Home

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

progress

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”


Dear Sir,
And I'm assuming you are sir, but if you are a female, please forgive me.   
Whoever you are, I like your words.  
Which I guess, according to this, really means I like your thoughts.

nonetheless

I think about you a lot.
I practice you.
I carry you with me.

No matter the place, no matter the news, no matter the level of anxiety, thinking of you, calms me.

Thank You.







Worlds of What

What if I my alarm didn't go off?

What if you never told me I was good at it?

What if she never read your emails?

What if he ate your piece of pecan pie?

What if you didn't hurt her?

Would it all still be?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

.

There was a time when I wrote.

can't remember if it was a dream.  Maybe deja vu.  Or just a drunken moment.

But there was a time.

Today, this week, tomorrow there is only red blinking lights, obnoxious alarms, and humming hardware.

self inflicted? always.
with purpose? of course.
insanity? already there.

So put me under a tree, coffee at my tips and ink in my palm.  And I will write whatever you will like.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Words to live by

Within this image there is a phrase, sentence or word that each and everyone of us can identify with.

Choose yours.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

It's my blog

I'll post what I want.

Quote of the Day: 


"If she's amazing, she wont be easy. If she's easy, she wont be amazing. If she's worth it, you wont give up. If you give up, you're not worthy"

- anonymous 

Got a list. Checking it Twice

2 days. 19 hours. 42 minutes. until I run another half marathon.

Oh. Crap.

Checklist:
Runners
Shorts
Sport bra x2 (just for back up)
Running socks x2 (see above)
Lightweight running shirt
Thermal running shirt
Nike running hat (in case it rains!)
Garmin running watch
Ipod ("charged")
Gum - fun fact: I chew gum during every run
Sharkies! (mid run fuel)
Positive attitude.


Sorry for the nerd-out - it's just for my own sanity.

Saturday Ambitions

IF I wasn't going away for Thanksgiving Weekend - This is where I would be on Saturday:

BAKERS MARKET


The Vancouver Bakers Market is back for the second year in a row.  Running from Saturday October 2nd until December 11th, it will run every Saturday for the next 11 weeks from 11am to 3pm.  For full details go to www.bakersmarket.ca

but don't be fooled.  I'm not interested going to eat.  I'm going to "inspect".  

That's right.  I'm not naively tricking myself into eating pounds of cookies, cupcakes, pies and cakes.  No no, I'm genuinely interested to see if I can "compete" with these other amateur bakers.

Because if you didn't already know, i'm secretly aspiring to be a baker!! (details to follow)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I have a secret

I love breakfast for dinner

I am mildly psychic

My favorite part of every magazine is the personal stories.  Cheese-Ball Alert!

I love powerpoint

I read my horoscope everyday. and if my horoscope says I will have a bad day, it dramatically affects my mood.

I wish I could meditate

I am painfully insecure 

My biggest pet peeve is people who swallow loudly

I think about my dead dog Abbey everyday.  I miss her.




What are some of your secrets?









Wednesday, September 29, 2010

You... Only better, happier and healthier!

Who wants to come with me? 



With Nutritionist Janice Murphy and Wellness Life Coach Alycia Hall

Thursday, September 30th
8:00-9:00pm

An outline of the topics include:

  • Re-align yourself with your true goals, values and visions
  • Empower yourself to find the answers to your questions from within
  • Learn what to eat to maximize your functionality and feel your best
  • Decipher the mixed messages about various diets in the media
  • Learn about super foods that will optimize your brain power
looks to me like an appetizing mix of wellness information, feel good messaging and of course a stellar meet up of like-minded individuals.

Registrations is only $20, so if you plan on going call 604-875-6207 to secure a place.



Monday, September 27, 2010

Dove - Evolution Commercial (higher quality)

For whatever reason, I find this video very powerful.

My Monday Gift To You: The Dove Evolution.

Vice Versa

Lets take a minute to talk about "Vices".

By definition; a "practice or habit referring to fault, a defect, an infirmity or merely a bad habit"

I'll be the first to admit, I have vices.  Hell I have an entire pantry of vices.  In fact, my vices don't restrict themselves to one particular habit, food group, action or behaviour.  Oh Hell No. 

My Vices are everywhere.

