The Holistic Guide To Winter’s Cleansing Challenge

I was hereby appointed the proud DDB (designated detox buddy) of New Years Eve!

  • As my friends’ personal consultant to their drinking escapades, I was set to cover everything from what to eat before a night of drinking (do be sure to eat!), to what to consume the following morning to replenish electrolytes and minimize hangovers. And for this, may I direct you here.
  • I was the one asked to come armed with niacin to assist in the metabolism of alcohol, and the one joking (and seriously contemplating) providing goodie bags for each of them to carry home with shots of wheat grass, vitamin C and milk thistle.
Though I’ve successfully fulfilled my duties to my New Year’s friends, I want to extend this service now to you!
Winter cleansing
Before you begin, read our last post on how to properly cleanse your body and take the rest of this month to prepare. Buy the groceries that you will need, scour Pinterest and this blog for recipe ideas, build up your motivational arsenal to keep yourself on track and have treats handy that you can savour on your cleanse: seaweed snacks, coconut water and kombuchas to get you started. And then, come February first, begin!

The Winter Cleansing Challenge

This challenge was already set forth for us back in the spring and is one that allows you to tailor it to exactly what you are looking for. Even choosing one section to eliminate will do wonders for your health!

This cleanse, however, was designed for our nutritional needs of spring and as these requirements change with the seasons as fluently as the solidity of our cabinet coconut oil, we need to change with it.

So as we embark on this challenge together, this is our guide to winterize our New Years cleanse:

 

Bring The Heat

What appeals to you? Raw salads and cold blended smoothies or warming soups and hearty stews?

  • Traditional chinese medicine holds that we should not be consuming cold salads during winter. But aren’t salads good? Throughout these cooler months, our bodies are working extra hard to keep us warm and this takes energy. Cold food, which reduces our internal body temperature can cause our systems to work harder to keep us warm, draining our vital energy and potential ability to absorb nutrients. Increasing our consumption of cooked foods will assist our bodies into working more efficiently.
  • Rather than raw salads, think of warming vegetable soups, lentil stews, steel-cut oats for breakfast, quinoa vegetable stir-frys and root vegetable hash.

Look To Nature

  • Nature always knows best! To eat locally is to eat seasonally as it is specifically tailored to our geographical and biological needs. It is wonderful to have the variety of cross climate agriculture readily available at the supermarket, but for optimal health, we want to look to what naturally grows or is cultivated in our environments.
  • These foods include: hearty sweet potatoes, beets, rutabaga, artichoke, cabbage etc. This is produce that was once store and/or pickled after its harvest to consume through the winter months.

Spice Up Your Detox

  • Thermogenic foods are those which the body naturally burns calories to utilize, thus  increasing our circulation to warm us up. For those of us lacking the natural internal furnaces (the “Pitta” dosha in Ayurveda) that keep us burning from the inside out, this is the way to do it! Not only will thermogenic foods ease the discomforts of winter but this circulation boost will also enhance the effectiveness of detoxification.
  • Examples include: cayenne pepper, ceylon cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, and curry powder.

carob cookies

Featured above: Spicy superfood carob cookies : carob powder | rolled oats | chaga medicinal mushrooms | pure vanilla extract | grated ginger | ceylon cinnamon | cayenne pepper | a touch of stevia | coconut oil | Himalayan sea salt

Ferment!

  • Fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and kimchi, have been cultured in tradition as a way to preserve the summer harvest well into the winter months. They are whole food sources of probiotics for digestive health, rich in plant enzymes for the optimal breakdown and nutrient intake of our food, and are packed with vitamin C as a boost for your immunity.
  • I am a horder of mason jars, many of which find their home in the cellar packed with fermenting cabbage, carrots, caraway seeds etc. It is so simple to culture this cleansing superfood and inexpensive when fermented from home.

 

Hydrate The Ayurvedic Way

  •  The ancient indian practise of Ayurveda highlights our need for warm water for optimal digestion. Consider your Agni; your internal digestive “fire”. What happens when you dump cold water onto a burning fire pit? It begins to extinguish the flames. This is what happens internally when we shock our systems with cold water and in the winter months this can drain our digestive fire.
  • Instead of iced water, think of warm, hydrating and soothing drinks such as:
    • Luke warm water – The act of which stimulates peristalsis (the wave-like muscle contractions within the intestinal walls) to keep food and waste moving through our systems.
    • Tea – be sure that it is only herbal teas as caffeinated teas (black, green etc.) will have a dehydrating effect. Look to the ingredients label for true herbal teas free of inconspicuous “natural flavours”, colours etc.
    • Lemon water – either drank warm on an empty stomach to boost digestion or with organic lemon slices to raise the natural alkalinity and detoxifying properties.

