularly telling us to do our part to stop global warming and also telling us exactly what to do? Imagine doctors on TV daily to remind us how deadly the air pollution associated with global warming is for our lungs. Imagine if we immediately shut down businesses that weren’t carbon neutral. Imagine if we were also regularly reminded of the billion animals who horrifically lost their lives in the global warming fuelled Australian bush fires and other monster fires like it.

Why don’t we have those PSA’s? Why aren’t we acting like global warming is the intense and immediate threat that it is?

These are my thoughts on Earth Day 2020

Making Quarantine Work for You

Everywhere I turn, on social media or in real life, I hear people lamenting about how much weight they’ve gained, how much junk food they are eating, how much they are drinking, how slothlike they’ve become and how bored they are. Or, on the flip side, how stressed they are from pushing themselves so hard to keep busy and learn new skills at this time.

Here’s an idea: Make quarantine work for you!

Make this the time that you eat clean, get fit and do the things that you might usually think you don’t have time to do, including practicing self-love, self-acceptance and the fine art of doing nothing.

A few suggestions I have are:

reading that great book you never seem to have time for, going for a solitary walk or run in nature, having a meditation session of just “being” at the beach or another favourite place in nature, learning how to cook new dishes, teaching your pet a new trick, creating structure in your day by taking a number of 15 minute yoga breaks, pampering yourself with a homespa experience, nourishing your body with delicious, nutrient-filled food, reaching out to friends regularly, either online or socially distancing in person, stopping to smell that beautiful spring flower and really seeing that sunset.

There are so many ways to make this a nourishing time for your body, mind and soul while we all wait to see what happens next.

Blossoms & Bliss Balls

Every spring I chase cherry blossoms around the city, so if you aren’t a cherry blossom lover, stop reading now.

The insane beauty of the city exploding on petals ranged from soft pink to fuschia fills me with awe every year.

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Chasing all of these blossoms works up an appetite so here is a recipe for delicious little energy balls to take with you when you’re on the go. There’s a lot of high level nutrition packed into these little balls:

Cashew Bliss Balls

  • 1 cup cashews, ground in food processor
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 T raw cacao powder in half
  • Splash filtered water

Mix ingredients together, form into balls, chill, serve.

Biohacking

 

What exactly is Biohacking? You may have read about Silicon Valley exec’s biohacking themselves by excessive fasting and compulsively measuring their body states to have a competitive edge. The definition of the word, however, is to make changes to your lifestyle in order to “hack” your body’s biology and feel your best. Everything we put into our bodies – food, thoughts, exercise ­– all affect how we feel and behave. By biohacking yourself, you can transform your body to become more energized, productive and healthy, and you can do this in a very gentle way.

Five Ways to Biohack Yourself

  1. Go Sugar Free

Giving up refined sugar is one of the best things you can do for your body. Overconsuming sugar leads you down an unhealthy path lined with the following:

  • Increased risk of type 2 diabetes
  • mood swings
  • increased inflammation in your body (which lead to an array of diseases)
  • lowered energy

Also you don’t have to give up natural sugar in fruit and dairy. Added sugars are the ones to say goodbye to.  Soft drinks, processed foods, desserts, flavored yogurt, condiments (barbecue sauce and ketchup are the worst) and energy drinks will all be off of the menu. Also look for hidden sugar in processed food (ie: anything ending in “ose”). It’s shocking just how many places it turns up.

Giving up sugar can be a pretty tough biohack, but is also the one with the most rewards.

  1. Sleep More

If you’re not sleeping between 7–9 hours a night, you can have a touch of sleep deprivation and be putting yourself at risk for health issues. These issues include a weakened immune system, depression, trouble concentrating, irritability, an increased appetite and out-of-whack hormones.

So, what can you do to sleep more soundly? Keeping electronics out of the bedroom is key. The glowing lights from your smartphone/computer/TV tell your brain it’s time to wake up, not drift off into a deep sleep. Also turning off the TV and computer at least an hour before bed is also important as a way to wind down for a good night’s sleep. Last but not least, try turning your bedroom into a relaxing sanctuary. A pitch black bedroom (blackout blinds) with comfortable bedding and a diffuser filled with lavender essential oils is the ultimate setting for a good night’s sleep.

  1. Meditate

A meditation practice can reduce pain, increase sleep quality, lower inflammation and boost productivity. If you’re suffering from stress or anxiety, meditation can also be a really effective way of naturally dealing with symptoms. Establishing a daily meditation practice is one of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health – and it’s a great way to get ready for a good night’s sleep.

There are dozens of smartphone apps you can use to learn how to meditate. Some even have specific meditations for different purposes, like starting the day with a clear head or helping you unwind. Headspace is a great app to check out.