Case in Point:

1. Yogurt Covered Raisins. (ps- this blog was inspired by my movie/excuse to eat these, date last night)
Something about that melt in your mouth, sweet, chewy goodness that just drives be nuts.


Speaking of nuts...

2. Bananas dipped in Peanut Butter.
What? Who does that? Sadly enough I do.  And just so you really get the picture - after the banana is all gone, I've been known to use my finger.


3. Happy Hour. (probably my worst of the vices)
I love everything about Happy Hour - I love the feeling that the day is done, I love the relaxed happiness that washes over you with that sip of wine.  I also love the bonding that comes with being around friends.  I even love the people watching that comes with any of the usual happy hour locales.
4. Running.
Crazy that this is on my vice list - but sadly its true.
I run too much.  I run when I'm exhausted.  I run when I'm dehydrated.  I run when I have blisters or sore muscles or worse stressed bones.

Running is simultaneously my escape and yet my downfall.



5. Routine.
Although my father would likely contest this as a said "vice", I think that anything unreasonable that can throw you into a full-fledged panic attack should be called such.
To the lay person, it might not appear that I live a particularly rigid schedule.  But once again, appearances can be deceiving.

Don't get me wrong this is something I definitely plan to work on.  I don't enjoy being ruled by the clock, terrorized by "what ifs" or scared to venture away for a weekend.  It's just that despite all this, my schedule, (the same one that torments me) also keeps me sane and anxiety free...


One day.

So what's the big deal?  Why do we all let vice's run rampage in our conscience?  Everyone has them -  or at least everyone I find interesting...

So today, in honour of my vices I am going to give myself the respect of accepting my vices for what they are;  Virtues.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Worthy News

I love when major newspapers pay due to important community stories.

Case in Point: Today's Vancouver Sun cover story...

Two-Block Diet turns neighbours into urban villagers

East Vancouver agriculture project runs on elbow grease and a barn-raising spirit





Dawn Dunkerley (left) and Kate Sutherland, members of the Two-Block Diet neighbourhood gardening group, hold some of their harvest in Dunkerley's Vancouver backyard garden on Wednesday.

Photograph by: Les Bazso, Vancouver Sun, Vancouver Sun


It's an article about two Vancouver women who together, with a little support from friends and family started a fabulous neighbourhood gardening co-op. 

As it turns out the "Two-Block Diet" was born out of the common Vancouverite dilemma; desire for local food +  no space to sustain a garden.   Thus the community principle was born.  Converting neighbours backyards, creating "seeding-stations", organizing weekend work parties and crafting "Communal  Compost"they transformed much of Main Street into a giant community garden.

Today, the result of a passion for eating local, organic produce they have established a successful organization "Two-Block Diet".  Based in East Vancouver, these women have not only carved out a fabulous network or like-minded individuals who continue to support (and supply) our local farmers markets, but have just as importantly created a resource for those "novices" who have yet to start growing.  

To find out more, or to meet the "Two-Blockers" swing by the Village Vancouver Community Potluck Party on October 4th at Heritage Hall. You can also check out the website at villagevancouver.ning.com 

To read the full article: http://www.vancouversun.com/Block+Diet+turns+neighbours+into+urban+villagers/3566573/story.html#ixzz10NaWxkYp





Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday Mini Goals

Monday Blues are so last year.

What's really hot this season is the Monday Mini Goals



That's right - instead of starting the week tired, hungover, weary of the looming 5-day work week ahead, why not start by setting some small, attainable goals that will not only give you something to look forward to, but will encourage you to stay on track and make the week just a little more exciting.

This Weeks Monday Mini Goals include;

1. Water (I'm going to drink AT LEAST 8 cups of water a day)

2. Exercise - 3 Yoga classes, 4 runs, 1 barre fitness class

3. 8 Hours of sleep (I'm really looking forward to this one)

4. Blog! (I feel like i've ignored by blog the last few days and I want to get back to YOU)

5. No Booze for the week (an uphill battle when you live with 2 vino's, but I'm holding strong!)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Dirty Dozen

Lets get real people.

I know you've thought about it.  Hell you've probably debated it, sworn out loud maybe even lied to others about it...

Well don't worry.  I'm here to tell you, no one really shops Organic 100% of the time.