 

I was well into my New Year’s cleanse (commencing January first), when I was informed that cleansing ought to be done after you’ve had a chance to savour some of your Christmas goodies. So while I continue this cleanse with a closet stocked full of Giddy Yoyo chocolate, this post is for you, in prep!

And of course, we couldn’t forget our complete guide to our New Year’s winter cleansing challenge: HERE!

The best way to enhance this challenge? Take it with others! Get your friends and/or family involved, choose which sections you’re commiting to, exchange recipes, set up your exact start and end date, and take this challenge with me 🙂

 

To our cleansing February’s,

Suzanne Eden

 

 

From Detox To Retox – What Everyone Needs To Know Before A Cleanse

How did you ring in the New Year? With lemon water and juiced beets? Or perhaps your liver (your major detoxification organ) could use a little extra TLC this month!

I LOVE cleanses and have been looking forward to January for this reason alone, but before we embark on any such cleanse, we need to understand what is happening within us first.

It’s time to trade in our New Year’s cocktails for our kind of plant-based mixed drinks, and rethink the meaning of detox to create lasting cleansing for the whole year through.

mixed drink

I don’t always drink beer… but when I do I choose green juice!”

~ Drew Canole

 

I want you to read this post, read it again, and share it with those you know who are cleansing this year because, done wrong, it can be extremely harmful, even dangerous to our systems, but done right, it can powerfully rejuvenating! Let’s begin:

Don’t Our Bodies Cleanse Themselves?

  • YES! They absolutely do. Our bodies are brilliant and come equipped with their own detoxifying devices otherwise know as the liver, kidneys and lymphatic system to name a few.
  • But here’s the catch: did you drink on New Years? Have you EVER drank? Do you eat sugar? Do you spray perfume, air fresheners or use fragrant soaps, moisturizers or shampoos? Do you drive a car, or walk past a running vehicle? Do you feel stress? Essentially: do you live modern-day life in the conventional, North American way…
  • ALL of these things tax our bodies. Detoxification is natural, but the environments we live in no longer are and this spells trouble. In fact, Alive Magazine estimated that we are exposed to 310 kilograms of toxic chemicals every second! So not only have we stressed and taxed our internal cleansing systems so that they no longer function efficiently, but we are also exposing them to far more toxins than they were equipped to handle.

So, We Should All Be Detoxing This Month?

Not exactly…

  •  The term “detox” has developed quite the hype as being a radical diet for a short period of time. This generally follows suit to the pharmaceutical views of “quick fixes” and weight loss diets, which do not provide sustainable results and can cause us harm.
  • In actuality, detoxing is really just that: the act of eliminating toxins from the body. Whether we realise it or not, we will all be doing this this month, the key is to optimize our bodies ability to do so.

How Can Detoxing Be Dangerous?

Detox -> Retox

  • Think of your body as the ocean with pollution as the toxins in your body.  If not cleared away from the water, this filth settles to the ocean floor creating sludge. This is what happens within our bodies, creating a buildup of stored toxins in our systems.
  • When we detoxify, we are taking these dormant toxins and mobilizing them so that we can excrete them, but here is where the trouble sets in:

A)  We need to make sure that we are not mobilizing more toxins than our bodies are equipped to handle or else they are free to go systemic and cause harm to our organs.

B) If we are not properly excreting these toxins (De-toxifing), we are re-toxifying.

  • Consider someone who goes on a radical diet and looses a substantial amount of weight fast, yet they didn’t have the proper support for their bodies. Excess weight is often a storage form of toxins as the body wisely deposits them into fat cells to keep it as far away from your organs as possible. Though a sign of deeper health issues, eexcess weight can be your body’s design to keep you alive longer!
  • When we lose weight, those toxins come out of fat cells and into the body. See the issue? If not careful, they are now free to damage our internal organs or contribute to other health problems.
  • These dramatic dieters often age faster, and come down with a major health problem a few years down the road. Remember, it can take a while before disease shows up which is why it is so fundamental to take care of yourself now, before you see any major health issues developing.

Detox -_ Retox

How Do We Properly Cleanse Our Bodies?

“Health is the body’s natural state. Your body is self-generating, self-repairing, self-regulating, and self-healing, but only if you don’t get in its way, and only if you give it what it requires.”

