Eating for the season AND the environment.


I’m sure you have all heard of fruits and vegetables being “in season”. This mainly relates to the foods that can be grown/farmed in your local areas. One good example is CORN. Corn of course is available for harvest and sale in the warmer (summer/early fall) months of the year. When you buy from a local farmer you are supporting your local vendors which cuts down on so many harmful side effects to our economy, health and environment.

The top reasons for shopping locally are:

Taste local or regional and hence fresher, food.
Enjoy mouth-watering, tasty delicious foods that are available in-season only.
Buy a variety of specialty foods that will impress your dinner guests.
Discover a wide variety of “new” specialty products that offer new tastes and flavours.
Enjoy foods produced with fewer chemicals thus protecting the your health and the environment.
Support farmers who are committed to the humane treatment of animals.
Seek out foods produced in a unique way.
Meet the farmer who grows your food and ask them for details on how the product was produced.
Pick up some cooking tips and recipes from Chefs and Producers.
Purchase foods at the market and support the future of family farms and food security in British Columbia.
Reduce your carbon-imprint by walking or cycling to your community farmers’ market.
Connect with your neighbours and community.

WHAT SEASON ARE WE IN? – SEE BELOW:

What’s In Season
“To Everything There Is A Season”
What’s in season in November?
Apples, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Garlic, Leeks, Onions (cooking), Pears, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Turnips, Winter Squash.

What’s in season in December?
Apples, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Garlic, Pears, Rosemary, Sage, Turnips, Winter Squash.

What’s in season in January?
Apples, Cabbage, Pears, Rosemary, Sage, Turnips, Winter Squash.

What’s in season in February?
Apples, Cabbage, Pears, Rosemary, Sage, Turnips.

What’s in season in March?
Apples, Pears, Rosemary, Sage.

What’s in season in April?
Apples, Chives, Pears, Rhubarb, Rosemary, Sage, Spinach.

What’s in season in May?
Apples, Chives, Radish, Rhubarb, Rosemary, Sage, Spinach, Turnips.

What’s in season in June?
Apples, Cauliflower, Cherries, Chinese Vegetables, Chives, Cilantro, Lettuce, Peas, Potatoes, Radish, Rhubarb, Rosemary, Sage, Salad Greens, Spinach, Strawberries, Thyme, Turnips.

What’s in season in July?
Apricots, Basil, Beans, Beets, Blueberries, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Cherries, Chinese Vegetables, Chives, Cilantro, Cucumbers, Kale, Lettuce, Peas, Peppers, Potatoes, Radish, Raspberries, Rhubarb, Rosemary, Sage, Salad Greens, Spinach, Strawberries, Summer Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Thyme, Turnips.

What’s in season in August?
Apples, Apricots, Basil, Beans, Beets, Blackberries, Blueberries, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chinese Vegetables, Chives, Cilantro, Corn, Cucumbers, Currants, Garlic, Kale, Lettuce, Melons, Onions (sweet), Peaches, Pears, Peppers, Plums, Potatoes, Radish, Raspberries, Rosemary, Sage, Salad Greens, Shallots, Spinach, Strawberries, Summer Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Thyme, Turnips.

What’s in season in September?
Apples, Basil, Beans, Beets, Blackberries, Blueberries, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chinese Vegetables, Chives, Cilantro, Corn, Cucumbers, Currants, Garlic, Kale, Lettuce, Leeks, Melons, Onions (sweet), Onions (cooking), Pears, Peppers, Plums, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Radish, Raspberries, Rosemary, Sage, Salad Greens, Shallots, Spinach, Strawberries, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Thyme, Turnips, Winter Squash.

What’s in season in October?
Apples, Beans, Beets, Blackberries, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chives, Cilantro, Corn, Cranberries, Garlic, Kale, Lettuce, Leeks, Onions (sweet), Onions (cooking), Pears, Peppers, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Radishes, Rosemary, Sage, Salad Greens, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Thyme, Turnips, Winter Squash.

Product Season
APPLES AUGUST – JUNE
APRICOTS JULY – AUGUST
BASIL JULY – SEPTEMBER
BEANS JULY – OCTOBER
BEETS JULY – OCTOBER
BLACKBERRIES AUGUST – OCTOBER
BLUEBERRIES JULY – SEPTEMBER
BROCCOLI JULY – OCTOBER
BRUSSELS SPROUTS OCTOBER – DECEMBER
CABBAGE JULY – FEBRUARY
CARROTS JULY – NOVEMBER
CAULIFLOWER JUNE – NOVEMBER
CELERY JULY – OCTOBER
CHERRIES JUNE – JULY
CHINESE VEGETABLES JUNE – SEPTEMBER
CHIVES APRIL – OCTOBER
CILANTRO JUNE – OCTOBER
CORN AUGUST – OCTOBER
CRANBERRIES OCTOBER
CUCUMBERS JULY – SEPTEMBER
CURRANTS AUGUST – SEPTEMBER
GARLIC AUGUST – DECEMBER
KALE JULY – OCTOBER
LETTUCE JUNE – OCTOBER
LEEKS SEPTEMBER – NOVEMBER
MELONS AUGUST – SEPTEMBER
ONIONS (SWEET) AUGUST – OCTOBER
ONIONS (COOKING) SEPTEMBER – NOVEMBER
PEACHES AUGUST
PEARS AUGUST – APRIL
PEAS JUNE – JULY
PEPPERS JULY – OCTOBER
PLUMS AUGUST – SEPTEMBER
POTATOES JUNE – OCTOBER
PUMPKINS SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER
RADISH MAY – OCTOBER
RASPBERRIES JULY – SEPTEMBER
RHUBARB APRIL – JULY
ROSEMARY YEAR ROUND
SAGE YEAR ROUND
SALAD GREENS JUNE – OCTOBER
SHALLOTS AUGUST – SEPTEMBER
SPINACH APRIL – SEPTEMBER
STRAWBERRIES JUNE – SEPTEMBER
SUMMER SQUASH JULY – AUGUST
SWISS CHARD JULY – OCTOBER
TOMATOES JULY – OCTOBER
THYME JUNE – NOVEMBER
TURNIPS MAY – FEBRUARY
WINTER SQUASH MID SEPTEMBER – DECEMBER

Client Spotlight – The Vegan Converts & Making a baby with Gio & Casey Weeks – baby Luca now too!!