If your anything like me and are forced to choose between Organic Produce - or - Paying Rent, then don't panic, there are really only a few KEY veggies we must be wary of.

Meet the Dirty Dozen - named as such, because they come with the heaviest burden of pesticides, additives and hormones.  

According to Environmental Working Group, consumers can reduce their pesticide exposure by 80% by simply avoiding the most contaminated fruits and vegetables. (source)

So who are the infamous Dirty Dozen?

Ughhh Maybe Not...

The Real Dirty Dozen: 

1. Celery - With little to no protective layering - one study found over 64 types of pesticides.  My only question is, doesn't Peanut Butter kill the germs?

2. Peaches - C'mon, I know you didn't think that fuzzy stuff was 'natural'

3. Strawberries - #3 on the list.  You might want to re-think that "sugar high"

4. Apples - This one hurts me.  I consume copious amounts of apples... but I just can't get over how often the organic apples have bugs in them.  Nothing throws off a nice crisp Pink Lady like a giant worm in the core (seen only after you've eaten the entire thing)

5. Nectarines - man, why do all the good ones have to be on this list!?  If you can't find organic, safer alternatives include watermelon, papaya and mango.

6. Bell Peppers - they way I burn cook these bad boys I'm not sure any germs could survive...

7. Kale - I'm surprised by this one.  With all the talk about this nutrient-dense leafy green, I could have sworn it was going to be hailed as the new Cancer - Drug.  Oh what? That's already happened?

8. Cherries - see #3

9. Imported Grapes - It takes a special kind of fruit to make something as potent as red wine

10. Leafy Greens - surprise, surprise

11. Carrots - You don't even want to know how they keep those baby carrots looking bright and juicy...

12. Pears - Have you ever felt a pear before it was ripe?  That's super human strength right there



*And a few other notable "dirties" to look out for include:


Blueberries - New to the list this year. Bueberries = dirtberries

Meat - I'm a vegetarian - so this doesn't get an "dirtier"

Milk - over 12 different pesticides have been identified in non-organic milk.  A side of cancer with your coffee anyone?

Coffee - Just think about where the beans are grown.  I don't know if they have Whole Foods in Nicaragua...

Potatoes - Thanks Dad.  I thought you said all the "nutrients" were in the dirt


Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Numbers Game

Imagine a day when calories don't exist.

OK - maybe a slight exaggeration...

But imagine a day when the predominant figure on food labels isn't calories.  The day when the average consumer can pick up any old item of food and see it as more than a piece of the perplexing diet puzzle.













(source)

Enter Nuval Nutrional Scoring System 
*note I came across this company via the fabulous Tina

Nuval is an American-based company doing their part to strip the myths behind all the "fat-free", "light", and my personal favorite "Guilt-Free" food labeling.   Using a 1-100 scoring guide NuVal scores food based on their nutritional scale.  With 100 being the best and 1 being a Krispy Kreme donut, its easy to see why this system will be a hit.


 From the website:


How the Scoring Works
NuVal™ Scores summarize comprehensive nutritional information in one simple number between 1 and 100.  Each NuVal™ Score takes into account more than just the nutrition fact panel.  It considers 30-plus nutrients and nutrition factors – the good (protein, calcium, vitamins) and the not-so-good (sugar, sodium, cholesterol).  And then it boils it down into a simple, easy-to-use number; a number you can trust to make better decisions about nutrition in just a few seconds.

Backed by an independent panel nutrition and medical experts, the scores are not like calories in that they are not dependent on food portions  - they are simply the overall nutrition quality of the food (irrelevant of size)

Maybe the day we start to see food as fuel - rather than trap is not as far away as we think....
A Girl Can Dream Can't She...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Running Rut

I woke up this morning went to bed last night with great intentions of going for an early 10km run.  However, upon awaking to my obnoxious Caribbean drum alarm clock (I know - I'm one of those dorks) the thought of running any sort of physical exertion - was simply out of the question.

I think this is what you would call a "Running Rut"

Le Sigh.

Now what is the "Running Rut" you ask?

The "Running Rut"is something that always seems to occur completely out of the blue, for no apparent reason and often despite (or because of) a looming race-date.

So how does one get through the "rut"?