  1. Eat Probiotics

Ever wonder if those expensive probiotics at the health food store actually do any good? They might not. Probiotics are only regulated at time of manufacture and may not have any living cultures at the time of purchase.

Since a healthy gut is so important for, well, everything, adding probiotic rich food (sauerkraut, miso, kefir, plain yogurt) can have huge health benefits, especially when cutting down or giving up sugar at the same time, as sugar is an enemy of gut health.

Adding a couple of servings of probiotic rich food every day can help reduce belly fat, keep your skin healthy, improve depression and anxiety and boost your immune system. And it’s as easy as having a cup of yogurt for breakfast, miso soup at lunch and a serving of sauerkraut at dinner.

  1. Move your Body

For some people, an average day looks like this:

  • Sit in a car to drive to work
  • Sit at a desk all day
  • Take the elevator to sit in a restaurant at lunch
  • Sit in the car on the way home
  • Sit in front of a television set all evening

Studies are now showing how all of this sitting is really bad for our bodies.

The fix? Stand more and walk more. Biohack your way to better health by getting up and talking to co-workers instead of sending an email. At lunch or before and after work, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Stand up and walk around during long phone calls and set a reminder on your phone for every 60–90 minutes to take a quick lap around the office.

These six changes aren’t huge but they all work together to create a healthier, happier life.

Happy Hacking!

Angels

I receive a daily email from a meditation guru named Light Watkins and one day a few weeks ago, the email that landed in my inbox said this:

“I had a conversation recently with someone who left her job and became a successful (and happy) entrepreneur.

Long story short, she had always envisioned leaving her office job, but was afraid of the unknown, and it never made sense to give up her stability to follow a dream—until she had multiple run-ins with her new passive-aggressive boss. Then she knew she couldn’t stay another day.

I’ve had similar situations with ex-bosses, ex-landlords, and ex-girlfriends, where the situation became so intolerable that I had no choice but to take a leap of faith into the unknown. And every time it worked out for the best.
I’m now convinced that these people who force us to take a leap of faith by making our lives a living hell are the real angels, sent to help us evolve and grow.
The Universe isn’t stupid. It knows that we don’t grow and evolve as much when we’re comfortable, and most of us aren’t going to leave a comfortable situation on our own accord—not without a “divine” push.”

Very interesting perspective and I thought of times in my life where this kind of dynamic had to happen for me to move forward. A situation literally had to become unbearable before I would take the sometimes painful steps toward growth. And then I sheepishly thought of times that my bad behavior had made me an “angel” to someone in my life.

A humbling thought but also a thought to spark some healthy self awareness and growth.

Snow Day

My inner child, who grew up in snowy Ontario, feeling an incredible amount of joy at an unexpected West Coast snow storm.

I made snow angels, ran through snow banks with wolves (aka. off leash Kitsilano dogs), looked in wonder at the heavy, snow laden boughs on the neighborhood trees, stuck my tongue out and caught snowflakes on it and just, in general, marveled at the beauty of nature.

Then I went home and wrote this in my journal:

“Maybe after journeying through all of these years, occasionally having to jump through rings of fire, now is the time to gather all of the joyful things back into my life. To notice and remember every day all of the things, big and small that give me joy.”

And now for some nourishing food:

Raspberry Banana Smoothie Bowl

  • 3 large bananas
  • 1/2 cup of coconut or almond milk
  • 1/2 cup raspberries

Blend together and top with Love Crunch chocolate granola and dark chocolate sauce.

An eco-friendly dog birthday party

Yes, you read the title right. An Eco-friendly doggie b-day party happened a few days ago for the Nickster’s 8th birthday.

What made it eco-friendly and why am I having a birthday party for my dog? Good questions.

I’ll start with the why. I never had kids and totally missed out on the fun of having little rugs rats running around, excited and on over-drive from a chocolate cake sugar buzz. Now that I’m a dog mom, I get to invite my friends over for wine and cake and get to see a bunch of excited pups run around barking and chasing each other. Close enough.

And how did I make my fete eco-friendly? In so many ways that I’m excited to tell you about.

Here are the top ten:

  1. The (super elegant) crystal stemware I used is from craigslist
  2. The beautiful turquoise bowls were from Salvation Army
  3. The chocolate cake was vegan
  4. I asked for the plastic to be removed and re-used when I bought the flowers
  5. I picked some of the flowers from an abandoned lot
  6. The (people) menu was vegan
  7. The only gifts allowed were edible, ie. treats
  8. I asked that guests didn’t use packaging for the gifts
  9. The wine and sparkling wine were local, from the Okanagan
  10. The napkins were from the Salvation Army

And, with all of this eco-friendliness, the party was still very chic, and very easy on the budget. Simple is elegant, easy on the earth and cost effective too. xo