A beautiful, fit family who conceived by incorporating veganism!

Sometimes clients become friends, but in this case an “old” friend of mine – Giovanna – became a client. Giovanna and I met in elementary school in Maple Ridge, BC, Canada over 25 years ago. We actually went to different schools but both attended Catachism (click it if you don’t know it) where we met and eventually ended up at the same school. Giovanna has always had a light shining SO brightly within her….but she never had that Knight in shining armour that deserved her until…..Casey. Wow, what can I say. From the minute I first saw an image of these two together with their gorgeous smiles on display, I knew it was love. Casey seemed to be such a positive and loving force in Gio’s life.I’m so thankful that the two of you met and made a family -the world needs more true love like yours.

Happily settled in Houston, Texas, these two and their two pooches just added one more to their tribe; baby girl Luca – sorry folks, I didn’t get an image I could use here….and Luca was just born this past weekend of April 14/15. Congrats to the two of you. All my love and so much more and thanks SO much for taking the Vegan in 60 mentorship program on, I really hope it did help you with your little one.

So much love.

xx

S

How did the two of you meet?

Casey was a spin instructor at a studio and I had a huge crush on him and went to all his classes till he noticed me J

Did you plan on having a family early on in meeting and did age play a factor in this?

We both wanted kids one day but at the time didn’t think about it until I went to the doctor about a year after dating and she told me I had to see a fertility doctor.

How long were you trying for a baby before you went vegan and can you share any part of your personal story with our readers about WHY you decided to a make the change?

I had been doing fertility treatments for over a year. 4 Iuis and 2 IVF cycles and after getting pregnant on the last try but losing it right away I needed a break. Casey ended up watching some documentaries on Netflix that really opened our eyes to going vegan. I took about a 3month break and we went very strict vegan and I felt so great. I was working out again and not thinking about treatments and we really did feel healthier. I didn’t think it would has any effect on fertility at first just wanted to get healthier after all the hormones that were in me.

What have been the best and worst parts of trying to conceive – hee hee?

The worst was all the treatments for sure, not having control. The hormones they inject in you. The weight you gain with all of it. The stress of it. The best was when we took a break and just relax and were able to just do it the old fashion way and it worked! We could enjoy each other finally again and with being vegan I even lost weight so I felt better about myself too.

Once you became pregnant did you decide to go back to a carni lifestyle?

I have been back and forth, only because the first 3 months I was very sick and some things I could not keep down. We still try very hard though but as soon as the baby is born we are committed to going back to vegan again. I just know I felt amazing and even though I love this little baby, it has been a hard pregnancy. So I am so excited to be going back and I know Casey is too.

We know this has to be our lifestyle now, not a back and forth.

Is there anything you have learned in the process of becoming pregnant that you didn’t know veganism could impact positively?

I actually think that if I stay strict vegan I would have had less “problems” and that a lot of it was in my head. I know how healthy I felt before I was pregnant and I really think my body fixed itself becoming vegan. It made me a happier and less stressed person to, I really believe that. So now that I will be a parent I want to get back to that frame of mind and I know veganism with help me.

What is the best advice you have for couples having trouble conceiving?

Even though I hated hearing this so much, letting go and not stressing about it really is the key. Being a healthy, happy person is more important and I think that will help you so much more than stressing about what you need to do to actually conceive. Your partner and you should love just being with each other and not make it a chore to have a baby.

What was your fave and least fave vegan meal of all time?

I thought actually that quick oats for breakfast would have been my least fav but I really loved it. I don’t think there was anything I didn’t like. I really enjoyed all the vegan items we ate. Well…my first attempt at a falafel was probably my least…but if someone else makes them I love them.

Would you raise your child vegan – why/why not?

Casey and I have talked about this just a bit. We will teach them about being vegan but I think we will let them ultimately make the choice in the end.

Please let us know your best vegan recommendations for your best meals in Texas or abroad!

Ripe Cuisine is great! they are a food truck right now but opening a restaurant. Also Local foods is doing a good job of vegan items as well.

If there is anything lingering in your mind about this whole process, please feel free to share it now!

Thanks so much for all your support on this!

Burning those unwanted calories

Losing body fat is all about creating a energy balance (calories are energy). If we create a deficit we lose weight. I’m sure you’ve all heard me say this/post about this 100 times! Create an excess of calories and gain weight (good for creating muscle mass if done accurately).

Here are the ways we burn calories

Metabolism – physiological & biochemical processes

Non-exercise activity – regular daily rituals like brushing teeth, combing hair, standing up and sitting down

Thermic activity – Eating and digesting a meal (digest/absorb/process)

Exercise – Weight training, yoga, cycling, running (though endurance activity burns far more kcals)

Burning Cals Wisely – 2 methods discovered

Massive calorie deficiency and over exercising can lead to failure and metabolic breakdown if you aren’t careful. This is NOT good in any way shape or form. This is why we reverse diet from contests and big events like my FML Fat Fry program.

Exercise

The best way to fire up your fat burning engine is with HIIT. This raises your heart rate quickly and creates an oxygen deficit. You also create an after burn effect (EPOC/Excess Post Oxygen Consumption) where you continue to burn calories even after training – for hours or days. Woop!

How to get ripped quickly? Move more. On average a healthy human should aim for 10k steps per day.

