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.

Staying Healthy during a Pandemic

Panic surrounding the covid-19 virus is spreading every day with the world slowly but surely shutting down, one service at a time. Panic buying of toilet paper, fights in wine stores and general hysteria seem to be prevailing.

In reality though, there are a lot of things you can do to stay safe and healthy and none of them involve stock piling TP in your home.

Staying calm, well rested, connected to friends and family, and nourishing our bodies should be priorities right now. Here are a few more tips to keep you healthy during this anxious time:

  • Eat lots of fresh fruit, veggies and take your vitamins to keep your immune system healthy
  • Don’t panic. Panic and anxiety are huge immune suppressors. Stay calm.
  • Meditate. Do yoga.
  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly.
  • Walk in nature. Nature heals.
  • Don’t completely isolate. Being part of a community strengthens our immune system and uplifts our mood.
  • Do something nice for and elderly person or immune compromised person. They are the ones who are truly at risk.
  • Refuse to live your life in fear and greed.

This too shall pass. Be balanced, care about others, wash your hands, do the elbow bump, and we will survive this beautifully.

I’m ending this post with a few photos from my morning nature walk. Nature will always calm, heal and rebalance.

Intermittent Fasting

If you know me you know that I LOVE checking out new health fads and crazes. I recently tried food combing and my verdict was that it’s good for short term digestion issues or weight loss but almost impossible to keep up long term. Then I went totally sugar free. That was tough and didn’t make me feel as healthy as I had hoped so I’m back to using honey and maple syrup as well as treating myself to the odd dark chocolate bar.

Now I’ve decided to see what intermittent fasting is all about. I’ve been doing this few a few days and I swear I feel the effects already.

I’m doing 8/16 or 9/15 depending on the day, meaning that my window of eating every day is 8 or 9 hours and fasting is 15 or 16 hours. During the eating phase of the day you should have 3 balanced meals and try not to binge on unhealthy foods or you’re pretty much shooting yourself in the foot.

Eating this way leaves 16 hours for your body to take a break from digesting and focus on regeneration and healing. Doesn’t that sound like a good idea? Think of our hunter/gatherer ancestors ~ they weren’t bogged down with digestion all day long. They ate, went out to hunt and forage again and, if they were lucky, had another meal. If they weren’t lucky, they were naturally intermittent fasting. This way of eating is so natural for the human body and has a ton of health and anti~aging benefits that I’ll discuss in an upcoming post.

One word of caution though. If you’re active, only schedule activities during eating hours or you’ll be depleting yourself and breaking down muscle as well as fat, doing your body more harm than good.

I truly believe though that in our modern world where we are inundated with unhealthy food choices 24/7, intermittent fasting may be the path back to balance and health.

Happy Fasting.

Photos of a hike to Dog Mountain on Mount Seymour.

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.

Waterfalls and Berries

A hike up a mountain is one of my favourite things to do. Especially if there is a waterfall involved.

As I get a bit older though, I realize that how I fuel my body before, during and after a hike becomes more and more important.

I’ve found the hydrating qualities of fruit and veggies to be the perfect fuel for an active body, especially during the hot summer months.

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One of my favourite pre~hike recipes is my berry smoothie bowl. This powerhouse recipe has hydrating, antioxidant and fibre filled berries (did you know that raspberries have the most fibre of any fruit?) and creamy coconut milk to provide the kind of fat that will do your body good.

Add a couple of dates for iron and healthy sugars to fuel my body as I trek up that mountain and I’ve got a body loving bowl of goodness.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1cup strawberries
  • I banana
  • 2 dates

Blend together, top with fresh raspberries and unsweetened coconut and you have a beautiful, nourishing smoothie bowl.