Earth Day 2015

I don’t usually post twice in one day.  Hell, I don’t usually post twice in one week.  But its Earth day and I have had such an exceptional morning that I feel the need to share.

earth

To start, I had a great night sleep last night.  Sleep is an amazing thing.  It can make or break your day.  My daughter has not been a great sleeper for the past few years.  She feels the need to wake me up at odd hours to tell me that she need to go pee.  Despite assuring her that I don’t actually need to know this she insists on doing it.  I am also fifty years old and for any others out there experiencing this you know that night sweats and restless sleep just go with the territory.  So a good, full nights sleep is a bonus anytime I can get it.

Building on that, I made breakfast and, as it wasn’t raining, I offered to walk my daughter to school.  Every Spring she participates in Kilometer Club at school.  Over a month and a half students track how many kilometers they walk and collect ribbons.  We live 2 kilometers from the school and get to walk this beautiful trail in the process.  It’s cool and sunny and the air smells so good at that time of the day.  It’s also twenty minutes of time that we can chat about whatever is going on in her life.  Or not.

Roche Trail

Once I dropped her off I headed home to quickly change and get to Bootcamp.  My friend has started up classes in our area that utilize the local trails and nature to kick our winter butts into shape.  She is so good at motivating us and making it fun at the same time.  About half way through she mentioned that at her early morning class (6:30am  is way too early for me) they had seen two owls in the trees.  Sure enough, they were still there.  They were chasing this poor chipmunk up and down the trees trying to get a snack.  It was so cool to see and it gave us a well needed break from carrying rocks up a steep hill.

owl

Once we were completely exhausted and our legs couldn’t make another step I followed her back to her place to pick up my lunch.  Another friend of mine, who is a holistic nutritionist.has started marketing her salads in a jar.  Every Friday she emails out a menu of salads.  You can order and pay online and then pick them up after bootcamp.  This week I chose….

Basil’iciousKale Salad:
Ingredients:*Kale,*Carrot,*Soaked Brown Rice
Dressing:*ACV, *EVO, *Fresh Basil & *Parsley, *Garlic, Sea Salt & *Pepper

Serving Suggestions: Makes a great side to any protein main or just mixed it all together with some left over Wild Salmon or Freerange Chicken.

kale salad

So here I am sitting at my computer enjoying a clear blue sky, tired legs and a full tummy.  So many of the Best Things in Life and its only 1:00.

backyard

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Nicky

When we do decided to go to Whistler last week my first thought was “Yipee, I get to go skiing”. My second thought was about how much I enjoy the village of Whistler. Hanging out in the stores, eating at the great restaurants and cafés and just generally people watching. Then I remembered that a friend of mine had just opened a new business in the village. Nicky and I had met a few times through a mutual friend but had never had time to really chat. This would be a great opportunity to get to know her better and find out about her new thing.

Walking into the Green Moustache Juice and Live Food Bar In Whistler is like walking into somebody’s warm and inviting kitchen. Of course it couldn’t be my kitchen. It’s way too healthy. Juicers are whirring and the kettle is boiling for a cup of organic tea. It’s the kind of place you could hang out in all day (if they let you) and enjoy a healthy salad with a smoothie on the side. They have only been open since December but if the steady stream of people coming in is any indication, business is good.

If you ever meet Nicky you will notice two things. She is a incredible ball of energy but at the same time incredibly chill. A true free spirit. The thing Nicky is most passionate about is nutrition. But not just the kind of nutrition that will keep you healthy day to day. The kind of nutrition that could save your life. She is a Certified Gerson Therapy Consultant. Gerson Therapy, I have discovered, involves consuming copious amounts of fresh, organic juices and supplements that are designed to activate the body’s ability to heal itself.

After working for the municipality of Whistler for 5 years Nicky realized that her job was literally making her sick. Each day she went to work feeling good only to experience sneezing and congestion as soon as she arrived. One day last May she couldn’t take it anymore and quit. “Now what?” She thought. She and Pierre, her husband, took the opportunity to pursue their dream of starting their own business. Over the next few months Nicky spent time looking at spaces and talking to other business owners. Using what she learnt; she wrote a business plan for the Green Moustache. The goal? To provide highly nutritious food that is also delicious. “You need to love what you put into your body” she says. She set out to create not only an amazing place to get fresh pressed juices and smoothies but a “hub for community wellness”. A place to share her vast knowledge of how food can make you feel good and heal you from the inside out.