It doesn’t necessarily matter WHAT exercise you do, only that you’re creating a caloric deficit. But then again, who wants to be at the gym all day? Endurance athletes shoot glares my way now!

The amount you burn is dictated by volume and intensity – the longer you train (volume) the more you burn. The harder you train (intensity) the more you burn. If you can do both in one session OR double up – you will burn a massive amount of calories.

Thermic effect in food

Eating 4-5 small meals throughout the day instead of 3 (or fewer) has an inconclusive effect on your beltline. So the benefit here might not be to lose inches necessarily. What this does do, is stop you from getting hungry between meals and making bad decisions on snacks. This method will also keep your blood sugar more stable.  Ensuring you incorporate protein in every meal will increase the thermic effect your body will go through.

I personally subscribe to a 6 day per week training plan where I lift and complete HIIT cardio as well as MISS cardio. It’s all about variety, fun and hard work.

If you’re looking to fire up your routine and burn some extra fat or put on some lean gains, you know who to call!

Xx

S

Say no to BPA’s ~ are you still even using them?

While some of the information I have found does not necessarily directly pertain to Canada, you have to admit that most issues Americans experience with their FDA end up showing up on our front doorstep. You know what they say rolls down hill, don’t you?

For those of you who’s minds when into the gutter I’ll spell it out – CANS

FDA officials announced last Friday the 15th of January that they had reversed their position that bisphenol A is safe. The chemical, used to line most food and beverage cans, has been found in the urine of 93% of Americans tested.

The agency now considers BPA to be of some concern for effects on the brain, behavior and prostate glands of fetuses and the very young. Scientific studies have raised concerns about the chemical’s link to breast and prostate cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, reproductive failures and behavioral problems.

But because BPA was classified years ago as an indirect food additive, it is not subject to the kind of scrutiny that other chemicals are. Without critical data about BPA, it is impossible to regulate the chemical, officials said.

BPA, first manufactured in 1891, was later developed as a plasticizer in the early 1960s. It was classified in 1963 as an indirect food additive and is listed among some 3,000 chemicals that are “generally regarded as safe.” That designation exempts them from scrutiny.

According to the FDA’s regulations, a substance that is granted that status is not subject to FDA review.

So, while the agency can broadcast its opinion that the chemical is not safe, it can’t compel companies to provide certain information about the chemical.

Their hands are tied! But just who tied them? Who is responsible for giving the GRAS classification to BPA? From the same Journal Sentinel article:

The Journal Sentinel obtained e-mails through the Freedom of Information Act that showed how the agency’s look at BPA had been influenced by BPA makers.

The newspaper found that industry scientists wrote sections of the FDA’s earlier draft declaring the chemical to be safe for all uses. It later obtained e-mails that showed industry lobbyists were given priority treatment in scrutinizing studies and that FDA regulators looked to them for advice on how to deal with the media.

The newspaper also uncovered documents that showed how BPA makers borrowed the same tactics and some of the same people as the tobacco industry to downplay the health risks of their products. In a meeting held in Washington, D.C., last May, food packaging executives mapped out a public relations strategy that included finding a pregnant woman to serve as a spokeswoman for the benefits of BPA. Notes referred to such a person as “the holy grail.”

The BPA makers lobby the FDA to get their chemical classified in the “Generally Recognized As Safe” category, and now, decades later, when the FDA is presented with enough evidence to question that classification, they claim their hands are tied to do anything about it!

So, dear readers, it looks like the future of BPA is in your hands. You can join others in the fight to pass legislation banning BPA. According to the Journal Sentinel, “Minnesota, Connecticut, the City of Chicago and two counties in New York have banned BPA in baby bottles. Other measures are being considered in 30 states and municipalities. A federal ban on BPA in all food contact has been proposed in Congress.”

And, you can use your voice as a consumer and choose to avoid BPA.

How to avoid BPA exposure:

Because of the ubiquitous presence of BPA in the linings of canned foods, you should limit your consumption of industrialized canned goods (particularly if you’re pregnant or nursing).

Avoid polycarbonate plastics, particularly those labeled as plastic #7 and #3. Don’t eat or drink out of these containers; don’t store foods in these containers; and don’t heat foods in these containers. As an alternative, use glass, stainless steel, or ceramic containers NOT lined with plastics.

It has been pointed out that when having someones pipes were worked on earlier in the year, they discovered they were all #3 PVC plastic. So, maybe we should also add avoiding tap water to the list of suggested changes…..

A CHEAT SHEET FOR YOU ALL:

SOURCE: realfoodmedia.com & www.ecosia.org

The Fit, Vegan Foodies guide to Maui

Hike Views on the Lahaina Trail – Photo By Jeff Williams – JJW Photography

 

If you’re heading to Hawaii there is no better island than Maui. I might be biased because I’ve only been there and Oahu a few times.

This year, we took 14 days to explore the island and chill out. I was supposed to be mid-prep for a June show and was stressing out over how to balance hard work and play – then I pushed off competing until winter (has it even left us yet?) so I could relax more about my food.

We are lucky to have a close friend with a condo in Kihei (thanks Mark & Vanessa) so we scored a great ground level, ocean view 2 bedroom unit right on S. Kihei road at The Maui Banyan.

Fully equipped kitchen & outdoor BBQ facilities – YES. As well as 2 pools, 2 hot tubs and the sound of the ocean to put you to sleep – pinch me.

Though I wasn’t on prep for a show I still wanted to make sure that I stayed (mostly) on track so, as usual I found a gym to train at while away as well. The Maui Powerhouse is the only gym I would go to on this part of the island. It was biking/driving distance away from us and amazing. There are more details & links below.

Have a great time on the island ~ do your best to enjoy all the fresh food & drinks. Practice Aloha!

Here we go!