Simultaneously easy yet often painfully tormenting - you must wait.  Sometimes minutes, sometimes hours, sometimes weeks or months.  You wait until you suddenly have an indescribable urge to run.

Sounds crazy, I know.

But sometimes, regardless of reason or explanation the body just needs a break.  If your not giving yourself adequate rest and recuperation the body has this amazing way of MAKING you take a break.  Whether it's by injury, by sickness, exhaustion or simply "boredom", it is important you take note.

So today.  In an attempt to practice patience and self-care, I'm not going for the 10km (and crossing my fingers and toes that this lasts ONLY 1 day)

In the hopes that tomorrow, I can do this:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Vegified!

Have I told you about my obsession love for vegetables?  Well if I haven't, let me tell you;

I LOVE VEGETABLES!!

I love carrots, zucchini, corn, peppers, celery, spinach, arugula, radish, avocado, tomatoes (is this a fruit?), broccoli, cauliflower, squash, pumpkin, peas, green beans even the most loathed of all... the brussel sprout!

When it comes to the Veg - I don't discriminate.

Hence my love for sweet sweet Sweet Cheribums - the Organic and Natural grocery store and cafe.





Last night I borderline overdosed on their vegetable buddha feast/miso salad/roasted vegetable lasagna (a heavenly overdose if there ever was any)





Sweet Cheribums is one of the few vegetarian digs that I find myself returning to again, and again (and again).  

With the moto: "Take A Load Off - Go Vegetarian" you just know they are going to do an amazing job of making vegetarian food laid back, playful, and oh so appealing.  But just as importantly, with a commitment to providing healthy, organic and ethical products, they are a vegetarian restaurant "for reasons of world hunger, world health, world environment and world peace.

Still need convincing? 

How about this quote from their website:
"Our foods are prepared with thoughts and concerns of global care, personal health, aesthetic nourishment and creative stimulation.  We integrate multi-cultural courageous and simple palates.  Our foods are whole, organic, and are prepared without refined sugar, saturated fats, additives or preservatives."

Oh and the best part? 


Due to their overwhelmingly, amazing desert bar (we are talking coconut macaroons, chocolate cake, mango pie, halva bars and vegan banana loafs, just to name a few) it's hardly a "struggle" to convince the boyfriend to join me.

1105 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC (at Napier)
Open 7 days a week

                   

 Restaurant Hours      
10am - 8pm Monday - Saturday                                                 
11am to 7:30pm Sunday                                                            




Monday, September 13, 2010

7 Steps To Nurturing Your Inner Child

(courtesy of Huffington Post and Lauren Mackler)


I actually just stumbled across this fabulous article on my morning blog perusal.  So fabulous in fact, that I decided to share it with all of you!

This Huffington Post feature looks at how we need to take a parental approach to our own emotional health, sanity and bodies.  The article states that we need to be more comforting, more positive, and ultimately more forgiving of ourselves. In reality, the truth is many of us don’t often (read-ever) ‘nurture’ ourselves.  We rarely get enough sleep, too often eat poorly, are self-critical and most importantly, fail to fill ourselves with encouraging, loving messages.

Unfortunately, the result of not properly caring for ourselves, of not keeping promises, or being compassionate is that we often become are too hard on ourselves. We become insecure, negative, critical and resentful.

I think I'm probably not alone in saying we live in a "generation of perfectionism".  We have breed centuries upon centuries of girls, children, teenagers and young women who strive to be nothing short of perfect.  Whether it's career, relationship, school, sports or image, far too many of us are lost in a sea of critiscism.

When did the term "I'm my worst critic" start becoming a good thing?

Skip to Lauren Mackler's article...

My favorite (and painfully true) quote of the article reads:

“In fact, if most people treated others the way they treat themselves, they wouldn't have many friends!”

HOW. TRUE.

I would never ask of my friends, what I ask of myself.  I would never tell a friend to get up after 5 hours of sleep to run a 12km.  I would never tell a friend to wear a baggy shirt because she looked fat, and I would certainly NEVER tell a friend they couldn’t have that last bit of desert!

So according to Lisa Mackler, here are some steps on how we can start “nurturing the inner child”

Send loving messages to yourself. Tell yourself, "I love you and appreciate who you are."  When you're struggling or feeling low, be supportive by saying, "I'm here for you. You're not alone."