– Don Bennett

Before embarking on any set detoxification plan, I want you to check each of these off your list:

Stage 1 – Build Your Bottom Feeders

  • Bottom feeders of the ocean have a rep for doing “the dirty work,” the clean up of the ocean floor. Likewise, you first need to build up your body’s systems which will clean up your toxic sludge while cleansing.
  • To do so, we need to implement healthy diet and lifestyle choices first so that we can ensure our body’s capability to properly rid ourselves of toxins. This means focusing on high nutrient, dense, whole foods that provide optimal nutrition for our cells, tissues and organs.
  • Our bodies may also use toxic heavy metals as replacements for a lack of nutrients. Lead, for example, replaces calcium in our bones which can contribute to osteoporosis and why it is critical to consume the necessary nutrients to allow our bodies to excrete the harmful toxins.

 

Stage 2 – Keep Your Ocean Clean

  • The less toxins coming into the body, the less work it will be for our bodies to clear them away. It makes no sense to dump all of our pollution in the ocean only to have to clean it all up later. This same rational goes for our bodies too!
  • Reduce your exposure to dietary toxins, environmental toxins, and emotional pollution (with particular focus on managing stress).

Stage 3 – Keep your ocean flowing (By Process Of Elimination)

What would happen if the ocean stayed still?

  • None of the pollution would be cleared away, it would keep accumulating, settling and creating toxic sludge. The same is true for your body. Before you cleanse, make sure that you are keeping your system flowing so that it can eliminate the internal pollution.
  • Eliminate
  • Your bowels must be eliminating properly, this is essential and one reason I don’t often recommend strict liquid cleanses which lack the fibre to do so. A healthy routine is 1-2X/day.
  • To do this: drink 8-10 glasses of water, decrease sugar and caffeine, stop eating 3 hours before bed and increase fibre. If you need an added boost, take 1TBSP of chia seeds in unsweetened applesauce or a little water right before bed and drink at least one cup of warm water 20 minutes before breakfast.

 

  • Drink
  • While cleansing, our bodies have an increased need for water to keep our organs functioning and the toxins flowing out. You can boost the alkalinity of your water and detoxifying properties by adding slices of organic lemon.

 

  • Move
  • The only way to mobilize toxins out is to get mobile! In fact, this is the only way to stimulate the lymphatic system. More than focussing on exercising for an hour or so, think of being in continuous movement the whole day, as we were designed to do.

 

Stage 4 – Ease Yourself Into It

  • Avoid diving in head first and ease yourself into the cleanse over a week by focusing on swapping low quality foods with nutrient dense foods. This way, you will feel empowered in the process, cravings are reduced, pre-cleanse binges are bypassed, and ultimately, you will be better equipped to keep on track!

Though detoxifying is revitalizing when executed consciously, what we really want is to facilitate ongoing detoxification through our day-to-day life. This is how we truly become vibrant, light and clean beyond a short-lived period of time and it begins by charging our bodies with nutrients and optimizing the elimination of toxins.

Happy conscious cleansing,

Suzanne Eden

 

Wellness Weekly’s 5 Wonderous Facts You Don’t Know About Watermelon

Happy long weekend readers!

 As Mark Twain once said,

“When one has tasted [watermelon], he knows what the angels eat,”

and I could not agree more. With extreme heat this week, we can be extremely thankful for fresh, hydrating fruits that satisfy both our hunger and thirst in one juicy bite.

This summer I’ve eaten my weight in melons but the past month I attribute full responsibility to my family gatherings and yoga classes for indulging my addiction. Sweet, refreshing and so juicy that our counter top looks as though I’ve murdered a rain cloud, the watermelon is a seasonal family favourite.

 

fruit

A quick Holistic Life Hack for these hot summer days;

  • Refrain from concentrated starches and an excess of heavy animal proteins. Why? Both of these lack natural water content and therefore, use more water to metabolize than is being replenished leaving you feeling thirsty after your meal. This is troublesome considering our goal to refrain from drinking until 40-60 minutes after eating for optimal digestion.
  • The perfect fix: Stick predominantly to fruits and veggies naturally high in water to hydrate you while you eat! This being yet another bonus of a plant-based diet!

 

Of course we know that watermelon is 92% water after this blog; https://lifeofeden.com/2014/08/27/holistic-life-hack-7-in-season-foods-to-eat-yourself-hydrated/ , and we all know it’s an “eat alone or leave alone” after this one; https://lifeofeden.com/2013/10/06/when-fruit-becomes-toxic-the-one-time-to-never-eat-fruit/ , but to have a little fun this morning, these are five wonderous facts you DIDN’T know about this seasonal summer melon.

1) It’s not a fruit! 

  • Not 100% anyway. In fact, watermelons are both fruit and vegetable; a natural, non-GMO hybrid of sorts. It’s related to cucumber, pumpkin and squash of the Cucurbitaceae family which all grow in much the same way. You can observe this in my grandparent’s garden as their fall pumpkin patch makes way for small but flavourful melons come summer.