First stop ~ Fork & Salad

Refreshing, light & full of options. They have tofu as an adder so you can create pretty much whatever you like. This place is owned by the people at Three’s (see below).

Second stop – Maui Powerhouse Gym

SUCH a great gym. I cannot say enough about this spot. We trained all but 1 day while here, every morning and it was perfect. Kind of sad to be leaving this one behind because there wasn’t too much fighting over equipment and the ownership is great. Good location with lots of parking and right next to Fork & Salad as well as a coffee shop and a bunch of other infrastructure.

How to eat like a Vegan on Maui

If you want to eat, you’re going to need to stop by these places to at least try something out. As a vegan it can be tough to eat anywhere on the island if you’re not in the know.

I hit up Vegan on Maui on Facebook to ask the group for ideas before I left as the last trip to the island a few years back wasn’t as successful.

Kihei: 

Three’s 

They have tofu first of all, so this will make it easier on you to add some protein to dishes and modify. I had the Kale salad, sans cheese. Jeff had a rice/curry dish and added tofu as well. WIN. The space is nice, we sat outside and their Lime & Coconut drink is TDF (to die for).

Hawaiian Moons

Most of our trip we prepared our own meals at the condo. This is the BEST place for all things vegan and healthy. This is NOT the best place for saving cash on foodstuffs so beware. They also have a food bar where they make smoothies, açai bowls, pitaya bowls, sandwiches and salads etc… expensive but nutritious and clean.

Freds

Ugh, this place is THE WORST but I’m mentioning it because they did accommodate us UNLIKE upstairs at Moose McGillicuddy’s where the staff is aloof and the menu options are next to none. 

We shared vegetarian fajitas and the beach view which was really the only reason we went back here – we were there in 2014 and disliked it then as well.

Rice & refried beans are NOT cruelty free but they do have black beans and white riced which are. Found out after that the vegetables were cooked in butter (not oil) and felt ILL – I’m not sure they have a non-butter option.

Other: 

Mentioned by my non-vegan folks: Tiki Bar {Pizza} – my parents noted that the menu said vegan options available but weren’t sure exactly what the options were.

Lahaina: 

Baya Bowls

Great little Food Truck located just a couple of blocks off of Front Street. They appear on Yelp as well as google searches.

Captain Jacks

We only had a couple of drinks on the lanai and people watched from this spot BUT the waitress did let us know that all of the sauces were vegan & that they had Beyond Burgers.

Kaanapali: 

A’a Roots

This was a suggestion from the Vegan on Maui FB group (closed group). It was sort of worth the drive from Kihei (under 20 miles) but, it was pretty outrageously priced (as is everything in Hawaii). Service was quick and they had a lot of “to go” options as well. Lots of Raw vegan, juices, desserts etc…

Kula:

O’o Farm

This was a return trip for us this year. They added tofu to their luncheon menu which was not the case a few years back. Imagine traveling up country into the clouds, eating unripened coffee fruit, touring beautiful gardens and foraging for your own lunch with the  rest of the guests!!

It’s a great way to spend a few hours & to support a sustainable practice. The owners are from Quebec City and Montreal (didn’t know that before) and they also own a restaurant in Lahaina as well as a Luau which is always packed. It’s the “Feast at Lele” and was booked for weeks in advance. Call ahead to pick the luau you really want to attend.

Paia:

Mana Foods

Grocery store with a hot/cold food buffet section. Very hippie, very organic, very GMO free…lots of choices. Not entirely vegan but you cannot find any crappy food here. It’s a great pit stop on the way to Ho’okipa beach to see the turtles sunning themselves and catch some surf.

Cafe Mambo

Meh. They had tofu & lettuce and it wasn’t over the top priced or entirely disgusting however, the service was aloof at best. I’d rather pack a picnic lunch from Mana and skip the crowded streets of Paia all together.

Activities: 

Kihei/Wailea/Anywhere: 

Luau ~ we went to the Grand Luau in Wailea and were almost tricked into it because the name had changed! I think this one is “ok” and hosted by the Waldorf Astoria. I really wish I would’ve gotten to the Feast at Lele (see above). They had about 4 vegan options there which was ok….but it’s a lot of salads at best. Vegetarians & pescatarians would do better here.

Boogie Boarding ~ nearly free if your room comes equipped with one! We picked up a used board at a garage sale in Lahaina as well. Stores sell these things everywhere but they’re a bit over the top (sensing a theme here??). Most beaches are naturally equipped with shore break however, the lifeguards will advise when it’s not safe to swim. Places like Big Beach in Makena State Park have neck breaking shore break that have killed – be careful.

Surfing ~ again, you can rent or get lessons. I’ve surfed in Kaanapali and Kihei where there are rentals and lessons abounding. Best times are early morning but the water is FULL of people – be prepared that at smaller breaks there are beginners and a lot of traffic.

Walks ~ sidewalks in Maui are all in great repair. You can walk the beaches (which have lava rock pouring out to sea), sidewalks and ocean front paths in front of most hotels and resorts.

Beaches ~ no limits here. Makena State Park has a tonne – even nude ones! Imagine the shoreline as your oyster, bring a typical “Tommy Bahama Beach Chair & Umbrella” and hunker down pretty much anywhere for the day. There are many pullouts along the highways that allow for picnics, surfing, boogey boarding etc…even camping!

Bike ~There are a lot of cool places to ride bikes by the seaside and bike paths are plentiful. There are sweet Electra cruisers and more!

Snorkel ~ with $10 per day rentals on all the gear you need you must snorkel and see all the beautiful fish. Just be sure you do not wear too much of your sunblock (opt for a shirt) which damages reefs/fish habitat. We rented from Boss Frogs in Kihei. Also, be sure to check for shark closures – real & can throw a wrench in your day if you pull up to a beach that’s closed.