Take good care of yourself. A loving parent would make sure you eat right and get plenty of rest, sleep, fresh air and exercise. Keep yourself healthy and fit.

Do nice things for yourself. Get into the habit of doing special things for yourself. Make yourself a cup of tea with the nurturing energy that you'd have when preparing tea for someone you love. Make yourself a candlelight dinner -- a delicious meal in a special setting. Coddle yourself. Treat yourself as a loving parent would treat you.

Set healthy boundaries with others. Let people know what you want and don't want. Tell them what's okay for you and what's not. A loving parent makes sure his or her child's needs are met.

Become your own advocate. If someone was unkind, hostile or verbally abusive to your child, you'd stand up for him. Protect yourself as a nurturing parent would protect you.

Believe in yourself.  A nurturing parent says, "You can do it." "I believe in you." Become your strongest supporter, coach and cheerleader.

And lastly and most important: Be compassionate with yourself. Have compassion for your humanity and your flaws. You're human and you're going to make mistakes. Look at yourself through the eyes of a loving parent; don't punish or criticize yourself. Reassure yourself. Comfort yourself. Accept yourself unconditionally. And show that same compassion for your own parents and others, because they, too, are human.


Lauren Mackler is a world-renowned coach, host of the LIFE KEYS radio show, and author of the international bestseller, Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness & Transform Your Lifewww.laurenmackler.com

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Open

Another one to add to grocery list  - OPEN an Autobiography by Andre Agassi.




 started reading the book this weekend on a surfing trip to Westport Washington - and I have to admit, the thought of skipping the surf to submerge myself into the book -  was way too tempting.

The Anthony Kiedis of the tennis world, this book is an amazing look into the painful, turbulent mind of one of the worlds youngest tennis prodigies.  Raised in Vegas desert, by a money-hungry, dictator father, a voiceless mother and a tennis coach who openly resented the young boys talent its written with insight, wisdom and a resounding sense of humility.  This book does a brilliant job of stripping the "Agassi Icon", revealing the pressures, the drugs, the media and the pain of not knowing your own strength.

The books contradictions are boundless;

-He's a high school drop out - who reads literary classics between Grand Slams

-Without hesitation he spits and swears at reporters - but his insecurities are so gripping he is confined to a tupee to hide his balding hairline

-His first car was a Corvette - but his best friend is Barbara Streisand and he loves listening to Celine Dion


To give you all a bit of a teaser, here is a quote from the book which gives you just an inkling of how ironic, raw and contradictory this book truly is;

"I play tennis for a living, even though I hate tennis, hate it with a dark and secret passion, and always have"

Why?

"A win doesn't feel as good as a loss feels bad, and the good feeling doesn't last as long as the bad.  Not even close"

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sweet Sweat

Apparently I'm an impulsive buyer.

Walking past the West Coast Hot Yoga Studio yesterday afternoon I made the impulse logical decision to sign up for the 30 day Yoga Challenge.


WHAT!?

I don't even LIKE yoga! 

But I can't help but be curious when I hear so many people talk about how it simultaneously calms then, re-energizes them and transforms their bodies.  I mean don't get me wrong - I've done my fair share of the yoga classes - tested everything from bikrams, to power, to hatha, to flow, yin, yang and all the other "yoga-centric" workouts.  But never have I attempted to actually commit to the practice...

So fine.  I'll give it a try (of course by "try", I mean I will go overboard and attempt a radical month long test)

Day 1 Results:
That was the most awful amazing interesting 90 minutes of my life.  Don't get me wrong - I know I'm fit. I just didn't know I was fit and yet incredibly NOT flexible.

And can we talk about the smell?  This is something I am going to have to get used to.... that or just stop breathing.

Oh and the self-talk?  No one told me I would be spending 90 minutes convincing myself I could do it.  I literally had to continually tell myself "You are not going to pass out", "You can get through this", "This will get easier" UGHH

But alas... I did get through it.  and I'll be the first to admit - I walked away with a giant smile on my face.

Let the journey continue...


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

waking up on the wrong side of the world

Word to the wise...