2) You can skip the composter

  • Both black watermelon seeds and rind are edible! Everyone laughs at the way I strategically eat melon. Much like you do your dinner plate, always saving the best for last, the middle of the melon is by far the most flavourful and so I craftily work my way backwards: from white rind up! Not only are you saving yourself the trip to your composter, you’re also reaping all the nutritional benefits possible!
melon slice

3) Beyond a post yoga bribe

  • After a hot and sweaty class, with sore thighs from warrior two and a steady yoga flow in the backyard, watermelon has played a vital role in refreshing my students after class in a bribe to keep them coming back 😉 But the benefits extend beyond the bribe!
  • Watermelon is a natural cleanser and diuretic to keep excess bloating and summer swelling at bay when the heat causes us to retain water. The fibre will also help bind to toxins to excrete it from the body along with the water that flushes toxins from our system. The ultimate yogic detoxifier!

4) Has more lycopene than raw tomatoes!

  • While most associated with vibrant, red tomatoes, watermelon is a more concentrated source of this antioxidant. It is known for its ability to protect you against free radicals, cancer, cardiovascular diseases and DNA damage. It is also lycopene we have to thank for the bright pink and red colourings of many of our fruits and vegetables.

5) Reduced muscle pains

  • L-citrulline, an amino acid present in watermelon, has been shown to protect against muscle pain. The effects have been studied by juicing the melon, but I do not generally recommend this as stripping the fibre will rapidly spike your blood sugar from the high fructose content. Instead? Enjoy these benefits from consuming watermelon in its whole, natural state as nature intended.
This Wellness Weekly, take a cue from the return of our summer heat and make watermelon your ultimate companion this long weekend. Indulging in this quick, refreshing and extremely hydrating summer melon is all the Monday motivation we need to run off to our local patch and grab a juicy one!
Taking a refreshing slice of our long weekend,
Suzanne Eden

Your Holistic, Explorative Guide To Downtown Burlington, ON

At the time, looking out onto the waterfront with our dairy-free ice cream and being shielded in the shade of the willow tree, my friend and I declared it a great idea to hop on our bikes and ride the three-hour trek from home to downtown Burlington. Fast forward a week or two, sitting with another friend on the pier, roasting in the heat of the sun and burning on the scorching black bench which stung as it stuck to our thighs, it struck my mind that the idea may, perhaps, be an ambitious adventure better left for fall.

In contrast to biking, this Tuesday we found ourselves taking a slow and leisurely stroll through the area to scout out the holistic haven that resides here. From secretive village squares, to plant-based eateries, authentic olive oil sampling and waterfront views, this is your holistic explorative guide for a day trip to Burlington.
 new guide

TASTE

 1) Kelly’s Bake Shoppe

401 Brant St

Conventional Diner (CD) approved

lettuce love
2) Lettuce Love Cafe
399 John Street
  • Holistic Highlights: gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, plant-based
  • The sister store to Kelly’s Bake Shoppe, run by the same two passionate women. I had the pleasure of eating here with my family upon graduating last year. The curry bowl with chick peas and split avocado fries were both good dishes.
  • What to watch for;
    • Though vegan, many of the items on the menu are soy based, so make sure to converse with your server. It may also be a good idea to call ahead and make reservations as it is a small venue and was very busy the night we stopped by. Though not a favourite amongst my non-health-nut family, I enjoyed my meal.
grad
3) Rawlicious 
496 Brant Street
  • Holistic Highlights: 100% raw, gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, plant-based
  • A cozy location tucked in amongst the stores, Rawlicious is 100% raw food, desserts and all. Definitely geared towards health enthusiasts. I tried this back in Toronto where my friend and I both thoroughly enjoyed and raved about our raw sandwiches on dehydrated garlic bread with coleslaw and Thai dipping sauce for the raw spring rolls!
raw
4) The Olive Oil Dispensary
2003 Lakeshore Rd
CD Approved
  • We savoured mini samples of fig balsamic vinegar paired with infused bergamot olive oil as we stumbled upon this nook nuzzled amongst the surrounding shops. Walk in to find large barrels equipped with spouts specifically for taste testing as you please. Skip the white bread samples and drink directly from the mini cup, mixing together a balsamic and high quality oil of choice, the flavours stand out on their own.
  • Holistic Highlights:
    • Each, unflavored, olive oil is certified “extra virgin” meeting the highest standards of quality and taste. All olive oil we use in our everyday kitchens should be extra virgin to help ensure its potent health benefits.
olive oil
5) SPENCERS!
1340 Lakeshore Rd
CD approved
    • Just to see this sleek, black building with its balcony overlooking the water and pool of model sail boats, brings back fond memories of our special meals here. Featuring sustainable seafood and an earth to table menu with a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients, it is a semi formal venue geared to be high quality and an affordable dinning experience.
    • On my birthday a few years ago, I was thrilled to have a tour of the kitchen and back rooms by the executive chef, and could personally attest to the cleanliness and care of this restaurant. Though we no longer know the head chef who left to pursue his cider business, and I have not been back since, I still highly recommend this restaurant for fine dinning and exquisite views.
    • What to watch for:
      • The menu is often revamped based on the ingredients available at that time of year and to keep the experience fresh each time you visit. However, this makes it hard for me to pinpoint one dish for you to enjoy. Don’t be discouraged by the gluten or dairy, you still have plenty of fresh choices to choose from and cater around. Holistic Life Hacks;  Check out the menu online or call ahead of time to discover your options!