Hike ~ We completed one HOT hike between Kihei and Lahaina The Lahaina Pali Trail with a goal for reaching the wind turbines and the views. The return trip is about 10 miles. We drove to the trailhead on Lahaina-side and did 50% of the hike to the Turbines and back. Great views – bring good shoes!

Lahaina: 

Walk ~ Front street is the typical spot to walk and look in all the shops. There are a few other side streets you could hit for Shave Ice, surfboard rentals and even Harley bikes!

Art~ Peter Lik & more have claimed a storefront here now. Hawaii has been taken over by photo prints placed on metal. It’s kind of nauseating after a while and Front street is definitely a tourist trap for Cruise goers let out on their usual 2 hours from the ship (sad sad sad)….I’d really do it once and forget about it. There is also glass blowing and if you head to the big Banyan Tree, you might see some handcrafted pieces by the artists themselves.

Food trucks ~ Vegan, tacos, fish and more. You need to try some of this and get away from the VERY over priced commercial mess of front street OR go enjoy the views from Cheeseburger in Paradise…just skip the meat!

Paia:

Walk ~ the crowded streets looking at overpriced nicknacks.

Ho’okipa Beach ~ beautiful turtles, washrooms, showers, big surf. It’s a great place to catch some rays and relax next to some seriously big waves at times.

Roadtrips: 

Road to Hana – First of all if you’re going to do this one you need to download Shaka Guides . 

This $7 app will take you all the way around the trip pointing out everything you’ll want to know and allowing you to skip things you don’t want to see. We chose to do the road in a full circle and I think that you should too.

To be honest, there are some great sites but we were moving in a car so I didn’t get many shots at all hence these poorly uploaded blurry images of what could be water AND some power lines.

If you’ve ever seen massive waterfalls in other countries/places you might be underwhelmed. Being from Vancouver, not one of the sites was epic – sorry to ruin your day. Also, IMHO, spending 8 hours on this trip is kind of a waste. If you’re around at a particularly dry time, you will not see much water at all. Plan to check up on this.

Black sand beaches are just that. Black sand. They are a limited edition so its a good idea to see them before they are gone however, do not be expecting to have your boobs knocked off by them. Sorry. You can see them at the Waianapanapa State Park.

7 pools is a TOTAL BUST. Do NOT do this, honestly. Unless you are going to go up to the Haleakala Crater for sunrise or sunset, then you can use the $25 admission twice – within a 72 hour period.

My FAVE stop was Coconut Glen’s on the Road to Hana. VEGAN ice cream stop with wild chickens, kittens and really groovy, colourful decor. Totally off plan, totally worth it at just past the halfway mark! Bring cash on this journey because there are a lot of food stops that are cash only. Fruit stands, banana bread stands, coconut water etc….don’t miss out because you relied on plastic!



Hana~ Meh, we were here on a Sunday and there was literally nothing to see ~ sorry I cannot be help. There is a red sand beach that can be hunted down but we didn’t do it. If you’ve got bank, fly into the Hana airport from Kapalui and stay the night at the Travaasa Hotel for a night or two.

Kaupo ~ Desert land appears and so do the cliffs! There is one token stop at an old shop here. The Kaupo Store. If you cannot afford to take a chopper around the island (I’ve done it once with Blue Hawaiian and it’s worth EVERY penny) you can see some cool Lava Tubes & cliffs here for FREE.

Maui Winery ~ stop here. Do a tasting or three and play a round of cornhole under some seriously huge trees. Such a nice treat at the end of a long drive. We did one flight of wine and enjoyed the grounds. There are washrooms here as well – you’ll need them!

O’o Farm ~ I cannot brag more than I have already. Enjoy this place & learn about coffee roasting in their roastary. BYO bottle of wine to have with lunch as well as some warmer clothes in case the clouds roll in – which they do. You will need reservations so call ahead!

Wrapping it up

There are SO many more things that I have done on this island but just cannot remember so, if you have any questions, feel free to post them here and I’ll do my best to answer them all.

My greatest joy this trip (almost) was finally committing to playing the Ukulele ~ got my very own!

Happy (cruelty free) travels.

xx

S

Photography by Jeff Williams ~ check out his instagram page/work here: @PIXBURGHER

What to plant this spring? Here are some MUST haves for the budding Herbalist.

 

687dc-edibleland
An old herb garden looking alive and potent.

 

When I first started learning about herbal medicine, I had NO idea about how much medicine we have at our fingertips. I also had no idea how medicinal our food could be if we ate things that weren’t necessarily found on our grocers shelves. Trying to incorporate a little bit of herbalism into your every day, or even better – into your kitchen, helps your body to stay healed and grow stronger as you age. Eventually, your body will be chock full of vitamins, minerals and virus fighting medicines without much effort at all.

Of course, not all plant types are going to be found or thrive in every environment SO take some time to get to know these easy growing fellows below. If you find them to be easy to care for, spread your wings and try growing your own at home.

It’s only February BUT looking forward to spring and looking into my seed stores gets me excited to start planting and reaping the benefits of home-grown medicine. I look forward to adding nettles to my ferments, drying herbs in my dehydrator and making skin salves to pass out to my friends and family. I certainly miss all of the classes and students I had in Vancouver, I might have time to squeeze some teaching in again this spring in Calgary.

As always, when using any type of medication, make sure that you consult with your GP and do your research before ingesting unconsciously. Your body deserves a little curious research before undertaking a new regime.

 

Aloe Vera

You can purchase this plant at nearly every home garden supply store. Even Home Depot. Because you aren’t going to be ingesting this plant I feel that you are ok to be a little less questioning of it’s origin.

Why do you want to keep Aloe Vera around? Simply, there are so many topical benefits that there isn’t a reason NOT to. Snap a sample of a well-grown leaf off and you are on your way to healing cuts, wounds, burns, eczema and inflammation.