Eating dinner 45 minutes before bed can lead to some seriously disturbing nightmares.  It's almost 11:00am and I still cant shake the feeling something awful happened in my subconscious last night.

All I want is a cup of chai, a warm bath and some sunny skies...

Friday, September 3, 2010

heaven


This is where I am...

This is where I want to be...



This is why...



Hollyhock Resort is what West Coast dreams are all about.  A magical organic vegetable garden, a make-your-own tea station, to-die-for granola, and a library of epic proportions… oh and did I mention the hot tub built into the rocks that over looks the ocean?  In case I didn’t – it also has a fig tree conveniently nestled beside (perfect for nibbling)

Sound like heaven?  That's because it is.

And to make matters worse, not only is Hollyhock a stunning resort, but it's also an educational retreat with some seriously awesome workshops.  Case in point? How about the Passionate Cook course by Rebeka Carpenter.  Synopsis from the Hollyhock website:

"Create delicious, healthy cuisine with local and seasonal ingredients. Using the generously stocked Hollyhock kitchen as our palate, we explore and prepare West Coast and internationally inspired meals. Our focus is on primarily vegetarian meals, using unrefined ingredients from the garden, the orchard, and the sea. Discover how cooking delicious and inspired meals can be an incredible creative outlet that is both nourishing and nurturing. Offered as a blend of lectures, discussion, and hands-on cooking classes. Explore the conscious and creative eating that is the hallmark of the Hollyhock kitchen. Learn how your daily diet can impact your energy, mood, and overall health. Tour our organic garden and take a field trip to nearby Linnaea Farm. Welcome to foodies of all experience levels"


Huba huba huba...

Monday, August 30, 2010

butter love. the best kind of love

How does one finish off 5 days of living, breathing, thinking about personal health?

With peanut butter fondue of course.

That's right.

Last night thanks a friends sister I experienced the most phenomenal desert known to mankind.    Not only did we have fresh strawberries and banana's with dark chocolate fondue... but wait for it...  melted peanut butter.

Oh GAWD.

It's now monday morning and this is all I can think about.
Source

But really, if this week has proven anything its that health = happiness and for me, peanut butter = happiness.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Do It...

trust me.  you won't regret it...

Read The Happiness Project - The New York Times bestseller by Gretchen Rubin.

I'm not sure if its because I'm currently floating deep amidst my "Nourishing The Soul" experiment (Day 2 to be precise) or because I am painfully jealous of this women's bravery - but either way this book is sure to awaken the 6 year old in you who once believed nothing was impossible.

The book written from her own perspective follows Gretchen Rubin as she quits her job, throws her fate to the wind and embarks on a one year journey in the "search of happiness".  Now all Eat Pray Love resemblances aside, the author doesn't just stuff her face with gelato, eat pizza, sleep with young Italian men and practice mediation just to prove anything to 'society' - rather she studies.  She studies everything from Aristotle to Oprah to her children's sleeping patterns.   She looks at work, life, society, herself and her surroundings.  Oh and best of all?  She determines money CAN buy happiness.

All in all, this book is raw, revolutionary and real.

So don't doubt me. Do it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Lesson in Nourishing the Soul

 As of tomorrow today at 5:30pm I am officially taking a 3-day vacation (I know minuscule to many, but GIGANTIC to me) Feels like the first vacation I have had in FOREVER.  And while it’s not really a “vacation” in the traditional sense… I’m not hoping on plane, going to a tropical island, camping or cruising on any boats….

Even better, I’m simply taking some “Me Time”


Now what exactly is Me-Time?  (I know cheesy title, not to be confused with being punished to the corner like a 5-year old)

“Me-Time” is a time or place where you can nourish the soul, balance your needs, eat delicious food (oh my god I might even be able to MAKE my own dinners), breathe and best of all relax.

In all reality – I will likely spend this time sorting, cleaning, packing and un-packing my house (I’m supposed to be moving during this so-called meditative period).  Nonetheless, I am taking this time off to unwind, understand and try and prioritize my heart. 

To be totally frank, I am not a meditative person.  I need 2 (large) cups of coffee to get out of bed, I find Yoga too slow, I get road rage, I’ve been called Type-A (more than a few times) and I HATE the smell of hemp.  But lately, it feels like my life/work/sanity is taking its toll on me and I need to figure out a better way to do things.  I need to get rid of this permanent pit-in-my-stomach feeling, the constant cortisol-rush and the adrenaline hang-overs.