EXPLORE

 

magazine

 

1) Walk the store fronts of Brant street, especially Centro
437 Brant Street
  • You wont find many of your conventional, commercial stores here. Instead you are whisked into whimsical gardens, vintage boutiques, kitchen stores and rustic home decor.
  • My personal favourite store to browse is Centro. Grabbing your attention with a green garden setting in the alleyway beside the boutique with mosses, cacti and herbs. Venture inside to find all of your future home inspiration from rustic wooden dishes and platters, hanging cactus planters, fresh food cookbooks and plenty of trinkets.
  • I stopped in this last time, to pick up a beautiful copy of Pure Green Magazine.
pure green
2) Stroll the pier and waterfront
  • Watch for festivals! I have been here when it was bustling with beer festivals, tranquil in the mid afternoon’s heat (when everyone else was wisely taking shelter in the air-conditioned shops), and even caught wedding photos being taken; the clear sign of a beautiful backdrop! And to my fellow rock enthusiasts, they host the annual Sound of Music concert coming again June 11th-19th 2016 (the lineup is released in May).
3) Take a walk into the mansion neighbourhoods 
  • Ah Burlington, you sure know how to build them. Though many of us may be looking for houses with geothermal heating, lush vegetable gardens, and moderate sized homes, the surrounding mansions are quite something to feast your eyes on! When facing the waterfront, walk left along Lakeshore Road and keep walking until you know you’ve come to the right houses. Feel free to stroll the subdivisions that jut off to the side, it is usually well worth it!
4) Locate the Artists Walk Village Square
  • I have been to Downton Burlington a handful of times over the years and never had I stumbled upon this. Tucked away along an alleyway amidst the strip of pubs and bars, you’ll find a 19th century inspired inner village. Much of it is dedicated to business services but there is a gazebo and Parisian inspired restaurant that gives it a European feeling in the heart of Canadian culture.
 I have to admit that now, as I am sitting, writing to you in the comforts of  an air conditioned home, the summer bike trip seems rather appealing once again. But whether you take the day to bike your way to Burlington (there are many beautiful bike paths through the area!) or take the high road, do be sure to experience all it has to offer. It really is a special little destination for a mini road trip and afternoon ACTIVEists stroll.
In a series of explorative events,
Suzanne Eden

Manifest Monday // Lost In Textlation – The 5 Perks of Living Unplugged

3am.
 The time I arrived home one morning, following a night of getting lost in an epic tour of Toronto with a friend I had just met (in all fairness, I did forewarn her of my direction impairment), attending a business premier, eating copious amounts of delicious plant-based food (and a couple of squares of Giddy Yoyo dark chocolate), going to one of my favourite places (I know where you’ve guessed but it was, in fact, not the beach this time); the airport, and sharing a vegan burrito & very cozy ride home with a nomadic traveler & six-foot tall surfboard.
So naturally, the first thing I wanted to do was to snuggle into bed to check my Instagram, lurk his surf & travel photos (videography being what he does for a living) and “follow” the freedom project, a not-for-profit organization of which I’d just gabbed about with the founder and CEO over cauliflower & beet salads.
That, however, proved more difficult with the loss of my wi-fi reception, and what good is a phone without Internet and iMsg?? Now, I wasn’t particularly disgruntled on the matter until I found out our wi-fi was working, it was my phone that wasn’t and a quick call to Telus unveiled their cynical plan to ruin my lurking escapades : their system was down.
Stranded without a phone, gasping for reception, clinging desperately to my every last hope of vicarious traveling through mini photos on an instant feed, I gave in, put my cell down and vowed to spend the remainder of the day without it.
port
Even cell phones have their limits and so should you! While your cell may disconnect you from web surfing now and again, life may connect you with a new friend and surfer. While your cell phone may lose service for texting, life gives you the service of personable phone calling. And though your phone may, at some point, limit you from fixating on a screen, life will have you transfixed on the world around you. We would all do well to stick limits on our phones before they teach us this lesson on their own merit and these are 5 Holistic perks that emerged from being lost in textlation:
 