Marsh Mallow

You can find seeds or starters for this plant at select growers. I order my seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom seeds or Vesey’s. These are pretty hardy plants – but watch out for wet feet!

There are a number of great uses for marshmallow both inside and out. You can take the root internally to help treat inflammation and UT irritations, gastritis or peptic ulcers. Topically, you can use a poultice, salve or cream to treat bruises, sprains, muscle aches, insect bites, slivers or skin inflammation.

Fun food fact: The leaves of the marshmallow plant are edible! Add to salads, boil or fry.

Pot Marigold

These hardy ladies will grown in almost any soil condition. Use a tea consisting of marigold petals to increase circulation and ease varicose viens. A poultice of marigold stems will aid in removing corns and warts.

Camomile

You probably know this as a great fruity tea! Camomile works well in aiding digestive issues and also has a soothing effect in its aroma. This helps reduce stress and induce sleep.

Echinacea

 If you’re living without it, you probably shouldn’t be. This beautiful flower has amazing antibiotic properties that relieve allergies and help prevent viral and bacterial infections. The roots, beneficial in treating sores, wounds and burns when applied as a poultice, salve or cream. She grows well in well-drained soil with a lot of sunlight.

Lemon Balm

By far, the easiest herb I have ever unintentionally grown. The leaves give off a lovely lemony mint scent that cannot be mistaken. Crushed leaves used as a poultice help relieve pain from herpes, sores, gout and bug bites. The leaves infused with hot water can treat colds, fevers, indigestion, depression, headaches and insomnia.

I grew this herb for years in the wet wet wetness that is Vancouver BC!

Peppermint

Nearly another weed, as easy to grown and impossible to kill as Lemon Balm. peppermint is high in manganese, vitamin A and vitamin C. Leaves ground into a salve or cream help to sooth and relax muscles.

Sage

Another herb that is nearly impossible to kill is Sage. When consumed it can help to ease indigestion, flatulence, anxiety and excessive sweating.

 

Here’s to spring, and happy plantings. Stay tuned for my inevitable posts containing the trials and tribulations of trying to sustain plant life in the Rocky Mountains.

 

Sasha

 

 

 

Day 15 – LISTENING TO YOUR BODY {our final day}


Well, here we are at the end of our 15-day journey. What have you been able to apply to your daily routines so far? In this last instalment we will look at how to listen to your body and understand what it can tell you.

Doctors talk about the “symptoms of disease” and prescribe chemicals to suppress those symptoms. If you have pain, they prescribe painkillers. If you have high blood pressure, they prescribe chemicals to artificially lower blood pressure. This practice of detecting and then suppressing symptoms is called mainstream medicine.

Have you ever thought that maybe our bodies are telling us things long before we actually become ill? What if the messages they were sending actually contained important information about your health?

Medications and their impact on you

Conventional medical doctors have been trained that symptoms are things to be suppressed, negated or destroyed.

If you sprain your ankle playing frisbee, for example, your body sends you a pain message. This message contains important information: “This tissue is injured. Do not use it until it is repaired.” If you heed the message, you will allow your ankle time to heal. Once it’s healed and safe to use again, the pain will disappear. It is now safe to put weight on your ankle again.

Pain is an intelligent regulator of your activities. It can direct you to avoid further injury. Pain killers dull the pain and artificially block pain messages. They allow you to keep playing on an injured ankle to the point where you are likely to cause further injury, resulting in even more suffering and perhaps permanent damage.

What your skin and nails are telling you

Your skin is also a messenger. What’s happening with your skin is a reflection of what’s happening with your internal organs. If you have acne on your face, for example, you have much the same thing happening in your digestive tract. Facial acne is a sign to clean up your diet, eliminate all animal products for a while (dairy, meat, etc.) and detox with a plant-based diet.

If your skin is dry, itchy or flaky, it’s a sure sign that you’re deficient in omega-3 fatty acids and possibly some other key vitamins or nutrients. Increase your intake of omega-3s through fish oils, marine oils or plant-based sources like chia seeds, and add superfoods to your diet to cover any vitamin deficiencies you may have.

Your fingernails can tell a lot about your health, too: Misshapen or discolored fingernails point to chronic nutritional deficiencies in minerals and certain vitamins. If your fingernails have ridges, cracking, discoloration or any other symptoms, get yourself to a naturopathic physician right away. Fingernails, you see, indicate what’s going on with the rest of your body because your nails are, of course, grown out of your body. If you have nutritional deficiencies or chronic organ problems, they will be revealed in your nails.

What goes in must come out

To pay even closer attention to your body’s symptoms, observe what’s coming out of your body:

• Do you have body odor? If so, your diet is unclean. Too much milk, butter and meat.

• Does your breath smell bad? Same problem: Unclean diet or poor digestive health possibly an infection in your dental work or gums as well.

• Are your stools too hard, too soft or not healthy looking? Check with a naturopath — the health of your stools indicates the health of your digestion.

• Does your urine smell strange? It will after eating asparagus, of course, but normally your urine should not have an offensive odor. If it does, go visit a naturopathic physician for some advice.

• Are you hyperventilating at times? It may be a sign of consuming a diet that’s too acidic. Or could also mean pre-diabetes. Check with a naturopath.

What comes out of your body is a very accurate indication of what’s going on inside your body.

Listen to your cravings

Your body will also tell you what it wants through cravings. These are little subconscious messengers that direct you to eat something your body needs. Most people, however, misinterpret those cravings and end up eating something bad for their health instead of what the body actually craves.

If your body craves salt — real salt, not the processed sodium found in junk foods — you may feel an urge to eat a salty snack food. But that urge is often just a craving for full-spectrum salt. Try eating some fresh nuts dusted with full-spectrum sea salt and see if that takes care of your craving.

