I’ve been dreaming of sunshine lately and thinking about all of the hikes I’m planning to do this summer. Hikes like Joffre Lakes.
Joffre is situated a little north of Whistler and is home to the most beautiful emerald and aquamarine water I have ever seen.
Here are a few pics from my 1st hike to this extraordinarily beautiful destination. I can’t wait to get back.
Squamish, BC is less than an hour from Vancouver but, in many ways, it’s a world away. At first glance you’ll see a typical Canadian small town with strip malls, fast food joints and a bustling Tim Horton’s. But then you look up and see the stunning mountain range right beside the town and Squamish no longer seems anything close to typical. This hiker, rock climber, and snowshoer’s paradise is one of my favourite mini getaways. The mountain range is called “The Chief” and now has a gondola that takes you part way up the mountain to tree lined hiking trails with breathtaking vistas.
If you love the outdoors and are planning a trip to BC, definitely put this winter wonderland destination on your list.
There are certain places in the world so beautiful they’re almost shocking. Joffre Lakes is definitely on that list. The first time I gazed at the pristine, glacier water I thought “Is this real?”
The three beautiful jewels that are Joffre’s glacier lakes are very real and getting to spend some time dipping my feet in their aquamarine hued water, hiking along their shores and sitting lake side, gazing at their cool, clean beauty is, in my opinion, a wonderful way to spend a day.
And the best food to re-fuel with after a day of getting up close and personal with the natural beauty of Canada’s wild west?
A very vegan power salad, full of good-for-your-body antioxidants. Here it is:
Raspberry Cashew Greens
- mixed organic greens
- sliced red peppers
- raw cashews
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- maple syrup
- fresh raspberries
All ingredients are to taste.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. – Albert Einstein
Ground yourself in nature. Surround yourself with it and breathe in its beauty.
Being in nature is a simple way to bring you into the moment.
the only moment that really matters.
Stay here long enough and you’ll always be given an invitation to be happy
Joffre Lake, BC
What makes you feel on top of the world? For me it’s overlooking stunning views like this..
You’re probably wondering where I was to see a view like this, so let me fill you in. I was at the lookout point of St. Mark’s Summit, a gorgeous hike on Cypress Mountain.
St. Mark’s is a 5.5k trek up the mountain and takes about 4 hours round trip. It’s trail goes through a misty, magical forest and, as a grande finale, ends up overlooking the stunning seascape of Howe Sound.
It’s a hike that will also have you working up an appetite. So, I’ve created a yummy, vegan, apres hike dinner that features one of my all-time favorite dishes, Pan Fried Tofu Cakes. These cakes are smoky, onion-y pieces of foodie heaven and are served with a yummy spicy mayo. They are seriously one of the best things I’ve ever tasted.
Here’s the recipe:
Pan Fried Tofu Cakes
- 400 grams soft tofu, drained for 3 hours
- 2 eggs
- 2 T Worchester sauce
- 6 drops of sesame oil
- 3 shakes of chili spice
- 2 T julienned green onions
- 1 package Asian seasoning mix
- 1 cup panko flakes.
Place tofu in colander and break apart let stand for 3 hours to completely remove water. If this isn’t done cakes will not form.
Next beat eggs, Worchester and chili oil.
In a separate bowl combine the seasoning mix, green onions and add wet ingredients with 1 cup of panko and mix by hand. The mix is ready when a ball can be formed and hold its shape like a meatball. If mix is too wet add more panko until achieved. Scoop enough to form a 3 inch diameter cake. Don’t go too big or they will be mushy. Pre-heat cast iron pan and add olive oil. Place patties in pan for a few minutes to make them crisp on each side. Finish in a 350 oven for 10 minutes. Serve hot.
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Finish the meal with a big bowl of blackberries or cherries and a lovely Okanagan wine and you have all of the ingredients you need for a healthy, delicious (and sugar free) feast.
Ever wanted to slow your life down to a simpler, sweeter pace? Whenever I’m feeling a little frazzled and need to get my Zen back, I beeline to Deep Cove.
Deep Cove is a little hamlet in North Vancouver. Its main street is home to an old fashioned general store, an ice cream shoppe and an always overflowing restaurant that specializes in home-made, honey-glazed donuts.
Leave the main drag to wander along the water and you’ll be lucky enough to see vistas like this..
Then walk a little further to the edge of the forest and you’re on the trail to Quarry Rock. The hike is about two hours round trip and will get you huffing & puffing and sweating several times over those two hours. But, its saving grace is that is has a lot of flat areas to catch your breath as well. And while you’re catching your breath you can’t help but notice that you are in the middle of an enchanted forest with mossy branches, oversize ferns and beautiful, tall trees.
And then, when you reach the clearing at the end of the trail, this will be waiting for you…
Not too shabby.
What to bring:
- One or two bottles of water
- Lunch to eat on the rock overlooking Indian Arm
- Your camera
- Your dog
What to wear:
- Layers – it can be cool in the forest and hot on the rock
- Hiking boots – the trail is super rooty
There. You’re all set. Happy Hiking.
The Grind is taking up a fair amount of my spare time right now so it’s going to be the subject of another blog post. This one to be exact.
The stairmaster-esque climb, the intense sweating, the checking of the heart rate every few minutes and the unbelievably long time it takes to get to the first quarter mark can make this hike feel like a special form of torture. But, that said, it’s the best and quickest way for me to achieve my summer fitness goals. And, for this reason, in spite of all of my complaining, I kinda love it.
However, my fitness level is at a point where I definitely have to sit and take a break part way up. I stare into space for a while, gulp down some water and text a few friends the exact same message “I’m in actual hell right now”. Then I usually hear my stomach grumble angrily. The last time this happened I devoured a sugary granola bar but…no more. I’m eating clean and sugar free now. So for my grumbly, half way up the mountain hunger pains I’ve made a yummy, no-sugar alternative. I tried these snacks for the first time a few days ago and my verdict is YUM.
Disclaimer: this recipe is only delicious after you’ve been sugar free for a while and have reset your taste buds.
Here’s my easy as (sugar free) pie recipe:
2 ripe, mashed bananas
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1 tbsp natural peanut butter
a dash of cinnamon
Mix all ingredients, drop by spoonfuls on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.
There you have it. Take these on your next trek into the woods and your body with thank you.