Perk #1: Mastering the art of communication beyond the 7%

  • What happened when I solemnly swore to stay off my phone? I actually had to call people! Now I for one, love talking on the phone, I adore it, and this was the perfect excuse. As social beings, we need to actually hear people’s intonations and their “LOLs.” Laughter, after all, is intoxicating and stimulates our feel good endorphins when we hear it in person. Reading the abbreviation “LOL” doesn’t do it justice. In fact, through our personal lives, social lives, right down to our business lives, communication is everything, but a measly 7% of communication comes through the content of the message. What accounts for the remaining 93%? UCLA professor AlbertMehrabian found that 58% of communication is through body language, and 35% through vocal tone, pitch, and emphasis.
    • Prescription For Wellness; when discussing important news or attempting to resolve an issue, refrain from the temptation to do so over text message. Calling is an upgrade but to reap the benefits of the 58% body language communication, you want to do so in person.

Stranded on a dessert island

  • A little effect I like to call: lost in textlation: no matter what you type or how strategically you type it, the true intention (sarcasm, joking, sweet vs flirty, serious..) will never translate in the exact same way to the receiving end (and this is even before considering an accidental autocorrect-desert is a lot less appetizing than dessert).  The other person is bound to read it differently and this just leads to crossed eyes and hair pulling, neither of which are considered healthy practises.

 

Free to a good roam

  • Money, yes. I know the struggle all too well of roaming charges when we grace the border while touring Niagara Falls. My phone, being the adventurous type, loves the thrill of pretending it is in the USA and as a consequence, charges me in the long run. Of course, I weasel my honest way out of roaming fees and so should you! But the roaming I’m referring to here is the constant checking of your cellular device. PEW Research Center found that 67% of cell users check their phone for messages, alerts, and calls even when  their phone isn’t ringing or vibrating.  Phones offer a fantastic modality for distraction and can drain our days of motivation and promote procrastination.
  • Putting my phone down forced me to not look at a tiny screen all day. Without constantly checking my phone and getting aimlessly lost in Instagram “liking” and “foodporn” drooling, I found myself having more time and therefore, being far more productive and active! And an additional perk: there are problems that set in with dry eyes simply because people become transfixed on screens and withhold the autonomic impulse to blink! So I had happy, glossy eyes too 😉
  • Prescription for wellness;
    • Want to kick-start an empowered, energized and productive day? Disconnect from your phone, step outside, create your day’s game plan, read, meditate and go about your morning unplugged for 1 hour first thing each morning!
 skyfall

Backspace the aches and pains

  • Dry eyes? How about the painful cell phone hunch? We were born with opposable thumbs and with this came our natural stature to walk upright on two legs. And though those nimble thumbs have come in handy for navigating miniature keyboards, they’ve also provoked a real pain the back.  The hunch is the new physical condition evocative of the ever downward tilt of the neck and shoulders from the constant use of our phones. On average we spend 2-4 hours daily in this unnatural angle according to CBS news which also suggests that good posture reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol to help you become more at peace. And speaking of a piece of zen…

Unlimited post-phone presence plans

Presence
  • Yes, presence. When disconnecting with the phone, we connect more to ourselves. There is less comparison to the glorious moments of people’s lives (the only ones we really post after all) and more time to ground and center your thoughts. You become more in tune with your body, your thoughts and emotions. Cellular devices can become coping mechanisms and pretty poor ones at that. Ever been bored or sad and looked through copious amounts of fitness and travel photos posted and felt the comparison creep in?
  • When we disconnect our phones, it forces us to look up and connect to our surroundings and the people around us. In our fast paced technological world, time, energy and awareness are three of the greatest things we could gift another human being with and can create a lasting impact. To have genuine, human, in person interactions where facial expressions come from a face and not an emoji and hearts are felt, not typed ❤
Instead of living vicariously through the adventures of my new friend from her trip to Guatemala or surfing photos of my back seat burrito buddy, I dreamt of my own travels there and made a game plan on how to do it.
And so I leave you with this: a suggestion for this week’s Wellness Weekly Challenge: to one day (or at least half a day) a week, find yourself in a total technology detox. This includes computers, cell phones, TVs, etc. To disconnect to pigmented images on a screen and connect authentically to yourself, to the incredible people you’re with and to the animated and unemoji’d world around you.

Tuning off to tune in for tonight’s family dinner of wild caught cod,

Suzanne Eden

Six Ways To Think Globally By Eating Locally

You’re a car pooler, an HOV lane local, a savvy  navigator of public transportation.