Cravings for chocolate may often be just your body crying out for magnesium. Your body sends you the message, “Eat more magnesium!” but your conscious mind mistakenly thinks you just need more chocolate. The processed, store-bought chocolate on the market today has little or no magnesium left in it. Buy real chocolate if you want it to contain the minerals it’s supposed to. I make chocolates at home that are AMAZING. With real Cacao.

Is your body crying out for water?

Dehydration can cause all sorts of symptoms that are often misdiagnosed as other diseases. Chronic dehydration can appear as all the following symptoms or diseases: Asthma, high blood pressure, hunger, kidney disorders, heart problems and constipation.

Drinking more water on a regular basis (and avoiding dehydrating beverages such as sodas) can solve these underlying problems, and you may actually see many of those symptoms vanish within a few days, weeks or months.

What’s beneath the symptom?

If you receive a diagnosis from a western doctor, you can often take that diagnosis home and do something useful with it. For example, if your doctor says you have high blood pressure and recommends you start taking toxic blood pressure drugs, the best thing you can do for your health is to always get a second opinion. You can use nutrition and natropathic medicine as well.

Use the symptom as information

Never be tricked into taking a medication that masks the symptom. Use the symptom as a clue to look for root causes that can be corrected through more natural means. This is how you can listen to your body and interpret its messages in useful ways that lead you in the direction of health.

Your body is yours to take care of for the rest of your time here on earth. Which method of care will you choose, and when will you start listening to those all too important signals?

Source: Natural News

Low carb, high protein Vegan Curry with Naan

With just a few ingredients around the house (some vegan staples for sure) you can whip up a quick, healthy and protein rich meal that won’t break the bank or your summer bod goals.

25 minute meal done up right. Nutrition information for the curry dish is noted.

Vegans need protein too ~ keep your nutrition tight with a plan of attack and always have options available to you in your kitchen.

Ingredients:

1 can chickpeas

3 cups chopped kale
1/2 large yellow onion
5 cloves garlic
1/2 inch garlic
1 cup shelled peas
1/3 can regular coconut milk
1 cube boullion 2 cups hot water
Garam Masala – 1 tbsp
Curry – 1 tsp
Turmeric – 1 tsp
1 block extra firm tofu pressed
Salt to taste
“Naan”
Vegan Parm – I used THIS ONE
Olive oil
Garlic salt
(light dusting of each)
Method: 
Heat 1/2 tsp of oil in large saucepan.
Add chopped onion, garlic and ginger on medium low heat.
Add chickpeas with 1/2 aquafaba & cook for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile – in lightly greased pan fry cubed tofu until browned on all sides.
Add hot water and bullion, turn up to medium, cook and reduce water for 3-4 minutes.
Add 3 pinches of sea salt, peas & kale then stir in coconut milk cook for 2 more minutes.
Finally, add panfried tofu and mix.
To create “naan”:
Set oven to 400 degrees. “Butter” tortillas with oil lightly, sprinkle with garlic salt & vegan parmesan. Bake for 5-7 minutes then change to 525 degree broil for 2 minutes or until tortillas start to bubble/brown slightly.
Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 285
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9 g 13 %
Saturated Fat 2 g 11 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 3191 mg 133 %
Potassium 540 mg 15 %
Total Carbohydrate 32 g 11 %
Dietary Fiber 10 g 39 %
Sugars 8 g
Protein 20 g 40 %
Vitamin A 156 %
Vitamin C 181 %
Calcium 24 %
Iron 25 %

DAY 12 – Healing through gratitude

At first thought, for me, gratitude seems to be something you show only when you receive a tangible gift. A birthday or Christmas present, maybe someone picks up the cheque at lunchtime, that kind of stuff. But the more that I delve into myself and the world around me I realize, “hey, I have a lot more that I should be grateful for”. And so do we all.

There is a very real healing effect initiated in your body when you express gratitude towards people or things outside of yourself. This can be measured biochemically, while other aspects of it are currently beyond scientific measurement. Expressing gratitude initiates a powerful healing effect in your own mind and body.

What do I have to be thankful about? Plenty.

Being able to genuinely express gratitude requires you to shift your focus away from the negative and on to what you are actually thankful for.It is easy to forget to be thankful for all the amazing things in our lives every single day, and I’m writing here to help you find your way too!

Western society tends to focus on what we don’t have. We don’t have enough money, we don’t have enough time, we don’t have the partner we’re looking for, the list could go on forever. The more we take the time out to find what is REALLY important to us, the more we can find our true gratitude, accelerating inner healing as a result.

Some truly AWESOME things you have to be thankful for:

• Your health – be thankful for the health you have.
• Your family
• Your freedom
• Your brilliance, consciousness and awareness.
• Your experiences/memories
• The sun beaming through your window right now
• Food and seeds, gifts from mother nature
• The income that you create to support yourself
• Your desire to learn new things
• A realization or philosophy that you follow
• Your pets

Take a few moments and think about what you are thankful for. You may even wish to take a few minutes to jot down some notes for yourself to look back on when you may have lost your gratitude.

Take a time out – just a couple of minutes per day!
Take the time each day to review the list you have made and truly feel thankful for the things that you do have. Try saying it loud, it may change your perceptions when you hear your own voice being thankful! This will help you to create positivity and you will increase the joy in your day.

How is gratitude “healing”?
Every type of energy that you express to someone else is reflected in you. So if you express hatred toward some other person there is an element of that energy that is also expressed internally. To hate someone else is to subject yourself to some reflection of that own hate, in other words.

To express thankfulness towards something else causes a reflection of that positive energy to be felt inside.

Anger cannot coexist with gratitude
Anger is a destructive emotion that causes stress, adrenal depletion and tension throughout the body. You can learn to replace negative emotions with gratitude, anger cannot coexist with gratitude.

