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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...