You are fully aware of the impact of gas emissions on our environment and carefully manage your ecological footprint, but did you ever consider the mileage on your plate?

 local

The average meal now travels around 1500km from farm to table according to David Suzuki. That is one costly road trip for the produce and environment alike. To put this into perspective, from MindBodyGreen, that means the average North American meal composed of some meat, grain, fruits and veggies, uses 4 to 17 times more petroleum if buying conventional versus buying local ingredients.

Take a look at your breakfast this morning. Where did it come from? Was it picked fresh from your garden, plucked from the your local fruit stands, or pulled from the grocery store aisles? Most supermarkets are supplied by global (national and international) farmers, whereas local growers are based right in the region, reducing the cost of gas, while fueling the community.  Buying locally from farmers markets and fruit stands is a simple, nutritious and delicious means to support our environment and our local economies. Here’s how:

  1. Fueling the food systems
  • The global system uses anywhere from 4 to 7 times as much fuel for transportation, and produces 5 to 17 times more CO2 emissions than regional or local food systems, according to Cornell University.
  • The Center for Agricultural Business reported that in California alone, more
    than 485,000 truckloads of fresh fruit and vegetables leave the state
    every year and travel from 100 to 2,100 miles to reach their destinations.
  • What you can do:
    • When buying local, the gas emissions from transportation are dramatically reduced. It is simply you driving, or better yet, walking or biking, and the transport from farm to the fruit stands.

fruit stand

2. More Nutritional Bang For your Buck

  • Conventional produce is picked before its prime to avoid spoiling on the long distance it travels for distribution to supermarkets.
  • Furthermore, fresh food can lose up to 50% of nutrients 3-5 days after harvest. So if our food is lacking nutrients in the first place, then is losing many of these nutrients on the way to our dinner tables, we’re losing a large portion of what we were wanting in the first place; valuable  vitamins and minerals. Thinking globally, we all know the vast expense of health care and the more we incorporate fruits and vegetables rich with nutrients, the more we access the power of preventative health care!
  • What you can do;
    • When you buy locally, you are getting the full spectrum of nutrients from fresh produce, picked ripe from the vines and sold directly to you to diminish nutrient depletion.

3. The Price Is Right

  • Generally far cheaper, as the money is going directly to the support of your local growers. There is no watering down costs to distribute to drivers, the supermarket sellers etc. This money is most likely recycled back into your community to benefit jobs on a local level.

 

eat local

4. TASTE!

  • I’m willing to bet that the main reason so many people think they don’t like veggies is because they aren’t having the true, flavourful vegetable. Take the taste test yourself, particularly with a tomato. What is hard, flavourless and more reminiscent of a rubber ball than a healthful food sold in supermarkets, is plump, juicy and nutritious when picked ripe. We are absolutely spoiled to live in the fruit belt and have a garden overflowing with heirloom tomatoes, but all you need is a visit to your local grower to reap the real taste.
  • Where does this lack of taste “stem” from? Take a look at the freelance article I wrote for EcoEating here: http://ecoeating.ca/case-of-the-tasteless-tomato/

 

5. Less waste

  • Globally, close to half of all food produced is wasted according to David Suzuki. Take the summer strawberry for instance where the average total loss from harvest to the consumer’s table is estimated to be more than 40%!
  • Holistic life hacks;
    • Ask for “seconds” at your local fruit stand. As the misfits of the fruit stands, seconds don’t look as pretty, may be sporting a few bruise spots that need to be sliced off or have an irregular shape. 30% of fruits and vegetables don’t make it onto North American superstore shelves for this very reason. By purchasing these perfectly good fruits, you will save yourself money and also decrease the waste of them potentially being tossed away.

 

veggie basket

6. Better Biodiversity

  • Smaller run, local farmers are far more likely to utilize the practises of crop rotation for more sustainable agriculture. This means rotating many varieties of crops which makes them more resilient against disease without using pesticides and promotes healthy soil. Conventional produce on the other hand, is often the practise of mono-culture which creates a vast host of issues leading to a need for increased pesticide use.

 

There are SO many perks to going local that extend beyond this list, from developing a greater sense of connection to our food, to getting one on one interactions and making friendships unlike you would in the grocery line. Instead of a quick “hello”, scan through of food, grab your money and go scenario, local farms encourage an open and friendly atmosphere and many of the workers work all week. It’s the ample opportunity to grow friendships while you grab your fresh picked peaches.

Diets rich in nutritious fruits and vegetables are cooperatively the healthiest for ourselves and the environment. This is true plan(e)t powered eating.  Fresher, tastier and better for both the consumer and local communities, you have every reason you need to grab your reusable shopping bags and head out to your local farmers market!