This doesn’t mean you have to run around blindly thankful for everything without discerning times when criticism or anger might be called for, but the more you can find the gratitude everyday, the more active your body’s inner healing processes.

I’ll start here; I am thankful today for my health, my love, the sunshine, my family (furry and otherwise) and the awesome feeling I experience knowing this blog is helping out someone out there.

Thank you to you all for your presence!

Sasha

DAY #11 – Healing yourself by eating more NOT less!

Sometimes when we are starting out on a new life path, or even just changing up our diet, there are a lot of NO’s and Negatives associated with that. If you are someone like me who went from Carnivore to Vegetarian to Vegan and now on to Rawfoodist…you will find that you grow weary from time to time of all of the NO’s. Avoid cheese, avoid sugar, avoid diet sodas, avoid processed meat, avoid MSG, etc. For many people, the list of things to avoid becomes so large and confusing that they just give up trying to be healthier.

Instead of whittling your way down to eating dust and being discouraged, wouldn’t you rather actually eat more? Yes, that’s right, MORE. It may sound familiar – eat 5 small meals per day NOT three – but it’s more than that. If you are interested in finding out more about keeping your belly AND your heart full, read on dear readers. Read on.

xo S

How eating more promotes real healing

Here’s how: There’s a physical limit of how much stuff you can eat in one day. So by adding certain healthy foods and aiming to achieve the goal of eating MORE of those foods, you will automatically end up dropping something else out of your diet without really trying.

Aim to eat three whole fruits per day; one before each meal. Each day consume a total of three whole fruits such as apples, pears, peaches, mangos, large plums, etc. But here’s the key in all this: You must eat one whole fruit BEFORE each meal.

Eat whatever it is you normally eat, but add three whole fruits per day. (Not dried fruits. They must be fresh, whole fruits of a significant size.)

Let’s say you eat at McDonald’s each day, for example. And let’s say you order a Big Mac, fries and a Coke for lunch each day. Now, with this “eat more” principle in place, you precede each McDonald’s meal with the consumption of a whole, fresh fruit. Two important things will happen:

#1) The fruit contains nutrients that will help protect you from the damaging ingredients of cooked foods, processed foods or chemical food ingredients. (Because fruits contain natural medicines.)

#2) The whole fresh fruit will take up more physical space in your stomach, making you feel full faster and causing you to stop eating the other stuff sooner. You may find yourself suddenly unable to finish your Big Mac and fries, for example. You may not even know why but then it hits you: Oh yeah, I ate the fresh fruit before this meal!

Naturally, I hope you choose organic fruit for this, but even if you don’t, eating conventionally-grown fresh fruit is better than nothing!

Eat more superfoods

Microalgae like chlorella, spirulina or food-based vitamins like those from Pure Synergy (this could be in the form of powder, tablets or capsules). So at some point each morning take as directed on the product labels.

DO NOT swallow a handful of vitamins, many of which are made with synthetic chemicals. Only real food here — superfoods in a supplement form.

Doing this will cause something else quite amazing to happen in your body: Unhealthy cravings will start to vanish. Within just 30 days, in fact, you may suddenly begin to notice that your cravings for unhealthful snack foods and carbohydrates begin to fade. You may no longer feel the need to eat the cookies, donuts, ice cream or fried foods that you were once drawn to.

Why does this work? Because many cravings are simply biochemical translations of your body’s cry for nutrients. And superfood supplements fill your body with abundant nutrients that you might be missing. As your body realizes it’s no longer deficient in crucial minerals and other micronutrients, your cravings are automatically turned off, putting YOU back in control over what you choose to eat.

Eat more REAL salt

This one will shock many people. Some doctors swear this is bad advice, but that’s only because they don’t acknowledge the difference between real salt and processed “refined” salt. Refined salt is bad for you. Real, full-spectrum salt is good for you!

Processed salt raises blood pressure and promotes disease. Full-spectrum salt, on the other hand, may actually have the opposite effect. One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that cravings for salty snack foods are often just cravings for full-spectrum salt.

See some full-spectrum salt products here:
http://store.naturalnews.com/index….

If you already exhibit symptoms of high blood pressure, don’t add salt to your diet without removing some processed salt from it first. Check with your naturopathic physician on this matter. But if your blood pressure is normal, adding full-spectrum salt to your diet is generally considered remarkably safe by some, but I’m no doctor so please do consult a physician if you need to.

Drink a fresh superfood smoothie each day

It doesn’t even matter what time you drink it, really: Just find a way to add a full 8 oz. glass of freshly-squeezed fruits and vegetables to your daily intake of foods and beverages.

The ingredients should be fresh produce only. Examples: Celery, parsley, cucumbers, apples, pears, watermelon, beets, kale, broccoli, berries and so on. You may add a natural sweetener such as stevia.

You’ll need to make this juice yourself in a juicer or at least in a high powered blender. Blentec and Vitamix are recommended brands, but the “regular” ones do just as well. .

Alternatively, if you cannot make fresh juice each day, the next best thing is to drink a superfood product that you mix with water instead. There are many to choose from in this category here are some recommendations:

Rejuvenate (http://www.naturalnews.com/028242_R…), Boku Superfood (http://www.naturalnews.com/024479_s…), Pure Synergy (http://www.naturalnews.com/027006_f…), Healthforce Nutritionals (http://www.naturalnews.com/023398_J…), Living Fuel (http://www.naturalnews.com/021637.html) and so on. These aren’t quite as fresh and “alive” as homemade juice made from fresh produce, but they’re the next best thing.

Naked and Odwalla Juices DO NOT COUNT!!

• Eat three fresh raw fruits each day (one before each major meal)
• Superfood supplements each day
• Eat more full-spectrum salt (ideally as a replacement for processed “refined” salt)
• Drink a fresh superfood smoothie each day

SOURCE: NATURAL NEWS