Aside from the steep learning curve of opening their first restaurant, things have gone really well. Hiring god staff has been key for Nicky. She was told by local businesses that the hardest thing to do in Whistler was to keep good staff. It’s just the way it is in a resort town, they said. Nicky’s approach to this? “Hey, if they’re going to leave to pursue something else they love then they should go and do it”. There’s that chillness again. As a result she has a dedicated staff that by two weeks after opening had their roles nailed down. This has allowed Nicky to spend more time on her consulting. After all, her goal was not to spend every day working at the Green Moustache. Her true love is educating and helping people.

I could have sat there all day feeding off of Nicky’s enthusiasm for life, business and nutrition, but the ski hills were calling me and she had a client to meet with. We were both moving on to the best parts of our day. But in the hour that I spent with Nicky I learnt, not only an amazing amount about Nicky and her consulting, but some great advice about starting a business. “You have to completely love what you do and believe in it 100% and you have to know that you don’t need to know everything.” That is one of the best pieces of advice I have heard in a long time.

Going forward Nicky wants to continue her Gerson Consulting but now also wants to help other people start their own businesses. Passing on what she has learnt through this experience. She calls it the Green Mo Revolution and it is going to take off. Thanks for a great hour Nicky!

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Randi

As Randi and I headed out onto the tails for a hike on a drizzly Friday morning, I mentioned that I had recently started going to yoga. For Randi, yoga is one of the best things in life. She is a yoga instructor. As yoga is a new thing in my life, I was curious to know how she chose that path and what it was about yoga that was so attractive to her. Up until recently my perception of yoga was that it was kind of boring and complicated. So far, all of the instructors I had experienced seemed so immersed in their craft. So my mission for today was to find out why.

Randi started doing yoga from a DVD starring Ali McGraw (80 ‘s flashback) about 20 years ago. After her second son was born she started going to a power yoga class at the local rec centre to add variety to her gym workouts. In her own words she became a bit “obsessed” with yoga and at one point was practicing either power yoga or flow yoga almost every day to the point that if she missed a day, she would feel tense. Power yoga is more of a North American invention I have discovered. A more challenging, strength building workout based on Ashtanga Yoga but with a huge variation of postures and flows (often invented) strung together at the instructors whim and generally with the intention that yoga is solely a physical practice. A great workout, however, resulted in injury for Randi and she was forced to re-evaluate her approach. She has now learned that yoga should not be viewed as simply a good workout; but instead, a lifestyle. A thought process that can be taken “off the mat”.

It was at about this point in her life that Randi was also re-evaluating her job as a chemical biologist. She and her husband had a conversation that I’m sure many of us have had: “If I won a million dollars what would I do? Would I work, volunteer, travel the world? What would I do even if I wasn’t getting paid? ” This got Randi thinking and she realized that she wanted to teach yoga regardless of whether she won the million dollars. Eager to get started and not knowing a lot about the different styles of yoga (beyond the more powerful ones) she found herself signing up for a three year program in therapeutic yoga that had been recommended to her by her current yoga teacher. It would mean training far beyond the training of a regular yoga teacher and this was an area that Randi was not familiar with at all, but had a feeling it was where she needed to go.

At this point the hike was getting pretty steep but I was learning so much about yoga, and Randi, that I kept my mouth shut and pushed through. Did you know that it is called a yoga practice because it never really ends? You are always practicing and working towards a higher state of being? I didn’t.

Randi found the calmer, slower pace of therapeutic yoga just what she needed. Three years later she was certified as a yoga instructor. At the same time she was taking her training, Randi was working towards her certificate as a Holistic Nutritionist. Seriously, this girl is no slouch. She has a BSc in Biology with a minor in psychology and has traveled extensively to China, India and Africa. Her second trip to India was study under her teacher’s teachers in Chennai in the lineage of TKV Desikachar, son and student of T Krishnamacharya. An amazing experience that required the participants to be up at 7:00 am and practice for the better part of the day with limited breaks. Crazy? Before today I would have thought so. Now I see that perhaps devoted is a better word for it.

So now Randi sets her own schedule and teaches therapeutic yoga at multiple studios on the North Shore. She is able to balance her passion for yoga with a busy life with young children. She has combined her love of yoga and her knowledge of holistic nutrition and created Samana Wellness. A practice devoted to restoring balance to body and mind. She no longer dreads getting up in the morning and slogging away at a job she doesn’t like (sound familiar). More importantly though, it has given her an inner sense of peace and allowed her to deal with stressful situations, live in the moment and be her best person. It’s obvious to me that yoga is one of the best things in Randi’s life and potentially mine.

http://samanawellness.ca