Suzanne Eden

Manifest Monday // 4 Nike Inspired Lessons To “Kick” Our Goals Into High Gear

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great”

– Zig Ziglar

Have you been wanting to change your diet? Telling yourself you’ll start exercising? Continuously contemplating dusting off the intricately cob webbed nutrition novel on your bookshelf? What have you been waiting for?

Nike

The fact is; life can change in an instant and so can you.  You do not have to wait for tomorrow to get motivated. You don’t have to wait to get back on track or to strap on your sneakers and hit the trails, or grab your yoga mat and head to the park. All you have to do is decide that your health outweighs all of the doubts in your head, decide to move, drink water, eat more plants, read the ingredients and eat real food. Every little thing you do is bringing you that one step closer to full, radiant health.  So forget what happened yesterday or the day before that, what will you do with today? That’s what counts!

In honor of our fresh starts, the weekends blue moon and a brand new month, these are 4 tips and tricks to run with and “kick” your goals into high gear!

1) Mission Possible

  • I recently purchased a pair of bright blue sneakers with the infamous Nike swoop sporting the sides. I have been eyeing runners like these for years and as a birthday gift, my grandparents graciously invested in them for me! First and foremost, let me tell you that these gave me a good run for my money before I even got my hands, or feet, on them. But  it was my mission, and this determination is what got me ultimately got me started.

 

  • How to run with it:
    • No matter your goals, create the mindset of determination. Instead of thinking of that goal as a must do, think of it as an adventure or mission! This positive shift in mindset will assist you in reaching any goal you set out to achieve.
sneakers

2) Find your footing 

Now the second thing I want you to know is that I DID get those sneakers after persistent phone calls and sports store shopping. When I walked out triumphantly with kicks in hand, those did not come off my feet for days and the morning after they came home with me, I was motivated and ready to hit the road running!  Here’s the thing: new is exciting! It’s thrilling and this excitement and anticipation in the new, will fuel us with the motivation to start our goals.
  • How to run with it;
    • When you’re looking to begin something, remember how you felt when it had that initial spark of a new idea, and create something exciting around it. You don’t have to go buy a sleek new pair of sneakers to start running, just pick a new and exciting trail. Want to start eating more salads? Find an adventurous, fresh topping to incorporate such as avocado, or mango or jicama. Whatever it is, find excitement in what you aim to achieve.

3) Embrace the black flies

I hit the trails the other day in expectation of a leisurely walk through the woods. The black flies, on the other hand, had a different idea entirely and apparently, well into the thick overgrowth, felt I was out of shape and in need of a run. And so once again, these sneakers gave me a good run, stop free, until I’d reached the top of the steep hill to the parking lot.

Though I don’t recommend taking an extensive run in the dead of heat (and I was sure to refuel with my electrolyte elixir; https://lifeofeden.com/2014/09/01/the-biggest-workout-mistake-i-see-the-electrolyte-elixir/), I will say this; often times we allow ourselves to think too much of how we can’t. Did I think I was in any condition to run that day? Nope! But when my attention was taken away from my thoughts and focussed on avoiding the relentless feasting of black flies, I found that I ran, I ran a whole awful lot and didn’t tire until I saw I was near the end.

  • How to run with it:
    • If you want to do something, look to the black flies! In other words; shift your focus. For every one excuse that says you can’t, give yourself three excuses that say you CAN. Do this every time and this repetition of “I cans” and all of the possibilities you create of HOW will rewire the patterning of your brain. And when you can; stop thinking, and just go do it! When the impulse is there, run with it!

 

4 ) Small steps in the right direction

One of the top obstacles that prevents people from beginning is the daunting feeling of being overwhelmed. Have you wanted to start dieting but felt so overburdened by all of the conflicting information and abundance of overbearing diet regimes that you called it quits before you began? Or perhaps you fell into the never-ending cycle of: “I’ll start tomorrow”. Let me tell you this; there is no day like today! You will always run into heated days, busy days, days with nagging black flies that want to prevent you from doing what you are doing; do it anyway and start that mindset today.
 
Wellness Weekly Challenge;
Right now, choose one thing that will start to progress your health. Write down one big and attainable goal you can accomplish this week.  Commit to doing that one thing every day this week for a certain amount of time. It could be meditating for 20 minutes, walking an hour each morning, or drinking a liter of water as soon as you wake up. Whatever it is for you, make it count!  That’s your mission! So go write down this weeks goal, be clear, be committed and in the wise words of Nike: Just Do It!
Running with this weeks mission,
Suzanne Eden