While I don’t want to add fuel to the fire and put pressure on this sacred me-time, I am in essence setting a challenge for myself (I know, I know,"challenge" is probably contradictory to the theme, but read back to “Type-A”) 

Whatever. It's my blog - I'll do what I want to.

So today at 5:30 I am challenging myself to slow down, seek peace and remember to breathe.  In essence it will be part vacation, part science experiment.

SO WISH ME LUCK!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

53 Days, 18 Hours, 44 Minutes

Until  I attempt my second ever, half-marathon.

Not even 3 days after my first half-marathon, my mother so lovingly, suggested we do a "mother-daughter"  half-marathon.  Apparently - still riding high on the post-run endorphins - I agreed.  So now in less then 2 months, I, along with my Mom will be running in the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Half-Marathon.





Sounds cute doesn't it?  Maybe not when your mother is already a seasoned marathon runner, who at the age of 65, can quite literally, kick my ass.

Not going to lie - I'm scared folks!  I've never run that kind of distance on terrain I'm not familiar with. When I did my last only half-marathon, I had practiced running the route nearly 10 times.  Without being able to envision the route, I have this awful feeling that the distance will feel so much insurmountable if I can't picture it...

Crazy or not, this one's got me N.E.R.V.O.U.S

Monday, August 16, 2010

Blog Believer

Sure I have a full-time (and rather demanding) job.  But somehow, amidst news releases, magazine deadlines, client events and hundreds of emails, I always manage to find time to research new healthy living blogs. And by "research" I of course mean endless, borderline-obsessive hours of reading, browsing, meandering and observing the wonderful world wide web.

My name is Amelia.  And I am addicted to Blogs.

So much so, that I would like to share with you all the fantastic blog {Plate+Simple}
written by the incredibly inspiring (and fellow Vancouverite) Hilary Detwiller, this blog is what blogs are all about; creativity, insight and motivation (a few great recipes also doesn't hurt).

{Plate+Simple} focuses on healthy vegan eating, wholesome recipes, creating a happy lifestyle, running, yoga, and as she says "spreading the love"

So today, in honour of Hilary - and all that makes my day go faster - here is her recipe for the easiest Coconut Date Macaroons ever!






Ingredients:
2 large or 3 small ripe bananas, mashed well
2 tablespoons of oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
4 medjool dates, pitted and minced
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder


Directions:
Heat oven to 375 ̊. In a large bowl, combine well mashed bananas, oil, vanilla, salt, shredded coconut and dates. Stir thoroughly to ensure that all ingredients are well combined.

In a smaller separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder and whisk to combine. Pour dry ingredients into wet and stir well. Dough will be loose and sticky.

Using a large spoon or ice cream scooper, form large balls out of the dough and carefully place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tops begin to brown slightly. Remove from cookie sheet immediately.

Makes about 9 large cookies




Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I've just done a bad bad thing...


Or at least I am about to...

I can't believe I am crazy enough to share with the entire blog world, the secret to my existence... the secret to my happiness, my sanity and the only reason I call myself a cook.

enter: Rebar's Cranberry Hazelnut Granola  (shamelessly stolen from my Mother's cookbook)

I'm not joking when I say, this is probably the worlds best granola.  And to make matters worse, it' so easy, even I can make it!  Nonetheless, I must take this moment to warn you all - Granola is not for the chintzy-hearted.  There shall be no skimping on the dried fruits, the honey layering or the coconut shreds.  As far as granola goes - the bigger the better!

