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.

Living Lightly

Sometimes I look around the city and imagine what it would be like if humans started living lightly on the earth. I see the oversized SUV’s and monster trucks go zooming by, the monster houses with two people living in 30 rooms and people eating their way through super-sized meals and the earth’s resources and think “our planet can only handle so much disrespect and abuse before really fighting back”.

Our sedentary lifestyle, stressed out lives and SAD diet has put a massive burden on the medical system, our over-sized houses carry a toxic carbon load as do our vehicles and super-sized meat-centric diets, slowly but surely destroying the health of the lands and seas. We rush around from one appointment to the next, not really enjoying our existence but also apparently not really knowing how to stop living the way we do. We pave over and spill oil on the earth, discard a ton of plastic waste as we careen through our day and yet only really worry about our bank accounts. We buy more, more and even more, making Jeff Bezos a gazillionaire but we are unable to fill that empty longing with our Amazon purchases so we decide that the next purchase will be the one that will make us happy. NO, ok then the one after that.  An endless cycle of “retail therapy” ensues, just making us more broke and more distracted from our real issues. And our planet becomes our personal dumping ground.

Imagine a world of living in harmony with the earth instead of ruthlessly trying to dominate it or mindlessly destroying it. Imagine a world of light living; a world of community and connection. In the spirit of “It’s never too late”, I’m inviting you to join me in a Zero Waste Challenge. Let’s not mindlessly soldier on while our planet and it’s wild creatures are dying around us. Let’s be the change. Think of the good karma of living gently with the earth. Elevate your life and save our home at the same time.

Check out this link for inspiration and tips:

https://www.goingzerowaste.com/blog/101-easy-eco-friendly-zero-waste-tips/

We can do this!

Mountain Adventures & Black Bean Brownies

Hiking season is here. And after a long trek up a mountainside there’s nothing better than something sweet and delicious to treat yourself with.

This recipe hits both categories and is also really healthy, made with black beans and sweetened with maple syrup.

Black Bean Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup black beans (equals one can)
  • 2 T raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients, except chocolate chips, in a food processor and blend until completely smooth. Then add chips and  pour into a greased 8×8 pan.

Easy and delicious.

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.

Beach Yoga & Choco Energy Balls

Throwing it back this Thursday to last summer’s beach yoga. Practicing barefoot in the mud during low tide took me right back to happily playing in the mud when I was a child.

And what is summer all about if not keeping your inner child happy?

Another thing that keeps my inner child happy is chocolate. Here’s a grown-up, healthy and vegan chocolate snack that will make your inner child smile and do your body good:

Choco Energy Balls

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup

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Watermelon Smoothies

When I feel like practicing yoga in a place where I can sink into the lush green beauty of nature; a place filled with towering trees, pretty pink lily pads, ribbiting frogs, still herons focused on catching a fish for their lunch and ducks gliding through the forest of lilies, I stroll through Stanley Park’s tree lined trails to a little hidden oasis called Beaver Lake.

Beaver Lake is a stunning and serene setting to meditate and practice yoga.

Bird chirps fill the air, frogs ribit happily from their watery home and the calm, peaceful lake is bursting with fuchsia lily pads.

I can easily spend an afternoon soaking up the beauty of the lake, meditating and practicing poses.

And after a few hours of practice, peace and meditation, I head home to replenish and rehydrate with a sweetly simple watermelon smoothie.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups watermelon, cubed
  • 1 T fresh mint
  • Big squeeze of lime

Place all ingredients in a blender, blend thoroughly and enjoy the hydrating and antioxidant ingredients that will do your body good.

Local Living and Blueberry Muffins

I’ve been eating only local foods lately for two reasons ~ first, fresh BC foods taste so incredibly good and second, our beautiful province is in a state of emergency again because of global warming (and human) induced forest fires. We have over 600 fires burning in total right now and I need, for my own happiness, positivity and mental health, to be part of the global warming solution.

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I already have what some would consider an extremely green lifestyle ~ live in a small space, don’t have a car, don’t love being a consumer so keep my possessions to a minimum…but, with dark smoke hanging in our skies and beautiful BC being choked by smoke and fire, I need to do more.

So, I’ve been educating myself lately about the huge carbon footprint created by transporting our food across the world. Did you know that Canada ships farmed salmon to China for processing and then the fish are shipped back here for our consumption. Ugh, the madness has to stop. And what kind of chemicals and preservatives does our food have to be laced with to stay “fresh” during the many miles covered to get to our plate? As someone who grew up with a big backyard garden that fed the family, what is now happening with global food transport seems so unnatural and is clearly taking its toll on the planet.

To bring a more natural, eco friendly way of eating back into my life, I’m rediscovering the 100 Mile Diet. The last time I did this challenge a few years ago I felt amazing and eating close to home helps our beautiful planet that is currently in crisis. It might seem like we don’t have a lot of personal power in saving the earth but as David Suzuki says, if several million people made even small changes to their lives the result would be astronomical!

Last but not least, local food tastes so amazing. In fact it’s bursting with flavour. An imported papaya from the other side of the world just doesn’t compare to fresh, beautiful BC fruit!

And, to get you inspired to love local, here’s a yummy, healthy recipe that features BC berries:

Wholesome Blueberry Muffins

  • 1 cup raw honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh and local
  • 1/3 cup oil if your choice
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the dry ingredients together, then whisk the wet ingredients together and add to dry, folding in blueberries last. Put in lined muffins cups and bake for 25 minutes. Then enjoy the goodness!

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Earth Day Meditation & Mermaid Smoothie Bowl

I’m doing a chakra clearing meditation today. And any meditation is better when you’re getting a little healing tree energy at the same time.

Here’s what you do to clear and balance your first chakra:

Get grounded into nature ~ actually being in nature is best but you can do this at home too.

Tune into your 1st chakra at the base of your tailbone and imagine the bottom of your chakra opening up and a cord going deep into the earth from your 1st chakra. Now take a deep breath and think about all the old, stagnant energy that may be around this chakra that needs to go.

The first chakra is all about safety and security, so think of all of your fears around these areas, along with any old memories or painful feelings that surface, and imagine them leaving your body and going into the beautiful earth to be transformed. Keep going, imagining all of this old energy and old fear and sadness draining out of your body.

Make sure to honour any memories that come up in this process and stay with them as long as you need to. Don’t rush it. Let everything flow, knowing you can come back to this another day if you’re feeling a lot of emotion.

When the meditation is done, imagine the cord filling you up with energy from the earth. Then imagine closing the chakra and take three deep breaths to close the meditation, breathing in the new and sighing out the old.

This meditation could be done once or could be done every day for months, depending on how many issues come up for you. Repeat the meditation daily until there is nothing left to clear and then move on to do the same meditation with your second chakra, then third, then fourth etc. Expect amazing things to happen along the way.

And, after the meditation, I made a vegan, earth friendly snack that’s nutritious and delicious.

Mermaid bowl

  • 4 bananas
  • 1 avocado
  • pinch spirulina
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cashew milk

Blend together and top everything with coconut dusted blackberries.

This rich, yummy bowl is full of good fat from the avo, anti-aging antioxidants from the berries and good carbs, minerals and vitamins from the bananas.

Happy Earth Day