And thus, I give to you: 

Cranberry Hazelnut Granola




Ingredients:

  • 3 cups (720 mL) large flake oats
  • 1 ½ cups (360 mL) barley flakes
  • ½ cup (120 mL) oat bran
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut
  • ½ tsp (2.5 mL) salt
  • 1 cup (240 mL) hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup (120 mL) pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup (120 mL) sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup (120 mL) vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) water
  • 2/3 cup (160 mL) maple syrup (or honey, or a combination)
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
  • 1 cup (240 ml) dried cranberries
  • ½ cup (120 ml) dried blueberries

Makes about 8 cups (2 L) ....or if you are like me, then about fifteen big handfuls


Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the oil, water, honey, and vanilla. Combine the wet and dry mixes and stir thoroughly.
  2. Spread the mixture out onto two baking sheets (or do it in two batches). Bake at 250°F for 20-30 minutes. Stir the mixture every 10 minutes to ensure even baking and remove from the oven when golden brown. Cool and stir in the dried fruit. Seal and store for up to 1 month.
If you want to make the Granola even more BADASS, you can also try these combinations:
  • Almonds, wheat germ, dried cherries
  • Pecans, flax seeds, dried mango
  • Walnuts, dried apricots, and figs

Voila!  You have PERFECTION :)

You can thank me later...


Thursday, July 29, 2010

For The Love of Lawn Bowling...

People often ask me, when you say “lawn bowling” do you really mean “bocce ball”?

My response? Bocce is for fun. Lawn bowling is for the an entirely different class of human beings.


aka- my summer love.























For the second year in a row, myself along with 150+ of my closest friends come together dressed in our finest white linens, pearl necklaces and ridiculously large hats to lawn bowl. Truth be told, we don’t JUST do it for the sport, nor the amazing canap├ęs,  nor the endless Tom Collins (although those are worth talking about). 

We do it for Eva. 


Eva Markvort was an amazing young woman, who touched the lives of not just myself, but thousands of others across our community, the country and the world. She was a friend, she was an icon, she was a beautiful spirit.

This spring, Eva succumbed to Cystic Fibrosis after a life long battle that inevitably stripped her of her ability to breath.  Thanks to Eva’s efforts to bring awareness to CF, her amazing blog, her inspiring documentary 65 red_roses and her epic personality, we have made a commitment to do our part to keep her legacy alive.

The Vancouver Leisure Society is here to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis and make CF stand for “Cure Found”

To donate please go to the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation- Vancouver Chapter

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

When Falling... Dive

I did it.  I sucked it up and finally told my terrifying, intimidating,  passive-aggressive, angry-b*tch of a boss I was "adios amigo"

You have NO idea how liberating it is.

Ok - that's a bit of a lie... I'm actually quite petrified that I might have made the wrong decision... I mean what if all the condescending bullshit, was just her way of making me earn my stripes?  What if I should have put up with her verbally dismissive crap a little longer?  Was there a pot of gold at the end of rainbow?

Ohhh the endless doubts that accompany the life of a 25 year old.  Never sure if your right, never sure if your wrong.  I must remind myself to put faith in the unknown. Embrace what I can't control and give thanks to the Universe.

Now, if anyone has a PR job and needs a coordinator.  I'm your gal!  (jokes... sort of)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

You say Tomato. I say "Is it Organic?"

Its. About. That. Time.

Yes it is folks!! So put on your ripped denim, grab that fixed-gear bike and remember your cloth-bags because it's the season for FARMER'S MARKETS!!!

If you're like me, and endlessly caroussing through farmers markets, makes you feel like a better person (wait was I supposed to say that out loud?), than be excited. Because May 8th marks the opening of the East Vancouver Farmers Market. 




And you can bet your pennies i'll be there!

To find out the farmers market closest to you go to http://www.eatlocal.org/

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Paris of the Middle East

... or at least the middle of Hastings street, Vancouver.


Why is it that when someone asks you “What’s your favorite restaurant?” Most of us instinctively already have an answer ready to blurt out (subconscious or not). For me, that restaurant hands down, no questions asked, is Nuba.


My love-affair with this tiny Lebanese tapas-style eatery began just last year as I stumbled across the oh-so enticing entranceway. Almost hidden under the old Dominion Building at Cambie and Hastings, the deco oozes playful sophistication doubled as earthy wellness. With modern flare and subtle draw this restaurant practices what so many other, dare I say ‘hipster’ joints, can only preach - laid-back, stylish yet cheap, veggie eats. In other words… my sustenance,

If you haven’t already had a chance to tempt your palates with their so so soh fresh taboulleh, delish baba ghannoj or crispy garden falafel well then I’m sorry… I just don’t think we can be friends.

Nuba Restaurant 207 W. Hastings 604 688-1655,